Better Deeds than Words

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Unfortunately due to time constraint, we won’t be able to finish a re-read of Better Deeds than Words, book 2 of The Words Series, in time before the release of The Truest of Words on Nov. 18, 2014! So instead, Amy and I decided to do a sort of overview/highlight/listicles post of BDTW.

In case you missed it, there is a Real-Time Reading Calendar for BDTW that you can download. Click HERE.

 


Favorite Moments

  1. Patty, lycopene, and oil service discussion. Enough said! 
    EPIC WIN!
  2. Daniel & Aubrey’s first night together in Daniel’s apartment. 
    Giddy & excited as heck!
  3. When Daniel said, “You know you’re making quite a home for yourself in my heart too, right?”
    Do I hear a collective sigh?!
  4. When they profess they are falling in love with each other.
    Such a tender moment!
  5. EVERYTHING that happened in the cottage!! The boat, sunset, song, and SEX!
    When the sexy time finally happened…
    We tried to, but you really shouldn’t be!
    Fireplace sexy time was a moment of triumph!
    When they finally used the pool table for its true purpose.
    …from all the talks on angles and access. Geometry has never been this sexy.
    And then they were on the boat, watching sunset, listening to Daniel sing
    Aubrey, I know you are Daniel’s true love but…
    In the end, the cottage scenes were EVERYTHING! We were happy and satisfied 😉
  6. Daniel’s Countdown Letters to Aubrey. Were they not the sweetest things?!?!
    The sweetest thing EVER! Daniel was so thoughtful
  7. Love watching Daniel as a TA. He really shines in those moments.
    Watching Daniel in his element!
  8. Whenever Daniel calls Aubrey sweetheart.
    Olaf, thanks for your sacrifice, you will be missed. #melted
  9. Penny’s secret plan for the soul mates to meet.
    Penny, you are so sweet!

 

Things we want to see resolved in The Truest of Words

  1. Daniel’s Oxford past still haunts him; we hope to see some of that resolved, hopefully without physically confronting Nicola.
  2. Improvement in Daniel’s relationship with his father, David Grant.
  3. Brad & Penny’s wedding!!! Is like we are invited to this wedding, too….right?!
  4. The result of that TA review on Daniel. GAH, I hope it was nothing…
  5. The Happily ever after for Matt, he deserves it..

Things we DON’T EVER want to see

  1. Please oh please. We DO NOT want Nicola to show up! LIKE NOOOOOOOOO.
  2. Hopefully no Sabrina. .. PLEASE NO.
    Do I need to repeat myself?
  3. Aaron “Unibrow” O’Connor. We are suspicious of this man. The result of Daniel’s TA review is important but we don’t really want to see this guy. Seriously, do you trust this guy?!

 

Things we HOPE or MIGHT show up

  1. WE WANT MORE OF Patty! She’s such a hoot, there needs to be more of her, period! HENRIETTA IS THE BESTEST!!!
  2. Aubrey’s graduation and family.
  3. I have a feeling Aaron “Unibrow” O’Connor might show up… * CRIES IN A CORNER*
  4. Definitely hope to see Daniel & Aubrey travel Europe!
    If Sherlock says yes….

 

Favorite Quotes

Chapters 1-6

“Lycopene. It’s good for the prostate” – Patty

“You are having your oil changed regularly, I hope?” –Patty asked Daniel

“Okay then. Allow me to put your mind at rest. My oil is being changed fairly regularly. There. Satisfied?…Unfortunately, I’m decidedly, um, self-employed, at the moment” – Daniel

“You know you’re making quite a home for yourself in my heart too, right?” – Daniel

“Excuse me, but what happened to typical English country weather? If you ever need to use this, I’ll eat my fucking hat.” –Daniel

“I wrote about how much I wanted to kiss you when we were in the theatre that night and how helpless I’d felt when you were sick….That’s when I understood the hold you had on me.” –Daniel

Daniel Grant is definitely maybe falling in love with me!” –Aubrey

“Only you. You’re all that matters now.” –Daniel

Chapters 7-12

“I don’t think any of the tragic heroes spiraled to their downfall as a result of a lost mitten.”—David Grant, what a genius foreshadowing

“Please don’t speak about our future in hypothetical terms. I am going to be a part of your future. End of story.” –Daniel

Chapters 13-18

“If you know which qualities you admire most in someone, you’re more likely to recognize that person when you meet her…or him. I prefer to call it recognition at first sight.” –Daniel

“I love you, Aubrey Price. I’m completely and totally in love with you.” –Daniel

“I love you too, Daniel. You are the most thoughtful, understanding, and amazing person I’ve ever known.” –Aubrey

Chapters 19-24

“ ‘So, if we were in some cheesy movie, this is the part where we’d hug and decided to be best friends, right?’

