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My Review of Nancy Bacon’s “Legends and Lipstick: My Scandalous Stories of Hollywood’s Golden Era”

Published September 25, 2018 by glgiles

Legends and Lipstick Cover

There are many remarkable attributes of Nancy Bacon. To start with, her warm, inviting personality shines throughout this memoir. She’s also insightful, nonjudgmental and funny! I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as I did, but she’s humorous in an oftentimes unexpected way. Her natural optimism shines throughout, and it’s certainly admirable that she can laugh through adversity. Her ‘boob history’ (boob her-story? 🙂 ) recounting is hilarious—joking through the real life horror is quite praiseworthy. Wordplay abounds and her descriptions are delightfully detailed. Hollywood’s Golden Era is palpable as is her heartbreaking struggle with alcoholism.

She did more than merely rub elbows with some movie idols in Hollywood’s Golden Era. Yet, she was discreet, and it’s readily apparent that she deeply cared for them. But, this is no book of Hollywood fluff, for there are some stories which are somewhat scarring to hear (I listened to this memoir via Amazon’s Audible). A major female Hollywood star of the Golden Era who was into brutality comes to mind first, and one of Ms. Bacon’s abusive boyfriends next. Yikes! However, these examples aren’t in the same ballpark with the light BDSM that she experienced later on (but long before E.L. James’s “50 Shades of Grey” made BDSM more mainstream) with a love interest. Ms. Bacon was ahead of her time in some respects, yet she also had a finger on the pulse of the times she experienced. Plus, her life wasn’t filled with just movie stars, as she also spent time with famous men in politics. Impressive is an understatement!

In closing, the expression to ‘pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps’ comes to mind as her beginnings were modest, yet she achieved so much by her own ingenuity and positive outlook. In fact, she was also a magazine editor, co-author of “Whitney Houston: Good Girl/Bad Girl,” and she wrote 10 romance and adventure novels.

Highly recommended!

G.L. Giles

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So NOT Another Mundane Memoir (Both Heartfelt & Hot!!)

Published May 1, 2017 by glgiles

My Review of “So L.A.:  A Hollywood Memoir” by Staci Layne Wilson

So LA Cover

 

Back of So LA

 

Right from the onset, Wilson reveals that she was “born in Hollywood to a rock star dad and a pinup model mom.” If anyone deserves the title of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ then she most certainly does!

I had the good fortune of ‘cyber meeting’ Staci way back when MySpace was stylized just that way:  MySpace. Even before it changed to Myspace. I think it must’ve been circa 2005, as I don’t think Staci even had her trademark look blue-streak hair yet (Hmmm…I wonder where Blue Streak Productions got its ‘roots?!’). Speaking of hair, that’s what drew me to her  MySpace page, initially. Well, that and her wonderful sense of humor! She had a profile picture up on MySpace of her long locks (a la Cousin Itt, with her back to the camera) and the caption “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” That still makes me smile even as I write this.

Her knowledge of ‘Old Hollywood’ is extensive (perhaps par for the course with her Hollywood Royalty Roots). Yet, it’s not just the famous names she honors that makes this memoir a captivating read, it is the city of Los Angeles itself. She breathes life into the buildings and landscapes of old and new with her detailed and richly layered insider knowledge.

Though she’s definitely the product of her parents’ journeys, she also, quite remarkably, forged her own more darkly delightful artistic paths while at the same time rescuing horses, rats, cats, ferrets, et cetera. But, that doesn’t mean her own journey was easy. It wasn’t. In fact, she struggled both emotionally and monetarily for years, but she overcame all with a non-judgmental attitude, even against those who’d caused her so much pain.

Her creativity is boundless, and in a society where much art has become homogenized from fear of social media backlash, etc., hers stands out for both its perfection and almost resistance to the mundane tide. I admire the hell outta that!

 

G.L. Giles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with the Darkly Delightful Wendy Potocki!

Published May 31, 2014 by glgiles

Wendy Potocki lives and writes in NYC. If that isn’t scary enough, she writes in the genre of horror. She feels creating good horror is an art form. She religiously devotes herself to pursuing it over hill and dale — and in the crevices of her keyboard.

