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Dante Interviews Gabriel

Gabriel Constans Interview on writing and Loving Annalise.
Interviews by Dante 10 November 2015

Guest author for today on Interviews by Dante is Gabriel Constans. He is an author of Contemporary Erotic Romance. His latest is Loving Annalise.

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Please tell us a little about yourself.

Raised in a lumber town in Northern California, where father worked in the mills for over 40 years. Mother worked as a bookkeeper, later remarried and took in 9 foster sisters and 1 foster brother. Biological sister lives and works in same town.

Been writing since first publishing an alternative newspaper in high school against the Viet Nam war, for civil rights and sex education, for which I was threatened with arrest. Am practicing parent for 5 adult children (2 adopted) and 4 grandchildren.

Tell us about your latest book.

Loving Annalise is based on a true story for a woman I used to work with at hospice. She was kind enough to sit down with me for extensive periods of time and tell me about her life, which I then made into a fictional romance (keeping many of the actual events that took place).

What do you have coming out in the future?

I’ve been teaching about mindfulness meditation and mental health for loss and trauma for almost 40 years, and will start to put together a book about it next year.

Is your book a stand-alone or a series?

Loving Annalise is a stand-alone romance.

Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?

Love and sex are two wonderfully pleasurable aspects of living. Loving Annalise is not only unique, because a lot of it is true, but also because it involves a lot of background and insight into the characters and how Annalise eventually has the courage to stand on her own and be the person she chooses.

Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?

All of my romances, Loving Annalise, The Last Conception and Buddha’s Wife, have twists and turns that are not usually found in most romantic genres. I also write children’s fiction and non-fiction for adults, that include books about grief, loss and trauma, sexuality and smoothies. I also write screenplays.

From where do you draw your inspiration?

The primary inspiration for my stories come from personal and family experiences and people I admire, some publicly known and other’s close friends and role models (such as my Judo and Jiu-Jitsu teacher Prof. Jane Carr).

Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?

All the time. Observing people I’ve known in the past and present, and situations and families I’ve been involved in through work in hospice, hospital, coroner’s office, prisons, etc., are a big part of what brings my character’s to life and makes them realistic, flawed and believable.

What authors inspire your writing?

A variety of writer’s have, and do, inspire me. Bell Hooks, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Isabelle Allende, Ruth Ozeki, Pat Conroy, Chitra Divakaruna, and Zora Neal Hurston are the first that come to mind.

How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?

I’ve been married three times, once when I was very young. Each marriage, and other relationships in-between, have influenced who I am and how I see the world. Each partnership provided emotional, physical and psychological experience that shaped who I am and how I write.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Some of the things I enjoy are film, reading, playing music, gardening and sculpting stone.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Loving Annalise captures both the reality of other people wanting Annalise, as well as her learning to love herself.

Read entire interview and much more at: Interviews by Dante.

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Author Nadine Gordimer Dead

South African anti-apartheid author Nadine Gordimer dies, aged 90
Reuters South Africa
Mon 14 July 2014 1:07pm GMT

JOHANNESBURG, July 14 (Reuters) – South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said on Monday.

Gordimer died peacefully at her Johannesburg home on Sunday evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the family said. (Reporting by Ndundu Sithole; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)

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Books With Brainy Heroines

Good Minds Suggest—Deborah Harkness’s Favorite Books with Brainy Heroines
From Goodreads – July, 2014

16054217Who better to mold a brainy heroine of paranormal fantasy novels than a devoted academic herself? Professor Deborah Harkness teaches history at the University of Southern California, although you may know her better as the author of the wildly popular All Souls Trilogy, which includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the final installment out this month, The Book of Life. Harkness’s intellectual passion is the history of science—encompassing the history of magic and alchemy. At the heart of her madcap epic is a similarly erudite historian, Diana Bishop, a researcher (and witch, whose magical powers have been suppressed) who uncovers a powerful manuscript at Oxford’s Bodleian Library and falls in love with an aristocratic 1,500-year-old vampire (who is, appropriately, also a bookworm with a penchant for genetics). Harkness shares five books featuring women who can out-reason or out-research any adversary.

Read all of Professor Harkness’s recommendations and more at GOODREADS.

Why Shop Indie?

logoFrom Indie Bound

Why shop Indie?

When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:

The Economy

Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.

Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.

More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.

Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.

