Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Look and you will find

Earlier this year, in March during a weekend at Antwerp, I bought a set of earrings with changeable precious stones. This collection was offered by a jeweler in the town center, De Gouden Ram. It was not too expensive, either. It's a nice concept - you can buy various stones and put them into the holder. I already have a nice collection of some really cheap stones of 5€ and then some more expensive ones. The only minus at this set is that the part that goes through the ears is rather thick and it hurt a bit.

So in the months to follow I've begun looking for hooks that are thinner and are also right to attach the holder with the changeable stones. Looked in Antwerp, Dendermonde, London and even Seville but didn't find anything that matches. Until yesterday.

We were spending the afternoon in Knokke, doing some shopping at the Lippenslaan (and having an icecream cone from Australian, which is about the best here) when we came up to a pop-up store of jewelry. We entered - and found at last a set of earrings that can be used for the changeable stone collection. Also in silver and now I won't hurt my ears anymore!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Dolce far niente

When you're in the middle of a long, hot summer, it doesn't inspire you to do a lot! Up to last Friday it was even too hot to just move - temperatures around 34° Celsius at the coast, Somnever experienced it!

So now I understand why the Spanish (and any other people living in the south of Europe) like to have a siesta and are considered to be 'lazy'. We're just the same right now!

We do our errands, stroll a bit along the promenade when it's not too hot, but mostly just relax on our terrace under the big parasol. Something cool to drink near at hand, e-reader in the neighborhood. It doesn't have to be more. My sister is relaxing now, work seems to be forgotten.

And yesterday evening we went dining in a fine restaurant. Pure bliss! We had tapa's of oysters, king crab and Thai mussels as a starter, and then ate lobster. For dessert a rice pudding and coffee afterwards. And of course a good bottle of wine to accompany the food. Btw, the restaurant is named La Guera. I can recommend it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Labors of an Epic Punk

Please welcome Mark and Sheri Dursin, who are presenting their YA fantasy & myth retelling Labors of an Epic Punk. This novel is published by Twin Wizards Press.

The virtual Name Before the Masses tour will run every Wednesdag (starting on May 2nd) and will run for 16 weeks. During this tour, Mark and Sheri Dursin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble 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/28e4345f2655

While I had the chance, I asked Mark and Sheri what their interest in ancient history is? This is their answer:

In truth, we don’t really have much of an interest in ancient history. We had no intentions of writing historical fiction—which hopefully was obvious to our readers. Otherwise, people would see all of our anachronisms and say, “These two are idiots! Don’t they know the actual Homer couldn’t interact with Telemachus, who is a character? And don’t they realize there were no high schools in ancient Greece?” (Incidentally... yes, we are aware.) 

No, we’ve always been more interested in story than history. We both have always been fascinated with mythology and the ways ancient people used stories to make sense of their world. Those ancients had stories for everything—for why a peacock’s tail has “eyes” (you see, they originally belonged to Argus, the hundred-eyed guard of Hera) to how evil came into the world. (Thanks a lot, serpent!)

We can learn so much about ancient civilizations from their stories, but we can also use these stories to illuminate aspects of our own culture. On the one hand, many of the conflicts found in myths—having to do with justice, fate, hierarchy, loyalty—are things we’re still grappling with today. On the other hand, we’ve also come so far—not just in terms of science (“Hold on: so spiders DIDN’T evolve from a woman who lost a weaving contest to Athena?”) but also in terms of our values. 

Let’s take the concept of heroism, which is central not only to LABORS OF AN EPIC PUNK but also to Homer’s Odyssey. So, in Homer’s poem, Odysseus is prideful, commits adultery with two different women, and ends up slaughtering all of his wife’s suitors. (He even orders the execution of the suitors’ girlfriends.) And this is the hero? This is the guy we’re supposed to be rooting for?

We wanted to challenge that notion of heroism—this idea that to be a hero, you have to slay beasts or undertake labors. Instead, our five main characters reveal their heroism through their commitment to one another, through their everyday acts of kindness and of love. In many ways, that kind of heroism is just as anachronistic as anything else in the book.  The “real” Homer—whoever that is—would not call our characters “heroes.” But we do. 

Ultimately, we used mythology as a vehicle, as a way to tell a modern story about heroism, and friendship, and the trials of adolescence. (Plus, the ancient setting allowed us to work in allusions to creatures like the hydra or the Nemean lion, which is always a plus!) 


Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom's scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he's truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epiisc Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.


No one on the field that morning had any idea that all Hades was about to break loose.

Well, one person did.

