Q & A with D.G. Kaye is featuring Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with her Hot #NewRelease – Variety is the Spice of Life – #shortstories and #poetry

November is promotion month here at my blog; and I’m kicking off this week with my dear friend, author/blogger, podcaster, and short story writer extraordinaire, Sally Cronin. Sally is a staunch supporter and promoter of so many writer’s books and blogs. I am also fortunate to be one of Sally’s ongoing guest writers with various columns I write for her on her blog – currently, my spiritual awareness series. My friend Sally tirelessly promotes others and barely a peep from her on the socials about her own new book – Variety is the Spice of Life – A blend of poetry and prose. So I’m happy to share Sally’s book here today along with a little Q & A.

I know most of you here are familiar with Sally and her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, but she hasn’t been featured here for a while, so today I’m thrilled to have her over and share some more interesting tidbits about Sally and her writing. Enjoy!

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Sally Cronin image

About Sally:

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Sally’s blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin

Get this book on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

Blurb:

Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.

The poetry explores human nature, the fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.

The short stories introduces you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.

Welcome

Welcome back to my blog Sal. Thrilled to have you over today and share your good news!

Thank you so much Debby for inviting me over to chat and to share the news about my latest release.

What inspired you to Write this book?

I love writing and over the course of a year I will jot down poetry, sometimes participate in a blog challenge, or an idea will come to me when I am doing tapestry or listening to music. These days I have to write things as they come to me, otherwise they might get lost if I leave it too long. It is the same with short stories, and I throw them down in a rough draft on the computer whilst the muse is with me and then go back and refurbish them down the line.

This is how I ended up with nearly 40 poems and 8 short stories. For the last ten years the tag line for my blog Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, has been Variety is the Spice of Life, so I decided it was time to make that the headline rather than the afterthought.

D.G. – Sal, you and I, once again, with the same working system. My musings go right into a Word doc or forever lost! ❤

What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?

I would find it difficult to fully measure the impact being part of the blogging community has made to my life. The first day I began blogging was during the last few months of my mother’s life. I had been living with her full time for two years and had given up my work as a nutritional therapist and my radio and television commitments as she required round the clock care.

I don’t regret that in any way, but it did suddenly shrink my world with a loss of contact with others in the real sense. I had to focus all my physical and emotional efforts on keeping my mother well and in her own home, which was very important to her.  To be honest, that was important to me too, as I really didn’t think she would be happy in a care home. At that point my husband David, who had been looking after his father for the last year joined us and that made a huge difference, but I still felt isolated and cut off from the world.

I was reading a blog online one day and realized that I had a lot of health articles that I had published individually, and in a couple of books, that might be of interest to others. I also had my first collection of short stories that I could share. I came up with a couple of names for my blog over the next year and dabbled with a few posts before finally settling on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine in early 2012.

During the last months of my mother’s life, blogging offered me the opportunity to get back out in to the world in a virtual sense at least, and it gave me a huge boost. I began to make connections, chat to people about their lives and swapping stories, it opened the universe back up to me. It provided an outlet for what I have always loved doing, which is writing and telling stories. It also went a long way to reducing the personal pressure that had been building up steadily over the previous two or three years.

To be honest, I probably work as hard at blogging as I did any of my full-time jobs, and I don’t mind in the slightest. I began promoting books for other authors eight years ago in a more organized way and this introduced me to the amazingly generous writing community we are part of today.

I get far more back than I give in terms of support, and this was particularly so during the pandemic, when we were house bound and without the physical connections we all need so badly.

I have gained so much from blogging and apart from the companionship, friendship and support it has also increased my confidence in my own writing, encouraged me to return to poetry and to push myself out of the comfort zone we create as we get older. It is so important to be mentally engaged and participating in the world, even when it is a virtual environment.

It is something I plan on doing until the last possible moment. I would love to be doing this at 100 but might need a little medicinal tequila to keep it up lol.

D.G. – I am certainly with you on the gratefulness of our writer friends and blogging community. I know well of what you speak in dire times of loneliness when being a caregiver. If it weren’t for you and this wonderful community, I shudder to think where I’d be now. And lol on the tequila my Margarita, cohort pal. 🙂

How has writing changed your life?

I had written poems and short stories from a very early age, but without any intention of sharing them to a wider audience.

My first book was never intended to be published, as it began as a journal to record my weight loss in my early forties, and a way to explore why I had become morbidly obese. When I lost 150lbs in 18 months it had a profound impact on my life and health. I had studied nutrition over a two year period in an effort to understand my body and its needs. Then, having developed my own successful eating programme, I wanted to share that with others.

When the manuscript was finished I approached a well-known agent here in Ireland where we were living at the time in the late 1990s. I was running a health food shop and dietary advisory centre, and felt confident that the book was now comprehensive enough to help others lose their weight. My agent approached 7 established publishers in the UK and all said the book was great, but I was an unknown author, and they didn’t feel I would attract the media attention for this book. Also they were concerned that I would only have the one book and would therefore not be profitable in the long run.

That pushed me into self-publishing this book and the following novel Just an Odd Job Girl with Trafford publishing in Canada. I did the promotion for the first book without the benefit of the Internet in those days and with press releases and leg work managed to get some national and local coverage.

David had not only formatted my books, but was also doing so for other authors and we formed Moyhill Publishing in 2004 which gave both of us an opportunity to take full advantage of the emerging self-publishing market. I had taken my books back from Trafford in 2002 and we reformatted them for print and as soon as eBooks became available in that format too.   David took care of the technical side and I worked with our authors on their book launches and promotions.

Writing that first book did change my life and sent me in a direction I never imagined I would take. It led to a career on radio and online television. This current book is the 16th and I have a sequel to Size Matters coming out in the New Year 2023 with a couple more in process. After that, who knows but I am looking forward to finding out.

I have no idea where I would be if I had not taken the plunge with my writing, but I have no doubt my life would not be so fulfilled as it is today.

D.G. – No doubts your health articles are very informative. And you are so blessed to have David – not only as a loving husband, but a best friend, and great help for your publishing. 🙂

Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners?

The act of writing does tend to be solitary that’s true, but to be creative does require interaction with the world and other people.

I notice that many of the writers in our community are relatively late starters as far as writing their blogs and books is concerned. This usually means that they have experience of the world, relationships both personal and work related, and have come to know themselves well.

Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it requires a depth of understanding about life, to make it resonate with the reader. Even fantasy authors need to have a good understanding of human nature, even if they are creating fabulous alternative universes.

I don’t believe you can be creative within a vacuum. So being a loner does not necessarily serve a writer well. Solitude on the other matter, when in the process of writing a book, is something to be treasured. But then being able to obtain feedback, support and the confidence it needs to publish that book, requires other people, such as those in our writing community, in blog world and on social media.

I suspect more than one of us is now more inclined to isolate from large crowds, public transport, plane travel and other tight spaces where others gather. I am certainly wearing my mask when I am in a crowded area, although I notice more people smiling with their eyes, nodding to each other and being more courteous than before. That has to be a good thing.

And it is hard to be a loner when part of our writing community. It seems you only have to be missing for a day or two for someone to come knocking on your virtual window and asking what’s going on. As it should be, and I am very grateful for it.

D.G. – I absolutely agree Sally. Writing is a solo invent, but engagement, support, and community are such a big part of our writing world.

I have selected one of the poems to share from the collection

Lullaby

to sing
a lullaby
you must first consider
preferences of the baby
waiting

perhaps
a jolly song
aimed to make them chortle
to wave their hands around with glee
happy

maybe
slow and gentle
soothing a fractious mood
or the soreness of teething gums
tearful

deep toned
to reassure
those fearing the shadows
now allayed by a father’s voice
safety

language
a foreign tongue
but words that mothers sing
to babies all around the world
loving.

Find Sally on Social Sites:

Find Sally on her Social Sites:

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

https://twitter.com/@sgc58

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin


Blog : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com


Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

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Sally’s books:

Sally's book covers

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book #Review and Book Launch #Promotion – Do What You Love by Marjorie Mallon – #NewRelease on Pre-Order now

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’d like to share my early review for Marjorie Mallon’s new release – Do What You Love. This short book is a beautiful book written as reflective gratitude about Marje’s life, including other fictional lyrical prose, poetry, and flash fiction.

Marjorie Mallon author

About Marjorie:

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives sometimes in the UK, and often times in Portugal.. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile to greet her. Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too.

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Get This Book on Amazon

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Blurb:

Do What You Love is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.

With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.

The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me
create clouds of sweetest joy
to do what you love
hold fate’s hand as we venture
near and far on life’s journey

Inspirations For Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction


For me midlife and beyond is a time of change. My daughters are grown up, living happy, fulfilling, and independent lives. So, now it is time for hubby and I to go on an adventure, to travel, to do all the things we love, to make new friends, and to embrace the old ones too. Before we are too old to do so! Life is short! Hence the poem Fragility of Your Flame.

hibiscus flower
fragility of your flame
memories not lost
recalled by rain drops falling
caressing tender petals


© M J Mallon

From Marje:

And we have many plans, we intend to… spend time with family (we travel to and fro from UK to Portugal regularly,) and embrace creativity, whether that happens to be writing, poetry, music, art, dance, drama, or photography…

So, I chat with the fates, in Do What You Love, I share my memories, and a variety of experiences with my photos, and poetry from many years ago until the present day. Even though, it is a personal collection, I hope that it will strike a chord with many, be relatable, bring back memories, hopes and dreams. Perhaps you have felt emotional turmoil as a child leaves home and travelled far away? Perhaps you have been to the Edinburgh International Festival and seen some amazing sights. Maybe the trees whisper their magic to you? And maybe, you have a desire to live abroad, to travel? But you fear you might miss your old friends in the UK?

I hope that this little book will inspire others to embrace life, to do what you love, to take fates hand and go on an adventure, to travel and to explore.

When we travel we open up possibilities, we gain a greater understanding of cultures and other peoples’ lives and this is so beneficial for everyone, but especially for writers. With brexit and covid this freedom to explore without restrictions, to live without fear was taken away from us… So, we try to overcome obstacles, we aim to achieve freedom of movement. It won’t be easy but we’ll get there. Hubby and I are Europeans at heart and want dual nationality!

It isn’t easy to embrace change… especially if you are an introvert! Lol. But… whatever makes you happy, whatever you love to do, wherever you love to be, hold those precious experiences close to your heart.

Keep on writing, creating, living, and go on a marvellous adventure! Make your family and your friends proud.

My 5 Star Review:

MJ Mallon has written a heartfelt book with memories, prose, and poetry, incorporated with stories of life, love, family, and nature. In some of her stories, she is in conversation with the fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the three Moirai representing the cycle of life – birth, life and death, past, present and future. We will read shared conversations about meeting her husband, her homeland of Scotland, stories about children that grow up and leave the nest, and nostalgic stories of growing up with her parents. There are many beautiful images MJ intersperes amid her stories.

Stories from the heart is what I would classify this book – poignant moments that left indelible imprints on the author and will touch the reader, a reminiscing through life and new adventures. This book is a wonderful slice of life celebrated and spoken by the author through beautiful written words.

Favorite Quote: Long lasting marriages must be friends…”

Buy Links Do What You Love:


Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/


Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY


Amazon Canada:  https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography/dp/1999822463

I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.

