Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Handbag & Book with author Zara West: The Bag that Turned me into a Writer #TWRP #MFRWorg #Mondayblog

Handbag & Book with
Zara West

You can tell from this photo that this is not a “handbag” in the traditional sense. This is a Greek tagari, or what shepherds use to carry their lunch, water, and other necessities when they are herding their sheep on the mountainsides.  

The amazing thing about the bag in the picture is that I wove it from wool I hand-spun and dyed while studying Greek weaving in Greece. I actually wove two, but my anthropologist husband, despite the fact a tagari is designed to take heavy wear-and-tear, wore his out lugging books in it for thirty years. I only use mine for “special” occasions so it still retains its original shape and color. The main reason I wanted to share this bag today it is because of this bag is why I wrote my first magazine article for Shuttle, Spindle, & Dyepot and because of that article I became a writer.

Zara, I am super impressed!!!

For many years I wrote non-fiction, but recently I have turned to writing fiction: romantic suspense, in particular. On June 17th, my first novel Beneath the Skin, published by Wild Rose Press, will be released. 


Ex-Olympic wrestler and reclusive billionaire artist Aristides Stavros has one mission—to rescue his sister, a popular Williamsburg, Brooklyn tattoo artist from the old enemy who has kidnapped her. But at every turn he is confronted by anthropologist Melissa Dermot. Is she just an innocent girl in over her head or is she working for the international crime boss holding his sister? Only one thing is certain, when Ari holds the beautiful Asian-American in his arms questions of guilt and innocence fade against an undeniable fiery attraction. But can their wild passionate love survive the tangled web of long hidden secrets, intentional deceit, and murderous revenge that lie just beneath the surface?

 “You.” Aristides Stavros loomed over her. “What are you doing here?”

 She peered up at the artist’s twisted face and backed further down the steps. A doorknob poked her in the back. Panicked, she twisted it open and dashed into an unlit basement storeroom. 

 She stumbled forward into the dark, tripped over a metallic cylindrical object, and landed on her stomach. All the air whooshed out of her. Rectangular objects with sharp corners tumbled around her, jabbing her in the arms and neck. Rough cloth scrapped her skin.

 On the staircase above her, the beast hovered in the doorway like a predator scenting his prey. For a second, he hesitated, then he dashed down the steps and moved toward her, huffing as he shoved objects out of the way. She pushed herself up on hands and knees and scuttled further into the dark.

 “Sto diav√≥lo. Where are you? If you destroy any of these paintings, I will have your hide or at least my lawyer will.” He came closer. “Busy man, my lawyer, and to think I almost didn’t hire one.” 

 She scrabbled back and touched torn canvas. Heavens, these were his paintings—the ones that sold for thousands of dollars. 

 She was in deep, deep trouble. 

Pre-Order Beneath the Skin at: Amazon

For more information, visit her at Website

So lovely to have you today, Zara!


Angela Adams said...

A great bag for walking the boardwalk at the New Jersey shore.

Barbara White Daille said...

Zara - what a great memory and keepsake to have to celebrate becoming a writer!

Melissa Keir said...

Wow! Congrats on making such a wonderful bag! The book looks amazing. I wish you all the best!

Liese said...

Wow! Weaving your own bag from wool you spun yourself! And a writer of fiction and non-fiction! A truly multi-talented woman! Thanks for sharing and best of luck!


Ashantay said...

What talent! I've always wanted to learn spinning and weaving, but suspect it's much more work than I think it is. (grinning) I love your book cover, and you've given us a great excerpt! All best wishes for a successful book release!

Linda Tillis said...

The book sounds awesome and the bag is absolutely impressive! Great work.

darlene deluca said...

Okay, crafting a cute and functional bag is impressive enough, but hand-spinning and dying the wool while learning Greek weaving in Greece?! Wow! Great story. Congrats on your new book release!

Zara West said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments and good wishes on my upcoming book. I was very lucky to spend five years in all living and studying shepherding and weaving in Greece. Naturally, the hero my romantic suspense is Greek!

Ilona Fridl said...

Beautiful bag, Zara! I love the excerpt, too!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

What a lovely bag and back story! I've thought of taking up weaving many times. You have inspired me today. Thanks Zara :)

Linda Moffitt said...

Nice Bag The book sounds great Thanks for sharing on your blog

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