Technology Thursday: A Personal Assistant App that WORKS!

 

personal assistant app Donna

You just have to love an app that is named after you! Especially one that is organized! You can only imagine the number of people I’ve told about this app. 

This amazing app is a personal assistant app named after the amazing assistant character Donna Moss from The West Wing. It’s user friendly and did I mention AMAZING?! (You can never have TOO many amazings.) And shares my name?!

 

What makes DONNA so amazing?

  • She syncs with all of the “stuff” on your smart phone: calendars, contact info, GPS, etc.productivity app, donna
  • She reminds you of appointments, checks traffic to estimate travel time, and checks the weather to let you know if you need an umbrella.
  • She calculates when you need to leave so you’ll be on time AND THEN SHE REMINDS YOU!!!!

It is seriously like having another “me” along for the ride. I can be my own assistant.

 

 Ever find yourself running late?

We’ve all found ourselves being late for a meeting because we forgot to consider traffic, how long it takes to park, or even our route there? Donna (love that name) pays attention for you so you can focus on other things. She’ll let you know when it’s time to go—and even phone you if you want.

  • She’s intuitive,productivity app, donna so even if you don’t know an exact location, she can guess & help you figure things out.

 

  • In addition to detailed directions, traffic info, and parking tips, she can even send photos of the building you’re trying to find!

assistant app, donna

 

 

 

 

  • If you have a conference call, she can dial it for you & handle any access codes needed to connect.
  • If you’re meeting with someone who typically runs late, she can send them a reminder to stay on track.
  • If you’re running behind schedule, she can notify the people you’re meeting to let them know what’s up.
  • She can even book a car for you.

scheduling app, donna

 

Donna will notify you the night before and let you know your schedule, the weather, and when to leave to arrive on time, as well as what the restaurant looks like so you’ll be sure not to miss it.

Donna

“It’s going to be 54º and raining when you get to “Dinner with Ari.”

Don’t forget your umbrella!

Connect Directly to Meetings

Donna

“It’s almost time for your “11:00AM” meeting with Amy. Shall I dial you in?”

No more rummaging for clumsy conference access codes or finding that one app to connect to a meeting. When Donna notifies you of a conference call starting, she will automatically connect you and dial the code for you—without even looking at the app.

Beautiful design. Easy to use. Intuitive. FREE.

“Good assistants give you what you ask for; great assistants get you what you need before you even ask for it.” — Don.na

donna personal assistant iphone app

I love this app. When she notifies me of an upcoming event I have to refrain from saying, “Yes mam, and would you order yourself a huge bouquet of flowers?”

Which apps do you use for organizing? Have you tried Donna?

25 Things to do to become a well liked person

This article is a reprint from an article by Marius Fermi. It has some really great pointers. Enjoy!

25 Things To Do To Become A Well Liked Person

October 25 by Marius Fermi in Communication Relationships | 216 Shares

Human nature means we long to be accepted and liked by everyone we meet. We always look for reasons why someone likes us or doesn’t like us.

In recent years, maybe you’ve started to lose and forget some of the key reasons why someone might like you. Now, you shouldn’t think of life as a popularity contest. Instead, you should think of it as the reason why you’ll find your next job, close on that big deal or find the love of your life.

well liked person

 

Here are 25 things to do to become a well liked person:

  1. Be generous with the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ – We may forget or simply don’t feel the need to use these words; however, they can be the catalyst that changes the interaction instantly.
  2. Hold doors open for everyone and anyone if the situation permits.
  3. Be plentiful with favors; however, never expect anything in return for helping out.
  4. Help, guide and advise whenever you can. You may be an expert in an area that few others are; therefore, your input will always be highly valued.
  5. Don’t be an “I know” or a “me too” person. Ask for advice and ask questions that will directly represent your similarities rather than saying “me too.”
  6. Instead of just saying, “me too,” you should use the opportunity to link interests. This will create a new level of rapport that saying “me too” just won’t.
  7. Listen, and listen carefully to what people have to say. If you do this correctly, you can ask meaningful questions that show you’re ‘in the moment’ with that other person.
  8. Be gracious with your compliments and praise. Just as humans seek to be liked, we also seek to have relevance and be acknowledged for our efforts.
  9. Try to temporarily adopt another person’s values and beliefs instead of standing your ground and arguing why you think what they believe in is wrong.
  10. Enthusiasm goes an incredibly long way, from speaking to handshakes. If done enthusiastically, then the other person has a reason to carry on interacting with you.
  11. Be warm and smile lots. It’s welcoming, attractive and also a key interaction starter.
  12. Be confident (not cocky) with yourself, what you’re saying, what you’re wearing and what you’re doing. People are attracted to “experts” who are generally confident in their abilities. Demonstrate this attitude and people will be willing to listen.
  13. Get involved in everything, especially if it’s well known that you dislike whatever it is you’re taking part in. People will always respect someone that goes out of their way to attempt to conquer a dislike or phobia.
  14. Be yourself with everyone. The last thing you need is to have a split personalities to deal with each group of friends and family members.
  15. Provoke the best in people even if they are hard to crack.
  16. Always be on time for everything. Making people wait tends to be seen as a sign of disrespect.
  17. Reply to messages and calls instantly (if possible). Again, it should be looked at in the same way as Tip 16.
  18. Have you learned to listen carefully yet? Because of this, you’ll remember birthdays and important dates, which can be brought up in conversation letting the person realize you do really listen.
  19. Focus on what’s going on in the lives of others and again remember important dates to bring back up in conversation.
  20. Give them your biggest asset–your time.
  21. Never look at your watch during conversation. It shows that you have somewhere more important to be. Again remain ‘in the moment.’
  22. Be positive and forget all things negative. Negativity is a huge drain on emotions and ultimately the interaction. No one wants that.
  23. Be vulnerable to an extent that it makes you easy to get along with, easy to offer advice to, and ultimately, easy to get along with.
  24. Be approachable. If you offer up a smile or show some form of vulnerability, people will be drawn to you.
  25. Most of all, remember peoples’ names. This is something which we are all bad at but with practice, this simple gesture can be a huge reason why people like you.

