‘Bunny and the Bear’ by Eve Langlais(a review)

hot couple kissing
Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey/Blog design by Ericajean using Canva

Warning! This book has fiery hot scenes in it inappropriate for certain audiences. Thank you!

Book Details:

Bunny and the Bear(Furry United Coalition, #1), by Eve Langlais

Published by Eve Langlais (July 2011)

ISBN: 978-0-9869154-4-4

Five Stars

Read on my Kindle App and found on Bookbub

Get Your Free Copy on Amazon Now!

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After having a delicious time this summer reading C791 by Eve Langlais, I just knew I was about to get into another delicious romp fest. Instead of cyborgs this time, we are introduced to the land of the were folks. Werebears, Wererabbits…

Wait.

Did I just say Were-Rabbits?

Gah! Rabbits are my favorite of all the woodland creatures, and in Bunny and the Bear, Langlais is sure to include the quirks and the fun of both beasts!

The Hot, Hoppin’Story

Chase doesn’t know whether to strangle or make love to his playful platinum blond neighbor. She is definitely fun and perky and…bothersome. As a werebear, Chase spends his time sleeping, going to work, eating and then repeating the same cycle all over again. Now it is interrupted by dreams of having the delectable Miranda all to himself.

Miranda knows how Chase feel about intermixing species, but she can’t help but adore the big lug. He is handsome and so predictable. Unfortunately, she is here to protect him from the real danger lurking. A terrible danger, that she as a Werebunny is designed to take care of.

My Honey Sweet Reaction:

I needed something fun and frothy but with some spice. Add a little easy reading and an alpha male and this is exactly what I got.

Miranda was everything a bubbly bunny should be yet she had lots of bite. Chase comes off as your typical alpha male you’d pretty much find in any romance, yet I found something very special about him that instantly made my heart go Ba-Boom!

Besides eating honey buns everyday, Chase is intuitive when it concerns Miranda. He can sense when she has her low points and doubts and he is there to pick her up- literally and figuratively.

Fun Fact: this book reminded so much of Zootopia, but with a slight twist. Watch the film, you’ll see!

Needless to say, this one was quick and sweet but such a hot treat! I need to get more of these shifter books!

Let me know if you’ve read any of Eve Langlais’s books.

Or just stop by and say hi!

Until next time.

Ericajean

Decoding Poetry Series…’Since There is No Help’ by Michael Drayton

Blog graphic designed by Ericajean using Canva
Blog graphic designed by Ericajean using Canva

Keywords: Sonnets, Michael Drayton, Love, poetry, 17th century English poetry

Welcome to another installment of Decoding Poetry! I took the delight in reading Michael Drayton’s Sonnet #61: Since There’s No Help.

The speaker of this poem is trying to reconcile their feelings and confusion about love. The speaker wants nothing to do with it anymore, then recognizes Love for what it is truly is…

I went a little deeper with this one without outside help, however after I finished my own observations and jotting down what I thought, I found an amazing analysis on the AP Literature site. I checked it against my own notes and found it lined up.

Sonnet #61

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of love’s latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, passion speechless lies;
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And innocence is closing up his eyes–
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might’st him yet recover!

The Sounds, The Rhyme of Breaking Away

This poem uses alliteration(repetition of consonants) and assonance(repetition of vowel sounds) quite a bit, it adds more punch to what the speaker is trying to say.

Alliteration: “That, thus”(line2), “When we”(line 6), “of our”(line 7), “Love’s latest”(line 9), “by his bed”(line 11), “Innocence is”(line 12), “wouldest, when”(line 13)

Assonance: “no-more-of”(line 2), “am glad”(line 3), “shake hands, cancel”(line 5), “we meet”(line 6), “our brows”(line 7), “of-former-love”(line 8), “last gasp”(line 9), “when his”(line 10), “bed-death”(line 11), “given him”(line 13)

What significance do these two devices of poetry lend? Well, for starters the repetition of vowel and consonant sounds add more heartfelt flavor to a poem such as this. Especially when the speaker says, “Now at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath…”(line 9) it hardens the sounds on your tongue as you realize Love may not be as eternal as we thought, or Love can hurt(I will save my full thought on this in a moment)

This is a Journey…into Sonnets

orange butterfly
Image taken from pexels.com

As soon as I read this poem aloud, I knew from the beginning I was reading a Shakespearean sonnet.

