Thursday, August 27, 2020

Did You Know

 Did you know, the term fair play came from William Shakespeare?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

It's Tuesday

 Tuesday's Garden Pics:

Visiting butterflies and frogs, oh my.

AND the critters.

Booted out of her bed.

Frank, Penny and the apparition:)

How's your garden growing? How's your critters? If neither apply, how's life in general?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Did You Know

 Did you know,  President Theodore Roosevelt was an insatiable reader that read one to three books a day? 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

It's Tuesday

 How are you blogger buds?  We've had a lot of rain here and some wonderful fall-precursor days. We had a bud over for lunch last week. I served vegetable soup, bread, salad and, of course, ice cream.😀 This time I left out the potatoes and chocolate, and added the pasta the daughter and SIL sent and V8.  

I also used the bread mix they sent.  On the box it shows this beautiful, perfectly shaped loaf. While it was tasty, beautiful would be a gross exaggeration. I blame it on the yeast. We've never gotten along.

AND for the ladies. Has anyone out there tried this product? I was pleasantly surprised. It works well and it's very inexpensive. Yes, my name is Sandra Thrifty Cox. Thrifty sounds so much better than cheap:)

AND last but not least, the cats. You may well remember, when I first got Callie I had serious concerns about her and Frank ever getting along. Now they squabble and play like siblings.

What about you blogger buds? Did you have a great weekend? Good weather? Anything you'd like to share?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Did You Know

 Did you know, novelist Fanny Burney (1752-1840), author of Cecilia, Camilla and Evangelina,  served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Charlotte?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It's Tuesday

 It's Tuesday and on the foodie front:  

Have any of the vegetarians out there tried Dominoes Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich?  It's quite tasty.

And we got our third and final (sob:) care pack from the daughter and son-in-law filled with all kinds of goodies. If you look closely, you can see Frank putting his seal of approval on the olive oil.

Anyone tried cookie butter?  As the name implies, it's sweet.

I added the grilled artichokes to my salad.


In the garden:


We finished Robin Hood and are watching Hamish Macbeth. I'm a huge Robert Carlyle fan. Both the HH and I are enjoying it. It's a laid back, feel good series with plenty of humor. What about  you? What are you watching? Bingeing? What on?


Happy Birthday, Jeanie. The cat's ear is covering the J:)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday's Great Read

I’m so excited to have good bud and pre-history author Jacqui Murray here today to share info on her latest and the third in the CROSSROADS TRILOGY. I had the privilege of reading the arc and it’s every bit as good as it sounds.


Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.


A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:


Title and author: Against All Odds

Series: Book 3 in the Crossroads series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available digitally (print soon) 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 United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity


Social Media contacts:


Amazon Author Page:






Website:                                 https://jacquimur



 The foothills of the Pyrenees

 Rather than continue across the meadow, Xhosa led the People into the shade of the edging forest.

“Do you smell it, Wind?” Anticipation filled her gestures.

She and Wind, pairmates as well as Co-Leaders, stood quietly, absorbing their surroundings. Light filtered lazily through the canopy, the shadowed ground dappled with patches of warmth. She sniffed in the essence of wet earth and rotting leaves, the mustiness of moss, and something else much more enticing.

“It’s there.” She pointed and strode forward, lengthening her stride.

An icy gust whipped down the hillside through the shadows and raised bumps on her arms but she ignored it. The forest gave way to open sky and searing heat. It was too hot for her thin pelt but she didn’t stop to remove it. Green stalks swayed as far as she could see, edged on one side by more mountains and the other by some sort of leaves and branches. Sunlight glinted off the rippled surface of a distant river as it curled over the terrain.

“Dung!” The scent overpowered every other odor.

Wind huffed to her side. “It’s been a long time since we smelled dung that wasn’t frozen.”

“We did it, Wind.” Her eyes glistened with relief.

For most of a Moon, dread gnawed at her courage and left her wondering if following the guidance of Seeker—a boy barely a man—was a mistake. But Seeker assured her in his ebullient way that once out of the hills, their new homebase would welcome them. Xhosa wanted to believe him because she wasn’t sure what else to do. Nor did she know what to do if it didn’t work.

Wind motioned, arms inclusive, “It’s beautiful, Xhosa.”

Siri, Pan-do, Ngili, the wolves Spirit and Black Wolf, and the rest of the People gathered around Xhosa and Wind, eyes locked on what lay in front of them.

Pan-do whispered, “We made it.” His eyes were moist, mouth open.

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, hands close to his body. “With all this grass, Gazelle or Mammoth must be nearby.”

Dust, the Lead Scout, trotted up, coming from a tall cliff far ahead on their forward path. “I think there are caves there.”

The People hadn’t slept in a cave since leaving Viper and the Mountain Dwellers. It would be a treat if true.

Xhosa looked behind. Shadows already stretched as far from the bottom of the rocky slopes as sunlight to the top. Daylight would soon end.

“We don’t have much time. Let’s rest and then see if those are caves.”

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, fingers spaced out, palms up, “I’ll go with Dust to check.” He added a swift spread-fingered swipe with first one hand and then the other, followed by a quick bob of his head and a puff.

Xhosa brushed both hands down her sides. 

The People spoke with a complex combination of hand motions, facial expressions, body movements, and sounds augmented with chirrups, snaps, hisses, and whistles. By the time Ngili finished talking, Xhosa knew how many would join him, where they would go, and how long they’d be away. The People’s communication was sophisticated but quiet, a precaution especially in unfamiliar areas. Unusual sounds—voices, for example—stood out. All animals made noises but few as varied as the People’s. Why alert Others who lived here to their presence? Xhosa would do that in her own time, in her own way.

