Welcome Guest Author, Alissa Baxter!

10/29/2013 10:48

Today I welcome Alissa Baxter to my blog!  Alissa has just launched her fourth novel, A BLOG AFFAIR, which is available now on Amazon and Amazon UK.

She is running a giveaway as well:

Have you ever encountered a “serial datist”? Share your experience and stand a chance to win a free ebook copy of The Blog Affair. Email your comments to!



Creating Male Characters in Novels

As a writer, I must admit that I’ve always been more comfortable creating female characters than delving into the minds of the male characters in my books. This is because, as a woman, I find it easy to create realistic female characters. However, getting inside the mind of a man is a completely different story.

Of course men and women are human beings before anything else, and human nature is well… human nature. However men and women also have many differences, and recently I’ve been reading a number of books about these differences. One such tome is Dr. Marianne J. Legato’s Why Men Never Remember & Women Never Forget where she writes about the nature and importance of the differences between men and women and how we really are wired differently physically, emotionally and mentally.

This means, as a writer, I need to ensure that my male characters think and act like men! I don’t struggle to write about a male character’s actions, as it’s easy to observe and describe those from an objective point of view. But I do hesitate when I’m about to write a male character’s innermost thoughts down on paper. I’ve asked my father, brother and an assortment of male friends in the past to read my manuscripts in order to let me know whether I’ve created realistic thoughts for my male characters.

Writers as a breed are interested in what motivates people - their thoughts and feelings, and how they process their experiences, and being able to capture this in authentic detail in a novel, I would say, is the aim of most fiction writers.

Overthinking such things can lead to stilted attempts at creating characters of the opposite sex, however, so sometimes it’s best to take a risk, rely on instinct, and trust that if what you’re writing makes sense to you as a novelist, it’ll strike a chord with your readers as well.

In my latest novel, The Blog Affair, my main female character sets up a blog in an attempt to analyse the shortfalls of men that she calls “serial datists”. Here is an extract from her blog:




Serial Datism

The first time I ever met a serial datist, I was nineteen years old. At that age, I wasn’t capable of recognising the warning signs of this particular species of the human male. Needless to say, I got burned. Badly.

Serial datism is a concept I’ve been pondering recently. And it’s something I hope to examine in this blog. Any comments from readers are welcome, therefore, as I attempt to shed light on a variety of the dating male that has me completely bemused.

The best way to do this, I’ve decided, is to debate in an open forum—where I, and any other participants in the discussion, can flick on the switch, in a manner of speaking, and illuminate the matter.

I attract serial datists, and so it is perfectly fitting that I should introduce this topic into cyber space. But this doesn’t mean I’m an expert at identifying them. You see, the tricky thing about serial datists is that they aren’t easily defined.

They come in many shapes and sizes and forms, and they may even mutate! They can start off in one form and end up in quite another shape and size within a small space of time. And therein lies their danger.

Okay—to introduce myself. I’m Penelope (well, that’s one of my names) and this blog is called Penelope’s Pantry, because like Penelope from ancient Greek mythology, I’ve had loads of suitors in my life.

And the pantry part? Well, a pantry is a dark storeroom, and this is where I hope to stockpile my thoughts and feelings and emotions. On neatly stacked shelves, of course. I’m a fanatically neat person, and like things to be tidy.

So let’s start at the very beginning (my ordered mind demands this) with a definition of a serial datist: He is a male who, like a bee, goes from one woman to the next, landing on each female blossom for a short period of time. When he leaves, he stings them.

But unfortunately, unlike a bee, a serial datist doesn’t die after he stings. He goes on to sting again and again, and the only way to kill him is to swat him, or stomp on him with your heel. Or leave out a bowl of sugared water in which he can drown. But, on second thoughts, I think the latter technique is for ants....

Be that as it may, before anyone starts wondering whether I’m a convicted killer, I hasten to assure you I am not. I’ve certainly felt a strong desire to stomp on the various bees that have entered my life, but fortunately for these creatures, the thought of killing causes me to break out in hives. Therefore, it is only a fantasy I have indulged in from time to time.