Each line in the quatrains(minus the 13th and 14th couplets ) has ten syllables per line which is called iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme here for this sonnet as an end rhyme of: a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g. This lends to the ever flowing mimicry of a love letter, or a song.

Since There is No Help For Loving Someone

The message here speaks to anyone who has been in love. We have all been at that place in our soul where we were through with the false concept of love and its minions. We did not want to see it again, but when we finally lose it or the thought of losing love penetrates our thoughts, we get melancholy.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this poem. It was published in 1619 and even so, I think we’ve all viewed Love in this way at some point or another.

Thoughts?

Don’t be shy! Discuss! 🙂

‘Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice’ by April Sinclair(a review)

ain't gonna be the smae fool twice, yellow book covers
Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice by April Sincalir

Book Details: Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice by April Sinclair

Published: Open Road Integrated Media(1996)

Cover Design: Kat Lee(for ebook version)

ISBN: 978-1-5040-1866-1

Read on Freading app

4.5 stars

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Keywords: African American-Human sexuality-college age-Chicago-San Francisco-Women’s Studies-Lesbianism

Book quotes yellow background
Designed by Ericajean using Canva

April Sinclair has done it again with Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice, her follow up to Coffee Will Make You Black.

Jean Stevenson or “Stevie” has left high school with hopes of becoming a journalist while also still exploring her sexuality and how it could connect to her being black in the 70s.

In high school, she crushed on a white nurse(In the first book) and began questioning herself then, even though she had sex with a boy before. Even in college, Stevie dates men but soon she realizes there is more to her relationships than just sex. Racism, religion, and politics become a part of the stretching fabric of her life.

Stevie eventually finds herself in a few female relationships and she calls it “experimenting” yet those who care about her wonder if she is sure about any of her decisions. Recalling quotes from a loving grandmother and living in San Francisco with a homosexual hottie named Sterling, Stevie will need to muster all the courage and common sense she was taught just to survive.

My Reaction:

This book was just as good as the first! If you are someone who shies away from topics like lesbianism and racism with a dash of politics, then you may want to run. I am not into politics or sexuality topics like either, but the story was good.

A lot of Stevie’s experiences, sadly, has not changed in reality for 2016.

For example, when Stevie begins dating an attractive white female, they are stopped by the police and the police assumes Stevie is a black male and never once looks at her, he constantly asks if her girlfriend is okay. Unfortunately for Stevie, her white girlfriend is only offended when he calls her “ma’am”. This is Stevie’s crucial eye opener to the climate of the times she is in.

I enjoy Stevie’s personality and her wise mannerism to a degree. She can come off as scathing and wishy washy at the same time; most moments and even with a scathing, stern personality, she can become a rug for someone else even when she knows better. Her friends left much to be desire. I cared for no one really in California. The portrayal of the city she was in was one where people hold on to inhibitions, freedom and weed, but let go of sense and sensitivity.

All  in all I give this an exceptional rating. It was a perfect follow up to Coffee Will Make You Black.

Okay, bookworms! Would you ever read a book like this? What are some books you loved that had very sensitive topics for you? Discuss below and remember to share this post with your friends!

At the Zenith of My Writing Powers

cliff-coast
Image of cliff coast found on Unsplash.com

No, I am not at the Steel, Koontz, and King Status- actually far from it.

I just want to take note of how much I’ve grown over the years in writing short stories and novellas.

Have you ever wanted to do that? If not, I think I know why. It is scary to face facts that we have grown very little and not much at all when it comes to our favorite thing to do. This goes for anything in life.

But I want to take a moment and just rejoice over the small things I’ve overcome over the years. I pray you do the same. Let’s not look at the weak spots- yet.

I’ve gotten over my bias of two person narratives. I’ve mentioned this in a couple of blog posts about how I do not like when a story is told from two points of views, but after reading a few great books I am now a believer, just not a convert yet. My latest novel Kiss of Blood will have two person narratives of a genie and his soon to be lover.

