Fountain Pen 101: Paper

Welcome back to Fountain Pen 101. We’re down to the last two issues. This week I’m covering paper.

As a fountain pen user, you’ll have to give thought to what paper you use. You’ll want to make sure you use “good” paper, often referred to as “fountain pen friendly”. This term references paper that “behaves well” with fountain pens, and is, to some degree, personal preference.

In this particular case, it will be easiest to discuss various properties paper is judged on, rather than the paper itself. If you’re only interested in overviews of different paper and notebooks, then feel free to jump ahead to that section below.

Bleedthrough

Bleedthrough is considered a negative trait. As I mentioned before, this is how much an ink bleeds through paper. Particularly “bad” paper will cause bleed-through with nearly every ink, but some ink will bleed through on nearly every paper. Keep in mind that you can make virtually any paper bleedthrough if you lay down enough ink.

Examples of bleedthrough.
An example of minimal (left) and major (right) bleedthrough.

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Review – Death Island

Death Island

by Kelsey Ketch

Death IslandGenres: Historical Fantasy
Release Date: December 31, 2017
Pages: 512
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks | Smashwords
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes of piracy, Meriden Cummings is far from the typical 18th century woman. A social outcast, she works in a carpentry shop in a small village, where the people barely tolerate unconventional behavior.

However, her life takes a turn after a gang of pirates attack her village and her blood reveals an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs leading to Death Island. An island legends say is ruled by the Mayan god of the underworld, Ah Puch. Her great-grandfather had sought after the island before he vanished without a trace. Now, Meriden is about to journey across the sea to understand her family history.

There are only a few problems: her growing feelings toward a mysterious stranger linked to her great-grandfather’s past; a greedy band of pirates after her great-grandfather’s legendary treasure; and a contract she has unwittingly signed in blood with Ah Puch himself.

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Fountain Pen 101: Cleaning & Filling

Welcome back to Fountain Pen 101 and happy Fountain Pen Friday. This week, I’ll be discussing cleaning and filling your pens. However, because videos can explain cleaning WAY better than words ever can, I’ll be linking to videos for a decent portion of this post. I’ll also provide you links to good pen cleaning supplies. NOTE: The prices listed below are in USD and don’t include tax or shipping.

Cleaning is one of the down sides to fountain pens, especially if you can’t disassemble the pen. However, it is vital to preserving the quality and prolonging the life of your fountain pen.

As a rule, you should thoroughly clean your pen every time you change inks or before you store your pen for an extended period of time (think more than 2 weeks without use). If you are simply refilling your pen with the same ink (some people always use the same ink in a specific pen), then you should clean your pen every 1-2 months.

Looking for something specific? Jump around this post with these links: Tap Water vs Distilled Water | Pen Flush | Ultrasonic Cleaner | Good Tools | Cleaning Instruction | Tips & Tricks

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Review – Raindrops on Roses

Raindrops on Roses

by Millenia Black

Raindrops On RosesSeries: Favorite Things, book 1
Genres: Contemporary Romance,Romantic Suspense, Adult
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Pages: 182
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

What happens when his ex just won’t let go?

 Mayfair Island, Florida. Grief-stricken after the sudden loss of her beloved grandmother, an enduring but reclusive Hollywood icon, young Priscilla Bauer finds herself adrift and looking to find solace in the arms of her vast inheritance, when she meets the kind and considerate corporate brand designer, Michael Frost—a drop dead gorgeous beacon of light in her all too dark night.

Falling hard and falling fast, Priscilla has no idea she’s stepped into dangerous territory… someone else has already branded Michael Frost her very own—with no intention of letting him go!

Love. Loss. Jealousy. Vengeance. Passions are high but bitter vengeance gets even higher in this razor-sharp love triangle you won’t forget!

With Raindrops on Roses, the captivating Favorite Things Trilogy takes flight!

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Review – Princess of Draga

Princess of Draga

by Emma Dean

Princess Of DragaSeries: Draga Court, Book 1
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 17th 2017
Pages: 274
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

In the first book of the Draga Court series, Princess Adelina’s coming-of-age party will declare to the worlds she is finally eligible to wed. All she wants is to serve her people and the crown with honor, but when a dangerously attractive prince from another galaxy – one who they all thought was dead – arrives with warnings of monstrosities and war, will her feelings put her in a position where she has to choose between her people and love?

The Draga Court series is a beautiful combination of fantasy and space opera set in a faraway future where humans have altered their genetics to save their species from their destructive natures. Dominance and rank weave a complicated dance among the galaxy’s society where a true submissive has to find her place, and learn the true meaning of power and love.

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Regalia Writing Labs Semiflex Nib Review

If you’ve been reading my Fountain Pen 101 series, you’ve seen a couple of shout-outs to Regalia Writing Labs. Beyond being a genius with nibs, Ralph Reyes, the creator, is a really nice guy.

He offered a limited run of “Full-Flex” nibs a few months ago, and Jim was lucky enough to snag one. It was absolutely amazing. Check out this fabulous flexibility. I wasn’t even putting much pressure on it.

Full Flex Writing Sample

So when Ralph announced a Semiflex nib was coming, I turned on post and story notifications for his Instagram account and eagerly awaited the star of the sale. I was lucky. I got my hands on a nib, as did Jim. It took a while, but our nibs finally arrived on Monday.

Semi-Flex Nib Packaging

Ralph did an amazing job with the packaging. I felt like I was getting a piece of jewelry. And I loved the custom seal.

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Fountain Pen 101: Ink Reservoirs

Last week I covered ink, this week I’m covering it’s holders, namely ink reservoirs. The reservoir is what makes a fountain pen a fountain pen. Without one, it would be a dip pen. Essentially, there are two categories of ink reservoirs: removable and built-in.

The ratings you’ll find below are averages and based on my opinions. Each pen is different, and every person has different preferences, so don’t discount a pen just because of a rating; research it first. Ink capacity is rated ★☆☆☆☆ (least capacity) to ★★★★★ (most). Ease of cleaning is specifically for cleaning the reservoir itself, not the entire pen, and is assuming you do not disassemble the pen at all (e.g. removing the nib unit).

If you want video instructions or step-by-step photo instructions of how to utilize some of these ink reservoirs, check out these guides: JetPens | Goulet Pens

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Review – Sweet Obsession

Sweet Obsession

by A.M. Salinger

Sweet ObsessionSeries: Night Series, Book 4
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance, Erotica
Release Date: April 17th 2018
Pages: 101
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

He is the one person I love more than life itself. The one person I will do my utmost to protect. The one person I can never touch — Luke

He is the only one I have ever wanted. The only man I would ever need for as long as I breathe. But he doesn’t love me. No, he hates me —Ash

Ash Colby wants nothing more than to free himself of the man who broke his heart the night he turned seventeen. But when Luke Rutherford, his former guardian and heir of Rutherford Industries, forces him to move from his quiet college life in Stanford to the other side of the world, Ash snaps and decides to confront Luke about their past.

Luke has loved Ash since he was a child and been in love with him for over half a decade. Having protected Ash from the woman who wanted to hurt the young Colby heir in the past, Luke must act swiftly in order to keep Ash safe from harm once more. But when his bold move backfires on him, Luke must face the consequences of the decision he took on the night Ash turned seventeen.

Will Ash forgive Luke when he discovers the truth behind the terrible act he witnessed five years ago? And as the walls Luke had erected to protect Ash from his lust come crumbling down around him, will he overcome his guilty conscience and finally admit his true feelings for Ash?

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Mistakes Were Made: Book Blogging

If you follow my blog, you’ve noticed a significant upswing in book blogging posts. This won’t be permanent. I’m actually planning to pare it down to one a week. But in diving into book blogging, I made mistakes. So I’m writing this to help anyone interested in diving into the world of book blogging. Okay, that’s getting annoying, let’s just call it BB.

Scheduling

The most important thing to keep in mind is scheduling. Keep track of EVERYTHING for which you sign up. And make sure you can keep track of what you have planned for any given week.

I use two separate schedules. I have single-month calendars in my notebook. It’s useful for me to see, at a glance, which days have something scheduled. I also keep a color-coded Google spreadsheet with relevant details that gives me a quick look at the status of various posts. My scheduling methods may be inadequate or over complicated for you, but make sure you have something to keep track of your post schedule. If you choose to have a written schedule, I highly suggest working in pencil or erasable ink.

When you’re scheduling BB content, keep in mind the amount of time it will take you to read the book (if you’re doing a review). Amazon has page counts listed, which can be helpful for planning. Don’t overbook yourself by falling into the “ooh! free books!” trap.

Assume you’ll get approved for everything, especially if you’re signing up for reviews. You MAY end up with less content than you planned on, but at least you won’t be stressed trying to manage everything.

Keep track of what has to be a top post. If you schedule more than one post a day, make sure they don’t both/all need to be the top post.

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Cover Reveal – Monster’s Best 2019

Monster’s Best 2019

Anthology

Monsters Best 2019

Genres: Non-fiction, fiction, anthology
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Cover Design: Monster House Books
Pre-Order: Amazon

Monster House Books publishes a compilation of short stories featuring fierce females. Our 2019 edition includes new stories by best selling authors Christina Bauer, Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, and Majanka Verstraete! Plus, we’re searching through hundreds of new author submissions in order to select a handful of the most creative and compelling short stories to add in to the mix. To have your work considered for the 2019 edition of MONSTER’S BEST, please send your short story (50 pages or less) to info@monsterhousebooks.com.

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