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”

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.

frozen2b-2bquote1

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.

thats-what-she-said-6

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?

ni_ni-141568a5fd00f768085

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.

absolutely_nothing

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.

kelso-jackie-19-1

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.

Book Review: Of Mice Not Men by Donald L. Canterbury

33386633Genre: Science Fiction, Non-Romance

Page Count: 350 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After manmade natural disasters wiped out most humans and life around the world, war breaks out among the remaining humans. The faction called the Developers want to take the resources from Earth and leave the dying planet behind to join the stars. The Harmonizers want to stay and restore Earth’s resources. Both factions race to stop the other, using deadly, even sadistic measures. After all, the fate of the planet and the human race lies in the balance.

I had my ups and downs with this book to be sure. Aside from the book badly needing a proofreader, the writing itself is well done, only dipping into preachiness about human’s greed a couple of times. The brain curdling torture scenes were deliciously awful and made me stop reading a couple times to look up pictures of pet pigs until I calmed down enough to continue.

pigsimage
Look at that face. It makes everything seem better.

I thought I had a stomach for violence. I read Stephen King books and have watched plenty of horror movies. In middle school I reveled in shocking my classmates with presentations of General Sherman’s March to the Sea and torture practices from the Spanish Inquisition. In high school I was the only one who could watch the video of a shark eating a turtle without looking away ( but I ended up crying about shark fin soup later that year).

The point is, violence in books usually doesn’t bother me. But Canterbury takes it to a whole new level in a few of the torture scenes. It wasn’t just the twisted sadism in the scenes that bothered me, however. It was the fact that both sides are tooth achingly aware of the finite resources left and yet they both spend resources making inefficient weapons. The Developers do it in the name of sadism and the Harmonizers end up with weapons that are less effective than gun powder guns. I guess it shows that humans don’t make sense.

There are a lot of characters in this book, but Jasmine is the main character. I didn’t like her at first. I found her too cold-hearted and hot-headed. Granted, she’s in deeper and darker shit than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, but despite her parents dying, she isn’t a sympathetic character for most of the book. Her relationship with Thomas feels as forced as a cheap jigsaw puzzle. Mostly she is indifferent to him or pushing him away. For awhile the only reason she was still with him was out of fear of being alone. And then suddenly she loves him? I never really bought it. Cynthia’s relationship with an alien artificial intelligence robot feels more real and she thought she was hallucinating it.

But I ended up really liking Jasmine in the end, and even Thomas.  The plot was fascinating, even a couple of parts I was skeptical about at first and this book turned out to be entertaining, even though I guessed two of the biggest plot “twists” (if you can even call them that) as soon as the foreshadowing again. But one plot twist I didn’t see coming at all, which was great.

I do wish the sides were not so black and white. The Developers were clearly evil with practically no human sides in any main characters while the Harmonizers were clearly peaceful with no dark streaks to be found. It ended up making what could have been a great story about needless conflict and saving the world sound a little like anti space exploration propaganda. That being said, it is still entertaining.

While Canterbury’s writing skills are rough, he has the potential to be a great science fiction/horror writer.

I gave Donald Canterbury an honest review in exchange for a donation to the Borgen Project, a nonprofit that fights extreme poverty. Learn how you can do the same. 

You can get Of Mice Not Men on Amazon today.