Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Hop

Everyone loves a Character. Are you ready to meet some interesting ones?

I'd like to thank Ariella Moon for inviting my to take part in this fun blog hop. I've been introduced to some fabulous authors and their great characters.

Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, secrets, high school, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

Connect with Ariella Moon

Are you ready to meet my sassy New Yorker? 

What is the name of your character? Is she fictional or historical?

In my mind I had a vivid image of Lily Peradou. She's a fictional character, but reminds me of so many talented women determined to prove they can make it on their own. My cover artist did a fantastic job of portraying her image exactly as I imagined Lily.

When and where is the story set?

The story is set in Brooklyn, NY . Most of the story takes place in Lily's tiny shop, Pastry Art at 4 1/2  Smith Street.

What should we know about your character?

Lily is daring, independent, and loyal to her friends. She has just enough New York sass to get the job done. She is the equivalent of chocolate royalty, but has chosen to make it without help from her family of chocolate snobs. When life takes a sudden turn, she steps back and re-evaluates what's really important.

What is her main conflict? What messes up her life?

Lily's problems are compounded when she meets a former lawyer, Noah Adler in the alley behind her shop. She discovers he's the new owner of the burger place on the other side of the vacant store she inherits. Noah's interest in the shop between them makes Lily cautious. When Noah offers to help her with her legal battle against the heirs of the vacant property, she knows it will come with a price. Lily refuses his help, insisting she can defend herself against their ridiculous claim. Determined to prove that her chocolate cherry cordial cakes did not influence the late dress designer's will, she soon finds herself over her head in a melting pot of chocolate complications and love.

What is the personal goal of your character?

Lily is determined to make her business a success by following her own ideas and passion. If she finds the right man to share her dreams - why not.

Is there a working title for this novel, can we read more about it?

To read more about Chocolate Couture and all the other books in my Love by Chocolate series visit my website 
Available on Amazon

Next fun and fabulous tour - September 1

   Tara Fairfield
Dr. Fairfield is a licensed psychologist and author with her doctorate from Northern Arizona University. She released her first YA fantasy novel, Makai Queen, in Feb. of 2013 and the sequel, Makai King, splashes onto the scene September 1st! She has been a featured guest on Teen Talk and Parent Talk radio with Nicole O’Dell (ChooseNOW Ministries) and writes a monthly column for parents of teens. Tara loves spending time kayaking, romping with her dogs or just hanging out with her grandchildren. She currently lives in Washington State where she can be close to her family and still smell the salty air of the Sound. 


D.B. Schaefer

D.B. Schaefer is the author of Me & Georgette, a quirky time-travel to famed 
Regency historical fiction writer Georgette Heyer. A former journalist, she was born and raised in the American Midwest, but headed to more exotic locales after university. Me & Georgette is her first novel.

Mary King

My name is Mary King, and I'm a mature writer with decades of life and work experience. The youngest of three children, I was born in 1956, in Jacksonville, FL. I was fortunate to grow up during a time when some of the most profound and exciting historical events changed the world. English grammar and composition were favorite school subjects, as was music. By the time I reached my teens, I was a church organist and worked to become a violinist in the Jacksonville Youth Symphony. I also became a caregiver at a very early age, surrounded by family members with physical and cognitive disabilities. I attended Jacksonville University (FL), graduating with a BS in psychology in 1979.
I've held numerous employment positions, some of which I combined with my passion for driving. Driver education was my starting point. From there I became a defensive driving classroom instructor, and then finally, a driver for Greyhound Bus Lines. By a stroke of luck, I eventually came to work in a spinal cord rehabilitation center, where I developed the first state-licensed driving school that specialized in adaptive driving for persons with disabilities.
In 1996, I began to pursue my passion for writing fiction. My greatest achievement thus far (besides raising my kids) is creating The McFadden Series, a self-published saga featuring an adoptive family of teens with disabilities and the professional couple who cares for them. In addition, I write nonfiction material, having published online over two hundred informative articles. I've covered everything from caregiver support to southern living, environmental issues, senior topics, hurricanes, health issues, teenage topics, recipes, human interest stories and more. At present, I have fifteen Editor's Choice awards.
Some of my other interests include reading, writing book reviews, work-related research, listening to classical music, gardening, photography and cooking. I don't have much time for anything else, but in my leisure time, I enjoy reality TV shows, especially DIY-related programs.
My future goal is to move to the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, where I can indulge in a lifestyle filled with the arts and music. Of course, I plan to continue writing my novel series and nonfiction articles. Currently, I live in northwest Florida, on the gulf coast.
Barnes and Noble: 

Amanda Kay

I am a Paranormal/Fantasy Adult Romance Author. I am a Navy Wife and a mother of two. My daughter was born December 4, 2010 and my son was born July 18, 2013. My husband and I have been married for almost seven years, but we have been together since our junior year of high school and we have known each other since 8th grade, yes a long time.
I am a Florida girl at heart, but since getting married I have lived in Washington, South Carolina, and our latest move Connecticut. I hold a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
My Motto: Not your average Fairy Tales

Jennifer Pitkin

Ever since she was a little girl on a farm in rural Iowa, Jennifer M. Pitkin's heart has been filled with wanderlust and adventure. She started writing at an early age, and has never stopped. After exploring Italy, Ethiopia and South Korea, Pitkin's desire to transport others to those places and to raise awareness of important humanitarian and social issues took hold in the form of her second fictional novel, Watchmen for Morning. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Iowa State University and her Master's Degree from Pacific Oaks College. Her areas of both professional and personal interest and research include: adoption, global orphan care, Interpersonal Neurobiology, social justice and humanitarian aid work. Her adventures never stop as she raises her four small children with her beloved husband in Iowa. Pitkin will be releasing three more books within the next year - connect with her online to stay updated! Links: Facebook: Twitter: @Jennifer_Pitkin Blogger:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Venice - The Doge Palace, Mask Making, and a Farewell Cruise


Mask making was right up there with pasta making as one of my favorite Italy experiences. At Tragicomica we met the artists who create these wonderful masks. The Mascareri, the mask makers have practiced their craft since 1436. In the shop we got a brief introduction to this special art. After choosing a mask we sat down to create a masterpiece of our own. With a little help from the experts the results were amazing.

  Before and after - not bad.


Lunch on our own was followed by a visit to the Doges Palace. The junior adventures set off with our Disney guides for a treasure hunt while the rest of group explored the grand halls, glided staircases, and frescoed walls.

The palace was the headquarters for the Venetian Republic with an elected official, the Doge. The Doge, elected by the city's aristocracy held the position for life.

Citizens were given the opportunity to report neighbors by dropping a
note in the wall. The note fell into a box on the other side where the decisions were made. If the accused was found innocent the accuser was sent to prison.

Prison Visit

Prisoners walked over the Sigh Bridge for their last view of Venice.

Casanova was the most famous prisoner to escape from the Venetian prison. However, the stories vary depending on who told them.

Pirate Ship Adventure

Our last evening in Venice, left us with another jaw dropping experience. We dined, danced, and sailed around the island on a pirate ship. Our masks from earlier in the day were waiting for us with bubble wrap and paper.

Farewell Venice.

  Off to London.

Ciao Bellas,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

And Then There was Venice

We arrived in Venice after a ride on a hi speed bullet train designed by Ferrari and seats crafted by Tod's Leather.


After a group photo, it was off to the gondolas and a walking tour of Venice.

The Grand Canal was exceptionally crowded this weekend due to the Festival of Redemption from the plague. Between 1575 and 1577 the plague killed 1/3 of the population of Venice. In 1576, the Doge vowed to build a church to help end the plague, promising to make a procession to the church on the 3rd week of July. We were lucky to be staying on the island where this church stills stands.

That evening the waterfront was lined with tables moved out of restaurants and the residents kitchens and dinning rooms. It was one gigantic block party.

There wasn't a dinner reservation anywhere. But with a pinch of Disney pixie dust, Landon our wonderful guide got us a water view table at one of our hotel's completely booked restaurants. We had little time to change and had to be seated by 6pm. The view, the food, and the service were worth the rush. It worked out fine for our hot and tired family. It was 93 when we arrived in Venice.

The day ended with a 2 hour fireworks display.
Seeing the city light up from the fireworks was amazing.

And that was just our 1st day in Venice. 

Ciao Bellas,