Better Tagging for Increased Traffic

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

What interests you? Cooking ? Drawing ? Photography ? Fishing ? Travel ? No matter your hobby or passion, there is a community of people on WordPress.com who share your interests.

Exploring tags in the Reader is a great way for you to discover great new authors to read and blogs to follow. What’s more, tagging your posts is a great way for the like-minded to find your posts in the Reader and discover your blog.

Tag your posts to attract new readers

While many bloggers write purely for the love of it, it feels great when someone reads your post, clicks on the like button, and takes the time to comment thoughtfully. Tagging your posts helps people to find them in the Reader, increasing the chance that a new visitor stops by to check out your blog.

Tagging is one part art and one part science. Shane Francescut often…

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Review of Vengeance is Mine by Harry James Krebs

Vengeance is Mine (Benjamin Tucker, #1)Vengeance is Mine by Harry James Krebs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book came to me via a review request and I am so pleased I accepted, I couldn’t put it down. It is an excellent story of Ben Tucker, a crime writer cum journalist, who when he hears of a gruesome murder in his home town, it brings back painful memories of the murder of his first girlfriend years ago, and he feels compelled to offer his services to the police. Then there is a second murder, a serial killer is at large.
Ben has only recently married, and his description: ‘She was high-society money, but I was a mutt,’ sums it up, but he never married Maggie for her money. It was a real love match. His family plead with him not to become involved, it is too dangerous, but the more they become dragged into the serial killer’s clutches, the more determined Ben is to solve the crimes.
The whole family are a lovely believable group of people and the author’s description of Oscar, the family dog, whose two left legs are shorter than his two right ones create welcome lighter moments. As does Ben’s relationship with Lieutenant Netter.
And the ending! Well, I didn’t see that coming. A very clever, well-written story. I understand this is the first in the series. The author has created a great character in Ben Tucker and I look forward to reading more thrillers involving him and his family.

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Review of Chasing Prophecy by James Moser

Chasing ProphecyChasing Prophecy by James Moser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a little while to get into the story. At first, it didn’t appear to be going anywhere and I thought I had made a mistake reading a YA book. It was just a story about a boy called Mo, who has two ‘Mums’, and who gets bullied at school because of the relationship between the two women. His best friend Max, always seems to be protecting him, and a girl called Kazzy, who Mo idolises, is always around to stand up for him. Then Kazzy and her mother join a commune in the mountains, called the Bethlehem Ranch, where everyone’s names are changed. Kazzy becomes Prophecy. The locals call it a cult not a commune and are suspicious of it. The story picks up when Love Bethlehem, the leader of the commune, dies and his sons take over. The commune owes a lot of back taxes, and the kids get drawn into illegal dealings and threatened if they ever go to the police. The pace certainly hots up from then on. An accident happens, or is it a murder? One of the young kids goes missing and help comes from something else living in the mountains, who or what is it? I think teenagers/young adults would thoroughly enjoy this book and certainly relate to the characters in it. Very well written.

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Review of Catherine Howard by D. Lawrence-Young

Catherine Howard: Henry's Fifth FailureCatherine Howard: Henry’s Fifth Failure by D. Lawrence-Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure whether to give this a 2* or 3* so I think it is somewhere inbetween.

This book is written from the perspective of Catherine Howard, who becomes the 5th wife of Henry VIII, and Robert Butcher, a butcher’s son who dreams of making a better life for himself and enlists as a soldier at the Tower of London.

Catherine is a pretty girl, who, even at her young age, knows how to use her charms to attract the men. She has several suitors, who she manages to have secret assignations with, and who all manage to clamber through the window of the Maidens’ Chamber at night and climb into her bed. She eventually catches the eye of the King, who marries her and for eighteen months all is well until she rekindles a friendship with Thomas Culpepper, which is her downfall.

A soldier’s life at the Tower is not what Robert Butcher envisaged. He witnesses the beheading of Anne Boleyn and the cruel treatment of many others at the hands of Henry VIII. He eventually leaves.

The book is interesting in as much as it gives the reader an insight into what life would have been like in those days, but I didn’t like the way the book was written. The use of conversation as a way of explaining life at court and life at the Tower seems to be an easy way out for the author to tell his story.

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Review of At Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro

At Their Own GameAt Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jake Stankovic, a former cop, now earns a living dealing in stolen property with his two sidekicks, Matt and Brent, while managing to keep out of the clutches of the law. With money tight, Jake decides to break into drug dealing, something which he has avoided up to now, because of the dangers involved, but just this once he takes the risk – a big mistake – he soon finds out, as he gets involved with Ozzy the local drug dealer.

At the same time, Helen, who is the ex-wife of detective Falkner, returns and wants to renew the affair that she and Jake had years ago when Jake was still a cop. This re-ignites Falkner’s hatred of Jake and he begins to harass him in every way possible. Jake now seems threatened on all sides. He wants to trust Helen, but something about her return niggles away at him. Ozzy is after his blood. He even suspects one of his sidekicks of being a traitor. Poor Jake, we all get dragged into the sorry state of affairs and whilst wanting to be on Jake’s side, a ruthless streak within his character makes us step back and look at him in a different way. What lengths will a person go to when the chips are down?

It is a compelling story, with many twists and turns, but one that makes us question our own morals. Would we resort to the way Jake deals with his friends and enemies alike?

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Shirley Ford – Follow your dreams and never give up

Originally posted on AUTHORS PROMOTION:

I am pleased to introduce today a very nice lady, Shirley Ford, the author of With Love from Libby, a fictional motivational story about following our dreams.

‘’Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.’’

