Feb 18 2019

Wheels of Time #AtoZChallenge Book Review, Tour, and Blog Hop #Fantasy #ChildrensBooks #wheelsoftime

First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!



First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop! badge




Welcome back!
It’s day eleven of this great event. This blog will have reviews and tour stops on February 4, 8, 18, 19, 21, 27, and 28.
Today I’m featuring fellow fantasy author:

Nidhi GS


We’re talking about the book Wheels of Time. First up, my review:
3 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner
#DebutAuthor
#WeNeedDiverseBooks
Author I Haven’t Previously Read
A to Z Challenge book

I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. The author and I are in the same blog tour with the A to Z Challenge, but do not know each other. I like the cover, as the stary sky intrigued me.

I will not critique the grammar, as the book contains a dialect of English with which I am not very familiar. I would only suggest this book to those who are capable of considering consequences, who understand the motivation behind major decisions, who have life experience and perspective, and who won’t end up in a moral dilemma as a result of reading a “children’s” book. And then, of that group of people, only to the ones who either have a strong faith in a religion or are contemplating adding that to their lives. Some, but not all, of the stories could be enjoyed by anyone. It is a clean-read book. All of the main characters were adults, and thus I have no idea why it is sold as a children’s book. I feel that I was not the “target audience” for this book. This is not my usual genre.

There are various stories. Some include a tragedy, many are spiritual. I believe the theme of the book is that no life is complete without religion, marriage, and children. I believe the main obstacles in the stories were that the characters didn’t know they needed self-improvement via spirituality, but they got it by the end of the story. The book holds a mirror up to society for anyone who agrees with that way of thinking- that one is only successful if they have religion, a spouse, and offspring. The plots of some of the stories gave me trouble, possibly because of the dialect. I frequently felt like I was missing something. There were characters I felt I should have been able to relate to, yet I was unable to do so. I just couldn’t connect to anyone in the book. Nor did any of the characters ultimately remind me of anyone I’ve ever met. I do feel bad for any child who feels they are a “discarded rock” rather than a “precious gem” simply because their parents are dead. (That was implied by a character, but not necessarily felt by any actual characters.)

In the story, “Blind Girl,” the character says she has lost her career, love, and life because her fiancée broke up with her. In “Solving Life’s Puzzle,” a successful and content thirty-four-year-old finds an orphanage in Hawaii (there are no longer orphanages in America, as they have been replaced by the foster care system). Trigger warning, the book is opposed to parents (including dead ones) who leave their children to the system. That character does adopt a child though. “Insane Angel” may trigger some, as it crosses the line between mental illness and angels (similar to the way the book and movie “K-PAX” does with aliens). “Listen from Heart” does have a character who, like me, can’t speak, so I appreciate that representation. “August Christmas” has a fun Santa story.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:
#excerpt #quote Wheels of Time by Nidhi GS

line break

Genre: Children’s, “Clean” Reads, Fantasy, Religion & Spirituality (Fiction), Self-Help

Brief description:

These are 12 people, 12 tales and 12 months. Which says “When The Unexpected Leads to Expected.”


Wheels of Time is a #MustRead on the #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!

What motivates you to write book reviews? Or, if you don’t write them, what deters you?

Why did you start blogging?
to explore my passion of writing

Do you have any other books coming out soon?
yes

Tweetable #WriteTip
write from your heart

Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?
meditation

What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?
finishing one more short story book

As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
heart touching content

Link to buy the book: https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/wheels-of-time-nidhi-garg/

Find this author at:


@nidgratefulsoul

https://gratitude2wardslife.blog/

https://www.facebook.com/buddhistoryteller

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18112173.GS_Nidhi

A testimonial from a reader




There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway over at the Blogging from A to Z blog

Feb 17 2019

A Passionate, Truth-filled, Grande Sunday Stealing with Whipped Cream

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop

1. when did you last sing to yourself?
As in singing in my own head? I don’t know, a few hours ago probably. I do that a lot.

2. if a crystal ball could tell you the truth about anything, what would you want to know?
The truth is a dangerous thing. There is an ancient text. Some people think it’s about one thing, others something else, and others think it was an attempt to define consent and put a stop to rape and pedophilia (because the first few attempts had already been mistranslated) so someone was giving it another go. (But mistranslations, perhaps intentionally, later messed up that attempt too.) I guess I’d like to know that real truth, the real translation and meaning behind the text.

3. what is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

They’re all intertwined in my heart, soul, and mind.

4. what is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?
Valentine’s celebration with my Snookums.

5. if you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?
I’d spend more time writing, trying to finish the books. Less time editing, marketing, networking, and formatting (maybe someone will do those things for me when I’m gone). Might end up reading less and feel sad about all the stories I hoped to enjoy in my life. And I’d be torn between wanting to spend more time with my spouse, other family members, and friends; but also wanting to finish stories so I could leave that part of myself behind. Plus, those stories are the purpose of my soul. I need more of them to be done to, how can I explain it, “level up” my soul. To have been worthy.

6. do you feel you had a happy childhood?
Parts of it were perfect. Parts of it were Hell.

7. would you ever have a deep conversation with a stranger and open up to them?
Yeah, that’s happened more than once, oddly enough.

8. what would you title the autobiography of your life so far?
“Communicating with Trees in Skyscraper Cities”

9. how do you feel about tattoos and piercings? explain.
Indifferent on others. Some are fantastic pieces of art or an expression of spirituality, culture, or nature. I think that’s great.
I am entitled to certain ones, but haven’t gotten them because, though I’m told I earned them, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to deserve them yet.

10. do you wear a lot of makeup? why/why not?
No. I’m just not that kind of guy. I do wear facepaint for certain cultural occasions.

11. The world is listening. pick one sentence you would tell them.
Love, consent, and equality always matter.

12. who in the world would you most like to receive a letter from and what would you want it to say?
An agent saying they want to take me on as a client because Catherine Hardwicke wants to direct the Existence series movies and already has producers lined up.

13. do you have a desk/workspace and how is it organised/not organised?
I do. But more and more, I find that I’d rather be outside or with certain people while I’m writing or reading.

14. what’s your starbucks order, and who would you trust to order for you, if anyone?
@JLenniDorner Starbucks order
My spouse, my assistant, and two of my co-workers know this order well.

