30 Days Of Halloween pt2. – Updated Guest List

Our Guest List… For Far!

Three days ago, I pitched a request for authors to send me their requests for blog slots, and things are shaping up very nicely. Here’s a few of the things that will be coming up. I’ll be linking the individual authors and posts, and adding dates as things continue to develop.

Guest Name Featured Slot
Angela B. Chrysler Book Spotlight – “Broken”
Event Spotlight – TBA
Book Spotlight – TBA
Toi Thomas Author Spotlight
A.F. Stewart Book Spotlight – “Horror Haiku Pas De Deux”
Kayla Matt Book Spotlight – “Hell Bent Arc 1”
Ami Lutkus Pjhillips Book Spotlight – TBA
Stephanie Ayers Book Spotlight – TBA
Ed Ireland Story – “The Iconic Face”
Nina Johnson Book Spotlight – TBA

Readers: If you have a Halloween experience you’d like to share, please email me at timothy.bateson.author@gmail.com . I love collecting stories, and I’d love to hear from those of you who follow the blog. Alternatively, you can leave comments on individual posts, especially if you read a post and loved it.

Writers: I’m looking to gather 30 individual posts for this event. I’m looking for Author Spotlights, Book Spotlights, Poetry, and Guests Posts themed around Halloween. There are forms to fill out for the book and author spotlights, but for anything else, click the “Pitch A Guest Post” image, and email the information.

Deadlines: I need to get all the guest posts and spotlight information as soon as possible. If you would like the post to release on a give date, let me know in your email (or in the “Additional Notes” on the forms)

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30 Days Of Halloween – Send Me Your Guest Posts

Under A Hunter's Moon - 3rd Anniversary Celebration“Under A Hunter’s Moon” – Celebrates 3 Years in Print

My first story, “Under A Hunter’s Moon” appeared in print for the first time, back in 2014. Every year since then I have mad an effort to celebrate the event in some way.

31 Days of Halloween

That means it’s time for me to host another 31 Days of Halloween, where I host a range of guest posts, book spotlights, etc. I’m hoping to have enough material to release one slot every day throughout October.

The month will culminate in a very special event over the weekend leading up to Halloween itself, but I’m keeping the details to myself until that time.

Here’s How You Can Take Part

Readers: If you have a Halloween experience you’d like to share, please email me at timothy.bateson.author@gmail.com . I love collecting stories, and I’d love to hear from those of you who follow the blog. Alternatively, you can leave comments on individual posts, especially if you read a post and loved it.

Writers: I’m looking to gather 30 individual posts for this event. I’m looking for Author Spotlights, Book Spotlights, Poetry, and Guests Posts themed around Halloween. There are forms to fill out for the book and author spotlights, but for anything else, click the “Pitch A Guest Post” image, and email the information.

Deadlines:

I need to get all the guest posts and spotlight information as soon as possible. If you would like the post to release on a give date, let me know in your email (or in the “Additional Notes” on the forms).

Author Spotlight – Rosemarie Cawkwell

Introducing Rosemarie Cawkwell

Writer, book blogger, and mad as a hatter, I’ve done a few different things over the years, before mental illness cut me down and forced me to look at what I really should be doing with my life. The answer is writing (and reading, and writing about reading).

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Where do I start? I was born, I grew up…I wrote, and read, and wrote some more. I tried being ‘normal’, but it made me ill, so I stopped and thought I’d see where it led. It led first to book blogging and then to the serious endeavour of writing novels.

I’m mentally ill, and I don’t care who knows it; I’m very literal and can’t stand scientific and historical illiteracy. Someone really needs to explain social rules to me because I get myself in so much trouble…I’m autistic, although that’s currently unofficial but I’m in the process of getting that changed.

I grew up and have lived most of my life in Northern Lincolnshire; I like it here. I went straight from school to university in Durham to study Chemistry, and ended up studying Earth Sciences and Biology too. Since then I’ve worked at a theme park, cut grass for the local council, been a lab technician, worked in a fish factory and offices. None of them really suited me and to stay relatively stable I started a blog and reviewing books in 2011.

