Writing Prompt: Local Flavour

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from, as though it’s an entry for a travel guide”

Brilliant writing prompt under today’s date in my book, I’ve never tried my hand at travel writing…so here goes! London, like the rest of the world is on some form of lock-down, due to the Coronvirus outbreak. I too am at home  and have been for eight days! Let’s pass sometime with today’s writing prompt and see if I can ‘sell’ my city as if I were a travel guide writer!

London…

London is the capital of the United Kingdom, and one of the most diverse cities of the world. The city is located in the southern part of the United Kingdom, and has a population of 8.9 million( as of 2018)  

The capital of the United Kingdom attracts many visitors and tourists each year, to date 39.7 million visits have been recorded to the ‘city that never sleeps’ at the time of this article. The diversity of London is great, and that’s what gives it the reputation of being one of the most welcoming, tolerant and culturally richest part of the United Kingdom.

There is plenty to see and do in this part of the country, the city is divided up into what’s known as ‘post codes’, similar to the zip codes of the USA and other parts of the world. The River Thames run’s directly through the city, and is what divides the capital up between north and south.

What is there to see and do?

Central London- ‘The West End’

This part of the capital is as the name describes, the  most central part of the city.  It is the financial hub of the country. London’s economy is based largely in the central part of London. Here you will find the famous landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street  and Soho. As well as many of the other well known ‘tourist attractions’ of the city.

The centre of London, or London’s ‘West End’ is a most see! And the ultimate starting point of any visitor to the wonderful and vibrant city. Tube lines ( subways) are easy to access and navigate around the capital. In addition, there are many bus routes, overhead trains and even local bike ride schemes to travel around the city.

London operates on a strictly no cash system on transport services, therefore you will need to obtain one of London’s Oyster Cards ( a travel card) and ‘top it up’ with money to pay for travel before hand. Or you can use your debit or credit card by touching in onto the screens, when you board any form of transport.

In central London, you will also find many theaters, restaurants bars, clubs and night life! In fact, London’s night light is highly sort after as an experience, and comparable to big cities such as Miami, Amsterdam, New York and Paris! But  London is the place to be.

Museum’s Parks and Attractions

The London Eye is London’s main attraction, located along Westminster Bridge, and a stone’s throw from the iconic Big Ben Clock, that London is recognised by. Here, visitors to the capital can experience  panoramic views across London, from the height of the ride’s wheel.  The ride itself is a large Ferris wheel, that moves at a smooth and comfortable speed allowing visitors to see the north, east, south and west of London. while located in the centre of London! Don’t miss this attraction. The nearest tube stations are Lambeth North, and Westminister Bridge.  Tickets must be purchased beforehand, arrive early to avoid queues.

London also has many picturesque parks such as Clapham Common ( south London), Richmond Park ( south London), Victoria Park (east London), Hamstead Heath ( north London) as well as parks in the city centre, located near the residence of the royal family.

In the city centre,  there are also museums for those who which to soak up the culture! Such as The National Gallery, along London’s South Bank you will also find The London South Bank Museum here.  Nearest stations are Trafalgar Square and Elephant and Castle which which are both walking distance.

Urban Life in London

London, would not be complete with out the underworld of ‘urban life’. Those who wish to experience the true unique, diverse and alternate culture of London, should head out the the tourist areas and visit Camden Town’s Market. Camden Town is a funky, diverse and cool part of London, not to be missed. Shops, restaurants, bars, and tattoo and alternate body art shops are all to be discovered. Nearest tube station is Camden Town.

Brixton Market located in the south London is a must see, and a very vibrant area to experience, where all races mingle and mix enjoying the ambiance of this part of the city. Nearest tube station is Brixton.

The August carnival to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture in the capital, takes place on the Bank Holiday in August, at the end of the summer each year! This is one big street party, where there’s food, music, drinking and dancing along the streets of west London all Caribbean style. Don’t miss this iconic event, that has been part of London’s history since the large influx of Caribbeans who settled in the UK with the Windrush Era.

Safety While Traveling

London generally is a pretty safe place to explore,  safety should be taken with valuables as with any large city in the world, opportunists will strike and pick pocket if tourists are no alert ,and protective of possessions. Female travelers should feel safe, but should also take care and guard general safety.

