#Writers Tips – August Edition – #Prologues, Annoying #Book Quirks, New Platform for Author’s Books

Welcome to August Writer’s Tips. In this edition, Harmony Kent is at the Story Empire and is helping us recognize if a prologue for our books is necessary, John Howell also writes for the Story Empire and shares a great list of what turns off readers in a book, Stevie Turner recommended this site, Shepherd, where we authors can share our books and list comparable authors to our books.

Harmony Kent with Part 5 in her informative series about Writing Prologues and Backstory

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John Howell lets us know what things about books annoy readers

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How does it work? – Shepherd

Authors pick their 5 favorite books around a topic, theme, or mood they are passionate about, along with why they recommend each of those books. Then, we feature the author and one of their books alongside that list

https://shepherd.com/

https://forauthors.shepherd.com/

©DGKaye2022

Life and Loss – The Little Things – Car Service Time Without My Car Man

After 27 years I had to service my car for the first time on my own, and first, find a place to do so.

For 27 years I didn’t have to worry or think about gassing the car, oil changes, car washes, tires, or brakes. My Puppy was the car man in every sense of the world. Then that ‘service car soon for oil change’ light began flashing. Where was I to go? The last time I took my own car in for a oil change was somewhere in the era of 1995. I paid $29.99 at a Speedy Auto – 30 minutes or it’s free. Ya, those were the days!

Back in the day, just pre, my husband, we were just switching over to self-serve gas stations. Gasp, I have to put in my own gas? Gone are the days when after another human put gas in our cars, the attendant would then bring a squeegee and wipe down all our windows. And maybe, if we were lucky, they may even open up the hood of our car to make sure we had enough wiper fluid. Yes, those were the golden days and how I grew up. The sudden switch over to self-serve didn’t have me liking the advance with the times. I learned quick to stop letting my cars go down to empty before a fill, and when the gage was hitting a quarter tank left to hit the gas station on a good weather day.

So, last week I returned from the gym and when I turned off the ignition, I saw that flashing message reminding it was time for an oil change. Oye! What a dilemma. Where should I take my car now?

I made some inquiries with friends. Most gave me warnings instead of suggestions. Don’t go here or there because they’ll rip you off and try and sell you things you don’t need. One friend offered me to call the auto garage she uses and didn’t even remember how much she pays there. I called, the person who answered the phone was kind of quick and rude, ballparking me anywhere from $80 – $130. Are you kidding me?? Did I mention the last time I took my own car in I paid $29.99? Had prices gone up that much??

I thought about taking it to one of the two dealerships my husband worked for. I know for certain the first one where he worked for 48 years, they charged too much because even when my hubby worked there, he’d take my car elsewhere for certain work or pay a service guy cash to do the work on his lunch hour, and all those ‘elsewhere’s’ I remembered, were no longer around. Then I considered where he last worked up until 2020, but that was a half hour drive away. So I then proceeded to visit my friend ‘Google’.

I knew for certain there were some automotive garages in an industrial area five minutes from where I live, which is incidentally, five minutes from the first dealership my hubby worked at. I know he did business with some of these places, and picked one to call, based on the many, many, five star reviews they were rated without a complaint in the bunch. Fair, honest, great, don’t try to upsell things, were just a few of the common themed comments I’d read. Bingo!

Before calling, I had to educate myself about information I’d come across that people were now changing over traditional oil to ‘synthetic’ oil because of better performance and longevity for the engine. I wanted to learn why that price was practically double than the traditional oil, and learned it had something to do with the refining process, and that once upon a time, when oil was discarded, the automotive places got paid for discarding their oil, and now, they have to pay for discarding it.

So, I decided my best option was to call Mr. Automotive, based on the fantastic reviews, close proximity, and maybe they knew my husband?