 

Cover Reveal: Back to You by Jessica Scott

BackToYou_ FINAL_revised2He’s in for the fight of his life . . .

Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn’t explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family—so he deployed again. And again. And again…until his marriage reaches its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs …if she’ll have him

to win back his only love.

          Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she’s just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together.  But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried—and a love that won’t be denied.  But can she trust that this time he’s back to stay? 

 

 

 

Hot Air Ballooning: Tuesdays with Donna, A Little Southern Comfort

The paddleboat Natchez, on the Mississippi Riv...
The paddleboat Natchez, on the Mississippi River from the East Bank of New Orleans, with the Crescent City Connection Bridges. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past weekend, Hubby and I attended the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race held in Natchez, Mississippi. We went with great expectations, and a little naivety at assuming we would see balloons flying during our entire stay. Turns out, the art of ballooning is a very intricate matter. It was Sunday before any of the balloons were able to fly so there was a little bit of Southern patience going on. It turned out to be a very educational weekend. Balloons need nearly perfect weather before they will lift off, and our weather just was not cooperating. A cool front was determined to wreak havoc on our stay in Natchez and the winds were fierce.

We had decided to drive in to Natchez a day early to orient ourselves with the historic little town and to spend some alone time since we’d have company for the remainder of the weekend. Balloon lift-off on Friday morning was cancelled due to fog, and then the rains began. The weather cleared enough Friday evening that we were able to experience the “Balloon Glow” down by the riverfront. Some of the balloons were raised and in the night, the light from the flames produced a glowing effect. Standing on the riverfront walk, we were able to see two balloons on our side of the river and three across the river in Louisiana. Along with a beautiful sunset, it was IMG_4166magnificent to see.

This was the first time that we have attended such an event and we’ve always wanted to go to Natchez so it ended up being a great four days. We were blessed to stay at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast Inn complete with superb Southern cooking and hospitality.

Hope Farm is the oldest B&B in Natchez and has a wonderful history. Ms. Ethel, owner and proprietor of Hope Farm, gave us a tour of the house Saturday morning after breakfast. She is just the sweetest lady and the epitome of Southern hospitality. In other words, she is Natchez. I will be writing more on Ms. Ethel and Hope Farm next week. This week is all about the balloons.

Sunday morning dawned with beautiful weather and we were down by the riverfront at 7:15 am for the scheduled 7:30 am flight time. We quickly learned that you have to constantly check the skies in all directions to discover where the balloons are launching from. Being able to determine which way the wind is blowing is also helpful. As Hubby always points out when I open the front gates at home, I couldn’t tell which way the wind is blowing if it reached out and poked me!

Everyone was standing around and of course, speculating when and where the balloons would come when Hubby reached over and knocked me in the shoulder and shouted, “Look, there’s one!” It would seem he garnered half the riverfront’s spectators with his actions and everyone thought he was kidding. But, sure enough. There was one balloon and it was so tiny. BUT, IT WAS A BALLOON! And, imagine all of our excitement. Then, a second balloon appeared. We quickly learned what chasing the balloons was all about and we hopped in the car and ended up in the Kmart parking lot with balloons flying above us. It was a wonderful and exciting experience. The beautiful and colorful balloons had a beautiful, clear, blue sky as a backdrop. I hope you enjoy the photos. I invite you  back next week for a post on Hope Farm, the wonderful Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Natchez. IMG_4281IMG_4326IMG_4325IMG_4319IMG_4306IMG_4300IMG_4293IMG_4304IMG_4328

Review: In Capable Arms by Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare congenital birth defect that left her with arms that she could barely use.

Growing up, she was the only one in her class with a disability, setting her apart as “different” and unpopular. Realizing her unique place in the world, Sarah began adapting, working to her strengths, and eventually learned to use her feet to do such activities as changing her son’s diapers, making dinner, putting on makeup, and
even typing on the computer–even as she grew in spiritual and emotional maturity and independence in exceptional ways.

Picked up by national news network CNNSarah’s story went viral and she was suddenly presented with a platform from which to share her love for GodIn Capable Arms brings readers on Sarah’s journey, crying with her through intense frustration and the desire to be perfect, cheering her through physical training and pain, and admiring her eventual spiritual surrender as she let go of her insecurities and let God use her . . . even her crippled arms. Sarah brings readers face to face with their own struggles,
challenges them with questions about self-worth and fear, then offers guidance,
wisdom, and inspiration for finding hope—and healing—in the arms of the One who
loves them no matter what.

Sarah Kovac was born with AMC, a rare congenital birth defect that left her with arms that she could barely use. Realizing her unique place in the world, Sarah began adapting, working to her strengths, and eventually learned to use her feet to do such activities as changing her son’s diapers, making dinner, putting on makeup, and typing on the computer. Picked up by national news network CNN, Sarah’s story went viral and she was suddenly presented with a platform from which to share her love for God.

Sarah believes everyone faces tremendous obstacles, and that her life with a disability often visibly mirrors the invisible struggles even people with perfectly functioning bodies must work through. While she recognizes her story as unique, she believes her experiences can encourage people of all abilities and experiences.

Click here to read an excerpt: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2FP0Uxmerr8Z2VoSWhDZmJwc3c/edit?usp=sharing

Review:

I haven’t quite finished IN CAPABLE ARMS, but what I have read is outstanding. I am definitely giving this book a five star review. IN CAPABLE ARMS is written from the heart with a deep-felt honesty that by-passes so many people. Sarah Kovac was dealt a harsh hand by being born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare congengenital birth defect, but being the remarkable young woman she is, it is clear in her writing that she has discovered that God has a purpose in her life and her faith is inspiring. The author has wisdom and great maturity as you will see by the following quote:

Today, many are concerned about political correctness. Nobody wants to use the wrong terminolgy and offend somebody. Are we disabled? Persons with disabilities? Differently abled? The term I grew up with was handicapped. Being labeled anything at all made me cringe. It was a long time before I was able to come to terms withe the fact that the world runs on labels and biases simply to keep things and people categorized, not usually out of cruelty.”

