Stop Looking for Others to Create a Life of Joy – by Renee Linnell

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~Easily the best memoir I’ve ever read~

 

 

 

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Stop Looking to Others to Create a Life of Joy

by Renee Linnell,

Author of The Burn Zone: A Memoir

 

Originally published on Psych Central

 

I believe there is not enough dialogue out there about soul-sickness, especially among wealthy communities. We are taught to believe from a young age that once we have the perfect partner, house, car, children, and careers, we will be happy. And often times this is not the case; the happiness does not come. There is an insatiable need for more. Because there is no dialogue about this, most people think, I am the only one, something is wrong with me, or no one understands me. This leads to deep despair and usually a diagnosis of depression and medication.

I ruined my life searching for peace. I pushed away everyone and everything I loved. I allowed myself to be emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abused. I allowed myself to be brainwashed in seemingly unhealable ways. And what I finally discovered, after all of my searching, is that the peace and happiness for which I had been searching was inside of me all along. But, and this is a big but, I had to be shattered by life to find it. I had to be shattered to finally stop living a life that was not mine. I had to be shattered to finally decide that following my own heart and being true to myself and creating a life that brought me joy was more important than living a life to please other people. I had to be shattered to start questioning what the hell I had been doing and why the hell I had been doing it and to what point.

Why do we feel the need to say, “to death do us part” and bind ourselves to another person? Why do we ignore the intense fear that comes with this decision? How can we even know that this will be in our best interest or the other person’s for the rest of our lives? Many of us do it because everyone else does. Why do we forgo choosing work that we are born to do, work we are naturally skilled at doing, work we love, work that makes our hearts sing and instead choose a career we hate because it pays more? We do this because we are told to do it by our parents or our teachers, and because everyone else does. Why do we dress the way we dress and worship the way we worship and pick romantic partners the way we do? So often it is because we were told to do it this way, or because everyone else does. Often we don’t question any of this. I know I didn’t.

I believe the only way to true joy, to true bliss, to true freedom, is to begin the work of uncovering our real selves—to chip away at the parts of us that are false, the façade we created to please our families, the mask we built so the world would approve of us. Only when we are willing to stand tall in our own uniqueness, with our own idiosyncrasies, will we be able to do the work we came to do, to build the life we always dreamed of, to excel beyond our wildest dreams, and to live in true joy and abundance. When we finally tap into what we naturally are, we discover we already have the exact right skill set to become everything we have always secretly wanted to be.

We are all flawed, we are all damaged, and we are all beautiful. Each one of us is unique; there is no carbon copy. So how can we possibly follow what others are doing? How can what they are doing be right for us? We were born to blaze our own trails. We were all born with unique abilities and skill sets, with unique damage and unique wounds. I believe we are meant to use this combo to discover who we truly are and why we are truly here. Our wounds are not a mistake, they are given to us for a reason, they are Divine. In the healing of them we soften and we open, and we learn how to help others overcome similar damage. In our speaking about them and our owning of them, we encourage others to do the same and as more and more of us speak our Truth, we all eventually realize we are not alone. We have never been alone. We are surrounded by each other, our brother and sister humans, and we are here to support each other on this crazy amazing Earth Walk.

Yes, the decision to live this way is terrifying; but once we decide to do it, we feel the life force energy coursing through us again, we feel the blood pumping through our veins, we rediscover passion and the thrill of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are here for such a very short time; I simply cannot believe we were meant to spend that time in loveless relationships stressed about paying bills.

In my journey to wholeness I discovered that me just being me, dressing the way I want to dress, saying the things I want to say, doing the activities I love to do, putting myself first and making sure I am taken care of before I take care of others—living this way brought me so much joy that I began to radiate joy and light and love and kindness. I discovered a joyful me was a radiating me. A joyful me was a kind me. A joyful me was a patient and compassionate and forgiving me. After destroying myself and my life and all that I loved in order to become Enlightened, in order to become Saint-like, I finally realized that the key to my becoming Saint-like was just being me. When we create a life of joy we stop worrying about what others are doing or not doing. We stop pushing against. And instead we begin loving. And we add our light to the sum of light; we shift the consciousness of the planet from fear to love. What better use of our time here on earth than that?   

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Renee Linnell is the author of The Burn Zone: A Memoir (She Writes Press; October 2018). She is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and cofounded five companies and has an Executive Masters in Business Administration from New York University. Currently she is working on starting a publishing company to give people from diverse walks of life an opportunity to tell their stories. She divides her time between Colorado and Southern California. For more information, please visit https://reneelinnell.com and follow Renee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Karen A. Wyle releases her new novel: Water to Water

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Two young Vushla questioned what everyone knew about death. What should they do with the answer?

When the time comes for Vushla to die, they go into the ocean and are dissolved away. Or so Terrill has always believed, and still believes after taking part in his father’s final journey. But when he meets a young Vushlu who lives by the sea, Terrill must confront information that calls this fundamental belief into question. Will the two of them discover the truth? And what should they do with what they find?

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

Questionmark at the Wall

 

 

 

*How did you come up with the title for this book? It sounds rather poetic.

–The idea came from a familiar phrase in the English Burial Service: “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

 

*What exactly is a Vushla?

–The Vushla (plural — singular is Vushlu) are one of the sentient species on a planet humans haven’t found. They could be described as a cross between a centaur and a tortoise: their general body configuration is that of a centaur, and they are largely covered by many small plates of a hard substance they (and their neighbor species, the Weesah) refer to as armor. The armor is often moved as part of gestures and body language. I envision them as roughly human-sized.

 

*Tell us how the idea for this book came about.

–That was a first for me. The way Vushla typically meet death came to me as an image in a dream. My husband contributed a key plot twist.

 

*What is the connection between the Vushla, water, and death?

–As described in the Preface and in the book blurb, when a Vushlu knows it is dying (I use “it” for unidentified Vushla and Weesah, and he or she for individuals of known gender), it tries to get to the ocean, where it swims or wades into the surf to dissolve away. If it dies on the journey, the friends and relatives accompanying it on the funeral journey hire fisher folk (who have custom-made waterproof suits) to carry the body into the ocean.

 

Whether there are other connections . . . you’ll need to read the book to find out. 🙂

 

*Was your approach different in writing this book?

 

The origin — a dream, as I mentioned above — was different. Otherwise, I did what I usually do: wrote a (very) rough draft during National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo or NaNo; put it aside for a month or so; did multiple revisions and editing passes over the next nine months; sent it to beta readers and made more revisions based on their comments; did the final proofread/edits; and published it (as a preorder) on Amazon and Google Play and via Draft2Digital. (The paperback will, I hope, be ready by the release date of October 17th, at least on Amazon. B&N will take a little longer due to a cumbersome proofing process.)

 

*What comes first the idea or theme?

 

That’s an interesting question, especially this time around. What thematic concerns inspired that dream? I can’t say for sure. I certainly had both mortality and parent-child relationships on my mind, as my father died a little more than six months before NaNo began. (I don’t remember exactly when I had the dream, but I would guesstimate it was a month or so before NaNo.)

 

*What was your experience like writing Water to Water?

 

I can generally keep up with or stay slightly ahead of the pace NaNo requires (an average of 1,667 words per day), and this time was no exception. My confidence in the story fluctuated about as much as usual — which is to say, frequently but not to the point of either ecstatic certainty or profound gloom. I frequently consulted my general science adviser, aka my husband Paul Hager, on various aspects of world-building.

I approached cover design a little differently this time. I’ve most often collaborated with a particular designer, but that collaboration works best when I have some fairly definite starting ideas. This time, the one idea I had felt insufficient. I decided to spring boldly into the red, financially speaking, and invest in a cover from a designer (or rather, a group of designers) I’d long admired, Damonza. I am delighted with the result, which has gotten consistently favorable comment during the book’s Silver Dagger Book Tour (continuing through October 26th).

 

 

 

Karen A Wyle

 

Karen A. Wyle is the author of multiple science fiction novels, including The Twin-Bred Series: Books 1-3; near-future novels DivisionPlayback Effect, and Who: a novel of the near future; and YA near-future novel The Link. Her one novel (so far) outside the SF category is afterlife fantasy/family drama Wander Home. She has also published one nonfiction work, Closest to the Fire: A Writer’s Guide to Law and Lawyers, a resource for authors or for anyone interested in understanding more about American law.

Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.

Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two wildly creative daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.

