Hi, my name is Candy in Austin, TX and this my blog to rave (and sometimes rant) about books, movies, products, services or just whatever strikes my fancy. I love when people comment on my blog, so feel free to agree or disagree or maybe I inspired you to try something?

Disclaimer: I do get some of these books/products for free for doing an honest review. Yes, those are affiliate links and I could be compensated if you purchase through them. It\'s always small and it always goes to my kids college funds.

21 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Witch’s Cat

Guest post: J.S. Watts

MWitchlight Smallery human, who writes as J.S.Watts (though I just call her Yiaow), is having a busy time writing posts for the blog tour to promote her new novel, “Witchlight”. Yesterday I tried to help by bringing her a delicately chewed mouse. For some reason, she didn’t seem to appreciate the gesture. Today, I’m going to try a different approach and write a blog post for her while she’s out buying carpet cleaner. She’s bound to be grateful.

Before we get much further in to this post, though, I’ve got to say that I don’t think much of the accuracy of its title. Cats have witches. Witches don’t, per se, have cats, in the same way that humans don’t have cats. Though, of course, according to Yiaow’s novel, witches are humans born with the “abracadabra gene”, so it’s all a bit complicated. Oh well, I guess it gives me the opportunity to tell you about the most important character in her new novel, Barny the cat (though I do feel she should have given him a properly respectful feline name).

First, however, and to put important things into context, I need to tell you about me.

I was only a kitten when I chose Yiaow for myself from amongst the supply of human helpers I was proffered at my temporary residence. Even as a youngster I could detect talent. I don’t mean she’s a good writer, I have no idea, but I knew she was right for me and, if she was going to waste time writing, at least she would be writing about appropriate things.

Yiaow proved her worth and my judgement almost immediately by incorporating me into several of her poems. When she picked the one I thought did me most justice, “Cats and Other Mythical Creatures”, to be the almost title poem of her poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, I knew I was in the cat-as-muse stage of my career.

Next, she started on the artwork for the collection’s cover. She wanted a picture of a cat-dragon, but, even with the help of a human friend, she couldn’t capture the image exactly as she wanted it. I just sashayed up to her and pointed out that a photograph of me was what the image needed and everything was concluded most satisfactorily. This was the cover-model stage of my career.

Then she wrote me a walk-on part in her novel, “A Darker Moon”. Technically the role was for a female kitten, but in written fiction anything is possible and the little black and white Evie wrung hearts during her brief scene.

Yiaow, however, was to let me down badly. She wrote a small poetry book called “Songs of Steelyard Sue” and there wasn’t a single cat in it, let alone a part for a fine black and white feline like myself. She justified this most disappointing situation by saying it was a dystopic SF poetry sequence and that the scrap heap the World had become was no place for a cat. She managed to include some rough crows, however, so I was not placated.

When it came to “Witchlight” I put my paw down. I wanted the leading role and told her so. She claims it’s this woman called Holly who, approaching forty, suddenly discovers she’s a witch, but I know (and you will find out) that it’s really Barny, the black and white cat who condescends to live with Holly and who finds out late in his career that he’s a magical familiar.

Barny is a very fine cat, an expert, seasoned hunter and, it turns out, a talented familiar, instantly at home in the uncertain world of witchcraft and magic that Holly unexpectedly finds herself immersed in. Holly rightly adores Barny (well, anyone would) and there is a very satisfying relationship between the two of them. There is also good hunting, a succulent bacon sandwich moment and life and death drama when Barny is dangerously sucked into the magical tensions and dark hints of Old Magic that come to surround Holly. The story is like a huge game of cat and mouse. Superb!

Naturally, you cannot keep a real star down and you will note the black and white cat prominently positioned on the cover of “Witchlight”. Modelled on me, of course. I must remember to send the publisher’s Art Director a small mouse as a token of my appreciation.

In conclusion, being a cat with one’s own writer has its compensations. I expect the next novel to be more clearly titled to reflect my inevitable lead role within it. I shall have to speak to Yiaow about it.

Dickens the cat on behalf of J.S.Watts

About Witchlight: Holly has been mortal all her life. Now at thirty-eight, her fairy godfather arrives to tell her she’s a witch, and suddenly she’s having to come to terms with the uncertainties of an alarmingly magic-fuelled world. Magic is not like it is in the books and films, and Holly starts to doubt whether her fairy godfather, Partridge Mayflower, is the fey, avuncular charmer he appears.

When appearances are magically deceptive, Holly cannot afford to trust those closest to her, including herself. Accidents start to happen, people die, Old Magic is on the hunt, but in the age-old game of cat and mouse, just who is the feline and who is the rodent? 

J.S.Watts - croppedAbout The Author: J.S.Watts is a British writer who lives and writes in the flatlands of East Anglia in the UK. Her poetry, short stories and reviews appear in a diversity of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States. Her poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, and subsequent multi-award nominated poetry pamphlet, “Songs of Steelyard Sue”, are published by Lapwing Publications. Her dark fiction novel, “A Darker Moon”, is published in the UK and the US by Vagabondage Press. Her second novel, “Witchlight”, came out in paperback and e-book formats from Vagabondage this week. You can find her website at  www.jswatts.co.uk

 

 

14 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

MIRA Chefs Professional Digital Kitchen Scale, Blue

81-iFMbpOYL._SL1500_

The perfect kitchen scale with flair!

Why oh why are there not more colorful kitchen products? There are just a few out there that are making bright colors for the room we seem to always congregate in. It seems we’re stuck with black and white or spending some serious money for high end bright products. When I was asked if I want to do a review for this item (in exchange for keeping it free of charge), I jumped on it and requested the orange one. I have to tell you that this thing is a gorgeous orange. It’s not neon burn your eyeballs out bright, but it’s a nice subtle beautiful orange.

BUT this is more than just a pretty scale. The lines are sleek and modern and it work SO well. I love that it zeros itself out by magic and never misses. I also love that the display is bright and large enough that I can read it – even first thing in the morning before my coffee and before I’ve located my glasses.

One of my absolute favorite features of this scale is that the body of it longer than most. For some reason, the scales I see are square, which makes NO sense. This one leaves enough room for whatever items you’re looking to weigh and the display. It’s a flat unit, there’s nothing to snag when you’re moving around and it’s super easy to clean.

This is one of those items that we got in for review, it went into our lives and it’s stayed there. It didn’t find it’s way quietly into the Goodwill bin or home with a friend. Lovin’ it!

Description:
Accurate Kitchen Scale, Food Scale, Digital Kitchen Scale, Large Display, Easy to Clean: Weighing food is no longer a boring chore. The MIRA glass digital scale has all the features you ever wanted: an easy-to-read large display, precise measurement, and easy maintenance. Don’t worry about the container weight: Open the box, and start weighing! The MIRA digital kitchen scale arrives with 3 AAA batteries. The MIRA digital kitchen scale has a TARE feature that automatically deducts the weight of your food container or dish to provide the actual grams, ounces, or pounds of the ingredients alone. Sleek, strong & easy to maintain: This MIRA glass digital kitchen scale looks so good that you can use it as part of your kitchen decor. The scale’s tempered glass top is 4X stronger than ordinary glass and is available in a range of gorgeous colors. But, if you do decide to store it, it’s slim design occupies very little storage space. The glass surface is also simple to wipe clean. Accurate & Precise: Within its durable exterior, the MIRA digital kitchen scale houses 4 precision sensors that generate accurate measurements. These measurements are displayed on generous-sized LCD display making it easy to read. Satisfaction Guaranteed: Buy with confidence knowing that MIRA stands behind the superb performance of its accurate and durable glass food scale with a 2 year warranty. Versatile: Use the MIRA scale as you see fit! Portion control, cooking , baking or anything else. Easy-Access “Tap On/Tap Off” Touch Sensitive Buttons Slim shape saves valuable counter space Batteries included Range of tinted glass colors to match your decor.

Rating: ★★★★★

12 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Top Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors for 2015

Guest blog: By Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications

book fairsBook festivals and fairs are a great way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel gig or speaking slot you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at:  http://www.BookTV.org and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit   http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2015:

  1. 2015 Dayton Book Expo, April 25, 2015, David H. Ponitz Conference Center, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio http://www.Daytonbookexpo.com
  1. South Carolina Book Festival takes place May 15-17, 2015. Held in the Colombia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC, more than 6,000 book lovers attend http://www.scbookfestival.org/
  1. BookExpo America, May 27-29, 2015, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It’s worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com
  1. Millbrook Literary Festival, May 30, 2015. Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.  http://www.millbrookbookfestival.org/
  1. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 6 & 7, 2015, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest/
  1. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 25-30, 2015, San Francisco, CA. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://www.alaannual.org/ 
  1. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 28-July1, 2015, Orlando, FL http://www.christianretailshow.com/ Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.  http://www.marketingchristianbooks.com
  1. Harlem Book Festival, July 18, 2015 Harlem, NYC harlembookfair.com  Attended by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span 
  1. Decatur Book Festival, September 4-6, 2015, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. https://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  1. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin July 31, 2015 and finish August 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2014/rmbpf_2014_GeneralInfo.html
  1. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 14, 2015 and run through September 21, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/
  1. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 12, 2015. http://bookmarksnc.org/events/festival
  1. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, South Dakota will be held September 24-27, 2015. http://www.sdbookfestival.com/
  1. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 25, 2015 and end September 27, 2015. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/
  1. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 1, 2015 and end October 4, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org/
  1. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 9, 2015 through October 11, 2015. http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  1. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 10-11, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com/
  1. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will run from October 15, 2015 through October 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://vegasvalleybookfestival.org/
  1. The Texas Book Festival will begin October 17, 2015 and end October 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org/
  1. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (39th Annual) will be held November 13, 2015 through November 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.bostonbookfair.com
  1. The Miami Book Fair International will kick off in Miami, Florida on November 15, 2015 and wrap up November 22, 2015. http://www.miamibookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Take a little working vacation and hit some book festivals. Make it a priority to visit a book festival in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

scottBook publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

07 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

T.S. Shure Numbers Wooden Magnets 20 Piece MagnaFun Set

magnetsOne of the keys to learning a skill is repetition. This is true whether you are learning to play violin, learning you multiplication tables, or just learning to count! But at least with learning music you get to try different songs. With your multiplication tables you can switch up the order. Learning to count? A lot of the practice comes from having a lot of things to count!

My husband is a teacher and he says these come in really handy because each number has it’s own thing to count. Have a child that can count but doesn’t know the look of the numbers? Have him find the right one, trace it with his finger, and write it on his own. Have children at different skill levels? Split the magnets between them and have them put their group in order.

The colorful images also help keep children’s focus on the magnet and away from other things going on in the room. The size is just big enough to be easy for children to hold, but small enough so the entire set fits in its easy to store and tote container.

These have been used for 30 minutes a day for the the last month and look like they haven’t been out of the box.

Overall: 4 stars. Awesome learning toy.

Description:
Get ready for hours of imaginative learning and discovery. This set comes jam-packed with 20 Number MagnaFun Magnets in a wooden carrying case with a sliding lid. Each wooden magnet is laminated with an original illustrated number. MagnaFun Wooden Magnetic Numbers are perfect for creative play on any magnetic surface at home and on the go!

Rating: ★★★★☆

05 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ouddy BBQ Grill Mat

bbqWe love to grill and my favorite way to eat fish is grilled. But we have issues. Either we wrap it in foil or try to do it on the grill itself and half of it falls through the grill slats and feeds the coals. It’s kind of annoying. I honestly never knew these existed until I was contacted and asked for an honest review (in exchange for free product). I was shocked at how well these things work. The fish cooked SO perfectly and the sauce stayed on it. We didn’t have sit there with the little basting brush and keep putting more on there.

The asparagus and brussel sprouts turned out absolutely perfect as well.

I’m not sure I’d use this for burgers, I’d miss the grill marks (I know, it’s a thing, maybe I’ve been in Texas too long!). But for things that you want the sauce to hold on to and things that are a little more delicate (like that delicious grilled salmon we made!), it’s absolutely perfect. This has opened up a whole idea of stuff we can grill this Summer.

Description:
☆About the product
– If you are not getting the most out of your BBQ grill because certain foods stick to the grates, fall through the cracks and burn due to flare-ups then the BBQ Shield Grill Mat is perfect for you too!
– Features: Stop food from falling through the cracks!
– Since they are non-stick you can cook with no grease which makes your meals more healthy.
– Will not retain or transfer tastes or odors between uses.
– Can be cut to fit your toaster oven, pans, cake and cookie tins for cooking, roasting, baking and frying.
– Versatile. Works with all types of grills, charcoal, electric or iron. Ideal for chicken, ribs, burgers, steaks, seafood, eggs, fish, vegetables and much more. Also great for use as a baking mat or oven liner!
– Great for indoor and outdoor use.☆ Include
2 sets: 15.75″ x 13″ for each one.☆ Note
– Wash the BBQ Gill Mat before your first use.
– Never heat the mat exceeding 500°F.
– Do NOT place the mat in direct contact with flames.
– Avoid using sharp utensils on the mat.
– Simply wash the mat in warm soapy water or the dishwasher (top rack only).
– Store the mat flat – Dishwasher safe or wipe clean.☆ About Ouddy
Thousands of happy customers enjoy our product because each package is inspected for quality and a product information card is inserted into each box. If You Are Not 100% Satisfied, Get Your Money Back! NOW is the time to act. Click on the yellow “Add to Cart” button in the top right hand corner of the page right now. Supplies are extremely limited so do not wait.

Rating: ★★★★☆

30 April 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Unves Stainless Steel Manual Juicer Lemon Squeezer with Bowl, Silver

juicerThis is not a great juicer. We had a hard time getting a lemon to juice. It’s really to big for a lemon – much less a lime! We were able to juice a grapefruit on it, but when we did, the seeds and pulp clogged up the holes so the juice didn’t drain very well without us smooshing stuff around. It ended up being not worth the hassle. We were really unimpressed.Because we have bigger kids in the house, it’s less of a problem, but the edges are very sharp as well, it’s just not very well made. Overall, I think this one needs a complete redesign. It just doesn’t work.

Note: This product was provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Description:
Enjoy tasty fresh squeezed juice anytime of the day! Unves handy stainless steel juicer is great to quickly extract juice from lemon, lime, orange and other citrus. An essential tool for healthy living. Made of quality food-safe 18/8 stainless steel. Easy to use and clean. A good fit between squeezer top and base container holds together well during squeezing, Pulp and pith are left in the strainer core, effectively separating from juice. Juicers length with handles is 6.6 inches, bottom diameter is 3.9 inches, and height is 4.5 inches. Truly, a handy tool for every bar and kitchen.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

28 April 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ouddy Silicone Spatula Set, Silicone Utensils Set

spatulasI absolutely ADORE this set of spatulas! My daughter and I always grab these first when we’re baking, they are easy to clean, work perfectly for each size bowl we might be working with. My husband adores the brush. He uses this to baste things when he’s grilling. He prefers the silicone because the bristles don’t get all gooey. I prefer the silicone because it gets actually CLEAN and you can see it. Something about the regular bristles kind of sends me into a germophobe frenzy. It. Is. Never. Ever. Clean. Ever. So, yeah. This is awesome.Not much else to say. These are very sturdy and we just adore them. And the price is an amazing deal!Note: Products were provided in exchange for an honest review.

Description:
Ouddy Silicone Spatula Set, Set of 5☆About the product
– Ouddy silicone spatula is the perfect kitchen tool for mixing, folding, serving, spreading, scraping and flipping.
– Square corner on head to fit into tight spots, completely smooth surface for even spreading, edges are tapered to a sharp point to scrape sides clean.
– Durable, lightweight, and easy to use, Safe for temperatures up to 500℉. Smooth surface, won’t fade rust or chip.
– The silicone spatula heads will not discolor, melt, or warp, and stay flexible longer that other models.
– Ergonomically designed silicone coated steel core for a comfortable grip with some weight and balance.
– And our premium non-stick silicone is literally the easiest substance to clean. Simply wipe under hot water or throw them in the dishwasher.☆Include
Set of 5: 2 large silicone spatulas; 2 small silicone spatula; 1 silicone brush. Red.

☆About Ouddy
Thousands of happy customers enjoy our product because each package is inspected for quality and a product information card is inserted into each box. If You Are Not 100% Satisfied, Get Your Money Back! NOW is the time to act. Click on the yellow “Add to Cart” button in the top right hand corner of the page right now. Supplies are extremely limited so do not wait.

Rating: ★★★★★

24 April 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Strad Rosin for Violin

strad rosin for violinThis is SO cute. My daughter had a big recital coming up and I wanted to get her something special, but I didn’t want to give her flowers afterwards and I didn’t want to give her something not related to her violin. I came on here looking for ideas and I stumbled across this. I figured the rosin would be sub-par, but I wasn’t worried about that, it was the idea of it that drew me to it.

When I gave it to her, she was thrilled! It took her a few minutes to figure out that it opened and rosin was inside. She’s been using it when she practices in conjunction with another rosin and she says the two together are just perfect for her. So, the rosin is actually good quality. But not the case. It really is cute! It’s a perfect gift for the violinist in your life.

Note: We actually had to order two of these. The first one, we dropped opening it and it cracked all to pieces. Don’t let that deter you – it fell five foot directly onto hard ceramic flooring, not much survives that drop.

