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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An accident waiting to happen

You can agree or disagree with me, but I think that education starts at home. Right now, you very often hear or read it's the task of the school to educate. Wrong!

My hair goes on end every time I see how some parents treat their offspring. I'm not one for Victorian ways, but a child should be told what can and what isn't allowed.

I don't have anything against my Polish neighbors (they're friendly enough) but when they take care of their grandchildren I'm just waiting for one of the kids to fall down and break something (or worse). See, they allow them to play on a roof terrace and they are not around while the kids are playing. I've seen more than once that one kid tries to squeeze his head between the stiles, and another one climbs up. Also when the parents are around, nobody says anything. Those kids also kick the dog (an old one, ready to bite).

I know I can't say anything, but Jezus! When we were young, our mother (or father) told us exactly what we could do. We were allowed a lot of freedom but never took advantage. My two-year-old sister and I went to church with our mother and even the little one sat down on her knees for more than an hour without moving. That was how it should be, we were taught. When visiting friends, we were allowed to accept just the one cookie, and then politely refuse more. And we couldn't speak when the grown-ups were having a serious conversation, only when we were old enough to join in.

They can say a lot about the old ways, but I really think they were not that bad!

Monday, August 29, 2016

When A Marquis Chooses A Bride

Today is time for romance. Author Ella Quin presents her historical regency romance When A Marquis Chooses A Bride, from Kensington Publishing. She is having a book blast tour and is giving away a signed ARC of this novel (US Only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1851

Blurb

Thanks to their large extended family and unconventional courtship, the Worthingtons have seen their share of scandal and excitement. But nothing has prepared them for this...

The Dowager Lady Worthington isn’t quite sure what to make of country-girl Dorothea Stern. As the granddaughter of the Duke of Bristol, Dotty is schooled in the ways and means of the nobility. But her sharp wit and outspoken nature has everyone in a tizzy. Especially their cousin, Dominic, the Marquis of Merton.

Prematurely stuffy, Dom was raised by his cheerless uncle to be wary of a host of things, including innovation, waltzing, and most perilous of all: true love. Still, there’s something about Dotty, beyond her beauty, that Dom cannot resist. But the odds are against him if he intends to win her as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family—or risk everything for the one woman he believes is his perfect match…

Excerpt 

“Kimbal,” Dom called to his valet.

“Yes, my lord.”

“I shall be dining at White’s.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Dom scribbled a note to his friend Viscount Fotherby asking if he would like to join Dom for dinner. By the time he was dressed and had donned his hat, Fotherby’s answer affirming the invitation had arrived.

A short while later, just as a light sprinkle turned into a persistent rain, Dom handed his hat and cane to the footman at White’s and found his friend lounging in the room that held the club’s famous betting book. William Alvanley, another of Dom’s friends, was seated next to the window with another man staring intently at the rain.

He turned to Fotherby. “What are they doing?”

“Five thousand quid on which raindrop will reach the bottom of the sill first.”

Despite being close with many of the Prince Regent’s circle, Dom could not abide the excessive wagers his friends made. Alvanley would end up ruining himself and his estates at the rate he was going. “Are you ready to dine, or are you waiting the outcome?”

“Famished.” Fotherby tossed off his glass of wine. “Thought you weren’t coming to Town this year.”

“My plans changed.” Dom and Fotherby entered the dining room. “I have decided to take a wife.”

“Wife?” Fotherby choked. “Any idea who?”

“Not yet, but I have a list of qualifications. She must be well-bred, not given to fits of temper or strange starts, quiet, biddable, easy to look at—I must get an heir on her after all—know what is expected of a marchioness. And not prone to scandals. You know how my uncle hated them. I think that about covers it.”

“A paragon, in other words.”

Dom gave a cut nod. “Indeed. I could wed no one less.”



Author bio and links

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!


