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Honoring the woman behind the bestselling memoir-WEEDMONKEY on her St. Patrick’s Day birthday

Today, March 17, was my beloved mom Victoria‘s birthday.

Here are some things I want you to know about my Mom:

She was a strong and loving woman who grew up in the coal mining camps of Kentucky and West Virginia and suffered through a very difficult childhood during the Depression. She could have grown up angry and bitter however she chose to spend her life looking out for children and making their lives better than the one she had.

She loved antiques, pink roses, purple irises, wisteria, and poppies.

She loved Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Wesley Snipes, Snoop Dog, and James Garner. She esp loved Rod Stewart and Freddie Mercury.

She thought Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow should be together and it would have broken her heart if Tim and Faith ever broke up.

She loved Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, and it would have broken my heart to tell her he had died. I was grateful she had passed before he did.

She thought a woman should be President saying that a woman would not be so quick to send our boys and men into war.

She would cry and get angry when another soldier fell on the battlefield during the Gulf War.

She loved history and doing research on our area.

MA, GERALD, JESSE AND MAUD

My grandfather Jesse, grandmother Maude, my uncle Gerald, and my mom.

She loved to cook and bake, and our kitchen was always full of cakes, cookies and cupcakes, and she would always put cake mix in a coffee cup and hand me and Gary a spoon.

She was a writer who wrote short stories and published a small book called, “Almanac for a Bored Housewife” and asked me and Daddy to draw and design the cover. I was 15.

She loved ghost stories.

When I was a little girl, she, Gary and I went to a gas station one night in Frederick. The girl came out to pump our gas and it was freezing. My mother asked her where her gloves where and the girl said she had forgotten them. My mother took off her gloves and gave them to her. I remember sitting in the back seat thinking, I want to be like that one day.

Her favorite television show was “The Twilight Zone” and her favorite movie was “Random Harvest.”

She loved the Springtime and all the flowers and lush greenery that it would bring.

MA AND UNCLE GERALD PHOTO

The original photo I used as the cover of Weedmonkey. My uncle Gerald and my mom Victoria.

She loved watching country music videos.

She was terrified of the movie, “The Shining.”

She was scared to death of snakes.

She loved anything Victorian.

She thought commercials were ridiculous.

Her favorite color was Blue.

Her favorite trees were Mimosa, Holly, Magnolia, and Willow.

She loved Butterfingers and Werthers Caramels.

She got me hooked on “Sex and the City.”

I got her hooked on “Days Of Our Lives”.

She taught herself how to use Web-TV in her 60’s so she could check out the internet.

She was a big seller on eBay and had the ID name Vic10 because none of the other Vics were available.

She was born dead in 1929 and her Cherokee grandmother saved her life by removing the “veil” she had been born with saying, “The white doctors don’t know anything about birthin’ a Cherokee baby!”

DICIE, PETER AND FAMILY

My Cherokee great grandmother Dicie, who brought my mother back to life as a baby.

As a child, she fell into the hole in an outhouse, landing in the “basement” and her father and some men had to tip it over in order to save her as she was drowning in the debris.

She and my Dad were the 4-H leaders for Pleasant Valley and she was the PTA President for Pleasant Valley Elementary School and made many changes to the area.

She volunteered countless hours at the school helping children learn how to read and write. Every life she ever touched can remember “Miss Proulx.”

She is responsible for the flashing light at the end of Valley Road.

She idolized her grandchildren Shelley and Mandy and said both of them would do great things one day. She was so proud of them.

When spelling our last name, she would always say, “P as in Paul, R-O-U-L-X.”

She could not tell a joke to save her soul, yet she was hilarious, would come out with the craziest things, and when we laughed at her she always said, “I’m glad I am a source of amusement!”

When I would climb too high in a tree and couldn’t get down, she would climb up there and get me.

She couldn’t stand anything around her neck and would never wear turtlenecks.

She loved my cooking and always told me I should cook for a restaurant.

After she passed, I baked some homemade yeast rolls and left her one on the counter with a note.

At her memorial service, I played all of her favorite songs including, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Memories” from the musical Cats.

When we were little, she would sing, “Summertime” to me and Gary as we went to sleep.

She let us roller skate in the house.

She loved Butter Pecan ice cream.

She was a 3rd generation psychic/medium who grew up in an era where people didn’t talk about such things.

MALLIE VICTORIA AND TWO CHILDREN

Her other grandmother Mallie Victoria whom I am named after.

A chicken once attacked her when she was trying to save a baby chick, the hen jumped on her head, and my dad shot it off at about 50 feet away.

She had the patience of a saint.

She owned her own antique shop on our farm back in the 1970’s called “Vicki’s Antiques” and she was the first person on Valley Road to have a yard sale. She went on to co-own “Boonsboro Antiques and Flea Market” and ran it for 12 years. Then she owned “Victoria’s” in Hagerstown for several more.

She had a life worth remembering and today is not a sad day. It is a day we remember a beautiful woman who was a wonderful mother, wife and friend. A quiet, graceful Cherokee who could see beyond people’s faults and mistakes, someone who saw the good in everyone and made each of them her friend.

I was proud to call her Ma.

She had a good life … and she had a good death … surrounded by love. She is loved and fondly remembered today and every day.

Happy Birthday Ma! I love you and miss you so much! ♥♥♥

WEEDMONKEY available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook:

http://ow.ly/Av4Oe

 

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Help for Indie Authors! Introducing “Indie Author Promotions”

Are you an Indie Author struggling to get your name out there? Are you lost in the whacky world of writing? Overwhelmed by Twitter, Facebook and CreateSpace?

If so, this new service for Indies is just for you!

Bestselling Author Lisa V. Proulx has created Indie Author Promotions with the desire to help struggling authors by “Giving Indie Authors Roots So Their Dreams Can Grow.”

A published author since 2004, Lisa wants to share her experience with authors who need help when it comes to promoting. With services such as: Book Promotion, Proofreading, Copy Editing, Featured Author Interviews, Tweets Only, and help with Facebook, Twitter, and Createspace, Lisa has created a “one stop shop” to benefit authors with her experience.

