Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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A Rip-Roaring Time..?

August 6, 2013

Rip-roaring – definition: boisterously wild and exciting

The first thing that came to my mind was the twenties, with the outrageous indulgences of the wealthy. The strangest thing, was the fashion of wearing dresses with no shape to them but masses of long necklaces and fringes. It was as though every female became androgynous with their shape and relied on adornments to feminize themselves.


The most identifiable movie for this period is, of course, The Great Gatsby. I have watched the original but as yet not the newer version. When we compare the two main characters, there is a resemblance between each movie. Have you seen the newer version – what were your thoughts?

The Great Gatsby

Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mullligan in a still from The Great Gatsby

In reality the 1920’s were a time of change in America. “The Roaring Twenties”  impacted the economy, social standards and everyday life. Industry production of consumer goods was up 60% thus affecting American families, with higher wages and shorter working hours. However, the down side was adversity and opposition against immigrants and farmers. Immigrants were not treated fairly by Americans, depending on where they came from and what they believed, making finding employment difficult. Because the price of food kept reducing, farmers were paid very little. Added to that was the worry of the Dust Bowl, making a two tier system.

When researching periods for our projects these type of details are vital, enabling us to reflect the time period correctly.

Have you written about a particular period?

Your Hat, Your Class..?

April 1, 2013

Derbydefinition: 1) a horse race usually for three-year-old’s held annually; 2) a race or contest open to all comers; 3) a stiff felt hat with a dome-shaped top and narrow brim.

Man wearing bowler hat in 1916.

Man wearing bowler hat in 1916. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I saw this word and it’s third definition, it occurred to me that a Derby is the same thing as a Bowler hat. So why the two names? During my investigation I found a great post.   – as it happens the Derby is the American name and Bowler is the English name for the same style of hat. It was interesting to read that the type of hat you wore denoted which class you belonged to. A status symbol of hats!

This snippet of information is one I will file away for possible future use. The mention of the style of hat worn by a character will characterize his status.





Obviously we all know the most famous bowler hat images of many Magritte‘s paintings. They are clever depictions but at the same time slightly disturbing as we are unable to see a face.

I enjoy abstracts and post impressionist artist’s work the most but art is subjective and everyone has their own taste.





Horse Racing

Horse Racing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The other definition of horse racing, reminded me of a long weekend spent in Devon (England) with my brother and his friends. It was the first time I had actually attended a horse race, which is odd considering the nearest town to me growing up was Newbury, Berkshire. A well known race course and frequented by royalty and celebrities.

Our weekend in Devon was great fun and although I’m not a gambler I did manage to assist our host in winning. I chose the horse names and he placed the bets. We were treated to a very nice evening meal with his profits from the day.

Don’t Plunge In…Research First…

March 30, 2013

Exorbitant – definition: going beyond the limits of what is fair; reasonable, or expected

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800When we are ready to share our words – with the world – there are quite a number of stumbling blocks to overcome. Do we find an agent, a vanity press, a traditional publishing house or go the self publish route? There are pages and pages of ‘publishing’ sites on the internet, all offering fantastic deals. So how do we ensure we will be treated fairly?

Firstly, try a site called Writers Beware, which is a useful tool in finding a number of companies who have been ‘flagged’ as unfair or downright criminal. It is not an exhaustive list covering all genres but it is a good place to start.

Another is for those of you in Canada.

It is best to thoroughly research the publishing organizations you want to approach before sending a query or a sample of your work. You are probably as aware as I am, of numerous horror stories (unfortunately) of authors paying out vast sums of money with nothing to show for it at the end. Utilize your writing group and other authors you are in contact with to investigate ‘publishing’ options.

Initially look at the publishing credits on books in your own genre – if the same name keeps coming up it should bode well as a reputable company. If you are brave you can approach the authors and ask what their experience is/was with that particular company. If not see if there are reviews or comments to be found regarding that particular company. Obviously, comments on the actual company site could be fabricated so treat them with a grain of salt, unless there are a bonafide author names/links with them. The more research you do the better.

I did find a few Codes of Practice –  – which was updated in 1997 but only for the UK, I believe. And for those of you in America.

It is very easy to just jump in with the first companies you find highlighting your genre – because, as we all know,  the idea of being a published author is all consuming. Try not to get carried away with the excitement. It will pay dividends literally and figuratively if you spend time safeguarding your work and yourself from future disappointment and financial lost.


Salvo…salute to Pomp & Circumstance

March 3, 2013

Salvo – definition:  the firing of two or more guns, or artillery pieces, at a single target or as a salute 2) the release all at once of a rack of bombs or rockets.

When I read today’s word I was reminded of the gun salute for the Queen’s official birthday – the sound echoes around London. The pageantry is spectacular as the trooping of the color is played out by the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. Although this event takes place on 15th June the Queens‘ actual birthday is 21st April. Some may say get rid of all this pomp and circumstance as it is of days gone by and does not ‘fit’ into the modern day era. Well I say keep it all. Every one remembers royal weddings and sadly, funerals because the population comes together with mutual camaraderie to focus on one event. It unites us when so little does in this day and age. Why do we have to rid our selves of our history? Maybe if we did look back we would realize there are valuable lessons there – it might stop events being repeated time and again! Well I’ll get off my soap box now…thank you for reading, whether you are with or opposed to my view.


Horse Guards Parade, with the London Eye obser...

Horse Guards Parade, with the London Eye observation wheel rising behind William Kent’s Horse Guards. (Photo credit:


Blog Tour – Jason Maurer…

January 18, 2013

Please welcome Jason Maurer on his current blog tour. I asked him if he would be kind enough to include the word for the day – such a kind man…

Jason Maurer

I’ve been asked to write a post on the word of the day: ‘Immoderate
Definition: exceeding just, usual, or appropriate bounds: excessive.

Society, as a whole, has grown accustomed to the immoderate use of sexuality in media. Everywhere we look is a plethora of television ads, movies and music that rely solely on sex appeal to make money. This is the boon of advertising, because they want you to buy their product simply for the gorgeous hunk of manmeat in the commercial. A product should be able to sell itself without having to rely on America’s next top model.

The excessive portrayal of sexuality in media only leads us to believe that we need sex in order to be happy, that the world is open to one’s self-indulgence simply by taking another person home for a fifteen-minute rendezvous.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. What we need is a trust in our partner, and the love that goes hand-in-hand.

You can have love without trust, but where does that get you other than constantly worrying about what your partner is doing while you’re not around? You can trust someone without loving them, but this is on a completely different level and more like the camaraderie of friends.

Why can’t we [i.e. gay men] just have a decent relationship, without the constant pressure to ‘put out’? Not every gay person in this world is a slut, and it’s sad that most guys I know only think of other men they meet as a target to conquer.

For decades, the superior fashion gurus have overexposed us to the glamour of sexuality and sexual content. To them, the idea of sex seems like merely a game, and we have been shown not to take sex seriously, that it’s permissible to have many, many partners.

By constantly being exposed to this misrepresentation of what our sex lives should be like, the impact of our love for one another has been lessened, almost to the point of nonexistence. We have forgotten what it’s like to exist within a structured, honest, and loving relationship.

I feel sorry for the young teenagers who are being shown that sex, and not love, is what makes us happy, because they will grow up believing in this mantra and become adults who only repeat the incessant pattern of reckless behavior.

As I’ve matured and gracefully yet reluctantly entered my thirties, I’ve come to realize that this type of behavior doesn’t get us anywhere except immediate gratification, and perhaps loneliness.

You may think that I don’t enjoy sex, but I’ve had my fair share of past encounters and am certainly not saying sex is a bad thing. It just seems to me that nearly every guy I meet EXPECTS me to go home with him, but I’m not going to jump in bed with someone for the sole reason that I was wined and dined.

My latest novel “Trust and Love” is a story about the love between two gay men. Yes, there is a bit of sex in it, but not enough to make it risqué or qualify as an erotica. I didn’t write the romantic scenes to sell the novel, and I certainly did not intend for the lovemaking to stand alone. It is merely a by-product of the love two men feel toward each other in an equal relationship.

Like the characters in my novel, I would much rather spend an evening cuddling on the sofa watching a movie, enjoying quality time together with the one I love.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.


Author Bio:

Jason E. Maurer is the author of several short stories and novels that range in genre from romance to mystery, and everything in between. The work he produces is the result of a mind that can only be defined as ‘eclectic’.

His latest novel “Trust and Love” is a gay story that centers around the hope for a better future by advocating the “It Gets Better” Campaign, a cause that helps prevent teen suicide.


Jason lives in central Pennsylvania, and has chosen to dedicate his spare time [which at this point is anytime he is not sleeping] to the pursuit of the American dream on the road to happiness.

You can find him at
The links to his extensive list of social media can be found on the “About Me/Links” page of his website.

Where To Buy “Trust and Love”:

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