Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Now You See Me by Grace Burrowes

As I came around the far turn into my forties, a master's degree in conflict resolution caught my eye, and back to school I did go.  

One tenet of conflict resolution is that much of what bothers us in life isn't about That Guy or Those People, it's within us. We can't handle the traffic because we're driving to the wrong job for us. We married the person exactly designed to help us replicate out parents' discord. 

Conflict professionals are thus enthusiastic about "knowing thyself." If you're going to sit between rival gangs and suggest they learn how to get along, you'd better not be adding fuel to the flames. You'd better have a clue how to get along WITH YOURSELF. 

We thus took a bunch of personality assessments, for two reasons. First, some of the most popular "tools" are the least valuable (and the most monetized). For many of us, taking those much touted, industry-revered, old, “reliable” tests was an exercise in being mislabeled. That's a sure means of developing empathy with parties in conflict, because mislabeling is one of the ways we both dehumanize an antagonize each other. 

The second reason we subjected ourselves to those exercises was that many of them have some value. In my case, the most astonishing insight they yielded, consistently, is that I am not naturally a verbal thinker. By ability, by inclination, I am a visual/spatial thinker.  

My natural style is to Leave Stuff Where I Can See It. If I can see it, it's real to me, though the result looks like clutter and mess to other people. Tuck it in a filing cabinet or closet and I lose awareness of it. I don't use a GPS--cannot stand to have somebody jabbering at me when I need to figure out where I'm going. I can tell you exactly where stuff is in my house, my office, my world because as I'm describing to you how to find it, I SEE it. 

I suspect this is why I love physical books. I can SEE them. I can look across my bedroom at my keeper shelf, and know Loretta Chase and Mary Balogh, the Carsingtons and the Bedwyns, are right there with me. An ereader doesn't give me that assurance.

Maybe this is the reason I am inordinately pleased that this week, two of my favorite stories, for two of my favorite characters, have found their way to print. Percival and Esther, Duke and Duchess of Moreland, had to wait until AFTER I’d written books for each of their eight children before Their Grace’s courtship and marriage novellas were written, but the stories were worth the wait, and now they’re bound into a two-novella volume available in all those lovely bookstores.


Let’s celebrate this happy development by giving away three signed copies of The Courtship/The Duke and His Duchess. Enter to win by leaving a comment about why you prefer either ebooks or print books—or why you MUST sometimes have both!  

18 comments:

  1. I will always prefer to hold a print book. But sometimes books are only available in ebook, or cost much less in ebook format, it's hard to resist a book for .99 or 1.99. I'm collecting my favorites in both formats, so I can see and hold them, yet have them with me on my kindle. A bonus when reading a Grace Burrowes book on my kindle is that I can just press on a big, unfamiliar word, and PRESTO - I know what it means without ever having to leave the book! :-) bonnie blue

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    1. You're right about the embedded dictionaries, Bonnie, and I think the enhanced ebook--with links to everything, images, and even special effects will soon catch on, and blur the line between the ebook and the game. I came across one author at RWA who was writing a soundtrack for her romances... wow!

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  2. I rely mostly on my e-reader, but I just bought a huge stack of books over the weekend. There's something about fall that makes me want to curl up with a physical book. Congrats, Grace. Love the cover. It's beautiful!

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    1. I agree, "curl up with a book," is a different, and for me, cozier, experience than curl up with an ereader. I've bought several e-readers, thinking I need to identify with the majority of my readers (who do use a device). I end up giving the e-reader away... Doesn't do me any good sitting on top of the fridge, and other people apparently prefer them, so...

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  3. Interesting observation. I did a workshop on this once that argued pantsers are more likely to be internally organized (meaning we don't have to see things; we put them away and keep the image in our head) whereas plotters are more likely to be externally organized (meaning they like to have things--like the plot--in front of them where they can see it). Different ways of organizing but both work. Still, I do always feel like a book in my hand is more real than one that only exists digitally. I guess old habits die hard.

