Review of Awakened by Fate

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“Awakened by Fate” is a novel that means a lot to its author, that much is clear whenever she mentions it. I had attempted to read this once but my work was very stressful at the moment so I put it on hold and read it during the summer when I had a better time focusing and I’m happy I did.

“Awakened by Fate” is about Jackie, a woman who is living somebody else’s life. In an unhappy but open marriage with a man, she gets by through flings with women and drinking too much. Her life is forever changed when she is in a car crash after a party. After that she is introduced to a spiritual lifestyle, a shift that she desperately needs. I sometimes had problems liking Jackie, I didn’t agree with some of her choices, especially choices made before the accident but I also think that’s why I liked her by the end. I had seen her grow and accepted, just like she had too, that she wasn’t perfect.

I actually also liked the annoying husband – Kyle – who I understand I was probably not supposed to like at all; but he was so human with his shifting of blame and hypocrisy. I liked how he was portrayed.

I probably wouldn’t have read this book if I hadn’t interacted with the author. The contents are different than what I usually choses but honestly? It was nice. I’ve never read a lesfic like it. It feels like a story of personal growth mixed in with non-fiction and self-help and I don’t mean it in a bad way. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a lesfic that is about a person rather than about a couple. The story is about Jackie, there might be other people there, but she owns it. It’s her story and that I liked.

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Awakened by Fate” is written by Lynn Lawler, a very nice woman who runs an amazing blog featuring lesfic reviews and interviews with authors. Even if you’re not interested in her book I implore you to check out her blog which you can find here. She puts a lot of energy and time into helping lesbian fiction grow and spread both on her blog and through different Facebook groups.

If you’re interested she has reviewed one of my novels plus interviewed me a few years ago.

Thanks for reading!

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T is for Term is Starting

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As a teacher I’m incredibly spoiled. I stop working around the 20th of June and don’t start again until 14th of August. It feels like more than two months. Usually the summers feel like a whole life-time passes. It’s a time where I learn stuff, write a lot, play full-time author, go on trips, practice skills etc. The person that comes back to work in August is not the person that left in June.

HOWEVER and that is a big however, during the school year I am very tired and very busy. As I wrote in the post about my workplace, we teachers face certain conditions that are unacceptable. I love my job, believe you me, and I’m active not just in my own class but different groups and projects like a Swedish type of school board where we discuss the situation for our school in general. Last year the principal and I ran a project where we went into every single classroom in fourth, fifth and sixth grade where we taught the students about bullying on the internet. This is on top of teaching, assessing and planning for my own 24 third-graders. I love education and everything that comes with it but I also know that it eats a chunk of will to do other stuff – this includes being an author and running my blog.

This summer has been amazing. I made an author facebook that I’ve been using to connect with people in a more real way than I did before. Especially other authors and writers which has been so much fun. I’ve also done plenty of blog posts plus discovered how fun it is to make reviews of lesfic novels.

The bottom-line is, I don’t want to stop. I want to have my cookie and eat it too. I want to be able to be both a writer and a teacher in the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice one for the other because they are both equally important to me. They are. They are. They are.

So, like a teacher, I’ve made a plan and a schedule. If it doesn’t work out, fine, then it doesn’t, but I have to try. I made a paper schedule for what I’ll do on what days (the picture at the top) and I also roughly planned enough blog posts to take me through the rest of the year. I still did the bulk of my writing during the summer but I’m still not done with “I Love You, Nora Whispered”, I think and hope it’ll be done soon.

So here is to trying! To all of us whose vacations are ending. Let’s hope the year is kind to us.

Please check back in tomorrow for my review of “Awakened by Fate” by Lynn Lawler.

Review of Take Me Home by Ria M Apple

I don’t know about the rest of lesfic-reading people but I’m very bad at checking out new authors, which sucks because I’m a writer myself. I tend to find a few authors I like, a few books I like, and just read them over and over. I’m a chronic re-reader, self-diagnosed, landing somewhere between ashamed and proud. This summer I wanted to push myself to discover a couple of new authors and a couple of new books.

“Take Me Home” is one of the two novels/novellas that the author Ria M Apple has written. It’s the story of two young people who take a long car ride together and pretty much are enamored from the start. The narrative exists inside the head of 21-year-old Mia Alfred and the type of writing is very stream-of-consciousness. At times I loved it. How can you not love a book that has this as a quote:

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I couldn’t help but fall in love with the main character, Mia. I liked the way her mind took little detours or added silly little details all of a sudden, sometimes things that had nothing to do with the story. I liked that she had left her hometown even if she failed at explaining why (at least to me). She was more than believable as a character who is 21-years-old and on the cusp of maturity.

I also liked her love-interest, Gen Bennet. I like how their conversation is more bantering than anything, biting and fun and getting deeper and deeper.

As you can see there is loads to like about this book and I still had trouble finishing it. I don’t mean to be mean, I have read other reviews of “Take Me Home” and they say the same thing. This book needs major editing. Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, formatting mistakes etc… sometimes pretty bad ones.

I’m not trying to make the author feel bad, should she read this review – like I said before, I actually loved it. I self-published “State of Emergency” and I know that there are mistakes in there even after several beta readings and self-edits. I desperately hope to publish it through my publisher in the future (and am planning to ask soon) since it would be gold to have a professional editor to look at it. Editing is needed, that’s all I mean. It’s almost impossible to only self-edit your work. “Take Me Home” is a lovely story, I think it deserves better.

I do recommend it as a nice romantic story, I enjoyed it very much at times.

Thanks for reading!

Summer update

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I’m spending this week in Norway, my big sister lives here with her boyfriend (manfriend?) and their five-year-old daughter. My parents and all our dogs are here too. It’s been lovely spending time in the Norwegian south surrounded by strawberry fields and mountains.

It’s also fun to revert back into being the little sister. I’m almost thirty and yet my big sister still calls me the Swedish word for “mischief”, she will say “mischief, will you help me with bla bla” I don’t remember what I did in toddlerhood to earn that nickname, but it’s stuck. Some girls got to be called Princesses when little but not I, no, I’m Mischief.

In between being social and playing with my niece, I have done a lot of writing. Like A LOT of writing. Two days ago something clicked in my brain and since then I have done 10k words. My newest novel, “The Biggest Secret” is at 50 000 words now but it’s not finished. I secretly wish for it to be 100k, I have never written such a long novel before. I think however, it will land at around 80 or 90k.

I will not manage to write at crazy speed for the rest of the novel of course but hope to still do at least 2k a day-ish. My wife has been doing a weekly commute for four months and she is finally on vacation today when she comes here tonight. I haven’t properly seen her for four months so you can bet that I will want to spend as much time with her as possible. With that said, she isn’t a morning person so I’m planning to write in the mornings before she wakes up.

I have also planned a couple of blog post for the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I thought I could, so I did – a blog post about going from being unpublished to published author.

S is for Source – the next installment in the ABC posts. It’s about who we write for and where stories come from. This one is done in the same way as P is for Pressure.

Review of Take Me Home by Ria M Apple 

….and other reviews of the books I had in my summer to-read list.

Otherwise I hope you’re all surviving in the summer heat. Remember to hydrate and go inside if it gets too much. Heat can be dangerous even if us in the north tend to high temperatures in theory.

 

Zombie day 2019

It was the 15th of July 2015. Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps the fact that we had gone hiking the day before, perhaps it was just meant to be. On the 15th of July 2015 the wife and I had no energy. We were tired. The whole day dragged on in a mess of take-away and episodes of The Walking Dead or perhaps Game of Thrones. We walked our dogs of course, but it was short walks, they didn’t have much energy either. I couldn’t stop yawning, I didn’t write; we didn’t even play video games (and we play A LOT of video games in the summer). I talked with my best friend Marco – who you can find mentioned in every  “thank you” in the beginning of my books – and explained to him that wife and I had been like zombies all day. I don’t remember who suggested it, as a joke, might I add, that today was a “zombie day” and that now we had to “celebrate it every year”. Being who I am, I took it to heart. Here I am, fourth year in a row, celebrating or at least acknowledging that today is indeed Zombie Day.

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The form of how we observe this special holiday changes from year to year. Sometimes, like this year, the wife is working, so I’ll have to do this without her. Best friend Marco, is also working (however from home so I hope to at least hear from him occasionally) so I’m on my own here, fighting the good fight.

My zombie holiday activities for today:

  • Eating jello. Very devoid of nutrients but fun and not terrible when it comes to calories. Easy to prepare and reminds me of childhood and summer.
  • Binge watching old Modern Family episodes. Yes, yes, I should be watching zombie series and maybe I will later but I’m in the mood for Modern Family and Zombie Day is a day where you do what you feel like. If you’re looking for a list of zombie media I love, keep reading.
  • Reading Harry Potter.
  • Maybe some writing but only if I really feel like.
  • Take a nap? Maybe? Probably?

I’m a slightly stressful person. I’m always on the go, working, taking care of others, writing, cleaning, walking dogs, going to the gym. One winter my parents stared as I first did an hour Just Dance on the wii and then went on skiing for a couple of hours. Being almost thirty doesn’t change that. I’m bad at taking it easy, swinging between activity and too much exhaustion. Zombie Day forces me to wind down. I don’t need to be productive. Housework will be there tomorrow. Sure I need to walk the dog but even that can be done in a calm, relaxing manner.

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Zombie Day is also a perfect day for indulging in zombie media. I love zombies and one day I’m going to shower you all in my 9 part zombie book series (you just wait) but we’re not there yet and I have nothing of my own to offer you however here is a list of books, series, and films that I love.

Z Nation – TV series and to me the best zombie series there is. I love it so much. There is a spin-off to Z nation that is called Black Summer that I haven’t actually watched yet. It’s up on Netflix though so I might give that a try today.

The Walking Dead – TV series. I don’t really like it past season six but until then it’s so good.

Fear of the Walking Dead – spin-off series to The Walking Dead. Not my favorite but still totally okay.

Santa Clarita Diet – TV- series. Very different from traditional zombie series.! About a suburban real estate agent who becomes a zombie, a sentient one. I have a love/hate relationship with zombies who can talk/walk/think but I do enjoy this series and grieve that it was cancelled. It feels finished at the end of season 3 so it’s probably okay though.

Izombie – TV series. another series about sentient zombies. Doesn’t really feel like a zombie series at times. They use the word zombie though so a definite plus there. It’s about a zombie who solves crimes and it’s funny and interesting.

Resident Evil films – Quite famous and maybe I don’t need to include them. Traditional. There is a virus. It spreads and creates zombies.

I am Legend – Movie. Also famous and most people have probably have seen it. There is a virus. It spreads and creates zombies. There is supposed to be a book that is better but I haven’t read it. The movie is meh.

World War Z – book and movie. The movie is okay but the book is amazing! Best zombie book I have ever read. My wife isn’t a big reader but I spent hours reading it out loud to her just because it was so interesting I wanted to share it. It went through how different countries prepared and dealt with a zombie apocalypse. I borrowed it at the library but actually want to own it just so I can take it out and touch it sometime, that’s how good it was. Max brooks, the author, has written a book called “The Zombie survival guide” too and it’s on by to-be-read list.

I have read one lesfic novel about zombies called “Man Eaters” by Linda Kay Silva, it was really not good so it’s not making it on the list. It made me almost scared of trying out other zombie/lesfic books so if you know of any good ones, please send them my way.

The Walking Dead Game – video game from Telltale Games. These games are amazing whether you watch The Walking Dead or not. They aren’t too scary (for someone like me) and a joy to play. I fully recommend.

Then there are some pseudo zombie series, Van Helsing (some of the vampires act more like zombies) being one of them. There are also movies and stuff that has people being controlled however I don’t know where we should draw the line. Could you call Frankenstein’s monster a zombie? Probably not.

My list isn’t full of unknown, hidden gems in the zombie genre but I didn’t intend it to be. These series/movies/books are popular for a reason, they are good and they do just what they’re supposed to.

Time to get started, my jello isn’t going to eat itself.

Have a great day my friends and thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Review of “Paper Love” by Jae

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Paper Love by Jae.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a special place in my heart for Jae’s books; her “Backwards to Oregon” was the first lesfic novel I ever read and since then I’ve also fallen in love with “Just Physical”, “Something in the Wine”, “Next of Kin” and “Second Nature”. I interviewed Jae last year – you can find that interview here.

But let’s turn our focus to “Paper Love”, her 18th novel.

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Lesbian (or almost lesbian) series worth watching

A new week has started. For some of us that means back to work and some of us are on vacation, some of us have jobs that doesn’t allow for regular vacations – authors, stay-at-home-mothers, farmers and others. Monday comes for all of us.

…and I don’t know about you but one of the nicest things to do on a Monday night, once you’re home from work, once the kids are asleep or the cows are tucked in at night, is to plop myself down on the sofa and watch one, two, or three depending on length of a nice series. Movies can be good too and sure, maybe I’ll make a list like that sometime but here is a list of my five favourite TV-series that has lesbian or queer elements to them.

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Am I an Out and Proud Lesfic Author?

While doing my writing this morning, I found myself listening to Lesbians Who Write podcast with Clare Lydon and T.B. Markinson. Specifically episode 17 which asks the question “Are you an out and proud lesbian fiction author?” which, naturally, made me wonder.

So… am I?

I’m very out as a lesbian. To my family (including the muslim side). To my coworker and boss. To my students. Not in the way that I announce that I’m gay (although I have of course said these words) but more like “oh yeah, we’ve always wanted to try that too. My wife and I, that is.” I bring her up in regular conversation, just like straight people do.

…but when it comes to my writing? Am I proud to write for the genre that I do?

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Lesfic Novels I’m Planning to Read this Summer

It is summer. A lot of people are finding themselves with more free time than usual, myself as usual. As a teacher, I have about two months off spanning over June, July and August. It is awesome and I usually take the time to play full-time author. It is also a time I try to read more books. Before the term finished I had been rereading all the Harry Potter books BUT I want to mix it up with some lesfics I haven’t read yet too.

Anybody who knows me is familiar with the fact that I’m a master re-reader. In fact, I usually don’t feel like I know a story before Ive read the same book at least twice or thrice. This can lead to crazy stuff, like me spending all of 2016 reading all of Radclyffe’s Honor-series just over and over but I digress. This summer I want to broaden my horizon with some new books and also some authors I haven’t checked out yet. Some of the titles are books I’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t.

Read on to see which five books I have put on my list!

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R is for Re: My Place of Work (on teaching and chaos)

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Actual picture from my place of work. There are more of them.

It’s strange to think, that there are schools out there where no one in staff cries. Where there arent mousetraps set out in the teacher’s lounge. Where there are working computers. 

It has started to come to my attention that the school where I work isn’t normal. That it isn’t normal to have such an overworked staff that there is crying on the daily. From adults. That it isn’t normal for your work to take so much from you that all you have energy for after work is to sleep. 

Don’t take this the wrong way, I love my job. I gladly give all of me to it. Which might not be a healthy attitude but I digress.

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