A Darke Kind of Beauty: Gel Nails!

I’ve had the worse time growing out my nails. They get to a certain length and either beak off because of work, or some other reason. Mostly because of work. This has become a serious problem for me and my nail art obsession. Enter Husband’s anniversary gift to me; a gift certificate to a nail salon! Seriously, does this man know me or what?

I’ve never had artificial nails before other than the glue on/press on ones. I did a little research on both gel and acrylic and was hesitant about getting them done because of possible damage to the nail bed (you have to ‘scuff’ the nail bed so everything sticks better). Well, I went in and had them done. Took all of 30 minutes and wow, I am so impressed!


Look how perfect that manicure is! Look at the polish! She got NONE on my cuticles and it’s been the first time in years my all ten of my nails have been the same length. I got them short for work, but I might get them a bit longer next time. Yes, I said next time. My nails have become brittle and thin and I dislike the fact that only one hand ever looks nice. I will keep you posted as to how long they last. I’m hoping to get at least two weeks out of them, but the manicurist said if I take care of them, it could be as long as a month.

The colour is Bogota Blackberry Gel colour by O.P.I.

ATTENTION AUTHORS! Would you like some free promotion?

ATTENTION AUTHORS! Would you like some free promotion?

A year or so ago I did a monthly blog series where I focus on authors and their work. Once a month I would highlight an author with a short excerpt for a book the author wished to promote. I’ve had the pleasure of highlighting some wonderful authors, and it’s time to put the call out again.

I welcome all authors, published either Self, Indie, Traditionally, and in any genre minus any books/authors with books depicting bestiality, any form of animal cruelty, child pornography, or any book where the author demonizes another group of people based on race, religion or sexual orientation.


The guest post consists of a 1,500 – 2000 excerpt from your novel and goes live on the last Monday of the month. I have a limited amount of spots open (12); therefore, it is a first-come-first-serve deal. I will update this post until all spots are filled.



Please note:  I require all potential guests to have their book available on both .mobi and epub formats. This means the public can purchase your ebook on either Amazon (.mobi) or Barns and Noble/iTunes/Kobo or any other outlet that deals with epub. If your book is print only that’s fine; everyone can hold a book, but not everyone has the same ereader.

If you’re interested, you can email me at the address below. Please include how you are published (Traditional, Indie, or Self), the name and genre of the book you wish to promote and several links to where your book can be found. This is just a reassurance for me that people of all ereader types can purchase your book.

Post all this in the body of your email and send it to;

darkewhispers69 (at) gmail (dot) com



Adventures in Restaurants: When in Rome!

It’s been a while since Husband and I went out to dinner, so the first free night we had, we headed downtown to see what restaurant piqued our fancy. This night it was a popular little Italian “trattoria” across from Kingston City Hall called Olivea .
img_20161104_180038img_20161104_180123We started the dinner with several slices of bread, but no butter. Instead, our waitress placed two bottles on the table. One was a dark vinaigrette, and the other was olive oil. I’ve never eaten bread that way. So different. Then we had Arancine al telefono with fontina and mushrooms; crispy, fried rice balls with cheese and mushrooms. The regular serving is three, but as there were only two of us, the waitress gave us an extra so we could have two each, and you really don’t need any more than that.




img_20161104_182156For our main course, Husband had celery root-stuffed ravioli. Very yummy with just enough blue cheese to enhance but not over-power the other flavours of the dish, and as you can see, they’re not huge either. He said with each piece there was a different set of flavours that came through. He said this meal was so good, he’ll judge all future meals against this one.







img_20161104_182200I had Chicken al Mattone with salmoriglio, potato gnocchi and seasonal vegetables. I’m not a fan of gnocchi, but the flavour of the chicken was incredible. There was a lot of garlic (I love garlic) and the chicken was juicy and tender.


We didn’t have desert tonight, instead went to a movie, but it was a great night and I can’t wait to see what place we venture to next!

Of Writers and Prose: So I’m tanking at NaNo this year . . .


I knew this would happen.

This is the reason I haven’t participated in NaNo for the last eight years. I start off with the best intentions (don’t we all) but somewhere between the second and third week it all falls apart. I participated and won back in 2009 (that book – The Saints of Belvedere Road, is now for sale) but after that I got caught up in my series and didn’t want to start anything new. I wanted to get the other books in the series out so I focused on editing them during the month of November instead. Then came school and my job. Yup, no time there but this year I finished my course just before the start and I had this AWESOME magical realism story that begged to be told. I thought, yeah, I can do it this year!

As of this date (Friday, November 18) I am 10,548 words behind.

The US elections knocked the hell out of my ambition.  I just lost all enthusiasm to write for a few days. Then work called, and yada-yada-yada . . .

I’m making excuses. I know I am. I’m doing what any other person would do when they don’t feel like doing something, and to be honest there are days when I don’t feel like writing. I probably won’t make the 30k by the end of the month, and I’m okay with that. I’ll keep writing because in the end, I do really like this story and just want to get it out so I can work on something else.

