Oops! No Storytime with My this week

You may have noticed the lack of “Storytime with My” this week. And last week, too, but we won’t talk about that because I actually have a good reason this week. Instead of reading the short story I write live during the hangout, I want to try memorizing and recording it as its own video. The main reason I want to try is because as you saw in the last hangout, the connection goes in and out, so you all couldn’t hear a couple of lines of the story. I also don’t want to have to check every few minutes during the show to make sure the connection hasn’t gone bad, so I feel that this is a great alternative. On March 6th, I will have a new “Storytime with My” for you all and I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but I think it’s going to be a phenomenal performance, so get ready.

In the mean time and to make up for missing yet another week, I’m going to share my book outlet haul. If you follow me on Instagram @luv2rite1922, you would have already seen this before.

haul

From the top: Blue Notes by Carrie Lofty; Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill;  Wild Bill Donovan: the Spymaster who created the OSS and Modern American Espionage by Douglas Waller; Stella by Helen Eve.

As you can see, my reading tastes are a little all over the place. I think I either want to read Meant to Be or Stella first. I’m not sure, but you all will be the first to know.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. While you’re waiting for next week’s Storytime with My, you can check out my book, click here for the paperback and here for the ebook.

P.P.S If you haven’t noticed already, I’m doing this thing where I sneak in a shameless promotion of my book every so often. Feel free to ignore if it gets annoying, but know, somebody has to do it if I want to be recognized as an author. I promise not to do it all the time or I’d even annoy myself. Alright. Just thought I’d let you know. See you next time, rule-breakers!

 

M<3: Secrets by Danielle Steel (Book recommendation)

secrets

I just finished reading Secrets by Danielle Steel. You’ve probably guessed from the title of this post that I liked it and it will be the book of the week that I will be recommending to you all today (and I’m actually posting this on a Tuesday, I should get an award :-)

If you want an in depth summary of what Secrets was about, you can find that here.

Now for my thoughts: Danielle Steel has done it again. She did it again!  I have always been a fan, so I knew what to expect but wow! Applause are in order. Secrets was  a great book. For me, a great book is one that keeps me interested and has a satisfying end. This one does both phenomenally. I will warn you that this book has some mature subject matter. I would advise you only read this if you are mature enough to read scenes of a sexual nature and one of the main characters experiences some mental and sexual abuse. The abuse scenes were particularly heartbreaking to read and stomach, but when you think of the number of men and women that are going through this everyday, I’m sort of glad that Danielle didn’t just sweep it under the covers and made it an important part of the book. The abuse scenes weren’t excessive, so you don’t have to worry about every other page being about it. The best way I can describe it is that they were like pulling off a band-aid, they were quick in that the pain was over before you knew it, but like taking off a band-aid, it still stung for a minute afterwards, and the words still left their effect. (I hope that made sense.)

This book is a different format from the other books of hers that I’ve read. Usually, she has one main heroine and you follow that person’s journey, but with this book there is a cast of characters and you get to read each of their stories. It was interesting to see how each of their lives played out, how they were brought together, and how the relationships grew and drifted apart. I especially loved how she made you hate certain characters while loving others. She knew exactly what to write to make you feel what she wanted you to feel. I loved reading this format and seeing how Danielle takes you piece by piece through each person’s story and she slowly but surely, revealed everyone’s secret. It was a gradual progression that was very well done. I expected nothing less. She’s an excellent writer.

Obviously, I am biased in this recommendation. This is Danielle Steel and I would recommend all of her books, even the ones I haven’t read. For me, this one is especially good because of the writing. With her words, Danielle Steel takes you from place to place. She gets you so invested in these people’s lives that for a moment you forget that they’re not real, but you still want to know what happens to them. She’s almost too good in making you care about these characters. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning, because I needed to know what happened to them. I can’t promise you’ll stay up as late as me, but if you’ve read to this point, you’re invested and want to see what happens. If you read Secrets by Danielle Steel, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

If you read it or have read it, tell me what you thought in the comment section below.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. If you can’t wait for my next recommendation on this blog, I’m also posting recommendations on my goodreads page, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12096934.Lara_Sean.

My Inspiration Corner

inspiration corner

Welcome to my inspiration corner. It’s a corner right next to my door that I see  every time I wake up. It’s full of inspiring words that I’ve posted over time and I’m able to read it whenever I’m in need of some motivation. It’s definitely a good idea to have a section of your room that you can look to when you’re feeling down and need a little pick-me-up. I was looking at mine today (while trying to come up with a blog post idea) and figured it would be a good idea to share some of my inspiration corner with you all.

