Time’s Deceit

Note: Book 1, Shadow Walker, is on sale for $0.99


“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

It’s been so long since I’ve last posted. I blink and it’s Friday, blink again, and it’s still Friday–in another week, maybe a new month. I feel betrayed by the way time flies by. So much to do, and never enough time for them all.

Well, I  did manage to accomplish a few things since my last post. I’ve published a whole series and written the draft of a new novella. The banner above was done by my son, and I’ve been slowly sharing it over social media, because apparently I can no longer manage them all on the same day and still function as a human being.

Managing ads also takes a lot of time. And since I’m failing miserably, I’m considering tucking tail and looking for a publishing house to wash my hands of the marketing I suck at. At the very least, I’d have more free time.

Anyone who knows of a good publishing house that actually can do marketing, or a foolproof way to manage ads with success, I’d appreciate greatly a head’s up.

Either way, I just wanted to share the banner, let y’all know I’m well and alive and still plan to blog now and again.

Until then …


Natural Selection by Jacqui Murray Blog tour

Today is my stop for Jacqui Murray’s blog tour for her latest book, Natural Selection.

The concept of how humans evolved is a curious and complex one, with not enough books on the topic. Kudos to Author Jacqui Murray for setting up these characters in such a time period, and basing them on true events! In this installment, Jacqui tackles a topic dear to me, because I can relate: an almost blind character, Ahnda. Having suffered an unfortunate series of event, Ahnda finds himself alone and almost blind. He has two options: give up and die, or keep going and achieve his goal (Finding Lucy and her tribe).

Read on to the end and find out what Author Jacqui Murray has to say about this character.

Title: Natural Selection

Series: Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Book summary:

In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former-tribemembers captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

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


Available print or digital) at: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW

Could an almost-blind person survive primordial Africa?

There’s a fascinating character in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, with a big part in my latest book, Natural Selection, named Ahnda. Ahnda is a normal early man youth, growing up with his tribe, looking forward to hunting and knapping stone tools with the adults, until a series of mishaps land him alone, in an unknown area, and almost blind. Ahnda would like to give up, but then he would die so he makes the decision to keep moving toward his goal–to find Lucy and her tribe–until he can’t. He learns to rely on senses other than sight, to be furiously aware of his surroundings, to trust his ability to solve problems, and to never give up even when his journey seems impossible.

I hadn’t planned on Ahnda’s sight challenges when I started writing Natural Selection. I developed Glaucoma and suddenly, unbidden, Ahnda’s mishaps ended him in near-blindness as though the Universe was telling me to stop whining. Others have it worse. At first blush, I didn’t believe it was possible for him to survive, and then I read Enos Abijah Mills’ story, The Adventures of a Nature Guide. He had been exploring the peak of the Continental Divide, alone as was his norm, when he lost his vision to snow blindness. In the late 1800’s, there were no phones, compasses, or any other technology to help him out of this trouble. Most of us would ponder our mortality, but Mills rationally and calmly found his way back to civilization by employing his remaining senses:

“[Blindly, trudging through endless snow, I shouted] … listened intently … and noticed the direction from which the reply came, its intensity, and the cross echoes …”

The farther he traveled, the less Mills cared what nature threw at him. Each problem presented an opportunity to learn about the natural world and himself. That became the model for Ahnda. Today’s world has lots of sight-challenged individuals who function well with canes, seeing-eye dogs, and clickers, but Ahnda has none of those. Is it reasonable that he could survive? Let’s look at the science.

There is a lot of evidence backing up the ability to navigate one’s environment via sounds.

One: Bats fly in dark caves and find insect prey using a skill called echolocation. They produce sound waves outside of the human ear’s ability to hear to locate objects around them. You can do an Internet search for details.

Another: Sight-challenged people can learn to move around well using a combination of sonar, echolocation, and “clicking”. If you didn’t know they were sight-challenged, you wouldn’t know. Interested? Search “Daniel Kish” and “Perceptual Navigation” for more information.

