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 …


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.


Last Friday, someone hacked my gmail account, and then proceeded to hack into all my other accounts. Before Friday, I never used 2 steps authentication. I don’t use a cellphone. I gave my last one to my daughter because I never learned to use a touchscreen, and because as an agoraphobic, I rarely leave the house. When I do, because I’m also blind, I never go alone. If someone wants to call me, they do it through messenger or the landline.

As a person striving to be as independent as I can with limited parameters, sending codes to verify it was me was never a logical step, not when I’d need someone to read me the code, and especially if that someone wasn’t available.

I’d thought separating the email for amazon and the one I use to purchase things from my everyday life was enough to protect myself. That, and the fact I’m a tiny fish in the sea. No not even that – I’m but a grain of sand in the bottom of the ocean.

I didn’t know that when google asked “save this password” that it was hoarding all my passwords into gmail, and that if someone accessed that, they could access all. I thought it only kept it saved on the laptop.

I was so, so wrong.

My brother was able to secure my gmail account, but I lost the fb – both the personal and the author page – and my amazon.

The hacker wasn’t able to steal any money. When he tried buying himself a $25 gift certificate, amazon paused the purchase, suspended my account, and my bank blocked my card because I never bought a gift certificate, and because I’m not in the location where it was issued from.

Yesterday, after spending days trying to recover my accounts, my brother told me that my fb account was gone, that he couldn’t recover it because not only was the password changed, but the email as well, along with the ads manager email for my author page.

I filled amazon’s form to appeal the account suspension, and last night received an email saying that they’re closing my account. They wrote:

“After a review of your details, we have determined it is necessary to close your Amazon.com account. Any pending orders have been canceled.

We may not reply to further emails about this issue.”

They said nothing more, gave no other explanation. Simply signed as

“Account Specialist”

When I tried replying, I got an automated response saying I’ve “written to an account that does not accept incoming e-mails.” It was one of those no-reply emails businesses use to reply to you but that you can’t reply back.

Without an amazon account, I can’t contact amazon or KDP support again.

I don’t know what to do.

My next series is coming out nicely. I’ve finished the first and second book, ordered their covers, finished drafting the third, and am at the end of the fourth. I was planning to release book 1 at the end of September, with the rest following a month apart from the other. But my KDP account is gone.

I cried a lot, because I’m sad, but more because I’m angry.

I’ve been banging my head figuring out how to use amazon for years, always settling for less because not all of their features are accessible to the blind or because I’m not in a “preferred country”. But now, I can’t even settle for less because they won’t allow me that.

Ever see the saying “we look forward to inquiries from marginalized groups, disabled people, lgbtq” and so on? It’s just a propaganda that is thrown out there. When I told Bookbub that their page isn’t accessible to the blind, they told me they were sorry but they didn’t have the bandwidth to upgrade. When I reached out to an agent whose submission guidelines said “except for marginalized groups” they weren’t taking queries, I got an automated response saying that they wouldn’t be taking queries regardless that I followed their instructions. And when I finally did find an agent that did, their “submission form” wasn’t accessible.

I’m trying to look forward. I wrote a bit yesterday and today, tried creating a new fb account (and failed, because apparently they’ve upgraded to non-accessible forms), but everything feels tainted somehow. I didn’t just lose my accounts, I lost years of memories and friendship on facebook, and the possibility of success that amazon offers. I’m realistic enough, and have the experience to know that simply uploading a book to amazon doesn’t mean success, but the hope was there.

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.

Me again!

 “Sing like no one’s listening,

love like you’ve never been hurt,

dance like nobody’s watching,

and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

–Mark Twain

I read this a few weeks ago , and it stuck with me. These past few months have been hard on me, on the majority of the world. A lot of people passed away, many still will.

It’s been a while – months – since I last posted here. I didn’t spend these months wallowing in sadness and self-pity.

I read a lot, I wrote a lot, I queried many agents and publishing houses. I let my kids drive me crazy, though I’ve never been sane to begin with, so they only needed to take me around the corner.

