Jan 29 2016

The Candy Heart Mentions Goals

goals image


  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 39 years
  • There’s also the Bucket List.


2016 Goals:

  • Have 6500 Twitter followers ~ currently at 4971 — up 71 from last month!
  • Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entail
  • Keep Supporting Diverse Books
  • Be part of 4 blog hops/fests. Includes the A to Z challenge in April!
  • Participate in at least 2 #OABookClub reads
  • Rewrite and edit fantasy novel, then get the query letter out there
  • Enter 3 writing contests
  • Publish or be published somewhere
  • Participate in Reading Challenges


Love Meeting Your Goals candy heart created by @JLenniDorner on cryptogram

Goals for February:

Write club 2016

  • Read three books
  • Enjoy the #ShareTheLove blog hop

Share the Love

  • Be uplifted by the Meme blog hop

Meme Hop 2016


Another Book Read:

All the best parts of the original book- friendship, caring about family, having a business sense, setting goals, being responsible, and using creativity are here. I love being able to share this new version with the children in my life.
#NewToYou2016 — This version of the book came out in January.
Fifth book I’ve read this year.

Review of Goals for January:

  • Comment on at least 15 blogsMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Get ready for Write Club by writing another short storyMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Participate in Bout of Books 15Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Take part in the Hello My Name Is Giveaway HopMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

FOR A GOOD LAUGH: Check out my comment response to the “have you ever parallel parked a car” question.


Other hops this blog might join in February:
Lost & Found: Valentine’s Edition http://tossingitout.blogspot.com
WEP Valentine: http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com

Are you doing any other blog hops/fests this season?

Jan 25 2016

#AtoZChallenge sign up list is open

A to Z challenge image 2016Author @JLenniDorner in the A to Z challenge
Join me! Sign up for the most beloved blog hop on the web.

Jan 24 2016

690 words of Flash Fiction

I entered a story over at Operation Awesome’s Flash Fiction contest.

It’s 690 words long. Check it out!

Operation Awesome image

Mint Heaven Chip
By J Lenni Dorner @JLenniDorner

In the end, memories are all we have. Memories are all we might take beyond our graves.

It was the end of our summer trip, thirty years ago, when Alzheimer’s struck. We looked so young, skinny, and kind of like hostages. Eleanor was the first to be taken down. She should have never been brought to this prison for the old. It is my firm belief her mind would have been spared had her children not locked her away. They always were ungrateful beasts. To say she was sentenced here “so we could be together” was worse than any whipping our father ever doled out. I still smell his burnt coffee breath and lack of deodorant. Kids today never appreciate that product. Elders reeked to high Heaven back in my day. And yes, that’s a capital H in Heaven, because it’s a proper noun. In my day, everyone knew that much.

Where was I? Ah, yes. Extended life gives that terrible disease more time to take hold of even the strongest minds. Eleanor, or Professor Eleanor Cove-Jablonsky as she was better known, could recite pi to well over one hundred thousand places. She developed a mathematical theorem used by NASA. In short, my sister is a genius. Or she was. Now she has trouble recalling the word for eggs. Perhaps calling them “jiggly yellow nose balls” isn’t far off.

The end of our last summer trip, our final breath of freedom, is a memory she retained. She relives it every morning. I hear her begging the nurse not to leave her here. Of course, she thinks the nurse is Mary. Her daughter Mary, not me. But that Mary isn’t here. She hasn’t had a free minute to visit in the last decade. Not that she came more than twice a year, Christmas and Easter, in the twenty years before that. Probably for the best. On her last visit, she begged her mother to die. She said paying for her care had gotten to be too much. Mary’s children moved home after college and couldn’t find decent jobs. I’d feel bad for her, I would, but she is the one who locked Eleanor away.

Mary also incarcerated Doris, my other triplet. The fool signed over her power of attorney without batting an eyelash. Always too agreeable. She was taken by Alzheimer’s second, but by Death first.

Ted, Mary’s brother who’s a lawyer, convinced my children that I ought to be sentenced to this place. The crime was barely eating for three days. I realize that sounds bad for a seventy-five-year-old. But I had been out hunting. You eat only what you catch or gather when you’re hunting. Some fools wear expensive coats, pack a lunch, and bring electronic devices into the forest. They carry weapons that cost more than I paid for my first house. I am not that kind of hunter. The hunting attire I wear is made from the skins of the animals of my last trip. My weapons are forged from nature. Ordinarily, I’m an expert in the woods. But faced with those orange wearing corporate drones who play hunters, I…

They shot first.

I don’t belong here. The food is flavorless mush that smells like canned peas. The sweaters and slippers make me itch. I watch bad reruns on television. My sister’s body is decaying. Each day I’m tortured as her vacant mind that was once brilliant spouts out gibberish. These restraints are hardly the worst they can do to me, but they’re unpleasant nonetheless. Yes, I tried to die. And yes, I meant to end Eleanor’s suffering along with my own. Some sins are worse than others.

Our family trip to an amusement park was a distraction. The final destination was this prison for the elderly. There is a sin in that. A lie. Where did our children learn such deception? Yes, we would tell them they were going for ice cream and then stop at the dentist or doctor along the way. But the reward came after! No reward is coming for us. Except, perhaps, our deaths. Maybe Heaven will be an ice cream shop.

Jan 19 2016

#BoutofBooks #NewToYou2016 Reviews The Maine Woods and Invisible Cities plus Giveaway wrap up

In the “Hello my name is” giveaway, I asked people to describe my blog. Those who did said this:

Descriptions of the blog of @JLenniDorner


The Maine Woods
By Henry David Thoreau

4 stars
I have not read this book before.

This is a very detailed account of the travels in 1846, 1853, and 1857 of Thoreau. What they ate, what they wore, where they slept, and how much items cost along the way are all recorded. There’s mention of intense cold of 40 to 50 Fahrenheit (which is above freezing, so I’m not sure what to make of that).
temperature humor image
I’ve never had tea sweetened with molasses. Nor have I ever eaten moose horn. However, the oddest meal I came across in this book was as follows: “The Indians baked a loaf of flour bread in a spider on its edge before the fire for their breakfast…”

The pleasure of Thoreau’s adventure is destroyed during a moose hunt. Hunting for merely the satisfaction of killing is like shooting your neighbor’s horses and God is that neighbor — THAT is the lesson that Thoreau gifts to readers in the middle of this book. After that scene, he really “sees” the reality of where he is.

Some lessons are never learned and thus never cease to be relevant. One example in the book is when he comes to a place where there are two political parties mentioned. One is in favor of schools. The other, following the wishes of a priest, is opposed to schools because education could lead to “Indians” who would know how to manage their money.
Thoreau’s appreciation of “Indian” language is bold and rare.
I’ll end my review with a favorite (condensed) quote from the book:
“The Anglo-American… cannot converse with the spirit of the tree…”

Invisible Cities
by Italo Calvino –William Weaver (translator)

5 stars
I had not read this book or anything by this author before.

The book includes Marco Polo’s descriptions to Kublai Khan of faraway places (though it’s unclear if these parts are fictional, true, or fiction-based-on-truth). It’s poetic, heart-warming, and soul moving. There is more to be felt in these short, simple descriptions of settings than many authors convey or achieve with entire novels. I urge any writer struggling with settings to study this book. The philosophy included in these pages is on par with Socrates.

Modern descriptions are woven in with the ancient ones. The underground trains of Zirma are mentioned, when trains did not exist until 500 years after Marco Polo. That is the first clue that this book means to transcend time, to travel back and forth through it without regard. Sophronia has a rollercoaster, carousel, Ferris wheel, motorcycles, and factories — all of which were, obviously, never encountered by Marco Polo. Leonia, a city with refrigerators, radio, toothpaste, and light bulbs— is a city that sounds like the whole of America.

I find myself wishing there was a videogame with the objectives of building and maintaining the cites described in this book. Something along the lines of Sid Meier’s Civilization series, or the Anno games, or even another version of The Sims and Sim City would be wonderful to bring this book to life.

NewToYou2016 image

Jan 07 2016

GIVEAWAY Blog Hop – Hello my name is

Sharing fun/quirky/interesting/silly things about me and my blog!

blog hop image for hello my name is

About J Lenni Dorner

1. When I was about seventeen, I wrote a short horror story. The male main character of that story had a daughter who he had named after his first car, which is where that daughter was conceived (not that he told her that part). This seemed unique, creative, inspired, and original to me. I later met a guy a who had a daughter named Shelby Cobra. And yes, THAT was how he picked her name (mostly).
facepalm image

2. On the Internet, I have been called “Jenni” six times now. In my mind, the logical typo would be “Jay.” Or perhaps “Lenny” short for Leonard instead of Lenni as in the Lenni-Lenape tribe. I’ve tried writing the J both with a period and without (only to find that a period makes it “invisible,” as using it causes people to call me Lenni). Offline, non-tribal people all refer to me as J. It’s just online that this happens. Does this happen to M. Night Shyamalan? Does anyone accidentally address him as Might or Night online?

3. I think Lima beans taste like earwax. I’ve had them prepared several different ways, all with the same result. “Earwax with bacon?” “Earwax covered in barbecue sauce?” I’d eat them if I had to, but I can’t imagine ever enjoying them.

4. During midterms week in college, I was studying in the lounge. Someone, I think they were doing a survey, came up and asked me how many bones I had ever broken. Without looking up from my work, I wrote “3, but he deserved it.” I slid the notebook over and kept on studying. It took several minutes before I realized why everyone freaked out about the answer. Whoops.
awkward emote

Have any of your most unique ideas ever come true? What’s the strangest misspelling you’ve dealt with of your own name? Do you have a food you hate? What’s the most ridiculous answer you’ve given thanks to a misunderstanding?