I bet all of you know at least one physically-challenged individual that doesn’t let that stop them at. all. Share those stories in the comments!

About Jacqui Murray:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:    https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                                      https://worddreams.wordpress.com

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

Pinterest:                                            http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                                http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                              https://jacquimurray.net

Read an excerpt:

The Canis’ packmates were all dead, each crumpled in a smeared puddle of blood, Upright killing sticks embedded where they should never be. His body shook, but he remembered his training. The killers’ scent filled the air. If they saw him—heard him—they would come for him, too, and he must survive. He was the last of his pack.

He padded quietly through the bodies, paused at his mate, broken, eyes open, tongue out, pup under her chest, his head crushed. A moan slipped from his muzzle and spread around him. He swallowed what remained in his mouth. Without a pack, silence was his only protection. He knew to be quiet, but today, now, failed.

To his horror, a departing Upright looked back, face covered in Canis blood, meaty shreds dripping from his mouth, the body of a dead pup slung over his shoulder. The Canis sank into the brittle grass and froze. The Upright scanned the massacre, saw the Canis’ lifeless body, thought him dead like the rest of the decimated pack. Satisfied, he turned away and rushed after his departing tribe. The Canis waited until the Upright was out of sight before cautiously rising and backing away from the onslaught, eyes on the vanished predators in case they changed their minds.

And fell.

He had planned to descend into the gully behind him. Sun’s shadows were already covering it in darkness which would hide him for the night, but he had gauged his position wrong. Suddenly, earth disappeared beneath his huge paws. He tried to scrabble to solid ground, but his weight and size worked against him and he tumbled down the steep slope. The loose gravel made gripping impossible, but he dug his claws in anyway, whining once when his shoulder slammed into a rock, and again when his head bounced off a tree stump. Pain tore through his ear as flesh ripped, dangling in shreds as it slapped the ground. He kept his legs as close as possible to his body and head tucked, thankful this hill ended in a flat field, not a river.

Or a cliff.

When it finally leveled out, he scrambled to his paws, managed to ignore the white-hot spikes shrieking through his head as he spread his legs wide. Blood wafted across his muzzle. He didn’t realize it was his until the tart globs dripped down his face and plopped to the ground beneath his quaking chest. The injured animal odor, raw flesh and fresh blood, drew predators. In a pack, his mate would purge it by licking the wound. She would pronounce him Ragged-ear, the survivor.

Ragged-ear is a strong name. A good one.

He panted, tail sweeping side to side, and his indomitable spirit re-emerged.

I live.

But no one else in his pack did.

Except, maybe, the female called White-streak. She often traveled alone, even when told not to. If she was away during the raid, she may have escaped. He would find her. Together, they would start over.

Grab your copy! http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW

New Poem

I’m calling this one Epitaph–and yes, it’s morbid. I’m not sure if it’s considered a prose poem or free verse, though. 😊

I hope you enjoy!


Cry not for me,

when I’m old and senile

with graying hair and wrinkles

and gapped memories

and painfully failing knees.

Cry not for me,

When I have more medicines

Than I can remember taking

For all chronic illnesses

In all letters of the alphabet

That are Hardly worthy mentioning.

Cry not for me,

When I drift away

On silent wings

Of downy dove gray

Colored for my wonders and sins

Filled with joys and tears

Of a life well lived.
Cry not for me,

For I’ve had a great life

Maybe long, maybe short

My regrets remain mine

My annecdotes, around I assigned

In morning recaps, drinking  coffee and tea with ice

And chocolate cookies and triangular pies.

Cry not for me,

When I’m gray and weathered

For I leave behind

A clutch of children

Hatched with every emotion

Ever born across the ocean

To carry my memories.

Cry not for me,

For I’ll always be present

Perpetuated in the actopms

I leave behind

As The legacy of my life.