Overall, London is  a great city! Home to many people from all over the world. Racism is not a big thing in this part of the country, compared to other parts. As the population is diverse and it is in this part of the UK, as with other large cities such as Birmingham and Manchester and Liverpool, that you will find the highest population of immigrants, as well as inhabitants that fall into the Black-British, or Asian-British, and Non-White category.

Visit London today! The best times of year are during the  spring and summer months typically from March- August.

 

How about it guys?? Who’s coming to London ( after the travel ban is lifted LOL), have I sold my part of the world to you?? Let’s see your travel guide pieces on where you’re from. Drop your links below I’d love to read them!!

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt- Places…

Welcome to March! Today’s writing prompt in book is simply answer… ‘beach, mountain, forest or somewhere else?’   This writing prompt called me so much! For me it’s all about here….

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I’m beach lover for so many reasons, not only is it beautiful to  be right  at the edge of a country or island, it’s just a stunning place visually, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for me. Here’s why I’d choose the beach over the mountains, forest or some other place.

I’m a water baby!

Through and through I just love the water. Be it the beach, pool, bath or shower lolz I can’t get enough  of it. I soak in the bath for ages, and  a five minute shower is unheard of for me. I find water actually really calming. Once, when I worked in the depths of south London the building was right across the road from one of south London’s popular parks. I would spend my lunch break right by the lake or make-shift pound you could call it. Even when it was a little chilly, I’d just wrap up and have my lunch there. It was at that point that I realised that the water calms me, and centres me.  The work environment at the particular place was very stressful. I also worked their while pregnant and I needed to get out and away.

Of course I love to swim too, one of my favourite forms of exercise and really wish I had more time for it. Overall, my ideal home would be right by the water. I am lucky that where I live now, I am by water. That said,  if I had a beach front house, or even lived within walking distance or a short drive from a beach I’d be on cloud nine. It’s just beautiful. I like to sit by the water and just …well…watch it. Listen to music, read, write whatever just being near.

When I’m on holiday I’m the kinda person to spend all day, and I mean all day at the beach, and then explore during the evening or later in the day. It’s pretty hard to tear me away I’ll just chill and people watch.

Ideally, if I could live anywhere in the world, it would also be somewhere with great beaches.

I like exotic and warm places!

Well…. I’m the author of  the ‘Romance Set in Paradise Series’ so that’s hardly surprising I like the exotic! But personally, I’m a warm blooded human, I love the sun and everything about it. Apart from difficulty with keeping my make-up on lolz. I really enjoy the warmer weather as I feel everyone is in a much better mood, and I am too.

Summer  and the beach to me is ‘fun’, ‘carefree’ and time to enjoy yourself and get out and about. Rather than be stuck in doors. I also find that there’s a hella-lot of great books released in the summer time.

Many of the places that I would to visit are parts of south America, the Caribbean, Thailand and I’d love to do a safari…from the safety of a very enclosed car though.

Spiritual, Mental and Emotional Well-Being

This can all be experienced from the beach. You can do Yoga, Pilates ( things I do do), and even peaceful meditations to the sounds of waves. Like I said I find the water and its motion very alluring to me. The water is also a great force of nature, it can be calm and welcoming but at the same time cause chaos! And even sadly, take lives. It must be respected.

Writing Inspiration…

If I ever become fortunate enough to live near a beach, a real beautiful one I think that inspiration to write would flow ‘like water’ LOL. Okay, that was a bit cliche but it’s the truth. And I don’t think I’d write stories set in just exotic or warm places. I genuinely feel being near water could motivate and inspire me.

Overall, I find the mountains too high for me I’m not great with heights,  and probably a bit chilly, I’m not great with that either. Hmm the  forest there could be creepy crawlies I’m not great with them either. I could never camp! So the beach suits me, my personality and how I can find inner peace and calm to a T.

What would you go with beach, mountains, forest or some place else? And why let me know?

When Was The Last Time You Got Excited?? #amwriting

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Prompt> When was the last time you got excited?

Today actually!

First thing I want to say is thank you to everyone who has recently followed this blog, I will get around to visiting all your pages. Anyway, so excitement is the topic for a writing prompt in my book for later  this week, but I will do it now as it applies. It was about 15 mins ago, my son who is about to turn six just started what us British call ‘Primary School’, or First Grade if you’re in the USA. It’s his second week, it’s 9.15am and I just dropped him to school.  I teared up (again)  like I did on the first day.

It’s exciting as a parent to see the little person you felt kicking inside you be so tall ( he is half the size of me already I am 5’5), so handsome,  have such personality, and progressing so well after a rough start to life, and undergoing surgery. He also is starting to lose his baby teeth, the bottom one is shaking and over night a new tooth popped up behind it, ( we need to go to the dentist). Last week as I was going over his own teeth brushing I noticed it…it was not there the night before. Also, shout out to all the parents who survived the summer holidays… we made it *high five*.

Second Excitement

As I walked through the door organising my day in my head I got excited and very thankful for all blessings, I took the morning off my ‘day job’ to finish reading over the last 40 pages of my work, to send back to one particular publisher who requested it which is exciting me. I am very excited as back in April I submitted to a few and got two full requests. One medium sized, predominantly romance and fiction publisher with an excellent reputation, some of their authors have made the New York Times best sellers’ list got back to me. I have submitted there about three times different ideas,  over the years I have always had feedback of  ‘adjust this part, or this could not fit this line because…’ with good reasons such as it being a novella, but they always said come back to us again in the future. *Sighs* so I never bothered to rewrite back then I moved on,  and thought, maybe next time I’ll get lucky, This time I submitted a full manuscript of 72k words to a call the actual CEO put out for certain stories, for a line they are trying to add new writers to,  from what I read on the call she actually reads all submissions as well as the senior editors.  I saw it last moment and very happy I did, the closing date was a few days away.

The feed back this time was it was very enjoyable as always Kim, and to resubmit  this full manuscript again making some minor adjustments to one character’s POV, like deepening it – that’s all they said in the email.  I was like…. *did I read that right, that’s all you want?*. I was also offered a chance to have a ‘master class’ from the CEO’s publisher on writing for them, a live webinar. I am excited as the class is this week ( at 3am my time but hey I will stay up rather than watch the recording).  I have never had a master class on writing, so I am excited to see what I hear and learn… that could be useful.

I am also excited that after submitting to this publisher at least three different times since about 2017 ideas, finally I get  not just ‘we like it but…’ I actually get ‘ send this one back please Kim’… even if they reject it again, I am happy and excited to be one step closer and understand what they are looking for, and to have this class, it could really be helpful. They have a really good reputation and  I would love to be added to their line of writers. Personally, I think if they let me loose to write for them, I’d do a really good job… *toot toot* yeah, I’m blowing the horn as no one else does it for us writers.

This week is a big week, as I will be sending this story back to the other one who requested  also,  if I decide to go with the second one I need to research more, after my experience with traditional publishing before I am very selective I won’t jump at just anything. I am entering it into a competition this week also now it’s done, f*ck it why not aye?? I may as well I have worked really hard on it from 72k now to 78 k words, wrote in different eras and developed what I would call some good twists on  romance relevant to the characters. Then I will wait for responses from the other submissions I made also, I hate this part as it can be such a long wait to hear news if at all. But I will keep going with them, while I crack the thriller I am almost done with too!

Third Excitement

National Novel Writing Month is approaching…. yeah baby! I  have a few ideas I want out of my head and on paper. I love this time of year as we head into the autumn, I always find I get more productive, and I like to write Christmas theme stories as it’s my fav time of year. This year, it may not be a romance one though I am thinking of some kind of crime or thriller around Christmas a short story that I can manage of probably about 25k words or so.

I am also excited  for NaNoWiMo, I will have just one focus for the month to write this time and no editing or corrections on other works, and then look at the Christmas short story. I think this year I may just actually complete the story during the full month as I have over 20k words of my focus ( that I have been trying to get done, but this romance I am submitting this week has taken up my time). I am excited I might just have a successful NaNoWiMo if I really apply myself. I actually don’t have any personal life stress now… for once!

Fourth Excitement

Now this is big people…I went on Facebook briefly this morning, after an alert and my co-author Didi Oviatt– you know her right, the suspense author from Utah in the USA? She is on Audiable her books are there!! I can’t believe it, that is amazing I can’t wait to speak to her hopefully this week. What an achievement.

Fifth Excitement

I am alive and healthy!

What is exciting you this week, or right now? Tell me? I’ve got two hours to read through this work. I better crack on!

Bad Reviews- In My View They Ain’t So Bad! #MFRW

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So it’s Monday and like clockwork I woke up at 7.00a.m after snoozing the alarm a few times, with a list as long as my arm, with things I want to complete today, in order to have a productive writing day. For one we’re one week into National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating this year, while I have 20,000 words down I’m still not quite happy with all of it, I have emails to respond to, one half of a story for The Suspenseful Collection #2 to write…. before tomorrow!  And let’s not forget the ‘day job writing’ also… I’m a translator by day!

Waking up to this list,  I knew today would be busy, right on cue my five year old son moseys into my room, jumps under the covers…”mama, I’m sick.” I sigh, roll my eyes, peel his warm five year old body off me and look him in the eye, then ask what’s wrong? He  holds his legs in the air like a tent under the covers. When he was born he had complications with his legs, now it’s fine but  I take his complaints seriously. I roll over thinking ” no school looks like today’s a sick day then, some much for productivity.”

It’s lunch time, what is he doing as I write this writing response?  Dancing and singing (rather loudly) to the Lion King movie, before that it was Frozen the movie. What else has he done today, given me firm instructions to leave my desk, to play kick the ball in the garden , attacked the washing line then ran around the house with my bra on his head, pretending he’s a “pirate of the Caribbean.” Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the little shit, boy… whoops sorry. He just fancies a day off to watch Disney all day, and disrupt his mama!

So I may as well do a writing prompt as it’s clear I won’t get to focus on any manuscripts until this evening after bed time…. sighs #shoutoutallparents.

 Bad Reviews, How They Can Help?

So bad reviews? The question  and writing prompt this week is how to overcome them. In all honesty, I don’t think bad reviews are really that bad as you grow as a writer. You soon learn that you can’t, should not try to, and DO NOT EVER want to try to write to please everyone, it’s impossible. If you do that, you’ll lose who you are as a writer,why YOU WRITE and you’ll have no idea of who you actually please- your target market and actually create sales, and a readership.

I also say this as I personally feel as a writer you get to a point where a bad review, you realise does so much more than make you feel bad if you have done the best you can on your work. 1. a review is a review whether good or bad, and sometimes the odd 1 star or someone not feelin’ your work shows a genuine picture or balanced picture. 2. a bad review can cause other people to pick up your book, out of curiosity anyway. How many times have you read reviews on somethings you wish to purchase, or a new product you wish to try and noticed the odd bad one or less positive review but decided ‘I think I want to give this a try, and see for myself.’ 3. it can also allow you to see what someone did not enjoy, genuinely as  long as they are not just on a bitchfest for no good reason.

So… how could you overcome a bad review?

I feel there  is the difference between a ‘moaning’ review and a genuine less positive review that’s more like ‘ this is critique that’s useful.’ I also feel it’s our job as a writer to weed out the two. If you can do this, that’s half the job of ‘overcoming’ a bad review. If the person is just going on, and on, and on, and on about why they hated your work with no real depth to it just…. just “hatin”’ on your work, disregard it and see that they are ‘moaning’. Instead pay attention to those who seem to be more realistic in their less positive review, and see what’s of use for you to know. Even then, take what’s helpful and leave the rest and focus on writing the next book.

Lastly, try  recognise if you have just sadly attracted the ‘wrong reader’ I hate to say this, sometimes it happens. It has happened to me, and I have also been the wrong type of reader for other books. This is when the book calls you,  the cover, blurb, genre whatever…you dive in and the connection is not there. If you can recognise within less positive reviews if this is ‘the wrong kind of reader, not someone you’d hope to attract or genuinely  a target reader’ for your work, this helps you to overcome bad reviews also. It is also helpful to define for  yourself as a writer who is, potentially could be, and definitely is not a target reader for you. Within the less positive reviews.

This is my honest approach to this subject that so many of us writers lose sleep over… a bad review pifff… I don’t allow it to bug me out so much these days. I take what I need and leave the rest, and know that it’s impossible to please all, and I would not ever want to, how the hell do I stand out if I do that?

