The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun & Games with Author Gina Collia-Suzuki

Recently, just for fun and a good laugh, I informally interviewed author Gina Collia-Suzuki. This interview is not to be taken seriously as it was just a couple of quirky authors letting loose and goofing off. :o)

First, a little about Gina.

Gina Collia-Suzuki is an artist and mother to a brood of rats. That's right, rats. Cute little things they are, too. She recently published a satire entitled The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy, the tale of a harried housewife turned murderer. Funny stuff, the premise of which is based very much in truth--the part about the harried housewife, not the murder. (For my review of Gina's book, click here.)

Again, I must reiterate, this was a comical interview. Please don't take it seriously.

Me: Did you really kill your nasty neighbor? What did you do with the body? (Sitting with pen ready to take careful notes...)

Gina: Ha ha! I didn't... I swear it. Look at these innocent eyes of mine... would I lie to you? Hee hee! If I had done, he'd be buried in the woods. Not that I did. That mound of soil is due to moles.

Me: What time is it?

Gina: Quarter past seven... another forty-five minutes and it will be the time of day when Pat Guppy approves of her neighbours taking a bath. I had mine an hour ago, because I'm wicked.

Me: Great answer, Gina! I always knew you were a rebel. Next question: What is your opinion on real guppies? You know, the fish?

Gina: I like fish, the male guppy is pretty... unlike Benjamin Guppy, who is frighteningly ugly to look at.

Me: Oh Gina. You keep trying to make this about your book and I refuse to cooperate. :oP Next question: Do you like the taste of seaweed?

Gina: Nope, absolutely not. I don't like anything that salty. Heavens to Betsy, I cannot find a connection between seaweed and my book... unless you count the fact that seaweed was once used to make soap, and the Guppys don't use the stuff :oP

Me: Impressive "connective" skills, Gina. Truly. Next Q: When you go shopping for socks, do they have to be stripy or polka dotted or sparkly? Or do you sometimes buy plain hot pink?

Gina: Ah, socks... I love them so! Stripes, polka dots, sparkles... or a mixture of all three. Never just one colour... and preferably colours that don't usually go together, like purple and orange. And what have socks to do with anything Guppy? Well, Ben Guppy is the sort of man you want to sock on the nose! Hee!

Me: LOL, seriously, LOL. Next Q: Purple and orange, huh? Interesting. That leads to my next question. How do you feel about the color puce? Is puce old lady Guppy's favorite color?

Gina: No, she is decidedly grey. But Benjamin favours the colour in shirts... especially when he is wearing his disco pants.

And there ends my informal interview with Gina Collia-Suzuki, author of The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy. Comments are not only welcome but encouraged. And please don't tell us that we're crazy. We know that already...

Gina's links:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

FREE Download of Betrayal Available at Smashwords!

Until July 3, Betrayal can be downloaded for FREE from That's right, FREE. No catches, no other purchase necessary; this is a true giveaway. It doesn't matter where you live or who you are. Simply add Betrayal to your cart and proceed to checkout. Insert the coupon code (FH67W) where prompted.

Need some more information?

Blurb from Smashwords: England 1816. Bri has been running for years. Just when she thinks she may have escaped those pursuing her, she finds herself thrown into Newgate Prison...where Adam finds her. Hired by Bri's family, he is determined to return the heiress posthaste. When it becomes clear that her family does NOT have her best interests at heart, she must accept Adam's help, something her pride will not allow.

Reviews from Goodreads:

"Betrayal, a Regency Romance by Jaimey Grant, is the tale of two deeply emotionally wounded and bitter individuals, forced to come to terms with their past and learn to forgive both each other and themselves, before they are capable of confessing their love for one another. Betrayal is well written, flows together well, and keeps one reading to the very end. Ms Grant has a firm grasp of the Regency period, and knows both how to work with and around the morés of the time." ~Joyce DiPastena, author of Loyalty's Web

"I was enthralled by her descriptions and her story line. In fact, I had a difficult time putting it down in order to get some much needed sleep and had it in my hands again at first light. The story was riviting and I felt drawn to the characters." ~Rachel Rager, author of By Love or By Sea

