I'm a wife and a a mom of 4: 3 boys and a girl. I also have 3 fur babies, cats named Soleil, Luna, and a Savannah cat name Malkia. I work part-time outside my home as a COTA/L at a local hospital. I cover Johnstown, Altoona, and Pittsburgh areas. I love to do reviews and host giveaways for my readers. Contact me: angwith4 at gmail dot com if you would like a review.
When you’re sitting on your savings, your wealth is growing only as fast as you can save. Worse yet, every dollar and cent of your savings is losing value thanks to inflation. You need a better solution: You need to earn interest. You need to use your money to make money. Here are four ways to do that.
Buy a house
If you’re paying rent, you have an expense that is not helping you much in any meaningful sense. Sure, you need a roof over your head, but it would be much better to own that roof (and, you know, the whole house under it). If you buy your home, you’ll still pay something every month, but you’ll also be the owner of a very valuable asset.
And that asset could actually grow in value. Over time, homes of distinction can be worth more and more. If and when you sell your home, you may find that the money you spent on it has created more money for you.
Budgeting and saving are important, but they won’t help you generate much real wealth on their own. To really get rich, you need interest. And to get maximum interest, you need to do more than just stash your money in a savings account. You need to invest.
Stocks are the obvious choice. Stocks are shares in companies, and they can increase in value over time and be sold and traded. As a beginning investor, you may want to be a bit careful: Aim for a diverse portfolio (a simple path to diversity is to invest in funds, such as exchange-traded funds and mutual funds that hold lots of stocks within them) and minimize risk.
Once you’re comfortable with your nest egg, you may want to take some spare cash and make bigger and riskier moves. That could mean targeting riskier stocks, or it could mean opting for other forms of investment entirely.
Invest in bonds, commodities, or currency
When it comes to investments, stocks are the obvious example. But, of course, there are far more things that you could be investing in. Take real estate, for instance, or bonds. And then there’s currency, which you can bet on simply by converting your money to the currency that you think will increase in value (relative, of course, to the U.S. dollar and other currencies). Like stocks, these investments can be as risky or safe as your strategy. The complexity of some of these markets does, however, tend to attract more daring investors.
Currency is a particularly exciting place to invest right now because of cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies made possible by blockchain technology. Be careful, though, because cryptocurrencies have been quite the wild ride of late. The potential for huge gains is there, but so is the potential for damaging drops in value.
The best cryptocurrency to invest in is the one that you can afford. Cryptocurrencies should be a growth area for you, not a retirement plan. But if you use them right, and bet on the right cryptocurrencies in the long term, you could get a very nice boost to your wealth sometime down the line.
Invest in your education or business
There are a few powerful ways to turn your money into more money in very direct and immediate ways. But there are always ways of reinvesting your money in the person who got you this far — yourself.
You work hard to earn your money, but maximizing your effort isn’t the only way to maximize your earning power. You can and should also improve your earning power by growing your resume or your business. Consider using the money you’ve earned to invest in a course that will award you with new certifications and resume items, or take the money you’ve made and use it to expand the business you run. Eventually, more money could come back to you in the form of increased earnings.
The Hoodoo of Peckerwood Finch
by Jerome Mark Antil
“Jerome Mark Antil’s
Mamma’s Moon does
for Acadiana what Truman Capote did for Tiffany’s or Tennessee
Williams did for streetcars. This is a novel about a lot of things,
including sex, crime, life, and death. But most of all, it’s a novel
about hope and about love.
Mamma’s Moon gives the reader a dramatic and
insightful glimpse into the very
special world of today’s Louisiana French Acadians, whose early
tragic history was immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his
classic poem, Evangeline, even
before the heartless bayou’s more contemporary history was
buried deep and forgotten.” Tom Hyman (LA Times
author: writer for LIFEmagazine, The Saturday Evening Post
, Argosy, Washington
Post Book World and
New York Magazine.)