Website: www.ellaquinnauthor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor
Twitter www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor
Blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom

Buy Links:
http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/33403
https://www.amazon.com/When-Marquis-Chooses-Bride-Worthingtons-ebook/dp/B0190HGU6Q/ref=sr_1_1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-a-marquis-chooses-a-bride-ella-quinn/1123105744
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/when-a-marquis-chooses-a-bride/id1090799022

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Land of My Dreams

Today I'm hosting author Norma Gail, who writes contemporay Christian romance. Right now she's promoting her latest novel, Land of My Dreams and for this occasion she's giving away a 25$ gift certificate from either Amazon or Barnes&Noble to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Please use this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1717

What is the book about?

Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated. 

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancé reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student. 

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart? 

Land of My Dreams, Christian Romance Novel, spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.



A small excertp

When Kieran left his office, he saw Bonny standing behind her car, her foot tapping and shoulders sagging. “Can I help you, Dr. Bryant?”

She startled, and he realized he had been so intent on watching her that he had failed to give warning of his approach. The eyes that met his sparkled, their brilliance drawing him like a treasure hunter to a prize emerald. She was a lovely woman.

“Dr. MacDonell, hello. I’ve changed flat tires before, but these lug nuts won’t budge.” 

He checked the urge to brush a smudge of dirt from her cheek. “It’s Kieran, and I’m glad to be of help.” He forced himself to ignore the nervous pounding in his chest and the urge to run. He was alone with the woman who had filled his mind day and night from the moment she had walked into the room.

“I’m Bonny, and thanks.”

“I’ll take that spanner off your hands.”

“Spanner? Oh, you mean the lug wrench, of course.” She held it out to him and smiled.

He took a deep breath. Her smile reminded him of sun breaking through a Scottish mist. His fingers brushed hers as he took it, and he realized how small her hands were, like his mother’s finest china. Dainty and delicate.

Something about the patient way she watched caused his uncertainty to subside. Rescuing a damsel in distress wasn’t a bad way to meet. Tossing the caber was no longer possible, but he knew how to change a tire. She stood near enough for him to smell her perfume—feminine, like a rose garden.




How important are dreams?

I asked the author if she could tell me and the readers how important dreams are to her. Here is her answer:

How important are dreams? A lot depends on who you talk to. I rarely remember dreams, although, the recurring dream that became my debut novel is one I’m glad not to have forgotten.

I dreamed of a man in a kilt, standing on a mist-shrouded hillside, surrounded by sheep. It would have been strange were we not in the middle of planning a trip to Scotland. However, I dreamed it more than once. It fit well with my long-term to become a published author. The idea lent itself to multiple possibilities. When I broke my foot and ended up in a wheelchair for eight weeks, the boredom was all I needed to decide the time to try had arrived.

I put very little stock in dreams. It is far more important to me, as a Christian author, to seek God’s will through the Bible and prayer. If we’re talking dreams in the sense of goals, they are very important. Having high aspirations and working to realize them is vital to success. A desire to set high goals that I believe are in God’s will for me and work hard to reach them fits well with my faith.

Making a dream come true is a lot of work. I wrote the story and began to solicit opinions from friends. When they all turned out positive, I started to look into what it takes to have a book published. Many authors are so anxious to publish these days that they jump into self-publishing and crank out book after book. I needed the security of a traditional publisher, their reputation and wisdom to encourage and back me up. 

My wait was shorter than many. I went to writer’s conferences, studied and rewrote, took the advice of the publisher, and received a contract for my first book a few months after my second writer’s conference. For me, it’s the right thing. I love being a part of the family of authors. We are each other’s cheerleaders, friends, and help each other with publicity. We pray for each other and offer advice when needed. 

Having my first book published was a dream come true. Now I’m focused on doing a good job marketing it so that when I have my second book finished, the publisher is ready to accept it. There’s always something more.

I’m passionate about Land of My Dreams and the story of loss, love, hope, and redemption that I believe God wanted me to write. 






Author bio and links

Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma: Website: www.normagail.org  Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/  Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail  Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NormaGailwrites Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/normagailth/boards/   Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459 Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/norma-gail-thurston-holtman/42/71a/3b2


Book Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http://store.lpcbooks.com/product/land-of-my-dreams/ 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864

Land of My Dreams will be either $0.99 during the tour.

