Today the featured author is Graham Downs who has written several children and YA books short stories and flash fiction collections. Today I am showcasing his published short story Heritage of Deceit and I hope you will give him a warm welcome to the bookstore.
Today the featured author is Graham Downs who has written several children and YA books short stories and flash fiction collections. Today I am showcasing his published short story Heritage of Deceit and I hope you will give him a warm welcome to the bookstore.
While surfing the Internet at work, Lloyd believes he’s found a relic from an old genocide. If he’s right, the artefact would be worth a ton of money, and it will give lots of people closure when they find out what really happened to their families.
But there’s one problem. The artefact–if it really exists–is in the possession of Carla, a shy woman in the company’s Accounts Department, and she never lets it out of her sight.
Lloyd seeks the help of his friend and fellow employee, Robert, whom Carla is desperately in love with. Will Robert agree to use Carla’s feelings for him to get information about the mysterious object?
Two of the reviews for Heritage of Deceit
Interesting premise for a short story. Contained properly in a short time, entertaining and a believable setting. I can picture this story happening in real life. Pacing is quick, no fluff conversations, swiftly moving you through the story until you are finished.
Characters are developed well in a short time. The main characters are able to be understood, their motives, even their naivety. Can you see the ending coming? Maybe you can, I did not, I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. After all of the books I have read of late, I have become fairly jaded to endings. This one got me a bit. I highly recommend this one.
Co-workers Lloyd and Robert think that Carla’s ring is a link to a genocide. They plan a robbery to get hold of it that goes horribly wrong, and even the robbers don’t get what they bargained for.
This is a well written short story The dialogue between Lloyd and Robert is realistic and their plans develop quickly and move the story along nicely.
I don’t think that you have to like all the characters in a book to enjoy their story. I found myself really disliking both Lloyd and Robert. They were deceitful and underhand in both and action which made me keep reading to find out what would happen to them.
This book is titled Heritage of Deceit. Lloyd and Robert both seemed to have inherited some deceit from their heritage – and it didn’t do them any good!
A great short story.
Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Heritage-Deceit-Graham-Downs-ebook/dp/B00H0V36R6
Also by Graham Downs
Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Graham-Downs/e/B00AT8SE38
Read further reviews at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/grahamdowns/
About Graham Downs
Graham Downs is a South African author. He was born in Alberton, in Gauteng, South Africa, where he now lives with his wife. Aside from being an independent author of six books (as well as an inclusion in the charity anthology, I Am Not Frazzle!), he is a computer programmer in Rivonia.
His newest work was released on 1 June 2016. It’s called Tales From Virdura, and it continues the Flash Fiction format. However, he decided to revisit his roots, so to speak, as this collection expands upon the world and characters introduced in his first published story, A Petition to Magic
In addition to his published works, Downs has written many free flash fiction stories and essays, in a wide variety of genres. They’re all available for free on his blog. You can also find a monthly crossword puzzle there, sometimes with prizes for solving it correctly. Find both his free writing, and the monthly crossword puzzle, by visiting his Blog.
Connect to Graham.
Thank you for popping in today and if you would like to join Graham and the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore you to can enjoy regular updates including new releases, great reviews you have received and offers you have on your books.
The wonderful Tell Me A Story Podcast on The Magic Happens with Annette Rochelle Aben is back… The first guest is the lovely Tina Frisco and I have bookmarked to listen later today with my coffee.. The shows are recorded and then available to listen in your own time zone.. I loved my interview with Annette and she is looking for guests.. go on… #recommended
Following a hiatus for The Magic Happens Radio Network, we are bringing ourselves back into your ears! A fresh podcast of Tell Me a Story is up and ready to enjoy.
The original program was a LIVE radio show which then went into archive, however we are taping everything (no more live, sorry) and it goes into podcast for listening pleasure when the time works best for you!
This half hour program is scheduled to be new each week, featuring a fascinating guest and you will be able to visit the page on the site of The Magic Happens Magazine to access ALL the podcasts in one place.
Here is the LINK to the PAGE: Tell Me a Story
So, who is my first guest? The darling and delightful, Tina Frisco! Who else but a dear friend to allow me to get my feet wet again in…
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I believe that community is vital to our survival and feel that this is almost as effective online as it is in person. And in fact as the generations roll out behind us it will be come equally so. Particularly as our reach is now worldwide and we can take support and knowledge from a much wider level of experience. I do recommend that you read this post because Madelyn Griffith-Haynie illustrates this elegantly and succinctly.. #recommended
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reflections: edited reposting
A wonderful model for living
In 1994 I founded The Optimal Functioning Institute™ – the company that presented the world’s first comprehensive ADD-specific coaching curriculum, and the only one for many years (OFI’s certification compliant A.C.T.), a curriculum I developed and delivered personally for years.
OFI was founded according to the principles that Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes articulates in The Goose Story, an extremely short free-verse poem (below) about the importance of community.
For well over a decade it was featured prominently on my first website, ADDCoach.com, built to focus on promoting the existence of ADD Coaching and the importance of brain-based, ADD-specific, Coach Training — and one of the first ADD sites on the web.
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If you are ever looking for something to brighten your day then you really should follow Cindy Knoke who takes the most splending photographs. Today Mandarin Ducks in all their oriental splendour..Fashion designers take note.. this is how you put together a colour palette together for your next collection..#recommended
Although Mandarin Duck populations are dwindling in their native Russia and Asia, some escapees from captivity are breeding in the wild in Germany and The UK. I happened upon these guys today on the Oos River in Baden-Baden Germany.
Images and article courtesy of: http://www.impianemasmedicalcentre.com/visceral-fat-more-dangerous-than-you-think/
You cannot survive without your major organs, although they have developed some workarounds…If you stop breathing they can put you on a ventilator and this includes if you suffer brain death, and provided your heart is beating you can be kept alive indefinitely.
However if your heart stops, unless they can get it beating again within in 4 to five minutes, brain cells will start to die. Without a heart you will die.
The purpose of this challenge is to achieve a better level of internal fitness, and the primary target of our efforts has to be the heart.
For elite athletes diet is key and food is carefully monitored to provide the optimum energy at a specific time. For example managing carbohydrate intake before a marathon is key.
In the week before a race, the athlete will reduce training and increase carb intake gradually until two days before the marathon when each meal with have carbs with a reduction in proteins and fats. This method means that the muscles which are the body’s fuel tank are topped up and ready to power the 26 miles. Although athletes keep away from the white refined carbs usually there is a more relaxed approach the day or so before a race as the sugars are faster to fill the tank.
How about for our marathon challenge?
Unless you are already fighting fit and ready to to a full marathon tomorrow in 3 hours or under, you do not need to carb binge or add loads of sugar to your diet. In fact all you need to do is follow a healthy heart diet which includes all food groups with the exclusion of certain foods that contain too many chemicals.
This of course plays right into my hands as an advocate for the Cook from Scratch approach to eating, losing weight and getting fit.
The Healthy Heart Diet.
The aim of this eating plan is to help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of diabetes, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure all of which are contributory factors to heart disease.
The eating plan will be all the more effective when combined with the increased activity level as you complete your marathons. Even in the first stages when that might be reasonably slow, you will find that areas of persistent internal fat around the waist will reduce. Belly fat is a key indicator of an unhealthy heart and reducing this is a key element of the challenge.
Firstly, it is more than likely that you already know that certain lifestyle choices you have made may be contributing to heart disease. If you are a smoker you are at a higher risk of developing arterial disease and a heart attack. If you eat too many junk foods, high in saturated fats and sugars, you are risking high cholesterol and probably diabetes. If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol then you are again taking chances with your heart health.
The good news is that eating a healthy heart programme need not be boring. In fact it will mean that you get to spend more time in the kitchen experimenting with all the wonderful alternatives to fats and sugars that are available everywhere. You need not compromise on taste and after a few weeks you will wonder how you managed to eat food that was so full of artificial fat, salt and sugar.
The aim is to eat all natural, unindustrialised foods that have been unadulterated by chemical additives and preservatives. Certain foods are processed by the nature of their origins. For example your milk will have been pasturised for safety.. Your cheese will have gone through a process as will natural unsweetened yogurts. Your fresh home-baked bread even if made with organic wholegrain flour will have an element of processing especially. Extra-virgin olive oil has been processed the least but has still needed to be extracted.
This is why I use the term industrialised for foods to avoid and they generally come in some form of plastic packaging or are very cheap.
I am going to give you a list of foods that have a specific role in preventing artery damage and heart disease. In that list are some foods that are high in Potassium, along with the minerals Calcium and Magnesium. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for heart health and calcium and magnesium are essential to balance the potassium in the body.
I hope that by seeing the foods and discovering how good they are for our hearts you will include them in your good shopping and cookery.
However, it is easier to detail the foods that you should EXCLUDE in your healthy heart eating plan as you can eat everything that is natural and unindustrialised, limiting any other foods to a maximum of 20% of your daily diet. Notice that I say avoid – this does not mean cut out all together as that is impractical – but there is a huge difference between having two biscuits each time you have a cup of tea and having two once or twice a week.
Ice cream is delicious and having once a week is not going to be the cause of a heart attack – but it will do if you have every day in combination with bacon, ready meals, cakes, sausages, processed sauces, biscuits etc.
Avoid all processed foods, including:
Hams, Bacon, Ready meals, Sausages, Canned food, Biscuits, Cakes, Ice Cream, Packaged sauces, Frozen prepared meals.
These contain extremely high levels of salt and phosphorus, as well as harmful additives and colorants.
White packaged breads tend to have a great many additives, cheap brown bread that comes wrapped in plastic has probably been treated to a caramel colour rinse as well as having a white flour base.
In house bakery whole grain bread is about the best option if you do not want to spend the time making yourself. There are some great breads from local bakers in our Tesco here in Gorey and I am particularly fond of Irish Soda Bread which has a delicious crumbly texture and unique taste.
Although some margarines may be low fat they contain hydrogenated fats and additives and it is better for your health to have a little butter on your bread and potatoes.
Do not drink fizzy or condensed fruit drinks as they have extremely high levels of sugar and colorants. Also Aspartame is still raising its ugly head despite manufacturers wishing it into the healthy column.
Moderate your intake of alcohol to no more than two average size glasses of wine per night or one spirit. It is better to have a glass of wine per night than binge at the weekend with a bottle or more. Your liver can handle a moderate amount of alcohol per day but finds it hard to process if taken in excess.
Sodium is essential for the body but it occurs naturally in certain foods and there is no reason to add much more in the way of seasoning. One of the worst culprits for too much sodium is mineral water…ensure that the one that you buy has levels marked as below 1.0 per 100ml.. or says that it is low sodium
SODIUM: This is an electrolyte (cation), which is a positively electrically charged atom that performs essential tasks within each cell. It is very easy to have too much sodium in your diet as it is added in too large quantities in cooking and in processed foods. It is naturally occurring in vegetables, more than sufficiently for normal needs. Excess sodium is related to elevated blood pressure levels when combined with chloride as common salt and should be reduced significantly in the diet. Sodium contents should be multiplied by 2.5 to identify the actual amount of salt being consumed and an area to look closely at if you have high blood pressure is the amount of sodium in any mineral water that you are consuming daily in quantity.
A brief look at Potassium which is one of the important minerals for heart health.
POTASSIUM: This is the main cation (positively charged electrolyte). It reacts with sodium and chloride to maintain a perfect working environment in and around each cell. It allows the transmission of nerve impulses and helps maintain the correct fluid balance in the body. It also regulates levels of acidity and alkalinity in the body. It is also required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It is connected to normal heart rhythms. The best food sources are dried apricots, figs, bananas, pumpkinseeds, almonds, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, fish, avocados, beans, milk and most fruit and other vegetables.
Generally any fresh produce across the food groups that is fresh and cooked from scratch is healthy for your heart.
I am a firm believer in eating foods that are packed with nutrients. If you need to lose weight you need to eat less calories, but that should not be at the expense of nutrition.
The following ones in particular contribute to a healthy heart and help prevent high blood pressure, blood sugar and elevated and oxidised LDL cholesterol levels. These include the currently demonised wholegrains which have played a part in our body’s nutrition for several thousand of years and have only really caused a problem when they became combined with refined sugars and unhealthy fats.
Include some like oats on a daily basis and the others at least three to four times a week. Oats contain fibre called beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol and prevents plaque from forming in your arteries. Wholegrain rice and pasta are fine in moderate amounts and even a heaped tablespoon will give you a boost of nutrients without adding too many calories. Wholegrains in the form of unprocessed, fresh baked bread and natural cereals, without additives, provide B vitamins, fibre and magnesium.