Getting seriously ill in January 2015 was, in retrospect, the best thing that could have happened to me. I can’t do ‘normal’ jobs – my mental health always suffers – and being around other people for more than a few hours at a time exhausts me to the point that I have to spend days recovering. Unable to work I started seriously concentrating on my writing. I now have two complete novels and several more in progress. I have brief plans for even more. I’m also completing a distance learning creative writing course and an MA in Creative Writing. I do rather overload myself when I find something I enjoy. That’s why I have a stack of books to review that never seems to get any shorter…

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I published my first book, Hidden Fire, in May 2017. It happened rather suddenly. I’ve been working on a series of fantasy novels for several years and the first was complete, had been read and edited, and a cover designed. With it all coming together, my plan to publish on my birthday in June was scuppered by my ignorance of CreateSpace. So it was accidentally released in May, a month and a half early.

The book is the first of four set in the world of Erce. The main character is a privileged young woman called Elizabeth (Lizzy) Albon who has to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around her, while surviving assassination and kidnapping attempts. When her friend Gos goes missing while spying in the Belenosian Empire, Elizabeth and her cousins sail to the rescue, and find evidence that a neighbour is planning to attack their home island of Albon.

Lizzy has been hanging around in my brain for several years and made her first appearance in a short story in 2013. The story expanded back and forth in time and became a part of the second book of four. She is wilful, bossy and not nearly as smart as she thinks she is, or would like other people to think she is. Lizzy develops over the course of the novel, slowly learning to understand herself and her place in the world.

While she is the main character, Lizzy is also part of an ensemble cast of characters, including the world of Erce. From the start the ‘Fire’ series, set in the Northern Isles and partially in the Belenosian Empire, has been a small window into the greater world of Erce, and so far I have written a short story and part of a novella exploring other parts of the world. These stories are tangentially related to the events of ‘Hidden Fire’ and the other Fire novels. It is a world like any other, where magic is real but attitudes to magic differ by nation and region.

My writing has been heavily influenced by those master world builder Terry Pratchett and J.R.R. Tolkein. For me, the world has to be fleshed out, although it can develop and reveal itself slowly, as I explore it with different stories and characters.

Who is your intended readership?

Women who love fantasy. Hidden Fire appeals to teenagers, but some of my readers are nice ladies in their eighties who don’t normally read fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t written stories of one form or another, I wrote my first novel at twelve, It was a terrible attempt to write something Enid Blytonish for a modern audience. My parents bought me a type writer and then complained because I’d stay up all night tapping away at it, I have stories popping into my head all the time, I have to write them down, or at least an outline. It’s a compulsion.

I knew at 14 that I wanted to be a writer, but got steered into something more ‘sensible’ by teachers and careers advisers. I should have ignored them and saved myself the two decades I lost.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I read so many authors. My favourite, go-to, always reliable, is Sir Terry Pratchett; His Discworld series cheers me up, makes me laugh and helps me find perspective. He was a very wise man and much missed by his readers. I also enjoyed his collaborative books with Neil Gaiman (Good Omens) and Stephen Baxter (The Long Earth series). They are refreshing.

When I was a teenager my favourite author was Tamora Pierce; she had a great influence on my writing style and in writing my current series of fantasy novels I’ve noticed her influence and inspiration. That formative reading, about young women making a path for themselves continues to influence me.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Sit down, put pen to paper, and write.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

I’m studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Most people do the course over a year, because of my disabilities I’m doing the course over two years. After the first few weeks a group of us formed who travelled on the same train to university every Wednesday morning. We would have a brilliant time, talking all the way from Grimsby to Lincoln, some real nonsense came out of our mouths but some of it was golden. There was a lot of discussion of our writing but also random film facts, stories of our past adventures, terrible puns and mince pies. A week before we finished for the Easter break we all realised we had missed a trick, we should have been recording a podcast the entire time. Polling for names, we came up with the sensible ‘Six Writers on a Train’, and my contribution ‘Six Idiots on a Train’. Opinion was divided over which was the most appropriate,

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I embroider and sew, crochet and cross-stitch. I like to create, whether on paper or with fabric and thread. I also like to garden. I read voraciously, too and like to listen to true crime podcasts. I sometimes try to do all of these at once. I don’t recommend doing more than two things at once though, or it gets confusing.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Of course there’s the rest of the Fire Series, and the Tales from Erce novels, novellas and short stories, but my next big project is a series of crime novels set in Lincoln. There will be horrible murders aplenty and I’ll hope to tackle a few social issues too. Many of my characters in my fantasy series are LGBTQIA+, and that will continue in my crime novels.

Hidden Fire


Hidden Fire is a fantasy novel, the first of four set in The Northern Isles of a world called Erce, in which a young woman, LIZZY FITZALBONI, discovers herself and her place in the world. Privileged form birth, she must learn that not everyone exists to make life easy for her, while navigating a complex political world where many would like to see her dead.

The Northern Isles are four islands to the west of the great continental empire of Belenos. Midway between Belenos and the western continent of Camar, they are key trading ports, controlling the supply of furs and oils from Camar to Belenos, and of silks and spices back to Camar. When the islands go to war everyone suffers. Lizzy FitzAlboni is the illegitimate child of the King John VII of Albon. His political marriage to Jocinta Tarjani, the granddaughter of the ruler of the second largest island, Sumoast, has always been rocky. When Lizzy is kidnapped just before her 21st birthday evidence points to the queen and her kinsmen in Sumoast. Jocinta is exiled back to her family. In Albon, political and religious currents awaken as religious authorities object to the queen’s exile and the people agitate for further reform of the political system. Lizzy becomes involved, while raising her brothers. When her friend Lord Gos Val goes missing while on in Belenos, Lizzy and her friends must investigate, but are too late to prevent the war everyone knows is coming.

Buy Now: 24 Hour Flash Sale – 8am, August 28th 2017 through 8am August 29th 2017

Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Rosemarie Cawkwell:

Twitter, E-mail, Blog (Rosie Writes), Facebook

400 Posts And Counting (And A New Service For Authors)

I’m proud to announce that “Ramblings of an Author” now has OVER 400 posts.

I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s visited, and taken the time to read my posts. Also to all the authors who’ve contributed to this milestone, by allowing me to interview them for Author Spotlights, and letting me share their books in the Book Spotlights. (See below the infographic for some exciting news for authors).

In honor of the occasion, I rounded up some statistics from the WordPress.com servers.

 

And Here’s Where Things Get Interesting For Authors

There’s a little something I’ve been working on behind-the-scenes of this blog, and I’ve had a couple of author friends test it out.

Until last month, if an author wanted to book an Author Spotlight, or Book Spotlight slot on this blog, they had:

  • Approach me on social media, or email me a request
  • Wait for me to respond with the criteria and list of questions, required images, and links
  • Give me enough lead time to format the post
  • Then I had to check the post for errors, email the author and confirm any new images/changes
  • Finalize the post schedule, and then email the author the posting date, time, and links

Well, I just removed MOST of the first three steps of that process… How?

Announcing The Author & Book Spotlight Application Forms…

Starting about a month ago I decided that I wanted to make things easier for my fellow authors to apply for a slot on this blog. To that end, I’ve put together two forms, which both serve the same functions:

  • They walk you through the entire list of things I need to know
  • They allow you to upload images directly into the form
  • I receive an email to let me know that you’ve applied for a blog spot
  • All the information goes into a database, which I can refer to at any time
  • A draft blog post is AUTOMATICALLY created, and formatted with the information you provided

From there the following things happen:

  • Once I get the email notification, I check the draft post, and make any changes that are immediately obvious (like removing text for links that aren’t provided).
  • If it’s a Book Spotlight, I create the advertising poster, and insert it into the post.
  • I then touch base with the author, by email, with any questions, requests for further information, (and approval on Book Spotlight posters), as well as confirm any preferences on posting dates.
  • Once any changes are finalized, I email the author the date and time the post will go live, as well as the links to that post (which only work once the post is live).

My Preferred Genres to Feature:

  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Paranormal
  • Urban Fantasy

However, just because your book doesn’t fall into one of those categories, that doesn’t mean I won’t feature it if something about it catches m interest.

Apply For A Slot Today… Or Bookmark These Links For Later…

Author Spotlight – Claire Plaisted

Introducing Claire Plaisted

Claire Plaisted is an Indie Author and Small Indie Publisher. Claire works each day helping Indie Authors get their work together in a professional format. She assists them to publish their books online. Claire also writes and has twenty six books published so far.

At present Claire is working on updating her books in between working with various clients writing different genres.

Claire is a positive role model and will help where she can, or direct you to those who are more experienced. You can contact Claire on the attached links.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I wasn’t an early reader. Books didn’t interest me much. I loved to climb trees and go on bike rides down the country lanes in England. I discovered books at the age of twelve and haven’t been without one since. In fact I used to go read in a tree at the back of my parents house.

Though writing isn’t a passion it is a journey of learning and I’ll admit to enjoying most of it. I suppose part of the joy is using computers which I was denied as a teenager. I had wanted to be a computer tech, though my mother reckoned it was a fad…. ooopps

I love computing. I enjoy writing, blogging and especially helping others. I blame my parents for that too – the helping I mean.

Since living in New Zealand I have changed as a person. Marriage of 25 years, four children and several cats later, my cultural understanding and heritage has changed and grown.

Meanwhile…will someone tell my muses to get their backsides back to New Zealand so I can write. Thanks

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Enchantments is a Young Adult Fantasy where a seven 21yr-olds are chosen to fight the Shadow Master. This first book is introducing you to all the characters and their animal energy. In the following series of four books will follow the journey of the characters and their strengths and weaknesses.

Watch out for the purple headed guy Kendall.

Who is your intended readership?

I am a multi genre author…so my reach is for all readers or those who need to be read to. For Enchantments it is aimed at 15 upwards.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I fell into writing due to waiting on documentation for a family history book I was creating for a client. I opened a document and the muse took over. That particular book is yet to be published

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

C S Lewis and the Narnia Series. I love these books, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can read them and still learn something new. CS Lewis believed in writing a story for children of all ages. To me this means from one – one hundred.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write a couple of manuscripts before you think about publishing. Find a great editor, join social media, promote you and your work a few months before you publish. Make sure you have a professional format your book. Also learn a bit about marketing, the more you know the better. There are some fab Facebook Groups out there.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

I have annoying characters who keep barging into my office and arguing over me about whose book I should be writing. It got so bad I threatened to push one (Duggan from Garrett Investigations Bureau) out of a plane without a parachute. It sure shut him up and made his girlfriend laugh.

The thought of having all my characters at a party would be hilarious, especially since I’m a multi genre author.

At present the muses are in the Northern Hemisphere enjoying the sun and ignoring me who is starting to panic here in New Zealand, wondering if I will finish two books in time for December celebrations.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Helping other Indie Authors – is my business though hobby wise i enjoy Family History Research which started as a Hobby business. I research and make books for gifts. It’s great fun when I get the opportunity to make one.

I also enjoy my family time. They are amazing

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Girlie and the Ninja Lady Bugs is the fourth book in Girlie Adventures. This story will cover bullying. 40% of the proceeds will be going to a charity who helps stop bullying in the UK…

I also have Ancient Relics – A Garrett Investigation Novel – book 6 due out in December.

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017 releasing on All Hallow’s Eve – Multi Authors
Childrens Fairy Tale Anthology releasing December – Multi Authors

Enchantments

The Shadow Realm had found a gap in space and time, a place where they could observe the Human world before they claimed it as their own.

Farron is one of six, chosen to embark of an epic adventure against the Shadow King and his evil Realm; but how can six Humans fight against the perils of the Shadows of Death?

Because they’re not really Human…

First born sons and daughters of the Bul’ith, Farron and the others must accept the truth and the animal energies they inherit, heed the words of their trainers and defeat the Realm of the Shadow King. If they ever wish to restore their world

Buy Now:

Paperback, E-Book (Amazon), E-Book (Kobo), E-Book (iTunes)

Author Pages:

Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords

Where to find Claire Plaisted:

Website (Claire Plaisted), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Email, Blog (Claire Plaisted), Facebook

Claire Plaisted also runs several groups and a website to assist Indie Authors get their names out there.

www.facebook.com/groups/childrensfairytalesanthology
www.facebookwww.facebook.com/groups/indiepublishingnews
www.facebook.com/plaistedpublishing/
www.facebook.com/groups/ghostlywritesanthology
www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com

Authors Talk About It! and Me

If you’re a member of my newsletter, then you’ve already heard that I’ve been busy getting interviewed for a number of different blogs.

Well one of those blogs is over at the “Authors Talk About It” site run by the amazing Rob and Janelle Alex. This husband and wife team are pod-casters, marketers and branding experts, with years of experience behind them. They host book competitions, offer editing assistance, book critiques, and help indie authors to shape their bios.

I had the pleasure of being selected for a featured author interview. I had a lot of fun sitting down and going through these questions. Some of them were the kind of questions you see on almost all author interviews, but others really made me stop and think. Go check it out!


