An author’s Christmas

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How do writers spend their Christmas? Bestseller D.G. Torrens opts for an adventure in 2019.

Algarve, Portugal. Image by LauraRinke from Pixabay

How do writers spend their Christmas holidays you may ask? Well, this writer is taking my 10-year-old daughter to Portugal for a week. We are ditching the traditional Christmas lunch and opting for an adventure. Christmas day will be spent snorkeling, scuba diving and jet-skiing in the beautiful Algarve, followed by an organised barbeque on a private beach accompanied by live music. Not your typical Christmas day, but one that I am very much looking forward too.

My faithful laptop will be travelling with me and when my daughter is tucked up in bed at the end of the evening, I shall sit on the patio with a glass of wine and type away until the early hours of the morning — heavenly!

I must confess that I never travel anywhere without my laptop. Inspiration can strike at any time and I need to be ready. I find travelling around the world and immersing myself in new adventures greatly improves my writing. Travelling often provides me with new and exciting material. For example, the first time that I spent Christmas in India, a new story emerged. One year later, my novel, Forbidden was published.

Don’t get me wrong though; I love a traditional Christmas. However, after years of spending Christmas day preparing a sumptuous feast for the masses and running around like a headless chicken, I decided that I needed a break from it. The last three years, I have opted to go abroad and I needed to really feel like I was on holiday rather than in the kitchen and feeling exhausted by Boxing Day.

I made a promise to my daughter when she was very young that I would take her all over the world and show her as many countries as I could and when time allowed us. We still have many countries to visit, however, we are working our way through a long list!

There is something extra special about travelling around Christmas time: people are in high spirits, there is a magical feel in the air and strangers appear friendlier.

I write my best work during the winter months. I am not sure why that is — I just do. Maybe it’s because the winter months for me personally, represents a romantic feel. Autumn and winter are also my favourite seasons of the year.

I would like to wish all of our readers at Bestselling Reads a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year from my family to yours. Merry Christmas.

D.G. Torrens

Dawn Torrens 2019

is the author of 14 books, including the bestselling trilogy, Amelia’s Story #1, Amelia’s Destiny #2 and Amelia The Mother #3. This is an emotion-charged true story that the author wrote for her daughter.

D.G is a mother/writer/blogger who has a dream to inspire as many people as possible through her story. To show those with little hope that dreams can come true.

Born in England, passionate about writing, D.G. Torrens is married with a daughter. Her first book, Amelia’s Story, has inspired people all over the world. Amelia’s Destiny, book #2 is the sequel and is followed by Amelia The Mother book #3 in this awe-inspiring trilogy. A memoir that remains with D.G.’s readers long after they have put the book down …

D.G is a prolific writer and in 2013, her works were recognized by BBC Radio WM, where she has given several live interviews in the BBC studios in Birmingham, UK. Thereafter, D.G. became a regular Headline Reviewer for the radio show for the next 12 months.

Visit her on:

And follow her on Twitter @torrenstp.

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Monday musings: The bookstore as tourist attraction

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By Scott Bury

In days of yore, I used to love hanging around in bookstores. Whether they sold new or used books, I could while away hours ambling down the aisles, perusing the obscure titles, poring over the pages, admiring cover typography and wondering about the authors. Sadly, it’s a pastime I haven’t enjoyed for a very long time.

Until last September, when I visited Portugal with my lovely wife. From the time we started planning the trip, one of the must-see spots was the Lello & Irmão bookstore in Porto. This is the bookstore that’s famous as the place that inspired J.K. Rowling’s setting of Hogwarts for her Harry Potter series.

The evocative double curving staircase is not the only reason it’s an inspiring bookstore. The inlay ceiling, the baroque woodwork, the antique lanterns—and the incredible range of books! There are books in many languages, bestselling books, books of great age and prestige, beautiful editions and even comic books.

But what is the most immediately striking thing about this bookstore is the crowd inside. Because of the Harry Potter-inspired fame, hordes of tourists cram into it daily. Lello & Irmão bookstore actually charge admission and limits the number of people they let inside at once. If you buy a book, they’ll refund the price of admittance.

Lello & Irmão was not the only bookstore I visited on that trip. Roxanne and I also popped into Livraria Bertrand in the Chiado section of Lisbon, known as the world’s oldest still-operating bookstore. It was first opened in 1732 by Pedro Faure, who took on the Bertrand brothers as partners some time later. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 destroyed the bookstore and the Betrands moved to a different part of the city. In 1773, the Bertrands returned to the rebuilt Chiado section of Lisbon, its current location on Rua Garret.

Bertrand today is a chain of 53 bookstores across Portugal, and is owned by the Porto Editora publishing company. a

Livraria Bertrand in Lisbon, the oldest still-operating bookstore in the world. Photo: Wikipedia

I rediscovered the joy of spending time in a bookstore in Portugal. And on coming back to North America, I understood one reason that I don’t enjoy that activity as much at home anymore. It’s because bookstores here aren’t much in the way of bookstores anymore.

Every time I enter one in Canada or the U.S., there seems to be more space turned over to knick-knacks, coffee and food at the expense of books.

I have no problem with coffee in a bookstore. Books and coffee are a natural combination. But seeing more space for things that are far less important than books taking away space for them—that’s disheartening.

What about you? What are your favorite book places in the world?

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