New Followers Friday


Just made it with 2 hours to go! is something truly different. The author, Jacob Dacey, is a local sales advisor at Royfoss GM dealership in Thornhill, Ontario. His goal is to change the way people think of car salesman by creating a friendly atmosphere with no pressure. He’s sharing everything he finds interesting in the automotive industry. This is not a nuts and bolts blog – check out recent posts: self-drive safari in Namibia, four reason to rent a luxury car while on vacation, exploring the Grand Canyon with pink Jeep tours.  This one’s a keeper – especially for me!

borderlinebrunette is following my blog but I couldn’t find hers! Ruby Khan, the author of this blog, always wanted to write but couldn’t figure out how to work it into her busy schedule. Then she just did it and now shares poems, quotes, writing and the journey of blogging. She has Motivational Mondays, Inspirational Tuesdays, Innovative Wednesdays, Collaborative Thursdays, and Free Spirited Fridays. This is a fun blog – check it out! is written by Varchswata, 18 year old girl from India, who loves to write poems. Her journey of mine was started when she was in 4th standard …she was in class and suddenly started scribbling something that ended up with a poem. She’s won several blog awards – so stop by and enjoy her lovely words! is written someone who was in the communications field for sixteen years, before they’d had enough and left. She chose to live in a small town in a remote part of the country to mend her brain and currently owns an online fabric and crafts shop, a used bookshop that works through Amazon, and an online record store which provides the time and energy to raise a son.  Really interesting blog.

Dalindcy at is a freelance journalist and blogger. This is her personal blog, where she writes thoughts, opinions, adventures and anything else that may strike her fancy. Recent posts are on the art of quitting (!), riding on trains (one of my favorite pastimes) and a review of the Bill Hodges trilogy by Stephen King. Allie is the mother of a two year old boy and a brand new daughter and is happily married to her best friend. She is a voracious reader, loves to learn new things the outdoors and and animals. She review books on multiple platforms including Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Twitter, Facebook,  The Indie View and of course her blog. She’s not taking any more books to review until spring because of a backlog (imagine that) but keep her in mind and visit her blog! is a blog by Lacie Sheldon Winters. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and is a nurse specializing in geriatrics and dementia. She is also studying psychology and writing and has two grown children.  It’s about the journey of building her Love Shack, but it’s also about cottage life. She is presently finishing her first book. Visit her blog and give her some encouragement! This is a blog by and for young women. The author writes about her world manly food, fashion, health, beauty, and reviews. This is an eye-catching blog – check it out!

Noelle Martin at writes social comments, stories and opinions exploring a wide range of issues affecting contemporary women in society: politics, race, pop culture, feminism, and many other things of interest. Every woman will find something there!

Freeman at blogs about social and political parts of the world to allow people to connect. The posts are about what is happening currently in Afghanistan and are well worth reading since it is an inside view. With my son deploying yet again to this corner of the world in a few months, I found the content to be very pertinent.  This is a poet’s blog. In the words of the author “I have tried to pen down a few poems mostly on occasions when I was in need of motivation.” I think the poems are motivating for the reader as well.




I saw this post late last week and asked the author if I could repost it on my blog. He graciously agreed.

islamistisk_framtidsvisjon1_large kopi (1)-2

Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen ( ) s a Norwegian author and screenwriter of 16 epic novels, including The Tyr Trilogy and The Anubis Trilogy. Continuing a tradition forged centuries ago by his Viking ancestors, Bull-Hansen is a traditional Viking skald, sharing the history and mythology of Norse culture. Like skalds of old, Bull-Hansen conveys Viking culture – his culture – to the people of a new generation. I have been fascinated by some of his posts.

This one really resonated, probably because of all the times I’ve been told “You can’t do that.”  I know you will enjoy it.


I often say that any fool can be a critic, but only a few, rare individuals have the talent and perseverance to become creative artists. Also, I am astonished by the fact that so many people believe that professional artists actually care about what those critics think. Let me tell you a secret: Many of us, me among them, don’t. And no, it’s not because we’re arrogant. It is simply because of that mechanism that you’ll find in any sensible creative artist of some experience: We learn to ignore negative feedback.

The most common sort of negative feedback is what I choose to call «loser branding». I have encountered this quite often up through the years and it goes far beyond my artistic and professional life. I believe loser branding is extremely widespread in Norway — far more than in other European countries. We even have a name for it: The Jante Law. Norwegian society loves the mediocre man or woman who experiences success, while the hard working and the genius are generally shunned. Loser branding is the way to deal with those who will not accept their place in the social hierarchy, and it’s all about telling you that whatever you’re trying to do, you won’t make it.

You can find the rest of this post at:

“You won’t make it.”


Why I Swim in Cold Water


Today is October 16, and I put in 40 laps of our pool (which is pretty long) and am looking forward to another couple of weeks of swimming.  The pool is ostensibly heated but the heater went out for about a week and the temperature of the water dropped from around 80 to 68oF.  We got the dang thing working again and today the temperature was up to 70. Nirvana.

Most of my friends can’t understand how I can swim in such old water, but you just have to consider where I swam growing up.

My family belonged to the Eel River Beach Club in Plymouth, MA (it’s still there) and the pool at the club was salt water.  A huge pump used to draw water from the end of a long pipe that extended out into the ocean (actually Massachusetts Bay) to fill the pool. The average temperature of the water in MA Bay is in the low to mid-60s in the summer, so when that pool filled it was cold. It warmed up with use but was drained and refilled regularly.

This is what it looks like today – a lot bigger with no high dive but the pump house (blue top) is still there.


The beach in front of the club was where most of the adults who weren’t playing tennis or watching kids would go, because the pool was always a storm of activity: swimming and diving lessons, practices for meets, and of course the rough and tumble games of Hill Dill or Corner Tag.


This is a picture of my cousin Peter and me in the pool – I was probably 10?

I would occasionally go down to the beach (on the other side of those cars) with my Mom and take a dip there. Every day like clockwork, an elderly, very fit man who lived on Manter’s Point overlooking the beach, would come down with a thermometer and tell us the water temp. I swear it was frequently in the 50s, and even when it was warmer, it was usually only the top four inches or so. The minute you dropped below the top layer, you froze.



Our idea of a swim was to run into the water, get wet, then stay in either swimming or just moving around until you couldn’t feel your skin. Then you ran out and lay on a towel in the sun, reveling in the warmth.

So cold water is not much of a challenge for me. I usually quit swimming when the pool gets to 60 (November) and get back in in March or April when it warms up to 60. The four months in between are dark days for me – no swimming. I can’t stand overheated, over-chlorinated gym pools where you get run over in the lap lane, although I have been driven to a few water aerobics classes just to enjoy being in the water.

Cold water is denser and will sink in warmer water, which is why the ocean is colder on the bottom. I swear swimming in cold water takes more energy, too, but it could be a figment of my imagination.

The coldest water I have ever been in? Off the coast of Maine on Memorial Day. The water there averages 47-51 degrees and my Dad bet me a dollar I wouldn’t go in. I absolutely did but came out in the same motion.

And there you have it: why I swim in cold water!

PS We have a hot tub in which I can warm up in afterward.

New Followers


I’m finally back in the groove – cold over although another sore throat coming on… is written by a Portuguese girl with a passion for reading and random moments. She posts poetry (Auden, Poe) and beautiful paintings – so her blog is a feast for the eye, the ear and the mind. This blog deserves a visit!

Belroxi at posts about online dating and in her words the douchbags who dumped her. I think her humorous posts will resonate with a lot of young women. Sign up for some sympathy. is a brand new blog began in September. The author is Shivani Gupta and she is a post graduate. She wanted to start a blog because she’s  read so many things about  life ,fine life and high life .. but in reality she believes in normal people having normal life enjoying their life with simplicity and finds happiness in that.  I like anything with the word ‘happy.’ s about – you guessed it – pets with fur. The pictures are so cute – you can definitely get your aawww factor with this blog My favorite is the tiny hedgehog one. Couldn’t stop admiring the little fellow. is a blog site for news about China. I was particularly taken with the post about the report that over 1,300 elderly Chinese people go missing every single day and an average of 500,000 per year. The blog talks about government population policy and asks where they have gone.  Very provocative. Dwight Roth is the author of this blog and is now retired from teaching elementary school in Eastern North Carolina – near me! He spends his time painting and writing and he has self-published several books on Amazon Kindle. He writes about music, literature and art but always with poetry – a perfect blog for all you poets out there. Sarah is an indie author who began writing after the death of her husband. Her books are urban fantasy, paranormal adventures, with even a smidgen of horror, and she’s offering free books! Go to her blog – I know there are people out there who love, love this genre.

The author of (what a great blog title) writes weekly reviews on movies, books, and graphic novels. Recent reviews include Deepwater Horizon, The Magnificent Seven, and Ghost Busters to name a few. I am always looking for reviews before I pay my money to see a film in a theatre, so this blog is great. The author includes trivia on each movie,too!

Alyssa Davies at is 22 years old and currently a law student in Northern Virginia. She has a pet bunny named Gravy and she likes to write about whatever comes to mind whenever it comes to mind. Recent posts include ones on makeup, an introduction to the awesome Gravy, a trip to NYC, and a memorial for a friend who recently died. Interesting and very compelling, especially for younger bloggers.

And three odd ones: Paramount Group is a young and contemporary real estate company in New Delhi with an objective to create industry milestones. It has already established itself amongst leaders for quality and style. NO idea why the follow???

jenmou is someone following me, but since I received only a gravitar and couldn’t find a blog, I can’t do a shout out.

francislinblog The author is a student at Kenyatta University but unfortunately all I have is the gravatar, although I looked for the blog.

Book Review: Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard @Belinda_Pollard #rbrt #mystery #survival #thriller


poison-bayPoison Bay tells the story of a wilderness hike turned dark and deadly. Eight friends from high school embark on a trek into New Zealand’s most forbidding wilderness. All of the trekkers have something from their past to hide, related to the suicide of another classmate, Liana, in front of them at an end-of-high-school party. Each of them has a guilty conscience from their relationship with Liana.

Their leader, Bryan, now lives in New Zealand, and has become an experienced trekker, orienteer, and survivalist. Bryan talks his classmates into joining him on the trek as a reunion celebration, a way to reconnect and work through Liana’s death. Bryan also tells them their expedition would establish an alternative to the famed Milford Track in Fiordland National Park. To ensure their participation, he pays for all their equipment and food. He then proceeds to take his classmates on a trek through unplotted and challenging wilderness at a brutal pace. By the time the classmates realize the sinister purpose of the trip, they are hopelessly lost and missing emergency communication equipment.  Have they learned enough from the trek so far to survive and find their way back?

The author clearly has hiking experience in this park and has done a lot of research to make her story realistic. I felt myself trekking with them. I wish I could feel the characters as well. I wondered what they’d all been doing for the previous ten years (with the exception of Bryon and Callie) and they were rather two-dimensional, without character or dialogue quirks except for Rachel’s diabetes and Sharon’s lack of athleticism. There were long pages of dialogue I was tempted skip. I also could not fathom why the group would surrender themselves so willingly to Bryan’s tyrannical leadership and not question where he was taking them a day or two into the hike.

Offsetting this were the challenges to the group’s finding their way out of the park – food, mudslides, avalanches, snow and torrents of rain. Plus a lot of surprises, all plotted in the darkness of Bryan’s need for personal revenge on each of his classmates. Three characters in the group searching for the trekkers – Sgt. Hubble and his trusted deputy, Tom Ganton, and Rachel’s mother – have more depth, and there are surprises in this side of the story as well.

This is the author’s first mystery novel. Despite its shortcomings, I was compelled to read it to the end, pushed by the scenery, surprises, and tension of the trek.

About the author

belinda-pollardBelinda Pollard is an award-winning Australian mystery author and former journalist who loves animals and wilderness. She loves mountain hiking despite bad knees and a fear of heights, and trekked the Milford Track as research for her Poison Bay, which was awarded a Varuna Fellowship and an IPPY Silver Medal. A specialist book editor since 1995 and a publishing consultant since 2001, Belinda has steered upwards of 60 books to publication, initially for traditional publishers, and more recently also for start-ups and self-publishers. Belinda lives in Brisbane, Queensland where she undertakes ball-throwing duties for a red dog named Rufus, and turns on the air-conditioning so she can dream of snow.

You can find her on her two blogs:

Write & Publish Like a Pro at

Real Life on a Beautiful Planet at

On Twitter: @Belinda_Pollard

On Facebook:

Poison Bay is on Amazon:



It’s Party Time for Sally Cronin!


Today is Sally Cronin’s blog’s third anniversary party and we’ve all been invited. Sally is well known in the blogosphere for her posts on

Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Blog with a view – on books, music, humour and health

Here are just a few of the things this energetic woman does:

She’s a writer herself and has serialized some of her books for our delight.

She has tons of sound health and nutrition advice .


She sponsors other authors with guest posts and book reviews.

She advertises our books through her Café and Bookstore.

She sends us humor in words, pictures and videos to give our days a smile and a chuckle.

And best of all, she shares her life with us!      party-hats


Happy anniversary, Sally. I don’t know a more generous blogger.

To celebrate, I’m offering a free (real) copy of my third book as a present to someone she chooses, and I will mail it anywhere.


Wishing everyone attending balloons, streamers, and party hats. Oh, and cake!
 Choc Mousse Cake - Frozen Molded Category

Book Review: Murder & Mayhem by Carol Hedges @carolJhedges #rbrt #Victorian mystery


murder-and-mayhemI’ll start by telling you how much I enjoyed this mystery. It’s a bit different from the mysteries I’ve read to date, but it is a smashing historical ‘who dun it.’

Set against an exquisitely detailed Victorian London – I could see myself there – the story is told from multiple points of view, each character fully developed. It begins with the discovery of the corpses of infants in the basement of an abandoned house on a street in the middle of demolition for the railway system.  Inspector Lachlan Greig of the Bow Street Police has become aware of dark practice of baby farming (women and men who will take someone’s child and a sum of money for “looking after” on a permanent basis) and it falls to him to find the murderers.

A second thread involves two school friends – Daisy Lawton, daughter of a wealthy physician who lives in the lap of luxury and wants for nothing but marriage to a handsome man of social standing, and Letitia Simpkins, daughter of a penurious widower who treats her like a servant. She disdains marriage but craves for higher education and the employment that would bring, in order to get her away from her family. Daisy becomes engaged to a wealthy young man headed for Parliament but with a shadowy life with prostitutes and a decent woman carrying his baby. Letitia meets a librarian, Sarah Lunt, who believes Ladies should be educated and trained for a profession, and she quickly becomes the only light in Letitia’s gloomy life.

Add in a couple of anarchists with catchy names — Edwin Persiflage and Danton Waxwing – who work as clerks but who have deep grievances against the rich and privileged and who are determined to blow up parts of London, and Inspector Greig has another problem on his plate.

I loved the rounding of all the characters, major and minor, and especially gas-lit, crowded and filthy Victorian London, a character unto itself. The author is at once humorous and heart-breaking in her descriptions, never more so than in the plight of women in that time. The depth of her research and the colorful details with which she decorates the story lines is exceptional.

Ms. Hedges breaks the wall and talks directly to the reader at the beginning of the book (which is when it should be done, if at all), and most charmingly pulled me into the story.

Every aspect of this read was a delight, and I am looking forward reading her other books!

 Five stars

About the author

carol-hedgesCarol Hedges is the successful UK writer of 11 books for teenagers/Young Adults. Her novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. She is currently writing a series of Victorian Crime Fiction novels, set in 1860s London and published under her own imprint: Little G Books: Diamonds & Dust,  Honour & Obey, Death & Dominion and now Murder & Mayhem.

In the past, she taught at secondary school. Currently retired,she tutors A and GCSE English. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, and is married with a grown-up daughter.

You can find her on twitter: @carolJhedges

and Facebook:

Her blog is:

Murder and Mayhem can be found on Amazon:

Book Review: The 45th Nail by Michael Lahey and Ian Lahey @Ian_Lahey #rbrt #mystery #historical fiction


I am torn between describing this book as compelling or interesting. I think I’ll go with the latter. It has been described as a noire drama, but I found the first half of the book quite humorous.

the-45th-nailRobert Svenson, a middle-age French teacher from the Midwest, receives a postcard and a Christmas present from his mother’s brother, a man believed to have died at Anzio during WW II. The gift is a valuable Etruscan amulet which Robert sells, ostensibly to pay for a two-month visit to Paris to work on his French. Instead he heads for Italy to find his uncle, lying to his wife, who to my mind is incredibly gullible and pretty laissez faire about his proposed trip.

On his arrival in Rome, Robert has his luggage stolen, followed by his wallet, and is forced to find the means to support himself plus accumulate the funds to search for his uncle. Luckily, the owner of the hotel to which he had been directed from the airport takes him under his wing and gets him a job with a tenuous relative. The friend owns a restaurant and hires Robert, who doesn’t speak Italian and knows nothing about wine, as his wine consultant. Robert acquires other jobs and friends and eventually meets his uncle Jim.

At this point, the novel transitions from humor to darkness, as Jim takes Robert on a tour of his Italy, where he has been living and working as a mine sweeper and finder of antiquities for the past decades. The characters are richly drawn and the reader becomes pulled into the journey, discovers Robert’s moral compass, and comes to understand Jim’s convoluted thinking about his troubled past. The book is in part a tour of the history of the west coast of Italy, focusing on Jim’s knowledge of the Etruscans and of WW II, and colorful friends or acquaintances of Jim’s pop in and out of the story, sometimes with meaning, sometimes not. The food, the wine and the Italian language become threads binding the story together.

However, a sense that something terrible is going to happen increases with each step of the journey, as the meaning of the book’s title is revealed, along with the secret buried in Jim’s heart – one he feels he can only reveal to Robert.

There were parts of this book where the exposition and dialogue were overlong or ponderous, but there is also much to appreciate. Like a moth to the flame, I had to read it to the end.

About the authors

ian-laheyIan Lahey was born in Milan, Italy. He teaches English Language and Literature in Italy. He leads a quiet life with his wife, his two children and an invisible cat and can often be spotted taking long walks with his wife around his hometown near Udine. He can be easily wiled with offerings of fresh beer or Dr. Who marathons.

Ian Lahey can be found

on Twitter: @Ian_Lahey

and Facebook:


Michael Lahey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but visited Italy in the 1960s and moved there to teach English and lean Italian. He lives in northern Italy with his wife and dedicated this book to his father, who was a US Marine. He is also the author of The Quest for Apollo, a fantasy novel.

The 45th Nail can be found on Amazon:

When Is Autumn Coming?


Well, I am still suffering from the cruddy cold, and now one of my eyes is infected, so I look a bloody mess. On top of that, our leaves have refused to turn green and some of our other plants (azaleas etc) are blooming.





The only things that show any indication of fall coming are the dogwood trees, which are burnished with lots of red berries. But normally this is how they are in mid-September!


I love October and autumn, but I’m missing it! Oh well, the pool is still open and I’m enjoying swimming, when not down with the cruds!


New Followers – on Saturday!


Sorry to post this a day late –  have the chest cruds and spent most of yesterday sleeping. Today I am still coughing and hacking, but feeling more human. Now we are getting the torrential rains from Hurricane Matthew. is a blog about setting up yours to be a money maker: setting up your blog, how to generate content, email marketing. I’m checking this one out further to see if it might help an indie author!

Anita Kevyn Anita created her blog site for fashion enthusiasts who love to share, chat and try new ideas in fashion. Modeling is her life and she is a gorgeous model. It wasn’t until she walked her first runway that she realized fashion and modeling was her addiction, and if it’s yours, you will love this site. Miss bhukkad has a passion for food and traveling, so her blog has delectable food and restaurant reviews, travelling-tips and planning, healthy eating, and recipes for some mouth-watering, quick homemade stuff. One of her recent blogs had me salivating, so other foodies out there, check this out. This blog was created by Kristy. She’s 17 years old and loves art, journaling, sports, playing the piano and flute. Last year she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and she has posted on her journey to recovery and what she plans for the future. I think this would be an excellent blog for any of my younger followers, and heck, older ones with daughters since AN has become almost epidemic in recent years.

The Hedonist at Anushka Mishra is the woman behind this blog. She works in financial services, so professionally she plays with numbers. However, the real person is more passionate about the words, for they can keep you spellbound. She has an urge to speak up about whatever comes to her mind and the heart. Her blog posts are solely based on my imagination or personal experiences. is the blog of Naveen. It started from eating, passionate and enthusiastic consumption. Unleashing the various shades of food to savor its essence is all about his journey. He calls himself a proud Foodie, in real life he is IT professional. , I dedicate most of my free time for food. Exploring new places for food and showcasing it for the fellow foodies is been my favorite pastime. He covers foods, reviews, travel guides and food photography. OMG, if you like food, you have to see this blog! Barka is a brand new blogger, just starting out. She needs followers so give her a visit. Stephanie is a teenage blogger, and I hope there’s a few of you out there who would like to share posts. Her quote for today is wise: Do not give your past the power to define your future. And now for something really different! This blog is about rafting the Comal River in Indonesia. It looks like a lot of fun and something any world traveler would enjoy.  Today’s post gives a lttle history on rafting, founded by Major John Wesley Powell who introduced the first rafting down the Colorado River, using a small boat made from wooden planks. From this came white water rafting, something I’ve done. It is an adrenaline rush! This is a challenging, opinion-based and interesting blog about the good and bad of the world’s religions. I think you will enjoy taking a look! This is another interesting blog, designed to help people who are having lifestyle, stress, and relationship problems. The authors are there to consult and help one achieve their goals.  The posts are very thoughtful – there is one about a black dot you might enjoy!  Jeyran Main is a blogger, consumer reviewer, and a freelance book translator. In addition to writing reviews on books, she guest hosts for blogs and writes articles for companies by request. She has had the pleasure of making friends with many publishers & authors, throughout her life and career. Her passion is to spread her positive energy to anyone that needs it.

Okay, folks, that’s it for this week. Be safe.