At the start of every year, one of my “new year’s resolutions” is to read 52 books. One book a week. I just finished book number six. At just about ten weeks into the year, I am four books shy. But I won’t lose much sleep over it, I have yet to achieve my reading goal.
Closest I came was in 2015, where I capped off at 34 books. 2017 and 2018 were my slowest years. I read a total of 10 books in each of those years. I remember those years. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that our former tumultuous and chaotic president had something to do with that.
Reading is something I do to relax. Clear my head. Get out of my real life and escape into another. I read in my bed, mostly at night, and sometimes in the morning. I hardly ever bring my phone to bed with me.
Of course, that changed during the Trump years. Feels like my hands were tied to my phone, constantly checking social media to see what idiotic, dangerous, or embarrassing thing he’d said or did.
I just finished a book that was stuffed in the back of my bookshelf for a long time. The Cave, by Anne McLean Mathews. Suspense thrillers aren’t my favorite genre to read, and this book was just too disturbing for me to enjoy. But if psychological thrillers are your thing, with overly detailed descriptions of torture, then this book is for you.
My list so far for the year is:
The Tao of Pooh– Highly recommend. We all need to live more like Pooh.
Emma – Loved it, though not my favorite Jane Austin book. That would be Pride and Prejudice. I was also clueless to the fact that the movie Clueless was based on Emma. A genius rendition to a classic novel.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware- A neighbor gave this to me to read. The writing was simple and the story, easy to follow. I enjoyed the plot and appreciated that the story wasn’t overly written. No detail was given that I felt wasn’t needed.
The Catcher in the Rye – What in the hell took me so long to read this masterpiece? Just gonna leave it there. Salinger certainly doesn’t need me to sing his praises.
Goode Girls Lie by J.T Ellison- I really enjoyed this book. Great plot twists. Gave an excellent portrayal of an elite border school for privileged girls, minus all the murder.
Tonight, I’m starting the book The Reader. It’s been on my list for a little while now. I have few more books to check off my list but am always open to suggestions.
I’m so pleased to have author, Annette Mori, on my blog today. She is the talented writer of the books, Out of this World, Love Forever, Live Forever, Asset Management, and Locked Inside.
Here’s an excerpt from Locked Inside, a story about overcoming great obstacles and freeing oneself from emotional prisons. But the heart of the story is about love.
Awareness came slowly to me, as the blanket of fog, smothering intelligence, rolled back. I imagined an intricate spider web in my head, tangled with fine silk strands. Wonder Woman was slicing through them like an adventurer hacking through a jungle.
I was still confused about where I was when I heard giggling. At first, I thoughtmy sisters were invading my sacred space.
“Shhh, come in here and tell me every little detail,” a girl’s voice said.
“I don’t think we should be in here, Tammie. We’re supposed to be doing our volunteer hours, not screwing around in a resident’s room,” a different voice huffed.
I opened my eyes and a fuzzy picture began to emerge. Two strange teenage girls were huddled in the corner of a foreign room with sterile white walls. I wasn’t in my bedroom at home and I began to panic.
It’s probably hard for people to truly appreciate the terror that I experienced at this particular moment in my life. I had no idea where I was, who these strangers were, or what had happened to me. I would later discover that I’d lost six years of my life while hovering in a semi-comatose state. They never did figure out the origin of the illness or why I went into a coma and by the time I showed any awareness, six years had passed and my family had accepted the original prognosis that I would never recover.
The tall, skinny one with red hair shrugged. “Don’t be such a tight ass, Carly.” She pointed in my direction and giggled. “She’ll never tell.”
“That’s just mean.”
“What? She’s a vegetable, but right now she’s kinda creeping me out. Look, her eyes are open and it’s almost like she’s listening to every word we say,” the redhead blurted out.
The other one looked at me and frowned. “I think we’re upsetting her. She’s breathing really heavy now and I think she can hear us. Something is wrong. She looks terrified.”
I was trying to move my head, my arms, my legs, anything, but none of my body parts would cooperate with me. I felt my breathing quicken and I desperately wanted to communicate with them. I wanted to know where I was and why I couldn’t talk or move.
“She does look kind of agitated, Carly. Maybe we should get your mom.”
They left the room and I tried to move my head. I managed to move it a couple of inches as I took in my surroundings. I was able to shift my eyes from side to side as I noticed a TV mounted high on the wall in the center of the room and a single bed with a simple nightstand on my right. It looked like a typical hospital room, but I wasn’t positive. In my mind, I was still ten years old and my parents were nowhere to be found. I wanted my mom. I wanted reassurance that everything would be okay.
I heard the click clickclick of heels on the linoleum floor and watched as an attractive dark- haired woman entered the room. She had a stethoscope draped around her neck and one of the teenagers followed her into the room. They had similar features and I wondered if she was the mom the redhead referred to earlier.
“I’m sorry, Mom, Tammie dragged me in here. I didn’t mean to upset the patient but shelooked like she was trying to say something. Her breathing got kinda fast like she was having a panic attack or something,” the young woman confessed.
Well, that answered that mystery for me. The beautiful girl must have been the one the redhead, Tammie, called Carly. As each minute passed, I was becoming more aware of my surroundings and I was working to remember little details like the names of the young girls.
“Carly, it’s not like you to get sucked into Tammie’s harebrained ideas. I taught you better than that. Belinda is a very special case, but I don’t think she actually heard you or that you upset her in any way. She’s been completely unresponsive for nearly six years. Unfortunately, her illness caused severe brain damage.” “I know she reacted to something,” Carly insisted. “Okay, let me check her out.”
The woman grabbed her stethoscope and I felt her hands push aside my clothing as she placed the silver end on my chest. Her hands were gentle, but the stethoscope was cold and I must have had some small reaction—although it didn’t feel like any part of my body would obey.
“I’m sorry, Belinda, did you feel that?” she asked.
Carly stepped up to the bedside and I could feel her touch my hand.
I looked down at my curled up hand, which resembled some kind of deformed claw.
“My mom’s a doctor. She won’t hurt you,” Carly soothed.
Since I wasn’t able to move any part of my body but my eyes and my head in incremental movements, I concentrated all my energy on letting them know there was someone locked inside this useless body. I wasn’t a vegetable.
“Hmmm, in all the years I’ve looked in on Belinda, she’s never reacted like this. She does respond to certain stimuli. We’ve always been able to feed her as long as someone touches her lips first. This is new, though. Her heart rate does appear to be elevated and there is definite movement in her eyes. Perhaps she is reacting to your voice.”
Yes. It was a start. I had to find a way to communicate and let them know I was aware and present. My instinct for survival and Carly’s soothing presence was enough to tamp down the initial terror I felt. Everything was still too new for me to truly experience the first stage in the grief process. That would come later and didn’t last long. I’d always been a practical child. It didn’t serve a useful purpose to deny my limitations, so I didn’t remain in denial for very long.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief don’t just occur when someone experiences the death of a loved one—a significant loss in one’s life can certainly trigger that grief process, as well. I’d lost my childhood and during the next several years, I spent various amounts of time in almost every stage—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
“Can I read to her or something, instead of the other duties the volunteers do? Please, Mom. You just said that maybe she reacts to my voice. I want to help,” Carly begged.
“We’ll see. I need to make sure that would be okay with everyone, but it may be beneficial to Belinda. I don’t want Tammie in this room though—she doesn’t have the same altruistic motives that you have.”
“Aw, Tammie’s okay, she just wanted to get the scoop on my date last night. She was way more excited about it than I was and I still don’t see what’s the big flippin’ deal. I’m not even sure I want to go out with him again.”
“Why not? Isn’t he the heartthrob of your school or something—captain of the football team and good looking by teenager standards? He seemed like a nice boy. Anyone who can put up with your father’s twenty questions can’t be all bad.”
“He is nice, but I just don’t get that excited feeling that I’m supposed to when I’m around him. It feels more like I went out with my brother. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Tammie says the same thing—that I’m the luckiest girl in school since he picked me.”
“You have plenty of time to find the right one. I thought your dad was the biggest dork the first time I went out with him. I only went on a second date because I felt sorry for him and then he kind of grew on me.”
As mother and daughter had theirlittle heart to heart conversation, I felt like an inanimate object. Something in the background that no one noticed unless someone pointed it out as if they were giving a tour of their house. I wanted Carly to stay and talk to me or read to me, but she left with her mother and I remained alone in an empty room void of any stimulation. I closed my eyes and tried to conjure up a mental picture of my family. I wondered where they were. The woman said I’d been unresponsive for six years. I wondered what had happened in those years. Was it only six years? Or was that merely the amount of time she’d worked here? Even if it was only six years, I was now sixteen years old. I’d already missed more than a third of my life. I had to find a way to break free of this prison because that’s what it felt like—a prison.
1. It’s a healing spa for every ailment. Take a bullet to the knee? We’ll fix you up. Lose your memory? We’ll help you recover it. Got issues with your family? We’ll help you deal with your emotional difficulties. People think you’re going crazy? We don’t, and we’ll help you unravel the truth.
2. No electronics. Time to unplug! Your cellphone won’t work. You won’t get barraged with social media updates from people venting about their awful lives or bragging about their nauseatingly perfect lives. Even better, your boss can’t contact you about that office “emergency” no one else wants to tackle.
3. You get a whole week to relax. One ferry boat a week takes guests to and from the island. You won’t be leaving early or pretending a weekend getaway is all the vacation you need. You’ll have a whole week to truly relax.
4. No crowds! No lines! That ferry boat only takes 12 guests per week, with another 12 arriving through a magical portal from the paranormal world. That’s it, just 24 guests getting some very personalized attention.
5. The Wiccan Haus is magical. Yeah, the brochure might say the island is off the coast of Maine, but you’re not going to find it on your own. I’m guessing it’s part of a paranormal world, but they’re not confirming or denying my suspicions.
6. The owners get involved in helping you make most of your stay. Talk about personalized attention. At least one of the four siblings who run the resort will help you make the most of your stay—maybe all four of them. Now that’s service!
7. They have yoga, meditation and other classes that you always meant to try but never quite got around to. Admit it: You know that practicing deep breathing would be good for your blood pressure and probably your scattered brain too, but you never have time to actually do it, just like you never had time to try the King Pigeon or Camel yoga poses that the too-perky barista at the coffee shop swears by. Now you can.
8. They have exotic plants that scientifically shouldn’t exist. The orchard has apple tree with blossoms, unripe fruit, and ripe, ready-to-eat fruit all on the same tree. All at once. All the time. And you can help yourself to an apple straight from the tree. Simply paradise.
9. You could meet someone with paranormal abilities. Those guests who came through the magical portal might be shifters, vampires, psychics, truth-finders, lamias, or something else you’ve never heard of. They’re coming to the Wiccan Haus to heal and relax just like you, and you’ll see them when you all gather together in the dining room for dinner.
10. Another guest might end up being the love of your life. Maybe the person is a paranormal, or maybe he/she a human, but every story from the Wiccan Haus ends with true love and a happily-ever-after. It truly is magical!
What if you could read minds during sex? What if the government wanted to exploit you for your ability?
Fiona Vetter has spent her life hiding her sexual mind-reading power, pretending to have normal, safe powers like the rest of her family. When her charade results in the death of an innocent woman, her life of lies unravels. With nowhere else to turn, she retreats to the Wiccan Haus.
To expose her as an enemy of his government, Armando Verdad follows Fiona to the Wiccan Haus. Her beauty dazzles him, her personality seduces him, and her web of lies intrigues him. But with his career and the safety of his countrymen on the line, only the truth matters.
The harder Fiona tries to keep Armando away, the more she falls for him. When enemies come searching for her, she is forced to trust him to protect her life and her psychic lies, but nothing can protect her heart.
Fiona dropped her fork. How could her soul have picked him for her mate? The Fates played cruel jokes, and, once again, they did so at her expense. “The vetter was trying her best.”
“Her best to do what?” He gripped her arm a bit tighter.
“To be a vetter.” By the Goddess, she’d tried so hard. Her failure had cost an innocent woman her life.
He rubbed his hand along her arm, his face breaking into a smile again. “You know, I believe you’re right.”
A fat lot of good that did for Lizbet. She dropped her gaze to his hand. “Why are you always touching me?” She didn’t know him well enough to warrant the constant contact, but pleasure sizzled under her skin at his touch. She didn’t deserve to enjoy anything.
He smiled wider. “I can’t stop myself. You feel the connection, don’t you?”
She couldn’t have a connection to a man who scorned people who didn’t use their powers for the greater good, not when she’d built the foundation of her life on denying her true powers. “I’m actually not a tactile person.”
After speaking such a big lie, she couldn’t continue to look him in the eye, not with all her powers concentrated in the most intimate tactile experience possible.
His grin split wider. “I’d love the chance to prove you wrong.”
And when he did, she’d know his thoughts. She’d know how much he despised the woman who claimed to be a vetter and allowed the commander’s beloved daughter to lifebond with a man who would murder her. Fiona had come to the Wiccan Haus to get away from the public’s hatred and scorn, not see it behind Armando’s beautiful smile and feel it no matter how warm and gentle his hands.
She shoved away from the table and ran for the exit.
“I didn’t mean to offend you. I meant it as a compliment,” he called after her.
The dining room quieted around her. Everyone stared. Once again, she drew the bad kind of attention. But she couldn’t stop.
Despite her desire to be a simple vetter, without real vetting powers that life could only be a lie. The truth, however, was far worse than a life of lies.
Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day.
I’m currently working on my third book. My first book, Her Name, was released last year. My second book, Loving Again, will be out this November.
I have a tentative title for my new book. The beginning of the story is set and the last scene has already been written. What I don’t have is a middle. I don’t yet know the words that will fill the pages from 27-103. The bones of my story lack any meat.
Knowing how the story ends should make the book that much easier to write because the path couldn’t get anymore clearer. I am writing towards something. The signs are all pointing specifically to one place with precise directions– turn left, then right, then left again. But instead of driving straight to my destination, I’m making unnecessary U-turns.
Writing is hard, but it doesn’t have to be this hard and I know that.
I also know the first draft is only for me. I’m supposed to get the words out first and edit later. I’m not supposed to go back and rewrite scenes.
Move forward. Keep going. Don’t stop writing.
If something is unclear about the plot or character development is weak, make a note and highlight it. I can get back to it later, but whatever I do I’m not supposed to stop writing.
Yet, I’ve been staring at blank pages for months now, lucky to get a couple dozen scenes written that most likely will be long gone once the final draft is completed.
Where I had planned a first draft to be finished by Aug 1 (not gonna happen), I am now clinging to the hope that it will be completed by the time Loving Again is released.
I have numerous works-in-progress, unfinished stories, sitting in a desk drawer beside me. I don’t remember the specific reasons that made me stop writing each of those stories, but I assume self-doubt took over me, as it is trying to do now. I do recall many moments of poring over a story and questioning whether I had anything left in me to write. I still have those thoughts and I’ve only completed two books, and they were novellas.
My writing journey has only begun and already I’m hanging myself over the cliff, pressuring myself with the stressful worries of “Will I make it?”
My passion is writing. It’s always been writing. I know I will never stop, just as I know I will complete my third book and absolutely fall in love with it, and then wonder what all the fuss was about.
What I’m experiencing now is a tiny detour, and as frustrated as I may feel, I know this diversion will make me more appreciative of the moment I finally reach my destination, filled with sweet gratification.
Please help Musa Publishing celebrate 13 Day of Christmas with a free ebook copy of my book, Her Name. For today only, you can receive not only my book, but a book from two amazing authors free!
Her Nameis a about a woman who believed the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.
Madison Andrews has spent her entire life–unsuccessfully–searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life–and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.
An excerpt from Her Name:
Now, I laid down my fork and leaned into my seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about this anymore, but I did. “This all sounds crazy to you, and maybe in the beginning, it was something to joke about, but now, I’m not sure. These pictures were taken directly out of my life, and this woman was in every one of them. You can’t tell me I just dreamed it from memory, because my memory isn’t that good! The photos were identical all the way from the clothes we wore, to the smile on our faces. Hell, even the background was the same! She was the only thing that was different. How could that be?”
I stared at her, waiting for a response as she took it all in.
“Like I said on the phone, I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Is it weird? Yeah, totally, but I’m no dream expert, and neither are you. Like I said before, maybe it’s your subconscious taking over. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, and it probably has some fancy scientific name.”
“She’s my wife,” I said flatly. “I saw a picture of us from our wedding, and we looked like we belonged together. We know each other. I mean, really know each other. I wish you could see us together, because you’ve never seen me this way with anyone before.”
“And what way is that?”
“In love,” I answered.
“In love,” Shelly repeated and then pushed herself away from the table. “Well, Maddy, me seeing you with her is something that will never happen. Do you wanna know why that will never happen?”
“I know why you think that will never happen, but that’s where you’re wrong.” I stared at her and said, “I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think she’s real.”
Please check out Musa Publishing’s website at http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=specials.
A Personal Legend is what a person has always wanted to accomplish. When we are young, every person knows their Personal Legend because at a young age our dreams are big and we dream without fear, but instead with optimism and fervor. “But as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince [us] that it will be impossible for [us] to realize [our] Personal Legend.”
An unexpected illness, a love we’re afraid of abandoning, fear of failure, or an envious person’s manipulation because they don’t want to witness us achieve something they could not, are all impediments that can destroy our dreams. But the worst reason for not pursuing a dream is believing we don’t deserve it.
