Friday Friends: Booklover Betty Murray

Happy #FridayFriends! I have been spotlighting writers and bloggers on Fridays over the past year. This summer I decided to include readers. Please welcome Betty Murray, a #Humanwholovesbooks. 

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On Reading:

1. Right now, I am reading “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen
It’s a story about a Vietnamese army captain who is a communist sleeper agent in the US after the escape from Saigon

2. Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by N Hogan (Kidnapped by RLS)
Historical fiction story of the lives of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny (1870s-1894) . A really interesting story, set in France, Scotland, Switzerland, California and, finally, in Samoa. As a child, I loved A Child’s Garden of Verses (I still have the 1945 edition, which I think belonged to my sister Pat)…

3. What do I look for in a book? Well, good, interesting writing, for one.
In The Sympathizer, the narrator describes his last night in Saigon, with 2 friends: “we sang with all our hearts, feeling only for the past and turning our gaze to the future, swimmers doing the backstroke toward a waterfall.”
I also love interesting settings – learning about new places and times..
Samoa is the 1890s! England before WW!…Europe.WW2…And, of course, characters that are real.

4. When I was in college, a friend gave me “The Prophet” by Gibran. I read it like my Bible. So many good authors I have read..Marilynn Robinson (Gilead, et al), Wallace Stegner, Annie Proulx, …Dickens, Tolstoy and Hugo. Wintertime is my time for reading old favorites: I just reread W&P (originally recommended to me many, many years ago by your father) and last year Les Miserables. I’ve gone on a Dickens splurge, and Austen…There is a reason why some books are called classics!
Is it time for another go-round with The Forsythe Saga?? My Aunt Alice read it 4x in her long life! I’ve only read it twice.

5. I would say about 2 a month.. maybe more. I used to keep diaries of books read.. but haven’t for a while, so my count is off. I have belonged to a Book Club for about 25 years – mostly teachers from Mills HS. I found that I was only reading mysteries and detective books, and wanted to challenge my brain. I have certainly read a lot of books that I would not have chosen on my own to read

6. For my younger self….??? Perhaps Jane Austen?

7. Disliked?? Can’t think of any…but I am finding that I will put aside any book with too much violence .

8. Book or movie….I prefer to read the book first

9. Favorite genre: Historical fiction

10. One thing!!! I suppose greater understanding/empathy of individuals, points of view and the world

11 Loved, then not…I Loved Ramona as a young girl. Helen H Jackson was an activist for the rights of Native Americans in the 19th C., and she wrote a romanticized, popular story, set in Southern California. I re-read it last year, and , while I enjoyed the story again, I wasn’t as passionate about it. On the other hand, I hated Mill on the Floss (Eliot) and Jude the Obscure (Hardy) when I read them in college…but loved them both on rereading some 30 years later. Went on to read most of Hardy (Tess, Madding Crowd)). Middlemarch and Under the Greenwood Tree are sitting in my Kindle, waiting for some long winter days!

12 In the past couple of years, I find I am reading a lot on Kindle. I can borrow ebooks and read them on Kindle…in bed, when the lights are out and Noel is sleeping! Lots of books written before 1920 or so are available on Kindle for very little. After reading about RLS, I bought his complete works for about $2..I did the same thing with Oscar Wilde, and A.C. Doyle
I do buy books – especially if I think Noel would enjoy reading them And I am a frequent visitor to the Library. I still read my favorite series/mysteries (Isabel Dalhousie, Maisie Dobbs) between more serious books. When I count my blessings, I usually include books and reading.

 

Friday Friends: Jerry Dwyer, Reader

Happy Friday, Friends!  I interview authors, bloggers, and readers on Fridays. We are #humanswholovebooks. Today I am delighted to share a very special interview with you: my own dear father, who instilled in me my love of reading and writing. Welcome, Dad!

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1. What are you reading right now?
Restless Hearts: Walking the Camino de Santiago by Roy Uprichard

2. What did you read last?
Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer (literary fiction I found on Kindle Unlimited)

3. What do you look for in a book?
I like to research before traveling – fiction, history and travel guides. Before going to Barcelona last year I read Barcelona by Robert Hughes, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series (three books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The South: A Novel by Colm Toibin, and Rick Steves’ Pocket Barcelona.
See # 12 below for more examples.

4. What book has most influenced you?
I can only narrow it down to three books: one from my youth, one from my middle age, and one from my senior years.
When I was 18 I read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and my love for great literature was kindled.
When I was in my 40s I read Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and my love for western Americana took a big hit.
The most thought-provoking book I read in the 21st century was Atonement by Ian McEwan.

5. How many books did you read in the last 12 months?
41 (I just had to add up the titles on my iPad!)

6. What book would you recommend for your younger self?
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

7. What book have you disliked?
Ian McEwan is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday which I read prior to our trip to London in 2013 and since then have read six more of his novels. All of his books are well-written but I did not like some of his surprise endings and one book, The Comfort of Strangers, I didn’t like at all.

8. A popular book is becoming a film. Do you read the book first, or see the movie first?
The book. We usually wait till a movie is on TV. I read Girl on a Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins a couple of months ago and the movie isn’t out yet!

9. What are your favorite travel books?
Rick Steves’ travel guides. We take these along for our walks when we visit places in Europe. Most of the other books I have read lately are ebooks. For our trip to Paris in 2014 we also made good use of a delightful little book called Forever Paris by Christina Henry de Tessan. Its subtitle tells it all: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More.

10. What is one thing you have learned from books?
It’s a great big world out there! I love to read about people traveling somewhere, meeting other people and seeing historical sites and then go there myself.

11. Is there a book that you once loved, but can’t stand anymore?
No.

12. Is there anything you would like to add?
Before our trip to Paris in 2014 I read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough. On our return from Paris I read The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.
Before, during and after our recent trip to Scotland I read a total of four Isabel Dalhousie mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith.
Before our trip to Italy in 2009 I read A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo’s Mountain by Eric Scigliano, and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
Before our trip to Spain in 2010 I read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway and Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving.
Rick Steves doesn’t publish guide books on Australia; so in 2011 I read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson before going to Australia.
Finally, I would like to add that I never travel without a camera and I like to read photography books, too, especially those on the history of photography.

Friday Friends:Eachan Lee, Reader

After interviewing writers and bloggers for almost a year,  I decided it might be fun to interview readers, as well. I find it fascinating to hear what booklovers have to say about their books. Don’t you?  Welcome, Eachan!

