Updates: I’ve Been Featured in Romanceaholic’s Monthly Magazine and my Blog is Nominated for the #BloggersBash

While I was away, the presses weren’t sleeping. I just scrolled through my saved drafts of articles I came across while briefly popping by blogworld.


I was delighted to find that once again my blog has been nominated again for the #BloggersBash awards. And I’d forgotten I was invited for interview as a guest writer for the 10th issue of Romanceaholic’s Magazine last fall. I will share the link to the magazine here, but I’m not sure anyone who isn’t a subscriber will get to view it. Just in case, I’ve included the questions I was asked to answer in short for my feature:





What is an author goal you want to accomplish this year? *

I wanted to take a year off book writing and enter more writing contests and challenges and get myself more involved with marketing and brushing up on the ever-changing publishing industry.


What is something that keeps you motivated as an author? *

Blogging and being part of a blogging community with so many inspiring other writers. Being part of this community offers a lot of interaction and potential friendships with like-minded people and keeps us up-to-date in the publishing industry with the various newsletters and informative posts cultivated by other writers. When a writer needs help, the best place to go is to another writing friend.


Why is writing important to you? *

Writing is a powerful way of expressing ourselves and spreading our messages. Many people have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally. Writing is a wonderful medium to get our thoughts out of our heads and on to paper (or keyboards). We don’t necessarily have to publish everything we write. Sometimes it’s just therapeutic to write to sort our thoughts and get a new perspective on issues.


How much real life do you put into or influences your books? *

All my books are written as memoirs or nonfiction, so my truth and experiences in my writing is all real life.


What is the hardest part of writing for you? *

I can’t really say there is a hardest part. Some parts of the process are definitely more challenging than others. Revising and editing aren’t nearly as fun as writing is for me, but a necessary part of writing to clean up my stories.


What are your current projects? *

I previously mentioned I wasn’t writing a book this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not working on ideas. I have an outline done and some rough chapters for my next book – a sequel to my Menowhat? A Memoir book – The Change After the Change, because ladies, the fun doesn’t end after menopause!


How do you go about choosing the title for your book(s)? *

I’ve always had a knack for titles, so I’m lucky I’ve never had to struggle for titles like many other writers seem to. A title is like writing sales ad copy – we pick out the core essence of our story and work a title around that. My books are often titled after I’ve written the theme and outline, and rarely do my titles get changed by the time a book is finished being written.


What is your favorite genre to write? *

My favorite genre to write in is nonfiction. I am a truth teller and a sharer of stories to inspire, which is at the heart of all of my books. I don’t feel the desire to hide behind a veil when I write. My position is I don’t feel the need to express my stories in fiction why not claim ownership?


Generally, how long does it take you to complete a book from idea to publishing? *

If I’m writing a book, I’m disciplined by my own self-imposed deadlines, which I adhere to. If I’m writing every day, I would say I could finish writing, revising and gone through editor and back in roughly 5 months then add another few weeks for the publishing (hair-tearing) part.


Do you ever use someone in your life as a sounding board for ideas or do you prefer to work alone? *

I prefer to work alone, in silence when I’m writing. But I always send my work to a few author friends for feedback before sending it to the editor. Any other nagging issues with my work, I always consult with author friends or within my blogging community.


How much research do you do for your books? *

I do research on my projects before I begin writing. I usually like to survey the books already available in my category, the audience, reviews, and the material offered. But as far as researching my stories, they all come from my own memory and experiences. Occasionally, in my memoirs, I’ve consulted with some of the people in my book for their perspective on certain incidents.


Did you learn anything while writing your book(s)? *

As long as we are writing and reading we are learning.


What would be your next best choice if not writing as a career? *

I couldn’t imagine not writing. I’m pretty sure I’d retire if not writing, then write for a hobby anyway. I don’t believe writers with the passion ever retire from writing.


Do you have any advice for new authors looking to make their own literary statement? *

Write every day. Use writing prompts or free-write daily to exercise the mind. You don’t have to be writing a book to write every day. Read lots of books in your genre, but read lots in other genres too. Reading sharpens our writing skills by seeing different writer styles, voice and phrasing. All these elements will help develop a style of your own. When you discover your style and voice, you can make your statement.


How many books have you written? Do you have a particular favorite? *

I have written six books. Each of my books holds a special place within me. But if I had to choose, I would have to say my favorite book is P.S. I Forgive You. The story is based on the upcoming, and ultimately, the death of my mother and the years it took to escape her narcissistic clutches and the decisions I made to remain estranged from her despite her dying and finding forgiveness for both her and myself.


Why did you choose to use a publisher instead of self-publishing?

I didn’t. I’m a self-published author and proud of my accomplishments.


Do you have a favorite Hero or Heroine from any of your books and why? *

My heroes are every day people. Because my books are memoir and self-help and written from my own experiences, I’d have to say that I am the heroine.


Share one thing about yourself that would surprise people who know you. *

I am very outgoing and a social butterfly, but I freeze up when it comes to public speaking.


If you could go anywhere at all on your next vacation where would you go? *

Back to Mexico. The weather is beautiful, the people are friendly, and I get the best value for my not so great, Canadian dollar.


Favorite social network and why? *

I would have to say Facebook. I get the most interaction there with other writers and my readers. I run a few writing groups with a few author friends and we’ve gained quite a readership. Groups are a great place to share our work, socialize, and run events and promotions.


What was your “dream” job as a child? *

Ha! I wanted to be a singer when I grew up. I did follow the path for awhile but gave it up when I was in my mid-twenties.


Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven’t yet read your work(s)?

If you enjoy reading stories about real life situations and redemption, whether illness, growing up in dysfunction and overcoming self-esteem, finding the humor in menopause, or how to keep the love going in a marriage, I share those stories and many more in my various books.


Next . . .


I’m thrilled once again to be nominated for the #BloggersBash best blogging/writing blog award. Thank you to all who nominated me. If you haven’t voted yet for some of your favorite blogs, please click on Blogger’s Bash post to cast your votes. And thanks again to all who votes for my blog. ❤💋


Blogger's Bash nominated blog


And Last but Not Least . . .


I just wanted to mention here, since it is an update post, that I have joined MeWe.com. It’s a fairly new social media site geared at no privacy invasion, no data stealing and no fake news. It aims to compete with Facebook, where many seem to be leaving lately.

My good friend Colleen Chesebro has already left FB and laying the groundwork for our writing groups and growing a following. I am there still working out the kinks but I will soon be posting all posts I send to share to FB on Mewe once I get organized. Lately, many authors are being treated like spam on FB and having posts removed as am I and my good friend Sally Cronin, who wrote a post about the situation this past week.

Please feel free to friend me at mewe.com/i/debbygies if you decide to join, and hopefully we’ll get a bunch of us over there eventually. Hope to see you there. I haven’t left FB yet, but I’m planning on doing so if they don’t put back my posts. Also note, the mewe contact highlighted in red will not allow me to link here. Please copy and paste it in your browser and it will take you to a page to join and friend me.

Also, Sally Cronin, Colleen Chesebro and myself have set up a writers group there. Once you join mewe, please join our group hangout. Happy to say we only opened the page 2 days ago as of this writing and we’re almost 40 members. Yay! 😊




Literary Divas



#GirlLove post!#Girllove Blog Challenge | kyrosmagica


Thanks to Marjorie over at kyrosmagica for including me in the #Girllove Blog Challenge.  Marje is a kind-hearted, spirited gal I connected with this past year, who likes to blog about the magic of writing, laughter, books, crystals, and so much more.


#Girllovechallenge launched by Lilly Singh, a.k.a. Superwoman, on her  YouTube Channel. Lilly Singh is a Canadian vlogger, actress, comedian, and rapper, age 27. She is tired of ‘girl-on-girl hate’ in schools, workplaces, and social media, so she decided to reverse trends by promoting #GirlLove.  In her empowering video  young women speak out  about their respect and gratitude for other women in their lives. Proceeds from video views will go to the Malala Fund to help educate girls around the world. The goal of the fund is to “enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities”.

Lilly’s challenge was to compliment other women in social media using the hashtag #GirlLove.  In the blogging world the challenge has become more detailed.




Here’s what you do for the #GirlLoveChallenge:


– Tell your followers who inspires you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis.


– Tell your followers who inspire you in real life, a woman you always interact with.


– Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your post with #GirlLove post!#Girllove Blog Challenge.


My Picks:


I wrote a post awhile back called, Embracing Your Self-Esteem, about Whitney Way Thore, and her struggles with obesity. Whitney went from being a slim young teen to an obese woman, which began with her diagnosis of POC, polycistic ovary syndrome.    She has her own show now, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, a reality show that follows her life being an overweight young woman, and what she does to feel good about herself, and empowers other women who have weight issues and low self-esteem. She’s created the hashtag #NoBodyShame and crusades about learning to love and accept oneself. You can read my article HERE.