15. what is the most important thing to you in your life right now?
Passion (for writing, life, the forest, reading, and my spouse).


Quote from Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!
This week’s questions were originally from: Aesthetic themed list

Feb 15 2019

Altered Drawing


Pinterest message:

I’m not one for altering someone else’s art generally.
But she’s not wrong, there’s a resemblance.

The hair got a little too “dreadlocky,” but not bad overall.

Feb 10 2019

Ten Sunday Stealing Book Questions and Library Love

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop

Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!

Questions from a set of book questions on A Striped Armchair.


1. Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

2. If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Heath, Caleb, and Lestat de Lioncourt. We’ll be spending the weekend in the woods.

Did I just name two of my own characters? Yes. I know exactly what I’m doing.

3. You are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I can’t do this. I searched for a list to give me an idea. Goodreads most boring book ever list. Not only have I read several of the top 97 (mostly before the website existed, so I don’t have ratings or reviews up), but a few of these are among my FAVORITE books.

Sorry. Gonna be stuck with immortality.

4. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

Uhh, is this a thing people do? Wow. Okay. Sorry, I don’t think I have an answer.

5. As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?

*blank stare*

6. You’ve been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?

I guess my own. I don’t know who the person is or what they’d like or hate. May as well take the gamble on myself. I mean, if they don’t like my first pick, I’m probably fired, right? So, if they hate it, I’m out. And if they love my book, then I’ve got a fan in my new boss, and a good idea of what they like so I can do the job well.

7. A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Russian. They have some great novels. Wait wait… maybe Latin. That has a lot of books I could learn from. Ooh, or a dead language so I could make money translating books that no one else can read. Oh yeah, that’s the sweet spot right there.

8. A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss — It’s a fun read, yet it’s short, so I’ll always have time to read it. And no, that’s not actually a children’s book. It’s an adult children’s book. Ha.

9. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

I discovered things that make me a better writer. I discovered that I like characters who remind me of my own, or books that make me laugh from dark humor.

10. That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

You’ve seen Beauty and the Beast, right? That. But someone is in charge of always stocking it with new books they think I’d enjoy, so it keeps growing and growing… Wonderful books from writers all over. And it’s a travel destination, one where people come to spend the day or whole vacation in the book place. There’s a whole, what’s it called, conservatory room thing, with lots of sun and moonlight because it’s all windows, and people sit there reading. Inhaling that vanilla scent of the older books, sipping tea or coffee. Not the kind of library where you take the books home and they might get hurt. No, this is a place where people come to visit the books. Some that are very old and special, so you have to wear gloves and read them through the glass box. Deep history, books saved from cultures that were destroyed. The library of Alexandria is saved! And right there, in this same magic space, are books by debut indie authors from this year. Pinterest and Instagram have thousands of pictures of the place. The fairy is pleased by what I’ve done with my wish.

Feb 08 2019

Writing Book Reviews As An Author on this #AtoZChallenge Tour and Blog Hop

First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!



First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop! badge


There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway over at the Blogging from A to Z blog





Welcome!
It’s day five of this great event.
This blog will have reviews and tour stops on February 4, 8, 18, 19, 21, 27, and 28.
Today I’m featuring, well, me.

J Lenni Dorner


Yes, I’m going to talk about my own new book.

There's no shame in helping others see your value #quote #selfpromotion



Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier


Amazon

Smashwords

BookBub

Goodreads already has reviews!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43684969-writing-book-reviews-as-an-author

Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier has reviews on Goodreads


Who would want to read this book the most?
Authors who don’t write book reviews and are ready to change that.
I was one of those authors a few years ago. And I decided I didn’t like that about myself, that I didn’t support my fellow authors by writing book reviews. So I researched how to do, read a lot of reviews (well-written and not), and came up with a way to consistently write them well. The book isn’t about becoming a professional reviewer. It’s a series of prompt-style inspirations written in easy-to-remember acronyms that, with practice, makes allows one to write a solid review in about fifteen minutes.


Book publish date: MARCH 26 2019
This is my 2019 A to Z Challenge theme and book. There will be samples from the book on this blog in April. I expect readers of this blog will learn quite a bit. I can’t cover everything in an alphabet of posts though!


Book’s genre: Reference – Craft of Writing

A brief description of the book:
This book aims to provide inspiration to encourage people to write more book reviews. It is written for authors, though any reader can benefit.

Please Retweet this:




EXCLUSIVE TOUR CONTENT: Quote from the book shared as an image. (Also known as a meme.) (Never before shared online.)
Please share this!
#quote #excerpt #book #title After reading the book, did the title make sense? Some readers enjoy finding the title inside the book. The “ah-ha” moment of figuring out where the title comes from can be very meaningful. Does the book live up to the title? Writing Book Reviews as an Author @JLenniDorner



book title image


Why will I take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book is “given life”?
It’s the ten year anniversary. I’m very excited to be a co-host of the A to Z Challenge. This is an incredible community.
#AtoZchallenge 2019 badge

Why did I start blogging?
This is answered in my very first blog post.
“You may wonder why I started a blog. I may wonder that too! Actually, this blog was started because I heard about the A to Z challenge from some NaNoWriMo friends.”


What other books do you have available?

What motivates me to write book reviews?
I feel that it’s an important way to give back to the community of readers and authors. It’s a simple gift that costs only a few moments of time.
How about you, readers of this post? What motivates you to write book reviews? Or, if you don’t write them, what deters you?

Feb 04 2019

Runaway with this Erotic Choose Your Adventure #AtoZChallenge Book Review, Tour, and Blog Hop

First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!



First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop! badge


There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway over at the Blogging from A to Z blog





Welcome!
It’s day one of this great event. This blog will have reviews and tour stops on February 4, 8, 18, 19, 21, 27, and 28.
Today I’m featuring one of my A to Z teammates, a friend, a fellow author:

J.R. Vincente




We’re talking about her book Runaway, which exists thanks to the A to Z Challenge. I’ve reviewed it on my blog before.
Check out this post by clicking here.

RunawayRunaway by J.R. Vincente
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.



Runaway by JR Vincente

The book has a new cover since I read it. It use to be a bed, but now it’s sneakers.