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1. What are you reading right now?
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. It’s the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The basis for his characters/story are old black and white photographs that have been rigged to twist the images in some way, like photoshopping back in the days before anyone could buy a camera, much less a digital one. It’s a bit hard to explain but for example there’s a photo that shows a kid apparently lifting a huge boulder, so the corresponding character is a kid with super strength. It’s set around the world wars, so it’s kind of an old timey, kid super hero deal. He’s a relatively new writer and it’s a pretty good effort.
2. What did you read last?
I went back and re-read the Man-Kzin wars series. The universe was created by Larry Niven, who is a big hard science fiction writer. The books themselves consist of short stories written by both established and up and coming writers who are, as he puts it, “in his playground”. It’s mostly good storytelling with differing tones/styles but all in the same setting.
3. What book has most influenced you?
When I was in my teens I read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman as well as Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (very cliché). I wouldn’t say they changed my lives, but some of the themes and concepts related to the human experience and human nature I’ve found true to life even to this day. The original Dune books by Frank Herbert were interesting in a similar way that spoke more collective human nature that also speaks to me.
4. How many books did you read last year?
Who knows? I kill off a book in a matter of days, so maybe 50?
5. What book would you recommend for your younger self?
Oh that’s really hard to say. I’ve been an avid reader ever since I figured out how and I don’t really have any regrets when it comes to how my tastes have evolved. Maybe I’d tell myself to avoid books that later became movies, does that count? Although the cinematic experience is sometimes great, I’ve always felt the storytelling and character development suffer in those conversions.
6. What book have you disliked?
That’s an odd one as even if I don’t particularly like a book, I usually finish it to complete the experience and see where the author is going. There’s really only one book I only managed to get only a few chapters into and that was Hunters of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I was always wary of their writing as they opted to pursue prequels to the original Dune books rather than the sequel that was cut off after FH’s death. I tend to look down on sequels in general as it’s often a case of “write the characters before they became the hero/villain” and “match the ending to the beginning of the original books”. It’s honestly very fluffy work in my opinion and had none of the deeper themes or gravitas that underlay his father’s work. The characters were changed drastically in nature and motivation, which was ridiculous considering that they were very well established characters.
7. Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction? Do you prefer a genre?
I do enjoy a good history book, but I mostly read fiction. I think the vicarious experience is more complete as a fiction writer can take liberties that need to be treated carefully in non-fiction. I tend to lean towards sci-fi as I do enjoy what some people like to call speculative fiction where they fast forward existing science to create a more plausible world, then use those altered aspects to frame what should still be a human(esque) story. It’s like the difference between the Martian vs Star Wars.
8. Do you prefer fast-paced plot advancement or world building exposition?
I prefer world building over the fast read. As I tend to re-read books quite a bit, I like finding new bits or call backs/forward within a larger narrative universe. Unfortunately those quick moving plots don’t have the same fascination when I go back to them as the payoff is in the ending versus in the build up.
9. Do you prefer to read an actual book, or e-books?
I’ll read an e-book, but I prefer physical books. It just feels more soothing to me than swiping through pages. Also I have a habit of flipping back to look at previous foreshadowing and that’s a huge hassle for e-books.
10. A popular book is becoming a film. Do you read the book first, or see the movie first?
I always see the movie first. I tend to go into those movies annoyed at alterations or things that are flat out cut. There are some good adaptations, but some movies are obviously just taking the name to draw in a guaranteed audience. I Robot and World War Z are two egregious examples that pop into my head.
11. What would be the title of your life story?
Ha! I lead a decidedly mundane existence. It’ll borrow one from the bard and say Much Ado About Nothing
12. What is the ideal environment in which to read a book?
Ideally? On a beach with the breeze and the light just right. But I do a read a lot in bed.
13. Is there anything you would like to add?
Harry Potter and JK Rowling are overrated. They’re tasty bits of pop fiction, but not particularly deep or inventive. If you want your kids to experience a British author that creates interesting world, stories and characters, hand them some Roald Dahl.

Friday Friends: Booklover Dani Lorta

Happy Friday, Friends!  I have been interviewing authors and bloggers on Fridays all year, and then this summer I decided to also feature Booklovers a.k.a #humanswholovebooks. Please Jon me in welcoming a very dear friend today: Dani Lorta!

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1. What are you reading right now?
At the moment, I’m re-reading Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

2. What did you read last?
Waking Up with A Duke by Lorraine Heath

3. What book has most influenced you?
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

4. How many books did you read last year? I’m not sure. Fewer than I would have liked.

5. What book would you recommend for your younger self? The Red Tent. I wish I had read it when I was just entering my adolescence.

6. What book have you disliked? Catcher in the Rye

7. Do you prefer a genre? Most recently, I’ve discovered historical romance is a fun way to relax.

8. A popular book is becoming a film. Do you read the book first, or see the movie first? Always see the movie first so you’re not comparing it to the book and end up disappointed.

9. What would be the title of your life story? Dani Lorta in Real Life

10. What is one thing you have learned from books? I’ve learned that bad things happen all the time. Every life has challenges. The story is in how to learn and grow from the experience.

11. Is there a book that you once loved, but can’t stand anymore? No. My books are my friends. We may not talk for a while, but we always pick up where we left off.

12. Is there anything you would like to add? I’m eternally grateful that my parents always encouraged me to read anything that interested me. My selections were hugely diverse and I have learned so much from all that I’ve read in my life.

Thank you, Dani ❤ 

Readers, have you read any of Dani’s books? What did you think? Tell us in the comments! 

Friday Friends: Dylan Quinn

Happy Friday, Friends!  I have been featuring authors, bloggers and readers on Fridays for the past year.  It is my way of giving back to the community. Let’s hear it for #humanswholovebooks! 

Today I am delighted to feature author Dylan Quinn, who not only has a new book coming out, she has a special free offer TODAY.  Gemini is free on Amazon today. Be sure to click on over to download Gemini (link below). Welcome, Dylan! 
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1. So, what have you written?