Named one of the Top Ten “New” Horror Authors by Horror Novel Reviews, she has seven self-published novels. Book trailers for many of her works may be found on her official website http://www.wendypotocki.com/. Her newest frightmare is THRILL. It’s a non-stop chillfest and has been attracting a lot of attention. Her next planned projects are The Witch’s Stone, The Virgin, and ZaSo, a Gothic tale of horror. Please subscribe to her mailing list for updates and giveaway information.

http://bicameralwriting.wordpress.com/join-my-mailing-list/

In her spare time, she loves to go for long walks, drink Starbucks Apple Chai Lattes, make devotional offerings to her cat named Persephone and be stilled by the grace, beauty and magic of ballet” (Amazon).

 

 

 

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You recently held a successful event/giveaway on Facebook, et cetera. Please tell readers about it, and do you plan on having another one this year? Or, in 2015?

Yes, I hosted a fantastic event entitled The Danse Macabre Giveaway. Here’s the link to it on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/436950353115235/

The event was centered around my paranormal mystery called Black Adagio. The book combines horror and ballet into a scary, suspense-filled thriller.  I had a number of brilliantly insane authors participate and give away free copies of their books. I also gave away book swag, t-shirts and skull necklaces. Since skeletons feature prominently in Black Adagio, skulls fit perfectly into the theme.

Yes, I am planning on hosting a new giveaway come October. It’ll be called Halloweenpalooza II. I hosted Halloweenpalooza I last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again. Last year, the participating authors wrote blogs on their scariest paranormal experience. We got some great stories. This year we’re back with another theme. I’m not going to say any more about it other than Halloweenpalooza II will be bigger and better. Here’s a link to the Halloweenpalooza I blog:

http://halloweenpalooza.blogspot.com/2013/10/halloweenpalooza-31-days-of-halloween.html

And Halloweenpalooza I Official Event page on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/events/164385847097718/

The links will give the readers that didn’t attend a chance to sample what you’re in for if you do join our next party. And please read the blog. Some of the personal experiences with ghosts and the supernatural are mind bending! I had no idea I’d get that kind of response, but the authors were very forthcoming in dishing up true encounters.

I was happy to have been included in your event—with the group of “brilliantly insane authors!” *cue crazy-sauce laughter here* Plus, I know that you and I share a love and respect for felines. My cats are certainly some of my muses. Is your cat, Persephone, one of yours?

Of course! Cats provide the perfect dichotomy needed to write. By that I mean, they’re very grounding, but in giving us sure footing, they allow us to soar. I use this unique combination to my advantage. When writing, I constantly glance over at my Persephone. The sight of her all curled up on the couch or kitty condo (yes, she does have her own carpet-covered home inside the one I provide for her), centers me. It gives me a pleasure that all is right in the world, and the relaxation derived from that sense of well-being is used as momentum to get back to work and stop ogling my beautiful furball.

I do have an upcoming series of books where Persephone comes out of the shadows and onto centerstage, but that’s all I’ll say about it right now. Persephone, honey, I’m gonna make you a star!

Can’t wait to read that series! Please tell readers about the wonderful work that the Golden Paw Society of NY is doing to help rescue animals. And, where can readers go to learn more about the Golden Paw Society?

So happy you asked me about this! *drags over soapbox*

Golden Paw Society of NY is a rescue organization that I’ve come to know through Facebook. The have a unique positioning and I believe their mission statement says it all. It is: www.goldenpawsociety.org — GPS: Helping Shelter Cats Find Their Way Into Forever Homes.

To break that down, it means that every few weeks they perform something called “Shelter Runs.” It involves members of GPS going to municipal shelters and pulling animals that have either been housed there for too long a time or that are at risk in terms of being euthanized or succumbing to untreated health issues.

Can I tell you that these Shelter Runs are my favorite times of the month? I get so delighted and have kicked in a few dollars to aid them in getting these abandoned kitties (and sometimes dogs), out of harm’s way. They always post pictures of the animals rescued on these runs. You can find many those pictured on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/goldenpawsociety/info.

The other thing I love about Golden Paw is that they’re very proactive in posting updates so you can see the before and after shots of these rescues. The difference a little love, nutrition and needed medical treatment make is astonishing. These animals flourish and blossom in such short periods of time. Once the animal reaches a state of good health, they’re put up for adoption … and here’s where the real magic comes in. I simply love, admire and respect the matches Golden Paw makes. I don’t know how they do it, but they do not put the animal through the trauma of giving them to just anyone who asks. The process is way more selective and they seem to weed out those who would only dump the animal after a few weeks. Instead, the matches made are solid, lasting, and, yes, forever! There are tons of updates on the little furballs in their new homes after a few weeks, months and years of arrival! These animals have found safe, loving homes and people who care. For me, that’s what it’s all about!

Four paws up for Golden Paw Society of NY! They’re the best of the bestest!

 

So AWESOME! Please go into more detail about helping our canine friends, too. Please tell readers about the wonderful work that the Big Dog Ranch Rescue is doing. And, where can readers go to learn more about the Big Dog Ranch Rescue?

Big Dog Ranch Rescue is another organization I found through Facebook. Here’s a link to their page:

https://www.facebook.com/bigdogranchrescue

I admire BDRR for the same reasons I do GPS. BDRR is also very transparent. They post pictures of new arrivals as well as after shots of the dog once it’s been cleaned up and fed decent food for a few days. Because you get to bond with the dog in this way, it’s very emotional when they announce the dog has been adopted! It’s always accompanied by a nice picture of the new family with their new four-pawed baby. Often these families will send BDRR photos of how the dog is adjusting to having a home. Usually it’s very well. Who wouldn’t like their own space, tons of love and good food? Then there’s the couch privileges! Pictures of the dogs sprawled out on their doggie bed or going for a walk on the beach for the first time are so precious! I love that BDRR makes such great matches. In fact, I love that GPS and BDR make such successful matches so much so that put together a video that pays tribute to them and all organizations that show compassion and kindness to our four-pawed friends! Here’s the video for those that are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTvgI5xFy78

That’s great…thanks for sharing! Switching gears, when were you named one of the ‘Top Ten New Horror Authors’ by Horror Novel Reviews? Congratulations, by the way!

Thank you! It was quite the honor. I had run across Horror Novel Reviews while web surfing. I loved the site so I read their review policy. I decided to go ahead and send my chiller-diller THE MAN WITH THE BLUE HAT to them, but was unsure if they’d even review it. Believe me, I would have been happy with only that.

Well, a few weeks later, I’m on Twitter and I see a tweet from Matt Molgaard of Horror Novel Reviews and it’s directed at me. I RT’d it. I automatically RT these kind of things so I hadn’t really digested what the tweet was about. I guess I just assumed it was about the review. I went off of Twitter and was opening my email when I did a double take. I’m guessing the morning coffee kicked in at that point! Sometimes it takes a while. Anyway, it was like … duh! What did that tweet say? I scrambled back to Twitter and looked through my Notifications and sure enough, the tweet was something about me being named one the Top Ten New Horror Authors. I was like … wha’?!!! So I punch in the link to Horror Novel Reviews and find the article and … *drum roll* … I’m in it! Yes, there I am named as one of the Ten Best of the 2013. I can’t tell you the thrill that elicited, and the carpet still bears traces of my happy dance.

How many novels have you written? And, are they all classified as horror reads?

I’ve written over ten novels, seven of which can be classified as horror. The others are written under pen names. They include mysteries and fantasy thrillers.

I’d also like to state that although the seven books (THRILL, Black Adagio, The Man with the Blue Hat, Adduné: The Vampire’s Game, Adduné: The House of Cards, The White Lady Murders and The Horns of September) tuck into the horror genre, some do cross over into other categories. For instance, Black Adagio neatly fits into paranormal mystery. Also Black Adagio and my latest frightmare THRILL are suitable for both Adult and YA audience. I don’t write for YA’s, but it just worked out that way.

I know that I’ve been reading a lot about “narrative flow” recently. So, how important do you think it is to good storytelling?

It’s everything. If you don’t have a flow, you don’t have a book—you only have an idea or outline for a book. It’s like comparing a bunch of dots to a drawing where the dots are connected. By drawing that stick figure, the picture begins to emerge. But compare that stick figure to a finished painting.  There’s quite a difference—a depth that adds richness and complexity. It’s in the shading, use of nuances and colors that the true beauty comes into focus and can be considered art and it’s the same with the written word.

I’ve always written to a rhythm that runs through my head when penning a tale. No one told me to do this, it came naturally to me. I don’t know if it’s because of my dance background that this happened, but each story I write has its own unique tempo. Therefore, the way I write each story is different and adheres to this pace.

