‘I can kill you if I want,’ Seasonal greetings and Viking thralls.

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Loving Lady Lazuli – A Book Review https://annfields.com/2016/12/04/loving-lady-lazuli-a-book-review/ via @ann_fields

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https://caroleecroft.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/book-review-loving-lady-lazuli-by-shehanne-moore/ via @CaroleeCroft

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3 days quotes challenge and the ink is dry. .

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https://iminionmind.wordpress.com/

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https://katemcclelland01.wordpress.com/ Kate McClelland

https://katemcclelland01.wordpress.com/ Kate McClelland

https://katemcclelland01.wordpress.com/ Kate McClelland

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http://dgkayewriter.com/  D G Kaye.

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Kevin Cooper, Kits, Caboodles and Hamsters.

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Kev…

Er, Caboodle is not exactly a hamster Caboodle, though I’m quite sure that hamsters the world over will like it all the same as it also includes short stories of interviews with all kinds of characters as well as other stories, and poetry about all kinds of things. (Why oh why didn’t I do an interview one with a hamster?!!!) But…..dudes! Let me start by saying, it’s a real honour to be interviewed by such famous outstanding hamster dudes who have graciously provided me with an opportunity to talk about my latest book release, Caboodle & The Whole Kit.

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Kev.  Well… Er, Caboodle is not really about people and things as much; it’s more about experiences in life. I’m quite sure you dudes will be able to relate to some it it… sort of… (Big open smile)

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Kev. Er, no. (Kev fidgets with his fingers and toes and moves about uncomfortably while waiting for the next question.)

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The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales that are mostly based upon true events, people can easily relate to.

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Kev. (Oh dear!) Mm… Good question! Yes. You do make an excellent point. I think somebody should, er, definitely write something about you. After all, you are the most excellent hamster dudes I’ve ever met.

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Kev. I had several completed works lying around and several others that I was still working on which didn’t seem to relate to one particular genre or topic, so I thought, Why not throw them all into one work, grouped into their respective genres/topics and that way, I will have everything I’ve written to date (apart from my memoir and fantasy sequel which I’m still working on) published and out there for folks to enjoy… That’s pretty much how Caboodle & The Whole Kit came about.

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Kev. That was my most difficult challenge. I couldn’t for ages think of a suitable title, then one day while I was musing over it and having a really good talk with myself (as you do) I said to myself, it’s sort of like the whole kit and caboodle… then it hit me (a stroke of genius, I must admit) I’ll call it Caboodle & The Whole Kit! I love my mouse!

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Kev. Er, I mean muse. I like hamsters too…

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Kev. I’m more of a songwriter than an artist. I’ve had four single releases so far, three of which will become part of my album: The Right One when it’s finished. Christmas Time was my first release, last year. I will be promoting it again this year and it will probably become part of a second album I’m working on which I haven’t decided upon a name for yet.

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Kev. My music is varied, but The Right One will bring together all my love songs and ballads with a couple of folk & country songs in the mix.

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My second album will focus more on my less serious topics including The Boogie Song and a few other bouncy, dancy, wobbelly jobbelly type of songs… Pretty much all humour.

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Kev. I perform live in my spare room and around the house occasionally if that counts. Aragorn likes to hear me sing and watch me play the guitar. Sometimes, we dance together. Rico looks at us like we’re stark raving bonkers then tends to disappear which is probably what my audience would do if I performed on stage… Don’t know why though, I do all my own moves. We should do a gig together sometime, we could call it Kev and the Hamster Dudes. Play that banjo!

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Oh yes, definitely! I’ve seen him, or her, didn’t exactly get to ask about the gender.

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But that’s how I got to know the hamster dude called, Clarence.

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I was having a stroll in the woods one day, minding my own as you do when this big, wet blobby grassy, er mossy things jumps out of nowhere and blocks my path.

“Yuuu’man!” It growled

“Who me?”

“Yuuu’man!” It repeated

I looked around. Nobody. “Oh, you must mean me.”

“You, yuuu’man!”

“Oh, you mean, I’m human! It’s actually pronounced with an H, you know. Like this, Hu… man. Go on, give it a try.”

“I eat yuuu’man for halloween treat!”

“Ah, right, well… That changes things a bit doesn’t it?”

