Sunday Book Review – Mennonite Daughter – The Story of a Plain Girl by Marian Beaman

Introducing author Marian Beaman with her long awaited book launch of her memoir – Mennonite Daughter – The Story of a Plain Girl, today for my Sunday Book Review.

As a nonfiction writer, I naturally gravitate  to same genre reading. I’m always eager to discover new and fascinating truths about life lessons and triumphs over life’s adversities and tribulations- especially when the author is someone I know. In today’s feature, Mennonite Daughter is the story of a girl growing up as a plain Mennonite girl, living inside the body of a girl who yearns to be fancy.


Marian has just launched her book and already buzzing around on book tours. You can read a bit about her below and I look forward to having Marian over for my new interview series next month!


Marian Longenecker Beaman


About the author:

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, records the charms and challenges of Mennonite girlhood in mid-twentieth century Pennsylvania. The writer’s formative years coincided with the decade before which the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church experienced major change, especially regarding dress code for women.

Such is the backdrop for the story of one Mennonite girl who benefited from a sheltered life with boundaries, but who bucked church tradition along with coming to terms with an adversarial relationship with her father. She shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

One of Marian’s stories “Gutsy in Ukraine” was published in My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh, September 2014. Another story Making Love Edible, appeared in the Food and Faith issue of The Mennonite, September 2016. The Jacksonville Arts and Antiques magazine published a patient profile in the fall 2018 issue. Her memoir will be featured in the National Association of Memoir Writers’ Virtual Book Club, 2020.

The author writes weekly on her Plain and Fancy blog: She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside.


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Get this book on Amazon!


What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.


My 5 Star Review:

Mennonite Daughter is a beautifully written story about the growing up life and aspirations of one feisty and longing-to-be fancy girl who although practicing her faith obediently, longs to be free from some of the conforms of the Mennonite lifestyle.

Beaman, a girl, not unlike any other girlie girl, striving for her chance at a life free from head coverings and traditional clothing, as her desires since childhood grow to break free from tradition. We learn a lot about the Mennonite way of life, Beaman’s life, the close knit family and community life, and the antiquated punishments inflicted on her by her father, and about the mother who  never interjected on those punishments, all because she spoke out for her convictions. The whippings and being locked in a dark, scary basement were the weapons of choice as punishments and discipline for her non-compliance in a world of which we’d now consider as child abuse. One heart trembling sentence that stood out to me, “I always watched for signs that Daddy was about to explode, so I wonder why I didn’t stop before I ignite the fire.” We’ll learn once again, as many writers like myself have lived and wrote about, if we search for the ‘why’ in someone’s behavior, we’ll almost always find the root cause.

The heartaches in this book are palpable through the pages for this straight A student who received no recognition or validation from her parents; and the welcomed tender mercies she did receive from her dear Aunt Ruthie and her paternal grandmother Longenecker. It seemed any moments the little girl felt excitement for were often quashed by disappointment. One example of this was in the chapter – ‘Tomato Girl gets a Bike’ – Young Mennonite Marian helped work the tomato farms tirelessly, both planting and reaping the fruits of labor. She received 10 cents a basket for her labor from her frugal father, and as reward for her upcoming birthday he promised he would buy her a bike. She held her excitement in anticipation until she felt as though she wasn’t worthy enough when her father eventually presented her with a well worn bike instead.

The author takes us through her life with a giant glimpse into the Mennonite world, sharing the religion,  her beliefs, chores, and family gatherings – even photos and recipes are included, to demonstrate her world of godliness and her struggle to endure conformity, hoping that some day she will get to wear those red shoes! I loved this book! #Recommended.

Sharing – Four letter word – The Silent Eye by Sue Vincent

I wanted to share this most beautiful post by Sue Vincent on a simple four letter word – LOVE.  Who do you love?


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“Who do you love best?”

I overheard a conversation between mother and her small child and remembered my own sons asking me this question when they were very small. I imagine it is one many children throw at their parents and we reassure them, almost automatically, that we love them the same. It isn’t true, though is it? We may love them equally… in fact, I think by the very word love we are assuring them that we do, but we don’t love them ‘the same’.

Have you ever stopped to think about it? Such a small word for such a range of human emotions! The love we have for parent, sibling, friend, child or lover is always different. The colour of love may change, but it is impossible to quantify and all its colours, like those of the spectrum, blend and merge to make a love that encompasses all. There is no loving more or less… it simply is. There are no two loves alike, just as there are no two people identical, not even twins. Everyone is unique and so are our relationships with them.