Can you sleep when it's hot?

Here in Belgium, most houses don't have airconditioning. We don't really need it, as most summers are not that hot. So the bedrooms easily have a higher temperature when there is a heatwave going on, like right now.

Lots of people I know find it difficult to sleep in their warm bedroom. Personally, I don't have a problem. I get into my bed, open up a window and wait a few minutes until the sweat has dried up. Then I almost immediately fall asleep. I've always been blessed with a good sleep and wake up refreshened.

So how about you???

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Phantom is returning to Paris

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its existence, Phantom of the Opera is coming to Paris - the city where he originates from. The show will be playing at the Théatre Mogador, which is quite close to the Paris opera where the phantom supposedly lived underneath. In reality, they do have water under this building, but it is a cistern. Nevertheless, many people still claim the opera house is haunted...


Phantom will be in a French version and will be titled Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. The role of Christine Daae will be played by Sierra Boggess, who is about the best Christine I've ever seen in this role and the Phantom will be Gardar Thor Cortes, a singer from Iceland who also played the phantom in Love Never Dies in Hamburg. There is also a role for a Belgian guy, who's doing Monsieur Firmin.

We already have our tickets for one of these performances and will be staying for a couple of days in Paris. The show starts in October, on the date of the first performance in England 30 years ago. We were also at the 25th anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall, so I suppose we'll be doing the anniversary years in the future (as long as we are still there....)



Friday, August 26, 2016

How could this happen?

Two days ago, the Lazio region of Italy (about two hours away from Rome) was disturbed by a series of earthquakes. Some villages in the mountains were completely destroyed. There are casualties of course: around 260 people died and some 400 are severely injured.

How could this happen? Earthquakes are no extraordinary event. In California and Japan they happen a lot as well, but not often with such a disastrous effect. In Amatrice, only one building is still standing: the church tower. It was built centuries ago, with thick walls and in different layers.


The problem is corruption. In Italy, companies put up buildings with the cheapest of materials - just in the hope there would not be an earthquake. After a severe quake in the 1970's the building regulations were sharpened, but in the area that now suffered most houses date before 1970.

Rescue workers are still looking for people buried underneath the rubble. And every now and then they do find someone living. Most of the time, however, they dig up corpses. Lots of children too, as lots of them stay with grandma and grandpa while their parents are at work in Rome.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Medieval folklore on the warmest day of the year

Tonight, here in Dendermonde the procession of the Giants will take place. It's a special edition this year, as it is exactly 50 years since the medieval procession was put into a new concept - and it is also the warmest day of the year! The temperatures rises above 34° Celsius, what will make the task of the bearers more difficult.

Because - and you'd better believe it - these giants are not put on wheels and driven by motor! No, they are carried by real men - descendants of the former guild of shiploaders - and they walk and dance through the streets of the city center.  Each giant weighs about 80 kilos. However, it's not the weight which can cause trouble, it's the height. It is a very difficult task to balance the giant while walking and dancing.

The festivities end on the Great Market, where the giants will dance for a last time before going 'home' once more (they stay in a depot, where they are well maintained).



Like most historical processions this giants' procession goes back to the Middle Ages. 'Katuit' - there really is no translation for this word - meant the end of the summer fair which goes back to the inauguration of the Our Lady's Church from the 11th century. In the middle of the 15th century the three giants (Goliath, Mars and Indian) made by the guilds of Dendermonde, became a fixed part of the procession.

Since 1522, the bisschop decided that 'Katuit' would always be on the fourth Thursday of August. Until the 1960's Katuit remained a simple occasion. The three giants visited the inns of the town... (I still remember it, as we had a barber/café just across where we live). The giants were only accompanied by two drummers, two police officers and a few torch bearers.

Later on, it was decided to make more of a spectacle out of it. Harmonies joined in, and different tableaus were made.

All in all, the essence remains: all those who live in Dendermonde (and lots of others, from various parts of the country and even foreign visitors) want to see the giants dance!




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer goes out with a bang

For this last week of school holidays, the weather shows its best side. The sun came out yesterday afternoon, and it's supposed to remain warm and sunny until the weekend. It will even be the hottest week of the entire summer vacation!



The coast can't complain of a bad season. The weather here was in general better than inland. It's often that the coast gets better and more sunny weather than the rest of the country.

Everyone I spoke to said they'd had a good season: hotels, restaurants, those who rent chairs at the beach. The terrace of the bistro next door was fully occupied most evenings and more flats were rented than usual, also in our own block of flats. We're lucky that only owners live on our floor. Next door lives a family from Ghent. They bought the flat a couple of years before we bought ours. Nowadays the elderly couple doesn't come so often anymore, but there son and daughter-in-law do and also one of the granddaughters with her boyfriend. We've never had any trouble with them.

Unfortunately, my sister has to start working on Thursday again, so we need to return home tomorrow. More's the pity, because inland the temperature goes into the 30° Celsius! That means staying indoors at the heat of the day, and doing your shopping either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Death of a jazz legend

This morning, jazz legend Toots Thielemans died in his sleep, aged 94. He was taken into hospital after a fall some time ago.

Jean Baptiste Fréderic Isidor - Toots - Thielemans was born in Brussels, in a neighborhood called De Marollen. He was fascinated by jazz and learned to play the harmonica when he was only three years old. Later on he emigrated to the USA and became an American citizen.

He will be well-remembered by the music he left, especially the tune 'Bluesette'. He's also worked together, or made records, with Ella Fitzgerald, Quinccy Jones, Natalie Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and many others.


2016 is a year when many a legend is leaving us.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The definition of a fine evening out

When you're talking about an evening out, this could take many different options. Going to a nightclub or disco, spending a night at a bar, going to the movies, or going to a performance of arts (ballet, opera, mime, theater, ...).

For me it is mainly going out dining. There is nothing so good as to sit in a restaurant behind a table and eat the best dishes and sample the best wine. It is so relaxing and it guarantees to set me in the best of moods.

Here in Knokke-Heist we're blessed with a variety of fine restaurants. (Well, in general there is fine dining all over Belgium.) It is a region where there are most Michelin-stars in a circle of about 20 km. In Heist (Knokke and Heist were originally two different villages, but they were fused in the 1970s) we have Bartholomeus (2 stars), which is the top. I guess chef and owner Bart Desmidt will get his third star in the near future. But that is not the only good restaurant. Already next door we have a nice bistro and some steps further you have another one.

Yesterday evening we went dining at La Guera. A new restaurant with a very young chef. It doesn't have a star yet, but it won't take long. The chef is full of dedicaton and the right ambition and it's heaven to dine there. Best thing, the dishes are not overpriced (neither are they at Bartholomeus) and you can have a good bottle of wine for a decent price.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Amaluna

Cirque du Soleil never fails to astonish the public. But the performance they now bring in Knokke (Belgium, coast town) is one of the best I've ever seen!



Amaluna was a perfect mix of high-tech acts, poetry and fun. And the costumes were more than great.

We saw some wonderful acts of acrobates, and laughed at the caprices of the pair of clowns, but what I admired most was the act of a Chinese (I think) girl who balanced bamboo poles. I don't know how she did it! Probably took 4 or 5 years to perfect this act!



And of course there were also some Belgian performers. Two young men who took part in a trampoline act (man, how high they went!).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fighting Blind

Author C.M. Seabrook is my guest right now, and she's doing a book blast tour for her contemporary romance, Fighting Blind. The novel will soon be available.

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1832/



Blurb

Mackenzie Brooks is everything I've ever wanted.

Three years ago, she walked out of my life. No explanation. Just gone.

With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, she walked back in.

I'll do anything to protect her. Destroy anyone who tries to hurt her. When it comes to Mac, there isn't a line I won't cross.

I've loved her my entire life, and now that's she's back I won't let her go.

