My début novel, See What Flowers, is on the shelves! How cool is it to see my own book standing beside some of the great novels (well, I DID place it beside them)?!?!
Ways you can get a copy of the paperback version of See What Flowers:
Order it on Amazon.
See What Flowers is currently available in paperback on Amazon.com and Amazon.uk. If you are itching to get a copy in Canada, you can order from those sites but will have to pay additional shipping. Some distributors are currently selling it on Amazon.ca at a higher cover price. However, it will be available on Amazon.ca in less than 30 days.
Paperback copies of See What Flowers will be sold for $20 CAD (cash only)
Enter my Book Giveaway Contest on Goodreads
In celebration of will be running a book giveaway on Goodreads from June 3-June 15 in celebration of my upcoming book launch. Please click here for more info on how to win one of 10 copies of See What Flowers.
If you DO read See What Flowers, there are a few ways you can help me promote the book:
Write a review on Amazon.
Reviews are very important in helping books rate higher in the black hole that is the Amazon bookstore.
Share it on Social Media.
Take a picture of the book and share your favourite quotes from the book using hashtags #seewhatflowers #amreading & mention me via Instagram and Twitter handle @mullenshannon
Join the Discussion on Goodreads.
Join the Goodreads discussion about See What Flowers by asking the author (me–Lol!) questions, interacting with other readers, and write a review. Encourage your friends to join the discussion too!
Tell your friends!
If you like it, please share your copy with your friends and family. Summer’s almost here, and we’re all looking for a new read, right?
Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support! Happy reading!
This time next week, See What Flowers, my début novel about love and mental illness, will be available on Amazon.
Here’s a sneak preview of See What Flowers to give you a feel for what the book’s about.
See What Flowers
By Shannon Mullen
“Struggling and suffering are the essence of a life worth living. If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not demanding more from yourself – expanding and learning as you go – you’re choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip.”
― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Emma: May 10, 2014, 9:30pm EDT
The party is over. I’m floating weightlessly through the sky like Mary Poppins, grasping my flamingo pink birthday balloons so tightly that my nails puncture the skin of my sweaty palm.
Startled by the sound of myself giggling, I release the balloons. They float to the ceiling as my feet hit the floor but the giggling doesn’t stop. Instead, it becomes louder, more honest: the yelp of a dog off-leash, the squeal of a toddler chasing butterflies, the height of sexual pleasure, the subconscious release of something raw and visceral, something undeniably, yet unexplainably true.
It’s like I’ve pierced a small hole in the balloon, sucked in the helium and exhaled delirium. I’m under the effect of something, certainly too much Malbec, but perhaps also too much happiness.
After more than a decade of cramming for exams, late nights at the library, taking risks, and making tough decisions, I’ve become lighter, like in the way sticking to a running program burns excess fat. The lightness teaches me that struggle lifts us up rather than weighs us down.
I take a blue recycling bag from underneath the sink and start cleaning up empty tall cans–Steam Whistle, Mill St., Muskoka, Great Lakes, Kichesippi and other Ontario Craft beers that I’ve never seen before. Every time I go to the Beer Store, there’s a new microbrew on the market. With so much competition, what makes one product last and another disappear? By the time I’ve tossed a dozen or so empties into the recycling bag, the giggling has stopped and I’m overcome with exhaustion. I check the time on my phone. 3:30 am. There’s a missed call from Adam. Where is he?
Adam will be upset that I already washed all of the dishes—the plates and forks we used to serve my DQ cake, the wine glasses, and the Starbucks mug that that Katie used for her cab sav because we ran out of glasses. Adam wouldn’t make me clean up a mess on my birthday. He’d remind me that a real partner shares the responsibility, and that since I’m the BDG, I deserve to let him pull the weight.
I tug on the ribbon dangling from one of the balloons floating against the ceiling. I want to set it free, let it fly into the wild like a caged parrot being released in the jungle, so I put the recycling bag on the floor and collect the ribbons from all three balloons. How high will they soar before bursting to the ground? Fingers crossed these balloons will drift higher and higher and higher into a limitless universe.
I shiver slightly as a draft of cold air floods the apartment the second the front door opens, like winter has suddenly arrived even though summer’s just around the corner.
I spin around to see who it is. I already know.
He’s holding a couple of pink tulips in his hand, freshly picked from the neighbours’ garden. His eyes are glowing with the droopy haze of booze and he looks like a maniac, a wild dog. We are both high on the energy of the party and the awareness that we are on the brink of something wonderful. As I float towards him, a nagging question tugs me back; I want to swat it away like an annoying mosquito. But it keeps buzzing inside me. I shiver again.
Is there such a thing as being too happy?
He hands me the tulips, luscious lips in full bloom. As I accept the flowers, I release my grip on the balloons, and they bounce gently against the ceiling the way they did before—hovering, annoyed, frustrated, contained by the ceiling and disappointed by the limits of life.
He hugs me tightly and an electric current shoots through me as though he’s resuscitating a heart that’s already beating. We hold each other, our bodies linking in the courtship ritual of dragonflies, our brilliant green darners hover as one above our apartment.
A few years ago, I took my first trip to Disney World during a spring break vacation to Florida. To be honest, I was kind of dreading the experience. I thought that I’d be turned off by all the crowds, commercialism, and unrealistically proportioned princesses.
But since the friend I was traveling with was excited to visit the recently opened Harry Potter World, I decided to give it a chance.
As predicted, I did find some of the ways that the park commodifies happiness a little soul-crushing. Surprisingly, though, underneath all of the make-up and costumes, amusement park rides, princesses, castles, light shows and souvenir shops, I was witnessing a hint of magic–something unbelievable but that existed nonetheless.
Stripped down, I could see that Walt Disney World is an example of the extraordinary power of the human imagination and what can be accomplished when dreams are put into action.
Oddly, I sensed a similar presence of magic on a trip to the Amazon last week.
I know that Walt Disney World is NOTHING like the wild of the Amazon Rainforest, but both left me feeling like I was witnessing the impossible. They inspired a sense of wonder, left me questioning reality, and stretched my imagination of what I believed could exist in real life.
Unlike Disney World, however, the magic of the jungle is that it is not imagined, but a living, breathing ecosystem. It exposes the darkest side of nature, but also its brightest colours.
The Amazon River is the largest river on earth, making up one-fifth of the earth’s freshwater. It’s been referred to as the “lung of the world” because of its massive power to have vital gases exchanged between the forest and the atmosphere. The rainforest stretches through nine countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, and is the most bio-diverse region on the planet.
In the Amazon, there are anacondas that prey upon caimans, birds, and even jaguars from blackwater lagoons, trees that are over 5000 years old, termites that inspire engineering projects, birds that mate for life (take that, Ashley Madison!), and butterflies that re-define the colour wheel.
Due to its diversity, the extraordinary role it plays in regulating the earth’s climate, and the sense of wonder it inspires, the Amazon Rainforest is an example of the ways in which life can transcend what we believed to be possible. Unfortunately, looming threats of oil and gas extraction, deforestation, and other development projects threaten the future of the Amazon (along with many of the Earth’s wildest places).
Not only will this limit the diversity of life on the planet, it will also threaten our ability to imagine new possibilities for how to make the world a better place to live. For me, it’s these glimpses of magic that make life interesting. They push us to dream bigger, live more fully, and expand our imaginations of what we can accomplish.
As Walt Disney said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”