I am no longer afraid to self edit. In fact, self editing is quite fun! I’m not sure why I never appreciated this before. The reason could be that I am afraid of my stupid slip ups in my writing. But isn’t that what drafts are for anyway? While re-reading your own manuscript you can find loopholes, gaps, bad spots and great tokens you can place elsewhere or maybe you have an idea to include this time? I love it!

Taking my writing seriously every morning. Well, not every morning, but at least five or six days a week, I am at my laptop editing or writing a story. It totally develops creative muscle when you write everyday! My suggestion to other writers is to find a writer’s devotional if you need direction. One devotional I found pretty darn good is A Writer’s Year by Sally J. Walker. I didn’t get around to using all of the devotional activities because it was on loan, but what I got out of it is what counts.

I am beginning to care about character profiles. When I first plot a novel, I see the action first and I see the scenes, but character? No way, I never spent much time on it because I am more about what is going on in a story. However, after googling several websites to find the best templates for this, I learn it is essential to creating a believable character.

Finally learning which sites to “read on” versus write on. Wattpad is an awesome app for writers but I just have not had any luck on it besides my teen fiction Weight and See. It seems that if you do not already have a following from the beginning, you’re toast. I could be wrong and maybe jealous, but oh well I don’t care. However I do love the stories on there and I have found positive, glowing feedback on my fanfiction over on fanfiction.net and novels on Smashwords.

Understanding I have my own voice. This is so critical. I love reading books, and I am inspired by brilliant author’s writings. But I have my own voice and finding it is like finding a small child or fuzzy kitten at your doorstep, waiting to be held and fed.

Nothing is more amazing than finding your voice. What is voice? Your own style and flavor of writing. It could be your tone(funny, witty, sarcastic) or style of writing(prose, poetic), slang usage, etc. I don’t know just monitor your own writings and read them aloud. You’ll see.

What have you learned about your writing habits/style lately? I’d love to know!🙂

An Extended(and juicy) review of ‘Love Everlasting’ by Julie Lessman

Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope, #2)Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No more conscious of sins, is the theme here for such a wonderful, romantic filled story by one of my favorite writers today, Julie Lessman.

In Love Everlasting,Shannon O’Bryen is tasked with ensuring that playboy, heart throb Sam Cunningham, gets home safely after a night of him imbibing.

Shannon’s brother Jack warns her that Sam can charm anyone. In fact after reading this book I understand how he can charm the skin and fangs off a snake. With this fair warning, Shannon promises she won’t take the bait. However during Sam’s drunken state with him calling her Angel Eyes as she wipes him down clean and cook him food, Shannon already feels…something but even more importantly, Sam feels it too. On a major level. The question is, does he still love the sexy Jasmine, or will he give in to his warm feelings for the woman who rescued him? A woman who seems as pure and moral and untouchable as a saint?

Note: Feel Free to skip to the extended character review of Sam and Shannon!

My Reaction:

If you have not read Book 1, I suggest you do, technically you have to read that one to understand the relationship dynamic among the people of Isle of Hope, Georgia. However in theory one could still read Love Everlasting and enjoy the work tremendously.

Seriously this book was fun, serious, and very romantic. The characters and the setting works for a very strong story here. Isle of Hope is a real place and is very beautiful with its Southern charm of lakes and greenery you can imagine the characters as real people walking down the Isle for a nice stroll or a swim.

Lessman’s creativity when it comes to characters is strong as well. Sam was well rounded. He is a doctor but comes from a troubled past. He knows what he needs and what he wants. Shannon is a quiet soul. She is like me. She is a writer, she loves God and is about marriage and family but even she has a secret that just may destroy whatever it is she wants with Sam.

Loved this book. You have to read it.

**I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Wait! Here’s a Juicy Extended Character Review: What Makes a Great Romance 101

Love Everlasting is one of those books where character is everything. In fact in most books, that is what drives the story. I want to point out a few of the reasons why this book received five stars by focusing on the two main characters Shannon and Sam.

Warning: SPOILERS!

Sam Cunningham.

  • Successful children’s doctor.
  • Was once orphaned himself.
  • Very charming and intelligent.
  • Has swoon worthy looks and appeal.

Who can tame a playboy?

What I loved most about Sam is that he has a boyish side to him that only Shannon has seen. His temper tantrums or not wanting to share her. But he is such a poet and his words made me melt:

That’s because it’s not just a kiss,” he whispered bowing his head to touch his forehead to hers. “It’s the gift of my heart, Shan, all wrapped up.”(pg.220).

Now on to Shannon.

  • Sweet.
  • A writer.
  • A believer in Christ.
  • Cleaned Sam after his vomit of liquor(so, she is caring).
  • Jack is Shannon’s brother.
  • Jack is also Sam’s good friend, soooo…
  • Shannon is off limits(or should be off limits) to Sam.

 

Yet, Shannon is not so squeaky clean. You see, Sam views Shannon as an angel, unmarred by sin.

He wants Jasmine back so bad that he enlists Shannon’s help to get her back and one of Shannon’s requirements is that he become a believer in God. But is Shannon herself perfect? After a while, Sam moves from head over heels for Shannon to an all out love for her and for Shannon that is good and not so good.

Wait until he learns her secret.

This book definitely deserves the five stars because anytime you have the Playboy Meets the Angel, sparks sure does fly!

Did you guys read the story too? What did you think?

Please Like. Share. Subscribe. Comment. Thanks!

View all my reviews

6 Ways to Identify a Five Star Book

Image designed by Ericajean
Image designed by Ericajean

What the heck is a five star book even made of? Isn’t that a subjective question? A three star book to me could be five stars to you, so there can’t possibly be a way to identify a really good book, right?

You would be right, my friend. The suggestions mentioned here, however, is based on reviews of books by other readers including what should be happening in a stellar work. So I suppose this list is subjective and objective at the same time. Shall we begin?

Quality of Writing

Need I say more? I am no editing wiz and so even my published works needs polishing and maybe some polishing after time has passed as well.

Readers are not generally editors but they’ve probably won a spelling bee a time or two and/or  have Strunk and White’s Grammar bible at their side, so yes, quality of writing is important- to me story is a tiny bit more important.

Characterization

We fall in love with people in real life and we want to fall for characters.

No cookie cutter characters, just genuine characters who either surprise us or who are us. As a fellow bookworm I reckon you’d like the hero/heroine to be someone you identify with or fall in love with. Nothing is better than a character who feels like a friend or you can fanboy/fangirl all over.

Impact

Folks are talking.

Social media’s ablaze.

Talks of film rights.

Emails pouring in about how a book has changed lives…

Yes, making a lasting impact through literature is a sure way to always get a good rating.

Pacing

As a writer your work should have a natural flow. Today’s books, particularly in the teen categories don’t start off at a snail’s pace and if it does, it quickly gets to the point mid chapter.

Action scenes(part of setting and plot) should be timed perfectly and there should always be a moment of rest somewhere. Find a balance. It can’t be just straight up adrenaline for fifty pages. Let there be breathing room. Likewise the story shouldn’t have 100 pages of monotone boring slop. I have read books like this too.

Raw, No Pussyfootin’ Around

Pussyfootin; is an old school term meaning “Stop holding back, stop playing around!” I love books that do not mind peeling back the curtains for all of us to see the dirt and the magic happening all at once. Tiana Laveen’s Race to Redemtpion series about a White Supremacist who falls for his pen pal that happens to be a black woman, is one such novel. There was no one and no topic spared in this novel and it has gained five stars consistently across the board on Amazon!

The Takeover

This goes back to the fangirl/fanboy moments. If a book has got you up late at night or taking irregular coffee breaks at work, just go on ahead and admit it, you are reading a five star book, baby!

There are so many books that took up my nights and robbed my sleep. A few of them off the top of my head are Fledgling by Octavia Butler, Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer, and Julie Lessman’s A Passion Most Pure.

Okay, I am at the end of my rope here. Disagree with my list? Have a better one? Please share your thoughts here and why not share this post or at least like it?