Mamma’s Moon, is a sequel to the novel,
One More Last Dance. It
stands alone as an entirely self-contained story, but for those of
you who may not have read the earlier novel, I include here a brief
description of the main characters and of the events that preceded this story.
A bond that can only happen on a dance floor
happened in a cafe off
Frenchman Street among four unlikely characters: a man who was about
to die; his friend, an illiterate Cajun French yardman; and two of
the most successful women in New Orleans.
Aging Captain Gabriel Jordan, retired, was given two
months to live, three
months before he met “Peck”–Boudreau Clemont Finch–a
groundskeeper on the back lawn of his hospice on Bayou Carencro,
Louisiana. It was at the hospice that Gabe told Peck his dream of
seeing the Newport Jazz Festival before he died. They became friends,
and Peck offered to help grant his wish by taking him there.
And they began their journey.
It quickly became a journey with complications and
setbacks. They saved
each other many times, but they were in turn saved by two
extraordinary women: Sasha (Michelle Lissette), a real estate agent
in New Orleans’s posh Garden District, and her best friend, Lily Cup
(Lily Cup Lorelei Tarleton), a criminal attorney.
Less than a year before the events in
Mamma’s Moon, Gabe
and Peck wandered into Charlie’s Blue Note, a small jazz bar in a
side alley just off Frenchman Street, where the music was live and
mellow and the dancing warm and sensual.
Here they encountered Sasha and Lily Cup, and amid the
music, the dancing,
the food, the flirting, and the cigar smoke, the four formed an
unusual and lasting friendship that would see them each through a
series of crises, disappointments, life-threatening situations, and
moments of great joy and satisfaction.
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JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a
“greatest generation’s Mark Twain,” a “write what you know
Ernest Hemingway,” and “a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”
It’s been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting.
Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey
Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the
shadows of WWII have been honored. An ‘Authors and Writers’ Book
of the Year Award and ‘Writer of the Year’ at Syracuse University
for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and
Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel.
Foreword’s Book of the Year Finalist for The Book of Charlie – historical
fiction and The Long Stem is in the Lobby – nonfiction humor.
Library Journal selected Hemingway, Three Angels and Me for best
reads during Black History Month.
Before picking up the pen, Antil spent his professional career writing and
marketing for the business world. In this role, he lectured at
universities – Cornell, St. Edward’s, and Southern Methodist. His
inspirations have been John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Ernest
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Chapter 2 Good Morning, Murder
id you murder the kid, Gabe?” Lily Cup asked. The aging army captain, veteran of Korea and
Vietnam, lowered his newspaper just enough to see over the entertainment page.
“Close the door, honey, AC’s on,” Gabe said.
In a tight, black skirt with a tailored matching waistcoat and white Nike walking shoes, she
leaned and propped a black leather briefcase against the wall by the door. She stood like an
exasperated tomboy, adjusting and refastening the diamond brooch on her lapel.
“I heard you’ve been walking with a cane, dancing man. What’s that all about? You’ve never
carried a cane. You jazz dance for hours a couple of nights a week and Sasha tells me you started
carrying one everywhere you go when you don’t need one. It’s smelling pretty premeditated to me,
Gabe. What’s up with the cane thing?”
“Does Sasha know about this morning?”
“I haven’t told her anything. She’d have a canary.”
Gabe lifted the paper again to read.
“I need to know if it was murder,” Lily Cup said.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Gabe said.
He closed the paper, folded it in half, and in half again. Dropping it on the arm of the chair, he
stood and left the room.
“Define murder,” he said from the kitchen.
Sounds of Murder
Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries Book 1
by Patricia Rockwell
Genre: Cozy Mystery
MURDER tells a tale of academic intrigue and death. At Grace
University, a small southern college, no one in the Psychology
Department likes Charlotte Clark, so no one is particularly upset
when she is found murdered in the department’s million-dollar
computer lab. But because she discovered the body, Associate
Professor Pamela Barnes feels obligated to find Charlotte’s killer.
