Other than giving Jessica Lost Her Wobble a facelift (changing the cover a tad, adding some quotes at the beginning, and a Reader’s Discussion at the end), I am also working on a collection of short stories and using my iPad drawings to go along with them. I’m doing this with a program called Vellum, which I love. I just wish it did pdf’s. I so hope that is in the works.
My newest review for The Color of Cold and Ice.
I just like saying that. I’m happy to announce that my book (The Color of Cold and Ice) is now on Nook. And, also it is on Kobo, iBooks, Kindle, Scribd, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Inktera, Tolino (A German reader – must have liked my last name) and some others. It has been submitted to Overdrive. Overdrive is an application for checking out ebooks from your library. If it is not listed for your particular library, please ask them to request it. Thanks!
Here is my review of Grind by Edward Vukovic which I posted on Goodreads and Amazon. A fantastic book!
I am not far into the book, perhaps fifteen percent. I’m savoring each word as the author, Edward Vukovic, is adept at showing, not telling.
The book can be found on Amazon.
Jessica Lost Her Wobble by J. Schlenker is a unique love story with unexpected twists and turns. Jessica, more commonly called Jessie, is a woman in her mid-forties with a lot of baggage. Her self confidence is low and she is unsure of everything and everyone in her life. She meets Amy, a much younger woman, a girl really, and Jessica begins to learn how to live again through this new and liberating friendship. Jessie moved to America from England when she was a teenager, married the wrong man, and is now divorced and the mother of two children, Josh and Gina. Her marriage is over, her son has died, she is somewhat estranged from her adult daughter, and she is trying to figure out what her life is all about and where to go from here. She has moved away from the city to an island where she wants to just blend in and find herself. What she finds are friendships that help her to see herself in a different light and perhaps even a romance, if she can allow herself to be loved. Her life is finally coming into focus and she sees a real possibility for happiness…or is it all too good to be true? The past is not done with Jessie yet. Will she have the strength to survive both physically and emotionally when she is forced to relive the most painful moment of her life, just as she is beginning to have hopes for a future?
J. Schlenker has delivered an intriguing love story with some surprises. The story draws you in and holds your interest to the end, the very unusual end. J. Schlenker’s characters are well developed, realistic, sometimes quirky, and all very relatable. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see how things turned out, but yet hated to get there and have it be over. This was a very enjoyable read and the ending took me completely by surprise…which I will not divulge. J. Schlenker has succeeded in drawing the reader in and holding them there while entertaining and educating, surprising the reader with unexpected twists, and ultimately making the reader sorry that the book has ended.
Time to settle back down to real life today. My birthday was Saturday. We started celebrating on Friday, margaritas and flan. On Saturday a day out, Mediterranean, a birthday cupcake, and sushi, a strange combination of food. Also, getting my hair cut. The stylist told me I looked like Debbie Harry/Blondie. I was thrilled to no end even though she is seventy-one, eight years older than me.
The typewriter was a gift from my mother on my eleventh birthday. It was my first charm on my charm bracelet. Since I can officially call myself an author(?) my husband cleaned it and got a chain for it so I could wear it as a necklace. The carriage actually moves back and forth. They certainly made things well back then.
Finally did an author Facebook page yesterday. J. Schlenker Would love for you to like! And, thanks ahead of time.
This is crazy. I still have loose ends to tie up on The Color of Cold and Ice, published on Amazon only a few days ago. I still need to get it on iBooks, Nook, Overdrive, etc. Yet, I’m working on a cover for the next book, The Innkeeper on the Edge of Paris, the book that needs tons of rewriting and editing. Somehow, though, for me, I need to envision the completed product while I work. Also, today I like this design, but I will probably want to change it a few more times before the book is complete. This is just a mock up. My husband has a better quality picture that he took of the inside of Orsay on his computer.
The newest book, my second book, has arrived. I placed it on top of my first book on my makeshift desk (my husband plans on making me one from scratch at a later date, but for now this one is just grand), a table I removed from the living room for the purpose.
And, the view isn’t bad. Plenty of deer to watch when I look up from the keyboard.
- Publication Date: July 20, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01ITYEIJM
The Book Blurb:
Sybil has dreams; the prophetic kind, although interpreting them correctly is another matter. Her latest dream involves her sister Emerald, who wants to pursue her art once more and move on with her life after losing her husband. John, once felt he was making a difference as an ER doctor, but finds himself slipping away in his Manhattan practice as well as in his marriage. Allison, John’s wife wants to change her ho hum existence with John into something spectacular. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants to quit rambling in life and find his purpose.
The cold changes everything.
About J. Schlenker:
J. Schlenker has been featured on my review blog before with her award-winning Jessica Lost her Wobble. That was her first book and to me, they just…
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Currently working on “The Color of Cold and Ice”. Mainstream Fiction. Should be out in one to two weeks. If anyone would like a copy to review, please contact me. Blurb: Sybil has dreams; the prophetic kind, although interpreting them correctly is another matter. Her latest dream involves her sister Emerald, who wants to pursue her art once more and move on with her life after losing her husband. John, once felt he was making a difference as an ER doctor, but finds himself slipping away in his Manhattan practice as well as in his marriage. Allison, John’s wife wants to change her ho hum existence with John into something spectacular. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants to quit rambling in life and find his purpose.
The cold changes everything.
Or should I say cozy house? This is the view from where I am rewriting/editing my second novel, “The Color of Cold and Ice”. Almost there.
The room looks so much more inviting this way (picture altered using Prism – an application). It reminds me of stepping into a cartoon or a world in which everything is right. I can’t see the dust or that the floor needs to be vacuumed, both I intend to do when I come to a stopping point or milestone in the birthing of the new book process.
I am fascinated by this new app called Prisma. I left the logo at the bottom this time, so no one would mistake it for something I painted. I only wish I could paint like this. The original picture of Shaker boxes at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, KY was taken by my husband and altered by me using Prisma on my iPhone.
While making lunch yesterday, I peeked outside the kitchen window to see something curled up in the yard. I watched as it attempted to stand and fell back down. Our dog and cat were beside it, leaving it alone. Strange. Is that a baby deer? It was under the tree in the shadows. I went out to get a closer look. It stood up again and looked at me, coming nearer, I think, thinking I was its mama. It began wagging its little tail. I looked to see no grown deer anywhere around.
Thinking the mother must be somewhere near, I went back inside. A little later I looked back out. It was gone. So, after lunch, I went out on the deck (where I have move my office to). But, I kept hearing this sound. Sure enough, here came the fawn around to the back where I was.
After walking back and forth around the deck, it quit bleating and headed for the woods at the top of the hill. Hopefully, its mother heard it and came for it. I haven’t seen it today.
Enjoying the fish in the pond this morning. We still have some stuff to do on the pond, for instance, hiding the filtration box. The grass will probably do that in the future. I think we have the waterfalls the way we want them. The fish have been spawning.
We had breakfast on the deck this morning. Upon opening the umbrella for the first time this year on this table, we found a frog.
In the brief time between rain, a major hail storm being the later, we ate lunch outside, vegetarian hot brown. Tonight it will be cantaloupe and guacamole as both the cantaloupe and avocados aren’t long for this world. That will probably be topped off with margaritas in celebration that the hail storm did no damage that we saw.
I was so happy to read this review of my book this morning. Tomorrow I will be doing my first book signing at Empire Books in Huntington, WV (a little nervous – glad that I’m not a lone author – there will be 15 plus in celebration of independent bookstores). And, I’m in the final rewrite before sending the second one off to the editor.
This book, Jessica Lost Her Wobble is one of those books where you just want to know more and more about the main character. The book doesn’t disappoint. A full life of memories, regrets, pains and love all wrapped up into one amazing book.
Jessica is middle aged when she moves to the island. The same island that she had taken her children, Josh and Gina to for vacations and retreats when they were small. She has seen a lot in her life and she has survived with a subtle sense of humor that makes me smile. Perhaps it is her British sense of humor that is too dry, but when she finds someone that appreciates it she is so happy.
When she moves to the island to live a life of solitude and quiet, she surprises…
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That time of year again. Working on the Koi and Goldfish pond, along with all the other summer maintenance jobs. The weather has warmed up, and the fish have begun to spawn. You will note the white film areas in the water. Baby fish eggs everywhere, and also disappearing at a rapid rate as they get eaten up. We have had problems with algae. We completely drained the pond and refilled with mostly rain water from our cistern. The water had become so murky. Even with a new filtering system and UV light which is supposed to get rid of the algae, it began appearing once again. Of course plants are supposed to help, but the fish love to eat the roots of the plants, and are rough on them during their spawning time. So, we tried protecting what plants we had. My husband built a rock barrier around the Anacharis. We hold high hopes for this plant in controlling the amount of algae. The larger Koi can’t get in, yet eggs have drifted in. The idea was to protect both the plants and the eggs, however, we didn’t anticipate the frogs. Nature always wins.
What’s the best thing about being a writer? This is a question I received from someone on Goodreads. And, the first thing that came to my mind was pumpkin pie with whipped cream, plenty of whipped cream. So, if answering a question with a totally absurd mental image makes one a writer, then I have it made. At least it denotes a good imagination or thinking outside of the box.
Basically, what I’m saying is I like the whole process, well, the whole process up to a point. Marketing is another matter. But I love when the story starts to develop in my mind, or maybe more so from my heart, and ends up word by word on my Scrivener app. Then there is the reading over and over, rewriting, correcting. There is my husband reading it and saying “I really like it, but I would just change this one thing.”
There are the different images of cover designs that are going through my head. They begin to emerge before I even place my fingers on the keyboard. It’s the artist in me. I like full control from beginning to the final product, even the aggravation of the technical aspects of getting it in Kindle or paperback form, well, maybe not that part so much.
I’m really appreciative of Martha Perez’s question, because it touched the appreciative part of me as to why I do this.
The day I received my first copy of “Jessica Lost Her Wobble,” which I term “Jessica” for short, because she has become a part of me and has made me feel like an actual author. Maybe it was that first novel feeling. I don’t know. I’m new to all of this. I hope I have even a better feeling, if that is possible, when my next one is completed, “The Color of Cold and Ice.”
As I make the transition from the publication of my first novel to my second I am offering my first, Jessica Lost Her Wobble, for 99 cents from now until April 19th. Click on the link to get to Amazon.
In the meantime, I am working on getting the next one published. The first round draft as gone off to two beta readers. I am ever so grateful to them. After that, hopefully, off to the editor. I am pretty sure that I have finally decided on a cover.
Today I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The main one happens in November, but during the summer two months are set aside for what are called camps, one in April and another in July. Must keep that writing process going. And, just like camp, writers are placed in cabins, where you hone literary skills at your computer or with paper and pen, whatever method works best, rather than the outdoorsy pursuits of canoeing, archery, swimming, or general crafts.
Hey, then, but writing is a craft! And, I suppose, weather permitting, you can contemplate the actions of your characters out of doors, at a picnic table or on a blanket spread across the grass. I do imagine Jane Austin positioned on a blanket, under a tree, scrolling with ink-stained fingers, the next move of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.
As for me, I will be working on “The Color of Cold and Ice,” the manuscript I started in November, doing rewrites and editing, and if time permits, various short stories. Yesterday, I worked on my cover. This may not be the final design. It’s so hard to let go of these things.
Getting ready to go out for another walk. This picture was taken yesterday. Not a great one. Binka is in the forefront. The sun was in my eyes, and I was basically pointing and guessing.
The dogs did well together. The day before when Odin arrived, Binka was not pleased. But, they are adjusting to each other. I’m still missing Barney and thinking it was too soon, perhaps the same thing Binka was thinking. However, I’m trying to make it work. My husband kept saying he looks just like Barney. He looks very little like Barney. The only similarity is the size and black color, and even that is different. So, I ask him, “How soon after I die would you move another woman in? A younger one. Would you say she looked just like me?” Okay, I’m joking here, I think.
The whole scene the day before when the dog arrived was like something out of a cartoon. One of the first things we did was take Odin and Binka for a short walk, a half mile around the field, just to show him around. He was on a leash. We don’t normally keep dogs on leashes, but since everything was new we thought it was for the best. He has since broken two leashes. We are now out of leashes.
