Dawn of Humanity / Man vs Nature / Natural Selection

How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–8

Natural Selection is Book 3 of my trilogy, Dawn of Humanity:

A historical thriller in the spirit of Jean Auel, Dawn of Humanity follows a band of early humans as they struggle to survive in a world where Nature is King, where they are prey not predators. 

Lucy’s tribe includes an eclectic mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium (oops–spoiler), and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a combination of man’s developing intellect and inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to the task they must complete. Based on true events.

Tagline for Natural Selection:

New tribe members, intimidating changes, and an unexpected end

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Here’s what I did the past month:

  • Finally I had a good month writing. I haven’t gotten to the final read-throughs (yes, that’s plural) or reading it aloud, but I am close.
  • You-all saw the post I put out asking which program you use to create a trailer. It looked like Canva and PowerPoint were the most popular so I’ll stick with those for my future endeavors. Expect me to have started the trailer by the next monthly update.
  • I did get distracted–again–first by tech issues and then by a new adorable, annoying, darling, monstrous puppy:
      • The download links I send to customers of my education books who don’t buy through my website stopped working. Why? For complicated reasons none of which are fixable. So, I had to find a new way to provide digital downloads for big files–approx. 15MB. Book Funnel seems to be the answer. I have an account with them I use for ARCs, but hadn’t considered it for more robust tasks like purchases.  Uploading the books is going to be time-consuming because I have about 100 books, but each is as simple as my fiction books have been. I’m testing the process out on my curricula books and will know more in a month. I also looked at Story Origin. Anyone use that? If so, what do you think?

Here’s what I ended up with as a landing page for one of the curricula books:

When you click ‘Get my book’, you receive a selection of formats and places to download to. In my case, books are only offered as PDFs so BookBub has two options–view or email. I see providing this link to those who buy books at readings, fairs, that sort.

For a series, BookBub provides bundles of books, with each image going to the book’s landing page with DL links:

This is particularly useful for me as I get Purchase Orders for the entire set of 18 books. Sending them out manually as files is daunting! I see this for fiction readers who want to purchase the entire trilogy, but not through Amazon.

      • The new puppy has been sometimes a monster, other times a blessing, but always a ton of time away from writing. Sigh. Here’s a recent picture:

I was feeling sorry for myself (while falling in love with the Casey pup), curled in a corner, puppy barking nonstop in my face, hand dripping blood from his sharp baby teeth. I had tried Puppy Training Plan A, B, and C–all failed. I had no Plan D, and then I wandered over to Herb Thiel’s blog where I often relax, Haps with Herb. Here’s what I found:

All was forgiven.

BTW, credit for this creative image goes to Janet over on her artist’s blog, My Life as an Artist. If you haven’t perused her work, do so! She’s amazing.

  • I have a long list of stuff to do once the book is with Anneli for editing (a trailer, updating social media, writing articles for the launch, and so much more). I’ll detail those post-writing tasks in a future update.

How are you doing?

Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. 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, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022


75 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–8

  1. Yay, a new puppy!! I can’t believe that one of the few posts of yours that I missed includes a new puppy. So his name is Casey? How is your other dog doing with him? Yes, this will mean many distractions. Puppies are a lot of work. But so much fun!

    Looks like you had a busy month, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the puppy and hope the blood stops flowing soon. -hugs- My old cat has taken to biting me every so often. No idea why, but boy it smarts so you have my complete sympathy. As for the books…oh. my. god. I literally had no idea you’d written so many. I don’t often send out arcs but when I do I use sync.com. I don’t know whether it does anything else though.
    Speaking of writing, I have to get my own butt into gear. Grats on [almost] having book 3 finished. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your new big puppy is darling, Jacqui! Ouch for the sharp teeth scratches! I hope you’ll have him trained very soon. You’re doing great with your progress! I’m more comfortable with PowerPoint than Canva.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, the woes of a new puppy. They are so adorable until they aren’t 🙂 I have a BookFunnel account, but to be honest, I haven’t taken full advantage of it yet. Have a great weekend and congrats on the progress with the new release!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Congrats on the upcoming book, Jacqui! I’m currently on readthrough of my series so far (again), to tackle the edit on book 4. Since it’s more like one story in 5 parts, and has several dimensions of time travel, it’s a continuity super-challenge! (this is my Kennedy J. Quinn series, not a SJK book this time.) I wish you the best moving forward with yours with the new pup!! What a distraction. But all worth it in the end, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You’ve taken me back to Emma’s (my English cocker’s) puppy days. Oh the frustration! But she was so worth it! Too bad I couldn’t believe that at the time. I lost a pair of brand new Birkenstocks, a good pair of slippers, and numerous other small things, but she is so worth all that trouble. I know your Casey will be the same for you once you’re through the puppy months. Good to hear that we will be reading your Lucy book soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tech issues are the bane of my existence. Sorry you’re going through those woes. I have a Story Origin membership or downloaded the app or something. Clearly, I haven’t played with it yet because I don’t even know what terminology to use. If you use it, I’ll be interested to hear what you think. (I’ve used BookFunnel for ARCs successfully, so I’m sure that would work. But wow… more than 100 books? Amazing, Jacqui.)

    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow you tackled big stuff. I love Book Funnel to promote my books and get emails for future promotions and email. You are brave and patient to take on a new puppy. He looks so happy. I thought of getting another dog but my husband is not well. Look forward to your next Lucy book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good to know you love Book Funnel. I had a problem I emailed them about and they got back to me, in detail within a day. That was impressive!

      Definitely wait on the puppy. If I’d known then what I know now (and I should have–I’ve raised puppies before), I would think a little longer on the puppy thing.


  9. Hi Jacqui – exhausted from reading your busy life … that pup is going to be the size of a polar bear me-thinks?! They are adorable … blood or no blood – so happy for you with him … he’ll be of wonderful inspiration as time goes along. Good luck is all I can say!! – Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I LOVE your new puppy. What an adorable distraction. I wouldn’t be without my two girls. You seem to be progressing very nicely with the next book. Just doing the finishing touches on Amanda in France:Fire in the Cathedral. I’m taking my time with this one.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Love the “happy dog” image! Your recent experience reminded me of our black lab Pepper. When she was a pup, our telephone line stopped working. She had dug up the cable, enjoying the small jolts of electricity while teething. Her favorite prank was to pull firewood off the pile and scatter across the yard. Finally, after three years of training, she matured into the best dog ever.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dug up the phone line! Oh my–I guess I’m glad Casey would have to take a cell tower down to do that. We got rid of our land line a while ago. Three years–yep. We had a prior Lab that took that long to train, too. Do you still have Pepper?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, but before she passed, she passed along her hand-command tricks to Ike, a Boston terrier. Then came long Amber, a Chinese pug. They were a pair. Ike went blind, and no longer obeyed. Amber never took to hand commands, and she went deaf. We had to herd the two like sheep. Now we have a chug — his head is the Chihuahua half and his body is the puggy pug part — a lovable mix.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had technical issues, Jacqui. Of course, if anyone can resolve those issues, it’s you. Congratulations on a productive month. You’re my idol! I couldn’t get anything done with that adorable puppy around. So sweet! xo

    Liked by 3 people

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