Sunday Book Review – Death Among Us – Anthology

My Sunday Book Review is for the Anthology – Death Among Us, where several authors have collaborated with contributing to a few short stories each, revolving around the subject of death.

 

 

 

Blurb:

Who knew death could be so eclectic?

Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetisers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, England, Los Angeles, San Francisco, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert, Mexico and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley

Greg Alldredge

Kelly Artieri

Robbie Cheadle

Michael Spinelli

L. Lee Kane

Kay Castaneda

Aly Locatelli

Justin Bauer

Posthumously by ‘G’

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer’ by Stephen Bentley.

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lays behind them. By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerising murder mystery mash-up.

 

My 4 Star Review:

Ten authors with ten varying styles of writing have come together to compile this interesting book of murder mysteries. There was a lovely introduction to each author before their stories were shared, adding a bit about the stories, which added to the anticipation of reading them. I enjoyed many of these stories. An eclectic mix of thriller, sci-fi, Victorian era, and dark thrillers – something for everyone from both seasoned and new authors.

My absolute favorite stories came from Robbie Cheadle who is a wonderful multi-genre author who shared two chilling stories of fictionalized, yet based on true stories – making the stories all the more horrifying – The Chimney Sweep Boys and Justice is Never Served, gripping stories! I was also taken in with author Stephen Bentley’s – The Rose Slayer. As Bentley’s past of being a detective and trial attorney really shone through with the subject matter and the eerie ending. A few other stories which grabbed me, such as Justin Bauer’s – Cancelled, and Michael Spinelli’s Monitaur, which will never have you looking at baby monitors in the same way.

All in all a lovely collection of stories sure to keep many genre readers satisfied.

 

New Reviews Are In for D.G. Kaye Books #Memoir #Nonfiction

Every once in a long while I love to share some new reviews my books have received. So please consider this author Friday feature, my own shameless promotion. LOL. It’s the positive reviews we receive for our work that reinforce our sometimes doubting selves that our words do help to make a difference.

 

 

Conflicted Hearts, D.G. Kaye

 

Conflicted Hearts 

I read Debbie’s book, Conflicted Hearts, several years ago and I was awed by the authencity, and the heart rendering story. It is very difficult to be a child with an narrcisstic parent, especially a mother who also appeared to have other problems emotionally as well. I really related to her story in her book, Conflicted Hearts, as my father was also a narrcisstic person and as a child, it was very difficult to understand and heartbreaking as well. I have always kept Debbie’s book in mind when I think about what she endured as I related to it so much in her book Conflicted Hearts. Her title really says it all, because that is what you really feel, so conflicted. It is truly a wonderful book to read and I highly recommend it whether or not you have experienced a parent with that emotional disorder. I learned so much and gathered in myself a greater and more forgiving feeling toward my father, whom I loved anyway and I give that credit and understanding of my father to Debbie and her so insightful and actually healing book, Conflicted Hearts.

 

Customer Review

J. R. Lunsford

July 25, 2019

Author D. G. Kaye takes her readers on a journey down the memory lane of her fractured past riddled with painful recollections of her narcissistic mother and timid father.
Forced to grow up as a child substituting for her mother (including cooking, housework, and the care of her 3 younger siblings), the author learned to cope with the selfishness of her self-absorbed mother by tuning out her own needs, especially her need for a mother’s love and affection.
I was glad her Aunt Sherry was there for her, though she was really the only adult who seemed to care. All the other adults in her life were emotionally absent.
The author moves into the difficulties of adulthood confused and guilt-ridden but learns, even in the midst of illness and heartbreak how to love herself and to “climb life’s peaks and prevail”.
I highly recommend this book; especially for anyone struggling with the wounds of a fractured past.

 

P.S. I Forgive You - D.G. Kaye

 

P.S. I Forgive You

L. Carmichael

July 13, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

My month of memoirs continues with an autobiography by D. G. Kaye — ‘P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy.’ Although not quite a series, this is the second book by the author as she explores the impact of a narcissistic mother on her daily life. I read this before bed last night, and all I can say is that some people are dealt a very unfair hand in life. That said, it’s amazing to see how wonderful Kaye is handling all that she went through in the last ~50 years. What a great (but painful) read!

