Jaye’s Days… My Perfect Moment…

After what has seemed like a very long time, I have found my perfect moment.

I finally managed to get to the sea, and the sun was shining. A strong breeze from the water created some medium-sized but beautiful waves.

We had visited this beach the week before, but the weather was atrocious that day, and we nearly froze. The weather report was more favourable yesterday, so we made the journey again.

I have been trying to snatch a few precious moments to get my sea fix, and it was beginning to look like it might never happen.

The sea is my soul mate and very special to me. I need to commune with the spirits of the deep regularly.

Seeing how my health seems to be slowly deteriorating, I need to keep my soul happy, or I may give up. So yesterday was invaluable for several reasons.

Once on the seafront, the family were busy fussing about coffee or something to eat, but the sea was calling me, and I wandered slowly down the shingle beach and headed for the water. Almost immediately, the deafening sound of the waves beaching and the sweeter sound of the water filtering through the shingle lifted me out of this world. A world where I was completely at home.

I wanted to sit down, stay awhile, and enjoy the moment, but the shingle was wet, so I perched on a breakwater, mesmerised by the crashing waves.

I managed to film my perfect long-awaited moment on my phone, so I could share the moment with you…

Jaye’s Journal… From a Reader to a Writer…

From a Reader to a Writer

I have always enjoyed reading books. Mainly for the sense of escapism involved. Somewhere you can forget about your own life and live someone else’s, albeit vicariously.

It has been a blessing, sometimes more than at other times, depending on how my own life was going at that moment.

I honestly believe that reading books has kept me sane. They have taught me practically everything I know, for if I need or want to know how to do something, I turn to books to find out. Nowadays, we have the internet, but in my youth, all we had were books.

These days, something else has been added to my enduring love affair with the printed word. Putting it quite simply, they have inspired me to write. You could say that the art of reading could do this anyway, to anyone. But up until a few years ago, I was unaware of this. They were my retreat, my sanctuary. Nothing else.

But then everything changed.

I had always been a compulsive reader, consuming anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discriminate and read everything. If asked to list my favourite authors, I would have been hard pushed, for I loved them all.

Somewhere along the way, I have developed a ‘criterion’. I no longer just read a book. My brain seems intent on sifting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Who knew it could have that kind of opinion?

Two pages into a book, and if it is not talking to me by then, I discard it and try another. These days I love the kind of books that inspire me and make my fingers want to pick up a pen. Not to copy or emulate but to write down how the author has made me feel. Sometimes I find myself with a book in one hand and a notebook in the other.

It’s as if a doorway has been opened in my mind. Artists say colours work for them; for me, it’s the power of the words and how they are used.

Something else has changed in me. I have always considered myself reasonably adept with the English language. It was my favourite lesson at school, and over the years, as I have said before, it has saved my sanity on many occasions.

For the first time in my life, I have doubts, and they are growing all the time. I have helped other people edit and proofread their books and have been totally convinced I was good at it. Many people (including an agent) once said that I was. I have also reviewed dozens of books along the way.

But that was before I picked up a pen and wrote a story of my own. I never expected it to be as hard as it was, for words usually came easily to me. But I discovered a very important fact about writing a book. Not only must it have a beginning, middle and end, but it must also flow, make perfect sense and be interesting to read.

It also has to have structure and subplots; the list was endless. I discovered to my horror that I was not as clever as I thought when the pen was in my hand! Words tend to come at me in a rush, short spasms of prose that seem quite eloquent at the time but appear quite truncated when you attempt to join them all together. So much so that I nearly gave up several times.

I began to seriously doubt I could ever be a writer, that this wasn’t something I could simply learn how to do. But I persevered, did my absolute best, and after my edits and even more soul searching, I uploaded it onto Amazon, thinking my work was done.

But I was wrong.

In my haste to achieve something that will hopefully outlast me, I forgot the most important step of all. Someone else should have read it first. Someone objective, who would come to it afresh, with no desire or agenda to bin it at the first error.

I learned that I can’t see my manuscript with a subjective eye. You cannot possibly hope to, really, because you have lived with it for so long. I wrongly assumed the reverse would be true, that the fact you created every word would make you more than qualified.

This was all so long ago, and I have learned so much more since then…

Jaye’s Days…

Jaye’s Days

One way or another, a lot of things have been neglected by me this past year.

At the beginning of the year, I spent a lot of time outside in the garden, so of course, housework was the last thing on my mind. I was busy writing, too, and that was the best excuse in the world!

When the weather turned, changing from drought conditions to never-ending rain, I was back indoors, but somehow the housework wasn’t high on my list of priorities.

I tried to maintain reasonable hygiene levels in the kitchen and bathroom, but cleaning windows, dust bunnies, cobwebs and hoovering weren’t filtering through my brain. That’s when it was time to release my book, and unfortunately, the virus came calling too.

I am not firing on all cylinders yet but determined to catch up on a few things. Namely the oven and the freezer. They are two of the worst and least favourite of all jobs. Inside the oven, a meat pie had leaked most of its gravy, leaving a rapidly burning pile of goo on everything.

Then I was attacked by a huge iceberg when trying to find the ice cream in the freezer, and if it had grown any more, I wouldn’t have been able to shut the freezer door!

Day One

I staggered the work, as I still felt fragile and started on the oven. I warmed the oven in the faint hope that it would help with the cleaning process, then removed all the shelves and sprayed cleaner all over the interior. I shut the oven door and put the kettle on for a much-needed cuppa. Yes, I know I haven’t done much yet, but still.

The rest of the morning, the kitchen became a battleground as the dirt was removed from the oven and transferred to every available surface in my kitchen.

This is what I hate about housework. You do one simple job and then have to spend ages cleaning up. Mind you, the oven did look lovely.

Day Two

Time to tackle the iceberg!

I had already frozen the ice packs, ready for the defrost. We are not one of those families who can run the freezer down to nothing; it will never happen! So I have devised a method that works for me and keeps the food frozen. It usually takes an hour to transfer all the frozen food to the fridge, accompanied by multiple ice packs, and to defrost the freezer. At this point, you are banned from opening the fridge door.

I turned off the power and inspected the accumulated ice. There did seem to be a lot more of it than I thought. Would one hour be enough?

I started spraying the de-icer, only to run out halfway through. Then I added several trays of hot water and waited for the big melt to begin.

After an hour, the lump of ice looked as big as ever.  I had no choice but to continue the process and pray it wouldn’t take much longer.

When two hours had passed, I assessed the progress. The ice had retreated but not by much. If I waited any longer, I risked losing the food, which was probably having serious thoughts about defrosting by now.

Out came the hairdryer, and on my knees, I gave the ice one last assault. I even bashed it with a wooden spatula in my desperation. But I had to concede defeat.

Maybe after Christmas, I could have another go?

I know housework can be boring, and normally I wouldn’t go on about it, but honestly, this is the most fun I have had in months…

©JayeMarie2022

Jaye’s Week…

This has been a very strange week.

Along with trying to organise the book launch for Ghost of a Chance and sending out the promo material for all those lovely people taking part; I have been battling with not feeling great. Coping with the new meds they have given me to help dissolve the blockage in my right coronary artery has not been a walk in the park.

My body doesn’t care for medications of any kind, never has, but I did hope this time might be different, considering what might happen if they don’t work. The thought of possibly having my ribs cracked and being opened like a filleted fish is scaring me silly.

I have endured a lot in my life, but something tells me this might be a bridge too far.

So, regardless of my fuzzy head, muscle cramps and nausea, I am determined to handle this problem my way. I have reviewed my diet and upped the amount of time I do yoga. At least I feel a little better with all these positive thoughts and actions!

This brings me to the reason for this post today.

Ghost of a Chance is now on pre-release on Amazon for just 99p. UK: and US:

A damaged detective, out of a job
A relationship on the rocks
What does the future hold for David Snow?
Just when he thought life couldn’t get any worse
A ghost with a grudge adds to his pain
A ghost hell-bent on stopping him from rebuilding his life…

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance

It was pretty late when Alan Turner let himself in. He couldn’t hear the television, so he assumed making himself a cup of coffee was safe. Normally, he wasn’t allowed in her kitchen and forbidden to use the kettle, but he had been sitting outside in the car for the best part of an hour, and his mouth was dry.

The kettle had just switched itself off, and he was pouring the hot water into the cup when the voice of doom spoke from the doorway.

‘What the bloody hell are you doing in my kitchen?’

He didn’t answer or turn around. He figured she could see well enough what he was doing. It wouldn’t matter anyway, for she never liked anything he said. He casually picked up the cup and took a sip, even though it burned his mouth.

Before he knew what hit him, she had knocked the cup out of his hand, the hot coffee soaking through his clothes.

‘Clear that mess up and get out of my kitchen!’ She stood in front of him glaring, almost defying him to retaliate.

When he didn’t move, she raised her hand to hit him. Instinctively, he leaned forward and shoved her. He didn’t push hard, but she went backwards, striking her head on the door frame.

He expected all hell to break loose at that point, but she lay there, her eyes unfocused, making no effort to get up.

An old memory suddenly surfaced, and he saw his mother lying there, blood trickling out of her mouth and eyes, beaten to death by his stepfather. He was just seven years old and terrified of what would happen next. A neighbour had rescued him and called the police. Alan had spent the next few years in children’s homes, finally becoming free on his 16th birthday. His life continued to be unkind until he met his wife.

Looking down at the sprawled figure at his feet, he couldn’t bring himself to touch her to see if she was all right. If she wasn’t dead, he would know about it soon enough. He couldn’t stay in the house; fate had finally intervened, showing him the error of his misplaced loyalty. He left the house to sleep in his car, determined to find somewhere better to live in the morning.

In the guise of his mother-in-law, fate had decided he wouldn’t be leaving just yet. The following morning, desperate to use the toilet, he let himself into the house, praying she was asleep or still unconscious. Not only was she conscious, but she was smiling, and there was a cooked breakfast on the kitchen table, something she had never done before. Deciding to accept what appeared to be an olive branch, he waited to see what she was up to.

Over the bacon and eggs, she threatened to have him arrested for assault if he tried to leave. Not fooled for a minute by this new development, he wondered what game she was playing now. The obvious conclusion was that she didn’t want his torment or money to stop anytime soon.

It was a very subdued but disappointed man who went to work that day…

I know you are all busy and time is short, but if you could buy a copy; UK and the US and leave a few words on launch day, September 27th on Amazon, or Goodreads, you would make this old lady very happy.

Ghost of a Chance might be my last book (although I really hope not!), and I would love it to do well, just in case…

*** ARC copies are available on request in the comments ***

Do You really like your Book Covers?

I don’t suppose for a minute that I am the only writer who is never happy with their book covers.

Every time I think I have found THE ONE, it’s not long before the doubts start to arrive, and I am convinced it’s just not good enough.

I know this is something all artists have trouble with. For some reason, we are never satisfied with what we have created. I have often wondered why this is.

The original cover for The Scarlet Ribbon is a case in point. We have never been happy with it, but just couldn’t imagine a better one, considering it is such an unusual story.

After much soul searching and nail-biting, we have finally changed the cover. We think this one suits the genre rather well. Of course, we would love to know your thoughts!

We are sharing this groundbreaking news (at least it was for us!) with a recent fantastic review from D.L.Finn.

4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking answers on the other side.

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality. While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side. I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side. The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Denise, for this wonderful review for The Scarlet Ribbon!

Breaking News ~ Ghost of a Chance #MysteryThriller ~ #Release Date

The worst heat has gone, and we had rain this morning. We are not overly impressed, though; they must have been dishing it out with a teaspoon! Other parts of the country are having bucket loads. Sigh…

No thunderstorms either, so we are reduced to watching what others are getting on the TV. We mustn’t complain, as getting rid of all that suppressed heat was the best gift. We actually managed to get a good night’s sleep without being soaked in sweat!

Book Description

Detective Snow sustained severe damage to his left shoulder on his last case. Forced to retire, his wife is leaving him, and there is not much hope for his future.

He considers being a private investigator something he feels he should be good at, even with a damaged arm.

His first case opens the door to some strange paranormal goings on.

He doesn’t believe in ghosts, but will this case change his mind?


I still have some editing to finish on Ghost of a Chance, but I think it is time I talked about a release date. Technically, it should be two months from now, but I don’t want to publish in October for some reason.

It will have to be as near the end of September as possible.

How about September 27?

I usually ask for beta readers, but every time I look around these days, something changes so I thought I would too.

I would love for readers to offer their help with the promotion and send me their bio and latest book news, so they can really be a part of the book launch. All promo material will be supplied.

Please leave your name in the comments if you want to participate!

A Bloggers Nightmare…

Image by Leandro De Carvalho from Pixabay

My best friend…

When I first started writing several years ago, I became obsessed with the Dragon dictation software. At the time, I think this was the only voice dictation available, and I thought it was marvellous, thinking of all the typing I wouldn’t be doing.

Never mind that it took a lifetime to accustom itself to my voice. Originally, I thought all I had to do was talk and my words would magically appear on the screen. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You must voice every comma, full stop, and line break. I also discovered that sometimes it can be hard of hearing. Make that stone deaf!

One way or another, I went off the idea, finding it too much trouble. It also costs money, something we didn’t have back then.

Moving on to 2022.

I recently noticed that Microsoft Word, the newly updated one, suddenly had a dictation mode, free to Word users. Word is expensive enough, but I thought this was a bonus if it worked.

I still had to voice every blessed comma et cetera, but it was efficient, quick and pretty accurate. In no time at all, I was dictating everything. And my aching arms and wrists thanked me for it.

I prefer to draft longhand, and transcribing my work and my sisters, has always been a bind, time-consuming too. I can dictate a thousand words in ten minutes these days, and I am more than happy with that.

I use Word a lot, and along with Grammarly I can spell check, edit and move stuff around to my heart’s content. It’s also essential if you need to find overused words, name changes, or simply find something you have forgotten.

My best friend ever…

Something that is not my best friend these days is our current browser, Firefox. I have tried them all in the past, never quite happy with any of them. Chrome, for example, almost sent me insane.

Recently, however, something has been happening to ruin my blogging day. Every time I press a like button, chances are it won’t respond. The same thing happens with my comments. This has been happening to a lot of bloggers, apparently. Someone suggested changing our browser, which can often result in a colossal upheaval affecting everything, so I was reluctant to do this.

Until today, that is. I was trying to visit and communicate with everyone like I normally do, and almost all of the sites I visited were a complete waste of time. My temper turned up.

I have no idea why it took so long, as I have never been known for holding back for long. With steam coming out of my ears, I switched off the PC and made a cup of coffee. I had to do something, but what?

The only browser I haven’t tried is Microsoft Edge. Highly recommended and promises to transfer all our favourites from Firefox. Mmm…

But will it let me like what I like?

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I feel better, knowing I have tried something…

So Far, so Good!

Six on Saturday… #Flowers

I think this is a wild rose, but not completely sure…

This is a Myrtle. It grows in my front garden, and people often stop to admire it!

This is a very old, friendly beetle and he seems to have made himself at home in our garden…

The tomatoes are flowering, we are looking forward to homegrown tomatoes!

The dwarf sunflowers have decided to flower after all…

This has to be the flower of the week, as we are really pleased with this display of sweetpeas!

#SixonSaturday is a lovely way to enjoy flowers. Learn all about it on The Propagator’s website.

Friday Flowers… #Honeysuckle

©JayeMarie2010

Kinda glad this week is coming to a close and looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Hopefully, we can start to feel a bit more normal come Monday!

I am working on the penultimate chapter of Ghost of a Chance, and I might even finish the first draft with a bit of luck. Really looking forward to that moment.

The sunflowers are beginning to open, so looking forward to that, too

Have a wonderful weekend!

In advance!