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Grammar query – Is it I, or me, that’s wrong?

pen to paper
When to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ in a piece of writing can cause arguments, confusion, and – if you think you’re in the right – a severe dose of smugness about other people’s ignorance. But the correct usage is not always straightforward. Some years ago, in The State of the Language, Philip Howard wrote: “Already, even educated users of English, such as journalists, suffer from chronic uncertainty about the use of ‘I’ and ‘me’ and the other cases of pronouns.” Old school grammarians, like Sir Ernest Gowers in Plain Words, have been quite clear about what they think is right: if the first pronoun is in the object case then the pronoun following ‘and’ must also be in the object case, as in ‘between him...
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Is a scapegoat what we think it is?

Goats Go.. Inspecting.
A few posts ago (on 4th February), I wrote about how the term whipping boy was used wrongly to mean a scapegoat. Which doesn’t mean to say that people should be called to account if they use the term – of course not; that would just be being pedantic. But why should those of us who now know its false derivation, not view the term with a supercilious smirk? What about the word scapegoat though? Does that still mean, er, scapegoat – a person made to take the blame for one or more others? It seems so. The word was first used in 1530 by William Tyndale in his translation of The Bible from Hebrew. He took the wordAzazel to mean ‘the goote on which the lotte fell to scape.’ (OT, Leviticus, Chapter...
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Cover Reveal - Love's Sweetest Obsession


The Castle in the Sun series started with Love's Sweetest Revenge. Author Flora Reigada has promised more stories from that universe, which finds some of it's roots in the real world historical city of St. Augustine, FL. The second story in her series, Love's Sweetest Obsession, is coming March 1st to all eBook formats and today we are proud to present the cover reveal! About the Book: Picking up from the events of Love's Sweetest Revenge, Liz and Carlos seem to have a bright future ahead of them. However, Liz's Ex, Steve, has plans of his own that send the couple back to the Castle in the Sun. A Victorian restoration, a motorcycle gang and a hurricane are soon in the mix. But how does a tin...
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AND ALEX STILL HAS ACNE is free to download 10th and 11th February.


writingandbreathing Still short of cash post Christmas and wanting something new to read? I have just renewed my contract with Solstice for And Alex Still has Acne – a short novel for teenagers about family, friendship, and some of the trials of being a teenager. To celebrate the new contract I am offering the novel as a free download on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February. Blurb: Life for fourteen year old Alex is OK most of the time. He enjoys school, has a best friend Sam, and a pretty and only mildly irritating younger sister, Nicky. But then Sam starts acting strangely, and so does Nicky – and both insist on sharing secrets with him and making him promise not to tell anyone. Then Nic...
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Guest Post - Linda Weaver Clarke


The Rebel Series: Stories of Adventure, Mystery, and Romance The Rebel Seriesis a mixture of romance and adventure. Each book, set in the late 1700s, is a love story with mystery and intrigue as a young couple and their rebel friends strive to help their country. For those who enjoy strong women characters, all three books have this in common. They are independent women who have an opinion and are not afraid to express it. The heroes in this series are rebels with a sense of justice. They are chivalrous and their feelings run deep for the women they’re in love with. Young and old alike can enjoy the romance in this series. In The Rebels of Cordovia, Robin’s Rebels realize they must fight aga...
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AND ALEX STILL HAS ACNE is free to download 10th and 11th February.

And Alex -cover
Still short of cash post Christmas and wanting something new to read? I have just renewed my contract with Solstice for And Alex Still has Acne – a short novel for teenagers about family, friendship, and some of the trials of being a teenager. To celebrate the new contract I am offering the novel as a free download on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February. Blurb: Life for fourteen year old Alex is OK most of the time. He enjoys school, has a best friend Sam, and a pretty and only mildly irritating younger sister, Nicky. But then Sam starts acting strangely, and so does Nicky – and both insist on sharing secrets with him and making him promise not to tell anyone. Then Nicky goes missing and ...
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Whipping Boys – fact or fiction?

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My Collins dictionary defines a whipping boy as ‘a person of little importance who is blamed for the incompetence etc. of others, especially his superiors; scapegoat. [Seventeenth century. Originally referring to a boy who was educated with a prince and who received punishment for any faults committed by the prince]’ This is what I and many others have believed, including Mark Twain who popularised the term in his story, The Prince and the Pauper. Past historians have gone further and Edward VI did NOT have a whipping boy to take his punishment for him! named, for example, Barnaby Fitzpatrick as the whipping boy for Edward VI. William Murray was supposed to have played the same role for Char...
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Meet Best Selling Author Caz Frear

Caz 1
Caz grew up in Coventry, UK, and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel.  After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the writing dream finally came true when she won the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition with her debut novel, Sweet Little Lies.  When she’s not agonising over snappy dialogue and incisive prose, she can be found swearing at the TV when Arsenal are playing and holding court in the pub* on topics she knows nothing about. (*Which is exactly where my spy from the Coventry Writers’ Group found her!)  What is the title of your recent book? (In a nutshell what is it about?...
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Download GIRL FRIENDS for free this weekend!


Just a reminder that best selling #YA novel – GIRL FRIENDS is free to download. Last day today! http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01EX9DPMS myBook.to/GirlFriends writingandbreathing This weekend (Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January) my YA novel for mid-teenagers is on a special promotion on Amazon, and can be downloaded for free. As you can imagine from the title, it centres round two girls (Courtney and Grace) who are friends. There’s quite a lot of humour, a potential boyfriend, and a fast paced sub plot. The book also tackles some difficult and topical social issues – like child sexual exploitation. A number of people who have read it have described it as a ‘must read’ for all teenage girls. Ad...
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Guest Post - Flora Reigada


MillerWords author Flora Reigada continues our Friday series on unique writing habits. Flora is the author of the "How-To" devotional Where Your Heart Meets God's and the Christian-inspired romantic thriller Love's Sweetest Revenge. This thriller is the first book in her Castle in the Sun series. She is currently at work putting the finishing touches on book two. In Flora's guest post, Meet a Hero, she reveals her unusual writing habit is that her characters come to life for her and that leads to interesting situations. Check out this one: Sometimes I talk about the characters in my books as if they were real. I never knew how real, until the day my husband, Dan and I went to the local (VFW)...
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Download GIRL FRIENDS for free this weekend!

Girl Friends - cover
This weekend (Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January) my YA novel for mid-teenagers is on a special promotion on Amazon, and can be downloaded for free. As you can imagine from the title, it centres round two girls (Courtney and Grace) who are friends. There’s quite a lot of humour, a potential boyfriend, and a fast paced sub plot. The book also tackles some difficult and topical social issues – like child sexual exploitation. A number of people who have read it have described it as a ‘must read’ for all teenage girls. Admittedly this has mainly come from teachers and parents – but don’t let that put you off! Excerpt from Girl Friends If a look could kill, Grace gives me one then, so I shut u...
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Divided by a common language?

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Among the many things the UK has in common with the USA, is the English language. Except that, with a huge ocean and many centuries between when the English spoken was pretty much the same and now, subtle, and not so subtle, divergences have given rise to the sentiment conveyed in the title of this post. No one is quite sure who said these famous words. They are often attributed to George Bernard Shaw. But they might be from Oscar Wilde, or Mallory Browne, or Raymond Gram Swing, or the prolific Anon. Some of the misunderstandings over words and phrases are humorous (to Brits, anyway – the American term ‘fanny’ is a more sexual part of the anatomy in Britain, so not a word to be used in polit...
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Book Review - zo by Murray Pura


A brand new 5 star review came in for Murray Pura's semi-autobiographical, award-winning novel. The Amazon reviewer is petting a tiger in his profile picture, so it seems like a good idea to listen to what he says. That is amazing! Review: Zo is one of the many inspiring historical fiction works by Canadian author Murray Pura. The two poems: “My destiny” by Taras Shevchenko and “The Moon” by poet Andrii Chornavka set the tone for the entire book. The story is set in the year 1911. The protagonist, Andrew Chornavka, is a monk. Interestingly, the author first introduces him as “Zoya’s brother.” Although the book is entirely written through Andrew Chornavka’s point of view, the book is about hi...
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Guest Post - Phyllis f. McManus


We'll be running a short series of guest posts with a fun theme! Our guests have been asked to share an unusual or unique writing habit. The first of this series comes from the best-selling author of The Southern Belle Breakfast Club, Phyllis f. McManus. During the past several months, I have experienced quite a few health problems. I didn’t feel like sitting at my computer to work on my next book. Instead, every time a thought popped in my mind about a character or a plot, I would write it on a sticky note and place it in a basket. While sitting in a doctor’s office, the hospital, or just resting I continued this pattern. I made sure I always carried a little notebook with me at all times t...
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Meet Author Amara A Minx

tia head hot
We’re upping the heat level a bit on my blog today with an interview with Amara A Minx who writes provocative paranormal romance. When fire destroyed her home and contents, including dozens of finished manuscripts, it was five years before she was able to put pen to paper. Now Amara writes from her home on beautiful Vancouver Island, and has a full time literary career. Already an avid traveler and an outdoors enthusiast, she became hooked on zip lining, and travels the world in pursuit of what has now become a passion.  What is the title of your latest book?   Double Shift is Paranormal Erotic Romance about a dominant wolf shifter and his identical twin seducing their virgin mate while seek...
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Free download of CAST OFF this weekend.


writingandbreathing In a bid to beat the mid winter blues – mine and yours – I am offering some of my books for free on Amazon over the next few weeks. This weekend it is CAST OFF –  a collection of 13 short stories based on female characters in plays by Shakespeare. Have you ever thought what a Shakespeare character might be doing or thinking when she is not on stage? Does she like the role that has been created for her? Would she prefer a different plot? Or love interest? How does she really feel about all that cross dressing? Will she actually go back on stage when it’s her cue? If you download my book on Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th January you can find some answers to all these question...
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Free download of CAST OFF this weekend.

Cast Off
In a bid to beat the mid winter blues – mine and yours – I am offering some of my books for free on Amazon over the next few weeks. This weekend it is CAST OFF –  a collection of 13 short stories based on female characters in plays by Shakespeare. Have you ever thought what a Shakespeare character might be doing or thinking when she is not on stage? Does she like the role that has been created for her? Would she prefer a different plot? Or love interest? How does she really feel about all that cross dressing? Will she actually go back on stage when it’s her cue? If you download my book on Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th January you can find some answers to all these questions, and more, for FRE...
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Cover Reveal - Murray Pura


Originally published in 2008, Murray Pura is reviving one of his personal favorites. zo is the first story in Pura's series: Saint Zoya's Dance. This novel happened to be a finalist for the prestigious  Kobzar Literary Award of Toronto in 2010. The series continues with the white birds of morning (coming soon to MillerWords) and beautiful skin . About the book: Andrew Chornavka took on the Trappist’s cowl and disappeared from the 21st century in order to forget the century before. Yet even at the secluded monastery in America the past finds him. A delegation from the Vatican arrives with questions about his youngest sister, Zoya, who is, to Andrew’s shock, a candidate for sainthood. Reluctan...
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Review - Mark Miller


For immediate release: Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome. Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Fiction - Short Story/Novela book "Renaissance" by Mark Miller, currently available at  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077XFQ3VR . Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest c...
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Swear words and story telling.

Girl Friends - cover
My YA novel, Girl Friends, features a lot of characters who, in real life, would swear frequently and rather unimaginatively. My initial mistake was to reproduce their conversations faithfully. That is, until a more experienced author pointed out that a) this was boring and b) no publisher of a YA novel would consider publishing my book if it remained in such a raw state. I hope my subsequent re-drafting – which did find a publisher – resulted in a sharper, more readable story. It is certainly a lot shorter! A problem in real life is that many people use expeltives without realising – in the end it just seems like padding around the small, not necessarily very rude or significant point they ...
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