Imagine growing up with a mother who seems to intentionally cause pain for her children. The oldest of four, Kaye spent years letting the woman treat her horribly. In this introspective and emotional autobiography, we learn how and why she tolerated it. The memoir kicks off by letting readers know that the author’s mother has passed away, and this is the story of how she handled the decision whether to be there when the woman crossed over. Sick for many years, touch and go at times, it seems like every possible painful opportunity was taken to cause trouble for this family. It was heartbreaking not just because of what they went through but because you really want this to turn out to be a positive story.

In some ways, it does turn out that way… in death, you are often released from the troubles of the past. Not quickly. Not immediately. Not entirely. Kaye suffers to this day because of the trauma she went through. Emotional pain can be far worse and impacting that physical pain. Seeing how the author connects with her siblings and her aunt helps provide a sense of love and hope for her future. Kaye has a phenomenal way of sharing her past with readers… we feel as if we are there, but one thing is for sure — we were not. That… is fantastic writing.

There is a cathartic honesty in her writing style as well as how she processes the events of her life. On the outskirts, it might seem simple: (A) She’s your mother, you should stay and respect her, or (B) She’s been evil and nasty, you need to run away and forget her. Nope… Kaye fully provides the wide spectrum of all the scenarios that ran through her head, some positive and some not-so-positive. How do you make such a decision? Only a strong person can thoroughly see through the minutia to determine what’s best for both the victim and the victimizer (I might’ve made that work up).

If I could reach through a book to hug someone, this would be the prime one for it to happen. I’ve felt these emotions tons of times before when an author creates a character who suffers… but when a real-life woman shares the truth and the pain she’s gone through, it’s a whole different ball game. If you have a high threshold for reading about someone’s emotional suffering, I suggest you take this book on… it might give you the perspective you need to help others.

 

Have Bags, Will Travel, D.G. Kaye

 

Have Bags, Will Travel

Pete Springer

July 30, 2019

Verified Purchase

The Important Role for Writers to Help Preserve Democracy

I came across this article at the Times, written by Jennifer Egan – Pulizter prize winning author on “Why we need writers more than ever, our democracy depends on it.”

 

If it weren’t for the press, who would keep us abreast in a world fuel injected with fake news and social media propaganda? It’s the press who keeps check on issues and people who are making the news for reasons both bad and good. It’s the reporters and journalists who speak out on what’s wrong, calling out leaders who aren’t doing their jobs, calling out propaganda in the mainstream social media used to sway and spin and stir up shit. Propaganda was Hitler’s initial method for instigating his extermination plan. Now we have social media to assist as a huge method to capture headlines – both fake and real.

Egan states in her article, “A mediasphere designed for spectacle can’t be expected to fix the oversimplification it creates. We need writers for that, and we need them badly. Literature, like democracy, is built of a plurality of ideas.” She continues to speak on how every form of literacy creates a perception for the reader, which helps to instill empathy and explains how writers throughout the ages have had the ability to help overthrow repressive regimes.

 

“Literature is an antidote to the blunt distortions—good vs. evil, us vs. them—that are so easily exploited by those who would manipulate us.”

How many times have we seen on the news journalists around the globe risking their lives to report on some of the atrocities going on around the world and getting jailed or even killed for reporting a truth? And the reason for these crimes against journalists is merely because those authoritarian governments or people holding power feel threatened when publicly exposed. Writers, reporters, journalists write to keep the wrongs in the forefront for the public to watch and listen to, giving the public the chance to judge for themselves so as not to be lured and eluded by untruths.

scales of justice

 

Writers need to be writing to exploit injustices and to preserve democracy. When free speech is compromised, so is democracy. When did a party difference of right or left begin to replace right and wrong? Why does a simple tweet of calling something a hoax make it so just because a leader thinks he can cancel out facts by standing on the highest soapbox and shouting out the loudest. This does not make it so. And this does not negate all the fact finding the journalists and their inside sources who put their lives on the line for every day do to educate the public.

