Tag Archives: Authors on Tour

Interview with Karen Glick, author of ‘Questions in the Silence’

Karen Glick lives outside of Philadelphia. She is a clinical psychologist whose other interests include writing, painting, and acting. When not feverishly engaged in these pursuits, she enjoys spending time with her four children, husband, cavalier king charles spaniels and cats.

Karen has just published her first novel, Questions in the Silence.

Visit her website at http://www.bellalunavoicecompany.com/.

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Q: Thank you for this interview, Karen. Can you tell us what your latest book, Questions in the Silence, is all about?

I always wanted to write a novel and had many false starts where the idea or the characters just didn’t sustain my interest.  Finally, the idea for Questions in the Silence emerged from two of my life passions: (Don’t ask about the others!)psychotherapy and a spiritual approach to life.  The protagonist, Ari Rothman, is a young Jewish woman whose childhood is flavored by unusual dreams and visions. Some of her dreams are derived from her Jewish education, but others are more mystical and cryptic. These experiences inspire her to become a seeker of spiritual truth, not limited to her own religious upbringing.  At the same time, she is driven to find her life purpose and feels she may find it in helping people through psychotherapy.

Questions in the Silence chronicles Ari’s personal growth from her childhood when she feels like an outsider because of her precocious approach to life, to her search for a life partner, and her attempts to initiate a mature relationship with her parents.  At the same time, in her professional life, Ari faces mounting conflict when she tries to integrate her traditional training as a psychologist with her intuitive abilities.  Her struggles come to a head when she treats her first long-term client whose problems resonate deeply with some of her own issues.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Ari Rothman is a sensitive dork who really doesn’t fit into her peer group very well.  Her loneliness reinforces her interest in the spiritual world and she spends a lot of time searching for meaning in life and worrying constantly whether she will ever find her true purpose.  Since she spends so much time living in her head, her real relationships sometimes suffer.  Once she decides that she can best fulfill her purpose by becoming a psychotherapist, her next challenge becomes balancing the advice of her supervisors and her strong intuition about patients.

The supporting characters include a neurotic but loving mother who teaches Ari about the importance of boundaries in relationships, her boyfriend, Evan, who starts out as a study partner and becomes the key to Ari’s discovery about meeting her own needs, and James, Ari’s first long-term client, who comes from a very different background, but whose therapy forces Ari to question her own family relationships.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

There are some components of my characters that are drawn from my life.  To some degree, Ari’s struggle to incorporate things she knows intuitively into her work mirrors my own.   I must emphasize she is truly a fictional character, as are all of the other characters in the book, although I am fortunate enough to have experienced people who may have added some of the dimensions to the characters.  In particular, some of Ari’s experiences such as her Jewish education, meditation adventures, and training as a psychotherapist were suggested by some of my own experiences.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

My writing began with a strong sense of the fictional characters, their backstory, and their current struggles.  Each day as I wrote, I felt that the plot should be driven by the way the characters would interact, knowing them as I do.  When I was finished with the first draft, I had a better vision of the plot and my revisions were all about cutting out  a lot of writing that didn’t further either the plot or key knowledge about the main characters.

Q: Your book is set in Philadelphia.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

I love the Philadelphia area and have lived here since college.  Philadelphia is a great city for the exploration of ideas like spirituality and psychotherapy.  My familiarity with attending college and graduate school here provided a strong foundation for Ari’s development.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Not really.  Much of the story really takes place in the minds of the characters.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Ari, the main character, has just attended her first college party.  In her attempt to reinvent herself, she overindulged and is suffering the consequences.  On page 69, she is filled with remorse and is worrying how her overdrinking may have affected her relationship with her roommate and with her romantic interest, Charlie.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Saturday morning. Ari rolled on her side to read the time on her clock…six thirty five. She groaned. Why was she awake?  She peered at Evan who was sleeping so silently she watched the sheet over his chest to make sure it rose and sank with each breath. His face was totally relaxed, and she loved to look at the way the early morning light played with the golden highlights in his wavy hair and his long eyelashes. The stubble on his chin seemed so dark, forming a blue gray contrast to his pale skin. She lay quietly next to him, trying to match the rhythm of his breathing, wishing to fall back asleep and to share his dreams, he looked that peaceful.