We can like someone more than another, we can relate to them better, we can feel that odd attraction/repulsion that can be so strong… we can apply all sorts of other emotional overlays, both negative and positive, to the relationship; respect, sympathy, compassion… and all the rest. We can prefer the company of one, know light-hearted laughter with one friend, share an interest in books or butterflies with another, feel tenderness towards a child or a lover, fall hopelessly… or hopefully… in love, or burn with the flame of passion. We can be dutiful as children, loyal as friends… We can even find that miracle that seems to complete us. Or we can love in the hope that love will be returned. So many aspects to something both so simple yet so very complex it seems, yet it is the foundation of every human relationship by its presence… or absence. And it is such a small word. . . please continue reading at Sue’s Silent Eye blog.


Source: Four letter word – The Silent Eye



New Series: Q and A with D.G. Kaye and Promote Your Book – Featuring James J. Cudney

Welcome to the first author interview in my new author interview series: –Q and A with D.G, Kaye and Promote Your Book.

I’m thrilled to introduce my first guest, author James J. Cudney IV to this series. Jay is going to share a bit about himself and his writing, as well as an excerpt for his newest release – Haunted Ghost House, Book 5 in his Braxton Campus Mysteries.


James J. Cudney IV


About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’m already writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…


Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 5


I’m just going to jump in here and say, I thoroughly enjoyed Jay’s – Watching Glass Shatter. You can read my review HERE. #Recommended


Jay will be launching his newest book in October for the next in his Braxton Campus Mystery series – Haunted House Ghost. And you can PRE-ORDER now!


Haunted House Ghost book

Pre-Order now on AMAZON


It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite a former occupant’s fervent warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic known for her explosive predictions, to communicate with the apparition.

Construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. Could it be Prudence, Judge Hiram Grey’s first wife, who disappeared during a fiery Vietnam War protest that destroyed parts of the campus? While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident at the Fall Festival leaves Hiram in a coma and another dead body to investigate. Kellan’s research digs up a tale of horror and pain about the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family, forcing April to accelerate her plan to capture the elusive killer and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.


Jay is generously sharing an excerpt with us:


Excerpt: Haunted House Ghost


             Hunkering behind a weathered, illegible headstone in Wellington Cemetery’s oldest and scariest graveyard, I remained silent and stationary amidst a slew of exhumed corpses. Though surrounded by slender, tall white pines, a gnarly and knotty willow tree’s sweeping canopy of dying branches furtively brushed my neck. After an onslaught of howling winds furiously whipped my quivering skin, I peered over the loosened tomb marker and gawked at the mounds of freshly flung dirt. Why had a ruthless monster dug up so many coffins near the Grey mausoleum?

Skulking two rows away, the determined villain’s soulless eyes glowed like burning coal. The chilling tone of St. Mary’s somber church bells blasted—midnight’s fortuitous arrival. Its ominous beckoning prompted my unsteady feet to falter, crunching a pile of decaying leaves and foolishly revealing my secret location. Suddenly enshrouded in fog and hovering near the nameless gravestone, the rogue’s flowing black and gray robes resembled billowing smoke from an overworked chimney. “I hear you breathing, Ayrwick. Come out, come out wherever you are. I’m not finished with this game.”

“I don’t know who you are, but your obsession with me has spiraled out of control.” As an aloof moon cast an eerie luminosity, I cursed my new modern, sporty aviator eyeglasses for clouding over. Apparition or figment of an overwrought imagination, I couldn’t be certain; nor did I care at that moment. “You can’t be real. My mind is playing tricks on me.”

The ethereal bogeyman glided inches above the churchyard’s hallowed ground. The soles of its feet would vaporize upon stepping in the sacred dirt of the meandering pathways. “Are you ready to die?” the menacing, shrill voice taunted while hunting and cornering me in the darkness of my desolate hiding spot—the cold, melancholy resonance frightening all the bats, owls, and other nightlife creatures into hurried seclusion. The masked phantom narrowed a sinister gaze and brandished a mammoth-sized, razor-sharp scythe that cut swiftly through the crisp air and aimed with precision for my neck.

My arms felt like Jell-O as I struggled to push the heavy cement slab to the ground, then jumped feet first into a vacant grave with my hands and arms protecting my soon-to-be decapitated head. The stealthy tormentor cackled wildly and seized my forearm with an uncannily strong and bony grip, delivering a shot of pure ice that raced through my veins and barreled toward my erratically beating heart. My body froze as though a glacier engulfed and preserved me for all eternity.