She will also be adding Book Cover Designs soon!

book-with-tree-copy

How it all got started

Two years ago, Lisa met an out of work Irishman, Chris Rush, who was visiting the United States. He wanted to be a screenwriter, and after talking to him and hearing his passion for writing, she decided to take him under her wing. She convinced him to go back to work and write a book instead of a screenplay.

She worked with him for two years, giving him names of editors, graphic artists, and even became a second set of eyes for his work by proofreading every word he wrote. Finally, his first book, a horror novel, “Folklore” was born and Lisa even set up his first book signing in his native Ireland in June 2016. He invited Lisa to be his special guest author at a signing in Dublin. This was his first book signing ever and Lisa’s first European one.

Since then, Chris’ career has taken off! His books are now sold all over Ireland and he has been interviewed multiple times by newspapers, on radio, and on television. He was even invited to join the Paranormal Research team of Ireland (PRI) where he gets to live out his dreams of being a ghost hunter.

I got to sit down with Lisa who was eager to talk about her new venture.

                                                                                                So Lisa, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I am the bestselling author of 10 books, I’ve been ranked in the Top 100 Authors on Amazon Memoirs for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and I have been a newspaper feature writer and columnist for 16 years.

What is Indie Author Promotions and how did it come about?

I wrote my first book in 2004, Puncture, and it went nowhere. I continued to write a few short books that did the same thing, they just sat there. It took me years of learning, reading, studying, and just plain hard work, to figure out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to get the ball rolling with my books. Indie Author Promotions came about when I decided that so many Indie Authors needed help and I wanted to show them the ropes to help get them started.

 

What were you doing wrong?

I didn’t know how to promote or how to engage with my audience. I was just trying to sell a book instead of what I should have been doing and that was to become a friendly face and become someone my readers could get to know and hopefully like.

 

Do you see a lot of authors making the same mistake?

Oh absolutely! I see it all the time. Some new authors get on Twitter and do nothing but say, “Buy my book!” No one wants to hear that or buy a book by someone they are not connected with. Sometimes you might see a book that looks interesting and you buy it but people want to engage and know there is a human behind their posts and their tweets.

 

How can Indie Author Promotions help a new author or one who is struggling?

I can help them because I was them. I offer affordable pre-packaged social media programs designed to engage their audience. To me, I would rather work with a fellow Indie Author instead of a large corporation who will charge you a lot of money and not take a personal interest. I am very hands on and don’t let you fly alone until you are ready.

For example, when Chris’ book came out in March of this year, I didn’t just forget about him. I promoted him all over social media. I helped him with flyers, letters, book signings, and even booked him for his first American signing which he had in October of this year. Although he is now flying on his own, he still comes to me for advice and I am so proud of him! I see his Facebook posts and his Twitter tweets, he listened to me and is doing a great job of promoting himself. He travels all over the place doing book signings, interviews, and he is living his dreams as a paranormal investigator.

Two years ago, he was a struggling out of work wanna be screenwriter who had no clue how to get started. Now, he is living his dream!

 

Hearing a story like the one with your Irish friend is very impressive. What made it work for Chris?

He listened to me. He did everything I told him to do and he didn’t do anything I told him not to do. He was passionate about being a writer and he listened, plain and simple.

 

So dreams really can come true?

Absolutely! I am a firm believer if you can see it, you can achieve it.

 

Tell me about the service to be a Featured Author on a bestselling author’s blog.

This is a really neat service! I interview you, gather photos, links, and feature you on my Author Blog.

One author interview on my Author Blog will include: Interview with you, photos of you and your book (s), and links to all outlets that sell your book. I then promote you for one week on the blog that will go out to thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter plus be retweeted by my followers, and their followers, and so on.

I also promote you on the Indie Author Promotions Facebook page. On the day of the interview, I will send you the link so you can promote it too! It’s a pretty cool deal! I make you the star and feature you for one entire seven days!

All for $50 for one week!

You also offer proofreading and copy editing?

 

Yes, I am a certified Proofreader and Copy Editor and I do all the work myself at reasonable rates.

 

Did I hear correctly, you will soon be offering Book Cover Designs?

Yes! As an Indie Author I either pay for my book covers to be designed or I create them myself. Both ways have been great and both had caused me grief. I am not just an author, I am also an artist. It all comes down to being someone an author can trust to take care of their baby (their book) and you can trust me.

 

This all sounds so exciting and I can’t wait for Indie Author Promotions to take off! Where can an Indie Author contact you?

Thanks so much! They can email me at IndieAuthorPromotions@peoplepc.com or check out my website and contact me through the site www.indieauthorpromotions.com

 

Testimonials

(There are many more on the site, however they were not clients of Lisa’s at the time)

“Lisa really could not do enough for me. She made the process seem so easy and pain free, something I will always be thankful for. Being a person who will always look for a second set of eyes to look over my work, I would have no issue recommending her. Lisa’s promoting and support has helped me gain so many new contacts and followers, she really knows how to get your name out there.” Bestselling Irish Author Chris Rush, author of “Folklore” and the soon to be released, “All Shall Suffer” coming Friday, January 13, 2017.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

lisa-hippy-picmonkeyLisa V. Proulx

http://www.lisavproulx.com

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A deathbed promise fulfilled-Why I Wrote WEEDMONKEY (photos!)

When I was a little girl, my mom wanted to be a writer. She wrote short stories in the vein of her favorite television show, The Twilight Zone, and she did research on areas of historic interest in our hometown.

I would see her typing away on her old typewriter and watch in awe as she created piles and piles of papers, all part of a manuscript, being thrown into a box.

MA AT 17

My beautiful mother Victoria

What she was working on was her life story which she called WEEDMONKEY.

Weedmonkey is a Southern term for the word whore and this ugly word was being used to describe her mother, my grandmother, Maud.

My mother grew up during the Depression and was forced to live in coal mining camps throughout Appalachia. As a child, she was subjected to child molestation, the KKK, murder, homelessness, starvation and ridicule for being the daughter of the town whore.

