Good Deeds week September 8th – 14th

This project was inspired after I read “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Her book may make you laugh or make you cry, but the world would be a better place if we all tried to spread a little love through doing good deeds.

A Year of Doing Good: One Woman, One New Year's Resolution, 365 Good Deeds. by Judith O'Reilly

I began my own challenge to do at least 1 Good Deed everyday for a year on the day I started to read this book (April 16th). My eyes have been opened to opportunities that would have passed me by if I were not conscious of my desire to seek out a Good Deed. I keep a weekly diary of my challenge which I publish each Sunday here on the blog. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week;

September 8th – Heard about some break-ins to some garages around us on Saturday night, I let another friend know who lives on this estate and I went out and closed up a neighbours garage door, as I think she must be away and I fear her garage had been “Done”, she doesn’t usually leave the door ajar. Unfortunately I wouldn’t know if anything has been taken.

September 9th – I’m back with my morning of volunteering at a local school, I’m quite excited about the new children and the new teacher that I will be working with.

September 10th – It’s my God-daughter’s birthday today, so I indulged her in a voucher for a girly accessory store and took around some cakes for them all to enjoy.

September 11th – Walked in to town for the exercise and picked up some litter on route, sadly there was enough litter to fill a truck! Come on people PICK UP YOUR MESS!

September 12th – It’s been a funny old week so far, and it’s making me feel out of sorts. Still agreed to do a couple more book reviews for authors today. Put another book review on Amazon as a book reviewer, hopefully they’ve finished wiping reviews after their in-house clean up! So if you can send me a bit of virtual energy to help pick me up I’d be grateful.

September 13th – Was just trying to work out what Good Deed I could do today, when I saw the garden re-cycling bin men in my estate. When I got home I put out my neighbour’s garden bags (she’s away) and put her surplus in mine ready to be emptied.

September 14th- It’s always great to do something you love and get so much enjoyment from it, which is why I agreed to take on another book to review today. I’ve always loved books and reading, there is so much you can learn from a book or so much it can inspire you. It’s great when you find a book that gives you a buzzy feeling when you’ve finished reading it.

Good Deeds week September1st – 7th

I have now been doing my challenge for 4.5 months. I began back in April when I began reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. This book inspired me to try to do 1 Good Deed a day for a year. I post weekly updates every Sunday and you can catch up with past posts from the link below my blog header.

Good deedsSeptember 1st – Have had such an amazing response to the launch of the Romancing September Across the World Tour. Harlequin author Marin Thomas got us off to a flying start and I’m buzzing with excitement for the rest of the tour. Have spent the day working hard on promoting our posts across the social network sites. During a quiet moment I had a new brainwave for my next tour, I fancy doing a “24 Sleeps ’till Xmas” Tour.

September 2nd – Leapt out of bed an hour an hour early when I misread the time on the clock! Never mind it gave me time to make a batch of cakes to take out with us this afternoon when we visit friends.

September 3rd – School goes back tomorrow, so we went out for a walk on our last free day for a while. Picked up litter.

September 4th – Out and about checking out a bus stop for my child who will need to start catching a bus to college next week. Was able to help out a couple of folks who were lost, sent them off in the right direction. Found some money on the path and added to my jam jar collection.

September 5th – Madly tweeting and promoting all our authors on the September Romancing tour. It’s very interesting comparing stats with Stephanie each day. We are both enjoying the tour and learning lots from the experience. Had news that one of my August featured Guest Authors is going to be offering his book for FREE over this weekend. Will draft up some promotional material for him and get it out there.

September 6th – Posted the “Free” book for “Beer Goggles by Sean Flynn get download your copy here from Have been doing some re-blogging today as well as tweeting. Terry Tyler has a new book out today, Terry will be our guest on Romancing September on Thursday 12th September. Here new book is “What it Takes” check it out on Finally I’ve just baked a batch of cakes for the cricket club to sell tomorrow at a Tournament which they are hosting.

September 7th – Just finished icing and decorating my batch of cakes for the cricket match. Hope the rain stays off and the sun warms up, cold, wet cricket isn’t much fun! Just got back, not too cold and the home-side came in a respectable second place, well done boys.