Copyright © 2022 Jina S. Bazzar

Image taken from Pixabay.

Meet the author: Tyler Colins

Hi peeps. I’ve decided to start a segment in this blog by introducing other indie authors I know and enjoy.

I’m opening  it with a dear friend and author, Tyler Colins. We met a few years back here in the blogosphere, and have been friends ever since.

So, without any further ado, let’s start.

A brief bio:

Tyler Colins

Tyler Colins is primarily a writer of fiction and blog posts, and a sometimes editor and proofreader of books, manuals, and film/television scripts. She’ll also create business plans, synopses, film promotion and sales documents.

Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are skills and joys (she likes playing detective and developing structure).

Her fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries. Her genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and helpful “affirmative” non-fiction.

She aims to provide readers with smiles and chuckles like the ever-talented Janet Evanovich and the sadly passed and missed Lawrence Sanders, the “coziness” of Jessica Fletcher, and a few diversions and distractions as only long-time pros Jonathan Kellerman and Kathy Reichs can craft.

And now, the interview (read to the end for an excerpt of Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie)

Q: What inspired you to become an author?  And why Hawaii?

A: As an only child with a mother and father who didn’t really have time or support for me as parents tend to, I had to find my own source of “play”.  I started drawing and writing.  My grade 7 teacher, Mr. Kennedy, loved a short story I had written and read it to the class.  I had no idea I had any talent.  That afternoon made me look at myself as something more than a friendless, lonely kid.  Little ’ me was actually good at something.  I started writing . . . and writing . . . and writing.  The rest, as the saying goes, is history.  😊

I fell in love with Hawaii the first time I stepped foot on Oahu.  It wasn’t that I saw “Paradise” there (because, off the tourist track, it has its issues as most places do), but that I felt a connection to the history and spirituality.  I felt like I belonged.  There wasn’t anywhere I wouldn’t go; I felt no fear or anxiety.  And when I began the sequel to The Connecticut Corpse Caper, which was initially intended to be a stand-alone, Hawaii seemed the perfect place to have my three private eyes move to.  Even if I can’t live there—given laws and finances and all that—Hawaii is my home . . . in heart and soul.

Q: What do you think is the most difficult part about writing, and how do you motivate yourself to continue?

A: For me, the most difficult thing about being a writer is finding the time to write.  Mom-care still takes up a few hours, most days, and the full-time job isn’t your usual eight-hour day.  Freelance editing also detracts (but I’d not give up editing for anything because I do so love it).  One day, hopefully, I’ll find a way to juggle time more constructively.

I can’t say I “motivate” myself.  😉  I simply do.

Q: It’s a strange and tough world out there. Do you find that it hinders or improves your writing?

A: It is indeed.  The state of affairs around the world can be daunting and/or depressing.  Some days, it can weigh heavily; you wonder (worry) that those state of affairs will never improve but, then, bursts of hope and faith—like a double Hawaiian rainbow—take over.  And you think, believe, hey, maybe things will turn out all right after all.  I wouldn’t say exterior forces hinder my writing, nor improve it.  But they may provide ideas for scenes or twists in plots.

Q: What is your favorite way to relax?

A: LOL – I haven’t found one yet.  Well, I shouldn’t say that.  When I get to Hawaii, that’s where I find ways to relax . . . strolling along a beach, splashing in the ocean, finding a fun farmer’s market, or enjoying shave ice while sitting on a rock by the water’s edge.

Q: Do you read your own books after they’re published? If not, why not?

A: I haven’t read my books after they’ve been published per se.  But when I require an excerpt for a post, then I will scan one or two of them to find the perfect one.  I think the reason I’m not inclined to read them from front to end is that I might discover typos or something that didn’t gel.  Then I’d spend the week or month kicking myself repeatedly.  😉

I believe one of my favorite excerpts is from Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? when JJ and Cash’s budding “relationship” starts to take off . . . or not . . .

Q: If you were to become the mc of the last book you read, who would you be and where?

A: I edit a lot of books, but I don’t read a lot of books . . . save for, believe it or not, the odd Nancy Drew book.  I pick one from the pile in the closet if I’m going to ride the stationary bike in the fitness room.  It’s an easy read and it takes me back to simpler times—when I was kid living in (escaping to) my little world.  I always wanted to be Bess or George, never Nancy.  She always seemed so perfect and privileged, and for a little kid being caught up in a not so perfect or privileged world, I couldn’t relate to it.  But I’d love to be involved in one of their mysteries.  My favorites were The Haunted Showboat and The Secret of the Wooden Lady, so the setting of either one would be very “Keene”.  LOL

Excerpt for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie

Cover taken from Goodreads

“No stitches required, fortunately.”

Linda propped Cash’s head on a fit thigh and continued to dab a tiny sponge on an open cut above the right eyebrow. “But he’s going to have one big headache, a knob on his temple, and probably a scar. Perfect timing, me stopping by. If Makjo hadn’t taken the afternoon off, you’d be the one administering medical aid.”

He stirred twice, but was having difficulty opening his eyes.

“Fortunately, you’re here,” I smiled wryly, “and you have first aid certification.”

“So will you and Rey after next month.”

Linda had taken first aid and CPR training last summer while still in California. Rey and I had discussed doing something similar upon arrival on Oahu. As professional private investigators, first aid was at the top of the list, but other courses like investigative techniques and interviewing methods were also on the agenda.

“Who is this guy? I don’t think you’ve mentioned knowing someone this hunky.” Digging through a kit, she located antiseptic cream and a large bandage.

“He has different names. Cash. Richie J. Richard. He’s a drug dealer.”

Linda stopped and searched his face. “Really?”

“He doesn’t look like one?” I asked drolly.

“I’ve never met one before.”

“Damn.” He winced, and brought a hand to his forehead. “What happened?”

“You got beaned by our favorite beaner,” Linda explained merrily, gently applying cream to the wound before applying the bandage. “She can pack a mighty wallop.”

He squinted upward. “Who are you?”

“Linda Royale.” She peered so closely, they were nearly nose to nose. “I hear you’re a drug dealer.”

A flummoxed gaze shifted from her face to mine. I was standing behind Linda, looking down, hoping the damage was minor enough not to do any serious or permanent damage, but major enough to make him think twice about entering the condo uninvited again. “Did I deserve that? Bitch.”

If looks could kill. “Watch the name calling,” I trilled, getting a glass of water and passing it to Doctor Linda.

She supported his head and got him to drink a third of the glass. “Do you deal locally or on the Mainland, as well? Do you hobnob with guys who have the status of the once-super-rich-and successful ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross and Amado ‘Lord of the Skies’ Fuentes?”

He eyed her as if she were as demented as Norman Bates’ mother.

“Oh, sorry. You probably don’t want to share your criminal life with us. That’s okay.” Linda smiled and he closed his eyes in a give-me-strength cast. “Let’s get you upright.” She assisted him into a more vertical position.

He noticed her dressing. “Did she bean you, too?”

Linda instinctively touched the binding on her head. “This is courtesy of a creep I had the displeasure of not meeting last night.”

“She got dinged by a psycho,” I said simply.

His expression suggested he wasn’t buying it.

Get a copy! https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/can-you-hula-like-hilo-hattie

Connect with Tyler Colins here:






An update on my last post, Cyberthief.

More than three weeks after I’ve been hacked, I finally managed to get things in order–more or less–but I’m almost there!

Girl reaching for the moon – according to Pixabay

There was plenty of banging my head on the desk, but I finally decided to try a different route. I hunted an old correspondence with KDP, and after some back and forth and hair-yanking, I finally got permission to create a new account. ✌

I lost all info save for ratings and reviews, but at least I’m back on track.

I also managed a new facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100085638402950

Come befriend me!

My facebook author page is floating, untethered, in cyberspace. I’ve been told there’s no way to recover it.

I’m going to give another shot at creating a newsletter, though even as I’m writing this, I’m sighing, aware of how daunting and unfruitful my previous attempts have been. But I can’t stop thinking that if I had a newsletter, I could reach my followers/fans – regardless that they were only a few hundred – and let them know that I’d be moving someday soon.

But that’s a topic for a future post, or not.

This week, I’ll be spending time in my KDP dashboard, preparing my upcoming books for preorder.

Wish me luck!

Closed doors, open windows

I’m guest posting today at George Rede about my journey to blindness.

Come give it a read:

image of the sea seen through an open window

On July 24th, 2007, my quest to save the last vestiges of my vision began. I left my small apartment in Tallahassee, Florida, with my husband and nine-month-old baby, and drove down to Miami International Airport, because I refused to board a connecting flight to Rio alone. My goal was to undergo glaucoma surgery, which I couldn’t afford in the U.S., but which I could receive in Brazil with my health insurance.

Most people in the U.S. measure normal sight at a distance of twenty feet. A 20/20 vision is the norm, but back then, my ophthalmologist had mine measured at 235/400, according to my medical file (for my left eye). I could see only through the periphery of my left eye, which was my dominant one. With my right, I could see no more than light and shadows.
Whenever I moved and needed to see ahead, I’d look sideways (all the way to the right), so that I’d have the periphery of my left eye focused to the front. It made for awkward moments with people who’d think I was focused somewhere else when talking with them.

Awesome books that deserve more attention

As a binge reader, I often come across many great books that are, for the most part, overlooked by the majority of readers. It’s disappointing to tell a friend, “Hey, I read so and so book,” only to realize the other person not only never heard of the book, but has no idea who the author is.

So, I wanted to start sharing some books I enjoyed very much, but that I think don’t get enough credit.

For this post, I will be introducing The Guild Codex Universe by Annette Marie.

There are four series in this urban fantasy world and one magic system. I’ve read them all and enjoyed each equally.

First, let me introduce you to the series, where the characters are interwoven:

  1. The Guild Codex: Spellbound
  2. The Guild Codex: Demonized
  3. The Guild Codex: Warped
  4. The Guild Codex: Unveiled

And here’s the first book in each one, as well as a goodreads description and a brief thought:

  • Spellbound
Image taken from Goodreads

Starting with Three Mages and a Margarita, this series is complete at eight books, all of which are amazing.

Goodreads description:

“Mages, psychics, sorcerers, druids, demons—and a human with a feisty attitude, no magic, and one last chance at gainful employment.”

I loved the fact that Tori is one tough kick ass human, no hidden powers, no magic at all, but she stands equally to all the supernaturals and is just as badass – and sometimes more.

This was the first book I read by this author, but not the last.

  • Demonized
Image taken from Goodreads

Starting with Taming Demons for Beginners, this series is complete at four books.

Goodreads description:

“When shy bookworm Robin found a hellish creature imprisoned in her uncle’s basement, she never intended to make a contract with the rare, deadly demon. And their contract? His protection in exchange for… cookies. There’s no way that could go wrong.”

Between this one and Spellbound, the two series really come alive. I read them in their reading order, which you can find here.

  • Warped
Image taken from Goodreads

Starting with Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors

There are three books in this series, though there are more to come, and I can’t wait!

Goodreads description:

“When psychic conman Kit is arrested, all he wants to do is escape. Instead, he finds himself partnered with by-the-books MagiPol agent Lienna and tasked with bringing down his ex-partner-in-crime. That might make escaping custody a tad more difficult.”

Narrated from the pov of a male character and a convict as well, this is, by far, the one to make you laugh in the middle of the night. You can’t help but root for the underdog – and yes, it’s action packed as well.

  • Unveiled
Image taken from Goodreads

Starting with The One and Only Crystal Druid, there are four books published in this series, and like Warped, there are still more to come.

