The Snarkology Halloween Hop


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I love Halloween. Dressing up in a costume then going trick or treating with my sisters, later with my kids. But while I’m walking down the streets, crushing fallen leaves with my feet, the wind howling through the bare branches, my writer’s brain kicks in.

What if there was someone lurking in the shadows?  This is the basis for my book You Are Mine.

Would you know when someone was watching you? How would you react to the feeling?

When we took a family vacation to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, we had such a wonderful time. The people were wonderful, the setting was rugged and free and I knew a strong heroine would love living there.

Of course I would need a formidable hero for her.    You are mine cover medium

Here is an excerpt:

A movement by the shed caught her eye and Molly froze. She glanced at the clock on the wall beside the fireplace.

A rush of blood pounded through her temples as she stood. Walking over to the side of the window, she lifted the heavy brocade curtain, making sure she didn’t touch the lacy sheer, not wanting her movements to be revealed to whoever was out there.

The figure of a man leaned against the shed, watching the office. Tightness cinched in her chest, as she held her breath. Could he be the one sending the letters?

She kept her eyes focused on the stranger. He was dressed like a local, with a red and black checked flannel shirt peeking out from under a down-filled vest. His worn jeans and scuffed boots resembled every male living in town, but unlike them he looked lethal.

His face was shadowed beneath a baseball cap, his eyes shielded by dark sunglasses. She couldn’t make out any of his features.

She let the heavy curtain fall back into place and walked over to the fireplace, reached for the rifle over the mantle, checked for shells then crossed the room to the door.

Opening the front door, she kept a firm grip on the rifle at her side as she yelled, “What are you doing here?”

The man shrugged. He took a step toward her. Dread lassoed her throat, cinching it closed.

He stepped out of the shadows into the bright sunlight. A navy duffel bag in his hand. Walking toward her he smiled as he removed the glasses drawing her into two, cool-blue pools. “Long time no see.”

Not nearly long enough. She knew she should be relieved that he wasn’t the stalker, but in some ways he was more dangerous.

Her worst nightmare had become a reality. Brock Kingston had come home.


Single mother, Molly Jackson, wants to run the family freight business in the North West Territories and take care of her daughter and grandfather. When creepy letters start to arrive she knows she has a stalker. Can she protect her loved ones when she’s not sure she can protect herself?

When Gramps ask RCMP officer Brock Kingston to come home, he can’t refuse the man who took him in. Now he has to return home and save the woman who broke his heart.

Will their rekindled love survive when the truth is revealed?

Tell me about the scariest place you have ever vacationed in and I’ll choose three comments to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card.

And while you feeling lucky enter to win prizes from the other authors.

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Why I read past my bedtime.

Why do you keep reading past your bedtime when you know you’ll be dead at work the next day?reading.jpg

When you go to the movies what causes you to grab the arm of the person sitting next to you? Hopefully it’s the person you went with, but I have grabbed the arm of a stranger.

It’s the adrenaline rush. The rush we love to experience.

It is different with each of us, but it causes us to suck in our breath, scream aloud, look away, or jump in our seats. It is what we talk about after the show with our friends.

I love moves that astound me. I know the bad person will be caught, but I am on the roller fearcoaster ride with the characters throughout the movie.

So where did I develop my need for this rush of adrenaline? It’s very simple, old TV shows.

Blog for Cindy – Suspense

Why do you keep reading past your bedtime when you know you’ll be dead at work the next day?

When you go to the movies what causes you to grab the arm of the person sitting next to you? Hopefully it’s the person you went with, but I have grabbed the arm of a stranger.

It’s the adrenaline rush. The rush we love to experience.

It is different with each of us, but it causes us to suck in our breath, scream aloud, look away, or jump in our seats. It is what we talk about after the show with our friends.

I love moves that astound me. I know the bad person will be caught, but I am on the roller coaster ride with the characters throughout the movie.

So where did I develop my need for this rush of adrenaline? It’s very simple, old TV shows. As a kid, I watched all the Alfred Hitchcock Presents shows. Then I graduated to his movies on late night TV. To this day, when I see a flock of birds sitting on a hydro wire, my pulse quickens.

