Margo photo palm tree cropJoining Nina Crespo‘s  Readers, Writers and Wellness blog event is guest blogger Marcie Kremer, author of Torch in the Forest.

Book clubs? Fun? Some readers may think those two terms are mutually-exclusive and have nothing to do with each other. Of course, we all know there are “those” kinds of book clubs – where a leader with a vengeance complex intimidates all the hapless members with a condescending, “you didn’t do your homework?” sort of attitude. That’s not the kind of book club I belong to, and I hope you don’t either.

The book club I belong to is, first of all, very lighthearted. Yes, we all read the same book, but, sometimes (gasp!) we don’t read it! That doesn’t mean we can’t come to the meeting and enjoy fruit (wine) and fiber (popcorn) and listen to everyone’s opinions and chime in when we feel like it. There is no penalty for not reading the book. Imagine how empowering that is. Imagine this – we all have lives to lead, and, sometimes, having the time to read a book just isn’t part of it. But, the camaraderie we share more than makes up for any possibly intellectual comments we might have made.

When we do discuss the book – and, yes, we do – we’ll usually use the questions that either the publisher or author has posted on the internet or that are available inside the book. Do we need to make deep, insightful answers? Um, I don’t think so. Because we are a lighthearted group, we respect each other’s views, no matter what they are. We’ve found that doing this increases our appreciation of each other’s differences. Talk about validation.

With these kinds of principles, it’s probably easy for you to see how we can have so much fun in our book club. We’ll go off-topic sometimes (oh, goodness, you should have heard the comments when we talked about Karen Essex’s Leonardo’s Swans, or Alex Sokoloff’s The First Mrs. Hemingway.) Being able to gossip and share life adventures that are inspired by books and the discussion are such an important part of the uplifting and enjoyable times we have at our book club. Of course, you can certainly guess how many giggles were provoked by my own historical romance Torch in the Forest: “I can’t believe you wrote THAT, Marcie!” No, it wasn’t a book club pick – my friends read it all on their own! We’ll go home smiling and giggling – and ready to pick up the next book we’ve selected to read and lose ourselves in its pages.

And if we don’t – no worries. It’s all about being with our friends and sharing experiences, whTorch in the Forest New Cover Sept 2013ich most definitely give us all a lift in life!

 About Marcie Kremer:  Growing up in Europe and seeing castles on a daily basis made me sure I wanted to live back in the Middle Ages. Since that wasn’t likely to happen, being a child of the 20th century, the next best thing I could try to do was to write about this enthralling period in history. Having studied medieval history in college, I loved doing the research about how people really lived and spoke and dreamed and loved, and so TORCH IN THE FOREST came to be, thanks to my dear husband, who encouraged me to write about Eleanor and Hugh. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, or traveling. I love hearing from readers and am happy to do book club conference calls!

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