Monday, March 27, 2017

14 Beach Reads You'll Dive Right Into

fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon, list of books, I recommend, top book suggestions, pre-order books today

Find yourself dealing with a huge case of spring fever? With the weather ebbing and flowing from cold to warm to cold to hot and cold again, it's bound to have hit you sooner rather than later this year. I know I'm already battling the pollen here in NC, and it's not pretty! So I'm ready for a full-fledged spring and then itching to move forward to some beautiful beach weather. 

To prep yourself for that I've got a list of 2017 releases that will be perfect for that day in the park, that sun catching day at the beach, or just to carve out some time on those gloomy weekends when the sun isn't quite shining. 

As always, there are affiliate links throughout this post with which any purchases you make will help support Good Girl Gone Redneck and keep me in the great reads!

14 Summer Beach Reads To Pre-Order Now

The Night The Lights Went Out, Karen White - April 11, 2017

Karen White, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, The Night The Lights Went Out, Amazon,
Sweet southern fiction from Karen White is exactly what you'll need to start the summer off right. The Night The Lights Went Out should be exactly what you need to pick up for some spring reading. 

Wendy Wax, One Good Thing, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
I've been a long-time Wendy Wax fan. Her books are a lot of fun, and I'm expecting One Good Thing to be just as enjoyable as those I've read in the past. A story of four women looking to rebuild - sounds like the perfect book for me right now. 

Slightly South of Simple, Kristy Woodson Harvey, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
Kristy Woodson Harvey has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I'm delighted to have a copy of Slightly South of Simple to review before it comes out. I look forward to diving into her well-crafted characters, her beautiful settings and the way she creates real emotion through her stories. 

The Forever Summer, Jamie Brenner - April 25, 2017

The Forever Summer, Jamie Brenner, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
The Forever Summer. The title and cover alone are enough to make me want to toss this into my tote and take it to the water. Well, not TO the water, but near the water. You get me. It's a beach read if I've ever seen one. Set on Cape Cod, the journey to her grandmother's B&B leads to a life-changing experience for Marin.

And We're Off, Dana Schwartz - May 2, 2017

And We're Off, Dana Schwartz, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
A mother-daughter adventure across the globe, And We're Off is about a beautiful 17yo girl named Nora who is encouraged by her grandfather to chase her passion. Mom is not so sure - so she decides to join her on the journey. And what will they experience? We'll only know if we pick up a copy.

The Simplicity of Cider, Amy E. Reichert - May 16, 2017

Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
I absolutely devoured Reichert's The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, and so I'm really excited for this new release from her. A story about a fifth-generation cider maker fighting to maintain the family venture, the story walks us alongside Sanna, the main character who longs to maintain a simple way of life, only to find herself caught up in one filled with complications. The Simplicity of Cider can't get to me quickly enough!

The Beach House: Coming Home, Georgia Bockoven, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
The Beach House is the tale of a mom without a child and a dad with a motherless daughter. Their Melinda and Jeremy meet and their lives are never the same again.  Another perfectly beachy cover here that draws me in and has me longing for the waves crashing against the sand. 

Nancy Thayer, Secrets In Summer, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
Memorial Day weekend on Nantucket. Romance. Relationships. Family. Connections. Secrets in Summer sounds like the perfect beach read - and it's release date makes it the perfect grab prior to the holiday weekend. 
Dorothea Benton Frank, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon, Same Beach, Next Year
Lowcountry living is the tone of most of Dorothea Benton Frank's books, and Same Beach, Next Year is no exception. Set on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina, a tale of marriage, flirtation, romance, history and relationships - this book is sure to have it all. Benton Frank fans will want to pre-order a copy today.
Summer Dance, Nan Rossiter, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
Set on Nantucket (again - the perfect place for a summer story!), Summer Dance weaves between 1969 and the present day. The tale of a post-Vietnam Cooper - a young man finding his way, and his then love Sally, who is - in the present day - writing a tell-all about their life back then. A book within a book? Perhaps. I love stories that go between time periods, so this one is a no-brainer for me.
Jane Green, The Sunshine Sisters, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
I've been reading Jane Green for as long as I can remember. I'm excited to see some new books from her. The Sunshine Sisters is the tale of - well - sisters. Three sisters who have done a lot of growing up since leaving their mother's care. Or since their mother left them as she adventured from London to Hollywood. What brings them all home again? Let's read together and find out.

Once and For All, Sarah Dessen - June 6, 2017

Sarah Dessen, Once and For All, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
I honestly don't think I've read anything by Sarah Dessen before. I know, that kind of seems impossible, with all the reading I've done and all the books she's written. But I have to admit that Once and For All sounds like the perfect June romance read. 