The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Add the book to your TBR:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63114445-do-what-you-love

Visit Marjorie’s Amazon Book Page to check out all her books: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1


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©DGKaye2022

New Book Promotion for Diana Peach’s Hot #NewRelease – The Necromancer’s Daughter #Fantasy – Blog Tour

I am delighted be part of a long trail of bloggers to help promote Diana Peach’s, already very popular, new release – The Necromancer’s Daughter. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Diana’s writing, she’s an amazing world-building, fantasy writer. Besides the engaging and addicting storylines she writes, her books carry messages in them. In this book, we become invested in the magic of healing, even though the practice of necromancy is not accepted – especially by the Kingdom of Verdane and its ‘Red Order’ army of nasties. We will read about the good vs. evil, witchery, dragons, warring Kingdoms, mixed in with love and compassion – two elements usually not synonymous with such stories.

My personal favorite genres in reading are usually nonfiction, historical fiction, and women’s fiction or chicklit. Fantasy isn’t usually part of that reading equasion. But as a huge fan of Diana’s writing, and the captivating storyline of this book, I felt compelled to read it. And I was addicted!

About Diana:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked. In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography. Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

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Blurb:

A healer with the talent to unravel death. A stillborn child brought to life. A father lusting for vengeance. And a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

From best-selling fantasy author D. Wallace Peach comes a retelling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Set in a winter world of dragons, intrigue, and magic, The Necromancer’s Daughter is a story about duty, defiance, cruelty, and sacrifice— an epic tale of compassion and deep abiding love where good and evil aren’t what they seem.

Greetings, Debby. This is the end of the tour! Thanks so much for welcoming me to your blog and spending the day with me.


I thought I’d finish up the tour talking about endings, specifically ending stories with hope. I think of my writing, in general, as leaning toward the dark side, reflecting my rather gloomy view of human beings and our inability as a species to make selfless choices and take care of each other. That said, no matter how much I make my characters suffer, no matter how much I tear away from them, I just can’t seem to end a story without a glimmer of hope. I just can’t do it.


Somehow, there’s always hope.


Reedsyblog includes hope as one of seven elements for a perfect ending and quotes Literary Agent Estelle Laure with the following statement: “You have to assume the character has gone through hell, so let them see something beautiful about the world that allows them to take a breath and step into the next adventure. Even your ending should leave your reader dying for more. They should close the book with a sigh, and that’s the best way I know how to get there. This is, after all, a cruel but wondrous life.”


I couldn’t have said it better. And I’m happy to report that The Necromancer’s Daughter ends with lots of hope.

D.G. – I am thrilled to be the closer on your blog tour Diana. I know your book is already a huge success, and below you will find my own review. I totally concur with what Reedsyblog says, even if the book is not a series or cliffhanger and it is well sewn up at the end, we want to be left, not only with satisfaction, but wondering what will become of those characters in the future, and a possibility the author may one day bring them back in a new story – a lingering taste in our minds. 💜

Available on all the Amazons

My 5 Star Review:

I’m going to start this review by saying that fantasy is not my go-to genre, but being a big fan of Diana Peach’s writing, and the storyline of this book, I couldn’t wait to get my copy. I was engaged from the first page and felt it difficult every time I had to put down the book.

This is a story about good vs. evil. We are first introduced to Barus, as he works with his adoptive mother Olma in their rustic shack-like home making up magical concoctions to heal the sick in the wilderness in the village of White Leas, Verdane. Olma also has the gift of being a necromancer – bringing the dead back to life. Barus has yet to master this gift but is put to the test when the vicar of the Red Order bangs on their door demanding they save his dead son. But it’s too late to bring him back and the vicar beats up the already semi-crippled Barus and his mother and destroys their meager contents, vowing to come back to avenge them.

Later, Barus is summoned by the King of Verdane to save his almost still-born child and his wife, the queen. Their marriage was a blend of two kingdoms – Verdane, and the Princess of Blackrock. But the Red Order intervenes and vows the people won’t accept anyone brought back to life. The child is born dead, and left as forgotten, but Barus hides the stillborn under his cloak on his departure, and performs his first necromancer ritual to bring his now adopted daughter, Aster, back to life. In the meantime, the king becomes aware of Aster’s existence and keeps an eye on her from afar, until one day when he is aging and realizes he has no heirs, he goes to summon her to come back to his castle, but the ‘Red Order’ weren’t going to have any of that. This sets Aster fleeing her home with her father Barus whom she first finds a safe place for him to stay while she continues to flee through the icy cold forest of the Silvern Cats, east, to find the king of Blackrock Kingdom where her birth mother had come from.

Along her journey she meets some interesting people who help her on her journey – mainly, Joreh, ironically, the vicar’s son, who saved Aster from his own father’s evil edict, and Teko, a barbarian cutter from the forest, and they run into many perils along the journey of escorting Aster to Blackrock through the forest in dead of winter. The action and suspense is nonstop.

Aster has the gift of a gentler, as her birth mother did. She is able to tame dragons that typically attack others, and there is one in particular that shows up at the right times in her hours of need. She also learned the craft of necromancy from her adopted father, which quite often puts her in peril as she is called a witch who preforms evil, instead of being praised for giving back life.

The plot kept me glued as Aster travels through forests and cutters and dragons and evil-doers with her new-found friends and allies in her efforts to reach her uncle, the King of Blackrock, for safe harbor, and to acknowledge she is the lost daughter of the Princess of Blackrock. She must prove herself many times over to spare her life, which is threatened repeatedly in this riveting telling.

Her quest continues and has her journeying back to Verdane to gain her rightful place as queen and to find her beloved father Barus, and in so doing, she hopes to make peace between Verdane and Blackrock, and with the Catticuts in the forest in between the two lands, instead of the constant warring between them all. With her new friends Joreh, son of the evil Vicar of Verdane and the Red Order, and Teko from the Catticut forest tribe, it was an addictive read, hoping they make the journey back to the west, safely, and hoping Aster will be accepted as the rightful new queen.

