Q & A with D.G. Kaye, featuring author Jacqui Murray and her Hot #NewRelease – Natural Selection – #Prehistoric #Fiction

I’m happy to be welcoming back author Jacqui Murray to my blog to feature her new release in her pre-historic fiction series – Natural Selection (Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series). Jacqui is also a tech teacher and has authored almost 60 books, in fiction and nonfiction. I’m happy to be part of Jacqui’s blog tour and promoting her new book, which was released late last month. Today we’ll get to know a little more about Jacqui and her books.

Jacqui Murray

About Jacqui:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, prehistoric fiction, and Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, and Amazon Vine Voice, and is a freelance tech ed journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land Fall 2024.

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Get this book on Amazon

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Blurb:

In this final book of the trilogy, Lucy and her tribe leave their good home to rescue captured tribemembers who are in grave danger. Since leaving her mate, Lucy created a tribe that includes an eclectic mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium kit, and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a mix of man’s developing intellect and untiring will to live. Each brings unique skills to the task of saving Raza and his Group from sure death. Based on true events from 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

Welcome

What are your writing goals for this year?


I have an overarching theme as it relates to my prehistoric fiction: to bring the critical go- nogo periods of man’s evolution alive for readers. The first trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, told how earliest man stepped away from the apes and survived the feral world of prehistoric earth. The second trilogy, Crossroads, chronicles man’s exodus from Africa as we spread throughout Eurasia regardless of threats, harsh climate, and unknown dangers. The next trilogy—Savage Land–will address a time 75,000 years ago when nature almost defeated us. Since I know little of that time period or the species of man who inhabited it, I’ll spend the next year researching, something I love doing!

D.G. – Amazing researching man’s evolution – almost like being an archeologist.

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How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite of your books and if so, why?


I’ve written dozens of non-fiction books, all related to the use of technology in education. The other non-fiction I wrote is Building a Midshipman, the story of my daughter applying to the United States Naval Academy, one of the premier science and engineering schools in the US. Though a memoir, it is also a how-to book for high school students who may think their dreams exceed their reach, share with them how to make that happen.


After that, I wrote two thrillers, the start of a series centered around Navy life. I have a third drafted, but decided instead to pursue a passion I’ve had for several decades, to explore how our ancestors survived a paleo world in which we were ill-equipped to compete. I’ve written six books in this series, called Man vs. Nature, and have just started on the third trilogy. Right now, that continues to be my lodestar. I don’t know if that’s a gift to know what my next book will be or a condition. Whichever, I know I have to follow it.

D.G. – You are such a dynamo Jacqui!

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What is your favorite social media network as an author, and why do you find it
effective?

I don’t really like any of them. As a tech teacher, with a daughter who works in cybersecurity and a son in satellites, I know too much about the dangers of social media and the internet to be comfortable with any of them. I have a business and professional presence in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, but keep them generic and non-personal. I avoid those like Tik-tok that make no secret of their lack of protection for the private information of users.

D.G. – I’m with you on social media. I wouldn’t miss any of it if they all closed down – except messenger where I can keep in touch with people.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

One Pack Ends, Another Begins

Africa


The Canis’ packmates were all dead, each crumpled in a smeared puddle of blood, Upright killing sticks embedded where they should never be. His body shook, but he remembered his training. The killers’ scent filled the air. If they saw him—heard him—they would come for him, too, and he must survive. He was the last of his pack.

He padded quietly through the bodies, paused at his mate, broken, eyes open, tongue out, pup under her chest, his head crushed. A moan slipped from his muzzle and spread around him. He swallowed what remained in his mouth. Without a pack, silence was his only protection. He knew to be quiet, but today, now, failed.

To his horror, a departing Upright looked back, face covered in Canis blood, meaty shreds dripping from his mouth, the body of a dead pup slung over his shoulder. The Canis sank into the brittle grass and froze. The Upright scanned the massacre, saw the Canis’ lifeless body, thought him dead like the rest of the decimated pack. Satisfied, he turned away and rushed after his departing tribe. The Canis waited until the Upright was out of sight before cautiously rising and backing away from the onslaught, eyes on the vanished predators in case they changed their minds.

And fell.


He had planned to descend into the gully behind him. Sun’s shadows were already covering it in darkness which would hide him for the night, but he had gauged his position wrong. Suddenly, earth disappeared beneath his huge paws. He tried to scrabble to solid ground, but his weight and size worked against him and he tumbled down the steep slope. The loose gravel made gripping impossible, but he dug his claws in anyway, whining once when his shoulder slammed into a rock, and again when his head bounced off a tree stump. Pain tore through his ear as flesh ripped, dangling in shreds as it slapped the ground. He kept his legs as close as possible to his body and head tucked, thankful this hill ended in a flat field, not a river.

Or a cliff.


When it finally leveled out, he scrambled to his paws, managed to ignore the white-hot spikes shrieking through his head as he spread his legs wide. Blood wafted across his muzzle. He didn’t realize it was his until the tart globs dripped down his face and plopped to the ground beneath his quaking chest. The injured animal odor, raw flesh and fresh blood, drew predators. In a pack, his mate would purge it by licking the wound. She would pronounce him Ragged-ear, the survivor.

Ragged-ear is a strong name. A good one.

He panted, tail sweeping side to side, and his indomitable spirit re-emerged.


I live.


But no one else in his pack did.

Except, maybe, the female called White-streak. She often traveled alone, even when told not to. If she was away during the raid, she may have escaped. He would find her. Together, they would start over.

Ragged-ear shook, dislodging the grit and twigs from his now-grungy fur. That done, he sniffed out White-streak’s odor, discovered she had also descended here. His injuries forced him to limp and blood dripping from his tattered ear obstructed his sight. He stumbled trying to leap over a crack and fell into the fissure. Fire shot through his shoulder, exploded up his neck and down his chest. Normally, that jump was easy. He clambered up its crumbling far wall, breaking several of his
yellowed claws.

All of that he ignored because it didn’t matter to his goal.

Daylight came and went as he followed White-streak, out of a forest onto dry savannah that was nothing like his homeland.

Why did she go here?

He embraced the tenderness that pulsed throughout his usually-limber body. It kept him angry and that made him vicious. He picked his way across streams stepping carefully on smooth stones, their damp surfaces slippery from the recent heavy rain, ignoring whoever hammered with a sharp rock inside his head. His thinking was fuzzy, but he didn’t slow. Survival was more important than comfort, or rest.

Ragged-ear stopped abruptly, nose up, sniffing. What had alerted him? Chest pounding, breathing shallow, he studied the forest that blocked his path, seeking anything that shouldn’t be there.

But the throbbing in his head made him miss Megantereon.

Ragged-ear padded forward, slowly, toward the first tree, leaving only the lightest of trails, the voice of Mother in his head.

Yes, your fur color matches the dry stalks, but the grass sways when you move. That gives away your location so always pay attention.

His hackles stiffened and he snarled, out of instinct, not because he saw Megantereon. Its shadowy hiding place was too dark for Ragged-ear’s still-fuzzy thinking. The She-cat should have waited for Ragged-ear to come closer, but she was hungry, or eager, or some other reason, and sprang. Her distance gave the Canis time to back pedal, protecting his soft underbelly from her attack. Ragged-ear was expert at escaping, but his stomach spasmed and he lurched to a stop with a yowl of pain. Megantereon’s next leap would land her on Ragged-ear, but to the Canis’ surprise, the She-cat staggered to a stop, and then howled.

While she had been stalking Ragged-ear, a giant Snake had been stalking her. When she prepared her death leap, Snake dropped to her back and began to wrap itself around her chest. With massive coils the size of Megantereon’s leg, trying to squirm away did no good.

Ragged-ear tried to run, but his legs buckled. Megantereon didn’t care because she now fought a rival that always won.The She-cat’s wails grew softer and then silent. Ragged-ear tasted her death as he dragged himself into a hole at the base of an old tree, as far as possible from scavengers who would be drawn to the feast.

He awoke with Sun’s light, tried to stand, but his legs again folded. Ragged-ear remained in the hole, eyes closed, curled around himself to protect his vulnerable stomach, his tail tickling his nose, comforting.

He survived the Upright’s assault because they deemed him dead. He would not allow them to be right.

Sun came and went. Ragged-ear consumed anything he could find, even eggs, offal, and long- dead carcasses his pack normally avoided. His legs improved until he could chase rats, fat round ground birds, and moles, a welcome addition to his diet. Sometimes, he vomited what he ate and swallowed it again. The day came he once again set out after what remained of his pack, his pace more sluggish than prior to the attack, but quick enough for safety.

Ragged-ear picked up the female’s scent again and tracked her to another den. He slept there for the night and repeated his hunt the next day and the next. When he couldn’t find her trace, instinct drove him and memories of the dying howls of his pack, from the adults who trusted their Alpha Ragged-ear to protect them to the whelps who didn’t understand the presence of evil in their bright world.

Everywhere he traveled, when he crossed paths with an Upright, it was their final battle.

Trailer for Natural Selection:

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined. Based on true events.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Bears!

Jacqui’s Books

Find Jacqui on her Social Sites:

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/
Blog: https://worddreams.wordpress.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher
Twitter: http://twitter.com/worddreams
Website: https://jacquimurray.net

©DGKaye2022

Spiritual Awareness – Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers by D.G. Kaye at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I’m sharing my Part 4 in my angel series in about spiritual awareness at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. In this edition, I’m discussing sequential numbers that often show up in our lives and how to interpret them.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Spiritual Awareness – Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers by D.G. Kaye

Explore the spiritual side of our natures as D.G. Kaye shares her experiences and research into this element of our lives.

You can find Part Three of the Angel series: Cutting Emotional Cords with Archangels

spiritual awareness

Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers

Welcome back to Part 4 in my Angel Messages series. In today’s post I’m bringing awareness to repetitive numbers we may come across and their meanings.

numbers

Are you noticing patterns of sequence numbers around you? When you look at the clock are you regularly seeing sequence numbers such as 1:11, 11:11, 2:22, etc.? Are you seeing these sequences around you in public places, at home, on license plates, ads, or anywhere else that may be trying to get your attention? These are divine sequence numbers where the angels are sending you messages by trying to get your attention. And all these numbers have numerological and vibrational meanings. These numbers that continue to show up around us are messages, letting us know something divine or magical is in the works, wanting us to pay attention and to take note of these numbers. Different numbers indicate different meanings.

Angels don’t barge into our lives to tell us things, they have their own way of letting us know things through messages using methods like numbers, nature, and divine messaging. Angels are bound by the laws of God and exist in a higher vibrational frequency than humans. They don’t invade our space unless we request their help or presence. It’s up to us to become aware of their messages and learn how to interpret them. But they can send us hints to beware through messaging, and by using number sequences it’s one of the popular methods they use to gain our attention – something like a nudge from an unforeseen force to pay attention. So, the angels communicate with us through our minds, often these repetitive numbers will occur frequent enough to call our attention to them. They can be warnings as well as magical numbers of the divine.

For example:

  • You may have noticed your last glance at the clock when heading to bed may have shown 11:11.
  • You may have woken up for a bathroom break and looked at the clock to find it showing 1:11, 2:22, etc.
  • The next day you might have purchased something with a receipt showing $11.11.

You get my drift?

This sequence may show up for a day or a few until it grabs our attention, making us curious enough to look up the meaning. Often these repetitive signs are also from our spirit guides or lost loved ones signaling an answer to confirm a nagging thought we have niggling at our minds to confirm our feeling. Angel numbers that repeat to us are thought to be sent through angelic vibrations. Also, pay attention to numbers that include your birthdate number… Please continue reading at Sally’s blog.

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Spiritual Awareness – Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Q & A with D.G. Kaye is featuring Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with her Hot #NewRelease – Variety is the Spice of Life – #shortstories and #poetry

November is promotion month here at my blog; and I’m kicking off this week with my dear friend, author/blogger, podcaster, and short story writer extraordinaire, Sally Cronin. Sally is a staunch supporter and promoter of so many writer’s books and blogs. I am also fortunate to be one of Sally’s ongoing guest writers with various columns I write for her on her blog – currently, my spiritual awareness series. My friend Sally tirelessly promotes others and barely a peep from her on the socials about her own new book – Variety is the Spice of Life – A blend of poetry and prose. So I’m happy to share Sally’s book here today along with a little Q & A.

I know most of you here are familiar with Sally and her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, but she hasn’t been featured here for a while, so today I’m thrilled to have her over and share some more interesting tidbits about Sally and her writing. Enjoy!

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Sally Cronin image

About Sally:

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Sally’s blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin

Get this book on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

Blurb:

Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.

The poetry explores human nature, the fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.

The short stories introduces you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.

Welcome

Welcome back to my blog Sal. Thrilled to have you over today and share your good news!

Thank you so much Debby for inviting me over to chat and to share the news about my latest release.

What inspired you to Write this book?

I love writing and over the course of a year I will jot down poetry, sometimes participate in a blog challenge, or an idea will come to me when I am doing tapestry or listening to music. These days I have to write things as they come to me, otherwise they might get lost if I leave it too long. It is the same with short stories, and I throw them down in a rough draft on the computer whilst the muse is with me and then go back and refurbish them down the line.

This is how I ended up with nearly 40 poems and 8 short stories. For the last ten years the tag line for my blog Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, has been Variety is the Spice of Life, so I decided it was time to make that the headline rather than the afterthought.

D.G. – Sal, you and I, once again, with the same working system. My musings go right into a Word doc or forever lost! ❤

What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?

I would find it difficult to fully measure the impact being part of the blogging community has made to my life. The first day I began blogging was during the last few months of my mother’s life. I had been living with her full time for two years and had given up my work as a nutritional therapist and my radio and television commitments as she required round the clock care.

I don’t regret that in any way, but it did suddenly shrink my world with a loss of contact with others in the real sense. I had to focus all my physical and emotional efforts on keeping my mother well and in her own home, which was very important to her.  To be honest, that was important to me too, as I really didn’t think she would be happy in a care home. At that point my husband David, who had been looking after his father for the last year joined us and that made a huge difference, but I still felt isolated and cut off from the world.

I was reading a blog online one day and realized that I had a lot of health articles that I had published individually, and in a couple of books, that might be of interest to others. I also had my first collection of short stories that I could share. I came up with a couple of names for my blog over the next year and dabbled with a few posts before finally settling on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine in early 2012.

During the last months of my mother’s life, blogging offered me the opportunity to get back out in to the world in a virtual sense at least, and it gave me a huge boost. I began to make connections, chat to people about their lives and swapping stories, it opened the universe back up to me. It provided an outlet for what I have always loved doing, which is writing and telling stories. It also went a long way to reducing the personal pressure that had been building up steadily over the previous two or three years.

To be honest, I probably work as hard at blogging as I did any of my full-time jobs, and I don’t mind in the slightest. I began promoting books for other authors eight years ago in a more organized way and this introduced me to the amazingly generous writing community we are part of today.

I get far more back than I give in terms of support, and this was particularly so during the pandemic, when we were house bound and without the physical connections we all need so badly.

I have gained so much from blogging and apart from the companionship, friendship and support it has also increased my confidence in my own writing, encouraged me to return to poetry and to push myself out of the comfort zone we create as we get older. It is so important to be mentally engaged and participating in the world, even when it is a virtual environment.

It is something I plan on doing until the last possible moment. I would love to be doing this at 100 but might need a little medicinal tequila to keep it up lol.

D.G. – I am certainly with you on the gratefulness of our writer friends and blogging community. I know well of what you speak in dire times of loneliness when being a caregiver. If it weren’t for you and this wonderful community, I shudder to think where I’d be now. And lol on the tequila my Margarita, cohort pal. 🙂

How has writing changed your life?

I had written poems and short stories from a very early age, but without any intention of sharing them to a wider audience.

My first book was never intended to be published, as it began as a journal to record my weight loss in my early forties, and a way to explore why I had become morbidly obese. When I lost 150lbs in 18 months it had a profound impact on my life and health. I had studied nutrition over a two year period in an effort to understand my body and its needs. Then, having developed my own successful eating programme, I wanted to share that with others.

When the manuscript was finished I approached a well-known agent here in Ireland where we were living at the time in the late 1990s. I was running a health food shop and dietary advisory centre, and felt confident that the book was now comprehensive enough to help others lose their weight. My agent approached 7 established publishers in the UK and all said the book was great, but I was an unknown author, and they didn’t feel I would attract the media attention for this book. Also they were concerned that I would only have the one book and would therefore not be profitable in the long run.

That pushed me into self-publishing this book and the following novel Just an Odd Job Girl with Trafford publishing in Canada. I did the promotion for the first book without the benefit of the Internet in those days and with press releases and leg work managed to get some national and local coverage.

David had not only formatted my books, but was also doing so for other authors and we formed Moyhill Publishing in 2004 which gave both of us an opportunity to take full advantage of the emerging self-publishing market. I had taken my books back from Trafford in 2002 and we reformatted them for print and as soon as eBooks became available in that format too.   David took care of the technical side and I worked with our authors on their book launches and promotions.

Writing that first book did change my life and sent me in a direction I never imagined I would take. It led to a career on radio and online television. This current book is the 16th and I have a sequel to Size Matters coming out in the New Year 2023 with a couple more in process. After that, who knows but I am looking forward to finding out.

I have no idea where I would be if I had not taken the plunge with my writing, but I have no doubt my life would not be so fulfilled as it is today.

D.G. – No doubts your health articles are very informative. And you are so blessed to have David – not only as a loving husband, but a best friend, and great help for your publishing. 🙂

Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners?

The act of writing does tend to be solitary that’s true, but to be creative does require interaction with the world and other people.

I notice that many of the writers in our community are relatively late starters as far as writing their blogs and books is concerned. This usually means that they have experience of the world, relationships both personal and work related, and have come to know themselves well.

Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it requires a depth of understanding about life, to make it resonate with the reader. Even fantasy authors need to have a good understanding of human nature, even if they are creating fabulous alternative universes.

I don’t believe you can be creative within a vacuum. So being a loner does not necessarily serve a writer well. Solitude on the other matter, when in the process of writing a book, is something to be treasured. But then being able to obtain feedback, support and the confidence it needs to publish that book, requires other people, such as those in our writing community, in blog world and on social media.

I suspect more than one of us is now more inclined to isolate from large crowds, public transport, plane travel and other tight spaces where others gather. I am certainly wearing my mask when I am in a crowded area, although I notice more people smiling with their eyes, nodding to each other and being more courteous than before. That has to be a good thing.

And it is hard to be a loner when part of our writing community. It seems you only have to be missing for a day or two for someone to come knocking on your virtual window and asking what’s going on. As it should be, and I am very grateful for it.

D.G. – I absolutely agree Sally. Writing is a solo invent, but engagement, support, and community are such a big part of our writing world.

I have selected one of the poems to share from the collection

Lullaby

to sing
a lullaby
you must first consider
preferences of the baby
waiting

perhaps
a jolly song
aimed to make them chortle
to wave their hands around with glee
happy

maybe
slow and gentle
soothing a fractious mood
or the soreness of teething gums
tearful

deep toned
to reassure
those fearing the shadows
now allayed by a father’s voice
safety

language
a foreign tongue
but words that mothers sing
to babies all around the world
loving.

Find Sally on Social Sites:

Find Sally on her Social Sites:

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

https://twitter.com/@sgc58

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin


Blog : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com


Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

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Sally’s books:

Sally's book covers

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book #Review and Book Launch #Promotion – Do What You Love by Marjorie Mallon – #NewRelease on Pre-Order now

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’d like to share my early review for Marjorie Mallon’s new release – Do What You Love. This short book is a beautiful book written as reflective gratitude about Marje’s life, including other fictional lyrical prose, poetry, and flash fiction.

Marjorie Mallon author

About Marjorie:

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives sometimes in the UK, and often times in Portugal.. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile to greet her. Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too.

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Get This Book on Amazon

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Blurb:

Do What You Love is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.

With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.

The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me
create clouds of sweetest joy
to do what you love
hold fate’s hand as we venture
near and far on life’s journey

Inspirations For Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction


For me midlife and beyond is a time of change. My daughters are grown up, living happy, fulfilling, and independent lives. So, now it is time for hubby and I to go on an adventure, to travel, to do all the things we love, to make new friends, and to embrace the old ones too. Before we are too old to do so! Life is short! Hence the poem Fragility of Your Flame.

hibiscus flower
fragility of your flame
memories not lost
recalled by rain drops falling
caressing tender petals


© M J Mallon

From Marje:

And we have many plans, we intend to… spend time with family (we travel to and fro from UK to Portugal regularly,) and embrace creativity, whether that happens to be writing, poetry, music, art, dance, drama, or photography…

So, I chat with the fates, in Do What You Love, I share my memories, and a variety of experiences with my photos, and poetry from many years ago until the present day. Even though, it is a personal collection, I hope that it will strike a chord with many, be relatable, bring back memories, hopes and dreams. Perhaps you have felt emotional turmoil as a child leaves home and travelled far away? Perhaps you have been to the Edinburgh International Festival and seen some amazing sights. Maybe the trees whisper their magic to you? And maybe, you have a desire to live abroad, to travel? But you fear you might miss your old friends in the UK?

I hope that this little book will inspire others to embrace life, to do what you love, to take fates hand and go on an adventure, to travel and to explore.

When we travel we open up possibilities, we gain a greater understanding of cultures and other peoples’ lives and this is so beneficial for everyone, but especially for writers. With brexit and covid this freedom to explore without restrictions, to live without fear was taken away from us… So, we try to overcome obstacles, we aim to achieve freedom of movement. It won’t be easy but we’ll get there. Hubby and I are Europeans at heart and want dual nationality!

It isn’t easy to embrace change… especially if you are an introvert! Lol. But… whatever makes you happy, whatever you love to do, wherever you love to be, hold those precious experiences close to your heart.

Keep on writing, creating, living, and go on a marvellous adventure! Make your family and your friends proud.

My 5 Star Review:

MJ Mallon has written a heartfelt book with memories, prose, and poetry, incorporated with stories of life, love, family, and nature. In some of her stories, she is in conversation with the fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the three Moirai representing the cycle of life – birth, life and death, past, present and future. We will read shared conversations about meeting her husband, her homeland of Scotland, stories about children that grow up and leave the nest, and nostalgic stories of growing up with her parents. There are many beautiful images MJ intersperes amid her stories.

Stories from the heart is what I would classify this book – poignant moments that left indelible imprints on the author and will touch the reader, a reminiscing through life and new adventures. This book is a wonderful slice of life celebrated and spoken by the author through beautiful written words.

Favorite Quote: Long lasting marriages must be friends…”

Buy Links Do What You Love:


Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/


Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY


Amazon Canada:  https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography/dp/1999822463

I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.

The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Add the book to your TBR:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63114445-do-what-you-love

Visit Marjorie’s Amazon Book Page to check out all her books: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1


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©DGKaye2022

Writer’s Tips November Edition – WordPress Hacks, Writing Timelines, Creating Audio Books, Editing Tips, and Social Media

Welcome to November edition of my collaborated Writer’s Tips. Each month I share some of the blog posts I come across with helpful writing or blogging tips. This month, I found quite a few goodies most worthy to share to help bloggers. Hugh Roberts shares three helpful posts again for those of us using the block editor – how to center images and how to look for blocks you’ve previously used, and how to find common Gallery blocks in the WordPress editor. From the Story Empire, Joan Hall gives us tips for writing differing timelines in our books, and Beem Weeks explain the procedure for turning books into audio books. Editor, Anneli Purchase shares misused expressions that writers can get caught in. Natalie Ducey has a new tutorial on how to add a Subscribe Button to your WordPress blogs. Last, but not least, Sue Coletta gives an in-depth explanation for the value of authors using Tik Tok platform.

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Hugh Roberts on How to Center Captions and Images in the block editor

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Hugh Roberts shares how to access our most used blocks for easy setup

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How to find secret Gallery Blocks on WordPress

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From the Story Empire, Joan hall has a great article on writing Timelines

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From the Story Empire, Beem Weeks on Audio Books

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Anneli Purchase, Ten Misused Expressions for writers

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Natalie Ducey has a tutorial on How to Add A Subscribe button on WordPress

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Sue Coletta as Anne R. Allen’s guest writer on Tik Tok and why it’s beneficial for authors

©DGKaye2022

My new Podcast is Live Now! #Grief – The Real Talk – Episode 4 – From This Side of Grief – #Depression

My newest podcast is live now. In this episode 4, speaking from this side of grief and how often sadness can be interpreted as depression.

Find my podcasts at Soundcloud and Youtube:

In case you missed episode 3 – Losing our Identities with Grief – In this episode, I am talking about how when we lose a spouse, we lose a lot ourselves and have to work hard to find a new path of living.


©DGKaye2022

Free Verse Poetry – Even Though – #Grief and Loss

Some days the darkness is just too overwhelming, like no time has passed. Like a knife weilding deep into my soul, it doesn’t take much to send me right back there, to the worst day of my life. Grief is a ride I can’t seem to step off of, even the strongest of swimmers may drown. It ebbs and flows daily. Some days the tide is low, but many others, like today, a tsunami takes me over. It is only my writing to or about him that keeps myself from spontaneously combusting from excruciating grief.

Beloved Puppy

Even Though

Even though it’s been seventeen long months

Since you were taken,

Seventeens of thousands of tears I’ve shed

And continue to do so without much provocation.

I merely envision your beautiful face

And the heavens open and disperse through my eyes.

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Even though the burning and dire need to hug you is relentless

With insatiable desire to be held by you,

If I could just pull you into me,

Just one more time,

Maybe it would suffice.

I doubt it though,

Because I know I’d never let you go.

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Even though you’ve been gone for what feels an eternity,

The searing, pulsating pain still jackhammers my heart

With the same depths it did the moment I let go of your hand on your last breath.

It doesn’t ease.

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Even though I want to smile when thinking of you

The embedded visions that remain on autoplay

Keep overpowering our priceless memories.

The vision of leaning over and resting my head on your heart as

I couldn’t believe you existed then you didn’t.

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Even though I function on autopilot to get things done

The moments I take a pause to focus on you,

I fall apart all over again.

Seems I must cheat myself out of thinking about you every moment,

By suppressing with mundane life.

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Even though I’m struggling to choose life,

It somehow doesn’t feel like much of one –

More like just existing.

I don’t speak of this to anyone –

Not that there are too many anyones left,

In my immediate life.

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Even though you said it yourself and warned me,

The rude awakening of finding so few by my side

At the most harrowing time of my life,

It still shocks me, just adding to my numbness.

My circle of friends often kept me

From going to the darkside,

Or off the deep end,

But like sharks, darkness circles within.

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Even though I chose to live,

I’m only half of who I was.

The biggest love of my life is gone,

And with you went my heart taking with it all the love.

The thrills are gone as nothing excites.

Your empty half of the bed remains,

Now as a monument to our love and your existence.

The visions of watching you fade away there – never go away.

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Even though our bed is somehow a lifeline to me,

A sanctuary where we shared almost 26 years together,

Loving, listening, laughing, cuddling,

Waking one another gently from frightening nightmares,

The emptiness envelops my heart and soul, every time I climb in.

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Even though you’re not here now to shake me gently and whisper,

“Cubby, Cubby wake up,” to remove me from my dark dreams,

Often my days are just as dark.

I don’t have you to rescue me anymore.

I never knew where I was in those dreams

Or why I’d scream for help in those episodes.

I guess I never will now,

Unless you can rescue me

From where you are.

When my fears in that darkness

Go from nightmares into real life.

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – Well Behaved Wives by Amy Sue Nathan

My Sunday book review is for Amy Sue Nathan’s – Well Behaved Wives. This book takes place in the early 60s where most women were coming into themselves and waking up for and beginning to stand up for their equal rights. But there are many places where that kind of ambition and talk is just nonsense. Ruth Applebaum is the main character and will have you cheering for her all through the facade she must keep up, hiding her true ambition.

This book is available on Amazon

Blurb:

Perfect wives, imperfect lives, and upending the rules of behavior in 1960s America.

Law school graduate and newlywed Ruth Appelbaum is acclimating to life and marriage in a posh Philadelphia neighborhood. She’ll do almost anything to endear herself to her mother-in-law, who’s already signed up Ruth for etiquette lessons conducted by the impeccably accessorized tutor Lillian Diamond. But Ruth brings something fresh to the small circle of housewives—sharp wit, honesty, and an independent streak that won’t be compromised.

Right away Ruth develops a friendship with the shy Carrie Blum. When Carrie divulges a dark and disturbing secret lurking beneath her seemingly perfect life, Ruth invites Lillian and the Diamond Girls of the etiquette school to finally question the status quo.

Together they form an unbreakable bond and stretch well beyond their comfort zones. For once, they’ll challenge what others expect from them, discover what they expect from themselves, and do whatever it takes to protect one of their own—fine manners be damned.

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My 5 Star Review:

This story is set in mid-upper class suburb of Wynnefield, Philadelphia, early 1960s. This is where Ruth has moved to with her newlywed husband Asher after she graduated law school in New York and eloped with Asher. They are living with Asher’s parents Shirley and Leon, with the secret that Ruth is a liberal woman who is studying for the bar exam, and decide not to tell Asher’s parents because his pushy mother Shirley expects Ruth to be an obedient, good Jewish wife and be subservient to her husband.

Shirley decides to send Ruth to her friend Lillian’s private housewife etiquette school at her home where a small group of girls learn how to become the perfect wives, shop, cook, clean, have babies, praise their husbands, and of course, after a day’s work, make sure they get changed into fancy dresses and put on make-up to greet their husbands when they return from a hard day’s work at the office, complete with a cocktail in hand upon their return – almost Madmen-esque. Except Ruth is a sharp and educated young woman and has seen and dealt with things growing up and living in New York that this group of girls she meets are oblivious to – until they become woke.

Ruth came from a family where women were treated equally and she lost her mother at four years old. She is forward thinking for the times. She didn’t want to upset the apple cart by sharing her becoming a lawyer intentions with anyone, until she befriends a few girls in the etiquette class and reveals her education to one of them. These girls also went to college, but not so much for the education, but to snag a husband. Ruth also volunteered to help abused women while back in New York, and somehow observes that there is indeed abuse going on in high society where she now lives, which isn’t exposed, nor believed around the good family value circles she’s now living among. The other girls in her group are Carrie, still childless with a secret, Irene who was made to give up her nursing career once married, and now has four young kids, and Harriet, newly engaged to be married, and both envious and curious about Ruth’s ambition.

Through the story we learn that Lillian’s seemingly perfect life isn’t as fulfilling as she wishes it could be Lillian could have had a career too, she comes to realize, once she learns how independent Ruth is. We can sympathize with Lillian, despite how she comes off at first as ‘Miss Manners’, as we get to know more about her sad childhood that comes to light in conversations, discovering she was raised by her grandparents because her mother was put in an institution when Lillian was only eleven and her father was dead. Until one day, Lillian discovers an old photo of herself with her parents, which compels her to go visit her institutionalized mother – with said, dementia, to see if the picture stirs anything of recognition – then a whole new kettle of fish is discovered – and a terrible secret exposed about what caused her mother to be institutionalized.

Ruth’s husband is crazy about her but keeps putting off the time to share Ruth’s ambitions with his parents. Ruth befriends one of the girls in particular and shares her secret that she has graduated law school and studying for the bar. She suspects this friend is being physically abused by her husband, but the girl denies it and makes excuses for her husband and tries to shut Ruth out of her life, afraid to cause trouble. But Ruth instinctively wants to help her, because it’s part of who she is and what she does – defend powerless women. Later in the book the women are forced to confront the realism of domestic abuse and many secrets of the past are revealed about Lillian and Shirley’s past, and secret lives.

This story takes on many issues about women back in the early 60s. Society dictates what’s expected of them, but some have a voice and go against the norm. Spousal abuse in an upper class surburbia just couldn’t be possible. Respectable men with important jobs would never abuse their wives, would they? And awakenings stir on the topic of mental health, which back in those days didn’t take much to have a woman committed for hysteria or any other dispicable label they could place on one to have them certifiably locked up because their men declared them so.

This book was a time capsule about the place of women back in the early 60s, a nod to how far we’ve come since then, but then again, how much further we have yet to go. I enjoyed this book so much – the characters, the issues, and the development of these ‘Diamond’ girls who learned to take their power. The writing was beautiful, and I should look forward to reading more from this author. At the end of the book, the author offers many resources for abused women to seek help. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

©DGKaye2022