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New Products in the Store: Cozy to Go! Cup Wraps

The Book Was Better Coffee Cozy

Are you in need of the perfect gift for your favorite bibliophile?
Bibliophile on Cup

What about your best friend who devours big books?

I like big books cozy


Maybe you just want to say that you love them?

Sign Language Love Cozy to Go

Gifts are wonderful to give, but don’t leave yourself out!

I'm drinking coffee for your benefit Cozy to Go cup wrap.

Whatever the occasion, my Cozy to Go! cup wraps are the perfect accessory. Each Cozy to Go! cup wrap is cut and sewn by hand. Made of three layers: one outer embroidered cotton print or solid fabric, one cotton lining solid or print fabric, and a polyester insulating liner. You’ll be fashionable while protecting your fingers from the cold or hot drink in your hand.

The wrap should fit most disposable hot and cold to-go cups, however, it may not fit all large cups. Send us a note regarding specific cups, and we may be able to help you.

I’m continually adding new designs to the shop, so please stay tuned. Also, if you sign-up for my newsletter, you will automatically become a member of the super club who receives special coupons and purchase opportunities that are not made available to the general public. Don’t worry, I don’t flood your inbox with junk mailings or alert you to my every move.

New products are in the shop! Scoot over and check them out.

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Book Signing at The Last Word in Charlotte

jeannie m bushnell book signing

I just wanted to post a big “Thank You” to the gang at The Last Word in Charlotte, North Carolina. They hosted me for a book signing on October 10, 2015 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, and I had a great time. If you are looking for a great bookstore, check them out when you are in Charlotte. Stay tuned to their website, as they are getting some new digs in a few weeks!

Here are a few photos from the event, and I want to say a special “Hello!” to Jeannie from New York. I love meeting another Jeannie, and I hope you love the story of Kirby and Sage.

Here I am at my festive fall table for Manual Exposure. I made some vegan caramelized onion dip to eat on “leaves” of Healthfull seeds and nuts bread.

jeannie m bushnell book signing

You never know when I might bring food to an event!

vegan dip


I love being accessible to my readers and meeting them at book signings. I appreciate each and every person who stops by my table.

Jeannie M. Bushnell Book Signing at the Last Word in Charlotte, North Carolina


Sherlock drawing Cumberbatch
The Last Word offers local artists space to sell their art. Check out this cool piece of Benedict Cumberbatch! I’m sorry I couldn’t see the name of the artist.



and finally, I had to get a photo with the infamous “Frankie” at the store.


author jeannie m bushnell and frankie at the last word bookstore

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Traveling Author: SCarowinds

terrified man



scarowinds sign

Starting in September, Carowinds becomes SCarowinds. It is a haunting event for the young and old!

scarowinds tree
A spooky old tree greets park attendees. SCarowinds 2015.


Scaredy Pumpkin


scared pumpkin


For $8.00, you can purchase a plastic necklace that features a glowing pumpkin to alert the costumed employees that you do not want to be scared. I know, there are some of you who think this is ridiculous. After all, you’ve come to SCarowinds to be scared, right? Well, while I didn’t purchase one of the necklaces (because I think they cost too much and I didn’t see them offered until I was leaving the park), having had the experience of the employees getting a little too close for comfort and screaming in my face, I can see the value of purchasing such a necklace.

No, I don’t like to be scared. I like to stand back and admire the scary displays and costumes, but I do not like to be screamed at or grabbed, and I’m not a fan of someone coming up behind me in a darkened walkway to scare the crap out of me. Nope, not a fan.

terrified man

Mazes and Scare Zones

I went through the Seventh Ward maze (aka haunted house), and had the actors refrained from shouting in my face or reaching into my personal space, I would have enjoyed it. The strobe lights and mirrored walls didn’t help. The maze is indoors and very detailed and interesting, but I couldn’t enjoy it due to the constant onslaught of people screaming in my face.

