Kassandra Kush

Introducing Colleen from Books Books Books!

Posted on: December 2, 2013

Tell us about yourself!

I am a confessed bookaholic from outside of Lancaster, PA where I live with my Husband of 14 years, our three rambunctious kids, three dogs and a cat. I have my BA in English Literature which led me to working in advertising for several years before becoming a Stay at Home Mom.  When I am not playing chauffer, nurse, cook and laundry fairy, I am reading or blogging. I also love wine. Oh, and my fabulous book club ladies. Without them, my life would be very boring…

1.       What is your favorite place and time to read?

I can read anytime, anywhere. I am never without a device to read on whether it be my Kindle, Nook or iPhone. If I had to choose one place though, it would be my bed after my kids have turned in for the night. Listening to my dogs snore and my soft covers make for a heavenly reading experience. I have a kickass bed – it is perfect for snuggling down and reading!

2.       Kindle or regular book?

I am a junkie and I have a serious problem. To date I own 2 Kindles, 2 Nooks and my iPhone to read on. I love the convenience of an ereader. They are so easy to travel with and fit right in my purse. But that being said, I can never fully give up regular books. I have a love affair with the smell of books, especially old, thick novels. My husband took me to Baltimore Harbor one year for our anniversary and made sure to take me to Johns Hopkins Library so that I could smell and touch the old books there. There is something about the sound a page makes when it turns, the whispering promise of more words to come that will always bring me stumbling back to real books.

3.       Favorite book of all time?

Ugh that is a tough one. I am going to go with The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Even though it is a sad book, it helped me deal with some very hard times when I was in High School and made me realize I had to choose me own path in life, not to let others choose for me.

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.  From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

To date I have probably read it at the very least 35 times. I am being completely serious. I think that most people recognize Sylvia as a poet. The Bell Jar is basically an autobiography of Sylvia’s life. It was so honest and raw that it spoke volumes to me. It still does.

4.       Last book you read and how did you rate it?

The last book that I read was Making Faces by Amy Harmon. 5 Stars all the way. She is an amazing storyteller. The first book I read by her was A Different Blue, which Neelam recommended to me, so I was more than excited to read Making Faces. She did not disappoint. I laughed, I ugly cried, I struggled with the characters in their grief. What a superb book.

5.       Aside from reading what do you do with your time?

My husband works incredibly long, crazy hours. So when he finally gets some time off we like to ride on his motorcycle, try new restaurants and generally just spend time together. When we get family time, we enjoy hiking, amusement parks and movie & game nights. Once a year we do a big vacation because we all love to travel.  I also love to cook, baking not so much. I make seriously ugly cakes. I also enjoy singing – I was trained by an opera singer – but I don’t do it much anymore. In fact, most of my friends don’t even know I can sing!

6.       If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Italy, hands down. I love to look at pictures of the countryside and imagine how sweet the air smells, how relaxed I would be. The food and wine alone would be heaven! It is my dream to travel there for my fortieth (oy) birthday. I have been to several places in the Carribbean but never Europe.

7.       If you could go on a date with any fictional male character, who would it be and from what book?

Colleen – I only can pick one?!?! Oh boy….ummm….crap…Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster. He was my first indie book boyfriend so I’ll go with him.

8.       Who is a female character you could see yourself being best friends with?

I am going to go with Caroline from Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger. She reminds me of all my best girlfriends rolled into one character.

9.       Is there a fiction genre you just can’t seem to stand or get into?

I am not big on paranormal but I’ll read it. I really like the House of Night series and a couple others but some of it is a little too weird for me. A lot of the dystopian books bother me because I feel like they can’t compare to the Hunger Games. Also erotica with the nasty titles turn my stomach. If I can’t get past a title, how am I going to read the book? Yuck

10.   What is the series that got you hooked on reading?

My best friend growing up, Jen and myself were HOOKED on Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club. I also liked Nancy Drew and any R.L. Stein  and Christopher Pike book I could get my hands on.

11.   Were you The Quiet Girl Who was Always Reading, or did you mostly just read at home in secret?

I was and still am the girl that’s always reading. I was an active kid that was involved in dance and theater but I needed the escape that books brought me. I am the youngest with two much older siblings who took up a considerable chunk of my parent’s time so I used reading to lose myself. My books were good company. Even today, I love to travel to the places that they want to take me and experience their magic.

12.   Favorite book to movie adaptation?

That’s a tough one. I don’t generally like or watch a movie after I have read the book. I’ll go with Gone with the Wind because it stayed true to Margaret Mitchell’s story. The Hunger Games was pretty good too.


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4 $5 Amazon Gift Cards

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Dance with Demons & Angels by Natasha Wetzel

The Edge of Darkness by Melissa Andrea

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden Mills

Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters

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Guardian Blurb

Lyla Evans just wants to be left alone; to fly under the radar and not attract attention. After seventeen years, she knows how the game is played. Her parents are hardly ever home, and when they do show up, they’re quick to anger and even quicker with their fists. With foster care comes the threat of being separated from her two younger siblings, and Lyla would die before allowing that to happen. She’s learned to keep her head down and depend on no one but herself and God to get by.

When a strange man starts paying too much attention to her and her siblings, showing up to rescue them and then disappearing without a trace, Lyla begins to panic that everything she’s been hiding is about to come out. But as she slowly becomes friends with Rafael and even trusts him with her deepest fears, Lyla learns he has secrets far bigger than her own that will turn everything in her world upside down.

In this story of abuse and rescue, love and faith, angels and demons, an unlikely friendship grows into a fantastical love story appealing and appropriate for readers young and old alike.


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