3 Bookish Activities You Can Do With Your Family Over the Holidays (Reading Beverage Recipe Included)

The holidays can be a stressful time. Between buying presents, welcoming extended family into your home, decorating, holiday parties and huge meals, there is very little time to relax or time for yourself. And if you are anything like me, small talk and extended family is exhausting and awkward. Here are three book-related activities you can do with your family to break the ice and relax a bit.

1) Reading Party and Tea

One of the easiest ways to relax with your family is a reading party. This is when all of you get together in pajamas and lounge in armchairs and on the couch and individually read. This is a really good activity if you want to spend time with your family but don’t feel like talking. If you need a quiet night after a big dinner or you want to ease into Christmas with a relaxing morning, this is a great activity. You could all have your own books that you were already in the process of reading, or you could make it more festive by buying holiday books for the occasion. To make a reading party complete, make some homemade fancy tea to drink while reading. This Sweet Chai Tea Latte recipe by Equal Exchange is a perfect beverage to go along with it.

2) Storytelling

This is a great activity, especially if there are a lot of little kids around. While nowadays they might be able to preoccupy themselves with electronics, the holidays are still about spending time together as a family and storytelling is a great way to do so. Even if the kids are not so little, this is still a great activity to do, as long as you choose a book appropriate for the age group. Some of these kids might (erroneously) think storytelling is boring or only for babies, but hopefully, you’ll change their minds with some captivating stories to read, like Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, an urban fantasy mystery meant for 9-12-year-olds.

Listeners are more likely to be persuaded to sit still and listen if there is a special hot chocolate treat involved. Equal Exchange’s Peppermint Patty in a Cup is a quick and easy recipe that kids will love.

3) Book Drinking Games

If your entire family is bookish and over the legal drinking age, then book drinking games are a lot of fun and will allow you to have a great time with your family without feeling so exhausted. Find a bookish drinking game by searching your favorite genre+drinking game. Feel free to try LQ’s Smashwords Drinking Game If you want to be really fancy, make your own coffee liqueur for the drinking game.

What book-related activity do you do if any?

Also, the Indiebound link is an affiliate link, so if you buy from it part of that money will go to charity through Lover’s Quarrel’s Read for a Better World Program.

Equal Exchange did not give me compensation in any way for linking to their website. I am just a huge fan of their products and their mission. (However, if they want to sponsor me, I would totally be cool with that 🙂 )

 

Read for a Better World: December Edition

Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place through the power of reading, which is why 50 percent of all affiliate commissions go to charity. The “Read for a Better World” series features books with high percentages of affiliate earnings, which means more of your money goes to charity with every purchase. However, these high earnings are only guaranteed for December 2017. After that, the authors may lower the amount they give to affiliates, so don’t wait to buy your next favorite book and read for a better world.

Don’t forget to send a screenshot of your receipt to loversquarrelbooks@gmail.com to enter to win a $10 Visa Gift card. The winner will be announced on December 31. 

1) The Two Schillings by Anthony O’Brian

1503176975Genre: Historical, Romance

Word Count: 183,680

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33 out of 5 stars

The 100 Years War has torn both England & France. King Henry IV is on the throne newly taken and his son Harry of Monmouth, soon to be Henry the V is up to his legendary deeds. This epic centers around a stalwart young man, Adrian, trained in the art of war, but not in the art of love. Honor is paramount and heartbreak is imminent. His first love, Victoria Marie becomes his study in both. Adrian, in time, distinguishes himself with the prince’s knight-at-arms and in a melee, to become a personal attendant to the Crown Prince. He has the opportunity to save the Prince’s life and then to defend his honor. Along the way he meets Raleigh and the two quickly become best of friends. Many twists and turns await as the author carefully and skillfully weaves in the historical settings of the times and of Europe, while maintaining the focus of a historical romance. This epic climaxes in a duel of honor that captures all of the London’s wild enthusiasm.

Buy The Two Schillings now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

2) Vengeance’s Fire by Alaina Stanford

9200000035956690Genre: Fantasy, Teen

Word Count: 53,630

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.36 out of 5 stars

He’s a prince: boisterous, charismatic and daring. She’s a modern surgeon: quiet, introspective and curious about his kingdoms alternative empathic healing.

Kendra had not seen Cap in 6 months. As Kendra prepares to travel deep into the mountains with a group of Empathic Students Cap suddenly appears. Their journey will lead them toward an evil more dangerous than either could ever imagine. A presence that could bring an end to the Empathic way of life.

Buy Vengeance’s Fire now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

 3) Burn Me Again: They Are In Love Again by Becky Harris

Burn Me AgainGenre: Contemporary

Word Count: 11,630

Emma and Brody had been friends since they were in Kindergarten. When high school rolled around their feelings for each other turned into something more than just friendship. Their love was fast and furious, just like their relationship. All was going perfectly until an accident struck Brody’s family. His brother had been in a fatal car accident with a drunk driver.
Struck by the tragedy, Brody turned to alcohol. When Emma found out she immediately confronted him. The confrontation immediately went south when Brody lashed out at her. It severed their relationship separating them for four years.
At Emma’s graduation, she stumbles into him. As soon as their eyes meet the feelings rush back. When Brody asks Emma for a second chance she can’t help, but give it. Though it comes with a few stumbles along the way they pick up right where they left off.

Buy Burn Me Again now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

 4) Till Zombies Do Us Part by Celeste Ayers

till-zombies-do-us-part-187x300Genre: Science Fiction

Word Count: 16,660

 

Noah and Amy are two teens in love. There is, however, one problem; the world as they know it was turned into nothing but a pile of chaos and zombies.

As they battle for survival they’ll embark on a journey into the unknown while facing new trials that will put both their love for each other and their humanity to the ultimate test. Just how far will they be willing to go?

 

Buy Till Zombies Do Us Part now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

 5) The First Bite Is the Deepest by Elise Catrina

412cm78fogl-_sy346_Genre: Paranormal, Humor

Word Count: 89,630

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.83 out of 5 stars

High school senior Stella Ortiz loves field hockey, her friends, biology class, and the occasional trashy vampire romance. So when she encounters mysterious transfer student Sebastian Weber–a real-life version of her favorite novels’ broodingly gorgeous protagonists–she’s immediately drawn to him. Her friends, on the other hand, aren’t impressed: Sebastian misses tons of school, he day-drinks something that smells like pennies, and oh yeah, he’s a vampire.

What starts as a quirky send-up of vampire romance quickly turns sinister. Stella and her friends find themselves pitted against not only Sebastian but his entire family–a cadre of supernatural predators determined to keep the secret of their existence from spreading any further.

Sometimes, breakups really are a matter of life and death.

Buy The First Bite is the Deepest now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

Don’t forget to like Lover’s Quarrel on Facebook in time to catch me announcing the winner of the end-of-the-year giveaway. Happy Reading, everyone.

 

Book Spotlight: Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair

0553587978-01-lzzzzzzzGenre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 447 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.63 out of 5 stars

Award-winning author Linnea Sinclair brings her special sizzle to science fiction with this action-packed blend of otherworldly adventure and sexy stellar romance.

After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit-nd shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan-alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom– for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line-but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

Support local businesses and struggling forests by buying Gabriel’s Ghost through this link. 

Remember, your purchase can also let you enter to win a $10 visa gift card if you email a screenshot of your receipt to loversquarrelbooks@gmail.com. Offer valid until December 31, 2017.

Read for a Better World: November 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. 

As a bonus, you can also enter to win a $10 gift card when you purchase one of these books. All you have to do is send a screenshot of your receipt to loversquarrelbooks@gmail.com.

 

1) The Power of His Touch by Alaina Stanford

51xb5wowisl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Genre: Paranormal

Word Count: 42,180

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Buy The Power of His Touch Now now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

The longer angels tread on the face of the earth the more susceptible they become to mortal emotion.

Rafi discovers a demon plot to release a pandemic in a large metropolitan city. Disguised as an agent of the World Health Organization Rafi searches for the source. When he meets a young biochemist name Sophia at the center of the pandemic everything changes. Rafi is quickly torn between his divine mission and his growing feelings for Sophia. Dare he give into the temptations of love with millions of lives at risk?

2) Vengeance’s Fire by Alaina Stanford

9200000035956690Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural

Word Count: 53,630

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars

Buy Vengeance’s Fire now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

Kendra had not seen Cap in 6 months. As Kendra prepares to travel deep into the mountains with a group of Empathic Students Cap suddenly appears. Their journey will lead them toward an evil more dangerous than either could ever imagine. A presence that could bring an end to the Empathic way of life.

3) The First Bite Is the Deepest by Elisa Catrina

412cm78fogl-_sy346_Genre: Supernatural, New Adult

Word Count: 89,630

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.83 out of 5 stars

Buy The First Bit is the Deepest now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

High school senior Stella Ortiz loves field hockey, her friends, biology class, and the occasional trashy vampire romance. So when she encounters mysterious transfer student Sebastian Weber–a real-life version of her favorite novels’ broodingly gorgeous protagonists–she’s immediately drawn to him. Her friends, on the other hand, aren’t impressed: Sebastian misses tons of school, he day-drinks something that smells like pennies, and oh yeah, he’s a vampire.

What starts as a quirky send-up of vampire romance quickly turns sinister. Stella and her friends find themselves pitted against not only Sebastian but his entire family–a cadre of supernatural predators determined to keep the secret of their existence from spreading any further. 

Sometimes, breakups really are a matter of life and death.  

4) They Are In Love Again by Becky Harris

Burn Me AgainGenre: Contemporary

Word Count: 11,630

This book is not yet rated on Goodreads.

Buy They Are In Love Again now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

Emma and Brody had been friends since they were in Kindergarten. When high school rolled around their feelings for each other turned into something more than just friendship. Their love was fast and furious, just like their relationship. All was going perfectly until an accident struck Brody’s family. His brother had been in a fatal car accident with a drunk driver. 
Struck by the tragedy, Brody turned to alcohol. When Emma found out she immediately confronted him. The confrontation immediately went south when Brody lashed out at her. It severed their relationship separating them for four years.
At Emma’s graduation, she stumbles into him. As soon as their eyes meet the feelings rush back. When Brody asks Emma for a second chance she can’t help, but give it. Though it comes with a few stumbles along the way they pick up right where they left off.

5) Fallen Hero by Lorhainne Eckhart

51szv2x9v2bl-_sy445_ql70_Genre: Contemporary, Western

Word Count: 44,360

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.21 out of 5 stars

Buy Fallen Hero now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 
A cowboy who walked away from his family’s fortune. A woman who returned for justice. What they didn’t expect was to find love.

“When life deals an innocent a bad hand it isn’t’ surprising when they want revenge. This story handles the situation in a simple fashion. Turning anger and distrust into love. Well written, and a story which leaves you wanting to read more about this family.” Voracious Reader

6) A Vow of Love, A Friessen Family Christmas by Lorhainne Eckhart

b00nlplssy-zsgzwGenre: Contemporary, Holiday, New Adult

Word Count: 45,850

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.18 out of 5 stars

Buy A Vow of Love now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

Sometimes families need a helping hand… 

Holidays are about family, love, and giving, but this Christmas The Friessens are in for a rough holiday season.

Thirteen days before Christmas, In the mail, a letter arrives that was never meant for Candy Friessen. It is for her husband Neil, and when she opens it, she discovers a lie that rocks her world. And she begins to question everything they created together, including his love for her and their family.

Seven days before Christmas, Even though her heart is breaking she considers leaving. She makes plans until a call one night alerts all the Friessens that Becky Friessen, their mother is in the hospital fighting for her life. And without a second thought, the entire Friessen clan is on a plane to her bedside. Faced with uncertainty Brad, Neil, Jed, and their wives are together for Christmas, but there’s no happy celebration, and gifts piled under the tree. 

And for Candy and Neil, once trust is destroyed, is a family bond strong enough to make a difference?