This one paragraph opened my eyes. I personally never looked at the world this way, but as I read and then re-read this one paragraph, I was astounded at the truth. There are a great many eye-opening statements in IN CAPABLE ARMS that as a reader, you will want to re-read and then sit and ponder what you have just read.

The author writes poignantly about her perfectionism (which many of us suffer from) and her words left me stunned and re-thinking my own quest for perfectionism.

“Perfectionism is a pride thing. So not cute. The only way I’ve been able to find genuine growth in these areas has been to begin seeing that y character is simply the sum of my decisions. I’ve tried to think of the person I’d like to be and just acted like that person with this decision in front of me, whatever it is. If kindness is an area in which I’d like to grow, I challenge myself, not to be a ‘kind person,’ but to be kind at this moment…If I choose differently one day at a time, act like the person I want to be decision after decision, pretty soon I’m not acting. If I can continually ask myself, ‘Can I love this person? Can I tell the truth right now? Can I make a responsible choice just for today?’ in time, my choices will start adding up to someone different. The future blooms from the seeds of now. In the dysfunction of my perfectionism, I wasn’t planting. 

I know as I continue to read that there will be more “light-bulb” moments. It is that kind of book. IN CAPABLE ARMS by Sarah Kovac deserves nothing but five stars. It is truly a “life embraced by Grace.”

Purchase on Amazon:

I received a copy of this boob in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Everything You Need To Know by Helenkay Dimon, A Red-Hot Harlequin/Cosmo Release

From the award winning author of romance and romantic suspense, HelenKay Dimon comes a sizzling new story from Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin.

Welcome to Need to Know—Because a Woman Can’t Be Too Informed

Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.

By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.’s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they are email you back to their skills in the sack. She’s been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face to face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands on” research of her own.

To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man – but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there’s a big problem: Forest knows Jordan’s the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?

Helenkay DimonBy day I’m a divorce lawyer specializing in unhappy endings. One day, during a particularly difficult string of cases, a former co-worker handed me a romance novel with the promise of a much-needed escape and a happy ending. I’ve been reading – and now writing – romance ever since. 

My first release, the novella HARDHATS AND SILK STOCKINGS in the Kensington Brava anthology WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO BAD BOYS with Lori Foster and Erin McCarthy, was an Amazon, B&N and Borders bestseller. My first single author anthology, VIVA LAS BAD BOYS!, earned rave reviews and was a bestseller on Amazon and at B&N. Both books are available on Amazon and at other bookselling outlets.

My first single title, YOUR MOUTH DRIVES ME CRAZY, is a July 2007 Kensington Brava release. Check back here for more details. You also can visit me at http://www.helenkaydimon.com for updated information and some chit chat on my blog.

Links

My Review:

The Cosmo-Harlequin partnership seems to be on a Red-Hot role with their new releases. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW by Helenkay Dimon is definitely leaving smoke in its wake.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW brings a new story line to the table. The story sets you down in the middle of the most powerful city in the United States with some of the most powerful men in D.C. being dished up for dinner. Been asked out? Check out his pros and cons, and even his preferences on the website for women by women, membership only, Need to Know. The ladies are dishing and the men had better watch out!

“When she’d started Need to Know, she’d known the dating world could be physically and emotionally dangerous for women. She never dreamed it resembled an apocalyptic wasteland populated with guys in business suits who possessed zero social skills when it came to handling strong women.”

“Subject Report on Ryan Peterson: Spent entire date talking about Ryan – yes, he refers to himself in the third person. When he drove me home and I refused to sleep with him on the first date, he urinated on my front porch. Run from this blowhard. – Member 121″

“Subject Request for Anton Betz: He broke up with me because his mother just died. Any advice on how to navigate this? – Member 37. Response from Member 258: He broke up with me more than a year ago…because his mother just died. Need to Know admin staff: His mother is alive.”

“Subject Request for Wen Strong: Is his ladies’-man reputation for real? – Member 71. Response from Member 9: Dated him last year. He’s smart, charming and amazing in the sack. He also heaves at the thought of commitment. Sex-yes. Anything serious-no.”

“Subject Request for Cameron Dillard: I know he has a bad-boy reputation, but I thought maybe it was overblown?-Member 401 Need to Know Response: The site almost crashed from the number of members trying to sign on and warn you off.”

And, in between all of the investigating, Need to Know’s woman genius, Jordan does manage meet and fall in love with amazing man.

I am giving EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW five stars. It was a new story-line, very well written, and entertaining. If you are a fan of Harlequin, you will absolutely love this book. If you haven’t yet read a Cosmo-Harlequin romance, this is great place to jump in.

Click the icon to Purchase Everything You Need to Know on Amazon:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

Review: My Year as a Clown by Robert Steven Williams

Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

With MY YEAR AS A CLOWN, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero—imperfect and uncertain—fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.

Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex.

Edited by Joy Johannessen (Alice Sebold, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom), My Year As a Clown will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.

Robert Steven Williams

Robert Steven Williams is an author, singer-songwriter, and musician. His debut novel, My Year as a Clown was published in December 2012 by Against the Grain Press. It won the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013.

As a writer, Williams was a finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and was awarded a Squaw Valley Writers Community Thayer Scholarship. He attended Bread Loaf, Sewanee and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences, and worked closely with the esteemed fiction writer, Barry Hannah. His short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, The Orange Coast Review, and the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories Volume II. Additionally, he was the executive producer of the critically acclaimed BOOM! Studios CBGB Comic series and nominated for a 2011 Harvey Award for Best Anthology. Robert’s work has also appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Billboard, USA Today and LetterPress, a newsletter for writers. He is also co-author of the best-selling business book, The World’s Largest Market.

As a musician, Williams studied songwriting with Rosanne Cash, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and several other top country writers. In 2005 he released the critically acclaimed CD “I Am Not My Job,” featuring Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter) and Sloan Wainwright.

