Monday, October 25, 2021

How to Avoid Rental Assistance Scams

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels


If you are facing eviction for any reason, there are organizations out there that can assist you. However, there are also fake “organizations” and “charities” that can hurt you and ruin you financially.

COVID-19 has created an opening for scammers to target people who are just trying to get help with paying their rent or taking care of other financial needs. Scammers may call, email, or text you, indicating they can get you money for rent, or provide you with legal help to avoid eviction.

Whether a stranger contacts you unexpectedly, or you go looking for rental assistance, here are ways to protect yourself:

·        Never give your Social Security, bank account, credit card, or debit card number to anyone who contacts you. Moreover, even if you are the one reaching out, do your research on the organization first, before you share your information.

·        If you look online for help with your rent, search for the name of the groups you find, plus the words “scam,” “fraud,” or “complaint,” to see what others are saying. Do that before you contact them.

·        Find out about local programs that offer rental assistance and other help.


·        The eviction moratorium put in place by the CDC for renters in counties where COVID cases are rapidly spreading ended on August 26, 2021. The federal eviction moratorium ended on July 31, 2021. If you are facing eviction, you still have rights. The first step in most evictions is a written notice. Check with your local court system for more details about the eviction process and your rights. You also may qualify for free legal services and be able to speak to a lawyer to learn about your rights.


If you spot a rental assistance fraud, please contact the FTC by clicking here

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Bringing to Light - Name before the Masses Virtual Book Tour for Golden Shana: The Chase, an Erotic Romantic Suspense by A P Von K'Ory


An evening at the La Scala in Milan twirls the lives of five people into a web of rivalry, intrigues, heartaches, obsession, murder, loss, and revenge.


“… for those who love selective eroticism with substance. An exciting and sophisticated erotic thriller for the astute romance reader, woman or man.”


Love, a word Roman can hardly spell, hits him when he sees Shana one evening. She’s the first woman not dropping to her knees at his mere presence. Used to getting whatever he wants, he chases her. Only to discovers that she prefers the girls. Roman can’t let that deter him. But is he for once up against his own comeuppance? At any rate, he needs assistance, which comes in the form of Alyssa, Shana’s BFF. Trouble crops up when Alyssa is all too ready and willing to drop on her knees for him.


Roman can't get anywhere near Shana on his own. Would he start anything with Alyssa as long as this finally leads him to meet Shana in person?


Then there’s Marie, his current companion, who has a life-changing surprise for him.


Roman: I never chased after a woman. Then I caught a glimpse of the woman I would kneel for, but didn’t even know her name. Heck, I determined to find her if it took me the rest of my life.


Shana: He stood in the room with her. The frisson in the currents freaking between them knocked her senseless. The mutual force of predator and prey, blasting into her core ... her soul ... Danger. Keep far away from him

Was it love I felt for Svadishana? A woman I’d spoken three whiny words – Please call me! – to? Was it more than simple lust and desire? Did I want to possess more than just her body? Pondering these questions alone was so unlike me. That woman had turned me into an alien even unto my own self. What I felt, my inner voice said, was more than the thrill of the hunt. More than lust, desire, need, passion, the excitement of possession, and subjugation. Of course all that was part of it. But the basis or the source, the seedbed on which all that sprouted and was growing to full blossom in me, could well be something else.

When I thought of her, saw her image from Milan in my mind, watched how she moved in long smooth strides in YouTube, my brow beaded with sweat. I couldn’t pull my gaze away from the few photos I’d fished out of the Internet. Group photos at a family birthday or the authorized biography of her father. Her movements in a YouTube conference clip were springy and powerful even in their smoothness. She exuded strength all over the place, laughing, talking, gesticulating.


A breath-taking beauty. Such beauty that I dared not believe it at times.


And brains to go with it.


In love or not, I knew what I wanted and Svadishana was the answer. I wanted her and would do anything short of suicide to get her. Who knows – perhaps when it came to that as the only means available, I’d really murder too. I didn’t in the least care about the consequences, as long as they got me to where I wanted to get to.


Svadishana’s arms and knickers and… heart?


What obsession, Roman. Get back to real.


No chance. Real was Svadishana.


6 Questions to Define Your Characters: 
My Take by A P Von K’Ory

As writers we’re familiar with the five basic elements in every story: character, setting, plot, conflict and resolution. Writer Lekic suggests six questions all writers should ask themselves to help them better define their characters. I used them to a great extent in writing Shana and Roman’s story in the Golden Shana Series. Below is my take.

1. Why is the character unhappy with his or her current life? I tend to do the contrary – I make the character as happy as a lark, to start with, then find a way to mess up that joy thoroughly and have them go through all the nasty processes in order to figure out how to achieve that sublime happiness again. This is what I do with Shana and Roman in the Golden Shana Series.


2. What does the character want to happen to change his or her circumstances? When I get Shana and Roman to meet for the first time, I intentionally make their meeting place the world’s most famous and revered opera house, La Scala in Milan. This very symbol of culturedness, success, elitism and wealth becomes the kickoff of their beautiful and carefree life suddenly making them aware that they have feelings, emotions deeper than spectacular opulence and comfort. I want them suddenly confronted with their abject internal poverty. That constituted a more compelling challenge to me (and my protagonists) than the well-trod rugs-to-riches. I wanted a figurative riches-to-rugs story.


3. Why hasn't the character done so already? In Shana and Roman, I create two people who have never really known basic unhappiness in an existential sense. Their wealth and social standing offer them joy, pleasure, privilege and power. Until they meet and are confronted with a new state of being: the lack of those privileges and power in their internal well-being. From the fairytale castle right into the sinister forest they can’t escape for all the trees and lack of experience.


