Tag Archive: blog-hop


Hey all:

This week’s guest post is by another alumni of Creative Reviews, no less than Beth Ann Masarik. She has recently brought out Prince of Darkness, part of her trilogy The World Among Us. So all you fantasy  / romance fans, take a look at her interview below and be aware that she’s going to do a giveaway- there will be a couple of great prizes, all to be had for a simple comment below.

I leave you in Beth’s capable hands!

JAC

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Name: Beth Ann Masarik

Author of: The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness

Genre/s: Young Adult/Fantasy (Urban Fantasy)

P- or e-book: All formats…paperback, hardcover, and e-book

Available from:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords & Otherworld Publications

One-sentence summary: The World Among Us is a Young Adult/Fantasy Trilogy that has plenty of Greek Mythology & Vampire lore, and of course, forbidden love.

  One-sentence biog: I love to write, read and    role play.

 Links to your Blog / Twitter / FB / other:

The World Among Us Fanpage,

My Author fanpage

 Twitter accounts:

@theworldamongus &

@literarylunes

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When you write, do you have a routine or habit?

I usually like to write in my bed, with my pajamas on, and the music blasting in the background. I usually listen to something fast beat.  This is going to sound weird, but I like to try to write to the beat of the music. Does anyone else do that?  I also usually have either a glass of Pepsi or mom’s homemade iced tea & a bag of chips with me when I write.

What kicks off the book – a character, a situation, a plot-point? 

Usually a situation is what kicks off my books.

Do you plan the plot or follow it as it unfolds? How much do you know in advance? 

I usually do very little planning.  I like to have set goals or situations that have to happen in each book I write.  Otherwise, I usually just let my characters write the books, and I dictate.  Sometimes, however, my characters tend to sidetrack, and I have to get them back on track and plot a little bit.

Do you write character notes or background information?

Yes!  That is mostly what I plot. It’s how I get to know my characters.

Do you do research and how?

It depends on the topic I am writing about, but yes, I do research.  I usually browse the internet for said topic, and keep looking until I find whatever it is I am looking for.

Do your characters do as you intend or do they tend to run away with the plot? 

My main characters are generally good with doing what I want them to. However, once in a while they tend to get off track.

Do you have clear visuals of places or characters? 

Most of the time, yes I do.  It’s getting that vision into words that’s the problem sometimes.

When you have writer’s block, what do you do? 

When I have writer’s block, I usually put the book down for however long I need to, and read.  I usually read books in the genre I write in, and after a while, something I read or see in real life will spark an idea. I find that going to church is actually a good place to get inspiration from.  I often find myself zoning out of the homily’s after the gospel during mass, and entering the thoughts of my characters.  It’s a nice escape I have to say (especially if the sermon is really boring lol)

What made you decide to write this story? 

I’ve always been into the fantasy world, and love vampires and witches (not so much werewolves).  It was one of those stories that once I got the idea for it, it just HAD to be written.

What element did you start with and how did it develop? 

I started out with knowing the last ¼ of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness, and developed the story around it.  It sounds complicated, and I guess you could say I kind of wrote the book backwards, but it developed nicely (I think).

Did anything change substantially along the way?

Sometimes something that started as a detail suddenly becomes a plot point. Have you had that happen and what was it (if it would not be a spoiler to say)?  I am sure that I have, but to be honest, I can’t remember a specific detail.  (there are just too many).

Do you have a favorite character or place? 

I hate being asked about my favorite character lol. It’s like being asked if you have a favorite child.  I love them all.  In terms of a favorite place, I would have to say Mount Olympus.  You don’t get to visit it much in Prince of Darkness, but you will get to see why it’s my favorite in Stormy Nights.

Are any of your characters / places / situations based on real life? 

Some of the places are loosely based off of places that I frequently visit in real life.  IE, Holly Oak University is based off the college I went to, and Port Washington is a real town in NY.  It’s in Nassau County, Long Island.

What are your views on self-publishing? 

If you have what it takes, go for it!  I self-publish my magazine called Literary Lunes (www.literarylunes.com), so I know that it’s a lot of hard work, and can be very frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing.  BUT if you have the time and patience, then by all means, all the more power to you!

