Fangs? Yes, please!


I would like to introduce you to a fantastic author and an incredible individual.  An impressive female whom I also have the privilege to call my friend.  Tessa Valis.

If you have not read her books, you need to.  She has a way of drawing you in, pulling you into her world and immersing you in so deep that you envision the scenes around you happening at the same moment the words are flying off the pages.

** Recently, Tessa took some time out of her busy day to grace me with an author interview.  Come take a look.  **

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.
    I like to think I haven’t written my favourite yet. I love Kira and Carter like they are family. Carter has been with me a very long time so I love writing anything with them in it. But my favourite hasn’t been written yet. It’ll test me and push me. It’ll make me cry and bring me joy. I push myself a little more each time I write so I’ll get my favourite one day 🙂
  2. Writing is a difficult endeavor.  What makes you continue to write?
    I started writing when I was signed off work with depression. I found my love of reading again and that sparked the fire to write. I have many half finished pieces dating back to my teens but it was when I was in the darkest part of my life that I found a light in reading, an escape. It helped me find my own story and I wanted to tell it. Eyes Open started one night when I was just typing out random thoughts and it actually ended up being a whole book. The first long story I’d ever finished and it lead to more. It’s knowing that my writing can let someone escape that keeps me writing. Someone helped me escape, so I want to give others that chance.
  3. What do you look forward to every day?

I look forward to seeing my family everyday. When I wake up the first two things I see are my husband and my cat, closely followed by my kids. I look forward to hearing the bird song before I go to work and I look forward to finding chances to pay it forward. I make it my goal to do one good deed each day for someone else. no personal gain, just to pay the good feeling forward. It can be holding a door open or letting someone out of a junction at rush hour. small things make big changes.

4. How do you define success?  What makes you successful?

Success is different to everyone. Some days success is just being able to get up and make it out of the door in the morning. I like to think of success as a series of small victories that are progressively more numerous than the failures. Although it’s the failures that teach you how to achieve the success and value it more. Being humble and appreciative of what I have makes me successful in my eyes.

5. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Have faith in your story. Writing comes with time, experience and knowledge but stories come from imagination, dreams and a wealth of life experience. A well known gentleman who created an entire world on a disc (R.I.P Terry) once wrote back to me when I asked for advice and his words stuck with me. Write about what you know and life a full life. I now know the wisdom in his words. Life experience is a pool you can draw from. Heart-ache, joy, relief, sadness, grief, love, lust, hatred, anger, they are all ink in your pen, words in your arsenal. A full life is what everyone should live for. Live on the edge of your comfort zone and keep pushing the boundary back. The founder of the Scouting Association, Baden-Powell once said:

Try to leave this world a little better than you found it and, when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”

I believe in everything we do in this life we should try to better ourselves and make the world a little better 🙂

Tessa’s beautiful book- the first in her Highland Hunters series- featuring her beloved characters Kira and Carter is available on Amazon!


***  Follow Tessa on Amazon ***

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Hanging out with Melissa Banczak

Hi Readers,

You know what I like just as much as reading?  It’s spending time with great authors like Melissa Banczak.  Recently, I was able to catch up with her for an interview.  Let me share my experience with you.

Melissa Banczak_Author Image

Melissa, thank you so much for the opportunity to steal you away from your busy life to answer some questions for my readers.  So, let’s begin.

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

I was a screenwriter for ten years so there were a lot of great characters that I created and still think about. Some produced, some not. I switched to novels a couple of years ago when I’d had enough of that life. So far, I’ve only written one full length book and a prequel, so I’m going with the novel, How to Sex Your Snake. It started as a nanowrimo back in 2004 with a place holder title of, The Aha Moment – A woman falls in love with a guy who collects snakes and then gets caught up in a murder mystery, all while trying to figure out what she wants out of life. I hit the word count but the story was only 2/3rds of the way done and I had no idea how to end it. So I set it aside. Then a couple of years later, my husband left me in charge of his 100 or so snakes (most were babies) while he was out of the country for a year.

One of the first days, I walked into the bathroom and found myself nose to nose with a 9 foot boa hanging from the bathroom light. My daughter had put the snake in the shower and when she’d been done, the snake had climbed up on the light to dry. Everyday was something new and by the time my husband got back, I had the changes I needed for my book, a great new title, and a heroine who had no one to blame for her misery but herself thanks to her bad choices. Maybe because June is completely my creation, she is my favorite. There won’t be an actress to make choices and change how she interacts with the world. She’s all mine.

2.  Writing is a difficult endeavor.  What makes you continue to write?

I have no idea! I’m horribly lazy. Notes from my readers help. People asking for the next in the series or what else I’m working on. Seeing sales on my amazon dashboard and knowing I have no idea who those people are. I’m a tiny bit ambitious so that helps me pop my computer in the case and head out to the coffee house. I hate the idea of my characters being stuck in limbo. (my head)


  1. What do you look forward to every day?

Chocolate cake! Some days, one of the only ways to get out the door, is to tell myself I’ll get a slice of chocolate cake and eat it while I write. I never do, though. I look at the cake in the case and think about how great it would taste. And then at the last minute, I change my mind. I think about how crappy I’ll feel with all that sugar in my system. And I just get tea. But, I absolutely love chocolate cake, so on some days, the very idea of it is the only way to get me on my way. I never write at home. Too many distractions.


