Phoenix: A Portal Fantasy Romance (Prophecy Series Book 1) by Jessica Wayne: FIRST FIVE©

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~~~BLURB~~~

Withone sentence, Anastasia’s life is altered irrevocably. Ripped from the man sheloves, she’s thrown through a portal and into another world.

Onewhere magic exists and monsters lurk in the shadows.

Trappeda world away from Dakota, her only focus is getting back home-back to him. Butthose who offered her solace during the darkest moment of her life, arepleading for aid in a war they say only she can win.

Andas the battle takes her home again, depositing her on the doorstep of the manshe’s loved her entire life, Anastasia is forced to make a decision. Leave theother world behind to die, or risk it all and bring him into the fight withher.

A gripping saga of true love, loss, and heartbreak,The Prophecy Series is perfect for fans of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series,Jessica Lynch’s Mirrorside series, and Meg Anne’s Chosen.

Ready for adventure? Scroll up and one click Phoenixtoday! 

This book is intended for an audience of 18+.

 

~~~DISCLAIMER~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ONLY ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK. AS OF, 8/30/2020, THIS KINDLE EDITION IS FREE. YOU DO NOT NEED A SUBSCRIPTION OTHER THAN THE KINDLE APP TO DOWNLOAD. THESE OPINIONS ARE MINE, JENNIFER STARKS, AND MINE ALONE.

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Sentence One: (Chapter Name: Anastasia) Bodies littered the ground before her, their eyes forever unblinking, frozen in fear.

THOUGHTS: I like everything here. It’s telling, showing and feeling. 

Sentence Two: The sky thundered and rain poured down, diluting the blood-splattered ground.

THOUGHTS: This sentence is more about atmosphere and creating a feeling of macabre. Love it.

Sentence Three: “Hello?” Anastasia called, searching for anyone who might have survived. 

THOUGHTS: I hope someone is alive…

Sentence Four: What happened?

THOUGHTS: We’re all wondering the same thing, so it’s nice when the MC and reader are on the same page. Literally. 

Sentence Five: Why was everyone dead?

THOUGHTS: Gonna do a few more sentences for you.

BONUS SENTENCES: Her lungs burned as she ran through the destruction of what had once been her city. Buildings had crumbled to nothing but chunks of brick, and it took nearly all her concentration to make it safely through the rubble. “Hello?” she screamed as loud as she could, her throat burning from the force. “Is there anyone left?” Her gaze landed on a man lying face down, his dark hair matted with blood. She approached slowly, each step taking her closer to what she prayed wasn’t reality. “Dakota?” she whispered, kneeling beside him. She rolled his body over and cried out. “No!”

THOUGHTS: These are a lot of BONUS sentences, but I wanted to give everybody the same sense of urgency I felt here. This paragraph, and then some, had my anxiety climbing. If you’re like me, questions are mounting and the answers you crave could be right there. Naturally, you’ve gotta read a little bit more. Already, the most important element of this story is our MC. Her character development will be crucial in the beginning. And honestly? I think we’re off to a great start. This MC is in the thick of a disaster. Her fear is raw. The internal dialogue? Totally relatable. So? If our MC can’t escape the horror of what’s happening, why should we? Go ahead and delve into the mystery of Jessica Wayne’s Phoenix (Prophecy Series Book 1). It’s almost got a full 5 stars on Amazon.com and it’s FREE. This is a GOOD download, readers. Run! Get it! You’ll thank me later.

And as always, HAPPY READING!

MS Treatment UPDATE #3

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Well. Let’s just get into it. This is day I-don’t-even-know-anymore of my Nicolle Apelian Tincture treatment and here’s what I know:

*I can feel my feet! Like, all ten toes and everything.

*My extremely painful, life altering, neck pain episodes (the ones that require drugs, which are highly regulated, to manage) have NOT stopped BUT ARE few and far between now. My quality-of-life in this regard has improved well over 60% at this point.

*My balance is oddly worse, BUT, I am under a ridiculous amount of stress at the moment, so that’s probably a huge factor.

*My blood sugar issues feel better, though I have been reluctant to prove this theory as it involves poking my fingers more. Don’t judge me. I suffer through a lot of pain. If it’s not absolutely necessary, I’m not enduring it. #sorrynotsorry.

*My energy and endurance for physical activity has improved exponentially. I’d give this a 70% improvement rate to-date. 

*I feel unstable and shaky which is something I felt at the beginning of my diagnosis. Recently, I usually notice fatigue and achiness. Now? It’s like my symptoms are unwinding themselves; like a reset button has been pushed and my body is going back to the beginning. I know that sounds strange, but this is as close as I can come to explaining my experience.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

*The shitting HAS been less. It’s not gone completely, but let’s say I was having TEN insane bathroom breaks a day, and now? I’m down to THREE or FOUR painfully liquified BMs. It should be NOTED HOWEVER THAT I SPILLED MY ENTIRE VIAL OF TURKEY TAIL, SO I HAVE ONLY BEEN TAKING TWO VIALS OF TINCTURE: REISHI ‘SHROOM & LION’S MANE. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: THIS TREATMENT IS WORKING FOR ME. I WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE IT & I AM ADDING THE TURKEY TAIL TINCTURE BACK IN. MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW. *ALSO. AT SOME POINT I WILL BE TRYING THE UTI TINCTURE BECAUSE, AS EVERY WARRIOR KNOWS, UTIs ARE PART OF THE FUN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS PACKAGE. I WILL UPDATE ON THAT WHEN I PURCHASE AND USE IT TOO.*

Happy Treatment! 😉

The Devil’s Fool: A Paranormal Vampire Romance Novel (Devil Series Book 1) by Raven Steele: FIRST FIVE©

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~~~BLURB~~~

“I was afraid of the dark until I became it.” 

As the daughter of a magical family, power bled through my veins.
The desire to control.
Manipulate.

It lived in my blood, handed down from generations of witches.
They expected me to be the same.
Subtly rule over humans, bending their will to ours.

But I wanted to be free of my family’s dark world.
Their crimes and murders.
I wanted to be more.
Be different.

Boaz, a powerful vampire, saved me from my parent’s suffocating grip.
He promised me the world.
Seductive.
Bewitching.

I craved him.
His power.
His strength.

But the devil’s in the details.

And even he was once an angel. 

