Books From My Closet

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Books That Give You Food for Thought

Hello Dear Followers, 
The following blog post is from guest blogger, Pam Sahota of Radiate Daily!  She provided reviews on some books that made a difference in her life.  Hope you enjoy! 
I went through a phase where I read a lot of books to help me understand what more I could do in my life for happiness, motivation, and inspiration to live a healthier and better life each day. Some may call these “self help” books but I call them inspiration and words of wisdom. There are authors who I fell for over perusing these and I dare you to give them a try as well.

“Girl Boss” by Sophia Amoruso 

The Why?

There are more and more folks becoming entrepreneurs and wanting to be their own boss. However starting off on your own has its pitfalls and obstacles, and Sophia definitely fell a few times in her career before she got where she is today. This book (like the Netflix series) is comedic, raw, emotional, and encouraging that even if we fail and fail, we can keep hope and make it. GirlBoss_
“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes 

The Why?

Yes, she’s the lady who started Grey”s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and more. She’s the woman who made TGIT what it is today. But, she didn’t just land there, she had to really go with her gut, and determine what road to take. And when she decided to say Yes to more – more doors opened, and more opportunities beckoned.

“The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein 

The Why?

Ever feel like you have a need to control each piece of your life? That the lack of control could make you spiral into no man’s land? I know I do at times. Gabrielle guides her community of readers to let go a bit and trust in themselves even more. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Big Magic

“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert 

The Why?
The book has six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. Similar to Eat, Pray, Love it takes you through different parts of your self and areas of encouragement to do more and believe more in yourself. Even if it means breaking yourself first, to find the better you.
What’s your favorite?

“The Girl From The Cave”

Hello Dear Followers,

While I promised a post about “The Help” I couldn’t resist sharing a guest post from new author Mark Lawerence who recently completed his book “The Girl From The Cave”  Here is what he had to say about his new book!

Image provided by Mark Lawerence

Thank you, first off for allowing me a small space on here.  I will get straight to the point.  “The Girl From The Cave” was as much a mystery for me to write as it probably will be for you to read.  There were many questions that came to me and which were then transferred onto the page which needed answers.  These questions pulled me along every word, every page as I hope they will for you.  Even though it became necessary to reveal the girl’s name in the synopsis of the book, I will not reveal it here, as I think it takes away from the ultimate darkness that you, as the reader, must find your way out of as the story moves along.  At the beginning of the story, the girl finds herself at the mercy of a dark cave, afraid of every step she is taking, yet compelled to go on further by a strange and seemingly magical fox who had been making himself known to her months before.  At first his visits seem to be none other than fun and games.  As you read on, you’ll find out that they were merely an exercise of trust for what must be done.  When the girl emerges from the cave, she is completely at a loss, not only is she miles more away than she had walked from entrance to exit, but she is at a place both familiar to her and strangely foreign.  During this story, while finding out each step she takes, sometimes just to live another day, I invite you to consider how you would act.  What actions might you have taken, given a similar hand to play?  Where might you see this story, this eerily possible, yet fantasy driven story go even after the final word?

Since I have done nothing but write and read this work for the past year, it is hard to stand back at this point and judge as a whole the entire piece, its relevance to my world, to my life.  Perhaps you will not be as handicapped as I am.  And if you see nothing other than the text in front you, I would hope that it was a good ride.
For more information on Mr. Lawerence’s new book, visit

My Plans for 2012


Hello Dear Followers,

I have a lot of plans for this blog in 2012. I am totally excited about this.  I plan to be more dedicated at posting. Starting Sunday, I will post on a weekly basis.

I hope you will share your thoughts with me as well. They are always welcome! I plan to include more guest bloggers, and I already have a few lined up and  I am always looking for more! So please send me your thoughts about what you are reading! They may be sent to  Or find me on Facebook at – Books From My Closet and on Twitter at @BooksFrMyCloset.

I’d also love some new ideas about what I can do for this blog, I want it to be so much more than it was the first year. So please your suggestions are welcome! Thanks so much for your commitment to following my posts and I look forward to  speaking to you!

Until next time…

– Daniela

A Guest Post by Linda Lauren

Hello Dear Followers,

Last month I featured author Linda Lauren’s new book “Hostage in Time” and invited her as a guest blogger on my blog whenever she was available. She recently sent me this via e-mail after my review of her book. Enjoy!

