A typical weeknight in the 21st century

Years ago, I remember friends and extended family would come over for dinner. We would all chat, have a laugh and share our meal together. A home-baked meal was spread out in delight. And the room filled with joy. Nobody would leave without a smile on their face.

Magic garden


Now, welcome to the 21st century.

Where the evening meal is made as quick as possible, either by frozen or by the quickest means. The family sit on the lounge and eat their meals silently while watching the latest buzz show on TV. Then logging onto Facebook via mobile phones and the laptop, the family spend the next hour catching up on all the gossip and news. A quick like on a friend’s post means you are keeping in touch and a Selfie posted shows your friends, you are still around.

The importance of time spent on a meal to share with others is fleeting as well as the quality moments you have with each other. I was brought up in a lifetime with limited technology. Now it appears people are a slave to the masses of technology, only to discover how quickly technology can consume you.

I just wonder if you changed one night of your week to have no technology, would you be more appreciative for what you have? Would you take the necessary time to relax and just live in the moment? How different would your outlook on life be?

Melanie Toye Writer Blog Image of Woman's outlook on life

Image: © Jhershphotography | Dreamstime.com

Pre-order your romance eBook and receive 10% off!

Melanie Toye - The Eric and Izzie Series Cover

About The Eric and Izzie Series
Fall in love with Eric and Izzie, as they fall for each other in the most romantic way. Go on their adventures together and meet their hilarious friends. Based in North Lakes, Australia. Discover the natural beauty and community spirit of the area.
The story grows from the romantic getaways and adventures together as a couple, to the involvement of Izzie and Eric’s friends and how their bundling personalities fit into their story. Eric is a stunningly handsome man who is a successful project manager. Izzie works at a jewellery store and is glamorous yet sweet.
Lust, romance and love. The three ingredients to being married. And marriage is on the cards. Although when Eric’s close friend, Ashton has a car accident with Veronica. Life’s challenge’s become difficult to handle. Yet this tale of ups and downs does end on a happy note for now. Just like any fairy tale ending should.
Read your copy of The Eric and Izzie Series now, as seen in My Town Magazine.

Receive 10% off when you pre-order your own copy of The Eric and Izzie Series today at:


Simply use coupon code at checkout: DR65Y
Before 3 April 2014.

The Eric and Izzie Series will be made available from midnight, 3 April 2014.

Kids, write your own stories arrives to Amazon online book stores

26 Creative Writing Activities for Kids to experiment, create and write their own stories. Kids, write your own stories is now available on Amazon. Ages 8 plus.

kids write your own stories

Kids, write your own stories will provide a great opportunity for your child or class, to let their imagination roam free through story writing. 

I am a freelance business writer and author of several eBooks. For a long time now I have been wondering how I can help uplift young people’s talents to help them chase their dreams. Schools are great for learning English and the proper way to write. This eBook is purely to inspire and excite children to take a step out of the technicalities and rules of writing and just freely write, letting their imagination guide them. I hope this e-Book provides every child with the motivation to continue to follow their true passions in life, whether writing stories or play scripts etc. I also hope they have some fun throughout these activities. There is no right or wrong answer, this eBook is just to add an element of unlimited boundaries within the creative world.
Kids, write your own stories is now available on all Amazon online stores and Smashwords.

Miley Cyrus’s Life Lesson

I know, I know. Miley Cyrus does not seem to best role model of late. However after watching an interview with Ellen and Miley (Aired: 4 Mar 14), I realised, her biggest weakness in life was anxiety. Being a mega star, and growing up in the industry, I was surprised to hear she was still (till only very recently) dealing with anxiety. This world recognised star, has brought up her biggest block within herself and by doing so has opened eyes for many to realise, they can also remove anxiety from their lives.

I think for artists and dream chasers, there comes a time during our journey, were we become worried about if we can really make our dreams a reality. This thought is always in the back of our minds and even when we have bursts of inspiration and new ideas. An hour later, they can be slammed by damning thoughts of fear.

Even during your dream chasing journey, those close to you, can really bring their fear of chasing dreams to try and make it your fear.

