Heather McCollum and I teamed up for a recent blog tour and had a lot of fun encouraging our fans to take a walk on the wild side and read across genres. Some fans read a wide variety of genres already…others prefer one over the other. Either way, we encourage you to enjoy a good book in any genre and feed your brain! Now, here’s my fabulous blog tour partner and talented Entangled author, Heather…
Hello everyone! I’m Heather McCollum, and I’m so excited to have partnered up with Misty Evans for a joint blog tour to celebrate our two new releases! My novella, UNTAMED HEARTS, is a 16th century romance that follows a pirate into the Scottish Highlands. Misty’s novella, THE PERFECT HOSTAGE, is a romantic suspense story featuring a Spec Ops hero from her Super Agent Series.
One story is obviously historical while the other is contemporary. Most readers have a preference of subgenres, and some will not dare to dangle even a toe into the other genre pond. I, myself, usually pick up a British historical romance before a contemporary military or western romance. I know what to expect in the English and Scottish settings and language, especially when reading my favorite authors. The stories are comfortable and the “ride” I take to reach the end of the journey is as familiar, fun and wonderful as usual.
As Misty and I discussed our two very different novellas, we realized that both involve characters taking a large risk. Our heroines both take a “walk on the wild side” and try something new. And in both cases, the payoff is hugely gratifying. That got us thinking about the benefits of taking risks, stepping out of the box and diving into something completely different.
The following quotes are from The Franklin Institute of Science and discuss our brain health.
“Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline…”
“Throughout life, your neural networks reorganize and reinforce themselves in response to new stimuli and learning experiences.”
“Consider your brain a muscle, and find opportunities to flex it. ‘Read, read, read,’ says Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland.”
The article gives various ways to improve cognitive strength throughout our lives. It recommends physical activity, learning a new language, as well as using your non-dominant hand for tasks like brushing teeth or moving a computer mouse. Basically doing something new or trying to do something familiar in a different way.
So Misty and I proposed to readers – “take a walk on the wild side” and try a new subgenre of romance. All reading stimulates the brain and reading something outside your area of familiarity could add even more stimulus. To prove this we are asking for volunteers. All we ask is for you to let us put electrodes all over your head (we’ll only shave about 6 dime-sized sections) so we can record your brain activity while reading your usual subgenre and then reading something completely different. Anybody? Hello?
<Giggle. Snort.> Okay, even if you did volunteer (curiosity can lead us to do crazy things), Misty and I have decided to just leave our hypothesis out there for a team of scientists to grab and run with while we continue to write amazing stories for you all to read.
But, we are still asking you to take a risk, try something new, and take a walk on the wild side. If you usually read historical romances, try out Misty’s THE PERFECT HOSTAGE. If you normally enjoy contemporary romantic suspense novels, try out UNTAMED HEARTS for a change. Both books are novellas so the time investment and money investment are minimal.
And who knows, maybe after wading in the other pond you might decide to plunge into the other subgenre altogether (clothes optional)! Who knows what will happen! But no matter what, your brain will thank you for reading and so will we.
Readers…do you have a favorite genre?
More information about Heather McCollum can be found on her web site: http://www.HeatherMcCollum.com. She can also be found on Twitter at @HMcCollumAuthor and on her Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/HeatherMcCollumAuthor .