Showing posts from 2014

My top ten books

Having recently moved, I had to weed out my books and downsize my collection from twenty-two banker boxes to a mere ten, giving away more than half of my beloved collection. I've always dreamed of owning a house one day where I could have my own "study": a room with shelves upon shelves full of books. So this endeavor was incredibly difficult for me.

When Inion N Mathair (a mother-daughter writing team--how cool is that?!?) blogged about their top ten books (read their blog here) a couple of months ago, I took notice. They narrowed their favorite books down to 10 in total, which meant picking only five each. I applauded them. I really did. I would cry if I had to cut it down to five. So I'm not going to. I'm going to pick my top 10 books of all time and tell you why they made the cut!

p.s. I'm totally being cheeky, because some of these are "chronicles" where more than one book in a series have been published together.

1. The Chronicles of Faerie by…

NYT Bestselling Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will give away one of four autographed paperbacks to four winners randomly chosen through Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“I am the man who can find anything or anyone. For a price. And my price is you.”

When Mia Turner’s brother goes missing while on an archaeological dig, she believes that life couldn’t get much worse. But when she’s blocked at every turn by both local and U.S. authorities from finding answers, she must turn to a man she swears is the devil.

Others might be fooled by his private jet, fine tailored suits, and disarming smile, but Mia knows something dark, something sinister lurks behind those penetrating, pale gray eyes. And the more she learns, the more she realizes she may never be free again.
Better the devil you don’t know?

When Mia Turner’s life becomes tethered to a mysterious billionaire who she swears is the devil himself, she k…

Velvet Covered Steel? (Pet Peeve #3)

Just call it a penis!

I have to start this post off with a disclaimer: I grew up in a small coastal community, am a biologist and have worked on fishing vessels as a government representative. I've heard every name in the book for male and female genitalia and am fairly desensitized to the wide variety of labels, including the more crass and less savory ones.

But unless you plan to lick it off, why sugar coat it? A penis is a penis, after all! Maybe it's the biologist in me, but when I'm reading a sex scene, I find it amusing when the writer has seemingly gone out of the way to avoid the dreaded P and V words, or even the commonly used slang terms.

Second disclaimer: These aren't so much as pet peeves, as they are points of hilarity for me.

The top two labels for male and female genitalia respectively that throw me into fits of giggles are:
1. Velvet Covered Steel
2. Inner Goddess

As a writer, I can appreciate how difficult writing a sex scene is, and how you don't…

Jackhammering the Hymen (Pet Peeve #2)

I like Young Adult Novels. They teleport me back to an age of innocence and possibilities. Along with TV cop shows, singing along to Miley and Brittney in the car, and eating chocolate, reading YA is one of my not-so-secret guilty pleasures.

My pet peeve with YA's is the inevitable scene where the culmination of teenaged angst and playing hard to get results in the main character swooning into the arms of the handsome bad-boy love interest and losing her virginity to him.

Now let's be honest, these books are fiction. They're not realistic in many ways, including the intuitive nature of seventeen year old boys, but the area I find them most unrealistic is in the bedroom.

The deeply knowledgeable and skilled love interest will ruthlessly demolish the innocence of the main character...and she'll LOVE it. Some, the sensitive and considerate boys, will briefly pause and ask if she's okay, but the scene will predictably result in him jackhammering his way to the center o…

I taste bile! (Pet Peeve #1)

One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is seeing a line where a character at some point "tastes bile." because he or she is confronted with something that grosses them out, or is so grotesque they are nauseated by the idea or sight.  It's often the ultimate expression of supreme disgust, only to be one-upped by actual vomiting.

Reading this description repeatedly for one or more characters throughout a book is what really bothers me. It's not normal to constantly be tasting one's bile.

Here's why:

Bile is an emulsifier. It is produced in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the upper section of your small intestine (called the duodenum) to break down fats into smaller fats. It is extremely bitter tasting and the vapours from excessive bile secretion can travel to the mouth for you to taste. In order for it to do so, it has to travel through TWO sphincter muscles (the pyloric and the cardiac), which act as one-way gates, the highly acidic …

$500 for what?!? Get your ITIN the cheap way (DIY)

Legalities first: I am in no way a lawyer, and this is in no way legal advice and I should not and cannot be held accountable for the information I provide in this blog post. You are responsible for ensuring the information you submit on a government form is accurate and true.

Now, if you want to skip the beautifully written personal account of how and where I got this information, you can download the basic steps I followed here.

Now for the story.

As I'm going to be published by an American publisher, and I'm Canadian, I need to apply for an International Tax Identification Number, or an ITIN. To apply for an ITIN, I need to fill out a fairly straight forward one-page form and provide original proof of my citizenship and identity. My passport conveniently meets both of these requirements. I have four options for submitting my passport as proof.

Send it in the mail to Texas. (Not happening)Apply in person at an IRS Tax Payer Assistance Center and have them verify my docu…