Make Believe Blog Takeover

Make Believe

Happy Saturday, Everyone! I hope you have all been having the best holiday season, with plenty of time spent with your favourite people, eating your favourite foods and celebrating your favourite traditions. 🙂

This is going to be a different sort of post. I’m relinquishing control and allowing Jenny Keller Ford to take it over so she can talk about The Amulet of Ormisez, the story she wrote for the Make Believe anthology. Since I have already interviewed her, way back in the summer (you can find the interview here), she didn’t want to do another one. If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you recognize her, as I’ve mentioned her wonderful blog many times. So from here on in, I’ll let Jenny do the talking. Please give her a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Take it away, Jenny! 🙂

(Whoot whoot, clap, clap, whistle, whistle!)

J. Keller Ford

Thanks, Susan!

Today, I’m going to introduce you to a mythical character not many people know about – selkies.  What are they?  Where did the myth come from and how did they make their way into my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez?

Depending on what myth or legend you read, selkies are either regarded as gentle creatures, with the ability to transform from seals into beautiful, agile humans, or they are dark, malevolent shape-shifters of the sea, much like their cousins, the Finfolk.  The tales are said to have originated around the Orkney and Shetland Harbor (known as the Roane in Ireland), and like many other Celtic myths, are steeped in wonder and mystery.

No matter what legend you read, a common element in all selkie tales is the fact that in order to shape-shift, they must cast off their sealskins.  If they are ever to return to the sea and their seal form, they must return to their magical skins. If the seal skin is ever lost, the creature is doomed to remain human forever or until the skin can be recovered.

It is said that selkies in human form are very handsome/beautiful, with uncanny magical, seductive powers over humans.  While there are stories of selkie males luring human females to the depths of the sea, the most common theme is the taking of a selkie-girl’s seal skin by a human male, either through trickery or theft.  The girl is then forced into marriage with her captor.  The tales are usually sad because the selkie never stops longing for the sea.  Trapped in her human cage, she thirsts for what is just beyond her door but will never have again unless she is re-united with her skin.  Sadly, should the selkie girl ever re-unite with her seal skin and return to the sea, her human husband will die from a broken heart.

When I started writing the Amulet of Ormisez, I had no idea that selkies were going to be a part of the story.  It wasn’t until I let my muse take over that I wove the myth into my story.  As the Amulet of Ormisez is all about what we will sacrifice for those we love, the selkie myth made even more sense to me.  What more of a sacrifice can one make than to give up everything they are, the essence of their entire being, for the one they love?

Without giving away any spoilers, Cayden Fletcher is possessed by a powerful amulet destined to harm a vengeful king.  Cayden’s wife, Marsalí, and his brother, Elton, are on a mission to free Cayden before the amulet kills him.  The answer to its undoing lies with the selkies, but there is great animosity among the creatures toward humans, and their desire to help Cayden and Marsali is far from their list of top priorities. The solution, I believe, is unexpected and a tribute to the sacrifices we all will make for the ones we love.

Excerpt from The Amulet of Ormisez

A cold breeze blew from the east, carrying with it a crisp scent of water blended with cedar wood, musk and wild blackberries. The horses whinnied and snorted as Elton guided them down the gentle slope of the hillside, quieting their deep, vibrating snorts with gentle reassurance. In the near distance, the seals of Emrith and Lorland Bay barked. The noise grew louder and more intense as the trio approached.

“They sense our presence,” Marsalí said. “I suggest when we reach the shore, you stay back and let me speak with them first. They have grown to fear humans.”

“Understandably so,” Elton said. “We shall do what you suggest.”

The three riders made their way down the slope onto the soft, sandy shores of the lake. Elton maneuvered the horses through the tunnel of willow trees, brushing against branches that sparkled like liquid emeralds in the moonlight. Ahead, a bridge spanned from the shore to the lush greenery of Emrith. Dozens of seals splashed toward them, barking and growling. The seals took on human form as they came on shore.

***

I hope you enjoyed learning about selkies.  I know I have a great love for them and this will not be the last time I weave them into one of my stories.

Thanks so much, Jenny, for giving us a little insight into your story.