Description:
This unique box contains Bogaro & Clemente’s own high-quality violin rosin, which is based on an old Italian recipe. This box is handcrafted from root of tuja wood, with the precise, to-scale shape of Stradivarius’s famed interior form. This rosin is formulated for violins.

Rating: ★★★★★

14 April 2015 ~ 7 Comments

Time Travel: Where Would You Go?

Guest Blogger: By Cheri Gillard, Author of Chloe’s Guardian and Chloe’s Watcher, a YA Time Travel Adventure Series

cover for series book 1Have you ever wished you could time travel? I sure have. I think about where I would go and what I’d do there. Sometimes, I imagine what I’d change in my own life, and other times I think up things I’d do to change historical events. My favorite time travel books include Doomsday Book, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Time and Again, and 11/22/63. There are so many books with time travel, it’s clear many, many people love the idea of it.

When I got the idea for Chloe’s Guardian, Book 1 of the Nephilim Redemption Series, I was doing research for some freelance work and I came across a really short (and weird) story in the Bible. I’d never heard of it before. It was about angels marrying humans and having kids with them, and those kids being called Nephilim. Bizarre, right? Who hasn’t heard of Noah and the Ark, or David and Goliath? But angels and humans having babies? It caught my attention!

With more research, I found a lot of other literature about them. The angels who married the humans were fallen angels—a.k.a. demons. That made things more interesting. Their kids, the Nephilim, were giants. (Some think Goliath was one.) So I started brainstorming about it. What if Nephilim—you know, these half-angel, half-humans—could fly around like angels and demons, but sometimes be like regular (really tall) humans? What if they could fly into other dimensions, like where heaven and hell might be, and go in and out of time and time travel? My brain really started to whirl then.

What if they had powers to do miracles? What if they fought in battles with supernatural weapons? What if they could change matter, walk through walls, disappear and reappear, read minds, and change their appearance?

I love good love stories that make my heart swoon and yearn. So of course, Chloe’s just had to have some romance. I’m a musician, so I wanted to have music play a part in the story. I love historical Scotland (and current-day Scotland, too!). My family heritage includes the Scots. (Sadly, my last known Scottish relative was hanged for horse thieving.) Put all that together with my obsession with time travel, and that’s how my ideas for Chloe and her Nephilim companions came into creation. cover ebook Watcher

Chloe is a high school cellist who just wants to be accepted and loved. Unfortunately, the one guy that she really hopes loves her cheats on her and leaves her totally heartbroken. So badly devastated, in fact, she is suicidal. That’s when her new Guardian Angel comes in—Horace. Well, he’s not a real Guardian Angel. Poor Chloe—she has to put up with an alcoholic, self-centered pretend Guardian who only agreed to watch over her because he’s trying to earn points with the real angels. He’s decided to leave the other demons behind to try to be good. But that leaves Chloe with more problems than she started with. Especially once Horace gets her in trouble with his vengeful demon father. Horace must hide her and decides the past would be the safest place. But when his father takes his powers away, Chloe is stuck in medieval Scotland with no one to help her survive—or get back to her real life in her own time.

Where would you go if you could time travel? Would you change anything? Something in your own life? Like take that stupid test again that you could have aced, if you’d just realized which chapters the questions would be about? Or maybe never say “hello” to that idiot you wasted six whole months dating when you could have saved yourself so much drama and pain? Or would you decide to try to change something bigger, like show up in just the right moment to stop a serial killer or warn someone to save them from death? What would you do if you were marooned somewhere in the past? In what time period would you want to be stuck? What if you could fly, change matter, or read minds? It’s fun to imagine what we might do. It says something about who we are, too, don’t you think? Tell me what you imagine! You can visit me on Facebook or my website.

You might want to try my time travel book quiz to see how many book title on time travel you can recognize. Some are classics you’ve probably had to read in school, and some are new and fun. Maybe you’ll find a new book you’ve never heard of that is about to become your next new-favorite title!

Chloe’s Guardian and Chloe’s Watcher are available in both ebook and paperback.

About Cheri Gillard
cheri head shot 3Cheri Gillard has been a freelance writer and editor for over twenty years, working for several publishing houses and companies writing or editing projects, books, magazines, and curricula. Before writing, she was an obstetric and pediatric registered nurse, but she hung up her nurse’s cap when she gave birth to quadruplets. She is also a musician, regularly playing violin in a folk-style band and in other venues when she can fit in the gigs between writing jobs. She lives with her family in Colorado.

24 February 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Online Dating Inspired Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click

Guest Blogger: By Lisa Becker

cover photoI first met my husband while wearing my pajamas.  Really!  No, we weren’t at some kinky singles party.  I was sitting comfortably in my apartment and he was hanging out in his.  But, I will never forget his email introduction via an online dating service, which invited me to check out his profile.  It was sweet, endearing and intriguing enough for me to log on to learn more about him.  After a week of emails, followed by a week of phone calls, we met for our first date – a traditional dinner and movie outing.  Even before I opened the door to greet him, I knew he was “the one.”  Considering he lived 30 miles away, I’m not certain our paths would have typically crossed.  But after nearly 15 years together – including 10 years of marriage (which in Los Angeles is apparently no small feat!) and two beautiful daughters, I have no doubt he is my soul mate.

After my now-husband and I met online, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had during the whole online dating experience.  How could I forget the guy who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night.”   I decided to capture some of them in writing and, from there and based loosely on my own experiences, my novel Click: An Online Love Story emerged.  The entire story is told in emails between our heroine, Renee Greene, her three best friends and the gentlemen suitors she meets online.  The format felt like a modern way to tell the story that fit the topic, and allowed readers to develop an intimate relationship with the characters.

Double Click cover - hi resClearly, I’m a big fan of online dating and find it to be a useful tool for young professionals who are busy working and finding it difficult to make the right connection at the gym, bar, coffee shop or grocery aisle.  I say, people today are “married” to their cell phones and laptops, so why not use that technology to really get married, right?

While Click doesn’t end with a wedding (sorry for the spoiler!), during Renee’s road to happiness, we find many advantages to online dating.  My five favorite are:

  • On Your Own Terms – Online dating provides a relaxed, anytime and on your own terms experience. Share as little or as much information as you want.  Avoid people you are not interested in.  Communicate at your convenience.   But, don’t send a message at 2:30 am.  Nothing smacks more of desperation than an email from someone trolling the Internet for a date in the wee hours of the morning.
  • Multi-Tasking Enabled – Flirt while filing your taxes. Chat and trim your nails.  Meet a mate while making breakfast.  It’s a well-known fact that women are great multi-taskers.  Take full advantage of that skill.  As Shelley, the over-sexed character in Click says to the about-to-try-online-dating Renee, “A whole host of hot and horny single men that I can review, chat with, judge and mock – all while sitting in my office looking very busy.  Maybe I should give it a try myself.”
  • Trade the “Meat Market” for the “Meet Market” – Now you can avoid the “meat market” scene of bars and clubs and instead enjoy a “meet market” – an international bazaar (but let’s hope not too bizarre) of prospective mates. The Internet allows you to make an online introduction to thousands if not millions of people around the world.  So, if you want to meet someone in Katmandu, well then, can do!front cover final copy
  • Save Time, Money and Energy – Let’s face it. Dating isn’t cheap.   It takes time, money and, likely your most valuable and scarce resource, energy.   With the “try before you buy” environment of online dating, you don’t have to meet for a drink, grab a coffee or sit through a long dinner only to discover there’s no physical attraction, you have nothing in common, conversation is lacking, etc.
  • Rejection Made Easy – In Click, Renee gets an email from someone halfway across the world looking to meet someone willing to move for him. After sending a polite and diplomatic “thanks but no thanks” email message, she proclaims to her friend, “It’s so much easier to reject someone over that Internet than in real life.  Score one for online dating!”   While rejection is easier for both parties when done online, it’s important to remember that people still have feelings.

As I’ve said many times before, if it happened for me, there’s hope for you.

About the Books

Unfolding exclusively in emails, the Click trilogy (Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click) marries the friendships of Sex and the City, the epistolary nature of Bridget Jones’ Diary and the online love story of You’ve Got Mail to be a light and breezy series for anyone who’s ever been dumped, been in love, had a bad date or is still searching for “the one.”  The screenplay based on the first book has recently been optioned for a movie.


 

About Lisa Becker

Headshot 2.jpgLisa had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click.  The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.”  The first in the series has now been optioned for a major motion picture.

She’s written bylined articles about writing and online dating for Chick Lit Central, Cupid’s Pulse and numerous book blogs.  Her books and story have also been featured in Single Edition, Career 2.0 and The Perfect Soulmate among other websites.

A former public relations professional, Lisa has worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade.  She’s also a former college professor, teaching public relations and communications classes at University of Southern California and Oglethorpe University.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “for every chair, there’s a tush.”  Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters.