Author Spotlight -Emmanuella Hristova, with a look at her new Poetry book called: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder

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Welcome beautiful people to this weeks author spotlight! Today we will take a look at Emmanuella Hristova’s new Poetry book, The Day my Kisses Tasted Like Disorder, ask her a few questions on being a writer and get a inside look at a couple of her poems!! 

Emmanuella Hristova is an amazing woman who has a refreshing view on feminism and the part women play. As I am writing this post, I find myself internally screaming YES!! and agreeing with so much of what she says. In the world we live in today, we need more stories, perspectives like this!! 

To quote Ms. Hristova, 

I hope that my poetry allows women—or anyone—the right to grieve, to feel deeply. Women don’t need to smile all the time, or to be pleasant. If they want to cry, they can cry and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Emmanuella also has amazing advice for new writers and is a lover of Sylvia Plath. I truly feel like this is a woman after my own heart!! Please check her out and take a look at her poetry. She will be someone worth noting and someone I expect to hear more from!


When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why poetry?
I decided to become a writer one year ago, but the catch was: I already was a writer. I just wasn’t sharing my work with anyone. I had written two Moleskin notebooks full of poems and novel material, but nobody knew about it.

Last January, I read some poems out of said notebook, that would later become my first poetry collection, to one of my best friends. “Babe, you need to publish this,” she told me. So, I began doing research on poetry publications and the self-publishing industry and I decided I would do it for myself. I planned to have it done a few months later, by my 27th birthday. I roped in one of my studious coworkers, Maria Ciccone, to help me edit my work for content and order of the poems, and “The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder” was born.

As for why I write poetry, I never planned on it. I wrote to express my feelings and sentiments. I fell in love, and I didn’t plan that. My sister was dying, and I didn’t plan that either. So, pent up emotions swelled up inside of me and they had no other place to spill other than onto a blank page. And I became a poet.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, a young woman I used to mentor gave me a green Moleskin notebook. She told me to document all of my adventures. My undergraduate graduation characterized many changes in my life, and at the time I was working out my own definition of feminism. But what began as short musings about sexism jotted down on the BART train, eventually became woeful poems about oppression, harassment, and assault. And then, two months later, I fell in love for the first time.

I never decided to write my poetry collection; it came out of me, rather. I documented the relationship from beginning to end, birth to death. I wrote to express everything I was going through on the inside—which was heavy and hectic. Eventually, that green Moleskin became a chronological account of one of the darkest periods of my life. And when I read it again, years later, I realized I had written some amazing poetry. Poetry I needed to share with others.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book or poems?
I hope the lasting thought readers have from my work is that they are not alone. If they too have gone through heart-wrenching ordeals, they are not alone. If they too need healing, are healing, they are not alone. The final chapter is dedicated to such women:

The aftermath.

For crying girls everywhere,
hiding in the bathroom stall.
May you find your healing.

I hope that my poetry allows women—or anyone—the right to grieve, to feel deeply. Women don’t need to smile all the time, or to be pleasant. If they want to cry, they can cry and there’s nothing wrong with that.


What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
The greatest impact is quite a lofty description. It would have to be the Bible; I was raised quite religiously, and I’ve read it many times. Following the death of my sister, I’ve struggled with my faith a lot and it’s something I’m still struggling with, so it’s had less of an impact on my life. But that’s what my novel is about—struggling with faith in God after a loss. So I would say, yeah it’s still had the greatest impact on my life. However, Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities and George Orwell’s 1984 are my all time favorite books. They have shaped my writing, ethics and taste in books and film.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
The best advice I can give you, is the advice my editor gave me when I wasn’t being “recognized” and when I was having doubts about self-publishing: just do it and keep writing! No one will notice you at first, and you may be talented as hell. But just keep writing, keep posting, keep promoting yourself, and eventually people will start to notice and read your work. It’s a hard effort, but it’s worth it in the end when readers make connections with you. That’s priceless.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this winter?
The best books I read last year were: Homegoing, Memoirs of a Geisha, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (that’s my favorite in the series), anything by Sylvia Plath, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Do you have any strange antics you do while you write?
I just drink a lot of black coffee and occasionally smoke a Cuban cigar. Sometimes I get this idea in my head that I’m a female Ernest Hemingway or something. I do enjoy it though; it’s not just to fulfill a writer cliché.

What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m finishing up the second draft of my first novel: all these things i never said. It’s a story about a prophetic young woman born to immigrant parents. Even though she can see the future, and the fact that her family members will die, she can’t prevent it from happening. Meanwhile, in another realm, a golden statue of a young girl wakes up. Once the statue realizes who she is and why she’s there, she embarks on this perilous mission to get the main character, Emmy, out of the labyrinth-like castle.

Meanwhile in the real world, Emmy’s left to deal with the psychological trauma of losing loved ones too soon, with her inability to make the American Dream materialize, and with her wavering faith in God. She turns inward to deal with the pain–to the fantastical world she’s built for herself to hide from her grief. However, she’s stuck inside her mind and can’t seem to get out. She’s guided by some fantastical sidekicks inside this dream-world that she hasn’t shared with anyone. The world in her dreams, and in between dreams. It is, as I’m sure you can gather, a novel based on my life.


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Published: June 11, 2018
Pages: 50

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Synopsis:
I hesitate when you kiss me because I
am afraid you will taste the disaster
brewing underneath my skin.

Hristova’s debut poetry collection documents the birth and death of a relationship, and the death of her sister. Each poem is an emotional time-stamp that plunges the reader into the depths of the author’s feelings as they burgeon and wane. The book reads like a diary and chronicles the boundaries of the things that we all feel: love, heartache, and pain that gives way to hope.


Book Excerpt:
This is the first chapter of my book, as well as a few poems from the second chapter. The first chapter is a prologue, with a dedication to my sister, who passed away while I was writing the book. The epigraph references the fact that I wrote “June 23rd” at the end of the year, after I had written all the other poems and after having gone through everything that I went through. But, my editor told me to move it to the front. “It’s the preface!” she said, because I originally wanted it to be the epilogue. She told me I already knew the meaning of my suffering, and that the book should end with here’s to the woman, which is an empowering feminist poem written in honor of International Women’s Day. That way, the conclusion would look forward to the future, to my current voice, which had changed since I wrote The Day My Kisses.

The preface.

When the end was the beginning, and
the beginning was the end.

For Dora; I wish you were here.

June 23rd
In the depth of
winter, the flowers do not
bloom, no fruits
appear, the leaves
fall off, and the tree looks
dead, but deep in the
darkness underneath,
the roots grow
and grow
and
grow.


The beginning.

I guess I should thank you,
because you turned me into a poet.

upon identifying the day
I knew I loved you
the moment I saw you
the second time I came to
visit you in The City and you
were wearing a cerulean button-down
that matched your eyes and you
had just shaved your beard and
I wanted to kiss you, but
not like a nervous first kiss or
a slobbery wet one; but rather,
the kind of peck lovers give to one another
after being together for years and
what they’re passing between their lips
is time.

September 21st
upon telling you
The air is cold on the rooftop,
running across my bare shoulders
as I tell you how I feel about you.
My arm presses against yours;
yours doesn’t move. I use it
for support. Our bodies pressed
against the cool, gritty concrete
of the wall that keeps us from falling to
our deaths down below.
Your eyes wax, deep and
limpid like
pools of ocean water
that I see into, staring back at me,
as if you’re
seeing me for the first time.
I see the fear in your face,
breath clutched
between your lips like a
piece of ice
stuck in your throat.
You’re afraid to exhale. Oh shit, oh shit,
oh shit, say your eyes.
No shit.

upon telling me
I am sitting in a middle school
classroom at lunchtime when you
tell me you want to kiss me. My
breath stops in my throat. Instantly,
my heart beats faster and faster
like an unhinged train racing down
its tracks. I was hungry before,
I’m not hungry anymore. A heat
rises from the depths of my soul,
steaming the surface of my cheeks,
pouring out over the tops of my breasts,
and spilling out in between my thighs.
I flush. My flesh heats up, unable
to contain the fireworks exploding on
the inside of my heart.
He wants to kiss me.
And these explosions
going off inside me I imagine will be
bolder, brighter, and more beautiful
when you finally do.


authorbio2

Emmanuella Hristova was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She is the third daughter to Bulgarian parents who immigrated to California shortly before she was born. She began drawing at the ripe age of four, and studied the fine arts for five years in high school. There, she received many art accolades including a Congressional award for her piece Boy in Red in 2009. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. She began writing poetry at age twenty-four when she was in graduate school. She earned her Master’s in Education from the same alma mater in 2017. Emmanuella spent two years as an English teacher in Richmond, California. During that time, she self-published her first poetry collection: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder. Currently, she is writing her first novel. She speaks English, Bulgarian, Spanish and is now learning French. You can find her on Instagram: @emmy_speaks

Author Page      Instagram     Amazon Author Page      GoodReads Author Page


I hope you get a chance to check out Emmanuella and her new book! As always, I love hearing from you. Comment below with your thoughts and until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Truly it’s a love, hate, looking forward to kind of BOOK thing.. Or is it just me? (Feb)

 

I felt like January was a successful month and I don’t have much to complain about, book wise at least. I’m slowly getting back into my blog and feel fortunate I get to talk with wonderful authors about all the amazing work they are doing. Keep an eye out for my February Challenge. It’s more of a personal challenge to myself, a way to help me get adjust and figure out the new me. I’m still working out the details but it’s a starting point.

