Author Spotlight: Jeremy Davies

Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Today the spotlight is on new author and math teacher, Jeremy Davies.

Jeremy Davies Banner

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of the Advent CalendarThe Advent Calendar.  [My Facebook] page has a lot of information, newspaper cuttings and some interview articles, also a YouTube copy of a BBC interview.

Do you know how all of your characters look and sound?

Yes exactly, I virtually visualised the entire thing as a sort of movie, picturing the amazing landscapes and sets in fine detail, likewise the characters and their characteristics. I did exactly the same whilst reading Tolkien and found it a frustration watching the films.

Can you read other things when you’re working on a book, or do you have to stick with writing?

Absolutely,a change is as good as a rest, I sometimes find taking a break from writing and reading altogether allows you to reflect and perhaps pick up new ideas. I find myself trying to write either in the right location or in the right mood/environment (nearer Christmas helps with my Christmas books)

What are you most nostalgic for from your childhood?

Christmas 100%, it was such a special time at home, I had four siblings and the Christmas period at home was simply magical, I also lived in a close knit village and the school at Christmas was wonderfully festive, a marvelous childhood was gifted to me and I will be eternally grateful to mum and dad, my Christmas books attempts to share this good will and festive feel.

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

So how pleased are you with the film adaptation of your novel?

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Alright, there you have it. Christmas will be here before you know it, so go check out The Advent Calendar.

Are you a fan of Christmas stories? Do you still read to or with your kids? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

I hope you all have a great day!

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Facebook Release Party Lessons

About a month ago, Sonya Jesus invited me to take part in her Facebook release party. I’d heard of them, of course, through open calls to participate on my publisher’s Facebook group. I hadn’t ever participated, though, thinking that they were for people who already had books out. The direct invitation, however, made me curious, and, with a bit of trepidation, I accepted the 5:30 – 6:00 pm time slot.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Facebook release parties, they’re a chance for an author to reach anyone in the world by making a public Facebook event page. On the day of the event, the author, as well as any people they have invited to participate, will post to the page with information about available and upcoming books, giveaways, teasers, videos, etc. The idea being that the more people who are involved, the more fans and readers will check out the event, and, hopefully, the book being released.

Research

Because I’d never been part of a release party before, I wasn’t entirely sure of the protocol. So, I did what I always do: I researched. I asked some other authors about typical post content. I attended a couple of release parties and paid very close attention to the posts and engagement. And I made some unexpected discoveries:

  • You post, at most, once every 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Some people seem to treat release parties as a chance to outrageously pimp their own books. As in, every post is a link to buying their books with a picture of the cover or covers, with no real description of the books at all. I don’t know if this nets them any sales, but I noticed less interaction with those posts.
  • Facebook has polls. Yeah, I had no idea about this, and apparently they’re only available on event and group pages, because I don’t have the option to create one on either my personal Facebook page or my author page.

Preparation

Armed with some new information, I got to work creating posts. Since I don’t have a book available for sale yet (March 3rd, people *wink*), I decided to go for teasers. Hopefully they would entice people to follow me on various sites and buy my book once it’s available.

I hand lettered some book quotes (if this sounds interesting to you, check out my Instagram for #TeaserTuesdays). I also created the first teaser video for *The Most Special Chosen*, as this seemed like a great place to debut it (and hopefully get some views). And, of course, I had to provide a link to Sonya’s Author Spotlight. A poll (for interaction), giveaway (to get people to stick around until the end of my half hour), and links to my social media accounts rounded out my main posts. And let’s not forget an introduction and thank you post. Those are important, too.

I wrote up all of the posts so I could copy and paste them on the day of the party to avoid wasting time, or suffering from writer’s block. I’m very glad I did, as I edited everything a few times to have the best content possible.

Party Time

As the actual release party got closer, I started looking forward to participating. I expected it to be fun, and I hoped that people would be interested in what I had to post. At 5:20, I sat down at my computer, opened up the document with my posts, kept an eye on the event page, and prepared to have fun and be engaging. I think I succeeded at both.

