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


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.

3 Romance Novels That Are Perfect For Public Transportation Entertainment


Public transportation is a great way to save money and save the environment. But it’s also boring as hell and takes forever compared to cars. In my town, taking the bus is equal to driving a car two miles an hour.

It’s really tempting to pass the hours mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, but should you really spend more time in front of an electronic screen when your work day probably already forces you to spend hours on a computer? Not to mention it drains your phone battery, eats up data, and isn’t so much fun so much a way to numb the discomfort of sitting next to someone who smells like an ashtray.

Instead of stalking your middle school bully online, take some time for yourself with one of these 5 romance novels perfect for commuting. Not only will they leave you thoroughly entertained, but you will be supporting your local community when you buy them at your local bookstore.

1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander-by-diana-gabaldon-mass-market-paperback-freeScottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander“–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Buy at your local bookstore and support struggling forests through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Even if you watch the TV show, you should still read the books. Outlander is full of plot twists, action, and steamy sex scenes that will keep you entertained no matter where you are. The book is also really long so it will last you for several commutes before you have to choose another book. However, the paperback copies are still small enough to fit in your backpack, briefcase, or an oversized purse. The Outlander books are my go-to for traveling.

2) The Princess Bride by William Goldman

eeb51ecbd4f1fc7c33532166674f8a55William Goldman’s modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests — for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love — that’s thrilling and timeless.

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible — inconceivable, even — to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you’ll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that’s home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

Buy at your local bookstore and support struggling forests through the Arbor Day Foundation.

The book that inspired one of the most quotable movies ever made has a slightly more serious tone but roughly the same plot, with lots of sword fights and true love. Its paperback version is travel size and the entertaining story will transport you off the loud commuter train and into the exciting kingdom of Florin.

3) The Bride by Julie Garwood

0671726978-01-lzzzzzzzBy edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison…a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her…forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian. 
He was everything her heart warned against–an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid’s scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him…until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses…

Buy at your local bookstore and support struggling forests through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Not only is this a romance, but it is also a murder mystery that will keep you guessing about who the killer is. The Bride is also one of my favorite romance novels. Garwood’s writing has a way of pulling you in no matter what your environment is. There are sex scenes, but none so hot they will leave you blushing and squirming on the bus. It is long enough to last a commute but small enough to fit easily inside bags or to just carry in your hand.

What are your favorite books to read on the commute? Let us know in the comments. Also, stay tuned for an exciting Lover’s Quarrel giveaway that will be announced on November 1st. Like Lover’s Quarrel’s Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss it.

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. 

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”