Monday, December 3, 2018

Meet the Author - ROUND TWO!

CONGRATS to SE White, who won a copy of STRICKEN in a random drawing today!

Today was my second MEET THE AUTHOR in Book Carousel, and although it started slow, it picked up and was going full tilt by the time my hour was up.  We had a few "Name Generators" and a Four Word Story rolling, and I shared photos of my mom and mother in law, each holding their paperback copies of Stricken.

THANK YOU AGAIN to eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies for having me! It was fun!

I'm unsure when my next round will be, but it will be sometime in the new year. I have to get on the ball more with actual writing and the dreaded EDITS and REVISIONS (GAG!) before I do any more public appearances. I think people are getting sick of seeing me give away copies of that book, it's time for new things to show up...

I'm finally going to answer a question I've been asked a lot lately:

What are you working on now?

I have FOUR projects currently on the go, in various stages of writing and editing.

Two are currently being drafted - a short story, and one that I hope will be novel length. I'm bouncing back and forth between them. The subject is ROMANCE... Duh! However, only my betas, a few trusted friends, and a few of my fellow authors and editors at eXtasy Books/Devine Destinies know the nitty gritty of my work, and it will stay that way until we deem it's okay to start sharing a bit more. I need titles for both, so I'll definitely be brainstorming with the gang.

I also have two finished drafts that are currently being overhauled. They had been written before I got on with eXtasy Books, so they need to be formatted to the way they want the pages, and other items that's required of a book published by them and Devine Destinies. It's a lot of work, I made a lot of mistakes in both, and they are full of JUNK. So far, the one lost over 20 K, it was all passive scenes and nonsense. Let's keep it simple! *wink!*

On that note, I should shut up and get back to work.... These stories do not sell themselves, you have to network, talk to other authors, give away free copies now and then, and promote, promote, PROMOTE yourself until you turn blue... And promote yourself some more!!!

Have a great week everyone! Don't forget that eXtasy Books has their STOCKING STUFFERS available starting DECEMBER 8th! My friend LYNN MICHAELS has her story "A Frostbite Christmas" coming out on Sunday, December 9th - GET IT! I dare you!!!

I leave you with my favorite song by GODSMACK, "Voodoo".


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Writer's Tag: Look I'm Legit with Tags and Everything Now!

The Writer's Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen as a fun way to connect with other writers, and help us get to know each other better.

I have been tagged by my friend and fellow eXtasy Books author Lynn Michaels. Check out her blog and website at RUBICON WRITING.



Name one novel that inspired you to write.

Ooh, good question. I've been writing on and off since my grade four teacher, Mrs. Hache, gave me high marks and a lot of praise for my raw skills as a nine-year-old, so it's really hard to pinpoint one book.

One book that is a huge influence on me is "The Handmaid's Tale" by fellow Canadian Margaret Atwood. It's one of my favorites to this day. Another one is "Carrie" by Stephen King. 

What's your favorite genre to write and read?

I love writing romance stories. There's just something about that happily ever after that makes my heart sing for joy. I've been reading romance since I was eleven years old, and it's my favorite genre to read too. Although I won't turn down a great psychological thriller! 

Do you prefer to write standalone or series?

At the moment, I prefer writing standalone stories because I think I need to practice and hone my writing skills a lot more before I attempt a series. I do have one in the ideas file, so I'm not saying I'll never write one... It's just not feasible for me at the moment.

Use three words to describe yourself.

Goofy, positive, and fun.

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting.

This is a tough one. Normally I'm pretty closed mouthed about my current MSIPs, or even the finished first drafts, so this is a first for me. 

July 2017, Lunenburg, NS.

That's all I'm saying. 

How long did your first MS take to draft?

The first one I sent out - titled "No Regrets" at the time - took about 2 years from initial idea to actually typing "THE END" in the file, due to real life happening. I only work part time (2 days a week, tops) due to having a special needs son, a husband that works odd hours, and its length - over 207 K. 

However, it was rewritten from scratch in 2015, in less than three months. It was published by eXtasy Books on March 17, 2017, with a last minute name change to "STRICKEN"... So in reality, it was close to 7 years between the first words written and actual publication. 

I wrote another story with the working title "Away to Me" in about 14 weeks from initial idea to typing "THE END" in Draft One, writing one or two days a week. It tipped the scales at less than 90 K, and yes, it got rejections. It's currently in the "maybe publish in the future" folder.

Who is your author idol?

That's a tough one. There are so many amazing authors out there, it's hard to choose! I love so many. I'll have to go with K.L. Slater on this one. She's so bloody brilliant with her out-of-left-field turn on a dime in her psychological thrillers. I love her writing, it's so delightfully twisted!

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

It was the last rejection for "No Regrets" before it was given its complete overhaul. A kind editor sat down and took the time to tell me what I was doing wrong, and ways to improve my raw skills as an author. By then I had plenty of rejections for it, but could not understand why, until her rejection note. I was going to give up until I saw the line about "unfortunately" being unable to offer a contract at that time - that came with an invitation to submit another, better written and edited story in the future. 

I owe my writing career to that amazing editor (who was one of the best in the business at the time). If she hadn't given me a few tips, I would have probably self published it, and my career would have been over before it started. I thank that woman every time I see someone mentioning my book, or even my pen name. She is one amazing lady who knows her stuff!

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself. 

I'm a huge fan of the Canadian drama "North of 60" (aired between 1992 and 1998 with 5 made for TV movies).

Share the hardest part of being a writer and how you overcame it.

I have a hard time putting myself out there. I hate being in the spotlight even for a few minutes, because I'm so shy in real life. When you're an author, you have to be in the public arena, no matter how much you hate it. You have to promote yourself. I have a background of promotion thanks to one of my former employers, but I prefer promoting other people's work, not my own. I was taught that promoting yourself is "bragging", and it's tough to get past that part of myself. Thanks to help from a few friends, and everyone at eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies, I'm starting to come out of the shell more, and put myself out there. I had a run of "Meet the Author" last week, and instead of falling flat on my face (as I had predicted), it was a lot of fun, and a hit! It's little things like that which keep me going.

What's your favorite social media, and why? Share your link.

As an author, it's BOOK CAROUSEL, the Facebook group for eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies authors to have fun with and interact with their readers. There are a lot of great people in there, and a lot of silly things happen. I love it in there!

For personal fun, it's mostly cat pages, like Cole & Marmalade, and big cat rescues like Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota. I adore the residents of the Tuxedo Party of Canada Cat Welfare Society - Earl Grey should be Prime Minister of Canada!



Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

(For aspiring authors...)

Never stop writing. Never give up.

I hereby nominate:


Ellen Boyd

(Have a great week everyone!)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Author Spotlight: Lynn Michaels

Good morning everyone! Today, we're focusing our spotlight on author LYNN MICHAELS, who has a Stocking Stuffer (short story) coming out with eXtasy Books on December 9th, titled, "A Frostbite Christmas". Thank you for being here, Lynn! It's an honor to have you do a guest spot. ♥

Please give her a warm welcome, and don't forget to check out her amazing stories! 



****



Author BIO:

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she’s not writing she’s kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don’t follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.

Her newest release is A Frostbite Christmas, part of the eXtasybooks.com Stocking Sutffers series and is due out December 9th. #ComingSoon



A Frostbite Christmas is about an established couple who are challenged by supernatural elements. In that vein, yes, it's a paranormal story. However, it's also quite symbolic of how any couple may be challenged from time to time by outside forces. What will they hold on to in the end?

The inspiration for this story was very much how can I twist the character of Jack Frost up a bit. He's not a nice guy in this story, but underneath all the frozen layers, he's not really that much different than anyone else. He wants love and warmth...but can he have it?

The couple's narrative is limited to Teddy's point of view. He's a creative and slightly flighty guy, married to a solid, responsible man. They have a quiet, happy life, but perhaps it's Teddy's ambitions for more that take them down the wrong path. 

Overall, it's a short and fun holiday story, but it leaves the reader with much to think about beyond the entertaining aspects. I hope it's enjoyed by many! 

Merry Christmas!
~Lynn Michaels

BLURB:
Guard your heart, or Jack Frost will freeze it.
Jack Frost is all about the freezing cold, and he not only wants to freeze the earth, but he also wants to freeze people's hearts. When he sees two lovers kissing under the mistletoe, he vows to split them up. Teddy and his husband, Kirk, are still in love. Will they let a little frost come between them?
Excerpt:
Kirk wrapped his arm around Teddy’s side and pulled him closer. “You smell good.”
“The whole house smells good.” Peppermint and holly permeated the living room from the candles he’d lit earlier.
“I smell that, but it’s you I want to eat up.” He licked under Teddy’s earlobe, making him squirm.
“Stop.” He swatted playfully at Kirk’s arm. They could play the scene over a million times, and it would never get old.
“Mm…I’ll stop.”
“No. Don’t stop.”
Kirk chuckled. “Make up your mind, Pupo.”
Teddy loved it when Kirk called him that. It was Italian for baby, but it meant more than any generic baby ever could as far as pet names went. Teddy practically purred as he wiggled his backside against Kirk.
For a few minutes, they settled in, Teddy loving the warmth of Kirk’s body behind him and the tree lights blinking in front of them. The holiday scent surrounded them in warmth like an invisible blanket. Teddy couldn’t be happier.
“Hey, can I ask you something?” Kirk interrupted his lovely peace.
“Sure, hun.”
“So…” He ran his fingers through Teddy’s hair. “Who was that guy?”
“What guy?” Teddy closed his eyes, enjoying Kirk’s ministrations.
“That Jack guy.”
“Oh. One of your employees, maybe? He said he knew you.”
“Yeah? I don’t know. As an instructor, I have a lot more people in front of me, but the class only has me. They all remember me a lot easier than I can remember all of them, but…”
“But what?”
“I think I’d remember Jack. He was, uh, distinctive.”
Teddy suspected Kirk was a bit jealous. “Mmm.”
“What he’d want? I mean—”
“He was being sociable, then asked me about helping him with a party. That’s all.”
Kirk grunted.
“What’s that mean?”
“Nothing.”
Teddy waited.
“He was flirting with you. I didn’t like him.”


Be sure to follow on social media to find A Frostbite Christmas, updates, and more:

 Lynn’s Loonie Bin - Facebook Readers Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1988082144545498/



BookBub:  Lynn Michaels








Regards,

Lynn Michaels
MM Romance Author


Monday, November 19, 2018

Meet the Author - Round ONE!

Today, I did my first ever Meet the Author in Book Carousel - the Facebook group for eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies authors to interact and meet their fans.

It was freaking AWESOME!

I had so much fun! I did the introductory post, posted two contests including captioning a photo of Marnie's fluffy tush, and talked about different things related to STRICKEN and how long it took me to write it and get it published. 

My only gripe is that my co-host/fluffy writing pal Marnie decided that snoozing on the cot upstairs was preferable to helping me host a takeover. (Read: shoving her fluffy butt in my face while I'm typing!)


The hour I was hosting it flew by so fast! Everyone in there so sweet and welcoming... I met a number of amazing new people, and I hope to see them the next time I do a takeover!

CONGRATS to CONNIE EVANS, KATHRYN McGONGAGLE, and DENISE SCHMIDT! All of you won copies of my first book, STRICKEN! Thank you all for participating in the fun, it was lovely meeting all of you! ♥

My next round of MEET THE AUTHOR in Book Carousel is on DECEMBER 3, 2018 at 11 a.m. EASTERN (NOON Atlantic, 8 a.m. Pacific). I hope to see all of you there!

THANK YOU to everyone in Book Carousel and at eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies for having me, as well as to everyone who participated in the games and contests. It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do my next takeover!

Have a lovely evening everyone. ♥

Tonight, I leave you with a song that means a lot to me. It always brings up my mood, because it reminds me that I *can* go on even when my pain is at its highest or I'm so depressed that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't visible to me. 

Don't Stop Dancing, by one of my favorite bands of all time, CREED.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

My First....

There are a lot of great things happening right now in my little corner of southern Canada...

First of all, I am extremely proud to announce that my *first ever* guest spot on someone else's blog went LIVE this morning! I did an interview with the sexiest real estate agent alive, Ewan Campbell from STRICKEN for my friend Maggie Blackbird's blog. Check it out!


THANK YOU MAGGIE for doing this! It was so much fun!

(Don't forget to get a copy of her first book, BLESSED!)

Another first is coming up for me, and although I'm terrified I'm going to fall flat on my face, I'm coming out of my shell even more next week...

I am doing my FIRST EVER Meet the Author - online or otherwise - in BOOK CAROUSEL, which is the Facebook group for eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies readers to mingle with and get some insight and extras from their favorite eXtasy and Devine Destinies authors. It's happening on NOVEMBER 19, 2018 at 10 a.m. Eastern (7 a.m. Pacific, 11 a.m. Atlantic) and I will be taking over BC for ONE HOUR. I have a lot of stuff planned, from a few games to even a contest for a digital copy of STRICKEN. 

Meet the Author events are so much fun, and you can learn (and share) a lot about your audience or the author themselves in that short amount of time.

You have to be a member of BOOK CAROUSEL to join in the fun. Do a search for it in Facebook, and ask to join. Simple!

I'm also writing again, but more on that another day.

Once again, THANK YOU MAGGIE for hosting me! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2018

An Interview with Darryl Keejik by Maggie Blackbird

Hello everyone! Today is THE day that I host my first guest blogger on Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed... My longtime friend, and now fellow author at eXtasy Books, the lovely and talented Maggie Blackbird!




Her first book, "Blessed" was released on June 29, 2018, and it tells the story of Darryl Keejik and Emery Matawapit, teenage lovers that were torn apart, and are reunited ten years later.




Today, Maggie is interviewing one of the two heroes - Darryl Keejik - about his relationship with Emery.

Blessed is available in most e-book formats at eXtasy Books. Follow the instructions for downloading it to your preferred app or device.

If you would like to visit Maggie's website, the link to it is in my links to the left of my blog entries. She hosts her own blog there, and has been having a lot of authors do guest spots. You have to check it out, she has a lot of wonderful people on there!

Thank you for this amazing interview, Maggie. Over to you!


*****


I’ll be interviewing Darryl Keejik.  He’s one of the heroes from Blessed, a m/m, multi-cultural, contemporary romance that takes place at Ottertail Lake, a remote Ojibway community in Northwestern Ontario.

Maggie Blackbird:  Darryl, tell us how you first romanced Emery as teenagers before the relationship fell apart, resulting in your ten-year estrangement at the beginning of the novel.

Darryl Keejik:  I wouldn’t say I romanced Em.  More like I gave him proper respect.  I treated him right and listened to what he had to say.  His parents never took the time to listen to him.  They only wanted to hear him spout the usual crap that the son of a deacon should say.

Maggie Blackbird:  What would you get Emery on Valentine’s Day?

Darryl Keejik:  We weren’t a Valentine’s Day sort of couple.  To me, every day with Em was Valentine’s Day, a chance to do something special together.  Being simple guys from the rez, and having to hide our feelings, we spent a lot of time in the bush hiking, hunting, camping, or in the winter we checked our trap lines.  That was the perfect time to tease him, flirt, enjoy a kiss or two.

Maggie Blackbird:  Did you ever buy Emery anything special?

Darryl Keejik:  *chuckles*  We didn’t go to the city very often, and that’s where you buy presents ’cause the Northern Lights Store isn’t the place you wanna shop for your sweetheart.  When Em’s parents did head off on the plane, that was the perfect “alone” time for us.  Mind you, his older brother or older sister would watch the house.

We weren’t the movie-romance kind of couple.  We were teenagers.  Teenaged boys aren’t the most romantic people.  Romance, to us, was in the thoughtful gestures.  If Emery was tired after we’d been out on the lake fishing, I’d haul in the skiff, fillet the fish, basically do all the work so he could rest.  To me, that’s more romantic than flowers and chocolate.

Romance is in the respect, gestures, and thoughtfulness you give the one you love.  Anyone can buy flowers, chocolates, and presents.

Maggie Blackbird:  Fair enough.  What do you think is the most romantic dinner one can cook for their significant other?

Darryl Keejik:  There’s a great deck on the house that overlooks the river.  I’d grill steaks on the barbecue, make sure and bake a blueberry pie, and raid the garden for some fresh vegetables.  Dinner isn’t so much about what’s cooked.  It’s how you serve it and the atmosphere you create.  Candles.  A nice view of the moonlight on the river.  Soft music.  And my undivided attention at the table.

Maggie Blackbird:  What about romantic gifts?

Darryl Keejik:  Again, that kind of stuff is overrated.  I’d leave coupons around!

Maggie Blackbird:  Coupons?

Darryl Keejik:  Sure.  The “with every purchase kind…” Such as if you do the dishes, I’ll be sure to give you a massage that night.  If you cook dinner, I’ll be sure to wash the dishes, wash the floors, and do the laundry that weekend.  If you clean the tub, I’ll be sure to groom you from top to bottom—I mean besides washing, the whole buffing, nail-clipping, you name it kind of deal.

Maggie Blackbird:  What was one of the most romantic moments you spent as a couple.

Darryl Keejik:  At the powwow.  I dance.  Em, being a hard-core Catholic, never participated.  He’d watch in the grandstands.  When he watched me, I always danced harder and faster ’cause he had that way of getting under my skin.

I’m a northern traditional dancer.  I was re-enacting a hunt.  Emery became the one I hunted.  Although our relationship had grown sexual, I was hunting his heart.  He knew what I was doing because he moved from the grandstands and stood on the outside of the circle where I danced.  I came for him, raised my arrow at his heart, and drew back the bow string.  I had his heart in my sight.  I danced faster, crouching and peering.  I released the arrow.  When I looked up with the final thump of the drum and wail of the singers, he stood there wide-eyed, face paler than normal, clutching his chest, fear in his eyes.  I knew the tip of my arrow had pierced its mark.  Everything faded to the background.  He was the only person there, and I, the only person for him.  I stalked from the circle.  His face was shiny, sweating, hand over his mouth.  I motioned at him to follow me so I could change out of my regalia.  We left on the four-wheeler to be alone.  I knew at that moment Creator had made him for me.  I was eighteen at the time.

Maggie Blackbird:  I guess that’s why you were so hurt when you became estranged.

Darryl Keejik:  Very hurt.  I offered him my love, and he didn’t take it.

Maggie Blackbird:  I can understand why your story plays out the way it does in the novel.  Here’s hoping you two can reconcile your differences.

Darryl Keejik:  *saying noting and simply looks away*

Logline:  A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.
Blurb:  It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man.  In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered:  the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery.  No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his new-found power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home.  But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery.  Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life:  please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
An erotic spiritual journey…





Excerpt

Darryl hung up the phone. He checked off another item on his to-do list. Not bad for a Monday morning. This left him with six more calls to make and a report to submit. First, he’d refill his coffee and enjoy a toasted English muffin.
“You must be proud of your boy. We’re all proud of him.” From the hallway, an old woman’s teasing voice carried into Darryl’s office. “I’m glad he’ll be here for the summer.”
Everyone must have gathered in the reception area to talk. The waiting room at the band office resembled the diner, a place for people to drink coffee while helping them-selves to the muffins from the staff room. Darryl would join them. Someone always had a funny story to tell.
“I’m looking forward to it. Emery’s flying in at two. Maria and I are meeting him at the airport.” Pride filled Deacon Matawapit’s words.
Halfway out of his chair, Darryl froze. The reserve was Emery’s home. A visit was expected. Darryl squeezed the handle of the mug he held and sank in the chair. The news shouldn’t surprise him, nor should he give a damn. Then why was his heart pumping faster than a deer outrunning a wolf pack?
Heels clicked against the floor. As each step grew closer, his stomach flipped and flopped.
“Hello there.” Deacon Matawapit stood in the doorway, wearing his collar, of all things. He must have come from weekday Mass. “Do you have a moment?”
Darryl was no fool. The Matawapits hadn’t bothered with even a How are you doing? when he’d returned, all because he stopped hiding his sexual orientation. Roy had probably blabbed about their conversation this weekend to the deacon. “I was about to grab another coffee. I’ve been busy since I got here. No rest for the wicked.” Since that’s what you think I am.
Although Deacon Matawapit’s lips formed into a smile, his dark eyes never brightened. “It won’t take long.” He cleared his throat. “How are you? I failed to congratulate you on your success running for band council.”
Yeah, and I bet you didn’t vote for me. “I’m fine. How are you?” Their conversation resembled a scripted TV show.
“I’m always well after morning Mass.” The deacon drew in his cheeks. “I assume you heard the news when I was in the hallway.”
“Emery’s returning?” If Darryl was supposed to show enthusiasm, the good man had presumed wrong.
“Yes. He’s in flying in today.”
“That’s nice.” Why bother giving details? It was time for Darryl to end the small talk before the deacon launched into his true intentions. “Sounds like you got a lot on your plate, too.” He held up his mug and in his firmest voice, said, “I have six more phone calls to make and a report to finish. If you’ll excuse me...”
Deacon Matawapit’s jaw tightened, which was typical of a man unaccustomed to being opposed. Everyone obeyed his orders, especially his youngest son.
“Of course.” The deacon’s voice was as lukewarm as the coffee Darryl held. “Enjoy your day.”
Seriously? After the bomb he’d dropped in Darryl’s lap? He forced a smile. “Thanks. You, too.”


About the Author:  An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Buy Links:
Amazon Buy Links:  Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au
Other Buy Links:  Kobo | eXtasy Books | Nook | Smashwords | Google
Find Maggie:  Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Linked In | BookBub

Thursday, November 1, 2018

STRICKEN: Official Facebook Fan Page Launch, and A Surprise!

It's true!

STRICKEN has its own official Facebook fan page

I've been trying to find new ways to promote it, and after Amber's passing this past August, I just haven't felt up to promoting it much, or doing much else as an author.

Until now. 

One of my best friends suggested I make a page for my book, since other authors do it. I had thought only the big names did it, so I had never thought about doing it myself. However, the more I thought about it, the better I liked it.

The page was set up less than 2 hours after LLM's suggestion, and I was rushing to get it done before I took my son out trick or treating last night.

It looks good, or so I've been told. I have the cover as its avatar, and my gorgeous black banner with the cover and purchase places on it as its cover photo right now (cover photo may be changed in time). I had 15 likes within 12 hours of my announcement.

There is a new contest running as a way to celebrate the official launch: I'm giving away FIVE more digital copies to anyone who likes Stricken's page, and shares the photo of its cover posted on my author page. 

Easy, right?

The draw will take place at NOON Eastern (1 p.m. EST, 9 a.m. PST) on November 10, 2018 which is mine and Hubby's 17th wedding anniversary. I'll be using an internet random name picker for it. (All participants must be 18 years and over. One entry per person. See my author page VJ Allison for details)



I've been a hermit the last 2 years, and it's now time to come out of my shell a bit, with help from other authors.

Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting Guest Spots on this blog. I am aiming at five between now and the new year, but if I am lucky enough to get more than that, I'll gladly add them! I wish to do as many eXtasy authors as possible, but all authors of all genres are welcome to participate. Message me on my Facebook profile (link to the left of the entries) if you want to do a guest spot here.

First up is my longtime friend and now fellow eXtasy author, Maggie Blackbird, who is doing an interview with one of the two main characters from her first book, Blessed (M/M romance). I'm truly honored to say she will be my first ever guest blogger. She's a really nice person, a good friend, and one heck of an author. It's easy to see why eXtasy took her on as an author. I highly recommend her book to all out there!

As shy as I am, it's time for me to start shedding that and make a few guest appearances myself. Maggie wants me to do a run on her blog, and I'm going to do it. She's hosting me later this month... It's an interview with the sexiest real estate agent alive, Ewan Campbell. 

I've never interviewed one of my characters before, so it's a new experience for me. It's also weird being back in his head after so long. STRICKEN was published over 18 months ago, and I've been working on other projects - three different books! - so I never thought I'd be back here again. 

He looks and sounds familiar, yet different - more mature since the last time I really talked to him. I can almost see him sitting across the table from me, swirling his coffee around in the mug he's using as we chat, and his adorable lopsided grin. His hair is a bit longer now, and one or two silver strands are peeping out between the hair at his temples. His voice is really starting to lose its flatter accent of the western prairies, he sounds more like he has lived in Nova Scotia his entire life. I see a few more lines around his eyes - laugh lines - and his glasses have square lenses, they are also frameless. He's just as slim and handsome as he was when he met Marti - almost twenty years ago in their timeline. 

It's good to see and talk to him again, sometimes catching up with your first hero and heroine is a good thing... Or it is in my case! It's a much needed reminder that I have reached my dream of one book being trad published in my lifetime, thanks to him and Marti.

The weirdest thing is that looking back, I remember saying to a few people that Ewan and Marti's story was going to be *the* one to see me published, as far back as 2013. It is still a bit of a shock to see that my prediction was right.... It is a shorter, more streamlined version of their story, but it's still their journey!

Holy cow, has it really been 6 years since I finished the *very* first draft of that story?  It was titled "No Regrets" back then, and was over 206 K in length! *BLINKING!* 

ANYWAY..... As for getting "out" more....

I am available to do guest spots on others' blogs, should anyone wish to have me. If you do one on mine, I will gladly do one for you. Message me if you want me as a guest! (Thank you!)

Look for Maggie's post sometime over this coming weekend. I'm going to be on her blog sometime next week, I think... I'll give an alert on my author pages when that's live.

Don't forget to watch for Maggie's appearance... And go show her book BLESSED some love, right now!

I leave you with my favorite song by my favorite band... STRICKEN by DISTURBED. 


Friday, October 26, 2018

Marnie and Me

Again, apologies for not being prompt in updating the blog. I've been sick and on the go a lot lately, more than I would like to be.

Marnie has been here a full two months (nine weeks), and she's settling in more every day. She was pretty skittish despite choosing us as her new family, so it's taken a while for her to get used to the routine, and to all of us.

This is how she was sleeping two days after her adoption:




When Son went back to school two weeks after we adopted her, she was upset to know he was gone. His room door is shut when he's not home, so she was rather miffed about not being able to crash on his bed or be with him while he was doing stuff up there. 

Hubby went back to work after vacation a few days before school started, and she wasn't impressed to see him gone either. 

She is now used to seeing Son leave every morning for school, and is all over him the instant he gets home. Same goes for Hubby, especially if he's working a closing shift. 

Marnie has proven to be a huge *GOOF*. She loves catnip, loves chasing the red dot, and will pounce on Son's golf balls if he leaves them in the kitchen. 

She and I had some selfie fun a couple of weeks ago and I got the following gem:

Marnie selfie! (taken October 11, 2018)
She was really fascinated with seeing her image on my phone's screen. Blurry or not, it shows her sillier side.

The TAIL! I love her tail!



"I is too cute for words, Mama!"

I see this a LOT when I'm at the computer... BUTT FLUFF!

Hugs from Mama!



She's been causing Kitty Insanity too, in her own way.

Last Friday, I got up to get things going for school (and my writing day) and noticed the curtains behind her spot knocked down - curtain rod and all. That must have been one HECK of a party... And her catnip is in the freaking freezer!

The next day, I came downstairs to hear her MEOWING and chirping on top of her lungs...

Then I saw it.

A dead mouse. 

That goofy fluffball is a damn good mouser! I have no idea where she got it, but she caught one, and it was dead.

That was a "fun" ten minutes of me chasing her around the house, trying to get it away from her so she wouldn't eat the poor thing. 

No worries, it's been taken care of, and no, she didn't eat it. I don't want her eating that kind of thing, she may get worms or something else from them. My baby has to stay healthy!

Gratuitous picture of her toe FLOOF!


I just love her toesies. The black beans with the white paws make them extra adorable in my opinion! They are just too kissable for words!

Marnie was here with me the entire time I was weaning myself off that medication I had mentioned in my last entry... Thanks to her help, I managed to keep going and keep my balance while the withdrawal from it made my life hell. My mood was horrible, so was the brain fog, but I still got off the darn thing and I'm feeling like myself again.

The medication was for treating trigeminal neuralgia, which I was diagnosed with in April. As you can see in the information provided via the link, it is excruciating pain radiating along the trigeminal nerves, which are the touch sensitive nerves in your face. Brushing the teeth, putting on makeup, and even feeling wind on your face can cause agonizing shocks along the nerves. It's similar to occipital neuralgia, but in a different part of the head.

The medication wasn't doing anything for me, and the side effects were not worth "the chance" it "might" help, so I went off it. My doctor understands my reasons for not wanting it, and she also gets why I will NOT be using any other medications for treating it for the time being. I'd rather be alert and in pain than doped up but still in agony, with a host of other things that are not there if I'm not on the damn stuff. 

Thankfully, I'm back to normal now. I'm still having problems with the TN flaring now and then, but other than that, I feel like MYSELF again. No brain fog, and nothing else is being messed up thanks to the medications.

I am using aspirin for pain relief other ways, but that's it. I'm still getting the occipital nerve blocks, not much can be done for the TN at the moment. I'm to have another MRI in a couple of years to be sure things are still kosher.

I'm back to revisions too, not a lot, but I'm to the point of starting to figure out a few things with the manuscripts I'm working on to get ready for publication. 

It is so NICE to be able to THINK again!

On a final note, Disturbed released a new album last week, "Evolution"... I got my copy of it yesterday! IT IS AWESOME!!!! I highly recommend any heavy metal/alternative fan to check it out. It even has the live version of "Sound of Silence" featuring Miles Kennedy from Alter Bridge on it - which makes their cover of it even MORE EPIC!

YES!!!
I leave you with the single "Are You Ready" from Evolution. ENJOY!