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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Go Belgium, go!

The Red Devil fever is widely spread in our country. For once we're not Flemings and Walloons, but Belgians united in one wish: to see our national soccer team win.

I bet it will be quiet in the streets this afternoon, as the match of Belgium against Tunesia begins in half an hour. You could already see it well enough this morning. More people in the shops and supermarkets than usual on that hour. I believe everyone wanted to do the shopping to have the afternoon free.

Lots of people will go and watch the match on big screens. We have also one here in our town, near the river Dender. It's a parking, but for once no cars are allowed. Some time ago, I could already spot supporters dressed in red, yellow and black heading that way.


We just watch here at home, with half an eye. While the guys are kicking the ball around, I can still read some lines in the book I'm presently reading, one of Pieter Aspe's Inspector Van In mysteries. Of course I hope the Belgians win, because then they are certain to go to the next round.

Endscore: Belgium 5 - Tunesia 2  Yeah!!! Romelu Lukaku is (together with Ronaldo) topscorer.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Panda-look

I did it again! Some days ago I tripped and fell flat out on my face. My newly bought glasses flew off (luckily they were not damaged), but you should have seen my face! Eyebrow split, more bruises on my temple and a nasty cut on my left hand. Luckily, I didn't need stitches, but I do have a nice shiner!
My sister says she now has a panda in the house...

It's strange that it's always the same eye that gets hurt. Two months ago I fell with my bike and then I also had a blue eye, next to bruised ribs and knee. They were just healed, by the way, but this time I don't feel anything there.

And years ago, during a ski holiday in Steamboat Springs, I fell on a bit of ice leaving the hotel (so that was clearly not my fault) and was immediately hurried into the ER. Also left eye hurt, and some cuts to the left side of my face.

The reason that I fall easily is my poor eyesight - I can't see uneven surfaces so I stumble easily. And also I don't have a lot of equilibrium. When there is something under my foot, it can cause a stumble or fall. Most of the time without worry, but lately...

Well, I just have to be more careful, I guess.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Chasing Lacey

This day we welcome author January Bain. January is doing a  blurb blitz tour for her novel Chasing Lacey, in the Brass Ring Sorority series. The novel is a contemporary romantic suspense available June 19th from Totally Bound.


The author will be awarding $25,00 via Paypal 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/28e4345f2704

Blurb

Think being a PI is all dull divorce cases? Think again.

Lacey Cameron, private investigator and treasure hunter, takes being headstrong and passionate to a whole new level. It takes exactly one morning in a school teaching young minds for her and her identical twin sister to break the whiteboard pointer in half, throw their keys on the teacher’s desk, and heed the seductive call of wide open spaces and awesome adventures.

William James Thornton III, a renaissance man and warrior poet who defended his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, knows he’s got his hands full trying to get Lacey to see him as more than just a friend. He’s ready to settle down, marry the woman of his dreams, and make his mother a happy grandmother. Hell, he’s got enough treasure in his bank account for two lifetimes.

And then things go from normal craziness to extremely dangerous in a heartbeat as hired killers are sent after Will and Lacey to prevent them from discovering the truth. They stumble on such an unexpected twist to the story that no one in their right mind would believe it or have suspected. If Will can get them out of this mess, he vows to lay all his cards on the table with Lacey. Get her to recognize what they can share as a couple. Passion. Love. And a commitment to blending her wild nature with his own—the perfect spicy blend. Even if it looks like it might just be the death of him.


Excerpt

“Happy Ever After. Ha. It’s a myth, Lily. A legend. A shell game meant to sell more expensive wedding packages.” Lacey Cameron gave a snort, glancing away from the awesome view of crystal-blue water, fluffy white clouds and careening shore birds to stare her monozygotic twin
right in the eye. Her carbon copy made that face—the one that suggested Lacey was being a pain in the butt. Again.

“Just because our parents couldn’t make a go of it—”

“Make a go of it!” Lacey could hear the shrillness in her voice and took a deep breath to quiet the tinnitus that immediately pounced, dulling and annoying at the same time. The day loomed too beautiful and too shiny, a virtual Christmas package floating in cyberspace, to have this conversation. Besides, they were just about to the correct location to weigh anchor—the coordinates she was certain would bear fruit. Of the golden variety, of course. This was her number one bucket list item: diving for sunken treasure off the Florida Keys and nothing was going to spoil it, especially memories best left in the past.

“It was far worse than just not make a go of it, as you darn well know,” she growled, refusing to go there, to relive the pain of her childhood. How Lily could was beyond Lacey’s comprehension. Best to out-run it and keep running. That had worked for her until now, so why change what worked?

Author bio and links

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope the stories of her beloved Brass Ringers will capture your imagination as you follow their exploits as much as they did when she wrote them.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.


If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, Twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…
Blog Address - http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter Name – https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Any other social media -  
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain
https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Lacey-Brass-Ring-Sorority-ebook/dp/B07CVCPWNL/

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Curse of the Ancients

Please welcome author Hawk MacKinney, who's presenting his latest novel of mystery and suspensense, Curse of the Ancients. For this occasion, he's giving away a $20 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. To enter your comment, please use the following link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2686


Blurb

As Craige Ingram climbed the stairs of the derelict building, that peculiar stench of a dead body hit him. It was the same smell no matter where—SpecOps SEAL encounter gone sour, or in a vacant, roach-infested apartment. Inside, his SEAL buddy-turned head of Buckingham Parish Homicide’s Investigative Support Division, Grayson MacGerald, was huddled with the coroner next to a swollen decaying corpse that was days old and hardly more than oozing dead meat. The PI inside Craige had a gut feeling that there was more to this than a dead body, and Craige’s Grannie always told him, “Trust your feelin’s.” But that was before Mih├íly Keaulescu set down two of his Black Falcon choppers on Craige’s Moccasin Hollow private airstrip in an uninvited stopover. It got worse. From his airstrip to Israel, to Turkey and a nightmare-dream of one-of-a-kind ancient artifacts that not only threatened the serene life Craige knew and loved at Moccasin Hollow, it would destroy the world.



Excerpt

The smell got worse as Craige made his way up the stairs. Like the smell of burning human flesh, a fermenting corpse gave off one of those distinctive odors one never forgot. Craige thought of the adage about it taking a strong stomach to work with a body that had been dead for a while. One never got used to it. Some memories weren’t pleasant—time on storm-swept beaches, digging for supplies buried in the sand, hidden under piles of rubbish, in dark alleys or trashed rat-ridden warehouses; huddled in black dark caves or stinking tunnels. Their Special Mission CTU team cocked and loaded for anything; prepared to deal out any necessary parcel of maimed, butchered and dismembered—or running for their lives the few times their cover was blown.

As Craige climbed to the second-floor landing, the smell went from bad to a sour-worse. He spotted familiar faces from the department’s forensic team; intent and focused around the pulpy lump with swollen pumpkin dimples where eyes should have been in one very bloated dead body. The corpse was well beyond the initial stages of being recycled. It no longer looked human after cooking several days in the sweltering oven of a Dixie mid-August scorching summer in this dreary one-flight walkup of apartments with no AC and painted-shut windows. The dreary apartment was busier than it’d been in years with lab and forensic techs bustling and sorting the pitiful pieces of the when and how of abandoned death. Near the peeling paint archway into a worse kitchenette he spotted Gray huddled with just over five feet plus, roly-poly Coroner-Medical Examiner Fred Dinkins.

Author bio and links

With postgraduate degrees and faculty positions at several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to his work in classrooms and laboratories, he has written numerous professional articles on chordate neuroembryology and authored several novels that reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for both the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Hidden Vault of Secrets and Westobou Gold, Books 1 and 2 in the series, have received national and international attention. Hawk is also writing a science fiction series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie. 



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiAGlgQQsMQ&feature=youtu.be
Website: http://hawkmackinney.net

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Ancents-Moccasin-Hollow-Mystery/dp/0997096268/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2

Friday, June 15, 2018

Gentlemen still exist

I had to take the train to the coast this morning. The train to Ghent was already pretty full, but once in Ghent the next train was overloaded. I could hardly get on, and there were no empty seats to be seen in the carriages I passed through.

As I was looking around, a young man stood up and offered me his seat. His dad even put my suitcase up the baggage holder. They were tourists; people from the US who visited Belgium. I got into a conversation with them and so the train journey passed very nicely. Most passengers left the train in Bruges and from there everyone could sit again.

Just to say that not all  young people are selfish. I've often noticed it. People always say the youth is not mannered anymore. Well, that's not true. There are rude people of course, but you'll find them at any age.

In my experience, most young people are well-behaved and attentive. I remember that once, while I was still teaching, I lost my footing on the stairway and one of my students grabbed me to prevent me from falling (proves they liked me as a teacher!). And when I'm travelling in the London tube, there is always someone who gives up his/her seat to me. Not that I'm so old, must be my white hair. My hair has turned totally white as an effect of the cancer medication I take.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Red Devils World Champion Soccer?

Today, our national soccer team - nicknamed The Red Devils - is leaving for Russia. There they are going to try and win their upcoming matches. The first one will be against Panama (18th June), the next one against Tunesia (23rd June) and the third one against England (28th June).

Just looking at the players and their qualities, they HAVE the opportunity to go far. Our star players are major actors in other competitions, like the English one. We have Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Dries Mertens, Marouane Fellaini, ...


There was a huge commotion when the trainer, Martinez, refused to have Radja Naingolan in his team. Radja is the key player of AS Roma, where he is treated like a god. Understand who can.

Now I'm not going to watch all those matches. Soccer doesn't overly interest me. I've put aside a load of boxes with dvd's to watch when there's soccer on (which is most of the time for the coming weeks). Only when the Belgians will play semi-finals or even the final, I'll be supporting, like every good Belgian!


Monday, June 11, 2018

Some thing with Irish crime writers

I really have something with crime fiction - a good thriller is one of the best reads! And I've discovered that I actually like the Irish crime writers a lot.

The first one I discovered, years past, was John Connolly. Dublin born Connolly graduated from Trinity College with a MA in journalism. His first novel, Every Dead Thing, introduces Charlie Parker. Parker is a former police officer who haunts the killer of his wife and daughter - and lives with ghosts. He became the first writer outside the US to win the Shamus award for this novel. Since then, I've read every Charlie Parker novel. They're great reads.


Next came Ken Bruen. Another Irish one, this time from Galway. His hero is Jack Taylor, a shifted ex-Garda now turned into private eye. You have to get into Bruen's kind of writing, but if you get the hang of it, you'll just love the way he describes things. Jack smokes, drinks and gets along with all kind of unsavory persons. I'm always waiting eagerly for the next Jack Taylor novel! Btw, Jack Taylor was also a tv-series, starring Iain Glen as Jack.


A later discovery was Patricia Gibney. After she lost her husband, who died from cancer, she tries to fill the void by writing. She lives in Mullingar with her three kids. Her novels feature Lottie Parker, just like herself a widow with three kids, but one with a past. Her first novel was The Missing Ones and in the meantime there are already four Lottie Parker novels.Great reads too


And a couple of days ago, I bought Little Bones by Sam Blake. Sam Blake is acturally a woman, named Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin. She's English, but married to an Irish ex-Garda and has been living longer in Ireland than in the UK. The heroine in these novel is Cathy Connolly, a young Garda who faces terrible crimes. I'm not finished with the book yet, but it's an interesting read!