Sunday, October 20, 2019

Getting in the mood for Halloween

Because we have a rather big house, we like to lighten it up with decorations according to the season. Up at the attic we have those big boxes labelled: Christmas, Valentine, Easter, Summer, Autumn, Halloween.

Yesterday we thought it was time to change the autumn decoration for that of Halloween. It's always fun to do this. Brings some spirit into the house.

For a change we'll be home for Halloween this year. Most of the time we're somewhere abroad. Last year we were in Manchester and the year before in London. Once we went to a concert in Leeds on Halloween night, and when we returned from the arena, the streets were full of people dressed up. They don't do that here (so much) over here.


Halloween is a custom not original to us, it came from across the sea. Here in Flanders, when we were young, there was only All Saints Day - which meant our grandma baking waffles all day to feed all her granchildren! After the obligate visit to the churchyard to put flowers on the graves of the deceased, we came home to put our feet under the table and enjoy. Those were the days!

We really had a great childhood, in which we were allowed to be children and think of nothing too important. Nowadays I notice that many a kid isn't allowed to be kid, has to act as a grown-up.

What about you? Do you like decorations?


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Day against cancer

A yellow ribbon - a small gesture, but it means so much to all of those who suffer cancer.


The organisation Kom Op Tegen Kanker (Fight against cancer) is doing this already for the 20th time. It's a day, in which we fasten a yellow ribbon to our coat (or whatever) to show our solidarity with those who suffer the illness that still kills most people in our society.

When you walk through town, you'll notice plenty of people wearing yellow ribbons. As a cancer patient myself, I experience that most people have lots of empathy for cancer patients. All of my friends and acquaintances are truly relieved when I can tell my latest scan was more than okay.  They tell my how they like me feeling well - and for me, that's also a great feeling. I also appreciate my sister a lot, who does show me lots of sympathy and does all she can to keep me happy.

So: thanks a lot to all!


Monday, October 14, 2019

Miss Felicity's Dilemma

Today we welcome author Eileen Dreyer, who's presenting her latest novel: Miss Felicity's Dilemma, a sweet regency romance available as of October 8th. This book blast tour goes on from October 14th to October 18th.


Eileen Dreyer will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3198/

Blurb

ALL SHE WANTS IS HER OWN HOME
Miss Felicity Chambers is the new teacher of piano and deportment at Miss Manville’s Academy for Superior Girls. There is no reason a duke should contact her. There is certainly no reason she should marry his son. But that is evidently what the duke wants. Felicity should be delighted. But the orphaned schoolteacher has long since stopped believing in fairy tales. If only the duke’s son weren’t so compelling…

ALL HE WANTS IS THIS HOME

Lord Flint Bracken knows just what is behind the duke’s command, and it isn’t an attempt to secure a happily-ever-after for his son. The proposal is one of the duke’s schemes. Flint has no choice but to cooperate, though, or he risks more than his home. He risks national security. So court a penniless schoolteacher he must. He should be furious. But Felicity Chambers isn’t at all what he expected. She might very well be what he wants…  

Excerpt

It was Miss Felicity Chambers’ considered opinion that more time needed to be spent cleaning beneath beds. She came to this conclusion when the urge to sneeze overtook her as she crouched under the bed of her host, her heart pounding and her eyes squeezed shut.
           
“You haven’t seen her?” a voice rumbled above her.
           
“I’ve been looking for you,” answered the sultry tones of a woman.
           
A very sultry woman. Felicity wished she had the knack for sounding so interesting, rather like she thought a siren might sound when calling sailors to their doom. Sadly, she merely sounded like the new teacher of piano and deportment at Miss Manville's Academy for Superior Girls she was. Well, that she had been before the surprise correspondence from the man who was standing four feet from her twitching nose. Lord Flint Bracken.
           
Flint, Felicity thought with a scowl. What kind of self-respecting duke named his son after quartz? Shouldn’t his name be Reginald, or Cyril? But then, from the sound of his voice, she doubted very much that he resembled a Cyril of any kind.
           
“It was my father’s request,” he was saying, sounding bored. “Bring the chit here and tell her of the bequest.”
           

Felicity almost bumped her head on the underside of the bed. Bequest? Her eyes popped open. What was he talking about?