When she discovers a recording of the murder that was accidentally
produced during Charlotte’s struggle with the killer, she begins
her own investigation.
Along the way, Pamela agonizes with her own conscience as she fights
growing fear. She attempts to understand her mysterious Department
Chair, keep her curious colleagues informed, placate her protective
husband, and avoid antagonizing a local rube detective who belittles
her efforts–all while she struggles to make sense of the sounds on
As she gets deeper and deeper into her analysis—trying to connect what
she hears in the recording with sounds from people (and potential
killers) around her–she gets closer and closer to the killer.
However, the killer is observing Pamela’s efforts and resolving to
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FM For Murder
Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries Book 2
Who shot the
disk jockey while he was on air? No one saw the killer, but
many heard the murder on the radio. Local police are mystified and
ask Psychology professor and acoustics expert Pamela Barnes to assist
them in investigating the crime. Can she determine who shot the
deejay just by listening to the radio station’s audio recording of
the killing? And how does this crime connect to the impending death
of a wealthy carpet manufacturer hundreds of miles away? And the
driven behavior of his conscientious son who hides a very important
secret? Unknown to Pamela, another thread of this strange mystery is
about to unravel. Will she be able to solve it before another victim
In FM FOR MURDER, the second in Patricia Rockwell’s acoustic
series, we follow feisty amateur sleuth Pamela Barnes who doesn’t
let academic duties prevent her from fighting crime. And Pamela
fights crime with the tools she knows best—sound waves.
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Voice Mail Murder
Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries Book 3
Voice Mail Messages!
Who stabbed the philandering football coach in the back? Was it one of
the three women who left romantic voice mail messages on the cell
phone found next to his body in the motel room?
The police don’t have a clue. None of the coach’s family, friends, or
colleagues recognize the voices of the unidentified women–and
probable mistresses. Who could they be? This sounds like a case for
Pamela Barnes, local Psychology professor, acoustics expert, and
sometimes amateur sleuth. Can she identify the three women (and
potential murder suspects) from just the sound of their voices on the
Who are these mystery women and how did the popular coach manage to
conduct affairs with all of them unbeknownst to everyone around him?
And how did he keep his trio of lovers from finding out about each
other—or did he? It’s a tangled romantic web that ultimately led
to murder and Pamela Barnes is determined to figure it out.
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Stump Speech Murder
Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries Book 4
James Grant, a
young politician with everything going for him, including
the most recent polls, gives a rousing stump speech in a local park.
His campaign for mayor against the entrenched incumbent looks
unstoppable. That is, until the police discover him standing over his
wife’s dead body with the murder weapon in his hands.
It certainly looks as if James is guilty. But psychologist and acoustics
expert Pamela Barnes has other ideas–and they include helping this
young man prove his innocence and succeed in his bid for mayor.
Can Pamela’s knowledge of sound help her find the real killer and
exonerate James? Or will this young politician’s most recent stump
speech be his last?
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Murder in the Round
Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries Book 5
A night out with her husband to watch her best friend perform in a
local community theater “in-the-round” production surely
shouldn’t be cause for amateur sleuth Pamela Barnes to use any of
her acoustic detecting skills. But when one of the actresses
collapses on stage and dies, Pamela finds herself in the thick of
things. The recorder in her purse making an audio copy of the
performance for another friend who couldn’t attend, may now prove
important when it’s determined that the victim was poisoned. Do the
sounds on the recording hold any clues to the identity of the
murderer? It looks like Pamela is on the sound trail again, and
she––and her pals in the Pyschology Department at Grace
University––will not stop until they find the person who
committed this murder in the round.
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Patricia Rockwell is the author of the Pamela Barnes acoustic mystery series.