A Fantastic Early Review:



September 9, 2019

Format: Paperback


I’ve asked Jay to choose 5 questions to answer for us so we can get to know a little more about him and his writing.


What’s the worst part of publishing for you and why?

Marketing! I am not a natural marketer or networker. I’m shy. I’m quiet. I’m
an introvert. Social media and online marketing are my salvation because I can
accomplish it from behind the Internet wall. I’m attending my first book
conference this fall where I will have to interact live with readers. It’s scary… yet I
know once I’m there, it will be fine. I ran a 100+ technology organization in my
former life, leading meetings with hundreds of people and interacting with every
level of executive and entry-level worker. The issue is: I don’t like to promote
myself. My approach to life is never push someone to do something. I might
suggest why I like a book, TV show, or food, but I’ll never force it on someone. It’s
hard for me to say “you’ll love my book” because I know someone might not like
it. I also don’t want to pressure anyone into doing something they don’t want to
do. Those aren’t ideal personality traits for someone who has to self-promote
their work. I can do it in small increments but not in-person or to a larger
audience. It gets easier over time; I will admit to that.

D.G. I can totally relate Jay. Most of us authors prefer to work behind the scenes. Public speaking terrifies me, weird, since I’m a born talker. I know you share a lot of other author’s work, and the saying goes – 80/20 is the way to go – 80% interacting and sharing of other’s and 20% we are certainly entitled to promote our work, but ‘buy my book’ is not the way.


What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

Self-publishing is, like most things, wonderful and painful. I tend to be a
direct guy, so I won’t sugarcoat my response. At this point, anyone can publish a
book. People who have no experience or talent can draft something, create a
cover, prepare formats, and launch a book on Amazon or another sites. Once
marketing and advertising kicks in, the book is out there. Compared to a decade
ago, the number of available books is astronomical. This has made publishing, like
many other technology-advanced fields, thoroughly flooded. Unfortunately,
readers struggle to choose which books to read (there are too many) and authors
can’t find enough reviewers or fans because of it. On the flip side, it provides so
much more opportunity and options for people to choose what’s best for them –
something that we all deserve and need to be successful.
There are positives and negatives that follow this trend… and so, I think
self-publishing is great because it offers an opportunity to talented authors who
aren’t great networkers and can’t find an agent or publisher. It also provides false
confidence to some and can create setbacks. Ultimately, as both a reader and an
author, I look outside of just the book to determine whether something is right for
me. Check the publisher’s and writer’s social media accounts, blogs, websites,
credentials… determine whether it’s a good fit for you as a person before making your decision how to proceed.

D.G. – That sounds like sound advice Jay. And yes, anyone can publish a book, but if it’s a slapped together piece of crap it’s not going to sell, and if it does, after the first terrible reviews come in, it’s no threat to better books.


Do you prefer to only read books in your genre?

No, I like all genres. I will add to that though… I am, at my core, a mystery
reader. I enjoy the ranges from a cozy to a hardcore thriller. I absolutely prefer
series over non-series. I like both contemporary and historical fiction, especially
when it falls within the mystery genre. I’m not an avid fan of science-fiction or
fantasy because they aren’t tangible to me. I don’t usually enjoy those types of
movies or television shows either; I need to understand the boundaries of
something I’m reading or watching. Often, in science-fiction or fantasy, anything
can happen. I’m structured and realistic in most everything I do, so I prefer the
same in my hobbies. That said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed books from other genres,
but they are neither my normal read nor something I’ll usually accept a book
review request on. My reviews will never be as strong as the author would want
in those cases.

D.G. – It seems we have something in common. I too have a difficult time reading Fantasy or Sci-Fi, and your explanation has helped me understand better what it is that keeps me from reading. But also, as a nonfiction writer, I mostly enjoy nonfiction and historical fiction, family sagas, etc. – stories about people and their lives. But your answer – ‘they aren’t tangible’ is the best explanation.


What’s your favorite mode of writing – computer, hand written,
dictation, and why?

I use my laptop. I edit as I write, so often, I stop and fix things each day
from the chapters as I create the story. I would constantly be erasing and crossing
things out if I used pen and paper. My hands and fingers would probably exhaust
easily too. I can type all day, but I feel cramps in my hands if spend more than an
hour with a pen. I attempted dictation software a few times but failed. Either my
vocal tone or accent is difficult to interpret, or the software isn’t ready for prime
time. I spent more time fixing issues than necessary, so it’s easier for me to just
use a computer from the beginning. I do like to print out a semi-final version and correct it with a pencil to find issues my eyes or software can’t find on the
computer. It provides a good balance, and it shows me what it’s like for a reader
of one of my books to experience the story. I like to walk the walk and talk to talk, so to speak.

D.G. – That’s interesting, and where we differ. I’m a dinosaur writing longhand. That way I don’t stop my thoughts with editing, writing freehand. First round revisions begin when I enter in the computer. But I agree on the importance of printing out a copy to edit in a later stage because our eyes absolutely catch things differently on paper. And lol, love the phrase ‘the software isn’t ready for prime time!’ 🙂


If you could have any of your books made into a movie, which one
would you choose and why?

I would love to see Watching Glass Shatter, my debut novel, made into a
movie or television series. The story is told from the perspective of Olivia, a
widow, and her five adult sons. Chapters alternate between each of them,
showing readers their own personal style, voice, and opinions on their father’s
death and secrets bubbling in the background. It has the drama associated with
popular shows viewers watch today, but it also has a myriad of emotions that
people struggle with every day. The story unfolds in cliffhangers with each
chapter, which would easily become episodes. The book ends with realistic
outcomes and expectations for all the characters; it’s not just ‘we’re happy again.’
I’m midway into the sequel now, and I can definitely tell you that the lives of
these characters mirror the reality of drugs, death, affairs, abuse, fear, and
secrets. Sometimes they are minor, others they are impactful. Readers love to hate certain characters but fall hard for others.

D.G. – Oh yay! I’m excited to hear about a sequel to that book, I look forward to reading it! And I wholeheartedly agree, it would make a fantastic TV series with all the relevant factors many face in life.

~ ~ ~

I want to thank Jay for his wonderful feature here today. I hope you all enjoyed the first of more to come in this interview series.


Visit all of Jay’s books:


List of Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

            Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

            Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

            Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

            Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

            Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)


You can visit Jay all over social media by clicking on the links below:



Next Chapter Pub:


Social Media Links










My thanks to Jay for being my guest here today. And feel free to leave comments and/or questions.


© D.G. Kaye and, 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



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – #Caribbean – St. Barts. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I’m reblogging my September edition of my Travel Column I write for Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Invitation. This month we’re learning about the Caribbean Island – St. Barth’s.


Welcome back to my Travel Column where I share facts about some of the interesting places I’ve traveled, and some new places I’d like to travel to. I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. As we get ready to venture into a new season, there are plenty of beautiful places you will discover in this series, and some I too have yet to visit.

I’ve written about a few islands in the Caribbean so far, and today I want to continue the Caribbean theme and take us all to Saint Barthelemy, or the often abbreviated, St. Barths, the French prefer to call it, and, St. Barts in English.



St. Barts is a small volcanic island, encircled by shallow reefs, and is one of four territories that make up what’s called the Leeward Islands, located in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, lying approximately 22 miles southeast of St. Martin and just north of St. Kitts. The capital city of St Barts is Gustavia, named after a Swedish King. The other three islands part of these territories are: Martinique, French West Indies, and Guadeloupe.

St. Barts is a French-speaking island that is renowned as an elite destination most popular to the rich and famous, but certainly not limited to just the rich and famous. The island is most known for its beautiful beaches, luxury yachts and of course, designer boutiques and spectacular restaurants. St. Barts is considered one of the safest islands with very little to zero crime!

There are three methods of which to arrive in St. Barts. The first is truly geared toward the rich or famous, arrive by yacht, or take a ferry from another island. The other option is to fly into St. Martin and take a small prop plane a short 10 – minute flight into the St. Barts landing strip, most likely the method I would choose.

Check out the video below to see the landing strip and a bit more history and overview of the island:



Please enjoy reading the rest of this informative article over at Sally’s blog.


Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – #Caribbean – St. Barts. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


© D.G. Kaye and, 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


People Not Doing Their Jobs – Pitfalls of Ordering Online

Yup, this is going to be a rant. When I’ve had my fill of incompetence, I’m going step up here on my soapbox and call out those who just don’t give a shit about their jobs.

We only have one department store left in Canada – The Hudson’s Bay, and I need more than two hands to count on how many errors and run-ins I’ve had with them. And my latest encounter was a double whammy once Purolator got involved.