Now that we’ve cleared up the fact that I’m not a murderer, I would like to point out that the bee who delivers his nasty stings is the real killer in the scenario. Why? Well, it’s obvious. He kills your feelings, and leaves your emotions bleeding to death. Some more pedantic readers out there might point out that bee stings don’t cause you to bleed. So what—I’m using it in a figurative sense.

But, and here I’m not being figurative at all, bees can make you swell up. Besides the fact that their stings can cause you to comfort-eat, it is possible to develop a life-threatening allergy to them. And I’m afraid that’s what’s happened to me. I am allergic to serial datists AKA bees AKA Emotionally Unavailable Men.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself. That is simply one of the categories of serial datists. According to my calculations, there are at least four others.

Allow me to list them:

1) The afore-mentioned Emotionally Unavailable Male

2) The Wannabe Player

3) The Commitment-Phobe

4) The Bad Boy

5) The Misogynist (before he finds a woman to control)

I will be examining each category in more detail later. But in the meantime—any comments from readers on what I’ve already expounded are most welcome.

Posted by Penelope on Tuesday, July 8 at 08:32 p.m




Twenty-something South African Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”. Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. Romance with her boss is a no-no, but slowly, Nick works his way around her defenses. Trust him, or not, especially with her awful track record with men? When an anonymous male reader of the blog challenges her on her ideas about the male species, Emma realises she must confront her past and find her true self before she can move forward...and love can blossom again in her future. 



Alissa Baxter was born in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first novel, The Dashing Debutante. Alissa travelled to London, England, and did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote after she moved back to South Africa and settled in Durban. Alissa then relocated to Cape Town where she wrote her third novel, Send and Receive, before moving to Johannesburg, where she currently lives with her husband and son.






Good Reads





Last day of Blog Tour!

10/24/2013 23:36


The final stop on my worldwide Blog Tour is the farthest away from where I live--Australia!

I'm visiting Monique McDonell's author blog for an interview.

Thanks, Monique!


And thanks again to all of the wonderful authors and bloggers who have hosted me this week--it's been a blast!



Crowned Heart Award Winner on sale today!

10/24/2013 13:46


Romantic Suspense Bestseller "Spellbound in His Arms" 

is on sale for only $0.99!

My author friend Angel Sefer's exciting novel “Spellbound in His Arms” is on sale for $0.99  “Spellbound in His Arms” was awarded the “Crowned Heart” Award for Excellence from InD'tale Magazine.  In this novel, Angel Sefer interweaves with an amazing skill, mystery, danger, romance and a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

It's a great read! Get your copy today!!!

Buy on Amazon

Buy on B&N

Buy on Kobo


Book blurb:

A mansion full of secrets…

From the moment investigative reporter Jackie Alexander steps foot inside the mansion dominating the Demiris estate on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, her suspicions are on high alert. This is no ordinary assignment… The life of her beloved cousin, Aphrodite, is in grave danger, as the heirs to the incredible fortune of Greek tycoon Andreas Demiris die one after the other, under mysterious circumstances…

A man with secrets of his own…

The only person who can help Jackie is Michael Apostolou, former Special Forces Officer and one of the finest detectives on the Athens police force. Soon enough though, Jackie realizes, that despite her simmering desire for him, she can’t really trust him, as the seductive detective seems to be investigating those mysterious deaths for reasons of his own…

Trusting the wrong person can be deadly…

Jackie and Michael are forced to work together, but the suspicions and unanswered questions are devouring them, just like their rising passion for each other. In games like this, the stakes are high and the players are ruthless… When Jackie is kidnapped by the most dangerous player of all, time is running out, as Michael is forced to choose between jeopardizing his mission and personal quest for justice, or the life of the gorgeous intruder of his heart…


About the Author:



Angel Sefer was born in Athens, Greece. She has studied and worked on both sides of the Atlantic. She holds a degree in Economics, and divides her time between the corporate world and her true passion: reading and writing romance, mystery and adventure novels.

She lives in Athens, Greece, with the two loves of her life – her son and her husband – and her wonderful and supportive family.

Angel is a member of several writers groups.







Twitter:  @angelsefer
Amazon Profile
Goodreads Profile

Media inquires:


Blog Tour, and all kinds of Social Media love!

10/23/2013 12:50



My blog tour has two more days left, and today I'm in the UK:

Zanna Mackenzie blog, where she interviews me with some great questions!

