Eclectic Review: Heat & Heartache

It’s day 2 of my blog tour. Today’s stops:

The Eclectic Review 

Long and Short Reviews

Huge thanks to The Eclectic Review for taking the time to read my book. It’s always terrifying for me to see how my words will resonate with someone else who is reviewing my work. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Sharon’s post and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw her opener.

Holy cow! I absolutely consumed this romantic unobtainable love interest story filled with heat and heartache. I literally couldn’t put it down. 

Yay. Yay. Yay! I’m thrilled Sharon enjoyed the book and totally nailed the premise. I think she articulated the summation better than I did! You can read her full review here. Thanks again Sharon for making this author’s day!

And you can read my thoughts on a recent phenomenon at Long and Short Reviews: Happiness Guilt.  Enjoy!

One of the key reasons why I write is because it makes me happy, and in turn, I hope my writing brings a bit of happiness to others. However, I’ve found myself less motivated to write during the pandemic. It’s not a matter of time, more a sense of guilt. There’s so much devastation going on in the world around us. Stories of hope are few and far between. When so many bad things are happening and people are suffering, I feel guilty doing something that brings me joy.   

I recently came across an article and realized this is an actual thing: happiness guilt. And it’s made a resurgence. It’s no surprise given the events of 2020, but what to do about it? The article was very eye-opening for me. It reminded me that we need to balance our joy with our grief. Grief looks different for each of us and everyone deals with it in their own way. But no good comes from ignoring it, so shouldn’t the same be true on the flip side? While I’m in a good spot now, when I reflect on the past year it’s been tough professionally and personally. Not only because of the emotional ramifications of the pandemic and political climate, but both my husband and I lost our jobs a week apart. We also lost two friends, both young, who left grieving families behind. I’ve had periods of despair, but also periods of hope.

The article made me realize that ignoring the bright times doesn’t help those who are hurting. When we’re happier we spread that joy to others, sometimes without even realizing it. Now that I’m in a better place I’ve tried to use my energy for good. I’ve donated lots of bags of books, toys and clothing, as well as made contributions to local food pantries and charities. Sometimes these efforts seem small, but doing good lifts up others who need it most.

I’ve come to realize during difficult times, joy is more important than ever. Life is a cycle of ups and downs. While the downs may look different for each of us, we need to embrace the good times while we have them. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that life is short and precious and we need to hold onto those we love and whatever brings us happiness.

I’m trying to get back to writing. For me, books have always been an escape. I write Romance because I’m a big fan of happily ever after. And I agree with the sentiment that happiness is contagious. I’ll end with a quote that I think is a perfect reminder of why we should embrace those moments of happiness and let go of the guilt.

“Happiness adds and multiples as we divide it with others.”

– A. Nielsen

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