Because I pretty much live attached to my computer, I don’t get out often, so I rely a lot on delivery service. It’s not difficult to see that artificial intelligence is taking over in so many ways, but AI isn’t human and when glitches and errors occur, it’s usually the customer who gets caught up in the time-consuming crossroads of trying to figure out where their orders are. And this isn’t my first rodeo with such issues with both companies.

I frequently order from The Bay, and every so often, when orders get screwed up, it’s because of misinformation, and quite frankly – laziness. On a good day, my order is normally delivered the next day or two days max. But this time I ordered some items, now two weeks ago, which I’ve yet to receive! I began checking on my order Aug 27th when I hadn’t received any notification of the progress of my package. But all it said beside my order was ‘in process’. I let it ride for the rest of the week being a long weekend coming, and expected my package at least by the day after Labor Day – to no avail.

I called up The Bay, got put on hold twenty minutes, only to get my call picked up by an incompetent person who I could barely understand, and was told, they would look into the order, send an email to head office and get back to me. I hung up the phone on her, dialed the number again, placed the phone down for almost another half hour until someone picked up, and then chewed off their ear.

After laying into the agent for their incompetence, he apologized saying that ‘someone’ must have forgot to put the order through. Are you kidding me? I told him, the items are now further reduced on sale, so here’s an idea – CANCEL THE ORDER and redo it now at the lower price. And he did. Then he proceeded to tell me I’ll have it by next week. I retorted with ‘I’m not waiting another week’ because of their screw-up. He then did whatever he did on his computer and informed me, I’d have it by Friday Sept. 5th. I usually get an email telling me my package is on its way stating my package will be delivered by the end of the day from Canada Post. But no notifications came.

On Friday, I went down to my mailbox and found no package. On a hunch, I walked into the lobby of my building and noticed a Purolator notice taped to the door flapping around. Yup, it had my name on it, stating, ‘line was busy’, leaving a pick-up address at about ten miles from where I live. I blew a gasket.

I called Purolator and pitied whomever was going to take my call.

After placing me on hold for another half an hour, I finally got to chew someone out. First, I informed the woman on the other end that NOBODY buzzed up, and NOBODY who lives in the complex hardly ever goes through the lobby, as tenants come in from the underground parking. I proceeded to inform her about the numerous Purolator tags floating around in the lobby as an ongoing event because they’re too damned lazy to deliver a package. They are notoriously the worst for deliveries. The lobby door had even been kept open for several days because of some ongoing repairs. I asked her how the hell are people supposed to know they have a package when they aren’t notified by any means other than a sticky note left randomly in the lobby entrance. She replied that’s their protocol. I replied that they are the worst delivery system next to UPS, and asked her to re-deliver that package and have them bring it up to my door and if I don’t answer to leave it there. She put me on hold another few minutes to inquire on her end if they’re allowed to do that. I told her to just do it!

I’m so sick and tired of incompetence by big corporations hiring incompetent people for jobs, most likely not being paid enough to give a shit about their jobs, and certainly not enough people in these jobs. And I’m sick of having to do the leg work to follow up on missing deliveries due to their incompetence. We are at their mercy because nothing ever changes.

I remember an old saying ‘the customer comes first’, but that is an old saying for sure because it no longer applies. I even asked the Purolator rep if she has any idea how many packages are left unclaimed because of their poor delivery procedures. Of course, she had no idea.

Companies have no qualms sending us a bombardment of emails asking us to complete surveys asking us to tell them how they’re doing, please write a review for your new product etc. and bla bla bla. But when you need to get hold of them for support, good luck! So please, stop invading my inbox with your fake goodwill and do your damned jobs!

And this just in as I get ready to schedule this post. . .it’s now Monday night and still no delivery. Fuming at full steam I called them again.This time I waited 55 minutes for an agent, only to find my parcel was still sitting in some dumpy warehouse because NOBODY BOTHERED SENDING THROUGH THE MESSAGE from last Friday that the lying agent told me was sent. I finally got through to an agent, and as I write this, I’ve now been on hold a total of TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!! “So sorry Debby, but I now have to wait for a supervisor to send the email to the warehouse to release the box.” Many swear words were expelled from my mouth. I HAVE NO FRIGGIN’ WORDS LEFT!!!!!!!!!




Thanks for listening. I feel so much better now. 🙂

Anyone here have an incompetence beef you’d like to share here? Please be my guest.