Just as the moss monster was about to pounce upon me, some strange music started playing… it sounded like a clarinet. The moss monster turned and ran towards the music. Living with cats for all these years, curiosity got the better of me, so I followed it to see who was playing the clarinet.

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Turns out it was a hamster dude called, Clarence who upon seeing me in danger had gotten out his clarinet to distract the moss monster. Then he ran to the edge of a cliff and hid behind a rock while playing his clarinet. The moss monster, confused by the echo the music coming from the cliff’s edge ran over it and fell into the ravine.

If it hadn’t been for the hamster dude, Clarence and his clarinet that he played like the pied piper, I would have become the moss monster’s Halloween treat.

This is an exclusive for the hamster dudes. Copyright. Kevin Cooper.

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Well, I’m currently working on my final memoir: Miedo 3: Fragments of Fear. I’m doing it as an unedited serialisation on my blog at the moment. Since, my son had a hamster, there will most definitely be a mention of that later on in the book. I still have fantasy sequel to write as well, but I’m also thinking about writing Animal Tales 2 which will definitely have a couple of hamster tales in it along short stories of other famous animals.

Thanks again for having me over on your site hamster dudes. I’ve really enjoyed it.

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Kevin Cooper was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, England in 1963 and moved to the USA in 1985 when he was 21 years old.

Having left high school in England with only three CSE’s (Certificate of Secondary Education) in English Composition, Maths, and English Literature, he spent his first year in America studying for a GED followed by ACT. After passing his college entrance exams, he studied both music and religion for two years at Western Kentucky University before transferring to Asbury College to enroll in their pre-professional track in psychology. He obtained a recognition on the Dean’s List, and graduated with a BA in Psychology with a minor in Classical Greek.

Kevin started post-graduate studies in counselling and psychotherapy at Asbury Theological Seminary where he remained for two years before transferring to the Grand Canyon University in Arizona where he was awarded a research scholarship in their M.Ed program. He did his teaching practicum at Phoenix High School, completed his student teaching year at Peoria High School, and graduated from Grand Canyon University with a M.Ed.

While in America, Kevin has been a College Lecturer of General Studies, a Manager for The Hertz Corporation, who acknowledged him with awards of recognition for his service and dedication to the company. He was a Substitute Teacher for several years, a Private Tutor, a university tutor, and even did volunteer work as a children’s reading mentor in a Phoenix library.

Kevin now resides in England with his wife, and is an established Author of several works.

Connect with him  here https://kcbooksandmusic.wordpress.com/

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Caboodle is filled with relaxing episodes of life, family, love & romance, faith, and even the odd, inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavory characters.
The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales that are mostly based upon true events, people can easily relate to.
The whole kit is designed to ignite a mixture of emotions to bring smile, laughter, and moisture to the eyes. There is something for everyone in Caboodle.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kit-Whole-Kaboodle-Kevin-Cooper-ebook/dp/B01M7UOP7G/ref=la_B00EWFEYKQ_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478547120&sr=1-1

 

Trick? Treat? Or Liberation with Kate Furnivall?

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‘Hi dudes, it’s great to be here and I am looking forward to a cool chat with you. No eating manuscripts, okay?’

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KATE. Let’s face it, guys, I know you live in bonny Scotland but Italy is the most beautiful country on earth. I’d be a fool to miss out on the chance of another research trip there.image2-6

 

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I fell madly in love with Italy when I was researching for The Italian Wife and I couldn’t wait to go back for The Liberation. And let’s not forget all that vino and tagliatelle ai funghi porcini and fiery limoncello. Especially the limoncello! And all that fascinating history, all that breathtaking art and culture oozing out of every pore of Italy. And that’s not counting my guide, the gorgeous slim-hipped Filippo …. Need I go on?

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Kate.  Oh yes! And this time I didn’t make it up. It’s not just one fancy town that provides the setting for The Liberation, but two – Sorrento and Naples. Both utterly beautiful and totally different. My main character, Caterina Lombardi, lives in the exquisite ancient town of Sorrento, perched peacefully up on its clifftop, but she sells her craftwork in the greedy streets of the city of Naples which lies in ruins, devastated by wartime bombing.

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Crime and danger are rampant in Naples where everyone is struggling to survive. And the wild street-kids, the sugnizzi, scamper like rats through the back alleyways, stealing anything that is not nailed down. image4-3

But Naples is a city you don’t mess with. When Caterina comes calling, she carries a gun.

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Kate. Oh drat! No hamstahs. But plenty of rats – the two-legged variety, as well as the four-legged ones.

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But I am giving a pet hamster a starring role in my next book in Paris in your honour, dudes. You can even name him/her for me. But remember, he/she is French. Ooh-la-la!

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KATE. BTW, did you know that hamstahs as pets all came from Syria originally and didn’t arrive in the UK until 1931?

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Kate. he Liberation is set in Italy 1945 and it is about searching for freedom. It is the story of Caterina Lombardi, a resilient and talented young Italian woman who worked as an apprentice in her father’s wood-inlay workshop. When he is accused of treason, she fights to clear his name and wants to tear the world apart to prove his innocence. But this brings her into sharp conflict with Naples’ dark and violent underbelly, where greed and corruption hang on to the coattails of power. It also strips bare the dangerous secrets that stalk her own family. Caterina accepts help from an American Intelligence officer, Major Jake Parr, and the two grow close, but she no longer knows who to trust. Who is the real enemy now? The deeper she digs, the more she finds it all comes back to her own family. To its secrets. And to its mistakes.

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Kate. I am a sucker for anything to do with the 1930s and 1940s. It gets my heart thumping and is an age of such scintillating glamour. image1-4

I love everything about it – its fashions, its films, its books and songs, its heroics, and even its catastrophic world events. Hollywood burst upon the planet with its seductive stars and music – the likes of Rita Hayworth and Cole Porter – bringing escapism to people who were in desperate need of it. image2-7

And six of the biggest political figures of all time held the world in their grip – Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt and Mao Tse Tung. It is a fascinating era and its intense conflicts make for rich pickings for a storyteller. I have only just started!

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Kate. In Naples? Steer clear of it, I warn you guys. Firstly, it’s way too hot for Scottish dudes wearing fur coats. Secondly, it is a large port and rats as big as Buicks saunter down the streets. Be warned.

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Kate. But Sorrento? Bobby Bub, I think your moment has come, you handsome dude. Sorrento is the perfect place for love and romance. It will melt even your stone heart and make you sing love-songs alongside Donovan. So get your furry arse and your green hat over there. Pronto!

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Kate.  Gone With The Wind. No contest. It is a wonderful sweeping epic of a film with powerful music that gives no quarter, glorious colour-tones and heart-stopping performances. I saw it when I was ten and it stole my soul. To watch a woman carve out her own destiny in defiance of the rigid social conventions of a man’s world set something on fire inside me. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen it since, but I do know that a small piece of Scarlett O’Hara glows brightly inside each of my heroines.

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Fave film stars? Don’t get me started, I may never stop. Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, James Stewart, james

Vivien Leigh, viv

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall,

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Rita Hayworth, rita

Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster …. the list goes on and on. Myrna Loy, William Powell, Leslie Howard ….But I think if you twist my arm and make me chose only one, it has to be the utterly delicious Fred Astaire. Imagine it, dancing with him cheek to cheek, in one of Ginger’s stunning gowns ….. “I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven”.

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Kate. I have recently come back from a research trip to Paris and I have to say that though I adore the Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, and the Musée d’Orlay will knock your eyeballs out with its Impressionists, my favourite place by far is sitting in a pavement café. Watching the chicest city in the world saunter past. You should try it, dudes. I sip my coffee, knock back my vin rouge. And stare. I stare at the effortless style of the French. At their elegance. I’d still be there now if the thunderstorm hadn’t hit and my gorgeous garçon hadn’t clocked off.

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Kate. But I’ll be back. Hey dudes, care to join me?

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Kate. Like I said – Paris. Paris 1938, to be exact. When the world was in the last throes of frivolity before World War II slammed into gear and brought the decade shuddering to an end. Romy Duchamps is an aviatrix. And a killer. She takes risks the way other people take tea. But in Paris, the City of Light, she has learned to expect the unexpected, as she pushes her twin sister into a choice she fears to make.

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Well, that was good fun, dudes. Great to spend time with you. Thanks for inviting me over. *high fives*

 

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Kate Furnivall was raised in Penarth, a small seaside town in Wales. Her mother, whose own childhood was spent in Russia, China and India, discovered at an early age that the world around us is so volatile, that the only things of true value are those inside your head and your heart. These values Kate explores in The Russian Concubine.

Kate went to London University where she studied English and from there she went into publishing, writing material for a series of books on the canals of Britain. Then into advertising where she met her future husband, Norman. She travelled widely, giving her an insight into how different cultures function which was to prove invaluable when writing The Russian Concubine.russian_concubine

By now Kate had two sons and so moved out of London to a 300-year old thatched cottage in the countryside where Norman became a full-time crime writer. He won the John Creasey Award in 1987, writing as Neville Steed. Kate and Norman now live by the sea in the beautiful county of Devon, only 5 minutes from the home of Agatha Christie!

kate2It was when her mother died in 2000 that Kate decided to write a book inspired by her mother’s story. The Russian Concubine contains fictional characters and events, but Kate made use of the extraordinary situation that was her mother’s childhood experience – that of two White Russian refugees, a mother and daughter, stuck without money or papers in an International Settlement in China.

http://katefurnivall.com/

 

Some of Kate’s books.

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the-liberation-9781471155550_lgThe Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father’s name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall?

This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful story of love, loss and the long shadow of war.

 

 

Some Kilts and A Wedding

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Going to the chapel….” A story of how love can triumph against the odds. ..  by Shehanne Moore.

When my girls here…

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were wee I made friends —

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(That’s a wedding photo booth joke pic by the way ) with  a great couple who had two boys..ok  and who ARE pictured above!  We would  joke  we should just arrange their marriages to each other, save a lot of bother, our kids getting their hearts busted for starters.  We liked each other as families and the boys were great boys, handsome, good nice guys to this day.  Down the years we often reminded ourselves of that joke when we saw our children get hurt, make mistakes, choose partners we could see were wrong for them, have their hearts broken to bits.

I also had another friend,  a lady I taught. She spoke a lot about a woman she knew and her son, Daniel.

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Daniel was quite a looker apparently. Suddenly, at the grand old age of 17  he was working part time beside my daughter 18, in the local co-op. (Quite a place for romance, all  of you ‘looking for just that out there.’ My other daughter also met her partner there too).  

Daniel was quite a looker, young vibrant–as I noticed one night she asked me if I could run him home to Tayport. Despite the fact it was miles away and me and Coreen were just going up the road. I  thought…no problemo…. Are you kidding?

I watched them talking in the car mirror that night. And I just knew my daughter’s name was going to be Coreen Pow one day and it had nothing to do with how Daniel looked and everything to do with the way they looked and how they acted together. They just seemed right. NUTZ I thought. In fact, certify me now.

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That Christmas holiday Daniel was leaving for Stirling Uni and I guess Cor made her move on the night out. He did too. He also said he would phone her to arrange to go out.  It was an early instance of let down.  Daniel was a player she said and full of himself.

That did not tally with the person who my other friend had talked about over and over.

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Years passed.. A lot of years. Down them I watched my girl make every mistake going in some ways, watched her trying to make things work with men I knew it would never work with, watched her getting hurt by men I’m going to be exceedingly polite about,  listened to her crying down the phone having being walked out on by some boy who wasn’t worth the time of day she thought she was making a life with and who ‘thought’ he’d come back the day we’d to help her move out of the house he’d just had to have,  watched her having her life put on hold.  I also watched her and Daniel never quite letting go of the other in terms of keeping in touch.  Every time  there was a break up, I’d say I still see you with him and I am never wrong. She’d go titz.

daniel-coreen-preview-25 Whenever she was free, he was with someone. Whenever he was free, she was with someone. Eventually after something like 12 years, they were both on online dating. She told me she had clocked him there. I told her what I still saw. You could hear the going titz and the ‘would I drop it’ halfway to the North Pole. BUT they were advising each other online……

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About dates…. One night, having had yet another lousy date they were advising each other when Daniel said ‘ I don’t suppose if I asked you out you’d come?’

Coreen said, ‘Are you finally asking me?’

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This was just so they could advise each other some more as friends. Within months they were engaged.  They’re my beacon of hope about love because they work brilliantly together.  All that time apart has brought them close together. 

And I had a great day on Saturday.  From the business of the wedding being moved outside at 8 am and then 93 chairs being moved back inside …many of them already occupied…at 12 30 when it started to rain. Moved by groom and guests and hotel staff too cos there was like 30 mins to go. Of the sun coming out again so we could all enjoy the drink’s reception in the beautiful grounds with a saxophonist playing the best of songs…….

