Love: Lost and Found is now available on Kindle!

Check out Pam’s wonderful new poetry collection, Love: Lost and Found. I have, and found it to be a treasure trove of truly heartfelt love poetry. You will find gems galore inside.

Poetry by Pamela

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Found-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00LEST9Z4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1404177342&sr=8-6&keywords=Love+lost+and+found

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available on Kindle. There are over 90 poems representing over ten different forms of poetry. Filled with angst and longing, as well as exhilaration and joy. Love: Lost and Found is sure to please lovers.

Only $1.99 and ready to 1-click today. Spread the word, buy the book, write a review. But mostly, enjoy the variety of poems of love.

Pamela Beckford began writing poetry just one year ago. She has delved into various forms and enjoys painting pictures with words. An avid reader, writing has been a great creative release for Pamela.

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Times New Romanian by Nigel Shakespear

Times New RomanianTimes New Romanian by Nigel Shakespear

Description from Goodreads

Times New Romanian provides a picture of Romania today through the individual first-person narratives of people who chose to go and make a life in this country. Each chapter a voice, each story in Times New Romanian provides readers with a look into the Romanian world – the way things work, the vitality of the people, the living heritage of rural traditions, ordinary life – sometimes dark, sometimes sublime, always interesting. In a land full of character and contradiction, there is a strong attraction for those with the spirit to meet the challenges, where the one thing you can be sure of is the unpredictable. Life is not always easy. These stories will tell you why… If you want to know more about Romanians and their country, the voices in Times New Romanian make for an enjoyable and lively read. Inspired by Studs Terkel and Tony Parker, Nigel used their oral history style and his own experience in Romania to guide him in recording these interviews.

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

I very much enjoyed reading this book. I tend to read a lot more fiction than non-fiction these days, so it made a pleasant change for me.

I liked the format of the book, which consisted of many, short, real life stories from people that had moved into Romania, or worked there, generally as foreigners. This made it easy to read in a bitwise fashion. I don’t think I quite realised the extent of the cultural diversity of the country before. It was a great insight into life as a foreigner in a fascinating and exciting country.

Each story had a different viewpoint based upon where the person had originated from, how they had first visited the country, their motivations for being there, and ultimately what kept them there. For some they now viewed Romania as their home, whilst for others it was home for now, but their real home was elsewhere. Some of those spoken to divided their time between living in Romania, and living in another country.

I found it fascinating to hear about the multitude of different ways that these people approached life in Romania. For some it was just somewhere that they worked, either for themselves, for large multinationals, or as volunteer workers, for others it was because they had a Romanian partner.

It was interesting to see how people’s lives had changed and developed during the course of their time there, and as a result of the people that they met and their experiences.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting to gain a greater insight into life in Romania as a foreigner, or indeed just interested in learning more about the country. This was a most interesting read.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

Faith We Will Get There

I have an indomitable faith that the ocean between us will soon disappear, one way or another. I know from the very bottom of my heart, from every atom in my body, that my soul shall be reunited with yours, its other half, and shall remain as one for all eternity. Nothing will ever stop me coming for you, Ionia.

driedupsea

 

 

 

 

 


Forever together
Always our desire,
I just need
To come
Home to you.

Wishing and hoping
Every day,

When will
I be
Living life with my
Love

God I am so
Excited,
To be coming home

To you
Heaven sent you
Ever for me,
Really together for
Eternity

I love you, Ionia

Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr DarcyUnleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

Description from Goodreads

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.

Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs; her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy, and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

This was an extremely fun and enjoyable romance, cram packed with humour. As the title and cover art suggests, it was based upon Jane Austen’s, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and set against the backdrop of the world of dog shows. This classic love story was given a makeover, updated, and transported to the 21st Century.

I loved the two main characters, Elizabeth Scott, from the US, and Donovan Darcy, from the UK. It is always nice to read a story that understands that love knows no bounds and that distance can be overcome. These characters were very well developed and reminiscent of the original Elizabeth and Darcy. There was plenty of back story provided to allow us to understand the motivation and meaning behind how they acted, especially towards one another.