‘Probably.’

‘I hate cheesy movies.’

‘Me too.’” –Cara and Aubrey

“Then we were kissing and rolling, all legs and arms, tongues and hips. I needed to touch him everywhere.” –Aubrey

“I ran my fingers and nails all over his back, making him shiver. His half purr, half growl was just what I wanted to hear.” –Aubrey

“ We were in love, and neither one of us cared who knew the truth.” –Aubrey

Chapters 25-32

“I can’t believe you can quote Shakespeare at a time like this. Cleverness like that ought to be rewarded.” –Daniel

“But I need silly. I need someone to make me stop taking everything so seriously. Promise me you won’t stop? You’re so good for me.” –Daniel

“Daniel took my hand in his and looked at me earnestly, ‘I know you love mornings and sunrises, but those belong to you and your dad. Sunsets can be ours, okay?’” –Aubrey/Daniel

“He opened my hand and turned the jewel-encrusted heart over. On the back, one word was engraved: Home.” –Aubrey


 

So, I guess what we are trying to say about The Truest of Words is….

I mean, I just need to know what happens next!

So,

It’s not too much to ask

 

Steph & Amy

Exclusive! Deleted Scene from Better Deeds than Words by Georgina Guthrie

This is a wonderful deleted scene from Better Deeds than Words. Read now and get ready for The Truest of Words release!

Bookish Temptations

This is a deleted scene from Better Deeds than Words, a scene which takes place in the middle of the night on the weekend Aubrey and Daniel stay at the cottage. This is their second intimate encounter. While they discuss their nighttime encounter the next morning, it isn’t included in the book. Hope you enjoy!

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Interview with Georgina Guthrie Part II

I hope you all enjoyed part I of the interview with Georgina Guthrie, author of The Words Series. Amy and I had a TON of fun coming up all these questions for her. If you missed part I of the interview, click HERE.

I tend to be more reflective as the year approaches the end. And I can definitively say that The Words Series is one of the best series I have read this year. It’s such an underrated series that I just want to shout at people to get them to read Daniel & Aubrey’s story! The books were intelligently written especially with all the incorporation of Shakespeare’s works. The books really reflect how well GG understands and loves Shakespeare. She made Shakespeare relevant again!

For those who love GG, I hope you find the interviews fun.

For those who haven’t read the books, I hope the interviews inspire and convince you to give the books a try.

The Words Series (Amazon US link):

The Weight of Words

Better Deeds Than Words

The Truest of Words (To be released on Nov. 18!!!!)

Visit Georgina’s website, In my Write mind.

 WORDS


Was writing & publishing books a dream of yours?

I’ve always loved reading and writing, and I used to write a lot when I was a teenager, but after I graduated from university, I had a very demanding career, and there simply wasn’t time in my life for writing. About five years ago, I switched jobs and suddenly had time to myself to pursue what interested me. I started writing for an on-line community first, and then the opportunity to publish presented itself. This has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to write a book and hold the product of all my efforts in my hands. The chance to share my writing and talk to people who have read my words is unparalleled. I can’t articulate how amazing it is.

Could you tell us about the genesis of The Words Series? What inspired you to write Aubrey & Daniel’s story?

When I started writing The Weight of Words in 2009, I wanted to create a story that could be romantic and passionate, but not just a series of sex scenes with little bits of plot interspersed. The notion of including scenes of academia really appealed to me. There’s an old adage, “write what you’d want to read.” So I suppose initially, I was writing for an audience of one: me. Lol.

