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

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

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

Blurb:

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

My 5 Star Review:

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

©DGKaye2022

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

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

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

Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

My Four Star Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Quotes:

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

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

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

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

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – No Such Luck by Staci Troilo – #Novella #YoungRomance

My Sunday Book Review is for Staci Troilo’s new short story – No Such Luck. This story is a prequel to an upcoming book Staci is writing. Do you believe in good luck charms? Piper surely does, and ultimately learns her superstition about the red carnation would lead to an awakening.

Blurb:

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

My 5 Star Review:

This was a sweet short young romance story. Piper’s life isn’t going well, and when she gets fired from her job in Arkansas, decides to head home to Philadelphia for a timeout and figure out what she wants to do next. She’s also pissed that someone packed up her desk for her and threw out her ‘good luck charm’ – or so she thought it was.

Once back at home, Piper discovers her old crush Tommy, and realizes that teenage crushes are sometimes, only that. At the same time, she’s glad to find her old good pal Jack, who may just turn into ‘more than just an old friend’. You’ll have to read this sweet story to find out.

This is a fun holiday read with some good writing and a good lesson or two on luck and love.

©DGKaye2021

Greatest Holiday Commercial Ads to Touch Your Heart

This Christmas will be difficult for so many this year, and mine is no exception. I’m not going to write any fancy or bougie words here about how cozy and mushy this time of year is for me and for so many others, between loss, hurt and this damned Corona virus, but I do want to share these beautiful commercial ads I came across. These ads reach far beyond whatever they are selling; they all encompass the human spirit of love, kindness and empathy. If you need a reason to smile (even though a tissue needed will be a guarantee), please enjoy. Hallmark has some strong competition!

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and goodness and good health for the new year forward.

Kindness matters

@DGKaye2021

Season 3 Episode 50: Debby Gies on Being an Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist – Tea Toast & Trivia

I am thrilled and excited to share this post by Rebecca Budd of Tea Toast & Trivia. Rebecca interviewed me a little while ago and I was delighted to come across the post she wrote with the podcast audio attached. I hope you will listen.

Season 3 Episode 50: Debby Gies on Being an Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you. 

I am delighted that blogger and non-fiction writer, Debby Gies and I are connecting Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

Debby is a Canadian author, writing under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Her intent is to inspire others by sharing her stories about events she has encountered, and the lessons that have come along with them.

Debby is an empathetic fashionista and shopper extraordinaire who loves to laugh. She is an eclectic memoirist and conversationalist who writes to empower by sharing slices of life.  Her blog is a wide-ranging mix of randomness, where you will find anything from writing tips to tales from the past, to travel tips, book reviews, and author interviews.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Debby and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

And a special thank you, Debby, for sharing your insights on living life in the now, with humour and expectation.   You have inspired me, and I know that you have inspired readers and listeners to head into the unknown with courage and determination.

I invite you to meet up with Debby on her blog, D.G. Kaye Writer.com , on her Amazon Page and on Goodreads.  It is a place that welcomes profound conversations that reminds us to Live, Love, Laugh and Breathe. 

Until next time, dear friends, keep safe, keep reading and be well.

Please head over to Rebecca’s blog and listen

©DGKaye2021

Sunday Book Review Emotional #Poetry by John Roedel, Untied

Today’s Sunday Book Review is for John Roedel’s Untied – The Poetry of how Knots Become Strings. I was introduced to Roedel’s free verse poetry by my lovely friend Jane Sturgeon. She shared one of his poems with me that moved me immediately, so off I went to Amazon to order a paperback copy. I prefer poetry books in paperback so I can dog-ear poetry I wish to go back and read again. I quite honestly, got hooked on free verse poetry from reading quite a few books by Frank Prem.

Blurb:

The knots in our stomachs can still be untangled. The binds we tether our hands together with can still be undone. There is still time for us to untangle rope we tied around our necks. This is the poetry of for those trying to live that is not tethered to our past mistakes or future worries. This is the poetry for anybody who wants to become unbound from their regret. This is the poetry of breaking free of all that keeps us from rising. This is the poetry of letting all that binds us slip away so we can chase the horizon. This is the poetry of how knots can become strings.