What haven’t I written? Lol. When I was five, I would sing songs and make up stuff as I walked to and from school. From there I started writing songs, poems, and short stories. In college, I wrote for the school newspaper and was eventually promoted to editor-in-chief. I got my journalism degree and started freelancing for online news magazines. And finally, in 2015, I finished Gemini in FIVE weeks, my first full-length book and have written two since then, Perfectly Flawed, a RS novel, and Origin, the follow-up to Gemini.

2. What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart?

Music. It’s my first true love. I was a vocal music performance major and on the road to becoming a singer when life intervened, and my path veered off in another direction, but I sing and listen to music every waking minute and can’t function without it.
And writing. It’s more than just a hobby or a career. I was one of those people who felt invisible, but writing gave me a voice. I found myself when I started to write.

As for causes, one is empowering women. I was raised by a single mom, and I’m a single mom. Women feel like they have to do it all, be it all, and have it all. It’s exhausting, and I see women at each other’s throats rather than supporting them. Woman up and stick together, ladies.

Finally, my youngest son has Autism. It will always be something I support and care deeply for.

3. Are you a Pantser or a Planner?

While I do occasionally attempt to plan out my books, I’ve found that pantsing is the way to go. Of the three books I’ve written, only one was plotted, and TBH, I had SO much more editing to do for that book than I did the pantsing books. That said, I’ve since retired from major plotting. I do have scene ideas in my head that I try to come up with, but I often find myself creating supporting characters on the fly that end up having HUGE roles later in the stories, as well as random scenes that evolve into huge plotlines. That totally happened in both Gemini and Origin! So yeah. Pantsers unite!

4. Tell us about your love of Moscato and chocolate-covered strawberries?

I’m known for having a major sweet tooth, and Moscato D’asti (sweet fizzy beverage fun) and chocolate-covered strawberries are my fave celebratory snacks! I eat my CCS like I eat pizza… I peel off the top (the yummy chocolate covering) first, then move on the juicy strawberry hiding inside. Yum.

5. What is one unusual thing about you?

I can sometimes control my dreams. As in, I can fall asleep thinking of something and dream about it. And I write about it! For reals.

6. What music inspires you?

OMG, SO much I can’t even! I have playlists for everything. When I’m writing a fighting scene and need something upbeat, when I’m writing romantic schmexy scenes, and everything in between. I love hard rock, to alternative, pop and top 40, folk music and even musicals like Wicked… Boom.

7. How many books did you read last year?

I was an intern for Entangled Publishing last year, so I probably read about 20 for them? As for myself, I’d say between editing and reading for fun, add another 15-20? So yeah. Maybe 40?

8. Ranch or Blue Cheese?

Ranch.

9. What are you working on right now?

I have to start by saying I’m a wicked multi-tasker, so at any given moment, I have multiple projects in the works. I’m currently writing Genesis the final segment of Cade and Zoe’s story in the Eternal Sacrifice Saga and planning all its companion novels/novellas I hope to publish in the next few years (about 6-7, including a spin-off series!). I’ve started writing a sexy contemporary romance series (w/suspense) and I’m editing book 1 and planning its follow-ups as well as spin off ideas. And finally, I’m doing character development and research for a contemporary romantic suspense standalone I hope to release before the end of the year. Whew. I’m tired now!

10. What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?

Well, The Vampire Diaries are always somewhere in the background (what can I say, I’m a hardcore Damon Salvatore fan) and when I have time, I find shows that I can use for research. Revenge and Royal Pains (I’m starting a series based in the Hamptons next summer!) Movies, I’ve been watching gambling shows like Twenty-One and Rounders (more research). Whenever I need some inspiration for fighting scenes, I watch John Wick and for romance, I watch Crazy, Stupid Love or The Time Traveller’s Wife.

11. Do you have a theme song?

It’s a total tie: Woman Up by Meghan Trainer and No Good Deed Goes Unpunished from the wicked soundtrack. *drops mic*

12. What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

Trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut.

13. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Just a message… Your voice matters. Sing it, baby!

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Gemini is the first novel in my Romantic Contemporary Fantasy Series, Eternal Sacrifice. There will be three more full-length novels and three novellas to be published between now and August, 2017.

Title: Gemini
Series: Eternal Sacrifice, Book One
Author: Dylan Quinn
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance/New Adult Romance
Themes: Family, mythology, angels and demons, coming of age
Heat Level: Mild (See author’s note below)
Publisher: 621-Phoenix Publishing
Release Date: June 21, 2016

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gemini-Eternal-Sacrifice-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B01DVNQQSW/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29847798-gemini

Message from the author on heat level:
Gemini is not your typical NA/steamy read. It’s a romantic coming of age story that shows the natural progression of Cade and Zoe’s relationship. That said, there is plenty of romance and sexual tension between them, and the heat level will increase as their relationship evolves naturally throughout the series.

Dylan’s Social Media Links:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

dylanquinnMeet Dylan Quinn:
Since sneak reading her first big girl romance at the age of eleven, Dylan’s been addicted to Happily Ever Afters. Playing pretend with adorable book boyfriends and their strong leading ladies often keeps her sleep deprived, though she seldom complains about dreaming in dialogue.

With juxtaposed interests, Dylan writes it all ~ Character-driven romance in YA, NA and adult, from sticky sweet to taboo heat. From Urban and Contemporary Fantasy to PNR, and Contemporary to Romantic Suspense. Nothing’s off limits.

When she’s not writing guilty pleasures, Dylan plays stage mom to her daydreamer offspring and her furbaby kitty Loki. This music fangirl goes nowhere without her beats and playlists. She has an affinity for Moscato and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dreams of singing on the Voice with Adam and Christina, and fantasizes about getting trapped in Mystic Falls with Damon Salvatore.

 

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Two Souls. One Sacrifice.
His love was worth dying for
Is their love worth dying for, or is five incarnations more than one soul can take?

Gemini Description:
Northwestern University senior Zoe Adams has spent her fifth incarnation on the run. Abused and abandoned by those she once trusted, Zoe turns her back on a duty her soul accepted lifetimes ago to focus on a music career in this one. Until her Gemini Twin Soul’s untimely arrival forces Zoe to choose between a love she can’t remember and a life she’s always dreamed of.

Cade Adams has waited twenty-one years to reclaim his beloved soul mate, but his elation is short lived. As Zoe struggles to let go of her human life, demons from Cade’s past threaten the Gemini, and he finds himself living on borrowed time.

With more than just the fate of their reunion at stake, love becomes an Eternal Sacrifice Zoe and Cade may not escape.

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Fashion portrait of young beautiful pretty girl posing against lilac bushes in blossom