This amateur sleuth solves crimes using her knowledge of sound. The
series includes SOUNDS OF MURDER, FM FOR MURDER, VOICE MAIL MURDER,
STUMP SPEECH MURDER, and MURDER IN THE ROUND. Her new series, Essie
Cobb senior sleuth, features a 90-year-old assisted living facility
resident who solves mysteries. The books in this series include
BINGOED, PAPOOSED, VALENTINED, and GHOSTED. FIRECRACKERED, the fifth
in the series, will launch on June 25, 2016.
Dr. Rockwell has spent most of her life teaching. From small liberal arts
colleges to large regional research universities–and even a brief
stint in a high school, her background in education is extensive. She
has taught virtually everything related to Communication–from a fine
arts speech-theatre orientation to more recently a social science
research approach. Her Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees are from the
University of Nebraska in Speech and her Ph.D. is from the University
of Arizona in Communication. She was on the faculty at the University
of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirteen years, retiring in 2007.
Her publications are extensive, with over 20 peer-reviewed articles in
scholarly journals, several textbooks, and a research book on her
major interest area of sarcasm, published by Edwin Mellen Press. In
addition to publications, she has presented numerous papers at
academic conferences and served for eight years as Editor of the
Louisiana Communication Journal. Her research focuses primarily on
several areas of communication: deception, sarcasm, and vocal cues.
She is presently living in Aurora, Illinois, with her husband Milt, also
a retired educator. The couple has two adult children.
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EXCERPT from FM FOR MURDER
Book #2 in the Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries
“Okay, folks out there in radio land, that was Calliope’s Doom with their new song, ‘Cursed Bones.’
Their newest tune, following closely on the heels of their first big, success—‘Entrails of Love.’ This is
Black Vulture with the best of death and dying, torture and blood. The most alternative of alternative rock
for those of you who have nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Make that Sunday morning now here
at KRDN, 933 on your FM radio dial. Just a few minutes after midnight. And for those of you crazy
enough to stick with me until 4 a.m. (or should I say, those of you, without anything more interesting to
do), I’ll be playing a host of your favorite songs from some of the best alternative bands in the country.
For example, there’s a new CD I just got in from one of my favorite new bands—Ochre Fugue. As you
know, Ochre Fugue recently played locally to a packed crowd at the Blue Poppy in downtown Reardon.
That was a gig, wasn’t it? Obviously, they have lots of fans here in our little berg. I was lucky enough to
get to interview Jake Millet with the band. I know, I know; you’re all jealous. Well, eat my liver. Getting
to interview bands is one of the perks—one of the very few—of my job here at KRDN. Believe me, I
don’t work here for the pay (hope the station manager isn’t listening).
Ah, shoot! Gotta do a commercial now. This one is for—hmm, let’s see—Avery’s Auto Repair on
South Jackson. Let me try to read this with some energy: ‘Hey, guys (and ladies), Avery’s will fix your
wheels for a fair price’—and let’s face it—most of us don’t have new cars so we probably need a fix-up
more often than not, right? But, ‘the Avery brothers have been in Reardon for—ever. Simple, honest,
repair work. They don’t have a fancy location or building, but they do good work. So, check ‘em out.’
And I’d add to that–especially you students. I mean, Christmas break’s coming up in a week or two and if
you’re planning on driving home to visit Mommy and Poppy you’d better be sure your wheels will make
the trip. And you’d better be sure you arrive wearing clean clothes too; parents like that that sort of thing.
So I hear.
Okay, now, as I said before, I’m going to be playing a track from Ochre Fugue’s new CD. In just a
minute. What are you waiting for, right? I first heard this group in the Big Easy, several years ago. I was
makin’ the rounds of the clubs and ran across this band at a vampire underground party. What a sound
they have. Dark. Scary. Like blood, you know, from the coffin. Makes you cringe all over. The bass
player has a great get-up. I’d describe ‘em in more appropriate language if it weren’t for the FCC
breathin’ down my neck. You know what I’d like to say, though, don’t you? All two of you. Don’t
expect there’s too many fans listening in after midnight on a Saturday—unless you’re a real loser. Like
me. Still working on your graduate degree after six years. Right?