What are your views on e-books?

I think e-books are great and convenient for traveling, but, I still prefer to hold the actual book in my hand.

Do you have / are you considering getting an e-reader?

I actually just received an e-reader for Christmas from my fiancé.  I received the Nook Color J.

Did you have your cover made /  work edited / proofed by someone else?

My cover was designed by someone that Otherworld hired.  James from JE Ellis Design designed it.

What do you do to market your book? 

I talk about it all the time on facebook, twitter etc. I have a fanpage on facebook (www.facebook.com/theworldamongus), and my twitter handle is also the title of my book @theworldamongus.  This way, whenever someone sees the name, they are always thinking or talking about my book (even when they don’t realize it!)

Are you on any social media? Which do you prefer? 

I am on too many social media websites. I am on so many, that I can barely keep up with them all.  I personally prefer facebook & twitter as opposed to myspace, however.

What has proved your most successful marketing method so far? 

Networking sites such as facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.  They are MUST HAVES, especially for new authors.  Blogging is also proving to be successful as well.

Have you read and enjoyed any other indie authors? Who / what book? 

I’m honestly only just starting with reading some Indie authors, and the one that I just read was called Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz.  It’s a new, romantic thriller that has you on the edge of your seat right to the very end.  It was out of my normal genre (YA/Fantasy), so it took me a chapter or two to really get into it. BUT once I got into it, I was hooked.  I will be writing a review for it on www.literarylunespublications.blogspot.com over the next week.

Have you any tips for other authors? 

Be kind to your fans & readers.  If you’re on a pedestal, step down.  No one likes a stuck up author.  Be humble.  If someone takes the time out to review your book, be sure to thank them, or pay it forward. If you received a bad review, take it with a grain of salt.  Remember, a review is ONLY ONE PERSON’S OPINION.

Which book review sites do you read?

I honestly try to avoid reading book review websites BUT I absolutely ADORE everyone that has been participating on my tour.  It’s hard to pick just one.

Which review sites have reviewed your book? 

Too many to list.  If you take a look at the tour list on www.bethannmasarik.com or www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com you will get an idea of who’s reviewed me.

Are there any resources you have found really useful? 

Goodreads is a goldmine for authors, writers, and yes, even readers.  It’s a great way to connect with your fans and the general audience.  There are lots of great books out there, and Goodreads is a great resource to finding them.

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Many thanks to Beth for the interview, and now for the giveaway – Beth has kindly offered prizes for you! There will be the chance to win an ebook, a fanclub Tshirt and possibly a mug, which could be yours! To enter, please leave a comment below…. and if you know other fantasy / romance fans, please let them know as well!

Thanks to Beth for this great opportunity;

JAC

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Happy Christmas!

Hey all –

First, have a great Christmas! I’m in the depths of the countryside so out of signal and out of touch apart from brief jaunts into town, so in the meantime here’s a Christmas guest post which I wrote for Lee Sinclair and co at Boomers and Books, called

The Curious Incident of the Turkey in the Night-time

hope you enjoy it!

Other than that, I’m inputting edits as far as is possible between taking the niece Christmas shopping, making mince pies and “humorous” top-up pressies (tremble all ye who might be getting one!) and taking anything between 5 and 9 dogs  of assorted sizes and shapes for a walk.

So have an excellent Christmas and New Year, and if you haven’t already bought your copy (or ecopy ) of Christmas Lies, links are at the bottom of my guest post!

Do come back on 30th when Barbara Silkstone will be doing our New Year’s guestpost; in the meantime, take care and Happy Christmas to all and sundry!