Jenny: Thanks for your all your support and help in the tour.  I am very grateful and will exchange the favor anytime.

You’re very welcome, Jenny, and I’ll keep that in mind. 🙂

For anyone wanting to learn more about selkies, or Jenny, or her story, pop over to her website/blog, The Dreamweaver’s Cottagehere. For more info on how you can acquire a copy of the fantastic anthology, Make Believe, so you can read Jenny’s story, go on over to J. Taylor Publishing. You can also learn more about the blog tour and the other authors. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Interview with Emily from Last Winter Red (Make Believe)

Hi, Everyone! We have another Make Believe interview for you. Our writer today is Jennifer M. Eaton. She wrote Last Winter Red, but this interview is not about her. If you’ve been following the tour, you’ll have read lots about Jennifer, already, and a bit about her story. Today, we’ll be digging into the back story of her character Emily.

Please welcome Emily from Terra.

Hello.

Hi, Emily! Would you please tell my readers a little about yourself?

Well, as you said, my name is Emily and I live in the high quadrant in the beautiful city of Terra. 

What’s it like living in Terra?

Oh, Terra is wonderful.  My days are planned out for me and filled with wonderful activities engineered to broaden my mind and strengthen my body.  I never have to worry about where to go or what to do, because the wonderful council prepares my days for me and my doctors check me regularly to make sure I remain strong enough to bear children. There is nothing else a young Red could ask for.

What do you do to entertain yourself?

Entertain myself? I’m not sure I understand.  We learn.  We broaden our minds.

I mean, what do you do for fun, when you are not in school?

Oh, my apologies.  Once in a while I am graced with a visit from my mother, and we play mancala together.  It is a game passed down from pre-time played with glass stones on a wooden board.  Most nights though, after supper, I read until I fall asleep.

What is your favorite drink?

Drink? I’m not sure I understand the question.  Water, of course.  What else is there to drink?

Do you participate in any sports? If so, which one(s) do you most like to do?

Are you feeling okay? You are asking such odd questions.  What are sports? If it is a type of learning experience, maybe I have participated in it, but we may call it something else in Terra.

I was sorry to hear about your husband. As a Red, what does this mean for you, now?

Thank you for your concern.  Yes, the loss of my husband was quite a shock.  It happened so suddenly.  I will be fine, though.  The council will appoint me another husband.  After all, I have not had the opportunity to validate myself yet with a child.  It is their duty to make sure I reproduce. One cannot reproduce without a man, obviously.  [Her eyes lower to the table]

Are you okay?  You look sad.

Honestly, I am a bit concerned that they have not appointed me another husband.  It has been quite some time. Every other Red of my age has already validated themselves several times over. I feel somewhat lost, not fulfilling my responsibility to add to our population.

I overheard your mother talking about how worried she was about you. Why would she be so worried?

My mother needs to keep to her own business.  She doesn’t understand.  You see, I bring medicine to the people on The Outside.  They are hurting and need help.  It just seems right to do whatever I can to ease their miserable existences.

Why do the people in the Barrier Woods live away from the city? Were they exiled because they were infected?

Exiled!  Gracious no!

We would never exile anyone.  You see, there is no sickness in Terra. The city is engineered to keep the sickness out. Terra was constructed by the ancients to protect us from the terrible disease that ravages The Outside. Without Terra, we would all suffer their horrible fate.  The people in the Barrier Woods keep away from the city because it is the proper thing to do. If the disease were to get inside our walls, it could mean the end of mankind!

I think it’s wonderful of you to want to help the sick people there, but I sense an ulterior motive. What other reasons could you have for bringing them medicine?

[She shifts her weight uncomfortably]  Honestly, there is a doctor in the Barrier Woods that is helping the infected without the approval of the council.  He is a Red, and a good man. [She smiles] Someday, I hope to bring him home to Terra, where he belongs. He would make a wonderful mate.

Is there anything you’d like to add before we say goodbye?

None that I can think of, and I must be going anyway—  I am late for my lesson on childhood skin care, and that will be so important once I finally have the opportunity to pass on my genes to another.

Well, Emily, I wish you all the best in the future. Thanks for talking with me.

