Welcome to Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine with contributors from the UK, US and Canada At LLm we are extremely lucky to have a dedicated team whose ethos is life is for living, so grab it and run! 2013 was a year of highs and lows around the world. When disasters happen—whether abroad, or nearer to home—it is a sharp reminder to us all. We need to remember to take time out to ‗smell the roses‘ and count our blessings. Life is a precious gift, so share the joy. If you see someone having a bad day, take a moment—a smile, an act of kindness, or lending a listening ear … it can make all the difference. Our team has been busy ensuring Issue 3 is another packed edition, with a diverse range of articles and features. As Editor-in-Chief I was thrilled to be awarded the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Industry Award in November 2013, at the Festival of Romance in Bedford, UK. It was for evolving the original Loveahappyending author/reader interactive website into the online magazine it is today. It was an honour to receive the award, which was ‗one for the group‘—not just our feature editors, authors, guest writers and Bookshelf reviewers (brought together by feature editor Janice Horton), but for our wonderful visitors too. What I have found is that authors and professional book reviewers have a shared passion that verges on the obsessive. However, they are also passionate about many things in life. LLm was a natural progression, but it‘s the three million plus hits on the website that have kept us moving forward, determined to bring you a quality, free read. In this edition we are banishing winter blues!
In the midst of winter, a little sunshine… Patricia Sands is an author who spends a lot of time in France and in this edition she will be brightening up those chilly days by sharing some truly wonderful photographs with us. If you haven‘t visited Nice then it‘s one for your ‗bucket list‘. Truly. Even visiting in the spring (below) you can avoid the summer crowds, but still savour the delights in a more leisurely fashion. These photos were taken in March and it was delightfully sunny and warm.
There is so much to see and do. You will come away with a myriad of colours in your mind -
and a feel for the glitz and glamour! We‘re also whisking you off to Corfu, Lanzarote and discovering ‗snuba‘!
In this edition:
Also in this issue we have some fabulous recipes from ex-restaurant owner, chef and foodie, Caroline James and we are delighted to be featuring renowned chef Martin Blunos with some amazing recipes using Buckfast Abbey‟s tonic wine. Bonnie Trachtenberg‟s ‘In Search of a •© Ending’ tackles some of those tough ‗life‘ issues and Kit Domino has some top tips for all Happy those budding writers out there! Of course, we also have LOTS more to inspire you as the new year begins!
“It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn – 2014 is here!” Don’t forget to visit our two websites for lots more interesting articles and sign up for our MONTHLY newsletter: www.loveahappyending.com “LLm”& www.loveahappyending.org “The Bookshelf” You can follow us on Twitter @loveahappyend and @LAHEBookshelf FB Loveahappyending.com
Anneli Purchase, Production Assistant
5. An interview with Downton Abbey’s food stylist – Lisa Heathcote 9. Pairing red wines and vegetarian food 11. An interview with celebrity chef, Martin Blunos 15. Screen v stage – Les Miserables 16. Website hijack – who do you call? 17. Nice La Belle 21. Exhausted parent’s playbook 24. Meet artist Elizabeth Cassidy 29. A love affair with Corfu 32. X-rated satire with Adam’s rib 35. Janice Horton’s Bookshelf Reviews 40. Land Ahoy! 43. When first love goes awry … relationship advice with Bonnie Trachtenberg 44. Romantic fiction writing course in Italy 47. Home project – mirror magic
51. News from the book world 53. Fall/winter fashion 57. Feeding fish in paradise 60. Vancouver Island – seasonal visitors 64. Building those skills – children and education 68. A tower for two 72. Tandemocracy – climb every mountain … 76. Meet the team
There is a common misconception that certain wines can completely overpower your vegetarian meal. Needless to say these are the same sort of thought processes that originate from the same doctrine of thinking that says a meal canâ€˜t be a meal if there isnâ€˜t any meat involved. Thankfully that mentality is shifting as even the biggest meat-lovers are learning that they can still have a very fulfilling meal that lacks a meat variety. Cabernet to Your Advantage Pairing of wines with vegetarian dishes is actually just the same as with any other dish. If you are looking for a wine that is going to clear the palate then you want to go with something that has a high acidity to help cut out any richness that may be lingering from heavily savoury dishes.
Plates that are heavy in tomato reductions utilising balsamic vinegar or other vinegars are naturally going to be on the high end in terms of the acidity level. For these dishes that have a strong sauce component you could utilise the acidity level of a Cabernet Sauvignon to your advantage.
Which vegetarian foods pair well with fine, aged red wines? If you are eating vegetarian meals because you are trying to avoid eating foods which contain animal proteins, you want to be sure to do a little extra research on the vegetarian wines that are available. This is why knowing a little about wines in general can really help you to match a wine to you chosen foods.
Reds Can Pair With Fresh Salads There is an overwhelming consensus that white wines pair well with any sort of dish or salad that is heavily comprised of fresh produce. While you could go with a red wine, some suggest the flavour may be too overbearing and squander the subtle flavours of fresh vegetables. For that reason a Sauvignon Blanc is an easy to drink wine that has a pleasing character. The fruity crisp flavours wonâ€˜t overpower your dish. 9
You want to be aware of the acid content that is in your dish and pair accordingly. If it is an overwhelmingly acidic dish you may want to pull out the Grand Bateau Rouge. Although it is a red wine, the rich, deep flavour of spices and oak can match a powerful salad dressing. This sort of wine, with its ripened tannins would pair well with any dish that has been built around savoury flavours such as rosemary, thyme or tarragon. Savoury Dishes When the vegetarian dish that you are preparing is more of a cooked entree such as grilled portabella mushrooms or even a hearty bean soup, then you should be wise to serve it with a fine glass of red wine. If you have a favourite wine, like SauvĂŠ de Citerne, than by all means go ahead and break out this Syrah and Grenache blend. The full-bodied flavour compliments a hearty meal. If you are concerned about a wine being too overpowering for a vegetarian dish then it is time to re-examine the cuisine. Vegetarian fare has come a long way from the bland palate it once was. Now there are fully-rounded exquisite flavours that are being brought to the table without the use of any meat-based ingredients. Bold Blends Wines which are composed of a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have a complex and yet straightforward composition that can provide a versatile pairing when you are uncertain about finding the perfect wine for a vegetarian dish. A wine like Chateau Subilaux contains mostly Merlot, but then is finished off with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Cabernet Franc. A wine like this is going to have a wonderful fruity overtone that really lets you know that you are having a glass of wine with your meal.
By allowing the wine a place among your table you are naturally bringing an entirely new aspect to your dining experience. There is no reason whatsoever why wine should be avoided simply because there is no meat on the table. As a general guide if you are eating something crisp, such as fresh greens that are seasoned with something such as dill, go with a nice crisp white wine. If the dish is hearty and heavier, go with something more rich robust red wine. Carlo Pandian is an Italian expat living in London interested in wine and gardening!
SCREEN v STAGE And who was the winner? ―Les Misérables‖ tells the tale of the Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an ill-treated prisoner (imprisoned for many years for stealing a loaf of bread). On being freed from prison, Valjean breaks his parole, making a new life for himself prospering as a businessman who, because of his own persecution, is kind to his employees. Valjean, however, is haunted by the relentless and ruthless Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) who is determined to pursue and recapture him. On realising he has inadvertently caused the downfall and death of one of his poor employees, the ill-fated Fantine (Anne Hathaway), Valjean vows to bring up her young daughter as if she were his own. A confrontation between Javert and Valjean ensues during a Parisian street uprising, where Valjean tries to protect Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), now a young woman, and her lover Marius (Eddie Redmayne). Having seen the stage musical ―Les Misérables‖ based on Victor Hugo‘s epic 19th century novel, I wasn‘t sure what to expect from the screen version. For those of you who haven‘t seen the 2012 film this modern classic is available on DVD. The film has had its various criticisms, one or two aimed at Russell Crowe regarding his singing abilities. True, he is not perhaps the world‘s most gifted vocalist but, nevertheless, I found his performance worked. Hamming it up (as indeed Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter did in portraying in true pantomime style the exploitative, money-grabbing innkeepers, Monsieur and Madame Thénardier) Crowe‘s performance worked for me. Anne Hathaway‘s performance as Fantine, the mother of Cosette, was truly moving, her rendition of ―I Dreamed a Dream‖ the highlight of the film and well worth the Oscar. Samantha Barks, one of the original actors from the stage production, playing the pining Éponine, also succeeded in evoking the sympathy of the audience. In short, the film scored for me, though it did lack the spectacle of the live performance to which one can’t help but to compare it. Director: Tom Hooper; Writers – Screenplay: William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer Stage Musical: Alain Boubil, Claude-Michel Schönberg Novel: Victor Hugo
Brought to you by: Sheryl Browne Website/blog: http://sheryls-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @SherylBrowne FB: Sheryl Browne
When the unthinkable happens… who you gonna call? Ghostbusters, right?
Sorry, wrong answer. Jokes aside, this can be a devastating moment. You try to access your blog to do routine maintenance, write a post, or reply to comments and instead of seeing your wonderful creation, you see this (or something similar). You‘re dumfounded, hurt, angry. After all, you‘re not an evil, malicious person. You don‘t distribute spyware or malware through your site. But someone has. They‘ve infiltrated your site, bypassed whatever security measures you have in place. In short, you‘ve been violated. What do you do, besides cry, bash your head against the wall and tear your hair out in frustration?
Scan your computer for spyware, malware and viruses since it is possible that you‘ve picked something up since your last scheduled scan was done and inadvertently uploaded it to your site. Use Google webmaster tools to remove the offending code from the file(s) – not for the faint of heart and daunting even to those who consider themselves to be tech savvy, then request removal from their blacklist. It can take some time to get off the blacklists so remain patient. Inspect your blog closely for items that you know you didn‘t add, such as a link to online gambling in your sidebar. If you find something like this delete it. It‘s also a good idea to delete any inactive widgets that you might have.
Once these ne‘er-do-wells find a weakness in your site, they‘ll be back so you need to be ever more vigilant and take extra caution to ensure it doesn‘t happen again. Bump up the security in your site. There are a number of good plugins available. Change your FTP password, don‘t use ―admin‖ as one of your user names. If going it alone is too much for you, then there are companies out there with experience in dealing with this. One such company is Sucuri.net. They offer malware monitoring and cleanup for an annual fee. They also have a Free Website Malware Scanner so you can find out exactly what your site has been infected with. And if you‘re still paranoid after the attack, they have a monthly subscription to their CloudProxy where your site resides safely behind their firewall and other security measures. If you ever find yourself in this position, and I truly hope you don‘t, then don‘t beat yourself up if you can‘t manage the cleanup on your own. It‘s perfectly fine to throw your hands up in the air and admit defeat. The peace of mind that comes from an annual subscription to a service such as Sucuri or another one is priceless.
Brought to you by: Melanie Robertson-King Website/blog: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/ Twitter: @Robertsoking FB: Melanie Robertson-King
Nice The Beautiful sparkles brilliantly throughout the year, nestled between the shimmering Mediterranean and the backdrop of rolling, village-dotted hills that lead to the snow-capped Maritime-Alps. There is a special quality of light in the south of France that has attracted artists for centuries and continues to create a magical effect. The colours of the sea and sky present shades of blue, turquoise and azure unique to this jewel on the coast.
On the rare gray winter day, as the light shifts and changes over Nice La Belle, the multi-hued palette of the buildings throughout keeps the magic alive. My heart was captured over four decades ago and the love affair has never dimmed. When asked by a local cab driver what it was that I loved so much about this town, one word quickly came to my lips. ―Colour. The colours of Nice.‖ Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet, Chagall, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso ~ the list goes on and on ~ all captivated by the uniquely inspiring light of the south of France. This same light shines on the colours of Nice, defining the artistic design elements of her architecture. In a time when no attention to detail was spared, whether around windows, doors or framing entire great edifices, pride in craftsmanship was celebrated. It is a gift to us today. Speaking about his decision to make his home in Nice, Henri Matisse said, ―What made me stay are the great coloured reflections of January, the luminosity of daylight.‖ ―In our life there is a single color, as on an artist‘s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.‖ ~ Marc Chagall
Surely it is the colour of love that I see in broad but delicate brushstrokes through the enchanting streets of La Belle Nice.
