#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.

Sunday Book Review – Widowish” A #Memoir by Melissa Gould

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m reviewing a book I came across that immediately grabbed my attention – Widowish: A Memoir by Melissa Gould. I thought the title was attention grabbing, and as a new widow myself, I felt compelled to read to see why the title had an ‘ish’ attached, it had me curious as to the meaning – did ‘ish’ mean kind of a widow? Sometimes a widow? So I dug in to discover and you will discover my findings in my review below.

With over 5000, 4 1/2 star ratings, I can certainly appreciate this woman’s journey of grief, confusion, guilt, and ultimately, finding happiness on her journey.

Blurb:

Melissa Gould’s hopeful memoir of grieving outside the box and the surprising nature of love.

When Melissa Gould’s husband, Joel, was unexpectedly hospitalized, she could not imagine how her life was about to change. Overwhelmed with uncertainty as Joel’s condition tragically worsened, she offered him the only thing she could: her love and devotion. Her dedication didn’t end with his death.

Left to resume life without her beloved husband and raise their young daughter on her own, Melissa soon realized that her and Joel’s love lived on. Melissa found she didn’t fit the typical mold of widowhood or meet the expectations of mourning. She didn’t look like a widow or act like a widow, but she felt like one. Melissa was widowish.

Melissa’s personal journey through grief and beyond includes unlikely inspiration from an evangelical preacher, the calming presence of some Real Housewives, and the unexpected attention of a charming musician.

A modern take on loss, Widowish illuminates the twists of fate that break our world, the determination that keeps us moving forward, and the surprises in life we never see coming.

My Four Star Review:

Amazon alerted me to this book on sale and as a new younger widow myself, I felt drawn to it. I could identify with so much of what Melissa had lived through. We read many books and stories about love and loss, but their meanings somehow give us a heftier impact when we have walked in the shoes.

Melissa’s world comes to a shocking stumble when her husband’s health takes a turn for the worse and has to come to terms with the loss of her loving husband Joel. She often finds herself not believing her husband is dead and it’s her friends that help her through the transition through widowhood. While her love is undying for her husband and some months have passed, Melissa finds herself conflicted as she discovers she’s having feelings for a family friend, a fellow musician, Marcos, from her husband’s circles. Joel was a musician and Marcos also performs guitar, along with all his other do good ventures – helping homeless, teaching guitar, and more. The friendship between Melissa and Marcos strengthens after Melissa asked Marcos to help sell Joel’s guitar collection.

Through Melissa’s journey of grief, she takes comfort in the signs she believes she receives from Joel – signs that come from odd places – songs, a preacher named Joel, and television Housewives. These signs give her comfort in knowing Joel is around and wants her to be happy.

Upon one of her meet ups with Marcos, Melissa begins to feel an attraction for him, and the feeling is mutual. Melissa goes through the conflicting part about still feeling married to someone who is no longer on earth and a struggle to move forward with her life, even though she feels terrified of her guilt for doing so. Her paranoia ensues between her feelings for Marco and her guilt for having those feelings, feeling as though she is betraying Joel. She elaborates on all the new ‘firsts’ in her life without her husband, the chores she inherited, the important dates that passed – holidays, birthdays, her daughter’s graduation and more. Melissa carries all her feelings while journeying through her new life alone, worrying about how her daughter and others would eventually accept her endeavoring into a new relationship. Her person craved the company and conversation while in doing so, the guilt within her for doing so plagued her. Her dilemma was her own guilt and worrying about what others would say about her in a new relationship. She didn’t want people to think just because she was trying to move forward that she didn’t miss or love her husband anymore. There are no rules about when someone is ready to move on after loss and Melissa worried that she was disappointing people by dating someone nine months after burying her husband, especially her daughter. She felt as though people were judging her for not showing her sadness and going on with her life despite her grief and the unvarnished love she would always hold for Joel.

I felt I got to know Melissa and Marcos better than any description paid to Joel and their daughter Sophie, but in all fairness, although the story was built upon Joel’s passing it’s really about Melissa’s journey through the event and her transition through grief. A relatable read for those of us who have loved and lost and an inside look at the struggles of grief and how it affects us, for those who’ve never walked in the shoes.

Favorite Quotes:

“Grief was my constant companion who occasionally took naps.”

“I wanted to get to the other side of my grief, not stay in it forever.”

“There’s no rhyme or reason to grief, when it hits you, it hits you.”

Most powerful statement that vibrated within me was when Melissa said that she could finally stop envisioning her husband sick and dying, she could envision him how he truly was at his best. I still await that day.

©DGKaye2022