Read for a Better World: October Edition

Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place by promoting self-published books and books from independent bookstores, which is why half of all Lover’s Quarrel affiliate links go to charity. 

Help Lover’s Quarrel reach its goal of donating $100 to charity in 2017 by purchasing a book through one of these affiliate links.  The romance novels featured on this list give higher affiliate earnings than usual so you can maximize your impact with your purchase. 50 percent of the affiliate earnings from these books will go to the Malala Fund. 

Continue reading “Read for a Better World: October Edition”

Book Review: Jewels of Truth: The Journey of the Soul Continues by Ivan A. Pozo-Illas A.K.A Atrayo

jewels_of_truth_the_journey_of_the_soul_continues-pozo-illas_a_k_a_atrayo_ivan_a-32850670-556066055-frntlGenre: Non-fiction, Spiritual, Non-romance

Page Count: 258 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Your spiritual journey of self-improvement continues in volume three of the Jewels of Truth series by Ivan A. Pozo-Illas, a.k.a. Atrayo. In this new compendium of 365 statements of spiritual wisdom, Atrayo shares daily inspirational tools to explore all of the must-haves in your life, including love, faith, forgiveness, and certainly, God(dess).

From these poignant and concise statements, rather than lengthy diatribes, you can easily and quickly find the essential kernel of truth to help you on your journey today.

No matter your religious or spiritual traditions or background, this volume is written from an all-inclusive perspective. Jewels of Truth: The Journey of the Soul Continues is the sacred and uplifting result of clairvoyant automatic writing as the genesis motivation to reach the masses. The channeled spirit teachers are all angelic in divine nature. They are nameless as a united continuum of the Holy Spirit.

Spirituality has a core need in our lives. No matter where you are on your journey, these messages of hope are shared in love.

Let me start off by saying that I am really not qualified to be reviewing this book. Ivan A. Pozo-Illas was generous enough to donate to the Borgen Project in exchange for an honest review. While I am happy to do it, I am probably not doing this book justice.

As someone with absolutely no background in philosophy or religion, this was a difficult book to get through and review.

I do know that despite the author’s claims of it being all-inclusive for all religious backgrounds, the book was more tilted to the Christian faith, with most of the proverbs talking about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There were plenty of mentions of God(dess) as well, which was the basically only indication these statements of wisdom were not strictly for Christian. While Mohammed, Buddha, and Krishna are mentioned maybe four times, and always in a list of other important religious figures from different religions (never for their specific teachings), Jesus is mentioned 22 times, usually in passages like this:

It has been written in the Biblical New Testament that “Jesus the Christ” once stated that to enter the “Kingdom of God” one must be as innocent as a child in spirit.

On top of that, these statements of wisdom, to me at least, were pretty long and wordy. It was difficult to get through. A lot of the time I did not understand what was being said, but that could just be chalked up to my own ignorance on the subject.

This is probably more useful to people more educated about spirituality than me, but it is definitely not for the everyday person, at least not most of it. There were some things that were interesting, like this quote celebrating diversity in religions.

No one religion can have a monopoly on God and/or on his favoritism. To say so is a lie and a sin to the diversity within Creation itself.

For the people more educated about spirituality, this could be a useful book. For beginners like me, not as much. You can get Jewels of Truth at your local bookstore. By buying it through this link, you will also be supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

My Hurricane Irma Reading List

I hope everyone got through Irma safely. My family and I were extremely lucky and didn’t have any major damage. We did lose power, but only for about 24 hours, which was extremely fortunate. There are still a lot of people without power or running water and suffering from major damage, so if you can, please donate to help those in need.

Even though my family and I got through Irma without a scratch, the day without power and the week I had off from school was enough to make us a little stir crazy. I did a lot of reading to keep my sanity, and this is my Hurricane Irma reading list.

97815011211731) The Revival by Stephen King

Genre: Supernatural

Page Count: 416

Stephen King novels are very fitting when the weather is bad. The Revival was really good and I enjoyed it. It’s not as scary as the reviews said it was. More than anything, it’s sad.

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

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2) A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction by Elizabeth Lyon

Genre: How-to

Page Count: 240

Don’t get lost on the publishing path. Just forge ahead with the Writer’s Compass. Drawing on decades of professional experience as an author, editor, writing instructor, mentor, and marketing consultant, Elizabeth Lyon helps you navigate the art and craft of writing—with clear, easy-to-follow directions.

