Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Documentary Movie Review

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Documentary Review

Ever since 2005 or was it 2006? I'm not too clear on the details, I have loved Hayao Miyazaki's work. What drew me to him first was Spirited Away. I was perhaps still in elementary school at the time in 2005/2006, so I can at least remember how moved I was by his anime film. The scenes that perhaps best stayed by me were when Chiyo gets taken into flight by Haku and some of the more vulnerable moments where Chiyo is quite fearful of her situation, but somehow moves past this fear to realize she can accomplish things on her own. 

So yeah. Since that moment when I first watched Spirited Away and began to cry because of the beauty of it, I have probably always craved a look into the creative process of Hayao Miyazaki. And to be honest, I was worried that once I watched Kingdom of Dreams and Madness it would be a waste of time, since creatives are always interestingly enough terrible at describing their creative process. I mean they can create beautiful work that moves people, but when it comes time for them to get interviewed they never really reveal much about themselves or they do reveal things but they end up being too cliched and therefore useless information. 

Thankfully this was not entirely the case with Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. We actually get an eye-opening account of Hayao Miyazaki's work ethic right off in introduction. That was nice to view, because let me tell you he is way, way dedicated. He begins his day early and only stops at a certain set time he sets for himself. Every day. That to me continued to nurture huge flames of almost romantic appreciation for him as an animator, since he put so much care and discipline in his work. Not to mention, he holds others who work with him pretty accountable too. 

Still this wasn't the only thing I would get with this documentary. I also got a look at the dynamics of the other animators of Studio Ghibli. The ones I am sad I still haven't made the time to check out and their work, but hope to some day especially after seeing how much of an influence they had on Hayao Miyazaki. And in some ways, Hayao Miyazaki on them. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Soap Exchange Natural Peppermint Lip Scrub Review

Let me tell you an embarrassing story. During the Summer of 2014 I came down with a nasty lip infection that closely resembles cheilitis. It got bad enough that I had to go to the doctor to get rid of it. And afterwards, let me tell you I have been going through lip balms like crazy (and by the way, Blistex is like the only reliable lip balm brand out there to hydrate lips). In other words, my lips haven't really gotten better because I get the feeling that as soon as I stop applying lip balm they will crack and get infected yet again, especially when every morning I still notice the propensity of my lips to automatically peel and shed skin. It's terrible, it's terrible, I tell you. 
Which is why, I have had it. As soon as I heard about something like a lip scrub, I decided to go for it. My first stop a while back was Amazon.com because I'm a frequent and loyal customer there. Yep, I even bought the amazing Amazon Fire 7 tablet that is of extremely low price. 

And though I found a great and reasonably priced lip scrub I was apprehensive about the quality. Mostly over others who previously reviewed the lip scrub on Amazon mentioning how it leaked the oils on arrival for them. While I was worried I still wanted to try it. 

What would result?

Not a bad lip scrub to tell you the truth. Sure this might be my first lip scrub but since I'm very much looking for a way to end my bad dead skin lip days, I can tell it works. This only on first use. 

First thing I noticed was sure after opening the wrapper which was nicely sealed, it did have a propensity to leak oil. This comes from the lip scrub itself and I believe it is because our lip scrub artisan wanted to give us a lot of product and since it is all squished in there, of course, after opening the wrapping it will inevitably puff up and out. I'm sure this wont be an issue because once you use the lip scrub and you clean the little tub it should be fine.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Giveaway Hints #9

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Giveaway Hints #8

The return of Giveaway hints! Mostly returns because I have come across some amazing giveaways, both by bloggers and non-bloggers, and I seriously don't want anyone to possibly miss them. Hey, it happens. A lot of the time.

My After Christmas: What I Got This Past Christmas 2015

Well, this past Christmas like so many for a time now just snuck up on me! I'm not sure what it is but I couldn't really muster much enthusiasm this year and because of that while my family made tons of delicious Mexican grilled steak and frijoles charros which is basically bean porridge with scrumptious meat added in, I couldn't eat anything. Although, to be truthful I haven't had much of an appetite for months. 

Even so, somehow getting presents this year like always did cheer me up. What did I get, well, mostly clothes and a $50 Amazon gift card which I'm probably going to use for beauty and skincare products. 

Also, before Christmas even began I got notified that I had won a blog giveaway for a FUNIMATION gift card from Nicole at Asian Addicts Anonymous and with it I finally got my first FUNKO Pop vinyl figure of the Colossal Titan from the Attack on Titan anime series. Yay! It's like a dream come true, since I have wanted one for so long!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Sydney Somers

Sydney Somers. A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers fell in love with writing at the age of eight. Since finishing her first book in 2002, Sydney has written over twenty-five romancesone of which will remain forever under her bed. Visit Sydney on the web at www.sydneysomers.com

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. What made you want to become one with the Naughties specifically, Sydney?

