What Reading (and Writing) Books Means to Me with Elizabeth Goddard

Happy Thursday! Today’s installment of What Reading/Writing Books Means to Me is brought to us courtesy of Elizabeth Goddard, popular author of romantic suspense - including her new book NEVER LET GO which released February 5, 2019 from Revell Books.

What Reading (and Writing) Books Means to Me

by Elizabeth Goddard, Author of Never Let Go

As a novelist, I know that I wouldn’t be a writer if I weren’t also an avid reader. Add to that, the two activities could be considered interchangeable, at least for me. As I write a novel, I’m also discovering the story. Discovery is what books are all about.

The love of reading and the books we read shape us early on, that is, if we’re inspired to read at a young age. They allow us to escape to new worlds never explored or that will never exist. We learn new perspectives through the eyes of characters whose lives we’ll never live.

For instance, most of what I know about World War II, I learned by reading historical novels such as Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant series (Brock Thoene is a historian so I trusted the history). I learned to love horses by reading Black Beauty and books like it. I grew to love romance and romantic suspense when I got hooked on gothic novels written by Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and the Bronte sisters.

I love the smell of a new book, the feel of it as I hold it in my hands. Like scents ignite memories long buried or music reminds of special moments, books make me think of my childhood and all things good.

Most of all, books remind me of my mother. She loved to read and brought books from her childhood into her own home when she married. Titles such as My Friend Flick, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and countless more filled the bookshelves. Those books remained on the shelves for decades until all four walls of a room became bookshelves filled with new books, and the pages in my mother’s hardbacks turned yellow with age.

My mother was an avid reader and I learned to love books from her, often spending my entire summers reading some of my favorite books more than once. This activity ignited the desire to write my own stories, and my mother encouraged me in that as well. I’m grateful that I became published while she was still alive, so she could see the fruit of what she inspired in me. She passed away a couple of years ago, and I dedicated Never Let Go to her. I hope to pass down to my own children and grandchildren the same gift she gave to me—the love of reading, the joy of books, and for some, even the passionate drive to write novels.

Books have inspired me, changed me, given me hope, taught me, and carved out the path I walk every day on my journey to create more books.



Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of forty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.



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The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up.

Forensic genealogist Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather's footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from a hospital more than twenty years ago. When someone makes an attempt on Willow's life to keep her from discovering the truth, help will come from an unexpected source.

Ex-FBI agent--and Willow's ex-flame--Austin McKade readily offers to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they'll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he's spent much of his life trying to forget--and put Willow's tender heart at risk.

10 Reasons Why Book Boyfriends Make the Perfect Valentine's Date


1. A book boyfriend is schedule-friendly! Your date with your book boyfriend will begin exactly when he fits into your schedule. He'll stay up late with you if you like. Or, without a single complaint, he'll let you nod off at nine p.m.


2. He's location-friendly. He'll meet you anywhere you are. He'll travel with you on the subway on your way to work. He'll join you on the sofa at your parent's house. He'll fly on a plane with you. Sail on a cruise with you. Keep you company on your beach chair when your toes are buried in the sand.


3. He's extremely romantic. Especially if you select a book boyfriend who originates within the pages of a romance novel. My heroes frequently make big sacrifices for their heroines while saying things like, "I'll always love you. As long as there's an earth and a sun. Longer. I will love you."



4. A book boyfriend can break the constraints of time. It's a wee bit hard to date a Regency era duke or a Viking or a Civil War soldier these days. But not if he's a book boyfriend!  Imagine spending your Valentine's day wearing a ball gown, dancing a waltz in the arms of a Viscount.


5. Any food you eat with him while inside his story world is calorie free!



6. You don't have to clean up after him. At all. Ever. Book boyfriends don't leave socks on the floor or dirty dishes on the counter.


7. Your book boyfriend looks the way you want him to look. Yes, the author has provided you with a few details about him. But thanks to the powers of your imagination, you can envision him in your mind's eye exactly the way you prefer.


8. Book boyfriends are larger than life!  Go on a Valentine's date with a billionaire rancher. A European prince from the 1700s. A pro football player. A single father who's also a famous country singer.



9. He's memorable. If you choose your book boyfriend wisely, chances are that he'll carve his name onto your heart and you'll remember him fondly for years and years to come.


10. You can count on a happy ending!  He may be flawed and he's likely to make mistakes, but by the end of your time together, he'll have redeemed himself. You're guaranteed to part from your book boyfriend with a happy sigh and a smile.


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Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, married a Texan, and settled with him and their three children in Dallas. She’s the Christy and Carol award winning author of the heartwarming Christian romances included in the Porter Family series and the Bradford Sisters Romance series. Visit her website!


12 Days of Christmas for the Bookish People in Your Life

Do you currently have someone in your family that loves all things bookish? Or maybe you are that person, and you need to somehow hint to your loved one what they can get you for Christmas? Let’s face it, non-bookish people just don’t get it. Yes, of course we want books, I mean that is the point, right? But there’s so much more!!

I’ve taken the popular 12 Days of Christmas and put a little bookish spin on it. I think you’ll find something in one or more of the days that you like!


On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a reader’s nook of my very own.


On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two bookish pillows.


On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three mugs with book quotes.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four scented candles.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five magnetic bookmarks.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six book cozies.


On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven sticky note pads.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eight book darts.


On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, nine uninterrupted hours to read.


On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ten Funko figurines.


On the eleventh day of Christ my true love gave to me, eleven props for Bookstagram.


On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a twelve-month subscription to a bookish box.

What bookish items are on YOUR Christmas wishlist this year? Share in the comments below.