~~~DISCLAIMER~~~

AS OF 8/20/20, THE DEVIL’S FOOL IS FREE WITHOUT SUBSCRIPTION. THIS REVIEW BELONGS TO ME, JENNIFER STARKS, AND IS BASED ONLY ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK. I DID NOT READ THE BLURB. I WILL LEAVE A FOLLOW-UP COMMENT ABOUT THE BOOK IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS POST. (WHEN I’M DONE READING IT.) PLEASE READ THE BOOKS BLURB ON AMAZON.COM AS IT CONTAINS INFO ABOUT HOW THIS BOOK WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED. ENJOY!

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Sentence One: I always knew my father was a monster, but watching him torture someone other than me made me all kinds of ill.

THOUGHTS: Well. This is intrigue at its best, readers. Immediately, I wanna know who this monster papa is, and why in the hell his daughter is watching him torture someone? Well played, Raven Steele.

Sentence Two: A girl dangled before him, her pale hands clinging to the rope around her neck while her naked toes struggled to touch ground.

THOUGHTS: I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this part: “naked toes struggled to touch ground.” It’s PERFECT! The imagery. The sense of danger. The anxiety that’s being fueled by a growing and undeniable curiosity. It’s exactly what an author needs for their FIRST FIVE© to be great. Well done again, Raven Steele.

Sentence Three: I leaned over, high on my perch in a Scots pine tree, and drew in the crisp night air.

THOUGHTS: So, the MC is watching from a tree. They’re smart. Always keep a safe distance when people are getting tortured. Lest ye get tortured yourself. 

Sentence Four: Normally the smell of our home’s dense woodlands, a rich earthiness laced with the aroma of an approaching storm, would’ve soothed my nerves, but nothing could calm the growing turmoil in my gut, or my racing pulse.

THOUGHTS: This sentence is a bit wordy which did stunt flow a tish, but overall? The imagery is really good. Reader interest is nowhere near lost.

Sentence Five: The scene below wouldn’t allow it.

