I can't predict when I have the time to post a new blog, but check occasionally. I'm going to try at least weekly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A March Update

Song of the day: “Shut up and dance with me” by Walk the Moon. Awesome song. Always thought it was a cover from some song from the 80s, only to discover last night that it’s from 2014. Hah. Anyway, not that it matters. Still a great 80s song. * wink *

So, yeah. Life’s been busy as usual. Not particularly exciting, or anything, but busy regardless.  I’ve been working too much, naturally. There were some seriously unexpected expenses last month, so when the extra hours popped up it wasn’t in me to say now, despite everything that needed doing outside work hours…you can imagine what the house looked like after a couple of weeks of that. * sigh*

But anyway, it wasn’t bad, or anything. Learned a lot more about the business, about general catering, all the stuff you have to keep track of, banqueting and general customer service, so it was all good…especially for my bank-account, which was rapidly depleting.

My temporary doggie is gone again * sob *. It was so cozy to have a four-legged one around constantly again, but his owners found him a new home with a couple that lives near the beach, loves to go for hikes and jogs, so it would seem that he is all set for the future. I have said that if it doesn’t work out, he can come right back here, sweet baby, but I doubt I’ll see him again.
Luckily in May we’ll be dog sitting Puk (the Labradoodle) again, so the quiet won’t be for too long.

Cooking has been going on as usual, duh. Can’t really do without that, can ya? Anyways. Had some successful experiments that included a Bundt cake quiche, Italian style, a nice veggie and chicken satay, a sweet potato, arugula mix, and a variety of oven dishes…which reminds me, going to do the latter tonight, I think. Hmmm

The book. Yeah. Been doing the promo thing a lot lately. Which isn’t necessarily hard, just time consuming, meaning that I’d come home from work, do the absolute necessary, maybe a 30-minute powernap, and then dive behind the computer for the remainder of the evening until way too late in the evening. I am aware that you can schedule posts and such, saving on the “I have to get on there every day” thing when we’re talking Social Media and such, at this point in my life that still sorta feels like cheating, ya know? I mean, the way I figure, social media presence is all about actually being present, so… I’m sure that I’ll think about that differently in the future, but for now it just takes up a lot of time.

Also got my paperback stack from the publisher in, so I now have physical copies of the books. Yay!

Future book. Been putting together a book proposal pitch for the publisher (around all the “real life” stuff that just keeps popping up. Like, I still gotta do my taxes, Aaaaaargh! I don’t want to alienate ALL my friends for disappearing for long stretches of time. You know what I mean, right? So hard to balance everything.) and the package is coming together nicely, I think. Been going through the first few chapters, doing some editing and tweaking because that is something that would need doing if we want to get the prequel for “Girl in the Mist” out there. But I’m liking what I’m reading so far. The pacing is different from GitM. Heavier, I think, than the action-packed bit in the debut. Leaning more toward psychological drama, rather than the high paced thrill of GitM. That doesn’t mean there’s no action in it, mind you. There is. Loads, it’s just that the characters are more enduring, rather that explosive, if that makes any sense. Like the heroine, Morgan, is a strategist, someone who will got through the most awful of horrors if that serves the purpose of her plan. It’ll be a marvelous challenge to make that work fully, you know…but it will also make it necessary to explore something lighter, more positive in the next project, because my mind-set can become rather moody when I work on dark drama a lot. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll keep you posted.

Been a bit under the weather for the past four days or so. On Friday my whole mid-section started hurting really bad. Think I caught some sort of bug, or infection, which has been slow in recovering. By now, thankfully, I am having moments where the pain is gone, but it got pretty bad at times. Almost like constipation (I know, TMI, sorry) and yet not that. Hah. I still have occasional twinges, which made work yesterday more than a little uncomfortable (which was why I asked to do dishwash duty in the back, rather than having to face customers) and had me deflating with relief when it was finally time to go home where I collapsed on the couch and slept for an hour or two, feeling much better afterward. Had I been in Spain, I would have been popping buscapina, but this is the Netherlands, and getting medication without an actual prescription here is practically impossible.