© D.G. Kaye and, 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 – Summary and Analysis of Signs by Laura Lynne Jackson

Welcome to the Sunday Book Review. This week I’m sharing a review on a short prequel, Summary and Analysis of Signs – The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson. This version, as of this writing is FREE on Amazon. It is a condensed summarization of what we can expect in the full version, chock full of excerpts of inspirational stories from the original versions.



Full version:



New York Times’ bestselling author and certified psychic medium Laura Lynne Jackson relates moving accounts of people who opened up to messages from the Other Side and found closure, clarity, and purpose in her book, “Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe.”

What does this ZIP Reads Summary Include?

  • Synopsis of the original book
  • Key takeaways from each chapter
  • A detailed guide to changing the way you feel about food
  • The physical, mental, and emotional components to finding success
  • Editorial Review
  • Background on Caroline Dooner

About the Original Book:

Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe is a candid prescription for opening up to the light of the universe and tapping into its energy to live a happier and more fulfilled life. Between its covers, Jackson shows not only how dozens of people opened up to messages from their spirit guides and loved ones on the Other Side, but also how anyone can read the subtle yet life-changing signs that the universe is always sending.Signs is a fascinating read, whether you believe in the afterlife or not. Anyone who is grieving, wants to reconnect with a loved one who passed on, or simply desires to experience the world at a deeper level will find this book an insightful resource.

DISCLAIMER: This book is intended as a companion to, not a replacement for, Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe ZIP Reads is wholly responsible for this content and is not associated with the original author in any way. If you are the author, publisher, or representative of the original work, please contact with any questions or concerns.


My 4 Star Review:

This little book is a combined synopsis and prequel to the original book, giving us a glimpse into how our connections with lost loved ones is never lost, and we have only to be open to receive messages through song, art, music, and serendipity and synchronicity. We are all born with the gift of light says Jackson, and if we’re open to the universe, it will help to unfold these messages to let us know our lost loved are watching over us.

The book shares some of the inspirational stories about how people have received messages from the beyond. It’s both heartwarming and inspirational just to think we are able to receive these messages if we are open and pay attention to ‘the signs’. For example, you may remember a certain phrase a loved one was notorious for saying, and you may come across someone who mentions that phrase – this is one of the ways the universe is letting us know that a loved one is sending you a message.

This is a quick read at just 40 pages, and gives us a good idea what to expect from the book – just know that you won’t find the meat of the matters – the ‘how’ about how these energies synchronize with the other side, as there isn’t much scientific explanation.

Writer’s Tips – Writer’s Block, Author #Marketing, Hiring #Editors, and Blog Tips

Welcome to this week’s edition of Writer’s Tips. This week’s focus is on all things books – finding the right editor, conquering writer’s block, news from an author convention, Goodreads for promoting books, and of course, more good tips on blogging.


Hugh Roberts has another informative post for bloggers

Source: 15 Blogging Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid – Hugh’s Views & News  


Doris Heilmann from 111 Publishing is offering up some good tips on what to look for when hiring an editor


How to Find the Right Book Editor


Deborah Jay has just returned from the Edinburgh 20Books author event with some great information about the publishing industry and what authors are doing for marketing. I’m sharing 2 of her posts here today.


Kate Johnston is sharing an inspirational article for writers – 3 Steps to Unblocking


Christine Nolfi on how to increase book sales with Goodreads

Happy Writing!



A Change in Seasons – The ‘Embers



The ‘Embers are Upon us


The transition of seasons begin again with the coming of September.


When signs of luscious green leaves once drenched in sunshine and dew drops begin to crisp into golden and crimson hues of autumn as the air chills.


When lighter meal choices turn into to comfort cravings of warming soups and thickened stews.


We trade in our flip flops and light summer breezes in turn for cooler nights and sweaters, and fuzzy slippers, dug out from their boxed up hiding places now staples to defend the chill.


The birds no longer chirping, and the smell of mesquite bbq becomes a faded memory, gone into hibernation while the seasons transcend.


As the ’embers progress, soon goblins and pumpkins will change to turkeys, eventually, into Christmas decorations, as Jack Frost brings us a new year bearing slippery streets, red noses, and parkas.


January puts an end to the ’embers when I’ll once again visit and sift through summer wardrobe to prepare my escape from old man winter’s wrath.


Then the ’embers of September’s falling leaves , October’s pumpkins, November parties and December celebrations will have all been wrapped up for another season, as I get prepared to steal some temporary summer on the Pacific coast, and return hopeful that a new transition of spring will be on its way.


And the cycle repeats.





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