JAC

 

Hey peeps –
ain’t we the lucky ones today?! For why you ask (or at least those of you who didn’t read the title do)??
.
Because today we have a special guest post with the lovely Cambria Hebert, published paranormal author, fellow member of the Creative Reviews group on Goodreads (click the button over there on the right if you haven’t visited there yet) and general lovely nutter. This is her, look:
Hot chick with thiing for werewolves

Hot chick with thing for werewolves

Now boys, calm down (girls, she is just as lovely as she looks). She has kindly agreed to answer some questions for this blog to celebrate the release of short story Before, which will be released for your enjoymen and delectation on 18th November, no less and is a taster forher main novel Masquerade, due to hit the shelves on 16th December. Her blog is full of amusing and entertaining stuff, and her book trailers are WAY cool! Especially the one for the short story White-out which is frankly the best book trailer I’ve seen in some time. She is also one of the main culprits responsible for the Creative Reviews Charity Anthology, Christmas Lites, due out on Nov 26th,  so keep an eye out for all of these literary amuse-bouches.
So – let’s hear from the lady herself….

Name: Cambria Hebert

Title: Before

(more details  and frankly fabulous cover are at end of post)

Format: Ebook (no links yet)

One sentence summary:  What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect… Before.

One sentence author bio: Cambria is an author, blogger, latte sipper who loves werewolves and just knows a toilet snake is waiting to get her.

Links:

Website: http://www.cambriahebert.com

Blog: http://www.theunlockeddiary.blogspot.com

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138

Twitter: @cambriahebert

1.  When writing Before what element did you start with and how did it develop?

Before is the prequel to my debut novel, Masquerade, so I used the novel as a jumping off point. Masquerade is based on Heven, a teenage girl who had the perfect life before there was an accident and she was left horribly disfigured on the left side of her face. She is then treated with caution and considered a freak. Heven can’t remember the accident or how she got her scars. Before is about Heven about her life before her accident and the trouble that is lurking in the background that she doesn’t see….

 2.  What was most difficult about writing Before?

The most difficult thing is that it is a short story and shorts are hard!!! Trying to pack some interest and action into such a short amount of writing. Also, I felt a lot of pressure to make it be enticing so people will want to read Masquerade.

 3. Do your characters do as you intend or do they run away with the plot?

They run away with the plot – always!! That’s why it’s so fun to write! Once I researched a character’s name for an hour, picked one out and then wrote the scene where the character came into the book. When he was asked his name he said something else!!! I was like all that time researching wasted! I couldn’t force his name because he never would have been quiet in my head. I would have insomnia!

 4. Why toilet snakes?

Imagine this: its one o’clock in the morning, you wake up and crawl out of bed, trudge through the dark and into the bathroom. You sit down on the toilet, half sleeping… and then a snake bites you! On your butt! Ack!!!  Always look before you sit. It’s a rule!!! Never get caught with a snake on your bum. It could happen. But it won’t happen to me, because I look before I sit. Yes, even in the middle of the night.

 5. Werewolves. How often do you have to groom them?

That’s the beauty of a werewolf. Sometimes they are hairy and other times they are hot men. Wait – not just hot – Hawt. Yup, gotta exaggerate that hawwt. Uh –huh. Anyway, when they get shaggy looking you can just either make them morph into their human selves or send them to the groomer. Or perhaps they can just run off into the woods and scratch themselves against a tree. Either way they are great for cold winter nights….

.

 JAC: <bafflement. Fleas?>

 .

6. Brussel sprouts – why?

As in why would anyone eat them?? I don’t like them. I’ve tried to cook them, bake them, season them. They are gross. They taste like mini cabbages (which isn’t that what they are?) and cabbage is gross too. Sorry to all you cabbage lovers out there!

JAC:
Thanks to Cambria for answering those questions,even if the whole werewolf / fleaing thing is a bit of a worry….. So here are those links again in case you missed them!

Cambria Hebert
Didn’t get enough? Check me out on Tuesday nights at 9pm (EST)
 BEFORE – by Cambria Hebert
 Details:
Cover of short story by Cambria Hebert

What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect…

Before.

This is the story of my past. Of what things were like for me when everything was normal. Of what every teenager’s life is like. Clothes. Parties. Boys and summer vacation. What’s so wrong with that? I liked it. I was happy.

Until things changed. I changed.

I didn’t know that lies and secrets were about to take over my existence. I didn’t know there was someone out there, someone meant just for me. I didn’t know that I was about to go on a journey, a journey that would lead me to the girl I am today.

