Saturday, January 15, 2022

Happy New Year and Happy January

I had planned on posting the first of the month but as you can see, it didn’t work out.

I am working my way out of my Covid mental state. For two years I didn’t do much of anything, I’m sure my brain turned to mush. I stayed home except for grocery shopping and medical appointments. I didn’t think of anything, plan anything, or do anything. That included my writing. In the last two months I’ve planned, traveled, had Christmas dinner with a small group of vaccinated friends, even gone to a small local entertainment band, with a mask. And I haven’t caught anything. Am I back to normal? No.

But I’m back to playing the flute and now I’m trying to improve my techniques. I’m motivated. I’m also back working in the glass fusion studio and working as a supervisor twice a week. I’m being forced to get up at reasonable hours so I can volunteer or attend class. All this is bringing me back to a more normal life. I’ve come up with ideas in glass fusion and I’m working on patterns and projects. Motivation is finally back, at least in some ways. Occasionally I’ve even thought about writing but that’s as far as it’s gone so far.

So, I’m still being very careful. I do not want to get sick – period. But I’m gradually knocking doing the walls I built to prevent myself from getting the virus. I’m not totally back to normal, at least the normal I lived two years ago, but I am motivated and interested in life again.

This month we have Martin Luther King Day, and Civil Rights Day in some states, which honors civil rights activities in the US, January 17th.

I hope everyone is doing well, coping with Covid, and maybe getting back to a new normal lifestyle, but still staying safe. I’d love to hear how you are coping or how you coped with the last two years.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been busy and keep putting it off.

I have closed my website, hopefully temporarily.

I find my muse never came back from her vacation. Covid played with my motivation and like many others became a turnip.

I sat in front of the screen and tried to write but nothing came. Then I got frustrated and stressed so I decided to give myself a break. And I am taking a hiatus from writing. We’ll see how that works. So far, I’ve been very busy. The US finally opened the border so we could cross. Right now we’re enjoying the sun and warmer weather while back home they’re setting records for cold weather with snow. I’m starting back to ply my flute. I’m a beginner again. And I’m getting back into glass fusion. After not doing anything for so long and no motivation, even getting back to working with glass is a challenge. It’s so much easier to just stay in and do nothing. But I’m overcoming.

I’ve even thought about writing once or twice but I’m not there yet.

My adorable rescue dog has developed anemia. I worked on his diet to overcome it but now he’s having some digestive upsets because I changed his diet. 

Covid doesn’t appear to be going away. We’re having to adjust and learn to live with it – and masks. I’m still very concerned about where I go and what I do outside the home and a small group of friends.

I hope you’re all doing well, staying healthy, and coping with our changing world.

I have left my blog open and I had planned on blogging occasionally about any subject of interest as well as writing. As you can see, so far that hasn't worked too well. It’s almost the New Year, we’ll see how it works then.

Stay war, Stay healthy, and you can always comment or connect with me through my blog. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Eileen Troemel and her New Release

USA Today Bestseller Author Eileen Troemel writes action packed and emotionally powerful fantasy, scifi, romance. She’s versatile and writes in many genres.  She’ll try almost any genre if it means she can tell a good story.  In addition to her writing, she loves to read, crochet, and research genealogy.  Her best days are spent with her family of three adult daughters and her husband or writing.  

Author Interview

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Eileen: I write in many genres.  So far, I’ve published the majority of stories in scifi romance and fantasy romance.  However, I have stories in paranormal, shifter, and a variety of others.  I’ll have a contemporary romance and alternate history.  I like trying different genres because it challenges me to shape my story differently.  

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Eileen: In my late 30s, I was really an unhappy person. Once I had kids I stopped writing and decided I wanted to pick it up again.  When I did, I found myself again.  I started with poetry and then toyed with writing romance.  My daughters really encouraged me.  My oldest spent a lot of time talking plots with me when I worked on my first romance.  My middle daughter gave me the smack on the head (not literally) about shifting to self published.  My youngest daughter was encouraging about continuing to write. 

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Eileen: Anything… everything… One of my poems was inspired because my garage light went out one morning as I was walking to my car.  My brain came up with – Standing in the dark.  This turned into a poem. For Seven Sisters, I’ve always said if there are aliens out there, they wouldn’t come here because we’re too primitive.  So the aliens are told – to save their world they must come to earth and they consider it a backwards planet.  But they had to come here to find their mates.  Inspiration can come from a phrase on the radio or a tv show or almost anywhere.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Eileen: Not really. 

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?

Eileen: There’s a group of people.  I’d like to meet my great grandmother from my dad’s side.  She moved to the US when she was sixteen.  Her family life in Ireland was unstable and coming here she met and married my great grandfather.  The family stories about her indicate she was sassy and strong.  But not just her, I’d like to as an adult talk with my grandmothers and other descendants.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Eileen: Free day?  This never happens.  But if it did, I’d probably either write, crochet (and watch movies or documentaries), and read.  If my family is available, spending time with them is always a good option. 

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Eileen: I work on a variety of things at once.  On the Line will be out in January.  It’s a contemporary romance in the K Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes world.  Marelo will be out in March.  It’s a sweet fantasy short story.  I’ve got a dark romance which is nearly done with a first draft.  It started as a short story and I’m building it up into a full novel.  I’ve got a contemporary holiday romance which will come out in November of next year in time for the winter holidays.  I’ve got a reverse harem scifi romance called Star Stranded.  This started as short story for an anthology but I think I can expand it to a novel.  I’ve got a dragon shifter book, panther shifter book, and a variety of others in different stages.  

Blurb for Seven Sisters

Aliens invade Earth!

Following prophecy Mycos traveled Across the universe to trade old technology to the backwards world in order to find his true mate.

Surviving the plague and life on the streets Lydia Struggles to keep her 6 sisters alive and safe. Mycos demands Lydia submit to him. She refuses.

Will he compromise in order to win her over and open the world up for other Hylatians to find their fated mates?

The fates of both worlds rests with these seven sisters.

Excerpt from Seven Sisters

“Ooof,” Lydia expelled air as she bumped into the tall man in the street. One of the aliens, one of the tall dark aliens who landed three months ago to make their world better. She glanced over her shoulder as strong arms held her tight against a strong male body. “Sorry,” she murmured as she hurried away, fear driving her from arms that felt safe.

Lydia scurried around the corner, down the alley. Evasion, escape were key at this point. The two boys, teenage boys following her, wanted her. If they got their hands on her, she would be dragged back to the hidey hole of their gang. She’d had run ins with them before and knew what their gang did to other street girls like herself. She didn’t see the dark alien follow her, didn’t sense danger from him. Six years on the street, she knew danger. She knew when to run, to hide, and to fight.

One of the boys jumped in front of her, grabbing her arms, holding her with a sneer. “Thought you’d escape again,” he growled in her ear, pulling her closer.

She punched him in the diaphragm, heard his woof of air, heard him grunt in pain. She turned to escape him only to have the other boy grab her. How had she missed him? She turned into him, her body already there. Stepping nearer him rather than trying to escape, she took him by surprise. He grinned as his arms wrapped around her thin body. Her knee made sharp contact with his groin, he dropped to his knees clutching himself and moaning. The first boy grabbed for her but she threw a quick jab at his nose. Blood spurted making him clutch his obviously broken nose.

She ran. She ran away from them in a direction perpendicular to where she wanted to go. She took to the streets, the busy ones full of workers and shoppers. Looking back, she saw no one, felt no one pursuing her. She hoped she lost them but dare not risk them following her back to her safe place. 

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Remembrance Day or Veterans Day

November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. It’s a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. It is also known as Poppy Day due to the tradition of wearing a poppy which is sold at multiple locations by veterans. It is also celebrated by parades, laying of wreaths, and a moment of silence to remember those who have died. John McCrae wrote this well-known poem.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

In the US November 11th is known as Veterans Day or Armistice Day. It is a federal holiday observed annually on November 11th It honoring the military veterans, who are people who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It is celebrated by the laying of wreaths and two minutes of silence is held at 11 am.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Augustina Van Hoven and her New Release

Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and pets.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Annabelle: My name is Annabelle O’Sullivan but people call me Anna.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Annabelle: I grew up in New York.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Annabelle: It begins in my time which is 1925, but somehow I end up in 2019.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story?

Annabelle: I’ve been employed as a governess for the Thomas Mason and have taken care of his only daughter, Mary, for the last five years. I was very happy there. Now, I’m in a strange place and time.

Beverley: Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Annabelle: Someone would tell my story because I traveled through time.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Annabelle: At first, I only wanted to get back home. But after I got to know Olivia and Daniel, I wanted to stay with them.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Annabelle: I have to learn how to survive in this strange time.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Annabelle: I don’t know how I got here and have no idea how to get home.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Annabelle: I’m a good cook and I love children.

Blurb for The Christmas Kiss

What happens under the mistletoe…

When a sledding accident catapults governess Annabelle O’Sullivan ninety-four years into the future, she panics. She doesn’t know how to get back to 1925, and she doesn’t know how to survive in the twenty-first century. Annabelle must depend on the kindness of a stranger and his daughter, and she repays that kindness the only way she knows how: by making a home. The longer she stays, the less she wants to leave. But can she trust this stranger with her life?

Since the death of his wife, Daniel Wagner has shut down his heart to everyone except his daughter, Olivia. Other women—including some of his employees at the ski lodge he manages—have angled for his attention. But Daniel found avoidance easy, until he was forced to rescue an unconscious woman lying in a snowdrift by the side of the road. Although the stranger seems to have no past, Daniel soon finds himself thinking about a present—and a future—with her.  

Excerpt from The Christmas Kiss

         There were two more pictures of the manor house and then a newspaper clipping. Daniel held up the paper. “It says here that the governess disappeared from the house, and they were still searching for her. Someone wrote the date in ink on the side: January 7, 1926. Wow, this article is nearly one hundred years old.”

         The hair on the back of Anna’s neck rose.

         Daniel picked up the next few photos, looking at the barn, the carriage house, and the mill. The next newspaper clipping was folded over, and when he lifted it, a photo fell out. He picked it up and looked at it. Then he froze.