 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Book Reviews with Joanna Penn

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

 

 

 

Tiny people and a vintage TV set

 

 

 

How To Get Reviews For Your Book

 

 

 

 

 

How do you get reviews? Tell us in the comments.

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

The Artist’s Journey With Steven Pressfield & Joanna Penn

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS!

 

 

 

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The Artist’s Journey With Steven Pressfield

 

 

 

 

 

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“No one’s insights about the craft and journey of being an artist have guided me in the day-to-day struggle of this profession more than Steven Pressfield. Wherever you are, whatever you’ve been called to make, you need to read this book…and everything else he has written.”

— Ryan Holiday, Bestselling Author of Ego Is the Enemy and The Obstacle Is the Way

YOU ARE AN ARTIST … AND YOU HAVE AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY

I have a theory about the Hero’s Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero’s journey is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling.

The hero’s journey ends when, like Odysseus, we return home to Ithaca, to the place from which we started.

What then?

The passage that comes next is The Artist’s Journey.

On our artist’s journey, we move past Resistance and past self-sabotage. We discover our true selves and our authentic calling, and we produce the works we were born to create.

You are an artist too—whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not—and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do?

Ready or not, you are called.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Law & Vengeance by Mike Papantonio

Law and Vengeance

 

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Gina Romano is a highly successful trial lawyer with Bergman/Deketomis, a firm dedicated to protecting the public by exposing and penalizing corporate crooks and their allies in government. Well into her thirties, Gina hasn’t overcome the anger and defensiveness resulting from a bizarre and traumatic childhood. As she contemplates whether to marry solid, attractive and loyal veterinarian Bryan Penn or to send him packing, the murder of a friend and mentor, Angus Moore, turns her life into a quest for vengeance. In consort with partner Nick Deketomis, Gina runs headlong into a life and death struggle against weapons manufacturers, a gun rights lobbyist, psychopathic Chicago police, a hi-tech genius assassin, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Still, the most formidable and dangerous enemy she faces is herself.

 

 

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The Bergman-Deketomis Law Firm undergoes a severe blow when one of their own is murdered while investigating a large U.S. Weapons manufacturer. The enemy never plays by the rules. What happens when the enemy strikes close to home? Lawyers in the firm are tested by the law of vengeance when their morals begin to blur.

I loved the introduction, background, development, and point of view of lawyer Gina Romano. Exceptional. Her character made all the difference and really spiced things up a bit. The legalese and hairy cases are always fascinating but having great characters can’t be beat. Loved it.

 

 

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Mike Papantonio is a senior partner of Levin Papantonio, one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in America, that has handled thousands of cases throughout the nation involving pharmaceutical drug litigation, Florida tobacco litigation, litigation for asbestos-related health damage, securities fraud actions, and other mass tort cases. “Pap” has received dozens of multimillion dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate corruption.

Papantonio is one of the youngest attorneys to have been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. In 2012 Papantonio became President of the National Trial Lawyers Association, one of the largest trial lawyer organizations in America. For his trial work on behalf of consumers, Papantonio has received some of the most prestigious awards reserved by the Public Justice Foundation, The American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Papantonio is an author of four motivational books for lawyers. He is also co-author of Air America: The Playbook, a New York Times Political Best Seller.

Papantonio is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Ring of Fire” along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Sam Seder. Papantonio has conducted hundreds of recorded interviews with guests, including Dan Rather, Helen Thomas, Howard Zinn, Arianna Huffington, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bernie Sanders, David Crosby, Merle Haggard, Morgan Spurlock, John Edwards, Bill Moyers, Rickie Lee Jones, Alanis Morissette, Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne, Chuck D from Public Enemy, Henry Rollins, Ted Sorensen, and Elizabeth Kucinich. His role on “Ring of Fire” is featured in the movie, “Jesus Camp,” which was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

Papantonio is also a political commentator who frequently appears on MSNBC, Free Speech TV, RT America Network, and Fox News.

Papantonio is married and has one daughter. He is an avid scuba diver and often dives on the Emerald Coast.

 

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

Book Hoarders Reading Challenge

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“When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” -David L. Weatherford 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is dedicated to all the book lovers out there. You may or may not be a book hoarder because there’s a big difference between the two. I currently have 1,725 books on my “to be read” list and it’s still increasing at an alarming rate.  Yikes!