"Betrayal is a very emotionally-charged novel that pulls you in and makes you really feel for the characters. The author puts you in the characters' heads and helps you to understand what drives them. I don't read a lot of Regency romance, but this one definitely kept me in the story." ~J Adams, author of The Journey

"I was hooked on this after the first few pages and couldn't put it down." ~Pamela Sinclair

"Though I’m not a big fan of romance novels in general, I must confess that I have enjoyed the novels of Jane Austen...Even through the mists of a different era, Austen’s timeless insights into the dynamics of human relationships always struck me as intriguing...As a result, I approached modern novelist Jaimey Grant’s Betrayal with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism—curiosity about whether a modern writer could evoke a similar feel for relationships, and a mild skepticism about whether she could pull it off. What I found, to my surprise, was the delightful discovery of a modern author with both a deft feel for the period and an Austenesque depth of characters that was at once surprising and refreshing." ~Jeffrey Caminsky, author of The Sonnets of William Shakespeare

"I am not a reader of the genre but must applaud the story line for drawing me in and keeping my interest until the end." ~Madison Paine, author of The Poisoned Apple

"Although romance set in that era is not a favorite among everyone, anyone who loves stories of pomp and circumstance, and life on the other side of the tracks will become involved in the lives of her characters. Betrayal left me wanting to learn not only what happens next, but what is going to happen in the lives of supporting characters that are also captivating." ~kgcummings, author of The Wind Whispers War

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Winners 21-25 In Our Summer Contest

Five more days and five more winners!

June 21st: Karen Haas of North Carolina won an autographed copy of Crystal Skulls by Marion Webb-De Sisto.
22nd: Auriette Lindsey of Florida won an autographed copy of Counting the Cost by Liz Adair.
23rd: Shirley Bahlmann of Utah won an autographed copy of If I Made a Bug by Cecily Markland.
24th: Patricia Cochran of Texas won an autographed copy of Faery Special Romances by Jacquie Rogers.
25th: Torren Wilhelmsen of Arizona won a copy of Cup of Comfort for New Mothers.

Congratulations to all the winners! There are still a few days of great prizes left! Check the original post for how to enter: Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and WIN!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Poll Results: How Much Importance Do You Place On Reviews?

The results are in!

My second blog poll has ended with 39 total votes. This may not seem like much to some of you, but I'm just getting started here. :o)

Here's the breakdown:

How much importance do you place on reviews?
7% (3) said reviews are essential to their buying decisions.
20% (8) said reviews are important to their buying decisions.
53% (21) said reviews are only moderately important.
17% (7) said they rarely allow reviews to influence them.
0% (0) said they never allow reviews to influence them.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. Comments are welcome, if you'd care to share what you think of the results.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My $0.02: When to Mark a Review HELPFUL

There seems to be some confusion over the concept of "helpful."

You may have noticed that Amazon provides a nifty little button with every review for every Amazon product. It is a "helpful" button. At the end of every review, the reader is asked: "Was this review helpful to you?"

I must stress: This does not mean "Do you like this review?" It means exactly what it says: "Was this review HELPFUL to you?"

Actual definition of helpful: adj. providing assistance; useful*

If a review helps you decide the product is something you'd like, it is a helpful review. If a review helps you decide the product really isn't for you, it is a helpful review. If the review leaves you more confused than before you read it, it is NOT a helpful review. If the review gives away key plot points in a book or movie, it is NOT a helpful review.

And believe it or not, sometimes a review is neither helpful nor unhelpful.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Contest Winners 16-20

Congratulations to five more winners in our Summer Fun contest!

June 16th: LuAnn Morgan of Washington won an autographed copy of Dark Sky at Dawn by Laurie LC Lewis
17th: Dena Walton of Washington won an autographed copy of Betrayal by Jaimey Grant
18th: Julia Groves won a 30-page edit of her manuscript
19th: John Ferguson of Kansas won a copy of I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey
20th: Carrie Lundell won a copy of Puppy Stew by Caroline Gregory & Shawnette Nielson

There are still more great prizes to win. Click here to go to the original contest post.

Superior Scribbler Award

I have been awarded my very first blog award! Woo-hoo!

