Jul 17 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 5

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

line break


Vicious (Villains)
by V. E. Schwab
Added October 2, 2013

a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism

That’s why I added it.

#172 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superhero
#176 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes
#1193 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban

And those are categories that I enjoy. Keeping this!

Judgement 1:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added




Stranger in a Strange Land (Remembering Tomorrow)
by Robert A. Heinlein
Added October 3, 2013

Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love.

Still sounds interesting to me.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Kept




The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less
by Mark Joyner
Added October 6, 2013
4.1 out of 5 stars(127)

Your customers are going to give you three seconds to make the sale. Do you know what to say in those three seconds?

This still sounds interesting. On the other hand, I’m not sure that it’s related to selling books. Also… it’s a marketing book that I added four years ago, and it only has 127 reviews. Maybe this sounds a certain way, but wouldn’t a great marketing book at the very least have a high number of sales?
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,210 Paid in Kindle Store
#308 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Marketing & Sales > Sales & Selling
#648 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Marketing & Sales > Marketing
#760 in Books > Business & Money > Marketing & Sales > Sales & Selling

Judgement 3:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



I Kissed a Ghost
by Robin Leigh Morgan
Currently unavailable.
Added October 11, 2013

I searched. This doesn’t exist anymore. The author doesn’t come up on Goodreads.

Judgement 4:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)




The Luminaries (Man Booker Prize)
by Eleanor Catton
Added October 15, 2013

Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement.

It still seems interesting. But at 849 pages, if it isn’t SFF, I’m probably not going to get around to it in the next two decades.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)




The Mythic Guide to Characters: Writing Characters Who Enchant and Inspire
by del Drago, Antonio, Derek Bowen
Added November 14, 2013

After reading the reviews, I feel that this book is aimed at writers with less experience.

Judgement 6:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)




Crazy, Stupid Sex (Harlequin Cosmo Red-Hot Reads Collection)
by Maisey Yates
Added January 24, 2014

So she does what any self-respecting geek-girl looking to get laid would do: she programs her own app for landing a hot guy. After a few failed attempts at making contact, beta testing leads her to Caleb Anderson. Caleb is used to female attention, but finds himself attracted to Evie because of her unique brand of awkward.

At first, I had no idea why I added this. Then I read the description. It sounds hilarious.

Judgement 7:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added




How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time
by Nina Amir, Christina Katz
Added February 1, 2014

*I found out there’s a new version. So I deleted the old one and added the new one.

Nina Amir explains how writing a book in cyberspace allows you to get your book written easily, while promoting it and building an author’s platform. It’s a fun, effective way to start writing, publishing, and promoting a book, one post at a time.

That sounds like something I’d want to try. Perhaps next year?

Oh no… looking this up me want another book by the same author!!!

Blogging Basics for Authors provides 30 easy lessons to help you become an effective blogger and bring some serious traffic to your author website. Apply one tip per day for a month, and you’ll see tremendous results.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Added New Edition and Added a second book | Goodreads TBR: Added




Diego’s Dragon, Book One: Spirits of the Sun
by Kevin Gerard
Added February 23, 2014

It still sounds like a good book. But honestly, I don’t read children’s books all that often. (Except when I’m on “Uncle J duty.”)

Judgement 9:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)




Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas
by Richard Bayan
Added February 27, 2014

I’m not sure that this book is actually about selling books. It seems geared more toward small business.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Have you read any of these books? Do you have unavailable books on your wishlist or tbr?
What marketing book for authors would you recommend?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jul 14 2017

PhotoBucket Error

It seems that Photobucket is no longer hosting 3rd party sites with my paid plan (which is not nearly as costly as other paid plans).

So yes, I see all the error messages on my blog and other places. I have around 3000 links to update as I migrate to another host. (Yes, I should have done that ages ago.) Please be patient.

Jul 10 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 4

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

line break

Louie has Landed ‘The Early Days’
by Kevin Swarbrick
Added March 11, 2013

I don’t actually know why I added this book.

Judgement 1:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Without Saying a Word
by Amanda Ward
Added May 19, 2013

Sounds like a nice romance book. But I don’t know why I added it and there are other books I’d rather read.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Blood Red Road (Dust Lands Book 1)
by Moira Young
Added May 25, 2013

Sounds like a good book with lots of action and girl power. I’m sure that’s why I added it. But I don’t think I’m going to get around to reading all 3 of these.

Judgement 3:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



The Shambling Guide to New York City (The Shambling Guides)
by Mur Lafferty
Added May 25, 2013

A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city – for the undead!

Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume — human.

Not to be put off by anything — especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker — Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble — with Zoe right in the middle.

The book sounds hilarious. It stays.

Judgement 4:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Added May 25, 2013

This was recommended by friends. These books come with study guides and lesson plans. (What??? Okay…)

I don’t honestly know right now if I’ll ever buy this or not. But if I had a copy, yeah, I would read. I’m curious.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows Book 1)
by Kim Harrison
Added May 25, 2013

It’s probably a good book. I have no idea why I added it.

Judgement 6:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Halfway to the Grave: A Night Huntress Novel
by Jeaniene Frost
Added May 25, 2013

The characters have cool names. It sounds good. I’m just not that into vampire hunting books.

Judgement 7:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



PODs
by Michelle K. Pickett
Added June 5, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it’s in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it’s a balm for the broken soul. After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That’s the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating… monsters. Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life–a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Reminds me of a short story I was working on. Which maybe I’ll finish someday. And then I’ll be more interested in reading this book. So it can stay.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Kept



Obsidian (A Lux Novel Book 1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Currently unavailable.
Added September 25, 2013

An annoying, but hot, alien next door who can stop time. Think I’ll pass.

Judgement 9:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



TIED (A Fire Born Novel Book 1)
by Laney McMann
Currently unavailable.
Added September 28, 2013

**RE-RELEASE with New & Revised Content**

Are some truths worth risking your life for?
What if it meant admitting your nightmares were real—and so were your delusions?

Seventeen year-old Layla Labelle’s hallucinations have driven her to the brink—and she isn’t telling anyone. But when her dreams walk into her life in the form of Max MacLarnon, she is forced to rethink everything she thought she knew. Including whether or not Max actually exists.

Learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put her on a path toward her own destruction. When Layla’s world erupts into a dangerous reality, and every fact of her life forsakes her, she must remember who, and what, she is if she’s going to stay alive.

In a world where nightmares walk the earth, an ancient curse lives in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal. Layla will have to uncover the secret her ancestors are hiding, and make the biggest decision of her life—embrace who she is and follow the one she loves into a world of deadly myth and legend, or turn her back on her history, her destiny, and her love.

In TIED, Book One of The Fire Born Novels, what Layla and Max don’t know could kill them both. And unless they can find a way to stop the curse—the truth might tear them apart forever.

How far would you go … to protect the one you love?

#35 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe
#57 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Visionary & Metaphysical
#1210 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction

The paragraph that starts “In a world where” … that reminds me of Fractions of Existence.
Except I’m the one who uncovered the secret… and that’s what put me on the path to writing the books.

I moved this from my wishlist to my shopping list.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Relocated to shopping list | Goodreads TBR: Added



Have you read any of these books? How many non-classic books have you seen that have study guides and lessons plans available online?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jul 07 2017

A #BringBackTheLikeButton @Pinterest Idea

Pinterest, like every other social media giant, has made a change. And, as always happens with change, some people don’t like it. The #BringBackTheLikeButton hashtag is going around sites like Twitter.

Asking for change that you don’t like is always a good idea. Will the company listen? Unless there’s a serious drop in users (and thus income potential), probably not.

As such, I’ve altered one of my boards. This was once called “repins and contests.” I rarely used the board. If there was a pin that I enjoyed, but it did not necessarily reflect my interests or brand, I’d click “like” rather than repinning. Given that I can no longer click like, I’ve repurposed this board. I deleted the old contest links and repins of items that no longer exist. I added the number 1 to the name so that the board would be near the top of my “pin” list.

1 Likes, repins that do not necessarily reflect my core interests, and contest stuff

You see, I was never confused about the difference between liking a pin and repinning a pin. A “repin” felt like a referral or endorsement to me. A “repin” seemed as if I was saying to the world, “Hey, let me show you this!” A “like” felt as if I was saying thank you to the spinner for sharing something, but I didn’t wish to also share it.

For example, I follow several people who happen to have nail art pins. I’m not following them for this (we have common writing or reading interests). However, I know they are rightly proud of the art they’ve created. It certainly isn’t something I’m going to replicate (but bravo to the guys who do— you rock that look and I’ll support your right to do so). Yet, I can appreciate my pinning-friend’s effort. I can could click like as a form of encouragement and acknowledgement. That’s no longer an option.

(It didn’t end with nail art, that’s just an example. One I’ve mentioned on this blog before.)

Now I have this board. As an author, Pinterest is part of my platform. I don’t know how repinning items which aren’t related to myself or my brand is going to go. This is the solution I’ve come up with for now. I find my interest in Pinterest has declined significantly without the “like” button.

Do you have any opinions on my creation of this board, the Pinterest like button removal, or Pinterest in General?

Jul 05 2017

An Antagonist Honey-Do List

Thanks to Tyrean Martinson who offered this writing prompt.

Writing Prompt: If the villain/antagonist of your story created a “honey do” list, what would be on it? Does your villain/antagonist have a significant other?

The villain/ antagonist in my story is actually a group of people (unless you want to go into the subplots of the character-vs-self…). And yes, some of them do have significant others. The group believes that my main characters have “trapped” humans on Earth. They want to find a way to kill or deplete the powers of my MCs in order to bring about the apocalypse, thus allowing humans to be “freed” from Earth, ending any reincarnation or new human souls.

Eyes in the Shadows Honey-Do List:

  • Find members of the Existence
  • Kidnap members of the Existence
  • Find a way to keep them in prison
  • Figure out how to kill them or deplete their powers permanently
  • Protect the cause at all costs



Have you discovered any writing prompts with questions about your current work in progress?

Jul 03 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 3

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

line break

God of Ecstasy (Pricked)
by Lena Loneson (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added January 7, 2013

I did a search. The description on Goodreads tells me why I was interested. BUT the book isn’t for sale anywhere, as far as I can tell. Thus… removed.

Judgement 1:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Avondale Inkslingers: An Anthology
by Eveline Horelle Dailey Editor (Author), Victoria Hanson Shauna Selleck (Author), Brianna James (Author), Greg Lundberg (Author), Mike McCarthy Janice M. Toland (Author), Gale Leach (Author), John Robertson (Author), Helene B. Stitch (Author), Lucretia Agostarola (Author), William Stipp (Author)
Added January 8, 2013

Twenty two authors, members of the West Valley Writer’s Workshop have contributed poems, memoirs and stories to this fascinating anthology.

I know nothing else about this book. I don’t know where the West Valley Writer’s Workshop is, and I’m not sure that I know who any of those authors are. I’m removing this.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 1)
by George Takei
Added January 23, 2013

George Takei is hilarious and that is why I want this book. Totally stays!

Judgement 3:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Kept



Trial by Fire: Sizzling Romantic Suspense (All Fired Up Series Book 2)
by Taylor Lee
Added January 24, 2013

I don’t actually know why I added this. I don’t have the first one. Removed.

Judgement 4:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



The Seven Wicked: First
by C.M. Stunich
Added January 25, 2013

The Seven Wicked Series: Book 1 of 7 (Books 2, 3, and 4 available now!) – Young Adult Paranormal Romance

“That’s just the First,” Caleb said, pausing to worry at his lower lip. “And it’s only one of seven, Seven Wicked; we can’t destroy any of the others until we destroy the First.”

When reincarnated goddess, Eevee Marx, sees the necklace at her local thrift store, she just has to have it. But Eevee has no idea that when she drapes the delicate, silver links over her fingers, she is continuing a legend her spirit had started centuries ago. That when she unhooks the tiny clasp and lays the black and silver pendant against her chest, she will spend the night of her seventeenth birthday holding the dying body of the boy she loves.

The Seven Wicked have been sleeping, preparing for Eevee to touch the necklace and reawaken the powers inside of her. Now, the only thing that stands between them is Caleb, the golden haired boy who will sacrifice himself to save her.

#1105 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Mythology
#5648 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
#11589 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales

In some ways, this kind of reminds me of Fractions of Existence. The book sounds interesting. It can stay.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Caught Up In Us (Caught Up in Love Book 1)
by Lauren Blakely
Added January 26, 2013

I’m sure it’s a good romance novel. I have no idea why it’s on my list.

Judgement 6:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



My Fair Dork [Men of Holsum College 8] (Siren Publishing Allure ManLove)
by Daisy Harris
Added February 16, 2013

At first I wondered why this was on my list. Then I read the description and realized that it reminds me of Caleb from my Existence series. So it can stay.

Judgement 7:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: Added



Bad Cupid (Gay Erotica)
by A. D. Cooper
Added February 23, 2013

It sounds somewhat interesting. But I have other books on the list I’d rather read.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
by Renni Browne, Dave King
Added March 1, 2013

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.

I have dozens of books along these lines.

Judgement 9:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



The First Five Pages: A Writer’S Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile
by Noah Lukeman
Added March 1, 2013

Do you know how many times I’ve rewritten my first five pages??? I’m sure this is a good book. But I need to focus on getting what I have out there, not on rewriting the first five pages twenty more times. And yeah, maybe I should do that. Maybe I should read this book. And maybe thinking like that will turn me into an insecure, raving lunatic. I’m removing it for my own sanity.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Have you read any of these books? Do you have any reading planned for Independence Day (or just “tomorrow” if you’re not in America)?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jun 30 2017

Celebrating Summer Goals

goals image



I took home an “honorable mention” for the Bridges double poem entry at WEP in June.
Thanks to Anna’s Get Social blogging event, my blog comment visiting total was nearer to 100 (5x my goal), so that’s awesome.
Fractions of Existence is coming along. The edits are going well. But I changed the setting of one scene (a scene that has bugged me for years), and that adds another week of work. So the weekly goal fell a bit behind because of that. However, I’m still on the right track, so that’s awesome.

I found this site: http://www.kelsye.com/book-launch-checklist/
I plan to publish FoE the last week of September. According to the site, here’s the current checklist and my progress :

Four months before launch:

Create a marketing plan. Include:

  • Target market Adults. Urban Fantasy mainly, maybe some Paranormal Romance readers
  • Media channels Huh?
  • Platform building As done as it’ll ever be.
  • Special offers / promos I need to read more about Amazon KDP to figure this out.
  • Events Uhh… nope
  • Metrics and goals IDK 🙁


Three months before launch:

  • Invite beta readers Yup
  • Order a Kirkus review $425 has not magically appeared yet.
  • Become active on Goodreads I think I am, IDK.
  • Plan party / launch event Uhh… needs research.
  • Blogger outreach Needs research.
  • Submit to contests Needs research.
  • Set up book signings I know there’s an online version for ebooks. Needs research.
  • Set up blog tour Needs research. And/or money.
  • Set up a Google alert for your name and your book title Done.



The MAIN LIFE GOALS:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 38 years
  • There’s also the Bucket List.



Current Writing End Goals

From the End Goals of an Author post.

  • To consider the feedback of two (already lined up) Beta Readers and then self-publish Fractions of Existence in September 2017.
  • Self-publish Anah’s Story by March 20, 2018.
  • Find a way (emotionally, mentally) to complete the high fantasy short story.
  • Redo the longer version of the tribal story, then self-publish it in 2018.



2017 Resolution:

  • This year I resolve to finish at least one of my big writing projects.



2017 Goals:

survivor #atozchallenge
@JLenniDorner #nanowrimo Camp-2017-Winner-Profile-Photo

2017 Reading challenges GenreSF120 #NewToMe2017 image #FlightsOfFantasy image debut author reading challenge 2017 image

2017 Reading Challenge

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read 0 books toward
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Goals for July:





Weekly Goals:



June 25- July 1 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
July 2- July 8 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
July 9- July 15 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
July 16- July 22 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
July 23- July 29 Writing any more words for Anah’s Story.



Review of Goals for June:





Review of Weekly Goals:



May 28 – June 3 Prepare FoE for Betas. Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
June 4- June 10 Prepare for WEPMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
June 11- June 17 Prepare FoE for Betas. Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
June 18- June 24 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story. half credit because @JLenniDorner accomplished part of this goal

June 25- July 1 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story. Naughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal




@JLenniDorner is the Interviewer for the Operation Awesome blog Debut Author Spotlight on Wednesdays

NOW FILLING September 2017 SLOTS!

Please share the debut author image. Thank you!


Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!




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Are there any major holidays in your area in July, and how are you celebrating them?
July 4 is America’s Independence Day, which means watching fireworks, thanking soldiers, and being politically minded.

Jun 27 2017

Survey from Facebook

This was a fun survey with 25 random facts about me. Figured I’d share.

Jun 26 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 2

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

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Paradox – The Angels Are Here
by Patti Roberts
Added August 4, 2012

Here’s the BEST thing about doing this challenge/meme/activity… this book was FREE on Kindle! So it has been removed from my wishlist because I just bought it.
I see why I added it… it’s because I had bought book two “You purchased this item on August 4, 2012.”
And it looks like the author has some other free books up for grabs as well. Sweet!

