Month: May 2021

The Four Winds Book Club Questions and Food Ideas

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Four Winds, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas, and discussion questions in that order!

The Four Winds Book Club Questions and Food Ideas
The Four Winds Book Club Questions and Food Ideas
The Four Winds Book Club Questions and Food Ideas
The Four Winds Book Club Questions and Food Ideas

While Kristin Hannah has been writing books for over two decades, you may recognize her best from her massive hit, The Nightingale, or the book she published just after, The Great Alone.

With The Nightingale, Hannah pivoted from writing women’s fiction to writing more literary or book club fiction. While the three categories are sometimes hard to delineate, Hannah has found major popularity with her latest works all of which contain historical timelines.

Her latest work, The Four Winds, is no different. Inspired by the Dust Bowl and migrants who left the plains for California, The Four Winds is another sweeping historical by Hannah.

The Four Winds

If you don’t know, there is some long debated controversy surrounding John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (which Hannah’s The Four Winds echoes). At the time, another writer, a woman named Sanora Babb was researching and writing her own novel about the Dust Bowl and Depression. Steinbeck seems to have come upon her notes and there is claim they largely influenced his novel, which sold truck fulls more than Babb’s.

In a way, the already hugely popular The Four Winds gives Babb some justice. Hannah speaks often of using Babb’s research in her own writing.

Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For this post, I provide you with a delicious recipe for Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce!

Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce
Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce

If you’ve never had arancini, I am glad you are here!

Arancini is a traditional Italian dish consisting of fried rice balls. Made with risotto, sometimes the arancini have peas or mozzarella inside. For this recipe, I included the mozzarella, but omitted the peas.

Crispy on the outside and soft and rich on the inside, arancini is a filling and delicious dish that is best served with tomato sauce.

If you’re stopping by here while searching for recipes, you may not know that the recipes here are all inspired by books! This particular recipe was created after reading The Four Winds.

The Four Winds is Kristin Hannah’s novel about a woman struggling to keep her family farm afloat during the Dust Bowl and her ultimate decision to move to California in hopes of a better future. Reminiscent of the Grapes of Wrath, The Four Winds is an epic tale of survivorship against great odds. If you love reading, check out more about this great book HERE!

This recipe for Arancini combines rich risotto, melty mozzarella, crispy panko, and a delicious garlic and pancetta sauce.

The flavors combine to create a warm and comforting dish that’s absolutely delectable.

How to Reclaim Your Purpose as an Author

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For How to Reclaim Your Purpose as an Author, I share a few techniques to overcome your funk, reclaim your author purpose, and get writing again!

How to Reclaim Your Author Purpose
How to Reclaim Your Author Purpose
How to Reclaim Your Author Purpose
How to Reclaim Your Author Purpose

Please note this is not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you are facing a serious mental health issue, please reach out and find professional help.

It’s early in the morning and the house is quiet except for the sound of my “good-intentions” alarm. I roll over in the darkness, feeling the cool air hit my arm as I reach out to turn off the alarm, and then I slip my hand back into the warmth of my covers and snuggle deeper into my bed.

It might seem like an innocent enough gesture, but, despite the fact that my body is relaxed and still half-asleep, my mind is whirling in a tumultuous battle of shoulds and buts.

I SHOULD get out of bed and enjoy working in this early morning solitude before my kids wake up and need me, BUT I also need the rest because I know what the day with two busy toddlers holds.

I SHOULD get out of bed and work towards my goals, BUT what’s the point because …. no one is reading my work, I still haven’t gotten that story published, what difference is my writing really making in the world (ETC.).

You get my gist. And, I’ve bet you’ve been there, too. Maybe it’s late at night that you’ve set aside time, but you DESERVE to binge Netflix after that long, hard day. Maybe it’s during your kids’ nap time or on your lunch break, but something always comes up and destroys your good intentions of writing again.

Whatever time or situation it is, I get it.

Top Book Club Picks – Indie Reads!

*If you are new here, WELCOME! In this post, I’ll share Top Book Club Picks – Indie Reads – that Your Book Club Should Read!

Top Book Club Picks - Indie Reads
Top Book Club Picks – Indie Reads

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.

You may or may not realize that in the last decade scores of talented writers have decided to forgo traditional publishing and chosen instead to embrace a more entrepreneurial way of getting their books into the hands of readers.

For you, the reader, it shouldn’t matter how the book came to you, only that, for the 350 pages it was with you, it touched your life in some way.

Perhaps you read a self-published or small publisher book in the past and it…well, it wasn’t very good.

Well, let me tell you that times have changed.

What used to be a way for people who shouldn’t publish to get a dusty manuscript out too soon is now a viable option for talented authors to take control of their publishing careers and publish books that you, the reader, really love.

That said, it’s still difficult to find these gems on Amazon or elsewhere when the algorithm favors large publishing houses (including Amazon’s own Lake Union).

So today I’m featuring “Indie” books that you really should read as a book club! (In the future I’ll try to post more about the difference between self-publishing and small publishers, but this list includes a little of both!)

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Lainey Cameron, whose book The Exit Strategy is on this list, for offering more than a few suggestions for this list when I asked.

Lainey is a champion for authors and you can find her fantastic podcast where she features the Best of Women’s Fiction, HERE!

She’s also an all-around great person and digital nomad whose Instagram account will have you sighing with jealousy at her fantastic adventures. If you don’t follow her, check her out!