Connect & Socialize with Robert!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

READ an Excerpt:

http://issuu.com/robertstevenwilliams/docs/my_year_as_a_clown_excerpt_long?e=7017472/1188935

My First Chapter Review:

MY YEAR AS A CLOWN begins in a rush, and then the reader watches as Chuck’s life disintegrates as though it were a slow motion movie. It was terribly painful to read as the woman Chuck loves to distraction, tells him in a nonchalant manner the marriage is over and she is moving out (and moving on) on Wednesday. She hands him the news as though it were an appointment on the calendar that needs to be kept and nothing more.

I was contacted to do a first chapter critique of MY YEAR AS A CLOWN by Robert Steven Williams, and in as much as the writing was well done (and there were no grammatical errors to note) the chapter failed to grab me in a way that would keep me reading the book. It just did not contain the “umph” that it would need to hold my attention.

The book is garnering wonderful reviews on Amazon so perhaps it is a book that takes reading a number of chapters before it can be fully appreciated. I would recommend reading the reviews before making the decision to read or not read.

Buy on Amazon: 

Technology Thursday: Learning to use the Key Ring App

It is a foregone conclusion that way too many people out there are running out to purchase iPhones and then not utilizing them! It seems that everywhere I go, I end up teaching someone about an app.

If you follow my blog, you have already been witness to some of my screwups – like tripling my contacts, etc. You can take it from me – on good authority – that there is simply no reason not to play around with apps and your phone. If you mess something up, you simply head on over to iTunes and begin searching, because I promise you – there is an app to fix it because someone else has already beat you to the screwup.

We all have those pesky store discount cards dangling from our already full key rings – well, not me. But, they were corralled in my wallet, taking up valuable real estate.

I was doing one of my favorite pass time hobbies – surfing iTunes. Does anyone else do this? I came across an app that was named quite appropriately –  Key Ring App.

No longer do you have to shove an actual key ring full of store discount cards in your purse, or heaven forbid, your pocket.

You simply scan all of your cards (library, store, hotel, etc.) into the app using your phone camera. When you check out at a store that you have a card for, simple open up your app and the cashier will scan the bar code from your phone. The app can also be shared with another person.

You can have all of the individual store apps on your phone, but I have had others tell me that they sometimes have trouble while attempting to scan at the stores. This app has never given me any problems, AND the bonus is that they are all located in one app, not scattered around my phone.

This app also sports additional features are just plain wonderful! Using your GPS, it will find store promotions in your area.

The ‘Offers’ icon finds and shows me the coupons available through the stored cards I entered.

Under the ‘Sales’ icon, I can view the sale papers of the stores where I have loyalty cards. No more searching high and low for the sale papers when I’m ready to shop!

Did I mention that it is also FREE! How great is that!

I want to hear from you. Do you use Key Ring or another similar app?

Be sure to follow my blog and tune in next Thursday for another episode of ‘Technology Thursday’.

keyring app

A Fallen Trooper: Tuesdays with Donna: A Little Southern Comfort

Today’s column will be nice and short. I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to see to write. I was drying my bangs yesterday morning with the curling brush – which I’ve used for so many years I can’t count = and I accidentally (because who would do this on purpose) stuck the bristles in the eye. I am sitting here typing with my eyes closed because I still cannot open my eyes together for more than a few seconds.

Sunday evening we attended the wake for a trooper who suffered a heart attack and died while on the job this past week. It is so difficult to imagine what his wife and young sons are feeling at this moment, but the large showing of support from law enforcement last night was overwhelmingly heart touching.

Alaskan USA trip_28
Retirement Day

My husband has been retired from the Louisiana State Police for seven years. He had a long career and managed to retire fairly unscathed. But, it is still not so long ago that I do not remember what it was like to watch him dress for work and then head down the driveway and through the gates into the big, bad world to do his job. I know that no job is safe in today’s world, but when you watch your husband strap on his bullet-proof vest and then his holster and gun, you know there is always the chance that he might not be coming back home. There were times when he was only a few miles from home that his life was in danger due to the drunks coming home and crossing the center line into his lane of traffic. He didn’t talk a lot about what he encountered on the job because he knew how difficult his job could be on the family.

A lot of emotions going through his mind. 25 years on the job.

My father is also a retired Louisiana State Trooper so I was very much aware of the perils of the job before I married my husband. Each year at the state convention, the troopers do a beautiful tribute to their fallen comrades. And, it can’t help but enter your mind that one day you will see your father or your husband’s picture up there on the screen. Law enforcement is a tight-knit community and that was never more evident than when we drove up to the funeral home Sunday night. This trooper has had a long career and was well liked. There were representatives from all branches of law enforcement and fellow troopers from 100 miles around in attendance. We had driven 79 miles to be there. One can only wish the family well and keep them in their prayers.

The Troop C branch of the Louisiana State Police are very involved in their charity work. On Monday they hosted their annual Grant-a-Wish golf tournament which is widely attended and supported by the public. Through generous public donations, they have been able to grant the sick children in this area their greatest wishes. They are also the recipients of a skeet shoot sponsored by a local business. The programs sponsored by this troop are well-known and respected by the public and their work is outstanding. These troopers not only work hard, they give hard.

Thanks for visiting today. As always, I love comments and hope you will take the time to leave a story of your own, something in your neck of the woods that touches your heart.

Review: Winter’s End by Clarissa Cartharn

A woman torn between two men – One she once loved and another who threatens to destroy all she’s worked for.

Tormented by the rumors plaguing her once loveless marriage, young widow Emma Winston escapes to Breakish on the Isle of Skye with her two children. But her hopes of a new beginning is shattered as she finds herself torn between the man she once loved, her brother-in-law Richard Winston and wealthy, handsome playboy, Chris Cameron, who threatens to destroy everything she’s accomplished if she doesn’t accept his offer of a convenient marriage.

Will Emma finally learn to follow her heart?

Clarissa Cartharn has always had a deep love for language. Her pursuit of it has led her to obtain a BA majoring in English Language and Literature, sought a career in English, teaching for six years before finally becoming a lawyer. But when she took up the pen, she realized what she was really desiring for was the cathartic release of her wild imagination via writing.

Clarissa is interested in learning new languages and is currently on a quest to conquer Mandarin Chinese.

Join her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/clarissa.cartharn.1

My Review:

I absolutely enjoyed the meandering style that Clarissa Cartharn used in WINTER’S END. It could have been a fast read, but the wonderful descriptions of the isle left me wanting to just enjoy the scenery and live alongside the characters.

The cantankerous old lady, Mrs. Kinnaird, who was misunderstood by the local folk due to old folk-lore about the family curse was a great character and greatly added to the book. Emma was a sweet young widow and it was enjoyable to read about her and the children and their lives on the isle. Ms. Cartharn gave such an apt description of the solarium that I felt as though I were sitting there having tea and reading alongside Emma.

Life for Emma appears to be as close to perfect as it can get when along comes Mrs. Kinnaird’s grandson, whom the old lady has determined would be the perfect match for Emma. The butler had a saying, “Don’t settle to love anyone else than what your heart truly deserves. Because when you do find it, you stop searching for that love anymore.” It was appropriate for the story in WINTER’S END.

The only drawback (or two) that I found with the book was that after meandering along at a peaceful pace, it ended rather abruptly. I thought the author could have made the ending a chapter in itself and given the reader a little more detailed ending. Also, the grammar. I found the book contained a number of grammatical errors, some of which may have been the language barrier. I am noticed that books written by authors in the UK differ quite a bit from American authors. Our terminology is very different and it sometimes sticks out like a sore thumb in books. And, even though that may be the case here, it still contained errors. There were sentences that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. The author did give clear distinctions between past and present, using italics to make it easy to incorporate the information.

I am giving WINTER’S END four stars due to the abrupt ending and grammar differences. I loved the story-line and overall, it was a very good book and one worth recommending. 

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Wednesdays – A Little Down-home Southern Cooking

Jambalaya, Crawfish PieGumbo file‘ Son-of-gun we’re gonna have great fun, down on the bayou …(you can find the lyrics here: http://www.lyrics.com/jambalaya-on-the-bayou-lyrics-hank-williams.html ) 

         Goodness! I’ve had an exhausting week and I think my house is going to permanently harbor the stench of cooking onions.

          I cooked a huge batch of jambalaya mix to freeze. While the idea of sitting down to a wonderful plate of “instant” jambalaya sounds enticing, getting it to that point isn’t so great.

          One day I am going to learn to chop and cook the onions in the outside kitchen, then move the process indoors to my kitchen. Seems I have this revelation every time I cook onions. It has obviously yet to stick. I spent the better part of a day chopping many (lots and lots) onions in preparation for cooking. Once I finished up with the onions, I cubed two slabs of honey ham, chopped two packages each of Hillshire Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage. With this huge pile of chopped ingredients taking up residence on my counter, I was ready to begin cooking.

          I tossed the onions into a huge pot and cranked up the fire (I think faster is always better – not so). So, with the candles burning and the windows opened to allow fresh air to penetrate the onion odor infested kitchen, I stirred and stirred and then stared at those onions willing them to brown and caramelize (oh me of little patience). Well, needless to say, no onion will caramelize before its time; and believe when I say – that onion had its own time table!

          The onions finally caramelized and it was time to toss in the chopped meats. Gosh! Once the meat starts browning and blending with the onions, it is slap yo’ mama good let’s have a party time. Oh! My Goodness! You want to just grab a bowl and start dishing it up to eat! After the meat and onions were cooked and a little gravy was forming, I threw in the peeled shrimp. A little more cooking and stirring and then it was “grab a bowl” time.

         I put the rice to cook and sat down to enjoy my bowl of jambalaya mix thinking all is right with the world (and it sure is great to be from the South!)

 Ingredients:

 10 onions, chopped; 2 packages of Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage, chopped; 2-1/2” slabs of honey ham, 4 cups peeled small shrimp, ½-teaspoon Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil

 How To:

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the bottom of a heavy pan, add onions and cook until brown and caramelized. (I always sprinkle a little sugar over onions to help in the caramelization.)


Add chopped meat and stir. (See picture – sausage is sliced down center and down center again forming four links – slice – this will give you quarter pieces) Cook down. Drain any grease that has accumulated (sausage has lots of grease.)

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!Add peeled shrimp and ½ teaspoon liquid crab boil. Stir. Lower fire and let simmer. Add a little water if necessary.

I do not normally add any additional seasoning because the meat helps to season the dish as well as the liquid crab boil.

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!To Do:

 At this point, you can either cool mixture and freeze or mix in cooked rice and enjoy. The mixture is also great on French bread as a sandwich mix. Enjoy!

From the Heart - A Southern Staple - Jambalaya!*If you have any questions about the recipe, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to clarify.

It’s all about life – Tuesdays with Donna, A Little Southern Comfort

It’s Tuesday. Welcome to a Little Southern Comfort here on My Life. Just so happens today is also my birthday. I found myself wishing it didn’t fall on this day because I write my column on Tuesdays. While most people enjoy celebrating their birthdays, I do not. It has nothing to do with age. I am now 56 years old. See – no problem. My not celebrating my birthday has to do with life.

If I celebrated my birthday, I would find myself making a wish as I blew out a candle; and because we all want that proverbial wish to come true, we tend to wish for something that will come true. You have to admit that we all hedge our bets. I can’t do that. I would wish for my two daughters to put their anger aside and to be part of my life, an honest part with no pretense. I have wished and prayed for just that for seventeen years. It hasn’t happened. And so, this is why some birthdays, theirs and mine, are bittersweet.

Yesterday was my sister, Debbie’s, birthday. She lost a battle with Leukemia at age seven. I was five at the time, and as anyone who has lost someone dear to them will tell you, the loss never goes away. And, although I have my very own angel in Heaven, the gloom lurks near by.

As Tuesday was approaching, I didn’t think I’d have much to write about this week, but turns out, things began happening. I’m still trying to navigate my way around my new Mac Air. I have to admit that by Saturday night, I was wishing I had left it on the Apple tree (so did everyone else!) I was attempting to use Quickbooks for Mac. photo (7)I’ve been using Quickbooks on my PC for about six years now and easy peasy. On my Mac, I had a menu strip down the side of my screen as well as a menu across the top and then the open page in the center. Once I figured out what was going on (just as I was picking up the phone to dial Quickbooks help) everything made sense.