I was looking to join a group blog at the time that I saw the email (from Skylar I think) and jumped on board. I never expected to find myself in such an amazing group filled with such incredibly talented women and consider myself so lucky that I saw that email that day. We've had so many laughs and so much fun along the way and that's not even counting the hours we've logged on writing projects together. It's been awesome being part of this group.

2. I know you guys all started writing as a collective but you all began as self­-published and independent authors online. How hard was it to promote yourselves. Was it hard and did it prove successful by your own standards?

That's the awesome thing about having individual careers and readerships going into a group blog. We got exposure right off the bat across nine different followings, although there was already some overlap obviously. It makes promo a little easier knowing you're reaching a much wider audience with the same amount of effort put forth as solo promotions. Plus group promotion can make things a lot more cost effective. Together we've done some fun swag for things like RT.

3. Since writing by yourself and with the Naughties do you believe that working with other novelists has made you a better novelist? If so, how?

I'm a firm believer that every book I write, whether it's a regular romance or a completely zany, off the wall, tongue-in-cheek kind of story, makes me a better storyteller. It can be hugely beneficial bouncing ideas off one another and looking at ideas from another perspective when working on a group project. It can also be a little challenging working around individual schedules, so you definitely learn to be a little more flexible :)

4. Could we expect more collaborations with the other Nine Naughty Novelists in the future or are, all of you, invested in pursuing your own individual writing projects?

I think right now we're focused on individual stuff, but never say never right? :) We had a blast writing those books and if the right project came along, I know we'd have a great time collaborating again. 

5. Now before we close the Nine Days of Nine Naughty Interviews, what can you say to potential or already readers about anything you may be up to?
I've got a few things in the works for 2016, including more gargoyles, a few re-releases and a new contemporary romance that has been burning a hole in my brain for months. Hoping to dive into that right after the New Year. And right now 3 of my books are on sale for .99 as a little holiday thank you to my readers. :)

And that was the last interview for the Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews. Don't forget there is still time to enter the three giveaways (check the blog's sidebar) going on by Kelly Jamieson, PG Forte, and Skylar Kade. If you haven't entered already then I'm not sure what you're doing. You totally want to, trust me. Great writers and great reading awaits you with the Nine Naughty Novelists.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Juniper Bell

About Juniper Bell one of the Nine Naughty Novelists

Juniper Bell is a multi-published author of erotic romance. She lives with her husband in a cabin in Alaska with no running water and a spectacular view of glaciers. 

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy
1. What was it like when you guys all gathered to become a writing group? Tell us of that time. 
I’m actually the one person who can’t answer this question because I was invited into the group after someone dropped out. So I missed all the long intensive discussions over things like the look and the name and the icons and so forth. When I joined, the group was in the midst of our first joint writing project, The Zillionaire Cowboy’s Secret Werewolf Baby, so I had to jump right in and hope I didn’t make a fool of myself! I shouldn’t have worried – the whole idea was to be as off-the-wall as possible and it was a blast.  

2. What is perhaps the single most interesting thing about being part of a writing collective? 
The best thing is always having a group you can turn to for advice or support. Even when we’re not as active as a group writing-wise, we’re always communicating. In this business, you have to have a support network or you’ll get overwhelmed. The Nine Naughty Novelists have been a lifesaver. Or at least a sanity-saver.  

3. Anything interesting that has happened this year that has amazed you? 
I’m continually amazed to be part of this romance writing world. I love seeing my NNN friends hit the bestseller lists and get contracts with the big publishers. It seems to prove that if you just keep writing and working, good things will happen. 

4. Maybe very direct here, but do you guys plan to write another book under the Nine Naughty Novelists and soon, perhaps? 
We toss around ideas occasionally, and you never know, maybe one of them will take off. These days, we seem to be collaborating on a smaller scale, with just two or three of us at a time. Erin Nicholas and I, under my other writing name, are working on a project together. It’s a little less cumbersome that way, though the chaotic craziness of the big group projects is awfully fun!  

5. What are your current writing projects, Juniper. Anything new or soon to release? 
At the moment I’m focusing on my other writing name, which is Jennifer Bernard. I don’t have anything in the works for Juniper right now, though you never know when that could change. As Jennifer Bernard, I have a book out on December 29. CAUGHT BY YOU is a sexy, fun contemporary about a baseball team in Texas. 
Caught by You on Amazon

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Meg Benjamin

About Meg Benjamin one of the Nine Naughty Novelists

Meg Benjamin has spent twenty-plus years teaching and writing and Web designing in South Texas before pulling roots and starting all over again on the Colorado Front range. 
Folow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/megbenj1

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. What was that day like when you, Meg Benjamin and the Nine Naughty Novelists came together?

It was a dark and stormy night? Well, no. I was a very new author (as were several of us) and read a email from a couple of other authors—Erin Nicholas and Kate Davies—asking if anyone else would like to join a blogging group. Being very new and knowing nothing about promo (I still don’t know much, sigh), I thought that sounded like fun. So did six other people. Nine novelists were a pretty large group, but we coped.