 

 

Are you a Book Hoarder? Does this sound like you? Read on….

 

 

  • First, it’s virtually impossible to resist a good book, especially if it’s on sale.
  • Second, having the painful realization that you can’t read every book.
  • The unread books on your shelf are piling up while you continue to add gobs more.
  • There’s that book or series that you can’t wait to read, but—-you never get around to it.
  • You’re always a sucker for free books, promos, or books on sale.
  • You have so many books you forgot the new ones you just added.
  • The ratio of books read to books added is way out of balance.
  • The books on your TBR list NEVER decreases but increases.

 

 

 

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If this is you don’t despair! We need a change in our mindset, our strategy. For this I’d like to present to you a challenge. The #BookHoarders challenge. I have some ideas so tell me what you think.

 

 

  • For every book you buy or add to your TBR list you read two on your shelf.
  • Switch up your reading habits per week or month.
  • Read new books for one week, then read books on your shelf the next.
  • Use a reward system. For every 3 books on your TBR you read, treat yourself to a new one.
  • Do it pairs. Get a book buddy to keep you accountable! Challenge each other.
  • Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Challenge on Goodreads for support!

 

 

 

 

Benefits / Würfel mit Symbole

 

 

 

  • You actually read the books you bought!
  • You’ll better yourself by reading more stories.
  • Decrease the amount of books on your shelves or TBR list.
  • Read more books, give more reviews and help authors succeed.
  • Gain a book buddy and enrich your experience with other book hoarders.
  • You’ll feel better!

 

 

What do you think?  Tell me in the comments!!

Share the hashtag #BookHoarders

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

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The Caitlin Strong Series with Author Jon Land

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Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of the 38 novels, including seven titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense) and Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller). Caitlin Strong returns this October in Strong Light of Day, to be followed by Darkness Rising, his sci-fi collaboration with Heather Graham coming from Forge in June of 2016. Jon is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island and can be found on the Web at jonlandbooks.com or on Twitter @jondland.

 

 

 

 

Tell us about the decision to write a thriller with a female lead. 

Well, confession time here, starting this series was as much a marketing decision as a creative one. I owe the whole concept to the head of mass market sales for Tor/Forge Publishing going back about a decade. At a meeting where we were discussing trends in publishing, he raised the point that thrillers were the most popular genre and 70% of books were bought by women. Yet nobody at the table could name a single female thriller hero. Mystery, yes. But a female Jack Reacher? Uh-uh. So then and there I piped in with “What about a female Texas Ranger?” And in that moment Caitlin was born.

 

 

 

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What do you appreciate about the Texas Rangers?

So many things! First and foremost, they are the most famous and legendary lawmen in American history. The only frontier body out of the Old West to still be around today—and not just around, they’re still operating pretty much as they always have. They’re still gunfighters by reputation, even if they never have draw their weapon. They still command the same respect they always have and have built wondrously on the folklore of their forebears. All those great stories of the likes of Bill McDonald, Jack Hayes, Frank Hamer, Manuel “Lone Wolf” Gonzaulles, and so many more. You see so many male thriller heroes who are ex Special Forces, Navy SEALs, or something like that. Since women can’t service in active duty for special ops, making Caitlin Strong a Texas Ranger was the next best thing.

 

 

 

 

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Did you do any travel related research?

You can never do enough. I get to Texas twice a year and base scenes on where I visit. So you’ll see a lot of Midland in STRONG LIGHT OF DAY, a lot of Houston in STRONG COLD DEAD, and a ton of Austin in STRONG TO THE BONE which comes out December 5. I’m a whiz when it comes to Google searches and, another confession, I write about a ton of places in Texas that I’ve never been to.

 

 

Strong Cold Dead

 

 

 
What’s your process with research? Is there a method to the madness?



That’s a great question because it comes down to process. The method to my madness is not really having a method. I don’t outline and am very spontaneous in my writing, figuring if I don’t know what’s going to happen next, the reader can’t possibly know. So I don’t necessarily know what research I need to do before I start a book. I’ll actually do the bulk of it in the midst of the writing. If I need to know something as specific as the kind of tree you might find a body under in Laramie. Or what that tree smells like. Or what diner Caitlin might in when she visits this town or that. Attention to detail is crucial but the real trick is knowing how much not to say so the reader is left with the impression that I’ve been there, mostly because I don’t give them enough to figure out that I haven’t.

 

 

 

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How do you view Caitlin Strong among all the characters you’ve created over the years?

Easily the best and most fun I’ve ever written. I have so much faith in all of them, meaning I let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring out the plot—or, better stated, my characters are also my collaborators. The reason I can take the risk of being so spontaneous, of literally not knowing exactly where I’m going or how I’m going to get there, is because I trust my character can sketch out the roadmap for me. They write their own dialogue, they make their own decisions, they make their own mistakes. Some of the best scenes I’ve written in this series, I can’t even tell you where they came from.

 

 

 

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What are the stakes and do they affect Caitlin personally?

As far as STRONG TO THE BONE goes, it’s the most personal of any book in the series because we learn for the first time that Caitlin was raped 18 years before when she was in college. The man was never caught. He just disappeared. And now he’s back, his DNA showing up in another victim of sexual assault. So Caitlin, all grown up and a Texas Ranger now, has a chance to slay her greatest dragon. Which brings us to the question of whether she really wants to, because she’s afraid catching him will strip her of the edge that defines who she is. As you can see, there are often aren’t easy answers in this series!

 

 

 

Strong to the Bone

 

 
Is it difficult writing a female lead?



Not really, because she’s so real to me, as are all of my characters. I’ve written serial killers and terrorists, when I’m not either of those. I’ve written Israelis, Palestinians, teenagers, along with blind, deaf and people suffering from other disabilities. And I’m none of those things either. Well, breaking news, you can add to that list the fat that I’m not a woman. Storytelling springs not from the conscious mind but from the imagination, where anything is possible. The key to being a great storyteller is to able to recapture the magic of role playing that children do. I think that’s why so many love books as a adults: because it makes them feel like kids again, the way I feel when I’m writing.

 

 

 

 

“Storytelling springs not from the conscious mind but from the imagination, where anything is possible.”–Jon Land

 

 

 
How have readers responded to her thus far?



Beyond anything I ever could have imagined. She doesn’t have the sales of the Jack Reacher books, but I honestly believe she compares very favorably to Lee Child’s iconic hero. The thing about those books, and the ones featuring Caitlin, is they’re both essentially modern day Westerns. The storytelling, at its heart, is very basic: Somebody good willing to do anything it takes to stop somebody bad from doing something really wrong. That’s the crucial element of this series and any great thriller, as well as why readers have responded to Caitlin as positively as they have: she isn’t just about solving crimes, she’s about preventing something much worse from happening. That’s what makes a true hero.

 

 

 

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Connect with Jon Land

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss Mystery Thriller Week 2018!

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Watch “FAVE BOOKS OF 2016!” on YouTube

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

Book Recommendations

With Sasha Alsberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you read any these books?  Tell me in the comments!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Join Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

Meet the Fabulous Bestselling Author Marie Silk

 

 

 

 

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Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. She enjoys traveling the world, sampling new cuisines, and learning about history.  She has written stories and plays in many genres since childhood.  Marie is the author of the Amazon Best Selling series Davenport House family saga.

 

 

*Where are you from originally?

I was born in sunny Southern California and now live in the rustic northwest USA.

I used to live in sunny Southern California, but I’ve only been to the northwest once.  Can’t wait to go back!

 

 

 

 

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*What sort of books did you read growing up?

I enjoyed reading books about angels, adventure, and history. I also liked the pioneer-type books about survival in early America.

I’m always up for a good adventure. Then history, admittedly my worst subject, has grown on me the entire year! 

 

 

 

 

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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”-Ray Bradbury

 

 

 

 

*Who were your favorite characters and what did you appreciate about them?

My favorite characters were probably Jay and Lila from Frank Peretti’s YA adventure series. I thought it was neat that they got to travel to amazing destinations.

Hmm…I haven’t heard of them before. I’ll have to look them up now!

 

 

 

*What sort of plays have you written?

The plays I have written are mostly comedy and parody.

Oh wow, I love comedy. I was practically raised by comedians. Guess that’s where I get my funny bones. I’d love to read your plays sometime.

 

 

 

 

“Life is better when you’re laughing”-Unknown

 

 

 

 

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*What are your favorite antiques? 

My favorite antiques include centuries-old furniture like dressing tables, room dividers, and canopy beds.