Rear Window is my most favorite movie of all time. I still jump in places even though I know what is coming. I still cry out “Be careful, watch out,” even though I know it won’t make a difference to the outcome.

In my opinion, that is great story telling. When I can live the story over and over again and I don’t get tired of it.

Another favorite show I watched as a kid was Rod Stirling’s Twilight Zone. I was terrified and mesmerized at the same time and no matter how many times I said I wasn’t going to watch it, I was glue to the TV at the same time every week getting my dose of adrenaline rush.

Now I’m addicted to The Walking Dead, and Supernatural. They have me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding, fists clinched, and I love it.

What causes your adrenaline rush?


New release NOTHING TO LOSE by Darlene Fredette

Today I’m featuring NOTHING TO LOSE by Darlene Fredette
Release Date: October 05, 2016nothingtolose-darlenefredette-2

Publisher: Escape Publishing


She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances.


Dwindling finances has Jesse Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jesse has nothing to lose.

Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes. Like whether to break his own no-dating-employees rule and make a little room in his life for love.


‘How hard can baking be? Easy‐peasy. Right?’ She knew her words to be untrue. She’d watched shows on the Food Network. The chefs on television made creating desserts appear simple, yet Jessie’s attempts always ended with opening a window and the lid on the garbage can.

‘I have no choice, and at this point I have nothing to lose.’ Jessie had thought the same before her previous four jobs. Though, she did excel at one particular skill—making bad choices. If only she could include that talent as a positive trait.

She drew in a deep breath to calm her racing pulse. Desperation rolled in the emptiness of her stomach. She’d just go into the bakery and win them over. She had to. The two hundred dollars in her bank account would cover her car payment. As long as I don’t eat or drive anywhere, I’m good.


Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

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Lisa de Nikolits interviews Dr. Frances Carroll from THE NEARLY GIRL

Hi Everyone, I’m Lisa de Nikolits and I write crime novels. I also write short stories and some pretty bad poetry. I am here today (and thank you Dear Karen, for having me as a guest!) to talk about my latest novel, The Nearly Girl.TheNearlyGirlCover.jpg

The Nearly Girl is super-hot off the press – in fact the launch is in two days time and if you are in Toronto, we’d love to see you! It’s at The Women’s Art Association of Toronto and it starts at 6.30pm, on the 13th of October and everyone is invited!

I’m going to interview my antagonist today, Dr. Frances Carroll. He’s a psychiatrist and a therapist in The Nearly Girl and he invented his own form of therapy which is called Do The Opposite Thing. And just so you can picture him, Dr. Carroll looks a lot like Paul Giamatti.

LISA: “Hello Dr. Carroll, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.”

CARROLL: *smiles a toothy little grin* “No problem. There’s no shortage of crazy people out there. If I miss the boat on a few, you can be sure there’ll be shiploads of them lining up, so to speak!”

LISA: “Crazy people? That seems, I don’t know, a bit insensitive to the folks out there with mental health issues, don’t you think?”

CARROLL: *leans forward, clasps his hands and looks earnest * “What I think is this. There’s too much political correctness going on, in the fields of psychotherapy, both in terms of terminology and treatment. I say call a spade a spade. Would an ill man go to a doctor if he was well? No, he would not. Therefore why should the doctor couch his diagnosis in cuddly cashmere when the man (or woman, please note, I am never sexist), would prefer to know the truth of the matter? I believe in truth.”

LISA: “I see. I guess there is something refreshing about that. Well, let’s talk about your therapy, it’s called D.T.O.T., which stands for Do The Opposite Thing. Can you tell us about it?”

CARROLL: “Young lady, you should have done your research. Surely you know about it? It’s really boring for me to have to rehash the whole story repeatedly when people are just too lazy to do their jobs.”

LISA: “I do know what D.T.O.T. is. I just thought you might want to explain it to readers in your own words, so it is perfectly clear.”