The stands were over-crammed with students, all chirping away about their summer travels, each one trying to out-fabulous the other. But Mac wasn’t talking to any of them. (No surprise there.)  Instead, he just stared at the empty stage in fist-clenching anticipation. For the entire morning, the entire summer, the entire two years he’d wasted at this gods-forsaken school, he’d been waiting for this moment. His moment of glory, of genius. The moment when he’d finally and irretrievably cross The Line— that hard-to-define boundary between tolerable and intolerable.
Between a week of detention and expulsion. All he needed was for Headmaster Gurgus to blow on that shell.

Just when he thought he couldn’t wait any longer without throwing up, Mac heard the band play the opening notes to “Yielding Never,” Pieridian Academy’s absurdly overblown fight song. The Opening Ceremonies were officially underway. From his seat high up in the stands, Mac watched intently as the members of the so-called Grand Procession marched onto Garthymedes Field: the entire faculty and staff, wearing shiny red gowns and smiles full of phony reverence; followed by the honored students, also in ritualistic red, condescendingly waving at the crowd; followed by a grotesque, nine-headed Hydra. 

Lastly, waddling ten paces behind the Hydra, in all his roly-poly, four-hundred pound glory, was Headmaster Gurgus.

Author bio

For many years Mark, a high school English teacher, and Sheri, a freelance writer and blogger, wrote independently. No matter the writing project—newspaper articles, retreat talks, college recommendation letters, fan-fiction, blog posts on spirituality or 80s pop songs—they tended to work alone. Separate rooms, separate computers. But raising their twin sons helped them discover an important truth: All Good Things Come in Twos.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Clock Flower

Today my guest is author Barbara Casey. She's doing a virtual book blast tour for The Clock Flower, a mystery/suspense available from Gauthier Publishers.

Barbara will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:


Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.


Lyuba was startled awake by the screeching of the magpie. It was the third morning in a row the large bird had settled on the crooked branch of the tall elm tree outside her hut just before dawn. She had studied the Tarot late into the night to determine the meaning of the magpie’s warning, but the message was clouded and obscure—its purpose stubbornly hidden. She only knew it had to do with her precious daughter, Carolina, and the three orphaned students whom her daughter loved and cared for—Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, all three geniuses born with special talents that couldn’t be explained. 

The Comino Gypsies, or Black Tribe as they were sometimes called, had been staying near Frascati, Italy, less than 10 kilometers south of Rome, the nearest of the Castelli towns.  As in times past, the gypsies camped on a hill, once called Tusculum by the ancients, in the shadows of the Villa Mondragone, so named because of the many dragons carved in its brown stone edifice.  The gypsies simply called it the Old Villa, and they had made this their home during the warm months for as long as anyone could remember. Even before there was a Villa Mondragone.

Originally built on Roman ruins in the sixteenth century, it had survived through the centuries as home to various Catholic cardinals and periods of abandonment until most recently when it had been sold by the college of the Jesuits to the Second University of Rome.  From their camp, it
was an easy walk into the rural village of Frascati. Many of the villagers living there who were advanced in age still held on to many of the old beliefs, making it easier for the gypsies to sell their wares. Through the years, the travelers and the settlers had enjoyed a mutually beneficial association. But even in Frascati, there was the hint of change; it was a different generation—younger and less experienced to the ways of life and less patient.  Lyuba noticed it; the others from the tribe who made daily visits did as well.  It was just a matter of time before it would become a destination for tourists, with its fancy wine and its historical villa, and the old beliefs would be cast aside and forgotten. 

Once it had been a place of heart-breaking sadness for Lyuba, for it was here where her young daughter barely three years of age—Carolina—had been taken from her by the Italian authorities. In her unrelenting sadness, she had felt a great darkness toward the person responsible and taken revenge, something for which she would regret the rest of her life. 

Lyuba was a choovihni—a wise woman, an exalted and envied position among gypsy women.  As her birthright, she and she alone had been given the responsibility to pass on the knowledge of the travelers to those who would follow, but it was rare to find a child born with the natural gift.  In all her years as a choovihni, she had only known one—her own—the beautiful one that was taken from her so long ago. And because her child—Carolina—had also been born with the gift, she was able to find her mother many years later, the Kaulo Camio, a black gypsy who went by the name of Lyuba, there in the shadows of the Old Villa. The zee, the essence of all life both animate and inanimate, had been forgiving of that one vengeful act and chose to smile upon Lyuba. Now, returning to the shadows of the Old Villa for the warm summer months was a source of great joy.  