“Why would you leave your secured job in this down-sizing economy?”

The fears of others start to plaque your mind. “Am I really good enough to achieve my dreams? Have I dreamed too BIG and now have to come back to the reality that I may not be able to go through it.

My three words for you – Keep moving forward.

You could be extremely close to achieving your dreams but with an invisable path, you cannot see that your journey is almost there.

Sometimes you need to look at those ‘comfortable’ zones in your life and instead of running back there. Think why did I want my dream in the first place? And re-ignite your passion.

What ever you do, do not give up on your dreams. It is your ultimate freedom. Dream big. And take one step at a time. One day, you will get there.

Imaged sourced via: rockfordkingsley.org

February Meet

Originally posted on Pandora - "to delight":

Hi Everyone,

Thank you to almost forty families who attended our February meet on Friday!  It was fantastic to see some familiar faces and new ones as well.

We had two fantastic guest speakers on Friday.  Mel Toye, a local author and freelance writer, came and spoke with us about how to inspire children to learn from the environment around them.  Using  household items and pieces of nature, Mel showed us how to cut down on the cost of toys and teach children about their surrounds.  I watched babies play with different textured rocks, and heard about babies and toddlers using the kitchen’s tupperware as drums.  I’m sure we all remember using the pots and pans as drums as wee ones, but Mel has cleverly taken it to the next level by reusing and recycling nappy boxes and other items to make obstacle courses for our little ones.  You can…

View original 142 more words

Guest Speaker for Pandora Parent Group

I was thrilled to be asked by Melissa Bailey to present my eBook – ‘Activities for Babies – when toys are not enough’ to a large group of Mums and bubs.


With the adorable babies present, I was able to show the babies (and parents) how fun it is to use every day items around the home and bring a smile to their cute faces.

From nappy box fun for creating obstacle courses or castles. To smaller boxes for making imaginative games such as ‘what’s in the box.’ To water and ball play and explorations outdoors. Activities for Babies – when toys are not enough is a fun and interactive eBook for parent and child. It is a building block to aid the parent to ‘take a simple item from around the home and think how best to use it for some fun with their baby.’ The main objective is to get bubs and their parents, smiling and giggling.

Test out this fun musical activity with your baby:

Music Time

Get out the drum kit

What you will need:

  • Measuring cups
  • Tin food from pantry
  • Small sized bucket
  • Spoons


  1. Set up your drum kits and show your baby how to tap the drum kits (cups, tins, buckets etc) with the spoons.
  2. Place one spoon in each of your baby’s hand. And let them tap away, listening to the different beats.

Spice it up with some jar lids to create different tunes.


Image:  © Sborisov | Dreamstime.com

Purchase Activities for Babies – when toys are not enough here: http://www.amazon.com/Activities-Babies-When-toys-enough-ebook/dp/B00961P0XG/ 

If you are looking for a personable, interactive, engaging speaker, be sure to email me at: melanie.toye@hotmail.com for any paid speaking opportunities.

To download a free e-reader app to your mobile, PC or iPad click here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Having access to activities or children’s eBooks at your finger tips is much easier when you can see the eBook from your mobile or other hand held device.

Interview with author Jessica Kong re ‘A Forgotten Kitten’ latest book

Let me introduce you to Jessica. 

Image 1

Jessica A. Kong is an avid reader of all things fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys puzzles, arts and crafts, crocheting, horror movies, and video games. She created the Sea-anan Saga out of inspiration provided by her love for movies like Star Wars and Deep Space Nine, along with an avid appreciation of romance novels. She makes her home in Somerset, New Jersey, with her loving husband of twenty-two years and their teenaged triplets.

About ‘A Forgotten Kitten’, Jessica Kong’s latest book in her Sea-anan Saga: 

A Forgotten Kitten front cover

Many readers enjoy Star Wars-esque stories of conflict on faraway planets, while other readers tend to stick to epic romances. Few authors have managed to combine the two genres in such a seamless way as Jessica A. Kong has in her Sea-anan Saga. She has created a highly complex story with fully developed characters, and the themes explored here are inarguably adult, yet the reading level required is no more than eighth grade.

A Forgotten Kitten zips along at just the right pace, allowing the reader to digest the complexity of the plot and interrelation between the characters without having to think too hard. The story revolves around Sev, a young, handsome prince and member of a royal family who rises to become king of the Oceanan race. Sev is raised in the midst of a vicious family feud, but all seems worth it when his adoptive aunt gives birth to a beautiful little girl whom Sev falls instantly and irrevocably in love with. But when Sev’s planet collides with its own sun and collapses, he must bear the loss of his entire family, including his love as well as any memory of her.

Areo, the heroine of the story, is that little girl that Sev fell for during his childhood. She is a human-feline hybrid who has grown to hate the royal family that her soul mate hails from. She undergoes a destructive event and space travel episode similar to Sev’s, and it is not too long before she has settled her new planet and with her fellow half-bloods, created a strong, thriving society. When she is brutally attacked by Daehog, everyone in her empire is scattered throughout the universe. Where does she land but the planet that Sev is currently occupying.

What follows is a continually building conflict interlaced with one of the most fervently passionate love stories seen in these kinds of novels. Kong chooses not just to write about space travel, or war, or love, or family, or even racism; instead, she chooses to combine all of these classic literary themes into one amazing story. The result is a mysterious and ultimately deeply satisfying story that only leads to the craving for more from this gifted and astoundingly creative writer.

Reading should always be enjoyable, especially when reading escapist literature, and Kong has remembered this and accomplished it without sacrificing plot or characterization. The task of any science fiction writer is to take alien, unbelievable concepts and present them in a way that convinces the reader they are plausible in reality, and Kong has certainly hit the mark with her second novel in this delightfully mystifying series.

Let’s get down to the interview. 

Jessica, what other titles have you written?

I have also self-published a paranormal romance with science fiction elements entitled ‘A Lost Kitten’.

  • When did you realize you wanted to create a career from writing?
  • I officially decided to start writing 13 years ago, when my kids were two years old, even though, I had tested the waters when I was 16 years old.

What has been the toughest part of your journey?  Promotion.  I would rather spend my time writing, even editing instead of spending so much time promoting.  It’s a necessary evil, I guess. On the upside, I get to meet great new authors, whom I interview and post their replies on my blog Newbies Unite.

What was a funny joke you heard recently?

A lot of the jokes I hear are too dirty to repeat.  J

What is your favorite read in 2013?

Oh my gosh, I love the ‘Trauma Junkie’ series. It was filled with sarcasm and plenty of EMS drama.  I just love it.

If your book turned into a flick, who would you want to play your main characters?

I already have that taken care of since I use images of real people (either actors/actresses or models) as inspiration when I am writing in a character’s POV.  If it’s a model I’m using, then naturally I will love an actor or actress with similar features to play the role.  My main characters in ‘A Forgotten Kitten’ are Sev and Areo McCall.  The inspiration images are Fabio and Jessica Biel.

Why should we read your book?

My books are not your ordinary romances.  I love to mix and match elements into my series–science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and horror.  You just never know which combination you are going to get until you read the story.  So for anyone who wants to try something different, pick up one of my books and let me know what you think. J

Support Jessica in her writing career by following and liking her pages below. Most importantly buy her books!  

Website/ Blog is Newbies Unite: http://www.seaanan.com

Facebook Book Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-World-of-Sea-ana/462338863811603

Facebook Fan Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Kong/155150417957328

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AreoMc

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6533956.Jessica_Kong

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_tab_home_top

Tumblr:  http://jessicaakong.tumblr.com/

Google +:  https://plus.google.com/113667786275043784213/posts?hl=en

 Purchase A Forgotten Kitten via the below links: 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Kitten-Sea-anan-Saga-ebook/dp/B00EYS46HC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378312471&sr=1-1

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-forgotten-kitten-jessica-a-kong/1116373585?ean=9781482713480

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4197263

Books A Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Forgotten-Kitten/Jessica-a-Kong/9781482713480?id=5787726506385