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Showing posts with label Julia R Barrett. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Julia R Barrett. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 May 2013

As Jules Said, (Not So) Freaky .... - Best Moments Award

Last year I wrote a post telling you how Ishbel and I met up with a couple of friends we met on Twitter. Well really it was a friend and her husband; Julia R Barrett and her husband Oscar.  Oscar doesn't do twitter, much too busy ... Anyway we became great friends with Julia over a couple of months and she thought it might be a good idea to meet up as they passed through London on their way to a hiking trip in Wales.  Arrangements were made and they duly arrived and, as I said this resulted in me posting Julia and Oscar, read it here

Well, lots of folks read that post, one of whom was Marylin Warner, Marylin does not do twitter either but she does write and post a weekly letter to her mother who has Alzheimer's, reminding her mother of their past conversations and the life lessons that she had instilled in Marylin and others and that Marylin, through her posts, now passes on to her family and of course to us through the medium of her blog. Marylin's blog can be found at 'Things I Want To Tell My Mother', here 

Well Marylin remembered my post, I think she is a little bit like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory in that she must possess an eidetic memory to remember so much of what she has learnt over the years.  Marylin's post to her mother last week took a slight twist in that she informed her mother, and us that she had been nominated for a 'Best Moment Award' on one of her earlier writings and in keeping with the award she had to nominate others and bless her cotton socks, as well as awarding much more deserving posts, including Julia, she included me, that post can be seen here

All it remains for me to do then, is to thank Marylin profusely for thinking about me and for including my poor attempts at communication, in her basking sunshine.  That's what she does over on her blog once a week, she brings a little ray of sunshine into your life and if you have had a poor day or week, her soliloquising on past and every day events makes you smile, they make you ponder the meaning of life and they make you grateful and thankful that the world is not full of people who do not respect the rights of others and it makes you hopeful that because of her and others like her who have hearts that are so full of love and tender caring feelings, that this world isn't that bad, after all........

So, if Marylin Warner can take it.. My first nomination goes right back to her - just follow the links above to Marylin's site, YOU REALLY WILL NOT REGRET IT

Julia R Barret over at http://juliarachelbarrett.net/ who is, in the words of Amy Farrah Fowler, 'MY BESTIE on this internet thingy writes amazing blogs about her life and her books and then just to confuse us uneducated peasants throws in an in-depth, well researched, post on nutrition, medical matters or anything else that she decides needs to be ripped apart - and confuses the hell out of me and makes me laugh out loud, giggle and blush in equal part, pop over and visit and say a big Hi, here 

Penny Watson over at Penny Romance is so outrageous at times you almost choke on your own tongue at some of what she says and does and if you are a guy and you have a beard, send her a photo, she loves (almost) any bearded guy, if you have nice pecs, so much the better.  I suspect her dream date would be a bearded James Bond and a few Martini's but lord knows what she would do with him after the drinks..........

Lorca Damon over at Lorca Damon.com Lorca comes or at least should come with a health warning the pain that she inflicts from laughing so much is just not funnneeeee at all, but you just can't not revisit to see what she says next - not wearing a bra or bathing for 4 days, oh gawd my sides ........ I couldn't even put a response on there as I was scared of the reply I might get ....

John Malik over at ChefJohnMalik.com is, as you can see from the title of his blog, an accomplished chef, or so he says, and I believe   I have never had the opportunity to taste any of his dishes, but when he fires up the old keyboard and it gets to the correct temperature he can certainly cook a well written recipe of writings on a diverse range of topics from the love and care of residents in a care home facility that he was the executive chef in, to a farewell note to a beloved pet and a heart throbbing pedal pounding description of his latest escapade on his mountain bike although he really needs to have some work done on those hairy legs before posting any more photos of them.... 

Jaye Manus I have no idea what Jaye is saying half the time, I am far too thick to understand it, but over at http://jwmanus.wordpress.com/ she seems to spend her time giving succour, comfort and unpaid advice to aspiring self publishers on how to go about getting their own works published , she really is a good egg giving so much of her time to help others - another one of those 'nice people' that draws you in and you feel so comfortable with when in her company...

Pauses for a break.......

