Sunday Book Review – #Shameless #Promotion – New Reviews for D.G. Kaye Books

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. As many of you know, I share a book I’ve read here weekly with my review. I always like to share a good book, paying it forward, and give the author some recognition. For this week’s review, I’m going to take the liberty to share some new-ish reviews I’ve been meaning to share, for my own books. As we all know, reviews are both golden currency for an author, plus, sharing them is a shoutout thank- you to the readers who take the time out to review our books.

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I found this lovely review at Mark Bierman’s blog below.

Source: Review of A Conflicted Heart: A Daughter’s Quest For Solace From Emotional Guilt, by D.G. Kaye – Mark Bierman

If there was ever a story that gives a perfect example of peeling away the protective layers in which many of us enshroud ourselves, you’ve just found it.

D.G. courageously shares her story of being raised by an emotionally, and often physically, distant mother and the damaging consequences. I think most of us read stories to connect with the characters, and I found myself highly engaged with the younger D.G., as she tries to navigate through the emotional turmoil of her mother’s rejection; no child should ever have to go through that.    

In spite of her mother’s alienation, D.G. does find strong supporters, within her family and in romantic partners. The reader cannot help but feel relief and joy every time these people turn up in her life.

I grew to admire D.G.’s resilience, kind heart, and appreciated her brutal honesty. The pages are choc full of valuable life lessons.

Life is rarely fair, but there are bright spots that we can soak up, and D.G. is certainly one who has learned to do just that. No one is spared from disappointment and varying degrees of trauma. We all need to find our ‘people’ who will support us.

I recommend this book to anyone with a pulse.  

I’m giving this book, FOUR STARS!  

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Martha Perez, thank you for sharing your reviews on your many social platforms. This one is on Goodreads.

Review of Twenty Years from Martha Perez

Martha Perez 5.0 out of 5 stars HEARTFELT MEMOIR  Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2022

Twenty years started with a promise. D.G. Kaye had no limits for the love of her life.
A heartfelt personal memoir is written beautifully by the author D.G. Kaye. This story is my favorite book by far this year. She shares taking the plunge and commenting on the love of her life, and truth be told, we never could predict the future. Gorden is a lot older than D.G. Kaye. I could feel her worrisome mind. She did take the chance.

The way she talked about her husband and the unconditional love between them is beautiful, even though a marriage is a lot of work. Each chapter of her words was the good, the bad, and the ugly, but her life with Gorden was a lovely daily sprinkle of glitter with love, laughter, stability, health-giving and age differences, respect, and lots of honey past, today, and future.

The author talks about the strength of the struggles they both endured, yet they embrace handling life together with love, kindness, and creative planning.

Kaye is Awe-inspiring with her sincere overpowering words that touch my heart and soul. Life is not perfect; by reading her love story, I could honestly say she came close to the happiness that people wait for a lifetime with faithfulness, honoring their vows to smile and laugh at the end of the day.

The simple things in life are watching the sunset, having morning coffee together, hugs, and making love are a lot more than the little things in a couple’s life. I truly loved reading this book. I learned from others and my own mistakes. The author’s story is a touching and beautiful tribute to her marriage.

Keeping a marriage together and having compassion in everyday life is an emotional task; they choose to handle their day-to-day lives gracefully and in harmony. I highly recommend the extraordinary book. 

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Martha Perez posted on Goodreads.

Martha Perez’s Review

Jul 15, 2022

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines—with her overweight luggage in tow.

I have to say I enjoyed reading this book. When I traveled had the same dilemma overweight luggage baggage charges have become an excess headache. I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one going through this madness.

And when travelers are compulsive shoppers, when nothing fits in our suitcases, that could become a problem. Read and learn. The author gives you an insight into her own experience and shares with us the stratagem of how to fit everything in a suitcase and much more; those tips will be with me for the next vacation.

Each word is beautifully written for awareness and to educate the people who travel and make it as easy as possible. I appreciate the knowledge that will help me shortly. I highly recommend this fantastic book to mostly those who love to travel.

~ ~ ~

Toni Pike recently shared a new review on her blog for Have Bags Will Travel. This was a lovely post Toni put up at her blog to share my book. I hope you’ll pop over there. Her review is below.

5 stars – a delightfully nostalgic travel memoir

D.G. Kaye’s delightful travel memoir is an enjoyable page-turner, and essential reading for anyone wanting to travel overseas. It would be a perfect beach read, or a great book to take with you on vacation – something, perhaps, to keep you entertained while lining up at airports.

The author confesses to being a shopaholic who always travels with too much luggage – a problem shared by so many other travellers, including myself. She had me in stitches with her stories of trying to comply with the ever-varying luggage limits, and her constant struggles to deal with Canadian customs authorities on her trips home.  

Kaye has many useful tips and tricks for the unsuspecting traveller. I couldn’t stop laughing at her description of how to maintain perfect sterilisation and not touch anything inside those tiny airplane toilets.

She has fond memories to share about trips to places like London, Paris and Las Vegas – and some fun times in Venezuela. I could relate to how much she loved Las Vegas in the past, when there were less crowds, much higher dress standards, and the restaurants and hotels offered much better service and value.

A few months in Greece in her youth became a constant struggle with too much luggage and then an accident. At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, she managed to get from one terminal to another in record time with her elderly father in tow.

The author manages to include all sorts of luggage disasters – a topic very relevant at the moment. Shoes also play a big part, but you’ll have to read for yourself to find out more.

The book is written in an easy-to-read style and it moves quickly, so I kept eagerly turning the pages and was very sorry to reach the end. I hope the author writes another travel book one day – and I give this a very well-deserved 5 stars.

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Martha posted on Goodreads blog.

Reviewed on Goodreads by Martha Perez

P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy

Martha Perez‘s review

Jun 26, 2017 and May 2022

it was amazing

Read 2 times

When I started to read this astonishing true story, I have to say I was very proud of D.G. Kaye; this is a heart-wrenching story with so many emotions about a mother and daughter relationship having a narcissistic mother and being so selfish and damaging her child.

A mother is supposed to love and treasure the gift God gave her; instead, she gave her pain and sorrow. I honestly relate to this story. D. G. Kaye is a fantastic woman. It is vital to tell such a heartrending and emotional story; she has so much courage to heal herself and others.

You live with this all your life wondering why? What did I do wrong? You start to question and blame yourself. It’s living with a dysfunctional family; it’s never your fault; it’s all we know until you’re an adult that you realize how messy life is. She has to decide to forgive her mother. I think it’s up to the person that was hurt to make such a tough choice—a page-turner.

Many of us came from a flawed family. Unfortunately, we can’t choose our parents, and when a child is abused, they will carry the pain throughout their lives. It’s an emotional roller coaster; the author speaks from her heart and soul. You will have tears flow down your cheeks. It’s not easy to forgive, but I am glad she has written this book.

A mother’s love should be unconditional, but when they have gambling and other problems, they exercise control over their children by being selfish and not loving. It’s a recipe for disaster. Why her mother wasn’t happy reflects on her daughter’s hurt she carries throughout her life and the neglect and abuse of the family.

I understand why writing her journey was so important. It’s like letting go of a butterfly jarred to be free to fly away from the Suffocation from her past.

I don’t think we can ever understand why some parents do what they do. We must heal from the bad and be grateful for the good. I could relate with D.G. Kaye. My parents were alcoholics and gave us away. It’s important to forgive, but you never forget. I highly recommend this fantastic book.

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I found this beautiful review from Harmony’s posting on Goodreads.

Harmony Kent

5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Everyone Should ReadReviewed in the United States on April 28, 2021

As soon as I saw what this book was about, I had to read it, and I am so pleased I did.

Because of the difficult subject matter, and my own history, I had to take a deep breath before I plunged in. Not only has this writer’s honesty and bravery helped me to understand my parents a little better, it has also shown me precisely what my sister has become. I’d missed that, and this explains so very much.

