J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “February, 2021”

Another Excellent Review

This review of my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is short and sweet, but it gets right to the point! Thank you so much, Kevin Marsh, for your flattering review.

A novel set in the American Civil War which was historically accurate, very readable and enjoyable. My first time reading of any of this author’s work and, given the book is the first in a series, will not be the last.

Guest Post by Tina Martin

Here is another guest post by author Tina Martin. I can certainly relate to this article, because I have a home-based business, and I know I need more space! Thank you, Tina, for your contribution.

3 Reasons Your Home-Based Business Needs a Bigger House

Being your own boss is a dream come true for many people. Launching a business can be difficult, but with a solid business plan and a market need, success is within reach. While your idea may have started off small, once you see consistent success, you may realize you need a bigger portion of your home to dedicate to your work. That’s when it’s time to start searching for homes for sale. 

Moving your home and business isn’t a simple proposition. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s a must. J.D.R. Hawkins shares three of the many reasons why your home-based business needs a bigger house to call home.

1. You Need a Dedicated Office Space

Running your own business out of your house offers a number of advantages, including schedule flexibility, convenience and cost. It’s important that you have a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living space to minimize distractions. If you currently rent your home or are living in the first house you ever bought, you might not have a lot of space or the freedom to remodel it to suit your work needs. This is a clear sign that you need to purchase a bigger house.

Once you have your own home, you can make up your office space however you see fit. Make sure you also have plenty of light and a solid internet connection to help keep your workspace comfortable. Invest in a new computer if necessary, and remember that your home office—and what you invest in it—may also be tax-deductible, so keep track of the upgrades or repairs you make to it.

2. Your Business Items Are Everywhere

If you keep a lot of paper files on clients and accounts, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed with folders unless you have an efficient storage solution. You still need room for other essential, helpful equipment like tablets and computers, and you may need to invest in a newer model if your current ones aren’t operating at full capacity. If you take advantage of discounts and deals online, you can score deals on popular laptops and tablets from different manufacturers. Don’t forget to grab a comfortable chair and a desk to help keep things organized and professional.

Not enough storage space is one of the biggest frustrations many homeowners have, as Organized Interiors explains. If your home is starting to feel crowded as you organize your business essentials, it’s probably time to look for a bigger home that can grow with your company.

3. The Company Is Growing

The expansion of your business can naturally mean you need more space. You may wish to hire employees to help you. You might need a workshop in which to store materials and create products to sell. You may need a dedicated space to service your clients, as with a nail or hair salon

When you start considering buying a larger home for your business, it’s natural to worry about liability. The formation you choose for your business can help with this, particularly if you form a limited liability company. An LLC offers tax advantages as well as limited liability, which can protect your personal assets (such as your home) in the event your business is sued. You can save on lawyer fees by using a formation service or filing as an LLC yourself, but you will need to check your state’s regulations first because every state has different requirements.

In the end, you are the one who determines when it’s time to upgrade your home to fit your business growth. Ensuring you have the workspace you need can help you focus and grow your business even more. When you are considering purchasing a new bigger home for your company, start talking to a professional real estate agent right away. The sooner you start your home search, the sooner you can establish your new home office.

Image: Pexels

Cover Reveal – The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée

What happens when a free-spirited actress and an uptight Maharaja fake an engagement?

Depending on whom you ask, you either get a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster.
When Diya Sharma’s meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Diya runs the other way. Right into the arms of the most scandal-averse Maharaja on earth.
His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognise a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.
Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on for ever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer doesn’t need another scandalous actress destroying his family’s happiness. So all he wants to do is run in the opposite direction.
But, when a marriage-minded princess sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Diya’s arms to propose a fake engagement.
When the lines between real and fake start to blur, Diya and Veer need to decide what is important? Long held prejudices or the yearnings of their heart?

Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.

She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible. 

A Maharaja of Her Own is Alisha’s first book.

Guest Post by Sheryl Wright

I frequently feature guest posts by various authors in order to give them a chance to get published. Here is another. This one is interesting because it discusses writers. Thanks to Sheryl Wright for her contribution.

Five Tips for Young Journalists

Photo by Mustafa Husnii from Pexels

The media industry has transformed in recent years with the emergence of new trends. The old-fashioned TV and newspaper media platforms have seen their once-dedicated crowd fragmented by the emergence of internet-based media. As a result, job opportunities for newsroom-based media have decreased. As a young and ambitious journalist, to prepare yourself for the competitive job market, you should stay updated, gain experience, and sharpen your expertise.

According to Forbes, citizen journalism is gaining traction in modern society, and as such, emerging stories are told even before they reach newsrooms. Therefore, media institutions are looking for journalists who can help their institutions become agile and lean. Today, the media job market is interested in all-around journalists. In turn, you need to improve your skills, experience, and knowledge to cope up with the current market demands and remain competitive.

Below are tips that can help you become a successful young journalist in the media industry.

Look for Internships to Gain Hands-on Experience

Journalism is a highly competitive career in the media industry, and as an upcoming journalist, you need to utilize each opportunity to gain experience. For instance, volunteering at a media station or taking an internship is a perfect way to gain hands-on experience. Besides, this can help you create connections to help secure a job in the future. You should take internships for a short while to gain experience and weigh if the organization will employ you permanently. If there’s no likelihood of getting hired, then work as an intern for a few months and move on to start looking for better opportunities.

Master New Tools and the Basics in Journalism

As a young journalist, you require skills to write, read, and analyze information sources. Therefore, you should master basic language rules such as grammar, tone, and punctuation. By practicing such basics, you will enhance your skills and competency.

Apart from mastering the basics, you should also familiarize yourself with the latest software and tools used in the industry. For instance, you should learn about the investigative transcription tools to become an expert at everything related to your career. Moreover, you need to create connections with other journalism students of similar interests to exchange knowledge and skills. Since there are several fields, joining a specific community can help you learn from others.

Build an Online Portfolio

Building a professional online portfolio can be helpful when searching for job opportunities. Remember to include professional details like your resume, contact information, social media accounts, and links to various works you have completed in your portfolio. Additionally, include a bio that emphasizes your career interests, work experiences, and qualifications as a young journalist.

Build a Network

You should start building your network by tracking fellow journalism graduates from your college and contacting them. If you don’t have contacts from college, you can join online groups of journalists or expand your network through internships. You can always submit your work directly to different magazines and newspapers to expand your portfolio and get your name out there. Having a vast network can be helpful when searching for job openings. Your contacts can recommend you or suggest a job opening for you to apply. Besides, you can network with senior journalists who can mentor you to become a top-class journalist.

Acquire New Skills

As a young journalist, you should be curious, enthusiastic, and ready to develop new skills. For instance, if your specialization is photography, try learning about writing. If you are a reporter, develop new skills in video shooting. There are tons of online learning opportunities for those who want to learn photo or video journalism. Don’t forget about the endless opportunities for travel writing as well. Even if you are going on a personal vacation somewhere, it can be an opportunity for you to write a travel piece and add that to your repertoire of skills and topics in your portfolio. In the end, acquiring new skills can make you an all-round journalist and a valuable asset any media station would want to have.

Concluding Remarks

Journalism is a highly-competitive career that requires unique skills, expertise, and experience for you to succeed. Therefore, you need to become a versatile young journalist to progress in your career. A few skills you need include engaging in internships to gain hands-on experience, building networks, and mastering new tools and journalism basics. You can also build a professional online portfolio and acquire new journalism-related skills. With these tips, you can revitalize your journalism career to become a world-class young journalist.

Guest Post by Lucerin Saldana

I regularly share guest posts of other writers by giving them the opportunity to get their work seen. Since I am interested in home decor, interior design, and plants (I only have 100 in my house right now., downsized from 300), I wanted to share this article with you. I hope you enjoy it and find inspiration. Spring is coming!

Home Decor Ideas for the Green and Garden Lovers  

At the point when the world is truly worried about global warming and carbon emanations, There are a few different ways to decrease warming practices and contribute to making a more advantageous tomorrow for our children. 

Constantly, the ideal way to deal with this is through a themed home elaborate format, with the ultimate objective that the furnishings, embellishments, and dividers all join to give one single, bound together plan of impressions. 

Improving on account of a subject doesn’t suggest that you ought to mastermind all your furniture from one spot, or that all that requirements give off an impression of being indistinguishable. What it infers is that you empower your tendencies to accept a particular part in your Home Decor Ideas, rather than just buying whatever looks “great” and accommodates your monetary arrangement.

The color and style selection

People with a “green” demeanor consistently find that all-typical home expressive design stays as a loved memory to them. Regardless, not every person is sure how to go about it. 

The best spot to start is buying utilized furnishings, made out of limitless or possibly recyclable materials. Wood, metal, and rattan clearly bob out as top picks, as those materials fulfill all of these standards, and are strikingly strong too. The best portion of Home Decor Ideas is that these three materials combine very well with one another, and can be put to use to make a contemporary, utilitarian yet gorgeously fulfilling inside inclination.

Décor ideas for kids’ room and others

For kids moving into their own special position, the primary need is comfort. This must be met in all rooms — the receiving area, room, study, restroom, and kitchen. 

Each room requires seats of different kinds. In the receiving area, a course of action of low, cushioned stools works consummately as a footrest, and also, a parlor circumstance. Sprinkle Pads can be stacked with sawdust or tufts, as an environmentally friendly alternative to produce polyester foam. Add Some Playground Equipment to mess around with kids. 

Rattan sofa sets with wooden edges are both strong and smooth, allowing you to loosen up in style and comfort while sitting before the TV and checking out the music. Also, pick a pleasant seat and work region for your working space.

Succulents and Cacti for Indoor Garden 

Not we all are honored with the greenest of thumbs. Thinking about indoor plants can be precarious, and relying upon the kind of plant, the atmosphere that you live in, and how much extra time you need to dedicate to the cycle, a few plants can be a whole lot harder than others to keep alive and green. In the event that your plant assortment continues kicking the bucket on you, think about desert flora or delicious plants for your home office. These tough plants are appropriate to unpleasant environments that would somehow be not exactly cordial to other plant types. Desert plants and succulents need just a little water and daylight and are extremely low upkeep which makes them truly simple to think about. Notwithstanding their quality and lifespan, these plants likewise have a particular, negligible look that functions admirably inside any cutting edge home office configuration because of their perfect, direct shapes.

Furniture ideas

A bed of a good height can be made with woven rattan on a wooden or metal edge. While wooden sponsorships ensured that thick snoozing pads are agreeable and pleasing, people with back issues would profit by the adaptability of a rattan bed. In a hot climate, rattan besides remains fundamentally cooler than any sheet material, and can in addition be ensured about with a wet sheet as an unassuming method to manage remaining cool. Sheets can be gotten out the colder time of year, or you can in like way utilize a warm resting sack on the bed itself. 

While rattan and wood make an extraordinary mix in shades of white, cream, yellow and darker, steel is in like way exceptionally flexible.

Greener homes Decors

Everyone will feel glad to have the plants at home yet the hardest part is about their support. Anyway gone are days when you neglect to offer water to the plants. 

There are applications like Plenty, in this day and age which causes you to speak with your plant and promptly illuminates you when it needs your consideration. 

It doesn’t generally make a difference whether you have an insignificant chance to deal with the plants as these brilliant applications will make your occupation unbelievably simple.

Solar and Green energy

The establishment of Solar boards may look somewhat expensive at first anyway in the more drawn out period it’s truly worth speculation. 

However, on the off chance that you truly can not decide on Solar energy, at that point you might need to look at with your energy supplier about how energy is being produced. In some nations energy providers for the most part, determine whether they are Green energy suppliers or not. It’s not elusive reasonable energy, created from environmentally friendly power sources, for example, wind and sun based. Picking such providers generally doesn’t cost a remarkable measure of cash and more often than not it very well may be benefited at similar rates as that of different providers.

Metal Buildings are green buildings

There are many, many green things and splendid structure options out there today that can upgrade your home, decrease the home’s natural impact and cause your home to perform better. Basically by choosing to work with steel instead of wood is a tremendous good situation insensibility. Consider that when trees are accumulated for wood, it can take more than 20 to 40 years to create replacements to where they can be procured. Close to the completion of its life hope, a wood layout of the Prefab Metal Buildings are demolished, and the wood can’t be reused for a greater turn of events. Shade Structures give different opportunities to save imperativeness and make a pleasing workspace.