In my real life, or shall I say, in my virtual writing life where I spend most of my days, I have to say that blogger/writer/author, Sally Cronin is very inspiring. Sally’s blog is always busy with posts from her own extremely, creative writing, to sharing and promoting of the works of others, Sally’s worldly knowledge and experience is shared in many of her articles from health to life experience.


Sally is kind, quick-witted, a lover of life and so well respected and loved in the writing community. I was fortunate enough to connect with Sally on different levels, and I’m honoured to have her as a friend. She’s inspiring, compassionate and so giving of her time to fellow bloggers. To be quite honest, I don’t know how she finds the time to crank out blogs and books, circulate multiple social media sites daily, comment on other’s blogs, and make time for her real life. I truly admire her.



Now on to my five female blogging friends I admire, the part where I get to only choose 5 is very limiting, as there are so many wonderful women out there I admire, but here they are:


Deborah Jay – I love Deb and her writing. But I love that she’s always willing to offer up her good advice, and also shares great information to other writers, and gives great in-depth book reviews.



Marcia Meara – I love Marcia because she’s spunky, witty, and runs her blog, The Write Stuff, which she created to involve other writers with challenges, book promotions, and so much more, because with Marcia, it’s always a surprise what she’ll come up with.



Elaine Mansfield – I love Elaine because she’s a warrior woman. She’s accomplished so much in her life, endured lots of love, lots of grief, and shares her emotions and lessons and experiences in life with her beautiful writings. Elaine was one of my first few blogging friends I connected with when I began blogging almost 3 years ago.



Diane Tibert – I love Diane, another early friend I met blogging, because she’s a go-getter writer who always seems to be on top of trends and updates in the publishing world. She’s a fellow Canadian author, and she never hesitates to share insights she comes across in the writing and publishing world.



Sherri Mathews – I love Sherri, my newest friend of all five here that I’ve mentioned. Sherri is a compassionate soul who has certainly lived life and has had her share of ups and downs which she’s always so willing to share with others. She’s uplifting and you can always count on her for a kind word.


So those are my nominees to take on the #Girllovechallenge. There is no obligation to carry on the challenge if you don’t feel like you have the time to participate, but if you do, just follow the rules listed above, and don’t forget to send the link to the women you’re honouring.




Source: #Girllove Blog Challenge | kyrosmagica

Champions of 2015 – Acknowledgement of Friendship and support -Originated with Seumas Gallacher | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life


No doubt, Sally Cronin  has been awarded the Champions of 2015 Blogger award. With her continuous support of other bloggers and putting out entertaining and informative material almost on a daily basis, she was the perfect candidate.

I wanted to thank Sally for passing on the award, and once again, I’m honoured to have been included in her award nominees.


I was so delighted to be included in Seumas Gallacher’s champions of 2015 and am therefore very pleased to pass on this special award to some of those people who have been such an important part of the blog this year.

Seumas Gallacher is a wordsmith…full stop. A highly successful Indie author alongside his main man Jack Calder.. or regaling us with high tales and providing essential guidance for self-publishing. http://seumasgallacher.com/  If you are looking for a blog that will entertain, amuse and inform then head over…toot sweet!

For me the friendships that have developed bring an additional element to my writing both on the blog and in the books in progress. Motivation, humour, balance and just as important consistency. They have been unwavering in their support and interaction and if I was to select one element of 2015 that stands out as amazing; it has to be the people who have experienced it with me……” CONTINUE READING 


About this award that was created by Seumas Gallacher,  – It has many components, tailored to each blogger’s criteria for nomination criteria. Today I’ll choose 5 bloggers amongst so many wonderful bloggers here, for their many visits and comments left here, for the wonderful posts they also contribute for their followers, and for their originality.


Visit their links and have a look at what they like to blog about. I can assure you that these are all great blogs filled with personal perspective and writing oriented posts.


Carol Balawyder

Marian Beaman

Sacha Black

Diane Tibert

A.K. Andrews

Sherri Mathews


Recipients, if you choose to accept and wish to propagate the CHAMPIONS AWARDS, please do the following:
1.Post this Award Sticker on your blog, with the hashtag #CHAMPIONSAWARDS
2.Acknowledge the sponsor of your Awards.
3.Choose at least five of your own nominees and advise them accordingly, attaching these 5 guidelines.
4.Keep it simple… no need for explanations for the Awards… we know how great these folks are.
5.You are free to give out these Awards as frequently as you wish.


Source: Champions of 2015 – Acknowledgement of Friendship and support -Originated with Seumas Gallacher | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life