This is the beginning of the worst year of my life. Would I go back and change things? Erase everything that has happened to go back into these moments?

Not a chance.

This is a story of before.

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So once again thanks to Cambria for her fab interview, and best of luck with the exciting multiple releases over Christmas! And remember, kids, when she’s at the top of the NYT Bestsellers list – you saw her here first!
In the weeks to come – a guest-blog from CS Splitter, author of The Reluctant with hopefully some details about his new release The Willing, due out 21st November…. and a couple of other treats queued up between now and Christmas, so keep an eye on this space! And you never know, it’s just possible that I might have a new release in the On Dark Shores series for you before the end of the year….here’s hoping!
Upon which note I shall get back to my edits and leave you lovely lot to go look at Cambria’s websites (go on! I didn’t put all those links in for nothing!) Have a great week, peeps – and  when you’ve read Before, and indeed all the rest, don’t forget to leave a review!
Catch you later;
JAC

Christmas Lites Charity Anthology from Creative Reviews

 

Look, not only do we have a new cover for Christmas Lites!

If you have not been paying attention so far, this is the new short story anthology including 26 stories from of the Creative Reviews group – it’s going to be great fun, including at the last roundup Santa, zombies, ghosts, a living snowmaiden and a ninja elf…! Furthermore, all proceeds will go the the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, so it’s all in a good cause. If anyone is up for helping us with a bit of publicity, please get in touch either here or on the Creative Reviews group, as we’d really like to raise a bit of money for the charity at Christmas.

More as we get it but there is a bit more info on Cambria’s blog here:

http://theunlockeddiary.blogspot.com/

and a bit more about the NCADV here on Jenn’s blog:

http://www.indiesupporter.com/

And both of them have the trailer all ready to be watched as well, so do check that out – ninja elves – how can you resist?!

A blog with author Cambria Hebert later in the week so do watch this space – and please, if anyone is up for spreading the word about the anthology, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks all – as always you are stars!!

JAC

 

Dear all:

Here for your delectation is a fantastic guestpost courtesy of Lee Sinclair, humorist, founder of The Secret Bookclub on Goodreads (don’t tell anyone I told you about it) and many other entertainments (some listed below). She has been in conversation with Em, star of The Book of Blognots, Not Blogs who has kindly passed on a Halloween anecdote for your perusal. So I leave you in the capable hands of Lee Sinclair as Em regales you with:

My Encounter With The Undead
A blog post by em

I don’t usually go around talking to the undead. I may be crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. I already have plenty of problems without looking for more. If you’ve read the book that my blogging dog, Big M, and I wrote, you’re aware of the extent of my problems. If you haven’t read it, don’t bother. There’s no useful information in it. Not only do I not have normal problems that normal people have, but I haven’t managed to solve any of them. The best I can do is to ignore them until they go away on their own. And that hardly ever works. Most of my problems insist on sticking around no matter how much effort I put into ignoring them.

Anyway, the other day, my sister asked me about zombies. She has recently been reading books about them and had some questions. Since I know nothing about zombies, I couldn’t help her. But wouldn’t you know, a few days after that, I saw one walking down the street, all bundled up against the chilly fall weather. (Isn’t that the way it always happens? Someone mentions a person or thing, and suddenly you’re seeing them everywhere.) At the time, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. So I rushed over and began grilling him.

But it turned out it wasn’t an overdressed zombie, after all. It was a mummy. Like I said, I really don’t know anything about zombies, so it’s not surprising I couldn’t tell the difference. Still, who better to answer questions about the undead than a member of the undead. Or so I thought. Although he was perfectly willing to talk to me, his whole conversation was nothing more than a string of curses. I never have figured out how to deal with those who indiscriminately spew bad language. So the mummy’s curses made me feel more and more uncomfortable. I was almost ready to give up my quest for answers when I noticed he had a loose thread hanging off him. And it was just plain bad luck I didn’t have a pair of scissors with me that day.