More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

Fishing Was Never So Good

BaitShopBlues_Final-PinkSatinpdfBait Shop Blues
By Nancy Pirri
May, 2014, Melange Books
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

Leif Flying Eagle and Cassandra (Cassie) Thompson go together like water and oil or fire and ice. Though they are instantly attracted to one another, when she lands at International Falls, Minnesota, to find out more about the bait shop and land her grandfather left her and Leif, they have about as much in common as a bear and a hummingbird.

Bait Shop Blues portrays a man and a woman who are both reluctant and afraid of commitment (for different reasons) to discover what it is they want most in life and questions whether they can break free of the past, move beyond their fear and be honest about their deepest intentions.

The story moves along briskly, as readers’ are taken into life on the lake, fishing, camping and the nearby reservation, where most of Leif’s family still lives. The supporting cast, most notably Maxie (Leif’s bait shop assistant) and Shep (Leif’s dog), are perfect contrasts of stability, commitment and devotion, to that of Leif and Cassie’s confusion and mixed message.

As expected, but still enjoyable, the sweetness, love and attraction overpower the character’s rough edges and initial testing of the waters. Bait Shop Blues is a good story to pack for lunch, a picnic or the next time you go out fishing and dream of the man (or woman) of your dreams.

Review of American Saint

51DSeMoivLLAmerican Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton
Written by Joan Barthel
Reviewed by Gregory J. Wilkin
New York Journal of Books

“Characters like these, and scenes from the siege of New York, as well as the flirtation between Elizabeth and the handsome Antonio Filicchi, along with a very good death . . . all make this perfect fodder for a movie. It’s also perfectly suited to a book.”

Joan Barthel, whose earlier work dealt with murder cases in Connecticut and California that only an act of God could keep from turning into movies, seems to have a winner here with her timely and largely adulatory biography of Mother Elizabeth Seton.

After watching Meryl Streep’s despairing turn as Sister Aloysius in John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt and Barbara Jefford’s as the enragingly venomous mother superior in Judy Dench’s Philomena (as I’m confident He did, on a very big screen), Our Lord may want to get this book made into a movie Himself.

Publicity for the book emphasizes Seton’s wealthy upbringing, her political connections in the young republic, the sad tale of her husband’s early death in Italy, and the way she “resisted male clerical control of her religious order, as nuns are doing today.”

The life Barthels recounts counts in different ways for different folks: Maya Angelou in her foreword to the volume says “Seton’s life and achievements are proof that courage is the most important of all the virtues.”

True enough, Seton had to fight off the harshly overbearing Father Superior, John David, but in doing so, she worked closely with two other French priests and Bishop John Carroll. Courage it took, but to bill her as an early Catholic flouter-of-male-privilege is certainly to engage in a rather crass kind of book mongering.

In her introduction, Barthels situates her biography in the fraught context of the current administrative dispute about American nuns. The Vatican “doctrinal assessment,” which Sister Maureen Fiedler called on NPR “a hostile takeover,” will take five years to be prepared “and no one knows,” Barthels writes, “what will happen in the end.” In one of the least successful segues she pauses, indents, and gives us: “But Elizabeth Seton was there at the beginning.”

These beginnings bring out the best in our author: the early days in the Bayley family in New York are vivid and convincing, full of period detail and useful cultural background. As the young widow and mother takes her charges to Emmitsburg, the narration begins to rely on her letters, at one point quite a few of them rather wearily strung together. But some of this was heroic, loving effort by Seton herself, carried on despite fevers and worsening tuberculosis.

This is a lady who went through a lot. The accounts of the death of her daughters show her face to face with doubt:

“‘Eternity’ had long been her beloved word, her hope and belief. Now she was “uncertain of reunion.” She was kneeling at Anna’s grave when she saw a large, ugly snake stretching itself on the dried grass. Elizabeth was desolate, seeing Anna as ‘the companion of worms and reptiles! And the beautiful soul, where?’”

The takeaway here: doubt for the faithful, even for the saints, is one’s daily bread. Despite it all, Elizabeth Seton keeps her wits and her charm.

Read entire review and more at NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS

Fiction That Encourage Thought

2657Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once
Books that encourage thought.

From Goodreads

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. 1984 by George Orwell
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
5. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

See list of 100 and much more at Goodreads.

If it was my list, I’d have Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston at the number one spot.

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