May 18 2019

Readathon #BookReviews #boutofbooks 25 Growing TBR and Most Read Authors

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Share the love!

Share the books, websites, etc., you’ve discovered this readathon.

I made quite a few new friends on Instagram during the challenge. There might be more, and I don’t know if they’re all BoB fans. But here’s a screenshot from today:
New Instagram followers @JLenniDorner

I looked up a few other books, but some weren’t in Amazon (not in the US, anyway). But here are six that joined the list.

J's Amazon wishlist grew during #boutofbooks 25

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Most read author

Day of the challenge: 6
What I read today:
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon

Total number of finished books: 3
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

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Book Reviews:

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

I recommend this book to those who enjoy pondering where the Old Gods are now, what they might be doing since the religions that worshipped them have so greatly declined in followers. A large chunk of this book uses myths from the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse mythologies.

I really wish there was an included link list to more information about the referenced deities and myths. I knew most, but still, I think it would be useful. Most of the stories have Gods who were formerly worshipped in parts of Europe (some from Africa or Asia) now retired in the United States. (Coyote was the only Native American omnipotent being I spotted.)

I read the whole book because I’ve read a few of these authors before and looked forward to seeing what they contributed. As a bonus, I found some new-to-me authors to look up and fan-stalk. The title goes very well with the book, as it does describe several of the characters. There are some references to sex, alcohol, and rock-n-roll, but it’s a clean-read overall.

Each of the stories was a page-turner, though I read the book over a week’s time because it was my “I have 20 minutes” book, so I mostly read one story at a time.

The current genres listed are correct for this book.
Greek & Roman Myth & Legend
Greco-Roman Myth & Legend Fantasy eBooks
Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories

Disclaimer: I signed up to host a #bookblast and to read an ARC (April 17, 2019, was the last updated one I received). I am a speculative fiction author who is writing a series where the main characters are omnipotent beings.

Pan by Vanessa Wells – I had never heard barbed wire called bob wire before, so I learned something. The story itself I really liked. It pulled me into the book. Excellent opener. It left me wanting more of the Clair character.

A Low-Key Game Night by Elizabeth Shaffer – I like the hidden joke in the title. I found this quite amusing. Pretty sure fans of the traditional lore will enjoy this far more than fans of the MCU.

For Want of a Feather by Andrew Dunlop – A very interesting concept. It didn’t end exactly as I thought it might, but I was close to guessing. Good philosophical debate opener, especially for atheists.

Out of Luck by Vanessa Finaughty – This one is full of feels by the end. Love the HEA. Very meaningful.

Rule 34 by Avery Vanderlyle – You know, this is kind of realistic fiction because it *could* be true. I mean, it’d be hard to prove one way or other, wouldn’t it? Authors of romance and erotica will probably get the biggest kick out of reading this gem.

I really loved this part:
“You’re a harvest deity, Demeter. You’re only concerned with procreative sex.” Loki leered. “But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A force like sexuality — then you add human imagination -”

Immanent Domain by Wendy Smyer Yu – This was my favorite story. (I’m a Native American. This story used Coyote as a trickster, who is from the lore from some Native American tribes. That makes me happy.) I like that it was more Urban Fantasy, and that the immortal and mortal had real interactions, and that she was able to help him and others in the end.

I don’t know the Scrub Jay mythology. (Or jackrabbit, muskrat, or tule elk.) I’ve heard of Coyote as a trickster in several mythologies/ religions though. I do wish I knew which tribe’s lore was used in this case though.

A part I enjoyed:
She’d never heard of that one and for a moment she was embarrassed that she knew the names of all the current game shows. Yes, she had been a little depressed in the winter and had watched too much television, but her recent resolve to cultivate new interests and find greater fulfillment still held firm.

God of Morning by Elizabeth McCleary – This was a complex story. I enjoyed it. Excellent ending.

There’s a part I really loved:
There was a homeless man on a bench, enjoying the first rays of the sun as they warmed his face. His joy at the morning was earthy, but heartfelt. Mere existence spawned depression in some, but here was one who savored every moment. He treated the day like a brother.

And then there’s a part that I feel a lot of LGBTQIA+ people would appreciate:
“Don’t call me Dawn. I’m not a goddess, I’m a god.” He sounded sulky. This was an old argument. In truth, the gods and goddesses were neither masculine nor feminine—or maybe they were both—but were assigned characteristics by their believers based on their perceptions. But Morrow—Dawn—had never wanted to be a girl.

I really love the ending. It was full of feels. HEA!

Zeus Really Needs to Go by Shawn Klimek – Love the duel meaning of the title. The part about the “me too” movement caught my attention. The setting is intriguing.

There’s a conversation that had me pondering:
“The jury of public opinion, Dad. Media.”
“A fig for the opinion of mortals.”
“Mr. Zeus!”
Mars held up a palm and blocked the chair. “Dad, our power faded when people stopped worshipping us, right? What do you think will happen if they start hating us?”

Breaking the Habit by Ronel Janse von Vuuren – Sneaky “Woody Allen” use in there. I loved the idea of them golfing. I could picture it. Well-done. Good plot-twists. I like the theme of the importance and continued value of the old. My third favorite story in the book.

The New Chief Medical Examiner by Tom Vetter – I ended up liking this far more than expected. My second favorite story in the book. I love the inclusion of Elvis. Very entertaining. The setting made me wonder several things, mostly at the end while SF is in the restroom. I’m curious as to the lore of the story, if it’s more fantasy/myth where people don’t know the place exists, or more like “magical realism” where it’s accepted that the world population would know about the place.

Lines that made me laugh:
“When things get particularly bad, we bring in George Patton or Chuck Norris to slap him back into line.”

“Well, he’s certainly high-functioning, and his intellect is intact. Completely crackers, of course. Totally self-deluded and immersed in this (*SPOILER) identity to the point of having lost his original persona.”

If any readers are highly offended though, please write and send me your valid postal address. I’ll personally apologize and send you a free gift: Medusa’s head in an unmarked box.

Playing Hooky by Juneta Key – I really liked the bartender, even if that’s a minor character. I enjoyed the wider variety of deities. The use of Gameboys made me laugh.