Lobbying

 

From my vantage point, as one who follows world politics closely, it appears like the world is in a battle with mankind. Greed is the number one reason for much of the state of the world. Big money corporations taking over for much of the world’s political climate because of the kickbacks they receive in return, a system of money going to money, the rich getting richer and the little guys paying for most of their sins through their own pockets. Who is there left to defend us middle class and low income earners? It’s the writers and reporters who keep us abreast of these issues, among many others. No, they can’t solve the world’s problems, but they certainly can shine lights on these issues to give us fair and truthful information, leaving us the readers, to discern on our own the reported discoveries.

The old adage, “You can lead a horse to water . . .” often occurs when facts are offered up but many sheeples prefer to follow the masses, not doing their own homework on the state of their environments, societies and even their countries. If you’re on social media a lot like I am, you can read all the messaging from good vs. evil. There are people calling out injustices and others pushing them. And if we aren’t well informed on truthful facts, it’s so easy to get caught up in the world of fakes news and ill intentions. The era we are living in now globally is an era of uncertain times for sure. And uncovering the truth for every situation being exploited into the mediaverse are the gifts we receive from journalists around the world who are often sacrificing their own safety while getting to the heart of each matter.

Personally, I feel as though God is shaking his head at what man has done to his world. He watches with salty tears, but doesn’t interfere in our choices because we all have free will. But all the greed, anger, and propaganda floating around and shoved done our throats now seems to be at the breaking point of the proverbial camel’s back. I can’t help but think God has done it before; he’s wiped out the earth and started over with Noah’s Ark, only this time I don’t believe there’s an Ark to save us. By abusing mankind, our brethren, and our planet, it feels as though the Ark isn’t coming and if we don’t change course on these issues of injustice, we’ll be left behind to swim that creek with no paddles.

In the era in which we’re now living, changes happen swiftly – and most are not for the better. It’s too easy to fall prey to fake news because it’s manipulated to do just that. Those who may not have time to watch TV news, pick up an old fashioned newspaper, subscribe to an online factual newspaper, and those who listen strictly to propaganda news stations with distorted facts to sooth the wrong-doers, social media paid and sponsored ads created to target the uneducated are all rampant and attract those who easily fall prey to fake news. It’s up to each of us to pay a little more attention to what is going on in the world around us. It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms we’ve come to enjoy and expect. But when red flags are presented we should all be caring about reinforcing everything good that seems to be vanishing in our world like, courtesy, kindness, and compassion, and the very core of our freedoms.

Writers should be writing, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to write about world politics if that’s not our strong point. But writing books, articles, essays, and short stories are a great way to create empathy for the reader. Words that make people feel something, words that invigorate people to open up their emotions, words to invoke compassion, can all create new discoveries for a reader – no matter the subject content. Reading is education in a host of realms. It’s us as writers who can contribute to educating others, whether it’s to keep people factually informed, or to create an atmosphere with story to invoke thought or awaken hearts with compassion.

 

Times Source: https://time.com/5475490/writers-truth-democracy-jennifer-egan/?fbclid=IwAR3qWxKTWB9rW8s0QQeacT5WpjKkks8zVLXJAA320th_nHzFziUt75TbsRA

 

This short video is part of the Times article where journalists speak up for freedom of the press, and tributes to those journalists jailed and killed for speaking the truth. They are resilient and relentless to continue to report the truth.

 

 

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

 

Sunday Review – An Evening with the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana

 

Welcome to my Sunday -normally a book review, but today a concert review. It’s been quite awhile since I went to a concert, but my cousin bought us tickets a few months ago for my recent June birthday to go see Carlos Santana on his 2019 tour stop in Toronto at the outdoor Budweiser stadium in downtown Toronto. The opening band was The Doobie Brothers! What a blast from the past!