You are most welcome, Miss Susan.  I have enjoyed our conversation, as odd as some of your questions were.

***

Jennifer Eaton

Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website www.jennifermeaton.com aimed at making all writers the best they can be.

Her Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology from J.Taylor Publishing.  Her Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of Still Moments publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology.  Both are available in ebook format from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in.

Connect the Dots:   Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

If you’d like to find Jennifer elsewhere, here are a few links:

Twitter:  @jennifermeaton

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832197.Jennifer_M_Eaton

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.m.eaton.3

Web:  www.jennifereaton.com

Blog: http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton – Make Believe review

Before I get started on my review, I just want to apologize again (I seem to be doing it a lot lately) for being rather absent from the blogging world. I haven’t been keeping up with the Make Believe Blog Tour as well as I should, but I hope you’ve all been checking out the links I’ve previously posted to all the authors of the anthology. If you haven’t, or have forgotten them, here they are again:

Make Believe

J. A. Belfield, author of Escort To Insanity

J. Keller Ford, author of Amulet of Ormisez

Terri Rochenski, author of Sacrificial Oath

Lynda R. Young, author of Birthright

Kelly Said, author of Petrified

Jennfer M. Eaton, today’s featured author

Last Winter Red, according to the blurb on J. Taylor Publishing’s website, is about:

Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired. 

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever. 

This story is a post-apocalyptic tale of a city trying to repopulate and avoid the illness they believe is just outside the city gates. Jennifer has done a wonderful job of setting the stage – a city fearful of what lies beyond their realm and a backwards society fearful of strangers, especially those they think may have come from the city. She has created an interesting protagonist – a woman trying to live up to the expectations of her status. I enjoyed Emily’s journey towards personal growth and see the kernel of a much larger story that could be told. I really think it can be enjoyed by any fan of dystopian fiction. I hope you will all check it out!

To learn more about Emily, tune in on Sunday for my character interview with her. 🙂

Make Believe Blog Tour – Interview with Lynda R. Young’s character

Make Believe

Today I would love to introduce you to the character from Lynda Young’s story Birthright, from the Make Believe anthology. Please welcome Christa.

Hi, Christa! Would you please tell my readers a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me, Susan. Let me see … I grew up in New York and I love photography. It’s just a hobby though. My sister used to push me to do something with my photography. You know, exhibitions and all that, but I could never do something like that. Besides, who would want to see my silly photos?

What made you decide to spend your holiday in Florida?

After my parents and sister passed away I don’t think I can stay in New York for the Christmas holidays. Too many painful memories. This will be my first Christmas without them. Florida is a last minute decision. I’ve never been there before, and from what I hear, it’s completely different to New York.

I’m sorry to hear about your parents and sister. Sometimes it helps to talk about them. What were they like?

They were such a wonderful family. Unlike me, every venture they started became successful. My mom and sister in particular had the Midas touch with every dream they set their minds on. They always wanted the best for me and although they pushed for me to do more with my life, they were always supportive and loving. I miss them so much.

If I went to Florida, I’d probably hit one of the more touristy spots. What made you choose Grifton?

*Smiles* I chose Grifton precisely because it’s quiet. There’s no hurrying in small towns and I hope to spend my Christmas either reading in my cabin, or taking photos of the region. I might even take a trip into the Everglades. I don’t know. I haven’t made up my mind.

I hear there’s a great bakery/café in Grifton. What’s your favorite type of pastry?

I don’t often indulge in pastries, but if I did, then I’d probably pick something frivolous and pink. A cupcake perhaps.

In the romance department, are you more inclined to ogle a clean-shaven man dressed in a suit or a handyman-type in tight jeans with a bit of a 5 o’clock shadow?

My sister always went for the suit, but I have to admit I have a thing for the handyman-type. There’s something luscious about a strong man who isn’t afraid of getting a little dirt under his nails.

You seem like an avid reader, Christa. If you had your choice, would you prefer a paranormal romance, a fantasy story or a science fiction adventure?

That’s easy. Paranormal romance every time! I often dream of one of those stories coming true for me. You know, finding that tall dark and handsome man who’d accept me for who I am, sweep me off my feet, and carry me away into a magical lasting relationship. A girl can dream.