It was fun to read people’s comments (especially the GIFs) and respond to them in return. And I can’t deny it’s exciting to watch the likes, loves, comments, etc. counts go up. My time went quite a bit faster than I expected it to, and I found myself almost sad when it was over.

I will note that I had a hard time keeping track of when to post things as Facebook shows “Just Now” for a few minutes after posting. My solution was to add time labels to the document where I’d written my posts. That way, I just had to ensure that the current time and the time label matched before I pushed “Post”. It made a big difference, and let me focus on interacting with people

Overall, It was a great experience, and I’m very happy, now, that I accepted Sonya’s invitation. I look forward to joining other release parties in the future.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, taking part in a release party is to gain exposure. And part of that is reviewing what you did and seeing what did and didn’t work. I think for a first time, I did pretty well, and gained about 10 new followers/likes on each of my social media accounts, which I don’t find too shabby.

The poll was (surprisingly) my best performing post, when I go by total interactions (comments, reactions, post interaction, shares, etc.). My giveaway post received the most reactions (17), while the introduction post received the most comments (12). So make of all of that what you will.

A couple side notes to interactive posts. I think everyone will agree that GIF comments are big right now. So I think I’ll look into requesting GIF comments in future posts. Perhaps one of those “pick your answer” posts would be good, too. You know, the ones where you piece together an answer based on your name, birthday, color of your shirt, etc.

My main takeaway from it all is that I should have more interactive posts in the future. I should ask even more questions, and encourage discussions and comments.

That said, do you have any questions for me? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. And if you need an additional participant at your Facebook release party, send me a message.

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Author Spotlight: Lea Carter

Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Today the spotlight is on Silver Sagas author Lea Carter.

Lea Carter header

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of The Seeker's StormI recently released The Seeker’s Storm (book 6).  It (and I) can be found on Goodreads.

How well would you fit in in one of your books?

I’d be a terrible fit.  They’re all busy living in a world where, even with servants, they choose to remain pretty active.  I, on the other hand, am a diehard couch potato.

Would you rather your book(s) be filmed for a movie, or a tv series?

A series of movies, actually.  A single movie or even a single tv series would be too confining for the content.

Do you know how all of your characters look and sound?

No, but I know their hearts.  It’s a little frustrating sometimes, because I know some readers would like more detail as to how they look, what they wear, etc., and I just don’t know right off the top of my head.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in researching your book(s)?

That spiders only have 8-12 eyes.  I could’ve sworn they had dozens!

Do you support the Oxford comma?

Absolutely.  I’m a very literal person and without the correct use of the Oxford comma, some written statements strike me as quite ambiguous.

What’s your Harry Potter House?

I think I’d rather have Mrs. Pigglewiggle’s house.  It’d take a while to get used to living in an upside down house, but children would always be welcome and adventure would never be far away.

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Would you like to know the secret of being able to make a living as an independent author?

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Photo of Lea Carter

Alright, there you have it. You can find more information on Ms. Carter’s books on her website, or her Amazon Author page, or you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you read any of her works? Do you intend to? Do you like fairies? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

I hope you all have a great day!

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Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a “typical” genre or style I write it, although I certainly prefer first person. What I will say, is that I feel as though the story I’ve been working on recently is outside of my comfort zone, and it’s been a good thing to try.

My publisher, Burning Willow Press, has an ongoing anthology series, Crossroads in the Dark. Volume 1: Anthology of Morality and Volume 2: Urban Legends are already available. Volume 3: Monsters Under Your Bed is due out on September 30. Volume 4 is in progress, and I decided to try writing for it.

Zombie Ghost PostI struggled for a while to figure out what to write. I based my first attempt on this tumblr post that popped up on my Facebook feed ages ago.

