Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Laws of Nature" by Jacqui Murray


Today I am happy to participate in my friend
Jacqui Murray's Virtual Book Blast
for her new book Laws of Nature.

A boy blinded by fire. 
A woman raised by wolves. 
An avowed enemy offers help ...

I've been a fan of Jacqui's excellent prehistoric fiction since I read
Survival of the Fittest, the first novel in her Crossroads Trilogy.
It featured Xhosa, a female Homo erectus, who lived 850,000 years ago.
The novel was a great story filled with unforgettable characters in a wonderfully
recreated Pleistocene world grounded in careful research and scientific fact.

So I was very excited to delve into Jacqui's Dawn of Humanity Trilogy
with the release of the second book in the series:  Laws of Nature.
This novel is set deeper in time, 1.8 million years ago at the dawn of the Pleistocene.
It features another strong and determined female protagonist, Lucy, a Homo habilis.
She and her kind were the first of our own genus Homo.

Jacqui masterfully brings Lucy and her African world alive.
Everything is based on thorough research,
but it is the storyteller in Jacqui that makes this novel compelling.
Lucy, her fellow hominids, and the incredible animals of this time
will stay with you long after you finish the book.

As a host, I had the opportunity to ask Jacqui a couple of questions about her book:
1.  What is Lucy’s relationship with animals?
Lucy and her kind considered animals the alpha in their environs. They believed them like themselves—able to plan, make tools, and evaluate circumstances—and treated as respected equals, maybe even superior because of their strength and dominance. Because of this attitude, animals and man thrived together.

2.  Prehistoric fiction sounds boring. 
     (Said Louise never, but I was curious to see what Jacqui would say.)
Not at all. I used to call the Man vs. Nature trilogies “prehistoric thrillers” because the stories share many traits found in that genre—flawed super-heroes, death-defying events, a small group entrusted to save the world despite impossible circumstances. If you like thrillers, you’ll like these prehistoric fiction trilogies. The stories aren’t about grunting cavemen who beat their enemies with clubs. It’s about the evolution of what makes us human—culture, art, body adornments, religion, decision-making, problem-solving, and more. The trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, and this story specifically deal with the nascence of those characteristics. Without claws, sharp teeth, and thick skin, we relied on our developing big brains to outsmart enemies. That’s what I focus on.

And, unless you define “boring” as spending most of their daylight searching for food, fighting for their lives, and sleeping, their lives weren’t boring either. Those “needs”—the lowest in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—consumed most of their time but not all. They possessed curious minds (which arguably, Boah’s pre-Homo genus and Ump’s proto-wolf kind lacked), asked questions, wondered why, and made decisions based on thoughtful consideration rather than instinct. Both Lucy’s and Xha’s kinds are hundreds of thousands of years from discovering the beauty of art, music, poetry, and abstract concepts but because their brains were evolving the ability to handle those advanced concepts, I show how some of them might have begun.

In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can't stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy's unique group--which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack--but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn't trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe 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.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Wonderwerk Caves
springer.com  See Citation Below

Book information:
Title and author: Laws of Nature
Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase
Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

Author Bio: 
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. 

She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

Social Media contacts:
Amazon Author Page:  

Book trailer on You Tube:

If you're looking for a great summer read,
you can't go wrong with any of Jacqui Murray's books!

1.  For an excellent article on Wonderwerk Cave go to springer.com: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10437-015-9208-5#rightslink  

Citation for photo:
Horwitz, L.K., Chazan, M. Past and Present at Wonderwerk Cave (Northern Cape Province, South Africa). Afr Archaeol Rev 32, 595–612 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-015-9208-5

2.  I recommend that you read Born in a Treacherous Time first, followed by Laws of Nature.

3.  The Man vs Nature Series:  Jacqui Murray's Man vs Nature Series consists of three trilogies
that deal with pivotal points in the evolution of our species Homo sapiens.  At each of these points the human line could have gone extinct.

The first trilogy (1.8 million years ago), Dawn of Humanity, features Lucy in these books:
Book 1, Born in a Treacherous Time, is published. 
Book 2, Laws of Nature, is published.
Book 3, Natural Selection, is coming in Winter 2022.

The second trilogy (850,000 years ago), Crossroads, features Xhosa in these books:
Book 1, Survival of the Fittest is published. 
Book 2, The Quest for Home is published.
Book 3, Against All Odds is published.

The third trilogy (75,000 years ago), with the working title Savage Land, will feature Cro Magnon man,
and I'm waiting to see what develops!  Jacqui can't write fast enough for me!


  1. I love Jacqui's books, she has great talent! Hugs, Valerie

    1. Thank you so much! How great to read that as I have my second cuppa for the morning.

    2. She has great talent indeed, Valerie! Have a great day! XXX

  2. Replies
    1. A little like your unknown space worlds, Alex!

    2. Not in the least, Alex! Have a good one, my friend!

  3. Congrats to Jacqui on her new book. I hadn't thought about it much, but I agree with Jacqui that it's an exciting one because of all the life-threatening challenges people faced during that time.

    1. Your ancestors were tough folks, Natalie!

    2. I loved "Born in a Treacherous Time" and "The Laws of Nature" were fascinating, because they recreated a gritty, realistic time when people and animals were intimately connected in their struggles to survive: raw, authentic, and compelling. It's a great read, Natalie!

  4. Replies
    1. That world back then--it WAS exciting. Oh my...

    2. I've read five of Jacqui's prehistoric novels, and I can't wait for her to finish the last four, Debra! Have a great day, my friend!

    3. I'll probably finish Lucy's story by Winter. The next one--I have a lot of research to get that one going! It will take a while. A lot changed between 2 million years ago and 75,000 years ago--the next timeframe I'm addressing.

    4. Sometime I hope you share how you research and what your writing process is. I'd love to have you as a guest sharing that! Take care, my friend, and happy writing!

    5. I did share that over at Kathy Steinemann's--https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/research/. Researching what no one knows is a careful, tedious process that I found fascinating. I'd love to do a guest post in the future, though. Thanks for thinking of my!

    6. I figured that you had shared that somewhere, Jacqui. I will check out Kathy's link. I'll hold you to a future post when it works for you. Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much for hosting me! What great information on Wonderwerk. I was amazed to discover that cave in my research. I am sure my people lived and thrived there.

    1. Mine too, Jacqui, and I'm proud of my dawning ancestors. I loved your window into their lives. What a journey humankind traveled to now! Wishing you great success with your latest book, my friend.

  6. Replies
    1. Jacqui's books are so good, Stacy! I've read five in her Man vs Nature. Now I've got to wait for her to write the last five. 😱 LOL! Have a good one, my friend, and thanks for all your lovely comments.

    2. Thank you so much! I used to call them 'prehistoric thrillers' because there is so much drama but now, I'll stick with historical fiction.

  7. They would've had some really big animals to contend with back then. Best to treat them with respect.

    1. Thank you dear Baili for your lovely comment. You made my day! You are one of my treasured friends, even if we have never met physically.

      With regard to writing, you don't have to do it online in your blog. I don't know what applications you have on your computer, but there's likely one that creates a document you can write in and save the writing. I have Microsoft Office and Apple Pages. I'll bet that any of your sons could help you get one or more documents set up, especially your eldest son who has likely written many papers. You can transfer the writings and poetry from your blog into your documents, slowly over time. Don't be afraid to ask your sons, if you have questions. I bug my nieces and nephews all the time with some really dumb computer questions. But they're not really dumb questions, just something basic that I don't get.

      Also in your documents, you can just jot down memories, thoughts, and ideas. Then at some later date, when you have more time, you can go into your documents and work with the material ~ or not. No one has to see anything until you're comfortable with it. Even if you just collected memories for your family, that would be wonderful!

      I'm going to keep encouraging you to write, my friend, because you are truly talented ~ but I certainly don't want to pressure you! I certainly know how hard writing is! You are a Light in this world, Baili, and I love how you shine! Sending you love and hugs.

    2. Oops, Diane! I've been having problems with commenting on blogger, and this landed in the wrong post with the wrong person. Computers, argh! Yes, they had really big animals to contend with back then. Humans were not the apex predators. Have a great day, my friend!

    3. Lucy always did--treat them with respect. She had no idea if they were smarter or not than she was so assumed they were equal. I like that attitude.

  8. Replies
    1. It was, Adam. I hope you are doing well, my friend!

    2. Thanks, Adam. It's certainly unlike any other historical fiction!

    3. Thanks for stopping by, Adam!

  9. Way to go, Jacqui on your newest book release. I hope you do very well with it. You're a gifted writer and a wonderful person! :)

    1. That she is, Cathy! Thanks for visiting!

    2. Thank you, Cathy! I'm sitting a little straighter with all that praise!

  10. Yeah, by the sound of it boring sure doesn't apply.

    1. Jacqui's books are adventurous like yours, Pat. The challenge to survive never stops. The "bad guys" are Homo erectus and really dangerous animals. And the main characters groom each other most every day to get rid of vermin ~ similar to the wood ticks you hate so much ~ LOL!

    2. Well, if fighting for your life as a matter of course every day is boring, yeah, these folks qualify! The world back then was nothing I could have survived!

      It looks like you have a nice collection of books, Pat.


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.