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{December 29, 2015}   Sweet Christmas Kisses ~ My Review

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I love Christmas stories, multiply that by 5 and you’ve got a perfect book full of sweet romance at Christmastime.
I love all of the authors in this book, every one of them is on my Favorite Naughty Authors List and have now been added to my Favorite Nice Authors List.
From Anastasia Vitsky’s “Check Yes Or No”, her first M/F romance is about a boy and girl, friends since they were children, the story takes us through time as they live their separate lives. But when Sharie comes home for Christmas and tragedy strikes, will events open up Sharie’s eyes to the man Richie has become? Miracles are always possible at Christmas!
“Kismet and Cocoa” by Dominique Eastwick begins with Abby, a baseball bat, and a gorgeous stranger at her door. With one of the best first lines from a hero I’ve ever read in a romance book, “I have a kitten”, Preston spits out those words hoping to stop her from swinging a baseball bat at his head. With memories of a bad romance lingering in her head, will Abby give Preston a chance at love? A lovely Christmas romance!
“Silver Bells and Cat Tails” by L.J. Garland takes us into the world of Tabitha, lover and rescuer of cats, she finds homes for strays through her shop Café Mew, a coffee house with a twist, the cats pick out their humans instead of the other way around. Tabbie hesitates when it comes to relationships, who would believe a ‘crazy cat lady’ can communicate with her cats? Noah intends to prove her wrong with a little help from Tabitha’s furry friends just in time for Christmas.
“Meri Chris Mess” by Dara Fraser, Meredith moves to Oak Springs to start over taking a job as a music teacher. A few weeks before Christmas a flood destroys nearly everything in the school leaving the Christmas Concert in peril, without an instrument to be played. When Chris, a local Firefighter enters Meri’s life, will he be able to help Meredith pull off a Christmas miracle for the town, as well as giving Meri the happy ever after she deserves?
“The Little Match Girl and the Billionaire” by Kate Richards finds Noelle stranded and homeless on Christmas after her business and home burn
down in a fire. She finds a box of abandoned kittens and as she walks through a storm shivering she runs into Charles, or rather Charles nearly runs into Noelle as his car slides on the slippery road Noelle had just stepped into. A snowstorm, a box of kittens and Noelle stranded and homeless walking through the streets in her nightgown, will Charles be the Christmas miracle Noelle needs?

Christmas magic and love is the common thread in each story, and I defy anyone to get through this book without smiling through their tears.
I loved this book so much I’ve read it twice already. I guarantee you will do the same!
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taliaschild-highresA Quick Note From Me : I’ve been gone for far too long, I will be blogging about it later today, but in the meantime, for your enjoyment and reading pleasure, please head over to Amazon (or the book seller of your choice) and buy Taliaschild, the sequel to Taliasman. Anastasia Vitsky outdoes herself every time she puts words on a page, I am constantly humbled. Aaaaaaaand…..here we go:
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Another perfect gem from Ms. Vitsky, I devoured Taliaschild in one sitting.
I’m finding that to be the norm when it comes to anything written by this author. Taliaschild is a sequel to Taliasman as we follow the journey of a magical Talisman originally handed down from Nicodemus to Vina, who places it around Talia’s neck. You’ll have to read Taliasman to find out what happens because I don’t want to give anything away.
Taliaschild begins six years later, when we meet Kira, daughter to Queen Vina and Talia.
Kira has been raised with anything and everything a girl could want, yet she grows restless and bored with her perfect life and sneaks away, longing for a bit of freedom. She finds more than she could have imagined when she meets Sonna, a poor street urchin, who spends most of her time scavenging for scraps of food for her family. If she’s lucky enough to find something to eat, Sonna is able to avoid yet another beating from her Mother.
Drawn to a mud-covered Sonna, Kira spends a day with her, seeing another side to the world, where fighting for a fish-head can mean the difference between nourishment and starvation, between praise and a beating.
Kira places her handed down Talisman around Sonna’s neck only to find it stuck there. Unable to remove it, Kira leaves the Talisman with Sonna and returns home to continue her training for the day she becomes Queen.
Based on The Snow Queen, we revisit some familiar characters from Taliasman, and learn more about Merda, a character who cries out loudly for her own story.
This reader is hoping we get another book, as these characters have dug themselves a place in my heart, and in all honesty, the only thing I can complain about is the fact that the book ended.
I love everything about Anastasia Vitsky’s writing, I can truly say she is my favorite author, as long as Ms. Vitsky’s name is on a book, I immediately buy it, knowing I’m in for another wonderful read.

