#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #TonyJamesSlater

Today, our guest blogger is Tony James Slater, and trust me, Tony’s entertaining and often hilarious #TenThings list is something you do NOT want to miss out on! With that thought in mind, let’s get this show on the road! Tony, take it away!

Thanks for having me today, Marcia!

10 Things You May Not Know About Me
by Tony James Slater

  1. I can’t tell my left from my right. Seriously! I used to make an ‘L’ shape with my left hand – until I discovered that works with both hands, depending on whether the back or the palm is facing me… I have a tattoo artist friend who has threatened to put ‘L’ and ‘R’ on my hands, and I’d be tempted… except I’m not sure I trust her to do it the right way around!
  2. I met my fiancé in America. We met again in England, started dating in Australia and lived together for 2 years in New Zealand. She is Dutch.
  3. I was in UK show ‘Coronation Street’, as an ‘extra’ in the background – every other week for ten years! I must have drunk a couple of hundred pints in the Rover’s Return pub. Sadly there was no alcohol in any of them.
  4. I was bitten by a crocodile, during my stint of volunteering in an exotic wildlife refuge in Ecuador. It was only a small crocodile but the wound bled like crazy, and made me altogether more nervous when I had to catch the little fella again later that day…
  5. I delivered yachts for a little while – well, I delivered a yacht. It sank. I still maintain that this was not my fault.
  6. I renovated a house for ‘Property Ladder, a popular TV show presented by Sarah Beeny. The finished program bore almost no resemblance to our experience, with the clips and interviews being cut apart and reassembled to tell a story the producers liked. That story could have been titled, ‘A Bunch of Complete Muppets Screw Up a Renovation…’
  7. I still play with Lego! A couple of years ago I decided I wanted a really cool mascot for my desk. I dug out my childhood Lego and started building a big grey robot. I don’t get to work on it much, but the project has grown a bit out of control… I’ve only just finished the legs, which are three feet tall 😮
  8. I also write science fiction, under the pen name ‘Tyler Aston’. I chose this because it sounded tougher, and possibly American… and because it’s an anagram of Tony Slater! I used an online generator to come up with it. The second choice option wasn’t quite as appealing: ‘Stanley Rots’.
  9. I sold my body to medical science. Repeatedly! In fact, that’s how I paid for our wedding! Testing experimental medicines is big business amongst the work-shy backpacker population, of which I’ve been a member most of my life. My biggest payout was £4000, for over a month in hospital. And I’ve never experienced any strange side effects… or have I?
  10.  I’m an adrenaline junkie! If I can’t slide down it strapped to a piece of wood, I want to climb it and jump off the top. At various points I’ve been obsessed with snowboarding, parkour, gymnastics, diving, climbing and kung-fu! Sadly, I am also one of the clumsiest individuals on the planet. Iget hurt a lot.

    Author Tony James Slater

    Tony James Slater is an unusual combination of science-fiction author and travel-memoir writer.

    He is a very, very strange man. He believes himself to be indestructible, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. He is often to be found making strange faces whilst pretending to be attacked by inanimate objects. But perhaps his biggest problem is this: he has a mouth so big he is at risk of swallowing his own head.

    It is for this reason (amongst others) that he chooses to spend his life far from mainstream civilization, tackling ridiculous challenges and subjecting himself to constant danger. He gets hurt quite a lot.

    For more information, or to complain about his shameless self promotion, please visit: www.TonyJamesSlater.com

    But BE WARNED! Some of the writing is in red.

    Tony LOVES it when you make contact – it makes him feel a little less lonely in this big ole’ world.

    You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TonyJamesSlater

    You can harass him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TonyJamesSlater

    And he blogs about how ridiculous his life is at: http://www.AdventureWithoutEnd.com

    Please come and hang out, send a message or throw something sticky. But preferably not a stick…

    You can also reach Tony on his Amazon Author Page HERE
    And you can check out these two books here:

#GuestDayTuesday – #TenThings – And Other Guest Openings

Good Morning, Everyone! Just wanted to remind you all that I am ready to schedule 2023 guest posts on The Write Stuff. If you would like to take part in any of my regular features, now’s the time to have me hold a date for you.

#GuestDayTuesdays:  For this one, I’m looking forward to sharing your news, whatever it might be. New book, cover reveal, old book with a review worth bragging about, or even something about you, as a writer … where your ideas come from, how you go about the process, things you’ve learned over time (including what NOT to do). I’m very flexible with the #GuestDayTuesday posts and will be happy to feature you and/or your work in various ways.

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe: This is a fun way to let others learn more about you as a person, as a writer, as a blogger, or from any other angle. If you’ve haven’t already been a guest for this one, take a look at some of the previous posts, and I think you might be interested in taking part. If you HAVE taken part in the past, that’s all right, too. We could do a “TenMOREThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe” post. Or “FiveMore.”

Again, I’m very flexible with any of these posts and can even squeeze in some random guest posts on other days, if it’s more helpful for what you want to do. 

For Info on what I’d need from you, you’ll find all my Blog Rules and Instructions HERE:  https://marciamearawrites.com/welcome/

And most of all, remember that I’ll work with you in any way I can. The object is to 1)promote you or your work and 2) to have fun. (Or both!)  I’ll be waiting to hear from you and get your special post scheduled, so drop me an email at marciameara16@gmail.com



#HappyNewYear – #TenThings – #GuestDayTuesday

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Here’s Hoping 2023 Is a Great One for Each of Us!

To get The Write Stuff off to a great start this year, I’m putting out an official call for guest posters:

If you haven’t yet taken part in #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe, I hope you soon will. It’s been one of the most popular series I’ve had on the blog, and we’d love to learn more about our friends and fellow writers. Email me to save you a date. (It runs every other Wednesday.)

Also, #GuestDayTuesday runs every other … yes! … TUESDAY. For those who have upcoming promos, new releases, cover reveals, or anything else they’d like to share, writing related or not, please email me, and I’ll get you set up for a visit. 

I also have some ideas for a few new ways guests can avail themselves of some extra exposure here, but will get back to you on those later. For now, we’ll focus on the two above, and I’m hoping I’ll get lots of folks who’d like to visit. Can’t wait to get things up and running around here again!

Hoping to hear from some of you soon!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – Author #KassandraLamb

Woohoo! Time for another fun #TenThings list! This time, our guest is Cozy Mystery author Kassandra Lamb, and I know you’re going to get a kick out of some of the things Kass is sharing today. With that in mind, let’s get going! Kass, the floor is all yours!

10 Things You May Not Know About Kassandra Lamb

Wow, it feels really good to be back here guest posting! I’ve been away too long, busy pumping out books. But I couldn’t resist Marcia’s call to participate in her 10 Things You May Not Know series.

So here are my 10 things:

  1. I just turned 70!! Yeah, I’m still getting used to that idea.

A friend of mine once quipped, on the occasion of her fiftieth birthday, “How did my 25-year-old mind get caught in a 50-year-old body?” Well, I think my mind has probably matured to about age 40, but now it’s trapped in a 70-year-old body. Yikes! How did that happen?

  1. I have very few wrinkles. Oily skin finally pays off.

However, I’m discovering there is a downside to looking younger than you are, at my age. People expect me to be able to do things my body can’t handle anymore. So…

  1. I let my hair grow out during the pandemic lockdown and…

I discovered some lovely silver tresses had been hiding under the hair dye. I decided to let them stay, adding just a few auburn highlights to ease the transition.

  1. I have had 4 significant careers in my life.

One, admin assistant in Human Resources (only we called it Personnel and admin assistants were not synonymous with secretaries back then—less typing and more organizing). Two, psychotherapist and three, college professor in psychology. And now number four, mystery writer.

I’ve loved all of them. I think writing will probably be the last one, but you never know.

  1. As you may have noticed, sales were not involved in any of those. I’m a lousy sales person.

I learned this, at age 16, when I was an “Avon lady” for five months. And ended up still owing money for my samples case when I finally gave up.

  1. I have visited 7 countries and 21 states (not counting those I have only driven through) in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. But I’ve only ever lived in 2 states, Maryland and Florida.

I don’t intend to live anywhere else. I do love to travel though, and hope to add more countries and states to my “visited” list.

  1. In Maryland, we owned a small horse farm for 12 years.

Normally, when we’ve moved to a new home, I’ve been more than ready to go (see below). But I loved that farm so much. Only palm trees and a warmer climate in Florida could lure me away from it. It’s the only time I’ve ever cried on moving day.

  1. Because I actually like moving! I know, totally weird, right?

To me, it’s a big adventure. I love the packing and the actual move day. And the unpacking is fun too, deciding just where each item should go in a new place.

I even vicariously enjoy other people’s moves and volunteer regularly to help friends pack and/or move. I really get on their nerves though, on moving day, when I’m all happy and smiley and they’re all stressed out and grumpy. 😀 vs. 😦

  1. I love DIY projects.

Although I can’t do really big ones anymore. I don’t have the physical stamina. About 8 years ago, I painted the entire exterior of my house (with some help from my brother). It took the better part of 3 months, painting one section at a time, doing the trim work, etc. in my spare time.

Lately, my biggest project was building a little patio for my fire pit. I plan to read out there this winter (or what passes for winter in northern Florida), with the fire keeping my toes toasty. Because… 

  1. I love being outside. I get high on fresh air!

My screened porch is my favorite “room” in the house. And one of the glorious things about living in northern Florida is that we have long beautiful springs and autumns. I have every window in the house open most days, from March to May and again from October to December.

Hope you found my 10 things interesting! And thanks, Marcia, for having me over to your cyberhome for a visit.

It was a pleasure to have you, Kass, and I hope you’ll visit more often. But now, let’s take a look at some of your books, including your latest!

You can buy To Bark or Not To Bark HERE
(GENRE: Cozy Mystery, Book 12 of the Series)


Service dog trainer Marcia Banks tackles a locked room mystery in a haunted house, while training the recipient of her latest dog.

The border collie, Dolly has been trained to clear rooms for an agoraphobic Marine who was ambushed in a bombed-out building. But the phantom attackers in his psyche become the least of his troubles when Marcia finds his ex-wife’s corpse in his master bedroom, with the door bolted from the inside.

Was it suicide or murder? Marcia can’t see her client as a killer, but the local sheriff can.

Then the Marine reports hearing his ex calling for him to join her on the other side of the grave. Is his house really haunted, or is he hallucinating?

Bottom line: Marcia has lost a client to suicide before. She’s not going to lose another!

Author Kassandra Lamb

In her youth, Kassandra Lamb had two great passions—psychology and writing. Advised that writers need day jobs—and being partial to eating—she studied psychology. Her career as a psychotherapist and college professor taught her much about the dark side of human nature, but also much about resilience, perseverance, and the healing power of laughter. Now retired, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe populated by her fictional characters. The portal to this universe (aka her computer) is located in North Central Florida where her husband and dog catch occasional glimpses of her.


 Kassandra’s first series, set in her native Maryland, stars psychotherapist and amateur sleuth, Kate Huntington. In her newer cozy mystery series set in Florida, Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha) Banks trains service dogs for combat veterans and solves mysteries in her spare time, with the assistance of her Black Labrador sidekick, Buddy.

Book 1 of the Kate Huntington Mystery Series

Book 1 of the Marcia Banks and Buddy Series

Kassandra is now contemplating another series, a police procedural, with a spinoff character from the Kate Huntington mysteries, police lieutenant Judith Anderson.

You Can Buy To Bark or Not To Bark Here:


You Can Reach Kassandra Lamb on Social Media Here:


#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – Children’s Author #MikeAllegra

It’s time for another #TenThings guest, folks, and I’m very happy to say that today’s guest is a truly funny guy who loves some of the same things in life that I do, most notably, capybaras! I’ve been a fan of them for many years, and am looking forward to the release of Mike’s new book, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles. I know you are going to get a kick out of his hilarious #TenThings list, so let’s get to it. Mike, the floor is all yours!

Thanks, Marcia!

I Once Owned A Gerbil Escape Artist:
Over my lifetime I have owned seven gerbils. All of them were awesome, but Little Alcatraz was easily the awesomest. He was smart, fast, and personable. He also escaped his cage on multiple occasions—not to get away, really, but to show off. As soon as he broke out, he would search the house for me so we could play. Seriously, how awesome is that?

I Got Sidetracked On My Way To Buy My First Car:
At 17 I had earned enough money through my many retail jobs to purchase an automobile. But when it came time to buy, I decided to get a rolltop desk instead. All of my friends found this purchase bewildering and stupid, but, 30 years later, all of their crappy Chrysler K-Cars have eroded to dust while my gorgeous oak desk—still polished and pristine—holds a place of honor in my living room.

My Car Should Be Dead By Now:
My current transportation, a 2004 Kia Spectra, is probably the smartest purchase I have ever made. Eighteen years and 180,000 miles later she’s still running strong. Sure, she might be a little pokey climbing hills. Yes, the air conditioner is a bit finicky. And I admit it’s getting a little hard to ignore the growing rust patches. She also kind of farts when I push the gas pedal too quickly. The radio is shot. And the Check Engine light glows in perpetuity. But as long as she runs, I’m keeping her. Here’s to 18 more years!

I Consider Harrisburg, PA, To Be The Perfect Vacation Spot:
I feel this way primarily because of the Midtown Scholars Bookstore. I love that store most than most people. I love the coffee and the book selection and the architecture and the chairs and the smell of the baked goods and I wish I could live there and all I need is a little apartment in the basement and can somebody please make this happen?

I Hate The Giving Tree:
I hate that selfish kid. I hate how the tree doesn’t know how to say no. I hate how unconditional love is paired with self-destruction. And I really hate how the kid never reflects on or regrets his unforgivable behavior. The Giving Tree a terrible book that advocates toxic codependence.

Could someone please write a sequel? Suggested title: The Giving Tree 2: Stumpy’s Revenge.

I Watch Carpet Cleaning Videos On YouTube:
I can’t even begin to understand how I fell down this rabbit hole. All I know is, once upon a time I watched this elfin Ukranian guy tackle a filthy antique area rug that was once used to line a chicken coop. I watched in awe as each pass of his power washer lifted away a new layer of dirt and grime. When he was finished, the carpet looked almost new. I was gobsmacked. From that moment to this, I’ve been hooked.

I Like To Yell At The New York Times Crossword Puzzle:
Once you get past Wednesday’s puzzle, Will Shorts at the New York Times shows off his devilish side. It’s maddening and exhausting and cuss-worthy and I kind of love it.

I Am Accident Prone:
I wouldn’t mind being accident prone if my injuries were the result of me doing something manly, but they aren’t. I once broke my toe descending a single stair. One. Single. Stair. On another occasion, I fell up the stairs onto the vacuum cleaner I was carrying, crushing it to pieces and turning myself into a human-sized dust bunny. My most notable injury, however, was when I tore the ligaments in my finger while tucking in bedsheets. I had to wear a splint on my hand for six weeks because I like hospital corners.

I Am Probably The Only Person On Earth Who Thinks Rabbit Is The Best Character In Winnie the Pooh:
Poor, put-upon Rabbit is the smartest and least-appreciated resident of 100-Acre Wood. Sure, he’s crabby, but I think he has every right to be; Tigger keeps jumping on him and Pooh’s fat butt is blocking his front door. Cut the bunny some slack, okay?

I Was Into Capybaras Before It Was Cool:
I first read about these ginormous rodents when I was six; I was enchanted. I always loved rodents, but the idea that there was a rodent in South America the size of a dog was just too wonderful for me to contemplate. Someday, I told myself at the time, I shall tell the world about these amazing critters.

Mike’s new picture book, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles (Page Street Kids) will hit store shelves in October 2022. You can preorder it HERE  now!

Author Mike Allegra

Mike Allegra is the author of 17 books for children including the picture books Scampers Thinks like a Scientist (Dawn, 2019), Everybody’s Favorite Book (Macmillan, 2018), and Sarah Gives Thanks (Albert Whitman and Company, 2012). He also wrote the chapter book series Kimmie Tuttle (Abdo Books, 2021) and Prince Not-So Charming (Macmillan, 2018-19; pen name: Roy L. Hinuss). Scampers was the winner of Learning Magazine’s 2020 Teacher’s Choice Award and was selected for inclusion in the Literati Kids subscription box. His story, “Harold’s Hat,” was the winner of the 2014 Highlights fiction contest and was published in the July 2015 issue.

A Few More of Mike’s Books to be Found on His Author Page

You can reach Mike on Social Media here:

Amazon Author Page

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #JacquiMurray

Happy Wodin’s Day, Everyone! It’s time to share another fun #TenThings post with you guys, and today’s very special guest is author Jacqui Murray. I know you are going to enjoy learning more about Jacqui, so without further ado, let’s get started. Jacqui, take it away!

Thanks, Marcia!

I don’t often talk about myself, but I thought this would be a good way to celebrate the launch of my latest prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Book 3 of the trilogy Dawn of Humanity. I haven’t lived around the world or completed any amazing feats, but my life has been full and interesting. Here are some of the unusual tidbits you may not be aware of:

  1. spoke Russian well enough to travel comfortably throughout the Soviet Union for a summer. Before returning to the US, I bought a lot of Russian language books to get an understanding of their version of history.
  2. owned a Fred Astaire Dance Studio and danced professionally. I loved it, but the lifestyle didn’t fit me well so I eventually moved on.
  3. I installed cell phone antennas on skyscrapers, church steeples, and water tanks. What a view from those heights!
  4. I loved programming in DOS (Disk Operating System–the precursor to Windows). I did a lot of crazy tricks that annoyed my husband. For example, once, I programmed his computer to play Christmas music before it booted up. I still miss it.
  5. I read California’s entire Uniform Building Code (defining the State’s construction regulations) as part of my job to design/build employer-based child care centers. I also read America’s 1200+ page Affordable Care Act (before it exploded in size) because news channels contradicted each other. I also studied America’s Common Core Standards for K-12 education to guide my teaching. Do you see a trend?
  6. worked in the recycling industry for years. I collected used cardboard and paper, exported it around the world to places like Japan who don’t have enough trees. What an interesting job.
  7. Because of my background in recycling, I know corrugated is the right name for ‘cardboard’. Because of my background in building, I know people often say ‘cement’ when they mean ‘concrete’.
  8. Both my children are in the military. Their choice–I never was. They both love it. One’s a Naval officer, the other in the Army Signal Corps. Guess which is the boy.
  9. I play(ed) Blue Grass on my mandolin after college, jammed with a group. That was about as much fun as a girl can have. I still have the mandolin, but arthritis prevents me from playing.
  10. I think my dog is sentient. He’s Homo canineafter all!

Truth, I have always had trouble settling down to one endeavor, which explains in part my current obsession with both teaching and writing. How about you?


Survival requires change but can Lucy do that? 

In this final book of the trilogy, Lucy and her tribe leave their good home to rescue captured tribemembers who are in grave danger. Lucy’s Group includes an eclectic mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium kit, and different iterations of early man. Each brings unique skills to the task. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a mix of man’s developing intellect and untiring will to live. Based on true events from 1.8 million years ago.

Natural Selection is Available in digital (print soon) at:
Amazon Canada

 Amazon Australia
Amazon India

Author Jacqui Murray

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 Man vs. Nature saga, prehistoric fiction, and Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance tech ed journalist.

Dawn of Humanity (Books 1 & 2)

The Crossroads Trilogy

You can reach Jacqui on Social Media here:

Amazon Author Page    

Contact Jacqui via Social Media or Email: askatechteacher@gmail.com




#BlogBreakThursday & #Update (Brief)

I’m not going to be around much today, since it’s this week’s Blog Break Day, but I did want to let everyone know that I have a few openings coming up for both #GuestDayTuesday posts and #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe posts. If any of you are interested in taking part in either of these series, please email me, and we’ll see what we can set up.

I’m sorry to say, I’m still not over the Long COVID thing yet, but I really do think the episodes are getting milder, and farther and farther apart. Hopefully that means this really won’t go on forever! 

And on that note, I’ll get back to the tasks on my agenda for today. 

Have a GREAT ThorsDay, everyone!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout – #D.G.Kaye

I’m sure today’s author needs no introduction for most of you, but just in case there are some new folks reading along, I’m delighted to say that author D. G. Kaye is with us today. Debby is widely known in the blogging/writing world as a memoirist and a writer who generously spreads humor wherever she goes. Please help me give Debby a big welcome this morning. Debby? You’re on!

Thank you so much Marcia, for inviting me to share some of myself here today in your wonderful series – #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe.

In high school, I always managed to maintain an over 80 average – despite my one year failing art and gym! Yes, art and gym! How do you fail art and gym? Well, I did. I was the girl in the Janis Ian song – At Seventeen – when choosing sides of basketball, I’d be last pick. I was nowhere near athletic, nor was I interested in sports. My only saving grace was dance segment and health classes which helped bring up my saggy average in that class. I remember getting booted for a class or two when I was caught cutting across the track field instead of running the length of it, hoping I wouldn’t be discovered doing so, to no avail. And don’t even get me started with those ugly blue rompers, sack-like outfits we had to wear. Art was a whole ‘nother thing. I still cannot color in the lines! Even when it comes to my book covers, I have the vision of what I want, but cannot express with drawing anything with my own hands – okay, maybe stick people.

Ambidextrous, I am, sort of. A weird mixture of one who writes with her right hand yet does most other things with the left. I also sucked at baseball because I have to wear a glove on my left hand for catching, and must take it off to throw the ball back with my same left, leaving a runner too much time before I could throw back the ball. I have no sports coordination with my right hand. When I attempted in my younger years, to play guitar, that was also strumming with the left hand. It’s complicated.

Before I met my husband, I was in an abusive relationship with someone for seven years. I realized it after the first year of living together, but by then I was trapped. I have written much on the subject, but to this day am still petrified of publishing anything about those years, for fears of being sued by my vindictive stalker and abuser.

I had many jobs and careers in my younger years. I was never fired, always left on my own volition. My earlier days were working in the fashion industry – selling clothes and doing the buying for some of those stores. I did a lot of temp secretarial in between jobs, and I was an executive secretary to the general manager of one of our downtown hotels for a few years. Before that, I worked for a photography company doing company sales for family portraits. My job took me all over the province of Ontario – with me as the driver. Those were my fearless days. I also became a certified travel agent, not because I wanted to work in an agency, but I’d struck a deal with an agency owner, I’d bring him clients on the side so I could keep my regular job and get my travel perks, commissions and benefits from the agency. I became office manager for an architectural firm, and later for a construction company, and then a real estate company. In my 30s, I went to ‘dealer’ school and became a certified casino dealer for blackjack and poker, then ultimately, became a pit boss. After a few years doing that, I got scouted out to work for a private company doing private parties. I only worked two or three nights a week and made more money (in tips) than I did all week working in a casino. I ultimately met my husband who was a guest of someone I knew at one of those parties. Once my husband moved in with me, he didn’t want me to work anymore. I must admit, it felt weird not working when I’d worked since a teenager.

I am an empath and very spiritual and sense when spirits are around me. As of yet, I have not directly sensed my own husband directly around me, but, I have definitely received many signs. I am an empath who can sense spirit by smell and touch and an inner knowing, this makes me clairsentient, clairalient, and claircognizant. I also read souls through looking into eyes, sort of like a human lie and empathy detector. This has never failed to be an alert system for me. Except when I was younger and dismissed what I thought I saw. I rely on my instincts to guide me. My father and my dear aunt come to visit me sometimes. I know when they are around, my body starts to shiver, and I can smell my aunt’s perfume or my father’s cigarette smoke when they appear.

Some sensitives are greatly familiar with astral planing. I know I must have gone to other realms while sleeping, many times over, but my only recollection of physically leaving my body, then plunking back into it, was about six months after my father died when I went to visit him in heaven. I still remember standing on the threshold between heaven and earth. I remember it so vividly to this day 32 years later.

I’m like a mixed genre book. I don’t fit into any one type of box. I’m a Gemini, always troubled making up my two minds. I am soft, I am loud. I’m an extrovert, yet an introvert in other ways. When I was in my dating years, men told me I was an enigma. I liked that. My unpredictability kept them on their toes. My husband was a man of action and liked action. I was a great challenge for him, and certainly different than the doormats and looser women he was used to in his post first marriage playboy days. The spark never left us, and I attribute the ‘keeping him on his toes’ with me, a good part of why we had such a loving and dynamic marriage.

I love to travel and have many places to travel to still, on my bucket list. I always follow my instincts. If I get an inner warning, or obstacles that keep appearing to stop me from something I’m wanting to do, I pay attention. For example, for years I haven’t been back to Europe because my husband had no interest in leaving North America, and I had no interest in leaving him behind. Since I lost him spring of 2021, I had hoped to run for refuge to one of my two best friend’s house in the U.K. later in the year. Sadly, Covid travel restrictions wouldn’t be lifted until late October, and by then, my girlfriend came here to visit me. She stayed for a month, which was almost till late November, and by then, it was getting too close to the new year, when I was geared up to travel down south to Mexico for a few months escape. Now in 2022, my friend is in midst of building a new house, living in a small rental, and Covid is picking up again. the AIRLINES here and there are a godawful mess, and our dollar is crap. So, it’s quite likely I won’t be getting to the other side of the pond this year either. In fact, I’ll be lucky to get back to Mexico next winter.

I have zero tolerance of social injustice, bullying, inequality, and violations of people’s personal rights, and I will always stand up for the underdog. I also try to keep myself out of getting caught in those situations, because it is difficult for me to stay silent. And, in this day and age we are living in, calling out those who are wrong doers, can have serious repercussions. But I won’t hesitate to write about something unjust I come across. Sometimes, the pen is indeed, mightier than the sword.

About my husband. I lost the love of my life last year. I have lost quite a few loved ones in my life and grieved them all, but there is no grief like losing the other half of ourselves. I blame Covid for the system not getting him into hospital, despite my daily efforts and rapports with doctors, for almost a year! By then, it was too late. It’s bad enough grieving a loss, but especially during Covid when I couldn’t have real people contact when I needed it, not to mention, the huge funeral my husband got ripped off of. I spent a lot of time searching for (useless) online grief groups, and reading many books, hoping to self-medicate. And I learned from reading many of those books, unfulfilled from what I was searching for, that there is a market for kinship and real talk on the subject. So, I decided to, and have been writing episodes to start a podcast to talk about the things that don’t get mentioned enough of on the subject of grief. Naturally, I’m titling it – Grief – The Real Talk. Stay tuned!

You Can Buy D. G.’s Books HERE

Author D. G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye is a Canadian nonfiction/ memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. She writes to inspire others by sharing her stories about events she’s encountered, and the lessons that came along with them. D.G. loves to laugh and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find D.G. writing with humor in some of her other works and blog posts, ranting about injustice, dabbling in poetry, and sharing a book review Sundays on her blog.

Check out All of D. G.’s work on her Author Page, here:
Author Page

You can reach D. G. on Social Media here:

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout #ValerieOrmond

Today, let’s welcome author Valerie Ormond to The Write Stuff. Valerie has some fun and interesting things to share with you, and I know you’ll enjoy her #TenThings list, so let’s get started! Valerie, take it away!

Thanks, Marcia!

#1: I’ve been caught in quicksand! I only thought that was in the movies. Fortunately, I was riding a sane and strong horse, so when I kicked him ahead while he sunk to his belly, he listened and pulled us out with his front legs first followed by a hop from behind.

#2: In 1990, when I visited East Germany, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia shortly after the Berlin Wall came down, I saw a window into a world I had never known. Those sights renewed my commitment to a career in the military which I continued for a total of 25 years.

#3: I drove a Good Humor ice cream truck when I was 17-years-old and learned entrepreneurial skills such as reliability, self-motivation, consistency, and reaching target audiences. It was a “cool” summer job that taught me valuable life lessons.

#4: The most famous person I’ve known is the current U.S. President, Joe Biden. I accompanied him on a trip to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia, when he was the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was friendly and nice, and I’m happy to report we had no international incidents.

#5: The one and only time I’ve ziplined was at the longest zipline course in Central and South America. Twenty-five ziplines through a Costa Rican rain forest, and I lived to tell.

#6: When I joined the Navy, the recruiting slogan was, “It’s not just a job; it’s an adventure.” Those adventures included launching off and landing on aircraft carriers, living on ships, riding in helicopters, deploying to places unknown, moving 19 times, deploying and living overseas, serving with people of many nationalities, and learning how to get along with people whether I agreed with them or not. The slogan was right!

Valerie Ormond ready to fly off the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72),in the ES-3A , Indian Ocean, 1995

#7: My college entrance application asked with whom I would most like to meet in history, and I answered William Shakespeare. I think I was born to be an English major.

#8: I grew up in a theatrical family. My father was a playwright, actor, director, and producer. My mother was an actor, director, and drama teacher. My brother was an actor, director, producer, and has written award-winning plays and continues to teach theater arts to children to today.

#9: I’ve traveled to 48 U.S. states (49 in September!) and 40 countries. The country I was closest to visit, but did not, was North Korea. I used to escort press to the North/South border regularly but was warned if I crossed the line to North Korea, it was at my own risk.

#10: My husband and I are avid cyclists and have completed numerous one-day 50-mile and 62-mile events. We love rail trails, and in the past few years have biked multi-day trips including the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, the Great Allegheny Passage, and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. We have more planned for the future!

Buy Believing in Horses Out West HERE


Sadie Navarro rescued a mare from an auction accomplishing what she thought was the most important mission of her young life.

Now, that mare is headed to a ranch in Montana and a home Sadie knows nothing about.

She wants to make sure the horse is in good hands, but Montana is far away and a different world from Maryland.

Will fourteen-year-old Sadie need to stand up to rugged cowboys to protect her special rescue horse?

Valerie’s latest novel, Believing In Horses Out West, takes young Sadie Navarro on an adventure to a Montana ranch to check on a horse she rescued. New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse, Robin Hutton, described the book as, “A thrilling coming-of-age story filled with love, lessons, and finding one’s purpose in life…”

The author based the novel on experiences visiting ranches in both the U.S. and overseas which she wanted to share with readers in a fictional story.

In just nine months since the book’s release, it won first place in the National Federation of Press Women’s national Communications Contest; second place in The BookFest® Awards. The international Wishing Shelf Book Awards named Believing In Horses Out West a finalist, and it is currently a finalist in the Military Writers Society Of America book awards to earn a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal in August.

Valerie’s first two books, Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too, tell stories of a strong-willed young girl overcoming challenges based on her love of horses. Both books won gold medals and first place awards in eight national and international book competitions.

Believing In Horses Out West book trailer
Believing In Horses book trailer


Author Valerie Ormond

Valerie Ormond retired after a 25-year career as a naval intelligence officer and launched her second career as a writer. She is the author of three award-winning young adult fiction books in the Believing In Horses series – Believing In Horses, Believing In Horses, Too, and Believing In Horses Out West. Her books have been called inspirational and motivational and share stories of today’s youth making a difference when focused on their passions. Valerie’s fiction and non-fiction stories, articles, and poetry appear in books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs worldwide. She owns and manages Veteran Writing Services, LLC, working primarily for defense contractors. She lives happily in Maryland with her husband and their three horses and two dogs.

You can buy Valerie’s Books here:

Believing In Horses Out West Amazon 
Believing In Horses 
Believing In Horses, Too
Buy Books – Believing In Horses (Author website for personally inscribed copies)
Amazon Author Page 

You can reach Valerie on Social Media here:

Email: valerie@believinginhorses.com


#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About #JackieLambert

Today, I’d like to introduce author Jackie Lambert, whose #TenThings List just might knock your socks off! I know you’ll enjoy it, so we’ll get started right away! Jackie, you’re on!

Thanks, Marcia!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by JackieLambert

  1. I used to work as a beer taster for Truman’s Brewery on Brick Lane in East London, where Jack the Ripper used to patrol the mean streets. The brewery was founded in 1666, just after the great fire, and was once London’s largest brewery. In fact, Truman’s became one of the largest brewers in the world. These days, the Black Eagle Brewery building is an arts centre.
  1. I have cuddled a tiger and been bitten by a lion.
  1. I did the first ever commercial white water rafting descent of red rock canyon in Colorado, near where Butch and Sundance jumped in the famous film, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.
  1. I once sat on a swing with ‘The Blackburn Bullet’ – Carl Fogarty, World Superbike Champ. He lived across the road from me when we were both about nine years old!
  1. I can fly a light aircraft.
  1. Mark and I got married outside a lighthouse, so our marriage started on the rocks!
  1. I did the two highest bungee jumps in the world (at the time); Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia (111 m / 364.5 ft) off the, and Le Pont de Ponsonnas (103 m / 337 ft) near Grenoble in France. I am afraid of heights, and loathed both experiences! I did the first jump to show I could master my fear. It was so awful, I wasn’t sure I could do it again, so I had to show myself I could. Now, I don’t feel I have anything further to prove!
  1. I love travel and adventure and have visited six continents and forty-three countries. By the end of 2022, I hope to have added six more; Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Luxembourg. That said, Mark and I are not great at sticking to plans. We once set off for Spain and Portugal, but decided to turn left, and went to Romania!
  1. I have always loved writing. My aunt once said, “Jacqueline can write pages and pages about absolutely nothing!” I took it as a compliment, of course. I wrote my first short memoir/travelogue aged 14. It followed a horseback ride across England’s Lake District with author Bob Orrell. He entered it into a national competition, open to all age groups, and it came second!
  1. During a windsurfing lesson just before London 2012, I almost dropped my sail on Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey’s head. Had he not ducked, I would have brained Team GB’s best hope of a medal in the RSX windsurfing!

Jackie With Nick Dempsey and Peter Hart

I have just published my fifth book; the fourth memoir in my Adventure Caravanning With Dogs series, which follows the story of how hubs and I gave up work, rented out the house, and became perpetual caravan (trailer) nomads with four dogs in tow.

Buy It Never Rains but It Paws HERE

Five years after giving up work to travel full time, Dog-ma Jacqueline (Jackie) and Dogfather Mark race against time to leave the UK before Britain exits the EU. If Brexit happens, their four Cavapoos (Cavalier/Poodle cross) Kai, Rosie, Ruby, and Lani will lose their puppy passports, and the Lambert Family will be unable to travel together. But Brexit isn’t their only obstacle: a few months into their adventure, the pandemic suddenly shatters their plans, and leaves them trapped in the epicentre of Europe’s No. 1 coronavirus hotspot.

The fourth road trip Europe adventure in author Jacqueline Lambert’s “inspirational and hilarious” series of true travel memoirs invites you to join the couple as they discover even more amazing and little-known places, this time in France and Italy. However, this isn’t just a priceless escape travel story filled with humorous mishaps and mountain adventure. The coronavirus pandemic separates the family from their loved ones at home, and leaves Jackie stranded alone during a blizzard in a remote Italian village, with Mark thousands of miles away, back in the UK.

Between terrible weather, political mayhem, and a global pandemic, Jackie and Mark try to take lessons from each hardship. Yet, even with a positive attitude, a sense of adventure, and a caravan full of loved ones, you can’t stop all the obstacles life rolls your way. These “amusing and informative” travel stories are certainly proof that It Never Rains… But It Paws!

Jackie’s Fur Babies

Author Jackie Lambert 

Fans of Jacqueline (Jackie) Lambert’s doggie/travel blog, www.WorldWideWalkies.com said, “You should write a book!” So, she did. In fact, she’s written five…

If you’ve ever considered giving up work to head off into the sunset with surfboards on the roof–or you just like dogs, travel and humour, her Adventure Caravanning With Dogs books are for you.

The first, Fur Babies in France, was described by one reviewer as, “Laugh out funny and a great travel guide”. It tells how she and husband Mark gave up work, accidentally bought their first ever caravan, then decided to rent out the house, sell most of their possessions, and tour Europe full-time with four dogs in tow.

Dog on the Rhine; “An inspirational travelogue” follows this intrepid couple as they get more adventurous, and head into Germany, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. But just to prove that Living the Dream is not all sunshine and rainbows, they return home to a huge Fidose of reality…

Dogs ‘n’ Dracula; “Armchair travel delight” gives the full low down on how Jackie and Mark set off for Spain and Portugal, but decided to turn left…

Pups on Piste is a “Fun and interesting book” about the trials and tribulations of their first ski season in Italy, during which a ski instructor tells them, “Don’t miss the turn, or you’ll go over a cliff.”

In her latest memoir, It Never Rains But It Paws, released on 6th May 2022, Jackie and Mark race against time to leave the UK before Britain leaves the EU. Brexit could mean their four precious pups would be unable to travel. Then, a few months into their trip, the pandemic leaves them trapped in the epicentre of Europe’s No. 1 coronavirus hotspot…

She is currently working on her sixth book, To Hel In A Hound Cart – A Road Trip Through Poland In A Pandemic, which will be published later in 2022.

In her first year as a published author, Jacqueline was delighted to receive multiple five-star reviews, a letter from Prince Charles, an invitation to Bucharest to collect an award for Dogs ‘n’ Dracula, and Amazon No. 1 Bestseller status in the German Travel category for Dog on the Rhine. Some of her travel tales BC (Before Canines) have been featured in travel anthologies, alongside other bestselling and award-winning authors.

You can check out all of Jackie’s books on her Amazon Author Page HERE.

Or grab them one at a time here:

Year 1 – Fur Babies in France
Dog on the Rhine
Dogs n Dracula
It Never Rains but It Paws

And you can reach Jackie on social media here:

Blog: WorldWideWalkies.com
Email: jackielambert07@gmail.com