It didn’t go well. With about 300 words written, realized I didn’t like what I was writing. Determined to make it work, I outlined a few different ideas, and even started writing one of them, but the story just wasn’t going well. I wasn’t willing to try to force something that didn’t want to happen, so I decided to give it up as a lost cause and try to come up with a different idea.

Just when I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to write anything after all, Jim (my fiance) and I had a fun conversation that sparked an idea. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I started writing.

It was slow going at first. I didn’t have a firm plan or vision for the story, and it was unlike anything I’d written before. But I got the intro and the ending written, and didn’t dislike them. I wrote bits as they came to me, and found that ideas flowed easier as I got further into the story. I suppose it shouldn’t really surprise me.

Finally, after a month (a whole month!) I finished the story yesterday. It sits at just over 4,500 words. I gave it to some friends and fellow authors at Burning Willow Press to give it a look. I didn’t want to submit something that people really disliked.

So far, though, it’s been well thought of. Everyone has at least enjoyed the story, which is all I can really ask for with a first draft. I think with a couple more read-throughs, and a bit of polishing, it’ll be ready to submit for consideration.

I definitely think I’d like to try writing outside of my comfort zone even more, as I’m pretty happy with the final story, and it was a fun learning experience. But I don’t know that I want to tackle a deadline-based story again. It’s hard for me to just churn out content.

I’ll certainly keep you all updated on what happens with this story. But for now, wish me luck!

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Author Spotlight: Vanessa M. Thibeault

Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Today the spotlight is on a writer of broken hearts, Vanessa M. Thibeault. Let’s jump right in.

Vanessa Thibeault

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Photo of Vanessa ThibeaultAll of Me, All of You – published in April 2017

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Do you know how all of your characters look and sound?

My characters all have very distinct voices and looks. I talk to them and build them as though they were real people. Sometimes I take characteristics from friends, family and acquaintances, changing and playing with physical characteristics and mannerisms. As I write, the scene becomes like a scene from a movie, playing out in my head or as though I am watching it happen in life. Even when I write in third person, I view my characters from a third person viewpoint.

Do you drink coffee/tea? Do you find you drink more coffee/tea when you’re working on a book?

I drink both but it depends on the day. When I am writing, I tend to stay up later and love a 3pm coffee (and often a couple to start my day with only a few hours of sleep). I drink tea throughout the day and into the evening, but I tend to forget about it and then I find it cold. That’s where the wine comes in!

Does what you’re writing at any given time ever feature in your dreams?

Sometimes I dream of what I am writing, but more accurately, I dream what I’m going to write. Many of my ideas for books and scenes come directly from dreams I have had.

Did you have a security blanket as a child?

I didn’t have a security blanket, but I did have an old Curious George that I found in a barn next to some old dynamite with my parents when I was about 4. He has a red hat and shirt and the words ‘Curious George’ are printed (were printed) in gold lettering on the front. He went everywhere with me and I still have him. He’s sitting on top of the bookshelf behind my desk in my office.

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Why do you write?

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Cover of All of Me All of YouAlright, there you have it. You can find more information on Ms. Thibeault’s books on her website, or her Amazon Author page, or you can learn even more about her on her blog.

Have you read any of her works? Do you intend to? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

I hope you all have a great day!

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The Awesomeness that is Surreal Makeup

I’ll be the first to say that I am not a “girly girl”. Makeup happens maybe once a week. I’m really happy if my nails are all the same length. When I wear dresses, it’s because it’s only one piece to pull out of my closet, rather than two. I’m not necessarily the tomboy that I was as a kid, but I’m still definitely not girly.

I tell you this to give you a bit of context for the rest of this post. So that you understand how impressive it is that I’ve bought so much from Surreal Makeup. And when I say “so much” here is my current collection, and I have four more eyeshadow colors on the way.

