How I Got My Grail Pen

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about the DC Pen Show and shared my favorite fountain pen story: how I got pen #19 of 88 of the Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 limited edition. It’s been my favorite pen story every since, but it has now been dethroned by the story I’m sharing with you today. Allow me to tell you the full story behind my acquisition of my grail pen.

Stipula Leonardo da Vinci olive wood
Stipula Leonardo da Vinci olive wood limited edition (photo from Rakuten). Photo modified to be more true to life.

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Fountain Pen 201: Pen Shows

Welcome to Fountain Pen 201! You’ve bought a few pens, some bottles of ink; basically, you’ve jumped head first into the fountain pen rabbit hole. So what’s next? I expect Fountain Pen 201 to be roughly the same length as Fountain Pen 101, so if you enjoyed that, make sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss an issue of 201.

For this inaugural issue of Fountain Pen 201, I’d like to discuss pen shows. I’ve been to two so far, the Washington D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow in August of last year, and the Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show this past March. I’ll be at the DC pen show again next week, and am very much looking forward it.

For those completely new to pen shows, they’re basically pen conventions. You’ll find a huge selection of fountain pens, paper, inks, etc. If you have an opportunity to go to one, I highly suggest you do so. Check out the schedule of pen shows at the end of the article.

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Review – Unshackled

Unshackled

by Rachael Stewart

UnshackledGenres: Erotica, Suspense, Thriller
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Pages: 190
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboSmashwords
My Rating: ★★★★★

A rich girl sick of doing her stepdad’s bidding. A young woman submitting to the same man for financial security. Can they escape his sadistic clutches and finally find true love?

22-year-old Abi Taylor is sick of being used as a puppet by her overbearing, money-hungry stepfather. Wealthy life or not, she wants out—the only question is how? But then her stepfather’s latest fiancée Emma shows up and Abi’s life is turned on its head.

She is inexplicably drawn to Emma. Their fierce attraction leaves her confused and vulnerable, but she soon realizes it’s the least of her problems as she is pulled into her stepfather’s corrupt and sadistic world where betrayal is rife, family means nothing, and sex is everything. Abi knows she needs to escape the man who controls her every move, but can she break free and keep it all—the money, her freedom and the girl?

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People With Pens: Cameron Yorke

Fountain Pens – My lifelong love affair

fountain pen

Fountain pens, to me, are the epitome of style and class. A page of written prose looks so much more elegant when written with a nib, no matter what width, style, type or colour.

My first experience goes back to the age of eight when I received my first fountain pen at primary school, with which, back then, it was compulsory to learn to write. My first attempts at mastering handwriting with a fountain pen were dismal to say the least, and I still have memories of huge ink blots all over my initial exercise book pages, of which no amount of blotting paper could clean up.

Being left-handed it was doubly difficult for me as my hand would rub across the page, following the written word, meaning I would invariably end the day with smudged words and an inky left palm. I very quickly learnt to angle my book, positioning my hand above my work so as to at least leave something legible at the end of the day.

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Review – Knights Who Broke My Heart

Knights Who Broke My Heart

by Sonya Jesus

Knights Who Broke My HeartSeries: Knights, Book 3
Genres: Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 19, 2018
Pages: 320
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

They were out to break my heart…

Amelia finally figures out exactly who her heart wants, and she is determined to go for it. She is willing to give the knight who stole her heart everything. She owns up to her mistakes and truly attempts to change, but just because her mind is made up, doesn’t mean her love is reciprocated. Will she choose the best-friend who learned her by heart, or the soccer god who ignored her for the longest time? One of them will win her heart, the other will break it… But neither of them are safe from the guy who will stop at nothing to protect her.

Murder isn’t something Hawk shies away from. Actually, he prefers to use it as a last recourse, but he’s unraveling. The closer Amelia gets to achieving happiness, the more his control disintegrates. And when one of his carefully laid plans turns on him, he loses it. Realizing he’s the reason behind Amelia’s attack, plagues him with guilt. In all his attempts to protect her, he was the one who put her in danger- a failure he isn’t willing to have looming over him… But what happens when his Queen fails him in ways she can never take back?

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Review – When Life Gives You Demons

When Life Gives You Demons

by Jennifer Honeybourn

When Life Gives You DemonsGenres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Demons
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Pages: 272
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Some people have school spirit.

Shelby Black has real ones.

Shelby Black has spent the past six months training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy―a Catholic priest―has put her through exorcist boot camp hell, hoping to develop her talent, but ohmygod, he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity to herself. The last thing she wants is for her crush, Spencer, to find out what she does in her off time.

But Shelby knows how to keep a secret―even a big one. Like the fact that her mom left under mysterious circumstances and it’s all her fault. Shelby is hellbent on finding her mom, no matter what it costs her―even if what it ends up costing her is her soul AND a relationship with Spencer.

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People with Pens: Wendy Van Camp

Fountain Pens in the Creative Process

I love fountain pens.  Sometimes I think I’m the ambassador for using these pens in life.  I’ve introduced them to my friends, to my husband, and to many of the writers in my circle.  Making converts everywhere I go.  What is so great about them?  Well, for me, they not only make the writing I do easier, but they help me when planning my short stories and novels.

I discovered the fountain pen back in 2013.  At that time, fountain pens were not cool.  To use one invited stares and derisive comments.  The pens drew me because my cursive writing had fallen into disuse and was unreadable.  I took up journaling to counteract this, reasoning that if I wrote one entry a day in cursive, my penmanship would improve.  The more I wrote with the ballpoints, the more my hand cramped.   I googled about writing and learned that fountain pens need not press onto the page as you write. You hold them at an angle that is more comfortable for the hand.  You could write more words and for a longer time with a fountain pen than with a ballpoint.  I had to try it.

The inexpensive Chinese model I bought to find out if I would like writing with a fountain pen was easy to write with.  I loved the feel of the pen in my hand, the myriad of ink colors to choose from, and that I could select different nibs to change the way my words looked on the page.  I went from using a standard medium nib to a fine nib and to an italic nib, which is a smoother version of a calligraphy stub nib.  It was fun!  I became hooked on the pens as a hobby.

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Review – Magic Born

Magic Born

by Rayanne Haines

Magic BornSeries: The Guardian, Book 2
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Magic, Adult
Release Date: June 6, 2018
Pages: 258
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Maria Del Voscova is a powerful witch with a past. When she’s asked to become a member of the elite Guardians she knows she can’t risk sharing the truth about her messed-up family. But we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes, we don’t always know what we want.

Though Mar absolutely knows she doesn’t want Neeren, King of the Parthen. She alone sees the darkness in him and it reminds her too much of the past. She knows better than to fall for his stoic, tortured soul façade.

She’s training to be a Guardian, a shadow; tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world. It’s what she wants—to be better than her family was.

But the past has a way of catching up to Mar and the future has a morbid sense of humor. On her first mission, she’s kidnapped by the enemy she’s been running from her entire life. Thankfully the guardians look after their own. As it turns out, so does Neeren.

As Mar finds herself caught between the past and the future; between blood and bond; between the light and the dark, she realizes her only chance at surviving may be in trusting a man who is the most dangerous of them all.

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Review – Wait, You Did What?

Wait, You Did What?

by T.A. Moorman

Wait, You Did What?Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Adult
Release Date: July 8, 2018
Pages: 85
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Justine had the job of her dreams, the best parents in the world, and a brother she more than just tolerated. The one thing she gave up on was finding love. She didn’t need that to be happy, right? In helping her brother pull off his own last-minute wedding, Justine may be in for a surprise of her own, and find love had been right there in her face the entire time.

Chase has been in love with Justine for as long as he can remember. What started off as a boyhood crush only grew as she blossomed into the woman she is today. The problem? She’s his best friends sister, and he knows that’s not something she’ll be willing to look past. But with the right timing and more than a little bit of luck, he just might get the girl of his dreams.

Join in on Justine and Chase’s adventure of love, laughter, and limousines in a romantic comedy that will make you believe in love all over again.
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Book Blitz – Summer Heat

Summer Heat Tour Banner

Summer Heat Charity Anthology

by Rachel de la Fuente, A. E. Gamrat, Sonya Jesus, Cam Johns, Linny Lawless, and Sophia Peony

Summer Heat Book Mockup

Benefitting Charity: Global Fund for Women
Genres: Anthology, Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Adult
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Purchase From: Amazon

With temperatures rising, the sizzling stories of Summer Heat will have you needing a dip in the pool. We’re turning up the heat and you’re going to be damp in more ways than one.

Second chance romance, star crossed lovers, a sexy vampire, an irresistible bad boy, dark secrets, and then some? There’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Grab a cold drink, come get down and dirty, and make this summer extra hot with Summer Heat.

Summer Heat is dedicated to all the strong and sexy women around the world. Yes, you, too! The proceeds of this anthology will be donated to the Global Fund for Women.

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