7) A Different Kind of Love by Lorhainne Eckhart

different2bkind2bof2bloveGenre: Contemporary
Word Count: 42,710
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.18 out of 5 stars
A Different Kind of Love brings back the couple that started it all: Brad and Emily. You fell in love with them in The Forgotten Child.
Now, years later, they face an entirely new set of challenges with their preteen autistic boy when his mother, Crystal, returns. She wants a relationship with the boy she abandoned—something Brad and Emily never expected. She says she’s changed, but can the Friessens believe her? 

8) The Two Schillings by Anthony O’Brien

1503176975Genre: Historical

Word Count: 183,680

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33 out of 5 stars

Buy The Two Schillings now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

The 100 Years War has torn both England & France. King Henry IV is on the throne newly taken and his son Harry of Monmouth, soon to be Henry the V is up to his legendary deeds.

This epic centers around a stalwart young man, Adrian, trained in the art of war, but not in the art of love. Honor is paramount and heartbreak is imminent. His first love, Victoria Marie becomes his study in both.

9) Nelly by Nora A.M. Crown

51tsop5cfjl-_sy346_Genre: Historical

Word Count: 15,620

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Nora now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

London 1923: Nelly is an upper class successful single independent professional woman in her early thirties who needs to find Henry, the man who is behind her family’s tragedy and has tarnished their reputation. Henry holds the key to her past and is her only link to finding her last living relative.
Her journey leads her on a quest of self-discovery and triumph as she learns to overcome her feelings of guilt and inadequacy. But one more obstacle threatens her happiness. She learns that the man she loves follows his own agenda as she makes a startling discovery about his past and an unimaginable commonality that they share… Can she forgive him in order to find trust and happiness once more?

10) Johnnie’s Girl By Harma-Mae Smit

johnnie-s-girlGenre: Historical

Word Count: 8,530

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.33 out of 5 stars

Buy Johnnie’s Girl now and 40 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education. 

Johnnie Reynolds has a starring role in his own life. Debbie MacDonald is his leading lady. And Cricket is destined to be the sidekick – forever watching his best friend’s glamorous life from the sidelines. 

So when Cricket falls for Debbie MacDonald, he knows it’s hopeless to compete against Johnnie’s movie stardom, looks and charm. Until the day Johnnie suggests Cricket take Debbie out on the town in his place, as he’s managed to double-book himself for the evening. Debbie charmingly doesn’t mind any of the usual mishaps Cricket encounters when he does his best to take Johnnie’s place. And Cricket starts to wish he wasn’t the sidekick of this show, but the star…

Follow the ups and downs of the lives of two aspiring movie stars and the girl they both love, during the dawn of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Remember to enter to win $10 by December 31st and like Lover’s Quarrel on Facebook so you don’t miss the winner’s announcement.  

 

 

5 Romance Novels To Read If You Like Practical Magic (the movie)

practical_magic_poster

Sally and Gilly Owens live on a small island with their two aunts. On the surface, they seem normal. Gilly is a wild party girl who wants to travel and fall in love while Sally wants to put down roots, raise her children, and manage a local skin and hair care shop. But the two women actually come from a long line of witches and live under a family curse that says any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will die an untimely death.

When Sally helps Gilly escape an abusive lover, Jimmy and ends up killing him in the process, Sally and Gilly try to cover it up. But when state investigator Gary Hallet comes by to investigate Jimmy’s disappearance, Sally and Gilly’s cover-up comes back to haunt them in more ways than one. Keeping quiet becomes increasingly difficult as strange things keep happening at the Owens residence, including roses growing overnight, Jimmy’s favorite tequila being left on the front porch, and a strange man is seen by roses that grew overnight. Sally also must fight the strange connection and attraction she feels to Gary, especially as he gets further to the truth.

Practical Magic is a fantastic movie based on a book by Alice Hoffman. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are great as sisters and Aidan Quinn makes for a sexy Gary Hallet. It’s a great movie to watch, especially around Halloween. If you like Practical Magic then you will love these five romance novels.

