Thursday, November 19, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Buddha and the Bee: Biking Through America's Forgotten Roadways on an Accidental Journey of Discovery by Cory Mortensen

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Buddha and the Bee: Biking Through America's Forgotten Roadways on an Accidental Journey of Discovery by Cory Mortensen. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: The Buddha and the Bee: Biking Through America's Forgotten Roadways on an Accidental Journey of Discovery
Author: Cory Mortensen
Publisher: White Condor
Publication Date: August 9th 2020
Print Length: 268 pages
Genre: Memoir
Life-Changing Journey...But this is NOT a typical blah-blah-blah memoir

Planning is for sissies. A solo bike ride across the country will be filled with sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and 80 degree temps every day, right? Not so much. The Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, an alkaline desert, and the Sierra Nevadas lay miles and days ahead. Disappointment with unrealized potential, and the thirst for what’s next drew farther away in the rotating wide-angle shockproof convex rear-view mirror.

"I will ride my bike down a never-ending ribbon of asphalt wearing a backpack."

Cory Mortensen began his bike ride across the United States from Chaska, Minnesota, to Truckee, California, without a route, a timeline, or proper equipment. Along the way, he gained more than technical skills required for a ride that would test every fiber of his physical being and mental toughness. Ride along as he meets “unusual” characters, dangerous animals, and sweet little old ladies with a serious vendetta for strangers in their town.

Humor ■ Insight ■ Adventure ■ Gratitude ■ Peace

From long stretches of road ending in a vanishing point at the distant horizon, to stunning vistas, terrifying close calls, grueling conditions, failed equipment, and joyous milestones he stayed the course and gained an appreciation for the beauty of the land, the genius of engineering and marvel of nature.

(Takes place September 12, 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks against the US.)

Soon after the Continental Divide, I came across what would become my favorite sign in the world—a yellow diamond shape with a truck going downhill. It was time to stop, check the tyres and brakes—it was peanut butter and jelly time!

My emotions went from dread to elation in mere moments. I found myself overtaking my first car. Pedaling was useless, I didn’t I have enough gear to make it worthwhile, so I rode at the speed of gravity. I smacked my lips, eager to rejuvenate them with water. My main focus was on my speed and keeping my pack from swinging side to side on the turns. I regulated my speed by using my posture. Tucked down, speed increased; straightened up, my body served as an air brake. The brake pads were useless on a downhill like this. Coming to a slow stop in town? No problem. Trying to come to a complete stop doing forty miles per hour plus? Forget about it.

I passed another car, my speed maxing out at forty-five miles per hour. After fifteen minutes, I could see Steamboat Springs in the valley. I couldn’t believe this downhill. It was a present—nay, a reward. It was nine miles of bliss.

Steamboat Springs was more beautiful then I remembered. The last time I had been there was in 1995, when some buddies and I decided to road trip to Moab, Utah, to camp and mountain bike.

My choices of places to stay were abundant, but since I spent the last few hours tackling it, I opted to stay at the Rabbit Ears Motel. I checked in, ordered some Chinese, and turned on the TV. I was eager to finally see the events of the prior days.

The replay of the airplanes smashing into the towers wasn’t resonating. I watched the event repeat itself for thirty minutes, interrupted only by tone-deaf commercials. The reporters and news commentators talked, but I didn’t listen to their words. I couldn’t figure out if it was real. How many times had I seen Hollywood blow things up with breathtakingly realistic accuracy? I was more confused than I was upset or angry.

The footage moved from the Twin Towers to a field in Pennsylvania, the wreckage of a smoldering plane, Flight 93, which had crashed in Stonycreek Township. Although the passengers fought with the terrorists to regain control of the plane, in the end, the plane crashed. They played recovered audio of passengers praying, leaving voicemails for loved ones, and planning to fight back. Then they played a voicemail from a man who had been on Flight 175:
This is Brian. Listen, I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked.
If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know that I absolutely love you.
I want you to do good, go have good times—same to my parents and everybody.
I just totally love you… and I’ll see you when you get there.
Bye, babe. I hope I call you.”
At that moment, it all became real. I sat on the bed and cried. I felt so removed from it all.

The crew, the passengers, the people in the buildings and on the ground, the firefighters… they were all somebody’s dad, mom, wife, husband, brother, sister, son, daughter, friend. But they weren’t any of those things to me.
Cory Mortensen has ridden his collection of bicycles over a million miles of asphalt, dirt, mud, and backroads. In addition to the cross-country journey detailed in this book, he has traveled to over fifty-five countries, cycled from Minneapolis to Colorado solo to raise money for children born with congenital heart defects. He’s completed sixteen marathons on five continents, and survived three days of running with the bulls in Spain. 

Cory is a certified Advanced PADI diver, and has enjoyed taking in life under the waves in locations all over the world. In 2003, he took time off from roaming, and accidentally started and built a company which he sold in 2013. That same year he married his best friend and explored the state of Texas for two years. The couple sold everything they owned, jumped on a plane to Ecuador and volunteered, trekked, and explored South America for sixteen months before returning to Phoenix, Arizona, where he works as a consultant and is soon to be a bestselling author.

The Buddha and the Bee is his first memoir in which he shares how a two month leave of absence redefined his life’s trajectory of sitting behind a desk and his decision to break society’s chains so he could live life on his terms.

- As an author, what scares you the most?
In the case of The Buddha and the Bee, this is a memoir, so opening up to a world of strangers is a hum-dinger in the realm of being scared.

Talking about my dad was hard as he had already passed. So he never got to edit out anything I put in there about him. I wanted to do right by him. I thought long and hard about what parts of the letter he wrote me that I wanted to share. That being said, the whole letter should be given from every father to their 15-16 year son. It’s timeless.

Talking about my ex was hard as well as I didn’t want to upset my wife and because it was a difficult break-up for me. I didn’t want to come across as a sad case, nor did I want to skip past it as it was a large influence of the trip. Most importantly I wanted to respect her.

Sharing my feelings is not my thing. I felt like I over-shared and had to smile when one of my first reviews came in and he said, “The truth is that you root for Mortensen throughout The Buddha and the Bee, though you really don't get to know him all that well.” What! I thought I opened that curtain pretty wide. Haha. Writing “feelings” down and letting the world see you like that… That’s what really scares me.
Cory Mortensen will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for sharing your book and for the great giveaway too.

  2. How long did it take you to write your book?

  3. I really enjoy memoirs...have to ask my family for this book as a gift this holiday season.. Best of luck to you and thank you....

  4. This sounds like an interesting book.

  5. This looks like a great read. I love the blurb

  6. This sounds like a very good book.

  7. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  8. Sounds like an interesting book.

  9. Looks like a Good Book Thank You for Sharing the Book & Book Tour with us

  10. thanks thi s sounds like a great book

  11. Interesting book, deep thoughts!

  12. I think that your title and the attractive cover of your book will draw the reader to start reading!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  13. This book looks like a very interesting read.

  14. This book is quite different from anything I have read.
    It would be a great change of pace.
    Thank you for sharing the review.

  15. This sounds like such a wonderful book!

  16. The story sounds really interesting!

  17. This sounds like a really interesting book can't wait to read it 😀. Thank you so much for the chance.

  18. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

  19. If I won the $50 Amazon gift card I would by myself a video game for my Nintendo Switch but if I won the Barnes & Noble gift
    card I would buy Star Wars books.

  20. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

  21. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  22. I not only like the cover but the title of the book is awesome. I will be checking it out

  23. What do you most enjoy about writing?

  24. This book sounds great , and would love to have a chance to read it.

  25. What is your favorite thing about writing?

  26. Interesting excerpt, interesting title!