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Special Guest Feature: Bell and Banjos by Gary Morgenstein

Bell and Banjos by Gary Morgenstein

Author of the relationship book,

How to Find a Woman…Or Not

Gary Morgenstein’s novels include Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, about a divorced man who falls in love with a beautiful woman rabbi; Jesse’s Girl, a powerful story about a father’s search for his adopted teenage son, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a political baseball thriller, all available on Amazon, as well as the baseball Rocky The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. His prophetic play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at the New York Fringe Festival. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, surrounded by lots of books and rock and roll CDs.

I remember schlepping down on Amtrak to meet a woman in Princeton, New Jersey. Date number two. Date number one had been for coffee at the Warwick Hotel on Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue. This was a Jdate date. She actually looked like her picture, an attorney, now into running her own web-based food service. Mid-40s, nice, smart, far as I know, no prison record.

So for dinner on a Saturday night I take the subway from Brooklyn into Manhattan, to Penn Station (on a good day about a 50 minute ride). Then Amtrak to Princeton. 90 minutes one way. My iPod was powered up with Aerosmith. I call my best friend Sid and he asks, What are you doing making a four-hour round trip, plus you know you will get stuck with the dinner bill?

Because I feel 19 again when I do this. Because I am in my 50s now and a lot more is behind than in front. Because when I date, there is that magical possibility beyond why do I have a zit on my cheek, did I wear too much cologne, where did I get all the nose hairs, do I have my Viagra/condom combo in the wallet in case.

Because maybe she will hold my hand. You appreciate that a lot more at 50 than 20. Three hour dinner, bill of $140 and I get an email the next day, You are charming and cute and intelligent and good fun, but I think we live too far apart for this to work.

And um, when you told me to come down for a four friggin” hour round trip, you didn’t know that?

It is madness dating at any age, I know.

That said, I want to find a woman to share my life with again. One failure does not a life make. I want bells and banjos, walks on the beach, Netflix nights, Thai take-out, apple picking, Jersey shore, hand holding and all that intimate stuff. I figured women want the same thing. I figured that with all the single women in New York, deduct the gay guys, the faithful married guys, the semi-faithful married guys, it was really me competing against a lot of hot firefighters and they worked nights mostly.

Where to go for the honeymoon might be the biggest challenge.

2, 345,905 dates later, oh boy was I wrong.

That’s what my book is about. For guys, whether you’re 25 or 55, who want to find a woman. For women, because if we don’t have a dialogue into what we really think and want, we will never reach each other. To share my crazy and funny and painful experiences and to give you dos and don’ts and why nots. Guiding and shaping your romantic pursuits aided by “spinning” techniques I developed through my years as a public relations executive.

From online dating to public transportation, the myth of metrosexuality, the mystery of younger women, grooming/clothes/smelling right, good and bad convos, what did they actually mean when they said that and why talking on the phone after a first date is a bad idea, hitting on girls walking their dogs, airport lounges, yoga class, alienating helpful friends, risking job security over a pair of pretty brown eyes, I will help you find someone to share a movie and take away on a Saturday night.

Or your life.

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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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