THOUGHTS: I’m hooked. Can’t wait to find out what’s going on. I downloaded this book right before posting and am highly excited about reading it soon. FINAL THOUGHTS: If you’re anything like me, you’ve got to be in the mood for a Vampire read. Well. I’m in just such a mood and The Devil’s Fool seems like a well-timed, FREE, miracle. Like I said above, I’ll leave a COMMENT about how I liked the book when I’m done. For now? You should take a chance on this one. I’ve got a good feeling about it. HAPPY READING!

The Alpha Heist: a Shifter Paranormal Romance (Stealing the Alpha Book 1) by Kate Rudolph: FIRST FIVE©

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~~BLURB~~

The alpha keeps what’s his…

No one steals from Luke Torres. His fortress is legend and his pack of lions are deadly, ready to face any threat. When Luke meets Mel, she knocks his socks off with a scorching kiss, but when they meet again, they are captor and captive in a deadly gave of cat vs. cat.

The thief is up to the task…

From the moment Mel takes the assignment, she knows that it should be impossible. But for the supernatural world’s foremost thief, impossible is an irresistible challenge. Especially when the payment for this job will get her one step closer to revenge. When the job goes belly up, she finds herself in the lion’s den and facing off with the most alluring man she’s ever met.

One alpha, one thief, and an adventure of a lifetime.

The Alpha Heist is featured in the Shifters Gone Wild box set for a limited time! Fall in love with a paw-some collection of 12 shifter romances.

The Alpha Heist is number one of a three part series called Stealing the Alpha. Book two, Entangled with the Thief, and book three, In the Alpha’s Bed, are available now.

This series is complete.

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ONLY ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK. AS OF, 7/13/2020, THIS KINDLE EDITION IS A FREE READ. YOU DO NOT NEED ANY SUBSCRIPTIONS OTHER THAN THE KINDLE APP TO DOWNLOAD. ENJOY!

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: The job went tits up sometime after Mel grabbed the flash drive from the vault.

THOUGHTS: I am thoroughly amused by the ‘tits up’ line. Yes. I realize that means I probably have a more in common with my nine year old son than I thought, but it is what it is.

Sentence Two: And vault was a highly over rated term for that sorry excuse for an executive safe. 

THOUGHTS: Honestly. The double tapped word ‘for’ stunted the flow. I also found the beginning of the sentence, ‘and vault,’ confusing.

Sentence Three: This whole thing should have been much harder.

THOUGHTS: UH-OH. These kinds of ideas will jinx a character every time. I fear for the MC now.

Sentence Four: From what she could tell, the company was run by a bunch of scientists without a thought in their heads for real security.

THOUGHTS: Seems like a cocky thing to think.

Sentence Five: All the better for her.

THOUGHTS: UMMMM. Probably not.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like where this book is headed. Happy reading. ((You can find info on the author here.))

 

MS & Vitamin D3 plus K2!

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I have been taking these supplements, Vitamin D3 & K2, from the beginning. They always help. Truth is? The only reason I’ve ever stopped was out of sheer laziness. However, seeing it on Dr. Nicole’s page has reminded me that the research I did years ago really did work, and it really did mean something.

Sometimes, Warriors get tired & lazy on their journey, but that doesn’t mean they give up. It just means that their soul needs a rest. I am done taking such a rest. No matter how harsh the side effects may be. My Warrior is awake & ready for battle.

Granted, that battle will not include Turkey Tail tincture currently. Why, you ask? Well. My clumsy ass didn’t screw the dropper on tight enough and spilled the whole damn vial.  So, I’ll be re-ordering that. Pushing forward in the mean time, of course.

Today, treatment day…8…I think, I feel so good that I don’t even want to take anything! Naturally, that means it’s time to buckle down, but my inner self just wants to do a happy dance and enjoy good news.

TO THAT MY MS SAYS: TOO DAMN BAD!

There’s no crying in baseball. 🙂

And there’s no enjoyment in MS. Take your meds. Fight the fight. Be humble about your successes. Be sympathetic to others battle. And above all else? Keep fighting. Even when your soul is tired and you’re taking a quasi break? Keep fighting. Keep hoping. Keep searching. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve got vitamins to pop and ‘shroom juice to gag-swallow.

HAPPY TREATMENT DAY!

NEW Fall Reading List: My Picks From Yours: 5 FIRST FIVEs©

#1 THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING BY ALEXIS HENDERSON

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~~~BLURB~~~

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
 
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

**DISCLAIMER** 

THIS REVIEW IS NOT FOR ANY ONE GENRE. IT IS INTENDED TO BE A FALL READING LIST FOR 2020. THESE READS ARE NOT FREE. HOWEVER THE REVIEWS FOR THE NEXT 5 PICKS, WHICH HAVE BEEN PULLED FROM VARIOUS LISTS, ARE ALL BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES. THE OPINIONS IN THIS BLOG ARE MINE, JENNIFER STARKS, AND MINE ALONE. ENJOY.

****

Sentence One: SHE WAS BORN breech, in the deep of night.

THOUGHTS: Lyrically PERFECT! The imagery harnesses a wicked vibe I’m liking already.

Sentence Two: The midwife, Martha, had to seize her by the ankles and drag her from the womb. 

THOUGHTS: Visually brutal. Informative and riveting. 

Sentence Three: She slipped out easy, dropped limb into Martha’s arms, and lay still as stone. 

THOUGHTS: First thought, ew. Second thought, huh? Third thought, ohhhhh. GREAT line. 

Sentence Four: The midwife’s daughter gave a low groan that bubbled up from her belly. 

THOUGHTS: …so the midwife’s daughter is in the room or she is the baby? I may be overthinking here.

Sentence Five: She grasped at the folds of her nightdress, its hem soaked black with blood, but she made no move to reach for her child.

THOUGHTS: Okay, the midwife’s daughter is the one having the baby? Interesting. 

 

 

#2 LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: A NOVEL BY MATT RUFF

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**BLURB**

Soon to be a New HBO® Series from J.J. Abrams (Executive Producer of Westworld), Misha Green (Creator of Underground) and Jordan Peele (Director of Get Out)

The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.

Sentence One: Atticus was almost home when the state trooper pulled him over.

THOUGHTS: Very unlucky. 

Sentence Two: He’d left Jacksonville two days before in a secondhand ’48 Cadillac Coupe that he’d bought with the last of his Army pay.

THOUGHTS: Informative. Great flow. This pace and imagery is effortlessly drawing me in

Sentence Three: The first day he drove 450 miles, eating and drinking from a basket he’d packed in advance, stopping the car only to get gas.

THOUGHTS: Having traveled by car more than once, I can say this isn’t the most engaging way to adventure, but for Atticus, during that period of time, it was probably the safest. 

Sentence Four: At one of the gas stops the colored rest room was out of order, and when the attendant refused him the key to the whites’ room, Atticus was forced to urinate in the bushes behind the station. 

THOUGHTS: Men pee outside all the time. Back then? Not so much. It took real courage to do some of the mundane things we are accustom to nowadays. I think our MC Atticus is a brave man indeed. 

Sentence Five: He spent the night in Chattanooga.

THOUGHTS: I must read more. And I did. 

 

 

#3 BOOK OF JOAN BY LIDIA YUKNAVITCH

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**BLURB**

The bestselling author of The Small Backs of Children offers a vision of our near-extinction and a heroine—a reimagined Joan of Arc—poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, in this provocative new novel.

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

Sentence One: Burning is an art.

THOUGHTS: UM. I think Firemen would agree, but also disagree. Or, are we talking about something else entirely? 

Sentence Two: I remove my shirt and step toward a table where I have spread out the tools I will need.

THOUGHTS: Well. If the MC needs tools, I’m guessing my theory of burn-burning wasn’t too far off. This is weird. I like it.

Sentence Three: I swab my entire chest and shoulders with synthetic oil.

THOUGHTS: Well. It’s getting weirder. I may be getting a smidge anxious. 

Sentence Four: My body is white against the black of space where we hover within a suborbital complex. 

THOUGHTS: Oh! Space. This is a refreshing turn. I love that our MC has no name, but already she’s a self-mutilating alien. FUN.

Sentence Five: CIEL.

THOUGHTS: MUST READ MORE. DID READ MORE. 

 

 

#4 ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE: A NOVEL BY GAIL HONEYMAN

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**BLURB**

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart. 