Harbinger of Doom by Katharina Gerlach – This one made me hungry. It was inspirational and entertaining. I like how it turned out.

Whither Athena? by Marshall J. Moore – I liked the twist on the old-school detective story. I loved the scene at The Lincoln Memorial. This story made me laugh and left me pensive. Excellent emotional rollercoaster. A perfect story to end the book.

This conversation cracked me up:
“Ah.” He set the phone down on my desk, steepling his fingers. “Again, my apologies. You can call me Mr. Mercury.”
“A Queen fan, I see.”
A smile cracked his tan face, wide and genuine. His teeth were perfectly white. “Who isn’t?”

And then this hit me like a ton of emotional bricks:
“As you said, wisdom now is needed. Your leadership is corrupted by greed, the populace divided by fear and dissent. In a land of strength and prosperity wealth and power are held by the few, and the many suffer for it. Change is coming, but it rests with the people to determine if it be for good or ill.
“So I will step away, to see if this democracy can weather the storm it finds itself in. To see if the people have learned well the lessons of justice and equality, and can use them to right the course of this ship before it wrecks itself upon the reefs.”

That is the most powerful lesson in the book. It should be quoted and spread all over the Internet. Meme viral wildfire! Ask how candidates feel about it when the elections come. Really, that’s an excellent quote and made me grateful to have read this book.

#Quote Whither Athena? by Marshall J. Moore in Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1

Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon 🐦 @lizmeldon2 / 📷 @authorlizmeldon
4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

{ Also known as:
The Maenad of Manhattan (Lovers and Liars) (Volume 1) – September 9, 2014
Manhattan (Lovers and Liars #1) }

#SpecFic #BeatTheBacklist
Author I Haven’t Previously Read, First book in a series

Lovers and Liars by Liz Meldon

Aphrodite is a love columnist and wealthy Manhattan socialite. (Like Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, but with Mr. Big’s bank account.) She hasn’t seen many of the Old Gods in a long time. Then Loki shows up. The amount of humans who remember and worship the Gods has a direct impact on how powerful they are, and if they still exist at all, in this story.

It was good.
It’s interesting within the paranormal romance/ erotica genre because it brings the heat early on (15% in has the first steamy kiss that leads to more), and it keeps up the heat. Aphrodite and Loki are into rough play, but they are immortals and it is consensual.

I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading erotica where the characters are from different pantheons. I don’t read a lot of erotica, but I thought this was well written. I do greatly enjoy paranormal romance as well as urban fantasy. (With slightly different names and backgrounds, this could easily be an Existence novella of my own. And because it reminds me of how my characters feel about and approach certain things, I enjoyed it far more than I might have otherwise.)

Some of my favorite lines include:
“persons working in service positions were the people to flatter if one wished to get anything extra in this world.” The line is thought by Aphrodite, and it explains why she’s so very generous to drivers, bartenders, maids, etc.

“bodacious body” I haven’t heard someone use that adjective, outside of surfer speak, in a long time. It was odd that the action paused for a lengthy description, but perhaps that’s why I noticed the word. If not for passages that paused for description, I would have given this five stars.

“It’s been pleasant to have someone by my side and in my bed who truly understands what I am.” Another Aphrodite quote, which sounds exactly like something my Existence characters would say. Really, if emoji hearts could appear in my eyes, I would have had them at this line.

I also enjoyed the author’s afternote, which suggests I can go have a baked good for being awesome and fantastic. And the quick and dirty guide to the gods mentioned was an extremely thoughtful addition. I appreciate that.

I read the whole book because I was curious about what Aphrodite would do next. It didn’t end as I suspected it would. It did leave me wanting to read more from this author. This is the first book in a series, which seems to be a spin-off of another (non-erotic) series.

It’s a happily-ever-after for the most part, erotic, romantic, controversial if you have feelings about certain pantheons, there was some action, a few plot twists, and it was fun and entertaining to read.

I hadn’t heard of the Maenad before, so I learned about them.

There are several covers. I do like the one with the man (Loki) about to kiss the neck of the woman (Aphrodite), though I don’t know how much it matches the characters.

The theme seems to be independence, knowing how to make your own way. I think Aphrodite was the author’s favorite character, as the erotic scenes focus much more on her and her body.

Obstacles are difficult to write when your main characters are deities. Aphrodite’s main one seems to be that she’s lonely. Loki’s main one seems to be that he was being forgotten, and thus fading. Those are the internal conflicts. The external one is the Maenad.

May 17 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 Favorite Hero, Villain, and Feel Good Read #Books and #WriteClubDFW Scorecard

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Favorite hero/favorite villain

You got this. Who’s your favorite hero? Favorite villain? Share each for today’s challenge.

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Favorite feel good read

Day of the challenge: Day 5
What I read today:

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology

Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

#WriteClubDFW Scorecard! Because reading and voting in all the bouts is part of my goal this month.
These are MY votes. You should vote for the stories YOU like. I just wanted a quick reference for my own purposes.

#writeclubdfw 2019

May 17 2019

The Magic Misfits #BookReview and #BoutofBooks 25 #BookRecommendation #MustRead #FavAuthor

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

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.

View this post on Instagram

Challenge: If you like this, try that. #bookstagram #books #boutofbooks #BoB25IGphoto #reading #readathon #reading📖 The Alchemist has a guy who opens up to possibilities. A Year of Yes is about @shondarhimes opening up to possibilities and enhancing #girlpower #womenpower #feminism . The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by @debb_rod has a woman running a business in a country struggling with equality. All three are #diversereads #weneeddiversebooks 📚 #NPH Magic Misfits has a similar #middlegradebooks fiction voice to Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) 📚 And if you like to both #read and #write, I suggest 📖 Writing Book Reviews as an Author. Because every #bookreview matters! 😊❤

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

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Auto-buy author

Ha ha ha. My cousin jumped in. We laughed so hard we were crying. Her account is private, I believe, so let me share the laughs here via screenshot:

@Penminion autobuy authors boutofbooks
@penminion Jamie.Writer signed copies books #boutofbooks

By the way, I’m still cooler. Ha ha ha.

