Dorlana Vann – Author

Supernatural Fairy Tales and Romantic Comedies … with ghosts of course.

Fairy Tale Inspired Poem: Bashful

Bashful

by

Dorlana Vann

 

When I saw her stretched across the tidy beds,

Love’s potent sword struck my heart before I knew

Who this lovely stranger was or one word said.

But I remained silent, as I always do.

 

With one bite, she fell ill on that dreadful day.

In a glass coffin, it hurt to see her lay.

I longed to kiss her ruby lips, but froze.

Joy but regret: the prince woke her and betrothed.

Discovery Green: Places from “The Trouble with Snowmen”

egyptian-festival-signegyptian-festivalOne of the Downtown Houston, Texas locations mentioned in my romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen, is Discovery Green. This urban park has over 11 acres with a stage, a playground, shaded seating areas, gardens, and plenty of room for festivals.don-dean-and-dorlana-egyptian-fest

Last weekend, we (I went with my husband and son) attended the Egyptian Festival. They had camel rides, food, a show, and tented shopping, charity, and community booths.

egyptian-festival-canapic-jarI found a little treasure: a unique hand-carved canolistening-vessel-discovery-greenpic jar to add to my Egyptian collectibles.

Later, we sat on the lawn and watched the show for a few minutes, and then walked through the Wortham Foundation Gardens to The Listening Vessels. You sit on the little bench in the stone sculptures and another person sits in the other one that is directly across and 70 feet away. Y’all talk, and you can hear the other person’s voice all around you. It’s really cool.

If you live in Houston, or plan to visit, this is a great family outing, even if there isn’t a festival going on.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

snowmen banner sept 18

 

Book (The Silent Sister) and Movie (The Girl on the Train) Club’s Review

October 2016 Book and Movie Review Theme:  Thriller

Book/Movie Club Set Up:

Each member of our group (women ages 23-48) draws a month and a genre/theme, and they get to choose a book and movie in their category. (They do not have to be one in the same.)

The group has approximately 3 weeks to read the book and then we get together to eat, discuss the book, and then watch the movie.

51pow5ocfrl__sy346_Quick Book Summary: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

(From Amazon – condensed) Riley has spent her life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide. Now, over twenty years later, she finds evidence that Lisa is alive.

the-girl-on-the-trainQuick Movie Summary: The Girl on the Train –  Screenplay: Erin Cressida Wilson (Based on the novel by:  Paula Hawkins)

(From IMDB) A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

 

 

The Itinerary:

oct-2016-book-cluboct-2016-book-club-2We met at our local Bar Louie for fruity martinis, appetizers (Bruschetta Pomodoro, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Tempura Shrimp, Hummus Platter, & Roasted Vegetable Flatbread), and to discuss the book.  An hourish later, we headed to the movies. After the show, we settled on the patio of Baker St. Pub & Grill to discuss the movie (and maybe to have another drink.)

Thoughts about the Book:

My thoughts: At first, I thought I was going to really love the book. The first half read smoothly, and I was anxious to get to promised secrets – but it fell flat. There was no suspense, and the few secrets that were finally revealed, after endless backstory, were boring. I did finish the book but skimmed a lot of pages. I didn’t believe most of the characters, except for Danny. Everyone was selfish and there was no redemption to be had. I also don’t understand why the blurb gives away most of the book? Why? My personal rating 2.5 martinis.

The Group’s thoughts: No one really cared much for the book, except that it was an easy read, but at least everyone (except one) actually finished the entire book. The characters were flat, no real surprises (very predictable), and the ending pretty much sucked.

Thoughts about the Movie:

My thoughts: It was a little slow and depressing at times. But the character’s stories and their development was worth the leisure rhythm.  I ended up really enjoying the movie, and personally gave it 4 martinis.

The Group’s thoughts: Everyone loved the movie: Interesting well-developed characters, the plot was full of surprises, and, Whoa! What an ending. Those who read the book prior said it stayed really close to the same story line. We all thought that Emily Blunt  did an outstanding job.

The Girly Discussions:

Some of the group thought that that Haley Bennett (Megan) looks a lot like Jennifer Lawrence  (I don’t agree).

Some of us thought Edgar Ramírez (Dr. Kamal Abdic) was the hottest guy in the movie (I agree).

There was talk and laughs about the sex scenes in the movie (Some discussions at book club, stay at book club🙂

Interesting Discoveries:

We weren’t the only ones who thought that the book was lacking: “The Silent Sister, by the perhaps slightly overstimulated Diane Chamberlain, has a lot going on for 350 pages, most of which is detail masquerading as substance.” The following review (according to the majority of the group) was spot on: http://readspoilers.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-silent-sister-rating-execrable.html

The Group’s Average Ratings (rounded up):

Book:  3 martinis (2.7)

Movie: 4 martinis (4.4)

The bottom line:

Even though we thought we were going to read a thriller, The Silent Sister was more family saga, I guess. But even so, I really think that Part II could have been omitted and I wouldn’t have missed a thing.

The movie is a psychological, well plotted and paced thriller – so, if that is your thing, you’ve got see it.

Skip the book – Go see the Movie.

Next month’s Book and Movie Theme: Children’s. We are reading the book: Wonder  by R. J. Palacio  Movie TBA.