But sleep wouldn’t come. So, she slipped out of bed and walked over to the couch. Pulling a soft old afghan around her shoulders, she sat down and closed her eyes to meditate, a form of Sabbath observance for her. She immediately felt as though she were drifting in a downward pathway, but she was able to maintain a relaxed, detached posture and she did not pull back from the sensation of slowly falling. As she descended, she became engulfed in a glowing indigo light. She sensed another presence with her and curiosity briefly coursed through her mind. She heard a voice answering her unspoken question…Eliyahu. And then there was complete silence. Ari’s old blue afghan had grown to encompass the entire universe and everything was wrapped in its comforting softness. At some point, when she opened her eyes, Ari wasn’t sure how long she had meditated, or even if she had fallen asleep. She patted her blanket with affection, thinking how much she loved the color blue. She could hear Evan stirring faintly in the alcove, so she went to investigate.

Thank you so much for this interview, Karen.  We wish you much success!

 

 

 

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Interview with Middle Grade Fantasy Author & Filmmaker Mike DiCerto

A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike DiCerto has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade, received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award. He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst.

Mike has many interests including yoga (practicing for over ten years), gardening (loves growing chilli peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar (and trying hard to get better), cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center and cat whisperer), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock. He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitty, Cosmo.

You can visit his website at www.mikedicerto.com or his blog at http://thekidinu.blogspot.com/. Connect with him at Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikedicerto and Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdicerto.

About The Door to Far-Myst

The Door to Far MystCan a boy who has never even heard of the word “imagination” save a magical world from an evil force using his own imagination?

Rupert Dullz isn’t very happy. His grandmother’s coffus is getting worse, school is boring and there’s nothing to do on his days off but rake up endless piles of leaves. Everything in Graysland is, well, gray, and every day is just like the one before it, and the one before that. That is, until a strangely dressed man named Pie O’Sky swoops out of nowhere in his multicolored bagoon and offers a special reward to whoever can open his mysterious door. When Rupert succeeds, he’s thrilled when Pie O’Sky carries him beyond it to the brilliantly colored land of Far-Myst. Adventure calls, and Rupert discovers a wonderful world full of something he’s never heard of before–imagination. But Far-Myst is in danger, and it may be that only Rupert has the power to save it. Is he the one whose imagination is powerful enough to stop the evil that is destroying the beautiful world beyond the door?

A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike DiCerto has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade, received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award. He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mike. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Adventures of Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst, is all about?

At the core of the story it is about the power of the human imagination and love. A bored kid. A door to a magical world. A mean dragon-man who wants to destroy the beauty of the world. Toss in bizarre and wondrous (and some dangerous!) creatures, a mean bully and a first love and we are set for some real fun! Rupert Starbright will face tough and very dangerous challenges in an adventures of anyone’s lifetime!

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Rupert Dullz (aka Rupert Starbright) is an eleven year-old kid like most kids until he realizes that there is something magical called the imagination that he ever knew existed. So once he begins to taste the joy of its possibilities he wants to jump head first into this new exciting world. But he is also has a good heart and care about his grandmother and her sickness (called “the cuffus”). His dream is to use his imagination to help find a cure for her.

Dream Weaver is the royal gardener in the Kingdom of Far-Myst. Once one of the Twelve (a special group of men and women who protected Far-Myst from those who would use imagining powers for bad) he now lives peacefully tending the wondrous Garden of Dreams. But he is sad and worried as his two children (as have ALL the children of Far-Myst) have been kidnapped by the terrible Murkus. The Queen puts Dream Weaver in charge of protecting Rupert and their adventure begins as Weaver tries to find a way home for Rupert.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I, like I would imagine most writers, form my characters from bits and pieces of people I know but mostly, of aspects of my own personality. The cast of characters of a writer is the ultimate Rhorshack test.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

YES. I cannot imagine starting a novel without knowing the plot. Having said that, I do not do an extensive outline but rather a general beginning, middle and end plot-point layout. THEN I take the adventure with my characters and see what develops.