With the knowledge of gypsies from the beginning of time running through her veins, Lyuba had the ability to communicate in a way that no other could. Carolina had that same ability, although she didn’t completely understand it—not yet. But in certain situations, especially if there was danger near, she would hear her mother’s voice, warning her, telling her what to do. That ability had saved Carolina from the gypsy boy’s curse, the wicked son of the Bandoleer. It had also helped Carolina and her three gifted students when they were lost deep inside the bowels of Grand Central Terminal searching for Dara’s mother. There would come a time when Carolina would be able to communicate in the same way as her gypsy choovihni mother and also be heard. That time was drawing near.

As Lyuba listened to the sharp cry of the magpie, she prepared a cup of sassafras tea, the root and leaves taken from the tree in the early morning dew just before dawn, that time of day when the benefit of its essential oils were the strongest. Perhaps the leaves would reveal what she needed to know. 

She felt a sense of urgency. Soon her tribe would be departing this place on the hill near the Villa Mondragone, for it was that time of year when the shadows lengthened and the cool darkness of night more quickly replaced the warmth of day. They would need to travel south to another place and set up their camp away from winter’s chill. She would prepare a special duk rak, her own psychic shield.  Perhaps that would ease her anxiety.

Author bio and links

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history.  In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service.  In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.
Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award.  Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.  The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List.  The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination.  Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. 
The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books.  In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).
Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.
Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies.  Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A
Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story.  A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.
Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist.  She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.  She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.  
In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.

Website:  http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com/

Enjoying a long, hot summer

The warm and sunny weather just seems to go on - and the end of it is not yet in sight! Well, WE don't complain!

It's been a long while since the summer here at the coast was so nice. The past few summers were not much, lots of clouds and bouts of rain. This recalls memories of the summer of 1976. Then it became warm in May, even hotter in June - and it rested well into September. I give remember we had to be very careful with water then. It was forbidden to use tapwater for the garden, so what we did was to collect the water when we rinsed fruit or vegetables before cooking, or collected the bath water in buckets. We then used this water to give some moisture to the plants we still had in those days (nowadays there is no garden anymore, too much upkeep).

In the hot summer of 1976 I was still at Uni, and it was torture to travel by train to Ghent to do my exams. Luckily the profs took compassion on us, and didn't make it too difficult on us! Some of them had their study in old marble halls. It was a blessing to enter those buildings, coming out of the leaden heat of the streets.

At home I studied down in the cellar: the coolest place in the house. Luckily we had lights there. I put my feet into a tile of cold water and then spend some hours with my books.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Summer folklore market

During summer, there is always something to do at the Belgian coast. Here in Knokke-Heist they organise a weekly folklore market every Thursday afternoon during the two summer months.

Visitors can watch old trades being performed, like weaving, a smith at work, shrimp peelers, lace making, ....

Especially now with the more than beautiful weather (it's been sunny for over 6 weeks in a row already, and not looking as if it's going to change) this weekly market draws a lot of attention. Because there are not only old trades, but also there is food galore! You can savor baked fish, drink good Belgian beers, taste sausages made on the farm. And sweet teeth can have all kinds of baked products because Heist still has some good bakeries.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder

Today we welcome Mary Cunningham. Mary is the author of Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder, a mystery available now from Imajin Books, and she's doing a virtual book blast tour to promote this release.

Mary will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please enter your comment by using this link:


Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work! But is Ruby a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will lead to the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby will be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with the charming local sheriff, Manual Rodriquez. After an embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, a chance to check out an eyewitness to the murder leads her to Las Vegas.

In Vegas, a mysterious meeting in the Bodies Exhibition, a body preserving in the prep-room, and an evasive owner of a dance studio, give Andi clues to help Ruby. But when Andi is mercilessly drugged and locked in a storage room, she realizes dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.


I jumped when the phone rang in the middle of grinding beans for my second latte. For a moment, I considered letting the call go, but that damned nagging promise made to Dad about watching out for his second wife, forced me to answer. 


“Miss? Are you there?” 

Well, this isn’t Ruby. Nice baritone. “I’m here. Who’s this?” 

“Manuel Gonzales of the Cancun Sheriff’s Department, Miss…?”

“Jones. But then I imagine you already know since you called me.”

“Miss Jones, I wanted to get you up to speed. I inspected the scene of last night’s, uh, apparent homicide. Regarding Ruby Jones, the suspect, she is currently being…”

A commotion in the background caught my attention. “Wait. Who’s screaming? Is that Ruby?” 

The phone reception had improved because Ruby sounded like she was standing in my kitchen. For the first time since this nightmare began, I found myself smiling when I heard, “You can’t do this to me! I have rights as an American citizen! Remember the Al-a-moooo….”

Author bio and links

Author Mary Cunningham grew on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn”. 
Childhood experiences, and a recurring dream about a mysterious attic, inspired characters, Cynthia and Augusta Lee, for her award-winning middle-grade series, Cynthia's Attic. The setting is in her childhood home in Southern Indiana. Family stories and ancestors comprise the storylines. There are currently five books in the series: The Missing Locket, The Magic Medallion, Curse of the Bayou, The Magician’s Castle, and Legend of Lupin Woods. 
Through a horrifying stint as a travel agent, the character, Andi Anna Jones, travel agent/amateur sleuth, inspired her latest adult mystery series. Book # 1, Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder was released Nov. 30, 2017. The author is currently writing Book # 2 of the series, along with another middle-grade series, The Adventures of Max and Maddie, a historical time-travel, and the biography of a former Army brat/University of Connecticut women’s basketball player who started a non-profit foundation to create scholarships for children of deployed veterans. 
Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Writers Guild.
When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband and adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.

Review Blurbs for Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder!
“If Evanovich's Stephanie Plum were a travel agent, she'd fit right in working this case alongside Andi, a wanna-be detective readers are sure to love.” —Regan Black, USA Today bestselling author of the Escape Club Heroes and Knight Traveler novels.
Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder...WOW. Snappy dialog, quirky characters, opens with a curious bang and yanked me through the pages. A fun, fantastic read. —Jean Rabe, USA Today Bestselling author, Piper Blackwell Mysteries.
“Grab a margarita and hold on tight; you're in for a wild ride.”
—Karen MacInerney, Agatha Award nominee and author of the Dewberry Farms Mysteries
“Charming, lively, and unpredictable, Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder excels in a vivid story mystery fans will relish.”—Diane Donovan, Senior Editor Midwest Book Review

Purchase Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076N6KBM3
B & N Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/margaritas-mayhem-murder-mary-cunningham/1127355519?type=eBook
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/756600
Attention! Through July MM&M is half price. Here's the link. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/756600

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mary_Cunningham_Margaritas_Mayhem_Murder?id=0jU8DwAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/margaritas-mayhem-murder
Find Mary on Social Media
Website: https://www.marycunninghambooks.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/marycunninghambooks/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaryCunningham
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marycunningham1/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/367223.Mary_Cunningham
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLNEK4

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Return in triumph of Red Devils

Well, we didn't become world champion soccer. Due to the French, who did not play football but chose to park their bus before their goal. The French really don't deserve to win this championship, I really hope the Croatian team wins later today!

The match for the bronze medal, on the other hand, was a really good match. The English just wanted to win as much as we did. It was a nice and lively match - and we won! Our team made two goals, one by Thomas Meunier and the other by Eden Hazard.

The Red Devils returned from Russia yesterday evening. This morning they will be welcomed at the Royal Palace, as the king is also a supporter of the team. Afterwards, they'll ride in an open bus through Brussels and their ride will end at the Great Market. There, on a balcony of the City Hall, they'll greet their many supporters. The Grand Place only can take about 9000 people, all the others will have to stand along the route of the bus if they want to catch a glimpse of their idols.

This 2018 team did best of all the Belgian teams in the past. In 1986 another national team become 4th, but the younger generations don't know about that. I do, as we stood up in the middle of the night (the WC took place in Mexico at that time) to watch the matches.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Yesterday I discovered that someone (a rather stupid person, btw) hacked my email account and blackmailed me. I was to pay $2900,00 or he/she would send mails to all my contacts with my 'secret'.

Well, the content of this mail didn't bother me. If that person knew me well, he'd know I don't have burried secrets. Or nude pics of myself. Or that I'm over 60. But what did bother me was he got hold of a password I use for certain sites.

So first of all, I called the police, who immediately sent an inspector to take down my complaint. They took it rather seriously and said they will do their best to discover who sent this mail.

Then I spent the rest of the evening of changing my password to all the sites where I used the hacked one. I also put a black sticker over my webcam. Better be safe than sorry. The inspector also told me I should warn him if the blackmailer sends another message. Probably won't do that, but you never know. Such lowlives only want money. And alas, lots of people will pay their blackmailers.

Has anyone had the same experience?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Lost Until You

Let's say hello to author Kimberly Daniels today. Kimberly is doing a virtual book blast tour for Lost Until You, a contemporary romance available now from Evernight Publishing. 

Kimberly Daniels will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:

I asked Kimberly what means love to her, and this is what she answered:

Wow, for me this question is so difficult to answer. It’s not because I don’t have an answer, but rather there so much in my life that means love. And to have so much that defines love in my life is amazing. Maybe that’s the reason why so many stories swim in my head. And it’s definitely how I was able to write my debut novel, Lost Until You.
First and foremost, my daughters have shown me a love that is really just indescribable and perfect. The love from your child and for your child is something that enriches life on so many levels. This is one of the reasons my story revolves around Gavin, the young child in the book. Both of my own daughters inspired his character on so many levels, and he reflects that unconditional love that children possess for the special people in their lives.
Obviously, support and humor are two qualities that represent love to me. My husband defines both of these qualities, just as much as the main male character, Cole, does in Lost Until You. My husband’s unyielding encouragement of this endeavor has been completely selfless and has been my constant motivation. However, through everything we still know how to have fun and laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Finally, a parent’s guidance has always been an outward sign of love for me. I was lucky enough to have two parents who still, in many ways, direct me through life. Writing Milena, the main character’s mom, into the story helped me to show that unconditional love of a parent, even apparent after death. Without my parents, I really don’t believe I would fully understand love on any level. They both opened the door to love!


Camryn Singer never imagined that she would return to the place where she lost everything. To grant a dying wish, she and her young son make the move back to the small Jersey beach town where she grew up, hoping to somehow find the missing pieces of her life. Determined to keep her heart guarded, the last thing she needs is the force that is sexy surfer, Cole Stevens, literally slamming into her life. Struggling against growing feelings for Cole, Camryn tries to focus on life with her son. But when Cole picks the lock to her heart, Camryn knows he might be the one to change everything. Just when Camryn thinks she's finally finding her happiness, a ghost from the past comes back to haunt her. Camryn must now decide between letting Cole stand with her in the fight for her life, or staying lost in the pain of the past.


As the hand of the stranger reaches mine, I am pulled up with ease to unbelievable, sky-blue eyes outlined by endless lashes that seem to curl over the tops of his eyelids. The alluring squint of his eyes captures me the instant we make contact with each other. The definition of his cheekbones rising with his smile highlights his perfectly straight teeth. His lower lip is slightly fuller than his upper lip, creating the most perfect bow shape. My gaze travels up to the messy spike of his sandy-blond hair, tempting my hands to run through it. I have to take a step back to get my bearings.

I squint behind my sunglasses, inspecting this guy who looks so very familiar but I can’t seem to place, and I stutter, “I… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to walk right into you. Just having some fun with my son and wasn’t paying attention to where I was going and…” Stop rambling, Camryn. “Well, I’m just sorry.” My words sputter out of me at an uncontrollable speed.

Shaking his head, he leans in and says, “No problem at all. I saw you walking this way.”

Author bio and links

Kimberly Daniels is a middle school English Teacher who took the advice of her students to pursue her writing hobby as a career. When she’s not at her laptop dreaming up new happily-ever-afters, she can be found glued to the TV or Kindle consumed with a new show or book addiction. She lives with her husband and two daughters in in the suburbs of Philadelphia, spending weekends at basketball games, softball fields, and dance recitals.

Connect with Kimberly Daniels:
Website: https://www.kimberlydanielsauthor.com
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/kimberlydanielsauthor/?ref=settings
FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/authorkimberlydaniels
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkdaniels
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_kimberly_daniels
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17942227.Kimberly_Daniels
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Daniels/e/B07BPMLDY3

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Heading back home

Today we are returning home, unfortunately!

We had a very nice stay in Seville but I'll tell more about it in my travel blog. Just wanted to say we watched the soccer match between  Brazil and Belgium and saw the Belgians win. Now it's up to the semi-final against France..

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Arrival in Seville

We arrived here in Seville around noon. The weather is lovely,  but so it was in Belgium as well. Watched yesterday's match of our national team against Japan - a thriller! First Japan made two goals but in the end we ended and won with 3-2

We are staying in a lovely hotel. It is an old house, almost like a museum. We have our room at the top floor and it's the only suite there. It is just grand! We also have our own private (and quite big) terrace. I think we'll love it here.

More later on...

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Too tame to do anything

It's warm outside. Up to 30° Celsius and that's quite warm for Belgium. Not that is a factor, normally, because I can quite bear the heat.

But already two mornings, the daughter of our absent neighbors has come to water the outside pots of flowers - at 7 am. Therefore she needs to pump up water from an old cistern and that makes a lot of noise. Now it's forbidden in our town to make neighbor noise before 8 am and after 10 pm but Monica clearly doesn't know.

Now both my sister and I are quite sleepy (haven't slept well for two nights, being rudely awakened by all the noise) and so I'm not in the mood to do a lot!

Luckily tomorrow is working week once more, so we'll be up around 7 am as well and won't be bothered by the noise. And the day after we leave for a well-deserved city trip to Seville, Spain. That will be better!!!