My 5 Star Review:

I’m so glad a friend had shared one of these heartfelt poems with me, which had me ordering a paperback copy of this moving book of poetry, pronto. Roedel’s poetry is deep and raw with no holds back. It felt to me that this type of poetry couldn’t be fictional as the author expresses both, the beauty and pain of incidences in life as poetic short stories where he takes us right into his heart-grabbing passages. Many of these passages indicate to me, the author had to have lived much of what he wrote because of the deep emotion in his words that makes me feel as though he lived his stories, his tellings will seep deep within a reader’s soul.

In this book you’ll find poetry on love, childhood, fears, darkness, life, and death, parents, children, and more. Some will make you smile, some will bring a tear, but these poetic stories are guaranteed to leave an impact. A timeless book to pick up again and again.

There are so many passages that I found myself identifying with such as:

Excerpt from – What’s Left?

“I’m destroyed, ” I said while standing amid the

smoldering ruins of all that I once thought mattered.

“No, you aren’t,” God replied to me through the

sound of the freezing January wind passing

through pines.

“But everything is gone… ” I offered quietly.

“Not everything, my love.” God said through the

bits of sunlight peeking through the ashen post-

snowfall clouds.

“What’s left?” I asked.

God spoke through the plops of water coming from

the slowly melting icicles:

“Your recovery.”

Excerpt from What’s Left? By John Roedel

Excerpt from Pulling Strings

Love is a piece of endless

yarn that each of us agree to

hold on to an end of

gently between our fingers

so that when we get separated

from one another

by the illusion of death

we can tug it

ever so softly

to send each other messages

back and forth through the slack

as if to say:

“I’m still here.”

Excerpt from Pulling Strings by John Roedel

©DGKaye2021

Realms of Relationships with D.G. Kaye – Wrapping up the Year in #Covid – Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Realms of Relationships – Wrapping up the Year and Covid Lingering Effects

Welcome to my Realms of Relationships post finale for 2021. I hope you all have been enjoying my articles where I share some of own experiences about different types of relationships. Next year I’ll be back with my travel columns and later in the year I’ll be back with more relationship talk, and maybe even something new! Today I’m sharing this post here I originally wrote for my monthly column over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

In this edition, I want to talk about relationships that have been altered or have taken on new awakenings through the global pandemic we’ve all been living through for almost two years now.

Once all the lockdowns began, life as everyone knew it changed. Suddenly, moms and dads are working at home, trying to get their jobs done as they had to adapt to helping school their kids digitally – a feat in itself for the technically challenged.

How we’re affected by the ages:

Many couples forced to spend more time together during lockdown discovered they loved and missed going to work to get out of the house to avoid 24/7 with a partner, while some other relationships were strengthened in that time as many re-discovered, reconnected, and re-evaluated their relationships. Some friendships were strengthened, while some others were let go of as realizations and evaluations of our lives took place when we were restricted from seeing anyone. So many were affected from quarantine conditions from unemployment adding financial strains, dealing with sick and dying loved ones, disrupted homelife, home schooling and growing mental illnesses because of forced conditions having created havoc in so many people’s lives. Many statistics have been cited about the increase of divorce enquiries and proceedings. I also must make mention of the many stranded at home stuck in abusive relationships with no escape.

Young children are equally affected at differing crucial stages of their learning, as well as hampered social skills while not being able to play or interact in person with others. Many young children and toddlers missing crucial interacting at nursery schools and play dates spending two of their earliest years either missing social interaction – where they learn to socialize by playing and learning together with other children, while others too young to realize the way they are growing up in their earliest years at home isn’t situation normal.

Middle-grade and teenaged kids were desperately missing social interaction. As they craved their usual activities with friends at a time of exploration of the world at their curious ages, suddenly having their ‘regular’ lives ripped out from them stuck at home with family in their new constricted lives, have had to find ways to adapt. How many suicides do we even imagine have occurred because of the mental disruption of their lives?

The elderly have had to endure not only extra lonely times with aching hearts as their loved ones ached with the worry for them, but many of the elderly who rely on the help and visits from others were devastatingly left out in the cold. The long, lonely hours of being alone became so much more profound for both the sick and the agile – those that require daily visits for care, and those denied the ability for visitations from loved ones. Yes, digital apps helped to connect some and not others, became the backup for visual virtual visits, but there is no substitute for a real human visit where we can look into someone’s eyes and feel the love, a touch, a hug, and human physical compassion, and this missing of human interaction left a gaping hole in the hearts of too many.