I believe in eating at least seven or eight portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and they have the added benefit of being low in fat and calories as well as nutrient packed. All vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, which remove free radicals from the system and also promote the growth of healthy cells and tissue. They can all be eaten freely on your healthy heart diet, but here are some in particular that are very beneficial.
Onions in particular which contain sulphur compounds that along with B6 and chromium help lower homocysteine levels in the blood- homocysteine causes platelets to clump so that they can attach themselves to the walls of the arteries and block them. One of the major causes of high blood pressure.
Avocados with their healthy fat that actively helps to reduce cholesterol. They also contain potassium. Eating half an avocado with some fresh salmon and a salad makes a great light lunch or supper.
Broccoli contains calcium and magnesium to help balance the potassium in your blood stream. Brussel sprouts for their antioxidants and potassium. Cabbage for its alkalising effect on the body. Spinach for many nutrients but also potassium and calcium. Shitake mushrooms that have so many therapeutic benefits apart from their definite effect on heart health. Tomatoes for antioxidants and potassium
Figs for their alkaline effect on the body and potassium levels.
Green tea with its antioxidants, which inhibit the enzymes that produce free radicals in the lining of the arteries. This not only prevents plaque from forming but also improves the ratio of LDL (lousy cholesterol) to HDL (healthy cholesterol)
Kiwi fruit for Vitamin C and potassium – Oranges with fibre to help keep arteries clear and their Vitamin C which prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oranges are also high in potassium. Salad vegetables with their high water content and vitamin C. Prunes and no sugar added prune juice for antioxidants, potassium and fibre. Raisins for potassium.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that humans cannot synthesise and must be obtained through diet. There are two families of EFAs Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-9 is necessary but non-essential as it can be made by the body if the other two fatty acids are present.
EFAs are essential because they support our cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. We need these fats to manufacture and repair cells, maintain hormone levels and expel waste from the body. They are part of the process that regulates blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility and conception – and they also help regulate inflammation and stimulate the body to fight infection.
Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. A deficiency can lead to decreased immune system function, elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. It is found in flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, scallops, halibut, sardines tuna and salmon. Walnuts and salmon also contain calcium and B6 important for heart health.
Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid) is the primary Omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6 can improve rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Found in flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, evening primrose oil, chicken and poultry and smaller amounts in salmon.
Fresh, free range eggs are a great source of EFAs and their natural cholesterol is not going to increase yours unless you fry them in a lot of fat. Boiled, poached and even scrambled with a little butter and semi-skimmed milk and they make a complete meal with some tomatoes, spinach and some new boiled potatoes.
Tofu as a vegetarian option for low fat protein, calcium and magnesium.
Walnuts, most unsalted nuts and seeds with their monounsaturated fat which lowers lipoprotein in the blood. Remember, Lipoprotein causes platelets to clot which in turn can lead to strokes or a cerebral aneurysm. Walnuts also contain B6, which is very important for a healthy cardiovascular system in general.
If you are attempting to decrease the body fat around your belly then you need to have cheese as a flavour enhancer rather than the main course. I love cheese but find that if I grate a little extra mature cheddar and sprinkle on top of a meal I get the flavour without the calories. I also will have a little full fat milk in my tea and coffee but wil drink a semi-skimmed glass of milk once or twice a week.
I use full fat butter rather than margerines or reduced fat options since they have been chemically altered. A spread of good butter tastes great provided you do not use lashings.
I hope that you have seen something you like on the menu and that you will include these foods in your regular diet. Now that we have the ingredients I will next look at how to put them together in a meal plan to maintain your energy levels for your marathon but also to help your body repair with a boosted immune system.
The other posts in the Marathon Challenge can be found in this directory.
I know that I can be neglectful of Goodreads as a networking platform but luckily The Story Reading Ape spotted an article today that gave me a kick up the backside. https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/04/25/6-ways-for-indie-authors-to-use-goodreads-to-network/
Social media expert Barb Drozdowich counts the ways for indie authors to network on Goodreads to help market their self-published books. Goodreads is often the site that is dismissed as difficult to navigate or full of nasty people. Let’s talk about these elephants shall we?
