Mariachi, Margaritas, Mexico, Oh My.

I can almost hear the crash of the waves, smell the waft of coconut scented air along the beach, and know exactly the same two spots that get burned in my first three days of being a sun hog – just above the bandeau top of my bathing suit edge, close to my armpits. Yup, always even, one on each side. It’s like my Mexican welcome gift.

No matter the awareness, the slathering of sunscreen lotion and the constant checking up on, by day three or four in the sun, those two little spots are tender. And no worries, I come equipped to the pool with Tshirt packed in my bag for just the occasion, then stuck wearing it over my swimsuit for two days because of two tender little spots. I’m convinced it has to do with ‘unconscious’ standing and chatting with people in the sun at the pool, unaware of an errant ray of sunshine beating down on an unsuspected spot. Whenever I’d go through the security gates surrounding my rental property, that open right on the beach, I have to walk the length of one of the pools to do so. What should be a less than a minute walk, tends to turn into a half hour lag as it’s typical for me to sidetrack and stop when I pass a traveler friend on a lounger, ending up in some sunny conversation for an undetermined amount of time, where the sun finds some opportunistic moment to shed it’s rays on. That’s how it happens – I am convinced.

And how I am missing ‘the little things’ about human engagement, as I’m sure many of us feel. Being around actual humans and having conversations – significant or otherwise.

The thought of a warm familiarity where I spent many happy winter vacations with my husband, where we spent time with our seasonal friends and despite the many things to do in Mexico, treasured just being out of the cold, relaxing in sunshine and turning off the noise of daily life.

PV sunsets

So, you may have guessed it; this is my swan song before my BBB – Big Blogging Break. The packing is on, furiously (as I procrastinated away many days deciding if I was going), car transfers arranged, neighbors alerted, plants will be watered, mail picked up, so I’m going to the land of Tequila and exquisite sunsets. A few friends of mine from here as well as my BFF from U.K. will be joining me at various times (hopefully), so that will be fun. This will be both, a definite solo and girltime holiday. And the change of environment for me is longgggg overdue – mentally mostly, but the benefits will also be amazing physically – walks on the beach and massages, just to mention a few. And then there is the Vitamin Sea and perhaps some Vitamin C in those limes that will float in my Margaritas.

So I’m calling a break because technically I don’t intend to be blogging while indulging, but during my solo parts, one never knows, I may just have to put up a few posts. And I will still pop round on social media and visit blogs when time permits.

I have no clue what to expect this trip, I just know I need it. And of course I will be sharing status reports and beautiful pictures. I expect to be reading several books and will review each one after. I will post those reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and alert the authors when I’ve done so. Upon my return I will begin sharing those reviews again on my Sunday Book Reviews. So even though my blog here may look lonely and abandoned, I won’t be but a click away.

Image by Press 👍👍 Love you 💖 from Pixabay

Ole!

©DGKaye2022

#Bloganuary Challenge – Triple Challenge

The #Bloganuary prompt challenges come in daily. I chose a few more to respond to below:

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the prompt – What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken? – My wedding picture.

I am my own worst critic when it comes to looking at myself in photos – old habits die hard. But my wedding pictures are with my husband, and we were both crazy about each other. Love never dies.

Gies Wedding

Next – If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?

Back to the 80s when life was carefree. When the only worries were where we we’re going to have fun, no digital apparatus, just real connections, relationships, breakups, parties – living, enjoying, and experiencing.

Also, What is your favorite quote and why?

‘What goes ’round comes back.’ – I have been saying this phrase for as long as I can remember. I relate it to Karma – what you give you get back, bad or good, so may as well make it good.

From the Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Definition of what goes around comes around

informal—used to say that if someone treats other people badly he or she will eventually be treated badly by someone elseYou should not mistreat them. What goes around comes around.

Remember these two things:

  1. Add the bloganuary tag to your post.
  2. Promote your blog post on social media, using the hashtag #bloganuary.

If you have any questions or want to discuss ideas, join the Bloganuary community site.

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – Satin and Cinders by Jan Sikes #Shortstory, #Romance

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m reviewing a #shortstory by Jan Sikes – Satin and Cinders. This is a sweet love story between a privileged horse and a wild stallion.

I’m currently halfway through another of Jan’s books, as well as an historical fiction memoir and a book about NLP therapy, but I wanted to put up a last review before I take a blogging break later this week, and pulled up this sweet short story on my BFK. I’m looking forward to a timeout and a readathon on the beach – in between having actual conversations with human beings.

Blurb:

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.

My 5 Star Review:

This was a sweet love story about two horses in love. This story could have been about any two people, but it’s about a beautiful mare, Satin, and the wild black stallion, Cinders, who are in love and separated by living standards and a fence. Cinders narrates. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the emotions to life and writing about the horse’s thoughts, inviting us into their story. An equine love story with a human feel.

©DGKaye2022

#Bloganuary – What Emoji(s) Do You Like to Use?

What a fun prompt. As I don’t have the fortitude or time right now to hop on to every daily WordPress #bloganuary challenge, this is one topic I thought would be fun to join in with – What emoji(s) do you like to use?

As a person who is naturally animated when she speaks, emojis are always an accompaniment to all my posts and comments – as many of you know. For me, they are accessories to punctuation and emotions. For many in my closer circles, I will add a heart and at the very least, I’ll always add a smiley face after commenting. For me, it’s like speaking to someone while wearing a smile.

Image by Serena Wong from Pixabay

Emojis are used to add fun and expression of feelings and emotions. I’m inclined to think that people who use them are also people who like using their hands in animation to convey expression. That would definitely be me. I use them in comments and social media, and even sometimes on a post. ❣

😊😍🦄🦋🧡

If you’d like to join in and/or receive the daily question prompts from WordPress, find the rules below:

  1. Add the bloganuary tag to your post.
  2. Promote your blog post on social media, using the hashtag #bloganuary.

If you have any questions or want to discuss ideas, join the Bloganuary community site.

©DGKaye2022

January 2022 – First Edition of Writer’s Tips

Welcome to my January Writer’s Tips. In this month’s edition of posts I hand picked from my reading trails, I’ve found some informative articles for writers from authors, Natalie Ducey – how to add weblinks on #Instagram, publishing predictions for 2022 by agent Laurie McLean at the blog of Anne R. Allen, ideas for promoting sequels on #Bookbub, book promotion blunders by Kathy Steinemann, and, how to use dashes in fiction by Louise Harnby.

Natalie Ducey has a helpful tutorial on how to add weblinks on #Instagram

Anne R. Allen, guest writer, agent Laurie McLean shares her predictions for the publishing world 2022

12 Clever ideas for promoting sequels on Bookbub

Fiction editor and proofreader, Louise Harnby shares, how to use dashes in fiction for both U.S. and U.K.

https://www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/blog/how-to-use-dashes-in-fiction-dashes-uk-and-us-style

Ten Book Promotion blunders authors make by Kathy Steinemann

https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/promotion/#comment-10817

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – Scam! – Stevie Turner

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. This week’s featured book is for Stevie Turner’s novella – Scam! A story that will keep you engaged until the end. This story showcases just how easily people are sucked into scams.

Blurb:

Lauren West and Ben Hughes are saving frantically for their forthcoming marriage and mortgage deposit. When Lauren sees an advert online from a firm of brokers extolling the profits to be gained by buying and selling Bitcoins, she is interested enough to pursue it further.

Lauren clicks on the advert. She is soon contacted by Paul Cash, a knowledgeable stockbroker whom Lauren trusts straight away. He is affable, plausible, and seemingly genuinely interested in her welfare. Lauren looks forward to making enough money to be able to surprise Ben and bring the date of their wedding forward, and also to put a deposit down on their ideal house.

What could possibly go wrong?

My Five Star Review:

I enjoy Turner’s women’s fiction stories and Scam!, held me captive to the very end. This story demonstrates just how vulnerable people are to the savvy tech scammers.

Lauren and Ben, both teachers, are saving to buy their own home, in the meantime, they are living with Ben’s parents. Lauren is eager to get her own home as she feels stifled and judged all the time by Ben’s mother. Lauren thinks she’s struck gold when she finds an online opportunity to invest in Bitcoin. The problem is, her and Ben have worked hard to save the $20 K so far for a deposit on a new home, and this opportunity looked tempting to double her money quickly. Lauren is sure everything looks legit and decides to take the plunge without telling Ben because she wants to surprise him when she makes the money – a sure thing says Paul ‘Cash’, her online stockbroker.