Then, I had to close the file and finding it again proved to be a scavenger hunt. After a few texts to a friend, I managed to not only locate the file but even move it to another folder. Thanks Jessica! Yeah Me!

I have another good friend whose little boy started school this year. He has a few developmental problems and his little immune system is compromised. This means she needs to stay nearby in the event another of his classmates is sick and she will need to pick her little boy up so he doesn’t get sick. We haven’t been able to have lunch together for a while so I told her we needed to do breakfast instead. What fun! She came over and we had fun that only two chocoholics and puff pasty addicts could have. We wrapped chocolate in puff pastry, put it in the oven, and sat down to wait – impatiently! When the pastries came out of the oven, we sprinkled – okay, dumped – the confectioner’s sugar on them and then laughed like only kids can do. It was the best breakfast and visit. We’ll have to do that again soon Lynette!

We almost had a hurricane blow through. Call me crazy, but Hubby and I both attribute our good fortune to all the people on the bayou praying the “Hurricane Season Prayer” that gets prayed every Sunday in mass. We live in Southern Louisiana about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans and all the rain was on the east. God listens when two or more are gathered. The proof is in the pudding!

My cousins that have been in from Georgia came to visit on Friday. They left on Sunday to go back to the place on top of the mountain they now call home. I miss them already. I pass their house in New Orleans every time I head into the city to Ochsner for a doctor appointment or blood work and I could always count on calling and saying, “I’m passing by, want company?” I am quite lucky to have them in my life, even if it’s not as often as before. I really miss the great meals I was served on those days.

The tide has been high due to the disturbance in the gulf and on Sunday the bayou was finally beginning to flow back south. Water lilies were floating by in droves and as Hubby was checking his crab traps, a few came close enough to the wharf to snag a few blooms. They are really pretty and I love sitting on the swing behind the boat house photo (2)watching them float by. It is very peaceful if you can tune out the traffic.  There will be pictures if I can figure out where they are on the computer. That’s makes me laugh, because I hit download and they disappeared. (Obviously, I did find the pictures.) I am also wondering why it was so easy to find them. Someone is playing a trick on me.  I am also including a picture of the bayou. So many people do not know what a bayou is and we get asked that question frequently. In other parts of the country, it is called a river or a stream, etc. Here in the South, it is called a bayou.

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It is also pecan season, at least in our yard. We have a pecan tree that produces every two years. And, of course, Hubby decides to check to see if the the steady wind that has been blowing has knocked any to the ground. I say this because we are on our way back from the boat house and there is no container except our pockets to put them in! photo 4photo 3

I am also including a picture of Calypso and Ryka (laying down sleeping) sitting guard at the base of the tree. We had a squirrel for the first time this year and they know it’s up there. For someone who chases her tail and can’t sit still, Calypso is

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holding a quiet vigil waiting…

According to my planner, I have books to read for review so that’s My Life for this week. Hope you’ll stop  by again next Tuesday for a visit.

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Review: Money didn’t buy her love by June Kramin

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Trying to get his bearings on an unfamiliar street and not paying attention, Jeremy slams his brakes to avoid hitting the most beautiful bride he has ever seen. When Danielle climbs in his truck, he assumes she’s in a hurry to get to her wedding; he didn’t realize she was escaping one. He agrees to let her return to his apartment so she can call for help, only she refuses to leave.

As the days pass, Jeremy finds it harder to fight off her passes and claims of falling in love with him. Besides having almost ten years on her, Jeremy discovers the family secret she had been trying to hide. How could the daughter of a billionaire settle for a plumber living paycheck to paycheck?

Despite every tactic her father throws at her and an ex-fiancé who refuses to let her go, Dani stakes her claim to the only thing she has ever truly wanted in her life and fights to make Jeremy hers.

Author: June Kramin

Wife, Mother, Writer, Lunatic. Not necessarily in that order. “There is a fine line between genius and crazy… I like to use that line as a jump rope!” June, who prefers to go by Bug, was born in Philadelphia but moved to Maui, Hawaii when she was four. She met her “Prince Charming” on Kauai and is currently living “Happily Ever After” on a hobby farm in a small town in Southern Minnesota. She enjoys riding her Paint horse, Ringo, around the small ghost town they are playfully reestablishing with the neighbors and playing in Photoshop. Her son and daughter are her greatest accomplishments. She takes pride in embarrassing them every chance she gets. Being hopelessly addicted to 80’s music is her super power.

Review:

In a book where Posh Princess meets Plumber Plastic, June Kramin writes a romantic comedy which is pure gold. MONEY DIDN’T BUY HER LOVE is the first book I have read by June Kramin and if the rest of her books are this good, there is a good chance I’ll be reading more.

The story doesn’t stop from the very first page when Jeremy nearly runs runaway bride, Danielle, over as she is escaping from her wedding. She hops in to his truck and the rest as they say, is history.

Offering her sanctuary in his apartment while she figures out her future ends up being either Jeremy’s best decision of his life or his worst. As they navigate the day-to-day life of “rich man, poor man” drama ensues. Jeremy is Dani’s billionaire father’s worst nightmare as his plans to use his daughter’s marriage as a business merger between two rich families. Chaos ensues.

The comedy and romance begin and the drunken escapades of Dani make it seem more like an I love Lucy segment than real life. It is a fairytale. The writing is great. There were a number of grammatical errors, but not enough to detract from the story. The characters were quite likable. MONEY DIDN’T BUY HER LOVE is not for the faint of heart as it does contain its share of cuss words. I am giving MONEY DID’T BUY HER LOVE five stars. It was enjoyable and while some scenes (there are some serious ones) will grab at your heart, most of the book will keep you laughing.

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Review: Virtually Perfect by Sadie Mills

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‘I’ll show you my darkroom.’ It’s way up there with ‘Come up and see my etchings‘ and Eve knew it.