Q: Your book is set in Graysland and Far-Myst.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

The story begins in a sort of “any town” USA. It’s a mythical town called Graysland where the imagination does not exist. But it does not exist in the same way a heart did not exist in the cowardly lion. It is there lying dormant and unused because of the fear in the hearts of the adults. We then go to Far-Myst – a land that over-flowed with imagination but is now in serious trouble because a fear-filled baddie is trying to destroy it.  Both places need the pure heart and wide open imaginations of a “young at heart” soul to save them.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

YES – the locations are in themselves characters in a way.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

We are in the middle of Rupert and Weaver’s first night around a campfire. Weaver, in his grumpy way, is teaching Rupert about waterbustles (a fruit that contains drinkable water) and camper grass (a special water plant that ignites into flames when it dries! Rupert is finding it all very UN-boring!

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

            They made their way through the gardens, walking without rest for a solid half hour. Rupert could only catch glimpses of the many, many wonders growing all around. There were flowers who’s petals fluttered about like swarms of moths and trees that danced with the music of the birds. Large bushes of firefly berries flashed messages across the gardens while Carpenter Trees grew fully formed tables and chairs that hung like bizarre fruit from their branches. Carpets of Orchestra Grass performed great musical works as the deadly Dragon Shrubs awaited a passing bird or large insect to roast with its fiery blast for tasty meal.

They walked under avenues of Waterfall Pines who sent refreshing mists into the air from the great cascades of water that fell down their barks. Sadsack bushes whispered mournful tales, Merry Mint plants giggled and bloodybarks frightened all their little saplings with tales of horror. Finally Weaver came to a rest in a small clearing beside a pretty pond that was enclosed in a ring of tall trees with immense barks. Many bushes and tall plants surrounded the clearing.

“We’ll set up camp here. Near the Spectral Oaks.”

Thank you so much for this interview, Mike.  We wish you much success!

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!

Join Mike DiCerto at the Pump Up Your Book Live! November Author Chat / Book Giveaway Party on Friday, November 18 starting at 8 p.m. eastern!

Mike will be giving away a copy of his book! You could win a paperback copy of  The Door to Far-Myst simply by attending the chat and asking him a question. All there is to it!

For details on chat, visit the official chat page for the November authors at Pump Up Your Book Live!

WIN A ROLE IN BOOK 3 OF MIKE’S RUPERT SERIES!

What kid wouldn’t like to have his 15 minutes of fame in a real live book!  Well the book isn’t live but the stories Mike creates are as real as a child’s imagination can take it.  Mike is giving all kids a chance to have his or her name inside the third book of his series.

Click here to find out how your kid can win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pump Up Your Book Announces March 2011 Authors on Virtual Book Tour

March 2011 Pump Up Your BookJoin a talented and diverse group of 26 authors who are touring with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours during the month of March 2011.

Follow these authors as they travel the blogosphere from March 1st through March 25th to discuss their books. You’ll find everything from memoirs to business books, historical novels to thrillers, children’s books to young adult novels and more!

The month of March is filled with returning authors. Lisa Gardner is back to promote her latest Detective D.D. Warren novel, “Love You More.” Also returning is Lou Aronica and his fantasy novel, “Blue,” Dr. Jennifer Freed with “Lessons from Stanley the Cat,” Diana Gabaldon with her historical romance sci-fi adventure novel, “Outlander,” Cynthia Kocialski’s business book, “Start Up from the Ground Up,” James LePore’s thriller, “Anyone Can Die,” and Allan Leverone and his thriller, “Final Vector.”

Pamela Samuels Young continues her virtual book tour for the legal thriller, “Murder on the Down Low,” and coming back for her eighth virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! is F.M. Meredith. She’ll be promoting the latest book in her Rocky Bluff P.D. series, “Angel Lost.” Kath Russell is back to promote her coming of age historical, “Deed So.” Elle Newmark is back with a new book, “The Sandalwood Tree.” Sheila Hendrix also returns with her YA paranormal, “The Betrayal.”

Memoirs come to you from Barry Fixler and Megan van Eyck, while historical novels are being promoted by John Milton Langdon and Paula McLain. Other fiction titles come to you from Laurel Dewey, Emily Sue Harvey, and Laina Turner-Molaski. Also on tour is Kristina McMorris and her women’s fiction novel, “Letters from Home.”