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Mistress on Her KneesMistress on Her Knees by Anastasia Vitsky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mistress on Her Knees is one of those books that live on in your mind long after you’ve read the last sentence.
I should know, I’ve read it four times already.
Once lovers, Mistress Graciela, a tough professional Domme and young Trinity, used to nothing more than an abusive painful home life, begin a life together. Submissive Trinity and her beloved Domme Graciela’s lives are turned upside down when betrayal steps in.

Ten years later, Trinity is working at The Castle, an exclusive BSDM Club. As Nurse Trinity, no longer submissive, now a Domme herself, Trinity crosses a boundary with submissive Mira (from Mira’s Miracle) and knows the only person in the world who can help her fix it is her ex-lover and Domme, Graciela.
What happens when two headstrong women try to work together to right a wrong, and will they ever be able to re-ignite the flame that never really died? Should they?
The book goes back and forth through time, from when Trinity and Gracie first met to the present, which is something I love.

Anastasia Vitsky is a master at both character and world building. The dialogue is witty and beautifully descriptive, I sometimes forget I’m reading a book and feel like I know these characters.
One of the things I love is the way Ms. Vitsky has her characters from different books interact, she writes in a way that enables you to read a good many of them as stand-alones, but why would you want to? Her characters are rich, real, and makes me wish I had a Trinity and Graciela, a Mira and Hana in my life.

https://governingana.wordpress.com/
Anastasia Vitsky’s blog has some delightful stories continuing more adventures of her characters. Did I mention they’re free 😀 ?
This is an author to keep an eye on. She’s the first f/f author I ever read, she writes in a way that makes me wonder why there are so many categories of books. A great fiction writer is a great fiction writer.
Anastasia Vitsky is a great fiction writer.

hi lovelies, I’ve been in a super-secret bunker trying something called a 2nd draft…but that’s a lame excuse for not writing here, on my girl scout’s honor, I pledge to do my duty and all that, aka writing here and there, here, and there….ok, i’m sorry, because I isually am about something, and remember, support local artists/writers/musicians/local, I just discovered today that there’s websites out there stealing people’s books and selling them at a discount price and that’s bullshit (NSFA!) so knock it off stealers, and buyers, don’t do that, because it’s wrong!
because

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I have been gifted with the honor and privilege of posting the following interview with Music Journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/about/ author of a book I can’t wait to sink my greedy little teeth into. Treat yourself to an early Holiday present, starting with a little taste of Maryanne as she talks to Cynthia Santiglia about some of her many adventures in the world of Rock and Roll. Believe me, you will be glad you did. ~ jb

Finding Your Way into Print: A Talk with Music Journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
By Cynthia Santiglia

The art of getting your name out there in the press, most musicians know, has a direct effect on exposure, and ultimately, on an artist’s bottom line. This comes more naturally to some than others. We spoke with author, respected music journalist and New York City music industry fixture Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta for an insider’s perspective on musicians’ relationships with the press.

Cynthia: Tell us a little about your history in the music scene, Maryanne.

Maryanne: I’ve been a music fan since – forever. I remember being a little girl in the 1960s hearing all the top hits on the radio like Lou Christie, probably from age 3 onward. My mom loved Tom Jones and Barbra Streisand. My grandmother listened to WNEW-AM, so I was exposed to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. My grandmother also worked as a short order cook in a tavern. I’d go with her with a bunch of dimes for the jukebox that played current hits. There was a top 40 band that played there called Donna Lori and the Music Box. I was in awe of the singer who had long black hair like Cher.

So you got started young!

Absolutely! When I got older I started going to concerts and was fortunate enough to catch the tail end of the punk and new wave scene in NYC. I went to Max’s Kansas City, Peppermint Lounge, The Ritz – every night. You could go to Peppermint Lounge on a Monday night, and if you got there by 11 p.m. you only paid a penny to get in! I rarely got home earlier than 5 A.M. I’d write in my diary, take a shower and go to work. That was my life. I worked in the corporate world in my earlier days and took journalism classes on the side. Eventually, I started working for music companies like Latin Percussion and Long & McQuade Music.

How did you get into music writing?

Early on, I started helping a friend write a fanzine and really enjoyed that. And at all the corporate places I worked, I wrote for the company newsletters, I was always writing. In mid-1990s I started interviewing bands for Tattoo Review and In the Flesh magazines. After that it snowballed. I went on to write theatre reviews for several NYC newspapers like The Chelsea/Clinton News and the Westsider. Then I began writing for music.com, Punk, The Aquarian and The Montclair Times.

Do you think artists can really benefit from developing a rapport with their local music journalists?

Oh absolutely! Off the top of my head, I remember writing feature articles in The Montclair Times for bands that performed at Tierney’s a popular local venue. SO many people would come up to me and say, “I came because of your article!” Press really does help.

From your insider’s perspective, what do you think bands should do to get noticed? Is it all about the music, or is image as important as it seems?

I’m huge on image. I love all the Chers, the Freddie Mercurys, the Lady Gagas. I think if you’re on stage, you shouldn’t look like everyone else on the street. I love excitement and gimmicks. I still miss the onstage antics of The Plasmatics. You want to see a SHOW – cars blowing up, beautiful women, guys in tight clothes. Hell, you can even look like Meat Loaf and be sexy! When I was only 14, I saw him onstage acting all hot, rubbing up against Karla DeVito, it was mind blowing to a kid! He was wearing a tuxedo and was all sweaty. But he tapped into his confidence and it worked in his favor. Not to say I had a teenage crush on Meat Loaf – but I was in awe at how larger than life he appeared.

Do you think it’s easier to cultivate an entertaining image nowadays?

It’s a bonus that in this day and age creativity is more acceptable. When I was a kid, I got rocks thrown at me for going to school with a little Clash button on my t-shirt that you could barely notice. I’m so happy for kids today. I see kids in the suburbs walking to school with Mohawks and pink hair – it’s great! They’re adorable and so much more open-minded towards each other. You’ll see the geek with glasses hanging with a friend who has a shaved head. I wish life was like that when I was young. Not to downplay the seriousness of how bullying still exists … [sighs] some steps forward and many steps back, right? But back to style, even for myself, I want people to look at me and think, “She’s a music journalist or music lover.” Over the years I’ve had so many people approach me and ask if I was in a band. I have a visible tattoo of a 45 rpm adaptor on my wrist that I got to celebrate having my first music article published world-wide. I just think people – men and women — are more beautiful when they stand out a little bit. Be YOU-nique – it’s a great cliché to live by!

When you were covering bands, how did you like best to be approached?

Usually it was me doing the approaching. I was always on the outlook for bands/musicians to interview. At The Montclair Times I was on the list for all the record labels. I’d get stuff in the mail and ferret through to see what CDs I’d want to review and who I’d want to interview. Or an editor would approach me with a story. Very rarely did bands approach me – no one knew who I was, ha-ha! *smiles*

Were there turn-offs that made you less interested in an artist’s story, even if you liked the music?

Oh my God, yes! When I was in my early 20s, I lived with a guy who had a cousin that was the lead singer of well known goth band. I loved the music and went to see them several times. Yet the cousin hated me. I later found out it was because I looked like a girl who broke his heart – but still, definitely no reason to be hatin’! It’s not my fault she was cute, right? This guy never said “hello” to me. I said “Hi” but he didn’t answer. He’d call my home and ask for the guy I was living with, never acknowledged that I was there. A total creep! And this was a guy I sat next to at weddings because I dated his cousin a long time! So, it’s not like he didn’t know me, yet he was still rude. Anyway, years later when I was writing for The Aquarian, I got an email from his publicity person – in the subject line: An Interview MUST! (How obnoxious, right?) I deleted it. Never interviewed the guy. Had zero interest.

That’s a good example of how sometimes it’s about what NOT to do. Any tips for artists who want to go after media coverage, but don’t know where to start?

Definitely call all the local newspapers. Contact magazines. Journalists are so easily accessible. One of my editors used to tell everyone his phone number was listed in case anyone ever needed him. I think promotion is so key. Get a good publicity person! Get on the local radios. Get in all the newspapers. Also make sure you have a great publicity shot. I’ll never forget interviewing David Johansen for The Montclair Times and receiving a measly black and white shot from his publicist. We wanted to put him on the cover of the entertainment section, but we couldn’t because black and white wasn’t cover material. The publicist couldn’t get us a color picture, so we ended up putting a local musician named Cate on the cover. Cate was a perfect example of a musician who knew how to promote himself. He was always sending us press releases, updating us on where he was performing. Hell, the dude even made all natural Cate cookies with his picture on them – and they were delicious!

Your upcoming book is called “On the Guest List”- sounds like you have a ton of interesting stories to tell that both musicians and fans will love hearing! What inspired you to document your experiences in a memoir?

It was never on my agenda to write a book. One day my husband and I were talking to a guy, Ron, who owns a small video store at Collingwood flea market down the Jersey shore. He is really into punk music and we hit it off. I told him a few funny stories and he said, “I’d read a book with stories like that.” I said, “Really?” I never thought my life was special, but the thing is – my story is everyone’s story. I’d like to believe there’s a little something that anyone can latch onto – even if they are not on the same page with music. Judy McGuire, columnist/author, wrote one of my endorsements. She gave a great compliment saying that unlike other rock ‘n’ roll memoirs, I start as a music fan and end a music fan. There’s no drug addiction or downward spiral. It’s just a happy, feel good story. I will share that the edge of the book is that I am very against certain negative things in life such as jealousy and bullying – and I make it no
secret how I feel about that. I hope the book will inspire young kids who are being bullied and make them realize, there’s a big world out there and there’s a place for everyone to feel they fit in. For me, it was always with the musicians. Hell, I can’t even brush my teeth without a record on! I need music – almost constantly!

Can you give us a little sneak peek?

I’m often getting myself into these “I Love Lucy” screwball comedy situations. One time I got locked in Max’s with friends- and we had to break out! Within minutes the cops came and we ran for our lives. Another time I was with a friend who was interviewing Cheetah Chrome for a radio show. I somehow got locked in his bathroom! Another bathroom story … over the years I somehow ended up being friends with Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group. A new magazine I was writing for was having a premier party at Sapphire Lounge in the East Village. I casually invited Lenny, never thinking he’d show. Well, here I am in this dinky bathroom and the editor knocks on the door, “Maryanne, your guest Lenny Kaye is here!” I already had a few beers, and you know how that is – so I’m trying to rush my business- just to greet Lenny Kaye!

Haha! It’s going to be such a fun read. Thanks so much for talking with us today, Maryanne!

My pleasure!

Cynthia Santiglia is a freelance writer, copyeditor, singer, and swing shift convenience store clerk. Love notes welcome at MissCynthiaSantiglia@gmail.com



buffybookbuffybookfront“I’M THE THING THAT MONSTERS HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT” ~ BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS

I guess it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that the book I’m currently reading is the book when it comes to all things Buffy. Written by Nancy Holder, who has also written a slew of books, both fiction and non-fiction about, among other things, the genius that comes from the squishy frontal lobe of The Man Himself, Joss Whedon.
Chock full of goodies, this hardcover collectors edition brings you deep into the BuffyVerse, offering insight into the characters and mythology of the SlayerVerse as well as following the evolution of Buffy and her Scooby Gang throughout the Seasons. Included inside is a black envelope stuffed with extras entitled Slayer Lore:Texts and Magicks for the Battle, a must for any hardcore Buffy fan such as myself. Copies of Spells, Prophecies, and a map of Sunnydale are among some of the goodies as well as my own personal favorite, a shadow caster used in Season 7 Episode 15 ‘Get It Done’. To say anymore would be doing a disservice to the author and the reader; there are a lot of Buffy books out there, but this is the best of the lot, including a Forward written by Amber Benson, the actress who played Tara on the show.
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inside buffy book stuffGRRR ARGH!!!



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