It is a sad fact of life that, all too often, the victim becomes the perpertrator, unless we have the insight and strength to do something about it. I have long joked that I’m the reverse ‘black sheep’ of my family, and it seems to me that Debby is too. For all our successes, and the miracle of growing into well-adjusted adults in spite of it all, we will never be accepted by a parent who demands that we live their lies, manipulations, and abuses. The same with any sibling who demands the same.

Some lines that resonated with me in particular:

‘A narcissistic mother doesn’t have to be in one’s presence. She can still demand and demean no matter how far away.’

and

‘It is my decision to banish my mother from my life and a resolution to find peace within myself with my decision.’

and

‘[…] if we’re lucky enough to realize the bad, we have the opportunity to steer ourselves in a better direction.’

For a while now, I have struggled to think of what I will do when one or the other of my parents dies. I’m not even sure they would let me know, at this stage. And reading this honest and brave account from D G Kaye has helped me immensely. It has also helped to explain the till-now inexplicable behaviour of my twin sister. She has grown up with emotional neglect, as did I, and has now become a narcissist. This book has helped me to identify why she lives and behaves the way she does.

From my own life, I know how hard it is to go against the grain to become your own person despite your upbringing. It takes work, day by day, to resist some of those unhealthy habits instilled in us as children and to trust our judgements and motives. It takes courage to not give in to the insidious lack of self-esteem with which such adults are often left. The author has overcome much, and I admire her deeply both for her acheivements and for putting her journey into words so that others of us can also be helped.

PS I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy gets a solid and resounding 5 stars from me. A difficult read, but a book everybody should read.

I want to thank Mark, Toni, Harmony, for taking the time and interest to read my books and review. I’d also like to thank Martha Perez for her interest and time for reading three of my books. I am elated that all of you took so much from my words. Author’s gold. 💜💚🧡

©DGKaye2022

#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

Sunday Book Review – Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

My Sunday Book Review is for a moving children’s book (ages 9 +), Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I typically don’t read children’s books often, but I do read a lot of historical fiction, and I came across this book while I was looking at two books Robbie Cheadle had written reviews for and talked about these books written for children to help them understand in their terms about the wars and politically incorrect things humans do to humans. I was curious to read such a book to see how an author could write for the young ones to help them understand the tragedy of WWII.

This book was written in 1989, yet has over 10,000 reviews, many of them from recent years, and many from teachers and parents who’ve read this book to their children. This book is also in school libraries.

This is the heartfelt story of Annemarie Johansen, a Danish girl, and her best friend Ellen Rosen during occupied Denmark 1943. Nine year old Annemarie is a fictional character whose story the author based on true stories she learned of from a friend who lived in Copenhagen during the German occupation, and the sacrifices the Danes made to save most of their Jewish population from capture. Beautifully told with many lessons, teaching children about loyalty and compassion. Denmark surrendered to the Germans in 1940 because their country was too small and not a big enough army to defend themselves. It also explains the story about the Danish King, King Christian, who loved his people and rode on his horse, unaided by guardsmen, to greet the people of his city, daily, even through the war – a story that is documented, and was told to the children as a fairytale to keep them inspired and to know their king loved them, despite the takeover of his country. No doubts Hans Christian Anderson was Danish and well ahead of his times with his famous fairytales and plays!

Blurb:

The unforgettable Newbery Medal–winning novel from Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

A modern classic of historical fiction, Number the Stars has won generations of fans.

“Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie’s experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery.” (School Library Journal)

My 5 Star Review:

In this story, the author expresses events that occurred with such an easy to understand and compassionate style, teaching history through simpler and metaphoric explanations as used to explain to the children what they were seeing and hearing on their streets, and in public anywhere. For example, when the Danes sank their own navy in Copenhagen harbor before the Germans could take them for their own use, the explosions as ships were burned, were loud and lit up the skies, in the book, the parents would tell them they were fireworks to entertain the children. The author has a wonderful way of conveying the scary events in a way that lets them absorb, what lightens the way to teaching.

A well conveyed story with genuine understanding of a child’s mind – example: little Kristi, Annemarie’s five year old sister, is used to seeing German soldiers on every corner in their neighborhoods as Annemarie tells her bestie, Ellen Rosen, reiterating Kristi is only five and that’s how she grew up in five years of occupation. She’s used to that, that’s all she knows. It’s the nine year olds who were born in freedom and watched their world taken away from them. A very clever telling.

This is a timely book still. And I should think everyone, any age above nine could read this and learn.

A beautifully told Afterword is at the back of this book, where the author authenticates the events that took place are all truth from the people who witnessed. She has a light way of writing on some gloomy subjects and does a great job of expressing – gently, heavy events. She authenticates events and enlightens as to what were facts and which were fiction. Yet, her fictional characters represented actual people’s circumstances. When she brings in Peter who worked for the resistance and was close with Annemarie’s family, Peter was fictional, based on a true person she read about that worked for Resistance.

A good and current reminder timely about the fragility of democracy.

The author reiterates the part of the book where it was the Jewish High Holiday, the New Year, and 1943 now, Jews were still allowed to be in public, (which I sure wouldn’t have gone to synagogue with German SS standing on street corners.) And on this holy day,the Rabbi warns the congregation in time to leave home because the Germans had asked the Rabbi for a ‘list’ of members and they were going to be taken and ‘relocated’. The Rabbi found out as a favor from someone in the high up ranks. Most Jews, except the non believers, left that same night. Most Danes took them in, took care of them and eventually, got them off to Sweden. Only weeks after that holy day, almost the whole 7000 population of Danish Jews were eventually smuggled across water by fishermen to Sweden. These are just some of the things we learn about history, in easy to digest stories.

A fantastic historical telling in easy to read comprehension for children 9 and up to help learn about Danish occupation during WWII.

©DGKaye2022

Q & A with D.G. Kaye, featuring Y.A., Romance and Paranormal Author, D.L. Finn

Welcome to my Q & A this month. I’m delighted to be featuring friend and author, D.L. (Denise) Finn here today. Denise is a multi-genre author who writes in the genres of Y.A., poetry, paranormal and memoir. Today we’re going to get to know a bit about Denise and her featured new release – A Voice in the Silence.

About Denise:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

Blurb:

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

So great to have you over Denise!

So nice to have you over here today Denise!

Welcome

Let’s get to know more about Denise!

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


What I write on, depends on what I’m writing. I love to hand write poetry in a journal. This
allows me the freedom to write in the forest, riding on the back of the Harley, in a plane, by the ocean, or even in bed. Later I put it on the computer.


All new ideas are usually jotted down on paper as soon as I wake up or whenever they come to me. Now, if I am away from paper and pen, I will type myself an email with the ideas and then send it on my cellphone.  


After I get started on a story, though, I’m at my laptop or computer typing away. I always email current WIP to myself, so I never lose anything.


I have always thought it a good idea to dictate ideas, but speaking the words doesn’t work as well for me as writing them down does.

D.G. – Good idea to email yourself notes. If I’m out and think of an idea I want to write about, I’ll use voice recording on my phone so I don’t forget my great ideas. .😁

..

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


My first choice would be my latest story, A Voice in the Silence. I would love to see that up on a screen. My only concern would be giving a voice to the animals. If that wasn’t done right, it would pull away from the story and end up silly. But there are so many parts that I could see in my mind as I was writing, and I know a viewer could fall in love with not only Drea but the trio of animals. A setting in the forest in a storm could be powerful and beautiful, too.


My second close choice would be A Second Chance. Bringing not only an angel to life but her opposite the evildwel who’s a dark creature with red eyes, would make for some interesting viewing. Plus, the spirit, Eddie, who is helping the angel, is a favorite of mine. I could see his famous smirk up on the big screen as he teases a very serious angel, Zelina. Being set in not only a beautiful Bay Area coastal town but in Hawaii would be an amazing backdrop.


In both stories, it’s the other-worldly creatures that I would love to see come to life on a screen.

D.G. – Those scenarios you shared would indeed make good viewing. 😀

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Do some of your own character traits or personal experiences spill into your book’s characters?


Yes, I weave some of my personal traits into my characters. A few of my dislikes and likes come through, but they also develop their own personalities and likes as I write. Drea and I both love animals. I would take in a stray without question. We are both writers and love family, but her obsession with coffee isn’t mine. I’m a tea drinker.


As for personal experiences, I use my knowledge of riding out a snowstorm or driving in it. I have the same reaction to driving on ice. I avoid it if I can. But if forced to drive in it, my hands are glued to that steering wheel, making it a white-knuckled drive like Drea had.

My belief in the afterlife has become a part of a lot of my stories. I believe in angels, fairies, and ghosts. Bears visit often, and we’ve had trees and branches fall during storms, but I haven’t dealt with a serial killer.


Although I have things in common with some of the characters, they take over and become their own person. One thing is for sure, they are much braver than I am.

D.G. – I’m so captivated by everything afterlife. I look forward to reading more of your books.

..

Denise is sharing an excerpt from her new release – A Voice in the Silence

A slight breeze wove through the pine trees, making them sway to nature’s song, but Drea and the dog didn’t join in the flowing movement. Instead, they maintained a tense pose, as if studying each other from a safe distance.


Drea made the first slow movement of setting her newspaper down. “Are you lost?” The beautiful brown eyes pulled her in. It was like they could peer into her soul. There was no threat or fear in those eyes as the fluffy dog sat down. Encouraged, Drea stepped back into the garage and grabbed the pink leash and collar still hanging on the wall. The dog watched her every move with a slow tail wag.


A can of dog food she hadn’t donated to the shelter yet caught her eye. “Hungry?” It wagged its tail harder.


She opened the can and shook the smelly chunks onto a white paper plate she kept under the cans. Holding the offering, she moved cautiously to the dog. Using a soft tone and a smile, she kept moving forward. “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you.”


The dog blinked and nodded as if it understood her. The sun fully abandoned the sky, leaving behind the encroaching darkness lit by a half moon. But the sadness that had weighed her down seeped out into the night with each step she took toward the pup. She wished she’d brought a flashlight, but the evening offered its remaining luminescence. Soon she was within a foot of the dog. The posture and build indicated a golden retriever mix like her Lady, but this was a male, and he was beautiful.


“I don’t recognize you. I know all the neighbor’s dogs. You have a home?” The dog blinked and shook his head as her feet crunched through the dry pine needles. The sound reminded her of when Robbie would place bubble wrap on the ground and gleefully jump on it. She would clean them up—tomorrow. As she got closer, the dog’s condition was more apparent. He hadn’t eaten in a while.


“Here, this used to be Lady’s food. I lost her a little while ago.”


He licked his snout as though he understood. Smart dog.


“No collar. Maybe you have a chip.”


She set the food down and backed away. He lunged toward the plate and wiped it clean in seconds, then sat down, licking his chops. She inched her way toward him. Each step toward the mutt brought him closer to her heart, which was beating like she’d run a marathon. She slowly reached out and rubbed his fur. The dog didn’t flinch. In fact, a small sigh escaped him. Drea gently searched for injuries. Other than a small gash on his neck, he appeared healthy and wasn’t afraid.


“You must have someone who loves you. What happened?”

She wished the dog could answer.

..

A Review for this book:

I loved this story! The author’s imagination was entertaining. The talking animals were endearing, especially how they protected Drea from the evil in the woods. After the death of her husband and her son leaving to live with his horrific wife, Drea felt lost and alone. This all changed when three animals showed up on her doorstep. She needed their companionship, especially when she found out that someone seemed to be killing single women in the area and she was next on his list!


The author did a phenomenal job in keeping the reader guessing who the bad guy was throughout the entire story. Was it the cop with the attitude? Was it her deceased husband’s best friend who just happened to be making the moves on her? Or was it someone else in her life that had it out for her?


With the help of her talking animals and the ghost of her deceased husband, Drea slowly puts the pieces together. And just when you think you have it all figured out, the author throws another loop into the web she weaved!


This is a great story, and I highly recommend it!— Yvi MC

More books by Denise:

Find Denise on her blog and social links:

Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
D.L. Finn blog
Author Amazon Page

©DGKaye2022