Thursday, 28 May 2009

Giveaway burnout & Debs you're it!

Debs, blogger from Jersey and owner of an enviable writing shed, won the copy of Connie Mason's Caress and Conquer by default. Congrats, Debs! You should receive your copy sometime within the next month or so. I haven't heard from any of the winners so I'm wondering just how long it takes snail mail to get around these days. If any winners of the first four giveaways are reading this, let me know when/if you received your package.

The blog is suffering from giveaway burnout so I'm postponing the last two to sometime in June. Okay, Vaughn? Now you can stop complaining that I haven't posted any news in ages. Hullo! You want my news, there's e-mail, text message, telephone, smoke signal, talking drum...

Sunday, 24 May 2009


...or phished, or whatever it's called. Yup, got a message in my Facebook inbox from a lovely friend, with a somewhat mysterious title: Look at this. When I opened the message there was a succinct instruction to click on the link given. Nothing else. I wondered why my friend was being so mysterious and, curiosity piqued, clicked on the link which took me to a blank page. Thinking the page hadn't loaded properly I went back and clicked again. Same result.

This morning I got a message from her - sent to all her Facebook contacts, I imagine - advising us that she hadn't sent us the link and that if we got it we shouldn't click on it. She also mentioned that Facebook had frozen her account while advising her to change her password.

Then the messages started coming in from some of my other FB friends: Hi, did you send a link to me? I clicked but nothing happened. One friend did not click because she got a phishing warning. Another friend told me her click opened a window that asked for her e-mail address and password - which she entered!

A flurry of messages followed, all from 'friends', all with the same title and invitation to click. I changed my password, posted a warning on my FB page and sent a warning message to everyone on my list. Then I ran my antivirus and spyware scans, hoping for the best. I had no idea what the hackers would do next so I painstakingly made a list of all my FB friends and their contact info. Wouldn't like to go over there and find everything had disappeared into the cybervoid. Minutes ago another friend - who had gotten the message to go click from 'me' earlier today - let me know that FB had frozen her account as well, pending her changing the password. Interesting, no?

Beware, beware, beware. These villains thrive on the trust we put in our friends. If something with, for example, my son's name in the sender field comes into my inbox, my defenses disappear without my even thinking about it, and I'm clicking away and following instructions before I'm even aware of what I'm doing. Hopefully this episode will serve as a warning to me, and to you. The Internet isn't the fuzzy friendly place we imagine it is sometimes. Let us not fall into complacency.

There's another angle to this. I've been hearing rumors about FB beginning to charge users for the privilege of using their services. Being a great fan of conspiracy theories, I've been wondering if they're engineering this rash of break-ins to convince us that we need a more secure, PAID version of their service? What think you?

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Kim, my blog buddy from It's a Maze aaand a Maraca, is celebrating a birthday today. So what does she do? She creates the lovely tissue box above for me! Bee-yootiful! For a 360 degree view, go here.

Isn't she something? Giving gifts away on her birthday! I think this trend should catch on! Thank you, Kim. And look what I got you!

No? Are you sure? Well, then, I'll take him off your hands!

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Book Giveaway #5: Caress and Conquer by Connie Mason

The winner of Book Giveaway #4 is akalol, that Trini humorist, satirist, reader, movie enthusiast, reviewer, photographer, engineer, provoker of security guards, and much more, I suspect, from This Beach Called Life. Congratulations! The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is all yours!

This week's giveaway is Caress and Conquer by Connie Mason. Warning! If serial rape and ravishing of allegedly innocent maidens is not your cup of tea, opt out of this one. From the back cover:

"Lovely, young and poverty-stricken, Amanda Prescott was forced to support herself and her invalid mother any way she could. Cast into prison for stealing, she was horrified to learn that she would be transported to the American Colonies to serve her term as an indentured servant. Her master turned out to be none other than dashing plantation owner Tony Brandt, the very man who had unwittingly caused Amanda's downfall. Yet from their first passionate embrave, Amanda knew her heart would belong to him forever. Despite the difference in their stations, Tony was determined to wed her. But his jealous mistress had other plans..."

Love Spell, Dorchester Publishing, 1999. Mass market paperback.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Book Giveaway #4: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The lovely Lane who blogs over at Lane's Write is the winner of last week's title, Wifey by Judy Blume. Congrats, Lane! Hope you don't have another encounter with crazies when you go to collect your package at the post office. Remember, avoiding eye contact is the key!

And now for #4: The NYT bestselling The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Good condition. 2005 mass market edition. I have to admit, it's hard letting this one go!

The winner will be announced next Thursday when title #5 is posted. Good luck!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Book Giveaway #3: Wifey by Judy Blume

Flowerpot from Cornwall who blogs over at Flowerpot Days is the winner of last week's title, Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee. Congrats, FP!

My bookshelf clearing project continues this week with Wifey by Judy Blume. Hardcover, dust jacket, excellent condition. Putnam Penguin.

"Sandy Pressman is a very nice suburban wife whose boredom is getting the best of her. No matter how much her husband urges her to make friends at the club, she just can't seem to concentrate on improving her golf game or getting her hair done. For some reason these things pale in comparison to the naked man on the motorcycle who keeps appearing outside her bedroom window. The story of how Sandy trades in her conventional wifely duties for her wildest fantasies is hilarious, affecting , and simply unforgettable."