My Experience Writing Hostage in Time

By Linda Lauren

I want to thank Daniela Forte for her positive review of my paranormal time gravel romance, Hostage in Time, and for the invitation to share my thoughts on the novel with her readers as a guest on her blog.

Hostage in Time  was a labor of love for me as I have always enjoyed reading a good time travel and wanted to write one myself.  I can define 1979 to 1989 by the amount of time travel novels I had read. They were being released fast and furiously and I was only too happy to lose myself in their pages.  Aside from obvious choice of H.G. Wells , some of the great time travel romance authors include Constance O’Day Flannery, Richard Matheson and Jack Finney, all highly respected authors on the NY Times Bestsellers list.  Some of you might recall the more mainstream work of Matheson who’s novel Bid Time Return was made into the popular film Somewhere in Time; Finney is known for his incredibly detailed work in Time And Again; and O’Day-Flannery has a string of some very wonderful novels like Second Chances.

As a psychic medium I have my own beliefs regarding the possibility of time travel. I have personally had two episodes of time travel and one astral travel experiment that adds credence to my belief that traveling thru time is possible. I had always fantasized about writing a story that incorporated my love of Historic Preservation and history, with the concept of time travel.

From 1989 to 1999 I wrote and completed ten paranormal time travel romance novels, placed each in its own manuscript box and put them in my office closet to await further action.  Hostage in Time was the last one I finished.  My mother passed away that year, and my practice got busier and before I knew it another decade had gone by. (Poor Amanda and Jonathan!)  It wasn’t until this past year that I found some time to update the manuscript for publication.

When I picked Hostage in Time up again it was with a wisdom I hadn’t had when I first penned all that romance and mayhem! The fact that I now had the benefit of the technology of today to move my story forward, allowed me to further enhance it to an exciting new level.  I fell in love with the characters and the story all over again, wishing that I could be a guest at the fictional Serenity, enjoying the company of the Brisbanes.

For more information please visit , Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple iBooks.

 Also, just to let you all know dear followers, Books From My Closet is still hosting a giveaway for “The Heroine’s Bookshelf” by Erin Blakemore. Please feel free to tell me who your favorite literary heroine is and the book could be yours! Until next time ~ Daniela 

The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hello Dear Followers,

I am so excited for my December book choice! This month I will be reading “The Heroine’s Bookshelf” by Erin Blakemore.

Now in paperback!

While I will talk a little bit here, for my introductory post to the book, I will have the author herself talk to my followers about her book.

Ms. Blakemore’s book re-introduces us to our favorite literary heroines and brings them back to life through their wisdom and   personal lives in her book.

We are reunited with Jane Austen and Lizzy Bennett, Louisa May Alcott and Jo March, Laura Ingalls Wilder and many more.

Ms. Blakemore and myself will be doing a giveaway next week, one random winner from the United States and Canada will get a copy of “The Heroine’s Bookshelf.” Just tell us who your literary heroine is and why in the comment section of this blog and on Facebook (Books From My Closet) and on Twitter at @BooksFrMyCloset.

According to Ms. Blakemore, she learned to drool over Darcy and cry over Little Women in suburban San Diego, California. These days, her inner heroine loves roller derby, running her own business, and hiking in her adopted hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Ms. Blakemore’s debut book, “The Heroine’s Bookshelf,” won the Colorado Book Award in 2010 and is now available in paperback from Harper Perennial. Learn more at

A Guest Blog Post from Erin Blakemore Enjoy!

Erin Blakemore

Quirks of the Heroines

When I wrote The Heroine’s Bookshelf, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I knew that my favorite authors had heroic lives that happened on a big scale, but I suspected they tended more toward the tragic than the comic. This turned out to be true in its way, but one of the best part about learning about my personal literary heroines was discovering their personal quirks and pecadilloes.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

  • Louisa May Alcott was a runner at a time when women simply didn’t run. She’d jet out the door and run around her Concord, MA neighborhood to blow off steam.
  • Margaret Mitchell was kicked out of the Junior League in Atlanta, GA after performing the Apache dance, a risqué dance that simulates a violent lovers’ spat.
  • When Colette met her husband, she was very young and very beautiful. Her braids went to her ankles (her ankles!). Later, the very husband those braids had helped attract insisted that she chop all of her hair off.
  • Zora Neale Hurston once clocked a man who made a pass at her in an elevator. The doors opened, she stepped over his unconscious body, and continued on to a swinging Harlem Renaissance-style party.

How about you? What are your favorite literary quirks?

My First Guest Blogger!

Hello Dear Followers!

I am some exciting news that I couldn’t help but share with you, I have invited my friend and new mommy to Layla Faye,  Emily Adams as a guest blogger on my blog!  Emily’s blog, “LEmily’s LEmmings” is featured on the parenting and pregnancy Web site “What To Expect” (

Her most recent blog post cracked me up as she talks about her “relationship” with books! All of it was so true! Here is her post, but don’t forget to visit her blog site

least three times,time on my hands,layla,half an hour,paragraph,harvard,scholarship,yale,relationship,reading books,breastfeedingblog
LEmily’s LEmmings
Blogs » LEmily’s LEmmings » A Non-Baby Blog…Well, Almost
April 30, 2011

A Non-Baby Blog…Well, Almost

Being an exclusive breastfeeder, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Not that I can do much with it, considering I’m glued to one spot for a half an hour every three hours, and the fact that I have only one hand free during that time. But I finally got the hang of reading while breastfeeding. (Hint: Heavy books are not the way to go. Poor Layla probably won’t get a scholarship to Yale or Harvard, since I dropped “What to Expect Your First Year” on her head at least three times before realizing I needed some “lighter” reading.)
However, now that I’m reading at the rate I’ve been trying to get to for years, I realized why once I got married, I didn’t need books the way I used to. I feel like I’m back in college again, only instead of going from one relationship to the next with different guys, it seems every time I finish a book, I go through my old breakup routine! It’s like, I get to the end and, even as the book is telling me “it’s not you, it’s me that’s ending this relationship”, I know, deep down, it is me. I should have appreciated the book more, I should have taken the relationship slower. I spent so many hours with the book, just the two of us. I should have given the book more space. It’s my fault the “relationship” was over so fast.
“But, Emily, you knew this wouldn’t last” the book seems to say, as I turn the last page, hoping for one more paragraph in vain. “You knew from the very start that it would end. I’m sure you’ll find another book that’ll make you just as happy. Maybe even happier.”
“No,” I seem to shout. “I won’t! It took me so long to find a book that made me as happy as you did! You speak to me in a way I understand and want to hear more of!”
Then, I’ll turn the book over in my hands, reminiscing about the nights we spent together, me falling asleep with it, reading the same paragraph over and over again until I realize my eyes are too heavy to go on, only to wake up with the book lovingly waiting for me on my nightstand.
I’ve watched as my husband gets a new book, hastily removing the dust cover because he can’t be bothered with it, and devour it, no, ravish it (since I’m jealous I’ll never get to really write that word, unless I get into writing books with Fabio on the cover…or if someone hires me as a food critic and I end up at an all-you-can-eat sushi place during P.M.S.). I could never do that! I could never treat a book like some sort of slave to my every whim. I cherish my books. I’ll admit, I use dust covers as bookmarks, but I’ve never done permanent damage to the actual book this way. Oh, except the sixth and seventh Harry Potter book. Now, those dust covers were just too small to be used as bookmarks for very long.
Speaking of Harry Potter, it’s bad enough finishing a book, but getting to the last book in a series is like being slapped with divorce papers…on your birthday…in front of all your family and friends.
“Wait, what? It’s over? Just like that? All the loose ends…well, I guess they’re tied up. But there’s got to be more!”
“Sorry,” says the last book of the series. The same series you counted down the days until the next book was released. The same series you sacrificed hours, days and weeks, even months reading! You gave up your money, your time, your figure (OK, I can’t be the only one who’s inadvertently eaten an entire box of cookies without noticing while engrossed in a really good chapter) for this series! This is the series that got you through last year’s flu. The same series you cancelled plans with an out-of-town friend for when the main character was having a crisis and you just couldn’t put it down. The same series that you’ve actually looked up (don’t laugh, you know you’ve at least wondered about it) fan fiction about or read any and all online reviews–which, let’s just be honest, is pretty much the same as Facebook stalking. And, don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve let my clothes get spit-up or breastmilk on, simply because the book I was reading had me too hooked to care.
You wish you could say all those things to your series (and the author, for that matter) and finish it off with, “and this is the thanks I get? You’re just done?!”