Shelley Noble, The Beach At Painter's Cove, fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon,
Four generations of women, from the family matriarch to the twelve-year-old granddaughter, return to the family mansion after years of estrangement. As we watch them try to save their family home we'll also observe the family dynamic, relationships and see where it all takes us. The Beach at Painter's Cove seems to hold a lot that's worth diving into. 
fiction, novels, beach reads, reading, amreading, goodreads, Amazon, Elin Hilderbrand, The Identicals
Twin sisters who are nothing alike come together to save their family? Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn't it? I expect nothing less from a summer novel from Hilderbrand. With Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket housing this story, The Identicals is a book that simply must be read on the beach!

So, there you have it. Fourteen books you'll want to get your hands on for the spring/summer seasons.

And if you're looking for more recommendations, I have plenty more:

17 Books You Need To Read in 2017

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2016

12 Books To Read in Early 2017

10 Authors of Color To Add To Your Library

Happy reading. I hope you find your favorite books in my lists of suggestions!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Managing Emotions

I'm an emotional person.

This has been a given. Know me, know I'm emotional.

And it's interesting what sort of control we're supposed to have over our emotions, isn't it?

That we're supposed to bite back the howls and the hollers.

Let the tears fall silently and wipe them away when nobody is looking.

I haven't written in over a week.

Maybe longer.

But I haven't written and that's not working for me.

Because as an emotional person, I breathe through my words.

I'm experiencing a lot right now, personally.

I'm not going to get into it - but if you know me you know I have anxiety and you know I find my way. And so - I continue to do that now, with extra emotions on-hand.

But I won't check them. I can't.

I can't shove them down deeply into my being and ignore them until I explode.

Until I implode.

And so I write.

I write when I need to say things I can't put to "paper" - virtual or otherwise.

I write when my body is tired and I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck, and I can't figure out how to lift myself up.

I write when I'm missing someone I love and holding on to their memory.

I write when I struggle with motherhood and can't figure out if I'm doing anything right but know that I'm trying.

I write for comfort. For healing. To remind myself that I have a voice.

And so. I'll continue to write.

Even if it's a once in a while thing. I'll do it when I can and when I need to. And I hope you'll still read it when I write it. Because that's all I ask of you. Is that you read my words. And that you hear me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Role of Empathy in Peer and Clinical Support

* Author's note: I do not and would not claim to be, nor have I ever stated that I was or am, an expert on all things mental health related. That said, I'm writing this from experience - both, as a social worker, and a volunteer in various aspects of the mental health world. I would appreciate some grace as you read this so I ask you keep that in mind and know I do not judge YOU for the work that you do. I just encourage you to keep learning, working towards the goals you have set for yourself, and respecting all others along the way. *

Working in the mental health field is a role that I wouldn't train for anything in the world.

I truly believe that this is the place I belong.

I love my clients. I love working with people at different stages of their needs, different levels of support. All of it. I love the feeling I get when I hang up the phone and recognize that they have recognized that the work they're doing or have done MATTERS in the scheme of things that is their life.

I also love the volunteer work I do. Supporting women who are experiencing or have experienced perinatal mental health disorders is something I'd give up for - well - for absolutely no reason that I can think of at this time.

And honestly? I hope to combine the two in some way in the not so distant future.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Social Media Is Your Living Room

Good Girl Gone Redneck: Social Media Is Your Living Room

I wrote this next paragraph last night, and then I stopped before posting on Facebook. I was just too tired. I also was about ready for bed and I didn't want to do a post and run. You know how those go, right? So I waited to share now.

 ** Some nights, no matter how much balance you try to maintain, you recognize that there are people in this world who don't want to experience it. And in those situations? You don't have to help with the scales. You have to just let them go. ** 

I'm better this morning because I realize that though I'm still trying to find the balance, I'm done doing so at a risk to myself. Done doing so in a way that makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Orphan's Tale, Pam Jenoff

*Click here for an affiliate link to buy this book!*

In recent months I've been slightly addicted to historical fiction. I've strayed from that a bit in the last few weeks, but I'm going to get back to it soon - I can guarantee it. Mostly because I have finally been officially indoctrinated into Pam Jenoff's writing.

The Orphan's Tale (affiliate link, as are all book purchasing links throughout this post) is the first book of Jenoff's I have read, and it was so so good. Such a powerful story. I had downloaded some of her books to my Kindle and just never got around to reading them. That will change now. Oh - also - I got this one from NetGalley - but my opinions are 100% mine. I think y'all know me well enough to know that.

So. Why this book? What is it about this book that pulls you in?

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