I’m happy to welcome author Elsa Winckler. Today, Elsa shares her favorite books and new release: Love, in Writing.
My Ten Favorite Books
I was born and raised in a very small town in South Africa where at the time, the only entertainment were the movies and the library. So I read. A lot. And getting lost into a story is still something I can’t do without.
Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery.
It was lovely to discover the fanciful, imaginative and dramatic Anne – living mostly in my own imagination, I could relate on so many levels.
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I was very young when I read this the first time and although at the time I didn’t quite understand what it was about, there was something about the story of the little prince in space talking about loneliness, friendship and love that touched my heart. Years later, I bought myself a copy – it’s still one of my favourite reads.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
I’ve known about Jane Austen and I’ve read the stories and I’ve seen movie adaptations of most of them, but it was only while doing my Honours studies at the age of 45 that I really learnt to appreciate Austen’s gentle mockery of the world she lived in.
Middlemarch – George Eliot
I also discovered George Eliot during my studies and Middlemarch is one of those books I try to reread regularly. Such a rich, character-driven story with so many layers, I still discover some each time I pick up the book.
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
I fell in love with John Thornton the minute Margaret sees him for the first time. It looks at how the industrial revolution changed people’s everyday lives but for me it’s the love story that makes this a must-read.
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Aaah – the passion, the story, Heathcliffe! He’s also one of the heroes I lost my heart to a long time ago. ‘Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same’ – how can you not fall in love with this story!
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
This book nearly destroyed me – I didn’t sleep for two nights! Brace yourself before you read it but do read it. The most challenging, upsetting but beautifully written story with no mercy for the reader, I’ve ever read. It follows the lives of four friends, but it’s Jude’s story that nearly ripped my heart out.
The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George
Even the English translation of this beautiful story has the flow and the rhythm of the original version. Heart-wrenching but beautiful.
The Language of flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Another beautiful if heart-breaking story about a girl who was brought up in the system but who finds a connection to the rest of the world through flowers.
Happy Ever After – Nora Roberts
And my list cannot be complete without a love story! I love Nora Roberts’s writing and this one is my favorite, probably because of Malcalm Kavanaugh
A hardcore Science Fiction writer and a softhearted romance novelist clash on the sunny South African coast…
Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical worldview. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other’s identity.
Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham’s is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he’s found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn’t reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?
Margaret gaped. His mouth was moving but it took a few minutes for her befuddled brain to process what he was saying. She was fascinated by his face, the movement of his lips, the taut skin of his cheeks. Her eyes couldn’t move away from him. He was really beautiful. What was he saying? Gradually, his questions penetrated her brain.
“What… Who are you? You must be mistaken. I was at a par—”
He nodded and put his hands into his pockets. “Is this how you’re going to play it? You’re going to pretend you don’t know who I am?” He was smiling, but it wasn’t a nice smile.
She had no idea what the man was talking about. All she knew was she had to get out of the elevator, and fast.
Margaret swallowed and shook her head. Breathing had become so difficult and for a minute, she worried she might faint. He was standing right in front of the door and she started to squeeze past him so she could get out as soon as the elevator stopped. He turned with her, his eyes never leaving hers.
“Like I said, I don’t mind taking you up to my flat…” His voice dropped to a whisper. “You really do have the most amazing eyes.”
He walked closer, and she stepped back. And still he moved closer. She tried to step farther back, but was blocked by the side panel behind her. Their faces were about two centimeters apart. There were tiny flecks in his eyes. His musky male scent seeped through her entire being. She swallowed. He scowled but she didn’t feel threatened. His gaze dropped and a hiss escaped through his teeth.
Margaret looked down. The top of her lacy, red bra was clearly visible from this angle. Her eyes gaze flew back to his.
Leisurely, his gaze connected with hers again. The sudden flash of desire in his eyes robbed her of the last of her breath. As if in a trance, he lifted his hand and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. With a look of fierce concentration, he trailed his fingers down her cheek.
His eyes darkened; he cupped her face in his hand. Around them, the air sizzled with strange electricity. He had the palest of blue eyes, she thought. A sound penetrated her befuddled brain. It had come from her throat. His eyes mirrored the confusion she was experiencing. Then, as if stung, he dropped his hand and stepped back.
Author Bio and Links
Elsa has been reading love stories for as long as she can remember and when she ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during her English Honours studies, she was hooked for life.
She married her college boyfriend and soul mate and after 45 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 4 beautiful grandchildren, they are now fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa.
She likes the heroines in her stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! Her stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.
Elsa Winckler will be awarding a copy of a short story (“Plan B”) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
Follow Elsa on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.