1) Eternity by Maggie Shayne

2940046326536_p0_v2_s192x300Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 114,060

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars

Read my review of Eternity.

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.

This book is perfect for Practical Magic fans. Not only are there good witches and plenty of magic, but it also takes place in a small town with a lot of the same small town gossip that affects Gilly and Sally. Raven and her sister also have the same strong bond Gilly and Sally have. While the Dark Witch isn’t Raven’s ex-lover, he is a person from her past who threatens her life like how Jimmy threatens Gilly.

Get Eternity for free on Smashwords.

2) Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

22522045Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 400

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Read my review of Dance Upon the Air.

When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago…

But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely.

Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

Witches, islands, curses, and an abusive lover. This book is practically made for people who like Practical Magic. While the bond between the women isn’t that strong in this book– they’ve only just met, after all– they do have a strong and complex friendship. Zach Todd is also perfect for Nell after her controlling husband and they have a great love story.

Buy Dance Upon the Air at your local independent bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

3) The Boundless Deep by Kate Brallier

9780765319722Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 432

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.86 out of 5 stars

Grad student Liza has long been plagued by vivid dreams of whaling. Offered the chance to trade her land-locked existence for a summer on Nantucket, the well-preserved heart of New England’s whaling trade, Liza jumps at the chance, eager to see how well her dreams mesh with historical reality.

The answer is: all too well. Liza’s dreams become highly sexual; her visions of ship’s captain Obadiah Young grow increasingly intense. At times the past and present mix before her eyes, with automobiles replaced by horse-drawn carriages.

Though skeptical of Liza’s claims of a past life, whaling museum curator Adam is drawn to Liza’s intense desire to know the truth—about herself, and about Obadiah, accused of murdering his beautiful, young wife. But Adam isn’t the only man with an interest in Liza—handsome Lucian, whose home Liza is sharing for the season, has designs on her as well.

In a single summer, Liza must answer the riddle of her dreams, reunite lovers separated by death, solve a hundred-year-old murder . . . and figure out her heart’s desire.

While there are no witches here, the setting of Nantucket reminds me a lot of the island in Pracical Magic and there is a similar atmosphere. This book is great for people who like the strong family legacy aspect in Practical Magic. Instead of a curse that needs to be broken, there is a mystery and to be solved and nightmares to be banished.

Buy The Boundless Deep at your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation. 

4) My Romance Curse by Wren Tirrell

Beautiful woman on the beach.Genre: Contemporary, Comedy

Page Count: 214

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Amy has a small flaw in her love life – her boyfriends die on her. Two, so far. With her fear of dead boyfriends, her live ones don’t last long before she dumps them.

Until the day her beloved bicycle, Marge, takes a dive into the sea at Nelly Bay. Can Lukas, her bicycle rescuer, Viking geek scientist, and man with the gymnastic finger-porn expertise be different and survive the curse?

Smitten by Amy, he sure wants to be.

Curses don’t exist. So when bad things happen, things that *might* be impossible, Lukas sees cracks opening in his rule-driven world.

With Wally the border collie by their side, key roles in a movie called Night of the Living Teddy Bears and Zombies, and a whole lot of friends with good, bad, and dirty suggestions, they’re planning to foil this curse.

Just like in Practical Magic, the curse of the dying lovers needs to be broken and there’s a man willing to try so he can be with the woman he loves. Or at least lusts over.

Buy My Romantic Curse at your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

5) Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

would-bewitchmmcoverThe family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket-an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers-and a 007 savoir-faire to boot-but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

A family of witches is right up the ally of any fan of Practical Magic. Even though this isn’t a story of a witch denying her powers (like Sally did) and it’s a story of a witch being denied her powers by the universe, the family of witches and the small town setting is perfect for fans of the 1998 classic movie.

Buy Would-Be Witch from your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

Like Lover’s Quarrel’s Facebook page so you don’t miss the exciting giveaway that will be announced on November 1st.

 

3 Romance Novels to Read in Bed

There’s nothing better than waking up feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Of course, it’s impossible to feel that way when you’ve been tossing and turning, unable to stop thinking about an intense project or work or the dirty dishes piling up in the kitchen.