Gemini Excerpt published with permission © 2016 Dylan Quinn

Cade
While I held her, every nerve woke from its slumber. My heartbeat increased, a hum of electricity coursed through me. Just being near her was intoxicating.
I wanted so much to kiss her lips, but I wouldn’t. Not until she wanted me to. Until her body spoke to me.
“So what can you tell me?” she asked. “What’s the plan?”
“The plan is you get to know me. The way all relationships develop.” I released her just enough to see her eyes. “We spend time together, and your heart will answer the rest. And when you so choose, I am yours—heart and soul.”
Although in time, she would understand that I already was.
“What’s the catch? Other than giving up my life here and going to Aravot? I need all the information if I’m going to make a decision this big.”
“There is a reason you cannot be privy to all the secrets of this life. This must be a decision made by your soul. No logic can go into choosing love.”
Her eyes narrowed, irritation returned.
“Well in case you’ve missed the past millennium, people today don’t just fall in love overnight. Life’s not a Disney movie.” She pulled away.
I let her go, and pushed my hands into my pockets.
She was right. Unions in modern times were complicated. There were many variables humans considered in choosing a mate and Zoe, although the same soul, had different experiences during each lifetime. I could not force her to love me or to choose our life together, as much as I wished that I could.
Each of her lives was a lesson for me as well—in relinquishing control. All I could do was trust in her heart and our love. Trust her soul would remember me.
“I realize all things in life are a choice. I would never force you to love me. And I would never choose my happiness over yours, but yes. I am hoping your heart will choose me.”
Her shoulders relaxed, eyes softened, but never left mine. Her breathing slowed, and her lips parted slightly, just enough to send my heart racing.
My Gemini mark began to pulse. To burn.
I wanted to kiss her. She wanted to kiss me.
After thousands of years loving Zoe, I could read her body as if it were my own.
The flush of her cheeks. Her forehead glistening with perspiration. The way she leaned, shuffled her feet, inhaled short breaths. Her gaze drifting between my mouth and my eyes. The tilt of her head. Her parted lips parting, skimming them with her teeth.
Searching her body for what Raz called her ‘tells,’ I first glanced at her eyes. They were always so telling. They skipped about my face.
Her breaths became shallow, lips parted. A pink flush spread across her high cheekbones as she leaned toward me, shifting nervously between her feet.
Should I kiss her? Part of me was unsure, but my body betrayed my wits.
I had waited twenty-one years for this moment. I could wait no longer.
I stepped closer, inhaled her sweet scent. Lessened the space between us.
Her eyes grew wider, lips parted. Waiting.
I could nearly hear her heart pulsing erratically.
She gave her answer.
“My greatest desire is for you to find happiness.”
I stepped closer. Picked up a long strand of her dark locks, and tucked it behind her ear. Ran my fingers along her jaw. Gently grasped her chin, stroked her bottom lip with my thumb, then shifted toward her.
“You have no memory of our life before this. But I’ve seen us together.” I wrapped my arms around her waist. Pulled her closer, our lips just fractions apart. Our gaze frozen.
“And I will always. Choose us.”
I leaned in, her soft breath blew against my cheek. I pressed my lips to hers. Gentle. Soft. Trembling.
The tingling sensation I had missed so much returned, ran rampant through my body.
I pulled back, not more than a centimeter, to gauge her response.
Her eyes remained closed, lips parted. Waiting for my return.
I brushed my lips to hers, gentle then deeper. They parted further still, and I edged my way in, exploring her sweet mouth.
My body shuddered, a searing heat rushed through me—through my chest, my arms and tingling within my muscles.
Every fiber of my soul, now burned for her. Alive from her touch.
Zoe fell into my embrace, let go of all the tension she’d been holding. She wrapped her arms around my neck, pressed her chest against mine, and tangled her fingers through the hair behind my neck. Moved them down my cheeks, then to my shoulders and waist.
The exploration of her soft fingertips brought my body to life. My soul. Everything woke inside of me.
She pressed her kiss deeper into mine, soft at first, then fervently, as if this was our last.
Her walls were breaking down—the pain replaced with a longing for our love.
She would soon remember everything, and I would have my Chayah back.
Our souls converged as one.
Zoe broke our kiss. Pulled back and gasped for a breath. Slowly, she opened her eyes.
Minutes passed. She relaxed, hands still holding my waist. Her gaze drifted up, peered at me through ebony lashes.
Tears slid from her glistening green eyes. “It’s you.”
I placed my hands on her warm cheeks, held her gently. Gazed into her eyes, breezed my whisper of admission across her cheek.
“It’s me.”

 

Click here for your free download of Gemini!

Friday Friends: #Booklover Natasha Botkin

Happy Friday, Friends! I’ve been interviewing writers and bloggers on Fridays for the past year, and I’ve decided to interview readers, too! We are #humanswholovebooks!  

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Good morning everyone! I absolutely love to read. I often say that I have to have a library to afford my habit: not enough space or money. For years I worked as Title 1 educator in the intervention of reading and writing and now I am an educator in Special Education and English Language Arts (in other words reading, writing, listening and speaking.) and #1 International Best Selling Author.
1. what are you reading right now? At this point in time, I am fluctuating between “365 Moments of Grace” (I am a contributing Author-Yeah!) or “The Secret Language of Stones” by M. J. Rose. “The Secret Language of Stones” has an interesting view point on how crystal energies speak and vibrate. The female character has much that she is wrestling about her with her “gifts.” I have just begun to read this, in fact, I was quite surprised by the wealth of history about the fall of the Romanov empire and World War I that is gracing this storyline.
2. What did you read last? Well, there were quite a few, so let’s go with “The House at the End of Hope Street” by Menna van Praag. This was a sweet treasure of a read. Those who are in need of the house’s gifts are unknowingly called to grace its doorsteps. This has been going on for years and many ladies have come to heal and move forward to a much nicer life.
3. What book has most influenced you? I have found that so many books influence me. So, I could not possibly choose just one. I am avid reader of adult fiction, non-fiction and children’s books (for teaching purposes). I can attest from a social skills part of my educating youth, I have found one book that I turn to again and again. It is a children’s book called “The Color of Us” by Karen Katz. It is a simple read; however, it delivers a powerful message describing how we are all different colors and she wisely utilizes foods as descriptors; this is a great way to help children and adults see the in the beauty of all of our colors.
4. How many books did you read last year? Um, now that is a good question. It may be near the hundreds. Like I have stated before I have a huge love of reading!
5. What book would you recommend for your younger self? Read as many as you possibly can and to never stop.
6. Do you prefer a genre? Not really, even though I do not find myself in the science fiction or romance world too often.
7. A popular book is becoming a film. Do you read the book first, or see the movie first? But of course, I read the book first and then shake my head at the movie; declaring “the book is just so much better.
9. What would be the title of your life story? I absolutely love this! I was just saying that I am living the life of a book I am to write. So, once this is down the universe will now wish for me to fulfill this masterpiece and I have you all to thank for that: “Unearthing and Excavating My Soul- A Journey Back to my True Heart.”
10. What is one thing you have learned from books? Life is one incredible journey full of characters and plenty of stories that are meant to have fun with and not take everything so seriously.
11. Is there a book that you once loved, but can’t stand anymore? Not really, then again I do not too often re-read a book; well that is unless, I am to teach it. Then again, I usually have sticky notes galore attached in important teaching places.
12. Is there anything you would like to add? May you too, enjoy the love of a good book.

Friday Friends: Booklovers: Maile Alau

Happy Friday, Friends!  For the past year I’ve been interviewing authors and bloggers on Fridays.  This summer I decided to interview readers a.k.a #humanswholovebooks ! Please welcome my friend Maile Alau!

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1. What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m actually re-reading the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher – I just finished White Knight. He does such an amazing job of creating this world where a wizard lives and works in modern day Chicago. I love it!
2. What did you read last?
Before Dresden, I was reading the Dark Legacy of Shannara series, which takes places several hundred years after the Shannara Chronicles. A fun journey back into that world.
3. What book has most influenced you?
That’s a tough one. Honestly, I would have to say that the books that most influenced me as an adult was the Sweet Potato Queens books by Jill Connor Browne. Great stories about women who are who they are and who live crazy mixed up lives and live to tell the tales – which are hilarious and full of food and alcohol. Lol.
4. How many books did you read last year?
Probably in the neighborhood of 35 – I usually do 3 books or so a month. I wish I could read more! Some of those are re-reads – I do love my favorite books.
5. What book would you recommend for your younger self?
I wish I had read the Sweet Potato Queens books in my early 20’s, rather than in my 30’s. I think all young 20 somethings should read the Tipping Point and Blink by Malcom Gladwell. Oh, and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson so you don’t take yourself too seriously.
6. What book have you disliked?
I’m not sure because if I dislike it, I stop reading it and put it in the “forgettery” – Lol! If I don’t like a book, I tend to just walk away from it.
7. Do you prefer a genre?
Definitely fantasy/science fiction and young adult novels. I truly enjoyed the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and the Hunger Games series.
8. A popular book is becoming a film. Do you read the book first, or see the movie first?
I’ve done it both ways, and I would rather read the book first. Even if the film screws it up, I like having the background. That being said, what the movie did to Percy Jackson was criminal.
9. What would be the title of your life story?
How to find love and happiness despite yourself.
10. What is one thing you have learned from books?
Imagination and seeing the world through different lenses is the best gift you can give to yourself and your children. Even if all you read is fantasy and science fiction, you imagine new and different worlds and your mind expands.
11. Is there anything you would like to add?
My parents’ response to “I’m bored” when we were kids was “Go find a book.” I confess I say the same things to my kids. I have walked into so many households where there is nary a book to be found, and I think the very best thing a parent can do for their child is to encourage a love a reading. It will change that child’s world.

Have you read any of the books Maile mentioned? What did you think?