The Longest Nine Months

I first shied away from reading this book because I thought it was going to be all about having babies, not my favourite topic. Luckily for me, I did pick up the book, read it, and enjoyed it. It was not all about babies and pregnancies, although this was a significant factor in the novel. It was more about the relationship between Chand and Campbell.

Chand is of East Indian heritage and Campbell is Caucasian. They are devoted to each other; so much so, that Campbell wears the traditional sari to please her husband, even when other modern East Indian women at their office party are wearing western dress.

No children are planned in their as yet young marriage, so when Campbell finds herself pregnant, major changes loom. Chand is not as thrilled as Campbell had hoped he would be, and the final straw, a possibly flawed baby, threatens to destroy this happy marriage.

I was drawn into the story by Ms Balawyder’s skillful development of her characters. I cared about them. I felt their joys and frustrations,  and empathized with their problems.

Don’t miss reading this heartwarming novel by Carol Balawyder. You can find it here: Just click amazon.

You will also find that Ms. Balawyder has written several other very entertaining books. Although they are inter-connected, they can easily be read as stand-alones. I know you’ll enjoy them all.

Carol Balawyder



Sentences with Objects

You know about the simple sentence (subject and predicate). Now we will add another element, a direct object (marked in blue).

The man wrote a letter.

The man (subject/noun) wrote (predicate/verb) a letter (direct object/noun).

The letter is the receiver of the action and answers the question “What?”

(What did the man write?)

Now we can add an indirect object (marked in red), which will answer the question “To whom?” or “For whom?”

Here are some other examples of direct objects (in blue) and indirect objects (in red).

The man wrote his girlfriend a letter.

He gave his guests the tour.

He bought his love a ring.

She paid him ten dollars.

Sometimes we want to say the same thing in a different way. By using a prepositional phrase (a group of words beginning with a preposition) we can substitute it for the indirect object by putting the phrase after the direct object. The prepositional phrase is marked in green.

“The man wrote his girlfriend a letter” becomes “The man wrote a letter to his girlfriend.”

“She paid him ten dollars” becomes “She paid ten dollars to him.”

“He bought his love a ring” becomes “He bought a ring for his love.”

You can recognize a prepositional phrase by the prepositions at the beginning.

Some prepositions are:

To, for, with, after, without, in, by, beside, among, when, at, over, beyond, through (and many others).

So there you are — direct objects, indirect objects, and prepositional phrases. You can add these to your list of “parts of speech.”

Seduction of Santa

I’m pleased to host Emma Calin today. One of my favourite authors, Emma has written another hot police romance for us.

If you like a good story and a bit of hot spice added into the mix, you’ll love this book.

seduction of santa small


For Paula Middleton the season of love is not just Christmas. As a cop on the hard streets of south London she knows the value of mercy. As a woman alone she fills her life with love for others in her community. When her kindness conflicts with the ruthlessness of the law, the heartless system of police discipline moves against her.  Crossing swords with the tough and dominating Max Muswell could be the end of her career or the chance of mind-blowing passion to last a lifetime.

As Christmas lights transform the West End of London into a glittering paradise for those with money, Paula uncovers a scandal of poverty and exploitation controlled by gangsters. In pursuit of justice and the spirit of goodwill to all men, she goes beyond her authority to close in on the crooks. As she falls in love she goes beyond her ability to control herself.

The consummation of her passion fixes the dangerous Max in her heart. Once again she acts with the spontaneity of love and is left crushed and alone. The fearless man she adores sets his face against her enemies and breaks all the laws except the law of Justice.

As Christmas closes in, police authorities react to the plight of the destitute victims of organized criminals and Paula rejoins the fight. With Santa Max once again at her side can they bring Christmas to those with nothing? Can love for all men also become the love of one man for one woman? Can the sparkle of snow find an echo in the sparkle of a diamond to last for every season?

Normal price Kindle: $2.99/£2.50 – Intro launch price 99c/99p.

Paperback: $7.99/£6.99

Universal Buy Link on Amazon :

xmas cracker twitter

‘SEDUCTION OF SANTA’ is the sixth title in Emma Calin’s ‘SEDUCTION SERIES’ of steamy suspense romance stories.

Each ‘SEDUCTION’ book is a stand-alone crime-solving adventure, with a love story woven through the core and a guaranteed happy-ever-after ending. The heroines are sassy British female police officers – as passionate about catching crooks as they are about the men in their lives.  Read them in any order – there are no cliffhangers between books.  Characters make cameo appearances across the series but pre-knowledge of their stories is not necessary. Emma Calin’s police stories are inspired by the real-life experiences of her partner, an ex-London police officer and Interpol detective – with Emma’s own romantic twist!

Other titles include:

Seduction of Combat

Seduction of Dynasty

Seduction of Taste

Seduction of Crowns

Seduction of Dynasty Plus (2-book bargain bundle)

Seduction Series Box Set 1 (books 1-4 in series)

Emma Calin 2015

About Emma Calin

Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.

She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories, including the East Texas Writers Guild Award in 2017 and the New Apple Award for Ebook Literary Excellence in 2017.

When not writing, Emma likes to kayak or cycle on her tandem in the french countryside and play the trombone – but not at the same time.

Find Emma










Passive Verbs

Here are three sentence patterns. It is the third one that I’d like to talk about most today.