Cool! I like antiques too. Pottery in particular. There’s something artistic about it that gives you a rich appreciation of history. 

 

 

*What are your favorite historical architectures? 

My favorite architecture is Gothic…not so much the skulls and gargoyles, but the intricate carved detail and stained glass windows!

I don’t know much about Gothic architecture, but I agree with you that it’s beautiful!!

 

 

 

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*Can you describe any significant ones in your stories?

In my first book, the ladies go shopping at Wanamaker’s, which is a real store now known as the Macy’s that hosts the Thanksgiving parades. The building is exquisite!

Oh lovely! 

 

 

*How did you come to love history?

I realized I loved history when I began to travel and visit ancient and historical sites. I wanted to know everything about the sites and the events surrounding them!

That normally does the trick. It probably draws a connection to past cultures, peoples and lands separated by the sea of time. 

 

 

*What are your favorite 3 time periods?

My three favorite time periods to study are Ancient Greece, Tudor England, and the Progressive Era.

Ancient Greece is endlessly fascinating. Tudor England and the progressive Era also strikes a fancy.

 

 

*Tell us about Mary Davenport.

Mary Davenport is twenty-two years old and has lived a sheltered life in the family’s mansion. Her father is her ally, but her mother often degrades Mary and everyone else in the house. When Mary’s father dies, she seeks help and friendship from the servants of the house, the only people she feels she can trust.

I love the historical family saga that you’ve created. It makes you want to know more about them and their culture. Well done.

 

 

*Why have you chosen this particular time period as a setting?

I chose the Progressive Era because there was so much happening in America due to the advancement in technology. I explore the reactions to experiencing cars, telephones, and electricity for the first time.

I’d like to see the look on someone’s face when riding a car for the first time!

 

 

 

 

 

face-amazed-19214_960_720

 

 

 

 

*What kind of mansion do the Davenports live in?

It is a colonial mansion with many rooms. The family lives in the upstairs bedroom while the servants reside in the level below the main house.

The mansion must be a place of many adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

colonial-mansion

 

 

 

 

*Tell us about your newest book release.

My newest book is titled Davenport House 6: House Secrets and is a continuation of the family saga as they enter the Roaring 20’s. There are more secrets in the house to be explored that have only been hinted at in the previous book.

Love secrets! Your book covers are fabulous too.

 

 

 

 

 

davenport-house-6

 

 

According to Goodreads:

 

The family saga continues in this sixth book to Davenport House. It is 1919 when America begins to heal from the Great War and take her first steps into a roaring new Era.

The residents of Davenport House are changing with the times as new fashions and new laws are introduced. Clara turns a blind eye to her troubles at home and plans a grand masquerade ball for the county. Bridget uncovers a distressing truth and returns to the house to warn the others, but soon finds that she is no longer welcome there.

When a suspicious death occurs on the estate, the abundance of motives and sudden hushed lips cause tensions to rise throughout the house. Only the painful truth can set everyone free, but it will come at a price to reveal the house secrets once and for all.

 

 

 

*Does Mary have any sidekicks or companions?

Yes, Mary relies on friendships with her maid and the stable boy, but realizes she wants to have a lady’s companion for deeper friendship.

This makes me more curious to see who it is! 

 

 

*Is it difficult writing and conveying historical fiction ?

I do not find it difficult to write. I take real historical events and create stories for characters to then experience those things.

Wow. Hats off to you for pulling off a bestselling historical mystery series.

 

 

 

 

 

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*Does Mary have a favorite dress or outfit?

Mary is in mourning for her father for much of the series, so she wears a black mourning dress. Other than that, she does not care about clothes very much.

Interesting. Losing family is always the hardest. 

 

 

 

Thanks Marie for joining us on the Train!!

 

 

Connect with Marie Silk

Facebook | Goodreads | Website

 

PS

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!!

Check out my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”-Jack Kerouac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

Book Hoarders Bucket List Challenge

 

 

 

Hoarding Boxes Piled Up Word Collection Mess Trash

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU A COMPULSIVE BOOK HOARDER?

IS YOUR TBR LIST TEN MILES LONG?

 

If you answered yes to either of these questions you may be suffering from CBH, compusive book hoardom. That’s when your ‘to be read’ list far exceeds the books you’ve actually read. Go ahead and admit it. Let’s say it together, ready? I’m a compulsive book hoarder. Good, again. I’m a compulsive book hoarder. Maybe you’re not a book hoarder and perhaps you just enjoy a challenge. Or you’d like to reduce the amount of books in your TBR pile. Well, we’ve got a challenge for you!

 

 

 

“When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” -David L. Weatherford 

 

 

 

 

 

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A fellow blogger, book enthusiast, Sally Allen and I were discussing reducing our TBR piles and actually reading the books that we own. We came up with a great solution. A strategy. Challenge. Fun competition.

 

I have so many books lined up I could literally read for an entire year without buying or adding another title. To make it worse I keep adding MORE books to the insurmountable mountain that I’ve built. Yikes!!

Are you like this? Am I the only one? We need to systematically target all of the juicy books on our digital and actual bookshelves! We need to go in guns blazing and take out those books mocking you on the shelf. That’s right, no more Mr. nice guy. I’d like you to meet our new mascot.

 

Allow me to introduce….

HANK THE HITMAN

OF THE BOOK HOARDERS BUCKET LIST CHALLENGE

 

 

 

 

 

action man

 

 

 

 

 

RULES:

 

  • Choose the number of books you’d like to read per month
  • Pair up with one other person
  • Determine how many books you’ll add to your TBR list per month
  • Determine a mutually agreed upon prize for the winner.

 

 

Example:)

Group 1

Person A reads 16 books/month

Person B reads 8 books/month 

Persons A & B  cannot add more than 10% of books determined to be read. So Person A can only add 2 books to read to his TBR pile a month. That’s the threshold multiplied by the total of determined books to be read. Or 10% x (Books to read) = Allowable amount to add to TBR/month. Person A’s allowable amount would turn out to be 1.6/books to add per month.  0.1 x 16= 1.6 rounded up to 2. If the number is only below a .05% then you cannot round up.

Person B cannot add more than 10% of books determined to be read. So person B can only add 1 book per month to his TBR pile. The math would be 10% x 8= .80 or 1 book per month. We get 0.80 as the answer but you can’t add 0.8 of a book, so we round it up to 1. Make sense?

 

 

  • The more books you read, the more books you get to add to your TBR.
  • The less books you read, less books you get to add to your TBR.

 

 

Example:)

If you read 25 books/month = add 2.5 or 3 book/month

If you read 35 books/month = add 3.5 or 4 books/month

 

*It is recommended that you keep the threshold percentage low in order to reduce your ‘to be read’ pile and unread books.*

 

 

Rules:

 

  • If either party fails to read the determined amount of books loses.
  • If either party exceeds the maximum threshold is automatic failure.
  • If you are the losing party you must submit a mutually agreed upon and predetermined prize to the winner.
  • If both parties read all books and remain within the threshold then it is declared a tie, unless one party tallies more points.
  • If both parties fail to meet the mutually agreed upon requirements then no books are to be added to either TBR list for the next month.

 

 

 

Point System:

 

  • No points will be allotted for the total number of books read per month.
  • Points will be added if you complete the predetermined number of books to be read in one month.
  • Points will be added if you remain within the threshold percentage.
  • Points will be added for the percentage of reviews posted according to the predetermined amount of books in one month.

 

 

Points:

 

  • 100 points for reading all of the predetermined amount of books/month.
  • 50 points for remaining within the maximum percentage threshold/month.
  • 100 points if 100% of books are reviewed in one month.
  • 75 points if amount of books reviewed falls within 75%-99%  in one month.
  • 50 points if amount of books reviewed falls within 50%-74%  in one month.
  • 25 points if amount of books reviewed falls within 25%-49%  in one month.
  • 0 points if amount of books reviewed is less than 25% in one month.

 

 

 

Prizes:

 

  • It is suggested that prizes be rewarded among two persons at a time.
  • Prizes must be mutually agreed upon by both parties.
  • It is suggested that prizes be books or bookish in nature.
  • Prizes must be rewarded at the end of the month.
  • Prizes may be a reward to the winner with a book from the winners wish list.

 

 

 

 

 

HAVE QUESTIONS OR IDEAS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

questions

 

 

 

 

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in participating!  Also if you write about the challenge on your blog please leave a link in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks

 

PS

 

Don’t miss out on the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!!

Check out my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com