Author Bio

Lucerin Saldana Lucerin writes for topics like Home Improvement, Kitchen decor, Garden, or travel-related topics additionally; he has a passion for the metal building industry for more than ten years, Lucerin has become an experienced building specialist in this industry. His goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different metal buildings such as Metal Carports, garages, barns, Custom Steel Buildings, and commercial structures.

Spotlight – Surge on Like a River

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Surge On Like a River


About The Book

Surge On Like a River is the English translation of the Tamil book titled ‘Nee Nadhi Pola Odikondiru’, originally written by Bharathy Bhaskar, a Chemical Engineer and an MBA, who is a banker by profession. She is also a popular columnist and speaker, and a household name in Tamil homes, thanks to the debates and shows she has spoken in.

The essays are written in a simple, engaging style, and filled with profound insights. These nuggets of wisdom primarily draw from the author’s life experiences and her empathetic observations of the people and situations around her.

This English translation by V. Shyamala captures the lively nature of the original, bringing it to a wider audience with the idea that the readers who do not know Tamil should not miss out on the wonderful collection.

Purchase Links

Amazon IndiaAmazon USA

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

Home sweet home, pours love but just drizzles appreciation!

Saro is my friend since school days. One evening, when I ran into her at Mount Road in Chennai, deciding to prolong our happy reunion, we proceeded to the Spencer Plaza to catch up. There, we met my boss, an American. 

He noticed me and said ‘Hi’. I responded in kind, and introduced my friend.

Immediately, he complimented Saro, saying, “Your dress is lovely.” She was wearing a magenta-coloured silk sari with a black border. The sole reason for this incident was that the sari was really beautiful, and Americans are usually generous with their compliments.

Even though quite some time had passed since we had met my boss, Saro was visibly uncomfortable. She was not her usual bubbly self, either.  Only after my continuous, repeated insistence and queries of “What happened, Saro?” did she reply.

“When your boss complimented me, I could not even say a simple thanks!”

“Yes. I noticed. You could have thanked him”

“The thing is, I have never been praised so I did not know how to respond…”

That night, it was a long time before I could fall asleep. Is there only ‘one’ Saro who has ‘never been praised?’ There are a thousand Saros, Kamalas , Fatimas, and Stellas amongst us, who yearn for  appreciation. 

Apparently, research shows that women’s chromosomal and genetic makeup craves appreciation and acknowledgment, more than men’s genetics do. Must probably be true.

“Darling… How does my new saree look?”

“Is it new… Superb!”

Did the husband even spare a glance at the saree, or did he say so as there was no other quicker way to end the conversation… God only knows!

“There is a difference in the rasam I made today… Did you not notice?”

“Really? For me it tastes the same, as usual.”

Following a new recipe suggested by a friend, boiling tomato and garlic along with lentils, mashing them all together, mixing with the tamarind extract, boiling it evenly before adding freshly crushed cumin and black pepper, and finally tempering with mustard seeds spluttered in ghee… all this effort only to hear ‘it tastes same as usual!’

A new hairstyle from a rare visit to a beauty parlour, a tastefully drawn peacock kolam, a special adai-avial tiffin made after poring over a different recipe from a book, a newly purchased green silk-cotton saree that had attracted at first sight, a reward gotten at the office… would any of this give us complete happiness, if not layered with praise from close family members?

Could the researchers who proved that ‘women’s chromosomes expect praise and appreciation’, not have also proven that ‘men’s chromosomes limit their ability to give out praise and compliments’? 

About the Author


Bharathi Baskar is a Tamil Orator who is popular for her humorous debate talk shows called Pattimandram.com, telecasted on Sun TV. She is also an anchor for the daily talk show called Vaanga Peasalam at 7.15 a.m from Monday to Wednesday on Sun TV. Bharathi Baskar is also a Senior Vice President at Citi Bank, Chennai.

About the Translator


V.Shyamala is a cost accountant, a homemaker, and a writer. She loves to weave stories and is on a continuous quest to seek new and creative ways to teach children. When not writing, reading, or thinking up stories, Shyamala mentors CIMA students, strives to workout, loves tweaking South Indian heritage recipes, and translates Tamil words to English. She is also a member of AWIC (Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children) and volunteers at a local library twice a week.

Catch with Up V.Shyamala on Social Media

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Guest Post by Jim and Dave Schuelke

I frequently feature guest posts by various authors. Here is an article discussing plumbing repairs, which I think we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy the article!