I didn’t want to go in any other mazes after touring the scary “mental institution” that I’d raced to get through. My friends (two adult males in their 40s) went through the Cornstalkers maze (which they found scarier than the Seventh Ward), and the Zombie High maze (which they also found spine-tingling).

There are also established scare zones. The Bloodyard resembles a junkyard where you are surrounded by thirsty vampires waiting to turn you into one of their own. The London Terror scare zone doesn’t look too bad, but the small area in which there is to walk, and the mass of costumed characters waiting to scream at you make it less than a welcoming stroll down the streets of London.

If you love haunted houses, I think you will love SCarowinds. If you don’t, I think you should invest in a glowing pumpkin necklace or just skip SCarowinds and stay home where you can watch a scary movie with the mute button depressed to prevent hearing the horrible scary music and sounds from reaching your sensitive ears and heart. Is that just me?


rip buckley train car
A painted train car speaks of the death of Buckley. RIP Buckley the cat. – located in the Bloodyard Scare Zone


skeleton key

Delights for the Ears and Eyes

The employee costumes and makeup is definitely my favorite thing about the SCarowinds experience. With over six hundred monsters to create for the event, the work of the makeup artists really shines. Read more on the SCarowinds blog to discover what goes on behind the mask. The article states that each artist is given 8 – 12 minutes to complete the makeup, and as someone who has toiled for hours to get Halloween makeup 1/2 as good as what the employees of the park are sporting, I am amazed at how quickly it all comes together every night of the event.

There are a number of shows offered for the event. I attended the Tribal Terror drum show and I enjoyed it immensely. The musicians did a great job. Showtimes are 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Rated PG-13, Leave Your Costume at Home, & You May Not Re-enter

The park states that the event is rated PG-13 and may be too intense for young children. I saw plenty of small children in the park enjoying themselves, but I know that won’t be the case for all young children. The younger children (or scared adults) can always come to Carowinds during the day before SCarowinds opens in the evening, and there is even a Great Pumpkin Fest to enjoy.

There is one extremely odd caveat to the SCarowinds event: guests cannot re-enter the park if they leave for any reason. It is normal for Carowinds guests to receive a stamp on the arm upon exiting so they can re-enter the park during the same-day visit with ease and no extra charge. This is not happening for SCarowinds. Everyone is held captive to this rule, so don’t think you are exempt Gold Card Members. I’m not sure why they’ve put this new rule in place, but that means guests can’t take a break to exit the park during their SCarowinds visit. What makes the SCarowinds event so special that guests cannot leave the park and return? I have no idea. If you find out, let me know. I asked several employees during my visit but none seemed to understand the arbitrary rule, either.

Darkness & Security

The park is too dark during SCarowinds. The regular low lighting that is used at night is made worse by colored bulbs and fog machines that occasionally make it hazardous to walk. There was security presence at the park, but the two people I saw aren’t enough for such a large crowd. The lack of security is one of the features that most people find disconcerting during regular Carowinds hours. Considering that the majority of the employees are teenagers, the park doesn’t exactly feel like the safest place at all times. While I know that many people feel safe allowing their teenagers to go to the park alone, I would not allow a minor to go to the park alone with the current security presence.

monster werewolf

Scary Deals & Dates

The best deal (outside of the regular Carowinds Gold Pass) is the Haunt Pass which allows for unlimited admission to SCarowinds. You can attend every night of the SCarowinds events for a low price of $59.99. If you have a regular Gold Pass to Carowinds, you can also attend every night of SCarowinds, too. If you don’t have a pass, prepare to pay $15.00 to park.

Do yourself a favor and check the site before you head out to the park. If you are looking for some Halloween night fun, the park is open from 7:00 pm until 1:00 am. Have fun, but you won’t see me there. I’ve had my fill with the one night I attended. But then again, I’m a scaredy pumpkin.

I’d love to hear about your visit to SCarowinds!

Hours for SCarowinds:

Fridays & Saturdays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Late Night Closings
October 24 & October 31
7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.



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Banned Books Week 2015: Celebrating Intellectual Freedom



Banned Books Week – September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015

I love reading banned books. It encourages the tiny rebel that lives in a dark corner of my psyche. Who are YOU to tell ME what to read?

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the titles on the banned book list, I see books that have made a profound impact on my life. The books are deep, thought-provoking literary guideposts that reflect our culture and experience on this planet. What one person labels “dirty” or “inappropriate” shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether or not another person has the opportunity to read a book. Parents who protest a book’s inclusion into the school library because it speaks about slavery or homosexuality should be allowed to have their child excluded from reading the book, but they shouldn’t be allowed to speak for every parent and child.

There are those who defend the censorship, but when you show them the banned books list, they are dumbfounded when they realize one of their favorite books is included on the list. Well, some people will have this reaction and others will continue to blindly defend the censorship.

It is hard to believe that in 2015 such a thing exists, but readers and writers must continually be on guard against the myopic view of censorship and continue to fight for intellectual freedoms.


Watch this clip from Bill Moyers on September 25 2012The Bane of Banned Books“On the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, Bill explains why censorship is the biggest enemy of truth.”

Celebrate your freedom to read what you want and check out these other pages about banned books and censorship!

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books By Decade

An Interactive Timeline that Celebrates 30 Years of Liberating Literature

Project Censored
National Coalition Against Censorship

Support the ALA and spread the word with these free downloads

banned books poster
“Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.”


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New Things and an Update on My Work and World

a single leaf in burnsville nc

a single leaf in burnsville nc

Hi, Y’all!

While things appear to be quiet around the site, my life has been anything but silent and boring.
I really don’t know where 2015 has gone. The stores are filled with all things fall, Halloween, and Christmas. I understand why this is necessary from the retail perspective, but it is also a good illustration of how crowded the end of the year becomes for most of us. I love this time of year, and as a result, I am more creative during this period. This increase in creativity and productivity can sometimes push me to the limits of my energy supply, but as the saying goes, “I can sleep when I’m dead.”

Here are a few updates about my site and my work.



The “Shop” tab isn’t new, but the items in it are new and shiny. Now you can purchase paperbacks of my book (signed, of course), and you can pick up some other awesome items like embroidered wall art, cup cozies, altered notebooks, embroidered key fobs, and more. I have many products in development and hope that you will turn remember to shop with me when you are looking for a little treat for yourself or that perfect gift for someone else. As an illustrator and artist, I’m excited to offer you additional products that reflect other sides of me.

I’ve also added a tab for “Stuff Jeannie Loves at Amazon” below the “About Me” tab. There are links to products I’ve reviewed and products that one could find within the pages of Manual Exposure. I’ve also added categories for the reader or writer in your life. Stay tuned, as this store will continue to grow and expand.

There is a third “shop” option that exists through my Zazzle store. You can purchase items that I’ve personally designed with my illustrations, photographs, and sayings. There are items related directly to Manual Exposure and there are general items that target readers and writers in general.





Events in my personal life, including issues with health and family, have pushed my writing to the back burner. I haven’t stopped promoting and expanding the reach of Manual Exposure, but I haven’t been able to suspend all other activities in my life and focus on completing my second book. I’ve been working on it, and I can’t wait to give you more details, but I haven’t been able to devote the time to it that it deserves. I hope the remaining months of 2015 will be dedicated to bringing more life to the pages of my second book.

I’m focusing on getting Manual Exposure on the shelves of more independent bookstores and creating opportunities to meet you at book signings and readings. My “Events” page is the place to watch for all the latest dates and occasions that may be near you.

There will be new essays coming to the blog, as well as a new segment that follows my travels. I like to take weekend or day trips to little spots near me, and I hope to bring these adventures to your inbox.



I can simply state that more podcasts are on the way. I love offering you the podcasts, but they do take a good chunk of time to edit. There are more book reviews and author interviews planned, so keep your ears open for a podcast update!



If you haven’t already, you’ll want to sign up to receive my newsletter. There are giveaways, updates, teasers, and special deals that are either offered exclusively or early to my newsletter subscribers. Don’t worry, I won’t drown your inbox with junk, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you find it is not to your liking.



Thank you to all who continue to support me by spreading the word about Manual Exposure and those who loyally return to the digital pages of this blog. I appreciate each of you, and I hope that you will continue to send me your notes and comments. I love reading them and responding to you. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me.

Keep Love and Kindness on Repeat,


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Book Review: Foundations in Comic Book Art SCAD Creative Essentials

Front Cover for Foundations in Comic Book Art by John Paul Lowe


As an illustrator, I’m always interested in learning new techniques for my art, and Lowe doesn’t disappoint. The information provided in the book is presented pleasingly–both through illustrations and directions. Lowe covers the basics of perspective and the essential information for pen and brush inkings. The book follows a format of teaching materials followed by exercises for the artist to accomplish. It is important to note that the book is not a “how to” for one to learn how to draw comic books. The book truly provides foundational information regarding fundamental tools and techniques in art.

The step-by-step directions and beautiful design of the book make it easy for even the most beginner of artists. I highly recommend the book for any artist or prospective artist who desires more guidance and growth with their craft.

Below are some more images from the book.


Back of the book.




Learning to identify horizon lines.


Perspective exercises in the book.
Perspective exercises in the book.

Check out this review on and purchase a copy for yourself!


Disclaimer: I received this free book from Blogging for Books for this review. I’ve provided my honest opinion and experience with the book.

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Meet Me at Authors in the City – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

authors in the city jeannie m bushnell

Will I be seeing you this weekend at the Authors in the City book event in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina? I sure hope so! If you can’t make it out, don’t sweat it– you can always pick up a signed copy of Manual Exposure through my online store.

Purchase tickets for the signing while they last!

Authors in the City

When: March 14, 2015

Join me in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,

for the Authors in the City event!

Where: Sheraton Convention Center
Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577


authors in the city jeannie m bushnell
graphic courtesy of Authors in the City



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Friendship: Fritzi Stanton and Sage Brant

Friendship - Fritzi Stanton and Sage Brant

Friendship - Fritzi Stanton and Sage Brant

Friendship is just another word for sisters between Fritzi Stanton and Sage Brant. Best friends since the fourth grade, the girls are college freshmen and ready to take on the world. Their friendship has been tested, and it has endured. Love and heartache may come and go, but their friendship is forever.

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Fall in Asheville, North Carolina

Fall in Asheville, North Carolina at MSU

Fall in Asheville, North Carolina at MSU

[typography font=”Lobster” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Fall[/typography]  at MSU Asheville is in full swing, and as the season unfolds, the opportunities for new relationships, growth, and love surround the inhabitants of the cozy mountain town. As the colors of the forest emerge and the canopies thin, the change of season in Asheville is an event to behold. An accidental meeting among the fallen leaves intertwines the lives of Sage Brant and Kirby Chapman.


 Purchase Manual Exposure

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Disc Golf and Kirby Chapman

Disc Golf and Kirby Chapman

Disc Golf and Kirby Chapman

[typography font=”Lobster” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Kirby Chapman[/typography]  doesn’t sweat the small stuff. In his world of wealth and privilege, there aren’t many things that cause him to sweat. The only tension that raises the pulse to that extent is a little friendly competition on the disc golf course. He doesn’t spend his afternoons worried about his future plans. Generations of his family have cleared the path that he intends to follow. Why break with tradition and a system that works? Rewards come easy to Kirby and his family. Comfortable in his life, Kirby isn’t concerned with making any major changes that could alter his desired future.