 

Santana 2019 tour

 

 

This was the second time I’ve seen Santana in concert – the first time I saw him at our once famed Maple Leaf Gardens which was our main venue for concerts (and hockey of course!) back in the day over 30 years ago. And I can say with certainty that Carlos still holds the magic in his musical fingers because he could still make that guitar sing till it gave me goosebumps.

 

I was doubly excited to listen to both The Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Sure, I know many of the best musicians from my day are still touring around the world, even though some are now past their sell by date, but it appears that a full 16,000 capacity stadium didn’t let the decades past deter them or me from revisiting a nostalgic part of our past.

We first had to join one of the excruciatingly long lineups just to get in the grounds for security checks where we were body searched and bag searched. As much as I know of what this world has become, and there was none of this back in my days of concert going, it made me sad as I stood waiting my turn to enter as I remembered a time when we never gave a thought to guns and crime. I looked around at the crowd from boomers to aged seniors wanting to experience that musical experience once again that belonged to our youth. And I felt how much the world has changed since then. This concert was a welcomed step back in time, if only for a few hours.

The weather called for rain that evening, and it had rained on and off throughout the day. I packed an umbrella and plastic pouched raincoat to prepare for listening in the rain with no cover in the open air stadium. The tickets stated ‘rain or shine’ so there were no refunds. But the weather warnings didn’t seem to deter anyone. There was of course, no smoking – cigarettes or pot allowed in the stadium, which made me laugh as I thought about my old concert days long ago when marijuana was still considered illegal but there were plenty of dubes being smoked in the Gardens despite the law, with barely any consequence – it was expected – it was a concert after all! But if you stepped outside the Budweiser stadium there were designated smoking areas, which of course included marijuana smoking because it’s now legal in Canada. But even though it’s legal here, pot smokers still have to abide by cigarette smoker’s designated area laws.

I did have a chuckle at the ‘yellow shirts’ who were the concert security and couldn’t help but wonder about their training and how effective they could be should anything scary were to happen. I don’t think one of them were over the age of 18, and no threat to anyone. But I was happy to see a nice police presence because after all, sadly, nowhere is safe anymore.

I was happy I’d picked us up a couple of submarine sandwiches (mine gluten-free) for the long ride downtown to the concert as I knew we had no time to stop and eat, and I don’t like to take a gamble on finding anything decent to eat down there. That turned out to be a great idea after watching many grab themselves what looked like soggy reheated food when bringing it to their seats. And the prices were like being robbed! Truly, a can of beer cost $16.50!! Even if I liked beer, they’d never get that kind of ridiculous coin from me. I brought us water and snacks so we were self sufficient.

 

Budweiser Stage

 

At 7:15 the Doobie Brothers began their musical appearance. Our seats were not center stage and 3 sections back from the stage, but far from being called nosebleeds. We were strategically located for a quick exit, our seats were last row in our section with our seats in the middle of 2 aisles, which kind of felt like scoring the bonus seats on an airplane with no seats in front of us, but the people traffic up and down was annoying. We could hear perfectly and the 3 big screens gave us the closeups to watch the musicians make magic with their instruments. I have to be honest and say that their sound system didn’t get corrected till halfway through the session, and with only 3 of the original members in the band left, I did not get that ‘Doobie Brother’ feeling, leaving me feeling a sad loss for the good old days. It felt very ‘meh’ to me, after feeling the anticipated excitement of seeing them. And in case you’re wondering where they got their name from, it appears that while the band was still struggling to breakout, one of the member’s roommates at the time offered up the name to them because they smoked so many dubes, lol. Here’s a clip from their encore swan song – Blackwater.

 

 

We made our way outside for a break in between bands and alas the rain started pitter-pattering. I whipped out my umbrella as I looked at the grey threatening sky. Before I could fully open it, the drops stopped, and we were lucky a downpour never happened. We passed a merchandise booth and just beat a lineup and purchased our token Santana Tshirts for souvenirs and headed back to our seats.