  1. We met this one in the previous post, basically the subject and the verb. We can add modifiers to make it more interesting.

The wintery sky changed dramatically.

  1. The subject, verb, and a direct object.

The dog bit his master.

  1. The subject and a passive voice verb (a verb that does not take a direct object. In fact, if we use sentence #2 as an example, the former object (the master) becomes the subject and the former subject (the dog) becomes the object. The passive verb tells us that something has been done to the subject.


The master was bitten by the dog.

The house was built by the carpenter.

The car was driven by Anneli.

***Note that the passive voice (as in the examples above) is not usually the preferred choice for writers of novels. The active voice makes for much better drama. Consider these two ways of writing:


The Corolla was driven up the new highway by Marlie. A bear was seen by her. The car was being parked at the side of the road by Marlie. The camera was picked up by her shaking hands. Just then, she was charged by the bear.


Marlie drove up the Corolla up the new highway. She saw a bear. Marlie parked the car at the side of the road. Her shaking hands picked up the camera. Just then, the bear charged her.


The passive voice works well in some cases, and has its uses, but for the most part, the active verb form is better. In some cases, the passive verb form is best.

For example, we use the passive verb if something happened to someone but we don’t know who did it:

My neighbour was robbed.

The pedestrian was knocked over.

The money was taken.

Take care to check your verb forms and only use the passive form if it is called for. Needless use of the passive verb form takes the punch out of your writing.


Grammar – Sentences



When we write, it is mainly to communicate, usually for business dealings, friendly greetings, or entertainment.

The main structure of our written language involves speaking or writing in sentences. Sometimes we can get away with using sentence fragments, a word or two to get the meaning across, or to emphasize something, but more often when we want no misunderstanding, especially in business, we use complete sentences.

With so many people texting, the use of conventional grammar and sentence structure is quickly falling away. Writing correctly is suddenly a bigger challenge than it once was.

I would like to offer a series of posts that discuss the use of “proper” grammar and sentence structure.

Today’s post is going to be simple, but we should start at the beginning.

What is a sentence?

We have sentences that serve various purposes.

Telling something or conveying an idea (declarative sentence):

My dog is a cocker spaniel.

Asking a question (interrogative sentence):

Do you like dogs?

Giving a command (imperative):

Feed my dog, please.

Expressing strong feeling (exclamatory sentence):

Watch out for the car!


In the declarative sentence we have two parts to the sentence; the subject and the predicate. The subject is either a noun or a pronoun (I, you, he, she, it, we, they), and the predicate is a verb.

Here are some examples. The subject is in red, and the predicate is in green.

Plants grow.

Children laugh.

They shout.

We run.

Those are pretty simple sentences. Often we use articles (a, an, the) in front of a noun. We also add modifiers to describe the nouns. These are called adjectives. Modifiers that describe the verb are called adverbs.

In the examples below, the adjectives will be blue and the adverbs will be orange.

The tropical plants grow vigorously.

The happy children laugh heartily.


More about sentence structure next time.



I’m so thrilled to announce that Marlie is now available as an e-book and within a day or two will be available as a paperback as well.

My fifth novel takes place on the BC coast again. Must be my favourite place to be. As you follow Marlie’s new life on the remote Queen Charlotte Islands, now called Haida Gwaii, you may be surprised to meet some characters you have met before in The Wind Weeps and in Reckoning Tide.

But Marlie’s story is different from the first two in this grouping. She has several adjustments to make in her first months in the islands. Her experiences in the new home she has chosen send her emotions in all directions. She needs to dig deep to draw on her inner strength.

Unlucky in love, Marlie flees a bad relationship. She accepts a teaching job in the remote Queen Charlotte Islands. The beauty of the islands and the rugged challenge of northern living enthrall her. A good-looking artist has his eye on her. The perfect gentleman. Or is he? And what about that handsome fisherman? Is he just a bit too real for her with his hunting and fishing? Just as Marlie hopes that her life has made a turn for the better, disaster strikes. She is shocked to see her life spiraling downwards yet again. How could she have made such an error in judgement—an error that sets more bad luck in motion?

Not willing to lose control, Marlie takes a deep breath and sets out to get her life back on track. But can she do it alone?

Set in the remote islands of coastal British Columbia, Marlie is a heartfelt romance of love and loss and love again.

Experience the fears and joys of northern island living and delight in a second chance at true love.

You can put Marlie on your Kindle by clicking this link:

Paperback version is now available on amazon as well.

For those with e-readers other than Kindle you may find the version you need at

Book cover:

Painting by Jan Brown

Design by Anita B. Carroll


Writing Challenge – Flash Fiction

The photo was taken in a main intersection of a Greek city. The bus has a flat tire and the driver is nowhere to be seen. Can you put together a short piece of writing following the guidelines below? You can make the scene be somewhere other than in Greece if you like.

The Challenge – Flash Fiction:

  • Write 150 words. No more, no fewer.
  • The story should relate in some way to the photo below.
  • Use all of the following words in the story:

outfit, briefcase, recognized, barbecued chicken, wrinkles


  • December 10, 2017.
  • Send stories in the body of an email to


The Prize:

  • Authors of the five best stories will receive a free e-book of my soon-to-be-released novel, Marlie, and your stories will be posted on this blog.