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.

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 *

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Happy 2018, all! Hope that the year will be splendid, with good health, many adventures and at least one wish coming true. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!!

Song of the day: “All comes down” by Alan Walker and Noah Cyrus. Cute song for sure.

Well, another blog has arrived.Not as long since the last one, but still, I should have been by sooner. Had planned to, but then on several occasions when I had planned to post one, something happened. The editor got back to me with the book. I was sick. Had to work. Always something isn’t there. Anyway, am here now, so let’s see what’s been going on.

First off…if all goes according to plan, we finished the final EDIT of the book yesterday. This was copy edits, so cross your fingers, toes, legs, and anything else that you can think of that this is it, finally. The Copy edits weren’t nearly as traumatic as before. Really basics, like missing words, grammar rules and formatting stuff, so it was done in just a few days. Yay. Got everything ready to send it before the last deadline and happy about it. Time to actually get to the end product, right? Actually had fun during this last one, considering we got to linger (if only a moment) on particular scenes we enjoyed writing.
Here a teaser of the cover...

Had my dinner party the other day. Had planned on a buffet party, but since so many folks turned out to be unavailable on the date, I decided to shift that to a later date (maybe a book party, some time next year, right?) and make it a dinner party for those that had already agreed to come. 

We were with a total of eight + a 1 year old, so it was a nice full evening involving plenty of food (spent about 5 hours on cooking spread over 2 days, so it wasn’t too much work) talk and laughter. Had a nice time, and everyone enjoyed themselves, I think. Had invited littlest brother as well, but he had an unplanned overtime session at work, so the only way he could have made it was to go straight to the station and travel our direction, and still be after eight…an hour after I had planned for dinner to start. The snacks would have tided us over for sure, but still, what with the baby there, stretching it out that long seemed unproductive, so we agreed he’d come the next day for a dinner of left overs. Hah.

Had prepared an elaborate dinner (was afraid I had cooked too much, of course) with hors d’euvres of toasted vegetable bread with herbal butter, small zucchini pastries and a rather sturdy butternut  pumpkin soup. We followed that up with a colorful salad, involving grilled mushroom and  pumpkin seeds and a dressing of choice. Next was the main course of a leek quiche with sweet potato mash garnished with grilled peppers and onions on a bed of raw arugula. Only to end it all with a freshly baked apple pie with whipped cream. Needless to say, everyone was thoroughly stuffed, and I wasn’t left with an excessive amount of left overs. In fact, I had exactly enough left to feed three people the next day for when littlest brother came to visit. Yay!

So all in all, it was a lovely evening, that lasted way longer than planned with everyone not leaving until eleven in the evening, and one guest even spending the night. Considering I had managed to spread the actual cooking out over a couple of days, I didn’t even have a massive clean-up afterward. In fact, two dishwasher loads, carrying chairs and tables back to their original sports and voila, things were all back to normal. I would call that a success!

My new job is official. Finally got and signed my contract the day before yesterday. Will be working for a big catering company, on several locations in company cafeterias, so that will be a nice change from the Wellness branch. I get to mess with food, maybe even express myself creatively in the future, since the manager promised that they try to stimulate creativity in their employees. We shall see how that goes. The company policy does look promising, since they aim for vegetarian since that is on the overall better for the environment, they do not make excessive amounts so there won’t be a lot of waste, and they try to focus on the veggies of the season, which all sounds good to me. They will be serving mostly lunches, which will include sandwiches, soups, salads and other finger food, so that should be fun at the very least. I will be starting in the first week of January, so who knows, the next time I write, we’ll know more. Haha

Spent a couple of days at my dad’s to help out painting his new place. There was a bit of a rush going on there, considering the new floor was going to go in the following Monday and they would have preferred to have the paint on by then. They didn’t make that, but at least the primer had been put on in 90 percent of the house. I had counted on being cold for a couple of days, but it wasn’t. The house needed to dry asap, so the heating was on high, meaning that within an hour everyone was sweating like a racehorse. Hah. Such a long drive, to and from, but it was basically the last time I could actually help, so I didn’t want to cancel.

Luckily by that time I was no longer sick. A week earlier would have been a lot less handy. Was sick as a dog, I tell ya. It all started as the sniffles, with a terrible runny nose, that didn’t seem to get worse than that, only to suddenly sink a day or two after I thought, “Hey, it is getting less bad,”. So there it went, a nasty little cough that stayed high up in my lungs rather than deep down below where I feared it would go, due to experience. Kept up my qigong during the whole thing, which includes several exercises for the lymphatic system and the immune system, which think helped keeping the cold’s damage to a minimum. I do know that normally, in the past, even as short ago as last winter, a could that sunk in my lungs would have been a disaster for a full two weeks, instead it took me 3 days to get over the worst of it. Yay.

There were quite a few cleaning sessions due to the dinner party, of course. Can’t have the house a mess if you get visitors, duh. So walls got emptied of spiderwebs again, floors vacuumed (had done the windows just a couple of weeks ago, thankfully) kitchen and bathrooms scrubbed, and everything tidied. And it looked good. Made relaxing on the night in question a lot easier.

Had to have the car fitted with new brakes…which costs a friggin’ fortune! Added to that, we had to have the yearly check, so the day before the appointment I spent cleaning the inside of the car. Got a cute mechanic so having a pigsty for a car really isn’t an option. Didn’t get to the outside, but considering it is winter and all cars are dirty anyway, I didn’t mind all that much. Instead I washed the thing today and it looks splendid for Christmas dinner with the family down south. Yay. 

Regardless, the car got through the yearly inspection without much trouble, so we’re all set for a year, thankfully.

Helped out at the store again a couple of weeks back, which was fun. Sorted out the majority of the top floor, which had been such a mess lately that they weren’t able to let customers up there to roam about. Not good for business that. Anyway, got most of that done, so I hope that this is now less of a problem…I should probably ask. Totally forgot. Hah

Did find a rather good 2nd hand office chair. My old one was starting to give in to the demands of time and use, so it was a lovely find at the gift shore. Really a rather fancy one, and considering a lot of my work involves sitting at my desk, a good chair is rather vital.

Am all set for this year’s Christmas presents. Found one for everyone that I needed one for, except littlest brother, who I find difficult to find something for, so in the end I decided to make a quilt. Much like I used to back in the day. Used mostly recycled materials, Jeans in this case, so the quilt is in only blue hues. Worked out rather well, despite it being a pain in the behind to make because most fabrics were stretchy, but to different degrees, it made making it all straight rather difficult. Did finally manage so I hope he likes it.

If he doesn’t I’m going to take it back and give it to someone else, or maybe even try to sell it. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Also made myself a quilt. Nothing near as fancy as the quilt, but at least one big stretch of fabric (makes the bedroom look way more dressed I always think) that I’d had lying around for more than two years already, exactly for this purpose. Love my sewing machine for sure. Was nice doing some other activity than working behind the computer. It had been so long.

Lastly I went visiting friends the day before yesterday (a couple that weren’t able to come to the dinner party) and spend the evening there playing with the dog and two babies. Was different, and fun in its own way, even though by then the edit wasn’t done yet, so I didn’t make it too late, and went home in time to finish another 40 percent of the manuscript. Hah

And that makes for today’s blog. There are sure to be things I forgot to mention, but that’s no surprise anymore, is it? Anyways… Wishing y’all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! And that the past year gave you everything you’d hoped for the last time ‘round!