NORTH

Getting Your Bearings

Understand your purpose and your audience; learn to refine your ideas, select effective titles, and find the best method of organization for any piece

SOUTH

Troubleshooting

Use checklists and guidelines to spot weaknesses and problems in leads, organization, conclusions, and style—and find out how to correct them

EAST

Learning to Market

Map a successful cover letter, query letter, or proposal, and discover a four-step process to facilitate publication and sales

WEST

Refining Your Vision

Brainstorm to gain perspective on your writing—and how it fits with your values, goals, and dreams

Having the power out gave me some time without distractions to learn how to improve my writing. This is a really helpful book for anyone looking to do nonfiction writing.

Get A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction at Your Local Bookstore and Support the Arbor Day Foundation. 

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3) Jewels of Truth: Volume 3 by Atrayo

Genre: Spiritual

Page Count: 258

Once the power was back on I was able to use my electronics without worrying about the battery and I made a lot of progress on Jewels of Truth, which I plan to review on here soon. It’s been a very challenging book for me, which is why it’s taken me so long to read it. Luckily I’m almost done and I should have a review done soon.

Your spiritual journey of self-improvement continues in volume three of the Jewels of Truth series by Ivan A. Pozo-Illas, a.k.a. Atrayo. In this new compendium of 365 statements of spiritual wisdom, Atrayo shares daily inspirational tools to explore all of the must-haves in your life, including love, faith, forgiveness, and certainly, God(dess).

His daily statements get right to the heart of the matter quickly and efficiently, to inspire you that finding quiet time in your busy, stressful life is easier than you may think. From these poignant and concise statements, rather than lengthy diatribes, you can easily and quickly find the essential kernel of truth to help you on your journey today.

No matter your religious or spiritual traditions or background, this volume is written from an all-inclusive perspective. Jewels of Truth: The Journey of the Soul Continues is the sacred and uplifting result of clairvoyant automatic writing as the genesis motivation to reach the masses. The channeled spirit teachers are all angelic in divine nature. They are nameless as a united continuum of the Holy Spirit.

Spirituality has a core need in our lives. No matter where you are on your journey, these messages of hope are shared in love.

Get Jewels of Truth at Your Local Bookstore and Support the Arbor Day Foundation.

How was everyone’s week? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Safe, Everyone

Hi, everyone!

I’m not having a normal post this week because I’m currently in Florida. While I am safe in a no-evacuation zone with plenty of food and water I do not know how long I’ll have power.

If you are in an area that will be affected by hurricanes, then please stay safe. Too many lives have already been lost to hurricanes this year.

If you are safe, then please donate for hurricane relief. The devastation is catastrophic and it is only going to get worse. Donate to One America Appeal to help those affected by Harvey and Irma.

Please do what you can to help others in your area.  Between the destruction caused by the wildfires on the west coast, the hurricanes in the south, and the earthquake that struck Mexico, it’s looking like the end of days, but it’s not. It’s more important than ever that everyone does what they can to recover from the destruction and to prevent further destruction.

Even if you do not have the time to volunteer or the money to donate, you can still help. Download the app, Charity Miles.

Charity Miles works with sponsors to donate money when you run, walk, or bike with their app open. You can raise $0.25 for every mile you run or walk and $0.10 for every mile you bike.

Set your charity to Habitat for Humanity to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and keep the app open when you hit the gym or all day to log all your walking. You can always do what I do and walk on the treadmill while reading 🙂 

Stay safe, everyone, and take care of each other. Happy reading.

5 Romance Novels When You’re in a Bad Mood

Today I’ve been in a really bad mood. Why? No clue. Nothing really bad happened. In fact, a lot of good things happened. But I still feel like punching someone in the face.

Instead, I’ve compiled a short list of romance novels to read when you’re in a bad mood. After all, romance novels are great mood purifiers and unlike punching someone in the face, they won’t get you arrested for assault. These books include revenge, anger, and sweet justice and that will leave you satisfied and in a better mood.

84309631) Love, Incby Yvonne Collins, Sandy Rideout

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Page Count: 405 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.81 out of 5 stars

Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents’ marriages hadn’t fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they’ve each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.

Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs?

Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they’d felt so promising.

Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history… Or so she’d thought.

Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways. Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc.

Buy Love, Inc. at your local bookstore and donate to the Arbor Day Foundation.

2940032889793_p0_v3_s192x3002) Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 15,700

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.45 out of 5

Warning: contains pet rats, hot YouTube celebrity roommates, and one spurned girlfriend about to get even…

Working in a wedding cake shop sucks when you’ve just been dumped.

Bailey Frost has a recipe for disaster: one cheating ex, one big glass of liquor, and three well-meaning male friends who think her lack of a sex life is funny. Before she knows it, she’s confessed that she’s never had an orgasm with a man.

Now Bailey has to navigate sappy couples at work, while her friends are hell-bent on helping her get revenge on evil Craig…by dressing up as werewolves, on YouTube.

And one of those friends– the tall, shy-but-gorgeous Linc–might just want to help Bailey with that other little problem…

Get Beautiful Mess on Smashwords for free. 

bymagicenchanted-683x10243) By Magic Enchanted by Maggie Shayne

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 98,540

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02 stars out of 5

Bridin is in hiding, in exile, awaiting the man foretold to find her, to help her reclaim her destiny.

The last man she expects is very man who took it all from her and drove her from her home.

Tristan has to find a way to win Bridin’s trust because only together can they free their enslaved people with the passionate magic of love.

Buy By Magic Enchanted on Smashwords and donate to the Malala Fund

btphcoveroff4) Bad Things Play Here by Chani Lynn Feener

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 91,910

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

You can’t escape destiny…

Piper Anesidora hates her last name, and the Reaper and demon infested life that comes with it. For centuries, her family has been tasked with protecting Pandora’s Box, and ensuring it’s never reopened. That’s why five years ago she ran away, hoping to build a normal life, one of her own choosing. And it worked. For a little while. But now her brother has been taken by Orpheus, a malicious soul who’s escaped from the Underworld, and if that isn’t bad enough, he’s also stolen the box. The sooner she finds her brother and stops Orpheus from unleashing hell on earth, the better. Piper wants nothing more than to return to the mundane existence she’s created for herself. That is until she’s partnered with the one guy capable of making her crave more. She’s always been told giving into sin is wrong, but her ancestors clearly never met Lust.

You can’t resist temptation…

Reece Luben takes intimate knowledge to a whole new level. As the Greek god of lust, he has a long standing reputation to uphold as a playboy, despite the fact he’s grown bored with the game. It’s been centuries since he’s cared about someone other than his maenads, so he passes the time getting people to shed their inhibitions. As one of the few beings who can sense Pandora’s Box, Reece has no choice but to help Piper find and stop Orpheus, even though he’s avoided her family since the start of his second life. But the feisty Anesidora woman makes him feel things he’s long forgotten, and what starts out as one night giving into desire turns into another…and another. What happens when the god of lust decides he’s changing the game and playing for keeps?

Buy Bad Things Play Here on Smashwords and Donate to the Malala Fund.

2940046326536_p0_v2_s192x3005) Eternity by Maggie Shayne

Read my review of Eternity.

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 114,060

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars

300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

Get Eternity for free on Smashwords.

Boyfriends for Sale: Read for a Better World Edition

When I started Lover’s Quarrel, I wanted to make the world a better place. Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

We are 57 percent of the way to our goal and I know we can make it. To help, I’ve compiled a list of romance novels that have high affiliate rates. Half of those affiliate earnings will go to the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that helps women and girls around the world get 12 years of safe, quality education. I’m giving you the opportunity to help them.

However, you need to act fast to make the maximum impact with your purchases. At the end of August, these affiliate rates can fall back to the standard 11%, so buying after August 31 could mean only 5.5% of your purchase goes to the Malala Fund. 

Here are 10 romance novels you can buy to make the world a better place.

Continue reading “Boyfriends for Sale: Read for a Better World Edition”

Book Spotlight: Jewels of Truth by Atrayo

 

jewels_of_truth_the_journey_of_the_soul_continues-pozo-illas_a_k_a_atrayo_ivan_a-32850670-556066055-frntl
Buy Now on Amazon

 

Jewels of Truth: The Journey to the Soul Continues, Volume 3

by Ivan A Pozo-Illas AKA Atrayo

Your spiritual journey of self-improvement continues in volume three of the Jewels of Truth series by Ivan A. Pozo-Illas, a.k.a. Atrayo. In this new compendium of 365 statements of spiritual wisdom, Atrayo shares daily inspirational tools to explore all of the must-haves in your life, including love, faith, forgiveness, and certainly, God(dess).

 

Atrayo got this spotlight by generously donating to end extreme poverty. Learn how you can take the same opportunity here. 

Top 5 Romance Novel Pet Peeves

heart-1610858_1920I’m addicted to romance novels. I can’t get enough of them. A well-written romance novel with a good plot and love story is enough for me to daydream about, giggle over, and read for the seventh time when I really need to get back to work.

But there are more than a few things that keep turning up in romance novels that I absolutely hate.

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1) Insta-Love

This is so common in romance novels but as far as I can tell, nobody likes it. Why? Because it’s a cheat and ruins otherwise good books.

I want to see how the characters fall in love. I need to be emotionally invested in the characters before the moment of love for me to give a damn about them.