The sick who couldn’t get proper medical attention and consequently dying before their time – like my husband, who died BECAUSE of the Covid epidemic halting regular doctor visits and no way to get into a hospital unless there was an evident and immediate emergency. Those that actually feared going to a hospital for serious ailments because they were afraid they’d catch the Covid inside the hospital. The undiagnosed cancers, deeming treatment too late – LIKE my husband. The strokes and heart attacks people died from because they refused to go to hospitals during Covid. The delayed testing for the so many with yet to have diagnosis that did and will ultimately end these people’s lives earlier than would have pre-pandemic. And the list goes on and on.

I know what I write of is merely touching on the tip of the icebergs as so many in the world have suffered losses – loss of lives, sickness, and financial draining. These devastations in all our lives in some way or another have become the rude awakenings for us, and worse for many more.

Realizations. This pandemic gave us all a time for reflection and reckoning, a look around, and insight as to who’s caring about us? I know I’ve certainly had startling revelations myself after losing my husband seven months ago and discovering that my own family (save for two) doesn’t have the time of day for me, as well as discovering that my husband’s family were just that – my husband’s family. This rude awakening for me just brought me back to Maya Angelou’s famous quote: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

What I’ve learned during this pandemic: Keep your circles small and tight. It’s all about the quality of the people in our lives, not the quantity. And friends are the family we choose.

If anyone here would like to share some of your own awakenings and discoveries you’ve had through these trying times, please feel free to share.

Let us all pray for a better year globally, the sick to heal, the virus to die, and peace, love, and brotherhood to return to mankind.

Below are links to just a few articles on how the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many relationships:

Covid – Divorce Rates

BBC – Spikes in Break ups and Divorces

This article was originally posted on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

©DGKaye2021

New Reviews for my books – Books by D.G, Kaye in Review #Memoir – #Christmas Book Fair

 

Today I’m sharing some new and recent reviews I came across for all of my books! I was excited to recently find four new reviews for my book Menowhat? A Memoir. It seems one doesn’t have to be going through the changes of madness to feel curious about this book. A friend who I’d given a few of my books too was thrilled to type up reviews in gratitude for the books. Not everyone is tech savvy to get a review up on Amazon or Goodreads so I was very appreciative.

 

Customer Reviews for:

 

I came across this gem of a review by Diana Peach on Amazon, and then shared again on her blog in her September Reads

xMeno – What?: Memorable Moments of Menopause by D. G. Kaye

I tried to read this book in bed before nodding off, but my husband made me go downstairs… apparently my laughter was keeping him up. As someone who’s gone through “The Change,” I found this book highly relatable and, at times, laugh out loud funny. Kaye recommends laughter as a way of dealing with this shocking stage of life, and her account of her own battle with menopause and post-menopausal changes demonstrates that conviction.

x

Kaye gives an overview of the biological changes, reminds us that she isn’t a doctor, and clarifies that every woman will experience this misery in different ways. Besides offering plenty of opportunities for laughter, she provides suggestions for ways to manage our changing bodies. I especially related to her discussion of post-menopausal changes that begin with a stage called “What the Hell?”

xHer anecdotes are relatable… the covers on/covers off routine… opening the car window to let the snow blow in… “alligator” skin… sagging, spots, you name it, she covers the gamut and all with sardonic wit, disbelief, good sense, and a determination to fight back. This book is a memoir but one that doubles as a guide for women during their menopausal journeys. Highly recommended.

x

A recent 5 Star review from Harmony Kent:

#BookReview: Meno-What? by D G Kaye @pokercubster #Menopause #womensissues

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a favourite writer of mine, D G Kaye … an author many of us know and love >>> Harmony posted on her blog: 

 

My Review:

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I have read this author before, and her humour in adversity shines through every time. This knack makes what could be a depressing read into an inspiring one, and Meno-What? doesn’t disappoint. At 66 Kindle pages, this is a quick yet informative read.

xI would say this is a must-read for all women going through or approaching a certain stage of life: the menopause. I might go so far as to say that their loved ones should read this too! … Although, when I made the same suggestion to dear hubby, I received a noncommittal grunt in reply, lols.

xThe author tells us that “major body trauma or surgery can ignite the process.” Tick!
And … “Those meno dragons can creep up on you like the night.” Tick! (Love that imagery.)
And … “If you can’t laugh, there’s no fun in existing!” Tick!

xSome comments show the massive differences between healthcare in the UK and that in the US. For instance, many of us over this side of the pond can’t imagine having our own dermatologist or gynae person to go to at need. Apart from this difference in health care provision, the book and its examples is highly relatable.

xAs an amputee, I’m experiencing a whole new level of fun living with a false leg during hot sweats. Just yesterday, after the supposedly-tight-and-skin-gripping liner slipped off my residual limb three times in half an hour, and took my prosthetic with it mid-step, I decided to give myself a break and had a wheelchair day. As the author advises, seeing the funny side sure does help!

xReading this book had me chortling away throughout, as well as nodding in recognition. Honestly, I wish I’d read this a few years ago! While each experience of menopause is individual, there are some common truths that hold for us all, and this book is a wonderful reminder that we’re not alone, as well as offering some general advice from a lay perspective. This treat of a memoir gets a solid five stars from me.

x

x

MacTrish

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2021

Verified Purchase
x
 
 

xxx

xI made a new friend in my building and she’s a retired professional in higher education. She was so excited to learn I was an author and asked where she can buy my books. Of course, I gave her two. She was so kind, as she doesn’t fiddle much with computers, but she wrote three lovely reviews for three of my books, P.S. I Forgive You, Twenty Years: After “I Do”, and Conflicted Hearts:

 

P.S. I Forgive You - D.G. Kaye

 

Twenty Years

 

Conflicted Hearts Cover, D.G. Kaye

 

 

Review

 

book review

 

Words We Carry quote D.G. Kaye

 

 

 

Diana DeCaire

Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2021

Verified Purchase
x
 

x

 

Have Bags, Will Travel, D.G. Kaye

x

 

marjorie mallon

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 February 2021

x
I read this as part of #ireadcanadian., @ireadcanadian #nowmorethanever.

This is such a hoot, what a laugh!

xHave Bags Will Travel is such an entertaining read which gives you an insight into D G Kaye’s character, her shopping obsession, packing troubles, germaphobia, and brushes with airport security. Enjoy her recollections on the glamour and glitz, her love to travel and a nostalgic aspect to it all.

xHer friend Zan shares her shopaholic tendencies too. The two of them together… can you imagine? A red head, blonde explosion of zaniness! I love the part when they end up at Buckingham Palace and chat to a Beefeater, the royal guard and after which… it gets funnier by the moment.

xHave Bags Will Travel gives a historical account of how much easier it used to be to take overstuffed baggage through airports in the good old days. Now, it seems that D G Kaye will resort to anything to get her shopping home.

xZan and D G Kaye also travel to Paris and end up shopping for shoes!

xThere are manmade toboggan rides in Muskoka, Canada.

xTrips to Venezuela: Margarita Island and Caracas with cousin Eileen.

xLas Vegas, Then and Now – gambling/casinos, fond memories of the author’s love of the desert.

xHave Bags Will Travel is just what we need right now, a good giggle! There is also a section at the back of the book with Helpful Travel tips.

xA short, entertaining read. Highly recommended, especially for the shopoholics and travel enthusiasts in your life!

 

***

I am grateful for all those interested in my books and for those who’ve taken the time to read, enjoy, and took more time to write reviews.

xSo what’s next?  Well,  as many of you already know, this year hasn’t been kind to me, in fact, my nightmares with my husband’s declining health began last year, just as I finished revising my latest memoir – Fifteen First Times. I never even got it sent to the editor before I lost all focus on book writing. With my husband’s ongoing illness, and then losing him to cancer this spring, and dealing with everything that comes after that and the suffocating grief I continue to live with, let’s just say that publishing wasn’t anything I could deal with. When I finally get away out of this space this winter, I plan on refreshing myself with the book and forwarding to my editor and to begin the publishing process for that book next spring.

xSince my husband’s illness and consequently, his death, I’ve been writing a lot about grief and poignant moments in very rough draft, as thoughts come to mind. Suffice it to say, without ‘technically’ writing a book, I’m already over 20K words in rough thoughts without even preparing for a book. I will continue writing and eventually turn the devastating situation I’m living, into a book whereby both, those who have and who are walking this journey can connect with, as well as being insightful for those lucky enough not to have walked in the shoes yet, to share through my experiences, about what to expect.

x

Happy Reading!

 

@DGKaye2021