But you learn to cope. You don’t really see other books. You may go back to a favorite book that’s dog-eared, or read a few magazine articles (the reading equivalent of a one-night stand, I suppose), or you just decide not to read for a while. But then you get lonely. Oh, sure, there are real, live people to interact with. And there’s always television, where you don’t have to think–let’s consider this the “easy” relationship that doesn’t really give you much gain, but it doesn’t hurt you either…although, I won’t say I didn’t feel a longing when “Friends” aired it’s last episode.
Cookbooks don’t count, by the way. I don’t think anyone feels a sense of loss when they finish a cookbook. I’m perfectly happy finding a great recipe and going back to the page over and over again to use it. Cookbooks are like fuck buddies, let’s just be realistic here. You’re not reading them for the plot or the writing, you want easy reading. And, if a recipe expects more than you’re willing to give, you just move on to the next one. Encyclopedias (who has hard copies of those anymore, I wonder) and dictionaries don’t count either, since I’m going to put reference books into the category of books that’s equivalent to acquaintances or, in the case of any type of writer, coworkers. The books that breakup with you, though, are the ones you yearn for.
You look back to that fateful day you stepped into the bookstore, a few extra dollars on hand. You browsed the aisles, not searching for anything in particular. Until….there, you saw it. Its brightly colored spine (or dark, smouldering spine, depending on your preference) was staring at you. You forget all the rules of “don’t judge a book by their cover” and pick up the book. The cover greets you with a picture that intrigues you. As you turn over the book to read the back cover synopsis, you find yourself twirling your hair or biting your lip flirtaciously, wanting to know more about this fascinating-so-far book. You slip away to a quiet corner of the bookstore to read a few pages and get better acquainted. Before you know it, you’ve paid your bill (read: bought the book) and are heading home, book in hand, and heading straight for the living room or even, if you’re a “fast” girl like me, to the bedroom to really get into the book. As you read into the night, you wonder how you ever lived without this book. You can’t wait to tell your friends about the book, but hope they haven’t already read the book, since you want to be the one who made the “discovery” on this one. Over the course of the “relationship”, the book has not only been your bedtime companion, but you’ve taken it on car rides, to the doctor’s office, to your parents’ house, on picnics and to coffeehouses, all the while not thinking ahead to the future and living in the present: just you and Book.
Which brings us to today. The day the book broke up with you. The day you sadly put it on your bookshelf, next to other books that “broke your heart”. As you look at the collection of books, you wonder to yourself, “Will there ever be a book I won’t have to put down or finish?” No, my poor friend. At least not a series that doesn’t end up being ghostwritten sooner or later, as the ideas stop flowing for the original author. Oh, and if the author dies, you’re also out of luck. Unless you happen to be reading a book by Tupac. He’s apparently done tons of things we’re just now discovering, even after his death.
But I digress. Back to the bookshelf. As you look over your bookshelf, you also see the books you’ve started reading, only to realize that you, not the book, had to end the relationship. You see the bookmarks stuck part of the way through. Should you pick it up and attempt to read it again? Ugh, but you weren’t able to commit to it before…but maybe you’ve changed! Or maybe the book will get better with time! I mean, you hit it off so well when you first picked it up, right? You start to read it, attempting to find some sort of endearing quality about it. Alas, it was just a rebound book. It still doesn’t grab your attention and you’re back to square one, looking for another book to make you as happy as the one that just broke up with you.
I don’t really have any advice for you, other than what can be found in, “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-up Guide” by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. But, I have to warn you, that book has an ending, so even after you feel you’ve utilized that book to get through one book-breakup, you’ll just be going through another when you finish with it. I guess that’s what you’d call a Catch-22…but, I wouldn’t really know since I never was able to get into that book and I am somewhat proud to say I was the one who ended that relationship.

Guest Bloggers!

Hi Everyone,

Just an announcement here, I will soon be including guest bloggers on my book blog! Please feel free to contact me at, if you are interested in being a guest blogger on my site.  So, if you have a favorite book you want to talk about, I will be more than happy to include it! What I will need from you is a little blurb about yourself and an image of you and if you have a Web site please free to include that too! I look forward to venturing in this direction for my book blog!

Thanks so much!  -Daniela

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