Current Surreal Collection

 

Backing up a bit, I discovered Surreal at AwesomeCon 2016. Amanda Baker, the founder, was manning a table alone when I went by. She was so bubbly and colorful that I stopped to check out her stuff. She explained how Surreal is “hypoallergenic, naturally water resistant and cruelty-free mineral” makeup, and was very quick to swatch a few colors on the back of my hand. I was stunned. Finally, I’d come across the super pigmented, vibrant eyeshadows I’d always wanted. And, in some ways even better, they clean up with basic baby wipes; you don’t need makeup remover! They certainly live up to their name. But, my funds at the time were rather limited, so I bought my favorite colors (G. I. Jane, Gorgeous, and Royal) and snagged a card so I could buy more later.

Surreal First Purchase

Let me remind you, makeup rarely happens for me. I just don’t get up early enough to do much, if anything, during the week, and on weekends, I often don’t feel like putting in the effort. But I still bought three jars on the spot. Because these eyeshadows, well, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so, look at them. Just, wow!!! Swatches on the left are on bare skin, swatches on the right are over Surreal primer.

Surreal Swatches

I’d like to point out that a full 5g jar of this stuff will last you forever. Well, ok, it depends on how often you wear makeup. But I usually just put a single color on my lids and call my look done. So for that, I generally up-end the jar and tap it 4-5 times into a palette. Not a whole lot comes out with that, but you certainly get enough to do a full look. So these will last a very long time. And being loose powder, you won’t be introducing bacteria, so no grossness!

After AwesomeCon, I only ended up ordering a couple of the sample pod packs over the course of the year. The sample pods are amazing. You get 1 gram of 5 different products. And you can choose any product they have in stock. ANY product! It’s fabulous! You can try before you commit to a whole jar. They are also REALLY good for travel. So much so that I have some sample sizes of colors I own whole jars of, just so I can travel better. I’ve also noticed that you get an extra goodie or two with the samples you order, which is how I discovered Juicy is an amazing color for work.

In January this year, as I was working on my cosplay for AwesomeCon, I dropped Surreal a line on their Facebook page asking if they’d be back again. I got a quick reply in the affirmative. Happy day! I planned to get the makeup for my cosplay at the show. I also threw away what non-Surreal eyeshadows I had (most of them were very old, as in, I couldn’t remember when I bought them) with every intention of buying Surreal equivalents at the show.

AwesomeCon 2017 rolled around and I made sure to find Surreal’s table on Friday. There were more colors, and more types of products (including black light reactive eyeshadows!!!), but Amanda was still just as lovely and bubbly and colorful.

I’m going to pause a minute to say that it occurred to me the other day that Amanda’s like Luna Lovegood all grown up. A very kind soul, and 100% herself (or at least, that’s how she presents herself to the world, and she’s never seemed anything but completely genuine). And honestly, for me, there’s no better compliment. I’m in awe of people who can be themselves completely. It’s amazing. I hope she doesn’t mind me borrowing her photo.

But back to AwesomeCon…Amanda helped me pick out the right eyeshadows for my punk Tinkerbell costume, and swatched many more colors on the back of my hands. I had to wipe both hands off! Twice! I ended up putting together a nine-shadow palette, plus getting a lip gloss (because it was just so pretty). I really only stopped with those because I was determined to stick to my Con budget. And despite asking to see/swatch a million different colors, Amanda was continuously helpful and enthusiastic, so I didn’t feel like I was being a pain. Instead, I felt like we were bonding over her fabulous products. I even made sure to bring one of my close friends to her booth the next day, because I wanted her to experience how awesome Amanda and Surreal are.

It was shortly after AwesomeCon that I started following Surreal on Instagram, and I was, and still am, amazed at how positive all of the posts are. Every photo that Surreal shares has something good in the comments. When the account shares customer photos, they always include some kind of uplifting compliment. It’s generally a “feel good” feed.

A few weeks ago, Surreal started teasing their new Dragon Scales collection, and I knew I had to have them. I drooled over their fabulous swatches and mixing videos, and even set a reminder for launch day so I couldn’t possibly forget to buy them. I was so eager, that I purchased them before the official announcement, and my post BECAME the announcement on Instagram. *grin*

As an example of how FABULOUS their customer service is, I received an email a couple nights ago from Amanda herself, apologizing that they’ve run out of Hydra Dragon because she’s been unable to return home due to the Hurricane. I’m just happy she’s safe. But I was offered a different eyeshadow in exchange, with Hydra being shipped when she gets back home in October. How totally awesome is that! We then proceeded to have a short email exchange, ending with her suggestion of Cosmic or Hypnotize in response to my question about an intense silver shadow.

Now, just so people don’t say I’m being too positive, I will admit to some difficulties with their primer, although I’m pretty certain it’s user error. It’s a gel-like primer, and I’ve yet to figure out just how much to use so that it holds the shadow without being overly greasy or creasing really bad. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out, or, if I’m smart, I’ll ask Amanda at next year’s AwesomeCon (assuming that she goes again).

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say here, is that if you love bright, highly pigmented eyeshadow, Surreal is, in my opinion, the best choice. For what you’re getting, and how long they last, they are certainly among the least expensive, and you’re buying from an AMAZING person. Just try the sample pods once they’re back in stock. You won’t regret it, really. Even Yaya Han is wearing their stuff. My entire eyeshadow collection is from Surreal, and I have no regrets. Ms. Baker, if you ever happen to read this, know that I love your cosmetics, and you have a customer for life. Keep up the amazing work, it’s very much appreciated. 🙂

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Author Spotlight #10: Andi Lawrencovna

Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Today the spotlight is on the un-Happily-Ever-After Master, Andi Lawrencovna. Let’s jump right in.

Andi Lawrencovna Banner

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of CharmingWell, my first series was about Cinderella…if she were an assassin sent to kill the prince rather than dance the night away. But he’s just too Charming to murder, so she ends up saving his life instead. I wanted to take these classic fairytales I grew up with and give them some power, more impetus. While, I think, grossly generalizing here, that a lot of young girls want that love at first sight, happily ever after, romance, the truth is, relationships take work, and I wanted to give Cinderella and Prince Charming a chance to grow and really become a couple that had its ups and downs and moments of triumphs and sorrows. I wanted to make the fantasy as real to life as possible, you know…if elves really existed and princes and assassins waged war against dwarf empires…

My next book, fingers crossed, will be a really wide play on the Beauty and the Beast mythos. Just saying the name brings back Disney songs and pretty blue dresses, but beasts have pretty faces, and those that are terrifying aren’t always what they seem. I wanted to write a story about getting it wrong, and I think Beauty, who is one of the most beloved fairytale princesses of all time, gets more wrong in her story than we’re often willing to admit, so So Sweet aims to explore that dynamic with a rather Shakespearean edge to it. That should be out sometime later this year.

For more information about me and my writing, check out my website or follow me on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009925094760 and https://www.facebook.com/AndiFracturedFairyTales/.

How well would you fit in in one of your books?

I would die. Actually, I’d probably curl up in the fetal position, suck my thumb, and pray for my mother. If I was lucky, I’d get rescued by some handsome soldier or prince who would teach me swordplay and I’d become a sheep farmer while he went out and fought for the crown until he returned home injured and I nursed him back to health… I haven’t thought of that answer before.

I write stories that I would love to be part of, knowing full well that I am not nearly adaptable enough to actually survive the circumstances I write about. But that’s part of the fantasy, being able to escape into a character’s psyche and pretend I’m some hero even knowing I’m more than likely the jester.

Does what you’re writing at any given time ever feature in your dreams?

All. The. Time.

I love dreaming for that particular reason. It helps me sort out particular scenes that I’m having trouble with, probably because when I’m dreaming about a story, I’m not dreaming about the characters so much as inhabiting one of the character’s bodies/personalities, so I get to live what is happening to them, which I find is really helpful in getting through the blocks. Doesn’t always work, but any time I have a dream about a story, it usually goes well for me. The trouble is, I don’t always dream about the story I’m working on, which is a whole ‘nother issue to deal with.