What could go wrong is a loaded question. This may be a novella, but as usual, this author knows how to pack in a lot of suspense in her short stories. I do not want to give out spoilers here, so I will just say that a simple scam turns into way more than just the scam itself, escalating into burglary and even murder. That should be enough to tempt. At approximately 100 pages this story reads fast because there’s always something happening, making it hard to put down and not difficult to read in one sitting.

©DGKaye2022

#Writing Challenge – Tell us a Story About Your TBR Pile at Myths of the Mirror

Author, Diana Peach has a fun writing challenge going on – Write a story about your TBR pile. Great topic as so many of us writers and readers make jokes about how fat our Kindles are. I’ve written a poem about my BFK – My big fat Kindle.

If you’d like to play, here’s how it works:

  • Deadline is January 23rd
  • Post the story or poem on your blog
  • Link back to this post or leave your link in the comments below
  • Keep it family friendly
  • I will reblog as many of the entries as I can through the end of the January
  • Please reply to comments when I reblog your story or poem
  • I’ll post a summary with links in early February
  • You may use the (attribution free) pixabay image above if you want to
  • And most of all, Have Fun!

MY BFK (My Big Fat Kindle)

Stories and more stories
We cannot get enough.
Amazing how many books, 
Makes choosing one to read real tough.

No more books we chant
While adding just one more.
Adding different genres,
Excuse to add some more.
 
Promotional or free,
An author friend's new release,
My enthusiasm heightens,
A brand new read for me.

That's how fast it happens,
Before realizing the count.
What's one more book,
As the rising number mounts?

We are fooled by our Kindles,
At the lack of hefty weight.
Do we even know how many,
No matter because books are great.

So my Kindle and bookshelves,
Spill over with stories and words.
Yet another book is added,
My no more books plan is for the birds.

Though I know my Kindle
Is bursting at the seams,
I'll continue to hit the buy button,
To read more, fulfilling author's dreams.

©DGKaye2022

If you’d like to hop on this challenge, please visit Diana’s page below:

Original Source: Writing Challenge – The TBR Pile | Myths of the Mirror

#Bloganuary – Living Boldly

WordPress has started #bloganuary, prompting writers with a different question daily, and reminds to tag the post Bloganuary in your tag section so it shows up in the reader with other Bloganuary posts. Also, don’t forget to share these posts on social media using the hashtag #Bloganuary.

Today’s a great day to blog, and the Bloganuary prompt is:

What does it mean to live boldly?

The rules:

Remember these two things:

  1. Add the bloganuary tag to your post.
  2. Promote your blog post on social media, using the hashtag #bloganuary.

What Does It Mean to Live Boldly?

I hopped on to this prompt because it felt appropriate as I’ve been struggling with my decision about going on my long awaited winter escape to Mexico. I’ve eagerly been awaiting this much needed escape, despite my being a Covid hermit for much of the last two years. I avidly follow news reports, Covid reports, country alerts etc. and even though my airline has canceled my flight a few times and my managing to book new flights, the apprehension looms with my anxiety of braving the elements while also hoping my new flight will remain.

I’ve spent a lot of time battling my two minds, or my mind and my heart, and after all I’m seeing and hearing with Covid reports, it appears as of now, Mexico is doing better than my own country! So I’ve decided, Covid here, Covid there, minus 20 here with grey skies and seclusion, sunshine and 88 degrees and several of my friends have already arrived there, what am I fussing about?

With all my weighing out, and despite my biggest fear of passing my Covid test to get back to Canada when the trip is done, I can mask up there as well as I mask up here. So yes, I’ve decided that I’m going to live boldly and go ahead with my travel plans. If I spent the rest of my life worrying about what could happen, I’d never do anything. This virus is heading into its third year. Nothing is going to change for a very long time as long as the world doesn’t reach herd immunity. It’s every man for himself to stay protected no matter where we go. If we wait to get back to living, when will that actually be? Years more, no doubt and more spikes and mutations to be had. Another day of living life is no guarantee. Every day is a gift. If we keep pushing off plans for living, who knows if we’ll be capable of traveling next year or the next year. Tomorrows are never guaranteed.

So yes, I’m going to live boldly instead of cowering behind my fears. I’m going to head for sun and sea with best efforts and begin to loosen the load of worry and act like the excited going away person that I should be savoring at this time instead of dreading. Ole!

©DGKaye2022

*Don’t forget to sign up for the daily prompt if you feel like jumping into one for the month of January. If you missed or deleted the signup invite post from WordPress, you can sign up from the original post page.