Barbara Barnett tours with “Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D.,” while Caitlin Rother promotes her true crime book, “Dead Reckoning.” Also on tour in March are Borneo Tom McLaughlin, Emma K. Piers, and Hayley Rose. Turner-Molaski will also tour during the second half of the month with, “The MS Project: Orange is the New Pink”, her MS awareness anthology. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the MS Society.

Visit Pump Up Your Book! on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/PumpUpPR#p/a/u/1/PfxzbLrX7Zw to view a video trailer introducing our authors on tour in March.

Pump Up Your Book is a virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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Pump Up Your Book Proudly Presents February 2010 Authors on Virtual Book Tour

February 2010 Authors on Virtual Book Tour with Pump Up Your Book
(click on link to see trailer at YouTube)

February ‘10 Authors on Virtual Book Tour include:

Maria Andrade, author of the relationship book, Heart Magic: Keeping Love Alive and Well
Carla Buckley, author of the apocalyptic novel, The Things That Keep Us Here
James R. Goldberg, author of the current affairs healthcare book, The American Medical Money Machine
Angela Henry, author of the mystery novel, Schooled in Lies
Barbora Knobova, author of the relationship book, Tales for Delicious Girls
Susie Larson, author of the inspiration/motivation/devotion book, Embracing Your Freedom: A Personal Experience of God’s Heart of Justice
Alan Markowitz, author of the gritty memoir, Topless Prophet
Kaylin McFarren, author of the women’s contemporary fiction, Flaherty’s Crossing
Judi Moreo and twenty-five other authors of the motivational book, Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths
Gary Morgenstein, author of the relationship book, How to Find a Woman…or Not
Ogo Ogbata, author of the historical fiction novel, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman
Victor Pross, author of the art/humor book, Icon & Idols: Pop Goes the Culture
Misa Ramirez, author of the mystery with romantic elements novel, Hasta la Vista, Lola!
Jay Slosar, author of the psychological book, The Culture of Excess: How America Lost Self-Control and Why We Need To Redefine Success
Kay Marshall Strom, author of the nonfiction book, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire – Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World
Marnie Swedberg, author of the nonfiction book for writers, eBooks: Idea to Amazon in 14 Days
Michele Wahlder, author of the self-help/inspirational book, Alphatudes – The Alphabet of Gratitude
Bill Walker, author of the soul searching romance novel, A Note From an Old Acquaintance
Chris Wardle, author of the children’s book, The Lighthouse of Mr. Tinfish
Pamela Samuels Young, author of the legal thriller, Buying Time
Vincent Zandri, author of the thriller novel, Moonlight Falls

Click here to see their official tour pages to find out where you can pick up your copy of their wonderful books!

This ad is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion and virtual book tours. You can visit us at www.pumpupyourbook.com to find out how we can take your books to the virtual level!

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Interview with Barbora Knobova, author of Tales for Delicious Girls

Barbora Knobova

Barbora Knobova is a writer, relationship coach and expert in Delicious Life. A world traveler, she is one of those rare world citizens who live everywhere and nowhere. Barbora is a firm believer in female friendship, loyalty and bonding. She writes hilarious, sharp-witted, caustically apt, ironic, moving and very true books for strong, independent, smart, fearless women. Barbora has also written several self-improvement books and teaches women about the importance of self-love in relationships and life in general. Barbora speaks eight languages and has found her home away from home in New York, London and Milan. She is always on the move, accompanied by her beagle Brinkley, the nasty dog from Tales for Delicious Girls. You can visit her website at http://www.barboraknobova.com, her blog at http://barboraknobova.wordpress.com or connect with her at Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/barboraknobova or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/barboraknobova.author.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Barbora. Can you tell us what your latest book, Tales for Delicious Girls, is all about?

My book is called Tales for Delicious Girls. It is a humorous, ironic book about men and women and about female friendship. It deals with dating and relationship mishaps and funny situations that actually happened, no matter how incredible it may seem. It’s a book for smart women of all ages who have a sense of humor. And I always say that it’s a book of many faces. Its main purpose is to entertain but when you read it you realize the book also shows women that the relationship they have with themselves is much more important than their relationships with men and other people who surround them. It helps them love themselves more, appreciate and respect themselves. I know that no matter how strong we are, how educated we are, how great our career is, sometimes we just get lost in the complicated web of relationships. I would like every woman to see herself as the pillar of her own life, her best friend. I would like every woman to love herself truly. I hope that my book makes women laugh and also helps them deal with any personal and relationship issues they may have.

Q: Is this your first book?  If not, how has writing this book different from writing your first?

Tales for Delicious Girls is not my first book and of course, writing your first book is always a bit tricky especially because you don’t know what to expect and what lies ahead. However, writing a book is always an adventure and a challenge, a chance to learn, to grow, to become a better writer and a better person.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

It’s incredible but I’ve never experienced writer’s block. Maybe it’s because I’m a very instinctive and impulsive writer. I write when I feel like writing and when I don’t feel like writing, I simply take a break. I think that a writer needs to let his/her thoughts flow naturally. When you start stressing, all those wonderful ideas vanish into thin air.

Tales for Delicious Girls by Barbora Knobova (click on cover to purchase)

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest book?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

I love connecting with my readers because they make me see my books through different eyes and they always find something more and new between the lines and behind the words. Most of my readers are women and it’s wonderful to see that Tales for Delicious Girls is a book that makes them happy, that they identify with the stories and find encouragement and support in them. I’ve had a few funny encounters with my male readers. (Surprisingly, there are many men who read my books. I think they are curious and want to get a peek into the world of women and their thinking.) I remember a man who came to my book signing event and said: “Let me take you for a walk to the forest and change your view of life.” I still don’t know if he was a poet or a creep.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

I usually write in the morning. I love mornings, especially summer mornings when the air is fresh, the sun rises early, the birds sing and there’s this wonderful summer air when I open the window. In the afternoon I write blog posts and articles, update my social sites, answer e-mails and take care of my marketing activities and other work projects.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

I think that regular physical activity is very important for writers because we tend to have a sedentary lifestyle which is very unhealthy. Fortunately, I have a very active dog so long walks are a must. I also love swimming, badminton and especially golf which I find extremely relaxing for my overloaded brain and it’s also the best remedy for backache. In the evening I usually read books that keep piling up on my nightstand.

Q: What book changed your life?

Recóndita Harmonía by Marina Mayoral. It’s a wonderful story of female friendship and I think the best book about women ever written. I discovered it in Spain many years ago and since then I haven’t found a book that would beat it. I don’t think it has been translated into English, which is a shame. But I believe it’s a book worth learning Spanish for.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Deliciously Insane.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

…that I love men but I will always be on women’s side, even if it means treading on men’s corns.

Thank you for this interview, Barbora.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Tales for Delicious Girls!

Thank you very much, it was a pleasure!

Barbora Knobova is on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.  Visit her official tour page here.

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In the Spotlight: Tales for Delicious Girls by Barbora Knobova

What’s in a word? Anything you want there to be! D for daring, E for enchanting, L for loving, I for inspiring, C for captivating, I for intriguing, O for outgoing, U for unique, S for sophisticated: DELICIOUS.

Twenty-five exhilarating real-life stories about delicious women, eccentric men and stubborn dogs.

This book is meant to entertain you. It will make you laugh until there are tears in your eyes.   It will become your faithful companion, and will help you find yourself. It was written for you because you’re delicious – the most delicious girl in the world.

Tales for Delicious Girls offers witty, refreshing, clever and ironic insight into relationships between men and women from all points of view. The book is a modern relationship manual, providing answers to the most pressing dating and friendship questions that strong, independent, modern women want to know. “Tales for Delicious Girls” deals with wishes, desires and dreams – as well as hilarious mishaps and dating disasters.

However, Tales for Delicious Girls is not simply a humorous book. In addition to entertaining the readers, the tales will inspire women to think about their own life and relationships, see themselves through different eyes and realize that they are their own best friend, the pillar of their own life, and the only person they can always count on. “Tales for Delicious Girls” encourages women to love, respect and appreciate themselves, to live the life they have always wanted, and become aware of their true uniqueness and deliciousness.

Tales for Delicious Girls contains over fifty beautiful, original illustrations by Nela Vadlejchova.