MA, GERALD, JESSE AND MAUDMy uncle Gerald, my grandfather Jesse, my grandmother Maude and my mother Victoria (Ruby)

She grew up hating her mother who was taken away when she was nine years old and while she was gone, she and her brother were put into foster care, starved and abused.

MA AND UNCLE GERALD PHOTO

My uncle Gerald and my mother Victoria (Ruby)

When her mother returned, she did not know her husband or her children and my mother could not understand why she had changed.

At 16, my mother made the decision to leave Kentucky and the only life she had ever known after discovering her prostitute mother was having an affair with the young boy my mother loved.

She grew up with hatred, resentment and shame for the woman she called Mom and it was not until her mother’s funeral, did she learn the horrible truth, the reason for her change and the reason why she became the town whore, a weedmonkey.

I knew this book meant a great deal to my mother. I also knew that she was afraid to do anything about it out of fear of being scorned by her family, most of whom were still living.

She put the book away many times only to talk it about again and I grew up feeling that Virgie, the name my mother gave the main character in the book, was my friend even though she was my own mother.

In 2005, my mother said she wanted to work on the book again and asked if I interview her once a day for at least an hour. This way her thoughts could be contained and she would have clear notes to look back on. I agreed and so it began.

Oftentimes, she would stop, cry and say no more. “I can’t do this, it’s too painful.”

1956 Flood at Red Creek

Red Creek, Kentucky after a flood

I gave her the time to reflect but urged her to continue. I stressed the importance of this book being brought to life although I could see the old wounds were still fresh and very raw.

Although a kind, loving and gentle woman, my mother carried a lot of pain in her heart.

DICIE, PETER AND FAMILY

My great grandmother Dicie, a full blooded Cherokee who brought my mother back to life when she was born dead in 1929. She was mother’s mentor. Her husband Peter and their children. My grandfather Jesse is the little one.

In 2006, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live. She was 77. We talked often about Weedmonkey in those last few months and I knew how much it meant to her to have it completed. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

As she lay dying, she asked me for a small favor. Would I please finish the book and write it for her. Although I was at a lost for words, I said yes.

She only asked that I do a few things: the book must be called Weedmonkey, the main character must be named Virgie Hopkins, and the cover must say Mama, Mother, Whore.

After her death, it took me a few years to even look at her pages. I was grief stricken beyond words and mourned not only the loss of my mother but also the death of her dream.

I finally decided it was time to do something with the book so I searched for her notes and her interview. However, in the confusion of her death, they had been misplaced.

I went to bed one night and asked for my mother’s heavenly guidance. Where are your notes? Your interview? If you want me to work on this book, I have to know where everything is!

That night I had a dream. I was standing in my mother’s kitchen, opening up the cupboard over her desk and the dream ended.

The next day I went to the cupboard over her desk and was met with two large pills of papers. I took them all out and went through them one by one and there at the very bottom of the pile was Weedmonkey.

MALLIE VICTORIA AND TWO CHILDREN

My great grandmother Mallie Victoria and two of her children. I was given her name Victoria as my middle name. She and her husband were very wealthy and owned Ward’s Emporium in North Carolina.

However, this was not a book in completed form. It was typewritten pages, all with carbon paper, there were multiple versions of chapters, duplicates of the same pages, scribbled handwritten notes, papers that were torn and words scratched out. How in the world was I ever going to make any sense of this mess?

It took several months to sort it all out but I kept thinking how important it was for her to have her story told and I did it.

I got the book published and within a year, it was on the Amazon Bestseller list and went to #1. It ranked me into the Top 100 Authors on Amazon Memoirs and was being sold in local bookstores such as Turn The Page owned by famed romance novelist Nora Roberts. I have even had two book signings there!

MA PHOTO SUBMITTED 1900X2850 - TITLE EVEN HIGHER July 11, 2013

So, you see, this is what this books means to me. I kept my promise to my mother as she lay dying and I hope I have made her proud.

WEEDMONKEY

Amazon

http://ow.ly/Av4Oe

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! My 2014 in Review!

Well, it’s that time of year again where we take a look back at our lives during the last twelve months.

A year is a long time however as I get older it seems to go by quicker. My mom was right.

This has been my year in review: 2014

In 2013, I left my job after eight years to pursue my dream of becoming a bestselling, full-time writer. I was scared but had been saying every year that “this was the year” and I had never done it. Year after year I watched as my dream kept getting farther and farther away from me.

Yes, I was afraid to leave my job, but I was more afraid of never seeing my dream come true.

So in December 2013, I did it.

In January, I was dedicated to becoming an author.

Proud Moments:

  • WEEDMONKEY became a bestseller on Amazon, stayed on that list for almost a year and is still selling.
  • I was ranked in the Top 100 Authors on Amazon Memoirs
  • My short story GUARDIAN ANGEL appeared in Woman’s World Magazine.
  • Had my second book signing at Turn The Page bookstore in Boonsboro.
  • Two articles about me and WEEDMONKEY appeared in The Frederick News Post and The Herald Mail.
  • Book DOWN CAME NOVEMBER was released
  • I started writing a new column for the newspaper called PEOPLE WORTH KNOWING.

MA PHOTO SUBMITTED 1900X2850 - TITLE EVEN HIGHER July 11, 2013

Amazon Kindle http://ow.ly/Av4Oe

Loss:

  • April we lost Jade
  • July we lost Harley
  • October my cousin Leslie passed away after a long battle with Lupus

HARLEY GOOD ONE AT FARM smaller

Friendships:

I unplugged from five people this year and have not looked back. Although at one time, these people meant something to me and their contributions to my life are not overlooked, I simply outgrew them for one reason or another.

