Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Friday, July 27, 2012

author of

Elyse is here with a guest post and answers the age old question...

A Reader or a writer, which would you rather be?  
by Elyse Douglas

Elyse:  Reading is much easier than writing.  Let’s face it, you just sit there passively and enjoy the fruit of someone else’s work.  You engage your mind and your feelings but you’re not forced to express a whiff of a feeling or grapple with a complex thought.  Your mind can wander.  You can slip into someone else’s world for a while and enjoy the flow of emotions and memories and fantasies it provokes… and then tune out.  You can be in Paris or Maine or Baltimore, on a cruise ship to the Caribbean, at a stockbroker’s lavish NYC apartment, or sitting in a summer cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, about to jump naked into a hot tub with a stranger.  

If you’re reading Virginia Woolf or James Joyce, you can get lost in the rhythm of the prose, even if you can’t be sure exactly what the story is about.  You can “ooh” and “ah” at the mastery of Steinbeck’s language, the cleverness of Franzen’s plots, and the calm clarity of Cather’s descriptions.  If what you’re reading is good, though, you’re probably going to want to write a response of some sort:  a story like it, a poem like it, even a paragraph in imitation of the style.  And then you start on your own poem or story or novel, and the work begins.  YOU’RE creating the world, sister and brother, so you have to get your fingers moving and dig deep.

Writing a novel is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It takes incredible discipline, persistence, and mental energy.  It’s like unraveling several balls of yarn that have gotten all tangled together.  There’s the emotional tangle, the motives tangle, the plot tangle, the setting tangle… and somehow you have to weave them into something people can wear.  You have to knit the “lover’s knot” pattern to keep track of what and whom the characters love, the “seashell” pattern to keep track of where they’ve been, and the “diamond” pattern to keep track of their histories, who their parents were, what they wanted and what they feared.  Then you have to make sure it’s all sewn together with accurate spelling, clear punctuation and passable grammar.  

And the novel never goes in the direction you believed it would when you started.  You start out thinking you’re going to write about a woman who wants a baby, and you end up writing about a man who’s running for president.  You have to keep the plot fresh and interesting while providing show-stopping descriptions and scintillating dialogue.  You need to be poetic without writing poetry; and above all, you have to show and not tell.  

And then once you have your first draft, you have to review it; edit it; rewrite it; have someone else edit it; read it again; proofread it; and pray your printer doesn’t run out of ink before you get it printed out for your spouse’s final read-through.  

And then comes the hardest part of all:  trying to get someone else to read it and publish it.  You try that route until you have a scrapbook of rejections, and then you give up and decide to publish it yourself.  You have to get it formatted for e-book readers you’ve never heard of or seen.  And then there’s the marketing… how do you get it read by people who don’t know you?  You wait.  Will we sell more than ten copies a week?  Will anyone out there read it?  Will anyone care?

My niece calls what Douglas and I do “a hobby.”  Yeah.  A hobby and an obsession.  We must be crazy to write novels.  Obviously, we have to do it, or we wouldn’t bother.  We’d just sit down with a glass of wine, read a good book, and relax. 

Elyse has also very kindly offered a book feature from

Joanna Halloran, a best selling writer and astrologer, lives in a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a violent storm, she roams the beach, glances seaward and spots a man clinging to a piece of wreckage, being tossed helplessly. She dives in and pulls him safely onto the beach. 

Robert Zachary Harrison is from a wealthy, political family. As he slowly recovers from a private plane crash, he and Joanna fall in love and spend passionate and sequestered weeks together. But because of family duty, Robert makes the painful decision to leave her and return to his fiancée and political life. He departs, not knowing Joanna is pregnant.

Twenty five years later, Senator Robert Harrison is running for President of the United States. In the midst of a contentious presidential campaign, Joanna’s daughter, who has a passion to expose secrets, seeks revenge on her father. She is also falling in love with her father’s adopted son.

As secrets emerge, Joanna and Robert meet again and confront the past and present. Robert confesses a secret that Joanna had never known. Now, on the world stage, they struggle to keep their families and careers from destruction.