Book’s genre: “Choose Your Adventure”/ Erotica

Book’s title: Runaway

Brief description of the book:

Join Aralyn as she runs from her past in this Erotic Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Aralyn leaves town when her life is turned upside down. Your blood will race as you explore a new town and new people with Aralyn. She might even get to explore a BDSM Dungeon! Make your own choices and find out.

Tweet this:

Join Aralyn as she runs from her past in this Erotic Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Aralyn leaves town when her life is turned upside down. Your blood will race as you explore a new town and new people with Aralyn.

Is this a diverse book? yes

EXCLUSIVE TOUR CONTENT: Scene / excerpt from the book
“Chilly,” she said with a shiver.

“I know,” he said with a smile. “We wouldn’t want the ice to melt too quickly, now would we?” She raised an eyebrow at him, but she wasn’t entirely sure she understood what he meant. “Can we play?”

“With the ice?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Okay,” she said, a little too eagerly.

AMAZON
B&N
Smashwords

Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was “given life”?

A friend of mine recommended the challenge and I thought it would be fun! I loved the idea of the readers participating.

Jamie - friend to J and JR

Jamie – friend to J and JR


Yeah, we have that same friend.
Why did you start blogging?

Because of the A to Z Blog Challenge. Someone recommended it to me and I needed a blog to participate!

Yeah, that’d be our same mutual friend. LOL.
Any other books coming out soon?

Soon! I have written another book stemming from that A to Z Challenge I’m in the process of editing.

What other books do you have available?

I have two erotic novels that are not Choose Your Own Adventures. My debut novel is called Slave and my newest release is Y is for Yes.

Give us a #writetip

Take constructive criticism. Ask someone else to read what you write and listen to what they have to say.

Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?

As a writer, I was often gripped with indecision as to what decisions to make. This put the power in the reader’s hands!

What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

I hope to publish B is for Blackmail and write its sequel.

As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
A catchy title or synopsis.

What motivates you to write book reviews? Or, if you don’t write them, what deters you?

I like to write reviews, but I always feel like I don’t know what to say. If I had a list of questions to answer, it would be really helpful.

(And hey look, now I do!)

What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this post to answer or remark on in the blog comments?
Favorite erotic groupings? (M/M, M/F, F/F, something totally different?) Tell me!

blog link: https://jrvincente.wordpress.com/
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/jrvincente
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jrvincente/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaydenvincente/
Goodreads author profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/63297099-jayden-vincente
Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jrvincente
NaNoWriMo participant page: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/jrvincente
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/jrvincente

Feb 03 2019

Sunday Stealing Random Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop

Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!

Questions from This is #2 of “Three Wishes.”


What is your favorite wild animal?

I’m quite a fan of wild animals, so this is a tough choice. Wolf, I think.

Name 3 of your favorite childhood shows:

The phrasing of this question makes it difficult to answer. I didn’t watch television for the first few years. I guess The Simpsons, Are You Afraid of the Dark, and Double Dare.

If you could live as a character in a movie who would it be?

Perhaps one of the unnamed Elves from the Lord of the Rings movies. One on the boat.

Favorite vegetable?

Corn, which isn’t always a vegetable.

Favorite Fruit?

Apples.

If you had a dragon what would you name it?

Depends on the dragon. How can you name a creature without a meeting first?

What do you put on hotdogs?

A string, because it’s good trap food to catch actual animals with…
Chilli and cheese, I suppose. Not something I’m rather fond of eating.

Do you play online games?

From time to time.

What’s your favorite way to get inspired?

Prompts.

Do you have a middle name?

Another complex question. Do I really have one? No. Did I have to pick one, a question I didn’t even understand at the age I was asked about it? Yeah. I went with Lenni. Or that’s what the person with the form assumed I meant. I still don’t understand the process of naming of people outside of my own.

If you had to order from a kid’s menu, what would you get?

I don’t know. Where are we? Eggs and toast. That’s a safe bet.

Do you speak any other languages?

I don’t actually speak any languages.
I can understand a some, read a few more, and use basic French Belgian Sign Language (French: Langue des signes de Belgique francophone; LSFB). I’m mute.

Do you use Twitter?

Yes. @JLenniDorner

Do you go onto YouTube?

Not very often. There are a few things there that I enjoy though.

Do you play Angry Birds?

I think I tried a few rounds of it. Not something that held my attention.

Jan 29 2019

Blog All About It Challenge – First

blog all about it challenge 2019

FIRST



Rated PG-15. Those under the age of 15 should not view this without a parent or guardian.

Her tongue sweeps into my mouth as she deepens our kiss. She tastes like saltwater taffy. The pink flavor. Strawberry? No, that’s not it. Watermelon. Yeah.

“Quit nodding your head.”

Shit. I growl softly to cover. Okay, try to focus on something other than identifying the flavor on her tongue. Which is definitely watermelon saltwater taffy. I bought some at that shop on the pier over the summer.

He was there. Not in the store. Just outside. Wearing just his swim trunks. Eating a hotdog. Opening his delicious mouth, his succulent lips wrapping around the bun as it slid in.

“Oh wow. You’re getting so much better at this!”

What? Shit. I’m here. I mean… yay… I’m here, in a girl’s bedroom while her parents are away. My girlfriend’s bedroom. Right. This is good. The DJ comes on the radio, saying the next song is currently number one in the nation. I Swear by All-4-One plays.

I smile at her. My best friend’s best friend. Can’t screw up with her without losing the nicest girl I know. A picture of the two of them together watches me from her headboard. She’ll know everything that happened later. One or both of us will tell her. Another reason not to blunder this. How do I get myself into these messes?

“Do you wanna touch my boobs?”

I smile and nod. Of course I want to do that. What red-blooded American teenage boy wouldn’t want to touch his girlfriend’s boobs? Yes, that’s definitely something I want to do.

She unbuttons her shirt. I’m grateful because I really didn’t want to break off a button or something. I mean, yeah, I could sew it back on. But her buttons are tiny. She’s tiny. I could tie four sticks together and hang two apples off them and not know the difference. Shit. That’s a horrible thought. I’m a bad person. Shit.

“Enjoy the treasure,” she says as she pulls her bra off.

She just called her boobs a treasure.

Right. Because that’s what they are to her. Or are supposed to be to me. I move my hand onto one. It’s not as floppy as I thought.

Doesn’t flex though. I bet he flexes his pecks when someone touches him like this. What would his chest feel like?

“Umm… hello? What’s going on?”

She stares at me.

I’m doing this wrong.

“This is the first time you’ve touched a boob, right?”

I nod. Unless she counts when I was a baby feeding from my mother. That’s not the same. Great, now I’m thinking about my mother. Shit.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Everything. Literally everything. I take my hand back as I move away. My feet hit the floor, toes curling in the fluffy purple rug. I can’t bear to stand up yet. Part of me wants to run. Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and die.

“Hey. Talk to me.” She leans her naked torso against my topless back. Skin on skin contact. That’s supposed to arouse me. I’m supposed to be going crazy with desire right now. “Is it me?”

Shit, shit, shit. I can’t even have a breakdown correctly. “No.”

I tighten my jaw, breathe through my nose, and wiggle my toes. Fight the tears. Push everything back down. I swallow hard as I turn to her, taking her chin in my hands. I kiss her softly. Her lips, her cheeks, her forehead. And then smile at her as I pull her into my arms.

She settles in my lap. Maybe it’ll be okay.

“Are you…” She takes a long, deep breath. This isn’t going to be okay. “You aren’t hard.”

I try to look away, but she pulls my face back toward her.

“It isn’t me, is it? You’re gay.”

I shake my head. “No.”

Nope. Don’t say it. Not here. This place, this town, this school district, it isn’t safe to say such things.

“That’s why we have the same best friend, one who is a girl. It’s why you’re so good at certain things that other guys wouldn’t even think to try. Like making clothing.”

“I can hunt. You know I’ve got bigger bucks than anyone else in our school. I just believe in using all parts of the animal. I’ll make you a bunny bra for your birthday. You’ll love it.”

She laughs and kisses my chin. “You’re not supposed to want to make me a bra. You’re supposed to want me to them off.”

“I know.” Shit. “And I do. Really. Those are awesome.”

To prove my point, I goose her boob.

She rolls with laughter.

“Oh mercy, that’s not even close to right.”

“Yeah. Sorry. First time. I mean, I was breastfed. That doesn’t count. It really doesn’t count.”

The joy drains from her face. She places her hand on my cheek.

“Oh crap. Is that what’s wrong? You flashed back on your mom?”

An out. A logical reason that explains things, and doesn’t mean something is wrong with her, and doesn’t mean I’m gay.

“Yeah. I’m sorry. That’s weird, right? It is. I know it is. Not like I planned it.”

She kisses me. Her lips don’t leave mine as she shifts. One minute she was sitting in my lap, and now she’s on it, straddled across me, her legs wrapped behind me.

“I’m so sorry for what I said. That was mean.” She kisses me again. “Of course it was a flashback. And you can’t control that. And here you were, feeling all upset, missing the parents you were taken from. And I just made it worse. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

She kisses me again. I wrap my arms around her.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you what was going through my head. Just didn’t want to ruin the mood. You taste like watermelon taffy. I really love that flavor.”

She giggles. I think about that day at the pier. And the first time I touch a boob doesn’t force the truth out.

Jan 26 2019

Gulping Down Goals

Got Goals Bloghop
https://gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com
#GotGoalsBlogHop

I have been very productive this month. In fact, I have the pre-order up for my next book!

Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SdMsE8

Smashwords: smashwords.com/books/view/918883

Interested in writing a review in exchange for an ARC? Let me know. Several passages from this book will be on this blog in April for the A to Z Challenge.


SPREADSHEET CHECK-IN

My lovely A to Z cohost, J R Vincente, made a spreadsheet to track progress for the year.
key 2019 Productivity JLenniDorner image


Jan 2019 Productivity JLenniDorner image



MAIN LIFE GOALS:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 35 years

BUCKET LIST:

  1. Publish a book and sell 2,000 copies of it in one week or 8,000 copies of it in one month.
  2. Watch a meteor shower while in the Cranberry Lake area of New York or Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. (USA)
  3. Visit Mount Sinai.
  4. Skydive
  5. Learn how to play checkers.
  6. Take a hot-air balloon ride over Maine.
  7. Have dinner at Armando al Pantheon in Rome.


Current Writing Goals

  • Self-publish + Blog the reference book on Writing Book Reviews #BookishResolutions Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Self-publish Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) #BookishResolutions
  • Complete the high fantasy short story
  • Self-publish the WIGS tribal story
  • Finish and publish the next Existence book
  • Finish and publish the Alison Fantasy book

line break



2019 Resolution:

#NewYearsResolution

  • This year I resolve to publish two books and write at least 25% of the year.




Seven Focus Topics

Posting about these topics monthly will keep my author brand strong:

  1. Lenni Lenape (Native American) — 2 posts
  2. storytelling –1 posts
  3. writing –2 post
  4. legends — 1 posts
  5. characters — 0 posts
  6. urban fantasy/ speculative fiction — 1 posts
  7. read –8 posts




2019 Goals:

  • 12 Blog All About It posts
  • Keep rocking the Debut Author Spotlight at Operation Awesome
  • 91 days of writing is my big #BookishResolutions (others are hashtagged)
    • Update on May 1
    • September 1
  • Take part in NaNoWriMo
    • July Camp #BookishResolutions
    • November 50k words #BookishResolutions
  • Publish two books #BookishResolutions
    1. One: Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two:
  • Be part of 3 blog hops/fests
    1. One: #AtoZChallenge First A to Z Book Tour
    2. Two: #AtoZChallenge TENTH anniversary of the April blogging challenge
    3. Three:
  • Enter 7 writing contests #BookishResolutions
    1. One: WEPFF 28 days
    2. Two:
    3. Three:
    4. Four:
    5. Five:
    6. Six:
    7. Seven:
  • Add 200 books to the spreadsheet organizing my TBR by page length
    • 419 as of Jan 1
    • 425 as of Jan 26
  • Complete Reading challenges:

blog all about it challenge 2019 try something new square 2019 book reading challenge all about the trope 2019 book reading challengeCreativity Reading Challenge 2019 Back to the Classics 2019 reading challenge2019 Diversity Reading Challenge #BeatTheBacklist2019 Ravenclaw The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club #IWSG Of Wonderland Book Club #OWBookClub #BeatTheBacklist #amreading #books 2019 #BookishResolutions

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
J. has
read 0 books toward
their goal of
50 books.
hide


EVERY MONTH:

2019 WEP WEPFF


Goals just for February:

  • Get ready for the #AtoZChallenge
  • Run the First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop Tour
  • Read and review 5 books
  • WEP


Goals just for January:

  • Finish the Book Review book Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • First #AtoZ Challenge Book Tour Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Read and review 5 booksMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Bout of BooksMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

I haven’t completed all of the “every month” goals for this month yet, but I will before January is over.



line break

Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!
gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com

Jan 26 2019

Two Book Reviews and a Bingo Update

The Fae Realm by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

#SpecFic Speculative Fiction book
Author I Haven’t Previously Read

5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

I enjoyed this quick and easy read by Ronel Janse van Vuuren quite a bit. “The Fae Realm” is a collection of some of her short stories, followed by references to where the lore began. It must have taken quite a bit of research to make this book. Very admirable. I was fascinated because the lore was mostly stories I hadn’t heard before. I got a copy of this book when I was on Ronel’s website. We’ve never met, but the author and I do run in several of the same writer/blogger circles.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially fae stories with a fun take on the legends. Speculative Fiction is my favorite genre, and this book falls into that category. It was stimulating to read because I didn’t know all the myths, so I wasn’t sure where the stories would go. I would read another book from this author.

Some stories were tragedies, others comedies, and a few were haunting. They were all fast-paced and entertaining. From “The Good, the Bad, and the Fugly” I loved the line “Being a siren wasn’t all singing songs and combing hair.” A guy in that story reminds me of someone I work with. My favorite story in the book though was “Cait Sith and the In-Between,” because of the Faery Cat. I hadn’t heard of Faery Cats before, so that was something this book taught me.

The cover (with the stone archway ruins and the greenish fog) is a good choice because it sets the mood for several of the stories. That sort of mystical feel. And the title certainly makes sense, given the context of the book. (It does, however, cause Amazon to list 12 other books before it when just the title is put into the search. That’s unfortunate.) Some stories have minor scenes of violence, but I think the book is overall suitable for teens and up.

It is well edited. I only found one error. “She had one her part to keep her Court fed…” I think that’s supposed to be “done” or maybe “won.”

A fun book to read overall. Excellent for those thinking about adding Fae to their own stories.

Booketing: Book marketing for self-publishing success. A writer’s guide to promoting books. Write Free Book Series by Alex Foster

Writing Craft book
#BeatTheBacklist
Publication Date: March 17, 2016

4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

This book was short and easy to read. As an author with three books out, I’m of course drawn to the subject of sales and promoting my books. I found this book on Amazon while searching for something else. I would recommend it to my fellow published authors. This is the second book by Alex Foster that I’ve read. It’s likely I will read more. The author seems especially gifted in research.

I do read several books on the craft of writing (including marketing) every year. This is is a genre of which I’m familiar with and appreciate. It is informative and entertaining, and written objectively.

I learned that I should be a “cash cow” in this market and that I need a “consistent, mixed marketing presence” to be one. The book listed sites I hadn’t heard of, such as HUGEOrange, BookGorilla, and TheFussyLibrarian. I’m not sure how I feel about picking categories for one’s book based on low popularity rather than most accurate. I see how it would up the odds of being a bestseller, but that sounds like cheating the system a bit.

The book cover with the book turning into sand and being swept away by the ocean is very eye-catching. (The one on Goodreads with the cartoon person cramming books into an open head is much funnier, but I prefer the other.) The title does match the contents of the book, but wow is that long!

It was an easy to read book and I do suggest that my fellow indie authors pick it up.

JLenniDorner Ravenclaw Bingo image

Winter Bookish Bingo

Jan 20 2019

Sunday Stealing for Ravenclaws

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop

Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!

Questions from the Ravenclaw Ask Game


1. Do you have a passion project? What is it?

Right now, my passion is all wrapped up on the book I have up for pre-sale, and the upcoming A to Z Challenge!

Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier
Writing Book Reviews As An Author by @JLenniDorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge #AtoZChallenge 2019 First Book Tour badge

2. How many languages can you speak?

Technically none. I can understand a some, read a few more, and use basic French Belgian Sign Language (French: Langue des signes de Belgique francophone; LSFB). I’m a mute.

3. What was the last book you read?

I need to write a review yet, but I just finished The Fae Realm by Ronel Janse van Vuuren. It was good.

4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?

I want to have dinner at Armando al Pantheon in Rome. (Italy) It’s on my bucket list.

5. Top 5 fictional characters?

  • Heath (My character, from Fractions of Existence)
  • Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle
  • Mark Watney from The Martian
  • Mary Anne from the Baby-Sitters Club (I know, I know. Shut up.)
  • Dani Finklemeier from Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family

6. Something you miss from your childhood?

The simpleness and ease, not knowing how much I wasn’t responsible for and didn’t have to care about.

7. What skill do you wish you had?

The ability to “MacGyver” a pile of scrap into a useful tool.

8. Tell us an interesting fact

There’s an algorithm on a site where sales don’t define promotion opportunities, the number of reviews does.

9. What was your favourite subject in school?

Reading

10. Favourite planet?

Well, I’ve only been to Earth, so… Uranus, which was once called George. (Hey, that’s fun fact number two.)

11. Which historical figure fascinates you and why?

I don’t know that any of them do, because they turn out to be real people with flaws and let you down.

12. Favourite mythical creature?

dragon

13. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

You could say that. Others just call it a more accurate version of history. But, hey, burn enough proof and kill enough people who disagree, and you really can write history any way you see fit.

14. What is your favourite word?

ubiquitous

15. Do you have any obsessions right now?

I had a thing for Google Tasks last month. But I find I need more than one to-do list at a time. Today, this weekend, this week, this month, this quarter, this year… So that obsession is already waining. I think I’m looking for a new obsession.

16. Do you play any instruments?

Not very well.

17. What’s your worst habit?

Forgetting to charge electronics.

18. Do you have a collection of anything?

rocks and sticks

19. What’s your biggest ‘what if’?

Remember the movie Avatar? What if the Native Americans were never conqured?

20. What is your favourite fairy tale?

The Ugly Duckling

21. Have you ever dyed your hair? Is there a colour you’d like to dye it?

Not my thing.

22. If you could learn one language overnight, which would you choose?

ASL, or maybe some dead language that no one knows and museums and such would pay me piles of money to translate their artifacts.

23. What’s the most useless thing you know how to do?

Hitch a horse to a buggy.

24. What’s the most important change that should be made to your country’s education system?

I’m torn between wanting the current secretary to be tossed out or answering that it should be funded as if it is as important as the military. Only one of those changes might happen in my lifetime, to be honest. ‘Merica.

Jan 13 2019

#BoutOfBooks Reaching Goals and Gasping Reads


Today’s challenge:

Stretch Goal

It’s the last day of the readathon, so today’s challenge is to take a look at the goals you set for the week (if you have them) and decide a) how you can stretch yourself to complete them or b) how you can revise them so you can meet them. Because yes, you can revise your goals! If you didn’t set goals for the week, set a small one for yourself today!

Actually… I met my goals so far.



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks



Day of the challenge: Day 7
What I read today:
The Fae Realm by Ronel Janse van Vuuren
They Called Me Wyatt by Natasha Tynes



Total number of finished books: 3
Titles of finished books:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin and Gale Galligan




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews

Jan 13 2019

Twelve Sunday Stealing Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop

Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!

Questions from a set of “Storywise” cards


  1. The strangest place you’ve ever been.
  2. Cargo hold of an ocean liner.

  3. Unusual food combinations you enjoy.
  4. Scrapple and maple syrup.

  5. Your best cure for hiccups.
  6. Pressing on collarbone.

  7. Something you have never done but would like to try.
  8. Skydiving.

  9. A routine you do every day without fail.
  10. Drink water.

  11. Something new you’ve recently learned.
  12. I read “The Alchemist,” and one of the characters talks about his goal and such. During that, he talks about the Koran, and the five obligations written there. So I just learned that those exist, and what they are. (One God, pray 5x a day, fast during Ramadan, charity, Mecca pilgrimage)

  13. Your keenest sense.
  14. Hearing.

  15. Whether you prefer cooking or cleaning up.
  16. Cooking if it’s outdoors, cleaning if indoors.

  17. Where were you the last time you saw the sun rise?
  18. In the forest.

  19. A recent time you were embarrassed.
  20. A potluck. Apparently there are only *certain* dead forest animals that can be put on a grill in the suburbs. I don’t know where this magic list is. Honestly, I thought people ate rabbit and such.

  21. An everyday sound that delights you.
  22. The wind blowing through the leaves.

  23. The last conversation you had with a stranger.
  24. Well, I’m a mute. So the conversation on my end was a head nod and a hand wave gesture.

Jan 12 2019

Book Reviews and Day 6 of #BoutOfBooks has a Dreamcast (Not the Video Game System)


Today’s challenge:

Dream cast

Share your dream cast for a book that hasn’t been adapted yet

I read that as Dreamcast…

Perhaps that is why I decided to go with a book that has a videogame system as a big part of the plot twist/ meet cute:
Strangely, Incredibly Good by Heather Grace Stewart (my review)

Cat Glamour= B.K. Cannon or Margo Martindale
(I don’t know how ages are factored in Hollywood where it takes either a few months or many years to go from book to movie.)

Gene= Jason Momoa or Oded Fehr

Grandmother character= Ann Morgan Guilbert died, so I can’t pick her. Cloris Leachman



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks



Day of the challenge: Day 6
What I read today:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Kristy’s Big Day (The Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novel #6): A Graphix Book by Ann M. Martin and Gale Galligan



Total number of finished books: 3
Titles of finished books:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin and Gale Galligan




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews


Book Review:

Drawing from The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

Try Something New: Author I Haven’t Previously Read, #BeatTheBacklist, #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Personal Growth > Men’s Personal Growth
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Personal Growth > Mysticism
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Personal Growth > Philosophy
Goodreads:
GENRES
Fiction 11,743 users
Classics 4,559 users (Even though it was first published in 1988/ 30 years ago.)
Fantasy 2,753 users
Philosophy 2,352 users

I read the 25th Anniversary Edition. The above image was one of the many illustrations in the book.

This fantastic book is “just fiction,” just an allegory, but it’s filled with the wisdom and philosophy of a self-help book. It mentions more than one religion, and it sort of shares the “point” of having religions (my opinion). The boy who didn’t want to become a priest chatting with “The Hand that wrote all” seems like such a powerful way to link the near beginning and the near end of the book.

A pearl of wisdom that really struck me:
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

Fans of The Name of the Wind novel by Patrick Rothfuss will love when the alchemist says the boy will turn into the wind in three days. “Well, you’ll have to learn; your life depends on it.” That same part of the book reminds me of my own characters from Fractions of Existence, especially how matter and the spirit are connected.

I’d also recommend it to people who are deciding the next phase of their life. Not everyone does this. Some people just follow the motions (school, job, marriage, offspring, retire, die). But some people wonder if they should break from the path. If they should travel. If they should give up all they have to perhaps find something more, or something different. And wondering how long they should prepare before embarking… the book has some lessons about that, too.

I like the 25th Anniversary Edition cover. The hand-drawn map, the hawks, and the pyramids all belong with the story. I got a copy on sale after hearing good things about it, that people enjoyed it. Yet everyone said it was about something different. Now that I’ve read it, I know why. This book brings out what you have in you. I imagine it to be the sort of read that changes if you pick it up every decade or two. Same words on the page, but never the same reader.

The characters are revealed slowly, one at a time, each having a chance to be memorable if they matter. The boy wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not a very thick book, it wouldn’t make for a good pillow, but it is a very good book. The title doesn’t make sense until nearly halfway through, and then makes more sense, I think, toward the end.

I kept reading because the boy kept working toward various goals. I wanted to see how it would turn out. Honestly, I think the boy got the treasure without digging, but that’s because of my own values. “Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

While I do enjoy Philosophy, I don’t read many books in the genre. Or many allegories. Mysticism, this is the only book in the current top 100 sales I’ve read. Yet this seemed like it’s exactly the kind of book I would read. As if it were a book that people would expect me to have. I suspect I will read more works by this author. I gave this book five stars because I would probably keep reading it during a plane crash. (The book might tell me how to survive.) Most readers who dislike this book are probably the most like the Englishman character.

All the named characters of the book had goals. Sometimes not working toward them, or knowing they weren’t working toward them, was part of the point of the book. The theme of the book is about knowing your biggest goal, your purpose, and doing what it takes to accomplish that goal, and the side quests that happen along the way to teach you everything that matters. It has a very natural plot flow.