  • One was a woman I had known for about 15 years. Too much negativity and drama.
  • Another was a woman I was becoming friends with through Toastmasters but in fact, she was only using me to further her own career. User, false friend
  • Another was a woman who has been a part of my life since I was 14 years old. She was like a mother to me however instead of being happy for my success in life, she was bitter and jealous. Negativity, envy, drama
  • Another was a young man who had also been a part of my life for many years, since he was nine years old. I loved him like a son but could no longer tolerate his drama and chaotic life. I was no longer a part of that world yet I was still trying to help him. Drama, negativity, ungrateful
  • Another was an author and although I didn’t know him well, made a major mistake in our friendship when he insulted me after I had done everything to help him. Ungrateful

Once I pull the plug, that friendship dies and like any other death, I accept it and move on.

New Friendships:

  • Two orphaned baby raccoons came into our life in 2014. We bottle fed them and gave them grapes and cat food. Oh how we loved them! They were sweet, gentle and so loving and I would hold them in my arms like a baby. They would even sit on the woodpile and when I walked by and held out my hands, they would jump into my arms and kiss me. Sadly though, as quickly as they came into our lives, they left. We have no idea what happened to them or why they disappeared but I pray for their safety and return.
  • This summer we found a stray cat in the woods, took him in and named him Scottie. We never knew his story but he became a sweet and gentle housecat whom we love very much.
  • I met my editor Susan Hughes who edited WEEDMONKEY for me. What a kind, loving and generous woman! I am so glad that we have become friends!
  • We also became good friends with Amy and Chris from Ireland whom we met in Florida! While there we also become friends with another couple from Wales, Mill and Asha!

RACCOON RUSTY

Change:

  • Steve and I really began to work on the renovations of house and got down to the meat and bones of the structure. The house, my childhood home, was built in 1800 and man, does it need work.
  • However I am grateful for the work that is being done, the new ideas being put into play and the love that Steve has given to this house that means so much to me.

Adventure:

  • October … Steve and I went to Florida and visited Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios, Disney World, Animal Kingdom, Harry Potter World and had a blast! It was the best vacation ever!
  • December … We went to New York City and made a dream come true for me! I got to eat pizza in Brooklyn and man oh man was it good! What a blast we had that day!

PIZZA IN BROOKLYN

Bucket List:

Although I hate that term, it seems to fit when someone wants to do something in their life before they “kick they bucket” as they say.

  • Went to go to Hogwarts
  • Went to go to New York City, ate pizza in Brooklyn and went to a corner bakery in Brooklyn

FLORIDA AND CITIZEN 036

We have more adventures planned for 2015 so stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone for their continued friendship and support! It means so much to me! ♥♥♥

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR COUNTRY LANE

http://www.lisavproulx.com

 

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Meet Fantasy Author & Editor Samantha LaFantasie

Happy November everyone! Glad you could join me again today and what a special treat I have for you!

I would like to introduce you to USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Fantasy Author and Editor Samantha LaFantasie!

I have worked with Samantha on a couple of book projects and have been very pleased! Not only is she a talented writer, she is a wonderful editor who takes her time to work with each author and is very precise and willing to explain everything! I love that about her!

So sit back and get to know this dark haired beauty!

SAMANTHA IMG_3842.33

SAMANTHA LAFANTASIE

About_the_Author

A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Samantha becamea bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

BOOK MOVING PAGES

SAMANTHA’S BOOKS

HEART SONG

SAMANTHA HEART SONG

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Song-Samantha-LaFantasie-ebook/dp/B0095LY68W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-8&qid=1347904838

MADE TO FORGET

Samantha+LF+v2

http://www.amazon.com/Made-Forget-Nepherium-Novella-Book-ebook/dp/B00E70CTP8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406689120&sr=8-1&keywords=Made+to+Forget

ECHOES OF MEMORIES

SAMANTHA ECHOES

http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Memories-Nepherium-Novella-Book-ebook/dp/B00M7CHKDO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1406597279&sr=8-7&keywords=Echoes+of+memories

SAMANTHA DREAMS

SAMANTHA’S WEBSITE

www.samanthalafantasie.com

AUTHOR SERVICES

http://samanthalafantasie.com/author-services/

NEWSLETTER

http://samanthalafantasie.com/subscribe-to-newsletter/

BOOK MOVING PAGES

CONTACT SAMANTHA

Twitter

https://twitter.com/SamLaFantasie

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-LaFantasie-Fantasy-Writer/196389220375499

GOODREADS

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6518186.Samantha_LaFantasie

AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL

http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-S.-LaFantasie/e/B00B9ZBFNQ

GOOGLE

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Samanthalafantasiefantasyauthor/posts/p/pub

BOOKTROPOLOUS

https://booktropoloussocial.com/index.php?do=/profile-4907/

LINKEDIN

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/samantha-lafantasie/87/542/657

WATTPAD

http://www.wattpad.com/user/SamanthaLafantasie

BOOK MOVING PAGES

AWARDS

2010 NaNoWriMo Winner, Top Ten Finallist KWA Contest 2010, 2011 NaNoWriMo Winner 2012, NaNoWriMo winner, 2013 NaNoWriMo winner
SAMANTHA
Thank you for joining us Samantha!
BOOK MOVING PAGES

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New Book Release-DOWN CAME NOVEMBER-Haunting memoir

From the author of the best selling book Weedmonkey comes the haunting story of a shattered life and the broken woman who was plunged into the depths of madness after tragedy destroys her world.

DOWN COVER USE Ready LOVE JPEG

http://ow.ly/E4Bz2

On April 30, 2006, Elizabeth Frost lost her mother.

Three weeks later, on June 4th, her fiancé’ was killed on a construction site in Virginia.

A month later, on July 15th, her brother committed suicide leaving behind two young children who were killed in a car accident on September 18th.

Falling back on her ex-boyfriend she tries to rebuild her life only to find him dead of a drug overdose on October 31st.

On November 4th, Elizabeth Frost came undone …

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

So Lisa, this is your 10th book. What would you like readers to know about it?

Well, it is based on true events but I have written it with a twist.

That sounds intriguing, can you elaborate?

Let’s just say that everything in the book is true … almost.

Your last book WEEDMONKEY is an Amazon bestseller and ranked you into the Top 100 Authors on Amazon. Does this book have a similar theme?