Take what’s helpful, leave the rest. Just like when your work is rejected by a publisher, or an agent or an editor requests your work …but asks you to make what you would call major changes….that you’re not really feeling. Leave it if it does not help or changes your work too much in your view in a way you’d not really want it to. There will be someone out there that will say ‘yes, gimmie that’ as it is, you just have to find them.

Lastly, don’t ever lose your confidence over a bad review, once you develop that thick skin, this is impossible to happen anyway. But on the way to getting to this place of thick skinned and unflappable, don’t beat yourself up if someone did not connect, as remember you write for those that do connect.

 

Comfort Zone: What Are You More Comfortable With? #amwriting #writingprompts

 

 

img_20190314_104032.jpgI’ve got some time to kill before I leave the house, perfect to fit in a quick writing prompt right?  I opened up my 365 days of writing prompt book on today’s date. This seems like a very fitting topic right now!

“What are you more comfortable with, routine and planning or laissez-faire?”

Well, to be honest as a person, mother, and human being I do like planning and routine. If there was no routine in my life then the house would not be tidy, there would be no dinner made, and the bills would all be left unpaid it would be chaos. There would also be no fun times for me and my family…which is planned for. I think in life we all need some kind of routine and planning, if not it is very easy to lose your way, or destiny. How do you know what direction you are meant to head in, if you don’t have some kind of plan?  Also if I work on projects and do things with others the same applies, where are we going? In that respect I do prefer and think we all need it. Even those of us who like to fly by the seat of our pants, you can’t always take that approach you’ll probably achieve very little. Even down to minor things like how you’ll spend the day, what you will eat, what you will wear today, etc. There is no avoiding it, planning is needed.

Aside from that,  my personality generally is that  I do like to go with the flow, once I have a plan or loose idea about something which could be about anything.  My personality is more carefree, I don’t tend to be a stress head, as long as I have an idea of what’s going on I’ll go with the flow and know that, because I have some kind of loose idea ‘it will work out’.

I guess on reflection as I write this, my ‘comfort zone’ is to have a plan and routine of some kind. That’s what I think stops me from being a stress head. If I don’t have a plan no matter who loose it is, I would become very stressed, and my personality is to flow with things providing I have a direction.

You’re probably thinking, well what about as a writer do you like to plan or go with the flow. It depends on what I’m writing as a fiction writer  I do very much go with the flow while writing. Yes I plan characters, yes I plan my surprises and twists in a story,  yes I plan endings but no when I actually write I hardly, if ever look back at that plan. To be honest, I don’t think I have actually written anything that ended how I planned it to on paper. That’s because as a  fiction writer I tend to jump into the story and behind the character, which means I come out of myself if that makes sense. I am no longer ‘Kim writing a story line.’ I am the serial killer, the female lead, the drop dead sexy male whoever I am writing, and I’m at the location of the crime, the sex scene whatever I’m there not behind my laptop. It’s very strange my imagination removes itself from me, so half the time I go with ‘what the character would do’  or the situation that’s fitting for them, not me.

As a non-fiction writer, as in writing an article or ghost writing something for someone else, who has an idea of what they want. As much as it might a pain in my ass, as I may have other creative ideas I do 100% stick to what’s been asked of me to write about, or the style I have been asked to use. That’s the only time I will be ridged  with plans when I do non-fiction writing . It’s a lot more fact based and aimed at making a particular point more time, so I am kind of forced to plan to make that point by the end of the article, or whatever it is I’ve been asked to write that’s non-fiction.

So… I guess no as a writer my comfort zone is that I don’t like tooo much of a plan, just a tiny bit so I know where to run wild and flow. But in my own life as a person I need and do better with solid planning.

What about you to plan or not to plan that is the question? Where do you plan the most in life? Love to see what you all do! Also, does anyone know where we find the old WordPress daily prompts these days? Do they even still do them ?

 

 

 

 

Daily Writing Prompt: Calling… My Calling Was Bitter Sweet, But Well Worth it!