I experimented with this rhythm in Adduné: The House of Cards. It’s the second book in my vampire trilogy. In one chapter, I literally choreographed the words and action to a song. I must have written that passage over at least thirty or forty times until I got the timing right and the crescendo matched the one in the music.  I was so happy that I nailed it. When I read the final version, I cheered and knew it was worth the effort.

I love that musical connection. So, what’s in the works for the rest of 2014?

Right now, I’m in the midst of editing a new frightmare. It’s called Trillingham and can’t wait to publish it. I hope to have it released this summer. After that, it’s back to working on the third and final entry in the Adduné vampire trilogy. The Reckoning will complete the tale begun with The Vampire’s Game and continued in The House of Cards. The Reckoning has a very complicated storyline and I’m taking my time in getting it right. I am making sure all the questions are answered and that Miranda Perry’s journey into the dark world of vampires leaves readers glad that they were part of the adventure.

Where can readers go to connect with you (social networking sites, blog, et cetera)?

Oh, cheesh! Where can’t they find me? I’m all over social media!

They can twitter me at @WPotocki. They can also find me on Facebook so please show me some love and like my page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-Potocki-Author/100285326834525?ref=hl

I have several blogs:

http://bicameralwriting.wordpress.com/

http://legendofthingsonsticks.wordpress.com/

http://wendypotocki.wordpress.com/

I also have a mailing list that you can join so you won’t miss out on anything.

Subscribe to our newsletter

I love to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. And thank you, Gia, for allowing me this opportunity!

My pleasure! Love what you’re about!

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Interview with Author Deanna Anderson/Lynn Anders!

Published April 19, 2014 by glgiles

Deanna Anderson “is a published author of both fiction and non-fiction titles, but she is most known for her titles “Magick for the Kitchen Witch” and “Magick for the Elemental Witch.” She has written a variety of key-word articles on the internet, and currently contributes regularly to “Circle Sanctuary” Magazine and has a column about wildflowers in “Lakeside” Magazine.
Married and the mom of two daughters, when she is not writing she enjoys hiking and camping.
For more information on any of Deanna’s titles visit her site at http://andersondeanna.weebly.com” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3087113.Deanna_L_Anderson.

Headshot of Deanna

GL: So great to be ‘e-viewing’ you, Deanna! I have been a fan of you and your work for quite some time now. So, I feel free to begin with a couple of ‘easy’ questions. What do you consider the basic ingredients in creating a compelling short story? And, please give specific examples from some of your work in “Unputdownable Tales of Terror.”

UTOT Cover Art

DA: The best basic ingredients for short stories is really only one ingredient, IMO: grab the reader’s attention! You have limited space and words to really grab their attention whereas a novel can slowly build up to the climax and conclusion. I guess also “keep the reader guessing” is another ingredient. As you know, I am a fan of Poe and O’Henry and both writers keep you wondering and guessing until the end. In fact, O’Henry is the “king” of twisting a story at the very end and totally changing the reader’s perspective. I do that in “Fate is a Funny Thing.” It seems to be going one way, and then twists drastically at the end. The same with “Kidnapped!” Reader’s will think they know what is going on but will be surprised at the end.

GL: We had the good fortune of having numerous book signing events together at Waldenbooks before it closed shop. There are some, especially those catering to a more genre-specific market it seems, brick and mortar bookstores still doing well in this day and age. So, what do you think the future holds for brick and mortar bookstores? Where have you signed in 2013 and 2014 (so far)?

DA: I hope brick and mortar stores stick around, I think there will always be some who prefer to shop that way and I’d like to see them make a come-back and have a balance between the two (online and physical stores). In 2013 I didn’t sign at very many places…did the Author Fair at my local library as well as signed at a Pagan Unity Day in Charleston SC but that was all. In 2014 so far I have signed at the Author Fair at the library, a Gypsy Fest sponsored by Shimmy Mob of Sumter, and have scheduled a Wine and Sign in Folly Beach which will showcase almost 20 authors and there will be wine and cheese tastings. I am also scheduled to sign at Spiritual Unity Day in Anderson, and plan to sign up for Pagan Pride Day in Greenville and Pagan Unity Day in Charleston. Really, it’s just events and festivals I am signing at now.

GL: I have enjoyed reading your book entitled “365 Tarot Activities.” How do you define cartomancy?

DA: Cartomancy is any divination system using cards of any type and this includes regular decks (sometimes referred to as standard or poker decks), Oracle cards, and Tarot cards.

GL: In “365 Tarot Activities,” you offer readers multiple ways to use the tarot—in fact, for more than just readings. So, that makes your book different from many out there. What are some of the other ways it differs?

DA: I offer prompts, activities, and such to help reader’s work and connect with the cards. Instead of telling readers what the Two of Cups means, I show them how to develop their own meaning for it through writing key words, phrases or interpretations. I also show how the cards can be used in so many ways other than the basic readings we all come to think of as being associated with Tarot. It also differs in that there are ways to use the book in groups or classroom-style instruction.

GL: Many readers are familiar with the Rider-Waite deck, but you have incorporated other types. How did you go about incorporating them as well?

DA: I tried to keep the prompts and activities generic so that they’d fit all styles of Tarot cards but also to incorporate how to use this book for oracle decks.

GL: Which cards make up the Minor Arcana in the RWS deck?

DA: A typical RWS deck or RWS based deck has four suits: pentacles, wands, swords, cups (although the names may differ) and these go from numbers 1-10 (known as the Pip cards). Then there are four court cards in each suit: Page, Knight, Queen, King. All of the Minor Arcana represent psychical realms, tangible things, and the courts might be the people in our lives.

GL: Which cards make up the Major Arcana in the RWS deck?

DA: Made up of twenty-two card starting with number 0 up to twenty-one these cards are: 0 the Fool; 1 The Magician; 2 High Priestess; 3 Empress; 4 Emperor; 5 Heirophant; 6 Lovers; 7 Chariot; 8 Justice; 9 Hermit; 10 Wheel of Fortune; 11 Strength; 12 Hanged Man; 13 Death; 14 Temperance’ 15 Devil; 16 Tower; 17 Star; 18 Moon; 19 Sun’ 20 Judgment; 21 The World. They have esoteric or allegorical meaning and indicate the spiritual realm.

GL: How do Oracle cards differ from the RWS deck and/or RWS-influenced decks?

DA: Tarot decks are made up of suits made up of elements and typically have a Major and Minor Arcana whereas Oracle have no suits and may not be based on the elements at all.

GL: How do decks based on the Tarot de Marseilles differ from decks based on RWS?

DA: Basically, the Tarot de Marseilles is simply from a different country of origin (France) and some of the Major Arcana are different. For example, the Fool has no number and comes at the end of the series. The death card is often unnamed, and the Tower card is sometimes called The House of God. The imagery is also different in style. You can see what I mean on Wikipedia.

GL: I loved your “Top 20 Tarot Myths” section. LOL! What are some of your personal ‘favorites’?

DA: Sleeping with a deck under your pillow helps you connect with it. As I said in the book, sleeping with a math book under my pillow doesn’t help me learn math…I need to open the book, read it, study it, and practice it.

Of course always the “evil” myths about how Tarot is evil, causes death, opens portals, the usual gamut of silliness. If Tarot cards–which are pretty pictures on pieces of paper–can cause these events then what would happen if we walked into an art gallery?! lol

GL: What’s on the horizon (signings-wise, et cetera)?

DA: Well, I already listed my signings earlier and fans can always keep up with everything on my author website http://andersondeanna.weebly.com. As for writing, I want to re-release my other two Pagan books “Magick for the Kitchen Witch” and “Magick for the Elemental Witch” this year as well as work on “Magick for the Homesteading Witch.”

GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your truly stellar work?

DA: In addition to my website I can be found at:

Twitter: @deannanderson
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3087112.Deanna_L_Anderson
Amazon: amazon.com/author/deannaanderson
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/DeannaAnderson

Reader’s can go to my website andersondeanna.weebly.com and purchase autographed copies of “365 Tarot Activities” via Paypal, and they are on sale right now for $10.00. After April 30th, 2014 the price goes up to $15.00. Or non-autographed copies can be bought at Amazon.

Thanks! It has been great being e-viewed by you again and I hope we get to work or sign together in the very near future!

GL: Me, too, Deanna! xoxo

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