She refuses to speak about the past, or the secrets I know she's hiding.

I know she's planning on running again. But when you love someone, you stay and fight. Even if you're fighting blind.



Excerpt

“Hi.” Long brown hair rolls down her back in glossy waves. Soft, full lips that I’ve only dreamed of kissing open and close as if trying to decide what to say.

An explanation of where the hell she’s been for the past few years would be a good place to start. 

“I…just wanted…” Her words come out in a stutter, and she tucks her hair behind one ear.

She’s nervous. Good. She should be fucking nervous.

I move toward her. The muscles in my jaw are so tight they feel like they’re going to snap. I can barely process the emotions that are slamming into my chest. But I can’t take my eyes off her. I’d almost forgotten how gorgeous she was. Hell, I’d tried to forget.

Eyes the color of caramel, with flecks of amber and gold, stare up at me with uncertainty. 

Those eyes. They could pierce a man’s heart with a single look. And they had.

I’d have given everything for her. Would’ve sold my soul to the fucking devil just to please her. All she had to do was ask. Instead, she walked away.



Bio and links

C.M. Seabrook is the author of the Amazon bestselling fantasy romance Cara's Twelve, as well as the Therian Agents paranormal romance series, and co-author of the Mated by Magic series.

When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's most likely spending time with her family, cooking, singing, or racing between soccer, hockey and karate practices. She's living her own happily ever after with her husband of fifteen years and their two daughters.

She loves creating new exciting characters - from sexy, bad boy alphas, to the passionate, fiery women who love them.

Canadian born and bred, she started life in Edmonton, Alberta, and now resides in London, Ontario. She attended Western University where she graduated with an Honors degree in Anthropology.

Her guilty pleasures include red wine, pasta, binge watching Starz originals, and hanging out with her rescue pup, Jaxx.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at cm.seabrook.books@gmail.com






Twitter – @chantelseabrook

Sweden and the Middle Ages

We just returned from a trip to Sweden. The weather was not all that good (you're in the north, of course) but we were lucky that it didn't rain too much.

First we visited the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. We stayed at a hotel where we had a wonderful sight from our room window, over all the canals. Stockholm is called 'Venice of the north' and it's true that there are a lot of waterways and small islands.


Next we took a ferry (it leaves at Nynäsham, some 40There  minutes drive from Stockholm) to Gotland. Gotland is a bigger island in the Baltic Sea, at the height of Letland and Estland. We stayed there in the main town (well, town is a bit exaggerated) named Visby. Every 38th week of the year, this town celebrates the Medieval Week. Every inhabitant walks around in medieval dress and all the time there are tournaments and other historical events. This year they also did a reenactment  of the Battle of Visby, where the Danish king Waldemar conquered the city.




Visby is UNESCO World Heritage, because it is a city that is completely encircled by city walls, just like it used to be in the Middle Ages.

The only remark I have about it is that they don't seem to like foreign tourists overall. An example: when you asked for a reservation in a local restaurant, they said it wasn't necessary. But when you arrived in the evening, you got to hear the restaurant was fully booked and there was no space!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back from a trip & dead tired

My sister and I have just returned from a trip to Sweden and Visby (at the island of Gotland). We only came back late in the night, slept at the airport hotel and now have come to the coast to spend a last week of holidays here.

However, I caught a nasty cold (all those plane and ferry rides) and am dead tired at the moment. I'll post a blog about the trip tomorrow, when I'm feeling better.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pokémon craze

Are you also among those (hundreds of) thousands who chase Pokémons in the streets of the town?Nobody could ever predict it, but the Pokémons have made a come-back that can count!



It's an app now, all virtual reality. Nothing for me, though. You must be more than crazy to chase around town trying to catch a big Pokémon monster. But hey, if others like it...



I just think accidents will happen. Lots of people running around, not looking at what's happening around them, but staring at the screen of their smart phone. And commerce is jumping at attention, too.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

First gold for Belgium at Rio Olympics!

About half an hour ago, Greg Van Avermaet (who lives in Dendermonde!) won gold during the men's cycling  road race.



Greg already did well in the Tour de France (a couple of days in yellow, also winner on Mont Ventoux) and other circuits.

I suppose all of our town will go wild tonight....

Friday, August 5, 2016

How to make the most of small spaces

Here at the coast of Flanders, the general idea for building was to make as many possible flats for holiday hire/sale. Thus they try to press x-number of flats into one block and most of the rooms are rather small. Most of the kitchens are meant to be used for those who don't cook. Get it?

So if you want to sell your house in the county and move to the coast when you're pensioned, you need to adjust. You need t keep in mind you need a lot less when you're not working anymore (like my sister, she still thinks she'll need the same wardrobe once she's free of work) and can do with less. And also, that the rooms in care-homes are even smaller than the smallest flat here - unless you win the lottery and can afford the most luxurious kind of home.

But there is a lot you can make of small spaces! A keen eye and creativity can do a lot. Consider a bedroom of 2,50 m x 2.60m. Most people would place a double bed (1,40m) and a small dresser (around 1m, the two-door kind). But if you are two sisters who like to sleep in their own bed, you have a problem... The two beds would each be 1m. And then there's no more space for putting away clothes.

The solution? Find two single beds where one bed goes under the other during daytime and is clicked upright during night. Make a dresser along the wall of 2,50m but take care that the depth is no more than 36cm. That way the two beds can be put next to each other at night, and because the dresser is from ground to ceiling, you can put away an awful lot of stuff.

Work with light colores to make the space look bigger (white is great) and you can also use some mirrors.

By cleverly using every possible space, the small flat will be more than big enough to live it once we're both pensioned - and to make things even better, we do have a (very) big roof terrace!




Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Empty Room

Author Sarah J. Clemens is doing a promotional tour for her novel The Empty Room and is giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Please leave your comment by using this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1773/



Blurb

The small town of Eastbrook, Maine seemed like the close-knit community where newlyweds Dean and Elizabeth Montgomery could begin their lives together, and the 1901 Victorian seemed like the house they’d always dreamed of owning. The only condition for purchasing the property was that it was sold in “as-is” condition.

When the couple arrives in Eastbrook, they receive anything but a warm welcome from the local residents. And when they realize that as-is condition meant that the previous owner of the house had left every worldly possession behind, the dream of the small town life starts to take a mysterious turn.

Day after day, Dean and Elizabeth uncover more truths than they could have ever imagined, or ever wanted to know about the secrets that were hidden in the small town of Eastbrook. And as neighbors become growingly hostile with every encounter, this young couple searches furiously to uncover what the residents are trying to hide.


As their journey unfolds, Elizabeth goes missing and Dean must turn to the very neighbors he fears may have known what would happen to her from the moment the couple arrived for help. Because in this town, some secrets are better off hidden.

Excerpt

The car grumbled to a stop at the end of the gravel driveway. The three-day car trip was finally over. The gas station food and bathrooms stops were all behind them. They were home. The house might have been filled with someone else’s belongings, but they owned it now.

The house looked like a postcard from the outside. Small shrubs lined each side of the driveway as it suspiciously winded its way to the front porch. The grass was wet with dew after the recent rain.

As though looking at a piece of abstract art, Dean and Elizabeth both leaned forward in their seats toward the dash and squinted from inside the window of the car. Their eyes moved from left to right, making sure to taste every detail that first met their view.

“It’s gorgeous.” Elizabeth peered out from beneath the windshield.

With her eyes squinted and her mouth opened slightly, she studied every feature of architecture as though the house would greet her with an exam before allowing her to enter. She broke her concentration from the house and pressed her hand to the passenger side window, looking up and down to visually imprint every detail that awaited.




Author bio and links

Sarah J Clemens is the author of the debut novel, THE EMPTY ROOM. She began writing THE EMPTY ROOM in 2008 and formed her own publishing company in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing.
Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. In addition to writing fiction, she is a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-empty-room-sarah-j-clemens/1123835884