melanie mole

Book Review: The Nuns of Lemon Tree House by Melanie Mole & Robert Brooks

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I was introduced to author Melanie Mole in 2017 when I read one of her earlier books which talked about embracing the simple life. In the book, she also covered a small part of her interest in joining a convent, but it is in her latest book, The Nuns of Lemon Tree House, co-written with Robert Brooks, where Melanie explores the entire experience. Although it would never be the life for me (I love the silence and can be obedient, but I think I might miss a few things like tv, foods, liquor, et al…), reading about someone else’s days in a life that often seems to embrace so many of the things to keep us healthy and relaxed is quite intriguing.

The first thing I’d convey about this book is that even with the simplicity of having very little events, it is warm, inviting, and full of action. But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? A half-day’s walk around the convent just exploring the architecture or floor plan while not highly eventful does offer significant experience and commentary about life. Asking questions, thinking about change, or finding connections between your own life and those living within the convent’s walls induces tons of moments I enjoyed reading about. The authors’ descriptions of everything are in very fine details, conjuring up full images of what Melanie saw during her days with the nuns. It’s vivid and bright even when the room she’s meeting with one of the nuns is dark and gloomy (until she opens her eyes to what’s really present).

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The next thing I found charming about the book was Melanie’s own voice and tone. She laughs at herself and finds humor even in the negative experiences. Fully acknowledging she will have issues with the ‘vow of silence’ helps set the stage for many moments where readers hear her ask question or speak to a nun only to realize she’s not supposed to… after a few, I felt myself reaching out to stop her — it brought levity to the topics and helped us connect with the narrator, Melanie herself, as how many of us would truly remember to keep our mouths closed! But it was when she began talking to herself out loud in the hallways as she explored the buildings and grounds where I realized she’s actually quite savvy at embracing the virtues of the order in her own way. And it helps lead to the answers she’s been searching for.

The journey is one that provided opportunity to learn — both for Melanie and for readers. Slowing down to ask questions (even silently in your own head), to wonder how the nuns function together with little words being said, or to understand how sometimes doing nothing can be more tiring than doing something… all these theories pop into your head. I enjoyed this break from my normal reading style and genre, but I also enjoyed learning about someone else’s life and thoughts. It’s important to breathe in other opinions and experiences, and what better way than by reading a memoir / autobiography of a few weeks in someone’s life.

Kudos to both authors (I’m curious how’d they co-write this… interesting approach), but I also wonder whether Melanie provided a copy to the nuns for future guests in the convent? Life can be a giant circle sometimes and wouldn’t this be a way to connect the past and present together for all visitors and those interested in learning about becoming a nun… And so, you are probably asking yourself whether she became a nun after this experience. Well, here’s what happened… oh, wait, I don’t believe in spoilers for other people. Experience it yourself and go read the book. I’m confident the ending will be quite a fun surprise!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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365 Challenge: Day 264 – Simply (Author Alert: Melanie Mole)

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Simply: (a) easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; straightforward or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Melanie Mole

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. Melanie and I met about 6 months ago when we somehow connected via this blog. She’d read a few chapters of my work and then introduced me to her publisher, which eventually lead to me publishing my novel. I am eternally grateful to her for helping me cross that finish line. Today, she’s out guest author and I am very happy to share more information about her and the wonderful books she’s written. I read her novel, Simply Does It, earlier this year — please check out the review. A small part of it below:

‘Every once in a while, it’s good to take a chance on a new author or a new book topic. I’m glad I did with this one and encourage others to take a look at the book for their own world. It may just give you a different perspective, one you might have heard before, but always need a reminder of. And if simplifying life is not for you, it’s still a fun tale about three experiences many of us don’t have very often in life. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit a convent or a monastery… now I have a good sense.’

———-

When Melanie and I chatted this week about life being an author, one of the first things that came to mind for me was how she accomplishes everything she does. I read her book and learned a lot about her life, but I wanted to know more… Is there anyone pushing her  on the sidelines, I asked, curious to compare our experiences. She had a great response:

Support for a writer is so important. Yes, you can write without it, but it is so much easier to know that someone has your back no matter what you are going through. I am so lucky to have full and continued support from Rob, my other half. As soon as we met I knew that he was one in a billion, and he hasn’t disappointed me. I feel both lucky, and privileged to have him in my life, and I wouldn’t ever want to be without him, or his support.

 Everyone should be as lucky as her!

To see more about Melanie, below are the key links

Website – melaniemolecom.wordpress.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/melaniemolebook

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/melaniemolebooks/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57372902-melanie-mole

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/melaniemolewriter/

Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Simply-Does-Simplicity-Melanie-Mole/dp/1975877519/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511459102&sr=8-1&keywords=simply+does+it

Other book on Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Man-Woman-Trouble-Melanie-Mole-ebook/dp/B0759YBZDJ/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511459178&sr=1-7&keywords=melanie+mole

melanie

To see more about Melanie Mole on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: Simply Does It by Melanie Mole

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Simply Does It           by          Melanie Mole

simply does it

Book Review 
Life can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to working hard to afford whatever lifestyle choices you make; however, it doesn’t always have to be that way. If you’re interested in learning how one woman simplified major aspects of her day-to-day, this is the book for you. It’s not a step -by-step-how-to book, or an encyclopedia of all the things stress does to your body. It’s a lovely tale almost written in the form of journal entries with some tips on how the author, the wonderful Melanie Mole, learned to make the switch from hectic to calm.

I ‘met’ Melanie through my blog, ThisIsMyTruthNow, over the summer, and we began exchanging emails each week to share our thoughts on writing and publishing. When she described her book, I thought it was something I’d enjoy, and probably needed to digest to keep myself from again crossing that line into a world of constant stress. I purchased the electronic version in September and read this ~200 page book over three nights just before bed, hoping its messages would sink in overnight. It was an unexpected read, divided into three major sections, each describing and comparing Melanie’s experiences: (1) staying in a nunnery, (2) bonding with dogs and (3) living on a boat and in a caravan. Within each one, she tells how the connections/events occurred, what she felt about them at first and where she ended up when the experience ended.

This is a different kind of book. It’s one where you can casually read it while also diving into a new novel, balancing your love of stories and your interest in making small changes to your life. The messages are simple, everything from ‘never give up’ to ‘balance your risk,’ each providing a short memory or story to drive home Melanie’s point. The language and writing is clear and simple, too, as it’s meant to sink into your mind now and again as time passes. At first, you’ll hear the words and think ‘oh, that’s hard,’ but then you’ll ponder it throughout the day to see which one of the lessons you could try to incorporate into your own life.

Every once in a while, it’s good to take a chance on a new author or a new book topic. I’m glad I did with this one and encourage others to take a look at the book for their own world. It may just give you a different perspective, one you might have heard before, but always need a reminder of. And if simplifying life is not for you, it’s still a fun tale about three experiences many of us don’t have very often in life. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit a convent or a monastery… now I have a good sense.

I hope you enjoy the book and take something away to make the future days even better. It’s on sale via Amazon and for less than the price of a cup of coffee as someone has quickly pointed out to me!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 206 – Embrace

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Embrace: (a) accept or support [a belief, theory, or change] willingly and enthusiastically, or (b) hold closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection

eme

Life is about embracing as much as you can while you have the chance. It is short, even if you live an entire century with little to no health issues. It may not seem so, but with so many choices and opportunities surrounding us, we will never accomplish everything on our infamous lists. Since returning from vacation less than two days ago, I realized how much time I spend doing things because I just do them as part of a daily task, rather than because I want to do them. When I was on vacation, other than prearranged tours or transportation, there wasn’t a single thing I ‘had‘ to do other than enjoy my time. I like that life. And while I recognize it cannot always be that way, and not everyone has the freedom to embrace it, I believe strongly in finding a way to make that the predominant approach to my remaining years. Two things are forcing me to realize it since my return:

I met a very cool blogger earlier this year who helped push me to submit my own work to agencies and publishers. As I grew to know Melanie Mole a little more, I learned she was also a writer who had her own books available for purchase. I chose her newest one, ‘Simply Does It‘ and began reading it the night I returned from my trip. Click the link to read more about it on the Goodreads book page, but give me another two days and I’ll have a review posted all about it. It is the exact perfect reminder we all need to help us realize our priorities and attune our focus towards our goals. As I read the pages while laying in bed each night, I kept wondering how to get myself closer and closer to the ideals of how I want to live my life. I believe this book may help me realize a few of those paths. Embrace the simplicity of everything around us, not the things that we feel forced to do.

But there was also something quite horrific this week, something happening all too frequently, that hit a little more close to home than it ever has before. What happened in Las Vegas was an absolute tragedy and there aren’t enough words to express how any of us feel. When I heard the news, I knew my cousin had been in Las Vegas but thought he had left the night before. He didn’t. He and his girlfriend were there onsite in the venue when the shooting started. They were actually in a row right next to someone who was shot. He’s about 14 years younger than I am, but we were very close as children and young adults. I babysat him when our parents would go out for dinners on their own or to other activities. I cannot imagine what it’s like for the families and friends of victims to lose someone like this. I’m grateful and lucky it didn’t happen this time to my family this time, but ultimately, it could at any point in the future. This reminder, way too close to home, helps you re-set your own priorities. You can see him and his girlfriend’s account of how they escaped in the news audio clips in this link.

Life is short. We should always do whatever is in our power to enjoy each day, focused on our goals, helping one another and finding paths that make us happy. Not working 24/7, constantly waiting for some device to tell us what to do, or wishing for something different. Get out there and make it happen for yourself. Learn how to find the simplicity and the happiness we all crave. Embrace what you deserve.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 205 – Focus

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Focusa central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity

focus.jpg

I returned from vacation, ready to focus my efforts on key next steps. I asked myself this morning: what are they? Before I left on the trip, I planned my days very specifically to accomplish as much as possible on meeting my goals; however, it wasn’t the case for my days after the trip. I will need to spend part of today focused on choosing the short term goals for the next three months, as it’s important to keep myself on a path towards the ultimate end goals I’ve determined throughout the last year. At the same time, it’s a rather calm feeling to know that while I have several important things coming due before the end of the year, I also have the freedom to choose how to spend this time without feeling the intensity of past pressure.

Focus is important to me. I am driven by success and achievement. Without some boundaries around my key activities, I experience dissatisfaction and distraction. When I climb into bed at night, I want to know I did my best that day. My best could run the gamut from relaxing and reading to writing and marketing, but the point is always to know that I had a fair amount of direction set and a course to navigate. I started reading a new book called ‘Simply Does It’ by an author I met a few months ago via this blog: Melanie Mole. I completed 25% before bed last night and it was a great reminder of things we have been told for years but often forget. I’m going to make an effort to keep these ideals on the forefront for the next few days, as I pull together the details in support of my next quarter’s objectives. Life is not meant to be all work, nor is it meant to be all play. There’s a fine balance to it all, and I’m focused on finding my equilibrium. What about you… anyone focused on their journey and willing to share tips and ideas?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.