Just Give it Away: Does Free Work? | Nicholas C. Rossis


Authors are often caught in a quandary about how to promote their books. There is much discussion about the value of promoting our books for free to gain readership.

My author friend Nicholas Rossis writes a lot about the writing process and offers up some wonderful marketing advice based on his own findings.

In the article below, you can read Nicholas’ take on the ‘giving our books away for free’ option.

Just Give it Away: Does Free Work? | Nicholas C. Rossis.

The Demise of Derek Shepherd of #Grey’s Anatomy


tv shows


I don’t often get attached to TV shows, but if there’s one show I have been a faithful fan of since its inception eleven seasons ago, it’s Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve never missed a single episode and have often watched many episodes over and over again.

Grey’s is a medical series based on, not only the ailments and trauma of incoming patients, but mostly about the lives and relationships of the doctors in the show. The series depicts some of the real emotions that doctors experience, and sheds a lot of light on compassion and true friendships. As an avid fan of Grey’s, I am one of the millions of viewers who empathizes with these characters. I feel as though they have been my Thursday night friends for over a decade. I’ve watched them grow and suffer many things that life can throw at all of us. There is barely an episode where I haven’t gone through many tissues.

Throughout the series, the show has lost some key characters by being written out of the show. These decisions, of course, are based on the writer’s decisions and sometimes, the characters themselves choose to move on to new projects in their lives. These are very sad times for all dedicated Grey’s fans. Many of us viewers take these losses as almost personal, as though we’ve lost a good friend.

Some of the exits in the show were written out as a character moving to another location, who we could expect to still at least make guest appearances. Others were killed off, leaving a sad taste behind for the fans. In the latest episode, one of the lead, main characters, Dr. Derek Shepherd, was killed off, UNEXPECTEDLY. He is affectionately known as Dr. McDreamy because of his handsome looks and for his boundless compassion.

Grey episode

During that episode, Derek was helping victims of a car crash that happened in front of him while on his way back home to Seattle to be with his family, after an absence out of town on medical business. The whole episode was very emotional and heartwarming with Derek helping the injured victims. But the last ten minutes, after rescuing the injured and sending them off into an ambulance, then getting back into his car, rocked the world of Grey’s fans. This was the part us Grey’s fans all hated. . .an unexpected moment when Derek was at death’s door.

I found the incident leading to Derek’s death, a little unbelievable. Besides the enormous sadness that came over me, I found the decision to write Derek off by having him do a stupid thing, a little cheesy for all he stood for, and to be his exit. Derek wanted to call his wife, Dr. Meredith Grey, and tell her what had transpired. He first got in the car which was parked on the desolate highway the accident took place on, made a semi-Uturn, leaving his car perched between his lane and the oncoming lane, and he stayed there for a moment — only a moment, while he reached down between the seats to search for his phone that had fallen during his sudden stop to avoid the accident.

Do I really need to tell you what happened next? Well, of course, an oncoming truck appeared in that moment, and in a split second, Derek was as good as dead. That’s what he got for helping strangers, then for doing something so stupid that unfortunately, too many people are doing these days — paying too much attention to their cell phones while driving. An expensive lesson, and Lord knows, a doctor should have known better.

Sure, there was a message there, but regardless, I think it was a cheap way to knock of one of the main characters of MY SHOW. Derek deserved better than that. And, I’m so very sad that another member of my Grey’s family has passed. I have only the sadness to watch future episodes now, watching Meredith and all others grieve for the loss of Derek Shepherd.

Greys powerful

It seems the creator of the show, Shonda Rhimes, is taking a lot of public heat for killing off Derek. At this point in time I feel angry at her too. But as a writer, I can understand that there can be underlying circumstances for their decisions, and in that capacity, I have to accept those decisions. But it doesn’t mean I have to like them.

Some may say, “It’s only a show,” but isn’t the whole point of creating a show and keeping its longevity because we learn to identify with the characters and consider them friends?

R.I.P. Derek Shepherd


Are any of you Grey’s fans?


D.G. Kaye©April 2015

The Versatile #Blogger Award – Thanks and nominees – | Carol Balawyder

The Versatile #Blogger Award

versatile blogger new


Thank you for carrying this award forward Carol.

Please read Carol Balawyder’s blog and find out seven interesting facts about her and who her nominees are:



The Versatile #Blogger Award – Thanks and nominees – | Carol Balawyder.

Waiting — Stolen Hours


I have been around death more times than I’d like to remember. My Aunty Lee was given her death sentence in early January of this year—two to three weeks to live – suddenly, out of the blue, after a random visit to the doctor, complaining about occasional stomach aches.

It’s now mid-April, and up until the last week, that iron woman was still laughing and talking with us, albeit with fading energy, and yet never with a mention of her impending fate. Her favourite things she had left to look forward to were visits from her loved ones, and eating, yes eating. She craved delicious meals, her only want in her palliative state.

My sister and I visit her regularly, as well as her two pillars that are always by her side; her daughter and granddaughter. With each visit we all like to bring her something tasty, something for her to look forward to. In these past few days, she’s lost her passion for food and the desire to speak.

I’ve witnessed all the stages, too many times, from living, to the preparation for the journey into the next world. The appetite diminishes, words become less frequent, but most of all, the light begins to subside from their eyes. These are some of the signs that tell me the journey to the other side is in commencement.


Many people, including myself, get antsy—that uncomfortable feeling within of helplessness, when we no longer feel that there is anything satisfactory enough we can do to make our ill loved ones comfortable. We have only to go by what we know of them; their habits, facial expressions, the type of smile they may give us, or the moments of their spawned tears, to decipher what they are feeling. We remind them how much we love them, and we are gifted in those precious moments when they utter a word to us; especially when they say your name and tell you once again, that they love you, in the midst of their long silences.


I can sense my aunt’s humility of her situation, although she never once complained. Her conversations with us now begin to fade mid-sentence, with limited strength to speak, leaving us pondering what it is she wants to say. It is so very sad to watch, and often when I’m there, I feel like fleeing while my heart aches for her demise. I don’t want to be part of it. It hurts to watch my aunt become a former shell of herself. But each time I feel that urge, I think about how much more my aunt doesn’t want to be enduring it herself. And so I stay.


I sit and watch her and replay all the good times with her. I speak with her in hopes that she may engage me back with conversation, or that I can at least offer her conversation. Yet, at the same time, I struggle with my curiosity, wondering if I’m infringing on her quiet moments as I natter on about insignificant things.

Sometimes my aunt will take herself out of her silent trance and mention the name of a dead loved one; a sister or brother, or her lost child. She then asks when one of them are coming to visit her. I believe this is the stage where the journey begins to the other world. It feels to me as though my aunt has one foot here on earth and the other in heaven. Perhaps her loved ones are calling for her as they await her arrival.

These are some of the things I’ve witnessed quite a few times, and though I have no confirmation that it is so, I truly believe. I am honoured that my cousin had asked me to write a eulogy. It was a painful thing to do, and something I had never undertaken. But I am grateful that I get to share all of my aunt’s wonderful qualities, and strengths from the hurdles she overcame in her life – the important things for her to be remembered by.



I don’t know all that is rolling around my aunt’s head as she lay in silence most of the day now, even with eyes wide open. In my sixth sense sort of way, and with my empathy, I feel her gratitude for us loving her, her sadness to leave her family, her fear of the unknown, and her desire now to be let go.


I’ve written a poem here depicting what I sometimes feel she is thinking.


Tick tock goes my soul,

Halfway there, no longer whole.

I see a world full of love here, yet I’m lost in the past,

The time to leave – the now, is approaching fast.

My vibrant eyes once expressed delight,

Are tired now, no longer shine my inner light.

Embodied in a physical shell,

A mere existence from a life I once felt.

My heart so filled with love does keep me here,

I have nothing left to offer, but the occasional tear.

I feel the tug of heaven’s call,

I must go soon, I love you all.


D.G. Kaye ©April 2015

Fear Series—When Fearlessness Turns To Anxiety



As we grow up and begin to mature, it becomes our life experiences that continue to build our character. The things we learn through our encounters, leave a lasting impression on us and contribute to our likes and dislikes, and suit us up for how we deal with life on a daily basis.

Often, if we haven’t endured devastating circumstances, we many not notice the simple progression of ourselves. We tend to be influenced by our surroundings, people in them and pent up stressors.

All these factors and so many more are part of the foundation for our living patterns, and are responsible for many of the fears we develop, whether we are conscious of them or not. We may not recognize that being chased by a dog at a young age can instill a fear of dogs afterwards, or how some wronged violation on our person can leave invisible scars, yet the emotional fears from that violation will always be present whether hidden or exposed until they can be dealt with. Everything in life leaves its invisible paper trail through our psyches and becomes a part of the way we think and feel.

It was merely only a few decades ago that I would have considered myself fearless. I was game for anything, sometimes perhaps too frivolous. I traveled on my own to foreign countries at a young age, but most of all, I’d drive anywhere, any time, alone, no matter how far.

I once worked in sales, on the road for a photo studio. This job entailed me driving to any particular, sometimes desolate place throughout the province of Ontario on a daily basis. Neither distance nor inclement weather stopped me. I often liked to drive over the Buffalo border to the United States, just to do some mindless shopping, at a moment’s notice. I didn’t need company or a navigation system, I just got in the car and went.

My independence was certainly acquired from becoming an adult at a very young age from the responsibilities I took on as a child. In many respects, it helped build my strength and determination. My unfounded fears from an uncertain childhood seemed to dissipate though, as I matured in a clichéd sort of way of “what didn’t kill me, made me stronger.”

As I look back at my brazen younger years, I can’t seem to figure out what the heck has happened to me in the last decade. Where has my fearlessness gone? Many times now in life when I think about how I used to react with great enthusiasm and spontaneity, I find that anxiety has replaced it. I’ve always analyzed my life since I was a child, and usually found a way to conquer my fears. But I’m finding as I get older, it seems that was easier to do when I was younger. Why is that? Do we know too much? Do we over-analyze and become more cautious? Have we seen too much bad? These are the questions I now ask myself when I try to understand why I am no longer fearless of some things.

I don’t like to just accept things. I like to know why and how they came to be. I want to know when I lost my carefree attitude and became a fearful driver. When did my fearlessness abandon me?

I often feel closed in now, claustrophobic on overly trafficked streets of the city. There are so many bad drivers it seems. I feel as though I can’t trust ‘the other guy’ who decides he wants to change lanes without looking, and that I will potentially be side-swiped. Green lights no longer mean ‘Go’ automatically, and red lights don’t necessarily make people stop, but speed up through them, well after they have turned red. My eyes don’t fancy the oncoming headlights at night, and I dare not ever leave my car without locking it. These are just some of the fears that now overshadow my once fearless attitude to just hopping in the car to destination anywhere.

Before I wrote this, I thought that I couldn’t figure out where my driving fear came from. But I think I’ve just answered my own question.

Have you any fears that have either subsided or increased as the years pass?


D.G. Kaye©April 2015

From manuscript to self-published book – what does it take? | Heather Wardell



As authors, we all have our own approach to how we write and the usual steps we take after writing first draft to self publishing, but I find it’s always interesting to learn about different author’s perspectives on the journey. Heather Wardell offers some great tips on her blog post on self publishing in the link below.


From manuscript to self-published book – what does it take? | Heather Wardell.

Fear Series—Broken Childhoods

Childhood fears


When I was a child growing up in an unsettled family life, my most dreaded fears would come upon me at night while I tried to sleep. I’d worry and wonder about if when I awoke in the morning, my father would still be there.

Many times I awoke to find my fears had come true. My dad had once again been evicted by my mother’s angry tantrums.

I didn’t understand why all of my friends had two loving parents and did so many fun things together as a family. I wasn’t used to that. My father was often living on his own. My consolation was that my father would pick me and my younger siblings up on Sunday mornings from his parent’s house where we spent most of our weekends until I was almost fourteen years old.

He’d take us to his favorite greasy spoon restaurant for bacon and eggs. We’d listen to the radio blaring in the car as my dad cranked it louder and pretended to sing along with his own version of the lyrics while we’d laugh. But all the while, inside my head, I was always focused on what came after breakfast.

My heart ached every time I kissed my dad good-bye. After he’d take us home I’d always be thinking that I wouldn’t get to see him again until the following weekend. From those thoughts would invite other thoughts to circle my head, such as trying to figure out ways to make my parents get back together, or more about ways to get my mother to allow my father to come back home.

I didn’t understand that it wasn’t my job to fix things because many times throughout the years, after my father dropped us off and my siblings jumped out of the car in a hurry to run out and play with their friends, I’d sit a bit longer with my dad, and then he’d usually ask me if I could help him to get Mommy to take him back.

My heart felt heavy as I took in his sadness, and I wanted to help make him feel better, even though I knew my meddling would undoubtedly get me another slap in the face.

But I summoned my courage and would try once again to approach my mother with curiosity and still, with hopefulness, to no avail.

I remember the mantra I used to chant in my head to overcome my anxieties every time I’d think of scary or uncomfortable situations, “Nothing bad will ever happen to me or my family.”

Things couldn’t have been further from those words of my chant. Many unhappy things happened to my family. But as long as I’d direct my mind to my positive mantra, I felt that in some superstitious sort of way, I could keep them at bay.


D.G. Kaye ©April 2015

The Versatile #Blogger Awards – Thanks and nominees. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

One Lovely Blogger Award
One Lovely Blogger Award

Thank you kindly to Sally Cronin, one of the blogosphere’s most avid versatile bloggers I know, for nominating my blog for this award.


The Versatile Blogger Awards – Thanks and nominees. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life.

Sally writes on her blog at SmorgasbordInvitation, an appropriate name for her diverse blogging skills. She writes about numerous topics from wellbeing articles to showcasing writers, musicians and the likes. Sally also shares the works of many writers on her pages, and has several books published, many of them offering up a wealth of information on various health topics. Read more about Sally on her About Page, linked below, and be sure to visit some of her wonderful blog posts.


There are a few rules that are attached to the acceptance of this award and they are as follows:-

– Show the award on your blog

– Thank the person who nominated you

– Share seven facts about yourself

– Nominate up to fifteen blogs

– Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know


Seven facts about me:


1. I am known to many as ‘the one in a million girl’ because if there is a small percentage that something could happen, it happens to me. I am left wondering then, why I can’t win a lottery?

2. People gravitate to me as a confidante. I always seem to have answers and solutions for others, yet find myself battling my own two minds (I’m a Gemini) with my own decisions.

3. I am a justice seeker. I am relentless when it comes to righting a wrong.

4. I write a lot about self esteem issues in hopes to empower others through my own experiences. Although I’ve conquered many hurdles, I find that it is always an ongoing process.

5. I love to laugh and sometimes without intention, have an uncanny ability to make others laugh. It’s healthy medicine.

6. I love reading books about spirituality, laws of attraction, angels, and wish there were more hours in a day to read the many books that await my eyes on my bookshelf. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be perfectly content to read my days away.

7. I love to share great info with others. Whether it be a department store sale, a great recipe or great tips on writing right here on my blog, expect me to talk about it.

I could think of well over fifteen or fifty blogs that I know well-deserve this award, and for those reasons I know that many of these people have been nominated before, and as I always do when nominated and nominating others, I invite all of my wonderful blogging friends to help yourself to cutting and pasting this award on your own pages.

Today I nominate a few women who write about inspiration, empowering women, and who share a lot of themselves through their writing:


When Women Inspire  Christy Birmingham 

  Are you looking for inspiration? Hope? Do you want to learn about how women are changing the world every single day? Then you’ve come to the right place. When Women Inspire is dedicated to showcasing the efforts of women around the world to change the world in positive ways. These are women making social, economic, literary, political or educational waves – in a great way. Read more here


Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary Sue Dreamwalker

I am but an ordinary woman, who see’s beyond this Vale. And wants to share her Light and knowledge with others…

 I walk my path trying to help others along the way, I hold a Dream of life which will end decay.

My Path is long and the road maybe rough. But each of us has to try give back and say enough’s enough.

So I share my vision through poems and thought. Of hopes and dreams in this life we get caught.

And if you should stumble upon my page. Leave me your comment for you too are a Sage.. Read more here

 Carol BalawyderCarol Balawyder

Hi. Welcome to my website and blog. I write about things that matter to me: justice, mid-life dating, grief, blogs that inspire me both as a writer and a person, awesome writing workshops. I also have series: How I Got Published, Femme Fatale, Nobel Prize Laureates, Writers’ Desks, Ten Great First Dates. Read more here


JaneCarrollAuthorJane Carroll

Alabama author Jane Carroll gives a face, a wardrobe, and a flare to inspirational humor. Her writing weaves a rich tapestry of humor, inspiration, insight, southern roots, and friendship; perfect for readers in the empty nest period of life. An advocate for life beyond 40, Jane’s words encourage, empower and motivate others who have seen trials and hardships. Readers pour over her words on her blog and in her book. They email and message her how a paragraph or sentence helped them through a difficult time, how her humor sparked a ray of hope and the will to go on, and how they found inspiration and healing. Read more here


A Holistic Journey Diana (Wayfarer)

I am a Woman out of the Lost & Found.


Gosh, it’s been fast. The little girl feeling from first grade is a clear memory. How many annual calendar pages do you tear off in 40 years? 480. Beyond the 1/10 of these sheets that marked my prologue in Korea, my life divides into thirds. The first chapter written in NYC, the second in PA that suburbanized the college girl, the third in CA that ruralized the wife and mom. (At least in contrast to the zip and dash of life in the Big Apple. Cows across the street now.) Read more here


And finally, as Sally suggests, if you do not have the time to repost and share your award with others, simply accept this box of chocolates she has offered up on her own blog. 🙂 chocolates   The Versatile Blogger Awards – Thanks and nominees. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life.

D.G. Kaye ©April 2015