Book Excerpt:

Looking back at some of my serious relationships, would-be relationships, love affairs and relationships beyond any definition, my mind boggles at all those things I was (almost) able to do for men. I almost became a Jew, a Muslim, a devoted member of the Anglican Church and a lover of mushy peas that I’ve hated since kindergarten. I put up with possessive mothers-in-law, admired jealous sisters-in-law, played with unbearably spoiled nephews and adoringly took care of senile aunts. I went on a four-day trek through the desert and ate matzo in a kibbutz, although I’m a convinced city girl. I celebrated Pesah, Ramadan and I almost had myself christened. I also almost moved a few times, changed my job and pretended that I was not at all cold in that awful chilly apartment with mold on the walls, and that it was an amazingly manly, bohemian pad. A week after a major surgery, I dragged myself through bleak December London by public transport only to prove what a cool and low-maintenance girl I was. Not to mention the emotional and financial damage that I suffered during all those enthusiastic efforts, and that I did not give a damn about until I completely sobered up and started to act again as a rational homo sapiens, that is, as a person compos mentis.

And why am I writing all this? Because of the extremely important word “almost”. Because of the little word “almost”, thanks to which I now recall all those crazy and idiotic escapades bordering on derangement with grace, amusement and with a smile on my face. Because of the word “almost”, thanks to which I actually like remembering them because l’aventure c’est l’aventure, or adventure is adventure, as a French movie with Lino Ventura claims. And adventure is necessary, adventure ensures that I will not get bored and that one day I will have something to tell my grandchildren
(supposing I withhold a few unimportant details that I prefer not to admit even to myself).

However, some women have tough luck with the word “almost”, as it seems to avoid them. It keeps jumping back, hiding and reappearing. And from the heights of its own elusiveness, it laughs at them and mocks them. In the upshot, many of us end up with an empty bank account, with an empty apartment, with empty hands and hitting rock bottom. At the best, with bruises on our soul. At the worst, with bruises even on the soul’s outer wrapping.

Nevertheless, this chameleon syndrome implying “I will be what you want me to be” probably affects only women. If you know a man who, because of “the love of his life”, gives up his job, his family, his fat cat whose hairs you are allergic to, and his disgusting high school sneakers that are “as good as new”, introduce him to me. Introduce him to me and I will have him submitted to a thorough psychological examination as an absurd natural phenomenon.

A man is simply an inadaptable creature. A man goes to bed when he is sick, even if a windstorm takes away the roof above his head and his boss threatens to fire him. A man eats what he likes, in the pub that he has adored since college parties. A man does not pretend that his biggest dream is to spend the evening with you and your bitter high school friend “whom you can’t stand
anyway, you told me that last Wednesday”. He does not walk your beagle if he hates dogs. And he does not join you on a guided tour in Madrid if he is all but enthusiastic about the gems of architecture. And a man does not care if you like it or not, if you fume with rage, cry or get mad and stop talking to him. He does not care what the others think of his decisions, choices and wacky opinions. He couldn’t care less, and actually, he wouldn’t even think of worrying about it because it’s a loss of time and especially of energy that needs to be saved for much more meaningful and much more entertaining stuff.

And that’s the point. Why do women trim their sails while men remain in their comfort zone? Why do we push ourselves to the limit, live on our nerves, give up our soul, our personality, the little things we love? Why do we pretend, fake, lie blatantly to ourselves and on top of that manage to become convinced that it’s making us happy? Why do we rigorously get rid of everything that makes us unique? What for?

Let’s try to put an end to it once and for all. Let’s try to love ourselves unconditionally; let’s protect ourselves and everything that belongs to us. Let’s not conform to the needs, ideas or demands of relationships in which we cannot be ourselves and in which we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore. Because men, lovers, admirers and potential (sometimes even real) fathers of our children come and go; some stay for awhile, some stay a little bit longer and some might stay forever, but that’s something we never know in advance. The only thing that stays forever is us. So don’t ever give up on yourself, because you are your own most precious possession.

“I have five daughters and want them all to read this book.  I want them to remember that you are your own best friend, and when the rest of the world seems against you, when love has given you the dirty end of the stick, you should be able to look in the mirror, hold your head up, and smile right back.  Why?  Because every female is a Delicious Girl = D for daring, E for enchanting, L for loving, I for inspiring, C for captivating, I for intriguing, O for outgoing, U for unique, S for sophisticated: DELICIOUS!”