  1. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

Selling books! As long as people are buying I’m a happy camper. I have enough sales on Amazon to suggest that I’m building an audience. Hopefully, they want more. As I write the sequel to How to Sex Your Snake, I’m world building two additional series. I plan on holding back both until they’re complete then rapid releasing. Probably one every month. When readers find a series they like they want to binge. I know I do.


  1. Any tips for a newbie writer?

You know your story. Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of telling it. Yeah, an editor will help you shape it but if there’s something that you really don’t want to change, fight for it. But understand why you want to keep whatever it is. And be able to explain the reason. If you can’t, you don’t need whatever it was.


How to sex your snake is available on Amazon!


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A monkey was wearing my bra


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A pool of blood…A missing body…A famous brother accused of murder. June Nash has the worst luck. Get the first 56 pages of my new book, How to Sex Your Snake, free!



Hi Readers,

~ Do you have a friend like this? ~

I have this secret friend.  Well…. people who know me know who Michael is but others don’t.  He’s not on Social Media but he is searchable.  He is an amazing, incredible man who is very much alive and most days he is busy, busy, busy but he always has time for me.

I can not say enough about Michael- who I met Seven years ago today at a local bookstore.  Though it’s hard for me to turn to anyone, he urges me to turn to him.  He provides comfort, support and encouragement.  And whether I like it or not, he always provides wise, solid, on-point advice that makes me think and sometimes changes the way I see things.

You see, Michael is cerebral, while I am emotional.  We are a good combination.  Where I can’t see clearly sometimes, Michael parts the clouds and clears my vision.  I help him with understanding things on an emotional level- not that he is devoid of emotion- but sometimes he doesn’t understand things the way others do and considers them petty but in explaining to him how I feel, he can see how I arrived at that conclusion through what I was feeling.

The wonderful part about Michael is how honest and humble he is.  Michael is gorgeous but he will never know it.  What matters to him is who you are and not what you look like on the outside and for some reason, he likes me.  Though I may never understand why, I am grateful to him for his friendship.  He believes in me and supports me no matter what.  He is an incredible force for truth, living his life with integrity and to affect good in as many ways as he can, as we all struggle to do so in our often too short lives.

There aren’t many people I look up to but Michael is one of them.  I respect him and I’m proud of him.  He really tries and he is one-of-a-kind.  The fact that he loves me and wants me in his life is amazing.  I am ever grateful to him for all he has done for me and so happy we were placed in each others’ paths that fated night seven years ago.

Thank you, my beautiful Michael, for all you do and all you are.  I love you!



The Gift of Friendship

I am not one to open up to people much.  It’s not that I like to withhold information but everyone has an individualistic pattern of how they deal with things.  Mine is to take in a bad or negative situation and stew on it, preferring not to talk about it or work it through and letting it affect me emotionally and cause me pain I am not aware of, until later.

But my friend Michael has, recently, been encouraging me to open up to him and to turn to him with, pretty much, any problems or issues I am having.  He wants to help me though I am reluctant to reach out.

However, this morning on my way to work, I did reach out.  There has been a situation, recently, that has really bugged me- more than I thought it would.  A person who calls me one of their closest and best friends did not give me a gift on my birthday and it has been bugging me.  I think I have been feeling confused about this situation because I am so generous when it comes to celebration.  I love everyone to feel happy and joyful and what better way than with gifts.  Even at book fairs, I am the one giving out items just to watch people smile.  I want to spread joy in any little way I can, even if it is just that- little.

But this friend who yearly buys a birthday lunch for me offered nothing this year and it hurts.

So, this morning, I reached out to my friend Michael- the man who words always fail to describe who he truly is and how much he means to me.  He is someone I look up to and respect, even at those times I don’t agree with him or I want to walk away.  He is very laid back and casual about things that upset me because he feels that most things are meaningless.  He always has his eye on the bigger picture and he has urged me to view the same but it is difficult, at times.  Life is hard.  Life is stressful.  Viewing these little injuries to your ego is hard to overcome.  And that’s what it is- a small injury to my ego.

That’s what Michael told me this morning after he asked me “What does a gift have to do with friendship?”  He alluded to the fact that a homeless beggar on the streets can still be a good friend to someone even though they have less.  They can be the best friend to someone while owning nothing at all.  Friendship comes from the heart, it does not come through “things.”

Then he told me not receiving a gift had more to do with my ego and that I should let it go.  Even though my birthday means so much to me and it is one of the two most important days of the year, it does not change the fact that my friend is loyal, genuine, and will “go to bat for me” every time.

So, I smiled because Michael is so smart.  Infuriating, at times, because he is so wise when you can’t see past your nose- but he was right and I’ve let it go.

Thank you, my friend, Michael.  I love you more than words can convey.