Not single word, of course, or even an outline, or really any kind of plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo, except that I plan on writing about a woman I met when I was 8. She was 103 at the time, and was born into slavery. Several years back I did do quite a bit of research on her, but still it will have to be fiction. But I did work on a cover today from one of the three pictures I found of her. She is 101 in the picture. I searched on Amazon and Goodreads and found nothing else with the title of “Sally”. That was quite a surprise.


The Fish

This morning I took a video of the fish. I don’t want to say our fish, because I don’t feel like we own them. You will see a fishing line in the video. We put this up because of a visiting Gray Heron. It gave up and moved on. The fish were quite spooked for a while. They have regained their confidence, now, I’m glad to say.

More of What I’m Working On

My husband got me an apple pencil for my birthday. I downloaded the app, Paper 53. I’m finding it works close to using a real pencil on paper. Well you don’t have the actual sensual smell or touch of a real pencil and paper, and you can only use it with Bluetooth, but…it’s portable and saves on trees and is far less intimidating than my fear of ruining a beautiful piece of paper.

It is perfect for compiling a collection of pictures to go with a book of short stories I’m working on, The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries.

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Books Now Available on Smashwords

I have both of my books, The Color of Cold and Ice and Jessica Lost Her Wobble on Smashwords. I have listed both as buyer sets the price. Feel free to get them for free. I hope you will leave me a review on all of the various sites, Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. But at the same time, only read my books if they call out to you. Life is too short, and we should all be reading what makes us happy, makes us think, or expands our minds and our hearts. Thanks, J. Schlenker

Sybil has prophetic dreams. Her latest involves her sister Emerald. John wants to make a difference as a doctor and save his marriage. Allison, John’s wife, wants to ignite the spark that was never in their marriage. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants inspiration. The cold changes…
book cover (1)
“Jessica Lost Her Wobble” is psychological in nature. At mid-life, Jessie, the main character, after many upsets, moves to an island for contemplation of her life and to make a new start. While there she reflects back on her beginnings. Her friendship with a young girl opens up a new world for her and helps her explore her own soul. Jessie reinvents herself, but all is not as it seems.
“Jessica Lost Her Wobble” was chosen as a book club selection for Novel Tea Book Club in August, and is an upcoming book club selection for Jewel City Book Club.

What I’m Working On

the-innkeeper-on-the-edge-1Chapter 1

     “I don’t want to make anyone sad, not even you.” Those were the words she started with, the only words she could think to write. A ton of possible words, explanations, and reasons bombarded her brain before she actually sat at the kitchen table to compose a letter.

     She wanted to write about the accident and how it had inwardly changed her and how she should have acted sooner. But in front of the blank white paper she froze. Instead of pouring out her heart to Nick, her own thoughts and feelings, the ones she hid in her locked journal, she looked out the window in a daze fixated on the rain hitting the pane. Nick’s words reverberated in her head, the ones he used so often, “Isa, you sadden me.”  Those words rested like an anvil on her heart each time he sarcastically spit them from his mouth. Those words came after every argument.

     What was the point in writing anything? She couldn’t express herself like the authors she read. She was a reader, not a writer. Besides, she and Nick were beyond what words could fix. The marriage was broken. So, she wrote,

“I don’t want to make anyone sad, not even you.”


     She left the note on the kitchen table, ripped the pages out of her journal, burning them one by one, watched the ashes disintegrate down the garbage disposal, picked up her suitcase holding a week’s worth of clothes along with a new journal and her laptop. Tomorrow she would begin divorce proceedings. She would return for the rest of her stuff when she figured out what she was going to do. But she already knew what she was going to do. She had been Googling Europe for months, in particular, France.

Husband’s Morning Yoga

This is part of my husband’s morning yoga routine, the part I can’t do. I really shouldn’t use that word – can’t – bad word. I recently turned sixty-three. Learning to do this should be on my bucket list. Maybe next year I can put a video up of me doing it with When I’m Sixty-Four playing in the background.

Woke up to a Great Review

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

The Color of Cold and Ice is a novel by J. Schlenker. This is her second novel. I read and reviewed her first novel Jessica Lost Her Wobble. She asked me to read her second novel and review it. I am so glad I said yes. This is a wonderful story of a group of strangers in New York City who come together because of a coffee shop called The Java Bean Factory. The characters are very realistic as are the incidents in the plot. The story is interspersed with chapters on colors. Colors are personified and each color tells about the attributes it has. Color plays an important part in the lives of the characters. The story mainly takes place in the winter, around Valentine’s Day, in New York City. It then expands to Amsterdam and Poland.
Sibyl had a vision to own a coffee shop and with the help of her lawyer husband, Clark, and her sister, Em (short for Emerald), she made her vision become a reality. When she purchased the shop, Em gave up a job she hated to come help her decorate the shop and get it running. It became a lifesaver for Em when her husband was killed in a freak accident. Sibyl also had dreams that foretold things, like Michael’s accident and 9/11. Some dreams were just dreams but all involved color and cold.
John Gray was a GP who had his own practice plus all his student loans and bills. He had worked ER and loved it; but it didn’t give him time for his family. His wife, Allison helped him start his practice but she was a stay-at-home mom with their two children, Molly and Little John. John stopped at The Java Bean Factory because the line at other coffee shops were too long. He thought he recognized Em; but wasn’t sure. Actually, he was the doctor who saved her son Chad’s life after the accident. John loves his job and his family; but something is missing.
Mark is Allison’s little brother. Where she is slightly OCD, he is the exact opposite. He is unmarried but has had several long term girlfriends who were all different and a little flaky. He loves music but hasn’t been able to make much of a living with it. He is still trying to find where he belongs in life.
Their lives collide in New York but one thing resounds with all of them- color. They also are fans of Van Gogh and his colorful paintings. All this is woven together in a lovely story that tears at your heart and makes you laugh at the same time. I totally recommend this book to everyone.

Book Club Selection

14138000_10153707187202027_2183443769872558021_oI was so nervous, as public speaking is one of my biggest fears. Yet, I believe, it turned out well. Jessica Lost Her Wobble, my first book, published in December of 2015, was chosen as a book club selection for the Novel Tea Book Club which meets at the Boyd County Library in Ashland, Kentucky.

In honor of the occasion, I gave the book, the Kindle version, a new look. I am still in the process of updating the print copy. I made some minor changes within the book, added a couple of quotes relevant to the book, and added Discussion Questions. I hope to have the print version changed by mid September or sooner, as well as adding the book to other venues other than Amazon.

Now, I’m ready for more book clubs. So, if you know of any, let me know.

One big change is the cover. I was able to add another badge – a five star award from Readers’ Favorite.

book cover (1)


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 Book is on Nook

Cold and IceI 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!

Follow UP

Here is my review of Grind by Edward Vukovic which I posted on Goodreads and Amazon. A fantastic book!

The cover drew me in – so well designed. I’m not a coffee drinker, yet reading this book could almost make me become one. I was mesmerized by the poetic flow and rich descriptions in the book, so much so, that I almost lost track of the story. However, midway through, I was very much engrossed into the characters and found the book hard to put down. The reader is enriched by the subtle ritual of the coffee drinker, not much unlike a Japanese tea ceremony. The descriptions were so defined that at one point my mind drifted, thinking of the popcorn that we might have during a movie later that night. I read on only about three pages onward and found a popcorn scene. Was it intuitive? Did the smell of popcorn seep through to the surrounding pages? The author does a superb job. As a writer I was greatly inspired by his work. If this book would get in the right hands, I could see it as a bestseller.


29233502._SY180_I chose this book to do a review of. Although I don’t drink coffee, don’t even like coffee, the cover drew me in. Tea drinker. The cover was a little reminiscent of a Japanese tea drinking ceremony.

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.


Reader’s Favorite Review

Jessica Cover PaperbackReviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers’ Favorite

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.

Book can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Or ask your local book store to order.

Birthday Bash

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.


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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 11.26.28 AM



IMG_1150The 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.


New Release: Book Review: The Color of Cold and Ice by J. Schlenker

The Page Turner

Cold and Ice

  • Publication Date: July 20, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

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…

View original post 461 more words

Coming Soon

The Color of Cold and Ice (3)  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.


My Messy House


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.

Boxes at Shaker Village

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.

The Joys of Warmer Weather

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.

Weird Eats

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.


Book Review: Jessica Lost Her Wobble by J. Schlenker

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.

The Page Turner

Jessica Lost Her WobbleJessica Lost Her Wobble by J. Schlenker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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…

View original post 277 more words

Pond Tales

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.

Writing is like Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

img_0952What’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 Wobblefor 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.The Color of Cold and Ice (3)

Camp NaNoWriMo

Custom (6)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.