As far as the books I read, well, that is a slowly unfolding. Here is a recap of the books I LOVE, HATE, and the ones I am looking forward to reading next month:


HATED It:
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Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files, #1) – This book has come highly recommended but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s the timing or maybe the book is just as horrible as I think.. who knows. I gave the book 1 star.

 


LOVED It:

1

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, #1) – This book was actually a pleasant surprise 🙂 For me, it was a page turner – didn’t want to put down and stayed up way too late – kind of book. Don’t you love a good series that you just don’t want to put down!?!? I gave the book 4.5 stars

 


 

New and Upcoming Authors:

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Author Spotlight – Kelly D. Smith: Rock Stars are Trouble: Not much is out about this book and since I haven’t read it yet, I can’t add much to the internal debate of should you read this book or pass. The book, Rock Stars are Trouble, was first published in January 2016 and has five reviews. Let’s see if we can beef this up 🙂


Looking forward to Reading Next:

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I know I’ll read more than one book. I’m just not so sure what it will be yet. Any suggestions 🙂


What are you reading this month? Read anything last month that’s worthy of adding to my To-Read list? Comment below, I would love to hear from you! Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

My Year – 2018 – in Books

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!! I am happy to report this year has been better than the last. But it has been far from easy. Discovering and adjusting to my new norm after the accident has been difficult but a consistent theme in my life. Luckily, one thing that has remained a constant is my love for books! This year I read 26 books and around 8,135 pages.

Although I wish I would have read more, I am satisfied with what I did accomplish.


Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Img rulerIced by Karen Marie Moning
The shortest book I read in 2018 was Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews at 42 pages in length. The longest book I read was Iced by Karen Morning at 520 pages in length.
The average pages I read per book amounted to be 312

The book I read that has had the most popularity in 2018 is Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella with 354,850 other people reading this book. Unfortunately, I only gave this book 1 star. Probably would not recommend it..
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The book I read that has the least popularity is Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars by Codi Cary with 1,313 other reviewers. I gave this book 4 stars and thought it was a good read.  Let me know if you thought the same 🙂
Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars by Codi Gary

The average rating in book reviews was 3.2 out of 5…. I am glad it wasn’t 2 🙂 I think I am in need of some book recommendations. Any suggestions? 


A book I HIGHLY recommend and has the highest rating on GoodReads is Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. The average rating is 4.56 and I absolutely love this series!!
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Here’s a look at the books I have read this year! Click on the titles to jump to my review 🙂
1    Angel's Blood    Phantom Kiss    Blade Bound  Iced  Forever Black  Silent Blade  Good girls don't date rock stars  1  Priceless  1p
billionaire next door  1  1  1  1  1  1  1    1  2  1     11            1    11
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I am looking forward to 2019 and the many books I will hopefully read. Let me know what you think of this years books. Until next time, Happy Reading!!

Hello, It’s me… anyone?

Hello fellow bloggers, book critiques, and lovers of all that is books. Gosh, it feels like it’s been a long time. I am sure you think I have forgotten about you but I haven’t.

I have been so passive with this blog. Not because I wanted to or because I lost interest. No, I just couldn’t juggle everything while my brain healed. I couldn’t be the mother my children needed, the wife my husband deserves, the teacher I know I once was… all the while reading and blogging like I would like. At first, I thought of myself as a failure. But I know that’s not the case because I am still here today and that means something.

2 years after the car accident, I find myself adjusting to my new self and wrapping up all the therapy. Yes, 2 years of therapy is a lot and I am ready to be done. Although being done also means accepting things for how they are. Am I the same after the car accident, NOPE. Will I ever get back to who I was, I’m not really sure.

But I can’t stand in the mirror and wish for something that might never come. I need to start living my life again and move past this accident.

While I am figuring out my new ‘normal’ and trying to see what that means for me, I am learning that the things I used to love doing, I no longer care much about. It’s a weird feeling really. Some days I don’t recognize myself and I wonder if my husband still sees the same woman he married. Luckily, my love for reading and desire to blog has not changed.

So Now What…

I have lost a lot of followers. I know and I am sorry. I hope you haven’t completely given up on me and are willing to give me another chance. I have not been here and I want to change that. So if you’ll have me, I am here! Drop me a line, a book recommendation, anything. I am here and I have decided I am not going anywhere!

Let’s rediscover the magic in books and share in our passion to read

Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Advanced copy of Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1)

Yes, you read that right!! I am losing my mind right now!! One of my all time favorite authors, Chloe Neil,  is coming out with a new series and I get to read an advanced copy!! LOSING MY MIND!!

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Wild Hunger is a spin off of an amazing series, Chicagoland Vampires. It revolves around two individuals: Elisa, the only vampire child ever born, and Connor, the future alpha of North American Central Pack. And together they will have to choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, and of course they have to do this all before Chicago disappears.. Um, yes please!!

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Stay tuned for the review of Wild Hunger!!!