I also wanted to write an old-fashioned love story, one that would require the male lead to use his charm to woo and court the object of his desire. There is so little delayed gratification in this day and age. It seems that lust leads the way, and hopefully love will follow. I very much wanted to flip this notion upside down and force my characters to fall in love first. I suppose I’m just an old-fashioned romantic.

The problem became trying to figure out a way to keep the characters apart. The TA-student relationship seemed apt, and therefore the university setting was natural. Given the experiences I had while I was at Vic, the story blossomed quite organically once the characters and setting were established.

What I love most about this series is how beautifully and brilliantly you weaved the Bard’s words in your modern day love story. What does Shakespeare mean to you?

I adore literature in general, and have a fondness for intertextuality. I wanted to reference literature in The Weight of Words, but I thought I should focus on something specific so I wouldn’t muddy the water too much. Since I feel comfortable with Shakespeare’s canon, I decided to focus on his works. As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, Shakespeare’s work is so versatile and explores every facet of the human condition. He is, quite simply, brilliant.

 

The Truest of Words is being released on November 18th. Can you tell us what we can expect from the continuing story?

Essentially, the story follows Aubrey and Daniel through the post-graduation stage of their relationship. Now that the TA-student dynamic has been eliminated, you’d think everything will be sunshine and roses, but unfortunately, that’s not the way life works. They both have their own issues to work out, ones which can strain their relationship if left unchecked. What I’ve tried to do in The Truest of Words is to give the character storylines I opened in the first two books an appropriate and satisfying closure.

Do you have a main message that you want your readers to take away from The Words Series?

I would never prescribe what readers should take away from something I’ve written. Since, as readers, we all come to the table with something different, I can only assume we’ll all walk away with something unique as well. I’ve just done my best to write a compelling love story which I obviously want readers to enjoy. Having said that, I know 100% approval isn’t a given either, and that’s okay.

I found out about The Words Series because of Sylvain Reynard, author of the Gabriel’s series. You mention that SR was a “mentor” in your acknowledgements. Could you elaborate on this? Have you met him in person?

SR and I have been “pen pals” for about 4 years. We were brought together by our on-line readers who noted that we were writing stories that shared a setting and some thematic similarities. Readers assumed we knew each other and were reading each other’s stories. We were not. But we connected on-line thanks our readers’ intervention. We used to chat about music, books, poetry and literary themes such as love, forgiveness, redemption, etc.

Once I had finished writing the Words series, I read Gabriel’s Inferno. Like other readers, I fell in love with SR’s characters and writing style and began to strongly consider publishing my own books. SR mentored me throughout the publication process, always willing to provide guidance, answer questions, and offer encouragement—all of which continues to this day. I’ll always be grateful for SR’s generous support.

There you have it, Part II of the interview with GG. I hope you like it.

Once again, Thank you, GG for doing this interview. Thank you all for reading

Don’t forget The Truest of Words comes out on Nov. 18!

Steph

Interview with Georgina Guthrie Part I

I am super excited about this post. We just wrapped up The Weight of Words re-read as part of the countdown to the release of The Truest of Words, final book of The Words Series. This is the FIRST EVER author interview on Symphony Book Cafe and I am so honored to have Georgina Guthrie as the first interviewee!

Thank you GG for agreeing to do this and Amy for contributing questions.

You can visit GG’s website here: In my Write mind

 

How did you come up with the title The Weight of Words?

I don’t even remember the process (it was over five years ago…I’ve reached an age where I often can’t remember what I did five minutes ago…LOL). I think it was really organic. When plotting the story, the first scene that came into my mind almost fully realized, was the one in which Daniel tells Aubrey about his experience at Oxford. I was contemplating the power of words, and how just a few can have such overwhelming implications, especially if there is a powerful verb involved. (I hate you, I love you, I forgive you…) In this case, the verb was “molest”. “He molested me” were the three words that blew Daniel’s life out of the water. I wanted to choose a title that reflected the powerful impact of these few words.

 

What personality traits or characteristics do you share with your characters? What do you love most about Aubrey and Daniel?

I’m stubborn and independent, like Aubrey. Definitely stoic and emotionally strong. I share her love of literature and have a similar interest in nicknames and verbal sparring. What I love most about her is how much she grows as a character over the course of the three books. She’s always been independent, but she really matures during the time span of the books, primarily in her deep understanding of the importance of the various relationships in her life—with friends, with family, and with Daniel.

Like Daniel, I’m an acute perfectionist and often doubt myself and my abilities, which can be paralyzing at times. I’m also a romantic. I’m fond of sweet, simple gestures which can mean much more than grand ones. I like that he comes to realize that and embraces simplicity as well as spoiling Aubrey with “material” gifts. What I love most about him is how he throws himself wholeheartedly into his relationship with Aubrey. It’s all or nothing. There’s no in between.

 

TWOW was primarily written in Aubrey’s point of view and a little bit of Daniel’s, not entirely a dual-POV book. Why did you choose to write it this way? How did you decide when to switch from Aubrey to Daniel’s POV?

I’ve always enjoyed dramatic irony—that feeling of a reader knowing more than the characters do about something critical. That’s a difficult kind of tension to create when writing in the first person. I’ve played with that notion a little bit in the third book without the POV change, but there are still a few chapters written from Daniel’s point of view. For me, the time to switch from one character to the other occurs when I need the opposing view to skew things, or when I know more about what’s happening with the characters than both the characters and the readers. That happens a couple of times in The Truest of Words. *insert evil laugh*

I enjoy exploring another character’s mind, as well. As a writer, I’ll often write out what another characters is doing during a certain time period, just so I can fully understand their motivation and mindset. I suppose for readers, seeing events from each character’s perspective also allows them to identify with characters more readily.

(And don’t you just love being inside his tortured brain? Sigh.)

 

Aubrey and Daniel’s first tutorial debate sees Aubrey reference the title of the book, The Weight of Words. Daniel says he completely disagrees with her stance during that debate. Whose opinion was right? (whose opinion do you believe?)

Daniel puts forth the idea that “a play isn’t fully realized until it reaches the stage.” When Aubrey disagrees with this, claiming that such a statement belittles the importance (weight) of the words on the page, I agree with her in general terms. Every text has its own import, meaning, and textual significance. If you read a book and then watch a film adaptation, you simply cannot assess them with the same set of criteria. They are different mediums entirely.

But in the case of literature that rose out of a “pre-literacy” era, you have to consider the author’s intended audience. Shakespeare was writing for the stage. Whatever he wrote on the page, he knew would be spoken by an actor at the Globe (or wherever his plays were being performed at the time). Very few people were reading the printed page. The reading and study of his plays came later. In that sense, where Shakespeare is concerned, I agree with Daniel.

 

Anti-fraternizing policy prohibits Daniel & Aubrey to have a relationship while they are TA and student yet they are together. Do you believe that true love conquers all? Or at least in this case, is love above ethics?

I’m a bit of a rule follower, so I’m not sure I could flout policy this flagrantly. (This aspect of the story is definitely NOT autobiographical). In writing the story, I was not intending to denounce university policies, or indeed policies of any organization which discourage fraternization. Those rules and guidelines are in place for a reason. In the case of the story, Aubrey and Daniel (Daniel in particular), found a way to navigate both the moral landscape and the academic pitfalls.

I don’t know if I necessarily believe in aphorisms like “true love conquers all” or “love comes before ________”. I’d like to think that I’m living my life with my soul mate, and I know my life is richer and better because of his presence in my life, and dealing with difficulties is easier with him by my side.

 

I wouldn’t mind violating the anti-fraternizing policy with this guy, would you? 😛 If you are licking your screen, I hope you had a screen protector on! And did I intentionally make the photo this big? Ummm, YES! You are welcome! (source: Justice Joslin FB Fanpage)

 

This is only PART I of the interview, please let me know what you think by commenting below!

PART II will be revealed next week! Please stay tune!


For those of you who are wondering what we are doing post TWOW reread, here is the plan:

11/9 Part II of Interview with GG

11/16 Better Deeds Than Words post where Amy and I will talk about favorite moments in BDTW, things we want to see resolved in The Truest of Words, scenes we want to see happen in TTOW, and scenes we DON’T want to see happen in TTOW. Maybe even some prediction.

11/18 The Truest Of Words release date!

I hope you will stay with us as we countdown to 11/18

THANK YOU!!!!

Steph

TWOW Chapters 25-30 Discussion

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Wow, here we are, FINAL WEEK! THE LAST TWOW reread discussion! Thank you all SO VERY MUCH for tuning in and reading our discussion. It means a lot to us! Last week had a tough ending, we ended with Aubrey and Daniel in a not-so-great place. 😦 Thankfully, this week is about resolution. When you reference the TWOW calendar, you will see that we have arrived at Aubrey & Daniel’s one-month anniversary since their Hamlet Hart House (oh, alliteration 😛 ) date!

1. From Matt’s confrontation with Daniel, we saw that Daniel was absolutely convinced that Aubrey and Matt were involved because it saved him from having to do “the wrong thing”. First, any thoughts on Daniel’s behavior and attitudes? Second, was it right for Matt to talk to Daniel without informing Aubrey?

Steph: Daniel was rude to Matt because he probably felt like Matt was there to gloat and definitely did not expect Matt’s explanation. The whole incident really brought out Daniel’s insecurity, doubt, jealousy, and fear. I think Daniel said it best himself when he lectured on Antony’s dilemma in tutorial. Antony (or Daniel) couldn’t “reconcile his clashing values” which were honor & reputation and love. Daniel was convinced that Aubrey and Matt were involved so that he could get out of solving that dilemma. It’s easier to blame others than yourself. And in this case, blaming Aubrey for her conduct was easier than resolving his inner conflict. This whole incident could be traced back to the Nicola accusation (see #2).

I’m glad that Matt talked to Daniel. Matt was definitely the savior in this case. He put his love and friendship with Aubrey before his own misery (I’m sure he was still feeling upset about seeing his ex-girlfriend kissing another guy). Even though he knew Aubrey wouldn’t approve of this but he still did it anyway and it really showed how much he cared about her.

Amy: Well, I couldn’t say it better myself, you nailed it. The Antony analogy was just perfect. In psychology there are these defense mechanisms we tend to use in certain situations. In the case of Daniel he uses Displacement, this involves taking out our frustrations, feelings on people or objects that are less threatening. For Daniel it was easier to blame Aubrey than indeed confront the real reason behind: him.

About Matt seeking him, mmm…I don’t know if it was the right thing to do. Any person would go nuclear if your friend airs your dirty laundry to the last person you wanted to talk to. But, if you ask me between Julie and Matt’s words whose have more weight? Matt all the way, since he was one involved and him denying everything and setting everything straight once and for all definitely put Daniel in his place.

2. Daniel finally revealed the shocking Nicola accusation that happened in Oxford, what was your reaction to the news?

Steph: I was shocked and disgusted to hear this. This sort of accusation can easily ruin a person’s reputation, especially in the academia setting where reputation means everything. It’s absolutely abhorrent that Nicola falsely accused Daniel. I mean, what a bitxh! Even her name sounded bitxhy. This accusation clearly damaged Daniel on a psychological level. Daniel’s fear of crossing that physical boundary with Aubrey was evident (pg. 291). With Aubrey, I think Daniel’s fear went beyond ethics. Nicola’s accusation had made him questioned himself as a person, “Nicola made me feel like a monster. I spent a hellish year convincing myself I wasn’t one” (pg. 306). Nicola’s accusation was the root of his fear, anxiety, and trust issue. For Daniel, his rejection to Aubrey was a form of self-preservation. By crossing that physical line with Aubrey, after he had convinced himself he wasn’t a monster, he probably felt like he was becoming the monster Nicola set him up to be. So, when it came to Aubrey, he was uncertain about how to proceed, but he knew he loved her.

Amy: I was so mad and also sad for him. He had gone through hell career wise, but let’s not forget the family issue this problem has caused, “…The worst part is the element of doubt the episode raised about my conduct. I’d been so mindful of being professional and doing all the right things, and it didn’t make one iota of difference. To this day, I wonder if my parents believe me entirely, especially my dad. It’s a constant source of conflict between us. It makes my mother crazy” (pg. 305). I cannot imagine how hard is to live questioning if your parents believed you, so Nicola made a lot of damage in Daniel’s life in every aspects.

