The Blog: Jennifer’s Journal

Blog Hop: Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray

FYI: Sunday Snap will be back as usual next week.

Today, I’m delighted to welcome author and tech teacher Jacqui Murray from over at WordDreams. She has a brand new release out now in an unusual and fascinating genre.

Book Info:

Title: Born in a Treacherous Time
Series: Book 1 in the Man vs. Nature series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Cover by: Damonza 
Available at: Kindle

Jennifer: Good morning, Jacqui. Born in a Treacherous Time sounds intriguing! Can you tell me a bit about it?

Jacqui: Thank you for having me, Jennifer. Here’s a short summary:

Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in the harsh reality of a world where nature rules, survival is a daily challenge, and a violent band threatens to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.

If you like Man vs. Wild, you’ll love this book. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. It will bring that world – East Africa 1.8 million years ago – to life in a way never seen before.

Jennifer: I can’t wait to read it. I’ve never read prehistoric fiction before, but it has been of interest to me ever since I saw the movie Quest For Fire. What prompted you to write the book, and your switch to this niche genre?

Jacqui: Born in a Treacherous Time is a spin-off of my previous book, To Hunt a Sub.
More specifically, it is a spin-off of Lucy, the ancient female who mentored Kali Delamagente, the female protagonist of that series.

Jennifer: Lucy was such an interesting part of that story. But why did you write a book in such a tiny niche?

Jacqui: Born in a Treacherous Time is written in the sub-genre of historic fiction called prehistoric fiction, a time before recorded history. There aren’t a lot of readers in this genre but they are devoted!
Because the only records are rocks, world building has proven difficult but Lucy (the heroine) really didn’t give me a choice. She nagged me to tell her story from my first page twenty years ago to my final draft. Now maybe Lucy will leave me alone!

Jennifer: You have a couple of noteworthy reviews you’d like to share with our readers, including a Kirkus review. Here they are:

Kirkus review: “Murray’s lean prose is steeped in the characters’ brutal worldview, which lends a delightful otherness to the narration …The book’s plot is similar in key ways to other works in the genre, particularly Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear. However, Murray weaves a taut, compelling narrative, building her story on timeless human concerns of survival, acceptance, and fear of the unknown. Even if readers have a general sense of where the plot is going, they’ll still find the specific twists and revelations to be highly entertaining throughout.
A well-executed tale of early man.”  (Click here for the entire review)

 An early reader’s review: Born in a Treacherous Time sheds light on a period of time that gave birth to the human race, and allow us to bear witness to the harshness and tenacious spirit that is uniquely human—to survive and endure. Readers with a thirst for knowledge and who enjoy historical fiction, this is a must read. I am looking forward to reading book 2 when it is published. I devoured the book in 2 sittings.”Luciana Cavallaro, author of Servant of the Gods series and webmaster of Eternal Atlantis

Jennifer: Those are wonderful reviews. I love that this book has a strong and unique female lead. Thank you so much for this, Jacqui!

To learn more about my guest today, check out the following:

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 Man vs. Nature seriesShe is also the author of over a hundred books on integrating technology into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social media links:
http://twitter.com/worddreams
http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray
https://worddreams.wordpress.com
https://jacquimurray.net

Throwback Thursday: She Writes

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Here’s a throwback to July 2013, when I was in the thick of creating the first draft for Calmer Girls. At the time I was also blogging twice a week, but hey, when your muse is whispering in your ear to pen a poem and she won’t shut up, you pen a poem. There’s no getting out of it.

She Writes

She wakes tangled in themes
through a cobweb of dreams
with gossamer remnants
that linger and tease,
pushes back dusty curtains
and on a page blank and white
she writes.

 She deletes the clichéd
yesterday she okayed
and contemplates words
like ephemeral and moonglade
they taste like confections
with her tangerine sections
and jolts of black coffee
she writes.

She’s reminded of chores
she keeps trying to ignore
with the scatter of crumbs
that litter the floor,
shrugs her shoulders and thinks
it will be there tomorrow
she writes.

The bills wait, unpaid
And the bed’s still not made
There’s this blog post to write
and it can’t be delayed
her novel must wait
it’s a musing or rhyme that
she writes.

She reaches again
for the manuscript when
her mind can’t break free
from the plot line within
and it makes him uptight
there’s no dinner tonight
but he digests her flaws.
After all, it’s because
she writes.

***

photo by pexels

First published here.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Sunday Snap(s): La Gatta

Check out pretty little Pippa. She was the resident cat at La Sorgente*, the bed and breakfast we called home during our visit to Baveno and Stresa in northern Italy.

Fun feline fact: the Italian name for “cat” depends on its gender. A female cat is “la gatta” while a male is “il gatto.”

La Gatta in Stresa

“In the little cat’s eye that sees my soul and stares into my heart,
there is nowhere to hide. I see my reflection.” – jenniferkellandperry.com

“Happy is the home with at least one cat.” – Italian proverb

*La Sorgente Bed and Breakfast is near the Alps and on the shore of the beautiful Lake Maggiore. I highly recommend the area as an Italian destination. 

Book Review – Encounters: Relationships in Conflict

I’ve been reading various collections of short stories lately, the latest of which was written by Fred H. Rohn.
Encounters: Relationships in Conflict is a unique, insightful and entertaining read.

The preface alone is a treat, where Rohn explains how he came to create this collection from accumulated notes and short stories over the years, and how each of them exhibit relationships and the “conflict between people resulting from differing perceptions, often between men and women and between different generations.”

In his preface, he also sets forth the belief that creativity does not have to end as you age, and that many seniors like himself are productive in a variety of artistic and creative endeavors. After all, they’ve lived through some pretty tough experiences which, I surmise, affords them a better grasp and understanding of the human condition. Reading this book only further convinces me of that!

As I began each short story selection, I found myself immediately engaged by the author’s sublime writing style and smooth but compelling narrative and voice. Each piece has its own charm, but I do have my favourites. The Piano Recital, Reunion Deals, Jennifer (!), Doc Brunner (that one brought a tear) and Harry particularly resonated with me, while others, such as The Old Man, made me chuckle.

This book offers clever insight to young readers and familiar life experiences for older readers. I highly recommend this lovely collection.

Review has been published on Amazon.ca and Goodreads.

Readers: do you enjoy short story collections?
Do you have any recommendations for a short fiction fan?

Sunday Snap: The Real Thing?

Coca Cola
Snapped inside a bar on our visit to Verbania, Italy

Did you know?
When Coca-Cola was first introduced in 1886, it contained cocaine as well as caffeine.

It was invented by Confederate Colonel John Pemberton, who was wounded in the U.S Civil War and became addicted to morphine. As a chemist, he began a quest to find a substitute for the drug. Coca-Cola was the result and was originally patented as a medicine.

It was promoted not only as delicious and refreshing, but as an “intellectual beverage,” a “brain tonic” and a cure-all for “sick headache, neuralgia, hysteria, and melancholy.”

– source: Wikipedia

Things go better with Coke?

It’s the Real Thing?

Hmm … not anymore!

Friday Fiction: Reunion*

pexels-photo-1097387

– Reunion –

He sees her
at the edge

of the crowded soiree
and knows her instantly.

It is a blow.

The first time
in thirteen years
Fate has brought them
together
years for her
he’d heard
were far from kind.

He thinks
how dramatic
change can be from
Life’s random cruelties
and how no one
can prepare.

A nervous voyeur
he peeks into her eyes
smudged windows
at the brink
of unimaginable pain.

It frightens him
makes him wish
he hadn’t heard the rumors
the images evoked
and now the proof.

Her face
the same yet injured
from the inside of her trauma
haunted eyes far too mature
for her years
aspect stamped with the hurt
she tries to hide.

And he wonders
when she finds his broken smile
how it was ever possible
that once
she swarmed his secret dreams.

She turns away.

It occurs to him
she read it in his heart
and knows
the Muse has passed.

***

*First published here.

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

Thanks for reading!

Friday Fiction appears on random Fridays as a place to share my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes.

Sunday Snap: Aqua and Azure

Cape Bonavista
View from Cape Bonavista, NL – one of the gems from our travels around the province.

“I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild;
when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody.
And in all its moods, I see myself.”

― Martin Buxbaum

***

Hues of aqua, azure
dreamy summer haze 
wild rocky coastline 
exhilarating breeze  

I love that warmer days are approaching!
What are you looking forward to this summer?
Any travel
/vacation plans on your horizon?

 

Pic and Word Challenge: Aqua and Azure
Photo first published here: Sea and Sky

Thanks, Mom!

Mom cut my bangs

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the many, many things you’ve ever done for me. As it is for most mothers, they are far too numerous to list here.

An endless list, actually. Hey, you even took it upon yourself to trim my bangs from time to time. Why would we bother driving to the beauty parlor when you were there, eager and happy to do it? How hard could it be? And naturally, your other daughter’s bangs didn’t escape your butchery expertise either.

Now Mom, I understand we were a one-income household at the time and you liked saving money wherever possible, but don’t you think your scissors-happy ways may have been a tad aggressive, especially for a school photo, recorded for posterity?

This practice of yours was nearly as darling as your penchant for dressing up my sister and me as twins. Never mind that I was two and a half years older than her.

And yet, as I flip through this old family album, my heart swells.

I see your smile.

I hear your laughter.

I feel the love.

I see my happy childhood, personified, in all of these snaps of captured memories.

And you know what, Mom? It makes me realize I wouldn’t change a single thing.

– Love your daughter,
Jennifer

Wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all the loving moms out there!

Artist in the House

Entering Newtown by Paul Perry
Entering Newtown (1983)

My husband Paul spent a lot of time working on portraits and landscapes in his younger years. His love of artistry was one of the things that first attracted me to him. That and the fact he owned a cat, of course.

These pen and ink drawings are just a few from around our house, although limited edition prints of “Entering Newtown” grace the walls of many.

Some of you may remember a Springsteen portrait mentioned in my novel Calmer Girls, which Samantha drew for her father. Paul’s drawing below is what inspired me to write it in.

Springsteen by Paul M. Perry
Springsteen in the 70’s 
Lou Reed by Paul M. Perry
Lou Reed 

Paul rarely gets time these days to draw, but I hope he picks it up again when he retires. Problem is, he says you’ll read about his retirement in his obituary!

Blogger Bouquet #52

wordpress blogger bouquetMiriam – aka Delphini510 – is a blogger I haven’t been following all that long, and yet she quickly became a favourite.

Her blog is My Window: Sharing my thoughts, poems, travel and art. It was chiefly her poetry that caught my attention.

From Miriam’s About page:

“It is a long way from a little island in North Sea to the British shores but I did it albeit in a circuitous route. Much will be revealed as I go along. I tried my hand at many things but the Arts have always been my love. From tender years books were never far from my side.”

Check out this beautiful, heartfelt poem by Miriam. It was difficult to choose just one!

Sorrow and Strength

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.