Tweeting Co-Promotion

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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:

Ray’s Journal: 1st Entry here:

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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

Posted in Books, Dark Thriller, Parents, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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


Posted in Books, Dark Thriller, Uncategorized, United States, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Author, Books, Dark Thriller, Suspense, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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?
Posted in Authors, Bloggers, Books, Crime, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

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?

Posted in Life, Natural World, Nature, Relationships, Social Networking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments



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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

Lancashire Humour -Wet, Wet, Wet

We walked out of the chippy unable to speak, we had tears in our eyes. It was not the price or an Atlantic Cod shortage causing this emotional moment, we had just said goodbye to Mr Chow, proprietor of Chow’s Chippy, Blackburn Road, Bolton, Lancashire. The Boss has enjoyed Chips ‘n’ a Chat for thirty […]

via Wet Wet Wet – Eleven Nights in Lancashire —

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Wish I was an expert!

Apart from being a master at nothing, the worst thing about being an all-rounder is there is so much you want to do and not enough time to do it in. Wish there were more hours in the day! I love writing, art, needle crafts, and doing my family history. What do you like doing?











Yellow Flowers – Cross Stitch

Posted in #Needle Crafts, Art, Humour, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter Cave Poems: Diary of a Caving and Creative Writing Project

Source: Winter Cave Poems: Diary of a Caving and Creative Writing Project

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Best Way Yet to Make Sure Your Posts Are Reblogged


Co-operative Reblogging

How many of us have spent precious time perfecting a post for our website only to have it seen once, and then sink neglected in the blog graveyard? Few people may have actually seen the post, and this is especially true of our early posts when we have few followers. Some great content is wasting away in the bowels of various websites. What a waste! Yet how can we use it?

We could keep regurgitating our own posts and, indeed, I have done that on occasions, although I do worry it may offend my longest followers to see it again instead of something new. Wouldn’t it be a better idea if we used other people’s content and let those other bloggers use ours? I know we all do that anyway, but the posts I’m referring to are not being shown. They’ve been out once or twice, but with few followers to see them they’ve been overlooked. When others reblog, the posts are seen by different people.

When we’re looking for something to reblog, we often spend ages trawling through the reader to find suitable posts. Yet if we all put our most interesting blog’s URLs in one place it would be so much easier to find the content we’re looking for. Adding your blogs here could give you another benefit. Reblogging each other’s posts will probably encourage new visitors to your website which, in turn, may help you get noticed by the search bots.

This will only work if they are quality posts, that is, not promotional or sales posts. The aim here is not to sell, but to win more followers and readers. I would not recommend you totally replace your own posts with reblogs from others. They should really be used to supplement your posts. New posts we  create can also be added to the list, as and when we publish them. In this way there will be an ever-increasing pool of URLs to choose from.

Quality posts could be flash fiction, short stories, poetry (at least two verses), informative articles, true life experiences, in fact, everything apart from a direct sales advert. Author interviews allowed (in the ratio of one in four submitted URLs) providing they only  contain one book link and one thumbnail sized book cover image. This should guarantee the emphasis will be on the author, not the book. We should make sure the posts we offer are well-edited, not out-dated, relevant to the present (unless it’s about the past), and non-offensive. No references to anything racist or explicitly sexual  accepted.


  1. Please add your post links in the comments, no more than two links in one comment. WordPress thinks comments with three or more links are spam and will reject them.  There is no limit for the amount of comments you want to add, so if you’re adding eight URLs, you can do it in four comments.
  2. When using links from the comments, please read them to make sure they are suitable for your followers. That responsibility is yours.
  3. For those who might want to use the links without giving us some their own, please feel free to do this. Those of us who have submitted our links are more than pleased to have the posts reblogged. Do remember, however, the list of new ones will eventually die out if too many do this without offering some links back in return.

Only you can make this a successful content resource. Please use it! If this generates a good response, I will make it more permanent.

I’ll add my URLs to the first comments. Please reblog at least one of mine from the comments and also this post, then feel free to add your own URLs. I will then reblog at least one of yours.





Posted in Authors, Family Life, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Promotion, Short Stories, Social Networking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Middle-Age Musings

The years described as ‘middle age’ are arbitrary, but commonly believed to occur later now than one hundred years ago. The middle years occupy about one-third of our life cycle, and can last between twenty and thirty years. For the purposes of this article, I’ll suggest ‘middle age’ is the period when you feel past your prime until you reach old age.

Realising you are approaching middle age can be either exciting or daunting. Exciting because your children, if you have any, are preparing to leave or have already left home. You may be looking forward to the freedom that brings, alternatively, you may be dreading it, worrying how you are going to fill all the time you’ll have. This is certainly true if you and your partner are not getting on.

You may never have had children, and now those opportunities are gone
you could feel depressed, wondering what options are left for you now. Illness will certainly affect how you see your middle years too. Take heart; life is still what you make it.

You can choose to sit back and practice for your retirement years, or you can grab the new opportunities open to you. From my point of view, life is for living. Now is the time to try all those things you thought you would never have time for. Research your family history, write poetry or a book, take up a sport, read more, or learn a new craft. The list is endless. So many things you can do even if you have impaired mobility. I went back to college when I was forty and I loved it.

Join a club and make new friends. You may not have had time for friends before, so grasp this opportunity now. If you are lucky, these middle years– where you can finally do all the things you’ve ever thought of doing– will last a long time.

Some people, however, will go straight from looking after their children to looking after their parents. For those middle-aged carers with children still at home, it can feel like a lifelong cycle. Having two competing parties demanding your attention is often crippling. Many middle-aged people caring for their parents are also looking after grandchildren while their parents work. They too  have the problem of split loyalties, like those still caring for their children.

For those caring for elderly parents, as the years go by, they will find their parents regress into babies. You care for your own babies as they progress into toddlers, children, teenagers, and adults, and then start all over again with your parents’ in reverse order. In the beginning they are just adults who need help with certain things. As the years move forward, so the list of everyday things they need help with grows. You watch helplessly as your parents get frustrated at the things they cannot do. Soon they are like children looking to you for their every need, and eventually, if they live long enough, they regress to babies. Dementia sufferers are often waiting around for their mum or dad to come, and will talk as if they are still living with them. Even worse is when you have to cope with parents who have lost control over their own bodily functions.

Be cheerful though, caring for elderly parents isn’t as miserable as it seems. Do you remember how much laughter your little ones gave you? How hilarious some of the things they did were? Well, I’m pleased to tell you, you’ll also have those wonderful rib-tickling laughter moments, peppered in between the despairing ones, when you care for your elderly parents.

I can recall many incidents with my mum and dad that had us giggling. One morning my dad telephoned us, and my husband picked up the phone. My dad thought he was phoning Liverpool County Council to tell them he needed the toilet seat replacing. No matter how many times my husband told him he was speaking to his son-in-law, dad kept strongly insisting the council replace the toilet seat in his rented flat. He was using his trump card of being ninety, and he was growing impatient and angry. Frustrated, because he could not make my dad understand who he was speaking to, my husband pretended he was from the council, and told dad someone would be there right away to fix it. So we bought a new toilet seat, took it to my parent’s flat, and fixed it for him. Dad could not understand how we knew he had broken it again. This was the fourth one he had broken in a year and probably did not want us to know he had done it again. The funny thing was, he had left Liverpool more than thirty years earlier, and so had not been under Liverpool County Council for many years.

on another occasion, he telephoned us to ask for his grandson’s telephone number. We tried to give it to him over the phone, but it was a disaster. Each number took about eight attempts on his part to get it right, and when we got to the sixth number, he just could not get it at all. My husband put the phone on speaker and we were both in hysterics with him. Dad was laughing too, and I would not be surprised if he was doing it deliberately to get us over to his place again, because that is what we ended up doing even though we had only just come back from there.One time he rang us, and when my husband answered, dad wanted to know what we had called him for. We tried to explain it was him who telephoned us, but he would not have it and insisted we had called him. There were so many funny incidents as they aged, it is impossible to recall all of them. So if you are currently facing that situation, cheer up, it’s not all bad. If you are not dealing with that particular situation, then you are lucky.

There’s another tension packed scenario I have not mentioned yet. That is when married children come back to live with you, often bringing their partner and children with them. This is potentially a stressful time for all. Take comfort from the fact it won’t last forever. The younger ones will find the situation as harrowing as you. They will strive to get their own space again.

So those of you who so far have none of these complications, make the most of these middle years while you can. You just never know when your situation will change.

Posted in Caring for Elderly Parents, Children, Couples, Family Life, Humour, Life, Marriage, Middle Age, Parents, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Don’t Let Memories Die

As an avid family historian, I’m a great believer in memoirs and autobiographies. If your aged family members are capable, encourage them to give you a written piece on  their life experiences. If that would be too difficult, encourage them to talk about their lives — the times they laughed until their sides ached, or when sadness overtook them, in fact, to tell you about everything, including what they remember about great uncle Fred.

I know, it’s not always easy in our busy lives to find time to sit and talk but, just remember, those frail relatives will probably not be around when you finally do have the time to spend with them. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard those researching their family trees say they wished they’d asked the questions. Please don’t be one of them. We often only develop an interest in our roots as we age. Don’t leave too late.


Memoirs Kindle Cover

Available as an eBook or paperback direct from Amazon

I’m so pleased I encouraged my mother, then in her eighties, to write about her life. Elizabeth Alker, the only child of humble, working class parents,  was born in Pemberton, Wigan. She seems to have had it all, born to loving parents, and then later, fortunate enough to have a happy marriage, caring children, and a long and healthy life. Her journey, however, has not been straightforward. Fate has a way of disrupting the smoothest of paths, and that’s how it was for her.

As an only child, a series of illnesses and deaths marred her teenage years leaving her an orphan, bereft of close family. She married quite young, only eighteen. Soon after, when her mother died, and she was still reeling from the shock of losing the last of her immediate family, her husband did his utmost to ease her loneliness and shock. That is, until fate threw her world into chaos again.  As the second world war loomed, her young husband, already in the territorial army and among the first sent away, unhappily had to leave her alone with her firstborn.

Follow her on her journey through an extraordinary life, sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious. An ordinary young woman, living her life in the same area and time frame as George Orwell’s study of the working class, Elizabeth would  have witnessed the same scenes he depicted. Orwell concentrated on the negative side of the 1930s Great Depression, while Elizabeth’s recollections show the sheer grit and determination of the community at that time. It is eighty years since Orwell published his work in 1937, a fitting time to publish the memories of Elizabeth Smith.

Posted in #Love, Army, Books, Couples, Economy, England, English History, Family History, Family Life, Humour, Lancashire, Marriage, Parents, Second World War, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author’s Dilemma

Author’s Dilemma


In Appreciation of My Blogging Friends

Oh! What am I doing? I swore I never would
Broadcast my whole life in sight of every hood.
“You’ll be taking a risk,” So everybody said.
“They’ll know about you,” They’re filling me with dread.
“But I have to do this,” I answered in alarm.
“To promote my book I’ll need lots of charm.”
‘Tissue of Lies’, suspense thriller I created.
If I don’t act now it will be outdated.
Creating my blog page I made it so unique.
Not entirely true, just a bit of my cheek.
In truth, I didn’t know what topic I should write,
But I gave it my best, crossed fingers really tight.
What I didn’t expect was the sterling support
My fellow bloggers gave me with each effort.
They make blogging a joy and much more; a pleasure;
Likes, comments, reblogs I know I will treasure.

Carole Parkes (Copyright 2014)

Tissue of Lies cover 2


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Christmas is Even More Complicated When You Have a Secret.

Christmas is even more complicated when you have a secret.


Only £1.99 from Amazon – Buy Here

Read the first few chapters free – See Inside

Free with Kindle Unlimited – Here


Posted in e-Books, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment