Blog Tour: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today I’m happy to host Jacqui Murray, a fellow blogger and prolific author as she launches Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroads series. I’ve read most of her work and hold a special fascination for her prehistoric thrillers. Here’s the summary for her newest book:

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 trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

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!

I had the pleasure of asking Jacqui a few questions about her latest novel:

You made up the bird language—right?

Wrong. Imitating bird song to communicate over difficult-to-traverse expanses has been used throughout the world by different cultures. If you’re curious, try this link:

 Could early man really run down their prey?

That answer is a resounding Yes. Scientists call this the “Endurance Running Hypothesis”. Early Man didn’t run faster than herd animals. They ran harder—all day or more. The Homo genus evolved a more stable head, looser hips, longer legs, shock-absorbing joints, and a springier foot formation. This made them—and us—well-suited to continuous running. Other changes in body makeup meant humans didn’t tire or overheat from this activity. Most animals sprint only short distances before they must stop to catch their breath and let their bodies cool down. We didn’t.

Could primitive man build rafts as suggested in this story?

Yes, absolutely. They possessed the brainpower, and the required tools were available at the time. Because these rafts must have been made of wood and vines—-materials that don’t preserve over time—no artifacts remain to prove this. Anthropologists speculate this earliest raft was more of a floating platform made from bamboo and tied together with vine. Scientists tested this hypothesis by building rafts using the prehistoric techniques Xhosa employed to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and then sailing the raft through Indonesia as the ancient people might have done.

Thank you, Jacqui. I wish you much success with this book and with all of your writing endeavors.

Available digitally (print soon) at:
Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Visit Jacqui’s Amazon Author page here.

A Virtual Writing Tour


How and why a writer writes has always been of great interest to me. That is why I accepted an invitation to take part in the #mywritingprocess tour, an exercise in which writers share insight into their writing process. J-Bo over at is the blogger that nominated me. She is a therapist with a fun writing personality, has been freshly pressed, and she hopes to publish a humorous memoir on her life up to the age of eighteen.

Okay, back to me!

What am I working on?

A number of things are currently keeping me busy. First and foremost, I am putting my focus on trying to get my novel, Calmer Girls published. This involves writing, rewriting, and sending query letters to literary agents, in hopes of snagging one that will shop my book around to publishers.

The thing about this process is that it takes patience waiting for replies, and guts to face the rejections. Most agents only want to know what your novel is about, and may or may not request manuscript pages, so you have to make that query letter pretty darn inviting. This, the business side of things, is my least favourite part of being a writer. I would much rather focus on the actual writing of my other projects. For those of you who haven’t reached this stage yet, enjoy your writing and revising while it lasts!

In addition, I am outlining a sequel to Calmer Girls. This, like the first one, will be able to stand on its own, so readers will not feel they’ve missed anything if they don’t read the other one. But I am hoping and counting on them liking the characters and story so much, they will want to read more. 😉

In between, I like writing poetry, musings, and playing with photography to update my blog. Getting feedback on WordPress and connecting with other bloggers and writers is consistently rewarding and a valuable supplement to my writerly life.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The setting of my novel(s) is here in Newfoundland, Canada, the first one taking place in 1993, so there are no cellphones and computers to get in the way of daily life and my characters’ interactions. The main character is dealing with several socio-economic problems of that period as well as conflicts and events of a personal nature, to which many sixteen-year-olds can relate.

Why do I write what I do?

I like writing about what I know and within genres I like to read. Young Adult and Coming-of-Age are of high interest to me, and I will continue in that vein for the time being. Realistic, relationship-based fiction has always been my favourite. I wrote my first novel about a teenager when I was fifteen, but never sought to publish it.

How does my writing process work?

In writing Calmer Girls, the first thing I did was settle on a beginning and an end. From this I created my characters and a rough outline. After that a lot of brainstorming goes in, and during the process of writing I allow the flow of new ideas and inspiration to come to me. So I suppose you could say I’m a “planner” and a “pantser” (For those who don’t know, a pantser is someone who likes to fly by the seat of their pants when writing a novel).

It took me about sixteen months to write it, including revisions and the final draft, but this included several interruptions that sometimes took me away from writing for weeks at a time. I found the tweaking at the end the most time-consuming, but I also loved that stage the most. In writing the first draft, I only wrote in the mornings, but the final draft was done all hours of the day.

Next up on the #mywritingprocess tour are Kath, Wendy, and lionaroundwriting, three bloggers who have graciously agreed to take part:

Kath Unsworth from Minuscule Moments of Inspiration lives on the south coast of Australia with her family. Her dream is “to create, illustrate and write happy hopeful stories for children”.

Wendy from greenlightlady lives in Canada like me, and is all “about inspiration for you, your life, and your relationships”. Nature, poetry and photography is highlighted in her blog.

Lionaroundwriting is a young man from Scotland who has written a number of short stories and is now trying to get published like the rest of us. He likes to write about all sorts of things, “drawing… inspiration from real life events, comedy, philosophy, psychology, futuristic musings and the dark recess of (his) mind”.

I hope you bookmark and/or follow these bloggers next week when they present their own personal takes on the #mywritingprocess tour.

Want to read more about my process? Check out these posts:

“…Then You Must Write It”

The Creation of a Novel – A Progress Report

Completing My First Draft: Three Things I’ve Learned

Letting my Baby Go – Tougher than I Thought