5 #Memoir Lessons Learned from a Special Birthday Cake | Plain and Fancy


Today I’m reblogging a fabulous post from Marian over at PlainandFancygirl.com . In her post, Marian shares some excellent pointers about writing in memoir. What’s different? The spin she puts on it. In this post, Marian uses a metaphoric likeness with memoir writing to baking a cake.


Have a look at this delightful writing recipe:


“Memoir Lesson 1 – Don’t fool yourself into imagining writing will be easy. Writing is certainly rewarding, but learning a new skill can be hard. I had done plenty of writing as an academic, but switching to a new genre like memoir required a totally different mindset.

Even if you end up changing your plan, you have something (like starter dough!) to begin with.


Step 2: Assemble what you need. Anticipate the ingredients and tools necessary. Pull out the mixer, bowls, wooden spatula, measuring cups and spoons. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature if necessary.

Memoir Lesson 2 – A memoir is a slice of your life, not a biography. Ask yourself some serious questions: What part of your life will you depict – your childhood, a traumatic experience, a thrilling adventure like sailing around the world? Can you sketch out this “slice of life” in a series of memorable moments? Scribble random thoughts on colored sticky notes? Draw it as a timeline? Write an outline?


What is your theme? If it’s success after a failed first marriage, that controlling idea will be the filter through which you tell your story. Flashbacks can add dimension to writing, but only if these stories connect to your theme. . .” CONTINUE READING 


Source: 5 Memoir Lessons Learned from a Special Birthday Cake | Plain and Fancy 



So you’ve written a book. Now what? | shehanne moore

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I’ve been nominated again for the #Girllovechallenge.


My always entertaining friend and author Shehanne Moore (Shey) has been cracking the whip on her entourage of Hamster Dudes lately, and they seem to think they can write a book. (Lol.) I’m reblogging her latest post here,  So You’ve Written a Book, Now What?


 Shey was (unsurprisingly)  nominated for the #Girllovechallenge and adds this later in her post. She is passing the baton to women of strength and encouragement, and I was thrilled, once again, to be one of her nominees.


As I’ve recently been nominated and did a post on this challenge, and gladly shared the award with all of you here, I’m merely acknowledging Shehanne and her beautiful gesture of nominating me, as well as giving you all a chance to visit Shehanne’s, always interesting blog.


Please have a read of Shey’s post. Besides the great info shared, it’s given by her hamster mascots who tend to be getting a bit full of themselves lately. I’m not posting part of it here because you really need to see the way Shehanne uses her hamster cartoonish photos to portray her stories.  READ HERE 

Source: So you’ve written a book. Now what? | shehanne moore 


D.G. Kaye©2016

Book #Review – Sin and Syntax


I recently finished reading a wonderful grammar book, Sin and Syntax – How to Craft Wicked Good Prose, written by Constance Hale.


This book is a handy guide for anyone wanting to brush up on their personal writing skills, whether for writing emails, resumes, or any other writing activity. Of course it’s an excellent writer’s guide but not limited to only writers. I’m more inclined to call it a manual with a twist. Many other reviewers are comparing it to Strunk and White’s book with a modern approach and some added humour.


Sin and Syntax


This book covers a vast array of writing mistakes and corrections. The sins cover everything from how to break the rules and when it’s okay to use euphemisms, cliches, run on sentences, fragmented sentences, proper usage advice of nouns, adverbs, adjectives and verbs, dangling modifiers, and much more.


All chapters have demonstrations of writing errors and good syntax snippets of published articles borrowed from the works of some literary greats of our time and from the past. The chapters are broken down into categories:

  • The Bones – The grammar lesson

  • The Flesh – The writing lesson

  • Cardinal Sins – Referred to as true transgressions

  • Carnal Pleasures – The results

The Bottom Line:


Sin and Syntax is for all writers to use as a great refresher course on the proper use of grammar, and a great guide to writing more succinct by carving out unnecessary words.

I bought this book in paperback version, as I prefer to have all my writing books in print for handy reference.




Are You Using #Universal #Links for your Books?

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Authors, are you using universal links for your books? If you’re not using universal links with your books, you’re most likely missing out on having many more potential readers.


What is a universal link?


When selling your books on Amazon.com, and posting the link for that book when promoting, it will take the reader directly to Amazon.com. Now that’s great that you have an interested reader to view your book, but what if they want to purchase it and they don’t live in the U.S.? They’d have to manually go to the Amazon site which corresponds to their own country to purchase that book, and this added step may have already lost their interest. Here are a few good reasons:

  • The reader may not be tech-savvy and may not know the correct URL for their country’s Amazon page.

  • They may not be too familiar with the ‘Googling’ process either, causing them to go no further to bother finding out how to get the book.

  • There are also readers who have short attention spans and may not be willing to go through hoops just to find the book page, or waiting for pages to load.

Enter, the universal book link. There are a few sites widely used by self-published authors where you can create a dedicated URL to each of your books, By linking your book to these newly created, specific to the book URL’s, it enables the reader to land directly on the Amazon page of their own country. Once there, they can have a further look at the book and click to purchase without having to search for the intended page.


Two popular sites (there are a few more less commonly used) for creating a universal book link are booklinker.net and smarturl.it.


I use smarturl.it for my books. Each time I promote my books, I use the links I’ve created, whether it’s for a promotional ad, here on my blog, or on social media. That way I don’t have to worry about whether or not a potential buyer is getting confused where they’ve landed.

Capture smaeturl

All you have to do is enter the default URL of your book for example, my book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDTPPUQ then below, in country destinations, add the other countries Amazon has their site on, eg: .ca, .co.uk. plus your book name, dp, and asin after  each country, eg: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00HDTPPUQ (for Canada) and the book linking site will make one universal link for all of those available pages with one common URL. The new link for that book now begins with ‘smarturl.it’ and you choose the end of the URL. The book listed above is my book, Conflicted Hearts, my new link I use for it is http://www.smarturl.it/bookconflictedhearts   . If you clicked the first Amazon.com link I shared, it will take you to my book on the .com page. If you now click the last link above, you will land on your country’s page.




To obtain all 15 country URL’s Amazon sells on, I’m linking HERE to a most interesting post I recently read from the Kindlepreneur.com. Not only will you find the 15 Amazon countries, but this post explains the importance of creating new links to use for promotion. One very good reason in particular is, by using a different link, your reviews are less likely to be deleted; a common problem authors are finding lately when they choose to review a book of an acquaintance, and Amazon deems the review as biased.


I’m also linking to an older post I came across at ebooksuccess4free   Although it’s an older post, the info is still current, (other than the 3 newest countries added by Amazon since then), and if you read it, you will note why that blogger also prefers  using smarturl.it.


For more information on how to set up your links, you can read instructions on how to set up your permanent links at  booklinker.net or  smarturl.it. 


I hope you find this post helpful.


NOTE: My friend and author, Dan Alatorre brought up an important point that I overlooked including here. I’m including his comment  below. Dan adds another bonus of making your own links is that you can check on your links to see where the clicks came from:


“This is huge, and I don’t do it enough. Another reason to use global links is TRACKING. Say you run two promotions at the same time and sell a lot of books. Which promo worked? Wouldn’t you like to know that one sold 99% of your books and the other sold none? Using a global link can do that because it shows which clicks came from where. Then you can have a second promo where the benefit was received and NOT waste money. That’s huge.”



A Visit to the #Barret-Jackson #Car Show


Barrett Jackson


Many of you may know that I’m still here in mostly  sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. When we first arrived, we ran into some crazy, unseasonable weather which lasted for the better part of 2 weeks, courtesy of El Nino.

Typically, the sun shines here every day and the average temperatures can run anywhere from the mid 60s to mid 70s. This may not seem hot enough for some sun lovers, but I can assure you that with the desert climate, and when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and relaxing at the pool, it can easily begin to feel as though it’s well above the 80s.

My husband and I like to take advantage of the sunny days by going to the pool, plus it gives me a chance to do some reading and writing. But with the El Nino in effect for much of the winter here, some of those beautiful, sunny, hot days aren’t consistent, bringing overcast clouds and sudden drops in temperatures for a day or two. Those are the days we use to go out exploring.

Cars Old






This past week we ventured out to see the biggest car collector show in North America, Barrett-Jackson, where they auction off cars for mega bucks, and people come from all over the world to attend the event. The event runs for 9 days and also hosts numerous vendors selling everything from western apparel to all sorts of automotive memorabilia, jewelry, and artwork.

gas station memorabilia




Neon car signs


Although Scottsdale is home to the Barrett-Jackson show, they’re only here one week a year and the rest of the year the show travels to other venues such as Las Vegas, Connecticut, West Palm Beach, and many more places.

1935 Mercedes
1935 Mercedes


57m Corvette
1957 Corvette Serial 1


The show attracts the likes of anyone from avid car buffs, curious lookers like us, to celebrities, and sports figures alike. It’s held at Westworld which I’ve been told is over 300 acres. It was truly the hugest event I’ve ever been to. The auctions run daily and some cars have been known to be sold with a price tag in the millions! I have to say the whole event is truly spectacular and so well organized. There are various parking lots designated to the event and shuttle buses await to drive you to the event once parked.

While passing an old 1965 Corvette, my husband told me to get in so he could take a picture.


Me in a Corvette


We watched a live auction for car memorabilia for awhile and I was taken in at the speed of how the auctioneer spoke. The actual car auctions weren’t to begin till later that evening.


Old Chevy


After walking through 2 massive pavillions of cars and vendors, we wandered outside to see what seemed like another 10 acres of cars and vendors. We came across a booth that offered you to try and ride a virtual sports car on a racing track. I thought I’d give it a go, but after 2 minutes I thought I was going to be sick from the virtual speed. I must have had a dozen car crashes and hit the side walls just as many times before I begged for mercy to let me out of the seat.




After walking for nearly 6 hours and toting 3 bags full of merchandise we bought, we’d had enough for the day. It was certainly an event we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.


big boy


road diva





Smorgasbord Open House – Meet Non-Fiction Author D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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Smorgasbord Open House

Writer, Blogger, Superwoman, Sally Cronin is hosting a variety of promotions this year on her blog Smorgasbord Invitation. Sally invites other writers, bloggers and artists to her site to promote their books and work in various categories.


The categories are: 5 Star Reviews and New Book Fanfare , Books that are Discounted or Free ,  The New Smorgasbord Sunday Show for 2016 – Sally Cronin Meets . . . , also known as The Sunday Open House and New Books in a Series .


This Sunday January 31, marks the first episode in Sally’s feature The Sunday Show, and I was honoured to be invited by Sally to kick off the season for this series.

Welcome to the new Smorgasbord Open House and who better to kick things off but the effervescent D.G. Kaye non-fiction author, blogger and epitome of commonsense about life in all its glory. That is except for retail therapy which it seems the lovely D.G (Debby Gies) has a penchant for. I offer into evidence a recent visit to a luxury car show where D.G needed little encouragement to find and test drive the most luxurious ride in the place.

12647374_10156479647390008_6445141193960196071_nThis stunning redhead is not just the life and soul of the party. D.G. regards all the various experiences and adventures that life throws at us with positivity and that spills into her interactions with others, her books and her blogging. Her generosity to the rest of us who inhabit her world is legendary and most of us would feel the week was not as bright as it should be if she was not in and out of our various online worlds. . .”  Please Continue Reading


Source: Smorgasbord Open House – Meet Non-Fiction Author D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life