It seems to be well translated. It’s easy to read, even middle-grade students (pre-teens/ tweens) should be able to comprehend this book, though it will mean more as one enters adulthood and perhaps again as one nears middle age.

It’s realistic fiction. It’s predictable if you expect it to go a certain way, because there’s a Happily-Ever-After. Definitely inspirational. It’s a Diverse Book in that the shepherd boy, Santiago, is from southern Spain and travels across northern Africa, meeting people of different religions and cultures. Though the date isn’t referenced, it’s probably between 1830-1880 (there’s a revolver but no cars). And yet it mirrors the same society we see all around us today. There are still some people doing everything and risking it all for their dream, and others who only talk about it, and a few who hope to find someone to pass wisdom onto.

I didn’t care for the boy’s feelings for the Andalusia girl with the raven hair. It seemed he mostly liked her because she couldn’t read and thus he thought he could impress her. She seemed very much like an object, like lead that would never be gold for him.

Otherwise, I could relate to the boy. I’ve been at that crossroads, the moment of deciding between the known path or the adventure. (Except a king didn’t show up to chat with me.) The setting is very important to the story, though it isn’t very detailed overall.

Kristy’s Big Day (The Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novel #6): A Graphix Book by Ann M. Martin and Gale Galligan
Aug 28, 2018

4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

Another fun trip to my past, to the days in my youth when most of my friends were girls. (I’m waiting eagerly for the Logan character to appear.) The memories are why I read it, and while I’ll keep getting books from this series as they come out in the new Graphix versions.

This one gets four stars from me because the Kristy character suddenly cares so much about dresses and wedding things, and no one even remarks how out-of-character that seems to be for her. Maybe it’s just something I don’t understand. But in the other books, she seems to hate dresses, and in this one, she’s overjoyed about it. My feelings are reflected on the cover, where she’s wearing her baseball cap (which she isn’t seen with during the wedding scene in the actual book, as she has braids and flowers and stuff). Plus, it’s hard for me to handle her “big problem” of having to move into a mansion.

I think young people can still enjoy these books, though they may wonder about the phones and lack of laptops. The characters work toward their goals, which are mostly just being the best baby-sitters they can be to earn some money.

My favorite line from this book, the laugh-out-loud line, was when Claudia said, “That’s a lot of gummy bears.”

It’s a Happily-Ever-After (HEA), fun book. A good book for young people who are nervous about their parent getting remarried, especially about the wedding day itself. It can stand alone from the series.

Jan 11 2019

Book Recommendations on Day 5 of #BoutOfBooks 24


Today’s challenge:

If you like this, try that

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
Trust Me, I’m Lying



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks

View this post on Instagram

#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks book recommendation

A post shared by J Lenni Dorner (@jlennidorner) on



Day of the challenge: Day 5
What I read today: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho



Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews

Jan 10 2019

Rave #BookReview During #Boutofbooks 24


Today’s challenge:

Synopsis Rewrite

Take a favorite book and re-write the synopsis (book description) from the point of view of the non-main character

It was difficult to pick which book I wanted to use for this. I’m going with this one because I think I can do the challenge well using the Nick character.
Please note that this is how I imagine the Nick character thinks. These are not the sort of thoughts I personally would have, but rather the thoughts I believe this villain has.


Olivia has turned into a cunning young lady. Sneaky sneaky, she thinks she has me over a barrel because her little plan to slip off to college worked. I allowed it to work. Sometimes you have to give slack on the leash. That doesn’t mean the choker chain has come off. Oh no. A fact I remind her of again and again. Still, it isn’t enough. I need to retrain her. Olivia isn’t as obedient as she was when I first took our relationship to the next level. Somehow, crossing into the age of legal adulthood has made her brazen and disrespectful. It’s possible she thinks her body is her own. Maybe she’s even considering sharing that body with someone else. As if I’d allow her to share my property! Her body, and her trust fund, will always be mine.



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks

View this post on Instagram

#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks #orange

A post shared by J Lenni Dorner (@jlennidorner) on



Day of the challenge: Day 4
What I read today:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes



Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews


Book Review:

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

Try Something New
Author I Haven’t Previously Read
Debut Book #DebutAuthor

Trope Challenge
MC returns to hometown Trope

#BeatTheBacklist
#WeNeedDiverseBooks

This was an amazing read, an emotionally powerful autobiography. Year of Yes is about what Shonda did, about how saying yes improved her life (which was already an incredibly successful and enviable life, but there was still room for improvement). It’s not a self-help book, yet it would be so simple to apply what she did to one’s own life and, probably, result in self-helping. This is the first book like this Shonda Rhimes has written. (Seems funny that she’s a debut author, considering that she writes all time and has won many awards for doing so. But this is her first of this kind of book.)

When she wrote that she is more comfortable with books than new situations, I felt I could relate. The part about F.O.D. — I’ve lived that. When she wrote “I make stuff up for living,” man, that’s a version of what I’ve been expressing for years. That I don’t write for this reason or that reason, I write because that’s living, that’s why I’m here, that’s the reason this soul is in this body. (Maybe the soul would have had an easier go in a different body, but perhaps it’s all just fuel for the pages.)

When Shonda equates writing to running five miles, I’ve never heard it put that way before. That really makes a lot of sense to me. And how interruptions drive a writer nuts, wow, that’s so accurate and true. “We can try to cohabitate, but if you lure me away from writing, intentionally or not, it won’t go well.” Yeah. I’ve had that conversation. I get what she meant.

There’s a part in Chapter 12 about finding your tribe, about the fear of being alone, about wanting to feel less marginalized by “peers;” I really understand what she’s talking about here. Being introverted and wanting to be alone, yet needing to feel like you aren’t alone. I seriously relate to that on such a deep level.

And then, right on the next page, she talks about NORMALIZING. How that’s what the movement should be called instead of diversifying/ needing diverse characters, books, shows, etc. I don’t know how I never thought about it this way before. She’s so right! It is about making our fictional worlds better reflections of our real ones. I really love that. I hope that, in our lifetimes, we see diversity exist so much in fiction that it does become normal, the standard.