Do you believe in the power of dreams?

Both my mother and sister believed in the power of dreams, but unfortunately I don’t. As much as I love reading paranormal romance, I have to remind myself that they are just make believe. That’s not how things happen in real life. I have to remind myself of that. I could never be so lucky … could I?

You just never know, do you? Before we say goodbye, is there anything you’d like to add?

You’ve been so kind, Susan. You remind me a lot of my sister. Well, I’d better finish packing and head to Florida. Thanks again for your time.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Christa. I hope you have a great vacation, whatever you decide to do. 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed meeting Christa. To find out what happens on her vacation, check out her story, Birthright (by Lynda R. Young), in the Make Believe anthology. 🙂

To learn more about the Make Believe anthology, click on the book cover above to take you to the publisher’s website.

Blog of the Year 2012

Wow! When I began blogging at the beginning of this year, I had no idea I’d be nominated for ‘Blog of the Year’! I figured I’d have to blog for years to be recognized like that! Thanks to Roger over at Writing Is Hard Work, I feel so honoured! I am so excited! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Roger! 🙂

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Over at The Thought Palette, you can find all the details as to how this award works. Apparently it has a star system whereby you can be nominated up to six times. I have already linked back to Roger, who nominated me. I also have to nominate some blogs. There are quite a few that I follow consistently, so I will pass this on to . . . . drum roll, please!

J. Keller Ford – Jenny is a talented writer who is inspiring and supportive of the writing community. Go see how wintry her blog is, at the moment, and you might even find a dragon or two!

Jennifer M. Eaton – Jennifer likes to blow things up and she is sharing ‘Write A Story With Me’ for all the world to see. It’s a great story with many authors. You might even see the Blue Mars Lady running around there, sometime.

C. B. Wentworth – C. B. is a writer, crafter and photographer. Her blog always has some fascinating and inspiring content and her photographs instill a wanderlust for those who have a yen for traveling.

Hey Look A Writer Fellow – Mike has been getting rave reviews about his children’s book ‘Sarah Gives Thanks’ about the woman who advocated to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. He is also quite the comedian and an artist in his own right.

Wanton Creation – Matt’s a young writer with many interests, especially in the comedic department. He gives great book reviews, movie reviews and a lot of other content. Rarely do I leave his site without a smile on my face! 🙂

Lake Superior Spirit – Kathy is another blogger who makes me smile. Her tales of the woods south of Lake Superior are always enjoyable and sometimes makes you appreciate the beauty of nature and friendship.

Diane’s Story Site – If you like reading short stories and serials, this is the site for you. In addition to her writing, Diane also writes children’s stories which she loves to share, so if you have a young one to whom you’d like to give an e-book, this is the place to check out.

Although Roger only nominated 5 bloggers, I could not restrict my list to less than these seven. There are many others that are just as worthy, but I regret that I don’t have room to nominate them all.

Birthright – a Make Believe story by Lynda R. Young

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

Make Believe

It certainly has been a busy week. With working every day, from now until the school break, as well as having some event or other happening each evening, I’m still trying to catch up with all the stuff that’s happened with the Make Believe Blog Tour over the past few days. If you have time, please pop over to each of the author’s blogs to find out more about the stories and the writers. There’s also chances to win prizes and copies of the anthology.

J. A. Belfield, author of Escort To Insanity

J. Keller Ford, author of The Amulet of Ormiston

Jennifer M. Eaton, author of Last Winter Red

Terri Rochenski, author of Sacrificial Oath

Kelly Said, author of Petrified

Lynda R. Young, author of Birthright

Since I will be interviewing Lynda on Monday (well, I’ll actually be interviewing her character), I thought I would post a review of her story, Birthright. The blurb from J. Taylor Publishing states:

Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible. She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her. 

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead. 