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To mah wee grandbaby walking hand in hand with the flowers girls through half the hotel corridors with the rings, then saying NUT to taking rings and girls down the aisle. (He did eventually) To my younger girl’s dress bursting down the back just BEFORE the meal so I had to assure her I would do my Indiana Jones bit and think of something. She sneered at kirby grips….

 It was one of the best days I always knew in my heart of hearts would happen.

Ps –my friend’s two sons have found the happiness they deserve too. 

I’ll leave you with some more piccies……and the hope we all find our right place. wedding-787787wedding-31

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My beautiful picture

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In the Vampire’s Lair with the dudes and Carolee Croft

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Carolee   – My writing is usually cute and funny, so I wanted to venture into the dark side as a sort of challenge.

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Carolee – It still came out kind of cute, I think. I can’t help it. But I’d like to write more stories about demon hunters or vampire slayers one day, though I’m sure they’ll be funny and cute too.

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Carolee – Yes, I love their style, mostly because it looks historical. I actually still have a couple of Goth outfits which I used to wear when I was younger.

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Carolee – Yes! I think gothic hamsters are even scarier than regular hamsters, and I’d like to have a scary pet so it could double as a guard-dog… guard-hamster? My other pet would be an Italian greyhound, and they’re not very scary, so the gothic hamster will have its work cut out for it.

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Carolee – Definitely. This is why I’ve stayed away from Scotland for so many years. It’s probably still out there among the trees… Though maybe it’s left its lair and is hiding somewhere in the shadows, watching us right now…

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Carolee –Dameon is a vampire who is depressed and thinks he has nothing to live for, but of course he’s immortal so he has no choice but to live on. I think he may have had a tragic love affair that made him very solitary. But one day, he hires a maid to clean his house, and he starts to fall for her. Of course, she doesn’t believe that he’s a vampire even though he tells her so. She thinks he’s just a goth with a big imagination. He’s also a little kinky…

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Carolee – I really liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I generally like movies where vampires are the bad guys, but I also liked the Twilight series.

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Carolee – I like a good Bloody Mary, so this one seems appropriate:

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bloody-mary

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6 ounces of quality vodka (approx. 6 fingers of spirits. hehee.); 6 ounces of tomato juice; 6 ounces of beet juice; 3 fresh lemons, juice of; 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce; 12 drops of Tobasco sauce; 1 teaspoon celery salt; 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish; ice. 

The “fingers” are made of purple carrots!

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You can get all the detailed instructions at http://www.boredpanda.com/bloody-mary-halloween-cocktail/

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Carolee – I’d like to dress up as a pirate because it’s pretty much the coolest costume ever, in my opinion. You can accessorize it with a sword or an eye patch or a pirate hat. It gives you lots of options. 

Thank you so much for having me! A pleasure to hang out on your blog, as always :

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My review.

Never judge a book by its cover they say, which is kind of hard with a cover like this one!   I also know if it’s got Carolee Croft’s name on it it’s going to be certain things. Her other books are well crafted ‘shorts’ and this is no exception.  Liv Fairhaven needs a job and she’s not remotely fazed by her new employer’s strange habits, or his sleeping arrangements–a coffin. She might think them a little unusual but he couldn’t possibly be  a vampire, could he? Dameon is indeed a Lord of Darkness. However, Carolee Croft’s wonderful touches of humour make him a truly loveable one. This book may be a break from her historicals, she still creates a compelling, at times funny, world and  believable, completely fleshed out characters in a short space. I loved every page of this book and whether or not you’re a fan of paranormals, I’m sure you will too.

BLURB. Liv Fairhaven is intrigued by working for a man who calls himself Dameon, Lord of Darkness. He says he is a vampire, but he seems just an ‘adorkable’ guy. When she realizes that Dameon really does have supernatural powers, it is too late to back out as she is seduced by his dominant personality.

Links: 

My blog: http://caroleecroft.wordpress.com

In the Vampire’s Lair:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vampires-Lair-Carolee-Croft-ebook/dp/B01LZ4Z9H3

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Lair-Carolee-Croft-ebook/dp/B01LZ4Z9H3/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475067757&sr=1-1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/661766

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31815922-the-vampire-s-lair