Without further ado, my inspiration corner:

  • At the top next to the purple ‘Words’ picture that a friend gave me for Christmas, is my vision board. It’s a rough sketch of everything I want from my life and who I want to be.
  • To the left of my orange dry erase board, is a fortune cookie note that says, “You are heading in the right direction.” I know you shouldn’t place any stock in fortune cookies, but it made me smile and it came at a time when I needed something to say I was doing things right, so I kept it.
  • On the opposite wall, there’s a mirror that I look at every day and remind myself how awesome I am.
  • To the left of the mirror is a program signed by Tayari Jones.  She came to speak at an event I went to in college. I briefly spoke to her about how her talk inspired me to keep writing. I can’t really remember what I said to her, but in response, she wrote, ‘Of course you write, it’s your plan A.’ And I’ve kept the program ever since. Here is an author that knows nothing about me, but still believes in me enough to say that writing is not a plan B or a plan C or an afterthought. It is and will always be my plan A.
  • Below the program is a scripture. Proverbs 23:4 Labor not to be rich. I have to continue to remind myself of this which is why I posted it in my corner. As a writer, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the sales or lack thereof and get worried. I have this scripture up to remind me that it’s not about the money. I’m not working to get rich. My overall goal is to share stories with people all over the world and maybe inspire others to go after  their dreams.
  • The final item, to the right of the scripture, is a quote from ‘The Adventures of Tintin.’ If you’ve been following me for a while you will be very familiar with this quote. It reads:

 There are plenty of others willing to call you a failure. A fool. A loser. A hopeless souse. Don’t you ever say it of yourself. You send out the wrong signal, that is what people pick up. Don’t you understand? You care about something, you fight for it. You hit a wall, you push through it. There’s something you need to know about failure, Tintin. You can never let it defeat you.

This reminds me that no matter how many times I fail, or do something wrong, I must always keep a positive attitude. I must never speak badly of myself. There are plenty of others that will, so I must always speak of myself in the highest regards and push through every obstacle I’m faced with no matter what.

I hope you have enjoyed taking a look into my little corner and hopefully, you’ve been inspired to make a corner of your own.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

 

“Storytime with My” Page 4 w/ finished response

Welcome to “Storytime with My” Page 4. The only big change this week was that I took out the break for you all to write during the show. The break felt weird and the music was even more weird so I took it out. Hopefully, this allows the show to flow a little better. Let me know if it does…

Now first the live stream…

And now an outline of what I talked about…

First, as always, we had a little chat. I hope everyone’s day is going well and you are meeting your writing goals.

  • Main points:
    • my website is live! Check it out at larasean.wix.com/author
    • I discovered Bookoutlet.com. OMG, this website is amazing. Books for read-iculosly low prices (their words, not mine). I ordered 4 books for 20 dollars and that included shipping and some of the books were hardcover. This website is amazing. You have to check it out.
    • I introduced “M<3: Book recommendations.” As you know I love to read and this year, I’m trying to read more. I like to talk about books, too, but I usually have no one to tell about the books I especially enjoyed. That is, until now. Hopefully, every Tuesday, I’ll have a book recommendation for you all. Either a book from the past that I especially liked or a book that I just finished. I’m super excited to be able to tell you all about my most favorite books.

Okay, now it’s time for the prompt:

Incorporate this quote into a short story or scene. Use it as the first sentence, last sentence or somewhere in the middle. The sentence in its entirety has to be somewhere.

“If my future were black, it was better surely to face it like a man than to attempt to brighten it by mere will-o’-the-wisps of the imagination.”  -pg 108 (The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume I)

And now for my response:

“If my future were black, it was better surely to face it like a man than to attempt to brighten it by mere will-o’-the- wisps of the imagination,” Fawn said sadly. His head dropped and he averted his eyes. He couldn’t bear to look at her.

Lisia breathed. Tears flowed slowly down her cheeks , but she stayed strong. “If you were a man,” she said. “You wouldn’t let me go.”

“You don’t understand…” he began.

“No, I understand,” she said, interrupting him. “You’re afraid of loving me because of your curse. Your stupid curse.”She spit out the words angrily.

“It’s not some stupid curse,” he told her. “Who knows what will happen to me because of it …or you. I can’t let anything happen to you.”

“I don’t…” she tried. “I know you’re scared. That’s all the more reason to have me with you.”

“And if you get hurt?” he asked her. “I’d never be able to forgive myself. You need to go,” he said  sternly.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said softly.

“You need to go,” he said and he tried to push her as gently as he could out the door.

“I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!” she screamed and she burst into a bright blue and iridescent figure. Her skin became translucent and her body began to glow.

Fawn jumped back from her, afraid. This was the moment that his powers would’ve awakened. He would’ve killed her instantly, but that didn’t happen. Nothing did.

“What are you?” he asked looking at her astonished.

“Did it ever occur to you that your mere will-o’-the-wisps of the imagination were powerful than you could ever imagine? That they could help you.”

It didn’t make sense. “My powers,” he said. “What’s happened?”

“Fawn, I am the last chance you have at beating this curse and I am NOT going anywhere!”

If you would like to listen to me read it, fast forward to the 11 minute and 12 second mark. (It’s a little choppy because of the G+ on Air internet connection, but you get the idea.) Also, expect a bookoutlet haul very soon, I’ll probably post it on my instagram @luv2rite1922.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. If you have any writing prompts you would like me to try out, please let me know in the comment section below.

P.P.S. I wrote a book! It’s called Last Look Back (of course you already knew that). If you want to purchase it, click here for the paperback and here for the ebook. Thanks in advance for your support.

Presenting “M<3: Book Recommendations"

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My to-be-read shelf. I have a lot of reading ahead of me.

One of my unwritten resolutions for the new year was to read more books. I had unintentionally taken a break from reading because I was working on my book. Even though all the great writers say that in order to be a great writer you have to read. I think I got it in my mind that I didn’t want to read anything while I was writing because I didn’t want to accidentally or subconsciously make my work sound like whatever I was reading. So, I was basically refusing myself one of my favorite past times because I was afraid that my book was going to start sounding like someone else’s. I have read two books so far this year and my work hasn’t strayed from its path at all. There’s also nothing wrong with adding a reference to what I’m reading so as long as I don’t plagiarize word for word. And if my book starts to sound exactly like another book, then hello, that’s what editing is for and I can change the similar passage so it’s completely different. No harm, no fowl. I have no idea what my problem was, but I definitely know that I will be reading a lot more books this year. The only thing now is that with all of the books that I’ll be reading, I won’t have anywhere where I can talk about them.

Oh, wait, I totally do!

Now, is the perfect time to segue into the whole point of this post. (I sure take forever to get to the point, don’t I?) As you know, I’ve read a lot of books and I’m planning to read even more this year. I also love talking about books, but I’ve never been sure how to go about it on this blog. I’ve been hesitant to review books, mostly because I don’t want to turn reading into a job. So, what’s left? Recommendations!!! This way, I’ll only be writing about the books that I like and recommend books that I think you all might like. It won’t be an obligation, just something I’d like to share. Every Tuesday (hopefully), for as long as there’s a book that I really like, you’ll be getting a book recommendation from me. They’ll either be a book that I’ve read recently or a book I’ve read in the past that I especially enjoyed. I’ll give you my honest opinion of the book and since it’s a recommendation, you’ll already know I love it and maybe you’ll love it, too. And I’ll try my best not to do too many spoilers, but I’ll warn you in advance if there are any. This will be a new layer for this blog and I genuinely hope you all like it.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. I wrote a book! It’s called Last Look Back (of course you already knew that). If you want to purchase it, click here for the paperback and here for the ebook. Thanks in advance for your support.

 

How am I doing?

CAM00544I’ve been posting for over a year and have slowly but surely, been learning and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Since you all are as much a part of this blog as I am, I thought it would be nice to take this time to ask you all for a little feedback. What do you like about this blog? What don’t you like? What type of posts would you like me to do (i.e. more short stories, writing advice, life advice, vlogs, book recommendations, whatever you can think of.) The main reason I would like your feedback is to make sure I don’t continue working on something that’s not working for you all or stop doing something that you all really like. This is all to make sure I’m actually catering to my audience and writing posts that you would like to read. So, any feedback you have for me you can either put in the comment section below or fill out this contact form. I look forward to hearing from you all.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. I wrote a book (of course you already knew that). If you want to purchase it, click here for the paperback and here for the ebook. Thanks in advance for your support.

 

“Storytime with My” Page 3 w/ finished response

This Storytime with My was formatted a little differently and I hope you all enjoyed the change. I’m going to format these posts differently as well.

First, the live stream…

And now an outline of what I talked about…

First,  we had a little chat and I updated you all on what’s been going on. Mainly, I’m working on a website, I’m on tumblr, larasean.tumblr.com, and I want to start the #iloveme project. The post should be up by now so check it out for more details.

Did I forget anything?

Oh yeah, I AM OFFICIALLY A GOODREADS AUTHOR!!! Lara Sean and Last Look Back are on goodreads. Check them out here.

Also, I’ve realized that I like talking and having a little chat with you all so it will be very unlikely that the stream will be much shorter than 30 minutes. I will do my hardest to make sure it doesn’t get much longer.

Next, the prompt:

eyes

 

And now for my response:

His eyes. That was the first thing that I noticed about him. They were dark brown and they twinkled. They actually twinkled. Especially when he smiled. When he smiled and I looked into his eyes, I fell all over again.

When he got sick, I knew things would be different. Those twinkling brown eyes were the first to fade. They became listless and gray and I knew the rest of him would change soon after. I was told by the Guild that it was silly of me to be sad. Keran was an Incan and would return to me soon enough.

Once every one hundred years, he would die and be given a new life. Depending on the life and where he was placed in the world, he may be able to return to me or maybe he wouldn’t. He would have a different body, but his eyes would never change. He would always be my love. I would have to wait and pray that he would come back, but I knew if he hadn’t, I’d have to move on.

Before Keran finally took his last breath, he made me a promise. “A year,” he said. Wait for him for a year and if he couldn’t come back to me by then, then I could go on with my life.That was foolish. I had no life without him. I was sure that I would wait for him forever. He didn’t have to ask. I held his hand tightly and then he was gone.

The Guild was prompt in the removal of his body. They had to keep his body safe in case another Incan was assigned to it. I was left alone. I couldn’t muster anymore tears to cry. I just waited …and waited.

It was hard. I cried a lot in the beginning. Without him, it was like living without an arm or my leg or my heart. For a while, I hated him and his stupid eyes. If it weren’t for those eyes that drew me in and wouldn’t let me go, then I wouldn’t be having this problem. I wouldn’t be hurting so much. Why did I have to love him so much?

365 days inched slowly past and Keran was nowhere to be found. By this time, I had accepted the fact that I was desperately in love with him and would wait for him forever. As night fell on the 365th day, I prepared myself for a lifetime of waiting.

Then, on the morning of the 366th day, there was a knock at the door. I opened the door absentmindedly. “Hello,” I asked the stranger. He was tall. His head almost hit the top of the door frame. I had no idea who he was until I looked into his eyes. He smiled down at me and his eyes twinkled. I burst into tears and hugged him. It was Keran. It was my love.

“Sorry, I’m late,” he whispered, which was nonsense. I shook my head, my cheeks stained with tears,and hugged him as tightly as I could. I looked up at him, into the eyes that I fell in love with, and said, “You could’ve taken another 30 years and I would still be here. I am yours and you are mine. Forever.”

As I said in the stream, I worked on the prompt earlier in the day and edited it during the live stream. I liked that so much better and you can see my excitement during the show. Working on it earlier gave me time to work out what I wanted to say and I was able to read more enthusiastically because I already knew much of what was on the page. If you would like to listen to me read it, fast forward to the 19 minute mark.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. If you have any writing prompts you would like me to try out, please let me know in the comment section below.

Welcome to the #iloveme project!

Valentine’s Day is upon us and if you’re anything like me (read: perpetually single),  then you’re not too enthused about this time of year.  Now, this is not to say I hate the holiday or I’m a Valentine’s Day basher or anything like that. It’s just that when you’re by yourself on a holiday geared towards relationships, it makes you feel kind of bad. But, not anymore! For this Valentine’s Day, I’m doing things differently.

This year, I’m embarking on the #iloveme project. What is that you may ask? It’s very simple. On Feb 14th, I’m going to forget about all of the couples on dates and focus all of that energy on myself. I’m going to devote the entire day to loving me. I think I’m going to have a movie marathon and I maybe even get myself a present of a slideshow of my favorite pictures of myself. On the 14th, I will be reliving my favorites memories, celebrating myself and showing myself how much I love me. I was thinking about it and it’s unlikely that I’ll share the slideshow on this blog. I may post it on the facebook page for a couple hours, but that’s about it. This is because I don’t want the day to be focused on social media. I want the day to be about me.