Buy Now @ Amazon 
Genre - Contemporary Romance
Rating - PG
More details about the author 

Connect with Elyse Douglas on Twitter & Facebook

for more information:

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Kate Benzin - What Kind of Freedom Do You Want?

By Kate Benzin

Do you really know the answer to that question?  Many people say they don’t like being a slave to their job. They say that they want to be free. 

I used to say that I would do any kind of job for six months every year if it gave me enough money and freedom to not work the other six months. That might mean that I would have to clean toilets – or clean up dog poo – I didn’t care. Anything that would give me enough money during six months of work to have six months free – I would do it.

What I finally ended up doing is far better that those two options, but you can see that I was pretty serious about getting that lifestyle. I was willing to sacrifice half of my life in order to liberate myself the other half – doing what I wanted whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted. 

It took me a long time to develop this lifestyle. You can imagine that it’s not easy to find a job for half a year every year. Yes, I could do temp office work and I was good at that. But unfortunately, that didn’t bring in enough money in six months to support me the other six.

I went from job to job – teaching Spanish, working as a secretary, doing word processing, working as a waitress, and on and on. I also tried several businesses – a pet album that I sold at dog shows, import/export, making dog biscuits, and more.

I don’t belong to that group of people who only want to work 4 hours a week until retirement or who want to spend every day free as a bird, lounging on a beach in some beautiful tropical country. I think you can see that I was willing work hard in order to attain my goal of six months total freedom every year. 

I achieved my goal when I became a tour director. That wasn’t instant success either because the first two companies that I worked for didn’t schedule their tours in such a way that the tour director could work enough to gain financial independence for the low tour season. But I hit gold on the third company – I worked enough and made enough money in six months to be financially independent the other six.

So now you may be wondering whether or not that lifestyle suited me. Some friends told me that they knew me well enough to predict that I would quickly get bored having so much free time. And sometimes when a person achieves a goal, he or she finds out that the goal wasn’t really as good as it seemed. 

Well, in my case, it worked out perfectly. Not only was I thrilled with having the freedom of choice, but I used that freedom to achieve another goal – that of becoming a writer. 

So now that I work as a writer full time, I find myself writing about how to fulfill dreams. My latest book Transformative Travel is the story of fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams – trekking in the Himalayas. That was what I did the first time I had six months off. Yes, I fulfilled two dreams at once.

Have you figured out what kind of freedom you want?

Buy Now @ Amazon 
Genre - Travel
Rating - G
More details about the author & the book

Connect with Kate Benzin on Twitter & Facebook
Website http://www.katebenzin.com/

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today we have the pleasure of introducing author
 and her book 

about the book

When the skeletal remains of a young woman and her baby are found entombed behind the kitchen wall of a historic Tudor house Cassandra is overcome with grief. She seems to know who the young woman was, but not how she knows or how she came to be there. Cassandra becomes inexplicably drawn to the house and the mystery of the "Bones of Blackfriars." As she begins to learn the truth about the Thorne siblings who occupied the house during the reign of Elizabeth I, her own life takes an unexpected turn and she finds that her fate is linked to the Thornes in ways she never dreamed of.



my thoughts:
Precious Bones is a unique book.  It is written from the perspective of two women.  Cassandra in the present day and Constance from the Elizabethan era.  
As a lover of history, I much preferred reading the thoughts of Constance and learning about the people surrounding her.  
I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Irina.
3.5 stars

And now, a guest post from Irina

It is possible that our subconscious holds the key to what happens to us after we die?  What if instead of using only three or four percent of our brain we could tap into the rest and discover the encrypted information that’s been buried there all along?  Countless people are able to describe events and places under hypnosis that they have no knowledge of when fully awake.  What if tantalizing images and memories from hundreds of years ago suddenly sprang into your mind, urging you down the path of discovery?  Would you take the risk or just rebury them in your subconscious for fea//r of disrupting your life?  

