J.J.'s WritIng Blog


A guest blog by Shattered Lies author S.J. Francis

March 20, 2016


 Not meaning to give away my age, but I miss the simple things in life. I miss the days when a hash tag was just a number sign. When people knew what a hyphen was and knew how to use them. Now there are hash tags to get your message noticed on twitter. Most don’t even know what a hyphen or a semi-colon is. Now there are Em dashes. I never heard of Em dashes until just recently. Now they’re popping up everywhere. What happened to the plain, ordinary comma? I can’t even find an Em dash on my computer. Can you? One of my favorite classes in school was English. I have a doctorate in English and yet, I have never dealt with Em dashes until I got my novel, Shattered Lies published by Black Opal Books.

     I miss the simple things in life because life was really more simple back then. People wrote letters and read printed books. They saved the letters. They shared the books with others. People looked each other in the face when they spoke. When you telephoned a company, you spoke to a live person who connected you to a live person. People focused on driving instead of text messaging. Now a days, things are as informal and impersonal as one can get. We deal with emails, e-books and what I refer to the merry-go-round telephone systems when trying to get a hold of someone at a company. Why is that? Proper phone etiquette has gone by the wayside.

      Technology is supposed to make our life simpler, but instead has made it more complicated, and in some cases has made lives extremely complicated. Ever telephone your bank or utility company to deal with a problem only to be told, “I’m sorry but our computers are down. Can you call back tomorrow?” If I wanted to call tomorrow, I would have done so. I just want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible and now I have to wait even longer to do so. What happens when you need to do something online and your internet is down? What then?

     I miss the simple things in life because for me, they worked. I wasn’t driven crazy with so many choices and so much information. Now we experience information overload. Yes, it is a true malady. I prefer the simple things in life because I’m not interested in driving myself insane with modern day technology. I don’t live off my cellphone. It’s reserved strictly for emergencies. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t want one. I don’t have any high end modern electronics. No iPods, or HDTVs invade my home. My old reliable eighteen year old RCA TV works just fine. Thank you very much. Of course, any burglar breaking into my home that expects more will be highly disappointed and that is just fine with me. I miss the simple things in life because for me, it was just simpler. How about you?  S.J.

S.J Francis Bio:

S. J. Francis is a freelance writer with over three hundred publication credits, a University Lecturer with doctorates in English, Mass Communications and Law, and most recently, a novelist. Francis writes for many publications, as well as regularly contributing to the local newspaper. Francis’ background also encompasses working as a television producer. A frequent traveler, Francis has resided in thirteen states and three countries. A confirmed bibliophile, when not writing Francis can be found reading a good book, or spending time in the outdoors. Francis currently lives in Mississippi, where a major part of Shattered Lies takes place—but grew up in New York City, where the latter portion occurs—and has a great respect and fondness for both places, and considers the world a notebook full of endless ideas. Francis’ first novel, Shattered Lies is a women’s fiction/mainstream/family saga novel. The family dynamic is a never ending source of ideas and Shattered Lies is no exception. As in all the stories Francis writes, in the end, it’s all about family. Future projects include a sequel to Shattered Lies and a novel about the dynamic relationships in Hollywood. Shattered Lies will be released by Black Opal Books in 2015.

Book Giveaway for Shattered Lies by S.J. Francis:

   In celebration of the launch of her debut novel, Shattered Lies, S.J. is offering a giveaway for someone to win a personally autographed printed copy. To all those who leave a comment during her blog tour at her website, they will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed copy of her debut novel, Shattered Lies. Two copies are available giving two readers a chance to win. To keep up with her stops on my blog tour please visit her website.

     Just leave a comment at her website and drop her a line with “Giveaway” in subject line at:


     Be sure to leave a valid email address in case you win. Good luck and thanks so much for stopping by the website.     FYI: The drawing will take place at the end of her blog tour on Saturday, December 12, 2015. She will contact the winner at their email address at that time to request their mailing address to send the reader a printed copy of Shattered Lies.

Shattered Lies available now for pre-order at Amazon Kindle, Smashwords and Black Opal Books. Coming Oct. 24th to on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

Pre-Order Purchase Link for Shattered Lies on Black Opal Books:


Purchase Link for Shattered Lies on Kindle:


Pre-Order Purchase Link Smashwords:


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