This week on my Blogger to Blogger series I want to highlight a blog that I have enjoyed following called Heron There & Everywhere. Donna’s blog posts are very eclectic, filled with book reviews and commentary about her everyday life. There may even be a couple of posts about her friendly neighborhood squirrel thrown in for good measure. Donna and I share a love for rock star romances and the author Mariana Zapata. We have even hosted a blog book club reviewing Ms. Zapata’s book Kulti (still one of my all time faves!). I have come to appreciate Donna’s discussions about her own life, learning to live with my own struggles while watching a blogger friend go through her own. If you haven’t ever visited Donna’s blog, please do! You’ll come to appreciate her honesty and taste in good books just as I have!
Click this link to visit her blog! Heron There & Everywhere
Here are Donna’s answers to my 10 questions.
Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?
Donna: I live in the United States. I was born and raised in upstate New York (Rochester). I’ve been here my entire life, never lived anywhere else, and never really wanted to.
What is the view outside your front door?
The view outside my front door is a little forlorn these days. My twenty-three year old “squirrel tree” is no more. It had split down the middle and had to go. All that’s left is a pile of wood chips and the sunflowers sprouting from the seeds the squirrels had buried around the tree trunk. At least I have the flowers as a cheery reminder of the sweet squirrels who used to sit on my front step. (I still have the squirrels – fewer in number – they’re out in the backyard now).
Most blogs have a quirky name and a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name?
Heron There & Everywhere comes from the saying “here, there and everywhere”. My blog was always meant to be a bit of a mixed bag. It was originally ‘Reflections from a Middle Aged Lady’ on the Blogger platform. It was merely my random thoughts and observations. My book review blog and squirrel blog were separate blogs (and I’ve since folded them all into one). I got my first tattoo (a heron) because they are my favorite bird. When I moved to WordPress and set up my domain, my husband suggested the play on words because I love herons, and I wanted to show that I was going to write about a little bit of everything.
Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!
Believe it or not, I write most often on my phone. I jot down ideas in the notes app on my iPhone as they come to me. That way I don’t lose the thought while it’s fresh, and I can either cut and paste it into the WordPress app on my phone or on my Mac desktop.
Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? (Include a photo if you’d like!)
I’ve pretty much switched over to all kindle books. I have books on shelves in my room, but I’m not currently reading any of them. Here’s a screenshot (or two) from the Kindle app on my phone. (My iPhone is my best friend).
oooh boy this is a lot of books! Let’s just pick a couple to get a feel for them…
The Copper Smith Farm House by Devney Perry
One old farmhouse brought them together. It could also tear them apart.
Gigi has just uprooted her whole world to start a new life. The unexpected gift of a farmhouse in small-town Montana is just what she and her daughter need to escape big-city loneliness. The last thing she needs is attitude from the town’s sheriff, the most perfectly attractive and ruggedly handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on—and a complete jerk.
Jess knows all about women like Gigi. Beautiful. Sexy. Scheming. She’s stolen his sanctuary, the farmhouse that should have been his. But along with a face full of freckles, she’s got a sharp wit and a backbone of steel—something he doesn’t discover until after making a complete fool of himself. If he can earn back her trust and win her heart, he might just find the home he’s always needed.
Atticus: A Woman’s Journey with the World’s Worst Behaved Dog by Sawyer Bennett
A heart-warming and deliciously funny story about the world’s worst behaved dog and how he trained his human how to love herself again.
Through the haze of vodka and self-loathing, Hazel Roundtree saw the poor creature lying in a ditch.
One brown eye. One blue.
Covered in mud and crying from pain, the puppy was desperately trying to free itself from a hopeless situation.
She almost kept walking by. She had her own problems and besides… no one had ever stopped to help her.
Who we’re ultimately meant to be is a journey without end, but there’s always a defined start…
Hazel had no idea the dog would be her beginning, her second chance, the miracle she never saw coming. She named him Atticus. He grew up to be a very bad–and completely awesome–dog. He took Hazel on a life-changing journey filled with mischievous adventure and painful heartbreak. In the end, Hazel grew up to be completely awesome, too.
Night Shifts Black by Alyson Santos
His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he hovers in the doorway, mustering the courage to confront a piece of furniture.
No one asks why. No one cares. He’s fine with that. He’s done with life. This isn’t even his story anymore. It’s actually Callie’s, the young writer who sat in his chair one day.
This novel is a work of fiction and intended for mature readers. Events and persons depicted are of a fictional nature and use language, make choices, and face situations inappropriate for younger readers. Please note this book also addresses the issues of depression and suicide in a compassionate, realistic manner. This book can be read as a standalone, but the story continues in Tracing Holland.
If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?
I read mostly contemporary romances, and I’m still trying to write the same. I really have to be in the mood to read, and then I devour everything in sight. Right now I’m going through a non-reading stage. It happens every so often. I don’t often re-read books, but one series I have read more than once is Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series. That series just really did it for me.
To purchase a Stage Dive book, click this link!
Lick (A Stage Dive Novel)
When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?
I work full-time plus (I’ve been working a lot of overtime) as an Administrator at a large law firm in the Intellectual Property department. I handle patents and trademarks. I work on my drafts of romance novels pretty much non-stop in my spare time. I’m also learning how to play electric guitar. I just bought an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro model. I love my guitar. I also listen to lots of rock and metal music.
What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!
This was a difficult question to answer! The posts I like usually don’t get much love from others. And posts I’m only so-so about get lots of traffic and likes. My review of Kulti by Mariana Zapata was one of the most fun to do because I did the review in concert with two other bloggers. Two of us loved the book; the third reviewer hated it! That was a real surprise. But there again, this post only got five likes.
I’ve learned to write and post what I like and not to worry about what others might think reading it. I write for me.
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?
No, sadly not many authors come through Rochester, and I’m not a big traveler so I don’t get to see them at book conventions or big city bookstores. I’m more of a rockstar fangirl. That started in the early 1980’s. I stood outside a record store in the rain for about an hour to try to meet Motley Crue when they opened for Ozzy Osborne. Sadly before my cousin and I even got close to the door, the in-store autograph session was over and both bands had left.
I did do a meet and greet with country music singer, Trace Adkins years ago in Mentor, Ohio. I remember telling him I’d seen him three times that summer and he said, “Man, you must be getting bored!”
This coming September I’ve signed up for a meet and greet in York, Pennsylvania with Alice Cooper’s guitarist, Ryan Roxie. I plan to tell him I’m taking his online beginner guitar lessons! I thought that would be cool. I can’t wait to meet him!
If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?
It would be JK Rowling and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I’d like to ask her why she chose to write that awful Casual Vacancy book! It was so vulgar and disappointing after Harry Potter! It was as if she chose to write the exact opposite of what she was known for just to shock people. I’d love to know the real story behind that one. I suppose we should be glad she’s still writing, even if it’s not my cup of tea anymore.
You can really get a flavor for how eclectic Donna’s blog is by the answers to her questions! I’ll admit, I’ve already purchased the first book in the Stage Dive series she mentions above. I love a great Rock Star romance! LOL
Donna mentions her own love for Rock and Roll and meeting a few rock stars. It brought back memories of my own most famous rock star moment with Gene Simmons from KISS at a convention. He asked to take a picture with me and my friend Sheri, also blonde. As he had his arms around the two of us and was smiling for the camera, he asked us if we’d kiss each other. LOL. Yikes!
Feel free to share your own Rock Star moment, even if it’s just in your own imagination! LOL
Thanks for reading!