My newsletter is the place to get my weekly blog post round-up, book release news, and more… Join now and get the first chapter of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” for free!

Author Spotlight – Connie Cockrell

I had the pleasure of running into Connie Cockrell a little while ago, and we’ve been talking back and forth about setting up an interview swap. What I didn’t realize when we started talking is just how many genres this amazing woman manages to write in.

I know just how difficult it can be to write different genres, but Connie Cockrell seems to find it effortless. Maybe she’ll give us an insight into just how she does it in this interview. How about it Connie?

[Update: I just found out that this post coincides with Connie’s birthday, so please show her some love]

Introducing Connie Cockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling.

She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published sixteen books, has been included in five anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.

 

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I grew up in Gloversville NY and joined the Air Force at eighteen. Lots of life happened the next 20 years, marrying, having a daughter, travelling around the world with the Air Force and retiring after 20 years in the service. Then we retired back to Northville NY where I worked for a computer company then, tired of the snow, moved to Payson AZ. That’s where I started writing on a challenge from my daughter in 2011. I haven’t stopped writing yet!

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My very latest book is a cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s book 3 in my Jean Hays series. My last science fiction book is Troubled Streets, book 1 in my Zoe Ohale series.

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

Who is your intended readership?

Women and girls who are looking for a smart, tough, yet sensitive main character. In the first book, Zoe is 17, so it could be considered a YA story though adults have enjoyed the story, too.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always dabbled at writing. Mostly just a few chapters then I’d toss the whole thing. Then when my daughter challenged me to participate in National Novel Writing Month, she loaned me her copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. He laid out everything in a way that made total sense to me. I started plotting out my story in mid-October and finished that first book by the end of Nano. I was pretty pumped and I’m still going strong.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’ll have to say the classic scifi authors like Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and others. Female authors too, C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Moon, and so many more. All of my favorites tell compelling stories and with every book, take me on a vacation to far away exotic locations. What’s not to love!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I’d say find what works for you and follow that. There’s a lot of advice out on the internet about how to be a writer. Some say you need to plot everything out, some say you should work by the seat of your pants. Other advice is to write every day, or edit as you go or don’t edit as you go. All I can say is I know authors who break one or more of all of those rules. Take classes, read craft books and figure out what works for you. You should find joy in writing. If you aren’t, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

Once when my husband I were travelling west along I40 from Flagstaff, I saw a highway sign for Devil Dog Road. What a great name! I had to write a story based on that and I did. It’s in my collection of Halloween Stories, available on most book retailers

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I like to hike. I belong to a group that goes out and about central Arizona every Tuesday. I also belong to a monthly Bunco group and I started an annual book festival here in Payson.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I have several projects in the works. I have completed a first draft of the second Zoe Ohale story, Troubled Campus. It needs a lot of work so I probably won’t publish it until 2018. Coming out soon, though, is the 4th book in my Brown Rain series, Tested. A dystopian scifi series, the books are novelette or novella length so they’re great fast reads.

Mystery at the Fair

Welcome to Greyson, Arizona. Population: One less than yesterday.

When Jean Hays moved to Greyson, Arizona, she thought she’d found the perfect place in which to get away from her sleazy ex-husband and start over, a fresh beginning far from the big city.

But when she discovers the desiccated corpse of local quilting legend Ina Grange in a storage container on the fairgrounds where she’s volunteering, she inadvertently starts uncovering a deadly conspiracy just under the surface of the sleepy town.

Between managing the annual Greyson fair and pursuing the shadowy trail of destruction left by the murderer, Jean has her hands full dealing with drunken brawls and nasty falls, suspicious ex-wives and keen-sharp knives. And that’s not to mention the stubborn Police Chief himself.

Will Jean find the truth before the killer decides enough is enough?

Troubled Streets

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

First Encounter

Seventeen years ago, the brown rain started falling without explanation, without excuse. It killed everything it touched.

Then, after four years of death and destruction, it stopped just as inexplicably.

Now Alyssa and Kyra, two young women from a surviving community, are sent out into a desolate world to look for other survivors. Between Alyssa’s unique power and Kyra’s roguish skills, they might just succeed. But what they end up finding in the outside world, despite its veneer of civility, may be slightly less human than they had been expecting.

Book Buying Links:

Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords

Where to find Connie Cockrell:

Website, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook