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Saturday, 4 August, 2012

Posted by Liv Thomas on August 4, 2012 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Could this be a scam?

Had the following email, and am quite excited about it. I could be moments away from being a multi-millionaire.

Dear Customer.we received payment instruction from CBN to pay you the sum of $10,500.000.00 we have the deposit Slip with us kindly get back to us with the below information's to enable commence thistransfer immediately.YOUR FULL NAME..YOUR TEL/CELL PHONE .YOUR HOUSEADDRESS.YOUR BANKING DETAILS.YOUR OCCUPATION.A COPY OF YOUR I.D We are waitingto receive the above information from you.Thanks you.Customer Server Bank of America

For some reason,  the message was not in the body of the mail, but was actually above the From and To bit - Lord knows how they managed that one.

But, I digress. Could this possibly be a scam? Not that the untidy/unprofessional layout and punctuation errors have alerted me. And not to mention, 'get back to us with the below information's'. Maybe Bank of America were just having an off day. After all, there's no spelling mistakes. (That must be a first).

Talk about going for the jugular. No hard luck story here. Just right in there asking for full name, phone number, address, bank details and a copy of my ID.  Over-confidence or plain stupidity?  These email addresses we're supposed to respond to - surely there must be some way of finding out who's behind them? Though maybe the only way to beat these scammers is through better education - the point needs to be hammered home to the whole population, that you never, ever, get something for nothing, especially not several million pounds.




Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (2)

So, here we are, nearly in August. In two days time, we can say "It's September next month". I can still remember New Years Eve like it was last week, and I'm still washing up after last Christmas, let alone getting ready for the next, but I've bought some presents already. I'm sure time is speeding up. Easy to say it's because I'm getting older, but the worrying thing is, my kids think the time passes quickly as well. Worrying.

Well, my big news - and I suppose this is like writing a letter, then adding a PS to say you've won the lottery - I've signed a contract with Choc Lit Publishing! I'm a writer, Mum! It is now so worth all the late nights, the bleary eyes, the hassle for always being on the computer. They're taking me seriously now, yes sirree!

Anyway, the book.  It's working title was LUKE, but that's got to go - sob - though it will always be Luke in our hearts. Basically, it's about a young guy called Luke, who is not a happy bunny, so I don't know why it can't be called "Luke - Back in Anger"...  

So it was on with the thinking cap, and our favourite at the moment is "Beneath an Irish Sky", though as Luke is Irish, and there's an element of romance, I have a soft spot for "Beneath an Irish Guy".  :D  

Luke has struggled all his life for acceptance. He's a Traveller, with all the social problems and issues that dog that culture. "Second Class Male" maybe? 

But no, for some reason, all those suggestions of mine received a shake of the head and a wag of the finger, from those whose opinion I asked.

So it's going to be marketed as either "Beneath an Irish Sky" or "The Shamrock and the Rose".   We will bow to Choc Lit's greater knowledge in this respect.  (Fifty Shades of Green, anyone?)

Anyway, so excited, so thrilled, and so grateful to have been given this opportunity, and from a brilliant publisher too, and thanks are due to the RNA, for the support, the encouragement and the invaluable advice from the readers in their NWS scheme. 


Could any medals be better than the sight of the Queen acting with Daniel Craig? Did she have to join Equity before she could say those immortal lines, "Good evening, Mr Bond".  Will we hear her say, in future public appearances, "I'm ready for my close-up now". 

Bizarrely, I've heard some people claim that it was a look-alike who spoke the lines, whilst others are ready to believe it was actually the Queen parachuting into the Olympic stadium. 

The ceremony itself was quite impressive, even though most of the world probably didn't have a clue what it was about. When it started, most of the several billion viewers probably thought it was a trailer for The Hobbit. It just needed the slogan, "Five rings to bind them".

The lighting of the cauldron was wonderful. Such a master stroke to have Steve Redgrave pass to young, unknown, athletes. 

Just one question though. Did David Beckham have to watch the parade of athletes in a wet suit. (A suit that was wet, that is, not a wetsuit). The spray from that motor-boat looked a bit fierce.

Was relieved that all the nations had the correct flags, and thank God for little Ireland,  keeping Israel apart from Iran and Iraq.



Thursday, 23rd February 2012

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Thank you - sorry - excuse me. Difficult words? Certainly easy enough to type, but saying them seems a problem for some. I've lost count of the number of people who swan through a door I'm holding open without a word or even a nod.Do I have 'doorman' tattooed on my forehead? No, I don't. Maybe something very similar - change one letter, and make it 'doormat' perhaps!



Tuesday, 21st February 2012

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Oh dear...where does the time go? Well, it's never too late I suppose. Merry Christmas everyone, and a very Happy New Year.

Quite an inauspicious start to 2012 for me. I haven't won the lottery, haven't been invited to the Oscars, haven't won anything that Readers Digest promise, and haven't been swept off my feet by a romantic hero.

On the plus side, I escaped redundancy, and I *warning: name-dropping alert* met the lovely Lesley Pearse - writer extraordinaire/down-to-earth woman next door.  Not literally next door unfortunately - with that wicked sense of humour, it would certainly brighten up my cul-de-sac. Plus she could dog-sit....

My New Year's Resolution is to be a better blogger. God knows, it won't be difficult. I couldn't be much worse. Self-discipline has always escaped me.

Am I breaking the resolution if I stop to watch Prisoners' Wives? Back soon (ish).


Saturday, 19th November, 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)


My initial reaction...

Is the English language heading for total abbreviation? Will we eventually read complete books written in text speak? I've heard kids actually say/spell out OMG. Do they also say LOL now, instead of launching into a hearty chuckle? Will shows of emotion become a thing of the past. Will stand-up comics get an audience yelling ROFL if they're good – or FFS if not.

Course, it's not without its problems. How many people have sent their mum a message saying LOL (love you lots) after hearing that her pet budgie has expired, only to find that their computer-savvy Mum actually uses LOL for 'laugh out loud'.

It's not just text speak though – acronyms are prevalent in business. “Hi CJ – TC here. Was talking about you just the other day with the MD. Need that report on the IMF ASAP.” But does TC realise that CJ probably has his own problems – a son with an ASBO maybe. Who knows WTF he's been up to?

It's actually one of my pet hates – the pretentious habit of calling people by their initials. And don't start me on text speak, which is much the same as teaching by use of phonetics, which may well work, but which I've never liked. Combine phonetics and text speak, and you'll surely have a generation who will grown up unable to spell. Or, more likely, not interested in spelling because everything today has to be quick. There's no time for proper English, proper spelling. This new, faster option, is just GR8.

NEway, it's L8. BFN. Cya L8er.


Sunday, 13th November, 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Just watched I'm A Celeb. and realised it's a year since I started this blog. Scary stuff.

Under threat of redundancy at work. God bless the NHS. Did wonder if it should be done by public vote, maybe with Ant and Dec doing the honours.  Might make it a tad more human, but that's too much to hope for.

* * *

Was lucky enough this week to win two books.

 HIGHLAND STORMS by Christina Courtenay. A sequel to TRADE WINDS, which I can heartily recommend. Great read, and I'm sure Highland Storms will be just as good.

 ANY DREAM WILL DO by Maria Duffy - her debut novel. Can't wait to read this as have been following Maria on Twitter and was there - so to speak - when she first got her agent and subsequently the book deal.

* * * 


Sunday, 28th August, 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Book finished!  Now there's a novel thing...    :)

Have spent the weekend like a lost sheep. The novel, mine and Val O's, is done. Dusted. I feel like my babies have left home.

The past year has been the proverbial roller-coaster. Culling more than 100k words is not easy. Not physically or emotionally. It was like drowning puppies. 

A couple of extracts from the novel can be found under My Fiction.

So will now wait and see what transpires. But if I can be permitted to dig out my trumpet - well it's my blog, so I will anyway - I'd like to share this, an actual review!

From Jen Fishler:

Beautifully written, a compelling read that takes hold and doesn't let up. Characters are finely drawn, descriptive passages not one word more - or less - than required, to transport the reader into the places and lives.

The dialogue flows so naturally, one forgets one is reading and beings to 'hear'. Add to all this a plot that builds inexorably until what must be accounted for is tallied - and you have a read not soon to be forgotten.

Thank you for taking me there.

Thank you, Jen. 

Jen is also a writer, and examples of her work can be found here:



Saturday, 2nd July 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The write frame of mind

I should be writing. But I can't concentrate when household chores are waiting. Don't know if it's pride or guilt, but I like to write knowing that everything is done. That I have the freedom of a few hours ahead of me without catching sight of a carpet that needs vacuuming, or hearing the washing/ironing calling,silently but forcefully.

I also like to write when my OH is out of the house and I'm free of the perpetual "Sorry to bother you a minute, but could you just get me...."  Having spoken to other handmaidens (aka wives) it appears that this is definitely a man thing. I keep meaning to give it a try and see if it works in reverse. When said OH is busy (I use the term loosely  ), and I'm, for instance, cooking, I'll call him and ask if he can just pop upstairs and get something for me. Of course, I'll say, "Sorry to bother you a minute..."

* * * 

Heaven = a virgin bowl of Kelly's Cornish with a choc. flake crumbled over it. Hell = when it's gone.

* * * 

Highlight of my summer so far, was going to Chichester with friend Di, to see She Loves Me, and meeting the very lovely Mr Joe McFadden after the show. I'll bet he wouldn't keep saying, "Sorry to bother you a minute..." (Unfortunately).

* * *. 



Saturday, 30th April 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The Royal Wedding

Mini-buses? Did the fairy godmother fail to turn up? I see the ugly sisters managed it...I'm thinking you, Beatrice and Eugenie. Not suggesting that they are really ugly. Probably not, underneath the slap and the panto outfits.  Why did Beatrice go dressed as a reindeer? It looked more appropriate for a stag night (boom boom) and was designed, no doubt, by Alice Tinker of Dibley Fashion House.

I'm sure the Royals were grateful that Earl Spencer didn't get to speak at the Abbey...

I agree with my co-author, Red, about the trees in the Abbey - didn't work for me either.  As she tweeted,  ' But at least Charles will have something to talk to'.

Also agree with Red about the music. T'was a tad sombre, and not easy to sing along to, which by that time of the day, we were all up for.

Very impressed with James Middleton, who had a major role in the whole production, and carried it off to BAFTA standard.

Want to know what Harry said to Wills when he turned round and saw Kate approaching. Have dismissed, "I've had her", as suggested by one of my footie supporter cohorts on Red Cafe.

Why did the Queen have a blanket over her knees on the way to the church - and notice how she left it in a heap on the floor of the car?  You can't just expect people to tidy up behind you all the time ma'am.  Oh, wait... 

Don't brides usually wait until after the wedding vows, to remove the veil?

Loved the sight of Wills and Kate suddenly driving out of Buck House in open-topped sports car. Must surely have given the security people a headache.

Very impressed with lack of ostentation in some areas - simple dress (for royalty), handful of bridesmaids, and Pippa Middleton, proving that less is definitely more.

Has Kate been pigging out following all the criticism about her weight - or did the jeweller provide the wrong size ring?  For a moment, was back in Dibley waiting for a hula-hoop to be produced, because it really didn't look as though that ring was going to go on! 

Speaking of Dibley, was anyone else expecting (hoping) that Sean Bean was going to appear at that always tense moment when the congregation are (? is) asked if anyone knows of any reason...

The romantic in me wants the best man and the maid of honour to announce that they're an item. Sorry, Chelsey - you win some, you lose some.

Surely the most bizarre moment of all though, was the somersaulting verger on the red carpet. I'm still not sure I didn't actually dream that. I mean, that doesn't happen at such a high profile, basically serious, event.

And a final thought (till I come back to edit after remembering more) ... I wouldn't want it for my daughter.

* * * 


Sunday, 6th February 2011

Posted by Liv Thomas on July 30, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I love writing. It's an obsession with me. And I have recently realised that my desire to be published has nothing to do with being famous (which in all honesty would be a nightmare) or with money. It has to do with a need to share my characters and their lives with others, in the same way that you would share your own life with friends. 

My book has been a while in the making. Working with a co-author can be frustrating when you live in different time-zones, and when each of our realities get in the way. But it's been a journey, not just of frustration, but of excitement, of learning, of laughter, and maybe a few tears too. Many is the time I've wanted to punch her in the face. (Only kidding, Red). (well, sort of kidding. )

We started out as cyber-acquaintances on an internet message-board. Then we progressed to emails, and eventually a phone-call. We still haven't met, but we seem to share the same ideas and ambitions for our characters, and despite reworking and editing, we both still love reading what we've written.  We both know these characters so well, and believe in them. Actually we believe they're real. Otherwise why did I walk around Ennis in County Clare expecting to see them round the next corner, or drinking in a local pub? And why do we debate the merits of various actors and actresses who we can see on the big screen, bringing our characters to life? Writing is escapism, and maybe we're taking it too far. But it's too late. I took the last bus out of reality, and am quite happy in my own little world, thank you very much.

So maybe getting published is just a dream, but nothing can take away the sheer joy that we find in the story and the characters, even if it only ends up as a serial on my blog.   

* * * 

Internet friendships.

The web is a wonderful tool for bringing together people who would otherwise not have met, but there's still a lot of suspicion and cynicism surrounding internet friendships.

We hear all the time of people being exploited and conned out of life-savings etc. There obviously needs to be safeguards, but the main thing is surely to educate the user? Don't meet strangers alone, don't part with your money. It won't eradicate the problem, but people can be conned by any stranger in a bar, or doorstep callers etc.

The positive side of the internet is that friendships can also be strong and genuine. It's not all about lying and being something you're not - that's possible in any walk of life. It's about being able to be yourself, letting people know the real you. Shy people can say the things they might never be able to say face to face.

I made one of the best friends I'll ever have in my life through the internet - both of us Lord of the Rings geeks, who met on a LOTR message-board.

So take a bow, Claudia. You know who you are.   

 * * *

Embarrassing Bodies, Channel 4: Not planning to watch this. Could be too much like a home movie.

* * *