Scrivener – A Strikes and Charms Review


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The first Strikes and Charms review is here, and I’m looking at Scrivener!  Scrivener is a word processing program designed specifically with writers and authors of all kinds in mind.  Check out the video below to see if I felt that Scrivener is Charmed or if it Struck Out!

You can download Scrivener directly from their website.  Let me know in the comments if you use Scrivener, and what you think of it!  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover in the video, ask away and I’ll do my honest best to answer you!

How to Outline Your Novel


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Gah, I am beyond excited because my first Strikes and Charms review will be up this week!  As with any new venture there are a lot of moving parts and I want to make sure they’re all in tip-top shape before I hit Publish, so I’m doing a lot of polishing and deep breathing.

In the meantime, though, I came across a wonderful YouTube video by author Alessandra Torre that I wanted to share with you.  She and I have very different styles for planning new writing projects, and since she did such a great job explaining what works for her, I thought I’d share it here in case you might find it useful.  All of her contact info is below the video, so be sure to show her some love!


P.S. – Sex Love Repeat is my favorite of her books, hands down.  So good.  #TeamStewart

Books & Authors Today!


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Don’t forget that Books & Authors is at Leon & Lulu today, starting at 11am!  Sadly, I won’t be there as an author…a health scare a month or so ago put a major dent in my plans and has pushed back publication of Sub Rosa…but I hope you’ll come out to support local Michigan authors!

If you can’t, please share with your friends!  All proceeds go to the Oakland Literacy Council.  And if you’ve never been to Leon & Lulu…oh boy, are you missing out!  I don’t call it my favorite store in Metro Detroit for nothing!

Quick side note about Strikes and Charms…THANK YOU for all your notes of support, I’m super-excited to bring you the first review this week!  I hope you’ll find it helpful, keep your eyes peeled for the first post!

Strikes & Charms: Writing and Author Tool Reviews!


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LogoSo excited to bring this news to you!  As you probably know from previous posts, I’m also a film critic for  It’s a beautiful fit because not only do I love movies, I love writing reviews as well, of any kind!  Goodreads reviews, Amazon reviews, Yelp! reviews, product reviews, you name it.

It seemed logical to me that the next step would be to review tools that are specifically (or by happy accident) useful for authors and writing.  Over the past few months, I’ve been accumulating and organizing lists of different apps, programs, sites and books that are particularly useful for authors.  Some are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to share them with you, some are duds that I can’t recommend.  To best share all the features and to supplement the review itself, each review will have an accompanying YouTube video, walk-throughs, my thoughts, lists of pros and cons, and then a final “score.”

I’ve named this new feature Strikes and Charms…why?  Well there are “three strikes and you’re out,” as well as “third time’s a charm,” and I love that symmetry.  At the end of a review, a “Struck Out” rating will indicate that I don’t recommend it, a “Charmed” designation will mean that I do.

It goes without saying, but all opinions will be my own.  I have already purchased some of the books and applications with my own money, but should a developer/author offer me a free version for review, it will in no way affect my review and final recommendation.  In the interest of transparency (and following the law), I will absolutely disclose if the item was provided to me for free, or if I paid for it myself.

I’m already finalizing the first review, but I would absolutely encourage you to let me know if there are any products that you would like for me to take on!  They can be apps, desktop programs (disclaimer: although I have an iPhone and iPad, I have a Windows computer and as of yet will not be able to review an Apple-only computer program), books…basically anything that falls under the category of Tools for Writers!

I hope that you’re as excited about this new endeavor as I am!  If you have a suggestion for a review (with or without a specific product) or just want to see what I’m up to (including sneak peeks at what I’m reviewing), you can leave a comment here, or shoot me a message:

Instagram: StrikesnCharms
Snapchat: StrikesnCharms
Twitter: @StrikesnCharms OR @Twintypebooks

So let me know what you think, and if you have a specific review you’d like to see (“Scrivener!”) or just a general idea but not sure what’s out there (“Is there anything that helps capture those plot bunnies that hop away if I don’t catch them right away?”). I would also be truly grateful if you happened to spread the news by Retweeting or Sharing via social media.  If you are a developer/author/creator and would like to submit your product for review, please e-mail me directly.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, have a wonderful day!!!

Books & Authors 2017!


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Just got this in my e-mail…


Previously they held Books & Authors in the fall, so this was a very pleasant surprise!  It’s especially excellent timing since Sub Rosa will be out in the spring!

If you live in Metro Detroit, even if you aren’t an author, I strongly encourage you to check B&A out.  Not only will you be supporting local authors, you can buy books right there, have them autographed, and chat with the authors.  Plus it’s held at Leon & Lulu, which is arguably one of the coolest stores in Southeast Michigan (and my personal go-to for gift-buying).

Not as though you need any more convincing, but you can read my previous post about B&A when Pistils was released!

2017 Writing Resolutions!


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First and foremost, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  The clean slate of a new year is always intoxicating to me, and although I don’t formally “do” New Year Resolutions, I actually do have some goals that I’ve been thinking about, planning for, and some I’ve actually already started!

Although I know that more goals will come along with the coming days, here are the ones I’m starting off with!

  • Give bullet journaling a try (I think my new InkWELL Press Planner will lend itself to this very nicely
  • Utilize Bublish on a regular basis, I’ve had an account forever but haven’t done anything with it
  • Try #3 with Scrivener…I tried it a while back then stopped using it (something I blogged about), I’ve got Sub Rosa in it already so now I’m in the middle of going through the handy online tutorials and YouTube reviews
  • Complete and share more writing-related product reviews (especially apps!)
  • Share the deets of our TTB Book Club with YOU!  Because we want YOU!
  • Start sharing another aspect of my writing life with you…I’m a film critic for Film Obsession and it’s definitely a different world from fiction writing!
  • Give the website a nice fresh facelift!

I think that’s a good start for now!  Do you have any writing resolutions that you want to share?  Or have you tried any of the things I’ve listed above?

Happy 2017!!!


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