Thank you to all my subscribers and I hope you have a great Veteran’s Day Weekend!

 

‘Seaweed Eyes’ Conclusion (Short Fiction)

**Below, the story from earlier this week continues. Elesa realizes she and Casey have a lot in common.** PLEASE SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE🙂

seaweed

Seaweed Eyes

Part 2

The feet are still large, those eyes are large too but no longer hiding behind glasses. His lips are full and not because there’s food behind it.

“Uh, hi,” I flip over my words. “I didn’t recognize you.” Now it is my turn to feel self conscious. Funny how that works.

This can’t be Casey! No Way!

Casey moves closer to me, slower. Oh God he is like one of the movie stars, or dancers I see on television.

“Hi Elesa, how’s it goin’?”

“Um, good I guess.”

“Elesa, help me with the table,” Grandma winks at Casey. I look down at my paisley top with the large, swirling design and my tights which make it appear as if I have some kind of shape.

Why am I worried over these things?

I take the red basket full of golden rolls and set it neatly in the center of the long table. Casey and his dad are in the living room watching whatever sport is on television.

I push back my hair.

He is not fat.

He is not gross looking. This is Casey Pullim. Never have I felt drawn to him before.

I am such a loser. Such an idiot. So shallow.

I go back into the kitchen and help Grandma set the napkins and utensils on the table. The chill from the screen door, sweeps the house along with the scent of cinnamon from Grandma’s scented pine cones.

I think of mom and dad.

We were just here last year watching a family movie. A Christmas Story to be exact. Just last year.

Before they got taken away from me.

Grandma said God took them. They were great parents, good angels, and the Lord needed them.

I need them.

I hug myself and close my eyes just as I feel warm air by my ear. “Need help?”

“N-no,” I slowly face Casey and his startling eyes. His chest fills out his shirt, I can see the indentation of muscle in his shoulders.

“I’m fine.”

“You sure? You were standing here for a minute and- well, it looked like you were lost or something.”

How sweet. He didn’t mention how my eyes are probably shining from unshed tears.

If he would have said I looked about to cry, I would have bawled right then and there all over his shirt.

“How are you and your dad?”

He stuffs his hands in his front pockets. “Good actually.” His Southern accent is beautiful. Why haven’t I noticed before?

I am such a darned loser.

“He found a job at a plant nearby, said it has benefits, good pay and we can finally give mom the beautiful headstone she deserves.”

I forgot. He lost someone too.

“Ready everyone?” Grandma announces.

Casey watches me. I can feel his gaze as I lower myself in my chair. I am next to grandma, he is next to his father, but we are across from one another.

After grandma’s really long grace over the food, we all dig in. I am ravenous for the rolls, but suddenly I am not so hungry for grandma’s lovely cooking…

I watch Casey and of course, he is not affected by anything. He digs in with gusto, chomps down on the brisket, slops the rolls in the sauce made for the brisket and shoves it on down.

Soft music plays from grandma’s radio. They are starting Christmas songs in late October already. But the mood is perfect. The sky is the color of jean blue with a stitch of pink and I can hear the crickets.

“God has blessed you, Anthony.” Grandma begins, passing the ice tea in a large glass pitcher to everyone. I pour a small amount in my glass.

“He certainly has. I got this job because of hard work, but also a little divine intervention. You’ve been prayin’ on my behalf little lady?”

Grandma laughs and waves her hand, banishing the thought. “Why? I have to. You’re our friend now. Even if you weren’t I’d still give God a request.” Grandma Olsa then turns to Casey, a twinkle in her eye.

“This handsome devil could stop traffic though. What happened to ya?”

Casey shrugged, his eyes slammed into mine again before back to grandma. “I met some dudes at the camp who loved martial arts. I always liked seeing it on television but could never really do it. I began going to the dojo with them.”

“That’s cool,” I say and sip my tea to prevent further talk.

“Well I see Princess Elesa is still radiant as ever. How are you doin?” His father asks me.