Well, Weedmonkey was based on the life of my mother Victoria and took place during the Depression. Down Came November is based on tragedies that befell me after my mother passed away. Weedmonkey was her story, this is mine.

How long did it take you to write this new book?

It took me just a few months. I actually came up with the title about eight years ago. That’s how I do it. I come up with the title first then write a story around it.

In the book you talk a lot about a dog named Kurgan. Was he really your dog or was he a made up character?

No, Kurgan was the love of my life! He was a pure bred Rottweiler I got when he was just 10 weeks old and I lost him on March 12, 2013 when he was 15 years old.

Wow, that is old for a Rottweiler! Do you have any other pets?

Yes! I lost two dogs last year and two dogs this year. I now have one dog left, a black Rottweiler named Vladimir but his nickname is Vladdy. He will be nine on Christmas day. I have also several cats; Scotty, Midnight, Vinnie, Egypt and Fluffer.

What are you working on now?

Actually I have about 15 books in my mind to get started on and am working on my next one now. I try to stay focused and do one at a time but I have been known to work on two and three at the same time.

How can you do that? That sounds crazy!

It is, but I like to go back and forth to keep it fresh. However lately I have just been working on one at a time.

Do you have another job other than author?

I have been a feature writer and columnist for The Brunswick Citizen newspaper for 15 years. I am also a local artist who created Magic Forest Gypsy Stones which are bohemian and whimsical rock art.

Wow, you have so many talents! What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wrote my first story when I was about eight years old and always dreamed of being a writer. I also wanted to be an actress and a movie star. Then as a teenager I wanted to be a supermodel and marry a rock star! ☺

What advice would you give someone who wants to be an author?

Well, it sounds cliché’ but don’t give up. I’m serious. If you really want to write then write. I have often been discouraged and was just about to hang it up when Weedmonkey took off! Just keep at it, keep writing and keep promoting. Put in the effort and it will pay off.

What is the best advice you could give someone about using social media?

First off, you must engage with other people. Do not and I repeat do not get on sites like Facebook and Twitter and say Hey buy my book!!! People will turn off from you real quick! You must make friendships, build relationships, again engage, retweet them, like their pages and so on. It takes time but like I said before, put in the effort.

How important do you think it is to have an editor?

It is vitally important! Most writers are not editors and most editors are not writers but for some reason they fit together nicely. J I made the mistake of putting out one of my books unedited thinking that it was some sort of masterpiece or something. It got a lot of reviews and most of them were horrible! Bad grammar, poor sentence structure and so on. It made me sick! But at the time I couldn’t afford an editor. It was a catch 22. So when I could afford one, I hired her to edit it for me. Now I would never, ever send out anything without an editor, ever!

What if a new author can’t afford an editor? Like you said you couldn’t at first?

Check around, ask other authors, posts your requests, etc. I found one author who does editing on the side and at very reasonable prices. Also, you can offer trade. Work out something where you will promote her services if you get a discount. Oftentimes editors are willing to work with new clients on fees, esp if the editor is just starting out. Others are not and their prices are fixed. You just have to live and learn.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a Bohemian rocker chick with a goofy sense of humor. I am loyal and honest. I love to bake and cook and I love to spread positive energy to everyone I meet. I also believe in magic!

Who do most people say you remind them of?

Stevie Nicks! I get it all the time and I love it! ♥

Thank you Lisa for taking the time to speak with us today! Where can readers find your new book?

All of my books can be found on Amazon.

Here is the link to DOWN CAME NOVEMBER, thank you! http://ow.ly/E4Bz2

My website is http://www.lisavproulx.com

♥♥♥

 

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Have a Spring Fling with a ROCKSTAR for just .99 Cents!

With the winter blues still hanging around, wouldn’t it be nice to get all cozy and warm with a rockstar? I think it would be so here is what I’m gonna do!

For a Spring Fling…the month of April, my erotic rock and roll romance LICK AND A PROMISE~Diary of a Rock Star Groupie will be just .99 cents on Amazon! Yep, that’s right, just .99 cents!

So, what’s it all about you might ask, well I’ll tell ya:

When I was 17 I was in love, I mean in LOVE with a famous rock band and the lead guitarist had my heart! Oh yeah!

Long story short, this book is based on an actual experience I had with him and the adventure that followed after his wife kicked me off their property.

Written under my pen name…Veronica Moreau…

LICK AND A PROMISE

USE LICK+AND+A+PROMISE+COVER WITH VERONICA UPDATED

*For Mature Audiences Only*

During the era of Classic Rock, Poppy Bishop was a teenage runaway. At 18, she was in bed with the lead guitarist of one of the biggest bands in rock history. She went on to become Poppy Bleu, a “famous” groupie who bedded rock stars, their wives (and girlfriends) and became a junkie by the time she was 21. However, she never forgot her first rock star…and he never forgot her.

For over 20 years, Poppy Bleu was known in the rock and roll world as the best backstage lay and liked, loved and hated by some of the world’s biggest rock stars. Her story is one of sex, drugs, and rock and roll and how she went from groupie to junkie to author and became the love of a lead guitarist’s life who saved her from a life of ruin.

Excerpt…”He slowly placed me on his lap. We were now face to face. Oh man, did he smell good. I could have licked his face off right then and there. I was like a kid in a candy factory, a drunk in a liquor store…a groupie on a rock star’s lap. I could die now and be happy.”

What happy people are saying about this book!
“The story followed the path of a teen runaway into the rock world and drug addiction. The main character was drawn with stark realism. The reader roots for her ultimate victory even while loathing some of her actions. The story is gritty and painful but well worth the read. I read and write rock star romance and thoroughly enjoyed this story. “Flower Power“I love to read, I fly through books left and right. But I seriously couldn’t put the book down last night. I looked up and realized that I had to be to work in 3 hours. Not much on rock and roll nor drugs but this book pulled me in. Love the details you paint an excellent picture of the times and life. Thanks for the terrific read you are a talented author. Must ask will we be seeing more of Poppy?”