Judgement 1:

AWL: Removed Bought | Goodreads TBR: Added



Every Day
by David Levithan
Added September 15, 2012

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a “wise, wildly unique” love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

I added this because of a review in EW. Also because I love Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. And it reminds me of Quantum Leap. This stays.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



You’re Doing It Wrong!: How to Improve Your Life by Fixing Everyday Tasks You (and Everyone Else) Are Totally Screwing Up
by Lee Thornton
Currently unavailable.
Added September 18, 2012
Kindle Price: $10.99

I admit that I still find this book description interesting. But it only has one review, it’s no longer in print, and the Kindle price is higher than I’m going to shell out. In all honestly, I’m probably never going to actually read this. I would if it were sitting at a doctor’s office or something. But otherwise, no, probably not.

Judgement 3:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



H.P. Lovecraft The Complete Collection
by H.P. Lovecraft (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added September 18, 2012

I want to read this, so I did a search. It’s been relabeled: “Complete Collection Of H. P. Lovecraft – 150 eBooks With 100+ Audiobooks (Complete Collection Of Lovecraft’s Fiction, Juvenilia, Poems, Essays And Collaborations)”

Purchased it. (I’m debating if this meme was such a good idea…)

Judgement 4:

AWL: Removed bought | Goodreads TBR: Added



Love of Her Lives (Crimson Romance)
by Sharon Clare (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added October 22, 2012

I’m not sure why it says it’s unavailable.

I do see that on Goodreads it’s listed as: Love of Her Lives (Magical Matchmaker Series #1)

Calum and Beth are soul mates who have lived many lives together, lusting, loving, and dying for each other. While their lives are often turbulent, their eternal bond is secure – or so Calum thinks – until Beth decides to live a life on her own. Left behind in the Upper World, he sees a wrongful imprisonment in her future, so he bargains with Finn, an elven trickster, to return to Earth, rescue Beth, and reclaim her heart. Unfamiliar with the twenty-first century, he must determine who plots against Beth while playing Finn’s sensual game, a game designed to awaken her repressed passion and keep them on the run together.

Beth has no recollection of their lives together and didn’t ask this sexually charged stranger to come to her aid. When she takes a risk to help an abused woman, she is horrified to find her house ransacked and her life threatened. With a secret to keep, she takes the greatest risk of all – trusting Calum. Her life soon depends upon re-evaluating everything she thought normal as she becomes embroiled in Finn’s game. Her eternal bond with Calum will only be saved if Beth can rescue the man who spanned worlds to rescue her.

I see why this is on my list. It reminds me of Xavier and Wend in Fractions of Existence.
Wait wait wait… watch this!!! (mini spoiler ahead)


Xavier and Wend are soul mates who have lived many lives together, lusting, loving, and dying for each other. While their lives are often turbulent, their eternal bond is secure – or so Xavier thinks – until Wend decides to live a life on her own. Left behind in the world, he sees how the Eyes in the Shadows will end all life on Earth in the near future. So he tries to find Wend to reunite their kind. But he learns that Wend might not want to be rescued from her life and debates trying to reclaim her heart, as she’s betrothed to another.

Wend has no recollection of their lives together. She doesn’t know she’s not human. But when she takes a long look at her intended future, she decides it would be better to go find Xavier. With her heart on the line, she takes the greatest risk of all – trusting Xavier will be there and want her after she crosses the country alone. Her life soon depends upon Xavier finding her. She’ll re-evaluate everything she thought was normal as she becomes aware that maybe she isn’t human. Her eternal bond with Xavier will only be saved if Wend can be rescued before the Eyes in the Shadows ends the world.

Given that I can rewrite the description with only minor tweaks, yeah, I’d say it has much in common with my book.
#3025 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Sagas
#8020 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Romance
#33772 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Literary

But obviously not too much in common. Still, this book stays.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Protector (Magio-Earth Book 1)
by Joanne Wadsworth (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added January 4, 2013

A quick search and guess what… it’s FREE! Booyah. Removing from the list because I own it now. As for Goodreads, it was already on the TBR.

Judgement 6:

AWL: Removed bought | Goodreads TBR: Kept



The Billionaire Playboy (The Sherbrookes of Newport Book 2)
by Christina Tetreault
Added January 4, 2013

I assume I added this because I have the first one. Which I… haven’t read yet. Based on a glance at the description, the character reminded me of Xavier, and that’s why I added it. Or it was during the phase when my friend and I were bingeing on Gossip Girl, because it also reminds me of Nate Archibald. (Not a damn thing about that sentence was manly. LOL. Whatever, shut up.)

I’m removing it. I mean, until I at least read book one, why am I hoping to get book two?

Judgement 7:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Sweet Hell
by Rosanna Leo
Added January 4, 2013

Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanalian lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. To top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire.

Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she’d ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he’s obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he’s also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water.

But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie’s bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them.

Ha ha ha… yeah, I know why I added this. It reminds me of Heath, Jezebel, and a character I won’t discuss yet because she’s in a later book of the Existence series. This can stay.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



A Destined Death
by Lisa Rayns
Added January 7, 2013

A Paranormal Romance Novel

Elizabeth Tarkson has it all figured out. She has a plan. She knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. At least she does until the day she turns eighteen, and a gorgeous stranger crashes her birthday party.

But this stranger knows things about her that he shouldn’t know, and as he slowly reveals his secrets, she discovers the world she thought she understood is much larger than she’d ever imagined. She is swept into a whirlwind of secrets, death, and attraction all involving him. Will she uncover the truth about her tragic past in time? Or will she be forever bound to…

A Destined Death

#10075 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Paranormal > Vampires
#13214 in Books > Romance > Paranormal > Vampires
#32693 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Suspense

Fractions of Existence isn’t a vampire book. I wouldn’t even call it a romance, exactly. (Because if Heath were missing instead of Wend, it’d never get classified as romance at all. I’m just saying. Bromance maybe…)

But watch this… again…

Gwendolyn has her future all laid out. There is a plan. She knows exactly what her parents want for her and how to get it. At least she does until the day she screws it all up, and a gorgeous almost-stranger becomes her only hope for a happy life.

But this stranger knows things about her that he shouldn’t know. He hints at secrets, at an understanding of her greatest fear. She will discover the world she thought she understood is much different than she’d ever imagined (but not until book 2). She is swept into a whirlwind of secrets, death, and attraction all involving him and their kind. Will she uncover the truth about her past?

See? The book stays because the description reminds me of Xavier and Wend.

Judgement 9:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Klutzy Love (The Corny Myers Series Book 3)
by Sharon Kleve (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added January 7, 2013

Pretty sure that’s book 1 not 3. But anyway… not sure why this is there. Funny mystery? I don’t know. I’m removing it because I’m unsure why I added it. Plus, it says it’s not available.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Have you read any of these books? How often do you come across books that remind you of characters from other books?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jun 23 2017

A Myers-Briggs ESTP Personality has this Superpower

I found this site while on Pinterest.

I’m an ESTP. According to the site, this means I have super agility. Actually, that makes a lot of sense. (I’ve been a fantastic tree climber since I was old enough to stand.) It also says I’m good at finding logical solutions and that I’m good in a crisis. Both also true.

A while back, I filled out Myers-Briggs tests for Xavier of my Existence series. He scored an ENFJ.

The site says his power is empathy, and it makes him a powerful leader. Very interesting, considering the story.

Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test? What are you? Which superpower on the list would you want?

Jun 22 2017

Theme and Plot – Fractions of Existence

plot theme discuss



Today I’ll be giving this image (which I found on Pinterest) a try. I’m using my Fractions of Existence book because that’s what I’m polishing this week.

What should go wrong?

Xavier’s attempt to reunite his kind, The Existence, to stop the Eyes in the Shadows (who are working to bring about the apocalypse), should go wrong.
Gwendolyn’s quest to get to Xavier should go wrong.

Spoilers Ahead

What is discovered?

Xavier discovers a reason to not reunite Gwendolyn with their kind.
Gwendolyn discovers that Xavier, or something about him, is more important than the life her parents planned out for her.

Spoilers Ahead

Protagonist: (first half of the story) Xavier:

Protagonist goal:

Xavier’s goal is to reunite his kind.

Protagonist choices:

The choice not to tell Gwendolyn what she is.
The choice not to reunite Gwendolyn with their kind.
The choice to let the world end.

Protagonist struggle:

Trying to find his missing one.
Finding her and learning that she’s content with her life.
Learning that the missing one has no idea what she is.
Struggling between leaving Gwendolyn in her happy life or being honest and yanking her out.
The fallout of knowing that, in leaving her out of it, the Existence will not be able to stop the Eyes in the Shadows.

Protagonist: (second half of the story) Gwendolyn:

Protagonist goal:

To get to Xavier before midnight on New Year’s Eve (before he leaves the country).

Protagonist choices:

She chooses leave the life her parents planned out.
She chooses to leave her friends and family.
She chooses to travel across the country alone.
She chooses to find out about the life Xavier hinted that she could have.

Protagonist struggle:

Gwendolyn is not equipped to deal with a cross country adventure by any means.
She struggles with her choice, as to if this quest is actually a good idea.
She struggles with the fact that it sounds crazy to walk out on her life, her family, her pre-planned future to travel across the country with nothing but the clothes on her back to find a man she barely knows.
She struggles when her car dies.
Her biggest struggle comes seconds after she sees Xavier with someone else at the ball drop.

I haven’t read the book, but here is where the meme comes from:

Story Trumps Structure:
How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
by Steven James

Jun 20 2017

Bridges #WEPFF #FlashFiction Reverse Poem

June Badge #WEPFF Bridges writing

Write Edit Publish




Here’s a book with the word bridge in the title:

Rook (Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1): Bridge & Sword World by JC Andrijeski




A covered bridge in my region:
Lehigh Valley, PA — covered bridges
Bogert Covered Bridge — Fish Hatchery Rd. Allentown, PA 18103 USA
The oldest bridge in Lehigh County, it dates back to 1841 and spans 145 feet over Little Lehigh River.

It’s right near the:
Museum of Indian Culture which “showcases the cultural heritage of the Delaware/Lenape Indians” (my people).

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My entry:

SPRING ACROSS THE BRIDGE / SPACE ISN’T LIMITED

Good-bye!
Waves
Crash
Against the ship
Stars
Gather to view as
We pop
Fizzy drinks which spill as
Glass clinks
Spring across the bridge
We
Behold nature’s power
We are travelers in awe
For a few moments
Until
Passing the point
From known to unknown
As we venture
Music plays
We cross the bridge
From this world to the next

By: J Lenni Dorner

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Sixty is the word count but,
tricky tricky…
double to one-twenty for
trouble that’s risky.
Read lines up after down,
indeed this is nifty!

#WEPFF critique badge
Word Count: 60+60= 120 FCA


While explaining poetry generally ruins it, non-native English speakers might have a difficult time with this.
Information/ translation assistance:
“Reverse poetry is a poem that can be read forwards one way and have a meaning, but also be read backwards and have another different meaning.” This poem is meant to be read from the top line down and then from the bottom line back up, because it’s actually two free verse poems in one.
The Titanic departed in spring time.
Einstein–Rosen bridges, or wormholes, are “a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.” Being caught in one that collapses could crash a spaceship into a star, or multiple stars as it’s ripped apart.
The bridge of a ship is the room or platform from which the ship can be commanded.
Ships can be water vessels or space vessels.
Waves can be a curled body of water or a movement of the hand.
Stars can be famous people, or people who worked for White Star Lines, or giant balls of burning gas in space.
“Fizzy drinks” — Sparkling wine, such as Champagne, or other carbonated beverages.
Pop can mean to open a fizzy drink (as in “pop one open”), or it can mean to burst.
Spring can be a time of year or a rapid movement.
“Cross the bridge” — can be a metaphorical way to say dying, passing on, going to Heaven, etc. — can also literally mean to cross an actual bridge.

Titanic ticket image from Pinterest

drawing of a spaceship crashing in space

June Badge #WEPFF Bridges writing

Write Edit Publish

Jun 19 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 1

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

June 19, 2017= AWL: 324 | Goodreads TBR: 783 books

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Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells
by Mary Buckham, Mary Buckham (Kindle Edition)
Added April 28, 2012
Currently unavailable.

It’s not even in print anymore.

Judgement 1:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Come the Shadows (The Campbell Creek Mysteries)
by Wendy L. Young (Kindle Edition)
Added June 5, 2012

DESCRIPTION –

Officer Will Harmon lives a comfortable life in Campbell Creek, North Carolina, where there hasn’t been a murder in seventeen years. When bones are discovered in the old bread factory his life is disrupted but the body only the beginning. Surprising threats are coming and he will do whatever it takes to protect the life he loves…

I don’t read many mystery or detective books. The author and I follow each other on Twitter. @wendyyoung That’s probably why I added it.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: Added



Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits
by Levinson President, Jay Conrad (Paperback)
Added June 13, 2012

The guru of the Guerrilla Marketing series, with over a million copies in print, teaches entrepreneurs how to market aggressively without spending one cent.
Levinson, the authority on big-business marketing on a small-business budget, takes this concept one step further by offering scores of marketing ideas that are completely free. He proves that aggressive marketing doesn’t have to be expensive if you use creative and unconventional means.
* Hold a giveaway contest. You’ll attract customers and acquire names for your mailing list.
* Give free talks, consultations, and demonstrations. You’ll establish yourself as an expert and publicize your business at the same time.
* Post on websites, bulletin boards, and other online communities. They offer countless opportunities for spreading your business message.
* Feed your clients. Sending cookies or offering free refreshments in your store can set you apart from the competition.
Levinson offers dozens of other tips — some straightforward, many surprising — in a unique, indispensable guide that proves you don’t have to pay top dollar to improve your bottom line.

It was published in 2003. I’m not sure how useful it would be for my needs, which is selling a book in 2017.

Judgement 3:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Google Advertising Guerrilla Tactics: Google Advertising A-Z Plus 150 Killer AdWords Tips & Tricks
by Bottletree Books LLC (Paperback)
Currently unavailable.
Added June 13, 2012

Again, it isn’t even for sale anymore. There’s no point to it being on my list.

Judgement 4:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Marketing Without Advertising: Easy Ways to Build a Business Your Customers Will Love and Recommend
by Michael Phillips, Salli Rasberry (Paperback)
Currently unavailable
Added June 13, 2012

Probably had little to do with book marketing. But, since it’s another that isn’t even for sale anymore, I’ll never know.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Yesterday’s Daughter
by Sallie Lundy-Frommer (Kindle Edition)
Added July 18, 2012

Yesterday’s Daughter is full of suspense and surprises as the plot develops. It holds a mirror to contemporary society so we can consider our feelings about people who seem different from us, the assumptions we may make about other groups, and the consequences of those assumptions. Yesterday’s Daughter is an emotionally laden paranormal vampire romance novel woven with layers of betrayal, love and loss. Grace Stone, who later learns her true identity is Sapphira, is a loner who survives abuse in the foster care system after being abandoned as a child.

A brilliant student, she escapes from her brutal foster parents as a teenager and creates a life for herself. But, her life is little more than existence; plagued with questions about what she really is, a family that she has never known and the never-ending need to keep her differences hidden. She is alone and lonely, believing it will always remain so until Malachi appears in her life.

Malachi, a Guardian of the vampire communities, has searched for his life mate, Sapphira, for decades. He refuses to cease searching for Sapphira even though she is believed dead by all. Conflict arises over the decades between Malachi and his family because of his refusals to accept another mate. But his very soul drives him on to continue his search, knowing that he could not exist if Sapphira were not in the world, somewhere.

Keeping it on the list! I can see what drew me to this — the description reminds me of my book, Fractions of Existence. (Except for the vampire angle.)

Judgement 6:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Full Throttle
by T. C. Archer (Kindle Edition)
Added July 31, 2012

Fast cars and a smokin’ hot passion…

Rex intends to own and drive his own car, but that will cost him millions up front. Last season was a disaster, thanks to a nasty break up, but it taught him a lesson and helped sharpen his focus on what he needed to do: Win every race. And stay away from pretty girls. The last thing he needed was to learn that his new head mechanic, Jimmy James, was the gorgeous redhead pin-up walking around his pit like it was some kind of dance floor.

Gail “Jimmy” James is the first female NASCAR mechanic. As if competing in a man’s world isn’t tough enough, her bombshell figure bellies her genius IQ, and the pit is no place for either. Nothing Jimmy knew about Rex Henderson the driver prepared her for Rex Henderson the man. But Jimmy has no time to dwell on her feelings as strange mechanical problems curse Rex’s car. Whether sabotage or her own mistakes, Jimmy must stay one step ahead of trouble if she’s going to keep her job, and keep her driver alive…

I like cars. A female mechanic reminds me of some women in my family. Keeping it on the list.

Judgement 7:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added (wasn’t there)



We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media
by Kristen Lamb, Bob Mayer (Paperback)
Currently unavailable.
Added August 4, 2012

I’m a fan of Kristen Lamb and the WANA tribe. But if the book isn’t in print anymore… Uhh, why wasn’t this an ebook? I’m guessing the social media game has changed since this was written, and thus it has been pulled from print. No reason to keep it if I can’t get it.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer
by Kristen Lamb, Jennifer Talty (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added August 4, 2012

Another Kristen Lamb book that isn’t for sale. I guess I’ll never read this one, either.

Judgement 9:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Dare Me
by Megan Abbott (Hardcover)
Added August 4, 2012

Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.

Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.

Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.

The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

I like author Megan Abbott. But I have no idea why I added this book to my wishlist. Was I researching cheerleaders for a short story? I don’t know. There are too many other books I know I’d rather read.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Have you read any of these books? Do you have unavailable books on your wishlist or tbr?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jun 17 2017

Ask and Answer 2017

Ask and Answer game image


The game is a simple one.
You ask me a question (normally a “get to know you” open question).
Then you also answer that same question about yourself.
I’ve already supplied the coffee cups!


*Ends August 17, 2017

Jun 13 2017

Would You Rather – The Book Edition – Thanks to @deb_atwood

I was over at the peninherhand.com blog (who, you may recall, I tagged for the Mystery Blogger Award), and stumbled on a “would you rather” game.

@deb_atwood wrote:

Now I hereby tag … all my followers–yes, I mean you!

Onto the 10 questions!

WOULD YOU RATHER

1. READ ONLY TRILOGIES OR STANDALONES?

I’m a fan of both. I’m torn because finding non-fiction in a trilogy is very rare. Finding speculative fiction that isn’t a trilogy or series is also rare. So I guess I’m going to have to go with trilogies.

2. READ ONLY FEMALE OR MALE AUTHORS?

I’d rather have absolutely no idea about the gender, race, creed, age, etc etc etc of an author. Either you have a well-written book for me to enjoy or you don’t.

You know what? 25% of my followers change my gender! (Four this month alone. Not kidding.) Some even change my name. There’s one person who emails me three times a week and is convinced I’m another gender based on a book I read and reviewed. (It’s called research, bro. Try it sometime. I’m not gonna run out and experience this for myself, so I’ve got to learn some way in order to help my characters reach their goals! Duh.)

But frankly, I don’t think gender should matter at all, especially when it comes to books. So if I have to answer, I’m going to say I’d rather read a book by a hermaphrodite.

3. SHOP AT BARNES and NOBLE OR AMAZON?

*glances at my receipts from this year*
I assume we mean just for books. I mean, B&N has a Starbucks, but Amazon has new bedding.
I do enjoy going to a bookstore, though the belief I was raised with about avoiding photography of any kind makes everything 100 times more difficult. I sort of live in the gray area as much as possible with that. “You’re risking your soul, you realize.” And if you were raised as I was with the kind of understanding and feelings about souls, you’d realize that my going out to places with cameras…
So I’m going to say Amazon because it’s just easier.

4. ALL BOOKS BECOME MOVIES OR TV SHOWS?

As if they do either one especially well? At least they have more time with TV shows, but also more chances to mess up. I’m not over the last movie that claimed it was in the Divergent series (two character arcs failed and the main character… I can’t EVEN).
It’s not about the directors, producers, actors, or writers. It’s about THE FANS of THE BOOKS. And, overall, they don’t want “your vision” or “your direction” but rather they want what is on the page to be brought to life. Apparently, that’s a very difficult task.
Whatever feelings you may have about Twilight, I think Catherine Hardwicke did a great job with the adaptation. So my answer to this question is, “Whichever medium she’d prefer.”

5. READ 5 PAGES PER DAY OR 5 BOOKS PER WEEK?

Not sure how this factors in with having actual time, but reading 5 books a week sounds great! I’d never hit my goals reading only 5 pages a day, 1825 pages a year (that’s only 4 to 10 books!).

6. BE A PROFESSIONAL REVIEWER OR AUTHOR?

Author. I write reviews because it’s the polite way to thank an author, and because sometimes people see my reviews and give a book a whirl. (Or, occasionally, decide that a book isn’t quite for them because of certain morals or whatever.)

7. ONLY READ YOUR TOP 20 FAVORITE BOOKS OVER AND OVER OR ALWAYS READ NEW ONES THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BEFORE?

It would be sad to not read my favorites again, but I crave new books. It’s an addiction.
“Hello, my name is J, and I’m addicted to new books.”
(*Not sure if that came off as fun or insensitive. Was aiming for fun.)

8. BE A LIBRARIAN OR BOOK SELLER?

Librarians have to deal with government types restricting them. So Book Seller it is!

9. ONLY READ YOUR FAVORITE GENRE, OR EVERY GENRE EXCEPT YOUR FAVORITE?

Dead Like Me what fresh hell is this gif
I have more than one favorite genre. But since I’m behind on my reading goal for Spec Fic, maybe I ought to pick reading only that so I can get back on track.

10. ONLY READ PHYSICAL BOOKS OR EBOOKS?

Read the Printed Word! Physical books.




That was a lot of fun! Play along, if you feel so inclined. Let me know so I can stop by and wave hello.

I just signed up for the Get Social Blogger Event! (June 4-17) I’m late to the party, but better late than never!

Get Social Blogger Event June 2017 image

Jun 06 2017

Mystery Blogger Award Number Two

mystery blogger award given to @JLenniDorner

1 rule humor New is Better HIMYM Barney
Deb nominated me as I was nominating her! Thanks for the recognition!

There are rules to this award, of course…

Rule 1: Put the award logo/image on your blog.

Rule 2: List the rules.

Rule 3: Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Deb of bunnyandthebloke.com.

merci thank you

Rule 4: Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

About the creator: Okoto Enigma’s blog The creator’s name, Enigma, means mystery, thus the title of the award.

Rule 5: Tell your readers three things about yourself.


  1. I know basic French Belgian Sign Language (French: Langue des signes de Belgique francophone; LSFB), but almost no American Sign Language. I recognize only a few spoken words in French.
  2. goal meme
  3. I grew up eating Creamed Chipped Beef at least once a week for breakfast. (The fake bagged or frozen stuff in stores is horrid. Make it at home or go to a diner around PA Dutch country!)

sos creamed chipped beef
Sh*t on a Shingle (SOS) is an (unofficial) US military food term for Creamed Chipped Beef. It’s some kind of meat in a sauce, served over toast (the toast being the “shingle”), often served as a breakfast dish.
This is also good served over hashbrowns (sliced and fried new potatoes).

Rule 6: Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers.

Rule 7: Notify those people.

Rule 8: Ask your nominee any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

(And, obviously, answer what you were asked!)

I was asked:

Do you have an “ideal reader” of your blog in mind to whom you address your posts?
I can’t say that this is something in the forefront of my mind. In thinking about it, my “ideal reader” of my blog would be a bibliophile (or a logophile) with a sense of humor.

Do you use a fountain pen, ballpoint or pencil when you write?
Keyboard.
That’s an honest answer.
I’ve also written using a twig dipped in blood.
Wow, that sounded creepy, didn’t it?
My parents weren’t “grocery store” types. I grew up in a hunter-gatherer environment. We used every part of the animal. The first time someone asked me where I got deerskin pants, I looked at them like they were stupid. At that point in my young life, I had never met someone before who lived another way. Now when someone asks me something like that, I just laugh and shake my head. I’m just barely “civilized.”
Of the people you know, I’m the Daryl Dixon.
Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead #TWD damaged people are dangerous, they know how to survive

Do you have any subjects which – for you – are off-limits for blogging?
I try to avoid religion, politics, and personal finance.
I’m not saying they don’t sneak in from time to time. And I’m not saying that I don’t have innuendoes on this blog which one could ascertain my position on all three of those topics.
But I try not to let those factors, my values and beliefs, alienate my readers.

As a reader, do you prefer lots of pictures or lots of words in a blog?
Mostly words but a few images mixed in is my preference.

Your favourite cake? Or biscuit/cookie?
Boston Cream Pie.
“A Boston cream pie is a yellow butter cake that is filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate glaze. Despite its name, it is in fact a cake, and not a pie. The dessert acquired its name when cakes and pies were cooked in the same pans, and the words were used interchangeably.”
(My favorite pie, by the way, is Shoo-fly pie.)

What is your favourite fantasy creature?
Dragons!

The questions I have for my nominees are:

  1. What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of a fictional book character you’ve read?
    (Example: Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar.)
  2. What most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
  3. How do YOU make an educated guess as to if a book by an author you haven’t read before will be “good” BEFORE you read any of it? (Number of books sold, number of reviews, average star rating, awards it received, friend suggests it, the cover, etc)
  4. What’s your favorite comfort food. (Pic? Recipe?)
  5. Where do you look for blogging inspiration?
  • Weird/funny question: Do you have a celebrity encounter story you can share?

Rule 9: Share a link to my blog’s best post.

All of my blog’s most commented on, most liked/ star clicked, and most viewed posts are from blog hops. (Especially the A to Z challenge.)
I’ll leave the first link to Anah’s story again, because it was very popular.
The story started with All Intents and Purposes.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Jun 05 2017

Mid Year Check in #NewToMe2017 #SpecFic

#NewToMe2017 image GenreSF120

What’s a #NewToMe2017 book?

–First time reading an author
–first book in a series
–first book you’ve read from a series
–first time trying a genre/subgenre
–a debut book from an author (even if you’ve read them before)
#NewToMe2017

Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge:
My genre choice: Speculative Fiction #SpecFic

The book just needs to fit your chosen genre.
Any book over 80 pages
Any format is fine.
Re-reads count!
Pick Your Genre

#NewToMe2017 total so far= 9

#SpecFic total so far= 6

The Virgin Billionaire (Virgin Billionaire, #1)The Virgin Billionaire by Ryan Field #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the love story of Luis and Jase. (Jase being the Virgin Billionaire, and owner of a company called Virgin, so it’s a double entendre.) I really liked Luis. He picks a favorite word and then works it into conversations. His train of thoughts felt like Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye, which intrigued me. He’s exactly the sort of gay guy that one expects in NYC. (Before you lecture me, watch Sex and the City. “Cliché for a reason.”) The best part of Luis is his heart; he does things to have money to send to his uncle who is HIV positive, even though the uncle sends the money back.

Luis is obsessed with a blog. There’s a section where he tells Jase about commenting on the blog, and it really hit me. It’s just brilliant. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard others say something along these lines, but it feels like it ought to be a popular quote. “Elena wasn’t getting paid to write these excellent blog posts. She was doing it because she loved it, and Luis liked to compliment her as much as he could so she’d keep her blog going forever.”

What I disliked, or just found difficult “suspension of disbelief” wise, was the world these two men live in. It’s not just that there’s an unbelievable amount of acceptance everywhere, but the uncanny amount of men (of any/every sexual preference) that are attracted and flirty/ accept flirts. The book seeps into Fantasy there, in my opinion. Luis says that no one cares if you’re gay nowadays, and Jase asks what planet he lives on, “The Planet of Celestial Hope and Goodness?” Granted, NYC has a considerable amount of open-mindedness (or general lack of giving a f…), but the book felt like it skirted over the line just a bit. Maybe that was intentional, making the setting a dreamy character for the reader to lust over.

I felt on-the-fence about Jase’s character. On one hand, it felt accurate. On the other hand, his thoughts about being glad that Luis takes on a feminine role… it just struck me wrong. More the way he thought it than that he thought it, if that makes sense.

The editor only missed six typos (knew/new, hip/up), so I feel I can say the author’s writing is good.

Tender Wings of DesireTender Wings of Desire by Harland Sanders #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my (*insert voice of George Takei here). Judging by the cover (which we all know to never do), I expected a corny, hilarious story mixed with some romance. Also, the main character doesn’t wear jeans, but rather is from the era of corsets and dresses covering hoop skirt petticoats. I’m willing to overlook that because the artwork, as hokey and unrelated to the story as it is, is what drew me in. Actually, this was just an ordinary alternative-history romance. (I’m assuming it’s alternative history.) There is only a vague reference, near the end, to the chicken chain.

I’m giving it four stars because it’s a fine book, but I’m not going running to social media to insist all my friends read it. (Even if such insistence is how I end up reading most of these cisgender romance novels about Europeans.) It’s low on the heat scale, probably so conservative readers can enjoy it too. A privileged young lady runs away from an arranged marriage, pretends to be a commoner to get a job, and meets a guy. (Was there a spoiler in that? It’s basically a “reforming the rake” romance plot.) And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s even done well.

There’s a character named Caoimhe— gotta love that.

The chicken-making author has two typos/formatting issues (“womenin” and “womaninto” ), and there’s always a debate in the grammar world as to if “alright” is an acceptable word (instead of all right).

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would go mad if there wasn’t another book in this series. This rollercoaster of emotion and action that fills the pages ends on a note that’s like being struck by lightning.

Like Red Queen, I find the book, a fantasy story which seems to have a setting of future Earth, to feel very much like the present day. There’s a line, “He never got to teach me about the Divide, the ancient moment when silver blood split from red,” which feels to me like the way Americans talk about being divided now. (Rich versus everyone else, healthy versus anyone taking any prescription ever for anything, races, religions, etc.) There’s a line in the book, “Sickness with easy cures, but no money to buy the medicine.” This is fantasy world where there are people who can heal almost anything with just a touch… but they only treat the richest, the silver bloods. It’s those tiny mentions in the book that hit too close to home for my heart and head.

In this a fantasy world filled with people who have super powers, it’s still the psychic, Jon, who gets questioned. Calling lightning and commanding electric, sure. Healing with a touch, okay. Seeing a few minutes into the future, you bet. But seeing time, seeing days ahead… that’s where the characters get skeptical. I found Jon and his power, and the reactions the others had to it, to be very amusing. To quote, “chose to trust what they could understand, rather than what was true.” Those are more than words in a book. There’s wisdom leaking out, which is what I love about this author. A paragraph later explains the fantastic covers of these books, the crowns dripping with blood. I love when the reason for a cover becomes obvious in the pages.

I’m pretty sure I know what Farley’s question is, the one to which Jon tells Mare that the answer is yes. It’ll be the next book before I know for 100% sure, but I’m 99% betting that I know.

I’m also going to mention quickly how fun the acknowledgment was to read.

RunawayRunaway by J.R. Vincente #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I get to the review, let me recap a little conversation…
Me: I finished reading that choose-your-erotica book you mentioned.
“Friend” (note the quotes…) : Did you find secret scene?
Me: Secret scene? You mean the secret she has for most of the book?
“Friend“: No! There’s a secret scene from one of the choices. I found it. Didn’t you find it? Who did she end up with?
Me: The dog owner was texting her, but she ended up single and fine with it.
“Friend“: I can’t believe you missed the secret scene.
Me: I can’t believe how much I hate you right now.

I then reread the book, making different choices. And then… read it again. The scene! I found the scene!

Yes, this does make me cooler than the rest of you.

The cover of the book, by the way, is a bed (or mattress) that’s bondage ready. That cover should be your clue to how high on the heat scale this could be.

Some of the book takes part in my home state of PA. (I was looking for a book with a setting in my hometown for a reading challenge in 2015.)

I read the book three times (in my quest for the secret scene). I enjoyed all three read-throughs. There is a good amount of suspense, making it more like a mystery-thriller, in several of the choices. It’s easy enough to believe that this could be real; that the characters could exist, as could the scenarios. Runaway was as fun to read as every other choose-your-adventure book I’ve picked up. It might be hardcore, it might be softcore, there are some HEA and some not, or it might just be a suspense with some romance… the reader decides.

I read erotica when it is written by someone I know or recommended to me. (This book was a recommendation.) I was pleasantly surprised by how fun this was to read. Perhaps because I was able to decide her fate. The only problem I had was that I didn’t get that secret bonus scene on the first read, so I had to go back! Okay, that’s not a bad problem to have, and speaks more to my stubborn determination. It was a fun journey.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard #SpecFic re-read
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book does stand alone, but I’m hoping for it to become a series. The themes presented in Red Queen are relatable. One more story of oppression, of the 1 percent lording over the 99 should be eye-rolling and dull — but this book makes it feel fresh and exciting! Another fairytale with the poor girl catching the eye of the handsome prince should be a snoozefest — but the twist and turns of Red Queen turn it into a thriller. Books are supposed to have one climax, but this book has a new climax every few chapters. There’s some beautiful foreshadowing. Poetic prose snuck in a few times and took my breath away. This book is utterly magnificent. I’ll be in line for the midnight release of the movie or the next book — hopefully both. Yes, it really is that good.

Word Magic for Writers: Your Source for Powerful Language That Enchants, Convinces and Wins ReadersWord Magic for Writers: Your Source for Powerful Language That Enchants, Convinces and Wins Readers by Cindy Rogers #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is quite a bit of information in this book which I have previously used and been called out by editors for daring to put in a manuscript. On the other hand, this book defines what those methods and such are in a well-done way. Proceed with caution if you are above an eighth grade writing competency level.

Antimetabole, repetition of identical words, is often a frowned upon practice. Antiphrasis is used in every mob-fiction story I’ve ever encountered, as they all have a character named “Tiny” who… isn’t. Chapter 11’s ideas about writing colors, however, is useful and interesting. (Wine red and glittering gold instead of just red and gold.) The vivid verbs topic interests me, but the book made it dependent upon sports reporting, and was less helpful than I desired. However, a GREAT tip in the book: “The peppering of to be verbs, and of helping verbs such as do, have, can, may, might, must, ought, could, should, would deadens a paragraph or a scene faster than hail on a tin roof deadens the senses. Action verbs activate a scene every time.” And there’s a good review of show-don’t-tell. There’s a mention of embedding the setting into the action.

The section on titles and using key words is spot on. Then there’s a tip which is contradictory to several other writing how-to reference guides: “Chapter endings cannot all end with a dangler or a lure into the next chapter.

For information and education theory, this is a 5-star book. It would be great for young writers or those interested in learning about the craft. For adult writing in the world of submitting to agents and publishers, it’s a 3-star book.

Moonless (Maiden of Time, #1)Moonless by Crystal Collier #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author) #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! I have a new favorite book in my top 10!

There is a Pride and Prejudice similarity in the scene where a friend asks another friend to marry him, and soon after someone else says, “Why can you not take up a decent prospect like any normal girl?” It’s an amusing scene.

My heart… all the feels in this scene: “Alexia realized, self-consciously, her mistake. They belonged to the adult world now. They couldn’t interact as freely as they once had.” That got me. Reading it again here, I’m still feeling it.

Here’s my very favorite quote from the book: “That is what I like about you. You have never cared what others think. It is all about what matters to you.” Powerful line!

I’m torn between reading this one again and moving on to the next in the series. I want to do both at the same time! Ha ha. But seriously, this book is fantastic.

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth #NewToMe2017 (first book in a series) #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What we have here is the ultimate example of Speculative Fiction. There’s plenty of fantasy, of that which feels imagined, and there’s science with spaceships and floating vehicles, and there’s even some horror with all the killing that goes on in this book. Plus, there’s mention of the history of that galaxy, which has multiple interpretations, some of which just feed perfectly into fantasy. As I said, this is Speculative Fiction, this is the gold standard for encompassing the entire genre.

There’s also a grab bag of diversity (though it is set in another galaxy, so take that as you will). There are two main characters, one with “brown skin” (Cyra). Cyra’s chapters are written in first-person, but the chapters belonging to Akos are written in third-person limited. It sounds jarring, but it isn’t. The book is gripping and wonderful. When does the next one come out? The ending has me needing the next book.

Some of my favorite parts:

“The pain I chose, instead of the pain that had chosen me.” This is a line that anyone suffering from chronic pain will appreciate.

The book just came out January 17, 2017, but it feels very current and politically relevant (in the USA, in my opinion).

“Ridiculous, really, but sometimes people just believed what they were told. It was easier to survive that way.

Testament: The TrialTestament: The Trial by Edward V’Kanty #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author) #SpecFic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has strong and very explicit violence, sexual content, and drinking. It is not for the faint of heart. However, if you want a book that blends historical fiction (1665), fantasy (assuming one counts possible witchcraft and voodoo as fantasy), and erotica (including and especially the more violent types), then this book will quench your thirst. There is a degrading and pain-filled rape scene which is difficult even for the main character to witness. The writing is solid and the grammar seems spot on. It’s partially first person written in a journal, but also contains statements and testimony from other characters. Were the character Tiekka the main character of this book, it would count as diverse fiction. (Indeed, I imagine the story from her point of view would be astounding.)

The book makes it easy to see how mob mentality and a lust for power brought about so many witch trials. Some of it feels like history that needs to be re-learned by society today. Here’s a quote:

“I’d watched this crowd -a group of what I’d assumed had been sensible, civilized, 17th century people- and had seen them grow irate and fearful. They knew next to nothing of the case and even less of the people directly involved, yet they were already demanding blood for the apparent injustices suffered.”

Here’s something that I never heard before and did not know:

“Under English law, witchcraft in itself is not illegal at present, but to practice said arts for the purpose of causing harm or peril is most definitely a crime and will be prosecuted.”

However, it conflicts with other research, such as, “In 1542 Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act which defined witchcraft as a crime punishable by death. It was repealed five years later, but restored by a new Act in 1562.” (http://www.parliament.uk/) I am unsure what to make of this conflict of knowledge.

I disliked that the book concluded in a choose-your-adventure fashion whereby the ending of choice is sold separately. (I can appreciate the marketing tactic, but I personally felt jilted.)

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic writing. A thrill to read. There’s a line in the book, “How is it possible to live the same story twice, from different vantage points?”, which is ironic and sums up half the book. Reading Divergent first is imperative. If you enjoy getting the other side of a story, this book is ideal.

There is quite a bit about child abuse in this book. (If you know the character Four, you know why.) There’s a part where Four is afraid that Tris would look at him with pity, and make him feel weak, small, and empty. But, of course, she doesn’t, she instead is angry at the abuser. To me, this is a really deep moment. All too often, those who have been abused, those who have experienced horrors without consent, feel they will be blamed– and, disgusting as it is, that does happen. There is hope and brilliance in a book that reinforces putting the blame on the abuser, on the attacker, on the person unable to control their own behavior. I’d give the book a sixth star just for this scene.

A quote that cracked me up:
“uncomfortable and wrong, the way an Erudite feels when she reads a grammatically incorrect sentence.”

A quote that I want as a pin image:
“Dead people can be our heroes because they can’t disappoint us later; they only improve over time, as we forget more and more about them.”

The Miniature Golf Course Murders (River Corners Mysteries)The Miniature Golf Course Murders by Sara Penhallow #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book follows Isobel Santini, an editor, as she accidentally discovers and solves a murder. The guilty person, the one who did it, made me laugh in an “I see what you did there,” way.
Some quotes I enjoyed from the book:
“Some of us don’t decide that God is irrelevant when he’s inconvenient.”
“But Papi always said his little princess didn’t need to work,” Aunt Rosa said softly, “and you didn’t want to disappoint him.”

Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create CommunityBlog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recommend this book to everyone who has a blogged or is thinking about starting a blog. This is a wealth of information. This book was like taking a 101 college class about blogging.
The book suggests thinking about what makes your blog special. It asks if this is your hobby, outlet, or possible career, and then offers tips for each of those choices.
To quote:
“What makes it unique? The best blogs are ones that add their own unique twist or style to a topic. What ideas do you have that will make yours different?” And, “a succinct description of your blog that tells others why you started it, what you blog about, and why it’s fun and different.”
I learned that some of the types of posts I most enjoy making are “Updates: In addition to seeing your newest work, readers often like to see pieces that didn’t make the cut,” and “Updates Similar: behind-the-scenes details from the building of your (novel), special discounts for blog readers,” and Reviews.
It defines Trackbacks, Categories, and Tags. (I knew about Tags, but I never considered using “Google’s Keyword Tool or Wordtracker to find the optimal words or phrasing to use.”) It explains, in detail, how to write your Bio and the function of having one. It mentions trademarking your blog’s name. (Which I never thought about spending money on before.) It talks about a blog’s bounce rate, which I had never heard of before.
The made me wonder if I give enough of myself, if I have enough of a “real person” angle to inspire people.
A great quote from the book:
“Building and maintaining your community is just as important as coming up with a great new post and should be given the same care and attention.”
To me, that part of the book reminded me of the #AtoZChallenge. That feels like the very definition of what we do in April.

47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer's Block and Procrastination for Good47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer’s Block and Procrastination for Good by Karen Dimmick #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were parts of this book that interested me as a writer. It would certainly be more relevant for non-fiction than fiction, but it’s still useful either way. The book had some insights and knowledge that I had not encountered before. I enjoyed doing the suggested exercises to the best of my ability (see next section about downloads). The book has helped me set some new goals, and for that, I’m grateful.

To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template. To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).
When an author has templates that go with the book and I have “sign up for” or jump through a hoop to get them, I feel annoyed and exploited.
When that template doesn’t come, I feel cheated and betrayed, and my opinion of the author’s authority drops considerably. I question if the author does not believe in the work, and thus created a way to trick readers onto a mailing list.
I wonder what my purchase meant to the author. I wonder if I’m just a number to grow an email list.
I would prefer if I could go to a web page and download the templates which accompany the book, and then be given an option to sign up for a mailing list and such. If a book is genuinely good, then I’d sign up. But I feel that being required to sign up for an email list (especially to get what I’d consider “the other 25% of the book I paid for) is a weak and shady business practice.
As a result of several templates that never came and being required to sign up for an email list to attempt to get them (rather than signing up because of a genuine interest), I’m knocking off two stars. I’m genuinely more displeased at having to sign up for a list than I am that the emails didn’t come. Forcing me to sign up to get the rest of what I paid for is a choice the author made. Only one download (the 8-page workbook) out of all of them coming is probably some computer glitch, and that’s something which annoys me but that I could forgive.

The sections about Trolls were well-written, humorous, and insightful. (However, it doesn’t address how to deal with doxing. Perhaps because no one actually knows how to deal with it yet.) But I liked that section enough to give back one star.

That’s a total of 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
So long as you’re prepared to click on SIXTEEN links to 47MindHacks.com (backslash whatever template or directory), and enter your name and email address each time, you’ll enjoy this book.

I do believe that plenty of people read, and that self-publishing is a viable option, and most of the rest from the workbook. (The only email download from the sign-up list to come.)

View all my reviews

#NewToMe2017 total so far= 9

#SpecFic total so far= 6

Jun 02 2017

Book Review of 47 Mind Hacks for Writers #NewToMe2017

I read:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick 4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

#NewToMe2017 – I have not previously read this book or anything by these authors.