10 Tips to Help Avoid Emergency Plumbing Repairs

Your plumbing system needs regular upkeep to keep it working smoothly. Plumbing emergencies can cause serious inconvenience and often require expensive repairs. With a bit of foresight and preventive maintenance, it is possible to avoid emergency plumbing repairs. Read on for practical tips on how to prevent emergency plumbing repairs.

1. Watch What You Pour Down the Drain

Your drainage system isn’t designed to handle everything that fits. Don’t treat your drains as trashcans.

Foods such as potato peel, eggshells, pasta, and coffee grounds can clog the drains. Oils, fats, or grease solidify and form a sticky mass as they flow down the drainpipe.

Even a small chunk of sticky mass can attract other material and clog the drainpipe.

Allow fats, oils, etc., to solidify instead of flushing them down the drain. Dispose of food chunks and anything greasy in the trash can.

2. Avoid Harsh Drain Cleaners

When you notice that your bathtub or kitchen sink is draining slowly, you may feel tempted to visit a local hardware store and grab a chemical drain cleaner.

On the surface, it seems like a quick, easy, cheap, and convenient solution. Harsh chemical drain cleaners will sure work in the short term, but such chemicals can also corrode your drainpipes over a period of time.

Corroded pipes are likely to develop leaks when the water pressure goes up or burst on their own.

So don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners too often, or you might have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the near future. Chemical drain cleaners also have a serious negative impact on the environment.

3. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is Located

Despite preventive maintenance, it is possible that your plumbing springs a leak due to a hidden issue. On such occasions, you need to turn off the water flow immediately to prevent flooding.

Knowing how to handle the main water shutoff valve can help prevent major water damage and reduce the scale of a plumbing emergency till plumbing specialists arrive at your doorstep.

4. Fix Minor Plumbing Issues Immediately

Don’t ignore minor leaks and drips. You may think that a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet won’t cause significant water damage – but you cannot be more wrong.  

First, there may be other, hidden leaks in pipes behind ceilings or walls. Second, even small leaks can wreak havoc on your home’s foundations, ceiling, and floors. Mold growth in the attic, basement, or on the walls and ceilings is one of the earliest signs of a plumbing leak.  

So, don’t let seemingly minor plumbing issues go unattended. Call in a professional and get a leak investigated and fixed as soon as possible.

5. Use Drain Screens

Get drain screens for all your drains. Drain screens in your kitchen and bathroom can help avoid plumbing emergencies.

Human hair deposits in the pipes can get entangled in solids flowing through the drainpipes. Such deposits can quickly slow the water-flow and even lead to complete blockage.

Similarly, without a drain screen in your kitchen sink, many solids such as food scraps end up in your drainpipes.

6. Monitor Water Pressure

Reduced flow from faucets or showerheads can be due to sediment build-up. So, the low water pressure should be considered a red flag.

High water pressure, on the other hand, can stress your plumbing system.

7. Inspect Your Septic Tank

Be sure to inspect your septic tank regularly; watch out for water leaks, overflows, corrosion, etc., especially after heavy rains.

8.  Avoid Using Flushable Wipes

Do you use ‘flushable’ wipes? Most of the flushable wipes available in the market will not biodegrade quickly. So, they can clog your drainpipes.

If you want to continue using wipes, avoid flushing them down. Just because something can be flushed down the toilet doesn’t mean it should be disposed of this way.

Flushing wipes, cotton balls, paper towels, sanitary napkins, and other trash can lead to a plumbing emergency.

9. Keep an Eye on Your Water Heater Tank

Water heater tanks have an inner lining that helps prevent rusting or corrosion.

Over a period of time, your water heater tank is likely to develop a sediment build-up.

When this happens, there’s a possibility of overheating. Beyond a point, excessive heat can rupture the protective lining, thus resulting in a major leak.

So, make sure to drain your water heater tank at least once every year to get rid of sediment build-up.

It is equally important to regularly inspect your water heater for any signs of a water leak.

10. Use Stainless Steel Hoses

Do you use rubber hoses? They lose flexibility over time and develop leaks. Consider using stainless steel hoses instead. They are more durable and less likely to develop leaks. 

Email: web@twinhomeexperts.com

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