I liked how the two main characters showed some restraint and didn’t fall into bed, or the back of a car in a pub car park, at the earliest opportunity. It was nice to see that some respect and reserve still exists. This is not the case in far too many romances these days.

The descriptions of locations and places in England were very well crafted, and the plot moved swiftly enough to keep me always curious and eager to see what came next.

I know that some people are not fans of the reworking of classic literature, but I really enjoyed this and was very impressed with how it was accomplished. I like the fact that I had an idea of the plot in my head and that famous lines from Jane Austen’s novel were used. This made it all the more interesting and surprising when something happened that I wasn’t expecting. I think that enough of the original was used, but it was not a merely a simple retelling. Certain subplots of the original were treated differently or indeed not used at all. This kept me interested. Some of the original characters played different roles or were almost non-existent.

I thought that the misconceptions that Elizabeth had regarding Darcy and first Zara then Helena, worked well and sprang naturally from her character. I also found Elizabeth’s preconceptions and prejudices regarding the moneyed and noble fascinating.

My one complaint was the overuse of clichés about how the English behave and the way that we are. Whilst it is true that many of us are suave and debonair, putting James Bond to shame as we drive our Aston Martins up to the doors of our stately homes or castles, this is certainly not the norm. I felt that this overuse made some passages seem very tongue-in-cheek and ultimately lose some of their impact.

I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes revamped classics, interpreted in a modern way, and also those that like fun, easy to read romances. An extremely enjoyable book.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

Netwars – The Code by M. Sean Coleman

NetwarsNetwars – The Code by M. Sean Coleman

Description from Goodreads

Netwars: The Code. A high-tech serial thriller from the dark side of the net. Episode 1.

Welcome to the Deep Web. Those parts of the internet no search engine explores. The place where you can buy anything. Drugs, children, weapons.
Anyone can do it. And get away free.

Anthony Prince, head of PrinceSec, a firm which provides high-tech security for the government and major corporations, dies in a plane crash when crossing the English Channel. Responsible for Prince’s death is a hacker named Strider. His real name is Scott Mitchell and in his day job at the National Cyber Crime Unit he uses legitimate means to get the bad guys. As Strider, his means are less legal. On the same night, PrinceSec is the target of a cyber-attack. When the NCCU is called to assess the damage, a link is found between Prince and a criminal hacker group called Black Flag. The race is on for Mitchell to protect his identity as Strider and to stop Black Flag before it’s too late.

I gave this book five stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I like everything about it, with only one exception, which was that this was only episode one, and I will have to wait for the remaining episodes to find out what happens next.

This book contained so many things that I found fascinating, cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism, hi-tech gadgetry, black and white hat hackers, secret identities, murder, mystery and mayhem, and so much more.

I thought that the story was interesting and the author created suspense and ambiguity with ease. The characters were attention grabbing and exciting, especially the enigmatic Strider. I love the secrecy of the dual identity, and the idea of secret groups and societies.

The author has provided us with a creative and inventive plot that will delight fans of the thriller. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes clever, suspense laden plots full of thrills and mystery.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

The Red Hot Fix by T. E. Woods

Red Hot FixThe Red Hot Fix by T. E. Woods

Description from Goodreads

In the white-knuckle follow-up to her explosive debut novel, The Fixer, T. E. Woods returns with another tense, intricate thriller.
 
What do you say, Morton Grant, Chief of Detectives? You got what it takes to find me? Show me a move. . . . Or I’ll have to show you one of mine.

A little more than a year after the Fixer killings, Detective Mort Grant of the Seattle P.D. once again has his hands full. In the last four months, seven men have been murdered in seedy pay-by-the-hour motels: first strangled, then tied with rope and set on a bed of crushed mothballs, with a red lipstick kiss planted on their foreheads. Speculation abounds that the killer is a prostitute who’s turning her tricks into dead men. The press has taken to calling her “Trixie.”