Nikki answered the phone. I asked a few questions, and before a few minutes passed, we were laughing together like old chums. She’d asked me for the make and model of my car so she could quote me the accurate price. Yes. I learned each model of car has different engines and oil requirements. But when she asked me more about my model, my response was, bwahahahha, are you kidding me? I don’t know such particulars. We laughed, and after two call backs of her checking the possibilities, I went down to my underground to search out the extra fancy initials and numbers beside the model name of my car for her. She then called me back with the quote – at which I gasped, but after doing my research, had kind of expected. And after checking with a few friends, they’d all converted over to synthetic oil.

Nikki gave me the price and assured me that besides the oil change they’d check all my car’s vitals: fluid levels, belts, tire pressure, wipers and more. And gratefully, they filled up my wiper fluid, because I don’t even know the difference between the wiper fluid and anti-freeze compartments. The car was remedied in an hour and the report came back that my car was still in mint condition, now with converted to synthetic oil, and all vitals reported fine. I felt peace of mind about my car, and that I now had a place to take my car that I could feel secure about the service and integrity and honesty and friendly service at Mr. Automotive. Sadly, nobody there recalled knowing my husband, but I’d landed in the right place anyway.

©DGKaye2022

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #D.G.Kaye | The Write Stuff

I was recently invited over to Marcia Meara’s – The Write Stuff blog, where she’s been running a fantastic summer series, Ten Things You May Not Know About Me. So many authors and bloggers were featured in this series where we get to know some personal things about each one that we’d never otherwise know. Today I’m sharing my feature, but I also encourage you to visit some other entries in this wonderful series.

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #D.G.Kaye

I’m sure today’s author needs no introduction for most of you, but just in case there are some new folks reading along, I’m delighted to say that author D. G. Kaye is with us today. Debby is widely known in the blogging/writing world as a memoirist and a writer who generously spreads humor wherever she goes. Please help me give Debby a big welcome this morning. Debby? You’re on!


Thank you so much Marcia, for inviting me to share some of myself here today in your wonderful series – #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe.

1.
In high school, I always managed to maintain an over 80 average – despite my one year failing art and gym! Yes, art and gym! How do you fail art and gym? Well, I did. I was the girl in the Janis Ian song – At Seventeen – when choosing sides of basketball, I’d be last pick. I was nowhere near athletic, nor was I interested in sports. My only saving grace was dance segment and health classes which helped bring up my saggy average in that class. I remember getting booted for a class or two when I was caught cutting across the track field instead of running the length of it, hoping I wouldn’t be discovered doing so, to no avail. And don’t even get me started with those ugly blue rompers, sack-like outfits we had to wear. Art was a whole ‘nother thing. I still cannot color in the lines! Even when it comes to my book covers, I have the vision of what I want, but cannot express with drawing anything with my own hands – okay, maybe stick people.

2.
Ambidextrous, I am, sort of. A weird mixture of one who writes with her right hand yet does most other things with the left. I also sucked at baseball because I have to wear a glove on my left hand for catching, and must take it off to throw the ball back with my same left, leaving a runner too much time before I could throw back the ball. I have no sports coordination with my right hand. When I attempted in my younger years, to play guitar, that was also strumming with the left hand. It’s complicated.

3.
Before I met my husband, I was in an abusive relationship with someone for seven years. I realized it after the first year of living together, but by then I was trapped. I have written much on the subject, but to this day am still petrified of publishing anything about those years, for fears of being sued by my vindictive stalker and abuser.

4.
I had many jobs and careers in my younger years. I was never fired, always left on my own volition. My earlier days were working in the fashion industry – selling clothes and doing the buying for some of those stores. I did a lot of temp secretarial in between jobs, and I was an executive secretary to the general manager of one of our downtown hotels for a few years. Before that, I worked for a photography company doing company sales for family portraits. My job took me all over the province of Ontario – with me as the driver. Those were my fearless days. I also became a certified travel agent, not because I wanted to work in an agency, but I’d struck a deal with an agency owner, I’d bring him clients on the side so I could keep my regular job and get my travel perks, commissions and benefits from the agency. I became office manager for an architectural firm, and later for a construction company, and then a real estate company. In my 30s, I went to ‘dealer’ school and became a certified casino dealer for blackjack and poker, then ultimately, became a pit boss. After a few years doing that, I got scouted out to work for a private company doing private parties. I only worked two or three nights a week and made more money (in tips) than I did all week working in a casino. I ultimately met my husband who was a guest of someone I knew at one of those parties. Once my husband moved in with me, he didn’t want me to work anymore. I must admit, it felt weird not working when I’d worked since a teenager.

5.
I am an empath and very spiritual and sense when spirits are around me. As of yet, I have not directly sensed my own husband directly around me, but, I have definitely received many signs. I am an empath who can sense spirit by smell and touch and an inner knowing, this makes me clairsentient, clairalient, and claircognizant. I also read souls through looking into eyes, sort of like a human lie and empathy detector. This has never failed to be an alert system for me. Except when I was younger and dismissed what I thought I saw. I rely on my instincts to guide me. My father and my dear aunt come to visit me sometimes. I know when they are around, my body starts to shiver, and I can smell my aunt’s perfume or my father’s cigarette smoke when they appear.

Please visit Marcia’s blog to contine reading, and I hope you enjoy! ❣

Source: #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #D.G.Kaye | The Write Stuff

©DGKaye2022

 

Sunday Book Review – Diamonds are for Now by Ruth Harris

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m reviewing Ruth Harris’s Book 3 in her Cozy in the City series – Diamonds are for Now. With a host of colorful and interesting characters, this book will keep us turning the pages as we too are curious to find out, where is Hoad?

Blurb:

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

When the world’s most famous author of bestselling thrillers, Hoad Powell, disappears on a billionaire’s heavily-guarded private island in the Caribbean, Blake and Ralph must find him.

Is he dead?

Or is he alive?

What happened to him?

Why hasn’t he finished his newest blockbuster? Thousands of jobs are on the line and millions of readers want to know.

Who is the glamorous arms dealer who sells tactical nukes to terrorists, dictators, and rogue militias around the world?

What about the mysterious, veiled woman who wears a diamond bracelet worth more than some countries?

And how is the daring robbery at an exclusive Oscar post-party connected?

Will Blake and Ralph succeed in their quest?

Or will they fail?

And what will happen when oh-so-macho Ralph finds out that Blake is making more money than he does?

My 5 Star Review:

This book was a fun romp in the Cozy in the City meets Women’s Fiction series by Ruth Harris. Although this is book three in the series, it’s a standalone story involving the two PR ladies – Blake and Julia, who are on a mission to find out what happened to best selling author, Hoad Powell and the final chapter of his manuscript they are awaiting to get published and promote.

There are a host of colorful characters in this story, from George the publisher, and Jay the agent, and Steve, Jay’s son who is suddenly, taking over his father’s business, leaving others to wonder if he indeed knows what has happened to that missing chapter. Where is Hoad?

All we know is that Hoad was writing this book on his boat in the Caribbean at Goldeneye in Jamaica, and he ditched his boat, mysteriously, just before it blew up along with one of its employees who we find out had escaped working in a Russian diamond mine. Why did Hoad leave his boat and stay on the mysterious man and his girlfriend’s boat – to continue to write about what he’d discovered about the very people he was staying with, and not get in touch with anyone looking for him? And what is up with that mysterious rich man with his even richer girlfriend named Diamond, wearing diamonds worth more than a country? Where did all these funds and diamonds come from? Well that’s exactly what Hoad has been investigating and basing his book – Diamond Reef about.

Blake and her ex-cop husband Ralph, now working for a private security firm, are trying to sleuth out this mystery. Where is Hoad Powell? The manuscript is running out of time to meet publication date, and coincidentally, there was a huge robbery that had taken place at the Academy Awards where someone wearing a Cary Grant face mask is elusive and suspected as the robber of all the jewels and gems worn by the nominees at the reception party. How on earth does this diamond heist fit in with the mystery about where Hoad disappeared to with his manuscript in the Caribbean?

Lots going on in this entertaining mystery and Harris draws us right into the scenes with both, some shady, unsuspecting and suspicious characters. Could Steve, the agent taking over his father Jay’s business be behind this? Wait! Might the new office space Becca is leasing from some shady building owner have something to do with this?

Harris keeps us entertained and busy following the lives of agents, publishers, authors, PR gals, investigators, Russian oligarchs, and of course, Hoad, the author in this herd of characters that all share a stake in this hot manuscript mystery they are all awaiting.

Damaged Goods, Warranties, Humor, and the Love of My Life

Damaged Goods –

A popular slang term for a person with a ravaged past, incident, or reputation – no longer perfection. Aren’t we all damaged in some way? Hard to think that anyone has sailed through life unscathed by hurt, pain, or inappropriate abuse. We don’t have to experience physical pain to feel abused  – mental, or emotional, abuse can appear in all forms.

My husband used to joke around with me because three days after we were married, I wound up in hospital – on and off for three months because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, thinking it was a cancer that turned out to be hard to diagnose Crohns disease. No, it wasn’t funny then, but through the years, I had a few other scares, and throughout our marriage when all was well, my humorous husband used to like to say to our friends that he married damaged goods. He’d add to that, in true used car salesman talk, he married a lemon and it was too late to give her back because the warranty had expired.

Yes, that was my husband, always full of humorous slogans. Yes, I can laugh, and so can you, because my husband loved me to the nth degree and would move heaven and earth for anything that would make me happy. I lacked for nothing and never asked for anything, because I didn’t have to. He was always willing to give anything of himself. And he always did.

Damaged goods isn’t an endearing term by any means, typically it is referred to as a product we’ve bought that failed to live up to its projected expectations. Not so pretty when used to refer to a person’s state of being. My Honey had a joke for everything between us, and that’s why we laughed together every single day we were together. Life isn’t always funny, but if you can look past the painful parts and find a way to make light of things, it helps to lighten the load. Having unconditional love allows for such jokes, without that, a comment like that would sound abusive.

My husband had so many funny sayings. He was also always full of surprises. Every year or so he’d come home and inform me that he sold my car again. This was his department not mine. I knew that when he found a happy paying customer to buy a car he didn’t have on the lot for him, but he had one his wife was driving, of course, in mint condition, it was time to sell and make a profit. It became like a side business for him because all my cars were bought at wholesale price, and sold for retail. Getting a new car didn’t cost us anything and we’d buy a newer model. He had always warned me to never get attached to ‘things’.

One day he came home from work while I was sitting outside with a neighbor. He got out of his car, came up to me and gave me a kiss as he did every single day of our lives together, then told me to clean out my car, it was going tomorrow. I’d lament as I always did once I got attached to a car, reminding him how much I loved it and didn’t need a new one. The logic would repeat, he’d laugh and add, “Now Cubby, make sure you don’t stand on this driveway because you can be sold too.” Lol, I always remembered that one. As if! He loved to give the neighbors a laugh, pretending to be the guy with authority when anyone who knew us, knew that it was I who always had the final say. But I let him get his glory moments in, and we’d both burst out laughing at the mere conception that he’d ever give me away for any price.

I miss that man more than I could ever write. My heart breaks daily again everyday I wake up without him, and the painful longing for his embrace and love. I try to keep focusing on our funny moments to overshadow the black hole that resides within me, there were so many moments. It’s a Herculian task to say the least, to struggle daily with missing my other half of me. My husband joked a lot about my being damaged goods, but little did he know that’s exactly how I feel now without him. And there are no jokes possible to lighten this load. But one thing is for sure, the warranty on my love for him will never expire.

Big Puppy

©DGKaye2022