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About http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com

1. The New Year Blog Hop with Contest was the most commented on post — 81 total. Published on 1/1/2013.

2. I created this blog so I’d be easier to “get to know,” which is (possibly, depending on who you ask) important for authors. A paid evaluation service said this blog is too personal and uses words like “I” and “me” too often to be desirable for readers.

3. The April A to Z challenge is what finally got me to try blogging. It looked like fun, but only people with a blog could get in on the action.

4. A white background on the side? NO WAY. I wanted color. Two of the main characters from my (unpublished) Existence series, Heath and Xavier, “weighed in” with their favorite colors. Then I Photoshopped this:
orange blue pattern by @JLenniDorner

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I’m giving away an ebook copy of my book, of the anthology I was published in two years ago, and a $10 US dollar Amazon giftcard. All will be sent to the email Rafflecopter says the winner used. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for this hop, Anna! You rock.

Inlinkz list

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Scrapple information from @JLenniDorner

Peeps Pen owned by @JLenniDorner
This was mentioned twice during this giveaway.

Jan 04 2016

#boutofbooks 15 January 2016

Bout of Books image

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

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I won a contest during #BoutofBooks

I found out that I won the contest that took place over at wordsandpeace.com
image of winner listed as @JLenniDorner

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Today I’m reading:
The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau
Arthur Gordon Pym: A Trilogy by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Charles Romyn Dake
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (translator)

Reading spot challenge by @OUAC_Stephanie
Gravity Balans by Varier
That’s the cozy reading spot that I wish I had. I’ve sat in one of these and it is NICE! It’s been on my Amazon wishlist ever since.

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Today I read:
Arthur Gordon Pym: A Trilogy by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Charles Romyn Dake

Book Scavenger Hunt Challenge #boutofbookshunt by @bookgoil

  • 1. Book Shelves
  • 50 book pledge @JLenniDorner #boutofbookshunt book shelves image
  • That is a screenshot image of one of my book shelves at 50 book pledge. Click it to see more.
  • 2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books
  • The Maine Woods image from Goodreads
  • 3. A Book and a Beverage
  • Coffee and Books image
  • 4. Blue Books


  • 5. Cozy Reading Spot
  • Cozy Reading Spot #boutofbookshunt

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Today read:
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (translator) -51%

Pick villains from two different books that you would love to see fight each other. It can be from any genre and it doesn’t even have to be a physical fight. It could be a verbal one as well. Give a short reason why you think these villains should fight each other. #villainmashup Challenge created by @bingeingonbooks

I pick King Aurek of Icaimerith from The Heir’s Choice (The War of Six Crowns Book 2) to battle against Ophisa from The Other Normals. The two have similar ego issues and underestimate opponents of a certain look. They both lack an understanding of love. I think it would be an interesting battle because they’d be equally matched.


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I read:
The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau -40%
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (translator) -45%

Authors I have read with surnames to complete an acrostic poem style rainbow of ROYGBIV. (Or are on my TBR list of books I already OWN.) Challenge created by @bookybecksa

Rowling, JK — Harry Potter
O‘Bryan, Laurence — The Manhattan Puzzle TBR
Yeomans, Roland — The Last Shaman TBR
Grisham, John — The Client
Bryson, Bill — I’m a Stranger Here Myself
Iyer, Polly — Murder deja vu TBR
Vizzini, Ned — The Other Normals


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I read:
The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau – 32%
Arthur Gordon Pym: A Trilogy by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Charles Romyn Dake – 30%

Five bookish would you rathers Challenge created by @itsme_lori

Would you rather:
Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?

Dog-ears pages

Would you rather:
Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?

Character of my choice.

Would you rather:
Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?

Book Store

Would you rather:
Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?


Would you rather:
Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?


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I read:
Friday Night is Seafood Night -completed
Snow Comes to the Farm By Nathaniel Tripp -completed
Arthur Gordon Pym: A Trilogy by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Charles Romyn Dake -21%

Writer, Blogger, Lenni-Lenape, persevering, creative

Tonight on Twitter chat (Monday, Jan 04, 2015) I managed a serious #fail.
The worst part is that I took a friend down with me, because she was following my lead. And I think I confused a few other people in the process.
For the record, here’s what NOT to do during a #boutofbooks Twitter Chat:
#boutofbooks Twitter chat #fail image
Other *CORRECT* tweets:

Bout of Books 15 (Jan 2016), 14 (Aug 2015), 13 (May 2015)

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For anyone interested in contests, there’s one going here on from January 7 to 14.

I would LOVE to connect with you :

@JLenniDorner on Twitter WhatAreThey on Facebook pages Author J Lenni Dorner on G+ JLenniDorner on Pinterest Connect with J Lenni Dorner on LinkedIn Author page of J Lenni Dorner on Amazon friend J Lenni Dorner on Goodreads 

Jan 01 2016

The 2015 Year In Review #stats for this Blog

For my readers who like numbers and charts.