I greatly empathized with Christa. Having lost all her known family, she leaves the place that contains their memories. Trying to start anew, she escapes to the small town of Grifton in Florida, where she encounters some strange characters. Some are likable, some are a little scary. The reader doesn’t know who Christa should trust and the suspense builds. I really enjoyed the way Lynda built up the story, layer by layer, until her very life is in danger. The reasons for this are right up my alley. Of course, I can’t tell you what they are, or I would spoil it for you! I encourage you to find out for yourself. 🙂

If you would like to learn a little more about Christa, tune in on Monday for her interview. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Make Believe writer J. A. Belfield

Make Believe

My sincerest apology for neglecting to post this yesterday as I promised. It was the first day back to work for me and then it was go-go-go for the rest of the day. I don’t think I even turned on my computer!

Anyway, without further ado, I would like to continue doing my part in the Make Believe Blog Tour by introducing the lead writer in the anthology. She’s the author of the Holloway Pack stories, including Darkness and Light. Please welcome, J. A. Belfield.

Would you please begin by telling us a little about yourself?

Cripes, what did you want to know? Um … I just hit the big 4 0 in September, I have cats and a dog, a Mr B and two Mini-Me’s, and I spend my days writing and reading, and editing, and procrastinating across the ‘Net on sites like Twitter and Facebook. 😀

Sounds familiar! 🙂

How long have you been writing?

I actually only started writing in 2009. Had no idea before that point that I wanted to write, or that I could write. I just knew my head often filled up with way too many musings and dreams. So I wrote them down for something to do. 😉

You’ve done very well for yourself, then, in the past three years!

Was there any one incident that told you, “Hey, I’m a writer!” or “I want to be a writer”?

Writing only started out as a hobby because I had six hours a day to myself whilst the kidlets were at school and The Man at work, and I was getting a little bored of the housework for entertainment. As for when I thought ‘Hey, I’m a writer!’? I could say it was after I wrote Darkness & Light and, for the first time, believed I’d produced something worth sharing with more than just my sister and my best friend.

Or it could have been the point, around six months after Darkness & Light was published, when what I answered to ‘What do you do?’ altered from: I’m a stay at home mum, to I’m an author who works from home.

Saying it and sounding convincing took some getting used to it, though. I still kinda glance down and look all shy whenever I say it, like it’s a guilty pleasure rather than a career, lol. 

I hear you!

What types of stories do you like to tell? To read?

To tell? Well, I love to tell those tales that place characters in every day settings, with real life problems, but then spice it up a bit with paranormal twists.

As for reading, I’ve gone through a whooooooole lotta phases. Years ago, I was into Martina Cole and Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham; then I discovered the intensity of crime fiction thanks to Val McDermid and Jeffrey Deaver—until urban fantasy and paranormal romance pretty much kicked those to the kerbside when I was loaned a Kelley Armstrong to read. And since then, I’ve been flying through as much YA and NA as possible, whatever the genre—PNR, UF, Dystopia (LOVE!), and even contemporary. 

I loved your story, Escort to Insanity! Please tell my readers a little about it.

Thank you so much. Escort to Insanity pretty much came to me after I’d read a story where a woman had met up with a guy via a dating agency, and I started wondering: what if it was an escort agency instead, and what if everything went wrong. Of course, the ‘what goes wrong’ had to be of the supernatural variety—though the evening does begin to look a little rocky pretty early on.

Who, or what, was your inspiration for Benjamin?

Ooooh, how to answer this without producing spoilers …. Okay, there are some scenes in the story where Nicole’s imagination conjures notions about Benjamin, and it was those that inspired his looks and even his name. Because I wanted him to reflect his character in its entirety. He turned out to be a lot of fun to work with. 

And I realise that may make absolutely no sense to anyone who hasn’t read the tale.

I’m sure! He really seems ‘scrummy’!

How did your story end up in the Make Believe anthology? (What was the process like?)

My Holloway Pack titles are already contracted with J.Taylor (my publisher). They approached me a year ago and said: Hey, we’re thinking of putting a winter anthology for next December and would love you to be the headlining author; you up for it?

So, within days of my what-if musings about escorts gone awry, I already had a home for the story and figured I best get writing it then.

As for the process, it was actually pretty straight forward—but then J.Taylor are very easy to work with. I had a deadline to get the story in (which I had to make some tweaks to because I only saw the picture prompt after I’d planned it out in my head). Once the story was in, I was sent some story edits to make, which I did. And the following months were then spent doing line edits, proofreading the galley after the copy edits had gone in, finalising the blurb, marketing, and getting to know the other contributing authors (who are all awesomesauce, btw). 

I know! I’ve ‘met’ a few of your awesome fellow authors on-line and follow their blogs. 🙂

Where else will you be, (or have been) featured during this tour?

The blog tour dates and stops I’ve been made aware of (hey, there are SIX of us!) can be found on the Make Believe Tour Page. There are more interviews, lots of giveaways to win a copy of Make Believe, and chances to meet the other authors along the way. 😀

Yes, I’ve been trying to keep up with everyone’s busy schedule! Do you have any social media sites that you’d like to share with us?

Of course. I’m always happy to meet new folk.

I usually haunt Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes Goodreads. And I post to my blog at least once a week. 🙂

Are there any final words you’d like to say?

Yes, I’d like to say (warning: Oscar like speech coming up!) a huge thank you to all of those who’ve helped make this tour possible by participating, as well as all of those who joined up for my Blue Moon tour (which happens to be running alongside this one. I’d like to thank my fellow antho buddies, because they’ve been great to work with. And I’d also to thank each and every person who has taken, or plans to take, the time to read something I’ve written—because that is always very humbling.

And if I don’t speak to y’all before, have a great Christmas and happy new year. 😀

Thank you for joining us today and best of luck with the rest of the tour and the Make Believe anthology. 🙂

Thank you for having me here. 🙂

It’s been my pleasure to interview you and an honor to help you all out with your blog tour! 🙂

Review of Make Believe short story, Escort To Insanity by J. A. Belfield

Happy Saturday, folks!

Today, I’d like to catch you up on the Make Believe Blog Tour and let you know what I thought of J. A. Belfield’s short story. First off, on Thursday, J. Keller Ford interviewed Jennifer Eaton, her fellow anthology buddy who not only has a story in Make Believe, but is also launching a seasonal Christmas story in the anthology, For the Love of Christmas by Still Moments Publishing. You’ll also find out what Jennifer and some of the other authors of Make Believe have in common! Jennifer’s story, Last Winter Red was also reviewed on Kaiden’s Seduction, in case you want to learn more about the Dystopian tale created by this talented writer, as well as the other stories in the anthology.

Here’s my review, with further links to follow below:

Escort To Insanity is a wonderful romp through Hereford and surrounding areas, just east of the Wales border. It begins with Nicole Harrington, daughter of wealthy man, who hires an escort to a huge charity auction that her parents expect her to attend. Her escort, Benjamin Gold, is a tall, yummy (ahem! clears throat) . . . I mean, handsome man, who demands attention when he walks in a room. I especially liked Julie’s description of another woman’s appraisal of him: “her attention roamed over him like a wave across a beach.” Benjamin plays his part well, jumping in with some impromptu quips when asked about their relationship and he was very intuitive and attentive to Nicole, going well above and beyond the call of duty, which I loved. (It doesn’t hurt that Julie’s humor is impeccable! 🙂 ) Benjamin was especially helpful in dealing with Cole’s ex-boyfriend, who was especially sleezy – everything that Ben was not.

After overhearing a disturbing conversation in the ladies washroom, Cole quickly drags him away from the pretentious affair – and then the fun really begins. Nicole discovers Benjamin’s true nature in a heart-racing adventure through Mersian Park and outlying areas of the city. I had to chuckle at her reference to the children’s song with the line, ‘If you go down to the woods today…’ Ironically, Cole does end up with a ‘big surprise’, but certainly not anything like the song or the nursery rhyme might suggest!

Although I don’t usually read this particular type of story, I quite enjoyed Escort To Insanity. Julie has a way of quickly drawing in the reader to empathize with her main character. I really have no idea how it must feel like to be from a filthy-rich family, but I think everyone can relate to the obligation Cole felt to do a favor for her parents, something she really did not want to do. As far as the romance part goes, Julie certainly created the perfect leading man for this story, as you can see by this quote: Cole was “trying hard not to get distracted by the sweet, sweet curve of his bum as it tick-tocked with each step”. As you may have guessed by what I’ve told you already, Benjamin Gold is breathtakingly handsome, strong and has a wonderful sense of humor, as well as a strong sense of responsibility for his friends, which comes out later in the story. Cole has her reservations about the man, but soon finds herself quite taken with him, until she learns his dark secret for which she is totally unprepared.

I highly recommend getting your own copy of Make Believe, and not just because of this particular story, which was enough to make me want to read her other books and I hope we see more of Benjamin and Cole at some future time.

All the shorts in this anthology are excellent, I must say. I will review the others later in the month, as well as provide interviews of their authors. In the meantime, I hope you will look forward to my interview of J. A. Belfield, scheduled for Monday. However, in case you can’t wait to learn more about this author, pop over to Kelly Said‘s site and learn more about how she (maybe) gets some writing done and what her workspace looks like. Kelly also gives us a peek into J. Keller Ford’s ‘writing lair’ , here. 🙂

Over at Terri Rochenski’s blog, Scribbler’s Sojourn, you can read an interview of Kelly Said, as well as Lynda R. Young, so please drop around to give them a gander.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Make Believe Update & Crafty Wednesday

Yesterday at J. Keller Ford’s blog, Jenny interviewed her co-author for the Make Believe anthology, Lynda R Young. Today she is interviewing J. A. Belfield, who also wrote The Holloway Pack series. You should drop in to learn more about these amazing writers – and you might find some chocolate there! lol

Ironically, Julie Belfield is interviewing Jenny on her blog, which you can find here. Yesterday, she had a wonderful interview with Terri Rochenski, which I found fascinating. You can find it here.

Today at Scribbler’s Sojourn (I love the name of her blog!), Terri interviewed Jennifer Eaton.

Make Believe

Okay, now on with the crafting: I decided to show you the different ways one can use a particular element in a card. One of my favourite stamps is ‘The Skaters’ from Stampin’ Up‘s Winter Post set. I already showed you the version I made using the Sketch Challenge:

sketch 4 skaters

sketch 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the other ways I used them on regular shaped cards, using a half sheet of 8-1/2″ x 11″ card stock as a base, then folding it in half to make the 5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ size card. You can use any colour for your base, all kinds of different embellishments and each card will be unique. Here are some examples:

The patterned green on these two cards is from a wallpaper sample book.

skaters landscape greenskaters landscape red

skaters portrait red

I ran the green card stock through the Cuttlebug using the Victoria embossing folder.

skaters portrait holly

I used holly paper from Stampin’ Up for the background.

skaters portrait cream

The garland was created by sprinkling Vintage Christmas Flower Soft flocking over white glue that dries clear.

 

So, do you have a favourite among them?

Make Believe – Official Kick-Off

Make Believe

Over at Jenny Keller Ford‘s blog, she posted a link for a Make Believe anthology give-away, hosted by Jennifer Bielman. If you pop over there now, you might have a chance of winning an e-book version of the anthology produced by J. Taylor Publishing. You can also read the blurb for her story, The Amulet of Ormisez as well as for the other stories and reviews.

Over at Julie Reece‘s blog, Julie is interviewing Jennifer M. Eaton about her Dystopian Romance, Last Winter Red, found in the Make Believe anthology. If you’re interested in learning more about the story, be sure to pop in on Julie to read her interview.

J. A. Belfield’s story in the anthology is called Escort To Insanity. You can find her blog tour schedule by clicking on the Make Believe button on the sidebar.

At Terri Rochenski‘s blog, you will find some reviews of her short story, Sacrificial Oath and she is offering the chance to win signed bookmarks and a signed cover, so pop over there to see what’s happening and how you can register to win. She even has a widget that will help you order an authorgraphed version if you’d rather not wait for the contests to end and want your own copy of Make Believe, available at these on-line stores: Amazon Barnes & Noble Amazon UK / All Romance  /  Diesel eBooks /  Books on Board 

Lynda R. Young‘s blog, Scribbler’s Sojourn, tells how excited she is about the launch of the anthology, which includes her story, Birthright. There is a brief blurb about it and links to her blog tour schedule, as well.

Kelly Said, whose story is Petrified, has a list of places where she will be hosted during the tour on her blog site here.

I think that’s all that’s going on with the tour, today.