Like my zombie/plague novels.

Or my vengeful ghost story.


Movie Night: Dr. Strange

dr-strangeTagline: The impossibilities are endless.

IMBD Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1211837

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Written by Marvel




One thing I will say for Marvel, they know how to do movies (excluding The Hulk. Please Marvel, don’t make any more Hulk movies), and Dr. Strange fits right in with the latest big budget adaptation of the comic.

One of the things I liked about this movie was the characters quick acceptance of the metaphysical world. There was no long, drawn out inner conflict of what he believes to be true, or brooding acceptance until something bad happens. Dr. Strange accepts almost immediately what is going on around him, allowing the story to move forward without being hung up on personal beliefs. Also, there is no romance; not with the ex-lover or the main female lead. There is a small spark, but that’s as far as it goes. Again, refreshing. Speaking of female lead, Tilda Swinton is incredible in this movie. Not once did her character succumb to the ‘I’m just a weak female who needs a man to fix this’ bullshit. Her character was strong in every sense of the word without being condescending when the truth about her was revealed.

This movie is a wonderful addition to the ongoing Marvel story arcs, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of Dr. Strange in the future (Ragnarok anyone?).


5 out of 5.

Of Writers and Prose: I did it MY way!

Quill-InkI’ve just finished reading yet another blog post on the benefits (or lack thereof) of social media for writers. I’m really getting tired of the same old arguments rehashed over and over again:

Social media doesn’t sell books! (duh).

Blogging is dead! (Wait . . . what?)


I was struck by the realization of Andrew Sullivan’s latest blog post, you can find it here.


It in, he states that he “. . . want[s] to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.”

So he’s retiring from the blogging world. I don’t blame him. I did the once-a-day posts and it damn near killed me, so I switched it up to once every other day and even that was hard. My posts now are not anywhere NEAR consistent. As I read on, a thought came to mind: if authors are tired of constantly putting out original content (because the experts tell us we have to, every day, FOR THE REST OF OUR FREAKING LIVES), what about those who READ those posts? I love reading things from my writer friends, but I don’t have time to sit and go through every single post on Twitter, Facebook or blog of all the writers I know. I wish I did, I really do, but there are so many hours in a day and I have a life outside of the internet. I suspect the majority of other people do too, so it comes to choosing.

To be honest, I am GRATEFUL to those writers who are inconsistent; who only blog once every couple of weeks or once a month. These posts are interesting, insightful. When I see a blog post from a writer friend who hasn’t posted for a while, I’m more incline to read it.

This gives me a quick insight on how they’re doing, what they’re doing (or not doing) and I can still do other things, like, you know . . . write.

Authors are doing social media THEIR way, and in doing so, made it enjoyable for them.

No, you don’t have to blog every day.

No, you don’t have to be on Twitter or Facebook for hours on end (unless you want to).

No, you don’t have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, because in the end you need to do it . . . (say it with me) YOUR WAY.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: 2 More #50ShadesofRedNailPolish

I’m still figuring out how to post these swatches, considering the infrequency that I do them. Between that and posting other nail art, I think doing four at a time is better. It lets you see the difference between the shades.

# 13.

Red Lights Ahead Where[mm]Name: Red Lights Ahead . . . Where?

Look at this! lucky number 13. When I started doing this back in June of last year, I figured I could do a colour a week. Doable, yes, but life has a way of changing my plans. Ah well, it’s all good. I’ve found some really exciting colours from several different companies, and an awesome red I can’t wait to show you! Anyway, for this installment we have another O.P.I product.

Description: This is a nice reddish-orange/coral colour that’s really good for summer. It’s an older polish, part of OPI’s 2012 summer collection.

Application: This colour goes on so smooth and the coverage is instant. No streaking or fast-drying smears (you know what I mean). This colour is good with just one coat but I like to put at least two, to get a good feel of the colour.

Application Process:

Sally Hanson Double Duty Top Coat (for a base coat as well)

2 coats O.P.I Red Lights Ahead . . . Where?

Wear and Tear: This lasted a full seven days without a chip. I would credit my topcoat, but the blue/sparkle polish I had on prior chipped after a couple days. With a base and top coat, you can easily get a good week with it.



Bullish for OPIName: Bullish on OPI

This is an older colour from OPI’s fall 2009 collection called Coleccion de España. I was surprised with the colour and that I would like it as much as I did.

Description: I’ve read descriptions on this as a “warm red with yellow undertones”. It’s a nice colour to wear in the fall that compliments a summer tan.

Application: The polish was a little thick, but that may be because of the age. I like the thicker polish. I find it easier to work with.

Application Process:

  • Sally Hanson Double Duty Top Coat (for a base coat as well)
  • Two coats of Bullish on OPI.


Wear and Tear: Despite the age, this was incredible wear. With top and base coat it lasted the full seven days.


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