Visits in 2015 = 4,877

top posts of 2015 image chart

referrals image

Dec 31 2015

Goodreads 2015 Goal Met

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
J. Lenni has
read 0 books toward a goal of 48 books.

reading challenge done

Dec 31 2015

Happy New Year to You and My #Resolution and Goals

a firm decision to do or not to do something

Resolution 1: I firmly decide to read and review 50 books in 2016.
Resolution 2: I firmly decide to publish something new this year.

goals image


  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 39 years
  • There’s also the Bucket List.


2016 Goals:

  • Have 6500 Twitter followers ~ currently at 4945 — up 45 from last month!
  • Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entail
  • Keep Supporting Diverse Books
  • Be part of 4 blog hops/fests. Includes the A to Z challenge in April!
  • Participate in at least 2 #OABookClub reads
  • Rewrite and edit fantasy novel, then get the query letter out there
  • Enter 3 writing contests
  • Publish or be published somewhere
  • Participate in Reading Challenges

2016 reading challenge popsugar


Goals for January:

  • Comment on at least 15 blogs
  • Get ready for Write Club by writing another short story
  • Participate in Bout of Books 15

Bout of Books image

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Hello My Name Is hop

  • Start participating in the New To You reading challenge.

New To You 2016 reading challenge #NewToYou2016

  • Find out about Pass or Pages
    this month and try to get in on it.



  • Polish of this reading challenge!

2015 reading challenge checklist


Review of 2015 Goals:

  • Have 5000 Twitter followers ~ currently at 4945 — Only 55 short of the goalNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Update / redo what-are-they.com (Done!)Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entailNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Support Diverse BooksNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Participate in Reading ChallengesNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • After editing fantasy novel, get new query letter out there ~rewrite still in progressNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal


Review of Goals for December:

  • Have a nice holiday seasonNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Write my goals for next yearNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Take part in the WEP Dec ChallengeNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

WEP sci-fi challenge image

  • Comment on 15 blogsNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Take part in the Déjà vu BlogfestNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

Déjà vu Blogfest image

  • Get ready for Write Club by writing another short storyNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Write up my book reviews to close out my read-in-2015 listNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Select books for Bout of Books Jan 2016Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

I hope that 2015 treated you well and that 2016 will bring you more positive wonders than you could ever dream.

Which city’s celebration do you consider your “official” New Year’s ring in? (Example: Sydney, Paris, Dubai, New York City, Seattle, Baker Island)

Are you doing any reading challenges or blog hops/fests this coming year?

Dec 30 2015

End of the year Book Reviews part 2 #NewToYouRC #FirstReads

December reading update @JLenniDorner

New Authors seeking New Escapes 2015 reading challenge

#NewToYouRC read something 'new' to you in 2015 and review it
#FirstReads book by an author that @JLenniDorner had not read before

The Martian

This book was impossible to put down. It’s intelligent, hilarious, and suspenseful. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes comedy (especially sarcastic wit), drama, realistic fiction, science, thrillers, or suspense. There’s even a romance between two minor characters. It’s a remarkable book that will restore your faith in humanity.

I have farmed potatoes. But I’ve never had to grow taters to survive on Mars. Yet, while reading Andy Weir’s “The Martian,” I felt like I had. A great story with a setting that can’t be swapped. Mark Watney wouldn’t be as compelling if the book were “The Idahoan.” A story where the majority of the population is in favor of spending billions of dollars to help one farmer out doesn’t seem plausible. But put him on Mars and it works.

This book earned me the “read a book set somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit” checkmark. Because yes, I’d go to space. I’d go to Mars. Sounds fun. (I’m crazy that way.)

One Perfect Night (The Sullivans #8.5)
by Bella Andre

**Interesting note** – Today I learned that reviews on Smashwords can only be written for books PURCHASED on Smashwords. Having a copy bought elsewhere didn’t matter.

This book made me miss my Existence characters. It made me want to work on that story again. Now how can I turn that into a review?

This book was inspiring. The characters were uplifting. It’s a story of healing, trust, courage, confidence, and coincidence. There were a few head hopping moments that distracted me. Overall, a well-written story that’s clean enough to be contemporary but hints enough to entertain audiences who also read erotica.

A classic romance – checked off my list!


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

The title is meant to be conversational, since this is a work of fiction. (That’s mentioned in the discussion points at the end.)

The book drew me right in. In gets deep by page 5, but in a really good way. That the character feels his dog is better than any human is pretty relatable. Being stared at for looking like an Indian- yeah, that hit home for me. I love the Eugene character. He reminds me of several people I know. “We should give thanks they didn’t kill all of us.” – Is this a more popular saying than I’m aware? Because I’ve heard that before. More than once. And I do mean heard, not read.

My writer heart skipped a beat at Gordy’s lessons on how to read a novel. (Pages 94 to 97 in my paperback copy.)

It’s written in a young teen voice, which gets tedious at times. But some of the words are offensive enough that it’s obvious how this book made the banned lists.

My favorite quote from the book:
“Ever since white people showed up and brought along their Christianity and their fears of eccentricity, Indians have gradually lost all their tolerance.”

My favorite part of the book is in the chapter “In Like a Lion.” It talks about the power of expectations. That if your chosen social group expects you to be good, you become good. They expect more of you, so you expect more of yourself, and it works. I think that’s, for me at least, the purpose of the goals bloghop I’m in every month. We cheer each other on.

.goals image

Dec 29 2015

End of the year Book Reviews part 1 #NewToYouRC #FirstReads

New Authors seeking New Escapes 2015 reading challenge

#NewToYouRC read something 'new' to you in 2015 and review it
#FirstReads book by an author that @JLenniDorner had not read before

A Lenape among the Quakers: The Life of Hannah Freeman
4 stars from @JLenniDorner
This book reads the way a TV documentary sounds. Chapter 3 has valuable insights and I wish more people knew these details. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in history, especially early American history.

A fascinating factoid from the book:
Pennsylvania’s homicide rate in the 1720’s alone exceeded London’s rate for all of the 18th century.
(Every time a politician talks about violence like it’s a new problem, think about that fact.)

There is excellent insight to how the European settlers created poverty in a land that once had none. Then sections that show how they complained that people they made poor were now in poverty and, as such, a burden. There’s even an excellent description of what a poorhouse was and how it came to exist.

The book reveals Pennsylvania’s false history, the settlers lie that there was an absolute extinction of all Indians in Pennsylvania. Hannah’s death was part of their evidence. But the book also mentions that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission reports 50,000 PA residents with Native American lineage, some of who are Lenni-Lenape like myself.

The reasons I’m giving this 4 stars instead of 5 are as follows:
I’m not sure that the Shackamoxon meeting under the Elm tree is actually well known by all Pennsylvanian children, though it should be. How the actual “naming” process works isn’t revealed until page 78, so it might be confusing as to how the Lenapes names are assigned or assumed by the colonists before that section. The difference between Minsi and Munsee should have been touched upon, especially given how often people mistakenly use them interchangeably. Page 115 starts using the term “The Delawares” without mentioning how that name came into use, or who Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr is. The Walking Purchase mentions the runners, but doesn’t note the wildly boasted— that they were identical siblings. (This cheating strategy is well known enough to be parodied in modern comedies.)

I selected this book to read as the one from the checklist— “a book that takes place in your hometown.” The first chapter touches on how the Lenni Lenape people feel about land, despite what the European settlers dictated that true land “feelings” ought to be (which is based on their system of economics).

PA flag

Who R U Really
3 stars from @JLenniDorner
Everything stems from the opening scene. The power one insecure teen boy has to, with one word, get two teen girls to death’s doorstep. One cruel word, one unfunny joke, yet the boy probably never even realizes the long-term consequences of his cruelty. An especially protective parent also makes a near fatal error— which is a much more rarely mentioned problem, so I commend that. STAR 1

There is an implication that teenagers are easier to fool because they are willing trust others.

The only advice given to this unfortunate 14-year-old main character girl to stave off unwanted sexual advances is to let boys down gently by saying she can’t date until she’s 16.

I was really looking forward to reading this book but ended up feeling frustrated, upset, and regretting that I had read it. But bravo to the author for making me feel emotions that are this strong. STAR 2

A similar lesson to this book’s could be learned by watching Silence of the Lambs and theorizing that anyone with a van probably wants to kidnap you for your skin. This book has a powerful message of “trust your instincts” combined with a blunt assertion that young people know nothing of the world and thereby have no instincts, only ignorance. That is compiled with a strong determination to have whatever the main character is being denied.

The suspense preys on fear. In order to be compelling, the fear in the reader must be amplified from something that occasionally happens to something that happens hundreds of times a day. So often, in fact, that even a small town in Idaho has a task force devoted to it. (Statistically, there are 280,000,000 Americans online. Roughly 500,000 are predators. So 0.1785% is the chance of encountering a predator, according to the current FBI statistics. Only half of those people are under age 18. There is a conflicting statistic that 20% of teens claim to have experienced an unwanted sexual situation online— but that did not clarify if the situations came from fellow teens or from predatory adults, or if similar situations happened from the same people offline as well.)

Pages 50 and 110 of the hardcover book “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir” by Felicia Day would be far more helpful at conveying the moral of the story. A quote from that book that applies to here- “No matter how lonely and isolated and starved for connection you are, there’s always the possibility in the online world that you can find a place to be accepted.” Normally I wouldn’t suggest a different book in a review, but in this case, I feel I need to because I don’t think most people should read Who R U Really without also reading Felicia Day’s book. It’ll keep reality in check for you.

The book follows the exact format guidelines that every how-to-write-a-book book suggests. The Save The Cat team would be proud. STAR 3

This gave me the “a book that made you cry” checkmark on my reading challenge list.
Here’s why:

“A real friend is someone you associate with a daily basis. You know where he lives. You know his parents.” That’s something the Detective Corbett character states as an absolute and unalterable fact.

I have two nephews who are home-schooled and use the cyber-school network. That line means they are not friends with any of their classmates. I’m insulted by this.

I have an older friend. Both of her parents have passed on. Sorry orphans, NO FRIENDS FOR YOU!

A cousin of mine was homeless for a little while. Technically, a dear friend of mine was also without a home for a few months when he gave up his apartment, put his stuff in storage, and became a long-haul trucker. He had a post office box, but no address. So there was a time where I didn’t know where either of those people lived. GUESS WE AREN’T FRIENDS NOW.

And here’s what did me in. Here’s where I emptied a tissue box. Those of you who know me well know that I have medical issues. Well, I read this during one of my longer hospital stays. That line broke my heart. You know who I associated with a daily basis that time? NO ONE. I couldn’t even see my Snookums every day for a bit there. SO I GUESS I HAVE NO FRIENDS. And that broke my spirit. (Mind you, I don’t know what was in the IV drips, but it could have exaggerated the emotions. So WARNING LABEL: Do not read this book when you’re feeling especially lonely and are going stir crazy.)

Let me conclude by saying that I value the relationships I’ve cultivated over the Internet. Maybe one of you will come kill me someday, and that will be karma paying me back for not liking this book. Until then, I’m going to keep on blogging, tweeting, posting on Facebook, pinning, playing in MMORPGs, and whatever other social media goodness is out there. I’m sorry for those people who have had a bad experience in life, and it sucks if that experience included someone from the online world. But bad experiences were happening before the Internet, and they’d keep happening if an apocalyptic scenario shut it down. Try to keep that in mind. And if you are a parent and happen to know all kind of neat tricks to help tell if someone is phishing or catfishing or whatever else online, consider sharing that information with your Internet-using-offspring instead of just watching over their shoulder. Learning to use the Internet safely is like learning to drive a car safely- the teacher isn’t always going to be there, so the student better be taught how to deal with as many crazy scenarios as possible. Don’t just have the student sit in the driver’s seat and make vroom vroom noises for three months while you watch. This review is just the opinion of a frustrated reader who considers the mother character in this book to be a more dangerous antagonist than the actual villain.

“You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir” by Felicia Day
5 stars from @JLenniDorner
I adore this book. Let me state clearly that I am in the Felicia Day fandom, so that is certainly a reason that I loved it. And girl, if you’re reading this, that blue dress on the cover is stunning on you! I never knew how much Felicia and I have in common. There was a time that I was homeschooled. I’ve met online friends in real life.

Attention writer friends:
Chapter Six is a must read! You’ve been there (or you probably will be at some point). Page 137 of the hardcover version, the last paragraph, you have to read it. Go to the bookstore now. Oh, and if you are a NaNoWriMo novelist, check out page 143. It’s like one of those motivational emails we get. She should be one of our celebrity guest authors.

Page 104 of the hardcover version as the best inadvertent advice I’ve ever read. “When the system you want to be a part of so badly turns you into someone you’re unhappy with and you lose sight of yourself, is it worth it?”

My assistant geeked out after she read this book too. Apparently she and Felicia have both played Puzzle Pirates.

I was experiencing flashbacks as I read this. When The Guild went from YouTube to Xbox— I remember that! Brought to me by Sprint, I think.

This book is like reading a memoir by your acquaintance from work that always says “hi” in the break room… and now here’s all this cool information that shows you should have made an effort to become best friends.

By page 207, readers will love Felicia (if they don’t already). It will own every non-stone heart out there.

Anyone feeling like giving my crap for sticking to the belief system I was raised around, where I don’t have much personal information online and protect my soul by avoiding being photographed, go read chapter 11. Focus on the information about doxxing. I like being a ghost, TYVM.

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined /Twilight Tenth Anniversary
5 stars from @JLenniDorner
I am a Twihard, so naturally I ordered a copy of this book. I was not disappointed. The gender swap reads well, though I don’t think it would have sold as well if it were the original story. Naturally the ending is somewhat different from the original one. Frankly, I think I prefer it. It’s like a modern-day gender swapped fairy tale.

The duel book is far to big for a paperback. And you’d miss out on some fun with a digital edition. I strongly urge buyers to get the hardcover, or at least borrow it from the library or a willing friend.

Kristy’s Great Idea: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1)
The Truth About Stacey: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #2)
Mary Anne Saves the Day: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #3)
5 stars from @JLenniDorner
Guess who took a trip back to seventh grade? I did, I did! One of my little buddies and I sat around reading on Halloween. The graphic novel version has everything I once loved about the original. (Yes, I had a crush on Mary Anne once upon a time. Did you ever have a crush on someone outside your usual “type”?)

There are a few minor areas that young people today will struggle with because they are dated. (A phone in your room doesn’t carry the same weight as it once did, now that mobile phones are everywhere.) But all the best parts of the book- friendship, a business sense, setting goals, being responsible, and using creativity- are still relevant. I plan to buy as many of this new version as the publisher will crank out! (Hopefully at least the first 35, but I’d buy all 131.)