Sentence One: When people ask me what I do–taxi drivers, dental hygienists–I tell them I work in an office.

THOUGHTS: As long as this MC does in fact work in an office I see no problems here.

Sentence Two: In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what kind of job I do there.

THOUGHTS: That’s a little sad. Okay. A lot sad. People are so self-involved. 

Sentence Three: I can’t decide whether that’s because I fit perfectly with their idea of what an office worker looks like, or whether people hear the phrase work in an office and automatically fill in the blanks themselves—lady doing photocopying, man tapping at a keyboard.

THOUGHTS: People do assume a lot of mundane things when they hear the phrase “work in an office,” but that’s still lame. Just ask the poor woman what she actually does for a living.

Sentence Four: I’m not complaining. 

THOUGHTS: Great. Nobody likes a Negative Nelly.

Sentence Five: I’m delighted that I don’t have to get into the fascinating intricacies of accounts receivable with them. 

THOUGHTS: Not half as delighted as I’m sure they are. My God. Re-typing that sentence nearly bored me to death. I don’t know how you accountants keep from losing your ever-loving minds.

 

#5 GIRL JACKED: A MYSTERY THRILLER NOVEL (DETECTIVE JACK STRATTON MYSTERY THRILLER SERIES: BOOK 1) BY CHRISTOPHER GREYSON

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**BLURB**

Jack Stratton’s a good guy on the ugly side of life. Eight years ago a bomb blew apart his world and he’s been picking up the pieces ever since. Guilt has driven a wedge between him and the family he loves. When Jack hears the news that his foster-sister Michelle is missing, it cuts straight to his core. The police think she just took off, but Jack knows Michelle would never leave her loved ones behind—like he did. Forced to confront the demons from his past, Jack must take action, find Michelle and bring her home… or die trying.

Entrenched in his family’s sleepy hometown, Jack uncovers a world of lies and deception along with an up-close view of his personal demons. When the hunt for his sister takes a nasty turn, Stratton must protect his vulnerable new partner and fight for his own survival.

A guilt-ridden detective. A missing sister. One final chance for redemption.

Sentence One: Two women anxiously waited on the hard, wooden bench of the Fairfield police station. 

THOUGHTS: Well. That doesn’t sound fun. Something has gone wrong already. 

Sentence Two: Haddie Williams and her much younger friend—one of her many foster children over the years—looked down the hall toward its opposite end, seeking news, not sure they wanted to hear it.

THOUGHTS; Police stations are full of bad juju. These women have every right to be worried. 

Sentence Three: At last, a lanky police detective with a downcast face ambled toward them. 

THOUGHTS: Uh-oh. Here comes bad news.

Sentence Four: As he handed the old woman a copy of the missing person report, he said, in a monotone, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s nothing more we can do.” 

THOUGHTS: There’s the bad new. I knew it was coming. 

Sentence Five: The words hit Haddie like a punch in the chest. 

THOUGHTS: Of course they did. I can’t imagine hearing something like that about a loved one. This has been a smooth intro. It had me reading more than I could put on here as this post is already SO long. My FINAL THOUGHTS are simple. If you’re looking to start your FALL To Be Read pile, why not start with a few of these. Curl up with a cup of tea and get lost in ANY of these list worthy books. HAPPY READING. 

A ‘Kind of’ Treatment UPDATE.

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Well, I guess I’ve been taking Dr. Nicole’s tinctures for a week now. Ironic, considering I’ve decided to take the day off my liquid ‘shrooms. Yesterday was another (ick) day of adjustment. My intestines are taking the brunt of this treatment and hands-down? It BLOWS! (Literally and figuratively.) I ate some carbs BEFORE and AFTER my tincture dose, all 3 at once, and it did help combat the initial nauseousness, but it did not keep those pesky shits at bay. 

Now, as all of my Tic Tok buddies would say: STORY TIME: My man and I went to his parents to celebrate his father’s birthday. Now, I know you’re all cringing a little. Thinking, ‘Oh, why would she go when she’s been having such crappy symptoms?’ Or maybe you’re thinking, ‘This isn’t the time for visiting people. What about Covid-19?’ In answer to the first question, I’m dumb & have now learned my lesson. To answer the second possible question? We visited outside, a safe distance apart and used masks, so don’t come at me. 