Day of the challenge: Day 4
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology

Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

Book Review:

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

#WeNeedDiverseBooks #DebutAuthor (NPH Middle-grade debut book) #BeatTheBacklist (2017), First book in a series

Real magic is all around me because I know where to look. 😉

I was already laughing at the TOC. 11ll! Oh, here’s a thing I know, bakers get one more because that extra one is for the taste tester. Royalty couldn’t have an uneven number.

This book was filled with secrets (and magic tricks) and a hidden thing or three… which made it an awesome and engaging read. I don’t read a lot of middle-grade fiction, but this seems incredibly entertaining and encouraging for young people. I read the whole book because I wanted to know how it would turn out.

I especially enjoyed page 100 / Ch 8, where Theo tells Carter that he helped because others could not help themselves, and that was enough even though all he got out of it was knowing he did the right thing. I like that as a character motivation.

This has a similar voice to the Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) “A Series of Unfortunate Events” series. (Which isn’t a shock since NPH starred in the Netflix version based on those books.) It’s also a bit similar to Harry Potter, though this is stage magic that anyone willing to practice with patience and perseverance can learn to do. Also, for those who don’t like Dumbledore and Harry’s relationship, this book would be more appealing because of Mr. Vernon (I can’t elaborate, but the end lays it out).

Grilled cheese and radish sandwiches? That’s new to me.

Has anyone ever cried so hard they laughed? Yes. That has happened to me. (My mind might have snapped a bit that day. I think that’s called dark humor.) Just thought I’d weigh in on the question from page 171 / Ch 14.

I borrowed this book. I highly recommend getting a print copy because you won’t fully enjoy it unless you can thumb back and forth. Which you will want to do. It’s part comedy, somewhat realistic fiction (I’m not sure if a place like Mineral Wells exists, but I’d like to think it might), happily-ever-after, action-packed, inspirational (especially if you’re an outsider or wannabe magician), meaningful, fun, entertaining, and informative (especially if you like to do tricks). NPH is an authority on the subject of magic, and he’s an adoptive father of two. Plus it’s a diverse book! A homeless kid, an adopted kid with gay dads, a kid in a wheelchair, people of color, plus carnies (who are villains, but still). The theme is about friendship and family (“non-traditional” perhaps).

There’s also a life lesson about honesty and not stealing. I think it holds a sort of dusty and cracked mirror up to society, because here’s a homeless kid but the book isn’t about him being homeless, it’s about him being a good person at all costs. I think that’s really important, and something that society doesn’t consider– that a lack of birth parents doesn’t make you a bad person. (Could someone shout that for the people in the back, please? Thanks!)

I’m a fan of NPH, so yes, I’ll read more of his books. Plus, I already plan to read the next books in this series.

I learned a magic-math trick from this book. The cover and the inside art are top-notch. The title makes perfect sense by the end. Some people might be off-put early on when seeing how Carter’s uncle mistreats him, and there might be difficult conversations about homelessness and foster homes/ orphanages. But I care about those topics, so I think that adds value to the book. It was relatable for me, and brought up some emotions from my youth. Leila reminds me of a friend I had years ago, someone who was easy to become friends with and wasn’t overly judgemental.

Bosso’s carnival and the magic shop were both settings that really came alive for me. My senses were engaged.

8♠️9♦️ 6♣️5♦️Q♠️Q♠️Q♦️4♦️ 9♠️5♦️A♦️4♠️5♦️9♠️

May 15 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 #CoverLove #BookishFavorites

I just updated the 1000 posts giveaway. Three prizes unlocked!
Prize: $5 US Amazon egiftcard Cassandra
Prize: $5 US Amazon egiftcard Ace
Prize: Live, Love, Laugh, Learn Magnetic Bookmarks Nicki

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Book plot emoji

Tell the plot of a book (recent read, favorite, whatever) with emojis.

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Love on your favorite cover(s)

Day of the challenge: Day 3
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

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

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

May 15 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 Favorites and #Fandom #GeekingOut and #DiverseReads

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

OMG!!! Guys, I’m geeking out over here. I may have mentioned my love of the Red Queen series.
(“By ‘mention’ you mean not shutting up about it?” Umm… yes…)
Today, this happened:

@VictoriaAveyard liked @JLenniDorner tweet May 14 2019

I’ll grant you that she’s tagged in the tweet, because it’s my bookish favorites and NATURALLY I put one of hers in there because she’s one of my favorite authors. (Even more so after reading her endnotes. Seriously, if you haven’t read the books and aren’t into future fantasy stuff, at least do yourself the favor of reading the personal notes she left at the end of the books because OMG.)

You know, that’s kind of the author dream. I may need to add it to my life goals. Have a fan who geeks out because I hit like on their tweet. Anyway, that’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me during Bout of Books. No, wait… I had a brief chat with Mary Elizabeth Summer after I reviewed her book. Was that during bout of books or because I’m on her mailing list? I’m not totally sure. ANYWAY. Enough of my fandom rambling. Onto today’s wrap-up!

Today’s challenge:

Bookish favorites

Today is all about sharing your favorites. Get wild. Share your favorite author, audiobook, book, series . . . if you have a favorite anything, today’s the day to shout it out.

flaming dice bookmark
There’s a better picture of my favorite bookmark. I probably like it because of my tabletop RPG days.

Writing Book Reviews As An Author is also shown, but not listed in the caption.

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks

What makes Fractions of Existence a Diverse read?

Xavier — scarred, body dysmorphic disorder
Jezebel — Indian-American
Heath — nutmeg tinted skin (heritage has only been hinted at in the series thus far)
Gwendolyn — golden olive skin, plus-size female, Mormon/ LDS religion
Jun — Asian-Caucasian
Caleb — Gay

#WeNeedDiverseBooks #DiverseReads Fractions of Existence by @JLenniDorner

Day of the challenge: Day 2
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

Not much progress due to work and doctor appts.

