If You Weren’t Here – Poem

If you Weren't Here

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A Case For Adjectives?

In writing circles experts frown upon using too many adjectives. This is from an English lesson I did many years ago. Oddly enough, I gained a tick for each adjective used. My question is how would this story be without them?

The Stranger

The spectacle of the filthy, bedraggled man sitting in the restaurant drew my attention. His matted, dirty hair hung in knots below his hunched shoulders and some of it fell forward into his soup. Pulling it out of the hot liquid he wiped the sticky, wet hair on his coat which was already covered in mouldy food spillage and vomit. He slurped noisily, spilling more soup from his spoon and mouth than he was managing to consume.

I looked away from him to my daughter who was standing next to me. She was also hypnotised by this revolting, stomach retching sight. Then my eyes fell upon his tattered, torn trousers where horrid, brown, unmentionable marks covered the faded, barely visible check of the fabric. I speculated fleetingly what those grotesque dark streaks were before glancing down to his feet. It became disgustingly obvious what they were as I quickly withdrew my eyes from the sight of his scruffy boots covered in foul-smelling, dried on excrement.

I averted my horrified gaze back to the table where his bony hands tipped with rough, black fingernails were breaking large lumps of bread into his soup. He stopped to blow his nose on the paper napkin he had on his lap, then scrunched it up and placed it on the table next to his bread. His dull, bulging eyes looked up and sickeningly held mine for an eternity before I pushed our daughter down into the seat opposite him and introduced her to the father she had insisted on meeting.

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Ingredients For Lasting Love

The one thing in life we all look for is LOVE. Just think of all the songs written about it, like  the Beatles’s song ‘All You Need is Love’ or the thousands of other love songs played regularly all over the world.

Not many people find the lasting kind of love, but some do. My parents’  marriage lasted almost seventy-six years, and my dad still thought my mum was beautiful. He told her this almost every day. My own marriage is also a lengthy one. So far, my husband and I have notched up fifty-two years and are still counting.

Of course, it’s not the length of time you’ve been together that makes a happy marriage, but whether the feelings of love are still growing or gradually dying.

Many couples in long marriages hate the sight of each other, and those feelings multiply every time they disappoint each other. Feelings, couples have for each other, are never static; they are continually in flux, being either reinforced or eroded. Love is constantly reinforced, growing with each positive interaction they experience together, but withering a little with each negative conflict of interest. A healthy, loving partnership is one where couples nurture each other, not continually find fault with their partner.

If our love is to grow we must know the difference between love and infatuation, and choose our partner wisely.


Most of us will have experienced that heady excitement when we first start getting to know a potential partner. These feelings of euphoria are quite overwhelming to the point where infatuation, lust, and love all seem the same thing. They are not! While true love between couples must include all three of these elements, infatuation and lust can exist without love.

Many of you will jump in here and suggest there are many different types of love depending on the people involved, that love between partners can exist without a physical relationship. While I agree there are many reasons why couples in love cannot engage in the full physical act, they should still desire each other even when when incapacitated by illness, infirmity or age. While the desire is there, couples can usually find other ways to feel close.

Respect and trust are also necessary for love to mature.  the dictionary explains that respect is admiring someone for their ideas, outlook, behaviour, or beliefs. Without respect, true love cannot grow, it will wither and die. This doesn’t mean having the same belief system as your partner, but it does mean you have to respect your differences. Imagine one partner constantly undermining the other for their beliefs or actions. Can love continue to blossom in this environment, or will it slowly fade with each humiliation?

Trust is also a necessary element. When it comes to your partner, you must trust them with your life. With them, your defences are down and you are at your most vulnerable.

Young people when thinking of love have a certain physical image or status in their minds of the person they will fall in love with. Maturity brings the realisation that the most perfectly formed, wealthy person isn’t necessarily the one you’d really want to spend your life with. Over time looks fade. What you are left with is the core of that person, their personality. Make sure their personality is one you can happily live with for a long time. Wealth provides a comfortable life style, but be warned, even those in the most secure of positions can lose their security. Do you really want to feel secure with a person you’ve grown to hate?

I wish you all the greatest happiness in life. With the right partner you can face anything. For your own well-being, choose wisely.

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Sprinkling fairy dust


I still have some current editions of The Second Cup in paperback, so I tagged my books with Book Fairies (links to website) stickers and spent the day wandering round the beach at Herne Bay looking for spots to drop of copies.

It was drizzling, so I needed to find places where the books would be protected from the weather.


I popped one in front of a beach hut where it would be protected by the veranda. Another got balanced precariously by a 3D sign for ice cream. One copy I slipped in one of the shelters on the promenade designed to keep people (and their belongings) dry. And another I left on a bench on the pier.

Hopefully my books will find new homes soon!

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Excerpt from ‘Your last Breath’

Victim behind Glass 6


When she finally settles back at her computer, I decide it’s time to take action. I still need to pull this off quickly and smoothly. Next to a freshly dug flower bed, a shovel catches my eye and inspires a plan.  I grab the shovel and approach the back door. Through the glass panes in the door, I can plainly see into the empty kitchen. I place my knife in my waist band and dial her number once more.

Annabelle has just settled back at the computer when the ringing of the phone disturbs her a second time. The sooner she buys another set of telephones the better, she thinks, and then she won’t have to keep traipsing out of her study to answer it. “Hello?” She hears that annoying automated silence again and curses the wretched sales people who she believes are calling her.

Again Lang remains silent… While she’s still in the hall, he grabs the shovel and swings it hard at the back door, shattering the glass which cascades noisily onto the kitchen floor. Without hesitation, he tosses the shovel into the grass. Then immediately drawing his knife with one hand while reaching through the door with his other hand, he unlocks the door. Turning quickly he flattens his back against the outside wall. Hidden from Annabelle in this manner he waits… listening intently.

Annabelle hears the loud shattering crash from the kitchen and freezes. Hell! That sounds like a window breaking…. Her unease turns to curiosity. Inquisitively, she takes a few strides swiftly down the hall before fear takes hold of her again and she stops. Standing just inside her kitchen, she hesitates uncertainly….

Lang hears her footsteps lightly tapping down the hall and entering the kitchen, but it’s silent after that. He grips his knife tighter, tries to control his breathing and heart rate. Why is she so quiet? Did she flee to the front door? She couldn’t have, I would have heard her leave the room like I heard her enter it. No, she’s just being cautious. Be patient, she will open the door.

The faint sound of glass being ground into the hard floor disrupts Lang’s thoughts. She is there after all. His adrenaline pumps even faster. His pounding heart makes it difficult to hear what’s happening inside the house. He knows she’s close now; he can smell her perfume wafting through the broken window. She’s right there… I can feel her! Come on, open the door. He can feel his impatience building. He can’t wait! He grips his knife tightly and reaches for the doorknob…

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Introductory Offer on New Tweeting Service Tweets4u



Now you’ve written your book, it’s time to let the public see it. Why waste your precious time on social media when you can free yourself to write your next best-seller. Leave us to promote your books on those time gobbling sites.

We post your book tweets so you don’t have to.

Our experienced tweeting team will ensure your books are seen by a wide audience so you don’t have to worry.  We guarantee to promote your tweets on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (That is 30 separate tweets with the 10 A DAY plan). We may also post to a few others.

At a cost of £5.50 ($7.75 USD) each, we can also create tweets for you. You are allowed 2 different tweets for the ’10 a Day’ plan and 4 using the ’20 a Day plan’. We use the hashtag #Tweets4u and give you a unique code so you can always search for these on social media.

Although Tweets4u is a new service, we have been posting tweets for some time in our free group ‘The Tweeting Co-Promotion group’. This is where we found that authors need this type of promotion, but don’t always have time to co-promote. Are you one of them?

For two weeks only, the new tweeting service Tweets4u is offering an introductory deal which finishes 19th February.  Don’t miss it! Check it out now. A great Introductory offer.



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Three Brilliant Ways for Authors to Co-Promote


After a discussion in a Facebook author group in late November, I decided to start a co-promotion group called the Tweeting Co-Promotion Group. Not very original, but it says what we do. We’ve been operating just 2 months and have 51 members.

We are not a re-tweeting group. It works like this: you add 4 of your own tweets to the group’s TWEET document and all other participating members copy and paste them, then post them in a tweet.

The tweets you add to the document remain in place until you want to update them. Every member with tweets on the document has to post 4 tweets for every other member weekly. At the moment we have 12 members using the document, so that’s only 48 tweets in a week. Most of our generous members are posting well over 100 a week for their fellow authors.

It’s a great way of promoting because your ads look so much better coming from someone else rather than continually from you, and a few members do say they’ve seen increased sales in January which is usually a very slow month.

We’ve also started a second method of posting tweets, so our members have more choice in how they participate. We recently introduced the Daily Tweet Thread. It’s much like any other re-tweeting thread, but instead of adding a link to the thread, members add a tweet (2 if they want). Instead of going to the link and re-tweeting, we just copy the tweet and paste it either directly into a twitter tweet, or we paste into an app. Using an app has the added advantage of simultaneously posting to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and many other social media platforms. So we get increased reach on those social media channels which the re-tweeting threads don’t have.


I’ve just introduced a third option, and we only tried it out for the first time recently. This one is called the Likes + Shares Thread because it’s specifically designed to give participating members likes and Shares on a chosen Facebook post. It’s easy to do, and in the first experiment with it,  I gained 10 extra likes and shares on one of my posts, as did my companions. I think it will be successful.

The best thing about co-promotion is it’s free. So if you want to join us to gain more reach with your own book promotions, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1963020040577375/

We’d love to see you there. Open to authors, craft makers and fine artists.

Posted in Authors, Bloggers, Books, Co-promotion, English History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tweeting Co-Promotion

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Rainne's Ramblings:
Today I’m going to introduce you to a group, on Facebook, that I am part of. It’s a recently formed group and we are still finding our feet, but it’s a good group with…

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Ray’s Journal: 6th Entry





This is not an excerpt from ‘Your Last Breath’. It’s more a snapshot of the thoughts and feelings our serial killer, Ray Lang, had in his earlier life. What influenced his later decision to kill? Was it the negative reactions of his family perhaps, or did he already have the inclination to harm others? Maybe both of these played some part in the person he became. Judge for yourself when you read his journal.

Ray’s Journal: 6th Entry

From literary genius to brain dead dunce in less than a day. So damn frustrating!!! I don’t know what happened. One minute I was writing this great piece, then the next I was back to writing crap. It’s like someone flipped a switch in my brain the words turned off. I’ve spent days, weeks really, trying to figure out what happened. How could I be able to write so beautifully one minute, then so shittely the next? I know that isn’t a word, but it best describes how I’m writing. The only solution I can come up with is adrenaline. The rush I got after killing Valerie is what allowed me to write so well. The problem is, I can’t just go around killing people just so I can write. Hell, for all I know the cops will be breaking down my door any minute to arrest me. I can’t believe they haven’t been here already to at least question me.

I have tried simulating the adrenaline rush with several different methods. Scary movies, standing on the edge of a roof, walking through rush hour traffic, cutting myself, I even tried a quick round of Russian Roulette with Martin’s uncle’s revolver last night. I can get a glimmer of brilliance, but never for long. I have even tried killing animals to get the rush, but it’s just not the same….

To continue reading see: https://gleanermansblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/rays-journal-6th-entry/

Ray’s Journal: 1st Entry here: https://gleanermansblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/rays-journal-1st-entry/

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Swirling Leaves of Autumn’s Wind

Autumnal Variation

Swirling Leaves of Autumn’s Wind

Swirling leaves of autumn’s wind

Fly and dance in circles,

Levitating from the ground

They dance around your ankles.

Rush indoors, escape the blast

Of whipping, churning air.

Close the door, ensure it’s fast

Time to settle in your chair.

But windows rattle, chimneys blow,

And draughts creep up your legs.

Flick a switch, make heating flow

Then finish the coffee dregs.

Autumn can be bleak or warm

With dank or sunny spells

Who can say what is the norm?

Oh yes! The weatherman tells…

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Diary of a Serial Killer: 5th Entry

YLB Poster 3

This is not an excerpt from our gripping thriller ‘Your Last Breath’, but rather a snippet from our main character’s life before he became a serial killer. More journal entries from my co-writer, Doug Lafuze, to follow. Please read and enjoy.

5th Entry

Do you believe in destiny? I used to. I used to believe my destiny was to be a famous author. To write lots of novels and make lots of money doing what I love. Now I don’t know what I believe. Maybe you don’t control your destiny? I don’t know, all I do know is that I will never be a famous author like I had planned. It’s not possible for me any longer…well dad, I guess I am going to prove you right, I am never going to do anything productive with my life because I am pretty sure it is over. I’ve done something so stupid, so…so…I can’t even find words to describe it at this moment it’s so idiotic. I have ruined my life, forever. Yet, I can’t believe how calm I am right now, knowing just how fucked my life is. It’s all over, so over. Fuck!!!! Dad even said I would probably end up in jail that night he threw me out of the house. He was so prophetic, why the hell did I have to prove him right? Fuck!!! I can’t believe I have done this, I can’t believe I have killed someone. No, I didn’t just kill someone, I MURDERED them, with my own two hands!!!!!!!!!!!! … More via Ray’s Journal, 5th entry

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Diary of a Serial Killer: 4th Entry


This is not an excerpt from our gripping thriller ‘Your Last Breath’, but rather a snippet from our main character’s life before he became a serial killer. More journal entries from my co-writer, Doug Lafuze, to follow. Please read and enjoy.


Well that was exciting, NOT! Just got home from lunch with dad and grandpa. Gramps set it up to try and ease the tension between the old man and I. I think it helped a little, dad actually said goodbye to me when we left. I love grandpa, he understands me and believes in me. So much different than his son! We met at Granny’s Café and were there for almost two hours. Grandpa did most of the talking. Dad and I just chimed in when we felt we should. I don’t know, maybe dad and I can fix this, if he apologizes!

Tammy is really starting to piss me off at work. I had to go to the other store twice last week and she really got fresh with me both times. She’s actually kind of scary in her approach. I hope I never get left alone with her somewhere, she might try and rip my clothes off or something. That woman is damn aggressive!!  … More via Ray’s Journal, 4th entry


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Journal of a Serial Killer: 3rd Entry

YLB PB Poster 3

Available here at $2.99

This is not an excerpt from our gripping thriller ‘Your Last Breath’, but rather a snippet from our main character’s life before he became a serial killer. More journal entries from my co-writer, Doug Lafuze, to follow. Please read and enjoy.

3rd Entry

I’m starting to feel as useless as my father thinks I am. Damnit!!! No matter what I do, I just cannot write anything useful. I’ve been trying for weeks now. Nothing comes. I know what the story is to be about, but nothing comes out. It’s like, when I sit down at the computer, I suddenly forget what words are. I am surprised I have the ability to write this damn journal!!!!!!!! Martin says it’s writers block. Whatever it is, it’s pissing me off big time!!

On a positive note, I got the job at the hardware store. So far I like it and the money is good. I stock shelves, wait on customers and make deliveries occasionally. The owner of the store, Mr. Heath, also owns another store so I will run over to it to help out, or take them things they need. It’s a nice thirty minute drive in a company truck that I get paid for. Sometimes I take the scenic route and it takes a little longer. My co-workers are nice, most of them. There was a girl working there named Janet that I thought about asking out, but she quit a few days after I started, so I haven’t seen her again. There is a woman at the other store who is coming on to me. Her name is Tammy and she is weird. She’s like, old and all, and I guess you could call her grotesquely sexy, if that makes sense. I don’t know. She’s like, all fat and shit and wears clothes that are way to tight for her. I really don’t like to look at her, but then sometimes, I get the urge to hit it. Damn she’s confusing… via Ray’s Journal, 3rd entry

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Diary of a Serial Killer: 2nd Entry


This is not an excerpt from our gripping thriller ‘Your Last Breath’, but rather a snippet from our main character’s life before he became a serial killer. More journal entries from my co-writer, Doug Lafuze, to follow. Please read and enjoy.

via Ray’s Journal, 2nd Entry

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Diary of a Serial Killer: 1st Entry


This is not an excerpt from ‘Your Last Breath’. It’s more a snapshot of the thoughts and feelings our serial killer, Ray Lang, had in his earlier life. What influenced his later decision to kill? Was it the negative reactions of his family perhaps, or did he already have the inclination to harm others? Maybe both of these played some part in the person he became. Judge for yourself when you read his journal. First entry here today!

1st Entry

I think I am going to quit college. This place is such a waste of my time. I mean, I already know how to write, duh, and I had enough of this “i before e except after c” crap in high school. I thought they would be teaching me what I need to write great novels but so far it’s just bullshit I already know mixed in with plenty of their opinions about politics and shit. The last three months have been the biggest waste of time in my life. And if I have to put up with any more criticism from that pompous bitch prof in English Lit I swear I will flip out and end her meaningless existence!! … More via Ray’s Journal, 1st Entry

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Do Murder Thrillers Encourage Some People to Kill

The horrifying news about Jemma Lilley, originally from Lincolnshire, UK, killing autistic boy, Aaron Pajich, at her home in Perth because she wanted to feel euphoric, appalls me.
I’m beginning to worry what effect books like my dark thriller ‘Your Last Breath’ have on people like her, and what we authors can do to discourage them from acting out their fantasies. We can make the perpetrator suffer in our stories, but sometimes we have to let them get away. Are other crime/thriller/murder writers concerned about this?
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Different Doesn’t Mean Inferior


It’s natural to see things from our own viewpoint. Sometimes, it’s from a physical perspective. For instance, a tall person cleaning may see a gathering of dust on an upper shelf while a short person, unable to see that high up, would perhaps only notice the dust between a microwave and a counter top. It’s the same with our views from a social perspective. We see differences in the looks, behaviour, and beliefs of the people all around us.



This is beneficial, it helps us surround ourselves with people similar to us, particularly those who share our core values, hobbies, life experiences, and so on. However, when we notice others are different from us, this does not give us the right to judge them as inferior, less valuable, or someone we must ostracise purely on the basis of those differences.

We have no right to judge others at all unless, and here lies the crux of the matter, they, personally, have committed a crime against us or society, or their behaviour impacts on us directly.

Too many of us think it is our right to judge those that don’t conform to our standards, whatever they are. We should all remember how we live is not always our choice, and make allowances for others. After all, wouldn’t we  want those same ‘different’ individuals to make allowances for our beliefs, looks, and sometimes odd behaviour?

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A Question of Perception




What Do You Think About Caravans?

It has always fascinated me how people from different nations and cultures view caravans, or rather mobile homes as they are more commonly known here now.

This difference seems more noticeable between England and the United Sates. We in England, often hear references from over the pond about white trailer trash. We British, believe Americans use this derogatory term to describe poor, lower class, white people living in mobile homes, or trailers as they are known in the states.

We in Britain,  have a very different view of dwellings on wheels. Generally, we have a fond relationship with them which stems from as early as the 1800s when they were first used by Romanies, travelling salesmen, as well as circus and fairground workers. Of course, they were horse-drawn then, but once we had the  motor engine, the caravan  moved along with the times and increasingly became popular for leisure  as well as work. More recently, in the 1940s, the static caravan appeared on the scene. The modern ones are, indeed, a home from home with dishwashers, full bathroom  and laundry facilities, multi-room piped music, double glazing, and even under-floor heating.






Several differences exist between the UK and the US in mobile home usage. For instance:


In the UK, holiday makers are most likely to rent mobile homes, and will pay several hundred pounds to hire one for a week or two. The caravan park location will be the seaside or in a rural spot some distance from where the people hiring it live. They will have their own dwelling elsewhere and use it for a change of scenery.

In the US, people hire them to live in. They are more likely to be near a town or industry. People hiring them usually cannot afford to have property elsewhere.


In the UK, caravan parks require mobile home owners to own or live in property elsewhere. They must have a separate address unless their static caravan is on a residential park. They are proud of their mobile home and the lifestyle it gives them. Indeed, they are sometimes envied by their friends and neighbours.

In the US, people who own them usually do so because they are cheaper than buying other property. They are unlikely to have other property either rented or owned. They would not be as proud to own it as the British counterpart.

Yet not all US trailer parks fit the trailer trash pattern.  Mobile homes and trailer parks are perceived differently depending on each state. Tom Geoghegan expertly demonstrates the variety in attitudes between states.


What do you think about mobile homes? Do you like them or loathe them? Don’t forget to name your state or county when you comment.

Posted in Author, British seaside, Different perceptions, England, Holidays, Mobile homes, Rural Countryside, Trailer parks, United States | Leave a comment