The award is the Superior Scribbler Award. I am honored to receive this acknowledgment for all the time I spend tapping away on my blogs. I enjoy it and I'm so glad others do, too. I will endeavor to improve in my blogging, striving to always provide interesting and entertaining reading for my followers. :o)

I received this prestigious award from my good friend and fellow blogger, Joyce DiPastena at JDP News. Thank you, Joyce!

For details of this award and its beginnings, visit the original post and blog that started it all: The Scholastic Scribe

As with all Bloggy Awards, there are rules that go with the award:

  1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to five most deserving bloggy friends.
  2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog and link to the original post at The Scholastic Scribe which explains The Award.
  4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the original post at The Scholastic Scribe and add his/her name to the Mr Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins This Prestigious Honor!
  5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules to his/her blog.

Now that the rules are out of the way, here are my selections for this most excellent award:

  1. Gina Collia-Suzuki for always providing quality entertainment and a learning experience.
  2. Bernadette Simpson for her alphabetical photo adventure through Egypt.
  3. Thersa Matsuura for her quirky posts on her life in Japan.
  4. Thomma Lyn Grindstaff for such beautiful pics and interesting tidbits.
  5. Rachel Rager for her nonstop enthusiasm for life and wonderful dedication to her family.

Congratulations winners! Display your award proudly! :o)


In other news:

There are still more great prizes to win in our Summer Fun contest. Click here for the contest post.

My "reviews" poll is still up and running. I am very interested in how much importance readers place on reviews. Please visit my post on Reviews and the Reader to add your opinion or read the opinions of others. :o)

As always, happy reading, writing, and blogging!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Family Outing, Redneck Style

Off-topic post: A glimpse into my private life.

This may come as a surprise to some of you but deep down, I'm a redneck. Yes, it's true. I enjoy mud. Sometimes, I can even be persuaded to jump in.

Not today.

Today I settled for sitting on the sidelines, armed with my camera. It was great fun, as usual. Check out these pics of a good old-fashioned Michigan Mud Bog.

This bad boy below is Mudzilla. My cousin and my oldest brother built it; my cousin runs it. He tore out second gear fairly early in the bog. Later, after I'd left, he took it back out and tore the transmission out entirely. Oops.

To give you an idea of Mudzilla's size: This beast has backhoe tires that stand 48" tall, 2.5 ton military axles, and high angle drive shafts.

The rest of these are random pics of perfect strangers, some of whom I probably know and haven't seen in a dozen years. :o)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Treasure Hunt: Winners 11-15

We have five more fortunate winners in our Dig for Treasure and Win! contest.

June 11th: Scott Duncan of Pennsylvania
12th: Krista Darrach of Arizona
13th: Ginny Romney of Arizona
14th: Martha Lawson of Mississippi
15th: Stacey Starley of Utah

Congratulations to the winners! There are still more great prizes so keep those entries coming!

(Come on. Do it. Ask about the baby tiger. You know you want to...)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Editor Unleashed Flash Fiction 40 Contest

It's time to vote in the FF40 contest over in the Editor Unleashed forums. To vote, you must register for a free membership. It's painless, I promise. :o) The contest forum is password protected; only members may view and vote the stories.

There are some great stories in the contest. I encourage everyone to read and vote on as many as they can. Mine is called "The Fold." Here is a direct link: The Fold

Have a lovely day and happy reading!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Winners 6-10 of Our Summer Treasure Hunt

We have five more winners in our fun summer contest!

June 6th: Gayle Oreluk of Illinois
7th: Heather Justesen of Utah
8th: Valerie Bongards of Germany
9th: June Kirk of Arizona
10th: Venetia Wilhelmsen of Arizona

Congratulations to the winners! There are still more great prizes left in our contest. Deadline to enter for today's drawing is midnight PST.

Don't forget to vote in my blog poll: How much importance do you place on reviews?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First 5 Treasure Hunt Winners

Hello, everyone!

I just wanted to add a quick post to announce the first five winners of our treasure hunt contest.

June 1st: Terry Fleming of California
2nd: Phyllis Lamken of Idaho
3rd: Debbie Lambson of Utah
4th: Gloria Lyons of Michigan
5th: Wendy Steed of Idaho

Congratulations to the winners!

There is still time to enter for more great prizes. The entry deadline for today, June 6th, is Midnight PST. Happy hunting!


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