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

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

May 13 2019

Raving about Readathon Love for #BoutofBooks 25

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Introduce Yourself #insixwords

#InSixWords #boutofbooks  My autobiography in six words: rebel, strange, author, man, American, Lenape

#InSixWords #boutofbooks
My autobiography in six words:
rebel, strange, author, man, American, Lenape
(Yes, all the words are from book spines. 📚 )

#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks

Day of the challenge: Day 1
What I read today:

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology

I’m reading an ebook. I’m also borrowing an actual book. PLUS, I’m reading 500 word enteries at Write Club!

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

My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

The Twitter chat was fun. My TBR pile grew. (Big shock, I know.)
I decided to make a list of what sort of books people want to read, based on the Twitter question. The number is how many people gave that answer.

Q6. Fill in the blank: I’d like to see more books with ____. #boutofbooks

13 #WeNeedDiverseBooks (non-binary, trans, genderqueer/fluid, non-straight, POC, #ownvoices, paranormal black characters, diverse parents, disabled, aro/ace, LGBT+, diverse mysteries, all body shapes have fair representation, LGBT+ dystopian, noticeable flaws, mental issues, normal weight, plus-sized, marginalized)
3 Viking, Celtic, Native American (characters, mythology, protagonist/ “good”)
2 Unicorns
2 strong female friendships without backstabbing & drama, really smart women
2 magical realism / technology and magic (not steampunk)
1 Urban Fantasy with Dragons
1 Lady Pirates
1 New Adult non-romance (more college and young professionals)

May 12 2019

Mother’s day Sunday Stealing Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

1. Do you own your things or do your things own you?
I own them.

2. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
Have some pretty bad old ones. And have been making good new ones. So I guess lose the old. Ohh… but would I remember the stories I’m working on? Yikes. And never recall what I’ve read? Eeek.

3. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?
Find a way to cut them from the equation.

4. What do you have that you cannot live without?
Survival instincts.

5. When you close your eyes what do you see?
Mostly darkness, some bits of color.

6. What sustains you on a daily basis?

7. What are your top five personal values?

  • love
  • creativity
  • tolerance
  • freedom
  • loyalty

8. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?
Because people aren’t possessions.

9. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?
Uhh, I guess.

10. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?
Plenty of them.

11. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
Publish the whole Existence book series.

12. Why are you, you?
Because no one else signed up to be me.

13. If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?

14. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?
Challenge, love, uncanny.

15. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing? Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?
Yes, because some laws require disobedience to improve society.

16. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?
Being equal to the others of your species, including not having someone try to reclassify you as some other species just to make you less so you can be owned.

17. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?
Publish another novel.

18. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?
I’d ask someone why they did something horrible.

19. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
This is interesting because I’m writing a fantasy story where this is true.

Quote from Host Bev Sykes of 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: Thought Provoking Questions

May 05 2019

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Reflection of a Co-Host

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge

We celebrated our Tenth Anniversary at the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

#AtoZchallenge. The blog hop that made an online community by asking bloggers to spend the month of April using the English alphabet as inspiration for their posts.

The Reflection post is an A to Z Challenge tradition. It gives us a chance to look back at what worked, what didn’t, what we’ve done, what was learned, and where we hope to go from here.

This year, in honor of our anniversary, there’s a list of ten questions:

  1. What did you love about the challenge this year?
    • I love that it is the TENTH year. Do you know how many hops don’t make even two years? And we’re at TEN!

      (Sure, we didn’t have the 1,718 blogs of 2012. Or the 2,009 blogs of 2014. But 685 is still impressive!)

  2. What would you change about it?
    • I try my best to please as many people as possible. I know some people were upset with some comments (an escort service and taxi company spammed people, for example). And others are upset that we’re not BlogChatter (I mean… I can’t make us be an entirely separate blogging group that happens to have a similar event at the same time). But the biggest complaint I heard was from people who were angry we stopped using Google+ and Feedburner email service (both of which were shut down, and we don’t own Google, so… I mean, I can apologize, but it is what it is). Honestly, I’m thrilled with how things are running. Jayden is a sheet goddess. John knows all the tech. Zalka is so upbeat. Arlee has given us a real gift, for which I’ll always be grateful. Our team is wonderful.
  3. What was the best moment for you during this year’s challenge?
    • Thanks Team post – Arlee wrote a deeply moving post. That was my best moment, reading that post.
  4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment?
    • You know what was fun in the comments for me this year? Janet and Ronel. I feel the love, ladies! You’re both awesome.
  5. Will you do the challenge again?
    • Without a doubt.
  6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?)
    • I love my team. And fill it out… yeah, I freaking wrote it.

    J Lenni Dorner blog numbers April

  7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy?
    • I love the number spike that April brings. The challenge makes blogging so much more interactive. I love our community. And yes, I did find some new blogs to enjoy! And I really loved blogging another reference book. I think sharing knowledge is really useful to the community.
  8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?)
    • I am locked at the top of the list. And the daily lists had SO MANY complaints that I’m pleased as pudding to see them gone.
  9. Any suggestions for our future?
    • I want to see what others write for this. All my thoughts and suggestions are already shared with the team.
  10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one?
    • Our team is great. Jeremy does AMAZING work and we should all go attack him with praise and shirt orders. (He and I did try to find a way to get other merch, like mugs or pens, but it didn’t work out.)


The team needs your feedback!

That’s the link to the after survey.

Grab your A to Z gear, and other cool goodies from our graphics guy, here:

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge SURVIVOR badge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Questions: Did you make a reflection post and sign it up on the form? Have a chance to enter my giveaway?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

Find the book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image

May 05 2019

Sunday Stealing 15 Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

1. Name three things you love about yourself.

  1. I love that I’m a writer. I love sharing stories with the world.
  2. I love that I decend from the Lenni Lenape. I’m proud of my heritage.
  3. I love that I support communities of bloggers, readers, and writers. (Via the A to Z Challenge, Bout of Books and Tackle TBR, Operation Awesome and We Need Diverse Books.)

2. What’s the bravest thing you ever did?
In my opinion, told someone I loved them.
In the opinion of another: Years ago, I came across an injured guy who was under attack by a wolf. I did not know the man. I came between him and the animal, got the wolf to go back into the woods, and thus probably saved both lives.

3. Talk about the craziest night of your life.
Good crazy or bad crazy? I mean, bad crazy, yikes, I don’t want to go there. Crazy good… Snookums and I went out. First time staying in the forest for my other half. We had only been together for a few weeks. There was a picnic under the stars. We stayed in a cave. One of us (me) enjoyed that, the other liked it less, at first. (But got into it as the night went on… 😉 ) We fished for breakfast. (I caught a fish… Snookums caught a styrofoam cup.)

4. Name three things you want in life

  1. Love, which I have but always want.
  2. To publish more books.
  3. To inspire others and give back to my communities.

5. Who’s your biggest celebrity crush?
Michelle Rodriguez or Oscar Wilde

6. What’s your most common mistake?
“Unnecessary comma in complex sentence.” – Grammarly Insights

7. Which three things would you save if there was a fire?

  1. Keys
  2. Meds
  3. Snookums isn’t a thing… umm… my pants? Seems smart to not run out naked if possible.

8. What’s your favourite sport?
Is hunting a a sport? I’m good at going into the woods with nothing, making my own weapons and traps, and using nearly every part of any animal I take. But sports with moving a ball from one spot to another don’t excite me.

9. Talk about something good that recently happened to you.
I reached 1000 blog posts. And 4000 comments. And I’m really close to some other follower goals. Plus, I just completed the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And won the WEP encourgement award.

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge SURVIVOR badge THE ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD FOR THE 2019 WEP APRIL CHALLENGE JEWEL BOX goes to @JLenniDorner #WEP #WEPFF

10. Which fictional world would you want to live in if you could?
That’s a tough call. Maybe my own, in Fractions of Existence?

11. What’s one thing you can never say no to?
A cat asking to be held.

12. Talk about a childhood memory.
I made friends with some girls. I hadn’t had peer-friends before that. We enjoyed reading books together. Most of their parents didn’t especially like me. It all fell apart when one girl agreed to go out with a guy. And that guy led a violent attack on me because he assumed I liked my friend as more than a friend. He was wrong.

13. Name five things you find attractive in others.

  1. Being literate.
  2. Being accepting.
  3. Creativity.
  4. Leadership.
  5. Courage.

14. Are you good at making final decisions or do you easily change your mind?
I’m good at final decisions.

15. Name three guilty pleasures of yours.

  1. Reading marathons.
  2. Surveys like this.
  3. Pinterest.

Quote from Host Bev Sykes of 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: One Direction Asks

May 01 2019

Behind the Curtain of a Flash Fiction Story #WEP #IWSG


May 1 question – What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

My answer gets really dark, as it’s about using words to break the spirit of a child (me). And I’m not going there. So here’s something about language and writing, with an IWSG tie in, that ends with a genuine question. Sorry it’s long, here’s a giveaway and a potato.

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

Let the potato rest

Behind the Curtain of a Flash Fiction Story


Sometimes, as an author, it’s fun to play with words. To create a whole scenario in one’s head. Last month, I looked at the WEP prompt of Jewel Box.

What is in your Jewel Box? Join @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey for 2019's second challenge #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction

Visually, on the prompt image, there is a picture of a jewelry box. I asked myself if I’ve ever heard someone call a jewelry box a jewel box before. No, I hadn’t. Which meant one of two possibilities: Either it’s a regional dialect difference, or the term has an alternative meaning.

I thought about the second possibility. Where had I heard that term before? Jewel box. Jewel box? Jewel box!

Baseball! Of course. Jewel box was an architectural term for a kind of baseball park. Fenway being my favorite one. (I lived, “crashed with a friend,” in Boston for a while some years ago.)

There’s an ongoing bit of humor among folks who know Fenway. A massive left field wall, once plastered with ads, was painted green back in 1947. It’s called the Green Monster. Obviously, this kind of monster isn’t the usual scary type. It’s more of a monstrosity than a monster. Who wouldn’t get that play on words?

Who indeed.

Which made me think about artificial intelligence.

Depending on your sci-fi preference, there are robots that don’t quite “get” certain human expressions. This is one of the factors that holds actual scientists back when working on AI. You can take a young child to Fenway and say the wall is called the Green Monster, and they’ll either laugh or roll their eyes. I doubt many youngsters have woke up screaming, “There’s a 37-foot wall under my bed! It’s threatening to not let me cover it with advertisements!” But what if an artificial intelligence didn’t get that?

What might an AI be afraid of, if it were programmed with fear? Better yet, what if the creator made the robot to play baseball, something that the person couldn’t do.

Because she’s a girl and thus can’t play for the Red Sox? That sent me down a transgender path with a F to M character who has gender reassignment for the love of the game. But I didn’t like where that was going. “I feel like a MLB player, but my gender is holding me back.” I don’t think that’s fair to the trans community on the whole. Plus, it might start a comment avalanche about locker rooms and trans people and I just didn’t want that. I also didn’t like that it left out the robot.

So maybe the creator, who I now called Skip, is a guy in a wheelchair. Skip, who ironically cannot skip and that’s how he got the nickname which he hated at first but made it his own so the bullies couldn’t use it, loves baseball. It’s possible that an accident during little league is why Skip is paralyzed from the waist down. (I didn’t research that, so I don’t know if it’s possible.) What if Skip was “encouraged” to focus on science because sports were “too dangerous” now. (Insert helicopter parent here. Instead of a wise-old-sage character who suggests Special Olympics Baseball. Because, again, the goal was to work Fenway into the story.)

Skip builds a robot. “What’s the difference between a robot and an android?” Google…

Android is either a Robot or a Cyborg which is Humanoid in appearance. In general there is no reason a Robot or Cyborg must appear Human, but an Android, by definition, appears similar to a Humanoid.

Define android:
Google results for android

That’s a twist on a certain logo we know well, isn’t it? That an android must have a humanoid appearance.

Okay, so Skip builds an android with the intention that it will play for the Boston Red Sox. That’s his proxy. This is how Skip will achieve his dream.

But what kind of story would it be if that went well? Stories are all about conflict. Obviously, something has to go wrong.

Things that could go wrong:

  • The android feels like it is cheating.
  • The android fears the Green Monster, and smashes the wall.
  • The android doesn’t make the team because someone rules that it is cheating…

… so it gets a job working security at Fenway…
…and it goes crazy, creating a hostile situation.

(You see how brainstorming works here.)

But the android eludes capture, because it’s an android and thus is freaking smart. It changes appearance to look elderly, because it’s an android and that is just a matter of swapping some parts. In fact, maybe that’s how someone figured out it is an android to start with? The lack of functional male genitals. (Yup, my brain circled back to the F to M trans character, and that locker room debate. And how sports people are often known for placing a high value on inconsequential genital appearance, which is why teams have segregation.) But I didn’t want to write that scene because I had a flashback to locker rooms and bullies. And then I stopped working on the story.


Didn’t see that twist coming, did you? That I hit a point where I hated everything I had come up with so far, and thus quit.

A week later, I wrote a story about an award-winning jewel box cake made by someone on one of those baking shows. Who then finds out he’s allergic to gluten. So, even though he just won a huge baking show, and has offers from Duff and Buddy, as well as celebrities calling to make their cakes, now he can’t make those traditional cakes. And ends up starting a gluten-free bakery in the Village. (Greenwich Village.)

Jewel box cake? Jewelry box cake? Which is the wording?

And I put that story away.

Because I really wanted to use the phrase Jewel Box exactly as it is. Someone made that prompt. (I was thinking about the prompt contest, and forgot that was only for February, not all of 2019.) I wanted to interpret it right.

That’s when I went back to the story. I thought about how an android could exist forever. And how it could figure out how to cover-up what it has done. Redact files. Easy enough to hack anything when you are a robot. Except, what if there were print books? It would have to find those copies and destroy them.

What happens after Skip dies? What if the android was afraid of the Green Monster? And then Skip got sick and died, so now it’s also afraid of germs? It doesn’t realize that it can’t get sick. (Spoiler Alert for the movie Unbreakable: Just like David Dunn in Unbreakable didn’t realize he couldn’t get sick until Mr. Glass pointed it out. End spoiler.)

Slack conversation screenshot

All that was swimming in my head, but not on the page. Then I saw an ad for Mayfair. It’s a local event. Pretty sure it used to be a carnival in the hospital parking lot, though that might have been something else. It’s possible my brain has blurred several events together. Anyway, that got me thinking about carnival games. Especially ones where someone has to throw a ball to knock down milk bottles. For some reason, even high school jocks who throw balls around every chance they get, tend to miss. And then freak out and stomp around, and get into a fight with the Carny. But the Carny, despite being dressed like a peace-loving hippie, kicks the jock’s … (Memories.)

You know who could tell if a game was rigged? An android with super robotic eyes. One who has been living as a shut-in. One who probably made a boatload of money by way of technology. But is still plagued by what it did one day at Fenway. The un-caught scourge, who has basically been living in a prison of fear. And somehow (maybe barcodes are more advanced, I don’t know), it senses a copy of the book it thought it destroyed. It has to have it! And that means playing ball at this booth.

It wasn’t about baseball

Despite all of that thinking, the comments about the story were largely focused on the audience not knowing enough about baseball to appreciate the story. I don’t know much about sports, so I didn’t think I used any references that were especially difficult or jock-only. But I’m not in the habit of arguing with readers!

You know… WEP partnered with the IWSG.


So I put a second version of the story in the comments. Same story, same word count, but this time with a baker of a jewel box cake. (This is why we never delete ideas.)

I do wonder if only males can be called Old Timers? I’m quite sure I’ve heard older females use the wording about themselves. “I’m an old timer, you wouldn’t remember how it was in my day.” Or if “A League of Their Own” was wrong about women being able to use a baseball? Is The USA Baseball Women’s National Team defunct?

What made the android a male? I’d love to know!

Genders image meme

Especially because there’s a lot about gender I seem to not know. I actually wrote another story for WEP where the main character was actually a guy. Osiris, a gay man who falls for a skydiving instructor after a break-up. Despite the name Osiris, commenters thought the character was a woman. (In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is the god of life, death, the flooding of the Nile, and the afterlife. He was the brother and husband of Isis.) I figured that was a manly name. I’m horrible at figuring out gender or ethnicity based on names.

Frankly, this is the Internet, the only place where people sometimes think I’m a female. And I have no idea why. What makes me come off as a female? What made Osiris seem female? And what caused a genderless android to be a male?

I ask this as a writer. There must be something, other than genitals, that gives gender to someone. I want to know what it is. This is my “quest for the holy grail.” It matters to me because, in one of the Existence books, there’s a character with an ambiguous gender that some of the main characters try to figure out after the person gets engaged to another main character. So I’m curious as to what I might include to make the gender more difficult to determine. Unisex name (though, apparently, names have nothing to do with it), genderless-looks, font-like handwriting, a vocal pitch that could go either way… but there’s more. Because I used none of those things here. And yes, for flash fiction posts, I could include a note telling the readers flat out which pronouns to use. But I don’t know if that will help me grow as a writer???

genders image

I want to learn. How do readers decide on a gender when there is no pronoun to go by? Please “encourage” me by suggesting answers to that. Thanks for the research help!


To read the story (original in post, baking one in comments), go here:
Occurrences #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author and #WEPFF Jewel Box

Thanks for reading this!

Apr 30 2019

The Lovely Fickleness of April Goals #BookishResolutions #BoutofBooks #AtoZChallenge

Quote on The Lovely Fickleness of April Goals post

Got Goals Bloghop

I am utterly exhausted from the A to Z Challenge. If I didn’t have a two-day breakdown in the middle of the month, I’d have made it to my 300 blogs visited goal. So close!

I’ll be heading off to the woods later this month for much-needed Rest and Relaxation.

There’s a Giveaway link at the end, so you have that as my thanks as you scroll.


