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Thoughts on JK Rowling.

It seems like forever since I’ve sat down and written a post here. Probably because it has. I have meant to post sooner, but my depression has not been kind to me, and given the state of things, I wasn’t sure that it was the time. However, I find I needed a release from all the bad news and so…here I am. My first post and I am going to touch on JK Rowling. It’s not a secret that I absolutely love Harry Potter. Nor will it ever change. Now, before you get to thinking that I’m about to defend Jo’s comments, I assure you that I am not.

I am an open person. I accept people for who they are. Black, white, blue, green with yellow spots, LGBTQ+, able-bodied, disabled, et cetera. I believe people need to live their truth. Thus, I stand with Transgender people. It isn’t cliche, it isn’t a person just changing themselves because they can. They suffer greatly and I don’t imagine anyone would choose a life where they’d have all the vitriol thrown at them. As Daniel Radcliffe said in his piece of the The Trevor Project, there are many more educated people on the topic and I highly recommend you looking them up. It’s not just a phase.

According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.

To you, Jo Rowling, you are someone I used to admire. Your imagination is a thing of legend and I do thank you for sharing it with the world. I am forever appreciative of that. However, that is where my admiration ends. Because you have a cruel streak in you that would make Voldemort proud.  

I am disappointed. That word seems so useless in my trying to properly articulate how I feel, what I think. I don’t understand how you can be so willfully ignorant to all the information that is available for you to read. We live in a digital age. Research! That you keep your mind so closed and one tracked is (again, this word) disappointing, to put it mildly. It’s also disgusting that you are being ignorant to the pain that your words are causing. Millions of us took you at your word that Hogwarts would always be there to welcome us home…yet the more you show your ignorance and cruelty, Hogwarts no longer feels welcome to many. 

I take back the Voldemort remark. You’re more Umbridge. Thinking you’re right, not hearing the voices of your fans. You believe your way to be the truth and you won’t hear reason.  You’re an intelligent woman.  Get your head out of the days of pearl clutching. We’re all trying to survive but for persecuted people,  its 24/7. There’s no break. 

I’m not transgender and I personally find it devastating that you’re saying such dreadful things.  Your saying that you have trans friends is the equivalent to a racist saying, “but I have black friends.”  It’s never a good look.

Whilst Jo did write and create the Wizarding World, what it has become is because of the love and passion we have for it. She may be a bigot, but the experience we have had is ours. She can’t take that away.  Daniel, again, said it best. 

To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.

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Perhaps she ought to read her own books. Learn empathy and also to remember that people are different.  Our hearts do beat as one. But we all live differently. Our experiences make us unique, and that should be celebrated. I love everything that makes us different. I am forever in awe. Please keep being YOU. Don’t allow ignorant people to ruin things for you.

To my trans, LGBTQ followers, I am sorry you suffer as you do. But I am an ALLY. I am here for you. You are not alone. 

 

What are your thoughts? Let me know! Stay safe and I missed you! 💋

 

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American Duchess. [2019 Release]

 

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  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publication Date: February 26, 2019

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Before Meghan and Harry, another American ‘princess’ captured the hand of an English aristocrat. Now, Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find the meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any price.

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Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Harper is a former university (Ohio State) and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. A rabid Anglophile, she likes nothing more than to research her novels on site in the British Isles. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the Best Books of 2014 by Suspense Magazine. The author and her husband live in Ohio.
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The Lost Letters of William Woolf: A Spotlight.

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  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition
  • Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Lost letters have only one hope for survival…

The Dead Letters Depot

Inside the walls of a converted tea factory, letter detectives work to solve mysteries of fate: missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names—these are the culprits behind missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

But when letter detective William Woolf discovers letters addressed simply to “My Great Love,” his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to the soul mate she hasn’t met yet, the missives capture William’s heart in ways he didn’t know possible, and he must embark on a journey to solve what may be the most important mystery to come his way.

Helen Cullen’s The Lost Letters of William Woolf is an enchanting novel about the resilience of the human heart and the complex ideas we hold about love—and a passionate ode to the art of letter writing.

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Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London.

She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

Her debut novel, ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ will be published in 2018.

The first draft of this novel was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.

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Spotlight: This Is Me

81fzjq-mtyl I know I must have some ‘This Is Us’ fans on here. And if you haven’t seen it? You need to. I’m not one of those who cries easily, but this show always gets me in my “feels.” I also love Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate Pearson. She’s a big girl and so am I, representation matters, guys! I love her to pieces because she is herself. So, obviously, I’m on a memoir kick here. The link to pre-order is on the pic. (Give it a click!) And be sure to give ‘This Is Us’ a look-see if you haven’t already. ❤ 

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dey Street Books
  • Publish Date: March 27, 2018

An inspirational book about life and its lessons from the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated star of NBC’s This Is Us.

When This Is Us debuted in fall 2016, a divided America embraced a show that celebrates human connection. The critically acclaimed series became America’s most watched—and most talked about—network show, even building on its fan base in the drama’s second season. As Kate Pearson, Chrissy Metz presents a character that has never been seen on television, yet viewers see themselves in her, no matter what they look like or where they come from. Considered a role model just for being her authentic self, Chrissy found herself on magazine covers and talk shows, walking red carpets, and as the subject of endless conversations on social media “I don’t know what you’ve been through to play her,” she is often told by fans, “but it was something.”

In This is Me, Chrissy Metz shares her story with a raw honesty that will leave readers both surprised but also inspired. Infused with the same authenticity she brings to her starring role, Chrissy’s This is Me is so much more than your standard Hollywood memoir or collection of personal essays. She embraces the spirit of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, and shares how she has applied the lessons she learned from both setbacks and successes. A born entertainer, Chrissy finds light in even her darkest moments and leaves the reader feeling they are spending time with a friend who gets it.

Chrissy Metz grew up in a large family, one that always seemed to be moving, and growing. Her father disappeared one day, leaving her mother to work a series of menial jobs and his children to learn to live with the threat of hunger and the electricity being cut off. When her mother remarried, Chrissy hoped for “normal” but instead experienced a form of mental pain that seemed crafted just for her. The boys who showed her attention did so with strings attached as well, and Chrissy accepted it, because, for her, love always came with conditions.

When she set out for Los Angeles, it was the first time she had been away from her family and from Florida. And for years, she got barely an audition. So how does a woman with the deck stacked against her radiate such love, beauty, and joy? This too is at the heart of This is Me.

With chapters that alternate from autobiographical to instructional, Chrissy offers practical applications of her hard-won insights in a series of “Bee Mindful” interstitials. There she invites you to embrace gratitude in “Say Thank You” or to be honest with your partner and yourself in “The Shrouded Supreme.” Blending love and experience, Chrissy encourages us all to claim our rightful place in a world that may be trying to knock us down, find our own unique gifts, and pursue our dreams.

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Chrissy MetzChrissy Metz is an actress best known for her role in This Is Us. Her breakout performance in the show earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations and an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

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Spotlight: The Great Alone.

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Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

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91bq8bxbjll-_sy200_Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.

Kristin’s highly anticipated new release, The Great Alone, will be published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin’s Press). The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970’s is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. It has been listed as one of the most anticipated novels of the year by The Seattle Times, Bustle.com, PopSugar, Working Mother, Southern Living, and Goodreads.

The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri Star, with award-winning director Michelle MacLaren set to direct. Home Front was optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct. Movie news on The Great Alone is coming soon.

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