Thank you, Zanna!


I'm also being featured today on Peoplereads, and their Twitter followers have been awesome about getting the word out!


Special thanks to my girls at SJ Publicity, who have been tirelessly Tweeting, posting, and otherwise cheering me on during my promotion, especially my publicist Sarka-Jonae, who wrote a glowing introduction for my book spotlight on her blog here.




Blog Tour still rolling, and IJALC is still climbing the charts!

10/22/2013 10:02


Happy Tuesday, all!  AND IT'S ALSO "CAPS LOCK DAY"!  Who knew we needed a day to celebrate shouting at people over the Internet?


Anyway, I'm making two stops today on my blog tour:

Chick Lit Goddess, where my fellow goddess Isabella Louise Anderson interviews me

Between Boyfriends blog, where my publicist, Sarka-Jonae has given me a book spotlight in honor of my $0.99 promotion


And, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is currently at #12 on the Cozy Mystery Bestsellers list!  If you haven't read it yet, it's a great time to get your copy here, because it's only $0.99 for a short time!


Blog Tour Day 3, and back on the Bestseller List!

10/21/2013 16:15


It's been a great couple of days!  Not only have I had the opportunity to work with some fabulous authors and bloggers, but IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is back on the Amazon Bestseller list AGAIN!  So far it's been #25 on the Cozy Mystery Bestsellers list, and it's also in the top 100 of General Humor and Humor (how those lists are different, I don't know, but I'll take it!).  My $0.99 sale goes on all week, so I'm hoping my rank will climb even higher.

Today's blog tour will stop at the following blogs:

Chloe Gets a Clue, where Chloe Carstairs (Billie Thomas's fictional sleuth) interviews me

Lilian Roberts author blog, where my friend Lilian interviews me


Thanks to you ladies for having me on your blogs!

And don't miss my spotlight on Ereader News Today!




Blog Tour still going strong!

10/20/2013 20:14


On the tour today, I'll be making four more stops--one in South Africa and one in Greece!

Alissa Baxter author blog, where I'll be sharing my writing process

Written by Deb, where my friend Deb-Nam Krane has given me a great book spotlight

Angel Sefer author blog, where my friend Angel has also given me a lovely book spotlight

Courtney Giardina Actress and Author blog, where I'll be discussing writing environment and its impact on writing


Thanks, my friends, for hosting me!

And if you want some really great tips about how to get more book reviews, head over to HBS eBook Author's Corner and check out their great article--I'm even featured as a contributing author!



Blog Tour starts TODAY!

10/19/2013 11:04


Today on my 2013 Worldwide Blog Tour, I'll be visiting 

Change the Word, where I'll be dishing on literary crushes

Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries & More, where I'll swoon over my favorite         romantic gestures

Georgina Troy's author blog, where I'll discuss inspiration

Sheryl Browne's author blog, where I'll talk about how to find the time to     do your writing


Thanks, ladies, for hosting me today!

And don't forget, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH will be on sale starting TODAY for $0.99!

Get it for Kindle or Nook!

And check out my listing on Kindle Books and Tips!



Worldwide Blog Tour--coming soon!

10/15/2013 09:44

I'm touring again--and this time it's going GLOBAL!  Fifteen kind ladies from around the world have agreed to host me on their blogs for my tour.  I couldn't be more thrilled!

Here is the schedule--check back, as there may be some updates.


October 19th--Change the Word, Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries & More, Georgina Troy blog, Sheryl Browne blog

October 20th--Alissa Baxter blog, Written by Deb, Angel Sefer blog, Courtney Giardina blog

October 21st--Chloe Gets a Clue, Lilian Roberts blog

October 22nd--Chick Lit Goddess, Between Boyfriends

October 23rd-- Zanna Mackenzie blog, Ruth Mancini blog

October 24th--Monique McDonell blog


It's QUIZ TIME again!

10/15/2013 08:31


Remember how much you enjoyed the IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH Quiz?

Well, this quiz is even better, because it's not only over my book, but also over Angel Sefer's SPELLBOUND IN HIS ARMS and Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's UNFINISHED BUSINESS!  AND the prize is also three times the fun--it's a $30 Amazon gift card this time!


Click HERE to take the quiz!



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