4. What steps must the character take to achieve his or her goal? In my story, Roman’s first reaction is his usual Alpha billionaire I-get-whatever-I-want. When this strategy fails he realizes he needs to change tack. When that, too, fails and he still can’t walk away and forget his goal, he realizes he’s up against a totally different “need” deep within him that demands he recognizes it and changes himself in order to reach his goal. The zillionaire Shana, on the other hand, has her demons when it comes to men. She, too, has to recognize that there are men, other than precious Pappa and her brothers, who are trustworthy and full of honourable intentions. She has to come to terms with the fact that the infamous global womanizer and Europe’s heartthrob, Roman Castell, is capable of genuine love. She has to learn to relinquish control and accept the important bond of fealty and loyalty to a man outside her family.


5. What stands in his or her way? Each writer has to decide on this in accordance with their story and plot. I can’t reveal all of mine here for fear of the infamous plot spoiler alert!


6. What will motivate the character to persevere? And here we come (miraculously!) to the resolution, which takes us full circle back to the where we began: Why the character is unhappy, and what he or she is willing to sacrifice in order to be happy. How they do this brings in the suite of conflicts and constitutes the story.

A P Von K’Ory
A P Von K’Ory writes the kind of books she herself would like to read and is passionate about, whether romance, psychological thriller or nonfiction. She is the winner of six awards from four continents, the last one being the Achievers Award for Writer of the Year 2013 in the
Netherlands. The Selmere Integration Prize was awarded her in 2014 for her engagement in helping African Women in the Diaspora cope with a variety of domestic and social problems. The Proposal, a short story, won the Cook Communications first prize in 2010 and is published in an American anthology Africa 2012. In 2012, she won the Karl Ziegler Prize for her commitment to bring African culture to Western society in various papers, theses, and lectures. Again in 2012, her book Bound to Tradition: The Dream was nominated for the 2012 Caine Prize by the Author-me Group, Sanford, and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Von K'Ory is married to an aristocrat and politician of Franco-German descent, has a large extended family. She lectures Economics and Sociology in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She’s migratory and – weather willing – lives in Germany, France, Cyprus, and Greece.


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Monday, October 11, 2021

A Resource to Tackle Loneliness in Older Adults

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

When you are over sixty, you have gained more wisdom than you had in your thirties, forties, and fifties. Moreover, when you reach this milestone, there is more to learn and share with others of all generations. This is where Sixty and Me comes in, acknowledging that life becomes better as you get older.

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me, a community of 500,000 women over 60.

Sixty and Me was created to help other women her age to live happy, healthy, and financially secure lives. Her desire is to help the women in the community to find profitable work, stay healthy, and develop a positive mindset about this amazing period of their lives.

For additional information, please visit their site at that also includes a YouTube video about “Sixty and Me."

Monday, October 04, 2021

News for Travelers

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News from Travel Noire

Be Prepared To Pay Up To $120 Per Person To Leave The Maldives In 2022 - Looking to travel to the Maldives in 2022? Be prepared to come out of pocket if you want to get back home. The new fee schedule begins January 1, 2022Learn More→


The Top 7 Luxury Hotels In Dubai For A '7-Star' Vacation - If you've got your coins saved, these seven luxury hotels in Dubai will provide you with a true 7-star experience. Learn More→


What This Black Married Couple Learned Attending A Hawaii Relationship Summit - Married for the last five years, Ace (31) and Roza (30) Patterson attend a relationship summit quarterly as part of their efforts to continually work on improving their marriage. Learn More→


Did You Know? Sudan Has More Pyramids Than Egypt - On average, more than 9 million people visit the pyramids in Egypt, but there is a place that boasts more pyramids than Egypt: Sudan. Learn More→


Inside The Tanzanian Cafe Where The Staff Are All Hearing Impaired - It's one of the few cafes in the world that allows customers to use sign language to place their orders and to communicate with the staff. Learn more →


World-Famous Ghanaian Artist Will Be First To Have Artwork Featured In Outer Space -The artwork is part of a project called Suborbital Triptych established through a partnership between Jeff Bezos and the new art program at Uplift Aerospace. Learn More→


5 Things You Likely Didn't Know About Côte d'Ivoire - How much do you know about the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire? The West African nation is much more than just the native land of soccer star Didier Drogba. It is also home to over 60 ethnic groups and has 78 different languages that are spoken. Learn More→


Inside The Upcoming Black Food And Wine Fest Honoring The Harlem Renaissance" - The 20s were Black people's time. We were so regal, and I have always wanted to do something to honor our story in that time. Man, what a time to be alive!" Learn More→


You'll Soon Be Able To Fly Non-Stop From NYC To Senegal Thanks To Air Senegal - Air Senegal will be the only African carrier to offer direct flights between Senegal and the US. US-based carrier, Delta Air Lines, flies between New York JFK and Dakar. Learn More→

Rio de Janeiro's New Year's Eve Celebration Is Coming Back This Year - After being postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro's New Year's Eve celebration — the largest in the world— is back. Learn More→

New Travel App 'Elude' Matches Travelers With Trips That Fit Their Budget - While the app offers personally curated itineraries based on travelers' interests and preferences, the main feature setting Elude apart from other travel booking platforms are its 'budget-first search engine'. Learn More→

News from Traveling Vineyard

Host a Wine Tasting - Get your friends together for a wine taste—the perfect excuse for connecting, making memories, and learning something new. From the complimentary wine to the amazing discounts, the deals are delicious. Top it with fun and a little splash of wine 101, and your glass will be FULL. Schedule a Tasting.

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News from Camperguide


Ray Mayfield of Camperguide shares an informative guide on Travelling Solo, which you can find here