Friday, September 27, 2019

Weekend Wishes

My review of The Quest for Home-Jacqui Murray
5 out of 5 stars.★★★★★
This story takes place where Survival leaves off. Xhosa and her people are on a quest for a new home. She has a small tight group, including a wolf, that she can depend on. Xhosa leads with compassion and courage. Her goal: keep her people safe. The odds are stacked against her, weather, rival bands and worst of all betrayal from an unexpected source, still she perseveres.
Murray has created a story rich in history and has built a solid world with a colorful cast of characters. I found myself rooting for the protagonists and hoping the villains got their comeuppance.
 I can’t begin to imagine the hours of research, not to mention the actual writing time, that went into this wonderful gem of a story. I highly recommend this book. It’s a must read for those who love prehistoric fiction.
Available at Amazon.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Quest For Home

I’m so pleased to have good bud and awesome author Jacqui Murray visiting today to share information on her latest release. Just let me say, I read it. Reviewed it. Loved it. I also had a question for her:
 Yes, absolutely. They had the brainpower, and the plants and tools required were available at the time but because they were made of wood and vines—-materials that don’t preserve over time—no artifacts remain to prove this. Anthropologists speculate this would have been a basic raft made from bamboo and vine. This hypothesis was tested by building rafts using only prehistoric techniques (as Xhosa would have) and then replicating crossings such as the Straits of Gibraltar, through the islands in Indonesia, and even the passage from Indonesia to Australia.
Short Summary:
Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 
The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.
Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.
Book information:
 Title and author: The Quest for Home
Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU
Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building A Midshipman, the story of her daughter's journey from high school to the Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and the Man VS Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist for tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction In the Footstep of Giants, Winter 2020, the final in the Crossroads Trilogy.
 Social Media contacts:
 Amazon Author Page:
Here’s a sneak peak. Excerpt:

 Northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea
Pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping.
How can anything hurt that much?
She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head.
And how did I sleep so long?
Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it.
A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his.
“Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out.
Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood.
“You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps.
“Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear.
She cocked her head and motioned, “You?”
Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands.
“I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries.
When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her.
The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here.
“Nightshade, what happened?”
Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood.
Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.”
A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach.
He was alive!
It was Hawk who offered her People a home when they had none, after more than a Moon of fleeing for their lives through lands so desolate, she didn’t know how anyone survived. Finding Hawk and his People, she thought she’d found a new homeland.
Her last hunt with Hawk flashed through her mind—the stone tip they created like the Big Head’s weapon, how she had hung by her ankles from a tree trunk to cross a deep ravine. How he grinned when she reached the other side, chest heaving but radiant with satisfaction. He told her many of his warriors shook with fear as they crossed. His pride in her that day glowed like flames at night.
For the first time in her life, she felt Sun’s warmth inside of her.
She looked around, saw quiet groups huddled together, males talking and females grooming children. Pan-do bent over a child, whispering something in her ear but no Hawk.
Where is he? But she didn’t ask Nightshade. The last time she’d seen the two together, they had fought.
She couldn’t imagine a world without Hawk. They had planned to pairmate, combine their groups into one so strong no one could ever again drive her away. She hadn’t known there were enemies worse than Big Heads until Hawk told her about the Ice Mountain invaders. They attacked Hawk’s People long before Xhosa arrived. Hawk had killed most and chased the rest back to their home, icy white cliffs that extended from Sun’s waking place to its sleeping nest, bereft of plants and animals. When he saw where they lived, he understood why they wanted his land.
The children of those dead invaders grew up and wanted revenge.
Someone moaned. She jerked to find who needed help and realized it was her.

Congrats, Jacqui.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Got a sick Grand. I'll be back online tomorrow. YOU have a great one.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Did You Know

Did you know lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years and were in both George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's gardens?


Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Mums The Word
Unfortunately, I don't remember what color this guy is.
A black swallowtail.
Just for fun.
I jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I've been using it on my peanut butter toast.
This is probably the closest I'll ever get to Nora aka J.D. Robb. Heh.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Did You Know

Did you know, that included in George Washington's will was the release of his slaves upon his wife's death? This was a dramatic precedence for a plantation owner. He also specified that the young slaves be taught to read and write and taught a useful occupation before being released.  Another precedent, since it threatened white supremacy. For the old and the sick slaves that would have problems taking care of themselves he set aside money. AND...he left money to found a university in the District of Columbia. AND...Over fifty relatives were also included in his will.
AND...When he became seriously ill, the doctors bled him and took approximately FIVE pints of blood in a short amount of time.
*Information gleaned from Washington a Life by Ron Chernow which I have almost finished! I've been reading it since January:)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Ninja Captain's Landing Port

Our own Ninja Captain is flying the blogosphere on a tour of his Cassa Series. I'm very pleased, he's landing his ship here today. Here he comes now. Welcome, Captain. It's an honor to have you.
Races of the Cassa Universe
When CassaStar begins, there are nine known races: Cassan, Vindicarn, Narcon, Fesell, Arellan, Charren, Torbeth, Jerril, and Lorvendera. This expands to ten in CassaFire with the introduction of the Tgren, and there is hint of yet an eleventh race.
While aliens will most likely come in a wide variety of appearances, people still relate best to other humanoid creatures. We need that familiar ground. So I didn’t want to vary far from it.
I did give some of the races unique, non-earth features though. Vindicarn are bald, ash-black in color, and their skin wrinkled like a Mexican Hairless dog/Sphynx cat mix. Arellans are slender with pale hair and almost bluish skin.
A little different, but still human enough!
Series Prequel
Alex J Cavanaugh
SciFi Adventure, Space Opera 
prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa series!


pilot in training...

the odds, Byron is determined to complete Cosbolt training and join
the Cassan space fleet. Poised at the top of his class, only one
situation holds him back–his inability to work with anyone in the
cockpit. Byron’s excellent piloting skills won’t be enough
without a good navigator…

**Get it FREE!! **
Series Book 1 
pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn
young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his
cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt
fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new
life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.
to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf,
as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many
novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful
protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult
fans of space wars.” -
Library Journal

* Apple
* B&N
* Kobo

Series Book 2
the Amazon best-selling author -
CassaStar was just the
Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting
Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his
fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel.
Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The
senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.
detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant
planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they
can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s
civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as
their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and
strange mental abilities.

Series Book 3
storm gathers across the galaxy…
the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle
behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet,
Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the
Tgrens and the Cassans.
a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex
J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges
of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” -
Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover

the CassaSeries Boxed Set Here! 

J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web
design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science
fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and
games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the
award-winning site, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the
author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and
Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Weekend Wishes

AND...The lovely and talented Jacqui Murray has posted a review of ThunderTree on her blog today.
She also has reviewed D.L. Finn's Red Eye's in the Darkness and Mae Clair's Cusp of Night. ALSO it's her release day for Quest. If you have a moment, toddle on over.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Did You Know

Did you know, lawmakers haven't provided funding to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for studying gun control violence in more than two decades even though the House and some crucial doctors' groups are in favor of it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG Wednesday

The first Wednesday of every month is officially IWSG day. Members post about their doubts and fears, discuss struggles and triumphs, and offer words of encouragement to others who are struggling.
Thanks, as always, to Alex Cavanaugh, founder and Ninja Captain extraordinaire and our awesome co-hosts.

The September 4th question: If you could pick one place in the world to write your next story where would it be and why?
A beach in Hawaii. I've always wanted to go to Hawaii and watching the ocean frees my mind and long as the weather is cooperating.

TumbleStar, a western romance, is coming out next month. If you can help with the cover reveal or an early review please jot me a line on the signup on the right. If you are also interested in getting the newsletter once it's up and running, just make note of that too.  Thank you:)

A sneak peak:
I had the honor of looking at two arcs this month. Different genres, but both wonderful reads.

Jacqui Murray's prehistoric novel, is the second in a magnetic trilogy. Why magnetic? The characters stick long after you close the book. If you are interested in this era, it's a must read. You can pre-order Quest at Amazon.

C. Lee McKenzie has written another young adult drama, Not Guilty,  that will grab your interest and hook your heart. It's do out next month. So  keep an eye out for it.

What have you been doing this month? Writing, editing, reading or creating in a different vein?