All I can say in my defense is I was only trying to be helpful. Who knew there was nothing underneath all those wrappings? Mind you, that may not be true for ALL mummies, but it was for this one. Now I feel a little bit like a murderess, although I’m not sure I actually killed him. He just sort of disappeared, leaving behind a pile of stained and smelly cloth. And technically, I don’t think you can kill someone who is already dead. Legally, you can’t be tried for the same crime twice, but I don’t believe there are any laws addressing this particular situation.

Regardless, I still feel really bad about what I did, whatever it was. So if anyone happens to see a naked, invisible mummy, please pass on my sincere apologies to him.

* * * * *

Author & Book Info

I don’t really have a bio because I think of myself as a writer, not an author. Perhaps if I publish several books, I’ll become more accustomed to talking about myself in the third person. Not only that, I don’t live in some evocatively named city with 1 husband, 2 children, and 3 pets. Instead, I’m moldering away in the Northwestern United States because I’m one of those people who like rain and moss. I’m also seriously hampered by my lack of dexterity, so I can’t impress anyone with a list of fascinating skills or hobbies. Besides, those things tend to create clutter, and I’m trying to get rid of my clutter, not add to it. I used to do some gardening, which is a popular author pastime, but to be honest, I was never very good at it and found it to be a lot of work. A final note about myself, I’m only half as crazy as the crazy little old lady in my book.

Providing a description of my book is equally challenging. Try to imagine this: Take Bridget Jones’s Diary and Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints and stick them in a commercial grade blender. Add a dozen noncontiguous pages from Pride and Prejudice and a random page from a dozen different self-help books. Throw in a few columns each from Dave Berry, Ann Landers, and Isaac Asimov. Season with an excessive amount of puns. Then run the blender for about an hour. The resulting mess will be surprisingly similar to my book.

Book of Blognots, Not Blogs by Lee Sinclair

 

 ◊ An irrepressible, reborn spinster who embraces life and technology in her own unique way

 

◊ A blogging dog who tries to explain things he doesn’t understand

 

◊ And a story you’re not going to believe

Links:

Amazon Listing:  Book of Blognots, Not Blogs
Website: www.sinclairstories.com

Group Blog: Boomers and Books

So many thanks go to Lee and Em there – and to the rest of you – have a great Halloween – and if you see a Mummy on the street, you know what to do!!
Take care, all, and watch this space for an interview with Cambria Hebert, author of imminent release “Maskerade” – one for all you paranormal fans out there. More in a week or so!
JAC

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Morning all:

Well, here’s a thing. There appears to be some bloke in his trollies plastered across my blog – how did that happen?!

How that happened is simple enough, actually;  the lovely Vanessa at Love, Laugh & Read blog is hosting a giveaway to celebrate Canada Day (for the ignorant such as I, they tell me this is the anniversary of the birth of Canada). It’s an international contest and  by simply commenting on each blog participating (there’s a list of them on her site) you can win all sorts of goodies including a wide variety of ebooks (not least “ON DARK SHORES; THE LADY“) and paperbacks and a couple of mystery prizes…. Intrigued yet? I know I am!

So, click on Tarquin pic above (about 2 Boddingtons fans will get this joke) and go to Love, Laugh & Read;  sign in with the linky gadget at the bottom of the page, and then do your blog tour, commenting as you go for extra entries!!

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So:

Only a short blog today, but as some of you will know from my ramblings on Goodreads, I’ve recently moved house and I was unpacking yet another crate of books today when I came across one of my best secondhand bookshop finds; a boxed set of CS Lewis’ Narnia books, the lovely ones with the Pauline Baynes illustrations.

Just finding them there made me smile, as these particular books are really special to me; and it made me think that though I am a big fan of ebooks (and indeed had been just been thinking that if my entire collection was in virtual form I’d have brought it into the house on a memory stick rather than in 25 crates!) there are some things that an ebook cannot do that a paperback can and does do.  For what it’s worth, my take on the whole ebook / p-book debate is that I read ebooks to gatekeep my shelfspace, and buy p-books of the books I was to keep and re-read and admire on my shelves in idle moments and this boxed set is very definitely of that category of books.

In the first place, it’s an author I love whose books transfixed me for hours at a time, as a child (and I still enjoy them today, though you can never quite reclaim the innocence and the novelty of your childhood interpretation); but these books have a claim on me which might be entirely imaginary…. or might not.

Let me explain…

In the area of the country where I grew up, virtually all the kids moved South to find work (and still do) so when I finished Uni and went back home it was a bit of a shock to the system. I’d gone from the mad, glad dash of clubs and musical societies and classes on a campus with fifteen thousand people around my age from all around the world to the slow, gentle, quiet progression of life in the  beautiful countryside, with no public transport locally and none of my good friends in this half of the country. Even the kids I’d gone to school with were mostly living down South somewhere, so it felt a bit forlorn in a lot of ways.

I did do a bit of writing, of course, but having just finished 4 years’ worth of essays, reading for pleasure felt like more  of a luxury and there was a great little secondhand bookshop just down from where I worked so when I wasn’t buying the mis-shapes from the chocolatier, I was usually lurking in the bookshop. One day I happened across a boxed set of the Narnia books, in beautiful condition. All the paperbacks were there, and there wasn’t a bent spine amongst them; they were slightly faded along the spine but otherwise in beautiful condition, and when I asked the price, the shop-owner said that as I was a regular, I could have the lot for £15, which was about the price of a new hardback.

I wasn’t well-off at the time and this was about a month’s book allowance, but  I didn’t hesitate to take him up on this offer and bought them on the spot, dashing back to my temping job with the bag clasped to me as if it was something precious – because it was. I was consumed with glee at finally having not only managed to buy a full matching set of them for myself, but also having managed to ace all my expectations by finding the ones with the Pauline Baynes illustrations that I loved, in the original box, and in such perfect condition! Clearly they’d never even been read, I thought; but I was wrong.

When I got home that night I went straight up to my room, allegedly to change out of my work trousers, but in actual fact to savour the first opening of the books, as if it were some amazing gift that I’d received unexpectedly.

I took them out of the box, marvelling at the jewel-like colours and the absolutely unsullied appearance of the covers; and then I opened ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ carefully. On the inside of the cover was handwriting in a plain, angular script, not easy to decipher. It simply read “To [scribble]” and the date, which was also unreadable.  It was good to have a bit of the book’s history in front of me.

The inscription was only written in the first book, but they were obviously a set; a wonderful present for someone. I wondered if they had been unwanted and how they had ended up in the secondhand shop. However, as I leafed through each book in turn it quickly became clear that these books had not been unwanted but had been treasured by someone just as careful with their books as I am – and more.

Each and every one of the beautiful line drawings that grace the pages of that edition had been painstakingly and very thoughtfully coloured in in pencil crayons; not the usual clumsy scribbles that spoil the picture and mar the book, but with real attention to detail and thought for the colours.

I hate writing in books – I’m the first one to argue that it distracts me and breaks the spell of the tale, and even hesitate over writing my name in the front of my books because it will annoy me every time I open the cover. In the normal way of things I don’t approve of colouring in the pictures either unless you’re a much better artist than am I; but these were different. These were the work of some child who genuinely loved those books, and cared enough to keep them in utterly pristine condition otherwise.

The thing is, that sort of book doesn’t end up in a secondhand shop unless the original owner is no longer  around; we might fall out of love with the stories but we never fall out of love with the memory of the pleasure they have given us. Of course I may be wrong, but it seems likely that the books were given away as part of a house clearance….

I can’t help but wonder what happened to the child who coloured in those pictures with such care and wonder; but wherever she (or he) is now, I think that they’d be pleased that their books have come to someone else who will love and look after them, and sometimes when I sit alone in the quiet and read them, it is almost as if there is someone else there sharing the story, and loving every turn of the page just as much as I do.

I always stop to look at those beautiful pictures; and it doesn’t break the spell of the story; and I always spare a kind thought for that child, who is reading along with me, just as they used to when the books were new…

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Anyway, that’s my story for today. What about you? Is there a book that you loved as a child? Do you still own it now? Leave a comment and let me know!

And of course, don’t forget to go back and enter on the other sites by leaving your comments there as well…. So who’ll start the ball rolling?

JAC