Anyway, I got the Ochre Fugue disc prepped for you. Let’s see, which track should I play? Oh, wait.
Just heard a car pull up outside the studio. Looks like I’ve got a visitor. Well, what do you know! That
hardly ever happens this far out in the boonies—especially this late. Well, that’ll be su—per! I get bored
all alone out here at the studio all night long—deejaying and doing all my own tech work. If any of you
guys ever want to drop in and visit—great. Just come on by—if you can find it. Okay, here he comes in
the door now. Hey, maybe it’s a she—better yet! My lucky night!
Oh, hi! Come on in! I’m Theodore Ballard—Black Vulture to my fans. You a fan of alternative rock?
What the? Hey, that’s a gun! What do you need a gun for? Why’re you pointin’ it at me? Wha––? No!
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No Angels for Christmas
The Mystery Angel Romance Series Book 2
by Petie McCarty
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romantic Suspense
No Angels for
Christmas. . . a cozy romantic mystery with suspense from
The Mystery Angel Romances series. An angel hidden in every book
waiting for you to figure out the angel’s identity . . .
Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the
situation with her newest client—a six-year-old boy who says he can
talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her
hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take
a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel’s Christmas party
and takes her young clients hostage.
Police negotiator, Lt.
Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly
balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts,
Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make—stand back and
wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her
himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for
Unless Rachel’s little angel-spying client is telling the truth…
No Cowboys No Angels
The Mystery Angel Romances Book 1
inheritance turns out to be a whopper—one dilapidated farm
in West Virginia and one guardian angel!
Since Kellen is convinced no sane woman would choose to live in
she vows to sell her farm and quick. Her handsome neighbor Luke
Kenyon must block the farm sale or risk exposure of his family’s
secrets. While Kellen has located one potential buyer, she faces a
town full of objectors. Someone is trying to frighten her off, and
Luke is forced to step in and rescue her more than once.
Unfortunately, Kellen can’t seem to stay out of trouble. She stumbles
clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm, and
she prays Luke has one more rescue up his sleeve. It’s her only hope
of staying alive.
Unless her mother really did leave her a guardian angel . .
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Petie spent a
large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The
Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the
land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales
by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She
eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her
stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels
to her regency time travel series, Lords in Time, and her
cozy-mystery-with-a-dash-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her
horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel
addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure
named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
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“Jake, I came by to see you because of the Buckhead crisis.”
“I figured as much.”
Rachel could’ve sworn he looked disappointed for a fleeting moment. That gave her the
courage to go on. “To offer my shoulder—”
“To cry on?” he sneered.
“No! To lean on. Please don’t be ugly.”
“I can’t help it. You broke us up.”
Incredulous, she gaped at him. “Me! Must I keep reminding you? You left me.”
He closed the distance between them, so close she could feel his body heat.
“You let me leave,” he said gruffly.
“You let me leave,” he repeated, his face but inches away.
His unique Jake scent wafted over her. She wanted to smother in it. She wanted . . .
“I didn’t want you to go,” she whispered.
He caught her to him in a fierce embrace. No gentle kiss this. It spoke of need and anger
and desperation. His. Hers. She didn’t know for sure. Didn’t care. She wanted to cry from the
relief of having his arms around her again.
She knuckled her fists into his warm tee shirt and tried to yank him closer, but the shirt
was old and stretched unmercifully. His lips smiled against hers as he grabbed a breath and then
kissed her again, his tongue sweeping in to tangle with hers.
She could die from his wonderful familiar taste. She savored, remembered, stored for
later. Giving up on the shirt, she wound her arms around his neck to tug him closer, to pull him
into her if she could.
Suddenly, his hands at her hips pressed her back, and she shamelessly hung on tighter. He
reached up and worked her hands free, then kissed each one.
His eyes had gone black. No doubt a reflection of hers.
“Like coming home, isn’t it?” he rasped, his voice so hoarse it came out as a whisper.