Book Review #Memoir – Leaning into Love – Elaine Mansfield

book reviews

A beautiful, poignant memoir written by Elaine Mansfield, Leaning into Love. Today I’m sharing my review of Elaine’s heartfelt and eloquently written memoir of her journey through her life, love and grief with the loss of her husband Vic to cancer.

leaning to love

Buy this book: 

“I’ll find a way to be all right,” Elaine promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. Her uplifting story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year.”


on August 16, 2015

Format: Paperback

Riding the waves of love and loss, Mansfield shares her journey through grief beginning with learning to weather her husband Vic’s impending death sentence from a rare cancer, as she navigates the process of fighting to prolong his life, accepting the defeat of death, and learning to live on by herself after Vic’s death.

A compelling and moving memoir from start to finish, as we follow the author’s detailed rollercoaster ride of emotion while she struggles to keep sane and strong during her husband’s illness, and long afterward.

A touching story of true love, separated by illness, and the courage of becoming one again after being part of a loving couple. A must read for everyone; for those who have loved and lost, and for all who will one day eventually bear this crossing.

#BetaReaders | Lit World Interviews

festisite writing tips

How important is it to have beta readers for our books before sending them off to the editor?

I can say from my own experience that I’ve never put out a book without at least another few pair of eyes on it to gain feedback from someone who’s opinion I highly value as a reader, be it a fellow author or an avid book reader. It’s nice to receive some objectivity, which we as writers often tend to lose after reading our own work many times over. This helps to prepare our manuscripts, ready for editing. But Jo Robinson’s article below that she wrote for LitWorldInterviews will explain the value of beta readers in greater detail.


“Not all writers use beta readers, and not all writers offer their services as beta readers, but both of these things can serve as a huge help in our writing. Looking at it from the writer’s side first, it’s important to know what it is that you’d like your beta reader to do for your story, if there is anything in particular that you do want. Don’t be shy to ask if you suspect a weakness in any area.


In general, as well as glaring plot holes and so on, your beta reader will spot things like continuity problems, or hair that started out blonde and suddenly changed to auburn half way through the story. These are big deal issues for your future readers and often things that we miss because of our closeness to the story. . . Continue Reading


Source: Beta Readers | Lit World Interviews

#Tech Woes – Are #Firewalls blocking you from Websites?

tech talk

Today’s technical issues relate to some problems I’ve been informed about by some of my readers. They can’t seem to get to my site.


Naturally, my FBI instincts were alerted. After finding from those who took the time to inform me that they had to shut off their firewalls just to allow them to visit my site (thank you devoted readers), I began to do some research on the problem.


I found the common thread with those who’ve had this problem seemed to be they are all using McAfee antivirus software. Although this didn’t make the task any easier for me to solve, I decided to call my web host, Godaddy, to see if there was a problem with my site. The rep told me everything was running smoothly.


I continued to tell him that the problem seemed to be with users of McAfee software and this was his response:  He told me that it’s possible that when McAfee did recent updates, they have added protection from safe sites that don’t have an SSL certificate. Ya, you may not know what that is either. I wasn’t aware of such certificate. But apparently, this is a certificate many sites add if they’re selling products from their own site to enable buyers to know their credit card info is safe on their site. But I’m not selling anything?


It got me thinking. Is this a money grab? Do I now need to purchase this annual renewal expense for $100? This is not in my budget right now and a techy, author friend mentioned that he was leery of this sounding like an upsell.


I didn’t receive any concrete answers from the rep, only possible theories, as he re-iterated that my site had the ‘green light’. And I wondered why only McAfee antivirus users were having this problem. So I continued to do my own digging around with my best friend, ‘Google’, because I’m concerned that those readers may potentially not bother with the hassle and leave my blog.


I found some interesting articles on Google from other McAfee users who are encountering this same problem. It appears to me that there are a few ways around this issue, by going into your McAfee antivirus program and manually adding the websites they are deeming unsafe.


Below are two relevant links that may help you with this problem. Here’s another one


If any of you have been experiencing this problem, I’d be happy to hear about it below in the comments.

The R’s of Life – Chapter Six – Romance – The biggest Fairy Story of them all | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Festisite Reblog

Today I’m sharing a post I found poignant and important to all of us regarding romance and what it takes to keep the light and the love strong, the fires burning – The biggest Fairy Tale of them all.


I’ve posted another of Sally Cronin’s chapters HERE previously about relationships from this new book she’s writing on her blog called The R’s of Life.