As Mort follows scant leads in the case, he can’t help but feel continued guilt over his involvement with the Fixer. Though the public holds her up as a folk hero, a vigilante who seeks justice when the system fails, Mort cannot shake the fact that serious crimes have been committed. And though legend says she has vanished, Mort knows exactly where the Fixer is—and he’s conspiring to keep her hidden.

As Trixie strikes again, Mort suddenly finds himself and his family in the crosshairs. Because these new murders are not random, and their perpetrator is hell-bent on luring Mort into a sick and twisted game. If he’s not careful, he’s going to need Fixing.

Praise for The Fixer
 
“Pitch-perfect . . . solid characters, unpredictable twists and excellent plotting; a must-read for those who enjoy crime fiction.”Kirkus Reviews

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

This was an easy book to read, and I really enjoyed it. I thought that it was very well written. I enjoy this author’s work. As the second book in a series it provided an excellent follow up to the author’s debut novel, ‘The Fixer’. This book was a definite page turner.

The plot was fast paced and crammed full of suspense, keeping me interested and invested right to the end. There were many clever and inventive twists and turns in the plot that kept me thinking the whole time, including false leads that took you off in the wrong direction.

The story continued the connection between Mort and Lydia, which had been solidified in the previous book. I enjoyed seeing how each of them attempted to develop relationships with prospective partners, given our knowledge of the secrets they were keeping, and the things that had happened in their pasts.

It was fascinating to see how the fixer had grown as a person and the creative manner in which she dealt with the situation that she found herself in. The themes were definitely of an adult nature, but were not treated in a tacky way. It seemed like this was almost two stories in one, with the strength of the main subplot.

The characters were very interesting and well established. They were developed further in this book, with a greater amount of back story revealed, especially regarding Mort and his past. It was also good to see that the members of Mort’s team, introduced in the first book were given larger roles to play in this one. We were able to get to know those characters that we had only a passing familiarity with.

The conclusion was surprising, with a great twist. I would recommend this book to thriller fans, that like a heavy dose of suspense and a plot that is not straightforward to unravel. Although the book can be read in its own right, I think it is beneficial to have read the first book in the series too.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

American Past Time by Len Joy – Blog Tour part 3

So here we are at the final post of today’s blog tour for Len Joy’s, ‘American Past Time’, and we are going to finish up with a question and answer session with the author.

LenJoy_Headshot American Past Time

Questions and Answers with Len Joy

How did you come to write “American Past Time”?

In my second year of writing classes I enrolled in the novel class, thinking that would give me insight into what it might take to write a novel someday. Turns out people who take that class have a novel they are working on – I didn’t.

So with the class plan being to review and critique a new chapter of each other’s work each week, I used a short story I wrote about a character named Clayton Stonemason who is driving to Chicago for his niece’s wedding. Clayton had been married three times, was a commitment-phobic 40-something who loved his brother but couldn’t stand his brother’s controlling wife. From that story, each week I added another episode to the saga and at the end of the course had a 20,000-word “novel.”

I liked the characters, so I kept working on the novel and several years later I had written “American Past Time,” which is about Clayton’s parents, and Clayton and his brother growing up. The novel concludes decades before the incident that takes place in the original story.

Speaking of when the story takes place, “American Past Time” is set in September 1953 – the gilded age for baseball. Why did you choose that era for the book?

I really backed into it. I started writing a story that takes place in 2003 but then I kept adding backstory about the characters’ parents. And then the parents took over and it became their story. I also grew up in the 50s and 60s, so I have a lot of memories from that era.

Tell us about the character of Dancer Stonemason and how you created him. Is his relationship anything like yours with your father?

The only similarity between my father and Dancer is that both men loved their families. When I started writing these stories, Dancer – the father – was a missing person. He was just someone who wasn’t there. Someone who had let his son down and his son could not forgive him. He didn’t become a real character until I was forced to actually go back in time and create those events that created the rift.

I like to read and I enjoy film and television. I think this is the golden age of television drama. The storytelling, especially in longer cable shows like “The Wire,” is really, really good. I study them for how they reveal action and develop characters and use dialogue in ways that sound natural and not expository.

Are you a big baseball fan?