My lovely A to Z cohost, J R Vincente, made a spreadsheet to track progress for the year.
I’m counting blogging as “social media.”
key 2019 Productivity JLenniDorner image

April 2019
As you can see, my month was all about blog commenting and running social media. I took three days off and one day was just writing. But for most of April, I gave myself to the A to Z Challenge.

#BookishResolutions May 1 Check-in:

  • Self-publish Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS)
  • 91 days of writing in 2019
    • 44 so far.
  • July NaNoWriMow Camp
    • (not yet applicable)
  • November 50k words
    • (not yet applicable)!
  • Publish two books this year.
    • I’m half-way.
  • Enter 7 writing contests
    • Two down.
  • Read 12 books by Authors I Haven’t Previously Read
    • 10 down.
  • Read 8 Debut Author Books
    • 5 down.
  • Read 2 first book in a series books.
    • 1 down.
  • Read 2 “MC returns to hometown Trope” books.
    • 1 down.
  • Read 20 books from my Backlist.
    • 6 down
  • Read 3 books picked by the #IWSG Book Club
    • None yet.
  • Read 3 books picked by the Of Wonderland Book Club
    • None yet.
  • Read 7 Speculative Fiction books
    • 4 down.
  • Read 3 Classic books
    • none yet
  • Read 4 Writing Craft books
    • 3 down.
  • Read 3 Diverse books
    • –ACCOMPLISHED! 5 read!
  • Read 2 A to Z Challenge books
    • –ACCOMPLISHED! Read 5.
  • Self-publish + Blog the reference book on Writing Book Reviews
    • –ACCOMPLISHED! See links below.

Find the book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image


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


  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

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2019 Resolution:


  • 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 –2 posts
  3. writing –32 post
  4. legends — 0 posts
  5. characters — 3 posts
  6. urban fantasy/ speculative fiction — 2 posts
  7. read –0 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 (I’m told the update check-in is next week.)
    • 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 Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two: #AtoZChallenge TENTH anniversary of the April blogging challenge
    3. Three:
  • Enter 7 writing contests #BookishResolutions
    1. One: Check!
    2. Two: WEP April
    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
    • 430 as of Feb 23
    • 432 as of Mar 29
    • 441 as of April 30
  • 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.


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Goals just for May:

  • Read and review 4 books
  • Do the Bout of Books Challenges
  • Take the #AtoZChallenge after survey
  • Post my #AtoZChallenge Reflection post
  • Sign up for the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip
  • Help with the Pass or Pages Query Contest at Operation Awesome
  • May the Fourth be with me 😉
  • Get away for a weekend
  • Vote at WRiTECLUB

Review of Goals just for April:

  • ROCK the #AtoZChallenge Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Comment on 300 #AtoZChallenge blogs 230half credit because @JLenniDorner accomplished part of this goal
  • Take part in the WEP Jewel post Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Read and review 2 booksNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal

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

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

Apr 30 2019

Zero Lines Crossed #Writing One-Star #BookReviews as an #Author #AtoZChallenge

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And an extra big thanks to those who commented on my blog, or at least read these tips. Stay tuned next week for the REFLECTIONS post.

#AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author ~ meme from Pinterest

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter Z
is for Zero Lines Crossed

While it is okay to write a negative book review, there are lines that should not be crossed. Avoid putting any of the following into a review:

  • Obscenities
  • Privacy violations
  • Threats
  • Libelous allegations (something damaging to a reputation)
  • Harassment
  • Inflammatory or violent comments

Why would you even consider taking the time to write a one-star review? Because it will help you grow as an author.

Improve your writing meme ~ Zero lines crossed #Writing One-Star #BookReviews as an #Author #AtoZChallenge

Even if you opt to keep it to yourself, or send it to the author directly, it still gives you a chance to learn. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you love.

There is an example of a one-star review in my book. (The reviewed book doesn’t exist.)

As authors, we’re especially inclined to avoid writing one or two-stars book reviews. We appreciate how much time and effort it takes to put a book out there. The lowest one I’ve ever written was because a book was a work of flat-out plagiarism. (The book has since been removed from all sale sites.)

It’s hard to not find at least one nice thing to say. Should you spare the feelings of a fellow author, or save the time of fellow readers? Will you inform the place that sells the book about a quality issue? Or do you stay silent? Everyone has to follow their heart on this. I will only tell you that, if you do write one, keep the lines crossed at ZERO.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: What would you like my A to Z theme for next year to be?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

Find the book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image

Apr 29 2019

Yippie #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

Emotional writing

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter Y
is for Yippie

Were there any strong emotions this book evoked in you? An example would be making you shout “yippie” when your favorite character is victorious.

What someone is looking for when they read your review is your personal observations and emotional responses. Readers of reviews are genuinely interested in this, in your point of view.

Emotions are about you, how the book made you feel, even if the feelings don’t match the expected ones for the genre. There are funny horror novels and scary romances.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

Find the book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image

Friend of Poe

Apr 28 2019

Sunday Stealing and Melanin

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

Your favorite songs


Your favorite bands

Kill Hannah

Your favorite actors or actresses

Tom Hanks, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Momoa, Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Rodriguez

Your favorite books

Moonless (Maiden of Time Book 1) by Crystal Collier, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, (and my own books, naturally)

Books you dislike

Ones that plagiarize from other books.

Your favorite movies

Divergent, Die Hard, Fast & Furious movies

Your favorite TV shows

LOST, Stargate: Atlantis, How I Met Your Mother

Your favorite foods/drinks

Tamago Nigiri Sushi, Dark ‘N’ Stormy

Your favorite animal

Wolf, cats

Your favorite scents

Forest after the rain

Your hobbies/ things you do in your free time

read, watch movies, goof off on Pinterest, video games

Your pet peeves

Haters that spread their intolerance. SEE OTHER HALF OF THIS POST

Things you collect

Writing inspiration images

Things you like to swap

Knowledge, blog comments, food

Places you’ve been

Lots of places, not always by choice.

Places you’d like to visit

There are a few. Rome comes to mind first.

The songs you dislike

Any that are waking me from my blissful slumber.
alarm humor

The movies you dislike

Allegiant is my least favorite movie of all time, because they ruined the character arc of multiple charaters.