Brought to you by: Patricia Sands Website/blog: http://patriciasands. wordpress.com/ Twitter: @Patricia_Sands FB: Patricia Sands
Patricia is a co-tour leader with: Womens Travel Network via Phone: 905-771-8338 or toll free at 1-888-419-0118 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Exhausted Parent’s Playbook: Consistency The other day a friend of mine commented on how well-behaved my kids were. I couldn‘t tell you if my boys are any more well-behaved than any other child around. I‘m not a childcare expert, by any means, just a working mother of two. However, for today, I thought I‘d let you and her in on some of the secret pages in this exhausted parent‘s playbook. First, let me start by setting the scene…It is 4:20am. One or both children have woken up repeatedly during the night. My husband, though very charming and loveable, is sleeping beside me for this sixth adventure in their night-time wanderings. Normally, I would make him take a turn, but on this particular night, it seems easier to just get up and take care of the kids than to wake him up. Since I start my day at 5am anyway, I get up after the last little set of footsteps sounds next to my bed. What‘s the point of trying at that juncture? Naturally, the entire experience leaves me feeling like a complete troll at 8am when my youngest, twenty months, decides to throw a truck across the room. Immediately afterward, my oldest, six, says, ―I‘m so not eating that Mom.‖ Welcome back, parental choice time. Every time my kids behave in a way that is undesirable to me, I have a choice to make, as all parents do. Though I‘m literally propping my eyes up with toothpicks at this point, I go over to the toddler and correct him. Then, I turn to my six-year-old and say, ―You may have cereal, toast, or yogurt, pick one.‖ Yes, I could have let it go and not said anything at all, but that would violate one of my core parental rules. That is…
Be consistent. Children need boundaries, because they set the standard for how they are to behave. For example, you (probably) learned at a young age not to stand too close to someone (unless you‘re a Seinfeld character). Most of us have a good sense of when you‘ve invaded someone‘s personal space. 21
You probably even have boundaries in the workplace – who to go to for this – a chain of command for that. But let me ask you this: Isn‘t it confusing when those boundaries are suddenly switched around without warning? Maybe a new procedure is put in place that you aren‘t aware of, or you suddenly have a new job one day that you don‘t know how to perform. Imagine how you would feel in any of those situations. How do you think kids feel when one day there are rules in place one day and the next day they aren‘t there? “Be consistent. Decide what rules matter in your house and stick to them.” As parents, our worst enemy is, ―Okay, you can do it just this one time.‖ I get it. You‘re exhausted and the idea of fighting with your child over their intense desire to have Ritz Crackers for breakfast is beyond anything you feel you can handle. However, it‘s not. Take a swig of coffee or tea and say, ―For breakfast, you can have cereal, yogurt, or a waffle. Please pick one.‖ If they don‘t like the choices, continue to offer those three options. Your son or daughter may choose not to eat at that time, however, they will probably forget about it within twenty minutes to a half hour. However, if you insist they can‘t have crackers for breakfast on Thursday and then give in on Friday, don‘t be surprised when you have a full-out temper tantrum on Saturday. Decide what rules matter in your house and stick to them. If you let your kids believe there is a chance you‘ll change your mind, they‘ll up the ante. That‘s why another of my personal rules is… Don‟t Show Weakness. Raising children can be, at times, like waging a full-out war or at least playing an intense game of chess. You need strategy and plenty of it. If your kids think they‘re wearing you down, then they will keep working at it. Even the cutest darlings are master manipulators. My twenty-month-old enjoys throwing things-large things, like dog dishes, laundry baskets, (he‘s a little bam-bam), and mini-construction vehicles. None of which bodes well for my ten-pound dog.
Left: Raising kids can be like an intense chess match…
“Your kids are looking to you for a reaction…” It‘s frustrating to correct him for the four hundred and sixty-seventh time, I‘ll admit. However, if I show I‘m frustrated, he‘ll know it. One of the first skills children learn is manipulation. Don‘t let your kids press your buttons.
Remember, you‘re the adult. If you need to take moment to yourself to breathe deeply and calm down, do it, because your kids are looking to you for a reaction.
Another rule I stick to is…
Only raise your voice for the big stuff. Have you ever been around someone who plays their stereo at work when you‘re trying to get things done? Since many of us are conflict-avoidant, we don‘t address that with our co-workers. We just tune them out and after a while, the music or talk-radio station – whatever it is – becomes noise.
If you consistently yell at your children or speak in a loud voice, they won‘t be able to differentiate a positive exchange from a negative one. So when it‘s really important that they pay attention, like when they‘re in danger, they won‘t notice Focus on keeping your voice level and even. Only raise it when you need to. That way your kids will know when you really mean business.
“Focus on keeping your voice level and even. Only raise it when you need to.” Take it from this exhausted parent. Raising kids isn‘t easy – we all have our own approaches that work for us. However, if you work with your kids, addressing problems consistently, confidently, and calmly, it will help all of you in the long run.
Brought to you by: Stephanie Keyes Website/blog: http://www.stephaniekeyes.com Twitter: @StephanieKeyes FB: Stephanie Keyes
It’s a Gyno Mystery
I have always considered myself somewhat of a know-it-all. I can talk intelligently about virtually any subject, and if you ever find your way onto a trivia team with me, you will invariably be on the winning side. There is one area however where I feel somewhat less than competent. At age 13, I conjured up images of what I believed to be the inner workings of the gynecologist‘s office, and until recently, never had a reason to waiver from my assumptions.