This story will grab you from the beginning and will tug at your heart strings as you root for Aster and continue to hope that goodness will overtake the evil of greedy men and their ignorant beliefs. The emotion that Peach masters in this book jumps off the pages and had me tearing up through the last chapter, but I cannot tell you why. You will have to read for yourself.

Peach is a master fantasy story teller and world builder. In this book she brings in the two opposing elements of good and evil – Aster, the daughter of royalty with a healing gift, but considered witchery and not accepted, as necromancy is a black mark deemed evil by the actual evil people in her world. Peach can write about flawed characters and deplorables, yet bring out the human side in them. This book is a fast-paced plot that will keep you turning the pages and rooting for all the good people as the story unfolds and leaves us remembering the characters long after reading.

Find Diana on her Social Sites:

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com
Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

Links where to purchase The Necromancer’s Daughter:

Amazon Global Link: image.png

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-necromancers-daughter-d-wallce-peach/1142003172

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-necromancer-s-daughter-1

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-necromancers-daughter/id6443278849

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1160370

©DGKaye2022

Places in our Memories: With D. G Kaye #MondayBlogs #Memories | Judith Barrow

I was invited over to Judith Barrow’s blog as a guest in her Places in our Memories series. I’m sharing a simple moment in time.

There are places that remain in our memories, the details may become slightly blurred, nostalgia may colour our thoughts, but they don’t fade. And how those places made us feel at the time is the one thing that remains.

Today I’m welcoming Debby Kaye, one of my online friends whom I seem to have known forever, and who is going to tell us about one of her forever memories.

Author, D.G. Kaye

Thank you so much Judith for inviting me over today to share a fleeting memory so dear to my heart.

A memory is a snapshot in one moment of time that locks in a forever imprint engraved in our minds and hearts.

Forever moments are the forever memories that will continue to live with us long after they occurred. All memories aren’t always good ones, but they are there despite, to remind of places we have been to and mark events experienced in our lives. To live on peacefully, it’s the happy memories we choose to keep at the forefront of our minds.

Having recently lost the love of my life, my beloved husband, I’ve been working diligently to push the tragic moments of the last few months of his life from my forefront of videos playing on in my head, instead, trying hard to focus on the so very many good times in our life together. Besides the many milestones of beautiful events that stick out in my mind, sometimes it’s just the simple moments we remember most clearly that can warm our hearts.

Memories. As I sit here right now and think of him in this moment, I’m listening to the sound of a riding mower in the back park of my condo; it took me back to a simple moment of just one of our happiest times when life was good and simple where I’d drink my second cup of coffee on a Sunday morning after our breakfast together and my hubby would put on his big straw hat and Wellie boots, and hop on his big John Deere riding mower and circle the trees in our vast back yard, complete with one of his favorite Cuban cigars hanging from his mouth as he proudly trimmed his pride and joy, his green grass he laid, mostly by himself at our beautiful newly built home. He’d notice me watching as I sipped my coffee in front of the big kitchen patio window, and he’d give me his special wink full of love and acknowledgment of our perfect life. His smiling eyes could tell me so much.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to transport back to one of those what seemed ordinary Sundays that turned out to be not so ordinary, but a beautiful reminder of love and joy in simplicity. Those were the days most of us think were unremarkable, but just another day. Looking back at that snapshot of bliss taken for granted, I can see how those were far from ordinary days, but a culmination of days that were part of a patched quilt of days which became the pattern of a happy life together.

bio inforgraphic

©DGKaye2022

Original Source: https://judithbarrowblog.com/2022/09/19/places-in-our-memories-with-d-g-kaye-mondayblogs-memories/

Q & A with D.G. Kaye, featuring Alex Craigie and her Latest #Book Release – Means to Deceive

Welcome to my September Q & A. Today I’m happy to be featuring, friend and author Trish Power who writes under the pen name of Alex Craigie. Her recent release, Means to Deceive, a psychological thriller, which I’ve read and reviewed, is her latest release.

About Alex:

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.


Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.


When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.


Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.


Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Blurb:

Eighteen months ago, Gwen Meredith left the job she loved and came back to Pembrokeshire to help support her irritable and increasingly confused grandmother.
But someone is pursuing a vendetta against her.

As the attacks become more malicious, her old anxieties begin to build.
She’s attracted to her new neighbour who is keen to help…but can she trust him?

When those closest to her are threatened, her desperation mounts.
Who can she trust?

Gwen has a dark secret of her own.
Can she even trust herself?

My 5 Star Review for Means to Deceive:

Top review from Canada

DGKaye

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping til the end

Reviewed in Canada on April 16, 2022

Gwen is having a bad day, many bad days. She is a teacher’s assistant who does not like the school principal, Ian, yet someone snapped a shot of her shaking his hand at an event and it became taken out of context, big time – internet big time, and a smear campaign ensued.

Gwen noticed an alcoholic, abusive father physically abusing his child. She tried to intervene and the man drove off with his child. Her alerting authorities angered this man and he began harrassing Gwen.

Dyleth has a crush on married principal Ian and believes Gwen is hot for the two timing married principal and spreads gossip.

Gwen had a boring, quiet life before these incidents happened. She moved in with her ailing, demanding, grandmother Edith less than two years ago to take care of her. The only good thing that has happened in Gwen’s life lately, was meeting her new next door neighbor, Ben. Ben becomes her shining knight in armor when all the weirdness, attacks and chaos begins. Is Ben too good to be true, or should we now begin suspecting him?

Strange and evil things are taking place at Gwen’s home. The abusive man is doing drive bys and knock knocks, someone lurks in her garden at night causing damage and painting vile words on her car and lawn. Gwen feels like she’s losing her mind when even the police aren’t doing much with her many complaints.

Gwen’s brother Gethin is having relationship problems at home and decides to come visit his sister and grandmother to help figure out what is going on around that house. He too is attacked one night, and once again, neighbor Ben manages to save his life.

A lot is going on in Gwen’s life and she begins to question her own sanity when too many strange things keep happening. Gwen also struggles with a childhood incident where she blames herself for her parents’ deaths. We’ll later discover that everything Gwen thought happened wasn’t really as it seemed.

If you are already curious as to what is going on, trust me, you will continue to feel that way as you will be eager to keep turning the pages to find out what is going on. Who done what? Is there a traitor among family? Is the principal or the abusive man responsible for all the chaos and accidents? Could Gwen’s developing relationship with Ben the neighbor be real or does he have ulterior motives? You will want to find out as Craigie takes us on a carefully plotted out story that won’t give us a hint until the very end.

Let’s Welcome Alex and get to know a little more about her.

Welcome

Hi, Debby!
I’ll begin by thanking you from the heart for for this great opportunity to share something about myself and my writing with all of your followers.

D.G. – I’m thrilled to have you over Trish. ❤

Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit that helps you with your writing?


I suspect my whole life is a bit quirky!


There are several practical things I do to try and keep the words coming. For instance, I have a small pile of paper on my desk that has only been used on one side. I fold each sheet in half, blank side outermost, and when a new idea comes to me when the flow is going well, I grab one of these pieces of paper, scribble the idea down and then forget about it to stop it intruding. When I’ve written myself to a standstill, I come back to peruse the idea and decide what to do with it.


In a similar vein, some of my best ideas come to me in the night. Sadly, come the morning I’d remember I’d had a wonderful line or brilliant way to tie-in a new section but had forgotten the details! Turning on the light to write them down certainly meant that I remembered them, but didn’t make for a great night’s sleep for me or my husband… Now, I have a similar stack of used paper on my bedside table with a pencil resting on top of it. When an idea surfaces, I write it down in the dark. Quite often, I’ll have several different things occur to me and I have to try to recall how far down the page I’d reached with the last comment. It doesn’t always work and it’s well nigh impossible to untangle two or more lines of writing scrawled on top of each other.


The ‘half asleep writing’ frequently extricates me from a tricky dilemma I’ve written myself into. My other method is to go into the garden and do some weeding. There’s plenty of weeding to be done and so I never run out of material! There’s something about mindlessly pulling stuff out of the ground that sets the subconscious free to untangle things.

D.G. – Lol Trish, I had to laugh because I use a similar method. When I’m writing and following thought and think of something else I want to add, I add it in the margin – don’t forget, I write longhand. As for night thoughts and not wanting to disturb, you could open your Kindle and use the backlight to shine upon your paper without disturbing hubby. That may work better. Tip: I keep my Kindle on low light at night so it doesn’t keep me wide awake when reading late at night.

Do you find your writing is geared towards a specific audience or do you just write what inspires you to write?


Frequently, my writing is driven by a need to share experiences that concern me. That does sound self-indulgent and “worthy”, but it’s what was behind many of the short stories for magazines that I wrote when the children were tiny. I wrote about peer pressure, domestic abuse, inequalities – that sort of thing. There were others that I wrote simply for fun and they were well-received, too, but those were a pleasure to write and there wasn’t that driving need to pen them.

My first novel, Someone Close to Home, was written because I’d been visiting family and friends in the generation above me in a variety of care homes and what I saw was so upsetting I found myself crying at one point, not in sorrow but in rage. This book crossed so many genre boundaries it was a nightmare to categorise. I decided that my next book would sit nicely withing a recognized niche. It was a romantic suspense/psychological thriller about a young woman damaged by guilt from the past who found herself in increasing danger from someone in the community. Means to Deceive was started when the first book was being sorted for publication. But…
… it was the end of 2015 and the situation in our health service was bothering me. Our NHS has been a gold standard model throughout the world, but parts of it were being hived off to private companies and the core of it wasn’t being maintained. So, I stopped the second book and went off on another social grouse! This was Acts of Convenience, but it had to be shelved for several years because my mother developed two different forms of dementia that made writing impossible. When I did get back to it, I ended up with another published book that didn’t sit nicely in a category. So I dug out Means to Deceive again.

D.G. – No doubts our connection is kindred spirits. We are both people bothered by social injustice. Although I say it out loud in nonfiction, you work those issues beautifully into your fiction.

Do your books have messages in them? If so, what are the messages you feel are well received by your readers?


Well, after that last answer, I’m sure you can guess my response!


Someone Close to Home was written in the first person because I wanted readers to be able to identify with the situation where you leave your home and all the possessions you’ve acquired over your lifetime and end up in one cramped room totally dependent on the goodness of others. Most of the staff I came across on my visits were absolutely brilliant, but all it takes is someone who treats you like a commodity – or worse – to turn it into a nightmare. I’ve had so many people write to me about their shared experiences that I know this situation isn’t restricted to the UK. I wrote about residents who were unable to feed themselves, having their food left on the tray in front of them only for it to be removed untouched by someone (tutting) later. That resonated far too often with people. The concerns I’d classify as abuse were also horribly familiar to others.


Acts of Convenience takes the central character Cassie from 2017 to 2055. She’s a nurse and she and the family are at the sharp end of the consequences of expedient legislation made by successive governments. It reflects my concerns about cutting funding for the treatment of the elderly and chronically sick, working conditions, the exploitation of our information and privacy by unscrupulous companies, the manipulation of media, our exposure to foreign hacking – loads of things that concern me! Because Cassie eventually joins a group to expose the corruption she’s witnessing, the book begins as social description and ends as a thriller. I was so unsure of it as a format, I haven’t tried to market it but I’ve had some terrific responses from people and may decide to do so some promotion in the future.


In similar vein, I realized that my romantic suspense/psychological thriller, Means to Deceive, was becoming hijacked by my concerns about social media and so I made a conscious decision to nip that in the bud and stay within the traditional genre. Instead, I’ve transferred my concerns about the abuse of social media into a novella called The Bubble Reputation which I’m polishing at the moment to get it ready for publication.

D.G. – I am looking forward to eventually reading your two other books, which currently are resting on my reader. As you pointed out the content, and had previously warned me of the content, and due to the too much I myself have witnessed with my husband’s frequent hospital visits, I’m not yet ready to read such content. But I am looking forward to your new, upcoming book!

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


My mode of writing has evolved through the years. When I was six, I wrote with a stubby pencil in an exercise book. The pencil was replaced with one of those “new-fangled” biros when I was a bit older.


The short stories for magazines were hand written in a big notebook and then transferred to my portable typewriter to send for publication. Typing then was considerably tougher than it is today! For a start, you had to properly jab the keys to get the letters to hit the paper. There was also the dismay when you reached the last line of a page and made a mistake. I never feltI could send a copy with the offending error blotted out in that bright “Bay Watch teeth white” corrector, and so I’d roll another page in place and take it from the top again.


We bought a secondhand electric typewriter in an auction and it was so touch sensitive, I’d written a whole line of “T”s before I managed to add the “h” and “e” of the first word. It was so easy to use but it didn’t remove the irritation of making mistakes. Writing by hand was less frustrating.


Then we come to computers. Oh my! To be able to correct errors was a delight in itself, but it’s also blessedly easy to move things around, change vocabulary, check for overused words and insert new material that improves a section.


When mapping out a novel, I always start with a pen and paper because it’s easier to
brainstorm that way, but for the actual text it has to be my trusty laptop.


(Here I must add a caveat: when saving my precious work at the end of the day, I add the current date to the title. This prevents me uploading an older version or, worse, overwriting one. Learn from my bitter experience!)

D.G. – So nice to learn that you too write longhand, even to start. As you know, I’m a dinosaur who writes her books, reviews and blogs in longhand first. Lol. And thanks for your last tip, adding the date. Don’t get me started how many times I found myself creating new copies with edits. Oye! ❤

How do you promote your work? Do you find marketing and social media overwhelming?


Overwhelming doesn’t come close!


I’m from that generation that was castigated for “blowing their own trumpet”. I find it really hard to sell from that point of view alone.


I’m only on Facebook. (I tried to get to grips with Twitter but reading the guides to it were like wading through molasses in concrete boots.) Everyone who knows me also knows what an eejit I am when it comes to Facebook. I feel anxious every time I have dealings with the site (daily) because I don’t know if I’m following etiquette correctly or posting where I should. I could do with someone to go through it with me in short sentences composed of simple one-syllable words. An example of my stupidity is that I haven’t had any notifications for at least four days. I wondered if everyone was on holiday (!). When I dug deeper today, I discovered hundreds of posts, some of which were important. I’ve been on the help site but, despite thinking I’m fairly competent in the English language, I still don’t understand what’s going on – or what on earth a push post is.


It’s also a source of shame to me that I don’t have my own blog where I can post other people’s reviews. I don’t know how you do it and still find the time to exist. Our three children and seven grandchildren all live within a few miles of us and can drop in any time (still socially distanced) in our garden. They fill my days with delight. I also have several health issues that mean that when things are bad I need to slope off to bed. These are my excuses, but I know that others who manage blogs have families, full-time jobs and other commitments.


My admiration and unbounded gratitude go to people like you, Debby, who give me the
oxygen of publicity in a form that I can handle. Well, to be honest, I’m not handling it -you are! It must take considerable time and trouble to organize this promotion for me and I can’t stress how much I appreciate it, particularly as I know you have your own writing projects on the go.


Sally Cronin is also a tireless promoter of authors which must cut considerably into her own writing time. Diana Wallace Peach is yet another terrific writer who goes out of her way to review and boost those of us without big publishing companies behind us. There’s really too many supportive people to list here but I have to give another shout-out to Judith Barrow and Thorne Moore who give me a nudge when there’s a review about me on Facebook that I’ve missed, and who post those same reviews for me. I really do need that Facebook lesson!

D.G. – First, don’t beat yourself up about ‘fakebook’ (as I prefer to call it, lol). They are forever changing their set up. Most of us don’t get our notifications until days or weeks later. They have taken away all the easy ways for us authors to navigate our pages. I, along with several author friends have discussed this and have given up posting on our author pages, or our author pages, period. We are a supportive community, and I so appreciate the sharing and help from others when I too need it. I will second what you said about Sally. As for me, I’ve been a multi-tasker all my life and spent a lot of time learning the tediousness (Is that a word?) of social media. But trust me, I, along with others, have certainly had our share of technical blog issues. I am grateful to have Colleen Chesebro as a Sister/Friend who always comes to my rescue when things get out of control. It does take a village sometimes. I love promoting other authors and giving back, so it’s worth the work for me. ❤

It was a pleasure having you here today Trish. I do hope readers will check out your addictive books.

Excerpt from Means to Deceive

The blisters have burst and some of them are seeping blood. I’d been so desperate to
obliterate the obscene writing that I’d worked through the pain but now the sensation is
making itself known and I suck my lower lip between my teeth and clamp down on it.


Ben speaks quietly. ‘I didn’t appreciate the extent of the damage. This must hurt like the
devil.’


I shake my head and release my lip. ‘It’s just a few blisters.’


‘Well, let’s get some antiseptic onto them and then see about covering them up. I’ll try to
be as gentle as I can.’


He opens an antiseptic wipe and dabs my damaged palm. For someone with such large
hands he has a remarkably light touch.


‘I’m afraid some of this is down to me.’ He continues dabbing at my palm which is now on
fire. ‘That shower will have softened the skin allowing things to get this bad.’


I shake my head. I’m trying to keep the pain hidden and don’t trust my voice. He picks up the cream and applies a coating that quickly brings the fire down to a smoulder and then he fixes a clean white dressing in place.


‘Right. Time to do the other one.’


He takes my left hand and studies it. Mine is pale and tiny in comparison with his.


‘These don’t look so bad. They’re still raw but they’re not bleeding.’ He starts to dab at them. ‘I think you’ll get away with some plasters on these.’

I say nothing, watching as his hands continue to work methodically and efficiently. There’s something soothing, almost mesmerising, about the process and it comes as a surprise when he announces, ‘There. I think that’ll do.’


‘Thanks. You were right. It was quicker and easier this way.’ I don’t know what else to say and that familiar gaucheness overcomes me. ‘You’ve obviously done this sort of thing before.’


‘I’ve a younger sister who was always getting herself into scrapes.’ His mouth tightens into a straight line and he busies himself putting things back into the green tin.


The kitchen door opens and Claire bustles through.
‘Right. Well, that’s me finished, Gwen.’ She notices the two of us sitting together and
adds, ‘Sorry, I didn’t realise you had your young man here.’


‘He’s not!’


‘I’m not.’


Our response is instant and she simply nods and carries on as normal. ‘Well, your grandmother’s comfy. She wouldn’t have a shower but she’s had a good wash, eaten most of her breakfast and she’s watching TV now.’ She heads for the door and turns to add, ‘Don’t forget she has an appointment with Dr Kumari at 4.30 this afternoon.’


A groan escapes me. ‘Thanks, Claire. It’d gone completely out of my mind.’


‘It ain’t surprising, my dear, after all the …er…’ The words drift off and I appreciate her tact but squirm at the knowledge that she’s aware of what’s happened. ‘Well, I’ll leave you to it then.’ She takes another couple of steps and then stops again. ‘Will you be able to get her there? Without your car, I mean?’


I can feel heat flame my face. ‘Yes. Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.’


‘There we are then. I’ll see you again on Tuesday. Bye’


Ben hands me the tin and I cross to the dresser and replace it in its drawer. I stand with my back to him, giving myself time to recover from this latest blow. How am I going to get her to the surgery without my car? Can I afford two taxis?


I turn back to Ben. ‘Many thanks for all your help. If there’s anything I can do to repay you, please let me know.’


It’s a dismissal and he knows it. He clicks his fingers at Atticus who chooses to obey him and crosses to his side. But he’s hesitating.


‘What will you do without your car this afternoon?’


‘I’ll get a taxi.’ I’ve made my voice light and assured. ‘It’s not a problem.’


‘Good.’


He heads towards the door, Atticus lolloping faithfully at his heels, but he pauses and then comes back. ‘Look, I need to book myself in with a medical centre and I may as well do that today as I have to be in town this afternoon anyway.’


‘No. It’s all right. We’ll manage.’


He runs a hand around the back of his neck. ‘Are you always this obstinate?’


I’m stuck for an answer. Part of me is bristling at the accusation while the rest of me is shouting that his help in this would be a godsend.


‘Gwen, I’m going into town later. It would be no bother at all to give you and your grandmother a lift to the centre. It’s up to you.’


I swallow my pride, audibly. ‘Thank you. It would be a great help.’


He gives a nod of his head. ‘Right. If I come round at about ten past four will that give you long enough?’


‘That would be perfect.’


‘And I’ll come in to the centre on my way back from dropping off some plans at the office,
sign up and drop you back home again.’

I open my mouth to protest, notice the humorous challenge in his eyes, and meekly thank him.

x

Alex’s upcoming book:

Coming soon! – The Bubble Reputation!
An unscrupulous editor does a hatchet job on Emmie Hobson, based on weasel words such as ‘our sources say’, ‘an insider confides’ ‘friends disclose’, etc. Social media picks up the baton runs with it, unleashing hateful rhetoric that threatens Emmie and all that she holds dear…

D.G. – Looking forward to reading it Trish!

x

Find Alex on Social Sites:

Facebook

Amazon author page U.S

Amazon author page U.K.

©DGKaye2022

New Book Promotion for Marjorie Mallon – The Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet – Poems and Flash Fiction

Today I’m happy to be sharing my friend, Fey sister, and author/poet, Marjorie Mallon’s new release – The Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet. This is a lovely book with a magical story, some flash fiction stories and some touching poetry. I’d also like to add that our other sister – Colleen Chesebro from Word Craft Poetry, has recently opened up shop with her Unicorn Cats Publishing, and she formatted Marje’s book and also created the beautiful cover. Check out Colleen’s publishing page if you’re looking for some help in your self-publishing.

About Marjorie:

MJ’s favourite genres to write are Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories, various forms of poetry and flash fiction. She celebrates the spiritual realm, love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious at her blog home:


https://mjmallon.com 


She is a reading, blogging and photography enthusiast!


M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained, and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.


MJ writes fantasy/magical realism because life should be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic! Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even it if appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

..

Blurb:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beautiful vulnerability of the forest kingdom. It begins with the poetic tale of the kind-hearted Hedge Witch, Fern, who discovers an injured stranger in desperate need of her woodland spells and magic.

The sweet pairing learn from each other and through Fern’s guidance, Devin embraces the power of magic to leave behind his trouble past to become The Musical Poet.

Poetry/flash fiction titles in section one of the collection include:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, Rain Forest Love, A Forest Baby Boy, A Forest Baby Girl, A Modern Witch, Rock of Mine, Chester Don & I, The Network of Trees, More Trees Not Less, Two Boys Watching War, Mum Climbing Trees, Let’s Play, The Scorched Tree, Owl’s Holiday Home, A Man’s Holiday Home, A Child’s Excitement, The Teddy In The Woods, Run! The Organutans, All Hallow’s Eve Candy Girl The Forest Bash, Dreaming At Halloween, A Face on Bark, Golden Willow Tree, Rainbow – Parasol of Light, Lollipop Sunshine Tree,

In Section two I pay tribute to the following poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Ruby Archer, King Forest, Bliss Carman, Woodland Rain, Emily Dickinson, Who Robbed the Woods, Rupert Blake, Stopping by The Woods on A Winter Evening,Oscar Wilde, In the Forest.