The TV shows you dislike

Safe. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t get into it.

classes you liked in school


classes you disliked in school

It wasn’t the class, it was the people in it.

crafts you would like to learn

Turning shells into jewelry. Mostly because people assume I’d know how to do it, but I don’t really. Not well, anyhow.

Quote from Host Bev Sykes of 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: Facebook

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Ah, prejudice. Just can’t escape the hate. I recently received a comment that triggered me. It felt threatening, a reminder from a stranger that, given the chance, the person would kill me for being a Lenni-Lenape. That my higher resistance to sunburn is an affront to that person.


It was suggested (by the friend of a friend) that I took it out of context. My friend did some digging into the person who said it. She found a post from a few years ago where the person expressed hatred of people who have even more melanin than I do, as well hate of anyone who believes in equality, and hate for an additional 24% of humans. That’s a LOT of people to hate.


I live in a world where this is true:

Deported Veterns

Seperation of families

Right to Vote revoked

Apr 27 2019

Xenophobia Triggers #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

xenophobia word cloud

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter X
is for xenophobia

Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. There are many people who are triggered by reading something like that. (Triggered is when someone feels hurt, offended, upset, or like an outcast because of a “trigger.” Distress because of feelings or memories from a troubling experience.)

Without giving spoilers away, was there anything especially offensive, any triggers for you? Examples include profanity, pedophilia, violent abuse, and discrimination. Was there any warning beforehand (perhaps in the book description) that the book contained this? Especially with romance and erotica books, were the steamy scenes safe and consensual?

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: Have you ever stopped reading or watching something because it triggered you?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image

Apr 26 2019

We Need Diverse Books #WeNeedDiverseBooks #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an Author

We Need Diverse Books

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter W
is for We Need Diverse Books

Is the book your reviewing diverse? Are there diverse main characters? Does the author mention having a diverse identity?

Diverse: “The diverse book movement recognizes all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” —

There are plenty of books that are great, but aren’t diverse. However, if someone is looking for a book with a certain diversity, and you’ve found one, your review might help.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: What is your favorite diverse book?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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Apr 25 2019

Visual Appeal #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter V
is for Visual appeal

Is it a good cover? Does it have visual appeal? Does it match the story or contents? This is your chance to remark on the work of an artist. Authors, as you probably know, do not always get a say on their book covers, so take care when wording, as praise or blame might belong to a publishing house. Also, give a brief description of the cover you are remarking on, because books change cover art (especially with later editions/ printings).

If you’re reviewing a children’s picture book or a graphic novel, this is a good time to also remark on the drawings done by the artist. Does it match the story? Is it well done and visually attractive? Use your own experience with art to determine how best to phrase this.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: What most catches your eye when it comes to book covers?
For me, it’s colors. Click here for my Pinterest board of favorites!

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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Apr 24 2019

Universal Life Lessons #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

Theme meme Universal Life Lessons #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter U
is for Universal life lessons

Did the author convey the theme well enough that you got the overall purpose of the book? Themes are universal life lessons. Authors are expected to notice themes. For non-fiction or reference, did the book educate you to the best of the author’s ability, in your opinion? Are you different because of this book, and in what way? Has knowledge or wisdom been imparted, and were you able to soak it up?

Themes like overcoming the odds, love conquering all, dealing with grief, surviving in nature, regaining religious faith, the importance of family or friends, and the bravery of soldiers are all popular examples. If you can relate to it, or if the theme helps you better understand something about life, that’s worth mentioning.

If you can’t relate to the theme of the book, chances are that you won’t give it five-stars.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: What is your favorite theme in fiction?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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Apr 23 2019

Typical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author

Typical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author ~Book Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter T
is for Typical

Is the book you’re reviewing the typical genre you usually read? If you aren’t sure, you can check what categories the book is in and determine if you’ve read any other books listed there. Is this the genre you write?

Another valuable insight could be if the book is a genre you generally like or dislike.
Someone who likes horror saying that this is a good horror book will help convince fellow horror fans to pick it up. Someone who doesn’t normally like fantasy saying that they enjoyed a fantasy book will start the crossover meter.

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Question: Are reference books a typical genre you read? Are books on Literary Criticism or Writing Skills a favorite indulgence for you?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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Apr 22 2019

Skeptical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author and Sweet Blog All About It

Skeptical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author and Sweet Blog All About It ~ photo By Unsplash Jon Tyson

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter S
is for skeptical and sweet

blog all about it challenge 2019

Today’s post will discuss one reason why a less-than-five-stars review isn’t the worst thing. (Next week, for Z, there will be a post about 1 and 2 stars reviews.)

What if disliking a book is what stops you from reviewing it? Consider that it’s possible that what you don’t like will be the very thing that someone else is looking for in a book. (Perhaps you found it too sad, but someone else is looking for books that will give them a good cry. Or the romance is too sweet for your jaded tastes, but perfect for others.)

The number of reviews, including the bad ones, makes a difference. Why? Because a book with two hundred five-stars glowing reviews, and nothing ranked lower, makes people skeptical. There’s no book that every reader thinks is perfect. Therefore, even a negative review might turn out to be not so bad. Just keep it respectful.

Consider this marketing psychology: “Four out of five dentists recommend this brand.” Why does that sell better and appeal more than saying most dentists, all dentists, or even just dentists? Because people are skeptical. When the word “most” comes up, people question how many. With the word “all,” people doubt it’s true. If there’s no number or amount at all, people consider that only two dentists are needed to make the word plural. That’s how it is with book reviews. People expect there’s going to be at least one reader who found some reason not to like the book. When it comes to writing book reviews, sweet honesty is best.

Reviews are life preservers thrown to indie and traditional published authors alike. It is, after all, one thing to sell a book, but quite another to get someone to read it and then provide feedback. Not to mention, there are some promotional sites for authors that will only accept a book with a certain number of reviews. Getting the first twenty or fifty reviews has never been more important. That’s why leaving a review is such a sweet act.

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Question: When you come across a book that has only five-stars reviews, do you trust that or question it?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~

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