Auctioneer, Evelyn Blake, is looking for a plus one. Her colleagues’ wedding is fast approaching. No one likes rocking up to those things alone. Fuelled by a bottle of Pinot Grigio, sheer frustration and a smattering of panic, Eve lands on an internet dating website. Amongst all the bare-chested mirror shots and men-with-no-neck, there is one dating profile that stands out.

Shutterman has been single for a while (since walking in on his fiancée and best friend in the throes in his own bed). Years of hard work, one fluke Mont Blanc shot, and photographer Benjamin Macy finds himself catapulted to fame and fortune. Handsome, young, rich and accomplished, he’s the ultimate bachelor. Far from the Deptfort tower block where he grew up, the past he tries so hard to hide.

Her dark eyes danced out from the black and white photo. She stood out a mile amongst all the pouters and posers. Her cupid’s bow lips were painted dark and parted wide. She was laughing – nothing forced about it. Her eyes were laughing too. Her face was framed by a mass of long, dark, untameable curls.

She’d never even told him her name.

In the afterglow of a particularly good sale, Eve agrees to ditch her microwave dinner and go out with Ben. Maybe it’s the ambiance: the mood-lighting, the Spanish guitar, the food (possibly the wine). She finds herself captivated.

Eve and Ben meet at a crossroads, on two different journeys, from very different starting points in life. They discover that their paths have crossed before, their pasts weaving across one another. As demons and ghosts begin rearing their heads, when the secrets come tumbling out, will the knots be tight enough to keep them together, or will they unravel and part?

Sadie Mills

Sadie Mills is an author of dark romantic comedies. She lives in Devon, England, with her Maine Coon cat.

Sadie has worked in the legal profession for over fifteen years. She has also worked as a canine beautician and wedding chauffeur, as well as living in a restaurant for over two decades.

In her spare time, Sadie enjoys scuba, travelling in the Middle East, and skydiving. She doesn’t get much spare time, admittedly. Which is probably just as well.

Sadie is currently available for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

To contact Sadie and keep up-to-date with her latest releases, visit sadiemills.co.uk or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

My Review

VIRTUALLY PERFECT by Sadie Mills started off with a little bang, but fizzled out before it got out of the starting gate.

I felt the book was a little long and frankly, a little boring. Using the book blurb as a guide, I was under the impression the book would be dark, but funny. The two protagonists had a load of baggage between them and more than once, I thought about not finishing the book. As I struggled through the book, I began to feel the book cover accurately depicted the story quite well.

I thought the author jumped around enough that at times I had a difficult time following the story. Also, when a different language, such as the French in the book, is used, a translation is needed. Not everyone speaks more than one language and authors need to incorporate translations.

There were some funny and true antidotes found, especially in the beginning. The reader can aptly understand the on-line dating scene through the description. “You can find all kinds of men on dating sites. Tall men, short men,…We’re starting with looks, because that’s where it always starts. Women complain about men objectifying us – making judgments based solely on our looks. The fact is we’re just as guilty, we’re just more subtle about it. Not to say you have be Brad Pitt, but the sad truth is if you’re a Danny Devito messaging a Charlize Theron, no matter how witty your opening or fabulous your profile, when we say we’re going to catch you later, trust me on this one: we’re not.”

Internet dating is a fascinating subject and the author could have expounded for chapters on the subject, but chose not to. VIRTUALLY PERFECT didn’t explore the intricacies of internet dating and I think the author missed a great opportunity to do so. I am giving VIRTUALLY PERFECT three stars. The grammar wasn’t bad, and I think that somewhere in the midst of all the baggage is a great story.

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Review: The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel by Jess McConkey

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A William Morrow Paperback Original 

In the vein of Jennifer McMahon‘s Promise Not to Tell comes a haunting story about family secrets and how well we really know the people we love. 

Kate is ready to put her nomadic, city-dwelling past behind her when she marries Joseph Krause and moves with him to the Iowa farm that has been in his family for more than 140 years. But life on the farm isn’t quite as idyllic as she’d hoped. It’s filled with chores, judgmental neighbors and her mother-in-law who-unbeknownst to Kate until after the wedding-will be living with them.

As Kate struggles to find her place in in the small farming community, she begins to realize that her husband and his family are not who she thought they were. According to town gossip, the Krause family harbors a long-kept secret about a mysterious death that haunts Kate as a dangerous, unexplainable chain of events begins.

Jess McConkey aka Shirley Damsgaard is an award-winning writer of short fiction, the Abby and Ophelia series, and Love Lies Bleeding. She lives in a small Iowa town, where she served as postmaster for more than twenty years.

My Review

Before you even open the book, the cover of THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY by Jess McConkey will leave you with an ominous feeling. I felt the picture was a perfect setting for the story to come. You could feel the secrets emanating from the pages. THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY is an impressive who-dun-it book that left me bleary-eyed one night determined to finish the book.

In a book where history seems to be repeating itself a hundred years later, Katie seems determined to break the cycle of abuse and murder, and in the name of justice, discover the truth about a murder.

As the saying goes, “The sins of the father…” Jacob and Hannah’s history seems to be a bad omen for their ancestors. All of the Krause brothers seem to be dying, generation by generation until the last of the sons is gone. Can history be re-written? You will be kept guessing until the very end of this multi-generation novel.

I am giving THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY five stars. It was well written, the characters were intriguing and the story-line kept me in suspense until the end. I would definitely recommend the book to all suspense lovers.

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We meet in the middle – Tuesdays with Donna, A Little Southern Comfort

It seems my life resembles one country song after another lately. Take for instance,Thursday. I picked out my clothes for a meeting I needed to go to. Since the weather here in the South is normally stifling, I didn’t put my jacket on. Because the weather is so hot, I decided to wear one of the cute thin cotton shells that I have. I tossed the jacket over the dining room chair alongside my brief case and phone – all things I did not want to forget. As it got closer to my designated leaving time, I gathered up the last of my belongings I needed and headed out the door. I grabbed my jacket (or so I thought.)

Fifteen miles later I pulled up in front of the parish office and got out of the car. I reached back in to retrieve my jacket, briefcase and bag only to find no jacket. I was mortified. The cute sleeveless blouse I had chosen to wear under my jacket  was a little thin side. In other words you could see through it. After panicking and searching frantically for a jacket that wasn’t going to magically appear, I called hubby.