 ~ Pope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) ~

 

with love from libbyAll the young Libby ever wanted was to become a police officer. She finally achieves her dream and begins a promising career in the police force. Then Jack enters her life; a charismatic man, who sets his sights on her. She quickly falls for his charms and although friends try to discourage her relationship with Jack, she is unable to break away. She soon finds herself married, with two daughters and…

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Review of Changing Lanes by Kathleen Long

Changing Lanes: A NovelChanging Lanes: A Novel by Kathleen Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this story even though it was so predictable. Abby, the main character loses her job; and her husband-to-be ups and goes to Paris, France, a few weeks before their wedding, to spend some time alone to ‘find’ himself, without telling her. The house they have bought together back in Abby’s home town is infested with termites. She is unable to move in. Her only option is to return to her parents’ home and try and make sense of all the awful things happening to her.

The first person she sees as she arrives at her parents’ home is Mick, her boyfriend from years ago when they were both in their teens. It is a life changing moment for both of them.

There are some good messages in this book, which definitely resonated with me, about living in the now and living your dream, which the author has been able to express with the help of Abby’s lovely but slightly dysfunctional family.

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Review of Thirty-Two Going On Spinster

Thirty-Two Going on SpinsterThirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was offered Thirty-Two Going on Spinster as one of the books I could pick as a prize for coming runner up in a recent competition. I didn’t read the synopsis, it was the title that intrigued me. All I can say is that I was very happy with the choice I made. A very light-hearted, easy read. Julia had reached her thirties and decided that she must be a spinster as she had no love interest, in fact there had been no man in her life at all for some time; she still lived at home with her parents, albeit in their basement; and stuck in a dead-end job with a boss she disliked. Then, along came Jared! The rest of the story was quite predictable, but still fun to read.

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Gone for Ever – A Short Story

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My next writing project, which I am currently working on, covers part of my childhood spent in North Cornwall as the daughter of a stationmaster at a small rural station. The following is an extract adapted for ‘homework’ at our local writers’ group.

Gone for Ever

Otterham railway station stood almost at the bottom of a long hill, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The main A39 crossed the railway line via a bridge. A narrow lane curved off to the right, running parallel to the railway line, while the A39 carried on over the bridge and continued on its way down the hill, eventually reaching a small village. Our garden had a steep bank up to the road, on which a row of fir trees grew, one of which had two large branches reaching over the garden. My swing hung from the lower branch, while the higher branch became my ‘horse’.

On moving to Otterham, we would often go out for walks on a Sunday into the surrounding countryside. A couple of miles up the hill would bring us to Davidstow Moor, where the air force had a base during the war. The air force had long gone and the runways used for car racing in recent years, but was now used for parachuting practice and this is what we would walk up to watch.

One particular Sunday, when I was about seven years old, we went for our usual walk. I wanted to take my bike, which I had recently learned to ride. The brakes were faulty and my father was supposed to fix them, but was too busy, so I was told to be careful. I managed to pedal slowly up the hill, following my dad and my mum who pushed my younger brother in a pushchair. We reached the top of the hill, stood and watched the parachutists for a while, and then turned to come home. The road was flat at the top of the hill and I was still riding my bike, but as we started back down the hill my dad held on to the back of my bike so I wouldn’t go too fast. It was back breaking for him bending over, so he soon told me to get off and walk the rest of the way. I said okay, he let go of the bike, but didn’t get off in time, and soon the bike with me clinging on for dear life, was gathering speed down the hill. I could hear my parent’s shouts getting fainter and fainter all the time.

For a seven year old, I must have had my wits about me, because I knew I had three choices if I could only stay on the bike. I could turn right and carry on down the narrow lane, but there were sharp bends; I could carry on over the railway bridge, but who knows how far I would go before the bike slowed down; or I could run into the hedge, on the left just before the bridge.

I chose the hedge, but missed and hurtled into a fence immediately before the first pillar of the bridge. How I missed hitting the bridge I don’t know, but I did stop, knocking a front tooth out in the process. I sat on the grass verge with a handkerchief held to my mouth to stem the bleeding; the front wheel of my bike all buckled, and waited for my parents, who were running down the hill behind me in a panic. My mother had visions of me lying on the railway track, which could have so easily happened, if I had fallen through the fence.

Many years later, on holiday with my family in Cornwall, I wanted to go back to show them where I used to live as a child.

We were on the A39, coming out of Davidstow and I was busily telling them about my bike incident, and saying that it was this hill I was on and at the bottom they would see the bridge which I almost hit, and the house where I used to live. Suddenly, I could see the house, but, where was the station? where was the railway line? but more importantly where was the bridge? what had happened to the bridge? It had been demolished after the railway closed. The road had changed out of all recognition. Our garden had disappeared along with the tree with my swing and horse. The spot where I would wait for the school bus. All gone. The road I was so familiar with – gone for ever.

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Review of Shemlan -A Deadly Tragedy by Alexander McNabb

Shemlan: A Deadly TragedyShemlan: A Deadly Tragedy by Alexander McNabb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The author’s first-hand knowledge of the Middle East comes across in this novel, enabling him to mix real places with fictional characters.

The plot revolves around a retired diplomat, Jason Hartmoor, who has terminal cancer. He plans one last trip back to the Lebanon, while he is still able, to see if he can find the one woman he has always loved, but was forced to leave behind when civil war broke out. Back in England he endured an unhappy marriage, but for many years was able to correspond with his lost love by letters in which she told him that she was now happily married. Unbeknown to him, his visit stirs up a hornets nest of espionage and counter-espionage; of agents and double-agents, from the CIA to the KGB. People want him dead, for reasons he cannot understand. SIS agent Gerald Lynch is sent to keep Hartmoor safe and alive until they can find out what the real reason is for his visit.

This was a well thought out plot with believable characters. The ending took me by surprise, not what I expected at all. Congratulations on a well-written book

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