I was a prepubescent teen in the 1980‘s when the established sex symbol was the awe-inspiring, feather-haired Hawaiian Tropic model. When it came to a gynecologist‘s office, those gorgeous women encompassed every thought, as I visualized tanned, blond bombshells parading through the front door. A darkened lobby and rotating disco ball provided an alluring and frightening arena that was too much for a young man to contemplate. Off in the corner, a bartender struggles to mix up a batch of daiquiris while singing along with the soft, sweet sounds of Lionel Ritchie tunes emanating from the DJ‘s speakers. Oh, how I wish I could be a fly on that leopard skin wallpaper. I knew that the man running that office had found himself the ideal career path, and I could only hope to eventually be in charge of my own party-practice, but the odds were stacked against me. I wasn‘t very bright nor had the stomach necessary to 32
perform invasive medical procedures. Looking back on it, it‘s probably a good thing. I used to deliver pizzas in high school and I learned that if you‘re around it day in and day out, it takes years before you want to eat pizza again. Get my drift? The closest I ever came to anything even remotely near the magic was thanks to my friend Tommy. Tommy‘s father was a gynecologist, and one day the idiot showed up at school with a speculum. When he told me what it was used for, I couldn‘t bring myself to believe him. For those of you not familiar, a speculum is… You know what? Google it. If you‘re a regular reader of mine, you probably wouldn‘t be too surprised to know that the two of us spent the day chasing girls through the hallways, operating the gadget while making quacking sounds. I hadn‘t given the topic much thought since my teens. Being a single guy, the word ‗gynecology‘ rarely crosses my path, but throughout the years it does come up on occasion. We have all heard the tired old jokes, mostly coming from men who can‘t get laid to save their lives. When an attractive woman is accidentally paired with an asshole, you are bound to hear a repulsive and horribly crafted remark. Oh, you wish you were her gynecologist? Well, sorry about your luck with the whole med school thing buddy, but let‘s face facts; you didn‘t make it past the 10 th grade, and those fries aren‘t going to cook themselves. Still, the fascination of the potential happenings behind the walls of that office park clinic has always stirred up intrigue and wonder. It is the grown man‘s equivalent of the Willy Wonka factory. What could possibly be happening in that mysterious building? I had to figure it out. Being a ―journalist‖, I decided to reach out to some friends to find out what their experiences were rather than prematurely spout off stupid shit like I usually do. Jason was worthless. Rob was even worse. Eventually, I realized that maybe the input from a woman would make for a slightly less misinformed article. I was too embarrassed to ask my female friends, so I went where anyone seeking out medical advice would go. The local watering hole. Imagine seeing a beautiful young lady sitting alone on a bar stool, sipping wine in the hopes of finding Mr. Right. Even with her guard up, she would never expect to be propositioned with the world‘s most confusing pickup line: ―Hi, I‘m Adam. Ever have a D&C?‖ The move actually turned out to be a pretty good ice breaker. Strangers were surprisingly candid about their personal accounts with knees akimbo. Some simply complained about the equipment being too cold, while one mentioned that her doctor looked and dressed like fat-Elvis. After piles of stories, all that I really learned was that every procedure should simply be called ―scraping‖. I was more bewildered as ever, thinking that these doctors must have a margarita in one hand and a drywall knife in the other as they grate off whatever moldy remnant it is that they need to examine. Aside from a few phone numbers, I got nothing in terms of viable material, leaving me perched in cluelessness. 33
Now you may be asking yourself, why the sudden reprise of a dead dream? I started a new job recently where my office window overlooks the parking lot of a little Wonka paradise, and curiosity once again struck. I had no choice but to spend hours staring out of the window, monitoring the comings and goings of every patient. The findings led me to realize that my Hawaiian Tropic assumptions were not as accurate as I had previously believed. Who knows? Many of the women entering may have been the former bikini models that I had once dreamed of, but that was 25 years ago, and cellulite-riddled thighs that even a horny teen would find unattractive, are obviously the end result of both rough lives and time. Despite the utter disappointment, nothing came even close to what I saw a few days ago. After returning from a meeting, I witnessed something upsetting. Sitting across the street was a pick-up truck carrying behind it a small fishing boat, tying up 6 parking spaces. The metallic flotation device appeared to be one that you would see in a pond or narrow river, carrying a man and his son who were spending their afternoon developing a bond. One question came to mind. What in the hell were the series of events that led to a pontoon boat appearing at the doorstep of my childhood quandary? Did a woman enter with her husband uttering ―Once in a lifetime shot, doc!‖ or worse yet, ―She jumped into the stream and fish floated to the surface.‖ My imagination instantly turned to disgust as a halfdozen filthy thoughts crossed my warped mind. A boat was sitting in the parking lot of what should have been a dream paradise filled with hot chicks, Jell-O shots, and Air Supply songs. Instead, two hillbillies appeared to be returning from a fishing trip that, for some reason, required an emergency pap smear. Unfortunately, another meeting tore my attention away from the window. I returned not knowing what happened once the boat was gone. The dream was already on the verge of death, but it clearly came to an end at that moment. I have yet to enter a gynecologist‘s office, and I‘m now pretty sure that I never should. My teenage dream is much more acceptable in my minds‘ eye than that of a doctor using grilling tongs to pull a fish out of a redneck. I have officially given up on the wonders of what occurs, but will try my best to reflect upon the dreams of a 13year old boy instead of the reality of what the 37-year old me had to mentally explore from afar.