Flower Power
“Seriously skankalicious! I finished in 3 days Poppys wild ride kept me up at night! A Lick and a Promise brought back memories of my teenage fantasies. Looking forward to the next book and many more of Poppy’s adventures!”
Flower Power
“If you want a break from the norm and an escape to the glamorous and gritty world of rock and roll then you will enjoy this exciting tale of young Poppy Bleu. I read it in a week and couldn’t put it down. You can easily get hooked on this book about drugs, sex, rock concerts, rock gods, and one girl who was turned onto the scene by her old friend Peggy who moved in across the street when she was in junior high. Does it have a happy ending? You’ll just have to read to find out.”
Flower Power
“I couldn’t put the book down! I’m definitely a mom with little spare time to herself….but I made the time to finish this book in just a few days! Poppy’s journey keeps you entraced the entire time! I enjoyed trying to guess which rock stars the author was describing…it helped bring all of the characters to life. This is a great book which delivers its promise! It was hot to say the least! Great job Veronica! Can’t wait to read your future best sellers!”
Flower Power
“Buckle your seatbelts and prepare to be taken on the RIDE of your life folks! This book has explicit sex and it’s no hold barred~ don’t go looking for your normal girl meets boy romance here cause that’s not what this one is about! I think Lick and a Promise is an FANFREAKINGTASTIC read! I loved the “real” life aspects shown in the book! The drug addiction, married rock stars, twosomes, threesomes ~ well you get the picture!!!
Flower Power
Take a journey with Poppy as she recounts her youth and see if she ends up with her “Rock Star” and while on that journey see if you recognize some of the industries biggest stars during that era! I highly recommend you READ this book NOW!!!”
And a whole lot more…!!!
Sexy_Mouth
So why not have a Spring Fling of your own and check out LICK AND A PROMISE…and learn a few new groupie tricks on how to keep your own rockstar happy…trust me, your man will thank me! 😉
rock-star-225x300
LICK AND A PROMISE
on Amazon Kindle
and in KDP Select
USE LICK+AND+A+PROMISE+COVER WITH VERONICA UPDATED

 

 

 

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Author Interview with Jeanne Kalogridis

Long before I was an author, I was a reader. I loved to read books on history and horror, celebrity bios and stories of witches and vampires.

One day while strolling through an old book store in a quaint and quiet part of downtown Frederick, Maryland, I found a book which changed my life.

It was “Covenant with the Vampire” written by Jeanne Kalogridis.

JK THE COVENANT WITH THE VAMPIRE

When I read:

“Mary has been asleep for hours now, in the old trundle bed my brother Stefan and I shared as children. Poor thing; she is so exhausted that the glow from the taper does not disturb her. How incongruous to see her lying there beside Stefan’s small ghost, surrounded by the artifacts of my childhood inside these crumbling, high-ceilinged stone walls. Their corridors awhisper with the shades of my ancestors, it is as if my present and past suddenly collided.”

I was swept away to the history and lore of medieval Romania to a time when Prince Vlad the Impaler ruled and I was hooked.

I could not put the book down. I mean, literally, the book was attached to my hands and I could do nothing more but read on and become captivated by the history, the romance and the bloodlust of Vlad and his sadistic relationship with his descendants.

After finishing the book, I took pen to paper and wrote Jeanne Kalogridis pouring my heart out to her. I was in awe of her talent and her melodic book and although I had aspirations of being a writer “one day” I knew that I could never, ever write anything as beautiful.

She was kind and gracious enough to respond and laughed having felt the same way when she read The Vampire Tapestry, a 1980 fantasy novel by Suzy McKee Charnas.

She encouraged me to “find my own voice” and to write what I loved. I took that advice to heart and began my journey as a writer.

I vowed that one day if I was ever in a position to help a writer, whether it be one just starting out on this wild and crazy ride or one who is established, that I would. She took the time to reach out to me and it showed me that no matter how successful a writer she was, we were all in this together.

I never forgot that.

Today, I am proud to say that I have gone on to become a best-selling author of nine books and Jeanne Kalogridis is still one of my all time favorite authors.

Her books carry you away to another time and you become enveloped in her words, the dark history of her stories and you forget everything around you.

I had the pleasure of talking to Jeanne recently and again, she was gracious enough to offer words of wisdom and advice to not only me but to all writers who take this journey.

Her words are golden and her advice invaluable for anyone wanting to be a writer…I advise you to take heed…

JEANNE KALOGRIDIS

Jeanne Kalogridis

With your extensive education and background, how much research goes into writing your historical novels?

An obscene amount. I used to teach graduate students how to write a research paper, and I have a true addiction to research–I love knowing details. Generally, I’ll read 30-40 books about the time period and the character I think I might want to write about. I’ll read for a couple of months before I even think about sitting down and writing the story outline. And I make sure that the sources I use are reputable–I made a fairly big error in THE BORGIA BRIDE, mentioning chocolate in Italy in the year 1492–when, of course, chocolate came from the New World and wasn’t available in Europe in 1492. I got the information from a 1940-ish biography about Lucrezia Borgia. Turned out that the biography relied on other biographies that weren’t accurate. So now I stick with recent biographies and historical nonfiction written by modern historians who are looking at original sources from the time period I’m writing about.

JK THE BORGIA BRIDE

There’s a phenomenon that scientists call “research rapture”–the more details one learns, the more details one wants to know. I’ve certainly got a bad case of it, because I also continue to do research during the writing of a novel. As an example of how detailed I like to get: I’m currently writing a novel about a young pickpocket in Renaissance Florence. I was thrilled when I discovered a street map from the period which showed where all the most infamous taverns in Florence were located, with some juicy gossip about each one. I don’t “make up” any details about a period, and a lot of things that seem as though they spring from my imagination are actually based on solid research.

How did you get involved in writing Novelizations for Star Trek?

First, let me clarify that novelizations involve turning a bare-bones script into a nice fat novel, so in this case, the script comes first, and the novel is written from the script, not vice-versa. In the case of STAR TREK, I wrote the novelizations while the script was being filmed, and actually got to go on the set and see stills that helped me visualize what the final result on the screen would look like. I didn’t get to see the film until it was released.

As to how I came to write the movie novelizations: Like many writers who were also STAR TREK fans, I noticed that there were TREK books coming out that involved original stories using the STAR TREK characters. So I wrote one–my first novel–and to my surprise, Pocket Books (the only publisher licensed to print TREK novels) bought it. Then I wrote another original book, then another…and one day I got a call from my editor asking me if I wanted to do the movie novelizations. I was thrilled speechless.

I wrote under the name J.M. Dillard (my maiden name) for STAR TREK. I used my married name of Kalogridis when I wrote my deliciously historical vampire trilogy THE DIARIES OF THE FAMILY DRACUL and, of course, my historical novels. (I’ll shamelessly promote the latter here: THE BORGIA BRIDE; I, MONA LISA; THE DEVIL’S QUEEN, THE SCARLET CONTESSA and THE INQUISITOR’S WIFE.)

What advice would you give a writer just starting out in the business?

Park your ego at the door and start developing a tough hide.

 Because you, and every other writer in this universe, needs to be edited. NO ONE just sits down one day and writes a perfect book by the seat of his or her pants. It simply doesn’t happen. Also, I think most of us come to writing thinking that we either “have it” or we don’t–that if an editor thinks that something needs changing in the book, then our entire book must be a failure. (At least, I was frightened by criticism because I thought it meant I was no good. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that a few people actually think ALL editors are wrong, and that their book is perfect as written. But I don’t run into those types very often.) It was so very hard for me to deal with being edited at first, but fortunately, I got used to it and now am eager to learn from constructive criticism (as long as they’re well read enough to know what they’re talking about.)

JK THE BURNING TIMES

We all need to realize that writing is rewriting. It’s like masonry. You’re not going to construct a cathedral your first day on the job, but you can get there if you work at it. And if you’re not sweating, you’re not doing it right. There are a lot of techniques to learn, but the good news is that once you practice one technique a time or two, it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it again. Then it’s on to the next technique. Here’s how I did it: I read as many books on the craft of writing that I could, and with those in mind, reread my favorite authors to see how they used the techniques. Then I practiced using the techniques myself.

By the way, these so-called techniques aren’t something dreamed up by creative writing teachers. They’re distillations of what we readers want and expect from a satisfying story.

There are two things that make a writer; one of those things can’t be learned, but happily, the other can.

As Stephen King said, “First, be talented.” By that, I think he meant that some people are good with words and can produce an evocative sentence that’s nice to read or hear. Some people have the ability; some don’t. That can’t be taught.

JK THE SCARLET CONTESSA

However, storytelling can be taught. And it’s the hardest part of writing fiction. I don’t know of any first-time novelist who had complete mastery over plot, character, point of view, and heart (and if they’re out there, I hate them :)). I’m pretty much self-taught from books and thirty-two years in the industry (my first book was published in January 1982, and I’m now working on my 37th novel). I was clueless when I started out and made every “new writer” mistake possible. Unfortunately, most of my earliest books with those mistakes are in print still. But I’ve learned a lot and continue studying to get better and better; that attitude is essential for anyone who wants to get and keep a readership.

In sum: Separate your ego from your work. It isn’t about what’s best for you; it’s about what’s best for the story.

What are you working on now?

A historical novel set in Renaissance Florence called THE ORPHAN OF FLORENCE. My young female protagonist, Giovanna, survived by becoming a pickpocket (that was fun to research!) and so after writing many novels about the period’s upper classes, I get to have fun romping through the seedier parts of Florence. Giovanna gets involved with a mysterious benefactor who claims to be a powerful magician, but there’s much more to him than meets the eye. Young Lorenzo de’ Medici plays a prominent role. It’s set during the uneasy time of the Pazzi War, when Florence was in grave danger from powerful enemies. In essence, it’s a fast-paced thriller with a lot of twists.

JK I MONA LISA

 If you could spend one day with anyone, either living or dead, who would it be and why?

 The truth is, I’d want to spend it with my sisters, who’ve both passed away. But if we’re talking about famous characters from history, I’d have to say Lucrezia Borgia. I want to know whether her father, Pope Alexander VI, or her brother, Cesare, was the father of her illegitimate son. (A once-sealed papal bull declared that her child was the rightful heir to everything Pope Alexander owned–in essence, acknowledging the boy’s paternal bloodline.)

JK THE DEVIL'S QUEEN

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Bibliography of works

The Diaries of the Family Dracul

Covenant with the Vampire (1995)

Children of the Vampire (1996)

Lord of the Vampires (1997)

Novels

Specters (1991) (as J.M. Dillard)

The Burning Times (1997)

The Borgia Bride (2005)

I, Mona Lisa (2006) (UK title: Painting Mona Lisa)

The Devil’s Queen (2009)

The Scarlet Contessa: A Novel of the Italian Renaissance (2010)

The Inquisitor’s Wife (2013)

Movie Novelizations

The Fugitive (1993)

Bulletproof Monk (2003)

Star Trek: The Original Series

Mindshadow (1985)

Demons (1986)

Bloodthirst (1987)

The Lost Years (1989)

Recovery (1995)

Star Trek Movie Novelizations

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Star Trek Generations (1994)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Possession (1996) (with Kathleen O’Malley)

Resistance (2007)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Emissary (1993)

Star Trek: Enterprise

Surak’s Soul (2003)

The Expanse (2003)

War of the Worlds

The Resurrection (1988)

Other books

Star Trek: Where No One Has Gone Before – A History in Pictures (1994)

Star Trek: The Next Generation Sketchbook – The Movie: Generations & First Contact (1998) (with John Eaves)

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For more information about Jeanne Kalogridis

WEBSITE

http://www.jeannekalogridis.com/

BLOG

http://www.historyisabitch.com/

GOODREADS

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49103.Jeanne_Kalogridis

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/JeanneKalogridisAuthorPage

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Jeanne%20Kalogridis&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

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Thank you Jeanne for an amazing interview and for being my guest today! I wish you much love, happiness and success.

Also, thank you for being an inspiration to me and being so kind to an aspiring author many years ago. It helped me in ways you will never know!