One good way to help clear your mind and prepare yourself for sleep is to put the phone away, shut down the computer and read before bed with a nice cup of herbal tea. Here are three romance novels that will relax you without keeping you up reading into the wee hours of the morning.

1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

the-guernsey-literary-and-potato-peel-pie-societyGenre: Historical

Page Count: 277

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. 

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. 

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. 

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

This book is like comfort food for the soul. I loved reading it so much that I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads. While it is entertaining and elegantly written, the action is subdued because it is told through letters and we do not see it first hand. That makes it easy reading to calm you down and help you sleep.

Buy this book at your local bookstore and save dying forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

2) Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair

0553587978-01-lzzzzzzzGenre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 447 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.63 out of 5 stars

After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit-nd shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan– alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom– for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line-but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

While this book has a lot of action, the sexual tension between Gabriel and Chaz will give you some very sweet dreams and certainly chase thoughts of dirty dishes away. The love and devotion Gabriel has for Chaz will comfort and relax you as you prepare for sleep.

Buy this book at your local bookstore and save dying forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

nora-roberts-born-in-fireGenre: Contemporary

Page Count: 416

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.21 out of 5 stars

The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning.

Margaret Mary is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.

One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love…

Nora Roberts always has cozy romances will put a smile on your face before you fall asleep. While Maggie has a fiery temper, she will not keep you up at night. The action is subdued with the main story being the love story between Maggie and Rogan. This book will leave dreaming of Ireland and local artists.

Buy this book at your local bookstore and save dying forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

What are your favorite nighttime reads? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to like my Facebook page so you won’t miss an exciting giveaway I’m announcing on November 1st.

Interview with Ivan Pozo-Illas, Aka Atrayo

Ivan Pozo-Illas is the author of Jewels of Truth: The Journey of the Soul Continues: Volume jewels_of_truth_the_journey_of_the_soul_continues-pozo-illas_a_k_a_atrayo_ivan_a-32850670-556066055-frntl3, which I reviewed in exchange for a donation to the Borgen Project. Jewels of Truth is definitely Reading for a Better World because it gives positive guidance and promotes tolerance and love for all and I was happy to review it, especially because Atrayo’s writing process is so intriguing and unlike anything I’ve ever heard of.

While I cannot say I completely understand the contents in Ivan’s books or his very unique writing process, I have definitely had a memorable experience working with him. I’m also extremely grateful for his extreme patience with the turnaround time for the review and my lack of understanding in spiritual matters.

LQ: Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
IP:

Well, from a Florida native having lived in Miami my hometown for about 24 years and another as a transplant in Sarasota, Florida over 22 years now. I’m single no kids no pets, however, deeply spiritually versus being deeply religious. It’s par for the course for me since I have spent 22 years doing clairvoyant automatic writing on and off. Back in 2015 when this third volume was published by Iuniverse. I came out of the psychic-medium closest since up until that time my family hadn’t the faintest clue. Glady, my parents, siblings, and some cousins have been open-minded at least on a minimal basis.
I also live like a monk although unaffiliated to any one faith tradition in particular. God in the plural sense is my inclusive universal faith. The closest to my faith tradition I suppose could be the Persian Ba’Ha faith that is also inclusive of all religions as well. But, that doesn’t necessarily make me a follower of Ba’ha.
(In Clairvoyan automatic writing) one simply steps away from the ego mindset and expands the horizon to what would be considered as inspirational. Much like when an Artist as a Performer or an Athlete enters the zone on a consistent basis.
LQ: You say you use clairvoyant automatic writing. What does that mean exactly? 
Clairvoyant Automatic writing is when one enters into a semi-trance in terms of unconscious writing. One simply steps away from the ego mindset and expands the horizon to what would be considered as inspirational. Much like when an Artist as a Performer or an Athlete enters the zone on a consistent basis. I can enter such a zone at will with our without meditations and/or with prayer. Although the latter exercises as forms of worship improve somewhat the quality what I channel in benevolent spiritual wisdom writings.
The automatic writing traditional received a major revival during the Spiritualist movement during the Victorian 19th century period. Now it’s one clairvoyant technique for disseminating information from a spiritual source. Be it the Angels or some other entity. Sorta like an Ouiji board but in this case, it is with a pen and paper or a typing keyboard.
LQ: How do you incorporate spirituality into your daily life?
As you alluded to in your book review of “Jewels of Truth: The Journey of the Soul Continues, Volume 3”. My brand of spirituality is part self-taught and otherwise under the tutelage of the Angels as a psychic-medium. Not all psychic-mediums wear their faith on their sleeve like myself many are very secular in nature. However, doing automatic writing for over 22 years now it has transformed me on purpose and probably by a higher design. I’ve become a Sage with a Mystical Angelic bent that has had a profound way how I see our crazy world and now interact with it.
I worship God be he, she, it is monotheist or polytheist. Whatever inspired benevolent faith in the world there is that God or Goddess is as the feminine side of the Creator. I cherish all benevolent religions, spiritual traditions, and secular philosophies.
LQ: In your Goodreads biography, you say you’ve adopted an inclusive interfaith view of the world. Can you explain what an inclusive interfaith view of the world means to you?
 I may have slightly covered this in my initial question about myself. However, an Interfaith inclusive view of the world. I worship God be he, she, it is monotheist or polytheist. Whatever inspired benevolent faith in the world there is that God or Goddess is as the feminine side of the Creator. I cherish all benevolent religions, spiritual traditions, and secular philosophies. Some would say by following all these traditions I would stand for nothing. The beauty of being so spiritually forthright reveals to me how I practice living by a Holy Paradox. What appears like a Void of Nothing is quite the opposite paradoxically as the Absolute Totality of everything or the Omnipresence of the Creator. People that say they do not see God are looking through the wrong organ. God is experienced through the Heart first and not the eyes.

Another point this last 3rd volume of the “Jewels of Truth” series of channeled angelic wisdom is like a time capsule of my writings. From the span of 2011 to 2015 it marks the evolution of my heavenly inheritance from God as my divinity in action. My 1st book of the series “Jewels of Truth: A Soul Odyssey Within, Volume 1” published in 2007 and the 2nd volume as “Jewels of Truth: The Wayfarer of the Soul” published on 2011 also by Iuniverse. Each is like stepping stones although you have rightly stated my Christian roots. I started off as Roman-Catholic as Cuban American but the Church, in my opinion, lost me since all I witnessed were politics and scandals.

LQ: What else would you like to share?
My blog site of now 12 years online at http://atrayosoracle.blogspot.com has over 500 of these spiritual wisdom statements as angelic channeled content freely available. To date, I have written over 3000+ of these statements and they keep on pouring out of me. I also channel solutions based conceptual designs as innovations for businesses, charities, governmental policy, and even some military technologies. Over 200 in these 12 years time are also located at “Atrayo‘s Oracle” blog site freely available as abstract summary statements. I often state in my biography paragraph that these inspirational Muse like gifts is for the next society to come. I also have a YouTube channel of “Atrayo‘s Oracle” with over 50 Vlog videos of the angelic channeled spiritual wisdom writings I do as well. https://www.youtube.com/c/ivanpozoillas

Perhaps when the Millennials take over the reigns from the Baby Boomers and the Gen X’ers that sold us out collectively in the 2nd Gilded Age on Earth to date. The Millennials are like the population rebirth of the Greatest Generation of the 20th century that survived the Great Depression and fought in War World 2. The Millennials have now survived the Great Recession with over a million American children in poverty to date. The Wars of the Middle East and elsewhere in succession military campaign after campaign is like one drawn out World War. The Greatest Generation after World War 2 rebuilt America and the World the Millennials will do in like kind during this Rennaissance of Global Technologies.

If you are an author or blogger and would like to be interviewed on Lover’s Quarrel, find out how here.
Also, be on the lookout for a special Lover’s Quarrel giveaway coming up to finish off 2017.

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.

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”