Did you have a security blanket as a child?

No, but that’s because when my sister was born, my parents gave it to her because she was the baby…

I had a Barbie doll whose hands and feet I used as a chew toy when I was a toddler and whose clothes I often left off her when I took her with me (everywhere). She replaced the security blanket for me, was my best friend, and when I lost her on a plane ride, I seriously cried for like the entire trip we were out of town. I still blame Chicago for stealing my doll nearly 20 years later…

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Oh sheesh, I don’t know. I once asked someone if their character would eat sushi knowing that their narrative was about a medieval highlander fighting for his independence, but I don’t particularly want that question asked about me. Uhm, hmm, well, I suppose:  if your characters stepped into the world, how would they react to meeting their creator?

Because I read that novel once, where the author’s tortured hero managed to find a way to her world and wanted to rampage and fell in love instead…

Cover of The PrinceBut, truth is, I know that I write characters who have relationships with people in their universes, so, while I love them, I wouldn’t want them to fall in love with me because I’ve already done what I could to help them find the people they should be with. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have some choice words or some sharp blades to point against me, probably deservedly too.

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And there you have it. I’m a huge fan of re-writes, and my curiosity about these books has been peaked. You can find more about Andi Lawrencovna on her website, Amazon Author Page, Facebook, Facebook fan page, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads. If you want to be kept up to date with her book news, subscribe to her newsletter.

Have you read any of Ms. Lawrencovna’s books? Do you like “re-writes”. Are you looking forward to her Beauty and the Beast book? It was my favorite movie growing up, so I certainly am. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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Author Spotlight #9: Virginia Alison

Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

Photo of Virginia AlisonToday the spotlight is on well-traveled (seriously, she’s been to, and lived in, a lot of places!) erotica author, Virginia Alison. As you know, I’m not a fan of long introductions, so let’s get started.

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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of A Tear For EternityThe latest book is A Tear for Eternity.com. Based on internet relationships, it is a part fact, part fiction account of Mia and her boyfriend Kip along with a wry account of friends and their escapades on the World Wide Web. As for which part is fact, and which is fiction, remains a mystery, although one of the sequels might unravel the truth.

Available on Amazon and to find out more, go to my biography or check out my web site.

Do you have a favorite book/story among the one’s you’ve written? Why is it so special to you?

Cover of Heaven Scent Book 1My favourite books are my Heaven Scent Series. Six books, based in Texas, tell the story of the Adams clan and their struggle against fate to find love, which, hopefully, waits just around the corner, over the hill…

I based the books on a poem by a cowboy poet. He kindly permitted me to print the poem in the front of the books and having met him and his wife, and to cut a long story short — you can read all about it on my web site — this changed the course of my life forever.

The prequel to the books is due out this year and a third trilogy is already in the making and I am hoping to invest in a screen play in the future for this to become either a film or a series.

Do your characters talk to you?

The characters in the Heaven Scent series do not only talk to me, they are, along with the ranch and surrounding area, right down to the last blade of grass, so ingrained into my soul, I live, eat and breathe them.

If you could have an accent from anywhere in the world, what would it be, and why?

If I had any accent in the world, it would be French. For most of my life I travelled the globe, was schooled in ten countries, spent time in boarding school and graduated in Canada. I am British/Romanian Gypsy, and now live on a little sub tropical speck in the Atlantic Ocean known as Madeira Island but am happiest with a suitcase in my hand. I speak several languages but French is my favourite.

What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Why do you write Erotica?

Nobody ever asks that. Maybe because it is taboo? Although in this day and age I hope we have moved on somewhat as I write Erotica, not porn!

The answer to said question is; Age and experience — I am a bit of a wild woman — have given me a great insight into the seedier side of life and with a wealth of descriptive words, I am passionate about the subject.