Thanksgiving Hangover vs. Book Hangover - They're Not So Different!

Hangovers. Most people associate the word with alcohol, but there are actually several types. Readers everywhere use the term book hangover. A book hangover is defined as a condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress (urbandictionary.com). On Thanksgiving Day, people around the US gather together and eat until they burst. This can cause emotional distress as well.  

As I joined America in eating until the button on my pants pops, I couldn’t help but think about how Thanksgiving Hangovers and Book Hangovers have so much in common.

  1. You don’t want to even think about having more.

    Let’s face it, by the time we’ve reached nighttime on Thanksgiving Day, we don’t even want to hear the word turkey anymore. In fact, we don’t even want to see food at all. It can be that way with book hangovers too. When you finish a book that still holds your undivided attention, you do not even want to think about starting another book. That TBR stack on your desk? Yeah, you just kind of close your eyes as you walk by.

  2. You find yourself wanting more.

    Some people are just the opposite, and find themselves wanting more. Maybe it’s a midnight turkey sandwich or a before bedtime extra piece of pie. The food was just so good they don’t want the yumminess to end. In the book world, sometimes you just enjoy reading a book so much that you don’t want that feeling to go away. It can make you dive right into the next book, especially if it’s a series. You just hope that you like the next book as much as you enjoyed the first one!

  3. You need to switch things up.

    There is so much work that goes into Thanksgiving dinner that, the next day, it seems easier to just get takeout. Chinese, pizza, or whatever your hometown has to offer. The main thing is that it does not consist of typical Thanksgiving food. Same goes for the book world. If you’re suffering from a book hangover from a contemporary read, maybe you’ll switch to a suspense or historical novel. Something that will take your mind in a totally different direction.

  4. You feel groggy.

    Ever heard someone say they wanted to take a nap after eating a big Thanksgiving meal? It’s because their minds are groggy and they can’t concentrate. Books can have that effect as well. Once when I suffered from a book hangover, I was so invested in the characters and storyline that my mind couldn’t let them go. My family tried to engage in a conversation with me, but I just kind of stared off into space, my mind too groggy to understand what they were saying. I had to wait for the hangover to subside before I could enter into a regular conversation again.

  5. You might just need to detox.

    In the food world this could be eating extra healthy the following day, or increasing your water intake. How can we detox in the book world? Read a no-nonsense book. It could be a novella, a book I’ve read in the past, or a book that I know isn’t going to totally take over my mind. Maybe even a kid’s book. Hey, they’re fun to read too!

Hangovers are hard to deal with - be they Thanksgiving or book hangovers - and everyone handles them differently. But let’s be totally honest, don’t you love reading a book that causes a book hangover? It typically means the book was so good that everyone needs to read it!


What book have you read recently that gave you a book hangover? How do you cope with a book hangover? Share in the comments below or share the discussion on social media (don’t forget to tag us @hopebythebook)

A Beginner's Guide to Bookish Terms

The reader community on social media is blossoming! Millions of bookstagram photos, book hauls, and bookish treats are shared daily. Sign on and start using this new lingo to share some of your favorite reads.

Photo credit: @novellyyours

Photo credit: @novellyyours


A general term tacked on to anything and anyone who has to do with a book. See that Harry Potter paraphernalia cluttering up your shelf? That’s bookish. Those candles that smell like old ink and paper? Bookish. Your purse that you picked because it can fit two paperbacks in? Yeah, that kind of crazy is what makes us bookish.


Look around your house. See those piles of books you’ve been meaning to read? That’s your TBR stack. A “to be read” pile or list is where good books go to die. If you don’t have enough enthusiasm to read the book right away, chances are you’ll just put it in a pile that you’ll look at a few times a week with anxiety and tell yourself you’ll get to soon but never will. Some people will conquer their TBR list, and these people we call our heroes.


A well-framed picture of a book or stack of books posted on Instagram. Most of the time this image contains a cute toy such as a Funko Pop figurine and/or fairy lights and floral accents. These images are what help other #Bookstagrammers find books to read, or just display on their shelves. Connect with others online using these pretty pictures, but don’t worry if you don’t take great pictures. Repost (with credit) from other accounts of books you like, or just let the book shine for itself.


Write down a book as DNF if you did not finish it. This is a handy acronym for those books that you can’t seem to get through, whether from inappropriate or inane content. Note DNF in your review on GoodReads or on other sites to let other readers know you stopped reading and why.


A booklover who often can be found bookstagramming or sipping coffee at their local indie shop. Often quotes classics, especially Jane Austin. Approach with caution if carrying or touting the latest Kindle. You may be mocked for your choice of reading format.


If you’ve ever received a copy of a book to review before it’s been published, you’ve gotten an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC). ARC’s come in many different formats, including unfinished manuscripts in pdf or ebook, designated ARC copies for proofreading, and prepublication paperbacks.

Book Haul

Ever buy books, bring them home, unwrap them just to sit and bask in the delicious potential of reading them? Then, my friends, you’ve experienced a book haul. Book hauls are to be shared online with your friends, through videos or photos so they can experience envy at all your glorious new books. But seriously, don’t brag about your book hauls. Reading is an activity that spans many-a-price-range and should be shared by all. Book hauls can be bought on sale, taken home from the library, or even ARC copies received for reviewing.

Add your voice to the #bookish conversation online and use some of the new terms you’ve learned today. Be sure to tag me @Katelynsbolds & @hopebythebook on Twitter or Facebook and @bold.reads and @hopebythebook over on my bookstagram account. Remember: keep calm and read a book!