Because we do.
I know a book that tells the story of a crystal merchant who has never done one of things the Koran obligated him, as a Muslim, to do – set forth on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. It was something he’d desired since he was a small child, but when he grew up, he bought his shop and refused to leave the store in the hands of someone else. So he stayed, and every day, for many years, he watched, through his store window, pilgrims pass happily as they headed for Mecca.
When asked by a young shepherd boy, who was in pursuit of his own Personal Legend, why now the man didn’t go to Mecca, the merchant answered, “Because it’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That’s what helps me face these days that are all the same…I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living.”
Some people want to realize their dreams, while others are content with merely dreaming about their dreams. But when we ignore our Personal Legend, the omens, signs, will speak to us, and remind us of our calling, but we’ll pretend not to hear. The sounds of the omens will continue and regret will take over us. And maybe the person we love and who loves us back will feel our resentment because they will think they are the ones who kept us from achieving our Personal Legend. And then, after time, “the omens will abandon [us] because [we’ve] stopped listening to them…[we’ll] spend the rest of [our] days knowing that [we] didn’t pursue [our] Personal Legend, and now it’s too late.”
Don’t let it be too late.
I believe life is more than what my eyes can see. I believe in omens. I look for signs. I meditate. I talk to the universe, whether it be the sun, the sky, the stars, the wind, the trees, the moon, or God, and if the universe can talk back, I want to be open in understanding its language. I’m on a journey. I go it alone right now, but I know if my love ever comes, she won’t prevent me from realizing my Personal Legend because true love will ride the journey with me. I know what it is I must do. I know my Personal Legend.
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.”
But only you can choose your destiny. Not even fate can do that for you.
“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” But you have to want it so bad that it exists in your every breath and then listen to the universe as it talks to you.
Follow the omens. Trust your heart. Dream without fear.
I’ve read The Alchemistby Paulo Coelho three times. And I will read it many more times. It has guided me in my life when I needed it the most, and it will continue to guide me even when I think I need it the least. All the quotes above were taken from this book and all of the thoughts I express were influenced by this book, so really, nothing that I have written is truly of my own expression, but instead were completely inspired by the brilliance of Mr. Coelho.
To celebrate their 3rd Anniversary, now through Oct 31, Musa Publishing is offering 30% off all its books! Please check out some amazing authors at a spectacular price. Whether your favorite genre is Romance, Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Paranormal, Historical, Classical, LGBTQ or Erotica, Musa offers it all!
Please go to their website, Musapublishing.com, and take advantage of these great prices.
You can find my lesbian romance novella, Her Name, originally $2.99, for only $2.09!
Her Name is a story about a woman, Madison, who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life. She has vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life–and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.
Below is an excerpt from Her Name:
Shelly and I walked across the dog park, chatting while Shelly’s pooch ran free.
“Freddy! Stay where Mama can see you!” She turned to me. “Has Becca tried contacting you?”
I shrugged. “A couple calls. Some texts, but I didn’t respond, so I think she got the message.”
We walked for a little while, and then she asked, “So, did you really wake up crying this morning?”
I had told her over the phone earlier that day about my dream. I looked her dead in the eye and nodded. “My pillow was drenched.”
Shelly shook her head. “And you don’t remember what you were crying about?”
I glanced toward the sky and shrugged. “In the first dream, I didn’t know her. She knew me, but I was looking at her for the first time. In the second dream, it seemed like we were living together and we had our own little routine, like I’d come home from work and she’d cook dinner. But in this last dream, the way she held me in her arms as I cried was so personal. I wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable around her. And then she told me she loved me.”
Shelly stopped walking and grabbed my arm. “Wait, she told you she loved you?”
“Did you say it back?”
“Of course I did.”
My friend threw her hands in the air. “How could you tell her you love her? You don’t even know how long you’ve known her for!”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “Are you [messing] with me?” I asked.
She looked at me, and I suspected she was holding a straight face for as long as she could before she burst out in laughter. “Of course I’m [messing] with you! This is a [frickin’] dream we’re talking about! She’s not real!” she yelled.
I walked away, but Shelly followed me. “What? You’re mad at me?”
“No, it’s my own fault. I shouldn’t have told you. I’m not even sure why I did.”
“I’m sorry! Please don’t stop telling me! I’m dying to hear more about this amazing fake woman.” She cracked up and wrapped an apologetic arm around my neck. “I’m sorry, really I am, but let me just make sure I’ve got this straight so far. You’ve played games with a hose, you woke up naked with her, you cried, and you told her you loved her, but you haven’t even [slept with] her yet?”
I pulled away and gave her a hard look.
She laughed. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I just insult your girlfriend? If she’s mad, just apologize for me when you see her tonight.”
“You know what!” I yelled. I started to let her have it, but stopped myself. I wasn’t sure what I’d expected my friend’s reaction to be, because they were only dreams and everyone had them.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the book, Starbucked, written by Taylor Clark after reading one chapter. I’ve since finished the book, and with close to three hundred pages, writing a full synopsis of this piece would go way beyond the suitable length for a blog, but there is much to say/debate about the cultural issues and business practices that arise when Starbucks invades your neighborhood. Yes, “invades” because Starbucks travels in packs, never alone. When you have one, you will soon (emphasis on soon) have another. And another.
Starbucks is everywhere. The gourmet coffee craze has taken over the world.
Paris, France, the city known for its essence of cultural snobbery, has twenty-three stores (and more coming) of this ubiquitous American company wrapped within its famously charming and romantic streets and landmarks. Oman, Qatar, Chile, and Cyrpus are also places Starbucks calls home. Along with, Seoul, South Africa, London (Britons now consume more coffee than tea. What? No more spots of tea?), and Saudi Arabia.
Starbucks even made it into Beijing’s Forbidden City, the “political and cultural heart of imperial China” for over five hundred years. That’s a lot of culture, but still, when a “Forbidden City” opens a Starbucks, it loses much of its mystique. Now I’m walking into that “forbidden” town as though I own it, “Billy the Kid style blazing through Dodge” because there’s nothing less ominous than a store with a mermaid logo and employees bouncing behind a counter donning green aprons and khakis while lame remakes of Bee Gee songs play in the background.
Forbidden City, you need to be a little more forbidding.
There are so many Starbucks locations in this world, it would probably takes less time to list the cities and countries where they’re not.
*Note – there were more fun facts and not so fun facts I learned about Starbucks that I will share in a later blog.
*2nd Note – this book was written in 2007 – so when I write that a city has twenty-three Starbucks, seven years later, that city most likely has two-thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine stores now.
The first time I saw my book illegally downloaded on the Internet I wanted to cry – but not before punching in the face those six hundred-plus people who stole my book. Yes, stole. They didn’t pay for it, so it’s stealing. I had a discussion today with my sister about this issue. She knows a person who sells pirated-DVD copies of movies – new movies – movies less than a week in the theater new. She makes six hundred dollars cash a week. That didn’t sit well with me.
I told my sister this person was making money off someone else’s hard work. A writer’s words. A director’s vision. An actor’s passion. A costume designer’s sore, over-pricked fingers.
“She’s s single mom,” my sister responded. “Maybe I’d do that too if I needed the money. Would you rather have me work as a stripper and give lap dances?”
Please get over yourself, sister. You don’t have the boobs to be a stripper, but if you did, then yes. Yes, I’d rather you be a stripper giving lonely guys lap dances in dark rooms because at least that’s your hard work you’d be getting paid for. I had to explain it to my sister the way I explained it to my ten-year old niece that buying pirated movies is the same as walking into a store and shoving a DVD under your shirt and leaving.
“But we’re paying for it,” my niece said to me.
“Yes, but to people who stole it,” I responded.
The digital world has made books, movies, and music so conveniently available to us (on our phones, our computers, our Ipads) that it gives the delusion that we own the product before we even buy the product.
I know this didn’t just begin with my book. This type of theft has been going on for a long time. I remember Napster, but I never downloaded music I didn’t pay for, and that goes for books as well.
Authors don’t get paid much, especially authors of e-books that sell for three dollars. The price of a coffee. The price of my book. I didn’t become an author for the money because I knew long before the digital world came around that the writing business was tough. Not many people can make a living doing it, and those who do are probably not living the high-life, but merely scraping by (unless your last name is King, Grisham, Patterson, or Rowling).
Since I’m not here for the money, I admit, I got a little excited when I saw that over six-hundred people had downloaded my book. The prospect of over six-hundred people reading my book was thrilling, thieves and all. Recently, I’d been notified by my publisher about another piracy site. I checked it out and found that my book hadn’t been downloaded at all – not even once. I was relieved, but then quickly thought, “What the ^uck? People don’t even want to read my book for free?”
As a writer I think I’ll always be stoked when people read my work, but is it too much to ask them to pay for it, too?