I like a lot of sports. Baseball was the first sport that I really followed. Today I’m a Cubs fan, which is not exactly the same as being a baseball fan. I had tickets to the first game of the 1984 World Series, which would have been played in Wrigley Field if the Cubs hadn’t managed to lose to the San Diego Padres. I’ve gotten over it.

Your book is about much more than baseball though. What is the overall message and story about in your mind?

“American Past Time” will have special appeal to folks who grew up in the 50s and 60s because of the book’s setting, and of course baseball fans would be interested in that aspect. But it is really about youth and pursuing dreams, love and trying to survive.

What parallels do you see between your pursuit of a writing career and your involvement in endurance sports?

I began both endeavors at the same time, and while I am not yet in the “elite” category of triathletes, I’m getting close. Of course, with triathlons you only compete in your age group, whereas in the writing world I have to compete with all those young writers that everyone wants to publish.

Both activities require a long view, discipline and a commitment to work at them every day. They both offer their fair share of disappointments and setbacks. In both writing and triathlons, it is possible to measure your success through the progress you have made, not just where you finish the race. They both have a community that helps you as you pursue your goals.

You spent 15 years as a businessman and consultant in the engine remanufacturing industry. Why did you transition to writing, with your first novel at 62 years old?

I have always enjoyed writing, and I realized that one of the most rewarding things I did each year was write a somewhat humorous Christmas letter about the family. Kids are easy to poke fun at, especially before they learn to read and editorialize. So I decided to start taking writing classes.

What can you tell us about the sequel to “American Past Time”?

The sequel returns to the current era. It has many of the same characters as “American Past Time,” but instead of covering 20 years, it takes place in one day.

Will you keep writing short fiction as well? How has having that experience helped or hindered your full-length writing?

I really enjoy short fiction – reading it and writing it. Writing short fiction has helped me to be more precise, more efficient with words. Writing a novel is such a long journey; it really helps to have some breaks where you can write something that is complete and that you can share with others.

 

American Past Time by Len Joy – Blog Tour part 2

Part two of today’s Len Joy extravaganza is my brief review of ‘American Past Time’.

American Past TimeAmerican Past Time by Len Joy

Description from Goodreads

September 1953. Dancer Stonemason is three days away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. With his wife and son cheering him on, he pitches the greatest game of his life. And then he loses everything.

Told against the backdrop of America’s postwar challenges from Little Rock to the Bay of Pigs to Viet Nam, AMERICAN PAST TIME is the story of what happens to a man and his family after the cheering stops.

I gave this book five stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was extremely well written and I found the story fascinating.

For me, it was the story of a chance at future success squandered, or rather, certainly in the eyes of the protagonist, traded, for the sake of the perfect game.

The story had a good pace to it, and I liked how each part concentrated on the viewpoint of different members of the family. I enjoyed how it was possible to relate to these differing standpoints and opinions, yet still understand why each of them acted as they did.

The characters were all well rounded and very believable. It was easy to identify with the Stonemason family, and invest in their lives. Dancer Stonemason in particular, was an interesting character. I was fascinated by his growth as a person, and how he gave up his dreams for what he thought was the good of his family. Not that this necessarily worked out as he expected.

I also liked how the family ultimately grew and developed as a unit, whether they were together in the same location or not. It was nice to see how the relationship between Dancer and his son, came full circle in the end.

The story was set against a backdrop of a number of major events in American history, such as the moon landing, the Vietnam war, the assassination of Kennedy, etc.

This was most definitely one of those books that I did not want to end. I found myself always wanting to know what happened next to the characters. I would have been happy had the book been double the length.

I would recommend this book to, well, just about anyone really. I enjoyed this immensely.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by JKS Communications.

American Past Time by Len Joy – Blog Tour part 1

Today, as part of the blog tour for Len Joy’s, ‘American Past Time’, I am going to be making three posts. The first will be this one, obviously, and will introduce the book and the author. The second post will be my review of American Past Time, and the final post will be a question and answer session with the author.

The Book

American Past Time

Hark! New Era Publishing

Book Blurb

September 1953. Dancer Stonemason is three days away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. With his wife and son cheering him on, he pitches the greatest game of his life. And then he loses everything.

Told against the backdrop of America’s postwar challenges from Little Rock to the Bay of Pigs to Viet Nam, “American Past Time” is the story of what happens to a man and his family after the cheering stops.

The book can be found here: Amazon

 

The Author

LenJoy_Headshot

It’s the golden age of baseball; the stands are brimming with fans and the crowd is roaring. But in the blink of an eye – it’s all gone.

Author and triathlete Len Joy’s debut novel “American Past Time” (April 19, Hark! New Era Publishing) tells the story of Dancer Stonemason, a baseball player who is just days away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s September 1953, and Dancer’s family is rooting for him as he pitches the greatest game of his life. But then all the cheering – all the applause and all the support –comes to an end.

“As a father and as a son, I’ve always been interested in the bond between parent and child,” Joy says. I had a very good relationship with my father and with my son, and it struck me that the worst thing that could possibly happen is to lose the respect of your children. Or conversely, to have a father or mother who turns out not to be the person you looked up to. Where do you go from there? That’s what this novel is about.”

Joy pulls from personal experience with his family – and triathlons – for his writing. A competitive age-group triathlete, Joy impressively finished his first Ironman competition at 61 and placed 33rd in his age group in the USA Triathlon National Championship the following year. He uses some of the same practices in trainings that he does in writing, and he learned first-hand how similar the two seemingly different activities really are.

“Both activities require a long view, discipline and a commitment to work at them every day. They both offer their fair share of disappointments and setbacks,” Joy said. “In both writing and triathlons, it is possible to measure your success through the progress you have made, not just where you finish the race. They both have a community that helps you as you pursue your goals.”

Joy’s short fiction has been published FWRICTION: Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Johnny America, Specter Magazine, Washington Pastime, Hobart, Annalemma and Pindeldyboz.

He lives in Evanston with his wife of 40 years.

 ———————-

Len Joy is the author of two short fiction collections, “Casualties” and “Survivors.” His work has appeared in FWRICTION: Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Johnny America, Specter Magazine, Washington Pastime, Hobart, Annalemma and Pindeldyboz.

Joy grew up in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. He graduated from Canandaigua Academy and went on to the University of Rochester where he met his wife. The couple moved to the Chicago area in 1974, and about 15 years later Joy bought an engine remanufacturing company in Phoenix, Ariz. with his brother-in-law.

He started writing classes in 2003 and eventually began devoting all of his time to the creative craft.

In addition to this sharp turn in his career, Joy started training for triathlons. He completed the Coeur d’Alene Ironman in his first attempt at 61 years old. He has a personal goal to one day finish in the top 10 of his age group at the USA Triathlon National Championship. Joy finished in 33rd place in 2013 and plans to make it in the top 10 in 2014.

Joy met his wife, Suzanne Sawada, when they were both freshmen at the University of Rochester. They have been married for forty years and live in Evanston, Illinois.

Author Links:

Author Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Information supplied by JKS Communications as part of their Virtual Tour:

American-Past-Time-VBT

MI29 – Mouseweb International to the Rescue by S.J. Tozer

MI29 Mouseweb International to the RescueMI29 – Mouseweb International to the Rescue by S.J. Tozer

Description from Goodreads

Did you know that we humans are monitored by Mouseweb International, a worldwide network of mice working undercover to lend a paw whenever we need it most?

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

This was such a fun book to read. It is pretty short, and obviously written for younger readers.

This would be a great book to read with the children. What children wouldn’t enjoy a story about intelligent, talking animals, spies, and a battle of wits between the good, kind-hearted mice and the mean, evil rats?

I really enjoyed the way that the mice had taken human technology and miniaturised it for mouse use, and how they had a secret intelligence organisation that worked in unison with a number of human agencies for the betterment of all.

There were many wonderful illustrations by Rosy Salaman, my favourite being the ones of the mice attending a fancy dress party.

I would recommend this book as something to read with younger children, and for older children in the six to nine year age range to read themselves. Frankly I think anyone, of any age, would enjoy it. I certainly did.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.