Goodreads description:

“When ex-convict and incompetent witch Saber encounters the notorious Crystal Druid, she tries to kill him. Then she discovers a mysterious fae on a deadly rampage. Together, they have a chance to stop it—if she can resist stabbing her new ally.”

I’ll admit that after reading about Zach as a secondary character in the other three series, I was so excited to finally read his story, that when I finally picked it up and found it told in the female’s pov, I was disappointed. I wanted Zach as the lead character, and for that, my enjoyment dimmed. That doesn’t mean that this series isn’t awesome, because it is, only that I felt betrayed when I picked up the first book and found the story told in someone else’s pov.

So that’s it. Have you ever read any of the above?

There are other books by this author in other worlds – Steel and stone, and they’re great reads as well – yes, I’ve read them all. But to keep this post short, I’ll stop here, for now. Next week, I’ll come back with a new post and a new author.

Do you know any similar books overlooked by the majority? Let me know in the comments below!

The Road to Publishing

While it’s true that the path of writing is a solitary one, getting published isn’t. In fact, there isn’t an author out there who wouldn’t agree with the fact that publishing a book is the work of a team.

While I’d been absent from the blogosphere for most of this year and the last, I spent all my time (the free ones) up in a tree, enjoying the moonlight.

Cat in a tree at night – according to Pixabay.

I mean, in my dreams. In my waking hours (though I might or not have been lucid because I can’t remember how the time passed by), I wrote an upcoming trilogy, which I’ll be posting about in the following weeks.

For today, I wanted to take the time to thank some of the authors who’ve helped and supported me in my latest endeavor.

Author Tyler Colins, for reading my books and for the proofread – but especially for being a good friend. I treasure all the back and forth emails we share. You’re an amazing person, an amazing writer, and an amazing editor.

Thank you. I did sniff back some tears of despair when you told me “house” should be in upper case, but I gritted my teeth and went back through book 1 and book 2, and capitalized all 500+ “house”. And yes, I went over one by one because not all the “houses” in the story belonged to a house of power. But hey, I survived.

Author E. Denise Billups. Thank you for always being there whenever I despair about the layout format. Your help is the reason my books are well-formatted, and I appreciate you always taking the time to reply to my emails, format my books – which sometimes you do more than once because I keep messing it up – and for always replying to my rants. And most of all, thanks for being my friend for the past five years.

I promise I’m learning the war strategy for layout format, and hopefully, one day, you’ll tell me that I’ve done it right. My fingers are crossed. Hopefully, they won’t get stuck like that.

What happens when the competition is gone?

I’ve been hearing about the merger for Penguin Random House with rival Simon & Schuster for some time now. Who here never played monopoly?

Some people say less competition is better, but what they forget to consider is that without competition, options become limited. If the Big 5 becomes 4, there’s nothing stopping another merger to happen, then another, and another, until there’s one publishing house monopolizing the publishing industry.

When competition is gone, there’s no stopping the provider from setting the rules that benefits them the most, with the prices that benefits them the most.

I’ve read an article today that even established author, Stephen King, stood up against the merger, regardless that his books are published by Simon & Schuster.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!

Here’s a quote, and the link for the article below that.

“Blockbuster horror writer Stephen King testified on Tuesday as the star witness in the Justice Department’s case against the merger of publishing giant Penguin Random House with rival Simon & Schuster. The author, whose own books are published mostly by Simon & Schuster, said he had watched as consolidation in the industry lowered pay for lesser-known colleagues.”


The bug that eats star ratings

I’ve lost a third of my ratings on Goodreads overnight. According to Goodreads customer services, they’re experiencing a bug. It’s got full priority, but they have no idea when it’ll be fixed. Meanwhile, I’ve dropped from 4.41 average rating to a 4.09 – because most ratings that disappeared were 5 and 4 star ratings.

It’s Disheartening.

Image source Pixabay