CARROLL: *stares at the interviewer, takes a deep sigh* “Fine. To start, D.T.O.T. is my invention, my contribution to the field of psychology. I started out, fifteen years ago, as a fan of all the traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs and I could see that there was some measure of success to be had. But not enough! I started experimenting, slowly of course, with D.T.O.T. which takes C.B.T. to a whole new level.”

LISA: “And you tested it in recognized laboratory environments?”

 CARROLL: *leans back and purses his lips and crosses his arms across his chest* “Correct. I had to prove myself endlessly. I had to plot statistics and medications and field studies and control groups and all that other bumpf that scientists demand, and I am delighted to tell you that D.T.O.T. passed all the tests. It has been greeted as a revolutionary healing technique and the world is a better place for it.”

LISA: “And it cured Amelia?”

CARROLL: *looks thoughtful* “Amelia turned out to be a lot more tricky than I thought. I don’t want to give any of your readers plot spoilers so I am not going say too much but I will say this, she was a wily one and I didn’t see that ending coming.”

LISA: “She beat you at your own game?”

CARROLL:“A ridiculous suggestion! No one beats me! But she did solve what society considers to be a crime, yes, that much is true.”

LISA:” Your book is coming out in a couple of days. How do you feel about that?”

CARROLL: *gives a broad happy smile* “I am utterly delighted! I can’t wait! Say what you will about me but this book is an optimistic one. The ethos is clear throughout: accept yourself with all your flaws, oddities and failings. Where there is doubt, have faith. You see? Do the opposite thing. You are unhappy? Be happy. And I will show you how. It sounds simple and I know life isn’t that easy but if you read the book, you will feel better about your life and even if you don’t, you will have spent a very entertaining few hours enjoying a thrilling story.”

LISA: “You agree it’s thrilling?”

CARROLL: “Of course I do. For the main part, I read scientific treatises on statistics and the like, but this book really grabbed my attention, right from the start. It was really very romantic too, what with the love story between Henry and Megan. I liked them both a lot.”

LISA: “Really? You liked the romance? You surprise me Dr. Carroll! But what about the people who died in the book?”

CARROLL: *flicks a wrist* “Natural attrition. You need to see the bigger picture, young lady.”

LISA: *showing signs of agitation at the conversation* “Dr. Carroll, firstly, people died. And secondly, I am older than you.

CARROLL: “Yes but you are psychologically naïve. Most of the world is psychologically naïve and we should change that! You should change yourself!”

LISA: “I will take your advice into consideration Dr. Carroll, thank you. And thank you very much for taking the time to be with us today. Is there anything you would like to add, before we sign off?”

CARROLL: “Not a thing, just this one thing – may you all D.T.O.T. until the cows come home!”

Short synopsis of the book:

The Nearly Girl is a fast-paced literary thriller about a girl with a rare psychosis. With a poetic genius for a father, a body builder for a mother and a crazy psychiatrist for a therapist, what could possibly go wrong? A novel about an unusual family, expected social norms and the twists and turns of getting it all slightly wrong, the consequences of which prove fatal for some.

Blurb for the book:

“A playful exploration of human oddities, de Nikolits’s latest book asks: What are the consequences when we deviate from the norm? Centred around Amelia, a young woman who only nearly gets things right in life—she catches the wrong bus or shows up on the wrong day—The Nearly Girl features a cast of misfits who are all engaged in various forms of self-improvement. With her mother trying endlessly to improve her body and her tortured genius poet father always awaiting the voice of brilliance to speak to him, Amelia and her family are anything but ordinary. But perhaps the most compelling characters are found in Amelia’s therapy sessions, where hoarders, recluses and claustrophobes alike come together in an enchantingly eccentric group seeking the help of an unorthodox psychotherapist. Yet, we learn from de Nikolits, sometimes self-acceptance is better than change. The story builds with cinematic suspense and surprises, but one thing is for sure: The only crazy thing in this world is trying to be normal.” – Jill Buchner, Canadian Living Magazine


Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia lisadenikolits-2and Britain. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto. The Nearly Girl is her sixth novel. Previous works include: The Hungry Mirror (2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women’s Issues Fiction and long-listed for a ReLit Award); West of Wawa (2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and a Chatelaine Editor’s Pick); A Glittering Chaos (tied to win the 2014 Silver IPPY for Popular Fiction); The Witchdoctor’s Bones launched in Spring 2014 to literary acclaim. Between The Cracks She Fell  was reviewed by the Quill & Quire, was on the recommended reading lists for Open Book Toronto and 49th Shelf. Between The Cracks She Fell was also reviewed by Canadian Living magazine and called ‘a must-read book of 2015’. Between The Cracks She Fell won a Bronze IPPY Award 2016 for Contemporary Fiction. No Fury Like That is scheduled to be published in 2017 and Rotten Peaches in 2018. All books by Inanna Publications.

Lisa has a short story in Postscripts To Darkness, Volume 6, 2015, and flash fiction and a short story in the debut issue of Maud.Lin House as well as poetry in the Canadian Women Studies Journal (Remembering, 2013, and Water, 2015). Her short stories have also appeared on Lynn Crosbie’s site, Hood and the Jellyfish Review. She has a short story coming out in the anthology PAC’HEAT, a Ms. Pac-Man noir collection and a short story in the Sisters In Crime anthology, November 2016, The Whole She-Bang 3.


Author website:

Twitter: @lisadenikolits


Facebook Author Page:

Goodreads: – Lisa de Nikolits


Instagram: @lisadenikolits


The Mesdames of Mayhem:

Pinterest: Inspiration for The Nearly Girl

YouTube: Book Trailer for The Nearly Girl:

Where to buy the book:

In local stores in Canada:

(I hope the Amazons will be working, sometimes they really lag after the book has been launched – but the Inanna link always works).




Beading Beat – Peyote Stitch

Beading Beat (2)

My first attempt at Even-Count Flat Peyote Stitch.

I got all excited about doing a bracelet in Peyote stitch, but I couldn’t get it to going the right way, so I decided to signed up for a course to make earrings. How hard could that be?20160909_153535-1

We started by using large kid’s beads to master the stitch. I had difficulty with turning the work, but finally got it and felt good about the project I decided to do. I was so wrong.

When we picked out the beads, I realized I was in trouble. We use size 11 beads. I could barely see them let alone work with them.

I choose light pink and gunmetal beads.

I picked them up with the needle and threaded them. It took me the rest of the day to get the turn right and get a big enough piece to wrap it around a straw to make a strong cylinder.

Then we threaded a sliver bead onto a silver head the put the head pin through the straw. Thread another silver bead to the end then make a loop and attached it to the earring.

The other ladies progressed on to a second earring, but it was all I could do to get the one earring done. I finished the other earring at home over the weekend.

I love the look of this stitch, but it will take me longer to master than I thought.

What has been the most challenging beaded piece you’ve worked on?

Defining Successful Writing.

My Writing Life (2)

How do you define your success?

Success is defined in the dictionary as: degree or measure of succeeding; favorable or  successdesired outcome. As writers we define success as a contracted book but there are more ways for us to count our successes.

One of the ways I count my success is writing 100 words a day. They have to be new words so when I do editing I still have to write my 100 words a day. Now you might say that’s not much of a challenge but I usually don’t stop at 100. I get two or three pages done each day, more on days I don’t have to go to work but if all I get is two pages every day for 7 days then I have fourteen pages or more than a chapter every week. At the end of the year, I’ve written over fifty-two chapters. Woot, woot, for me.

Accountability is another way to measure success. How many words have you written? Have you entered a contest? Have you submitted to an editor or an agent? In other words, what have you actually done for your writing career for that week?

We all fall off the wagon from time to time. Yes, I’m guilty of that too, but it’s easy to see you haven’t done your word count if you keep track of it.

I try to incorporate classes in my definition of success. I truly believe you can always learn more. Last month I took a social media class because I needed to conquer my fear of technology. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m much better than I was.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas that you can incorporate into defining your success as a writer.

How do you define your successes?