With my poetry:

The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

..

My 5 Star Review:

This is a lovely book by MJ Mallon. She brings to life stories of her loving family, in poetry and flash fiction stories. The Hedge Witch and the Magical Poet is a short story about Fern, who rescues a man she names Devin, distraught and parched, found under a tree. When he recites a poem to her in such lyrical fashion, he sounded like an instrument. We also find some touching poetry in mixed styles, reminding us of some yesteryears of the past – some spoken by the trees. These poems recall some of the easier days of the past when children played in nature and climbed trees – and not on their digital devices, as the trees lament.

In other poems, like, ‘Let’s Play’, the author calls for reforestation to improve air quality and shade, as climate change is taking that away. The flash story of ‘The Network of Trees’ is another lament as the trees discuss among themselves what will become of them as they are cut down and are replaced with cement and buildings.

There are some wise words here from both Mallon and the trees about life in simpler times, stories about nature, childhood memories in snippets of flash fiction, as well as some whimsical Halloween tales. One of my favorites was ‘All Hallows Eve’ – Candy Girl, with rich magical descriptions.

Mallon’s love for trees and nature shine through all of her stories. If you love nature and enjoy lyrical prose and poetry, you will enjoy this book.

Visit Marje’s books

Marjorie has also contributed to several anthologies:


Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse
Moons of Autumn by Colleen Chesebro (Poetry,) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DWDMXWK

Poetry Treasures 2 Relationships compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth & Robbie Cheadle: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK


100 Ways To Write A Book Alex Pearl (proceeds to Pen International.)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R2CQGWS


Stay Home A year of writing through lockdown – Chantelle Atkins (Chasing
Driftwood Writers Group.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown-/dp/B09HVB6SZ6/


Contributions to Best Selling Horror Anthologies:


Nightmareland compiled by Dan Alatorre
“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)
Spellbound compiled by Dan Alatorre
“The Twisted Sisters“ (Short Story)
Wings of Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre
“The Great Pottoo” (Short Story)


Nightmareland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/


Spellbound: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/


Wings & Fire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/


Contributions to Ghost Anthologies: 


Ghostly Rites 2019 compiled by Claire Plaisted “Dexter’s Creepy Caverns“ (Short
Story) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZQV2Y4Q/


Ghostly Rites 2020 compiled by Claire Plaisted  “No. 1 Coven Lane” (Short
Story) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M9HYBLH

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Find Marjorie on her Social Links:

Linktree: (all my links in one place.) https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor


Author Blog: https://mjmallon.com


Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ 


Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/


Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mjmallonauthor,


Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/


Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon


Spiritual Sisters: https:/www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters/


Authors, Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

.©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

 

Epistolary Writing by DG Kaye | @No Wasted Ink

I was recently invited over to Wendy Van Camp’s writing blog- Nowastedink, to share an article on writing. As I have been comtemplating writing my next book (now in very rough draft) in Epistolary writing style, I thought that would be the perfect topic to write about.

writing tips

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Hi Wendy, thanks so much for inviting me over again to your blog. Today I want to talk about writing in Epistolary style. What is epistolary writing? As a nonfiction/memoir writer I’ve been exploring this form of writing for a book I’ve been drafting about grief. I am seriously considering presenting the book in this form.

Epistolary writing is a style that addresses the reader through a diary format (think Bridget Jones’ Diary) or in journal or letter format. In this era of digital life, epistolary writing can also include email and blog post entries, police reports, newspaper articles and transcripts. This style involves the writer speaking directly to another person, expressing the bond in a particular relationship through the content being written, which gives the reader an intimate peek into the writer’s private self and thoughts regarding the person she is writing to, and an inside scoop into that relationship between the writer and the character being spoken to. Journal and diary entries are more contemplative writings, but there is also the method of writing strictly in dialogue. Epistolary writing is in essence writing dialogue from one’s self. It is important that the writer let the reader know to whom they are writing to. Epistolary stories can involve one or more characters the writing conversation is being directed toward.

Often, in this form of writing, the focus is more on evoking emotion, more so than a dialogue driven story. Epistolary writing is also classified as a sort of confessional-like writing, also known as monophonic point of view, letters to one specific character. It is referred as ‘dialogic’ if two people are writing letters, or, ‘polyphonic’ with three or more characters writing and receiving the letters. It is ultimately, a first-person point of view that allows the reader to get inside the writer’s thoughts. It’s a correspondence between characters or to a character. This form is a different take from third person POV where the usual plots and characters are the driving force of the storyline. Instead, the reader gets to understand the character’s interactions through what is implied by the writer.

The word -Epistolary, is derived from the noun – Epistle, which is the Greek word meaning ‘letter’. This is an actual literary genre that pertains to letters written for delivering story through personal messages from the writer to her subject(s). This format can be used as context for a relationship, friendship or even a business relationship between the writer and receiver.

Because this method of writing is a person telling, it can be written in multiple tenses. For example, the writer might go back in time with an entry and bring it up to present to invite in some tension. In most stories in other points of view writing, they are written in the classic, ‘show more, tell less’. This could be challenging to write in epistolary form because there is no narrator building a scene. But description that paints a picture to the reader can still be done. The more ‘real’ a story feels to the reader, the more they will engage in the emotion. Epistolary stories can be written in both fiction or nonfiction. . . Please continue reading at Nowastedink

Source: Epistolary Writing by DG Kaye | No Wasted Ink

©DGKaye2022