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“There is a reason why all things are as they are.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula

http://www.lisavproulx.com

 

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Do You Read Your Reviews? Why it’s not always a good thing to do…

I have been a feature writer and columnist for my local newspaper, The Brunswick Citizen, for almost 14 years.

Before that, I was a columnist for The Mountain Xpress in Asheville, North Carolina, I have been a proofreader for The Loudoun Times Mirror in Leesburg, Virginia, I became a published author in 2004 and am now the author of nine books, four which have gone on to Best-Seller status.

My book WEEDMONKEY has been on the Amazon Best Seller list for months and I am listed in the Top 100 Best-Selling Authors on Amazon in Memoirs right up there with Chelsea Handler and Robert Wagner.

So, you would think I have zillions of reviews from people all over the world just loving my books. Right? Nope!

WEEDMONKEY  has 60 reviews and they are not all favorable. When I first became a writer and my books were online I was obsessed with reading each and every review. I would get excited, anxious and take everything someone said to heart.

Now, I don’t even read them and God forbid, I never reply to them.

For WEEDMONKEY, I get reviews like…”The book was written with a voice of a child” or “The story was not believable” and “It sounded like the author grew up in the hills of Kentucky”

Let me address these:

1. My mother began writing this book when I was a child and on her deathbed in 2006, she asked me to complete it for her. My mother had an 8th grade education and wanted the book to be told through the eyes of the child Virgie Hopkins so yes, the book has the voice of a child.

2. Oh the story is true, trust me, and can be verified through other family members who endured life in the coal mining camps during the Depression. I think it’s hard though for many young readers to actually believe that life could be that hard for someone but it was.

3. Uh, well yeah, it takes place in the hills of Kentucky and the people there were back woods, uneducated and some were hillbillies who said things like “fer” and “ain’t”…that’s just how they talked and these are NOT typos!

When I read a bad or mixed review, it hurts but I realize that I have chosen this crazy career of being a writer and this how I make my living. So yeah, it’s personal.

It’s easy to read a negative review and feel like you are in the wrong profession, your writing sucks, no one likes you and you should never write again and on and on and on…

Although reviews are great and oh so needed for an author, they are simply someone’s opinion of your work and in no way a reflection of your talent. Don’t give up!

Writers, actors, and artists of all types must have a thick skin in order to survive this business so I say stay strong and carry on!

My advice for handling negative reviews:

1. NEVER reply to a negative review! Ever! As much as you want to defend your “baby” don’t do it! It will come back to haunt you in the end. The only time I ever responded to a review was only once when the reader asked me a question and I answered it in the reply.

2. Eh, brush it off! You know you are a good writer and if your book is on the Best-Seller List you are doing something right.

3. Don’t take it to heart. I am a Pisces and a very sensitive person and it’s easy for me to be hurt by someone’s comments, esp when it is about a book I wrote for my mother who passed away in 2006. Yeah, it hurts, it stings and it sucks but you cannot take it personally.

4. Simply don’t read them. Get in the habit of just scrolling past them and don’t read them.

5. Keep writing no matter what! All great authors, actors, musicians were turned down a zillion times before they made it and they kept at it. Examples: Stephen King, Elvis and The Beatles.

WEEDMONKEY is a labor of love for me and I hope I did my mother proud.

I had no editor (nor could I afford one) I don’t have an agent or a traditional publisher but hey, it’s out there and I am so proud of it and of its success.

But when it comes to reviews, although I appreciate them and am grateful for them, I simply don’t read them any more.

Do you read your reviews?

I hope you get a chance to check out WEEDMONKEY and all of my other books, and enjoy it as well!

MA PHOTO SUBMITTED 1900X2850 - TITLE EVEN HIGHER July 11, 2013

http://www.amazon.com/Weedmonkey-Lisa-V-Proulx-ebook/dp/B00DYWG898

As always, thanks so much for your continued love and support! 🙂

Lisa

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FREE eBook EROTICA Rock and Roll Romance

Hi everyone,

To celebrate its release one year ago on January 8, 2013, I am offering my steamy rock and roll romance LICK AND A PROMISE~Diary of a Rock Star Groupie for FREE on 1/9, 1/10 and 1/11 on Amazon Kindle!

Here’s the low down:

USE LICK+AND+A+PROMISE+COVER WITH VERONICA UPDATED

*For Mature Audiences Only*

During the era of Classic Rock, Poppy Bishop was a teenage runaway. At 18, she was in bed with the lead guitarist of one of the biggest bands in rock history. She went on to become Poppy Bleu, a “famous” groupie who bedded rock stars, their wives (and girlfriends) and became a junkie by the time she was 21. However, she never forgot her first rock star…and he never forgot her.

For over 20 years, Poppy Bleu was known in the rock and roll world as the best backstage lay and liked, loved and hated by some of the world’s biggest rock stars. Her story is one of sex, drugs, and rock and roll and how she went from groupie to junkie to author and became the love of a lead guitarist’s life who saved her from a life of ruin.

Excerpt…”He slowly placed me on his lap. We were now face to face. Oh man, did he smell good. I could have licked his face off right then and there. I was like a kid in a candy factory, a drunk in a liquor store…a groupie on a rock star’s lap. I could die now and be happy.”

COOL facts about

LICK AND A PROMISE~Diary of a Rock Star Groupie

Based on an actual experience that I had with a famous rock star when I was 17 years old

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Veronica Moreau is my erotic pen name and came from my female vampire character from my first book PUNCTURE who has the same name.

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This book was so HOT that Amazon banned it the first time I tried to list and I had to rewrite the beginning just so they would accept it!

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This book is BOOK ONE in the ROCK STAR SERIES and BOOK TWO is already in the works.

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It is a BEST SELLER on Amazon!

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Baby it’s cold outside so grab some rock and roll romance and keep yourself warm. Here’s how you can get your FREE copy!

http://www.amazon.com/Lick-Promise-Diary-Rock-Groupie-Series-ebook/dp/B00AYB0IN4

http://www.lisavproulx.com

 

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