For more idiocy, follow Adam on:
Twitter: @AdamHornyak FB: Adam Hornyak
News From the Book World There are many prizes on offer for writing, some well known such as the Booker, and others less so, so I thought I would start with a mention of one here. For books, both fiction (any genre) and non-fiction, with a central medical theme published in the UK there is the Wellcome Book Prize (http://www.wellcomebookprize.org/), recently increased to £30,000. The prize will now also sport the tagline ―Books for the incurably curious‖. Shortlisted titles for 2014 will be announced next February, the winner at the end of April. The Scottish Book Trust has launched a search for the favourite Scottish book of the past 50 years, as part of activity for Book Week Scotland. Members of the public can vote for their favourite title from a list of 50 works compiled by author and literary critic Stuart Kelly in collaboration with Scottish Book Trust. Among titles selected are Iain Banks‘ The Bridge, Ali Smith‘s Hotel World, Christopher Brookmyre‘s One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night and Ian Rankin‘s Black and Blue. Book Week Scotland, an event to celebrate Scottish literature, runs from 25th November to 1st December. Votes can be online (http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/) until 22nd November. The top 10 titles will be announced during Scottish Book Week. They say crime doesn‘t pay but in the novel world, crime fiction is certainly one of the most popular. At an event held at Foyles in London on 5th November, the Crime Writers Association (CWA) named Agatha Christie as the ―best ever‖ crime author, in a poll conducted to celebrate the CWA‘s 60th birthday. Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes was named the greatest ever crime series. Waterstones, Foyles and Blackwell‘s are focussing on ―simple‖ messages about the merit of books as gifts in their campaigns for Christmas—something authors have been telling them for years! Waterstones focusses its campaign around ―The Gift of Reading‖ accompanying a series of fairy-tale images and aims to be the ―Home of the Happily Ever After‖, with particular emphasis on children‘s books. Judging by the recent report from Egmont (see below), they are going to have to work extra hard. Meanwhile, Foyles is running a ―simple and honest‖ campaign with the tagline ―It‘s thought that counts‖. Blackwell‘s campaign is a series of posters each with the tagline ―Chosen by Our Booksellers‖. With Sainsbury and Tesco supermarkets launching their own brand e-books and readers, one wonders how long it will be before they move into the world of publishing. Perhaps with enough badgering from readers and authors, both these supermarket giants will finally sit up and take note of the huge potential market out 51
there to create healthy and much needed competition to rival Amazon by publishing the independents and smaller publishing houses who rarely get a foot in the door with the major book stores. First steps have already been made with Sainsbury announcing it will be working with Random House to create short cookery e-books based on some of the publisher‘s brands. To be called the Bite Sized Range, each 99p e-book will feature 20 recipes. The first should be appearing over the coming months aiming to showcase some of the most successful cookery products on Random‘s lists. Talking of Amazon, Amazon.com has recently launched two new initiatives for its US customers: a digital literary journal for the Kindle platform and a simple way of giving to charity when shopping on the site. Entitled Day One, this weekly digital publication is dedicated to short fiction and poetry, delivered to Kindles or Kindle reading apps and will showcase one writer and one poet per week. Hopefully this will soon be carried across to the European market. And finally… The Reading Street report from Egmont, entitled Reading and the Digital World, shows that children as young as 8 years old are being turned off reading because of a lack of ―quiet time‖ in childhood. With greater access to digital resources from a young age, children‘s growing access to this media coincides with a decline in being read to at home and at school, which results in many children not enjoying reading. Other research indicates there is a clear shift away from books to digital platforms occurring at this age. This is also the stage when many parents take a step back, believing their children can read relatively competently and hoping they will go on to become independent readers. Moreover, while many publishers view e-books as a natural environment for digitally immersed children, research has found that parents, unhappy with the amount of screen time being experienced by their children, are reluctant for them to read e-books. Some 34% of parents say children already spend too long looking at screens, and 74% say they would prefer their children to read a physical book. With this knowledge in mind, perhaps this is one reason why sales of e-books have been slower to take off (3 million e-books sold in 2012 versus 73 million in print). With 50% of households now owning at least one tablet device, the opportunity for children to read electronically is there, but the habit of e-reading is still in its infancy. Reading is fun and children should be encouraged at every opportunity to pick up a book, whether paper or digital, and escape into the wonderful world of reading. With Christmas looming, it‘s the perfect reason to gift a book to a child.
Brought to you by: Kit Domino Website/blog: http://kit-domino.com/ Twitter: @KitDomino FB: Kit Domino
Fab Fashion For Fall/Winter: Folksy or Green With Envy? Fall is upon us— officially. September 22 was the first day of Fall. Notice it came a month after Starbucks started cranking out the PSLs (that‘s Pumpkin Spice Lattes for those of you not in the States). No matter when you celebrate the start of Fall, however, the introduction of the season also means the appearance of the latest Fall fashions. Let‘s a take a look at what‘s Fab in Fall/Winter for 2013. Glamour Must-Haves You may have packed your whites away with your Summer clothes or possibly pushed them to the back of the closet. However, White isn‘t a dead color now that Fall is upon us. Not in the slightest. This year, we‘ll be see more Winter Whites, like this trench below (below). Pair your whites with a slick turtleneck in any color for warmth. This year, turtlenecks are super-hip as well as functional. Something else we‘ll be seeing? Beanies. And they aren‘t just for babies. Beanies, particularly crochet style, are a great way to stay trendy and warm. True, there‘s the unfortunate hat-head, but what can you do? Designers are also giving a nod to classic patterns such as plaid and leopard. So be sure to integrate those into your wardrobe. One must-have that you can carry over from last year? Knee-high boots work just as well everyday as on the runway. Glamour 2013 by stephanie-keyes featuring an ivory coat
Okay, Iâ€˜ll admit it. The whole folksy fashion angle that seems be
be cropping up makes me think more of the seventies than twenty-thirteen. That aside, there is no denying the folk resurgence in fashion, especially when it comes to sweaters. Fun, colorful patterns combined with folk-art style jewelry andembroidered patterned skirts will be all the rage. You can even pull in your knee-high boots or these cool skull flats for funâ€”think Grateful Dead, not Paranormal. Embroidery should be big, even in art and correspondence, so keep your eye out for this art in clothing as well as products for your home. Folksy Fun by stephanie-keyes featuring christmas plates Sweater, $155 / SUNO New York embroidered skirt / Laurent Gandini earrings / Christmas plate
Outerwear Drama, Pixies, and the Return of the Slouch I don‘t know how I feel about the whole return of the slouch pant. Admittedly, I‘m not sure they ever did much for MC Hammer—though he had the moves. Hey, can‘t touch this. Eighties references aside, the slouch pant has returned to fashion, so expect to see them. Here, they‘re paired with a bold heel. You can also expect to see some unique outerwear choices. Think fur, leopard, crazy colors. Yeah, that kind of stuff. It‘s in this year. So it might be time to trade in your down parka for something that makes more of a statement. Oh and considering a new hairstyle? There‘s nothing cooler than a pixie cut this fall. Not only are these styles easy to manage, but they lend a dramatic effect to some of the more daring fall pieces. Don‘t forget to jazz up your look with some bright nail lacquer. Outerwear, Pixies, and Slouches by stephanie-keyes featuring an Essie nail polish Moncler Gamme Rouge jacket, $2,695 / Pants / Rebecca Taylor pants / Essie nail polish 55
