Aug 29, 2016

Seven Questions for A.J. Aalto

The ever elusive, but always awesome, A.J. Aalto has returned to my blog to answer #SevenQuestions. (She really can't say no to a snickers bar.)

Check out her original interview here: AJ Aalto

Since her last visit, A.J. has written several more "Marnie Baranuik Files" stories. The psychic detective remains in great demand, with her most recent adventure, "Wrath & Bones" getting stellar reviews over on Amazon. Please check out A.J.'s links below.

And now, without further ado, here are the answers the world wants to know to the questions no one really cares about. lol.

A.J. Aalto

1 - Which character from another book/series would you like to bring into your own series?

I don't know how it would work, but I'd bring Silk from David Eddings's Belgariad into my series. I think he and Marnie would get along famously.

2 - Which actor/actress would you love to see play your characters in a movie adaptation? 

I'd love to see Zoe Deschanel play Marnie Baranuik, and Jude Law play Harry Dreppenstedt.

3 - Leather or lace?

Definitely leather or vinyl/latex. Very sexy.

4 - Are you scared of running out of ideas?

No, I'm more afraid of have an idea stall out before I can see it to completion. Ideas are everywhere. It often just takes a lot of daydreaming to figure them out.

5 - What is your biggest phobia?

It used to be clowns. That has settled some. I am petrified of germs, and every time a big virus hits the planet, I get straight-up paranoid. You should see my bunker. I'm totally ready for a full-on self-quarantine. No joking.

6 - Have you ever lied to get out of doing something so that you could write instead?

A million times at least.

7 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

Yes, but I'd have a butler to bring me tea while I do it, and a cook to make sure I'm fed.

Aug 25, 2016

"You keep using that word..."

Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)

Inigo Montoya is not wrong.

As a writer, I think it's important to stretch my use of language as much as possible. Embrace new words, but keep the prose readable and clear. Except, the speed at which language is changing makes this a far more difficult proposition.

We're all aware of words like IRREGARDLESS, a weird mutation because it's actually a longer word than the one it's been battling against: REGARDLESS. Nothing wrong with regardless. It's a perfectly good word. Irregardless just appeared and now it can be found in dictionaries.

We also have LITERALLY which now literally means exactly what it means AND exactly the opposite of what it means. Which makes it literally, but not figuratively, pointless.

Then there's NONPLUSSED which means the opposite of how it's often used...and like literally is now pretty much interchangeable for both meanings. I'm nonplussed by this whole situation!

See? Confusing, isn't it?

If someone is nonplussed they're supposed to be absolutely baffled. Now though, it means they can also be completely unfazed by something.

You're probably BEMUSED by all this. Or are you? This word is seen more and more as a substitute for amused. And despite similarities with amused it actually means bewildered.

With some words the differences are so subtle it's understandable that it's easier to get them confused. As example of this is MOMENTARILY. If you hear someone saying, "We'll be stopping momentarily to grab some snacks." What does that mean to you?

Originally, it would've meant: We'll be stopping FOR A MOMENT to grab some snacks.
Nowadays, it's also commonly used to mean: We'll be stopping IN A MOMENT to grab some snacks.

Subtle differences but it is two different meanings.

I'll leave you with one more. A pet peeve of mine is the word SUPPOSABLY. Used regularly as a substitute for SUPPOSEDLY. Supposedly is often the correct word in the context of the sentence and I believed that supposably was just another irregardless. Made up. Contrary to my belief, supposably is actually a word, it just doesn't mean supposedly.

Supposedly shows skepticism. It means "according to what is generally believed" but indicates the speaker doubts the truth of the statement.

Supposably means conceivable. Capable of being supposed.

So, there you go.

It amuses me when people assume it's easy to write well, but the complexity of ideas and language in tandem can be far more complicated to deal with than many can imagine. And it's only a good idea to stretch your language if you're doing it correctly.

Are there any words you've noticed get misused or now mean the opposite of what they used to mean?

Let me know.


Aug 22, 2016

Seven Questions for S.J. Cairns

The scintillating S.J Cairns stopped by to shoot the shi...breeze. So, I asked her seven questions on subjects stretching from her international best-seller, SOUL DISCOVERY (check out the book links and my review below!), to stuff that's just silly. Enjoy!

S.J. Cairns

1 - Which actress would you love to see play your main character Sophie in a movie adaptation of your book Soul Discovery?

In the beginning I never put a celebrity's face on Sophie. I thought of a young Katie Holmes, though if an on screen adaptation occurred, I'd want an unknown with bitching acting skills.

2 - Leather or lace?

Do I HAVE to choose?? I'm a leather AND lace kind of girl. Especially of the black lace variety. But I love my leather shit-kickers and jacket. Couldn't give either of them up.

3 - What is your biggest phobia?

My biggest phobia is open water. Drowning isn't fun. A cruise is nowhere close to my bucket list.

4 - On the days you're not feeling motivated, what will inspire you or kick you in the butt to get going?

The prospect of never publishing another novel keeps me writing. I haven't reached whatever achievement the inner me wants to achieve yet, so I'll keep going until I know I have. What's that goal? Not a clue. I figure I'll know it when I feel it.

Also, my writing community is full of amazing people who are ready to act as cheerleaders and to keep each other motivated.

5 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

Damn right I would. Not only would I still write if I hit the big bucks, I'd write full-time. Right now, I'm working a full-time day job. While the work helps others, shift work isn't my favourite thing in the world.

6 - Which writer has influenced you most?

The writer who has influenced me the most is Anne Rice. As a semi-youngster, her books were the first I stole from my mother's collection and the first to truly grab at and draw me into the world of supernatural fiction. I've been sweet on the genre ever since.

7 - Paper or plastic (books I mean...physical book or e-reader?)

I'm a paper fan. You go to a book store, get a delivery, feel the weight in your hands, the smell of the paper, an ebook can't beat the feeling of authenticity. While I own an ebook and find value in the technology when buying novellas, testing new authors, or travelling, I enjoy filling shelves with colourful spines. Totally drool-worthy.

Thanks for reading, dreamers and screamers.

My thanks to Sami-Jo for stopping by for a quick chat. You can follow her on social media by following these links:


Author Website/Blog:

Amazon Profile Page:


Twitter: or @SamiJoCairns


I highly recommend you check out her book: Soul Discovery.

Read my review here: Soul Discovery Review

And here's the blurb:

Soul Discovery

Sophie Saterlee has made it her mission to get her life together. Leaving behind an abusive relationship, she's bartending her way through a psychology degree. Ultimate goal? A new, stronger sense of identity.

When a terrifying recurring nightmare begins to poison Sophie’s waking hours and threaten all her progress, once again she’s close to losing everything.

An invitation to a tea leaf reading party sounds like exactly the kind of distraction Sophie needs. But an innocent girls' night out turns into a journey through a complex and treacherous world of magic.

To survive it, Sophie must forge uncomfortable alliances with arrogant Donovan and mysterious Caine. One of them is tied to her past, and the other fills her present. Both men might hold the key to her uncertain future.

There's more going on in her little corner of the world than Sophie realizes, and the truth will change everything.

Follow these links to pick up your copy:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CAN:
Amazon AU: