#Blue Sky Tag Challenge – #Blog Challenge- #You’re It!

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I’ve been invited to hop on to the Blue Sky Tag Challenge by M J Mallon in an open tag.

The rules of the challenge are:

11 tags, 11 answers, 11 questions

Use the Blue Sky banner  (that Rachael Ritchey designed).

It is sort of polite to mention the person who tagged you so please do that if you accept my open tag for any who want to play along so I can read your answers and questions.

You need to answer the 11 questions set by your tagger (even though you wonder where they dredged them up from.)

You will need to make up 11 original and interesting or funny questions for those you tag. I know you can!

You need to tag 11 people – I’m leaving the tag open for any and all who want to join in. That could be more or less than eleven. Let’s say it is at least eleven.

You can read Marje’s post and the answers to her questions here.

 

These are the eleven questions that Marje made up. Thanks, Marje!
1. If you could travel to Mars would you go?

It depends on whether or not I can bring Lucy and how long the trip is and… Who am I kidding. Of course I would love to travel to Mars. When are we leaving?
2. Do you like rock music or quiet ballads?

Yes. I love almost any type of music. I say most because then I don’t have to explain my way out if a song comes on and I turn it right off.
3. Are you a tidy freak or a messy pup?

I am a tidy freak. Unless my days get too busy, then you might find some dust or dog fur around.
4. Tell us about the most strange/extraordinary person you know.

The most extraordinary people I know are my fellow RWA DARA authors who collectively pursue their passions of writing amazing romance stories.
5. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I definitely do, having read accounts of it, and because I have a romance author’s heart.
6. Which animal represents you the best?

I really have to think about this one. Perhaps it’s the dog because I like to go on walks, take naps, and I have a great sense of smell.
7. Are you a theatre and/or film buff?

Not so much. Cooking shows on the other hand…
8. If you had to do a party trick would you love this or hate it?

I think it would depend on the party trick. I can ham it up pretty good if I like what I’m doing.
9. What superpower would you love to have?

This is an easy one. I would love to be able to fly. I watch birds coasting on the wind or chasing one another in the sky and I am envious. Those show offs know we’re stuck on the ground.
10. What’s your favourite food, and/or drink?

I have to choose one food? No way! I can narrow down my favorite drink though, because that is water. It takes all day to drink enough so I rarely drink anything else.
11. As a child were you naughty or nice? And which are you now…

I was both and I believe I still am. If you have a different answer we need to talk!

 

Now for the eleven questions you answer if you’d like to take this blog tag challenge.

  1. Would you swim in a chocolate river if you could?
  2. What do you do when you are inspired?
  3. Food Network – yay or nay?
  4. Tell us about the last time you saw a butterfly.
  5. Have you dreamt about an event/experience and then had it come true?
  6. What is your opinion on rings. Do you wear them, or envy those who do? Or both?
  7. How long have you known the friend you’ve known the longest that you still talk with?
  8. How many books are close by you right now?
  9. Do you keep a journal?
  10. What is your favorite way to end a busy day?
  11. Tell us about the last memorable meal you ate.

Many thanks to Marje for sharing this tag so we can join in!

Tag, you’re it! Or not. No pressure. I’m curious to read your answers.

 

Thanks for reading,

Gina

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This is My Genre|Book Tag

Thanks to Callum McLaughlin for his ever insightful participation in book tags. They look like so much fun and I(!) can play this time!

What is your favorite genre:

Romance! I am that excited about my genre.

Who is your favorite author from that genre?

Nora Roberts is always going to top my list because she consistently publishes characters and stories that define what I think of as great romance.  The feels I get from her books are why I keep going back. I’ve read at least forty and I am excited to read more. She also writes as J.D. Robb and I’ve read at least forty-five of those (I count the novellas). The evolving relationship between Eve and Roarke is so sigh worthy!

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Nora Roberts & I (2012)

 What is it about the genre that keeps pulling me back?

Romance offers never-ending variety. There’s paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, western, sweet, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, thrillers, choose your own adventure, etc… But no matter what, there is always a love story.

What is the book that started your love for that genre?

I clearly remember reading Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume and the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal. I’m a born romantic and these stories confirmed that I found my book love home early.

Some of the links in this post are my Amazon Affiliate links, which help support this site at no additional cost to you.

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

I usually recommend Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts, the first book in the Three Sisters Island trilogy, because the characters are so well drawn and the series is excellent overall. This was my first paranormal romance (PNR) series. I found all three books at a Friends of the Library sale and at first I thought I read the blurb wrong. Could this by a romance and a paranormal in the same book? You can have both in the same book?! My love for PNR was born that day.

I have reread this series too many times to count.

Why do I read?

I think I’m a book junkie. There are so many ways to rearrange the twenty-six letters of our English alphabet! I consider myself privileged to experience the endless variety of books and authors available to me. Losing myself in a story is one of the best feelings there is. The short answer is: I read because I love to read and I always have.

I loved that walk down memory lane!

Consider yourself tagged if you would like to be a part of this book tag, and please link your post to me so I can read your answers!

As always, thanks for reading!

Gina

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Have you Read the Shiva XIV Series by Lyra Shanti?

Lucky me, I have read most of the books in this series! Shanti a talented sci-fi/fantasy author, which is always a pleasure for a hungry reader like me. Check out the covers! Mama mia, there are some good ones.

The links on these book covers connect to my Amazon associate ID, which helps support this site without adding any cost to you.

Book 1 (2014) showed Shanti’s elegant writing style and a unique writing voice, which are great accomplishments for a debut novel. The world she built for this series is accessible, while being totally foreign to the world we live in.

The hero, Ayn, has serious tasks laid on his fourteen-year-old shoulders, like saving his people from extinction. That’s not a spoiler, there’s plenty I won’t tell you. This book is rich in originality, plot, characters, and adventure. If you can predict what happens in this book you should play lottery numbers because you are gifted.

At the end of Shiva XIV I was anxious to read the book 2, Shiva XIV: The Veil of Truth (2015). I knew there was a lot more story to tell, and I was invested in the characters.

The second book continues immediately where the first book ended. There are interesting new characters in The Veil of Truth, like Srah, who has lovely wings. I love characters with wings. There are a few of them in the series.

Shanti’s creativity spiked to the top of the charts with this book, showing us more parts of the world she built and more characters with interesting motives and twisty plots. Some of them are twisted, too.

I was so engrossed in The Veil of Truth that I didn’t realize I was close to the end and then, bam, it was over. I love to be swept away by a series like that!

Shiva XIV: The Riddle of the Gods (2016) is book 3 in the series. This book brought satisfying answers to questions I had about books one and two. There is a villain in this series, Yol Notama, who conflicted me more than any villain I can remember reading. If you’ve read the series I want to know if you went down the same topsy-turvy emotional path I did with him.

There are relationships between these characters that most authors can’t pull off, including an open-minded, naturally occurring non-traditional relationship forming that I find exciting.

Surprising love between two other characters is about to spawn a new race of beings. I didn’t say who, or what, so that’s not a spoiler, right?

I recommend reading the books as a series. They can stand on their own but there is so much more reward if you read all of them.

There are more books in the series for me to read, Yippee! These are on my TBR:

 

Ooh, look, there’s a box set of books 1-4!

 

Thank you for reading my review of the SHIVA XIV series!

 

Gina

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No Yesterdays is Available Now For Your Reading Enjoyment!

Gina Briganti

Natural Gifts, Book 3!

 

I am in danger of wearing out the ! key on my laptop, but when it has taken eight years to share this book with you, I will take the risk!

                                    Natural Gifts…where fate gets a good name.

A group of naturally gifted people have come together. One thinks he’ll surprise them with what he knows, but fate is playfully setting him up.

Fate has helped two couples to find their way to each other. To complete each other and unlock their gifts. Fate is done waiting. There’s no looking back now.

There are No Yesterdays.

 

I loved writing this story, meeting new characters and spending time with  the originals. We have seen a lot of these characters grow since we met them in The Dreaming back in 2010. Thank you for staying with us (you know they are like family to me, right?) throughout the three novels and two novellas.

There is more to come, as you will see at the end of the book, where I share a sneak preview of Deep In The Dreaming.

 

Thank you for reading and for waiting!

 

Gina

 

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Recommended Books – The Winter King by C.L. Wilson (Book 1 of the Weathermages of Mystral Series)

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C.L. Wilson will be at Coastal Magic Convention in February! Squeal! I heard about Coastal Magic Convention from her blog post back in July 2017. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation for me to check out all of the details. I looked up the tickets, which are still available, and started planning. The convention is in Daytona Beach, Florida from February 22-25. Our convention hotel is The Shores Resort and Spa. If you are going to be there, shout it out to me. I would love to see you there!

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While we are on the subject of conventions, I’d love to hear about your experiences with them. Do you go to book conventions? Do you stay at the convention hotel? Do you stay for the whole convention? This is my first one, and I am excited!

Now, about The Winter King. Wilson is treasured for her detailed action scenes and elaborate world building, which we were introduced to in her Tairen Soul series. I definitely recommend the whole series and I hope you will share your thoughts with me when you read it (or if you already have). I love to compare notes.

There is a satisfying romance in The Winter King. The energy between Wynn and Kham zings through the page. You can feel their bond grow. There are scads and scores of details I’m leaving out that skillfully bring those feelings out. What fun would it be for me to spoil the discovery experience for you?

The lore of Mystral, the land where the weathermages live, is full and engaging. I loved the feeling that even as I read about new languages and customs, I could also admire Wilson’s skill in making them feel exotic and familiar at the same time.

There is a good dose of royal intrigue, similar to A Game of Thrones. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you flipping the pages.

The series continues in The Sea King (2017). I’m reading that now, and completely looking forward to talking about them at the convention. Hopefully Wilson will tease us with future books in the series.

Is there anything you would like to know about The Winter King that I didn’t talk about? Ask away!

 

Thanks for reading!

Gina

 

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Low-carb Roasted Vegetable Snack Mix!

www.thereikicafe.com

Would you like to grab handfuls of an addictive, savory, mouth watering snack that’s good for you? My answer is yes, and that’s why I played with my vegetables and came up with this delicious snack mix.

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It started with a tomato and basil mini cheese ball recipe I made for a party. I didn’t want to put raw tomatoes in them, so I roasted some of my Thrive Life tomato dices by adding a hint of coconut oil, pink salt and Chef’s Choice seasoning. The tomatoes were luscious and my mini cheese balls were a hit.

Requests for low-carb recipes have been coming in lately, which has me looking at labels for new information. It turns out that tomatoes, zucchini and asparagus are all low in carbohydrate. I added them together, tossed them with a drizzle of coconut oil, some pink salt, Chef’s Choice and a bit of garlic…

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