Good Deeds Week 18th- 24th August

This project was inspired after I read “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Her book may make you laugh or make you cry, but the world would be a better place if we all tried to spread a little love through doing good deeds.

A Year of Doing Good: One Woman, One New Year's Resolution, 365 Good Deeds. by Judith O'Reilly

I began my own challenge to do at least 1 Good Deed everyday for a year on the day I started to read this book (April 16th). My eyes have been opened to opportunities that would have passed me by if I were not conscious of my desire to seek out a Good Deed. I keep a weekly diary of my challenge which I publish each Sunday here on the blog. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week;

August 18th – Today I discussed a book draft with an author who wished to sound out a few ideas, it was fun and I hope my views help get a well deserved book on the way to being published. Stayed up extremely late to finish “The Punctual Paymaster” by Dan Groat so that I could bring you my 5* review of the book.

August 19th – We’ve just 2 places to fill in the Romancing September tour, where fellow blogger Stephanie Hurt and my self are offering a FREE promotion to romance authors or writers whose work contains a love interest. Each author gets a double promotion on both sides of the Atlantic on their allocated day. Made a donation to a charity bucket whilst I nipped in to town for more ice creams.

August 20th – A busy work day today, my only good deed was to drop money in a charity pot beside a cash till.

August 21st – Went to the beach today for a family day out. As a family we went out of our way to pick up a piece of equipment for a friend on our way to the beach . The only other deed was posting a book review before I went. It was a day of fun and important family time. If I had found litter at the beach I would have picked it up, but it was a beautifully clean place.

August 22nd – Rescued my neighbour’s 5 year old child who fell off his scooter outside my house. Picked him up and brushed him off and had the tears dried before his Mum turned up. Hooray we’ve filled all the places on the Romancing September Tour.

August 23rd – Today was a day of tweeting messages for other authors to promote their work, finalising the Romancing September tour posts, again for other people and a book review.

August 24th – I’m off to see my parents later and take them a few bits and pieces. The book review post today is from one of my young book reviewers that I’m supporting.

Good deeds

Good Deeds week 9th -15th June

Good deedsThis little project started on the 16th April when I read a book written by Judith O’Reilly called “A Year of Doing Good”. On the day I began the book, I started to note down any good deeds that I did for others as an experiment. I managed at least 1 deed a day until the end of April, so vowed to try and continue the challenge. Along the way I met Harula who took up the baton and now on a Sunday we both post our weekly diary of Good Deeds. Others are joining too, it’s such a positive thing to try to do. So without further ado here are my deeds for this week.

June 9th – Hopped to Harula’s blog today and read her very inspirational blog. Followed a link to the Happster blog and loved it for anyone seeking a dose of happiness. I love this meeting place that we are creating on a Sunday. E-mailed a friend to wish her well as she leaves her job this week.

June 10th – My morning helping out at the local school, took along an extra pair of hands today, so two of us helped out. Picked up litter on our way home. My guest author on the blog this morning wrote about falling in love with an asylum seeker and its difficulties, gave her some publicity. Was chuffed to see a copy of Fleet life with my monthly book reviews on the magazine table at the chiropractor clinic when I had an appointment today.

June 11th – A work day today, tried to do a bit extra work so my overworked colleague has a little less in her pile. Nipped into the supermarket in between taxi driving the children, was extra friendly to the check out girl after the customer before me was rather grumpy, put a smile back on her face.

June 12th – A slow day today and just a book to finish for a review. A bit frustrated because the “Like” button on all the WordPress pages I go to today is stuck on “loading….” Have tried to tweak my computer but it doesn’t help, it leaves me feeling incomplete, I should use the opportunity to write comments instead, but I don’t want to on all the sites, feeling a bit Bah Humbug!

June 13th – Started a new book and added the details to Goodreads as I couldn’t find it on their records, hopefully this will help the author with a bit more publicity. Posted reviews from yesterday’s  book. Hooray the “Like” button is back working again on my WordPress family sites, I’m back in action. Later I put some money in to a donation box at the shops.

June 14th – Remembered a friends birthday and wrote out a card, took it to the post box. I took a bag with me to put litter in but at first I felt really stupid about being seen picking up litter. I heard a car approaching so didn’t pick up the first piece, the second piece was too near a group of workmen for me to feel comfortable stooping down to pick up someone else’s rubbish. I berated myself as I passed the third piece, vowing to pick up the very next piece that I saw. I nearly missed it, but dived down at the last minute to remove a scrap of card. I held it tight like a trophy and walked on depositing it in the bin next to the post box. Triumphant I posted my letter and headed back home on a circular route avoiding the workmen. I scooped up four more pieces of litter and dropped them all in my wheelie bin as I arrived home, I felt more comfortable now with my good deed and I smiled to myself. Later I spent 2 hours trying to set up a new DVD recorder for my parents, it was complicated due to their “Freeview” box and the “easy, automatic setup” just wouldn’t work. Technical jargon confuses me and Google was no help as the lap top took too long to load. I tried but failed.

June 15th – It’s the “Power of Smile Day” according to the Happster blog (see above link), so I re-tweeted their post. Set up another post for a blog tour promotion as it coincided with a book I read today.

So what do you think? Is doing a good deed a day something positive which could bring happiness to all our lives? Can it make us a better person? Do we really stop and think about being grateful when others do good deeds for us? I know we will all have different perceptions of what a good deed is, but I think that stopping and thinking about them a little more can only be a good thing.

Week 3 of good deeds…

Congratulations Harula on another week of the challenge.


With joyful celebration I share my third week of Good Deeds, a challenge I am taking one week at a time, with the intention of allowing it to grow and flourish into a full year, and perhaps beyond!

For other posts, including the original, please check out my new page:

Monday 3rd June

Successfully removed a live tick from one of my students who’d been for a relaxing walk in the woods alone, only to return with unwanted company:-) Wrote a carefully worded email on behalf of another student regarding payment issues which, due to her difficulty with the language, were not yet resolved. Posted a review for an author, Harry Steinman, on Do read it…the book I mean:-) It’s excellent!

AND good deed(s) received: Received lots of blogging love and appreciation for a poem I posted called ‘The Kindness Drum’ – thanks everyone!

Tuesday 4th…

View original post 910 more words

Good Deeds June 2nd – June 8th

Good deedsWe’ve started the ball rolling! My new friend Harula has had two people say they will join us in this year of Good Deeds challenge which was inspired when I read ” A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. How about joining us?

June 2nd – My weekly catch up with fellow challenger Harula led me to reblog her post here on my blog to show everyone the amazing Good Deeds that she managed this week. I hope we can inspire more people to join us in this challenge.

June 3rd – Back to school this week and I can tick off my Good Deed today when I volunteer at the local school for an hour and a half. Am busy setting up book launches and drafts for the next issue of Fleet Life, plus trying to finish reading another book.

June 4th – Dropped round some sponsorship money for a friend who is going to run a “Race for Life” in a few weeks in aid of breast cancer. My friends daughter started running 3 or 4 years ago while her mum was dealing with the disease, now fully recovered my friend runs along side her daughter raising much needed funds for the charity. This year they have a good friend who is in a hospice whilst they run, please spend a moment sending support for anyone that you know who is suffering at this time.

June 5th – Finished reading another book and wrote reviews, drafted a new guest author post ready for Monday. Robyn will be telling us about herself and her book of memoirs.

June – 6th Bought raffle tickets sent home from the children’s school thus supporting a very local cause.

June – 7th Had a completely mad start to the day when I popped a load of washing on to wash only to realise that my son’s only pair of school trousers were spinning around getting very wet in the machine and he needed to be wearing them in 45 minutes. Frantically reprogrammed the machine to rinse and spin and agonised for 20 minutes until it released the door, shoved the trousers into the tumble dryer for a speed dry then ironed them with a hot iron, they were only slightly damp when we left for school, hey-ho! Helped a man pick up his shopping that he had dropped in the supermarket. Posted a popular book review and got lots of hits on my blog so I must be sharing the book with lots of people.

June – 8th A lovely sunny day today, I was able to take my reading out in to the garden and was surrounded by the birds and insects whilst I read. Nipped out to the shops and left a donation for a Diabetes charity at the supermarket.

Check out my fellow Good Deed challenger Harula and see what she’s been doing this week,

One Woman’s choice by Karen Whitaker

One Woman's ChoiceOne Woman’s Choice by Karen Whitaker This book had a place in my 2013 April A to Z Challenge. Karen then invited me to read and review her work, which I have the pleasure of providing for you below.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Karen Whitaker’s book reveals her life from its start in the 1960’s in America, it was a challenging life at times, filled with struggles including; prejudice, single parenting, step children, half-brother and sisters. We feel Karen’s pain as she grows up in an extended family where love was often needed more than it was given. Karen’s family, peers and religion shape some of her later choices involving abortion, adoption and her own single parenting. Karen hopes that her book will help others who find themselves with similar choices to make in their own lives.

View all my reviews

The Bath Short Story Award and the Very British Authors Tour 2013

The long list of 46 entries out of 1149 original ones has been released today. Sadly I’m not on the long list, but I enjoyed the challenge, here is my entry, I wrote about my mad weekend when I had “One of those good ideas!” which has friends rolling their eyes and heading for cover! Find out which stories did make the long list here; The Bath Short Story Award’s long listed titles may be viewed at:

The Very British Authors Tour 2013


“AUTHOR’S WANTED” the Tweet, caught my eye, I click on the link and it takes me to Clive’s blog page. Just one of the founders of the tour, Clive and his fellow author have created a plan to spend a year celebrating British authors through a sophisticated type of chain letter. I usually shudder at the thought of chain mail, it gives me bad vibes, but this one intrigued me. Each author will be a “Host” to ten other authors and each will have a link between them to promote each other, my intuition gave me a nudge. I read the article through again, my inner voice shouts at me to join the tour. So I follow the instructions, take up the invite to join and press “Submit”. The prospect excites me, it feels right to be a part of this homage to British writers. The “Spirit of Britain”, which engulfed the country last year with the Queen’s Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics, rolls over my shoulders and tickles the hairs on the back of my neck. We were so proud to be British and I want to feel that again.

Within hours my request is accepted, advice given, downloads sent and contact with my “Host” author made. We’d been around the world and back in just a few clicks; my “Host” is British, but now lives in Australia!

Now I need to create an “Imaginative unique post”, to promote myself and the tour. The world is limitless, my brain explodes with ideas which all need considering. In the last seven months my learning curve in social media has been steep; from zero to blog and Twitter with major lessons in the technology. Turning the lessons into success on the internet gives me an ultimate thrill of satisfaction for someone who grew up without computers. It’s contagious, the more that I can achieve, then the more I want to learn.

I have a great friend and advisor who helps me with the technical side. She is now on holiday and her parting words to me were;

“Don’t get into any trouble while I’m away!”

I really want to write a great post with pictures and links, it drives me on and is my only desire, but I need a little assistance;

“Trouble, trouble, trouble” I title the cheeky e-mail that I eventually write to her, praying that she will at least read it out of curiosity and hoping that she will reply. Hyped by my excitement to get on the tour, I have asked if they can take some “Very British” photographs for me and send them on.


Time ticks slowly by and I itch to publish my post, to jump on the band wagon as early as possible. Five hours later, e-mails arrive full of photos and downloads from their phones, plus laughter at my manic enthusiasm and stories of their own about a broken boiler and a smashed fence. Crazy times! I am guilty of taking up their time whilst being psyched by the photos which I upload to my post.

Nearly completed, just a form to add as a “Contact me” to the post. Not to be flawed I search Google for help, but the best answer appears to be a “Plug- in”. What’s that? Dare I e-mail my friend once more? It’s Sunday evening at 10pm. This is a test of friendship surely?

Another twenty-four hours passes by in trial and tribulation, e-mails and tests, learning curves rising again, problems occurring. This is consuming my life and all of my thoughts, I am determined to succeed.

Tuesday; my friend telephones our first verbal conversation. It’s easy not to “Talk” anymore with modern social media. We agree to try a test run where I will add a form which we think will work, I will then publish the article and she will take a look. We have the option to delete it if the form is wrong. But it is a mad twist because I need to leave for work immediately and she has a new fence to build. So we agree to rendezvous on the internet later. I drive to work too fast, deal with paperwork that I can’t recall and exceed the speed limits on the return journey. I can not remember the morning my thoughts are consumed with the blog.

“R U free yet?” I send a text message to my friend.

“10 mins? Holding a fence panel can’t let go!” She replies.

I decide to start making the lunch; the fridge door is open and my arms are full of salad and cold meat when her next text message comes.

“Go, go, go! I’m free now!”

“2 mins” I reply.

I hit the “Publish” button and send a text message which says “Done” and I wait.

“Form ok, have sent it back, don’t know where the h*** it’s gone to though!”

 Rushing now, I open new tabs and accounts, this is ridiculous! But I’m laughing and can picture my friend laughing too! I find her reply sat in my e-mail “Inbox”, it all worked, what a relief! I phone to thank her but have no mobile phone signal Grrr! I wave my phone around and the signal gains strength, I can make my call. We laugh at the chaos and realise that we could have used the land-line telephones to make the calls, and then I tell her that I could have used my lap-top computer for the test if I’d really thought it through. We laugh some more at ourselves but we’d done it and I felt like I’d won Olympic gold, it meant so much to make it all happen.

Now all that is needed is one finishing touch…..



Update your life!

Yay it’s Friday! How are all the New Years resolutions going? Recently I posted about never starting mine on the 1st of January as I give up too soon. Two weeks ago I started doing 15 mins on the exercise bike everyday, it’s not much but it’s what I could commit to. I’m really chuffed to say that I’ve kept going everyday. So this morning, doing my usual challenge of beginning on an odd day of the week, I upped the exercising to 20 mins, nearly killed me but I did it!

Another challenge that I set myself, was to complete 1200 words everyday of my sequel to Talk of the Playground. Last night after a day of author editing I proudly sent it off for a bit more of a vigorous edit.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to being doing a job that I really love. It’s only a part of my life but I look forward to all the writing, blogging, tweeting and marketing that goes with the territory. It’s led to my book reviews which are now being published, the February issue of Fleet Life is due out any day now with my next set of reviews and they want to set a date for an interview.

So back to you, my readers, how about a challenge? Send me a list of 3 items which make you smile right now with a reason why they bring that smile to your face. (I’m sure you’ll keep it clean!)

Happy thoughts!


Taking on a Challenge

Following on from yesterdays post about “A Year Of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly, I’ve decided to write about the challenges which I have set myself. They’re not New Year resolutions because I prefer short challenges that I’m more likely to commit to. For instance; I now do 15 minutes everyday on the exercise bike. It’s not much, but it’s what I’m most likely to achieve. I do 5 mins on a hard gear, then reward myself with 5 mins on the easiest gear, then I finish with 5 mins on a middle type gear and it’s all done. I use the time to plan what I’m going to do with my next 15 mins, easy!

Next I set myself a goal to write a minimum of 1200 words a day for my next book. I plan to have the first one ready for edit by the end of January and then I have committed to do the same for my other book which although started, has sat on the back burner for a couple of months (or is it 3 or 4 months?) So far I’ve kept up with the goal for the last 5 days. I like to start new challenges on odd days, not a Monday. A Monday doesn’t work for so many reasons, I think there is a mental hangup about a Monday mixed with the traditional working week. So I started my writing challenge on a Friday, it was great to keep it up over the weekend and by Monday I felt good about what I was achieving.

My next Challenge is no hardship to me as I love reading. If you are a follower of Mumsnet, join the challenge too. I joined last summer and set myself a challenge to read 40 books by Christmas and ended up raising the challenge. So this year I’ve set the bar to 100! I love the way books open my mind and fill it with wonderful new information and experiences. I mix it up and try books from several genres. I’ll go to the library and choose a letter of the alphabet and pick books by Authors with that letter, or I’ll go to the non-fiction section and select certain shelves to choose a book from. A few years ago I was in the library not getting very far with some family tree research, when I felt a need to go to the psychology section. I chose a book called “The Other Side and Back” by Silvia Browne and a whole new world opened up for me, it has brought so much comfort and joy to myself and my friends whom I shared it with.

Well that’s my next 15 mins up, I’ll tell you more another time.