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Guest Author Post-Bonnie McCune

Comfort Books

Comfort books are better for us than comfort food

By author Bonnie McCune

“Comfort food.” A phrase to describe nibblies we crave when we’re sick, depressed, and out of sorts.  Often based on nostalgic or sentimental feelings, especially from childhood, valued by the diner. This describes dishes like mac & cheese, chicken soup, apple pie, tomato soup, fried chicken. While comfort foods do bring comfort, I’ve found another activity that accomplishes the same end without calories.

Comfort books. Often books read in childhood or adolescence, sometimes a volume from adulthood that I’ve read over and over, they function like an old friend. I greet them with a cry of recognition and close them with a sigh of satisfaction. For me, this means they aren’t terribly complicated and at least some of their characters are pleasant, interesting and good. Needless to say, they wrap up happily. Other people include more challenging or depressing material. It’s up to you.

I’ve discovered a number of my childhood favorites are now in the public domain. This means I can locate them as free ebooks. I recently reread Heidi and Tarzan of the Apes, and made some discoveries. I still loved the description of Grandfather toasting cheese over the fire in Heidi. (Hmmm, is there a relationship to mac & cheese?) Descriptive passages of the mountains, flowers, snow, city, jumped out as good writing.  Tarzan, too, contained action and developments that moved so rapidly they can serve as examples to improve my own writing.

Since I realized that many of the oldies are, indeed, available as free ebooks, I’ve downloaded more. The Five Little Peppers, Anne of Green Gables, Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty. If you search Amazon for titles of old favorites and add “free,” you can usually find them. Project Gutenberg specializes in converting public domain books to ebooks at no charge (

Next time you need a little emotional comfort, try an old book favorite. Heart and soul, you’ll feel better, and you’ll add zero calories.

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Author Bonnie McCune hopes her new novel, Never Retreat, becomes a comfort book. It features a romance and a happy ending, so it should. In it, a feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

PUBLICATION INFO: PUBLISHING MARCH 15, 2018, 978-1-77223-350-6 Kindle ebook, 978-1-77223-351-3 Trade paperback,240 pages., or. Imajin Books, Ebook and paperback.

Reach Bonnie at,,,,

THE AUTHOR: Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem about rain rushing down the gutter to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization, and managed Denver’s beautification program.

Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers’ and arts’ groups, and children’s literacy. For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Bake Off. A special love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.

Her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards. Never Retreat is her third novel and her fifth book of fiction. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes one person can make a difference in this world.

BOOK BLURB: Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid. Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister. See-sawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their difference to rescue their colleagues—and their future as a couple.

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