As for the aforementioned unexpected expenses: The care needed a big check-up. It was just that time, but jeez that hurt the wallet. First off the check-up which cost more than 300 bucks, the back breaks which did need replacing this time, the handbrake and some bits and pieces which depleted a lot of my savings. * sobs * I am so hoping that some money will be coming in from the book. Need my savings back!!! Hah

The weather. Well, it’s been interesting. We had some lovely spring weather for about a week…you know, after the icy Siberian wind that raged across the entirety of Europe for about a week. Eeeewww that was cold. The change was sudden, and absolutely lovely with bright sunshine and wonderful temperatures. I was thinking that finally winter was over, but then the cold returned, and with it my stomach ache for a solid four days, right up until now when the air is still crisp, but the sky wonderfully blue and the sun warm! So gonna go outside in a bit and work on repotting some of my houseplants.

As for the fun parts. My bestest friend T (Tiina) came over for a wedding, so I got to spend an afternoon, evening and morning with her, which was lovely. Though her last visit wasn’t all that long ago, it was so nice to chat the evening away, have dinner together. But then had to drop her off at the airport, of course, and say our goodbyes again. Darn it! Gotta do the whole real visiting again soon. That was way too short.

Once she was on her way, big brother and I drove on to visit our dad, down south. Had planned it before, but since we were both having a cold two weeks ago, we had to cancel again. Last week, big brother was working in the weekend, so we finally decided on last Sunday. Had a very nice afternoon with our dad and stepmom, admiring the new house, talking about the book, life in general, and then going out to eat, along with littlest brother, as a really, really late celebration of my birthday at a rather nice German restaurant. They served some GOOD food. Definitely combinations there that I’ll be playing around with in the kitchen in the near future.

Had a friend coming over for coffee a few weeks back. Partly to celebrate the book being out, and of course to catch up on everything, which meant one coffee turned into three and it was already dark when she finally went home. Hah. Am fully up to date on the previous job-site where things went from bad to worse since I quit. Not surprised.

And that about sums up the update for the today. I would promise to be back soon, but I hate promising and then not being able to, so I will just promise to post another blog when I can and hope that y’all will bear with me until then…

If you want to keep up to date via different sources, here are my links:

The new website, which is awesome!!! Please share and like if you can.

Social media for the useless bits of info, and chatting if you feel like it.

Goodreads, if ya wanna check out the awesome reviews (give the reviewers some love while you’re there, please).

And, very importantly, the buy links, hah. (How is that for shameless self-promo, huh?)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Buy now!!!

The moment is there, the book…is…available!!!

So let’s get this over with all the necessary links for the where to buy, where to read reviews, the picture, the promotional stuff and of course the address for my new website where I will be blogging as well, so if you want to sign up for a newsletter, where in the future you’ll be able to get sneak peaks into the world of Girl in the Mist, read deleted scenes and  anything I fun I can think of.
For a more personal blog, the way you’re used to over here, with stuff about my life, work, hobbies, writing, ya know, just stick around. Here nothing is going to change in that regard.
Do try out the book. I would love to hear all your thoughts on it
Here we go:

Social media:

For the reviews: Goodreads

Buy links:

So, that dealt with, let’s get down to the regular stuff...

Song of the day: “Ophelia” by the Lumineers. Not the most pleasant earworm, considering it is mostly the Ophelia bit that keeps tumbling in my head, rather than what is otherwise a very nice song.

On the most part it has been work for the past few weeks. And when I mean work I mean that in the broadest of sense. Been doing full days at the catering company, partly due to people calling in sick, family leave for someone, and a colleague up for vacation. It makes for plenty of work for me, despite the fact that at the moment I don’t really have time for it.

There is just so much to do for the whole promotion bit of the book. It means that I am out at work for at least 7 hours, and then come home to do the necessary stuff at home, and get behind the computer to do the proverbial homework that involves networking, writing to people about the book, asking for reviews and interviews, guest spots and anything else possible, and all the while checking up on reviews that are done of the book, and seeing what folks think. Scary stuff, ya know. Hearing what folks say about your headchild. But so far I have been able to handle it. In fact, readers have been absolutely brilliant in their reception of the story. They’re calling it a twisty plot, a story that messes with your head, amazing unique characters…simply said, it is wonderful to hear.

The weather here has been icy, albeit sunny. Some Siberian wind blowing in, apparently. Icy. Which isn’t nice at all, considering I actually have to go out in the cold several times a day. Because, for the moment, I have a dog. Yes, a dog! A foster dog, you understand. He was in need of a temporary home, while a new family was looked for, which means that I’m having some wonderful company while at home. He’s a 6 year old Border collie, well trained, and absolutely adorable. Am so tempted to keep him. But of course, I can’t. Just not smart, living the way I do. If the decision comes that I have to move out, and the new place does not allow for pets, I’d have to find a new home for him again, and that would simply be heartbreaking…for the dog and me.

Kitten is not at all happy with present company, naturally. Poor baby has exiled herself to the pantry, where they spend their time staring at each other through the cat door. Hah

Which basically brings us to the end of today’s blog, because, let’s face it, nothing really exciting happened since the last post, if for no other reason than the fact that I simply haven’t had time to do anything but work on all ends.

So we’re going to leave it at this, and see if I have something a little more exciting to share the next time. I’ll be back.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ready for pre-order at long last

Song of the day…okay, screw that. Let’s do it different today. I’ve got news! Haha

I got THE news!

We have a DATE!

 A PUBLISHING date! I kid you not.

Remember that teaser pic I had a little while ago? Well, here it is for real, along with links and everything where you can pre-order the actual book…if you were to be so inclined. * wink *

I’m excited, I am jubilant, as you might expect. It is finally happening. All the hard work coming to a long awaited conclusion. Gawd, I can hardly believe it. How long have y’all who’ve been reading my blog, been hearing about me and big brother editing and rewriting the book formerly known as Saving Nina? Hmmm? Many a years past with me writing, it, then joining forces with big brother and rewriting it time and again until finally, finally we came in the quarter finals of the ABNA competition, and then, bolstered by the publisher’s weekly review started sending it out for real, and getting all those big publisher’s interested enough to have a look at it, only to hear the dreaded “no” again and again, until finally FINALLY last year Entangle LCC took it.

The editing this last time wasn’t easy by any means either, but we managed, survived the ordeal if you will, and now we’re there. A couple of weeks  before the book is out there for real, but already available for pre-sale HERE, or directly at the publisher HERE and I am psyched, naturally. Also in Goodreads where you've got links to all the retailers

Here are some other links for you to check out like the awesome review by USA Today bestseller, Naima Simone.  CLICK HERE She's awesome, and definitely worth a look if you're looking for suspenseful, hot romances.

And I finally figured out how to open an author Facebook page, which is HERE. Likes and follows will be vastly appreciated. Ha

Other than that, I have been delving into the promotional plan for the book, which is daunting in many ways, but also strangely fascinating.

Next Big brother has been working on our website, which will get its own blog at some point, so keep an eye out HERE. I would love to see y’all there, if you can manage it. Soon there will be a Newsletter where I’ll be sending out news and tidbits, along with teaser scenes that will, in the future wrap the entire “No Escape from Rising Sun” series up in a neat package. These will be scenes that won’t be in any of the books, but rather background happenings that will be referred to in the actual novels. But from different perspectives, explaining mysteries that we couldn't deal with in the stories, but wrote down anyway. It should be vastly interesting, to say that least. I’ll let you know when I set up a proper place for this all and post a link for that too.

So here are some pics, with the most important one being the actual cover!

Gorgeous, right?