I tell him I am doing well. I left out the part about me mostly staying home, crying myself to sleep thinking of mom and dad, throwing up food after I eat so I can stay small and pretty and petite…

Casey eyes me curiously. I can’t believe I hated them. I saw them as slum rats who ate our food every Sunday. Lazy, slovenly folks who couldn’t get jobs.

Now, I am sitting before a hard working man and his handsome son.

“Hey, Elesa wanna come outside with me?” Casey stand with his plate in his hand. “Is it alright, Mrs. Night?”

“Please, you call me Grandma honey,” Grandma remains seated, her hands in a steeple position. “Go on you two.”

I breathe in a shaky breath. Casey takes my plate for me and instead of just sitting them on the side of the sink, he washes each one and dries each one. I stand next to him and place them in the cabinet where they belong before we begin our silent march outside.

I feel the moment of truth coming on.

leaves-autumn

His hand reaches for mine. I gasp as we walk out into the early evening together. Some kids are riding their bikes while others are simply outside with friends laughing and talking about whatever.

Casey’s hand is warm.

We sit in the long swing, the one swing in the front yard. He still clasps my hand.

“Look, Elesa-”

“Why’d you change?” I interrupt him. I didn’t mean to sound hard and scathing, but I don’t know whether to hate him or…

Or…

He pulls his hand from mine. I really do feel the coldness seep into my bone then. I need his hand.

“I was just kind of hoping that you’d y’know…fall in love with me.”*

My face is heated and now I see why he pulled away from me. He is twisting his hands nervously, they are white as milk.

“Casey, you know I have a boy-”

“I know. He is everything I am not. He is a few years older, more handsome, has more money. But,” he turns to me and takes my hand gently, I feel butterflies. He takes my whole hand, wrist and all.

“Casey I am so very sorry for ignoring you all this time,” I slap a palm to my forehead. “Geez! Listen to me. I am only apologizing because now you’re hot.”

I popped the same hand over my mouth. My stupid mouth!

A smile curls at the edge of Casey’s lips. “You think I’m hot?”

“You mean, you don’t know?” I say astonished he doesn’t recognize he is cuter than my pothead boyfriend Sam.

“Well, towards the end of summer, my buddies kept inviting me to places and a few girls even asked me out. I thought it was just so they could hang with the other guys.”

“No way. They wanted you, Casey. But for real you look good. I am happy for you.”

“Are you happy though?”

“Yes.” I bite my bottom lip. I also realize his eyes have always been deep and mossy, seaweedy, intelligent. His hair has always been thick and raven black. He was still the same, shy, caring Casey.

“I know you miss them. I miss mom a lot too. Drunk drivers are stupid. Deserve to be tortured in hell, really.”

“Yeah. I lived and the drunk driver gets to live in some fancy prison.” I said angrily.

“My mom died of cancer but it hurts a lot to know she kept it from us for so long. I thought we had years to go with her. I wanted her to take pictures of my prom, for her and dad to finally go to Hawaii…then she just…died.”

“Do you think she is in heaven, with God?”

Casey shrugs. “She ain’t here with me and that’s all I know.”

“Ditto. I’d rather them be here. I don’t know why good people always die.”

Casey takes my hand and boldly places it on his lap. “In that case, there better be a heaven.”

“I agree.”

“Come closer, Elesa. I don’t bite,” he chuckles. I smile and scoot next to him, lie my head back on the white swing. He begins to gently rock us back and forth.

I see grandma and his dad in the window. Grandma has taken out her large sized bible and they were looking into it, smiling and talking. She was probably teaching him more of the bible. My grandma, the teacher. Just like her daughter, my mom.

“So did ya?” Casey whispers, flicking back a strand of my blond tresses.

“Did I what?”

“Did you…fall for me?”

I give him the only answer I could. The one could seal the hole in my chest, the one that opens new possibilities.

I turn his face to mine and for the first time, with a boy, I am nervous.

He lets me run my hands up and down his face.

I am about to bring him closer when he pulls me to him roughly and before I can even blink, he is kissing me.

I kiss back wholeheartedly, falling into his lips, his scent of cinnamon and soap, of twin sorrows…

Copyright 2016 by Erica Jean Smith

*Inspired by Dialogue Prompt