That may sound selfish and it is. I’m picking this one day out of the year to focus on me and I’m going to use it. Now, you’re probably wondering where do you all come in in all of this. I’d like you all to join me. Whether you’re alone or with someone, whoever you are, I’d like you to participate. On the 14th, take a moment to focus on yourself. Tell yourself how much you love yourself. Take pictures. Take yourself out on a date. Shower yourself in gifts. Or you can do nothing at all. On Valentine’s Day, do whatever you want.

If you can’t bear to spend a day from social media and want to share, use the hashtag #iloveme so we can all share in the love. Just make sure your entire day isn’t about social media and you spend time with your loved ones and are actually living in the moment.  Either on the 14th or sometime this week, show yourself some love. You deserve it!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Rule-breakers!!!

My

P.S. If you really need something to share, feel free to share this photo that I photographed myself. Can you tell I’m proud of it?   :-)

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I might be working on a website…

It’s not really a might… I am definitely working on a website. Here’s a sneak peak…

 

I don’t know, maybe I was trying to be vague with the title. Who knows? I bet you’re wondering, why a website? What will it be for? Why now?

Woah! Slow down. I was getting to that. As you can probably guess from the sneak peak, I’m going to create an author website through wix.com. It’ll be where you my readers can find all of my pertinent writing information, specifically where you can find and purchase my book, Last Look Back, but it will also be a hub where all of my books and work can be found. I might even share some excerpts from book 2 of the Last Look Back series and let you in on other projects I’m working on. Maybe. Maybe not. You’ll have to check out my website to find out. It’s currently in the early developmental stage, so it might be a while before I launch it. I want to make sure everything works and looks right before I make the website live. So far everything is going well and I’m having a great time building a website from the ground up. I’ve never really worked on web design besides what I’ve done on this blog, so this has all been very new and interesting for me. I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge and I can’t wait to share the finished project. Hopefully, I don’t take forever and I can launch it fairly soon. Fingers crossed.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. I have a tumblr, too! There’s not a lot on it yet, but I really love it. You can check it out here.

P.P.S Storytime with My is back to its original schedule of every Friday at 6 pm. The next one will be this Friday, February 6th. The prompt is already up and I think I’m going to set up the show a little differently. You’ll have to watch to see what changes I make.

A Change of Plans and Taking a Break

Three posts in a week, I must be losing my mind.

So, if you took a look at the title, you’ll have a good idea what this post is about you. Your eye probably immediately went to the word  “change” and you’re probably rolling your eyes at the fact that I am changing the blog once again. I promise it’s not going to be a big change and everything is going to be fine to which you’ll probably reply:

change

Everything is going to be fine. I’m hyping this up a whole lot more than I should, but I just can’t help it and I couldn’t pass up the chance to use this Sheldon gif. Okay. You remember when I said that I was going to do a Google+ Hangouts on Air on the last Friday of every month to discuss my book, Last Look Back in greater detail. Yeah. That’s not going to happen and I’ll tell you why: 1. I’m pretty sure I’ve said all that I could say about the book, 2. Going into detail would bore everyone that’s not interested in the book or interested in what I have to say about it, 3. Preparing for the live stream is not as easy as I thought it would be since I have to read the section I’m discussing a month in a advance to make sure the discussion questions are up and then by the time the show comes around, I’ve already forgotten what I’m supposed to be talking about. I know, I wrote it, this shouldn’t be a problem, but when you have a gazillion other projects and thoughts running through your head, it’s not easy to remember what was going through your head a month before when you were reading something. Suffice to say, “It’s My Book Club” is a no-go, dead, not going to happen, not now-not ever.

In the off chance, that there is someone that genuinely wants to know all of the behind the scenes details and is completely heartbroken at this news, I will be releasing a companion book (the one I spoke about in Monday’s post) that will fulfill all of your Last Look Back needs. I’m not sure when I will release it, but fingers crossed, I can get it done this year.

Okay, next item of business, taking a break. This one doesn’t need a drawn-out explanation. I want to spend more time on book 2, so I’m going to take a week long break from this blog. You can expect me back around February 2nd. Alright, that’s all from me, see you in a week Rule-breakers.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My