Teaser for GitM
 As for life in general? Well, things have been busy. I’m dragging my butt through long days again. Work (finally some shorter days again) takes up 4 to 5 days a week, which can take up to 7 hours in the average day due to commuting…with on Fridays a whopping nine hours away from home because at the moment I am working at the cafeteria of a school up North, which takes more than an hour to get to. It is interesting, though. A solo spot, meaning that you’re nicely busy right up until the final moment of the day when you have to clean the whole mess up and get the heck out.

My other spot in the big town less than 20 mins away from my place is starting to be a lot more fun now that I fully know what all is involved. I’ve stopped making constant mistakes and that makes it all a lot less frustrating. Yay. Who’d have thought, eh, that I could get a job in a branch that I actually enjoy. With the way things go over here, I was very much afraid that cleaning would be my lot until the books become a success…that is the hope anyway, haha

Teaser for GitM
Getting to know more locations in the area, which was what I was hired for, of course.
But anyway, getting back to the point I was making before work distracted me…making long hours. First the day job and then when I get home behind the computer, doing all the necessary stuff like setting up more network stuff, putting up links, writing descriptions, you know, all the promotional stuff that I had so hoped not to have to do…unrealistic of me, I know, right? But I guess I’m old-fashioned that way. I still hoped that writing good stories was the thing that was really the big thing.
Alas there’s more to it than that, so now I’m learning promotion from the pros over at the publisher.

I do need some sleep fast, though. Not getting more than 6-7 hours a night, and although I can manage that quite some time, I need an occasional catch-up.

Cooking…yes, I’ve been doing that, of course, just nothing fancy, but rather quick fixes that are as nutritious as I can. Including loads of pumpkin soup. Yummy.

On the sad note, my aunty died a few weeks ago, meaning there was the whole funeral bit, and sad relatives and people we hadn’t seen in ages, and…well. It was a private affair for most part, so I think I’d best not say too much. Forgot to ask permission and everything. However sad the circumstance, it was lovely to see all the relatives gathered together, and the afternoon spent at our niece’s  place, meeting her kids and husband. And our nephew wife and daughter, a sweet little girl that reminded me of me that age…but without the backtalk. Hahaha.

I did a review for another writer the other day, which I will post here soon. Check her out HERE because I am very pleased to let you know that I am at liberty to offer a free copy of her book of a raffle that I am planning to do really soon. Just send me a quick note with your name and email, and I'll add you to the proverbial hat. I will pick a name sometime next week, and get the copy to the winner ASAP.

And that’s about all…of the interesting stuff, anyway.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Job related, mostly

Song of the day: “Reaggaeton Lento” by CNCO and Little Mix. Seriously silly video, but luckily it is only the song that is stuck in my head this morning, and not the actual imagery. Hah.

Right. Another day another blog…a little on the late side, considering the happy new year one doesn’t really count, does it?

Well, let’s get started then. What all has happened since the last real blog. Nothing really awesome, or anything. Life is going steadily as is, without too much excitement on the most part, thankfully. First off, the job.

I started on the job on the first day of the second week of the new year. Was tossed out there blind, not a clue what was going to happen early in the morning when I got a message on my phone asking if perhaps I wouldn’t mind starting my first day during an emergency. Someone was ill, and someone couldn’t come to work due to strikes at public transportation. Gotta admit to being a little blurry that early in the morning, blinking like some sort of zombie at the screen, but agreed, of course (got a hard time to say no, remember) to be there within an hour and a half.
Admittedly I was a little nervous. Hadn’t been introduced to any new colleagues yet. Didn’t know the setup. And had no actual idea what the heck my real job description was, other than general catering…which can basically mean anything from cash register work, restocking shelves, prepping food, serving food and clean-up, or so I discovered on my first day.
Luckily my new colleagues are a friendly lot, with enough patience not to get too snappy whenever mistakes are made….and there were plenty of those that first day, considering it was actually rather busy.
But anyways, we are now more than two weeks in, during which I have worked at two different locations and I can stand the work well. It is not nearly as heavy as the sauna used to be. If you call that a 100%, I think I’d call this a mild 60% in regards to physical and mental effort. Sure, there is a lot of stuff to keep track of, and to learn, but that is only a matter of time.
The thing I like the most about this job, so far, is that I can just stop thinking about it when I get home, and focus on something else. That wasn’t the case before. It would be on my mind, I would think about it, dream about it and basically be busy with it ten hour a day, or so. Hah. Much easier if you can just leave work on-site and get down to more important stuff when you get home.
Though my first couple of days at work involved me wearing my own clothes (uniform was late arriving) the uniform did arrive in the end, so I am now in the possession of a variety of aprons, shirts and trousers. The latter of such horrid material and design that I was forced to order proper pants online that were actually wearable. Much much better to wear cotton, rather than the icky polyester that made me sweat like a racehorse under 10 minutes. Grrr.