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    1. I wish I'd taken that workshop, because I am way down the continuum toward pantsing, but also way down the visual/spatial continuum. I don't SEE an outline--how could I, when I don't know where the story will go?--and I don't think many pantsers do. Sounds a little square-peggish to me, but to each his Dulcinea. And you have a point--that little rectangular electronic thingie that's never far from my had? Just doesn't FEEL like a phone.

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  4. I miss paper! I have to use a reader more than I'd like (bilateral carpal tunnel). Wahhhh. I love paper for edits. One just doesn't read the same on a screen.

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  5. Ah Grace, as usual you resonate for me. I adore your thinking, your prose and your books. Thank you for the paragraphs about visual vs verbal thinkers. You see it's an eternal "battle" with my husband and I over all my clutter. It drives him nuts but I know where everything is. I now understand! He's an interesting mix of mostly verbal/written thinker. He can compose his written documents while typing with very few revisions. I on the other hand have to see things in print and end up cutting and pasting. When I try to explain where something is I have to see the scene in my head, then find the words to explain where it is. I am forever growing while reading your words and understanding myself and those around me better because of your visions. Thank you.

    In regard to print vs digital books. My first love is print but I'm finding I'm running out of room for them all. Digital allows compact storing but I do indeed "loose them" especially new ones I want to read but out of sight, out of mind prevails. I collect digital when it costs less than I can get print unless I don't want to keep it and sell it to be recycled to someone at a used bookstore. I also find as I'm aging that reading a mass market print book (I can't afford trade size with my addiction, lol) is hard on my shoulders trying not to crack the spine. Books are to be cherished and kept as pristine a possible yah know. Digital books allow me to highlight and take character notes for easy reference when I forget important details (happening more often these days as well, sigh).

    Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts and reaching out to others.

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  6. print- easier to read

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  7. So much of what you said made sense to me. I cannot explain to everyone how much I am comfortable with clutter. No one believes me lol. As long as no one else moves things I know where they are. I especially love being surrounded by print books. I've only read one ebook and it wasn't for me.

    "We married the person exactly designed to help us replicate out parents' discord" - boy, did I. Of course I didn't realize it at the time but my husband is very much like my father and I swore I would never marry an only child - but I did! That's why my motto now is "never say never" because it's going to come back and bit you in the @ss lol.

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  8. I would say both.
    I read e-books,but also print books :)

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  9. I love print books but have adapted to e-books. Kindle e-books are easier on my book budget. :)

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  10. I love reading my books on my Kindle. I like that the books download the night the book releases and I don't have to wait to go buy the book. It is so easy to carry that Kindle around too

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  11. Even though I love print books, I've discovered there are many benefits to e-books: Instant gratification; portability - you can carry a massive library on a small device; storage (see previous list item); the online dictionary for those archaic words some writers use in their historical novels (yes, you Grace :-) ); more books for my budget since e-books tend to cost less and go on sale more often; and, in theory fewer trees are sacrificed for production - however energy consumption is an somewhat related issue. ...

    All that said, there are books that I just HAVE to have both e-book and print copies. Sometimes, I just want the comfort of curling up with a real paper book. :-D

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  12. I read both ebook and print, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. However, when given the option I still choose print. I find comfort and pleasure in the feel and the weight of a book in my hands, and do not find the same appeal in holding a device loaded with an ebook.

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  13. I read both ebook and print, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. However, when given the option I still choose print. I find comfort and pleasure in the feel and the weight of a book in my hands, and do not find the same appeal in holding a device loaded with an ebook.

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  14. I read both, mostly because I just can't give up my print books. But my Kindle is very convenient, especially when I travel. So I always have two books going at once, one in each form - I guess I'm about equal in usage. :D

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  15. I read both, but prefer print books. I admit that it is easier to have the e-books sitting there when I am occupied doing something else and trying to read, but it is frustrating to me to go back and find passages I like in e-books. I must admit that it is much easier to bring multiple titles in e-book format along when travelling. Congrats on the release!

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