I highly recommend making yourselves a cup of coffee and reading Sally’s post on romance and all that’s involved to create a lasting relationship. If you’re anything like me, you may even require a tissue while reading.

R's of life

In this chapter, a light-hearted look at romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side. 


Have you ever wondered why the classic fairy stories that involve a beautiful farmer’s daughter, scullery maid or even a princess, who are swept off their feet by a handsome and rich stranger on a white horse; end with the words ‘And they lived happily ever after’? . . .Continue Reading 

Source: The R’s of Life – Chapter Six – Romance – The biggest Fairy Story of them all | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

#Coloring Books and Life – One Day at a Time


I have a mantra. It’s been used by many, advised by many, including myself – it’s called ‘One Day at a Time’.


I’ve often preached this saying to others when they’re feeling overwhelmed, as words of wisdom to help lessen their load, but I was usually guilty of not following my own advice – until this past year.


It’s easy for me to pass on words of encouragement, because I’ve always been a builder-upper of others. But when it comes to myself, I know I sometimes have a difficult time taking my own advice. But this year, I learned the meaning behind that phrase.


I’m a bit OCD when it comes to my ‘to do’ list and getting everything accomplished I set out to do in my own self-imposed time restrictions. But when life threw me some frightening curve balls for the better part of the first half of this year, with my husband’s health issues, I had to take heed to my own words or I’d have been swallowed up by the abyss of pressure I put on myself.


Duty called. There was no book writing, I had no time, nor the mental capacity to focus on writing. If I wasn’t running to doctors and hospitals on a daily basis, I was nursemaid to my husband’s needs, and couldn’t concentrate on anything while I worried every minute if he needed meds, food, his legs rubbed, some words of encouragement, or if he was too silent left unattended in another room for more than twenty minutes, or that he may have passed out yet again.


My blogs were written in midnight hours, and blog reading became my escape from the madness, reminding me that I was still part of a community, other than living in the realms of life and death. I learned quickly that I couldn’t make plans for tomorrow, next week, or even think about next year. My life was on hold, and I only had time to do what needed to be done for my husband at any given moment.


My ‘to do’ lists became everything medical – appointments to make, follow up with, chase doctors, and go back and forth from long hospital days and nights. This was when I learned to Let Go. I could no longer worry about my book waiting for me to come back to and all of my self-imposed deadlines to do the things I normally did on a daily basis. I learned to surrender to the moments and let go of letting to dos overwhelm me, and stop dwelling on the things piling up I’d have to catch up on. I learned to accept each day as it came, in gratitude that my husband was alive and that he was my only priority in those moments.


What spurred me to write this post is a coloring book I purchased that caught my eye in a grocery store one day. The pages had beautiful art to color in, but within each picture is an inspirational quote.

Coloring book - breathe quote


Now I’m going to be honest, I failed art in high school. Heck, I could never even stay within the lines in a coloring book, which coincides with my atrocious handwriting. But I was always a writer. I had a lot of creativity in my head – it’s just that my head could never translate to my hand, my creative ideas. This is similar to the way I design my book covers – in my head. Sure I have an artist who makes my covers for this very reason, my lack of art skills. But I come up with what I’d like to see for my covers, and describe them to my artist, who then creates my visions.

Coloring Book quote Live simply


But getting back to the coloring book, when I pull it out, usually late at night, after the computer is shut down, and I’m looking for an hour to relax, I open it to a new page and I’m immediately overwhelmed by the amount of detail there is to fill in. At first glance, I think to myself, Omg, this page will take forever with all those tiny details.

Coloring book quote - I Am


But I developed a strategy. I start in one corner with one color, then decide where in the picture I wish to use the same color. I then move on to a new color and do the same, using color as my guide to the next place to work on. Within 2 hours I realized I’ve completed a page, and I stand back and say, “It’s just like life, one day at a time, one color at a time, and eventually I get there.”


*Coloring book photos from Posh Coloring book by Deborah Muller

©D.G. Kaye July2016

#Free #BookPromotion – Words We Carry – #Self-esteem

BREAKING NEWS book promotion


I’ve been so busy this year I realized how lame I’ve been in the book promoting department while trying to juggle life and get a new book out. So I just wanted to let you all know my book Words We Carry will be FREE starting today Monday through Friday.

Words We Carry Amazon click here


What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.


Here’s a few reviews to wet your appetite:


 A great gift for young girls just moving away or someone … November 30, 2014

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just now finished “Words We Carry” and wanted to come here and write a review while it was still fresh on my mind. But it is actually the kind of book that you will draw from as needed in different circumstances as the occassion may arise.
It is a journey through this author’s life, describing the effect that words have had on her. And it really makes you think twice. It helps you kind of re-evaluate your own life and agree with a lot of the points she brings up and has you feeling not so alone in your own journey.
D.G. Kaye makes you feel as if you are sitting at her kitchen table, just having a friendly conversation about “life” and experiences we have as women. I wish I’d read “Words We Carry” in my twenties! She makes you think that other people think and feel and have had the same experiences as you. She talks about abuse and red flags, jealousy and lonliness. It is empowering and real and was timely for me, since I just quit a job of ten years and am beginning a new one next week! A great gift for young girls just moving away or someone like me who has already lived a half a century, and am starting a new job! Thumbs up on this one!I am becoming an avid fan of D.G. Kaye books!Can’t wait for the next one.

This book will be free starting today July 25 until July 29th. Get your copy HERE 

[bctt tweet=”#Free #bookpromotion on Amazon – Words We Carry #Self-esteem” username=”pokercubster”]

#BookReview #Memoir – Mourning Has Broken – Carol Balawyder

book reviews

Today I’d like to share my book review of author Carol Balawyder’s book, Mourning has Broken.

You may have noticed the date of this review was from two years ago, after I first read it. But as I have always enjoyed and reviewed Carol’s books, it only recently came to my attention that I’d forgot to post the review here.

Carol is a versatile writer. Besides her writing this poignant memoir on love, loss and grief, Carol also has a fiction book series about a group of girlfriends and how each of them deal with relationship issues, love gone wrong, and self esteem as they approach their middle years.  She is also working on a new crime series, as her background will tell you she was once a criminologist and taught Police Technology and Corrections in a college.

You can have a look at Carol’s books Here on Her Amazon Page.

Carol's book

5 Star – A Heartwarming Accounting on Grief

By D.G. Kaye on February 24, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

The author conveys her emotions she battled during the mourning process on the loss of her parents and more deeply on the loss of her sister. I felt as though her beautiful literary prose was her aid in announcing her healing.
Balawyder invites us in to share in her well-travelled life and shares her deep insights into her grieving process. She raises some of the valid questions we ask ourselves when we have lost a loved one or going through the transition of losing a loved one. Questions encompass things such as, could I have done more, did I say all that I had to say and there is much discussion about the sometimes difficult discomfort of saying “I love you.”
Her inner turmoil is expressed deeply and I would recommend this book to anyone who has loved and lost or perhaps may be going through the process of losing someone dear.

You Don’t Have to be Famous to be #Pirated – Blasty Part 2

calm pirates

I’d like to thank the first three people here who must have signed up to Blasty, because they accepted me yesterday instead of the 12 day waiting period. And I’m willing to bet several more of you have also signed up. And if you haven’t, you may want to after reading this. And if you’re wondering what Blasty is, please see yesterday’s post Here.


I received my confirmation today, allowing me to add my other books to the site, as well as my blog. When I first signed up, they allowed me to enter only one of my books. So I entered my first book Conflicted Hearts, and WHAT DID I FIND?


I found 165 suspicious postings on Google about that book, and after going through the list, 135 of them were pirate sites offering free downloads on my book! I BLASTED them right off Google! Now I’m afraid to go back later and find how many more are pirating my other books. Sheesh! One would think I should be a famous author by now, lol.


But here’s the thing, I’ve read many articles by some well established Indie authors about piracy who say we can’t control all the thievery going on, so we can hope that those who are downloading our books for free are giving us FREE exposure. I certainly don’t have the time to send cease and desist letters to hundreds of sites. I can be grateful now that Google has banned them from being allowed to promote on the world wide web and now they will be small potatoes promoting to whoever happens to read.


Blasty is now just one more job for me to keep check on, but at least by Blasting them off Google, they are being punished. The site is easy to navigate. When you sign in, it will show you a list of suspicious Google posts and you will then have the choice to ‘Blast’ them away, or ignore. Note:  Don’t just Blast away without checking the sites because there are legitimate posts from sites you may have advertised with, or a fellow writer or blogger may have featured you and your books on. If you ‘Blast‘ a site in error, you can go back and ‘Unblast’. The rules are simple but must be adhered to because you don’t want to blacklist a legit post in error.


Now, I suggest you take another look at this helpful site and start Blasting away the pirates! Blasty


I’d love to know what you guys who are using it think about it. I know I’m happy to have a free babysitting service with ‘Blasty’.