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A to Z Challenge 2018 S is for schmooze.

SWelcome back to the A to Z Challenge and the last post of the week. Today’s letter is S,  and I’ve decided to talk about people who schmooze. Don’t know what schmooze means? It means to sweet talk someone into giving you exactly what you want. That might sound like a negative thing, but I’ve learned that it’s an essential skill at my age.

There are different kinds of schmoozers. Some are out to take you for whatever you’ve got; others only want help getting what they need. My husband has become a good schmoozer in the past few years. At the airport, he managed to play dumb until someone helped up figure out how to get ourselves registered and get our boarding passes. No doubt he’ll have to do it again the next time we fly since I don’t remember how it’s done.

pexels-photo-811108.jpegI’ve become a schmoozer when I go grocery shopping. At 5″ 0″ and shrinking, I simply can’t reach stuff on the shelves so I have to smile sweetly and beg people to get stuff down for me. So far, it’s worked well. I schmooze when I can’t find something by hunting down a clerk. True story. Last week, I couldn’t see the tapioca pudding sitting right there on the shelf two feet in front of me. Apparently my blindness was contagious because the guy stocking the shelf couldn’t see it either and went in search for it. Was my face red when he came back and said the computer claimed it was on the shelf in front of us–and it was!

I have a feeling that as I age, I will have to perfect my schmoozing technique. What about you? Have you schmoozed lately?

Don’t forget to check out more A to Z bloggers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit

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Two Post Day: Post One: A to Z Challenge 2018: R is for Regardless

This is a two post day. If you are looking for the Accent on Romance Promotion, you’ve come to far, grasshopper. Go back one to the newest post today.

RHere we are again. Welcome to Day 18 of the A to Z Challenge 2018. This post is a continuation of yesterday’s on quirks, specifically my deep-seated need to correct grammar, spelling, word choice errors. Sometimes the errors we make are not so much errors as regionalisms. For example, Canada, where i am, uses the British system for spelling words and writing them. We have that extra “u” in words like colour, flavour, and neighbour, and we add an s to direction words like towards, forwards, backwards, etc.  Every area of the English speaking world has regional words that the rest may or may not understand and that can lead to misunderstanding.

 

For example. in my novel, Wedding Bell Blues, my heroine MJ is drinking beer. I use the word brew  instead of bear and a British reader thought I meant tea. Good thing I didn’t use suds! She might have had her drinking soap. I haven’t changed the word, but it did make me think that even though we all speak English, we don’t all speak the same language. kidlets With that in mind, we need to start being careful about the words we invent, and I am as guilty of that as anyone. I refer to my grandchildren as the kidlets. I’ve even used it in books thinking it was my own creation. Imagine my surprise when i found all kinds of entries for the word on the Internet.

Today, I’m going to talk about the letter R and the word regardless, as well as other common words and phrases used incorrectly.

Regardless means without regard–as in “I don’t care.” For example. Regardless of what you say, I’m going.  So where’s the problem here? It’s with people who say irregardless.  Irregardless is not a word. It’s a double negative:  “ir” means without and “less” means without,s o in essence, by saying irregardless, you are saying without without regard. Does that make sense?

Regardless isn’t the only word people invent and use on a regular basis. Sad to say, many of these words, like irregardless, have become so commonplace that people use them and think nothing of it. Examples of non-words include guesstimate, funner, anyways, yous, orientate, gonna, wanna, coulda, shoulda, etc.

Sometimes, the problem is misused words in expressions. For example. I could care less is WRONG! If you could care less, you would. The correct expression is I couldn’t care less.

Regardless of where you sit when it comes to language, there must be a word or expression out there that annoys you. Come on. Don’t be shy. Share, please.

Don’t forget to check out more A to Z bloggers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit

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A to Z Challenge 2018 Q is for Quirk

QGood morning and welcome to another A to Z Challenge 2018 post.  Today we approach the difficult letters, the ones near the end of the alphabet.  I decided to talk about quirks, those unusual behavioural characteristics people have as my post for the letter Q.

Some people have more quirks than others, and some people’s quirks can be exceptionally annoying, but whether we like to admit it or not, we all have some. It’s a fact that family members and spouses usually see quirks more than others do.  Let me start by pointing out a few of the ones from my life to get you thinking of the ones you deal with every day.

pexels-photo-434229.jpegMy daughter is never late for work, but when it comes to other things, time is fluid. Her favorite line is “on my way” which can mean anything from five minutes to an hour.

My husband always rinses his dishes but can never manage to get them from the sink or counter to the dishwasher.

Others include things like the person who squeezes the life out of every loaf of bread in the store before picking one.

pexels-photo-210679.jpegThe person in line in the grocery store who has to pay for purchases in coins.

