Between Hope and the Highway – by Charissa Stastny

I recently finished reading a fun contemporary romance by Charissa Stastny called Between Hope & the Highway.

cover-between-hope-and-the-highwaySometimes things get so messed up you have to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge. That’s what Liz Ruthersford does. Memories can be weapons, and hers have become incoming missiles. Fleeing home and her parents’ pity, she seeks refuge on a remote ranch in Montana where no one knows her tragic past. When she meets Bentley and Rawson Law, brothers with wounds of their own, life veers off course. Embers of hope flicker to life, but will bias, bitterness, and misunderstanding smother them before they burn bright enough to warm her heart? Or will she hit the highway and run once again? For readers who crave a clean, yet heart-pounding romance and redemption story, this one’s for you. 


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MBM: The Importance of Writing Book Reviews by Charissa Stastny

March Book Madness by Rebecca Belliston

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY (notice the green apple?) and welcome to the fifth day of March BOOK Madness. (For a complete schedule and explanation, see below this post. If you’ve missed any days, make sure to catch up! It’s been awesome!)

Today my friend, Charissa Stastny, is here discussing the importance of writing book reviews. Charissa and I have been online writing friends for a few years. She is a sweetheart, a successful blogger, and the talented author of three novels. Check out her info/books below. I’ve followed Charissa’s book reviews for some time now, and have found new favorite authors based on her suggestions, so I really appreciate her sharing this topic with us today.

Here she is.

Importance of Book Reviews by Charissa Stastny


The Importance of Reviews by Charissa Stastny

Have you ever thought about purchasing a book, yet you’re not quite sure whether the story will be a right fit for you or not? What do you do?

I go straight to reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and start skimming. After reading some good ones, a few bad ones, and some middle-of-the-line reviews, I get a fair idea of whether I want to buy the book. Books with few reviews make people wonder what’s wrong with it. There might be nothing wrong with the novel; it could be brand new or it might not be marketed well enough by the author or publisher to get into the hands of the right readership. But when consumers see few reviews, a red flag goes up in their mind. Without reviews to judge by, it’s hard to get a glimpse of whether a book is good or not.

That’s why EVERY review is important, whether it’s short or long, super funny or very basic.

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MBM: Constructing Context Clues by Charissa Stastny

This is the last week of March Book Madness. (If you’ve missed any posts, you can catch the schedule and explanation at the bottom.)

Today my friend, Charissa Stastny, is here talking about how language can be both a barrier and a bridge to communication. Char is so sweet, and very supportive and helpful in the writing community. Check out her blog for great ideas. She wrote an awesome post last year for March Book Madness about weeding our words. (See the link below this post).


Charissa Stastny

In real life, words can take on so many meanings. Think of text messages that are used for a large part of communication. When one of my daughters was having a long distance relationship with a boy for a few months, they texted like crazy. They also fought about a lot of those texts.

I wondered why this was, and realized that words don’t convey emotion perfectly as we like to assume they do. They’re easily misunderstood when taken out of context.

Words are the basic building blocks of communication. When they are constructed carefully, they bridge the gap between us and others, welcoming them into our creative worlds. But when tossed around haphazardly, they can become piles of worthless rubble that hinder others from understanding us.

In order to be understood by others, we must also make sure we are not misunderstood.

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MBM: Weeding Your Words, by Charissa Stastny



Welcome to the first day of


You can read more about March Book Madness here, but basically it’s an excuse for me to discuss everything about writing, editing, and reading books with some amazing authors and readers.

Fun, fun, fun!

Because I had so many awesome people agree to post, there will be a few extra days in March. 

Here’s the schedule:

The collective talent listed above . . . Wow! It’s going to be a great month.


To start MARCH BOOK MADNESS, we have author, Charissa Stastny. Charissa’s second book was just released, entitled Secret Keepers. You can read about it here. It’s a sequel to Eyes of Light, a romantic suspense which I read and loved. Charissa has a way of creating realistic characters that are flawed but lovable. P6902052lus she’s great at teaching cultures. I learned a lot about Guatemala and organized crime while I read. I’m anxious to read the sequel to find out what happens to Suvi, James, and Austan.

Today Charissa’s discussing the daunting task of editing out pesky, weedy words.

Take it away, Charissa.

.weed words3



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