What else? Well, my birthday came and went. A year off of 40, the supposed big four-oh…which means exactly nothing, if you think about it. Seriously. I feel no different now than I did at 35, or thirty for that matter, except that I’m a little less stressed these days. Considering I have set certain goals going onward, using age as some sort of guideline I am actually rather curious about the whens and hows. I mean, just look at the now. Had anyone told me five years ago that I would be in the Netherlands, getting publisher, working, socializing and what not, I’d have laughed in your face.
But I was talking about my b-day, wasn’t I? Yeah. Well, I invited a handful of friends and we all went out bowling for the night. Had planned on just an hour, because, let’s face it, I hadn’t bowled since that one afternoon when I was six or seven, and who knew if it was any fun…but it was, and one hour turned into two with loads of laughter, talking, bowling and more laughter. It was a lot fun, and definitely worth repetition.
Except for me slipping in those wonky bowling shoes. Don’t know what the heck happened, but navigating through the restaurant to get to the bathroom, I did a nice little skid. Not a problem…then. But seriously, the next day, my knee was twice its normal size. Darn loose joints. Was pretty bad for several days, especially since I had to get back to work, but then, one evening, something popped (back!) and since then the problem has been lessening. Yay! By now I can walk around without pain again, just some remaining pressure while the inflammation is taken care of by the ol’ bod. Jeez, sometimes those loose joint tick me off, I tell ya.

Been faithfully doing qigong, naturally. Even during the whole knee problem (for as far as it was possible) I kept up, for which I will give myself a small pat on the shoulder “good Sammie”.

Which reminds me…In regard to eating meet, I haven’t been so good. In fact I forgot for quite some time, until the day before yesterday when I finally got around to eating a small part again. Bad Sammie! Seriously, I should know better, in particular since I’ve been tired a lot again. Grrr.

The normal stuff have been continuing on as usual, naturally. Cleaning house, cooking meals, doing groceries, but there was a car repair, due to the engine suddenly starting to stutter. Had to do with the spark plugs, so they were all replaced. Would have been nice if we could have figured that out ourselves, because we could have saved ourselves quite a buck, but what the heck, the darn vehicle works again, and needs to have a big checkup next month or so.

There was a rather massive storm in the Netherlands this week. The first night (wasn’t even that bad yet) the window in the guestroom got yanked out by the wind, ending up toppling down the roof and smashing on the parking place in front of the house. Seriously. Startled me silly, considering I was taking a shower across the hall at that particular moment. Thought: WTF. Someone smashed through the door, or something. There wasn’t. So, dressed in a wet bathrobe and a deodorant bottle in my hand as a weapon I looked a little silly. Hah.
The storm made driving to work a bit iffy. Due to many accidents on the highway, I was pleasantly rerouted to smaller roads. But the winds. Oh my. There were times it felt as if I was floating over the road top. But anyway, arrived safe and sound, so no harm done.

The book is gradually progressing. First indication of publicity efforts has come and gone, which is nice. Moving along, thankfully. Especially now that the whole editing process is over. Makes me so curious how the rest will go. What the plans are. Who is going to do what. You know, all that stuff of which I know very little. I know that as an indie published author I should know more about advertising and such, but I still stand with what  I always said: I’m a writer. If I were a good sales person, I would have chosen a different career. As it is, I am just hoping they will point us in the right direction, and sling us in…hopefully in the proximity of the bestseller lists. Haha. But we’ll see.

Had a dentist appointment. There were some starting holes, according to my photos, so we’ve been stretching the treatments out because I don’t have dental insurance…or did I mention that before? Anyway, he did a couple, but I have to get back because one of the fillings keeps hurting me. The whole jaw feels sore because of it. Grrr.

Kitten was very unhappy with us. Decided to give her a deworming treatment, meaning an early morning pill on a semi-empty stomach. She was not amused, and went around us in a wide circle for a full day before she forgot.
Made another cat door. This one in the garage door. Until now the cat litter box was in the mud room, but she really likes using it, meaning that it smelled most of the time, so we decided to make her “toilet” in the garage…especially since we dry our laundry in the mud room.
Kitten is not happy about that either, but such are the breaks, for as far as I’m concerned.
Her present favorite spot is under the stairs, in case you’re wondering.
That makes for full circle in the house. First upstairs in the second guest room. Next came the extra office chair in the living room. Then the kitchen on the sill between the fresh garden herbs. Then a dining chair. Followed by the spot under the stairs. Soon she’ll be back in the living room. Hah.

Gradually starting to work more on the new book project. The prequel to the coming feature. The “how it all began” story, which is fun to work on. Sometimes I marvel at how long I have been working on this particular world. I mean, I started it back in ’98 with a somewhat loose concept of “what would happened to a small group of survivors of a sect’s child army, once they grow up?”, and here we are. The first one at the brink of publication, with the prequel worked out, but still in need of some serious tweaking. It is very exciting.

Cooking wise I haven’t been doing much experimenting lately. Between work, socializing, writing, visiting Tenant (she’s doing okay, albeit a tad lonely and momentarily bothered by a severe cough) the usual daily grind, there just isn’t much time. Although yesterday I made a rather lovely mashed potato sauerkraut mix with a load of sweet and sour chili in it. Hah. It was yummy, and filled with vitamin C...good thing too, considering big brother seems to be developing a cold. Poor guy, especially since he is on-duty at work this week, and won’t get off until next weekend.

Did some doodling with paints lately. Nothing major. And nothing really worth showing, but it was nice to do…especially when I don’t have the energy to do anything serious. Also been doing some sewing. Nothing quite as fun as the quilt, but just necessary stuff, like taking in pants, fixing underwear. You know. The basics.

Also worked with my plants. Really need to get some bigger pots, because some of them are just growing out of bounds again, poor darlings. Just yesterday I got some new soil, so now all I need are the pots.

Found a rather nice rug for the living room. So now the ugly green one is in the kitchen’s dining area, lighting up the ugly brown. Haha. Same goes for the actual kitchen where I put one of those light Sisal rugs that helps loads. But anyway, the shag-rug in the living room is almost silver in color, and big enough to hide most of the ugly red carpet there…see how that works? Ugly floors everywhere, but rugs hiding that fact in most cases. What can I say. It makes things a lot easier than having to put in new floors…not that I won’t if the opportunity ever arrives, but for now, this is the easiest way.

My cheap phone finally arrived from China. This means the annoying time of adjustment is there again, but at least it is no longer constantly malfunctioning, like the old one. Seriously. Turns out I missed several calls, which were important. But anyway, that should be okay now.

Gonna have a dog over for a couple of days again, which should be nice…if not entire convenient, considering my work week. But anyway, he’s a friend’s and the company will be nice.

T will be coming over in March. Yay! Her friend is getting married then, so she will be here for that. Meaning I get to see her again…relatively soon after her last visit. Looking forward to it.

And that about sums it up for today, I’m thinking. There are sure to have been things that happened during the past few weeks, but since none jump out, I don’t suppose they were interesting enough to share. * wink *