–Kelly Wallace

“The most important lesson that the female reader learns from this book is set out in the first chapter; this being that you are fantastic the way you are and shouldn’t change for anyone, and that you should love yourself. If you manage to form this relationship with yourself then the likelihood is that the right man will come into your life. You can’t change people, so why should you change yourself for them, whether it is your hair, what you enjoy doing or more serious parts of you that make you so very special.”

–Sarah Pierce

“This book is delish! sweet and adorable. I felt as though I could conquer the world after I finished it. It was such a nice twist over the usual self-help books that are always telling me (us) that we need to improve, develop and grow.”

–Bookshipper

Barbora Knobova is a writer, relationship coach and expert in Delicious Life. A world traveler, she is one of those rare world citizens who live everywhere and nowhere. Barbora is a firm believer in female friendship, loyalty and bonding. She writes hilarious, sharp-witted, caustically apt, ironic, moving, true books for strong, independent, smart, fearless women. Barbora has also written several self-improvement books and teaches women about the importance of self-love in relationships and life in general. Barbora speaks eight languages and has found her home away from home in New York, London and Milan. She is always on the move, accompanied by her beagle Brinkley, the nasty dog from Tales for Delicious Girls.  You can visit her website at www.barboraknobova.com.

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Barbora Knobova

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

I’ll Be Home For Christmas
by Barbara Knobova

My great-grandparents came to former Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the 20th century from Italy. They arrived as poor but determined immigrants looking for new life. Their new country accepted them with open arms and their hard work soon paid off. However, the first Christmas my great-grandparents spent in Czechoslovakia was affected by the outbreak of World War I. The army officials came to confiscate my great-grandfather’s horse but he loved the animal too much and couldn’t imagine parting with it. He enlisted, leaving his wife and newborn baby alone. At Christmas four years later, he and his horse returned home, alive, unharmed, having saved each other’s life several times on the Serbian battlefield.

My grandma, my great-grandparent’s daughter, got married in 1931, two years after her parents had lost everything due to the Great Depression. They worked hard and they never gave up. My dad was born in September 1932 and the family moved into their new house just before Christmas, only three years after the crisis, having built their company once again from scratch.

In 1948 when communists came to power, my family, just like all families of business owners, became a public enemy. The communist government confiscated everything they owned. My dad could have stayed in Britain where he studied, which would have saved him. Instead, he came home for Christmas and was never allowed to leave the country again. As a son of an entrepreneur, he was arrested and imprisoned on Christmas two years later.

If you like this story, click on cover to purchase an even better story by Barbora Knobova!

In November 1989, the communist regime came crashing down, after long forty years. It was the Christmas of liberty and hope. A year later we celebrated Christmas in my great-grandparents’ house, after it had been returned to my family and after my dad had followed in my great-grandfather’s footsteps and built the company again, for the third time.

My dad died of a sudden heart attack in July 1997. The months that followed were marked by struggle for me and my mum. We had to liquidate my dad’s business in order to pay the creditors and greedy relatives who circled around us like vultures wanting their share. At Christmas we were alone and had nothing left. But we were at home. We had saved our house. We came home for Christmas, determined not to give up. In the year that followed, the family business rose like Phoenix from the ashes for the fourth time and it proudly carries my great-grandfather’s name until today.

Life has been good to me ever since. Yes, I had to struggle and fight and give up on many things. But I also received many things in return. I became strong-willed, wise and courageous. I learned to live with gratitude, generosity and joy. I follow my dreams without fear and I cherish every moment spent with my dear ones. I live for today, knowing that I am strong enough to deal with anything that may come tomorrow. And no matter where in the world I am, I always remember to come home for Christmas. It runs in the family.

Barbora Knobova is a writer, relationship coach and expert in Delicious Life. A world traveler, she is one of those rare world citizens who live everywhere and nowhere. Barbora is a firm believer in female friendship, loyalty and bonding. She writes hilarious, sharp-witted, caustically apt, ironic, moving, true books for strong, independent, smart, fearless women. Barbora has also written several self-improvement books and teaches women about the importance of self-love in relationships and life in general. Barbora speaks eight languages and has found her home away from home in New York, London and Milan. She is always on the move, accompanied by her beagle Brinkley, the nasty dog from her new book, Tales for Delicious Girls.

http://www.barboraknobova.com

Tales for Delicious Girls on Amazon.com – http://cli.gs/TalesForDeliciousGirls

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