         He kept glancing back and forth between the photo in his hands and the woman sitting across from him. Was he looking at ghost or a doppelgänger?

         Whatever it was, she knew. Anna was staring at him with terror in her eyes, like a cornered animal who knew it was about to die. He set the photo down and picked up the article. The headline read Governess disappears from Mason house. He started to read out loud.

         On December 2, Mrs. Burns, the housekeeper for Thomas Mason, owner of Mason Industries, reported the disappearance of the governess, Annabelle O’Sullivan, from the estate in the early afternoon. Miss O’Sullivan and her charge, Mary Mason, only child of Thomas Mason, went sledding on a hill not far from the manor house. There was a sledding accident. Mary Mason was not injured but told authorities that her governess disappeared after the sled became airborne. Authorities have searched the area with dogs and found no trace of the missing governess. She is twenty-five years old and described as fair-skinned with red hair and green eyes. Anyone seeing a young woman matching that description is urged to contact the local sheriff’s department.

         Daniel set down the article and stared at Anna.

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Writing Updates

I’m stealing an information letter from Amy Atwell, but I don’t think she’ll mind my sharing with writers, authors, and interested readers. It’s general information she searches out and shares.

Phishing / Spam Emails

I received an email regarding a Moderna Vaccine Survey.  It was addressed to an email address I don’t actually have, but copied to one of my Gmail addresses.  There were at least 3 different Unsubscribe buttons.  I didn’t click anything (don’t even click the unsubscribe buttons on these things!).  I just marked it as Junk/Spam and deleted from my computer.  

Amazon’s Transparency Codes on print bar codes:

And, in keeping with Amazon wanting to add a QR code and track physical books (and people who scan them), if you don’t want KDP to generate your bar code (and include their own transparency code), you can now generate a bar code to give to your cover artist and have them incorporate it into your cover art.  On KDP, there’s a box to click to let them know that you’re including a bar code in your cover art so they don’t generate their own. 

Free ISBN Bar Code Generator, courtesy of Kindlepreneur:

Apple Holiday Delivery Times

As they always do, Apple is reminding you to upload books well in advance during the holidays.  Apple still tends to close down for the Christmas holidays, so remember that their could be a few days where processing is slow or the iTunes Connect dashboard goes offline.  

Basically, starting in early November, work toward uploading your eBooks or pre-programming price changes 2 weeks in advance.  If you plan to release a book during the first week of January, you should upload that content 3 weeks in advance so it doesn’t sit on a server while the Apple Books staff is off enjoying the holidays.  

Draft2Digital Promotional Pricing — all currencies, start and end dates.

If you’re logged in as the admin/owner of the account, you can preset promotional pricing in advance, just as you do at Apple, Kobo and BN.  

All retailers are encouraging you to order NOW if you need printed books by Christmas. 

Expect the delivery delays to be real this holiday season.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

History of Halloween

Halloween is celebrated in Canada on October 31. It is a day to mark the single night in the year when, according to old Celtic beliefs, spirits and the dead can cross over into the world of the living. Some people hold parties and children may trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.

Halloween has Celtic origins. In pre-Christian times, many people believed that spirits from the underworld and ghosts of dead people could visit the world of the living on the night of October 31. These spirits could harm the living or take them back to the underworld. To avoid this, people started dressing up as ghosts and spirits if they left their homes on October 31. They hoped that this would confuse the ghosts and spirits.

Halloween was also a time, when spirits might give messages to people. In some areas, it was traditional for unmarried girls to poor molten lead into water. The shape that the lead took when it hardened was seen as a clue to the professions of their future husbands. Halloween traditions were brought to Canada by Irish and Scottish immigrants.

Some people put a lot of effort into decorating their homes, yards and drives. They may even construct life-size replica graveyards or dungeons and invite people from the neighborhood to view their creations or hold a themed party. Other people may organize fancy dress parties for adults or children. Popular activities at parties include watching horror films and trying to make fellow guests jump in fright.

Many children go out to play trick-or-treat. They dress up as ghosts, witches, skeletons or other characters and visit homes in their neighborhood. They ring doorbells and, when someone answers, they call out "trick-or-treat". This means that they hope to receive a gift of candy or other snacks and that they are threatening to play a trick if they do not get anything. Usually, they receive a treat and tricks are rarely carried out.

There are special types of food associated with Halloween. These included candies in packets decorated with symbols of Halloween, toffee apples made by coating real apples with a boiled sugar solution, roasted corn, popcorn and pumpkin pie or bread. After several incidences of dangerous objects in apples and other food, now the treats are usually something purchases and packaged. Halloween beer, which is made by adding pumpkin and spices to the mash before fermenting it, is also available in specialist stores.

Children also take part in a long-standing Canadian tradition of "Trick-or-Treat for Unicef". Pumpkin-carving contests, pumpkin art tours, a reading marathon, and symbolic Walks for Water are just a few examples of the educational and fundraising activities schools and children develop to help provide thousands of children developing countries with basic quality education.

 Do you have any special Halloween traditions? Do you decorate your house?