There were parts of this book that interested me as a writer. It would certainly be more relevant for non-fiction than fiction, but it’s still useful either way. The book had some insights and knowledge that I had not encountered before. I enjoyed doing the suggested exercises to the best of my ability (see next section about downloads). The book has helped me set some new goals, and for that, I’m grateful.

To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template. To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).
When an author has templates that go with the book and I have “sign up for” or jump through a hoop to get them, I feel annoyed and exploited.
When that template doesn’t come, I feel cheated and betrayed, and my opinion of the author’s authority drops considerably. I question if the author does not believe in the work, and thus created a way to trick readers onto a mailing list.
I wonder what my purchase meant to the author. I wonder if I’m just a number to grow an email list.
I would prefer if I could go to a web page and download the templates which accompany the book, and then be given an option to sign up for a mailing list and such. If a book is genuinely good, then I’d sign up. But I feel that being required to sign up for an email list (especially to get what I’d consider “the other 25% of the book I paid for) is a weak and shady business practice.
As a result of several templates that never came and being required to sign up for an email list to attempt to get them (rather than signing up because of a genuine interest), I’m knocking off two stars. I’m genuinely more displeased at having to sign up for a list than I am that the emails didn’t come. Forcing me to sign up to get the rest of what I paid for is a choice the author made. Only one download (the 8-page workbook) out of all of them coming is probably some computer glitch, and that’s something which annoys me but that I could forgive.

The sections about Trolls were well-written, humorous, and insightful. (However, it doesn’t address how to deal with doxing. Perhaps because no one actually knows how to deal with it yet.) But I liked that section enough to give back one star.

That’s a total of 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
So long as you’re prepared to click on SIXTEEN links to 47MindHacks.com (backslash whatever template or directory), and enter your name and email address each time, you’ll enjoy this book.

I do believe that plenty of people read, and that self-publishing is a viable option, and most of the rest from the workbook. (The only email download from the sign-up list to come.)

UPDATE

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: 47 Mind Hacks for Writers
From: “Steve Dimmick”
Date: Sun, June 11, 2017 1:28 pm
To: JLenniDorner

Hi J Lenni,

First off, I’d like to thank you for buying our book. I know there are lots of books you can choose from on Amazon and I appreciate you choosing ours.

This brings me to the second thing I wanted to contact you about. I saw your review on Amazon and I would like to apologize for the issues you encountered with our email optin process. I can confirm that once you have joined our email list once, you will then get access to all of the extra materials that our book mentions. We definitely wanted to avoid asking our readers to optin for every single extra we have available.

I see that you did receive the email for the Workbook. That email also contained your login details so you can access ALL of the other extras from the book. Now that I look at it, I can definitely see that this could be communicated more clearly so it is easier for people to realize that. I am working on updating that specific email so it is more clear.

Thanks for your feedback and please let me know if you have questions or if there is anything else I can help with.

Regards,
Steve

Steve Dimmick





In fairness, this is an example of what I saw in the ebook:
47 Mind Hacks link in ebook
I went to that link expecting just the template for the pick up plan.

I got to the site and believed I was going to get the template.
47 site image

The template for pick up plan is still the only thing I expected.

47 Mind Hacks for Writers email

This is what came.

In all honesty, I didn’t give it my full attention. I didn’t read it for comprehension. I was motivated by the book and wanted to fill out a template. So I clicked download. It wasn’t the template. I figured the wrong item came and I went back to reading the book. I did not reread the email. (Today is the first time I’ve ever really given that email a proper read.)

I went to more of the links, looking for similar stuff, but never received emails with WHAT I WENT TO THE LINKS TO GET. That was the only email that ever came.

I did not look at the email and then go to another link and log in and then try to get stuff again. That is what the email intended for me to do.
I was meant to

  1. STOP reading the book.
  2. Go to a link.
  3. Input my email.
  4. Get an email (not with the desired item, but with instructions).
  5. Fully read the email instructions.
  6. Go to another site.
  7. Log in.
  8. Do whatever there to get the goods. (I don’t know because I never went.)
  9. Still feel motivated enough to do the template.
  10. Go back to reading the book.

If you’re the sort of reader who will do all those steps, you might well enjoy the book more than I did.
I do not care for this system. My star rating remains unchanged by this information.
To each one’s own.
In the comments, you’ll see that Juneta had a better experience and DID complete the required steps.

I’ll also mention that the workbook (the download I thought would be the pick up plan template but wasn’t) was meant, in part, to be done before reading the book. But I didn’t go to a link that triggered an email until the Pick Up Plan template link was up, which is 36% of the way into the book.

Do you feel that templates with reference books should be easy to access, or that authors should require an email sign up in order for a reader to get the accompanying book material?

Jun 01 2017

Author Procrastination

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

line break

put the pro in procrastinate

Why am I procrastinating?

That’s the subject of today’s exercise.

What will happen when I complete my Fractions of Existence book? When there’s no more editing, reasonably speaking, to do?



I will have to come up with a promotion plan.
It might take months or years to get 5, 20, or even 50 reviews.
Some of those reviews will be from people who do not “get” the book, and some from people will not carefully read it.
Some people will question why I didn’t make the books into graphic novels. (I don’t have an interested artist.)
I’ll need to resume work on book two. The opening of book two is extremely dark.
Becoming the author that published FoE will redefine me from just “speculative fiction” writer to author of this.


If Fractions of Existence is a success, it will boost the sales of the next books in the series, along with the high fantasy series which follows. It will open up the minds of some readers, exposing them to a lore they haven’t heard of before, one that either enhances their beliefs or makes the reader question their beliefs. But some people will probably just think it’s a good fiction story and probably pick a character or two to ship. Maybe focus on a relationship that does happen, did happen, or that they wish would happen. I’m looking forward to Caleb’s shippers.

If Fractions of Existence is a failure, then I’m a failure. I will have fallen down on what was meant to be my destiny. I’d need to reevaluate my life, my beliefs. Hopefully, I’d just pick up and keep on writing. But I’d wonder why I was supposed to tell this story, why they picked me, if I ended up failing. But maybe it’d be one of the things where it’d become super popular 20 years after I’ve done something else or I’m dead or something. Kevin Smith reference time!
Clerks Box Office Opening: $31,665
Clerks II Box Office Opening: $10,061,132

What will happen in my life after FoE is published is that I’ll be able to direct people to a fiction book I’ve published, one with J Lenni Dorner on the cover.
I have no intention of stopping, of not writing anymore after FoE. In fact, I just made a year of weekly writing goals, and half of them take place after FoE is published.

Yes, I really need to publish Fractions of Existence. Not just because it’s my destiny and I was chosen or whatever, but because I love the story. I love these characters. They deserve a book series, so I’m giving them one.
I wouldn’t rather be doing something other than writing. Except, perhaps, making connections (which can lead to sales, so it’s writing adjacent). I wouldn’t rather have any other fiction book as my debut. Fractions of Existence has always been the first one I wanted to put my name on.
I don’t want anyone else to finish the book for me. Ghost writers are great. (I know, I’ve been one.) But this story is mine to tell. I was given these characters to weave into this lore.
Editing parts that I’m not sure are actually wrong… that slows me to a stop. It took me a few years to figure out that I’d need to change the whole setting of a scene because it’s the only way I could make the suggested changes. And the opening… that first part has been rewritten to death.

And the already written reasons:

I want to publish the Existence series because I believe the characters can give people a reason to aim for more peace, that the books could get one person to reconsider committing an act of violence against another person.

Remembered For Writing @JLenniDorner quote

May 31 2017

Ideal Reader

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

line break

The task at hand is to identify my ideal reader. For the Existence series:

1- Someone who will buy, read, and review my books.

(That was kind of obvious, wasn’t it?)

2- Someone who enjoys fantasy mixed with the real world. Someone who is ready to think, to wonder, and to question. Someone who enjoys a bit of action, a little romance and sexual tension, splashes of darkness, and who isn’t closed off to the idea of beings more powerful than humans (at least in fiction). A reader who pays attention and is patient.

3- Anyone who has ever glanced at ancient histories, mythologies, or architectures and questioned how these groups of people who never met all had such similarities.

history pyramids

3b- Or anyone that ever read those old histories and myths and asked, “Okay, but then what happened?”

4- Readers who get through a whole dystopian book series (Hunger Games) and ask, “Well what happened before? What’s the story before society went off the rails? How did we go from our current world to the one presented in this society? Nuclear weapons, bad leaders, aliens, ran out of bees, what?”

Three is from the story my ancestors passed down. Four is how I figured out when the story should begin. (2003 to 2005 for Fractions of Existence.)

Do you feel like you’re one of those ideal readers? Have you ever made a list of your own ideal readers?

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