 

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

Fairy tale Inspired Thriller

Today’s short story is from my paranormal collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. It was inspired by  Prince Ariel by Madame D’Aulnoy. There is also another inspiration, but you will have to read it to find out what it is. (Mwaa ha ha) Happy Halloween!

Muse

by

Dorlana Vann

 

Since Jackson couldn’t channel his frustration onto the blank page, he used his fist to pound it into the desk. “Ahhh,” he cried, swooshing his fountain pen and several loose pieces of writing-paper to the floor.

His caged birds squawked with excitement from the sudden movement in the quiet room. Feathers flew. Jackson stood up, his breaths labored and lonely. “I’m sorry ladies. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

He draped a stack of dark sheets over his arm. “Are you ready for your beauty sleep, my Echo?” He covered her and moved on to Valley, giving her several sweet kisses. Continuing his ritual, he covered all twenty birds leaving Isis, his two-foot Scarlet Macaw, as his last goodnight. She blinked her yellow eyes at him.

“Sleep well, Love,” he said and then ran his fingers through his slick hair, noticing how dark and stale the room had become.

He opened the window, lit a lantern, and picked up the paper and his pen, setting them back on his desk. He thought about writing another letter but knew they were only stall tactics. “I’m a novel writer,” he reassured himself. “Now write something novel!”

He felt anxious. There was nothing left for him to do. He had moved to one of the most crime-ridden areas of London to conduct his research. When observations had stopped inspiring his writing, he had taken it to the next level. The first hand accounts had given him dozens of pages: a feel for the weapon in his hands; the reaction on the faces of the women when they knew they were going to die; and the color and temperature of the blood. After each attack, he had sped home and written feverishly, until the words stopped, died on the page—

He conducted more studies, pushing himself to the limits of his own capacities. “Why am I still blank?” he said in a sob. “Why?”

Isis began to squawk in her cage, beneath her cover.

“Shush,” he said off-handedly. “I’m having a difficult enough time as it is.”

“Let me out.”

Jackson turned his head slowly toward the covered cage. He listened. Sure she could talk, “Pretty lady.” “I love you.” But never… “Let me out.”

She said it again.

Jackson scooted his chair back and stood abruptly. “Was that you, Isis? Did you learn something new?”

“Open the cage, Jackson. Let me out.”

Jackson shook his head, trying to clear the confusion. Obviously, because he was exhausted and tense, he was now hearing things. That’s all. However, he eased toward the cage. One step—stop. One step—stop… Swiftly, without thinking, he uncovered Isis.

She sat on her perch, head down, asleep.

“Isis?” he whispered. “Was that you?” He looked around the room when he heard rustling coming from the other cages. All the sheets were moving. Jackson’s heart thumped.

But then he remembered he had opened the window. After taking the six steps to the window and ignoring the lack of breeze, he closed it. He turned around, backed against the window, hands stretched out—palms wide, like he was keeping the walls from closing in on him, because all the cages were uncovered.

It seemed like morning: birds bounced, stretched out their wings, walked, and whistled, however, much more so. The cages were actually open, and the birds began to explore. Isis, eyes open now and sitting on her perch in her home, stared at Jackson.

Jackson peeled himself away from the window and cautiously moved toward her. “Love?”

“Come closer, Jackson.”

He felt terrifyingly wonderful. Sweat gathered on his brow and above his lips. “Isis? Do you understand me?”

“Yes.”

Jackson tried to steady his blinking; he shut his eyes hard and then reopened them. “Why now? Why not before? I have told you my most intimate secrets and feelings and you never spoke an intelligent word.”

“The time was not right. I am here when you need me most. Let me be your inspiration.”

“Oh, Isis! How I do so need someone to talk to. I have so many troubles. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me now.” He put his arm in her cage, enduring the sharp claws he usually protectively wrapped his arm against. He stroked her red feathers. “My beautiful, Isis, what words do you have for me? Do you know what I must do to finish my story?”

“I do.”

“Tell me.”

“You have watched, but you have never felt. In order to achieve realism and depth, you will need to experience the pain for yourself.”

“Yes, yes… I see. I see what you mean. But how? How can I achieve this insight?”

“I will be near whilst you sink the edge of your knife into your skin. Not too deep my dear, just enough to feel a twinge.”

“Marvel upon marvel, you are my muse!” He set Isis on the back of his chair and ran to his bedside table and pulled out his knife. Its long thick blade still stained from his latest research project. “Where? Where shall I feel it?” he asked, sitting on the edge of his bed.

“The same as you wrote. The same as you gave.”

The coldness of the blade against his neck caused his heart to quicken with excitement. He stared at Isis as she moved her head to and fro with tiny jerks. “Just this fills my head with ideas, with words…” He sucked in his breath and pressed a little harder, the sting bringing quiet tears to his eyes. “How absolutely stimulating.”

He heard them before he saw them, but only by a second. All of his beauties came towards him, Isis in the mix, their feathers, and beaks, and claws causing his hand to yank deeply inward and then slide to the side. Falling backward, Jackson still imagined how his ghastly and perfect pain would translate onto paper.

As the feathers settled and the squawks calmed to a low murmur, Jackson’s last breath was accompanied by his last vision: five faint ghostly figures dancing above him. He heard the words, “Jack the Ripper, our story ends in revenge,” as his eyes closed.

The End

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

Muse is one of the fairy tale inspired short stories from my paranormal collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales – eBook available at Amazon for .99 cents.

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