about the author

Irina Shapiro was born in Moscow, Russia and for the next eleven years lived the life of an ordinary Soviet child, in then communist Russia, until her family’s emigration to the United States in 1982.  Due to her love of reading Irina was able to pick up English very quickly and was an honor student throughout her school career.  
After graduating from Bernard M. Baruch College in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Irina worked in advertising for two years before realizing that long hours and low wages were not the life for her.  She shifted her focus to Import/Export and worked her way up to the position of Import Manager in a large textile house before leaving the work force in 2007 to focus on her autistic son.  
It wasn’t until Irina had been at home for some time that she began to write.  Eventually the characters began to take on a life of their own and have conversations in her head and once she started writing her musings down the stories came easily enough.  Irina incorporated her love of history and travel into her writing to create a rich and detailed background for the characters.  Since then Irina has written five novels.  She is currently working on a sequel to “The Hands of Time.”
Irina Shapiro lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. 



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Monday, July 23, 2012


It is my absolute delight to participate in the 
blog tour for

M.J. Fletcher.

about the book:

Publication Date: February 9, 2012
Chloe Masters’s world changes in a heartbeat and all she did was touch a doorknob. 

When she was young Chloe’s mother vanished. Wracked by feelings of abandonment and anger she lost herself traveling with her fathers magic act, where illusions were part of her everyday life. Yet everything changes when they are pursued by a mysterious man in black out to kill her father. Touching a doorknob activates abilities she never knew she had and she finds herself thrust into a world of ancient societies and secrets.

When her father disappears it is a race against time to find answers before she loses whats left of her family. Now Chloe must choose who to trust, the man who will do anything for her or the one she can’t stop thinking about.

Book one of the Doorknob Society series.

my review:
Ok. this is one incredible book. I couldn't put it down! At first I thought it was very similar to the story of a certain young wizard...multiple groups of power, each student at a special school had to 'declare' themselves to a group...Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is just amazing!
The characters are unique. They are able to form a very strong emotional bond between them, which is great because when the initially met, they almost hated each other.

Enough about my gushing about this book. My thoughts? Read this book!!! The main character is Chloe Masters. She is the daughter of a blended marriage. Her dad is a former member of The Doorknob Society and her mom, well, you have to read the book to find out where her mom fit into the picture. Chloe and her friends, Edgar, Slade, James and Jess form a strong bond that even the axis of evil could not destroy. They are just teenagers who must fight for what is right, against all odds. Each and every character has a distinct personality, fun, snarky, loveable...but they all mesh together perfectly. This book was so well written, I cannot praise the author enough.
This is a book that will appeal to a wide audience.

I have also had the pleasure of reading book two in the series:


I can only say, book one was fabulous, book two is even better!
Book three, THE MAPMAKERS UNION, is scheduled for release 
on July 31st ( I think this is the correct date)


M.J. Fletcher

Author Bio
MJ Fletcher is the creator of the comic book series Adam Zero: The Last Man of Earth published by Ronin Studios. He's also been published in Hope: The Hero Initiative and Digital Webbing Presents. The Doorknob Society series is his fist book series and he's thrilled about it. He lives near the beach with his wife, daughter, dog, and a crotchety cat.    

for more information on MJ's current blog tour

for more about MJ Fletcher

and now: (drumroll please) 
and excerpt from the book

I grasped the knob and twisted it. The feelings that ran through me were amazing; the turn of the world beneath my feet, the dance of the planets through the universe and the taste eternity on my lips as it all opened up and poured through me. I pushed the doorway open and the glow of a portal bathed the kitchen in its welcoming light.

“You did it.” Jess seemed impressed and surprised, her eyebrows arching.

“Noooo!” Gran’s scream startled us both as she came hurtling into the room, crashed into the island and crumbled to the floor. Blood poured from a gash along her hairline. She tried hard to get to her feet but it was no use. She had spent all her energy and finally slumped in defeat to the floor. 

Her head lolled to the side and with a terror-filled glare that sent chills up my spine, she whispered, “Run.”

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