What are some of my personality quirks? Sad to say, I have many.

I do not accept criticism well–make that not well at all. I take every negative thing to heart.

People yelling around me, even if they are simply bitching out aloud at themselves upset me and I invariably take it as a fault on my part.

pexels-photo-707571.jpegI’m an introvert, preferring to stay alone than mix with people. Having people, even my own family over for meals stresses me because I’m convinced I won’t do it well.

When people are talking, I interrupt–I know cardinal sin, but I just do. I try not to, but in this family, I might never get a chance to speak if I don’t speak up.

pexels-photo-460223.jpegWhile I try not to, I correct people’s bad grammar.  Certain words are like red flags to a bull for me.

My biggest peeve is disrespectful people–men who leave their hats on during the national anthem, in restaurants and when they come into my home.

I’m short, and because of that, when I sit, my legs don’t always touch the floor so I  swing them.

I’m sure if I asked them, my family would name dozens more personality quirks of mine, but enough about me. Are their quirks that drive you crazy?

Don’t forget to check out more A to Z bloggers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit

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Three Post Day: Post Three: Accent on Romance Giveaway

Do you love winning things? Finding great book bargains? Discovering new authors? Then, you’ve come to the right place!

Banner April 18-22 promo_small size

For the next four days, you have the opportunity to do just that with a fabulous Rafflecopter giveaway. See the link at the end of the post. If you aren’t a US resident, you can’t win that,  but comment for your chance to win an electronic copy of my latest release, The Price of Honor, Book One in the Canadiana Series.  Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll automatically get an electronic copy of Sworn to Protect!

Now, let me tell you a bit about the books involved in this fantastic promotion.

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Confronted with decisions made in her younger days, Emmelin faces deep remorse and indecisiveness. Trying to justify her actions and make things right, she discovers she’s far from the only one withholding the truth and hiding secrets.
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Can Dennis overcome his fury and forgive Emmelin for her deceit? And can Emmelin forgive Dennis for withholding essential information that would have changed their lives forever? Can they learn to trust each other again, embrace the future, and give their love a second chance?
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As with most of his family, Derrick Ashton knows his future and what position he’s destined to fill within his unique society. Everything changes, however, when he breaks one of his family’s strictest laws and falls in love–with a human.
In his quest to protect the woman he can never have, a twist of faith propels him into a new role that will cause dissension among his family and endanger the anonymity that they’ve worked for thousands of years to protect.

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Creatus is not your normal paranormal story…it’s a realistic romantic mystery based on the myths you’ve heard your entire life. Prepare to believe…
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The forests of Munich are crawling with danger under the rule of “The Third Reich,” but in order to save the life of her unborn child Petra Jorgenson must escape from the home for the Lebensborn. Alone, seven months pregnant, penniless and ever threatened by the watchful eyes of the armed guards in the overhead tower, she waits until the dead of a frozen winter night. Then, Petra climbs under the flesh shredding barbed wire that surrounds the institute and at the risk of being captured and murdered she runs headlong into the terrifying desolate woods.
Even during one of the darkest periods in the history of mankind, when horrific acts of cruelty became commonplace and Germany seemed to have gone crazy following the direction of a madman, sometimes ordinary people took monumental risks and proved to be unexpected heroes. And even through there were those who would try to destroy it, true love would prevail. Here, in this lost land ruled by human monsters, Petra will learn that even when faced with what appears to be the end of the world if one looks hard enough there is always “A Flicker Of Light.” https://www.amazon.com/Flicker-Light-Roberta-Kagan-ebook/dp/B006Y0YQFK
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When American-born Wesley Parker inherits a dukedom in 1890, he must learn to be an aristocrat. Assigned to the task is his attorney’s daughter, prim Belle Oakhurst. As they travel to England together on a luxurious ocean liner, their tempestuous relationship encounters more than rough seas. Although Wesley is increasingly attracted to Belle, she is already engaged. While Belle begins to regret her hasty promise to marry, she is bound by honor and duty to keep her pledge. Furthermore, a thoughtless fabrication on her part threatens to expose her as a liar. Neither Wesley nor Belle can foresee that their voyage across the Atlantic will be fraught with peril, and will cost more than one man his life. http://a.co/dfysVaQ 
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Three Post Day: Post Two: A to Z Challenge 2018 P is for Positive Thinking

PToday is a three post day. If you are looking for the midweek tease, it’s just below this one!