Well I could go on and on and I believe in the rules we are allowed up to 15 nominations, but If I keep going I'll be here all day.  If I have missed you in this posting please, please forgive me I am feeling chastened as I write this but I really do have a short attention span AND I will ignore that bunch above on the next one and include you, I will really.... But before I go can I make one more final special mention and you will understand why after saying no more, why I do for this one and it's for LESLEY

Yes you, Lesley Scott, one of my adorable nieces.  Lesley can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/grouchymonsta and on her blog at http://clichesandcatastrophes.blogspot.co.uk/ Unfortunately for us the wee monkey doesn't post very often, IN FACT IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR NOW, SHEESH but, she really should she has such a way with language and in describing the insane workings of her twenty something mind that one of these days I am sure she will going from being a beauty therapist to being one of our finest comedy stage performers and or writers. There is a wee collection of her stuff over at her post, it is worth checking her out and while there, tell her to start writing again, we the public deserve to read her and there is no point in hiding your light under a bushel (what the hell is a bushel, BTW?) But get out from under whatever it is Lesley and Post, post post.......

Rules for the BEST MOMENT AWARD:  1. These nominees (now winners) repost these rules completely after their acceptance speech. 2. Winners now have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a Thank You for those who helped them, a NEW list of people and blogs worthy of the award (up to 15), and the winners posted here will then notify their choices with the great news of receiving this special award.    Download the award's logo at MomentMatters.com/Award and post it with your acceptance.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Book Review: Incorporeal by Julia R Barrett

Look Inside: Amazon UK
Look Inside: Amazon US
Firstly, I have to declare; I know the author. Secondly, I don't think I have ever read a paranormal love story before, so there that's out of the way and maybe I should say, thirdly, I didn't think after reading the first three or four chapters that I would finish my first paranormal love story.

Well as it turns out I did have one or two problems and it took me longer to read than I normally take to read a book, but I think that was purely because the first few chapters were a bit on the slow side.  I used a phrase while reviewing another book once and it  applies to this one as well, it was this; "What we ended up with was a book that began with a forgettable stroll around the park, jumped over the railing onto the running track and into a gentle jog and then burst into a sprint as the story progressed."

I think this sums up Incorporeal quite well as and unless I go back and read the first few chapters again, I couldn't tell you much about what was going on.  I'm not putting all of that on the author, remember, this is my first paranormal love story, so it was, in all likelihood down to me adjusting to the different genre...


But from about chapter 4 on, I was hooked.  It turned out to be a well written story and probably things that I missed at the beginning were made clearer to me as the book progressed.  Sara Wise slogs away in an office by day and writes paranormal love stories by night.  Ever since she was a girl she has had the ability to see and communicate with spirits from the other side. Sometimes good experiences sometimes bad.  Her mother never understood, her father did. her father was the buffer between her and her mother and when he dies her life falls apart and her mother puts her in an orphanage......

Usually ghosts turn up, ask her to pass on a message, she never does, and then they disappear, Nathan on the other hand had turned up two months ago and had steadfastly refused to move on saying that he was not permitted to...

Sara dreamt of Nathan but couldn't see him and while she didn't like the thought of not being able to get rid of a ghost she was becoming used to him being around.  It was doubly annoying that Nathan would not tell her anything about himself, to begin with.  But, as time passed she discovers that he has been dead for over 500 years.  His family were wealthy Jewish merchants in Spain but the king and Queen of Spain wanted their wealth and their ships and so arranged for the family to be killed by Inquisitors.  Nathan had not 'crossed over'  as he was not present when the family were murdered and he had blamed himself for not being there to protect them.  He had eventually escaped on a ship to England, the birth place of his mother also from a wealthy family, but who had ostracised their daughter for marrying a Jew, where he later died.

What Nathan hadn't told Sara was that he was not permitted to move on as he had been placed there in that house with her as her Guardian to try and protect her from something or someone, he didn't know what, that would place her life in danger, nor could he tell her, even if he knew, when this danger would manifest itself.  Well that's all I can tell you about the story without actually spoiling the book for you.

What I can tell you is that the story did have substance to it, well if you can believe in ghosts - and why not - we largely suspend our belief in almost anything when we are reading a work of fiction or watching a movie - so do so here and you will find a love story with a bit of suspense and a bit of 'murder, death, kill' thrown in for good measure.  A single woman who finds love with an incorporeal man who becomes corporeal, but can it, and does it last, or are there shades of the Ghost and Mrs Muir?

The syntax flowed along and there was no problems with this, and as I mentioned earlier once I got past the first couple of chapters it kept me entertained and ready to turn the page.  The Love Scenes seemed  well written  without being over the top and I didn't feel uncomfortable reading them and they didn't take up all of the book.

There was a couple of minor inconsistencies and I found it, at first, hard to believe that in the modern age Sara didn't have an actual phone in her home, only a mobile but then I thought about a friend of mine who relies solely on a mobile and doesn't have a land line either but has a USB toggle for wi-fi, so not all that inconsistent there I suppose!  There was a couple of blank pages between the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next, and when this happens you at first think that your Kindle has suddenly shut down, but as I say, only a couple of these so not a major problem.  All in all I'm glad I kept reading it.

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 4 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
No of Pages: 185 estimated
Chapters: 22

Trailer: The Ghost and Mrs Muir 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Dreary Day

It's quarter to five on Sunday afternoon on the 4th November 2012. I'm sitting in the kitchen and the beef casserole I prepared earlier with chunky vegetables, carrots, swede and parsnips with a couple of chopped onions has been in the oven for an hour and a half on a slow peep. It has about another hour to go and then I shall serve it up for Ishbel and I with some creamy mashed potatoes, but not to many potatoes.

It's already pitch black outside and the wind is still blowing and more rain seems to be threatening to add to the constant downpour we had for most of the morning.

What leaves are still left on the trees that surround us, seem to be clinging on as if they really don't want to be dislodged from their branches probably just as we would prefer not to be dislodged from our warm homes and comfortable lives.

Sometimes though we have to wander out, whether we like it or not. I had to go out twice today. Once to take Ishbel to work in the department store she works in, how I hate and detest Sunday trading, there is no need for it and that is not from a religious perspective, just from the perspective that we already work hours through the week and at different times, so we miss each other then too. And I am not particularly commentating on Ishbel and I here either I am talking about lots of family's whose working routines make them miss each other as well.

Then I had to pop out to, also to work, as a building and facility for local people was being closed by the council and people were losing there jobs and losing an amenity. This facility was passing to the company I work for and a new building, but not an amenity, will be built and more jobs will be created, but, it was still a sad affair to watch people who had been employed for years gathering and looking on sadly as the keys were taken from them and the shutters came down for the last time on the place they had invested so much of their own time and effort into over the years, and it is still appropriately dank and dreary on the streets outside covered in their carpet of russet coloured leaves.

Then I learn that one of dearest twitter friends Julia R Barrett, is also going to have to venture out, maybe not in dank and dreary weather, in Northern California, to go visit her parents as she discovers her father has suffered a torn mitral valve in his heart, that news was here, and the dreariness of the day is compounded by the news....

We wish Julia and Oscar her husband and more especially her dad our warmest wishes and hope that those wishes at least bring some warmth to them at this time of family distress.

But all is not dreary with others. Marylin Warner a wonderful blog friend writes the most amazing letters on her blog to her mother who lives a couple of states away in America and who sadly suffers from Alzheimer's and whose memory constantly needs to be jogged. Marylin does this through regular long drives and her blog letters which in all honesty are quite uplifting, as was the one she posted today, read it here,  and then the world didn't seem quite so dank and dreary after all....

And then finally, another dear twitter friend, Jaye Manus, who you can meet here, posted a comment on a blog that our nine year old grand daughter Mollie posted a while back, you can check that out here,  about 'treasuring that child' and wanting to adopt her, bless. We do treasure her and our other Grandchildren Jaye, we really do....And Mollie sent this response back to Jaye " @JWManus Tell Jaye thank u but she can't adopt me because I will miss my mum . Love u and I am having a curry for dinner"

And the day is definitely not so dreary after all as Ishbel has just sent a text to say she is on her way home and I've just turned the tattles on to cook

Hope your day is not to dreary after all......

Friday, 13 April 2012


There once was girl from Iowa
Who set off in search of the Kiowa
She travelled far and wide   
Across the great plains in search of her
Note pad and pencil she had, to record
All that she saw
Couldn’t find the Kiowa but landed
In California where Silicon Valley met Grape Valley
With a bucket of Mission Grapes to hand and with her computer
From the Valley
A house on the hill was moved into and PC from the Valley plugged into
From there she wrote of her dreams of Sauce and Sauciness
With Ketchup and Asparagus and a Martini from Penny and an Em-dash from Jaye she writes of Travels and Adventures, of coffee moms and handsome Germans  
An audience was found who were always around and waiting for her 
to say Hi!

Oh! I give up,  I’m useless at this stuff, thinking of just taking Ishbel to food court at the local Mall for our Anniversary dinner next week , that’s how  bad I am.....



replace the  'I' in this song with 
WE GOT you babe

You can catch Julia here

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Liebster Award, WTF!

I got this the other day from a dear Twitter friend, and first time novelist, Kirkus MacGowan.  He was lucky, he was so close to getting blocked for spam as you do as you see your twitter name and a link popping up in the twitter time line and you automatically, when that is all you see, reach for the report and block button.  It was only then that I noticed it was from Kirkus that made me click on the link, taking me to his blog where I found I had been Liebstered!

Without being to sycophantic, I have been saying for a while, what a nice guy he (Kirkus) is and there he goes and nominates me for an award for the interweb detritus that people sometime’s, no doubt when they are really, really bored and there is absolutely nothing else for them to do, pop into my little old unprofessional weirdy looking blog, aw shucks [blushing], no not really.  It’s about time someone recognised me for the talent that I have, for spouting nonsense, bless him....

And while I am on the subject of him, here in the UK there is an advert running for a new TV programme coming to our screens, that every time I see the guy in it he reminds me of the great one,  that is MacGowan   

This is Kirkus’s Twitter photo 

 and this is

Morgan Spurlock   There is a resemblance.  Having no idea who Mr Spurlock is, I am sure he is not as nice as Mr MacGowan!  So, thank you Kirkus for the nomination, to kind.

(although Mr Spurlock does seem to have more hair but if no-one mentions it Kirkus wont notice either)

My Liebster Award Nominations
And for my nominations then I would like to nominate:

Emma Garaln for her Virtually Sensible blog.We just sort of met on twitter, no idea who followed who first but she is fun and serious and has a point of view that she doesn’t mind sharing with you, with even a little bit of poetry thrown in from time to time.

Julia R Barrat  for her Julia Barrett’s World.  Or as I like to call her (never met, but who cares) Aunt Julia, who is an author and blogger and lover of all things zombie, traveller, hiker, pet lover, nurse, wife, and the list goes on ..... well let’s just say an all round good un who occasionally let’s go with both barrels when something gets on her wick.  Whatever she writes on her blog, you can be guaranteed it will be good

Penny Watson for her Penelope’s Romance Reviews Another of my Twitter Aunties Penny is so much fun, especially if she has been knocking back the martini’s and they don’t even need to be alcoholic, and you get an inviter every week when she hosts yet another martini mixing party, what more do you need. 

Chef John Malik was recently introduced to me by Aunty Julia knowing that I am a sucker for good food and he throws out the odd recipe, like a bone to the dog.  He writes has appeared on some American TV show I have never heard of, but hey who hasn’t? Checked out his blog roll the other day and some amazing entries, I recommend his blog ‘Christmas Wishes’ very moving

And last but by no means least, Marie Kennedy, for her Musings of a Working Mum and Wife.  Marie is an infrequent blogger so might not fit into the awards category very well but I have known Marie all her life, I wasn’t exactly there, in the room, when she was born, I was outside having a fag at the time if I recall, so anything she says or writes, I listen, maybe not always as attentively as she would wish that I did/do, but I try....    

To accept the award you must do a few things:

• Thank the person that nominated you on your blog and link back to them.
• Nominate up to five other blogs for the award.
Let them know via comment on their blog
• Post the award on your blog
Thanks again for the Liebster nominations!

I'm changing the rules, don't know if I can, but hey it's what I do, being a non conformist.  You can still post a comment on your nominations blog but I think a message on Twitter is just as cool, so get to it.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Book review Poems of Love and Hate by Julia R Barrett

How well do you know your friends on Twitter. You may never have met them and they might even be a well established author of a particular genre, that might not altogether be your cup of tea, but you have looked at it and that too has given you preconceptions of 'your friend'.

You have read her numerous blogs and found her to be funny, laughing out loud at her take on events in her life, even when they have been excruciatingly painful, as they happen to her, and she clearly sees the funny side of them too...

Then you have conversations with her and her friends on twitter and they make you laugh till your sides hurt and damn them (metaphorically only of course) they make you laugh so much you have to reach for the asthma pump...  So you've got to know her pretty well as a distant un-met dear friend.

Then out of left field she tells you in one quicky post (no I didn't feel used, that's what blogs and tweets can be quickies) that she is going to publish a book of poems and suddenly it is there and you take the day to read through them and you think... hell. I don't know this woman at all.  These are good. They are quite painful, the book is entitled  "Poems of Love and Hate"  by J.R. Barrett......

You wonder if the woman you have a dialogue with is on her 'second' attempt at life as the life she writes about in her blog bears no resemblance to the life she writes about in her book of poems.

You wonder if she has experienced the highs and the lows, the extreme love and the extreme pain that so often can be the flip side of that thing we call love, why 'Becuz' it's  all there in those 18 poems  and then you see some traits of your own contained in those poems and you wonder, 'are we all like that''

I used to,  'just sit there with your sports section And your bowl of cereal As if you're entitled And I'm Not'

I know this but I changed .... and became better, I hope for the change

But then you read, I remember the evening You beat me    Because YOU spilled the orange juice .....

Is this the same woman I have known for only a few months but it feels like years?  Well apparently it is and I don't know her half as much as I should and neither do you....

But you can rectify that easily by having a look at this moving tender and sometimes painful work of poems by an extraordinary woman   Julia R Barrett and her book Poems of Love and Hate

Available on Amazon US here and Amazon UK here