I was frantically telling him I had left my jacket at home and there was just no way I could sit and conduct a meeting in a room full of men in a see thru shirt, and could he please meet me with my jacket – all in one unbelievably long breath. Of course being such a sweet husband he said yes. I then proceeded to tell him to look on the dining room chair and on my office chair and so on. He then got a little perturbed and told me he would find it but I needed to hang up. What is it with men? Can they not walk and talk at the same time. I wanted to stay on the phone walking him through each room and be there when he located it so I could quit panicking. Okay, so I can be a little OCD at times.

I began heading back down the highway from wince I had come hoping to meet hubby in record time even though we were now encroaching into the work knockoff traffic. He then called me to say he was hung up in traffic (there is only one road up and one road down the bayou so this was not good). I was driving through a little town and began announcing every landmark I was passing in the hope that he would say “I’m almost there.” “I am passing the post office. ” “I am passing the library. ” “The post office?” “The library?” As in we have one of those? Picture me rolling my eyes and wondering if I would actually meet him in our driveway rather than on the road.

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We finally met at a small grocer. He was traveling north and as I approached the store I saw him put his blinker on and turn in from the far side. We met with our windows already rolled down. He handed off my jacket and it was “Bye” “Bye” and we were both off again. Reminded me of my favorite Dr. Seuss book, Go  Dog Go. “Hello!” “Hello!” “Do you like my hat?” “No. I do not.” “Goodbye!” “Goodbye!” I managed to get back in plenty of time to begin the meeting on time.

My birthday is coming up soon and I’ve been wanting a laptop. So…Hubby said I could get one. My cousin was in from Georgia so it ended up being the perfect time. I would get to visit and do something fun – like buying a computer at the same time. And, I needed his expertise.

As always, when I arrived at their house on Monday morning, a wonderful meal was waiting for me. I’m a challenge to cook for because I’m so finicky, but, he’s learning. He scrambled eggs and melted smoked gouda cheese on top and then spooned it onto tortillas. He then folded the tortillas and put them back in the pan to toast them. When I tell you, it tasted like a little bit of Heaven, believe me. Some of my favorite ingredients – eggs, cheese, and tortillas. Can’t go wrong in my opinion. Doesn’t that look good?!

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And, all of this on a Monday morning. I normally do not schedule anything for a Monday because I am not a Monday person. I normally hang around the house in my pajamas until the grass is dry and then I get dressed and mow grass. Supper is whatever I find frozen, usually gumbo. It’s sort of a non-lazy lazy day. So, to not only be up and about, but in New Orleans at 9:30 in the morning – well it was a miraculous day all around.

I’ve spent most of today attempting to navigate around the Mac. One difference I’ve found is that there are not as many menus available in the programs as there are on the PC. I am finding that quite a challenge. Next up on my list is to try to download a few favorite fonts. I was not at all successful in my twenty thousand tries today. Maybe tomorrow will be the day.

I invite to leave a comment on how your week is going. See you next week!

A GOOD LOOKIN’ MAN by Marcia Lynn McClure (Review)

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A Good-Lookin’ Man by Marcia Lynn McClure

Excerpt

However, in an instant—in less than a breath or the bat of an eyelid—the elusive pepper spray hiding somewhere in her purse was all but forgotten. For standing before her—right there before her, not three feet away—was the best-looking, most gorgeous, handsomest man she had ever seen in all her life!

“No, seriously,” she thought out loud with lingering bewilderment at how perfectly stunning the man standing before her was, wearing a worn pair of Levi’s, dusty cowboy boots, and a short-sleeved, plaid-print, snap-up shirt that hung open, revealing a bronzed, perfectly sculpted torso that was simply a mass of muscles. She was so unsettled by the man’s appearance that she wasn’t sure whether she was whispering aloud to herself or her car.

Either way, the man asked, “Beg your pardon, ma’am?”

“Oh…oh, nothing,” Fairlee said as she began rummaging in her purse again. But the man’s presence and appearance had entirely rattled her. As her awe-inspired brain obviously quit sending out instructions to the rest of her body, Fairlee felt her purse slip from her hands—watched in humiliated dismay as its contents tumbled out and scattered over the shoulder of the road.

Amazon * Distractions Ink

marciaAuthor Marcia Lynn McClure

Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

Website * Twitter

My Review

A GOOD LOOKIN’ MAN is wonderful, cute love story that showcases Marcia Lynn McClure‘s sense of humor. It is laugh out loud funny and the characters are Southern precious.

Fairlee is on her way to visit her beloved aunt and uncle when her unreliable car breaks down five miles from the farm. Aside from wondering how she is going to get there, other than walking the five miles, her sense of balance is swayed as she looks up into the face of the most beautiful man she has ever laid eyes on.

As she is sifting through the spilled contents of her purse, in an attempt to find her canister of pepper spray, the stranger holds it up and asks if that was what she was looking for.

“Were you looking for this, by any chance?” he asked. “Huh?” Fairlee breathed, still hypnotized by his physical charms. She looked down at what he held in his hand in offering to her, blushing to the very tips of her toes when she saw her elusive little canister of pepper spray. “Um…yes, thank you,” she said, accepting the pepper spray. “I mean, no, no…of course not! I mean…thank you.” 

Fairlee has a habit of talking to herself, not realizing she’s speaking out loud and it makes for some extremely embarrassing and funny stories. The book will keep you chuckling and turning the pages to see what will come flying out of the damsel in distress‘ mouth.

And, throw in Aunt Pearl’s advice, and life and love just take on a whole new meaning. “I do know,” Aunt Pearl confirmed. “And that there is a number one clue that you’re with the wrong man. If he can’t ruffle your bloomers when he kisses you, then you might as well not waste your time.”

I am giving the book five stars, not because it was a deep, thought-provoking book (it wasn’t), but for its humor. Reading A GOOD LOOKIN’ MAN was like sitting down to watch a comedy and it was quite enjoyable.

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