Order here.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

How to Survive Rejection

How to Survive Rejection

By Jacqui Murray

An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to add drama to your story:


I have a lot of experience with rejections. I sent queries to agents for my first three books. I made sure these busy folk represented my genre, that I followed their website directions, that I referenced books they already represented so they'd know I spent time preparing my query. I set a goal of 100 queries--100 agents--before deciding I wasn't going to get to yes.

That's a lot of rejection. You probably wonder how I survived it. With a dollop of humor and a strong belief that no agent can shape my future. Here are my tips for you:

  1. When you get your first rejection--or 100th--say this: Well there it is, the stupidist thing I'll read all day.
  2. You got five rejections in one day. You want to leave a nasty Tweet on each of their Twitter feeds and then scream about them on your Facebook page. You don't care if you burn the relationship. Don't! Smile knowingly, that they missed the best book to cross their book in years, and self-pub.
  3. Crawl under your bed with the rejection letters and whisper to the agents, "Any dumber, you'd be jellyfish. Or rocks! How could you not see my brilliance!"
  4. Getting upset about rejections is like inviting a pin to a balloon party. What did you expect?
  5. Given the choice of a rejection letter or a recreational colonoscopy, which would you choose? See, there are worse things.
  6. S/he probably didn't even read it.
  7. You don't want to work with him/her either.
  8. Rejection is when theory meets reality, the agent's theory about what will sell and the reality that they're wrong. Their loss.
  9. Get over it.
  10. Rejections have the charm of a car alarm but at least car alarms have a purpose.
  11. You thought your mss was a twelve-alarm fire. They called it a sparkler. They're wrong.
  12. They used hyperbole to reject you, like, "This is the worst story I've ever read". As though ‘worst’ is all the explanation necessary. Not.

My favorite survival tip is distraction. I have a lovely dog who thinks he's pack leader of our family. I don't disagree which puts me at his beck and bark anytime he chooses. That helps to distract me. Maybe you have a similar dog... or cat... If you do, you are nodding along with me.

#amwriting #IndieAuthor

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

Look for Jacqui’s upcoming release tomorrow on Friday’s Great Read.



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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 IWSG monthly question can be found under the IWSG Sign-up tab on the

August question: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

 Good question. These days I keep my writing in the Western genre. Since I also write paranormal I sometimes have to get creative. Basically,  I wiggle my ideas into my  settings.


July/August reviews in no particular order.

AGAINST ALL ODDS: Book3 of the Crossroads Trilogy by Jacqui Murray


The saga continues. With the help of her co-leaders and wolves, Xhosa leads her people through lands that harbor cannibals, are riddled with wild animals, fire and ice. Through famine and other perils, they journey to their new home. 

This figure from our distant past has learned to fight and hunt as an equal with the men of her time, is strong, and leads with courage, strength and compassion.   

Like the first two stories, I’ve enjoyed this book immensely. When it comes to prehistory, you can’t beat a Jacqui Murray novel. 

Order here.

I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED, a short by D. L. Finn

"Words Matter."

This story is particularly chilling when words uttered without thought take on a Twilight Zone effect.

Evildwels—evil beings that battle angels—have become synonymous with D. L. Finn. If you haven’t tried this author yet, a short story is a great way to be introduced to a new writer.

 Both the read and the author are highly recommended.

Order here.


These poems truly show us an emergence from shadows, traversing from gut-wrenching lows and uncertainty into the sunlight of joy and self-reliance. Each page is a journey in discovery. The verse is beautifully written, leaving the reader both at peace and inspired. 

Order here.


I am not a zombie fan.  But I am an Alexander Pain fan. Even though he writes on a subject that I'm lukewarm on at best I really enjoy his stories. His characters are so well-developed I'm  drawn in from the first page and held to the last. In this short an eighty-year old must keep his great-grands safe from zombies. One of the things I enjoyed the most in this short: in one scene, his grandsons use skateboards to outrace the zombies.  I recommend this read for zombie fans and anyone that just wants to lose themselves in a great short story.

Order here.


THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE by Kristin Harmel

An amazingly crafted novel that blends the past with the present and held my interest.  Here’s the first sentence: “The road snaked over the lush vineyards of Champagne as Ines Chauveau sped southwest out of Reims, clouds of dust whipping ferociously through her chestnut hair.”

SKYWARD and STARSIGHT by Brandon Sanderson

My favorite genre, if it’s well crafted, is YA paranormal, fantasy or sci fi. These two stories fit the bill.

Spensa thinks she’s the only person on earth with special powers till she meets the new boy, only to discover he’s from another world. 

These books kept me reading much later into the night than I had planned😉


Good bud and author Sherry Morris is dipping her toes into a new endeavor.  She’s creating memes and trailers for authors.  She does a beautiful job and is only charging five dollars for memes and fifteen for trailers. You can get in touch with her at


Chrys Fey has a new self-help out for writers dealing with stress, writers block and burn out. 

Order here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

It's Tuesday

Poor FauxPaw had a rough day.  I took her in for her summer cut. She's eighteen and has problems cleaning herself, plus it keeps her cooler. She's blind and deaf and doesn't enjoy getting out of her normal environment and if that wasn't bad enough I dropped her. The carrier lid flew off, so I had to cobble that together. Then when I got home, it fell off, so I had to toss it in with her and carry her in  with the carrier upright. She survived, but it definitely wasn't her favorite outing.

Is anyone else having problems with their font size?  My font is set at normal but I'd call it small. I haven't figured out how to get a better size without going large. 

We've received not one but two Trader Joe care packages from our daughter and SIL. So exciting.

Have you ironed out all the kinks in the new blogspot design?  Got or sent any care packages? Have you or one of your critters gotten your summer cut?