Calling

 

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I’ve not responded to a WordPress daily writing prompt for what feels like months. I know, I know I always say ‘ so much has been going on.’ Truth be told it has… Where to even start?  Firstly, I should stick to the writing prompt word ‘calling’, then update you as to why I have not blogged a personal blog for months.

When I saw today’s word it made me think of my own calling, why I write, how I write, what it really does for me? As that’s why I write generally for me. I also thought about when my true calling to write came, and how it came.  The only person that knows this is my co-author Didi Oviatt  so here goes, the whole world and it’s mum is about to know. My true calling came at a rather bitter sweet moment in my life. To the outsider it may appear as a sad time, truth be told I was probably the happiest I had been for a number of years.

My calling to write, honestly, not just here and there  secretly but seriously meaning write novels and novellas regularly, came the year I decided to take off my wedding ring, divorce my husband, embrace the decision I had made to start over, leave him, raise my son (who was eighteen months old at the time) on my own. Yep! I finally ditched him I just had enough!! I laugh as I type now, because I never once shed a tear over it, I felt better leaving than staying it was a sense of relief to shed my ring. I threw myself into caring for my boy who I am sooooooooooo proud of and happy to have (who is now four), creating our security and new direction. Then out popped a 90,000 novel, a publishing deal, a re-vamp and self-publish of that novel, then an award for it. Shit! I feel even better about ditching that ring now. You see, once I did not only was I and my son happier, I was allowed to write I just could with no criticism, put downs, or bullshit. Leaving allowed me to become a better person a stronger person also an author.

I just never thought to take it seriously until I broke free, and took my nose out of another author’s novel that I was reading.  I was (and still am) a big bookworm before I started writing. I also never thought about submitting my work to publishers  before. I did it on a whim and stuck lucky  I guess, but my mum would say ‘ no Kim you’re talented not lucky.’ Thanks Mum.

My calling was bitter sweet, writing did not and still does not ‘take away pain’ ‘take my mind off what happened’  put it this way I did not need any of that at the time,  I still don’t and probably won’t ever. I just felt great being able to create. Not just stories, or articles but spend time at my sewing machine too, if I were not a writer I’d probably be a fashion designer or make-up artist I’ve said it so many times!

Fast forward two years down the line to 2017, divorce final, six books under my belt  my calling in full swing what did I do….. I  immigrated!!!  🙂 The reason why I have not had a real chance to do much writing wise or interact with you as I used to, is because I have been busy moving country I now live in France! I love London and I will always be proud to be British and from the UK’s capital  that’s where I spent the first almost thirty-five years of my life. But for a better quality of life for my son and I, security, and a brand new start this is what’s best for us both right where we are now in a new part of Europe. London will always have a place in my heart.

So that’s it, that’s how my calling to write came about,  I decided fuck this shit I’ll be happier and better off as a single mama, and so would my son we  can do this. And  that’s why I have been absent I have relocated to a place with 300 days of sun a year, better quality of life and for a new adventure and I hope one day to find my true husband…. after all I am a romance writer!

But guess what? I’m back y’all, ya  better believe it to! I’m back with a force so I will be a lot more active writing and especially blogging. Now I have the time. I’ve made the leap and dedicating much more time to writing because I can… after all it is my true calling as a vocation in life, I’ve proven this to myself.

 

Are You Ready? We’re Back…! The Suspenseful Collection Volume #2 #kdsuspense. #amreading @didi_oviatt

 

I had a lull I had so much going on personally  (good things though), plus editing Conscious Talk Magazine, motherhood, trying to brush up my next romance novella that will be released shortly! Getting anything down for The Suspenseful Collection Volume #2  for Didi to finish up was hard, everything I wrote in my view was sh*t ,so I never sent it to her. BUT…. Now I’m ready to get back to writing great suspenseful short stories, I’ve got my groove back. To add to this positive mindset today read a really nice comment someone left on a story that Didi and I wrote, following the writing prompt you all voted for a crime scene story.  Thank you reader for your great feedback  Didi and I appreciate it this story will feature in The Suspenseful Collection volume #2. We may even extended it  🙂

Kim and Didi are  back!…. And feeling a lil’ badass!

Ready to have a lot of fun together, and finish up The Suspenseful Collection Volume #2

Stay Tuned!!

Volume #1 is still .99p on Amazon too! click this link