Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Playing Book Trivia with Jennifer B. Monahan, Author of Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free

It’s time to play... 
Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is Jennifer B. Monahan, author of the new memoir, Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned To Live Free.  

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us!  Here are your questions:
In the movie Castaway, if Tom Hanks unearthed a copy of Where To?: How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

In Where To?, I describe a year of my life where I walked away from everything that equals security in our lives (a well-paying job, a home) and decided to live as a nomadic traveler for an unknown amount of time.  Tom Hanks would see himself in my story – especially when I was living in a thatched-roof hut in the Guatemalan jungle.  When he got to the point in the book where I describe the six things I needed to do to live courageously and authentically, he would see that the only thing that had been holding him back from getting off the island was his belief that he couldn’t and he would immediately start building that raft!

Everyone knows Miley Cyrus is the wild child in the music business.  But she read your book and wants to let you know that it changed her life for the better.  Why did your book give Miley a new lease on life?

Miley realized that she had put on the “wild child” persona because of pressure from the music industry to do things for publicity to help sell her music.  After reading my book, she discovered that by just being herself, she would not only differentiate herself but serve as an inspiration for people that didn’t know how to be themselves.

You are being pulled over for speeding.  When the officer asks you for your license and you discover you left it at home, you decide to pull out your book instead.  What do you tell the officer?

“I know you just asked me where I was speeding to.  This book will tell you!”

Superman has decided to pull out one of your characters to be his sidekick.  Who is it and why?

Lupe.  She is fearless. She can fly.  And she can inflict a lot of damage in a fight!

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, and the mighty judges will determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

It’s a toss up between an excerpt or my best review. An excerpt would allow them to picture how they would actually film a woman living alone in a hut in the Guatemalan jungle, taking part in ancient Mayan shamanic rituals, and facing down some of her biggest fears and losses, and the review would help them see the emotional connection people would have while watching the movie.

You have five seconds to tell us who the greatest author of all time is.  In your opinion, who would that be?

I can’t just choose one, so I would list as many as possible in five seconds before the buzzer goes off.  Here goes: Jane Austin, William Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, John Steinbeck, Homer, Stephen King…BUZZZZ

A homeless man was caught stealing your book out of a bookstore.  When asked why he did it, he opened the book and pointed a passage out.  What was that passage? 

“When you are in your personal power you can accomplish anything.  You are aligned with the universe and the energies to manifest flow easily to you because you are being true and authentic to whom you are.  Old ways of being will fall by the wayside, some easily and some not so easily, but as you continue to drop these ways of being, you will move close and closer to your core self, the true person that you are.  All of these experiences were shown to you to show you that potential that exists within each one of us. Every person on the planet can be authentic.  Every person has personal power and can use that power to build the life that resonates most with their soul and life calling.”
“This is the lesson for you.  The more you – and others – are coming from personal power, the more positive change can occur on the planet.  Each person that is living authentically is a beacon for others.  Their light helps others discover their own. Be the beacon and help others become beacons as well.”

You have been told your book has won one free year on a billboard in any one state.  What state do you feel would be best for your book and why?

California. Most of the book takes place internationally – Guatemala, Japan, Cambodia and Thailand – but there is a little bit that takes place in San Francisco.

Finally, The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

They selected the Ceiba tree, the national tree of Guatemala and the sacred tree of life to the ancient Mayans, because my book takes place mainly in Guatemala and includes a number of ancient shamanic rituals and ceremonies.

About the Author:

Jennifer B. Monahan is a business strategy consultant, shaman and coach who helps people all over the world live courageous lives. Her first book, This Trip Will Change Your Life: A Shaman’s Story of Spirit Evolution (She Writes Press, 2016),
has won six literary awards, including two first-place Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards and a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her second book, Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free, was published in April 2019, and describes her personal journey through Guatemala, Japan, Cambodia and Thailand as she faces down some of the greatest losses in her life.

She is a regular contributor to, Sivana East, and has had articles published on and Her podcast, Living A Courageously Authentic Life, can be found on, and focuses on a variety of topics to help others be true to themselves.

She holds a BA in Mass Communications from the University of Bridgeport (CT), an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Masters in Natural Health from Clayton College, and completed an accredited coaching program through Coach U. Her shamanic training began with a Mayan shaman in Mexico and then expanded to include shamans in Guatemala and her own personal guides.

She currently splits her time between the United States and Guatemala when not traveling and is in the process of writing her third book, a handbook for people looking to define, create and live their courageously authentic life. You can find her online at


About the Book:

When Jennifer Monahan announced her intention to leave her well-established career as a business strategy consultant and give up her rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco to do a global walkabout for an undetermined amount of time, her friends and family thought she was insane. But Jennifer was excited about taking the time to truly explore and immerse herself in a variety of cultures, so their skepticism didn’t faze her; plus she was used to traveling alone as a woman with only one carry-on bag. What she didn’t count on was discovering all the excess baggage she had been carrying with her from her past.

WHERE TO? chronicles one year of Monahan’s life, primarily in the Guatemalan jungle, but also in Japan, Cambodia and Thailand. Living in a thatched-roof hut in a tiny village, Monahan connected with local shamans and participated in their ancient rituals, became fully integrated into the daily life of a local family, and ultimately faced down some of the greatest losses and long-buried pain she had experienced. WHERE TO? shares the six steps she took to heal and courageously create the life of her dreams and includes a workbook for readers to do the same.

"Some memoirs tell us stories and open up worlds we never knew, but some open up places in our own hearts and souls that we have wanted to explore and have never given ourselves the chance to do so. Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free by Jennifer B. Monahan belongs to the second category of memoirs...While it reads like the memoir of a woman who takes the courage to explore the world, this memoir has powerful spiritual hints. In fact, it is the story of a soul in search of itself. Where To? is a spiritual testament, a book that describes a journey towards inner freedom and authenticity. Many readers will feel the resonance of Jennifer's story in their own lives." 

- Christian Sia, Reader's Favorite Book Reviews




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