I even created a facebook author page. I’m posting the link below – I’m in need of followers! If you have a page, give me a follow and I’ll follow back. I’ve also updated my books here on my blog, and started posting on fb.

This week, I decided it’s time I started writing reviews for the books I read, to return to wp, and straighten my routines again.

I’m hoping to connect again to the friends I made here – looking forward to making rounds again!

My new fb author page:


It’s mind control, only subtler


Have you ever finished a book and said, “That was good,” only to read what others thought , realize the book wasn’t that good, and instead of giving the book a 5 star, you give it a 4, or maybe a 4.5? Or have you ever finished a book, didn’t care much for it, then read some reviews that pointed out great plot points that you hadn’t considered, and instead of the 3, you gave it 4 stars?

Let me confess something: I don’t read reviews of books I intend to read soon (soon, because I have a short memory span), and I don’t read reviews before I write my own, because reviews influence the way I think. For example, if I read the review of a book on my soon tbr and the review says, that character was annoying because she did “this” or “that”, I’ll be on the lookout for “this” and “that”. What I mean is that I’ll be influenced by that review, looking for the points he/she made,, and in many cases, overshadowing the conclusions I may have drawn if I didn’t read that review.

Of course, if people are raving about a book that hadn’t made into my radar, I’m bound to read the reviews. And what happens then? I usually find myself disappointed. One such example was “Crazy Rich Asians”. When I first read a review of the book, the reviewer raved about how funny, hilarious, and how she laughed out loud all throughout the book. And then another blogger mentioned how funny the book was. And then another. So I picked up the book. And, if I were to rate it for how funny the book was, I’d have given it a 2. The book, in my opinion, was not funny. Why? Because mostly it highlighted the way rich people belittled those from other (lower) classes, and their prejudice against them. I found most of the characters shallow. But the book was good, and the author did a good job by keeping the mood light, considering the topics it covered. (If you read that book and found it hilarious, are you wondering if you overlooked all the discrimination? Or, are you feeling guilty that you laughed when there was so much prejudice?)

So now you’re thinking, but you said you didn’t read reviews.

I’d rather not, but to each rule there are exceptions, and the same holds true for me.

Times that I do read book reviews:

1- If I’m on the fence about a book, I might read a review or two to help me decide if I want to read it.

2- If it’s a book I never heard about and it caught my curiosity, I might read a review before I add it to my tbr.

3- If the person who wrote the review is someone whose reading taste I’m familiar with.

4- If it’s a book I’ve dnfed.

5- If it’s a book I don’t plan to read – or can’t afford or find.

6- And, of course, if it’s a book I’ve already read.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what this image is, only that it was tagged as “library” and “mystic”

Before I became an author, reviews held little value to me. If I enjoyed a book, I’d rave it to the people I knew, or discuss it with others who read it. I rarely wrote my opinion down and posted it   somewhere for people to see. But I understand the value of reviews, both for authors and potential readers, and while  I’ll hold to not reading reviews – save for the exceptions above – I do write them upon occasion, and do enjoy engaging in discussions when I see the review of a particular book I enjoyed, or disliked, or dnfed, or plan to read one day.

Have you ever heard the quote: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” By Marcus Cicero?

I’ve discovered that in the publishing world, a book without reviews is a book without much value. And that’s just sad.

What about you? How much value do you put on a book based on the reviews?

The aftermath

Sometimes, I pause in the middle of the day and check the time, only to feel like time is crawling by slowly. But if in that same day I take a look back at the years, or months, or even weeks, my thoughts  are always on how time flies by on jet wings. Is it my cynic self being contradictory, or is everyone the same? Mostly, however, I think on how the past, the farther you think back, the better life was. It makes one fear what the future hides in store.

Inner philosopher aside, I realized last night that it’s been over a month since my last post. I meant to post something a while back, several somethings actually, but keep getting distracted.

For one, after I finished with the last book in the Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy in January, I began drafting a new book. In may, the manuscript was out with beta readers. The book, titled “Of Fame and Ruin” is a romantic thriller, something new to my writing, though not to my reading. This story has been percolating in my mind for years now, and I’d even gone and drafted some scenes so I wouldn’t forget. And the moment Heir of Fury, the last book in the trilogy was out the door, I began drafting, conferring now and then with that mismatched few scenes.


I wasn’t sure which excerpt to use in this post, and finally settled on one, though I’m sure when the post goes live, I’d doubt my choice 😉


So, let me paste first the blurb – which is still subject to future change. If any of you have suggestions, good or bad, let me know in the comments below.




Two opposite halves.


He’s a rock star who lives in the limelight.

She’s a multimillion dollar heiress who longs for quiet.


They were perfect for each other.


When the inevitable happens, their pieces no longer fit.


Carol’s first and last impulsive act changed her life. She’d have regretted it, had it not brought her the happiest moments too.

Chad put his singing days in the past, where he wanted them, and a certain woman to stay buried. Unfortunately, his celebrity status didn’t go away, and neither did the memories of a weekend in paradise.


Fate had a hand in throwing them together. Their past broke them apart.

When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol had no choice but to turn to the only person who could help, even if doing so revealed her biggest secret. Chad wanted nothing to do with the woman who played him as a fool, but was he strong enough to walk away now that he knew the truth?



Josh walked into his father’s hardware store, his eyes finding Chad at once, behind the cash register–standing for Ralph again. He sighed deeply, no longer surprised. Such a waste of talent, his brother. A bachelor’s degree and a JD, a voice that could win awards, and there he was, putting in regular hours as if he couldn’t find anything better.

He moved around to the employee’s side and came to stand beside him. A gangly teenage boy with wire-rimmed glasses shifted from foot to foot while Chad rang his purchase.

“Thanks, Mr. Parker.”

“Any time, David.”

“Mmm,” the boy fidgeted, “can I have another autograph, Mr. Parker? I forgot the last one in my pocket and my mom washed my pants, and, you know?” He pushed his glasses up with his index, and Josh smirked.

“Sure, it happens all the time,” his brother obliged, pulling out a notepad Josh suspected was there for autographs alone.

The boy took his prize with a broad smile, waved at Chad, and hurried out the door. Both Josh and Chad watched as he showed the piece of paper to a group of boys standing by the sidewalk, high fiving each other before skidding out of sight.

“You know he’s selling that on e-bay, right?”

Chad grinned. “Yeah, made more than a grand by now too.”

Josh studied his brother’s profile. He’d grown to wear some stubble after he broke his engagement with Debbie, taking to shaving only once a week. And though he’d gained some weight, most of it was muscle around his shoulders and torso, the result of the weight lifting he and Neil had started a few months back.

“So this is it? This is how you’re spending your days?” Josh asked in a low tone, aware of customer ears nearby. “Hiding in the store, filling in for lazy employees, giving away autographs for a good cause?”

Chad’s eyes flashed with annoyance. “Haven’t we closed this topic twice already?”

They had, but Josh refused to let his brother waste his life away like that. “We never got to a conclusion.”

They both fell quiet when a woman brought her purchase to be checked.

“Good morning,” she said politely, her English heavy.

“Morning, Elena. How do you do?”

“Fine,” she replied with a nice smile. “My friends and I are going to Coney Island this weekend.”

“That’s great.”

“I’m not sure yet if I should go, you know?” she shrugged, “these days I feel like I’m the extra, what with everyone and their dates and me alone. It’s kind of weird.”

Chad made a sympathetic sound. With pursed lips, Josh observed the exchange.

“Maybe I should find an extra friend to come along, just so I won’t feel left out.” She gave Chad a meaningful look that he ignored.

“Maybe you should,” he agreed.

“Maybe. I might even decide I don’t want to go to Coney Island, and me and my extra friend can stay in my place, order pizza, maybe even watch a movie.”

“That’s nice. Twenty-nine ninety-nine.” Chad gave her a polite smile, and after a second, she reached into her purse and pulled out her card.

Josh watched the woman go, admiring the rearview. She looked nice enough, dressed nice–low, formfitting Capri pants, a red tank top that enhanced the size of her boobs. Nice curves, nice smile, nice hair. Good teeth, smelled of peaches.

“Why you blew her off like that?” he asked, puzzled.

Chad shrugged. “Not interested.”

“I see. How long have you not been interested?”


Chad tapped his finger on the countertop, not bothering to hide his irritation. “Let’s see, Elena has been coming here since last winter. A few months, then, I’d say.”

“Is the not interested the reason you broke your engagement with Debbie?”

“No, that was another matter altogether,” Chad said, his brother’s psycho analysis grating.

“What’s the matter with you, women don’t interest you anymore?” Josh asked, his voice rising in pitch. A few feet away, Todd stopped dusting the shelves and glanced back at them.

“What’s next?” his brother went on, unrelenting.

“That’s none of your business,” Chad snapped.

“Why do you insist on throwing your life away? You’re twenty-nine, for fuck’s sake, do something besides hiding yourself in a small office, doing minimal work. When did you last go home for dinner? Talked to Nelson? Because no one’s seen him or talked to him for months. You go to the gym with Neil every day but don’t exchange more than a handful of words. Did you know Monica is expecting their third child? Or that Neil is considering filing a missing person’s report if Nelson doesn’t show up or answer his phone? Did you know Celia has a boyfriend and that they’re looking for an apartment to move in together? Noah is dead, through a fault of his own–”

“That’s enough,” Chad hissed, his brother’s words cutting deep.

Todd moved away, no doubt to give the brothers privacy, and Chad glared at Josh. “I’ll say this for the third time and no more. I don’t want, neither now nor in the future, to record a solo. Do you understand? Whether I choose to rot away in the office above or not, it’s my choice to make, not yours.” He unclenched his fists and turned away. “My singing days are over, buried in a past I don’t want to return to.”

Stiff silence followed, broken only when the front door opened and let in the sound of the outside world.

And there she was, five days, four nights, and she’d changed his life forever.



So this is it for today. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a new post. In the meanwhile, I plan to make some rounds and visit the blogs I’ve missed since my absence.

The aftermath



This wasn’t my original post


A scan through headlines every morning gives me a sense of doom, a flashback of dystopian and pre-apocalyptic books I’ve read throughout the years.

Whether aliens, nuclear weapons, biotech destruction–all the books have one thing in common with this coronavirus: mass hysteria.

I wasn’t going to write about this pandemic, I had another post in mind, one with less drama and dread and with an update about my writing. But… this virus is spreading around the world like an ill wind, and suddenly our big, wide world shrank in size and nowhere is far enough.

People dying by the thousands, restrictions, bans, price gouging, quarantines, talk of judgment day and all the finger pointing on who’s the cause. I read the headlines, and I feel half caught in the world of fantasy. It makes me wonder when this pandemic ends, will the blame and accusations without the fear evolve into raging anger and take us to the next step: World war?

People try to underplay the coronavirus by saying it’s just a virus with flu characteristics. It’s a virus, indeed, and as virus do, they infect and they spread. Only this one is highly contagious with a (high?) mortality rate that differs from place to place.

People wonder whose fault it is, where exactly did it start? It could have started in the jungle, in the market, in a pot plant, it could have escaped a lab, a cave, or attached to a person in a flight from place to place. These speculations, at least in the moment, are doing no one any favor. Regardless where it started, it started, it’s spreading, and there’s no end in sight.

We, humanity, have seen pandemics before–The Bubonic Plague, The Red and Yellow Fever, The Spanish Flu–to name but a few. Those have killed millions, if one dare read the accounts, and it took years for them to end (and I’m not counting the occasional appearances still happening), but they didn’t travel as swiftly as this coronavirus.  The difference? This last virus is taking advantage of technology. Long ago, it took months for a virus to reach another continent, today, it takes hours.

Every politician and doctor and people who is who got up and told people not to panic. They go on TV and teach the common folk basic hygiene lessons we learned as children–how to sneeze, cough, eat healthy, and they expect that’s enough to keep people calm. In turn it caused shortages of cleaning supplies, sanitizers, and what not, and people are panicking regardless. Coughing and sneezing? That’s become the new threat to humanity. If someone coughs in public, people scatter in fear.

Enterprises and every commerce are afraid of the impact of the virus in their economy, and so the country wouldn’t lose money, they failed  to keep their citizens safe. Every country decided to wait and see if the virus would reach them before taking measures, so that their stock shares and economy wouldn’t suffer. But, it did suffer, because once the virus was in, it spread like fire on dry kindling. Whether they were aware or not that it was too late then is hard to tell, but their economy is suffering more for their failure in keeping the virus out.

I’m not sure how this is going to end, or how many months or years it will take, but the way things are looking, it’ll definitely get worse before it gets better. Maybe people have considered this, maybe they haven’t – but with a virus that has spread in a few months worldwide, infected over a hundred thousand (that we know) killed thousands…. well, at this rate, it’s going to keep on going until most, if not all the world, have been infected. Whether by then a treatment will be found, or if people will be vaccined or not remains to be seen.

With this grim note, I’ll end this post with prayers  that this pandemic ends soon, with no more elements of the fantasy books I’ve read (they didn’t end well for humanity).


Two months with cave monsters, beta readers and free stuff


I’m back after a very long hiatus – apologies, apologies. But, like I mentioned on my last post, sometimes life brings out fangs and claws and you have to dodge. Well, dodge didn’t work, but you get used and you go with the flow.

So, what I’ve been up to:

I’m going to keep the bad and the hairy parts out– did you know if you stare at the elephant too long, it grows in size?

Anyway, I was going to post the third episode of Barth and his mishaps, but decided to leave it for next week and keep this one short, and re-introduce myself around WP, see what I missed.

As for the good:

I finished Heir of Fury, the third book in the Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, FINALLY!!!

I’m looking for beta readers and early readers. Anyone interested please let me know either on the comments below or by email jina.salameh1@gmail.com

Another good news is that my books are being made into audio. So, naturally, I went back to earlier books and did another proofread to make sure they’re good to be narrated.

And I’ve discovered I have a few more illnesses – aside from RISD (Revisionitis Intolerance Syndrome Disorder), I have two more conditions:

Andophobia – Every time I come upon the “and” in the middle of a sentence, I break out into a cold sweat, and I have to either delete it or take a break.

Butophilia – I have this tendency to add buts everywhere!

*Credits for Butophilia go to Heather tasker – she was the one who diagnosed this new illness.

So, and this is hard to admit… but both my books are now lighter a few thousand words, wince…. but narration has begun!


Writing wise, this is all, I think, unless I’m forgetting something.

Reading wise – I haven’t read one single book in the past 2 months, but I still have a few reviews from before then that I mean to post in the coming days.

That’s it, I guess. I’m eager to do a round and see how everyone is doing!

And oh yes, I remember now – I have a book out for free!

Download your free copy here from anywhere in the world:




It’s been a while since I’ve last posted something and (I hope) some of you may have wondered where I went.

Sometimes life throws us a curve, and we manage to swerve, sometimes we don’t and we learn to adapt. This time around, I swung and I missed, and adapting is somewhat draining.

But I’m still around and still swinging. I just need some time off. I’ll be trying to get around and see what I missed – I have some comments I still need to reply to, and I’ll be getting around to those first.

Hopefully by next week, I’ll be back – the third part in the Bartholomew episode has been sitting for more than a month catching dust in my document folder.

I’d have waited till next week and just surprised everyone with the new Barth post, but given I’ve been telling myself “next week” for the past two, I decided to come and let everyone know I’m taking this hiatus.

Comments here are closed as I don’t think I’ll be getting back around here today, but if I do, I’ll try to visit those blogs I missed.

Hope everyone is doing well, and have a nice week ahead!