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2) Awkwardly Weird Sex Scenes

I must admit, I do enjoy snickering at watching the man go apeshit and penetrate the woman’s sex essence with his rod. But it’s a huge mood killer for me. Not just for that scene, but for the rest of the book. How am I supposed to take the guy seriously as he declares his eternal love when I’m still snickering about his essence-penetrating rod?

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3) Unlikeable Main Characters

This is a no-brainer, but unfortunately, happens way too often, especially when the characters to hate each other at first and then fall in love. The characters are so busy battling each other, they lose all redeemable qualities.

I’ve read books where the main couple pulls malicious pranks on each other, publically shames each other, and even hurts each other physically before falling in love. Call me crazy, but I cannot picture a stable relationship blossoming out of violent destruction like that.

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4) No Plot

There is no love story without at least some sort of plot. After all, the characters end up falling in love through events that happen, whether that is stopping a serial killer or running away from a smothering family. Without a plot, everything is boring, including the love story.

Sometimes romance novels fall really flat because not enough is happening and there is a string of conflict-free events with a dash of sweet nothings thrown in for good measure. Then I start hoping one of the main characters is used in a ritual sacrifice because then at least something is happening.

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5) Too Much Sap

Don’t get me wrong; passion, intense gazes, and declarations of love are my jam. But when the characters are constantly calling each other soulmates and moving each other to tears with purple prose every other paragraph, then I start throwing up a little. Romance novels are a type of fantasy for sure, but let’s not overdo it with the fairy dust.

What romance novel pet peeves do you have? Leave in the comments below.

Looking for free romance novels that rock? Get The Ultimate Lover’s Quarrel Reading List when you sign up for my newsletterThis reading list has only free full-length romance novels I’ve rated 4 stars or higher. It includes review highlights and links to my full reviews so you will know for sure if these books are for you.

Romance Mad Lib: Flirtatious Encounter

 

(Female name) wandered halfway down the hall then turned back again. How hard was it to find the right (type of room)? How many (type of room) did a building even need? At this rate she would never be on time for the interview.

She looked down at the piece of paper with the (adjective) map the receptionist had drawn her, turned the corner and ran into something very solid and warm.

She gasped and looked up at the (adjective) man she had just run into. “I’m so (adjective)!” She blushed. “I-I really should have looked at where I was (verb ending in  -ing).”

He grinned at her. “It’s all right,” he said. “There are worse people to fall into my (body part).” He gave her an (adjective) once-over and Charlotte blushed (color).

“I-I I’m (adjective),” she stuttered. “I don’t suppose you could (verb)? I have an interview to get to. ”

“I’m happy to (verb). My name is (male name), by the way.”

(Female name). Nice to meet you.” she said, smiling (adverb). If only her (body part) would stop (verb ending in -ing) so fast she would be able to (verb) clearly!

“I’ll show you where to go. After all,” he (flirtatious gesture), “I would hate it if you didn’t get the job. Then you couldn’t (verb) into me here anymore.”

How did you like the Mad-Lib? Post your result in the comment below. Or you can create and submit your own mad-lib. 

Husband and Wife Write Letters to the Bitter End

to_the_one_i_love_cover_for_kindle00001Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 3,880

Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Through letters, Jonathan and Emily profess their love for each other. You can see snapshots of their lives as they meet and marry, and part ways. Time is fluid in this, with only the Chinese zodiac signs to give you an idea about how much time has passed.

This story was way too short and everything happened way too fast. It was like watching a television show for the first time and skipping entire seasons between episodes.

For instance, the mothers of the two main characters got into a fist fight at the engagement party and at least one of them was arrested for it. Why did the fight start? Do the mothers have a history of being violent? Maybe they have bad history.

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The ending was abrupt. It implied a violent ending that had no foreshadowing in the previous letters.  The story is a series of romantic snapshots into these people’s’ lives, but I would have preferred a little more reality with some context to what was happening.

The writing drove me crazy at times, too. Mostly it was witty, passionate and made me smile.

What other lovers? Whoever came before you fell out of existence at your first caress. You are my only…for now through eternity.

But sometimes it was pretentious and absurdly wordy.

“Fleeting and cold is my opinion of email, text and phone calls. I make no apologies for my old fashioned views on modern technology. It may not be instant, and might take a bit more effort (of which you are more than worthy!), but I prefer to sit and put pen to paper.”

It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great, either. Bascomville and Grind are both better literary romances.

You can find it for free on Smashwords.

Want some free romance novels I’ve rated 4 stars or higher? Subscribe to my newsletter to get Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List.