Books @JLenniDorner checked off the list in Dec 2015

Dec 18 2015

Déjà vu Blogfest #dejavu2015

Déjà vu Blogfest image

The post I selected is from October. My blog was mostly book reviews and interviews this year. This post, however, was actual writing. And it WON the contest!

Winner Badge for @JLenniDorner

#WEPFF - HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE - Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears

I recall this one black horse that would not be broken. You know all those movies and TV shows today that show some black Hell-beast of a horse? Red eyes, smoke from the nostrils, breaks down the fence? This was that horse, but it was real. I remember watching someone trying to break it. He fell. He barely lived. The horse was eventually shipped off. I don’t know to where. “Away.” Maybe the horse is still out there somewhere.

line break


There are no monsters in the dark.
Nothing lurks by my bed.
The closet holds only clothes.
It’s a tree branch on the window.
Just a branch.
It’s scratching the glass.

Nothing is in my room.
My closet door did not move.
There is no one by my bed.
My covers move only in my head.
It isn’t real.
That doesn’t hurt.
I’m not bleeding.

Go away!
It isn’t real.
My nose is lying about the scent.
This is all in my head.
I’m the one making the scratches on my skin.
I must be.
Because no one else is here.
He isn’t in here.

Stop, stop, stop!
Please stop.
Someone help!
It isn’t real.
This isn’t real.

No monsters can exist.

I’m not crying.
Quiet, quiet, quiet.

It can’t hurt.
There are no monsters.
Nothing is here.
This is in my head.

Count to ten like Mama said.

– J Lenni Dorner
October 22, 2015

Word Count 166 FCA

Thanks for reading!

Déjà vu Blogfest image

I hope you enjoyed this flashback.

Dec 17 2015

#WEPFF Sci-Fi short story – Holiday Celebrations That Are Out of This World

WEP sci-fi challenge image

I never knew how beautiful my home was until I saw it after having been away for a third of my life. So imagine my terror when I crossed the Moahchuck point and discovered two paths where there should have been one, each leading to my home. I shield my eyes from the overhead brightness as I struggle to come up with a logical explanation for this double vision. Then my heart skips a beat. Its desire, the one I’ve been longing to see, the reason I kept fighting— runs toward me. In duplicate.

“This way! Hurry. Your home is here, with me. I know you know it,” yells the one on the left.

“Over here! You are dead in that realm. I know what you’re seeing. Don’t trust anyone from that side. Survival depends on making the correct choice.” The one the right extends a hand, waiting for me to take it.

“You’re hesitating,” left one says. A tear slides out with the next words, “Death. You see the realm of the dead, and the reaper is disguised as me. I saw it too, but my reaper was you. But I knew it couldn’t be true. That’s how I survived. Please, Love, know who I am. Use your heart.”

Right gives a head shake. “Don’t listen to whoever you hear from over there. Going there will certainly mean that you are dead, too. None of the living can walk among the dead.”

A fair point. The one thing that all the battles taught me was that the living and the dead could not mix. But what happened to the dead was a mystery, one that had been debated since our species had a language to debate with. The latest war might well have been over that very question. I’m just a warrior— the reason for the fight didn’t matter that much during the actual battle. It wasn’t as if there would ever be a real winner. Wars end when someone not covered in the stink of death decides that enough lives have been sacrificed.

What those of us on that final battlefield feared was not death from the other side. We were more concerned with the purple light. It hit bodies from both sides, leaving them mostly dead. Mostly, because the medical teams couldn’t fully confirm they were dead. Even the ones who had a head on one slab and a body on the other. To my understanding, that was dead. Having no head should equal dead. But that light was cruel.

Standing here, listening to my duplicated love argue my path, I know why they were neither dead or alive. The war isn’t over. I haven’t been released to go home in time for the New Holiday. The purple light must have hit me.

– J Lenni Dorner
December 17, 2015

Word Count 466 FCA

Thanks for reading!

WEP sci-fi challenge image

Nov 29 2015

Update day is here again

This is basically a holder post. I plan to put the regular style goal blog post in here soon.

November has been rough. I didn’t complete NaNo. I have a pile of notebooks, scraps of paper, and the inside of a tissue box — all with words. None of which are counted or typed in. I could take a guess and copy that approximate amount of text from an old document. Still, I think I’m at 35,000 at best.

“The Projects” aren’t done. I read several books, but I typed no reviews. (There are napkins with words on them, several sitting like forgotten bookmarks at the last page.)

You know what goal I DID achieve? I’m alive. I managed my survival goal. And that has been no small measure of miracle.

–Normal post below this line–

(Dec 13- Finally able to fill this in properly!)

goals image


  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 39 years



2015 Goals:


  • Have 5000 Twitter followers ~ currently at 4900  — up 218 from last month!

4900 @JLenniDorner followers so far. 100 to go!

