Tuesday, February 23, 2021

In Remembrance of the 500,000


In Remembrance of the lives lost in the US during the COVID Pandemic
February 22, 2021

Today I honor and remember those who have passed during this COVID Pandemic. My thoughts, hugs and prayers go to those families and friends who lost a loved one. 

In January 2020, Reuters reported --"The worldwide coronavirus death toll surpassed 2 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as nations around the world are trying to procure multiple vaccines and detect new COVID-19 variants.

'Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,' United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said in a video statement."

We must resolve to do everything we can in order to eliminate this disease murdering our world citizens.

Photo above courtesy of pixabay.com pixel2013

Thank you!
Photo by B S K from FreeImages

Thank you to all those workers and volunteers in our communities who take care of the sick, show up to work, pray, offer meals to hungry families and keep us rolling along, offering hope and light in this world.



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Jacqui Murray's #CoverReveal for Laws of Nature, VIDEO: Our First Valentine's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream


Valentine's Day, February 14, has passed,
but February is the month of love.
Let's celebrate all month and beyond!!

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. 

I hope you had a delightful Valentine's Day. When we were in the floral business, Valentine's Day was one of the biggest holidays for florists. In 1976, it was our first holiday in the business. What a learning experience with OJT (on-the-job) training! Did we survive??? Check out the reading from my memoir, Arranging a Dream, about that first Valentine's Day holiday. You'll find the answer to that question!


Please welcome back multi-talented author, professor, blogger and reviewer, Jacqui Murray. Read her bio after the articles. You'll be amazed.

Her focus at the moment is on prehistoric fiction with her saga, Man vs. Nature. It’s a series of trilogies set in seminal times of man’s evolution. The first is Dawn of Humanity, about Homo habilis, with one book completed, Born in a Treacherous Time. The second in the trilogy, Against All Odds, will be out 2021. The second trilogy, featuring Homo erectus, is Crossroads with the first two books out, Survival of the Fittest and Quest for Home. The third and final, In the Footsteps of Giants, will be out Winter 2021.

I am delighted to introduce you to her new upcoming release this summer, Laws of Nature.

Thanks so much for revealing your cover today!

Thank you, Janet, for inviting me to share the #CoverReveal for my upcoming book, Laws of Nature.

Good news! I can reveal the cover, fresh from my design folks at Damonza.

Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray
Pre-historic Fiction
Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity Trilogy

A boy blinded by fire.

A woman raised by wolves.

An avowed enemy offers help.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail.

If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

I sure hope you like it because it's too late for changes!

I might publish Laws of Nature to Amazon as a pre-order soon. An Indie friend did that with a publication date in late summer. Any thoughts on that?

You can find all of my books through my Amazon page. I'm on KU so if you are, they're even free!

Thanks, again, Janet, for hosting #CoverReveal! 



Click here to visit Jacqui's guest post on this blog for the first book in the series, Survival of the Fittest.
Click here to visit Jacqui's guest post for The Quest for Home, Book 2 in the Crossroads Trilogy. series.
About Jacqui Murray

JMurray--early for TF interviewJacqui 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 Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

Click on the links below to connect online with Jacqui :

Word Dreams (Jacqui's blog) https://worddreams.wordpress.com
Jacqui's author page https://jacquimurray.net


VIDEO: Excerpt from Arranging a Dream: A Memoir--Our First Valentine's Day

Paperback book is available at amazon.com and bn.com
Click the Buy Now link below to purchase the eBook for Arranging a Dream: A Memoir 
Buy Now

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Pig, a Kangaroo and a Handsome Detective--Oh My! by JQ Rose #MFRWHooks


Read on to see if this Book Hook grabs you!

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. Because Valentine's Day is almost here and February is the month of love, I'm sharing an excerpt from Dangerous Sanctuary, a romantic suspense novel.

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Romantic Suspense

"I generally read edgier thrillers but a friend recommended this book, so I gave it a try. It turned out to be a witty, pleasant, and cozy little romantic thriller." Kia Heavey

Abraham the Pig, a star in Dangerous Sanctuary


Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 

 Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

 Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?



Christine stood in the parking lot hanging onto the leash of the agitated pig in one hand and the docile kangaroo in the other. Taking her eyes from the ambulance careening out of the parking lot, she turned her attention to the animals and wondered what just happened here.  Her heart caught in her throat when she spotted Cole Stephens speed into the parking lot, barely missing the departing ambulance. What was he doing here?  He pulled up near her and jumped from the car. “I heard the call come through. I was afraid of what I’d discover at this church.” 

His serious expression broke out into a huge smile. “You never know what situation a 9-1-1 call will lead to. This… this is a first for me.” His hearty laughter echoed off the brick walls of the building. He wiped tears of laughter from his eyes with the back of his hand.

Cole’s appearance seemed to shake up the animals. Christine struggled to hang on to them, so the detective grabbed the kangaroo’s harness and tried to calm the frightened animal.  “What are you doing with the Noah’s ark critters?”

 She saw the twinkle in his eyes. Her face cracked into a smile. She had to admit it was an odd situation. She must look like an idiot standing out in the lot hanging onto these two adorable creatures. “Well, in a nutshell. A woman had a cardiac arrest here in the parking lot. As you saw, she’s on her way to the hospital, and well, these are her pets.”

Christine swept her free hand toward the animals.

“Yes, her pets.” Ella nodded and pointed to Katy and Abraham.

“Um, I guess I’m keeping them till, well, until… Let’s just say we didn’t really have time to discuss it. I’m sure you probably have a place to put them, don’t you?”

“Huh-uh, lady. I’m not taking in any animals.” He backed away as if they were wild animals ready to attack. “Anyway, my retriever would probably eat them.” His wink was disarming.


Available at amazon

2nd edition Kindle http://amazon.com/dp/B07SVPS8N1

2nd edition Paperback  http://amazon.com/dp/0228609291

Happy Valentine's Day from JQ Rose

Click here to visit bloggers participating in the #MFRWhooks  Blog Hop!

Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
Delivered to your inbox once a month.   
Thank you!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

IWSG Blog Hop: Friendship, Bruno Mars Video


Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog 
AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!!
and an Early Wish for a Happy Valentine's Day!


What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG are Louise - Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

Question of the Month

February 3 question - Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere? 
Image by ΠœΠ°Ρ€ΠΈΡ Π’ΠΊΠ°Ρ‡ΡƒΠΊ from Pixabay
The answer to the question is yes! I have made friends through IWSG as well as writers in  FB groups and publishing houses. When I was first published I was astounded by the generosity and support from experienced authors. I thought we would be competitors but that never occurred. Having my horizons broadened by meeting folks from around the world is an opportunity I cherish.

I am happy to be friends with three authors whom I met through my first publishing house in 2010. In fact, we are planning on gathering together at Mackinac Island, Michigan, in October 2022! The authors are from Wisconsin, Texas and England and I am in Michigan. 
I am grateful to IWSG friends who have hosted me on the Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Virtual Book Tour this winter and to those who will give my memoir a shout out this week.
Feb 3 Ellen Jacobson
Feb 4 Pat Garcia

Click here to receive all the news once a month from JQ Rose plus freebies, articles and tidbits.
Click here to visit more participating bloggers
Now I leave you with this peppy song about friends performed by Bruno Mars
Thanks for stopping by!!!
YouTube VIDEO: Count on Me--Bruno Mars

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...