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Engage the Will

When we want to focus, the obvious thing to do is get rid of external distractions; turn off our phones, disable our internet connections and so on.

But when we sit down to write, our minds inevitably wander. A whole bunch of extraneous thoughts float into our heads that have nothing whatsoever to do with the books we’re trying to write. Errands we need to run, appointments we need to make, and people we need to talk to. What do we do then?

That’s when we engage our Will. Since our minds can’t be turned off, our only option is to learn how to control the thoughts that come into them.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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