He dragged my husband around the field, really giving him a workout. He didn’t see the five deer that ran in front, but went after a rabbit, dragging my husband behind him. After the walk, he discovered the cats. Barney, Binka and the cats were always best buds, but this dog does not like cats. They might have thought he was playing at first, but soon found out he meant business from the growls. The chase began. They ran furiously around the fish pond, until the cat took a high dive in from the waterfall. You can only imagine how bad it must have been for a cat to dive into a pond to escape a dog.
We were both astounded and frightened by this whole situation. I say, “Tie him up out near the deck where the cats stay so he can get used to them, maybe grow to love them.” That was when he broke the second leash. That was the leash that we occasionally used on Barney when someone who would visit didn’t like dogs. They were usually scared of Barney and his affectionate ways. Barney broke leashes rather easily, too.
So, anyway, we have a cat in the fish pond. I’m worried about the fish, as the cats are always eyeing them. But, due to the situation, I’m sure the cat was too stressed to think about consuming fish, even if he could have caught them. I asked my husband, “Can he get out on his own.” He said, “Yes.” How he knew this I didn’t know. But he did. The cat was so pathetic looking. Who knew a cat was so skinny under all that fur. He looked like a nervous stick figure drawing. I’m afraid they all might be getting skinnier before this is over. We put their food out, but don’t know exactly who is eating it, since we have seen very little of them since Odin has come on the scene. We are pretty sure they are hiding out in the greenhouse. My husband has been putting cat food in there. I know they must be coming out from time to time. I suspect that every time Odin growls. There have been no more chases that I know of.
And there has been no more climbing over the car. No, I didn’t mention that. My husband went to the car to get something, and the dog must have thought he was going for a ride. He jumped up on the car, trotting right over it like a sidewalk. I was afraid of dents, but I only see paw prints.
There is a herd of deer that usually walk from one field to the other through our front yard every morning. They have stayed away. These same deer have been eating from our garden for the past two years. One morning I woke up to see all the kale gone. And, yes, we tried everything short of an expensive fence. Barney used to keep them out, but quit after he got older. He just didn’t have it in him anymore. I am seeing a bright ray of hope of having a deer free garden this year.
All I can say is that we have made it through two days. I’m sure it will work out. Going for that third walk now.
Picture of Barney and Binka in their younger days.
Today my husband is bringing home a new lab, named Odin, aged somewhere between 3 and 4. Or at least that is the plan. I asked him to please make sure he is agreeable to coming home with him. His current family is moving to Hawaii and can’t keep him.
Part of me thinks it’s too soon. We just lost our lab, Barney, who was around thirteen. Barney was just a puppy when we got him, dropped off at someone’s house. That someone asked if we would want a dog. The rest is history. Barney was actually somewhere between a lab and rottweiler. Barney had the stubby tail of a rottweiler but most of the characteristics of a lab.
Barney has been with us since we started building trails on our farm. He was both a problem dog and fantastic dog. We still have Binka, also part lab, but not as much as Barney. She was dropped off at our house a year after we got Barney. People know we are suckers. When I say Barney was a problem dog, I mean he was like the rock star dog, living to the fullest and totally sacking the yard the way a rock star might sack a hotel. Yet, he was super friendly and a great protector. One day while out walking a pack of neighbor dogs came through the fence and attacked me. There were five of them, and Barney held them off. I fell down the hill, but ran back home safely. Barney came back limping, a little beaten up. My husband fortified the fence after that.
Binka is Barney’s complete opposite, a very polite, obedient dog. Actually, they made a perfect team, like an old married couple. Now my husband says we should get another dog right away so that Binka can train him. Binka has even trained our cats to catch mice.
I so expect Barney to be sitting by the front door, but he’s not. Binka has now moved over to his place. It’s ironic that just a couple of weeks ago
I finished “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” That book will forever stick with me. Maybe one day soon I will meet a little boy named Barney.
Still snowing, although the weather app says differently. My husband says not too far past our house the snow has melted and the roads are clear. I think we live inside a snow globe.
Yesterday, I realized that I use my library card(s) more than I use my credit card. Maybe part of the reason is because I’m walled inside this snow globe. But then, no, the library cards would still win out. I’m reminded of the foreign film, “The Wall”. No, not the Pink Floyd movie.
I also came to the conclusion that I check Goodreads far more than I check Facebook.
“Jessica Lost Her Wobble” is listed on Goodreads as a Giveaway until tomorrow. So, if you are not a member of Goodreads, sign up, certainly friend me, if you want, and sign up for a chance to receive a paperback copy for free.
I love the sound of water.
This is the last day for the free download of my book, Jessica Lost Her Wobble, the Kindle Version.
I download lots of Kindle books. I also buy lots of hard and paperback versions of books. About half of what is in our bookshelves are unread. We have lots of bookshelves in our house.
The main reason is I believe I’m saving them for the rainy day or for some disaster that may happen, wiping out the internet and/or electricity. One of my most favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone was one of the earliest shows, Time Enough at Last. You might recognize the episode from the picture.
Through Friday, January 19, “Jessica Lost Her Wobble” is free on Amazon Kindle. Click here for book link. I took a screen shot because it made it to the top three on one list. I don’t think that means a lot. I’m so new to all of this. But, it impressed my husband. Really easy to do. So hoping for reviews from this giveaway.
In the meantime I finished “My Life on the Road,” by Gloria Steinem. I found it hard to get into at the very beginning and put it down. Then I picked it back up a few days later and read it in two mornings.
I particularly loved the other people’s perspectives that she brought into the book as well as the passages about Native Americans. I have Native American blood myself, although, you wouldn’t know it to look at me. But, now I want to visit the Serpent Mound.
I admire her work, although the term feminism has always bothered me. I like its definition – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Still, in my mind, the word or label creates division. I think most labels do. One day I hope we can just be humans, coming together through our similarities, but still appreciating and respecting our differences.
Continuing Saga of Snowmaggedon 2016 Our heat pump quit sometime during the night. Zero Degrees. Of course, if it is going to quit, it would be on the coldest night of the year. I hope this is the coldest. The temperature can only go up at this point, right? But, then our weather for the last several years has been askew, at least unpredictable, in my opinion. I’m just thankful, that at 42 degrees today, it seems like a heat wave.
But why is my husband running around the field, half-naked? Well, we have been practicing something called the Wim Hof Method. Wim Hof is also the guy they call the Iceman.
My husband said that he promised himself that if he could fix the heat pump that he would run around the field barefoot. He didn’t quite run around the entire field which is one-half mile, but he at least did one-half of this. I think you can see his tracks in the snow. Also, most of it was fifteen inches deep. Proud of him. Also, proud that he was able to switch our cistern water over to city water in our bathroom this morning. Our cistern water had froze because we were optimistic enough to not leave the water dripping in the shower last night. After all, the temperature was predicted at twenty degrees, not zero. We were hopeful.
First deep snow walk of 2016. Yes, that’s me. My husband was taking the picture. I was trying to lift my foot out long enough to show off my pedicure. Useless. At last measure it was ten inches and still coming down. Twenty degrees. I don’t last long in that temperature – two minutes tops. I lasted a little over three minutes in an ice bath. Cold showers, ten minutes. #WimHofMethod We are practicing something called the Wim Hof Method. It involves walking barefoot in the cold among other things. It’s been one of the best things we’ve ever did. We started it in October. Work was called off for my husband. We enjoyed a veggie burger with sprouts that I had made and split pea soup.
Last night was a night of firsts. My husband and I went to our first author reading. Pictured is Red Dawson. He read from his book, A Coach in Progress: Marshall Football — A Story of Survival and Revival. Other authors who read were John Hash, Laura Treacy Bentley, Carter Taylor Seaton, and Pam Marie Thompson.
I plan on reading the books by these authors. I just finished Ten Saturdays by Pam Marie Thompson, and have Falcon Strike by John Hash and The Silver Tattoo by Laura Treacy Bentley awaiting me on my Kindle app. And then on to Red Dawson’s book and those by Carter Taylor Seaton.
And, then as we neared the front of the store, I looked for my own book and found it on display on the table in the front of the store. Having a book out is a weird and exciting experience, kind of other worldly, akin to a parallel universe for me, hmm, which is kind of what I’m writing about in my next book.