Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Romance in September: Love: Lost and Found by Pamela Beckford

Love: Lost and Found is Pamela's latest collection of poetry depicting the ups and downs of love. Poems filled with the ecstasy and joy of an abiding love, as well as the heartache of love lost.  Her book trailer can be found here -

Buy Links Amazon

Author Bio:
Pamela Beckford started writing poetry in 2013 and quickly began centering all her efforts on poems dealing with the angst of heartache and the exhilaration and joy of love.  She incorporates many different poetry forms (with descriptions in the back of her book to aid the reader). Poetry can be very therapeutic for both the writer and the reader and Pamela's poems are heartfelt and draw out emotions. One reviewer said "She makes me feel things when I read her work that usually stay buried beneath the surface. " She has received several five star reviews for both of her love poem collections. Her poetry is written for those who don't normally write poetry. 

Pamela is a nonprofit executive by day and is passionate about her work with her community. She lives in northeast Indiana and has a grown daughter who is a talented fashion designer and the world's most adorable grandson.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Series Review: Hamish MacBeth Mystery series by MC Beaton

A few years ago I found out that I have Scottish ancestors. Scotland is also one of the places that I want to visit before I die.
So reading this mystery series falls right into my "bucket list" if you want to call  it that.

While the sleuth is not an amateur, he is a police officer, the location and isolation of the village requires his investigative skills to rely on more than forensics and science.
Hamish MacBeth is not you average police officer. People call him lazy and the lord of the manor is of the opinion that he is not good enough to be considered for the dinner guest list. But underneath that veneer of society's perceptions, Hamish is a man that understands people and the things that make them tick, or is that what drives them to murder?
A series with very likeable characters, Hamish is not liked by all, the least of which is another officer who believes that Hamish's ambition is to take his job.
With his dog, hens and sheep to care for, a girlfriend of whom he is not always so sure of, and villagers who are perpetually up to no good, life is never the laid back, lazy thing that he is often accused of.
Set in the Scottish Highlands, in the village of Lochdubh, the reader experiences the life and love and investigations of Hamish MacBeth through the series of 25 books (so far).
Ms Beaton has written several series of books under various pen names, of which the Hamish MacBeth Mystery series is the longest running.

I always look forward to the next book on my reading list, and it is always one of the first that I would read when my order is delivered.

Worth its rave reviews and five stars? Definitely!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Infographic Thursday: Managing the distractions and disruptions in my life

This is one busy picture, but if you take the time you will see that it explains the reasons why we are running around doing lots of things and accomplishing...nothing.
Focus is essential in this digital era we live in. Email and social media and all kinds of other real life stuff, like dirty dishes, keep our minds spinning in all directions and yet at the end of the day (or week) we are exhausted and still feel as if nothing got done.
Does it happen to you?
It happened to me and for a long time before I realised that I can control what I do. Yes, there are distractions everywhere and disruptions all the time.
At work priorities need to be set so you can focus on getting the job done.
When a disruption occurs, make a quick decision: 1. will it prevent me from getting the job done today? 2. if important or serious, then yes, deal with it. 3. if not, add to the list of things that needs to be done after the important thing(s) have been completed.
Our own lives are much the same. What is important to you?
As a writer, my third novel needs to be finished and in my life that is important.
So what will distract me from doing what I want to do? Dirty dishes? Laundry? Dogs that need feeding? Family obligations? The party my husband committed the two of us to go to, three weeks ago?
Manage them. I try write for two hours everyday before I go to bed, if I cannot then half and hour or fifteen minutes will do too.
By then, what is not done has to wait until the next day, or the weekend. As you can see I am not an anal housekeeper, but my social life can be challenging, since my husband is more of a social animal than I am.
While saying 'no' is no longer a problem for me, I cannot alienate my friends, family and husband all the time, so I have to write around this. It works most of the time, and when things go wrong, there is always the fifteen minutes before I go to bed.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Romance in September: The Troublesome Apprentice by Liza O'Connor

While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn.
Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist. As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.

Vic knelt down to reduce her height and reached to the sill of the fireplace. “What if he knocked over the vase when searching the sill, then feared the item might have been in the vase and had fallen into the embers?”
“A reasonable possibility. Do you think he recovered what he sought in the ashes?”
“No, for he continues his search. You can see soot on the coffee table and side table drawers.” Vic pulled them open to study the contents. Dark smudges marred the napkins and doilies in the top one. The other, however, was completely empty. “How odd.”
“What did the bottom one have in it?”
“As in buttons for dresses?”
“Rather too bold for a dress, although some had been snipped from coats. Aunt Maddy collected fanciful buttons.” Vic stared at Xavier’s suit. “The ones on your vest would have caught her eye. I used to tease her she was part crow, for they are reputed to have a weakness for gewgaws.”
Pain filled her heart. She’d never tease Aunt Maddy about anything ever again. She paused and choked back the tears threatening to fall.
“Were they valuable?” Xavier’s voice lost its bark.
“Some had jewels embedded, but nothing one would kill for.” Vic shook her head. “I don’t think he came for Maddy’s collection, I think he simply couldn’t resist it once discovered.”
“I agree. How did you reach your conclusion?”
“Because he now searches the desk. If he had come for the buttons, he would have left directly.”
“And how did you determine he searched the desk last?”
“The footprints show he went first to the fireplace, and from there we can follow a trail of soot until we reach the small side table. It is here the soot stops. Perhaps he took out his handkerchief, wiped his hands, before bundling the buttons in the cloth. With his hands now clean, he ran them through his hair, either because he has a nervous tick or perhaps a stray lock had fallen into his eyes. Intending to search elsewhere, he walked to the door and tried to open it. In doing so, he left an oily residue from his hand. Finding the library door locked, he returned to the desk and, using the letter opener, pried free the center drawer.” Vic opened the desk drawer and frowned at the chaos. “He certainly searched in here. Aunt Maddy kept a very tidy desk.”
“Can you tell if anything is missing?”
“Not in this state. I would have to put everything back in place first.”
“Do it,” Xavier said. “So far all we know about the object the man sought is it isn’t paper. Had it been, he would have gone to the desk first.”
“Nor is it something he expected Aunt Maddy to value greatly, or why would she leave it on the fire sill or in a table drawer?”
Xavier stared at her.
“Nothing. Continue on with your work.”
As Vic put all the objects of the drawer back into their proper places, she discovered one thing: Xavier Thorn had absolutely no patience.
“How long could this possibly take?”
“There are hundreds of items,” Vic explained.
Xavier exhaled in frustration. “It is good I sent home my driver. He would have died from pneumonia by now. By the way, your butler has obligated you to provide me with a carriage home.”
Vic smiled at his declaration.
“I trust your smile is one of compliance. Are you not done yet?”
“I will tell you when I’m done,” Vic snapped. “And why are you suddenly so impatient?”

Find The Troublesome Apprentice on Amazon

About the Author
I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio. Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)
Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

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