Enter Carlos Santana, or should I say the sound of his singing guitar entered before the lights shone on the stage. I was transported back to the 80s with the rich sounds of Santana and his band. Although most of his original members are still part of his band, and they were damned good, it wouldn’t have mattered if there were new vocalists or not, as long as Carlos led with his magical music. As it turns out, his newer wife of the past 9 years is his drummer, and that girl can beat out on a drum, as you can hear in this clip of a solo session from her. Cindy (Blackwell) Santana drum solo.

 

 

I enjoyed the feeling of joy and happiness which seemed to emanate through the stadium as everyone probably revisited their own personal memories. In the old days we’d flick our lighters on for certain songs. Now it was flashlights turned on people’s phones as we waved them in the air to the rhythm of the music. It was just a beautiful thing. Carlos made a little speech about how he loves the warmth of Canadians who welcome him, and specifically to my city. It left me with a warm and fuzzy, patriotic feeling. Black Magic Woman video below, despite it marked ‘Europa’ because MERCURY gave me so much grief putting the videos together.

 

 

It was difficult to remain seated with all that hot Latin music playing, as most of the crowd remained on their feet dancing in their spots. The music took me back to some of my happiest days of my 20s, conjuring up memories of parties, nightclubs and a few sexy men I wondered about what had come of them. He played all my favorites, and I managed to video a few, particularly, Europa, which happens to be my favorite of favorites. It’s all about that long note played that makes the guitar sing at the verse change (located at 1 min and 48 seconds into the vid). I have a clip (with maybe a bit of commentation in the background from me) below.

 

 

I’ll share a another clip from the classics. Unfortunately, I wasn’t close enough to the stage to get primo pictures, and did try to aim my phone’s camera to the big screen to get some closeups of Carlos strumming his machine, but at least you can listen. And after all, it’s all about the songs, the mood they create, and the transporting us back to wonderful memories.

 

 

 

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

Special Friday Feature – Balroop Singh Launches New #Poetry Book

I’m thrilled to welcome Balroop Singh here today as part of her Blog Tour to help spread the word about her newest Poetry Book Launch – Moments – We Love. For those of you new to Balroop’s poetry, you’re in for a real treat. Balroop pulls from the heart and soul, her thoughts on life’s moments and leaves us feeling inspired and often with something to think about. The beauty of all Balroop’s books is that they can be read in bite-sized pieces, one sitting, randomly, and you may just take something from each poem and find something new when you read again. Oh, and isn’t the cover just beautiful! So let’s get to know more about Balroop and her latest book.

 

 

Balroop Singh

 

Balroop Singh

Author Bio:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and  Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited and Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

 

Moments by Balroop Singh

 

Book Blurb:

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

 

Memories and moments merge here

Today when I return to share

The glow of rainbows

Embers of emotional entreaties

And smoldering debris.

 

Book Information:

 

Title: Moments We Love

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462


US
UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

 

  The Editor’s Review:

 

A brilliant poet may not color the tangible but rather unearth the hues of the intangible to coat specific dimensions to life. Balroop Singh masterfully spots the hues, decluttering them to seek particularity, taking us to the core of her dynamic worldview. ‘Words just swirled around us, Eager to be spoken, Sitting on the tip of tongues, We were guessing, The stories that lay within’ is one of her call-outs to help unhide the potent of what we don’t express.

 

Moments We Love is an enthralling and affecting spread of poems on a table where Balroop’s polished menu commands that the cuisines of life be consumed gently, each breath be taken consciously, and the fleeting feels between the lines be mined timely.

While ‘Breezy silence of your eyes, When they stirred skies’ points to the unimaginable possibilities of a heart with warmth, and ‘Morning mist obscured my view, Chilly winds enveloped me, Yet the lure of unknown love’ romances us into the sweetness of longing, ‘I pass by this desolate path, Receding foliage reminds me, Blossoms don’t smile here’ singes our passivity to avoid a future of disquiet.

What oxygenates in the book for the reader is the author’s uncompromising clarity that flows inward, and while it brims inside with rhythm and melody, we begin to make sense of what rushes outward, altering perspectives. And though the world that her words weave reflects our realities, she doesn’t abandon us for her webs of hard truths—if maneuvered lovingly, have solutions within. ‘A precursor of serenity, Glimmer glows within me, I abandoned your crutches.’

When I was reading the book, I was constantly reminded of the likelihood that some of the poems might be autobiographical, impressing me since only a brave and intelligent writer could dish out the emotions like she did; only a compassionate writer could stand in the line of fire and yet smile, and yet be thoroughly objective for the benefit of the others.

Book after book that Balroop has penned, she has been unwaveringly consistent with her universal themes. And with Moments We Love, she eloquently inspires us to believe in self and stand tall without fear; that our fear is indeed our solution. The impact of her verse is such that when I look at a peach and think that if peach were fear and its seed a solution, I can chew through the fruit—gently and consciously and through the heartbeats of resistance—to find my solution. Well, Balroop can unearth the hues of the seed without a single bite, which defines her writing.

Like she writes, ‘Still holding the fragments? Still haunted by ghosts? Loosen that grip, Let the demons fly.’ Yes, I say. Eat your fear. After all, the solution is at the core and we can plant the seed to sprout more solutions.

–  Mahesh Nair

 

Excerpt:

 

Eternal Love

Like soft flowers under our feet

Like lovely drops of first rain

Like moonlight soothing our eyes

Love tiptoes into our life

It carries us far into wilderness,

Its magic unfolds with trust

Its gentle caresses mesmerize

Its fragrance ferries amorous delight

Love is that exquisite emotion

Which remains deeply dormant

Till that irresistible urge beckons

And it becomes a force to reckon

Love ignites a fire within us

A fire of passion, of quest, of possession

It leads us into new adventures

It makes life so exhilarating

Love drowns dreary thoughts

It gives wings to our heart,

It transports us into another world

A world of blissful choice

True love keeps smiling in our eyes

Like a fountain that never dries

It instills hope, respect, patience

The journey of love is so elating.

 

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

 

You can visit her blog at: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

 

Connecting links: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

https://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

Felony or Flattery? #Copyright Infringement and Content Scraping

I had a couple of non-fun-filled days chasing down copyright thieves. It seems to be a rampant thing these days as quite a few of us writers share with each other when we spot an author friend’s books for sale – somewhere they shouldn’t be.

 

Hugh Roberts mentioned in a post last week about finding his book on a site KissLibrary dot net and shared that he sent them a DMCA (the old cease and desist letter or further action would follow). No, I’m not going to highlight a link to them and give SEO the pleasure. Hugh informed me he saw all of my books for sale there too. Interestingly enough I could not find my books there and nothing came up when I put my name in the search bar. I commiserated with Hugh through email and he took a screenshot of the page where my books were, yet I couldn’t see them. I FBI’d the site for a contact to send a DMCA, and found it down at the way bottom of the page in small print, filled out the form and sent it off, but not before I did a little more sleuthing.

Their address was proudly listed on their front page – somewhere in Alberta, Canada. Was that why I couldn’t see my books but others could? Because I’m Canadian? I needed to dig a little further. I Googled up Domain Tools and clicked on the WHOIS, to look up the site owner. There I discovered a wealth of information, then copying the IP address and typing that into the IP Addresslookup  and found this little setup is actually  run from Russia!

It wasn’t so easy to send my notice because we have to include the links to the infringed material we’re accusing of stealing – Links I couldn’t see. So I got my Fey Sister, Colleen, to go to the site and type in my name. Sure enough she saw all my books for sale, but there was no way when I went to that link that I could see them! Well . . . I guess they didn’t know who they were dealing with.

Colleen clicked on each of my books at a time and copied each link to each book and pasted and sent to me. I had my back up evidence! I could see them listed individually. By the next day, my books were removed without even a reply from them.

That event took up half my day, then I proceeded to Google myself and found another site selling my books. That one was Thriftbooks dot com. There they were my books for sale. I’ve been told this is a resale site for our books. I personally, don’t appreciate seeing my books on a thrift resale site. This site was even trickier to find a contact person, but I’d learned from my investigations that if I can’t find the owners, I can send my complaint to the Host of the server. I went through the WHOIS again, which led me to find GoDaddy was their host. I then proceeded to the GoDaddy page and clicked on the bottom of the page “report abuse’ and filled out the form there and sent it off.

Oh, the day didn’t end there. About an hour after sending out notices, Colleen sends me a link to tygpress.com where many of us bloggers have our blogs stolen and displayed in plain day! The site is called tygpress.com.

If you find your blog posts violated on that site, this is where you need to go and report (many of us have already done the WHOIS search on them). Below is the link where anyone can send  a DMCA notice to.

https://www.digitalocean.com/company/contact/#abuse

 

BUT . . . before I could get this post out, it seems enough bloggers complained because as of yesterday afternoon . . .

Update: I found this on tygpress – now a 404 page apologizing for harvested content. I guess all the complaints really do work!

 

About free books 

Colleen, Hugh, and myself have come to the conclusion that the way these sites steal our books and sell them on their sites is when we give our books away on free promo. Both Colleen and Hugh found their only books pirated were the ones they ever put on free. As for me, I’ve had all my books on free at some point over the years, hence, all my books have been pirated on various sites.

Stealing an artist’s work is not right, it’s not legal, and it’s quite frankly disgusting. Like everything else in life, if we don’t stand up and speak out and call out the thieves, they will continue to get away with these copyright crimes. It’s important that we take a stand, call out these pirates publicly and send forth DMCA letters to have our work removed from the offending sites. Like I mentioned above, if a site doesn’t offer a link to fill out a DMCA, then we must go investigate the site owner through the WHOIS. It’s also a good idea to fill out Google alerts with our book’s names so that Google can send us alerts when they spot something with our names listed, so we can investigate.

In the meantime, I’m still waiting for replies from the DMCA notice I sent out to the thrift site, but I’m going to share some interesting links you can check out on how we can best try to protect our copyrights:

 

How to protect your blog from being copied

http://www.blogtipsntricks.com/2014/07/protect-your-blog-from-being-copied.html

 

How to find out if your blog is being ‘content scraped’

https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-scrapers/

 

Is your blog being ‘harvested’?

https://iidorun.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/please-read-your-blog-may-have-been-harvested/

 

 

I came across this helpful blog on how to file a DMCA

https://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/dmca/

 

 

Hugh’s recent post includes information on what he discovered, and he’s included some helpful links to sleuth out copyright criminals in his post

https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2019/07/29/5-things-i-discovered-during-my-blogging-break/

 

Here’s more info on tygpress, it seems Godaddy was a previous host and now digital ocean seems to be the current host.

https://statuslite.com/domain/tygpress.com

 

One blogger even went so far in his post to create an image he began adding to every one of his posts so that when they were infringed and showing on tygpress, this image would display on the post. He kindly offered any bloggers to help themselves to copy and save the image. (I had planned on adding this to each of my posts, but gratefully, the site has been taken down.

 

 

copyright infringement

 

 

If you Google ‘tygpress dot com’ you will find a slew of blogger’s recent posts writing about and warning of this infringing site. All one had to do was type in their name or blog name and I saw so many of friend’s posts there.

It’s difficult to keep abreast on all the thievery going on in our cyber world, but one thing that’s helpful is making sure your copyright notice stands out on your page. I have moved up my notice on my top side bar and also including at the bottom of my posts now. For the not so daring infringers, these blatant notices may help to deter them – somewhat.

Please be proactive and Google yourselves every once in awhile. If we don’t stop this thievery on infringement one at a time, these infringers will continue to steal our work. And if you come across any suspicious sites, be a buddy and share on your blogs to give others a heads up.

 

Do you have anything to share with us here about anything suspicious you’ve come across?

 

©DGKaye

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

Sunday Book Review – Glossy Lips – Cold Cream Murders Book 1

My Sunday Book Review this week is on Barbara Silkstone’s  – Glossy Lips -Book 1 of her Cold Cream series. I don’t remember where I got an introduction to Silkline’s books, but as I do enjoy a great escape, cozy murder chicklit romp once in awhile, I took a chance on this book, and was not disappointed.

 

 

 

Blurb:

Series: more books on the way! ~~~Olive Peroni put out her family therapy shingle six years ago, never thinking her top client would be Myron Meyers, head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s Nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, she grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

Business is brisk and life is good! Olive even makes a wild new best friend in Lizzy, the real estate agent who handles the transfer of Nonna’s condo. When a dead body is found in the trunk of Lizzy’s car, Olive despairs that life in Starfish Cove won’t be any different than the one she thought she’d escaped. But this time, instead of listening to confessions of murder, Olive’s going to have to solve one. Maybe two…

Contains a recipe for Olive & Lizzy’s super-creamy homemade lip gloss!

Book I in series ~ GLOSSY LIPS
Book 2 in series ~ SMOKEY EYES
Book 3 in series ~ SOAP ON A ROPE
Book 4 in series ~ SUN SCREAM – Coming July 2019

 

My 5 Star Review:

This book was a fun romp in the cozy mystery – chicklit genre that made me feel as though I was tagging along the ride with Lizzy and Olive.

Olive Peroni, a family therapist in New York receives news her Nonna (grandmother) died in Florida. Olive packs up to go there to settle Nonna’s estate and in doing so, serendipity strikes when Olive hires Lizzy to sell Nonna’s condo, and before the deal is sealed, Olive decides to keep the condo and relocate there after making fast and good friends with Lizzy. Olive had enough of listening to people’s problems and decides to start a new business in Florida selling Nonna’s prized beauty cream, a secret that only few were aware of to bring back the fountain of youth.

Once the friendship blossomed, the action heats up when strange things begin happening, starting with a dead body found in Lizzy’s trunk. Soon more characters emerge and Olive finds herself right in the thick of things when this cleverly written mission to solve the murder ensues and the new best friends become entangled in the murder investigation.

To be honest, I was only going to give this book 4 stars because I felt the story moved a bit slow through the first few chapters, but once the body showed up, I was hooked and wondering whodunit. As the evidence mounted (with well done clues dropped throughout the investigation), my suspicion was correct. And I’ll also add that the blurb may have one thinking this is a mafia story when in fact, the character of Myron is by far, not a significant character in the story. But the book offered a satisfying ending with lots of witty lines by the characters, and I will definitely be reading more in this series.

 

Copyright

©DGKaye

Writer’s Tips – Rejected Manuscripts, Formatting in Word, Create Free Book Covers and More!

This week’s edition of Writer’s Tips is focused on: Working with your Word Styles Ribbon, Author Tips, Writing Aids, Creating Free Book Covers, Why Manuscripts get Rejected, and How to Formulate the Elevator Pitch.

 

 

Louise Harnby shares in-depth information on how to work with your Styles ribbon in Word to help format your books.

https://www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/blog/formatting-your-book-in-word-how-to-save-time-with-the-styles-tool

 

 

9 Things Authors should be doing, by Indies Unlimited.

9 Things Authors Aren’t Doing (And Should Be Doing)

 

 

The Kindlepreneur, Dave Chesson, offers a great list of writing aids.

https://kindlepreneur.com/software-for-writers/

 

 

How to create Book Covers for free with Publishing Drive.

https://publishdrive.com/create-book-cover-free/

 

 

Ruth Harris on the blog of Anne R. Allen sharing tips on how to formulate an Elevator Pitch for our books.

Razzle-Dazzle: The Art and Craft of the Elevator Pitch

 

 

Anne R. Allen is sharing 8 potential reasons our manuscripts may be rejected.

Source: Rejections: 8 reasons why your manuscript is getting them

 

©DGKaye