2. In your opinion how hard is it to co-write between all of you?

The books that we actually wrote together were tough just because you had to wait on others to get their chapters done before you could figure out what was going to happen in yours. The short story projects were easier because each story was independent.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Kinsey Holley

Kinsey Holley lives in Houston Texas, where a lot of people know about her Secret Romance Writer Identity. She enjoys reading SF, UF, history, and romance and is addicted to pop culture and several television series. She can be found at http://ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. Kinsey what was it like when you guys all came together as part of the Naughties or should I say the Nine Naughty Novelists?

It was LOUD and FUN - way louder and funner (it should be a word, dammit!) than any of us had expected, I think. We were all nervous to be meeting in person for the first time - what if we didn't get along IRL? What if one of us was super weird? But we clicked immediately, screaming with laughter late into the night. And nobody cared that I was super weird.
2. In The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies you write a scene that began a little like this "His icy lovesicle pressed against her dewy portal, demanding admittance to her passion chamber". How do come up with lines like that? At that time of you writing this had you already had experience in writing other Romance, Erotica, etc. love scenes? Or what is that when you wrote this it just came out given your co-writing with the others?

Um...I'm super weird? I just think of the tritest, most cliched, purplist romance prose I've ever read -- and I was reading the original bodice rippers back in the 70s -- and then I try to get even purpler.

I already had at least one book out when we started writing Vampire Cowboy.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Erin Nicholas

About Erin Nicholas one of the Nine Naughty Novelists

Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! For more information on Erin and her books, visit www.ErinNicholas.com

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. What was it like writing before the Naughties and what started you on the path to join the group?

Skylar and I actually started the group a few months before I published my first book. I wanted a group of authors to do promo and have fun with :)

2. Erin for readers who haven't read any of the books by the Nine Naughty Novelists what would you say to get them to read them?

You don't know what you're missing! :) Great writers who know all about romance and heat and humor!

3. Do you guys happen to ever get together and hang out in real life or do you guys simply write separately online?

It's hard to get all 9 of us together-- the best we've ever done is 8 at once :) but yes, in various mixtures many of us have been together in person a few times-- various conferences and retreats. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Kate Davies

About Kate Davies one of the Nine Naughty Novelists

Kate Davies. From food to fiction, Kate likes things spicy. She writes award-winning contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and has books available in both e-format and print. 

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. Kate how old were you guys when you gathered to write the first book under the writing collective the Nine Naughty Novelists? What was it like then?
How old were we? Uh, lemme think. I can barely remember my own age, let alone the other Naughties. *counts on fingers and toes* We started the group six years ago, and wrote the books together a few years after that, so...early forties for me? As for what it was like, writing the books was incredibly fun. There was lots of laughter involved. And wine. Always wine.

2. A bit of a serious inquisitive question but who are the ones who usually come up with the most ideas for your story concepts for stuff written under the Nine Naughty Novelists?
We brainstorm really well as a group.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Nine Days of Nine Naughty Novelists Interviews: Skylar Kade (+Giveaway)

About Skylar Kade one of the Nine Naughty Novelists

Skylar Kade, self-avowed hedonist and princess extraordinaire, started her writing career 
after throwing aside yet another romance she could not bring herself to finish. She can be found on her blog www.skylarkade.wordpress.com

Author Interview

Questions and Answers

Learn About The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies and If You Give A Duke A Duchy-Review of  The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf BabiesReview of If You Give A Duke Duchy

1. Skylar can you mention how it was like at that time to come together to create the writing group the Nine Naughty Novelists? What can you recall of then and when was that? 
My first book, Maison Domine, came out in 2009. As I was working on the promotion plans for it during the summer, I met some other awesome writers for Samhain Publishing and we decided to come together and create the Nine Naughty Novelists!
2. I noticed while reading, If You Give A Duke A Duchy, that you seem to have a sense of humor. It really comes through in writing. In your own words, what would you call your sense of humor? 

I have an odd sense of humor. If you ask my husband, I’m only funny about 25% of the time, but that’s the beauty of writing--I can throw out all the things that I thought were going to be clever and replace them with things that are actually funny! I love watching stand up comedy to learn more about timing, wordplay, and other comedic devices.
3. Do you know who came up with the name of If You Give A Duke A Duchy or Love's Savage Whiplash? What is it the main idea of someone and if so who? 
Our group is a collaborative bunch. When we write together, we have this great synergy where one person throws out an idea, and the rest of us build on it. I can’t remember who came up with the final title, but I can see traces of our collaboration in it--it’s so wild and fun!
4. Do you think you guys will team up again for more books under the Nine Naughty Novelists? [Crosses fingers you do] 
I hope we do! It’s hard when you have nine writing schedules you need to sync across, but we had such fun brainstorming and writing our two books together I’d love to see us do it again.

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