Welcome to another day in the A to Z Challenge for 2018. Today’s letter is P and I’m going to talk about Positive Thinking.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that positive thinking is harder to do today than it has ever been. When Norman Vincent Peale published his book The Power of Positive Thinking  in 1952, it was hailed as the best self-help book ever. I was 2 years old.  My how the world has changed since then! imagesHis book suggests positive thinking as a way for for readers to  achieve a “permanent, constructive and optimistic” attitude toward life by focusing on positive influences around them and affirmations leading to a supposedly higher satisfaction with and quality of life.  What is some of his advice? here’s a short paraphrased list.

  1. Focus on today.
  2.  Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
  3. Don’t hide from your problems, face them.
  4. Research and understand a situation to overcome it.
  5. Expect to get exactly what you want.
  6. Look for the good points of a bad situation.
  7. Avoid negative works like defeat. You want hope and victory.
  8. Don’t move too quickly. (Don’t jump into something without thinking about it first.)
  9. Think happy thoughts.
  10. Learn from success as well as failure.

While I may try to think positive, I don’t always attain my goal. I need to practice Master Yoda’s mantra–there is no try only do.  Here is an article that might help us all with our positive thinking!

https://www.success.com/article/7-practical-tips-to-achieve-a-positive-mindset

Don’t forget to check out more A to Z bloggers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit

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Three Post Day: Post One: Midweek Tease

MWTease15As you can see, this is a three post day. If you are looking for the A to Z Challenge, you’ve gone one post too far. Back up!

Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease, made possible by the lovely and talented Angelica Dawson. Each week, talented authors share their work with you. I’m still teasing from The Price  of Honor, my revised historical romance set in the sixteenth century.

Enjoy:

Guy stepped out of the governor’s lodge, put on his hat, and started down the steps as the door close firmly behind him. The message, goodbye and don’t come back, was obvious. Poor Isabelle. He shook his head. The sound of merrymaking, especially this early in the day, grated on his nerves, and he clenched his teeth. How much worse it must be for her. Did courtiers have no sense of respect? He’d seen Colbert at the funeral and that pompous ass, d’Angrignon. While he couldn’t be positive, he thought the king’s aunt had been the older lady surrounded by liveried men and a couple of women. Isabelle’s father had been a popular man with the court, probably more so because he spent very little time there. That might’ve changed with his marriage, but he doubted it. The count had loved the land and preferred Caen to Paris.

He pursed his lips. The chevalier and the countess seemed rather friendly considering the occasion. Of course, the woman’s name had been linked with his and half a dozen other courtiers, before she’d married the Count de Caen, no doubt planning to bear him a son and cash in on the riches of Normandy. It wouldn’t surprise him if those two had kept up their relationship. Solange de Poitou had tipped her skirt for anyone who’d asked. She would’ve inherited the Count’s fortune, if not the land and the titles, making whatever sacrifice she’d made leaving the court well worth her effort. It looked as if she would be returning there a very wealthy widow. Why the count had ever married her would no doubt remain a mystery. Guy shook his head. Would she set her cap for the chevalier now? He was one of the king’s closest advisers.

Guy walked to the stable where he’d tethered his horse. His leg ached from the cold and all the time he’d spent on horseback since he’d returned to France via Martinique, well ahead of any ship from the colony itself. While he’d enjoyed his time in the tropics, attending to trade matters for Talon, he’d given his heart to his new home with its varied seasons.

Images of Isabelle filled his mind. God, she was beautiful, far lovelier than he’d expected, and the ravages of grief couldn’t change that. The slight puffiness and shimmer of tears still in her incredible green eyes had touched him. Her pallor bespoke her grief and something more. A flash of hope had crossed her face when he’d told her about Pierre’s estates, but it had died almost as soon as he’d seen it.

As a young girl, her energy and compassion had awed him. She’d been the daughter of the Count de Caen, Governor of Normandy, a potential contender for the throne of France, while he’d been Pierre’s poor cousin, much as Sophie was hers, dependent on the generosity of his uncle. At seventeen, he’d been attracted to the vivacious child of thirteen. She’d been as unattainable as the stars, and yet he hadn’t been able to stop himself from losing his heart to her. Seeing her today had brought back the love he’d forced deep inside him years ago. While it hurt to know she didn’t remember him, he clung to the precious memory of the last time he’d seen her.

It had been the day before her fourteenth birthday, and he and Pierre had come to say goodbye since they were leaving for military college in the morning. Isabelle had worn a pale green gown and looked as lovely as a summer’s day. He’d offered her a small bunch of violets and pansies which grew wild around the castle and had hurried away before she could say anything. While he’d hoped to return one day, until today, that hadn’t been possible. He’d envied Pierre her hand, had been surprised the king had allowed it, but never would’ve said anything to ruin his friend’s happiness.

