A month full of new routines…and full of new books!

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

Welcome to life in 2020, where everyone is at least two dog lengths away, your Netflix membership suddenly seems like the best investment you’ve ever made, and virtual happy hours with friends make you feel like a contestant on Hollywood Squares.

Going a little stir crazy this month? Read one of our exciting published books on ChapterBuzz! Or check out the books that have been trending lately. Many are works-in-progress, which means this is your chance to give the authors some input before their books go to press.

If you’re an author, and you’re writing a novel, you may have found that setting small, manageable goals each day makes you much more likely to achieve them. That’s the idea behind the 20-Year Novel Club, where a group of writers who have pledged to continually move forward on their novels are writing 10 words every single day—at a minimum. Since the Club opened its doors last week, those who have sat down with the intention of writing just 10 words have been posting much larger word counts. Join us in the Club and experience the thrill of making progress every day!

Now that you’re hopefully a member of the Club, let’s take a look at what’s inside this issue:

Author Alexis Cunningham, winner of the Fan Favorite Award in October 2019’s 10K Novel-Building Challenge, shares the first chapter of her fantasy work-in-progress, The Gods’ Own. In it, we’re introduced to Yasha Alukov, a street conjuror who’s about to be released from prison—and ready to get even with the rival who put him in there. Find out what happens as this exciting story unfolds.

Next, like many of us, author Shirley Holder Platt, Tier V Rising Star Author and two-time Challenge winner, is feeling the effects of the global pandemic that has kept us in our homes and given us plenty to be concerned about. “COVID-19 has stopped me cold,” she says. “I have a friend in the hospital with it. I hear horrific death counts, and I simply can’t write.” The thing is, so many of us are feeling the same way. You’re not alone, and what Shirley is doing to deal with her new normal might work for you, too.

Finally, on a trip to the grocery store last month, award-winning author Tiffany S. Doran went into a bookstore that still happened to be open—just before such establishments were ordered to pack it in for the foreseeable future—and came back out with no fewer than three books, including her new favorite read, The Bookwanderers by Anna James, which actually inspired this month’s article. “Instead of being remembered as a blank page,” says Tiffany, “be remembered for everything you’ve written.” In her column, Tiffany explains why this book resonated so well with her.

And this month’s cover author is Patricia Robin Woodruff, who is practically buried in research notes on Slavic goddesses, gods, and magic, as well as religions predating Christianity by many millenia. Currently, she’s pursuing her PhD in metaphysical sciences while making groundbreaking discoveries along the way—and writing it all down in her five-part series, The Roots of Slavic Magic. In her feature article, find out where in the world her research has taken her, the surprisingly simple secret that helps her avoid feeling overwhelmed, and why she carries an old food stamp in her pocketbook wherever she goes.

Take heart, writers and readers. Each new day seems to bring more good news, and the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter with every passing week. In the meantime, as you continue to adapt to your new routine, be sure to carve a few minutes out of your day to sit back, take a load off, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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