3. Daniel considered giving up his position so that he and Aubrey won’t have to wait. What did you think about that?

Steph: I definitely agree with Aubrey that it was a stupid idea. Clearly, deep down Daniel was not happy with that decision and was already resenting Aubrey even before he told her. I think that resentment definitely played a part in the misunderstanding with Aubrey& Matt.

Amy: I understand that after all he has been through, Daniel found this light in Aubrey’s love and that she is the one. But we all have to agree with her, it was stupid. His other love is to teach, that was the only part Nicola didn’t take with her false accusation. When Daniel is teaching, he is in his element, all the darkness he feels fades away, and yeah, you’re totally right he was already unconsciously resenting Aubrey before he told her.

Steph: Teaching was definitely something that Nicola did NOT take away from Daniel. So true.

4. Should Aubrey have kept the truth about Matt to herself?

Steph: No, I was happy that Aubrey told Daniel. I think it was good for the two of them to lay everything to rest.

Amy: No, it was the right thing to do. I think they both deserved to put their cards on the table and put everything behind them and move forward.


Favorite moments

I think there’s no contest this week. It’s the moment we have all been waiting for, THE KISS!!!!!!!!!!!! Or should I say KISSES??? And we got THREE of them! Count them, 1, 2, THREEEEEE!

1. Sweet kiss:

“Slowly, tortuously, his tongue slid against mine again and again, making me dizzy with desire. An involuntary sound–half moan, half whimper–betrayed how badly I wanted him” (pg. 321).

2. Passionate Kiss

“He took my hands and curled my fingers around the lapels of his suit jacket. Then he spun me around, trapping me against the car as he pressed his lips against mine. The kiss deepened, becoming increasingly passionate, almost frantic, as weeks of unrequited longing tore through us.” (pg. 322)

3. Tender Kiss

“…[he] tenderly kissing me again with measured control, his tongue moving deliberately against mine. Gradually he loosened his grasp, slowly pushing me back, kissing me sweetly, calming the stormy passion that was raging through me” (pg. 323).

Does anyone else need an ice bucket, an ice shower, or an ice bath?


Weekly Q&A with GG

One of my favorite scenes is always the tutorial. I love reading the debates Aubrey and Daniel often get into. Since they usually have opposing viewpoints, how did you go about writing these debate/discussion scenes? How difficult was it to write scenes like these?

I loved writing the tutorial scenes. All of them. They were a great deal more detailed in the first draft. It was tricky reining them in. (Too much fun! Lol.) I basically took a look at where Aubrey and Daniel were in their relationship and tried to pick plays/poetry that would echo their status. It’s not difficult finding points of contention when dealing with Shakespeare—his plays have been debated for centuries. I guess the hardest part was not letting the content of the tutorials become so complicated that a reader who isn’t familiar with Shakespeare would lose the plot. That was very hard for me to be objective about. But what a great way to expose characters’ ideologies about things like love at first sight, romance, passion, ambition, jealousy, regrets, the meaning of life etc. For me, incorporating the tutorials or simply infusing the text with lines from Shakespeare’s plays was such an amazing literary device. It’s heartening to hear from readers who have been inspired to pick up their old Shakespeare anthology again after reading The Weight of Words.

 (Steph: I have to give GG a HUGE KUDOS for finding the perfect parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and Aubrey& Daniel’s relationship! I mean CH. 26 is a great example! On top of that, the chapter quotes, too!!! GAH, BRILLIANT!)


Well, this is it! We have now concluded our TWOW reread!!!

We can’t thank you enough for joining us on this awesome journey. We didn’t know what to expect when we started this. It began as two people loving an author and her work, and trying to find something to do while counting down the days for the release of TTOW. We are so so so glad that you guys joined us on this reread. We had such a great time re-visiting the story, talking about it, and finding new things that were overlooked or forgotten; we hope you did too!

Thank you, GG, SO MUCH for this incredible book and opportunity to host this reread.We hope we didn’t botch your book 😛 And thank you for all of your support, advice, and generosity for letting us to do this. And of course,  all the Justice Joslin photos! He is Daniel Grant!

Thank you readers for participating, reading, and commenting! THANK YOU! *bow*

REMEMBER: Final installment of The Words Series, THE TRUEST OF WORDS, comes out on NOVEMBER 18!!! MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!!!!

Steph & Amy