Chapter 9, “Yes to Joining the Club,” I suggest that everyone drop what they’re doing, run out to a bookstore or library, and read this chapter right now. Maybe stop along the way to get tissues. I cried. I’m rarely ever hit that hard emotionally. Reading about the group effort of those women, I don’t know, maybe it made my heart swell until tears came out. Perhaps it is because reading that gave me hope for myself and my fellow Native Americans. Speeches like that are why I’m part of the #HeForShe movement. Bravo. I actually had to set this book down because it moved me so emotionally that I “needed a minute” to process.

“Say yes to staying conscious.” That line had me laughing so hard that my spouse thought something was wrong with me. (“J’s finally flipped, gone round the bend. Time for the whitecoats to haul him away.”) Maybe it’s extra funny because I needed a laugh. Seriously, this book is an emotional journey.

I love that, near the end of the book, she goes back to Chicago to give a voice to a statue. There’s something really deep about that, something amazing about different art forms coming together.

There’s a section (in the paperback edition I read) with color photos. They’re great and I highly recommend viewing them. There’s even one of Jenny McCarthy (Shonda’s, not the other one; this one is pro-vaccination). Even the copyright page of this book has a line of humor.

I enjoyed the book far more than I expected. I mean, it’s Shonda Rhimes, I’m already a fan, so I figured it would be good. But this was so much better than I thought. I’d suggest it to all the fans of her shows, to anyone who is “diverse” and hopes to one day be “normal” or wants someone else like you to look up to. And to anyone who has shut themselves away for any non-medical-life-and-death reason. I do like the cover. The gold silhouette of a woman jumping for joy is pretty accurate (as this book is aimed more at women, but I liked it anyway). I got this book as a gift a year ago. I thought I’d have to wait until January to read it, that it would give me step by step instructions for a year… I was wrong. Read it any time. Waiting is dumb. Waiting is an excuse. Waiting is blowing up perfectly good train tracks.

I have read other autobiographies. I’ve read other self-help type books. I’ve never read anything quite like this though. This is more. This is like when people talk about the difference between American .89 cent sliced white bread versus some other country’s small village bread baked by the elders and served fresh. And yeah, you might think “eh, bread is bread,” but then you taste it and your tongue relays to your brain “OH, THIS IS WHAT TASTEBUDS ARE FOR.” That’s the experience of reading this book. I would absolutely read another book by Shonda, if she writes one.

“My happy ending is not the same as your happy ending.” Those words of wisdom should be quoted all the time. Dozens of memes. There should be tee-shirts and mugs and other such paraphernalia. Honestly, I think she may have cracked the code to the path to world peace with that line.

Finally, I want to wish Shonda Rhimes a happy birthday on January 13.

Jan 09 2019

Helpful Readathon Day 3 #boutofbooks 24 Six Degrees of Separation


Today’s challenge:

Six degrees of separation from Bout to Books

Find an original way to connect the two words (Bout and Books) through six books

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.

  1. Bouts of Mania – Uses the word Bout
  2. Chat ‘Bout: An Anthology of Jamaican Conversations – Uses bout short for about
  3. Yalla!: A Wandering Jew Survives Palestine, Cuba, Jamaica and America – Jamaican to Jamaica
  4. Secret Jews – From a Wandering Jew to the Secret Jews
  5. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living – Secret and Secrets
  6. The Book of Books – From a Little Book to the Book of Books



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks



This was a screenshot from my Amazon wishlist.



Day of the challenge: Day 3
What I read today:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
(I am SO CLOSE to the end!)



Total number of finished books: 0
Titles of finished books: 0




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews

Jan 08 2019

#BoutOfBooks 24 Readathon Character Dinner Party


Today’s challenge:

Character dinner party

You are hosting an intimate dinner party for five of your favorite characters. Who do you invite and what food do you serve?

The food I’d serve is how I’m going to pick the characters.
Why?
Because I don’t cook indoors. Disasters happen.
So we’ll be dining in the forest and the food is going to be served over an open fire. It might be fish, or rabbit, or squirrel, maybe deer if you’re lucky and I’ve got time. If it is deer, guests will be going home with gifts. Shoes, pants, vest, antler decor… you never know. But I use all parts of any animal I take. So the five guests are going to need to be willing to eat whatever I hunt, gather, and prepare.

  1. Katniss Everdeen – Likely to help me hunt.
  2. Hagrid – Most likely to “accidently” sell me something cool… like a dragon.
  3. Chris McCandless – Most likely to ask if the berries are safe. Really safe? Am I sure?
  4. Mowgli – Least likely to judge me for perferring the forest.
  5. Heath – It’s my party and I’ll invite my own character if I want to and you CANNOT stop me.



Instagram:
#bob24igphoto #boutofbooks




Day of the challenge: Day 2
What I read today:
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
(I’m at Chapter 9.)



Total number of finished books: 0
Titles of finished books: 0




My GOALS during Bout of Books 24:

  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews



What’s on your TBR?

Jan 08 2019

Flash Fiction #FlashFiction The Sunrise Alarm

Found this flash fiction prompt at: fictioncanbefun.wordpress.com

The Sunrise Alarm

The birds call to each other. Jenny Wren is especially loud about informing everyone in the forest that morning has come. Leaves rustle around me as rabbits hop and squirrels gather. A deer moves a twig as it heads to the stream. I inhale the clean air and crisp smells as I rouse. Breakfast options are all around me. It will be served once I acquire and prepare it. Moving silently is the key. After that’s done, I’ll wash up in the stream.

BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP!!! The machine blares a warning. Is it just morning, or has something come to kill me? My other half smacks around with closed eyes until the nightmarish sound stops. I would trade my pillow for a rock so I could smash that thing. There isn’t time to enjoy smells. Breakfast needs to be ready soon. More machines. Labels on food that comes from machine places. Another machine heats the water for the shower I’ll take. Not to feel refreshed, not to equalize my scent with my surroundings, but so as to not stand out, to not become prey for mean people.

Which world is really mine? Can I belong to both? How can a person live in one and not the other?

Could I ever be happy now that I know both?

Those questions might never be answered.

Will I ever destroy the alarm clock?

Some piles of remains at a junkyard may offer a clue.

Accidents happen.

Sometimes accidents involve a Bowie knife when I’ve been left alone for the night.

Whoops.

~ By J Lenni Dorner

(Fiction… yeah… fiction. Ha ha ha.)

Load more