  • Update / redo what-are-they.com (Done!)
  • Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entail
  • Support Diverse Books
  • Participate in Reading Challenges
  • After editing fantasy novel, get new query letter out there ~rewrite still in progress


Goals for December:


  • Have a nice holiday season
  • Write my goals for next year
  • Take part in the WEP Dec Challenge

WEP sci-fi challenge image

  • Comment on 15 blogs
  • Take part in the Déjà vu Blogfest

Déjà vu Blogfest image

  • Get ready for Write Club by writing another short story
  • Write up my book reviews to close out my read-in-2015 list
  • Select books for Bout of Books Jan 2016

Bout of Books image

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

New To You 2016 reading challenge


Review of Goals for November:


  • NaNoWriMo 50,000 words!Naughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Have a nice Thanksgiving with some turkeyMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal





Nov 25 2015

Without You

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got this from.

Dream On by Aerosmith

Goodbye by My Darkest Days

Real by The Verve Pipe

Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down

Wonderful by Everclear

With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails

The Unforgiven by Metallica

The Way You Like It by Adema

WHAT IS 2+2?
Get Me Outta Here by Jet

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even by Aerosmith

Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something

The Motions by Dashboard Confessional

Put Your Hands Up by Matchbox Twenty

Disposable Teens by Marilyn Manson

You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

I Wonder Why The Wonderfalls by Andy Partridge (TV theme song)

Mama Weer All Crazee Now by Quiet Riot

Take a Picture by Filter

Little Tyrants by Anberlin

The Unwinding Cable Car by Anberlin

Uninvited by Alanis Morissette

Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind

Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darin

The Nobodies by Marilyn Manson

The Freshman by The Verve Pipe

Be True to Your School by The Beach Boys

When I Fall In Love by Celine Dion

Friends by Band of Skulls (from the New Moon soundtrack)

Legs by ZZ Top (What are the odds of this song coming on?)

Without You by Breaking Benjamin

I’m not tagging anyone because everyone is busy with NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, or whatever else. HOWEVER, if you have ten minutes and do a post, let me know! Some of these made no sense, and some were freakishly spot on!

Thanks to @PenMinion for tagging me.

Nov 18 2015

777 Challenge during NaNoWriMo

777 challenge on the blog of @JLenniDorner

I’ve been invited to this challenge by my writer friend Sarah of The Old Shelter.

For NaNoWriMo this year I’m working on several projects. (This is happening as often as my health allows. My word count is only of the words that have been typed in by my dutiful assistant as I pass them along between treatments.) The largest project- the one I’ve been working on for two years- is what I’ll pass along here.

Be a #nanowrimo writing buddy of @JLenniDorner

Quick notes to clarify what you’re about to read:

  • This is a high fantasy story.
  • Alison has an albino-like skin condition. She loathes this.
  • She’s preparing to head to the ceremony that will dictate her future.

I’m tiny beside his huge, muscular frame. There’s centaur in his bloodline. His blacker shade of skin, that I’m unsure of the cause. It must be nice to worry less about burns from the light.
“What has you upset, Sweet Girl?” he asks as he leads me down the first flight of stairs.
“I’m worried if my dad is okay. He’s supposed to be here. I don’t know how I’ll find the courage to walk out the front door,” I bite down on my lip.
“You have never been short on courage, Alison.”
Standing two stairs higher, I hug him. He smells like sweat and oats. “How few choices do I have left?

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

I’m tagging the following seven writers, all of whom are NaNoWriMo Buddies of mine:

  1. Ruth Livingstone @RuthlessTweets
  2. Renee Scattergood @ReneeScatts
  3. Maeve LaFey @MaeveLafey
  4. Tasha Duncan-Drake @beren_writes
  5. Misha Gericke @MishaMFB
  6. Jamie “J.Somebody” @PenMinion
  7. Kai @Kaiberie

I’m looking forward to sneaking a peek at your work!

Do you enjoy blog posts that feature challenges like this one?

Nov 14 2015

And Now A Random Video

Writing hard or hardly writing, my NaNoWriMo friends and other wonderful blog guests?
Here’s a video to distract you for a short while.

My four favorite links from this are:





I have University Undertones playing right now. It’s like going out without the pesky trouble of putting on a shirt. Or shoes. Or even pants! Ha ha ha.

Nov 13 2015

The Upcoming Book Anthology Needs a Title


The contest that I won the popular vote of week 6 has an anthology coming out. The book needs a title.
Go to the link and pick a favorite. Thanks!


Nov 07 2015

Winner Winner Toffee or Taffy Dinner

I did win the popular vote on week six. Thank you to everyone who voted for me.

Popular winner @JLenniDorner for Chocolate Covered Toffee or Vanilla Taffy

According to the site, winning works will be “published in a beautiful forthcoming e-book from Oloris Publishing. If all goes well, this book should be available for purchase by the end of November from the Oloris Bookshop.”
@OlorisPublish on Twitter

This information was found at: http://mythgard.org/writing-contest/

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