Wednesday, May 27, 2015

COLORCRAZED DESIGN - New Bible/Book Covers - Fits NWT and More

This Spring the birds have been exceptionally vocal in their appreciation of a new season. Their songs inspired this new series of Covers that you can now find in my Colorcrazed online shop. Covers will fit the Standard New World Translation (NWT) as well as other Bibles and books. (See size on the product page.)

All covers come with a free 3-ribbon bookmark and some have a business-sized card pocket on the inside. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

INTERVIEW with Anita Kidesu

My guest this morning is Author Anita Kidesu.

From the time she was a teenager, Anita would sneak her mother's romances and read them until all hours of the night. She never thought about creating one herself, but fell into it with a few friends. On an over-long road trip, they started talking about their favorite authors and why they like their books. To kill time, they started making up their own characters and plot.

From that point on, Anita had story ideas and characters filling her head. Finally, to shut them up, (or so she thought), she started writing them down, surprised at how erotic her characters turned out to be.

Now, in between being a pharmacist, taking care of her two cats, and spending time with her family and friends, she writes. Her stories are about love and romance on the edge.
Her first book, South Seas Seduction, was release in March of this year.

Thank you for visiting us today and answering a few questions about your writing life and your current work. Here's your first question...

Do you have an critters that keep me company while writing? 
I have a hamster named Digger. He sits on a table next to my couch. He burrows into his shavings whenever the cats come to pester him. One of my cats, Midnight, who is pure white, loves to sit on my lap, paws on the desk, and watch the mouse move around my screen. Sometimes I play with the mouse and he tries to bat at it. I figure it's good exercise for him - at least for his paws.

What would your writing space look like?
 I have a roll-top desk that means a lot to me as it belonged to my grandmother who raised me. On the top is a bobble-head dog that was in her car, along with a statue of Joe Bonamassa, a jazz guitarist that I love. I also have a cup warmer to keep my tea warm while I write.

Do you write better when I'm feeling great or feeling low? 
I don't know if I write better when I'm feeling great, but it's much easier to write. When I'm feeling low and can't figure out why, I make myself sit down and write. I'm amazed how much better I feel. I've realized writing is what my soul needs. It's my passion.

Would you also read a lot, if so, how do I fit that into my schedule and why is it important to me?
 I'm a voracious reader. I read in the bathroom (sorry for that visual), while eating, watching television, or any place I can. I always have a book with me in case I get stuck at one of the train crossing in town. I don't read during my breaks at work because I use that time to write. I guess reading it like writing to me - it feeds my soul. A good book can take me away from my job and the everyday events of life.

What would you tell a beginning writer to never do/always do? 
I would tell a beginning writer to read about the craft. Take workshops. Go to conferences. Talk to other authors. I've found that the majority of authors are willing to help other authors. I know I am.  I would also tell a beginning author to NEVER GIVE UP! Don't let rejection notices get you down. Read them, shed a few tears, and move on. Learn from them. But most of all - NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Would you have preferred to live and write in a different era than the present? 
This is an interesting question. I've gone back and forth on this question. For women, writing in the past, like everything else was frowned on. Many female authors wrote under men's names. I would have found that frustrating. The other thing is, I'm pretty darn sure I wouldn't have liked to write a book long-hand or on a manual typewriter. Computers and the backspace key make life a lot easier. On the other hand, there were a lot less authors in the marketplace in the past competing for readers. Then again, with the internet and social media, it's easier to reach readers today.

What's the best/worst comments you've received from a fan or critic?
 I was surprised and pleased at how many people who read "South Seas Seduction," didn't see the ending coming. Several also said the ending made the cry (happy). The worse was a reviewer who gave me a one because, while they "didn't really read the book," gave me a one because I had too many fives. There are always those people who believe they should be an editor because they 'found a typo in the book." This last one was from a book I wrote under my real name.

Would you be a Pantser or Plotter?
 I am a mix of both. I plot out my characters and have a general idea of where I want the book to go. Then I let the characters take over - they do anyway. Sometimes when I try to make a story go the way I want and the characters don't like it, I get stuck or frustrated, so I just let them take over. Often they have better ideas than I do.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Good morning, Barbara, and welcome to Between The Pages. Thank you for leaving your writing world to spend a few minutes visiting with us.

Hi Lynda, thanks for having me. I write mostly contemporary romance and am published by Samhain Publishing. I also write a screwball fantasy series as AJ Tillock. When I’m not writing fiction or Dr. Seuss-like poetry for adults or song lyrics, I don a green apron and transform into a barista for a global coffee company. I’m still married to my first husband, have two fantastic children and reside in central Florida. 

(Lynda As:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing? 

(Barbara)  We have a dog named Pepper. She’s a black lab mix from a shelter. We got her when she was less than a year old and she’s about twelve now. I describe her as an almost perfect dog. She doesn’t chew, rarely barks, doesn’t make messes as a general rule or get into things she shouldn’t. She’s friendly with people but not always with other dogs. Everyone loves the way she prances when she walks. We should have named her Prancer. We didn’t teach her this; her gait has always been that of a Lippenzaner stallion. When she sheds, oh, boy does she shed. Black hair everywhere. My husband becomes the vacuum king! When it storms, Pepper freaks out, pants and shakes. But otherwise, she’s perfect.

 (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I took a drive in the area I live, what might I see? 

(Barbara)  You’d see palm trees and lakes. Florida Southern College and Southeastern University. The headquarters for Publix supermarkets. Lots and lots of small businesses.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What do I think is the difference between insanity and creativity? As a writer, do I use just one or a little of both, and how?

(Barbara)  Insanity is the deterioration or destruction of one’s psyche. Creativity is the expression of what’s in one’s psyche. I don’t think I’m insane but I’m pretty self-aware and self-analytical. I use a lot of what I’ve experienced or witnessed to create my characters’ internal lives and to give them motivation. I thought I was getting flaky as I got older until my husband informed me that I’d always been that way. I was surprised, but when I started looking back at some of my behavior, I see that he was right. Other friends have called me quirky. I haven’t determined if that is a compliment or a bit of an insult.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I sincerely feel about editing, and editors?

(Barbara)  If they are good at what they do I would love them. If they are not very skilled at editing, I would not like them so much. May I just say editing is necessary for quality fiction. Very few authors can edit their own work well, which is why so much self-published fiction that’s currently flooding the market is just not very good. It’s not that the authors can’t write. It’s that they can’t see the trees because of the forest. I’ve tried to read so many books that sound like good stories and maybe even start off strong but then they meander and the story gets lost. There’s a lot of repetition and the book stops going anywhere. That’s when I give up and think, “If she’d only had an editor…”

I’ve been lucky at Samhain Publishing. I’ve had some really good editors and some fantastic line editors. I might not always like their nitpicking and suggestions but I think a good editor is like your mother. You might not always like what she has to say, but she’s usually right.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, In what ways do I consider myself different from most of my co-workers, family, or friends?

(Barbara)  I’m always surprised at how much free time other people have, but then I remember they are not spending every available moment either writing or doing something writing-related. Nor do they look at almost everything and think about how they can use it in a story. For example, my son-in-law separates two double stuffed Oreos, takes the cookie part off them, puts all the cream in the middle of two cookies and eats them quadruple stuffed. But he abandons the two creamless cookie parts. Drives my daughter nuts. (I told her to put them in a freezer bag to accumulate them and eventually she’d have enough of them to make a cookie crust.) But then I had this short story idea for those lonely cookie shells who meet up at a singles mixer…after their relationship with their other half had been torn apart by circumstances beyond their control.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

(Barbara)  A couple of years ago I started doing signings at arts and crafts fairs and they are a lot of fun. My neighborhood has one every fall and so do some of the other local communities. I like to talk to people and I’m always surprised what they share with me. I like meeting the other vendors, too, and see what form their creativity takes. I’ll talk about writing and my journey and my books anywhere, any time, any place. All you gotta do is ask. Then try and shut me up.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What do I think of the publishing industry as a whole and my publisher/publishers in particular.

(Barbara)  Briefly, I’m just going to say I feel very lucky to have had five books published by Samhain Publishing.

They’ve been very good to me.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?

(Barbara)  Always date everything and never throw away anything you start because you can always go back and fix it or finish it.

Never put bad/mediocre work into the marketplace. There’s enough of it out there already.

THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW, BARBARA. You can learn more about Barbara Meyers and her work at the following links.

Friday, May 15, 2015

COLORCRAZED DESIGN - New Bible/Book Covers - Fits NWT and More

New Bible/Book Covers that you can now find in my Colorcrazed online shop. Fits Standard New World Translation (NWT) and others. (See sizes on the product page.)

These were fun to make and I love the red and black color theme. Hope you enjoy them too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Meet today's guest author, Neil S. Plakcy. 

Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog. I’m delighted to have the chance to share my writing world with your readers. I write three different series. The Mahu Investigations are police procedurals set in Honolulu; the golden retriever mysteries are cozies set in the Philadelphia suburbs. I’ve also written stand-alone mysteries and romances, as well as a young adult novel, Soul Kiss. : my cozy dog-oriented mysteries

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like? 

I do most of my writing at my local Starbucks. The coffee is great and the staff is friendly, and no one interrupts me to find lost household objects or walk dogs. I can shut out almost everything except really juicy gossip and focus on my work in progress. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Where would I live? 

(Neil) A warm climate, for sure. I moved to South Florida almost thirty years ago, after growing up in Pennsylvania and working in New York, and I haven’t missed the cold weather at all. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I see out my window?

(Neil) I live in a community of zero-lot line townhomes, which means that my neighbors can’t see into my courtyard, and I can’t see into theirs. When I look out the window I can see just a corner of the lake behind the house across the street. A partial water view! 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What things would inspire me?

(Neil) I love observing the world, and I often use my phone to record voice memos – funny bumper stickers, odd-looking characters, details of a particular building. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I do when taking a break from writing?

(Neil) Brody and Griffin, my two golden retrievers, keep me busy! They require a lot of attention, from grooming with a special “furminator” to belly rubs, cookies and behind-the-ear scratches. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

(Neil) It’s amazing to realize all the things I don’t know when I go to write about them. In order to write convincingly, you have to get the details correct. For example, did you know there are no squirrels in Hawaii? 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing?

(Neil) Brody and Griffin are often sprawled on the wood floor beside my desk. Outside, we’ve got lizards, frogs, raccoons, opossums, squirrels and big orange crabs but I don’t let any of them in while I’m writing. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I took a drive in the area I live, what might I see?

(Neil) If you were to head due east about a half mile, you’d come to Hollywood Beach, a very funky low-rise section of the coast with small 1950s motels and a paved broadwalk for strolling or riding bikes. “Se habla espanol” and “Ici on parle Francais” signs dot the landscape, and at least half the cars have license plates from Quebec or Ontario. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write for myself or my readers?

(Neil) I think any writer has to write for himself first—I write because there’s a story in my head and I want to know how it comes out. I want to know who those people are and why they do what they do. And I hope that I write the story well enough, in an engaging enough way, that readers will enjoy reading it.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I often visit the library?

(Neil) You bet! I’m lucky that there’s a branch of our county library on the college campus where I teach, so it’s just a quick stroll over there to scan the shelves of new books, bring my students in for library orientations, or chat with the librarians about research and teaching. I can’t seem to walk out of that place without at least a couple of books on my arm! 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write longhand, on a laptop, tablet, etc.

(Neil) My parents sent me to typing class during the summer after sixth grade, so I’m a demon at the keyboard. When I was in college I worked as a temp and could type 90 words a minute. Sometimes when I’m at Starbucks people will ask me how I can type so fast! 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I belong to any writing groups, if so, why?

(Neil) I belong to Mystery Writers of America, and have served the chapter for years, as a board member, vice president, and then president. I relish the chance to meet with other people who love books as much as I do, and I always learn something from our guest speakers and our annual mystery writers’ conference, Sleuthfest. I also participate in a critique group with four other terrific authors and my writing is so much better because of their advice and input. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

(Neil) As a college professor, I’m pretty much able to get up in front of a group and talk on a moment’s notice. My partner might say that’s because I’m a ham. But I truly love talking about reading, writing and publishing and I enjoy talking to others who love literature as much as I do. 

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also read a lot, if so, how do I fit that into my schedule and why is it important to me?

(Neil) I can’t imagine not reading. I read cereal boxes and bumper stickers and I always have at least one book with me. When I was a kid I used to trail around behind my parents in stores with a book in my hand.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Mariana Gabrielle

My guest today is author Mariana Gabrielle. Mariana is the author of Regency romances Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess and an upcoming series of Regency novellas. She also writes mainstream historical fiction.

Mariana, let's get right into your interview:

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

(Mariana) I write historical fiction and historical romance, so yes, research is really important. That said, on the romance side of things, I write entirely in the Regency era, so the more I write, the more I know. This doesn’t negate research entirely, but it does mean that
“Photo credit: James Steidl”
I am researching different things for each book, and that I use a lot of the same sources. In Royal Regard, I spent a lot of time researching ship’s voyages and world travel before steamships. For my upcoming book, La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, I looked into India before the British government took over colonization from the East India Company. In the mainstream fiction world,
I’ve immersed myself in the American Civil War, as well as turn-of-the-century Brooklyn and Tammany Hall.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I consider writing a job, a vocation, a hobby, or a passion?

(Mariana) All three. I have been a professional writer, editor, and designer most of my life, most frequently as a freelancer in corporate and technical. There are a number of things I write as a hobby, including poetry, and I consider forays into new genres a hobby until I decide to commit. If words weren’t a passion, though, I would never have made writing my career.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I sincerely feel about editing, and editors?

(Mariana) Love. Editors. Love them. Love them. Love them. (And not just because I am one.) Any writer who dislikes the idea of editing—or worse, thinks he/she doesn’t need it—should not be in this business. The relationship between writer and editor is extremely intimate and vulnerable, but an imperative part of being successful. This is not to say there isn’t an art to the process, or to suggest a writer should take every editorial suggestion, only that a second set of highly trained eyes on any piece of writing creates the opportunity for improvement. There are no exceptions to this rule. Ever.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?

(Mariana) Always: solicit feedback, especially from trained writers and editors; have work professionally edited AND proofread (two different things); cultivate a thicker skin and a stronger backbone, no matter how indestructible you become about your writing.

Never: believe your writing is perfect; assume anyone wants to read your book (including your mother or spouse); publish a book you have just finished; take any one person’s opinion as fact, even your editor’s, even your own.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I take manuscript rejections well. And how do I feel about reviews, both good and not-so-good?

(Mariana) Rejections are difficult, and a bad review is a rejection of sorts, just as much as a declination from an agent or publisher. But writing is hard, too, and we do that without flinching (much). Good reviews feel much better, because being told I am fabulous never gets old, but arrogance is not nearly as attractive as humility. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. I cannot repeat this enough.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing? (Photo would be good here)

(Mariana) India and Burton are two kittens (okay, they are cats now and do not appreciate being called babies), who I rescued from a window well when they were about a month old. They have no respect at all for the idea of uninterrupted writing time, but they have both learned to sleep on my lap while I type.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be a Pantser or Plotter?

(Mariana) Pantser, almost entirely. I almost always outline, and it has always become irrelevant by the end of the first chapter, never to be seen again.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I had a second chance to start my writing career from the beginning, what would I change?

(Mariana) I would not spend twenty years afraid to write fiction. I would start writing novels at age 20, no matter how bad they would have been. (And they would have been very, very bad.)

Learn more about author Mariana Gabrielle and her books at these links:

Royal Regard:
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess (pre-order):

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I'm please to have as my guest today author N. N. Light. MRS N, why don't you introduce yourself and then we'll start the interview.

My name is MRS N aka N. N. Light and I have been creating stories ever since I was little. My grandfather remembers when I was two years old, I stood at the top of the stairs and told him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with my hands on my hips. Let’s just say I was a born storyteller.

I am an author, blogger, book promoter/reviewer, editor, freelance writer and social media marketer.

I wrote Princess of the Light in response to a life-changing encounter with a homeless man in my neighborhood. Princess of the Light is an inspiring Urban Fantasy Romance and part of the proceeds will go directly to food banks in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, I will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I took a drive in the area I live, what might I see?

I live in a cozy neighborhood filled with tall trees, older buildings and houses. My windows look out at beautiful willow trees and there are railroad tracks that pass less than 100 yards from my front door. While many people dislike the noise of the trains, I love them. I find them soothing and many weekends, I sit out on the solarium with my husband and watch the trains go by. This picture I took from my solarium one summer evening.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also read a lot, if so, how do I fit that into my schedule and why is it important to me?

(MRS N)  No matter what I’m working on, I always make time to read. I love to read and reading spurs my muse into action. I make time to read because it is a great way to learn first-hand about the craft. Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, Jane Green, Mary Higgins Clark, J. R. R. Tolkien are all terrific writing mentors.

Reading Tip: If time is very limited, read while commuting and/or in the washroom. I know it sounds strange but I read in the washroom. It helps me relax and it allows me to read at least thirty minutes a day.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What character was the most difficult to write, and why?

(MRS N) In Princess of the Light, the most difficult character to write was Gabriel, archangel and messenger to God. I had to think like an angel while not being preachy. I believe angels are looking out for us and guide us along the way. I wanted to incorporate that belief in my depiction of Gabriel. I didn’t want to put Gabriel on a pedestal so I tried to show a weakness in him. It was subtle but it is there.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, And I was stuck in solitary confinement, what five items would I most want with me?

  • A laptop with videos of my beloved husband talking to me. I couldn’t make it through without his voice with me.
  • An unending supply of chocolate. It’s my weakness and I love it.
  • My Bible. It will help me get through the dark days and nights without going crazy
  • An mp3 filled with my favorite music. Music is the pulse that keeps me going.
  • Stationary set. If I am able to write, I am able to deal with solitary confinemen
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would be the best/worst advice I've received from family, friends, or others?

(MRS N) My father said, “You are my diamond and you will always shine, no matter what.” He then dedicated the Pink Floyd song to me.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have a favorite color, movie, ice cream flavor, and drink?

(MRS N) My favorite color is purple. My favorite movie is Love Actually. My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate peanut butter swirl. My favorite drink is wine (currently Mateus).

Read more about my books:

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Thank you, Lynda, for having me on your blog today! I really appreciate it!

Monday, May 4, 2015

To Cover...Or Not To Cover?

 (Fits Standard New World Translation (NWT) and many more Bibles and books)

To Cover...Or Not To Cover? Who came up with this crazy question? YOU COVER, or at least, I do. Embellishment has always been my middle name, and my personal bible doesn't escape this passion of mine.

I love making projects that allow me to play with my fabric and, at the same time, explore my own design ideas. These Bible/Book covers afford me the opportunity to do both.

These covers are made with a combination of unique fabrics and embellishments, along with a quilted lining for added durability. The ones shown here measure 7" tall x 5" wide x 1.5" depth.

I make some for myself, some as gifts, and the rest I sell. It's hard to part with my little creations, but some have to be sacrificed so that I can buy more FABRIC. You didn't forget that I have a mania for fabric, did you?

I've recently opened a small online shop where I will be showcasing some of my work. I will be adding more covers and in varying sizes throughout the months. So make time to visit. If you have any suggestions or just want to give a critique, you can easily do that by email. You'll find my shop, which I've named, COLORCRAZED at this link.

Oh, and before I forget, Each of my covers comes with a free, three-ribbon book mark. I don't know about you, but when it comes to my bible, I never seem to have enough of those little ribbon, page markers. This book mark slips easily into the Bible/Book spine to give you that additional bookmarking option.