I’ve got humiliation to share.

You see, right as I was bee-lining into the bathroom, I received this warning: don’t flush! Now, even on a good MS day, that warning can be hard for a Warrior to hear. Why, you may ask? Because frankly, we’re never truly certain how a bathroom urge will turn out. The one thing that is certain is that when we enter a bathroom, we’re going to NEED to flush. On this particular day, at this particular time? I knew bad things might happen. So being restricted? Well. It pissed my bowels off.

((Wanna know how to spell NIGHTMARE? It’s this: DON’T FLUSH!))

Anyway, back to the story. I hit that toilette seat with such forced positivity I almost believed myself. Sure. Absolutely. I could control my own ass. Women had been holding in the bad for years. Bad breath. Bad news. Bad moods. Bad fart. We’d trained for it all. This rebellious shit storm didn’t stand a chance. Right?

((Wanna know how to spell RIGHT? It’s this: WRONG!))

I sat on that potty waiting, praying, for just a simple pee. But what did I get? An oh-so-telling gas cramp. And not just any old cramp. We’re talking a ‘Dr. Nicole’s Tincture Cramp.’ Since I’m on like day…seven of this treatment, I can honestly say that I’ve grown  accustom to these serrated, just-got-prison-shanked gas pains. 

Right then? That pain was the death of my composure. 

What happened next, you might ask? Well. It’s simple. I fought to stay closed. It fought to open. I cringed in pain. Held my breath. And then it was happening. No control. No hope of stopping. I cut my eyes to the nearby bathtub and thought fleetingly about jumping in it so I could at least rinse my nastiness down the drain, but it was too late. I had ‘tinctured’ in a non flushing toilette.

((Wanna know how to spell GREAT IMPRESSION? Ugh: Nevermind You get it.))

I wish I could say the embarrassment stopped there. But my visit wasn’t over. Yup. After that mess-o-fun, I had the privilege of sitting before my man’s parents knowing I had left a patty shaped mess in their non working toilette. While they were wondering what had sullied my mood, I was worrying about what sullied their commode.  

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with my MS treatment? At this point, all I can tell you is this: right now the benefits (continue to) outweigh the reactions. My drop foot is better still. I’d say, percent wise, I have improved to 40% nowBUT the gut reaction needs to be considered heavily. My advice? Stay hydrated if you’re having constant diarrhea. (I am not constantly having this issue. Maybe once or twice a day if I remember to eat a little something BEFORE and AFTER taking the tincture.) Rest if you’re feeling tired. Just because you have more energy (which I do) doesn’t mean you should push your body just yet. Take it slow. Finally, and possibly most importantly, stay close to a bathroom for the first week.

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Best of luck, Warriors.

Day 2 (Of Dr Nicole’s Mushroom Trio Tincture.)

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Dr Nicole’s Mushroom Tincture tastes awful, for sure, BUT (and this is a big BUT readers) this is day 2, yes day 2, of taking the mushroom trio tincture (that Dr Nicole herself  recommends for MS) as recommended, and I already feel a reduction in symptoms.

I know what you’re thinking: No way. It’s all in her head. Okay. Maybe you’re right, BUT I’d like to think otherwise. The reduction I’ve noticed isn’t miraculous by any means. If I had to put a number to it, on a scale from 1-10, I’d say a 3 = 30% reduction in weakness from Drop Foot as well as overall left side weakness. **Still, that ain’t nothing to shake a stick at.**

Again, the shift is very subtle, but as most MS Warriors will tell you: we can tell. We’ve learned to scrutinize every twinge of anything. It’s what we have to do to stay on top of our symptoms. Here are some bullet point things I’ve noticed in the past 2 days:

*Energy increase

*Strengthened gait when walking. (Especially on left side.) No. My Drop Foot is not gone, but it IS better. At least to the point where I have noticed it. 

*The bowels are cleaning themselves out. In a big way. (Seriously. You might wanna stay close to home for a bit. I absolutely DID have an accident recently. It was and always will be the worst thing that has happened to me. HOWEVER, (and I know this seems seriously weird) I feel cleaner like my body is for sure cleaning itself out.

**Didn’t have a ton of Brian Fog before this, BUT: My head feels sharper. Less sleepy if you will. And speaking of sleep…

*I slept better

*Motor skills. Specifically, my ability to type feels better/faster (mainly because my left side isn’t as laggy as it was two days ago.)

And that’s really it for now. I forced myself to take the tinctures early this morning while experiencing some blood sugar issues. Instead of going right to the Metformin, I took Dr Nicole’s Mushroom Trio. It was mentioned somewhere that Lions Mane helps with diabetes. It took a while, longer than it would’ve taken the Metformin to calm my symptoms, but within thirty minutes, give or take, the symptoms had stopped. I didn’t take my blood sugar before or after this event. I’m all for reporting progress, but I’m not gonna poke myself to verify info I already know. Sorry folks. I’m just sort of winging it here, BUT it’s been well over 8 hours and I haven’t taken another Metformin yet.

So. That’s something. I’ve shared some of the FAQs from Dr Nicole’s website. They’re questions I thought you may want answered before you join me this treatment journey. No pressure. The Mushroom Trio I ordered, price shown on picture above, accurate as of 8/1/2020, arrived quickly. Still haven’t received the book I also ordered, but I’m trying to be patient on that.

If you have any other questions for me, COMMENT below. My next update won’t be until after, or on, day four of this adventure.

Sacrificed to the Dragon (Stonefire British Dragons Book 1) by Jessie Donovan: FIRST FIVE©

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***BLURB***

***USA Today and Amazon Top 20 Bestseller***

STONEFIRE DRAGONS BOOK 1
In exchange for a vial of dragon’s blood to save her brother’s life, Melanie Hall offers herself up as a sacrifice to one of the British dragon-shifter clans. Being a sacrifice means signing a contract to live with the dragon-shifters for six months to try to conceive a child. Her assigned dragonman, however, is anything but easy. He’s tall, broody, and alpha to the core. There’s only one problem—he hates humans.

Due to human dragon hunters killing his mother, Tristan MacLeod despises humans. Unfortunately, his clan is in desperate need of offspring to repopulate their numbers and it’s his turn to service a human female. Despite his plans to sleep with her and walk away, his inner dragon has other ideas. The curvy human female tempts his inner beast like no other.

Full-length story of 65,000 words with a happy ending / A BBW and Dragon-Shifter Paranormal Romance

NOTE: This was previously titled, “Sacrificed to the Dragon: Boxed Set (Parts #1-4).” However, it is exactly the same story.

****DISCLAIMER****

THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BASED ONLY ON THE FIRST FIVE© (sometimes a few more) SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK. THE REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BY ME, JENNIFER STARKS. AS OF, 7/26/20, THIS BOOK WAS FREE W.OUT SUBSCRIPTION. ENJOY. 

Sentence One: Melanie Hall sat in the reception area of the Manchester Dragon Affairs Office, tapping her finger against her arm, and wishing they’d hurry the hell up.

THOUGHTS: When I’m stuck in waiting areas, I tend to fidget too. Good visualization and (reader) connection. Some people are very anti swearing when it comes to their adventure reads. Me? I LOVE it.

Sentence Two: She’d been sitting for nearly an hour, and with each minute that ticked by, she started to doubt her eligibility. 

THOUGHTS: This is a great intrigue sentence because we already know the MC is in an official building. Now, we know she wants some sort of title, job, position or award. We know it’s important to her, but we want/need to know the stakes. What will happen if she’s not eligible? Must read on.

Sentence Three: If she didn’t qualify to sacrifice herself to one of the British dragon-shifter clans, her younger brother would die; only the blood of a dragon could cure her brother’s antibiotic-resistant CRE infection.

THOUGHTS: Now we know the stakes are life or death. (They usually are in these adventure reads.) For me? This sentence felt dry and a bit info dumpy. I believe Jesse Donovan could’ve delivered this important monologue in a better, more lyrically paced, way. 

Sentence Four: A woman dressed in a gray suit emerged from the far doorway and walked toward her.

THOUGHTS: Hitting the visual. Okay. Image locked in.

Sentence Five: When she reached Mel, the woman said, “Are you Melanie Hall?”

THOUGHTS: Gonna need some more sentences.

BONUS SENTENCES: Mel nodded, and the woman turned. “Then follow me.” This is it. Mel rubbed her hands against her black trousers before she stood up and followed the woman. They went down one dull, poorly lit corridor and then turned left to go down another one. The woman in the gray suit finally stopped in front of a door that read “Human Sacrifice Liaison” and turned the doorknob. Rather than enter, the middle-aged woman motioned for Mel to go inside. She obeyed, and as soon as she entered the room, the door slammed shut behind her.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It took more than five sentences to finally hook me, but I have a good feeling about this read. Jessie Donovan seems to be a well versed author. Along with the link in her name, here are some places to find her: Facebook. Jessie Donovan.comHAPPY READING! I’ll comment my final, final thoughts on this read in the comments. 

 

An Alternative Approach to MS, 2020.

As an MS Warrior, I’m always on the lookout for new treatments, but recently, as I am uninsured, I’ve been considering the alternative path pretty heavily. Please, don’t mistake my admission for anything negative. I would presue alternative medicine even if I was insured.

It’s what Warriors do. We seek the best, healthiest, most symptom-free life possible. Always. Today, while checking out movie trailers on Youtube I came across an AD for this product: Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 2.47.38 PM

One of the ingredients was Lions Mane Mushroom. I had never heard of it before. Or at least I don’t remember hearing about it. (Part of having MS and Lyme is the two-for-one memory issues you get. So… sorry to my Fiancé who spent tons of time researching Lions Mane only to have me forget.) Lions Mane could: protect against dementia, help relieve mild symptoms of depression & anxiety, may speed recovery from nervous system injuries, protect against ulcers/digestive track issues, reduce heart disease risk, manage diabetes symptoms, may help fight cancer, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and boost the immune system. Now, any MS Warrior can tell you which of these benefits stick out the most.   Anything with the words nervous system & inflammation instantly get our motors running. My recent blood sugar issues made the word diabetes stand out too. So, basically this little ‘shroom could really help my symptomatic ass. Then, I stumbled across this article which said: Taken together, the chemical activity of many mushroom species points to a marked anti-pathogenic action coupled with the ability to modulate the human immune response: helping decrease it when it is overactive (as in allergies or autoimmune conditions), increase it when it is underactive (as in chronic debility and fatigue, or a pattern of recurrent infection), and stimulate it to attack cells that have mutated or are growing out of control (like cancer).” Mase, 2012** By Nicole Apelian, Ph.D.

That Gust Blog (Nicole Apelian, Ph. D.) inspired me to research and consider that which I have put off since my divorce. Treatment. REAL treatment. When an MS Warrior takes a medical hit, sure we get right back up, but it’s not with the same strength or vigor that we had before. And, let me tell ya. When you’ve been taking hits as long as I have, seems like a good 7 years now, you grow understandably weary. So, in these POST divorce years, though I have found tremendous happiness and love, I’ve grown a bit lackadaisical in regards to my health.

Today, I felt like that changed in a more optimistic way. In this Guest Blog, three kinds of mushrooms are talked about. Each had a remarkable effect on its author.

“Medicinal Mushrooms for MS: Which, How, and Why

The three medicinal mushrooms that I take daily are Reishi*, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail.  All three of these mushrooms are known to help with leaky gut syndrome and gut inflammation. The gut-autoimmune connection is a focus of much new research. I take these mushrooms in their double/dual-extracted form, as the research strongly supports the need to extract mushrooms both in water and in alcohol in order to access all of the necessary medicinal compounds. For example, in Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), the main components with pharmacological activity are polysaccharides and triterpenoids. The polysaccharides (including beta-glucans) extract in water while the triterpenoids, like ganoderic acid, extract in alcohol.”Nicole Apelian

I found Nicole Apelian, PH.D’s website AND her 3 ‘shroom tincture and while a part of me worries this may all be for not, I’m still going to try it. I’m still going to have hope.

I will keep all of my awesome readers apprised of this ‘shroom-tastic adventure. Hell, for $60 bucks. You can take it with me. Here’s the store link. HAPPY TREATMENT ATTEMPT. 

***UPDATE: I ALSO PURCHASED HER BOOK. WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW INFORMATIVE/HELPFUL IT IS.**Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 6.39.24 PM