Green With Envy So how do you feel about green? You know, the color? If you dig it, youâ€˜re in luck, because this is THE in hue. Everything from emerald earrings, to bright green jackets are surfacing. Not totally into green enough to make a major wardrobe purchase? Incorporate it into a small piece of jewelry or a scarf. Green With Envy by stephanie-keyes featuring mini skirt dresses Nasty Gal mini skirt dress / Forever 21 green utility jacket / Givenchy shoulder bag / Vintage heart pendant / Pantone long dangle earrings / Neon pink bracelet / Harrods green home decor, $13 / emerald green super studs : Roberta Chiarella
How About a Tower for Two? Ever fancy getting away from it all? Without the hassle of airports? Maybe you need to de-stress and leave the mobile, landline, laptop, TV, iPad, radio, newspapers and people far behind you. Perhaps you are looking for a romantic hideaway? Or you want to wind back the clock and imagine life a few centuries ago. Become a time traveller! Left: Clavell Tower, Dorset – Photo Property of The Landmark Trust and used with their kind permission
Or you just want somewhere quirky and fun! If any of these things spark an interest in you, the holiday properties on offer from The Landmark Trust may be just the thing for you. I may sound as if I am a publicity agent or have some stake in the company, but I assure you that is not the case. I am simply a customer sharing my experience and satisfaction with you. These are the opening lines of their beautifully illustrated Handbook that tells 190 stories of loving renovation. ‗The Landmark Trust is the champion of threatened small historic buildings, rescuing and then repairing them with care and faithfulness to their history before offering them as inspiring places to stay in or visit.’ The choice of buildings, large or small, is extraordinary; your stay, for example, could be in a castle, fort, folly, gatehouse, tower, lodge, priory, barn, hall, vicarage, farm, mediaeval London hospital, carpenter‘s shop – and oh yes, the occasional house or cottage! The buildings are of historical and architectural interest with a strong sense of social history; when you stay in one you cannot help but feel a connection with its past and original purpose. It almost speaks to you! This is aided by the Landmark Trust leaving a carefully selected library for your perusal. The locations can be remote but for what you sometimes may lose in convenience you almost certainly will gain in scenery. Now for a specific place! My husband and I have stayed in three Landmark Trust properties: firstly, the Abbey Gatehouse in Tewkesbury, the mediaeval gatehouse of Tewkesbury Cathedral. It was January, freezing cold, and was something of a baptism by fire. Indeed, we had to lug our own supply of coal up narrow stairs and then keep a fire going to keep hypothermia at bay! But if you want ‗atmosphere‘ and a little sense of theatre, it has plenty of that. The second place was West Blockhouse, a Fort on the Pembrokeshire coast, built 1857 as one of many coastal forts protecting Milford Haven and in use until after World War II. This is a large, solid edifice where we had a (grown-up, not children) family holiday, with the waves battering the cliffs below us and gales whistling all around, but we kept safe and sound. You could hold a very loud party there!
The third, most recent, best and certainly the sunniest Landmark Trust property for us, was Clavell Tower on the magnificent Dorset coast. This is a story that has spread far and wide, for this building built in 1830 as part folly, part observation tower, was in peril! Right: Before the ‗move‘! Photo also from The Landmark Trust.
The shales of the cliff face upon which it stands sentinel are very friable, eroding at a rate and by 2002 drastic action was needed to save the tower from eventually falling off the edge. The only way forward was to dismantle the entire structure, re-erect and restore it further back from the cliff edge; and thus it was opened in 2008. Many walkers have passed by this Tower on the South West Coastal Path and it is a familiar local landmark. What a location it was!
Left: Looking down after the climb up!
After the climb of 121 steps, according to my husband, with our luggage, we had 360 degree views of the sea, sunrise, sunset, the sea, tide coming in, tide going out, and all day long the bluest of skies. This was the 2013 heat wave! How lucky were we?
Right: Looking out across the bay below us
Sounds played strange tricks. Way below us on the beach people talking, children‘s high-pitched voices were louder than you would expect. The sheep close to us, dedicated to the task of nibbling grass around the clock as far as we could see, moved silently across their field; whereas the lowing of cattle and baas of sheep travelled from somewhere way across the bay.
On our first day I heard someone playing a recorder â€“ where that came from I have no idea, but it was as clear as a bell. Somehow these slight sounds emphasised the pure calm, and serene silence all around us, if that makes sense. Parking is 170 yards away at the foot of the cliff; so there is no casual nipping out for this and that from the local shop. We planned our days accordingly and enjoyed the solitude after a day walking along the cliff-tops.
Left: Beautiful Dorset coastal scenery Right: Fabulous weather!
A few properties have opened up abroad, but the vast majority are in the UK. Full details can be found on www.landmarktrust.org.uk Maybe one of the landmarks on offer could be for you! For that special occasion, for special it would be. Left: Like a fairytale tower at night
The National Trust also offers places to stay: http://www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk/
Brought to you by: Miriam Wakerly Website/blog: http://miriamwakerly.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @MiriamWakerly FB: Miriam Wakerly
Tandemocracy – Climb Every Mountain, Search High and Low. Once upon a time I had a male work colleague who, in these enlightened times, would have been called a control freak sociopath with psychotic tendencies. In those days he was regarded as a leader of men, a tosser-testerone rolemodel and destined for ultimate command of the galaxy. I used to call him Alpha Moron. This gentleman had a deep seam of weakness which could be easily accessed through his trousers. A good female friend was mining his fossil fuel when he astounded the world and fell in love with her. Of course, I knew it was a mistake. Firstly he could not love anything outside of a mirror frame and secondly she was far too good for him. So, incidentally, was my cat and she had been squashed by a truck. Your chance to give him the boot…
In any event, he declared his love and announced to his ―friends‖ that he intended to marry her. She did not receive a ring but instead a pair of hiking boots and an anorak. I should point out that Alpha Moron was a health-food-Nazi, hiker and mountain scrambler. He declared that his bride-to-be would be tested. He arranged a weekend in Wales where she would have to climb two peaks in two days to prove her dedication. In her leisure time she would be allowed to massage his muscles and wash his socks. My dear demented friend had fallen so far under the spell of his rock-hard fossil that she agreed. Alpha Moron then invited my boyfriend and me to join them for the test and suggested that I too could be tested if my man (Colin the Beta Moron) felt it appropriate. He did not and to be honest his fossil had never hardened to the same extent. We set out for Wales. The peaks were Pen y Fan and Cader Idris. We slogged and scrambled. We slithered and slaved and that was just getting into the sheep-dung scented guest house. She surprised him by hiding her three kids in my car. Alpha Moron took one look and dumped them on me and Colin. We took them to Llandudno and ate burgers on the beach in the rain. He berated us as child abusers for feeding them non-organic junk. She climbed and survived. Although surprised by the children he married her and took total command. The kids ran away and she turned to drink.
Ladies – let me tell you there is another way! Daisy Does Dieppe
You get a tandem bicycle. If you want to test him – this is the ultimate denouement. You need to know what sort of character he is. By tradition a tandem bike has the larger (male) ―captain‖ on the front and the smaller (female) ―stoker‖ on the back. This may sound daunting but it raises the potential for back-seat driving to ultimate heights.
Men like to pedal faster which can set the female bouncing on her saddle. Too much of this behaviour can mean there‘ll be no night of love to reward his pedalling. Let him know this early on! He cannot tell how much effort you are putting in. If he is a world-conquering super-hero who wants to display his dominance and bionic uber-power – let him!
My Lycra-Clad Lad Lycra is not necessarily flattering to the body. If he doesn‘t like what he sees now, he‘ll like it less in a few years. If you are wondering what he‘s got – Lycra, Time and Shakespeare tell all truth. If you want to know if it‘s in his kiss, simply kiss him and see if the elastic goes ecstatic. If you want to check out his health, metabolism and social adjustment feed him a veggie curry, hold your breath and grip those rear handlebars. Team understanding is essential. Gear changes are moments of great stress but also enlightenment. If you can‘t sense your partner‘s need for a gear change, your simultaneous harmonies may never sync up. Aaaaah……oh dear….another late change of pace! Most tandems have twenty-four up to thirty gears so don‘t give up on him too soon. The older male needs more time, so a bit of feeble fiddling and dribbling on his own levers can give you the secret time to lube up your own cogs. His choice of language is a real game changer. Long weary climbs are a metaphor for a whole marriage. Any hint of tetchy sarcasm rules him out. Anything like ―I thought you‘d gone home,‖ or ―You‘ve usually got enough breath talking to your mother,‖ you‘ll be better off on your own. Left: Zinc & Castor Oil Bliss My mother told me men only wanted one thing. The truth is they only want the one thing they haven‘t yet got hold of. And, truth to tell, it‘s probably not coated in antiseptic nappy-rash cream. When
you watch the glamour and swirling fashion-logo-fest of Olympic cycling, you‘re probably not thinking of saddle sores or intimate blisters. All those heroes and heroines are greased up like oven ready chickens. If your man can‘t face a bit of intimate Sudocrem he‘ll never wield a bog brush. Ditch him! Test his emotional intelligence. If you tell him twice it would be nice to look at the view and he shouts back that the football/cricket/golf has already started on the TV just stop pedalling and bail out. It‘s over. However… If you arrive at your destination, he kisses your fly-spattered gasping lips and tells you you were brilliant – it‘s love. I‘m a lucky woman – but……the test never ends. There‘s always the return trip.
En-route to Hurstbourne Tarrant – 32 miles up the glorious Test Valley and still smiling.
I love our bike. It‘s a true harmony and a team sport. If you are at two with your partner introduce them to the new politics. Tandemocracy – it‘s a vote for the coalition of love or the dissolution of empire. Chant the slogan of equality –
“Forever on four legs, together as one” Brought to you by: Emma Calin Website/blog: http://www.emmacalin.com/Welcome.html Twitter: @EmmaCalin FB: Emma Calin
Many thanks for the following images downloaded from Creative Commons Licence: Cader Idris photo by NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons Walking boots photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderferret/352266047/
Our Lifestyle feature editors: Left to right:
Janice Horton, Kit Domino, Bonnie Trachtenberg, Linn B Halton, Caroline James
Bookshelf Reviews: Janice Horton lives in Scotland. She writes fiction with humour and heart and with a hint of tartan. Look out for her Amazon Kindle bestselling ebooks ‗Bagpipes & Bullshot‘ and ‗Reaching for the Stars‘ and her magically romantic novellas ‗How Do You Voodoo? and ‗Voodoo Wedding‘. Janice writes lifestyle articles, has also been involved in BBC Scotland‘s ‗Write Here Write Now‘ and is a member of the Romantic Novelist‘s Association. The Write Path: Kit Domino -for ten years she ran her own agency editing, proofing and typing up reference books including for the Oxford University Press, the Radcliffe Hospital and the EU Commission. Kit now runs her own publishing and editing business putting her skills to good use helping other authors. Her London historical novel Every Step of the Way, previously shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize, was published in 2012. In Search of a Happy Ending: Bonnie Trachtenberg is the author of two bestselling romantic comedies, Neurotically Yours, and her debut novel Wedlocked, which won the Gold Readers Favorite Award, the Beach Book Festival Award and the Indie Excellence Award. Bonnie was senior writer and copy chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children‘s book adaptations. She lives in New York with her husband, four cats and a dog. People with a Passion & Interior Design: Linn B Halton writes novels about ‗Love, life and beyond…but it‘s ALWAYS about the romance‘. You are guaranteed an uplifting ending that won‘t disappoint and often a psychic twist that will make you stop and think…what if? Linn signed with US publishing house Sapphire Star in 2012 and is about to announce another signing for her new series. Before becoming a writer Linn had two very different careers—finance and interior design. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists‘ Association. Food, glorious food! Fabulous recipes, whether you want to eat healthily or indulge: Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the catering industry from a pub to an hotel, restaurants and outside catering. She currently lives in Cheshire and when not writing, runs a hospitality related company. Caroline spends her leisure time cooking, climbing mountains and contemplating life.
Our LLm member contributors: Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK‘s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read! Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you‘ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012 and in 2013 by HarperImpulse. Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists‘ Association.
Sheryl Browne brings you Fabulous, Funny, Heart-breaking Romantic Comedy! Her novel Recipes for Disaster, commissioned by Safkhet Publishing, was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Award. She now has four books published under the Safkhet Soul. A member of the Romantic Novelists‘ Association, Sheryl grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. She works part-time in her own business and is a mum and a foster mum to disabled dogs.
Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives part of the year in the UK and spends the rest in France. She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories. She blogs about the contrasts in life on both sides of the English Channel, which she likes to explore on her tandem whenever weather and fitness coincide. She defines herself as woman eternally pedalling between Peckham and Pigalle, in search of passion and enduring romance.
Stephanie Keyes spent the first twelve years of her career in the telecom industry, wearing various hats. Last year, Keyes began consulting under her own business, Sycamore Road Design. In addition, Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child and The Fallen, both released by Inkspell Publishing. Stephanie Keyes holds a certification in Instructional Technology, an undergraduate degree in Business/Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University, and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University.
Anneli Purchase has more hobbies and projects than she can pursue in one lifetime, but of them all, writing takes priority. Storytelling has been a part of her life since she was a child. Writing the stories is just another phase of the process. Traveling, camping, fishing, mushroom picking, and birdwatching are her preferred pastimes when she is not writing.
Anneli has lived on Vancouver Island, Canada, for most of her life. The island provides everything she needs for the activities she enjoys.
Melanie Robertson-King lives in Brockville, Ontario, Canada on the St. Lawrence River. She wrote non-fiction articles before she turned her love for the written word to short stories and novel-length fiction. Her first book, A Shadow in the Past, was published in 2012. Melanie loves Scotland and all things Scottish.On one of her trips to her father‘s homeland, she met Princess Anne at the orphanage where he was raised.
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn‘t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France. With a focus on women‘s issues and ageing, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship. Encouraging women of all ages to stare down the fear factor and embrace change. Her awardwinning debut novel The Bridge Club was published in 2010. The Promise of Provence was released in 2013.
Miriam Wakerly retired in 2008, the day after Gypsies Stop tHere was launched in Waterstones. There was more to say; so No Gypsies Served followed in 2010. Set in the same delightful English village, Shades of Appley Green offers new themes: family, community and love, written with both humour and emotion. Brought up in Tetbury, Glos, she has lived in Surrey for 35 years. With a BA Degree in English, French, Sociology, Politics, she is author of many published articles and short stories; her novels show a keen understanding of social issues and change.
Our guest writers: Nicole Dauenhauer (left) and Elizabeth Cassidy (right) are - The Film Fatales!
Elizabeth Cassidy‟s favorite quote is: ―My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.‖ She has excellent taste in movies and will argue to the death anyone who would dare disagree with her.
Nicole Dauenhauer is known for her acerbic wit and razor-sharp barbs. Her taste in film ranges from the absurd (Anchorman) and the zany (Young Frankenstein) to stuffy period pieces (A Room with a View) and classic suspense (Rear Window).
Adam‟s Rib (satire) - Irreverent and oddly observant, Adam Hornyak is a self-described train wreck. For reasons unknown, Adam is a human magnet for wildly outrageous situations that only he can communicate in his own unique manner. Since nothing embarrasses Adam, he will happily share personal stories of arrest records, family catastrophes, and an atypical dating life. With no filter between his brain and mouth, Adam will periodically shock his audience by tackling taboo subjects and providing commentary on topics that most people would never dare say aloud.
How best to help your children utilise their IT skill than encouraging them to think for themselves? Children and education – Mark Hulkus has worked in a teaching environment for many years. He has been a primary school teacher in a Preparatory Department in a 150 year old boarding school in Wales; he spent several years as a Head of IT. He currently provides a range of IT services in schools, helping them gear up for the recently announced changes in IT requirements. He has three children, is obsessed with the 1980s, and runs a fun design website at:www.retroboombox.co.uk.
Award winning author Sue Moorcroft – Sue works full time as a writer, a tutor and a competition judge. Sue is head judge for Writers‘ Forum Fiction Competition. Her novel Love & Freedom was the winner of the Best Romantic Read Award 2011, presented at the Festival of Romance and Dream a Little Dream has been nominated for a RoNA (Romantic Novel Award) in the Contemporary Romantic Fiction category. Born near Monchengladbach in Germany, Sue comes from an army family. They spent time in Cyprus and Malta, the latter being Sue‘s favourite place in the world. She now lives in Northamptonshire. Sue admits she hates to miss a Formula 1 race!
Talking about some exciting travel destinations – and you really will wish you were „there‟! Kim Nash - Mom to 5 year old Ollie, is a reviewer with a huge passion for books and loves to spread the word about the amazing authors and brilliantly entertaining books that are in the world. Kim loves chick lit, thrillers & suspense and books about the afterlife. She is a Sales & Marketing Manager for The Marketing Room and a writer for Have a Lovely Time.
Fun sporting activities – Kenneth Rosenberg is a California writer whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Surfer Magazine and other publications. Kenneth attended UCLA where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. When he is not writing, he spends his time surfing, snowboarding and traveling the world on a shoestring. Kenneth‘s first novel, ―No Cure for the Broken Hearted,‖ was a top 10 bestseller on Amazon UK. His second novel, ―Tinseltown Blues,‖ was a bestselling romantic comedy. His third novel is the suspense-thriller, ―Natalia.‖
Join Carlo Pandian in the wine cellar. Wine 101 – poured with style! Carlo Pandian is an Italian expat living in London interested in wine and gardening. He loves to share his wine tips with the community of LLM and is looking to hear more about your favourite ways to pair up food with wine!
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