Thursdays with Taylon: Fiction vs. Reality

Fiction: literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people

Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them

Remember when Twilight was such a big deal? Girls fighting over Team Edward or Team Jacob. I heard more serious debates that put strains on friendships than I care to admit. Countless fan clubs, costumes, and all sorts of swag erupted like Mount Vesuvius. I was one of those people who attended the midnight release of the books and movies, because I, too, loved the books. But the difference between me and all the Twihards: I know it’s fiction.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If it’s a really good book, I can get lost in the storyline. The characters become my friends, my family. Their pain is my pain, their laughs are my laughs. When they hurt, I cry. When they celebrate, I rejoice. At the end of a good series, I feel a sense of lost and sadness that there won’t be anymore time with these friends. That I won’t get to see any more of their experiences, their life lessons. And that is heartbreaking.

When the last Sookie Stackhouse book arrived on my doorstep, I waited months to read it. I couldn’t imagine an end to the series. When I read the last line on the final page of book sixteen (technically, it was book eighteen when you add in the prequel and mid-series books) of Pretty Little Liars, I questioned if it was really the end of A. When I closed the door on the Hunger Games trilogy, I craved more. These characters and their stories touched my soul in different ways, and I wasn’t ready to let them go.

That can be said for standalones as well. Sometimes, the story is just so good that I wish the author would write more. Maybe it’ll be like Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series, where each book focuses on a different set of characters. Maybe it’ll be the same characters with more stories. Or it could be Colleen Hoover, who has captured my heart several times. Or Brinda Berry, Penny Reid, Jamie McGuire, Ginger Scott, or Jay Crownover. I just want to beg for more.

Yet no matter how lost I get in their stories, I never lose sight of the fact that they are just that: STORIES. Fiction. Imagination. Fantasy. NOT REAL.

Sometimes, people get lost in the fiction. I know that personally, on more than one occasion, reading has been an escape from real life. Reality can be miserable. It can be a struggle. Losing yourself in the fictional world of sunshine, rainbows, and pink unicorns (or lots and lots of angst) might be preferred. Hell, it might be ideal.

But at the end of the day, you still have to live. In this world. In your own reality.

So enjoy the fiction, but never forget the reality.

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Thursdays with Taylon: Shelf Space

I have a thing for books. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. I remember choosing reading over watching tv. I would get so excited to check out a new library and see what new books they had. As I got older, I would check out the second hand stores, the dollar stores, and always went down the book section at Wal-Mart (ya know, back when they had a book section).

We moved a lot growing up, and it seemed like I would always have three or four boxes of books to move. I learned quickly to add them in with other stuff, so they would be easier to carry. My classroom library is built from books I’ve bought over the last ten years. I struggle with what books to take to school, because sometimes, books disappear. They just walk out my door and never come back. I hate those moments.

Last summer, I cleaned out my personal book library. With Sutton on her way, I needed to make sure there was room for her books. I moved the box sets to the built in bookshelf in the living room and my small bookshelf into the extra bedroom. I took more books to school, and I donated the ones I wouldn’t read again (and didn’t think high school kids would touch).

After Sutton was born, I discovered that holding a book was not as easy when you needed at least one hand for a newborn. So I made the switch to eBooks. And I’m still not happy about it.

There’s just something about holding a book. Smelling the pages. Losing your spot and having to flip back thru til you find the spot you left off. Turning the corners of the page down when you don’t have a bookmark. Using a flashlight at night to keep reading. Placing it on your bookshelf when you finish. Grabbing it to loan to a friend. And my most recent favorite, getting it signed by the author.

Since Holly and I attended our first author signing in May, I have fallen in love with books all over again. I won’t give up my eBooks, especially with baby number two coming in December, but I will continue to get my favorites to place on my bookshelf.

Now, if only I had more shelf space…

Cover Reveal: Kick Push by Jay McLean

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COVER REVEAL
KICK, PUSH – by Jay McLean
Series: The Road #2
Cover reveal date: July 14, 2015
Release Date: August 4, 2015
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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00037]
BLURB
There’s a single defining moment within every skater.
It lasts only a second. Two if you’re good.
Three if you’re really good.
It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you.
It’s the feeling of being airborne.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the greatest feeling in the world.
Then at seventeen, I had my son.
And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.
Seventeen. Single. Dad.
That’s what my life became.
Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being airborne.
Or at least I convinced myself I did.
But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me.
Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.
You know what sucks about being in the air?
Coming down from the high.
Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick.
Then kick, push, and coast away.
Other times you fall.
You fall hard.
And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again.
Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug…
And you become her poison.
GOODREADS LINK: http://bit.ly/1FSYTTZ
PREORDER LINKS
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THIS SERIES
#1 Where the Road Takes Me
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AUTHOR BIO
Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel. For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film, or television, please contact her agent, Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.
** $15 Amazon gift card with the cover reveal scheduled on my author page www.facebook.com/jaymcleanauthor**

Thursdays with Taylon: Book Hangovers

I don’t know about you, but I believe book hangovers are the devil. Worse than the real thing. Give me the morning after one too many bottles of wine, mixed with a pint of SoCo and a few shots of DrPepper ANY DAY over a terrible book hangover.

Like for real. They are the DEVIL.

For example, we spent last week at the beach, and I read three wonderful books (reviews to come) followed by a subpar book, full of gruesome sex scenes and a seriously twisted plot. I should have stopped after the first horrific scene of child abuse. But I try to be fair to books, and I wanted to believe the book would get better.

It did not.

It got worse.

Much worse.

And because I had invested over two hours, and I had to know if the narrator found redemption, I kept reading.

Then, it ended. Like just ended. All these people are dying, and the narrator isn’t getting the justice she deserves. Or the ending. Or the anything.

Ya’ll. This book ruined me. And not in a good way.

When I finished reading Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, I was emotionally drained and unattractively congested from all the crying. But it was a good thing. A fulfilling feeling. Like so many books that tug at the heartstrings or make us question humanity. I’m not a believer of “always a happily ever after” or “life is always fair” (It’s totally not, but that’s a topic for another post.) or “the good guy always wins.” But I do need a sense of closure at best.

In the essence of full disclosure, there is a sequel that supposedly continues the narrator’s story. But I will not read it. I was so disappointed in the writing, characters, and story-telling in general, that I probably won’t read anything else by this author.

Which leads me back to book hangovers. I’ve been so turned off by this book that I can’t find my way to start anything new for fear that the author will let me down again. Allegiant (not my current book hangover) was the same way; it took me weeks to read anything else. I was so frustrated and annoyed that I just couldn’t do it.

It’s been a week since I finished the book. I need to read something new, but I can’t bring myself to take the risk. There are over 30 books on my Kindle, just waiting to be read, and summer is quickly dwindling away. It’s time to put my big girl panties on, grab a bottle of Tylenol, and just pick a new book.

Promotional Tour: The Girl I Was Before by Ginger Scott

Thank you for joining us in the promotional tour for The Girl I Was Before, by Ginger
Scott. Be sure to check out all the excerpts, teasers, posts, and giveaway!
THE GIRL I WAS BEFORE (Falling #3)
 NA Contemporary Romance
Scheduled to release: June 23, 2015

I’m the selfish one. I suppose that’s the nicest thing people say about me. I’ve heard the other things, too. “Paige Owens is a pretty girl with nothing else to offer. She’s just a good time at a party. She’s stupid, heartless, cold and useless. All she cares about is getting a guy to look at her. Why would anyone want to be her friend?”

Some of those things are true. Others were true. They’re all hurtful.

None of it matters.

I’m ready to make the hard choices. I’m ready to face the consequences. I’m ready to be the girl I was before, and I’m done being the one who lost her way.

I’m ready to become the girl Houston Orr sees when he looks at me.

Houston isn’t a star athlete. He doesn’t play in a band. He’s never going to be president, and his life is so far away from simple and easy it isn’t even funny. He wasn’t part of my plan. But I’m starting to think plans are overrated, and maybe our stories are what we make them. And mine depends entirely on me, and the choices I make…starting now.

Houston is my fairytale. He’s perfectly imperfect. He’s poetry and life. He’s truth and heartbreak, all rolled up in a tall body with dark hair, broad shoulders and green eyes that lull me into submission. He’s nothing I ever thought I wanted, but the very thing I need. He’s the only guy I’ve ever really loved, and he thinks I’m a princess. I fell into him, and now I’m holding on.

But sometimes life takes away our ability to choose. Sometimes…things aren’t in your control. Sometimes, it hurts to be selfless. My only hope is that when it comes time to choose, I get it right.

Welcome to my once upon a time and wish for happily ever after.

GIVEAWAY
About Ginger ScottGinger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

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