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And there you have it. You can learn more about Virginia Alison’s various books on her Amazon page and website. You can also find her on Twitter: @heavenscentser1.

Do you plan to read any of Ms. Alison’s books, or have you read any of them before? What do you think of erotica? Have you ever read any? Leave a comment below and let me know. Speaking from experience, some of it is really good.

If you’d like the spotlight turned on you, send me a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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Stipula Etruria Rainbow Pens Update

Yikes, what a mouthful of a title! Anyway, we’re about a month out from the DC Pen Show, and I’ve been meaning to post an update to my Stipula’s attitude problem and Jim’s pen’s problem.

As you may recall from my post about meeting Brian Goulet, my Stipula was a bit “skippy” when writing (I just considered it had an attitude problem). Jim’s pen suffered from a bit of overuse. While at the DC Pen Show, a lovely gentleman at the Yafa table (Twitter user @stevetweeting pointed out that it was probably Ross) tweaked both of our pens.

Rainbow Prisma 88

I am very happy to report that Prisma is MUCH better behaved now. I don’t have any problem with it skipping now, even when I write quickly. Check out the difference in the before and after. See how smooth and pretty the after writing is. Both are Diamine inks. Tudor Blue from the new anniversary inks on the before page, and Eau de Nil on the after page.

Writing samples before and after my Stipula was adjusted.

It’s certainly a rather wet writer, now. Almost too wet for me, but thankfully it’s still within the “ok” range. It does mean I get some nice shading when I use the right inks.

Rainbow Demonstrator

Jim’s pen, however, seemed to improve for a bit, then get worse again. After a few weeks, he discovered the real problem. It was cracked along one side of the stamped design. I don’t have a picture of the old nib, so I found this one on Google to refer to. Click on it to see the original page.

An example of where Jim's Etruria nib cracked.

Jim filled out a service form (or whatever it is you have to do in order to send your pen to Yafa for servicing), but hadn’t gotten around to sending it in when we went to Bertram’s Inkwell a couple of weekends ago.

After taking a look at the pen, Bert was kind enough to replace the nib, no charge and no questions asked. Can you say someone has earned your business if you’re already a repeat customer? Needless to say, Bertram’s Inkwell jumped up a massive amount of cool points for both of us. And I’m currently waiting for them to let me know my pre-ordered Pilot Vanishing Point Crimson Sunrise is in stock (waiting patiently is SO not my strong suit).

Anyway, (got a bit off track there) Jim’s Rainbow Demonstrator is now a super wet writer, and he’s very happy with it.

So there’s my update on the condition of both of our pens. We’re both delighted with our pens, and have 0 regrets. I’ll leave you now with some pen porn. *wink wink*

Stipula Etruria Rainbow Prisma 88 beauty shot Stipula Etruria Rainbow Prisma 88 beauty shot Stipula Etruria Rainbow Prisma 88 beauty shot

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Friday Reads Schedule Change

Scar assumes the throneHello my Friday Reads readers! I’m sorry to disappoint you, but my Friday Reads schedule is changing.

After 6 weeks of Friday Reads, I’ve come to the realization that a weekly series isn’t sustainable for the long term. So, it is with a heavy heart that I must curtail Friday Reads. *Giggle* Drop me a comment if you’re a Lion King fan.

Seriously, though, I am sorry to cut back on the frequency of my Friday Reads series. However, while I’ve certainly read a ton of books, they haven’t all been important or impactful. I’m trying to keep my Friday Reads important to me. I want to share books with you that I’ve loved enough to read multiple times (at least 3+ times).

Of course, doing so means that I drastically cut down on the number of books I have to write about. So spacing out the posts will let me keep this series going longer. Friday Reads will now be a monthly series, occurring on the first Friday of each month.

What do you think of the new schedule? Are you ok with it? Would you rather I go back to a weekly schedule and just stop the serious when I run out of books? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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