Author bio and links


New York Times Bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer has published 40 novels and 10 short stories under her name and that of her evil twin, Kathleen Korbel in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery and medical forensic suspense. A proud member of RWA's Hall of FAME, she also has numerous awards from RT BookLovers and an Anthony nomination for mystery. She is now focusing on what she calls historic romantic adventure in her DRAKE'S RAKES series. A native of St. Louis, she still lives there with her family. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.














Sunday, October 13, 2019

Rainy weekend at the coast

We decided to spend the weekend at the coast. They had predicted nice weather, with high temperatures and lots of sun.

The reality is different. Already on Friday afternoon it was raining, and yesterday it rained all day. This morning we woke up to ... indeed, rain!

Luckily there are the World Champignonchips Gymnastics to keep us occupied for some time. We went outside for a quick stroll (have to get a fresh nose every now and then) and then made coffee and watched the various finals.

What interested us most, of course, was the Ladies Final Uneven Bars. It's here we have the best gynast in the world, Nina Derwael.


The other competitors were good as well, but Nina did a flawless excercise and won most points. Yeah, she's World Champion once more!

When it continues to rain this afternoon, we can watch more gymnastics. It's a sport I like to watch, having done gymnastics  myself when I was a young girl - not that I was very good at it! They only thing I could do well was climbing a rope.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Reading is important

In recent times, not so many people read anymore. The younger generation is all into their online games and social media, but they rarely read a novel.

Yet it is so good to read (a lot). Of course, you need the encouragement of others around you. When you grow up in a family where everyone reads books, you'd automatically take one into hand as well. That was the case for me.

When I was a toddler, I sat on my granddad's lap when he read to me from Alexandre Dumas (in French). Although I didn't understand a word, I must have caught some of the meaning, because when you ask me what these books are about I can give you the synopsis (and I only read The Three Musketeers later on)...

When I began school, all the primary teachers told my parents what a huge imagination I had. I wrote (short) texts for school about sampans in Hongkong, for instance. All the other kids in my class hadn't even heard of sampans nor of Hongkong.

As I grow older, I tend to read more and more. I want to embroaden my knowledge because you can find a lot of information in books. And for non-English speakers, reading in English is great to widen your vocabulary and your knowledge of slang.

My most favorite genres in reading are thrillers (so many good ones on the market now!), historical fiction (which I write myself) and sometimes a sweet romance.

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Gumbeaux Sistahs

Today my guest is author Jax Frey. Jax is doing a virtual book blast tour for The Gumbeaux Sistahs, a fiction humor/women's lit available now. This tour will take place from October 7th to October 11th.


Jax Frey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour and a print copy of the book (US ony) will be awarded to a second randomly drawn winner. Please use the following link to place your comment and a chance to win:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3190/


Blurb

Five Southern women wage a hilarious war against the ageism problems of one of their deep-in-trouble sisters using their improbable friendships, evil-genius schemes, oh-so-numerous cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.


When southern artist, Judith Lafferty, loses her long-time, prestigious museum job to a much younger man, she finds herself devastated, alone in her sixties, and on the brink of financial disaster. Enter the incomparable Gumbeaux Sistahs, who deliver day-old coffee to her front door as a ploy, then go on to kidnap her, feed her excellent gumbo, and come up with outrageous solutions to her problems. Their motives are just good excuses to drink wine, have a great time, argue over whose mother makes the best gumbo, and, most of all, help a sister out. Ageism, dangerous boyfriends, deep loneliness, and any other challenges that can face the over fifty crowd don't stand a chance against these five resourceful ladies. The Gumbeaux Sistahs is a heart-warming, smart story of friendship and unexpected shenanigans that you do not want to miss.


Excerpt

At 3 p.m., she found herself in the living room, feet-up on the coffee table, sweaty, dirty and exhausted. Then the doorbell rang. In her mind she could hear her kids saying to her, “Don’t kill whoever it is, Mom, it’s probably just the mail lady delivering the mail as she does every day. You need the mail, Mom. Please don’t hurt the nice lady.”

She chuckled in spite of herself, and went to greet the mail lady, who had seen Judith looking this bad a time or two before from doing chores around the house. So Judith was not worried about her appearance when she swung open the front door. Before she could get it completely open, a hand carrying a coffee cup appeared around the corner, and came dangerously close to poking her in the eye.

“Hello, dear,” came a cheerful voice from the other side of the door. “You forgot your coffee yesterday, so we decided to bring it to you.”

Judith peered around the coffee cup and the door, and was completely shocked to find the four women from the coffee house yesterday, standing on her front steps. Stunned, she sputtered, “What the . . . ?”

“Special delivery!” yelled Lola, with a huge grin on her freckled face.

 “You followed me home?” said a stunned Judith, in shock and embarrassment over her appearance. She did not want to be rude, but this was above and beyond weird. She thought, “Have they been stalking me? That’s so creepy!” She deeply regretted opening the door.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Dawn sarcastically, checking her phone as she talked. “Nobody has time for stalking anymore. Now we just follow people around. That’s different, right?”

“What?” thought Judith. She found herself wondering who the heck these women really were. They looked harmless enough, but she was suddenly filled with doubt, and a little bit of fear.

Helen gave Dawn an exasperated look and explained, “Don’t mind her, Judith. She’s teasing. We didn’t follow you. We know where you live. Lola lives right across the street, remember?”

Lola added with a smirk, “Don’t tell me you forgot that already.”

“No, I didn’t — sorry.” Judith took hold of the cup, and was surprised to find that it was cold and kind of used-looking. A thought occurred to her and she asked, astonished, “Wait — is this actually the same coffee from yesterday?”


“Yes, dear,” said Bea, smiling brightly, “We took good care of it for you.”

Author bio and links

Born in New Orleans, Jax Frey came into this world, whooping and hollering, with a sense of love and celebration of Louisiana culture, food, family and fun.  Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling.  Her colorful art depicts everything-Louisiana from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings.  Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist.

Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy. The Gumbeaux Sistahs is her debut novel.



For more information please visit – www.gumbeauxsistahs.com

FB and Instagram – Gumbeaux Sistahs


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Ropin' the Moon

Please welcome author Deborah Camp today. Deborah is doing a virtual book blast tour to promote her historical romance (western), Ropin' the Moon. This book blast tour will run from October 7th to October 11th.


Deborah Camp will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3162/

Blurb

He had tumbleweed in his blood, moving from one town to the next. Traveling to where there was trouble, Dalton Moon was hired to tame wild places with a fast draw and an iron will. Lacy Tyrell knew that Dalton wouldn’t be around long and she shouldn’t be tempted by him. But like the moon, his pull on her was a natural, powerful force that she was helpless to resist.


Excerpt

“Let’s not play games with each other, Lacy.”

“I’m not.” She glared at his hand holding her prisoner and he loosened his hold, but didn’t release her.

“You are. You’re used to winding men around your little finger, slaying them with your smile, and having them trot after you like Thumper trots after me.”

“That’s an interesting image you’ve dreamed up, Marshal, but you know absolutely nothing about me.”

“That’s true.” His tone was hushed, soft as a feather. “But I’d like to know you. Very much.” He let her go; his fingertips trailing down her dress sleeve.

Mesmerized by his lips forming the words, she didn’t move. The flash of his teeth against his lower lip when he’d said “very” and the attractive pucker of them when he’d said “much” held her prisoner. She wanted to know the feel of his mouth on hers. Very. Much. Without allowing herself another second to reconsider, she rested a hand on his solid chest to steady herself and rose on tiptoes. She laid her mouth against his in a quick, hard kiss. She heard the quick intake of his breath, felt his lips part in surprise, and his heart kick against her palm.

Author bio and links


Whatever type of romance you love to read, Deborah Camp writes it. From sweet to sexy, contemporary to historical

Author of more than 50 romances, both contemporary and historical, Deborah received the very first Janet Dailey Award (given to a romance novel that best addressed a social problem). My Wild Rose deals with battered women and children in 1800s with Carrie Nation as a character in the novel. Solitary Horseman also won the In d’tale Magazine’s Rone Award. Deborah loves writing stories that are centered on brave women and honorable men.

Deborah’s books have been praised by reviewers, bloggers, and readers who love complex characters and clever plotting. She always mixes in a bit of humor and a lot of heart.

She’s been a full-time writer since graduating from the University of Tulsa. Her first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, Avon, and Amazon. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she’s a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She’s also a member of the Author’s Guild.

Communicating with readers and other writers is something she enjoys, so don't be shy about visiting her online.

Be sure to join her Happy Campers Super Cool Reader Group on her website to receive a copy of one of her romances novels free and participate in it on Goodreads, too.







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