There was nothing Guy wouldn’t have done for the vicomte or Pierre. The charges of treason had been trumped up—they had to be—but by whom and why? Pierre had been on a mission of some urgency for de Courcelle, the governor-general of New France, and Jean Talon, its intendant. There were forces at work in the colony that threatened its viability, and someone wanted to prevent the king from learning the truth. What exactly that was, even he didn’t know, but as soon as he returned to the colony he intended to find out.

Rumor had it some of those involved with La Compagnie des Cents Associés whose charter was revoked in 1663 were unhappy with the efforts to increase agriculture in the colony. Some continued to work for the French West India Company that had replaced it and lamented the restrictions put on their trapping and exploration. If they were to find a route to India, how could they do it without exploring the west? So far, the large body of water some had believed to be the Pacific Ocean had turned out to be nothing but an enormous lake. No ship would be able to navigate the river beyond Ville-Marie because of the rapids. As far as Guy was concerned, even if they found the ocean, they would never be able to make trade that way profitable—but a focus on agriculture and lumber to supplement the fur trade could make them very rich indeed.

He huffed out a heavy breath. Cedric. The name left a bad taste in his mouth. Pierre’s older half-brother would have jumped at the chance to discredit him and if he could, he would’ve added to the rumors and accusations that damned him. Even as a boy, he’d resented his younger half-brother and the affection the vicomte had lavished on his second son and his young wife. Perhaps this was his revenge. Not content with the fortune and title, he’d wanted to strip Pierre of the respect of family and friends, something he could never do in the colonies.

Should Isabelle choose to take her place there, it would be one of honor. The chances she would were remote, considering she carried royal blood, but a man could dream. If she were able to accept her husband’s lands and follow Sophie to the colony, she would have to marry, since all women of child-bearing age did, but her bloodline wouldn’t be an obstacle for him there.

Guy mounted his horse and trotted out through the city gate. The rain had stopped ensuring his ride back to Rouen would be drier and far more comfortable than his ride to Caen.

The allegations and charges against Pierre had stunned him. Whoever had falsely accused him needed to be punished for his slander. Had he arranged the ambush that had ended his best friend’s life? If so, Guy would do everything in his power to see the man hung for murder. He would restore Pierre’s honor and do whatever he could to make sure the woman they both loved was happy and safe. It was the least he could do for the man who’d saved his life.

You can read The Price of Honor free on KU or purchase the e-book for only 99 cents!

 Please stop by and visit the rest of this week’s teasers!

#MidWeekTease April 18, 2018


 

 

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A to Z Challenge 2018: O is for Ordinary

OWelcome to another day of the A to Z Challenge 2018. The weather isn’t in the least bit spring-like. We are having an extra-ordinarily cold spring. As I type this, it’s snowing again, and the temperature is 22 F. What I wouldn’t give for an ordinary April day, one like those from my youth with mild showers that bring on May flowers.

Today’s letter is O and I’ve chosen to talk about ordinary. Being ordinary seems to be a bad thing these days. No one wants to be ordinary. I can’t imagine why.  No matter where you look, you’re being encouraged to leave the ordinary behind. Why? What’s so bad about being ordinary?

imagesI started off by looking up the word ordinary on Dictionary.com. I focused on it as an adjective. Have a look at what I found.

adjective
1.
of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional:
One novel is brilliant, the other is decidedly ordinary; an ordinary person.
2.
plain or undistinguished:
ordinary clothes.
3.
somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre.
4.
customary; usual; normal:
We plan to do the ordinary things this weekend.
5.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. common, vulgar, or disreputable.

Well, none of that sounds very good, does it? It’s strange I’m sure, but I never thought of ordinary that way.

I’ve always considered ordinary things and people to be the ones I could count on not to change, not to fall apart, but to withstand anything. Ordinary people were resolute. They were who they were and they were content to remain that way. Their lives revolved around work, family and church. They were the ones you could count on for stability, for a clear head in a crisis. They were ordinary people like my parents and grandparents.

Similarly, the year was filled with more ordinary days than extra-ordinary ones. Monday to Friday you went to school they went to work. Saturday, you did your chores and then enjoyed a leisure activity of your choosing, movies, game night, or television.  Sunday morning you went to church. In the summer, instead of school you had long days to play outside or read if it rained. Ordinary days held no unpleasant surprises.

Now, ordinary means less than good enough. Ordinary days are boring. Ordinary people lack ambition, luster, looks–you choose the word.  Isn’t that sad? Today, whether we like it or not, we all have to be exceptional in some way. It’s no longer good enough to be ordinary. How I miss those good old ordinary times.

Don’t forget to check out more A to Z bloggers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit

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