Can Goodreads be difficult to navigate? I think so. But like learning to write excellent dialogue, navigating Goodreads can be learned with a little bit of patience.
Is Goodreads full of nasty people? Not really. There are 50 million account holders on Goodreads. In a group that large there are bound to be nasty people. Take your local mall as an example. Not everybody there is pleasant, yet you continue to shop there. You develop a way to cope with the nasty people – you can do the same on Goodreads.
Read the rest of this enlightening post: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/6-ways-for-indie-authors-to-use-goodreads-to-network/
Darlene Foster shares some of her trip to Malta and the story of an event during World War II that many would consider a miracle.. especially those present at the time.
We took the bus to Mosta, a market town in the middle of Malta. In the centre of Mosta sits a fabulous domed cathedral built in the mid-1800s. It is an amazing piece of architecture inside and out, featuring the third largest unsupported church dome in Europe. Dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, it replaced a much smaller church that had been on the site since 1619. The Mosta Rotunda is also the site of a miracle.
See the photographs and enjoy the tour: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/the-miracle-of-mosta/
Time for love and sorrow in a story taken from the Doomsday series by Sue Vincent and Stuart France. Myths tend to be grounded in the true stories of long ago that have been told and retold around a hearth… especially on dark nights when winds howl around the shelter.. it helps set the mood for this tale of unrequited love…..
The Giant’s Tale
In the deep river valley, where the Wye falls and tumbles across the stones or spreads its silken surface wide, the tall mound of Fin Cop is silhouetted against the sky. Many are the mysteries held in the heart of that hill; ancient secrets and stories that tell of love and loss. One such is the tale of a giant named Hulac Warren, the fiddler of Fin.
Hulac lived in a cave where the limestone turrets of Hobs Hurst stand like a castle against the slope of the hill. It is said that the giant was never seen, save by starlight when his hulking shape blocked the moon, when, for a bowl of cream, he would thresh the corn, doing the work of ten men in a night.
Yet though he was not seen, he himself watched from his lonely castle and when the sunset gilded the hills the sound of his music could be heard on the breeze.
Do head over and read the rest of the story: https://scvincent.com/2017/04/26/the-giants-tale/
This week Teagan Geneviene is teaming up with artist Kirt Tisdale of the Wall Gallery Blog, as part of her 1920’s Three Things Serial Story posts. Kirt has chosen as a prompt for this week’s story, a stunning photograph of an old and weatherbeaten barn, that looks like it would be right at home in the serial.
I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”. I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about”. When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels”. I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan:
Go over and see for yourself how perfect the image of the barn is for Teagan’s Three Things Serial Story this week: https://thewallgalleryblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/writer-inspires-artist-artist-inspires-writer-or-on-the-radio-meet-hank/
And last but not least Debby Gies.. D.G. Kaye with another of her intriguing Memoir Bytes. This week the wonderful story of her fiesty grandmother who took part in the first Miss Toronto Beauty Contest in 1926… wonderful…
One story in particular was about my grandmother apparently, winning the very first Miss Toronto Beauty Contest in 1926 held at Sunnyside Amusement Park. Pictured below is my grandmother standing as a runner up to the far right. The story told to me by mother was that her mother had actually won the contest and was deemed the first Miss Toronto until she was disqualified and became a runner up when it was discovered that she was married when she entered. This of course turned out to be another lie my mother loved to boast about because of course if her mother didn’t win, there had to be a reason. In the photo my grandmother was 21 years old.
Read the whole story.. very entertaining: https://dgkayewriter.com/memoir-bytes-miss-toronto-1926-my-grandmother/
I hope you enjoy today’s selection…the links to your most recent post are always welcome Thanks Sally
I wrote verses from a very early age and filled books with them. Then I moved onto short stories; only rarely written anything but the occasional haiku. However, I am revisiting my scribbles and reworking some that go back nearly 50 years.This one is a little more recent and is the poem that I wrote following my first visit to my grandfather’s grave in Northern France in 1998.My mother was thirteen months old when her father was killed on November 2nd 1918. He was 31 years old and had been home for her birth following his third wound of the war since joining up in 1914. He had received this latest one when rescuing one of his officers from the front line. He received the Military Medal for his bravery.