Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tailwinds Past Florence

Please welcome Doug Walsh today. Doug is the author of Tailwinds Past Florence, a contemporary romance available since January 22nd, and he's doing a virtual book blast tour to promote this release. The tour will take place from January 28th to February 1st.

During the tour, Doug will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes&Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Please use the following link to place your comment:


After getting blacklisted from the venture capital industry, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Vaughan will do anything to avoid telling his wife what happened. Even if it means agreeing to her dream of bicycling around the world. Kara, tired of being married to a workaholic, was readying for a divorce. Now, she’s packing bags of a different kind. Together, they pedal away from Seattle, headed east on the open road across America, Europe, and beyond.

Theirs is a decision that reverberates across centuries, shattering a continuum that bound their souls throughout time, and traps Edward in a battle with a past life over an eternal love.

As the miles roll by, and the couple's sordid secrets begin to surface, the couple encounters several men plucked from history, each one a vessel of Edward’s soul in a prior life. Of them, a 19th century art dealer proves dangerous, believing Kara is his ticket back to the past.

Tailwinds Past Florence is a contemporary love story with a magical twist, landing readers in the saddle of a global bicycle adventure.


Kara clutched her chest as her breathing returned to normal. It was one thing not to know why he wasn’t at work, it was another for him to be hiding behind the door. What the hell, Edward. She bent to pick up her dropped keys. “You’re home.” It came out more statement than question.

“Long story. Why didn’t you cover your eyes?”

She raised her hands in answer. They held a gym bag, purse, keys, and an envelope she’d somehow forgotten about in the commotion. “You didn’t give me any time,” she said. Then, noticing the map—her map—and the champagne, asked, “What’s all this?”

“This,” he said, grinning like a schoolboy about to receive his first kiss, “is a change of plans.”

Her mouth fell open as she processed what she was hearing. Kara spent months asking him to take time off, hoping he’d see how important the trip was to her, practically begging. She tore the map down after the holidays, after diplomatic overtures had failed. She’d been holding a bomb ever since, delaying the inevitable. Now, with her self-imposed deadline having come and gone, he wanted to do it.

Today? You’ve got to be kidding me, she thought, clutching the envelope, dumbstruck.

“I thought you’d be excited.” His smile drooped.

“I … I am,” she stammered. “I think. You have to admit, it’s a lot to swallow.”

“You still want to go, right?”

Did she? It’d be an incredible adventure, a badge she’d wear the rest of her life. But, to Kara, cycling around the world was a means to an end. Her gaze drifted to the map, the promise held within its Sharpie itinerary. The promise of change, of resurrecting the man she married, her best friend and lover. For three years, it’d be just the two of them, reforging their bond against the anvil of the open road. And if her plan didn’t succeed, if he returned to his workaholic ways when it was over, she’d at least know she tried.

Author bio and links

Doug Walsh made his fiction debut with Tailwinds Past Florence, a road-tripping love story with a magical twist, inspired by the two years he spent cycling the world. The novel was a prizewinner in the PNWA Literary Contest. He's also authored One Lousy Pirate, a travel memoir, and over one hundred officially-licensed video game strategy guides. Travel guides to fictitious places, as he likes to call them. Originally from New Jersey, he now lives and plays in the mountains of western Washington.

Web/Social Links

Purchase Links

Tailwinds Past Florence is available at the following locations.

Protest in favor of the climate

For the fourth time, young people (high school students most of them) are marching through the streets of Brussels in their weekly protest to seek a solution for the climate.

While their number increases week by week, the general attitude towards them is changing. A major newspaper took a poll some days ago, and the results are in today's edition.

Most of the public is for climate changes - as long as they don't cost them anything. Also most of them think the students should better go to school and try to make changes starting by themselves. We all want green energy, but it shouldn't cost more than we pay now (we do pay a whole lot for our energy here in Belgium). We want to reduce the CO2 fumes, but we don't want to part with our car(s). And a number of people is getting bored with all this news about the climate;

That's people for you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New winter offense coming up

Right now the sun is shining after some minus zero temperatures last night. According to those who predict the weather, it'll stay like this until late afternoon, when clouds are blowing in - and they bring a lot of snow.

So I went to the shops earlier this morning and bought enough to last a couple of days. We still have lots of things in the freezer, so I needn't all that much - it fit nicely in my caddy. In case it becomes worse than expected, we can do without going out. (Well, don't, my poor sister has to face the elements when going to work.)

And I am very lucky to have a nice neighbor who cleans up the pavement before my house when the snow stops falling. Willy always does that, he also takes care of the house when we are not at home. That's the advantage of having lived in the same house, the same street all your life. You know the people who live there as well. Not so many left of the ones we knew when we were kids, though. By now we are the longest living here in our street. Almost 63 years in my case, and for my sister 58.

I like snow, but not here in Flanders. Here it just makes a mess. No, I prefer the snow in the ski areas. There it doesn't melt and they don't use salt on the roads.

What about you?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Youth for Climate

Three Thursdays in a row, a lot of secondary school students have been skipping their lessons and been protesting for the climate in Brussels, just like in other European countries. First they were with 3500, then with 13000 and last time with 35000.

I think they'd better go to school. Obviously they don't realize that by skipping your lessons you run the risk of not getting your A-attest, allowing you to pass to the next year. And what does protesting help? The politicians won't really listen.

As individuals we can do little to reduce the CO2 exhaust. Those kids who now protest every Thursday, how do they come to school? Most of them by car! They'd better start there. Say no when your parents wants to take out the car, and use a bike or go by train. Also at home, you can start by reducing the number of showers you take - some people take twice a day. And don't let all the lights burn in those spaces where you aren't.

We learned as kids to mind our living environment. We were taught to put any trash where it belonged, we selected the waste and took it to the container park, used our legs and our bike to get to places - still do, by the way. It's been a long time ago we had a car. You find out you don't really need it. You can reach every place by using public transport. When you have to run errands, only bring what you can carry and go ofter to the shops - it's good for your health. I'm quite fit for my age.

Last thing, we don't really know about the climate. Yes, there are changes, but are they caused by human actions or by something else? Remember that in the thousands years before we went from tropical times to ice times. Several sort of animal, like the dino's, just disappeared. Who can tell if the same isn't happening now?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Avoiding a shiner ... or worse

This week it was snowing here in Flanders. And as it is, some people NEVER clear the pavement before their houses. On my way to the town center, I have to pass a few meters where people refuse to shove away the snow. That makes it very dangerous there, as people walk through it from pavements which have been cleaned and where salt was spread out. Sometimes the midday temperature goes up to just above zero and then it thaws a little bit.

As I fell twice last year (around Easter and the other time during autumn) and had twice a blue face and once even a cracked lung, I don't look out to fall another time if I can avoid it. Just read in the newspaper that a man has died from a fall on an icy spot yesterday!

Therefore I've looked into the contents of ours two freezers and found enough to produce decent meals for two days and I did not have to leave the house to run errands. Here at my own terrace it's quite safe, as I made a  snow-free path to the shed as soon as possible. And today my sister is bringing along some errands. She'll stop working a bit earlier and go to a shop nearby. She's a bit sturdier on her feet and doesn't often fall. I always did - no sense of equilibrium.

It's supposed to be above zero today and tomorrow it would be even some 6-7° Celsius. That should melt the lasting snow and hopefully we can get out safely again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Other Woman

Today my guest is Eve Rabi, author of The Other Woman, a romantic suspense, contemporary romance available now. She's currently doing a virtual blurb blitz tour (started January 14th and goes on until February 1st).

Eve will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes&Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:


Question: A seductress steals your husband, rips apart your family and shatters your dreams.
a) Wish them luck, and walk away with your head held high (because that’s what society expects you to do)?
b) Quietly seethe, but accept that there is just nothing you can do about it (because it easier for everyone if you do nothing)?
c) Dig up dirt on the bitch (because someone like this would undoubtedly have dirt), use it to sabotage their relationship, then sit back with a glass of Pinot Grigio and watch them burn? 
Answer: C. Oh, totally C. .......................
Meet Scarlett Smyth. She’s drop-dead gorgeous, has a rocking body and has an above average IQ. She brags that she can ensnare any husband or taken male, and …she often does. She also is ambitious and has a penchant for anything expensive.
When the shrewd and ambitious temptress lays eyes on Bradley Murdoch, she believes she has found her dream man and a ticket to the high life she’s entitled to. There are just two problems:
1) Bradley is married to Rival. Happily at that.
2) They have children. Adorable little girls.
Do those facts deter Scarlett in any way? No, not at all. She is determined to steal Bradley, smoothly replace Rival in his life and show him how to really live life.
In a calculating move, the seductress (she is so good at seduction, she is even penning a book on it) befriends the quiet and unassuming Rival and worms her way into Bradley’s life.  There’s more: To expedite things, Scarlett the mistress, engineers a way to wipe Rival out of the picture - sends the clueless wife on a “vacation”.
But Scarlett may have underestimated her opponent. When Rival realizes the extent of the betrayal, she decides, even though she lacks Scarlett’s genius IQ, not to turn the other cheek. In fact, she is determined to win back her husband, believing that he is a good man who is simply mistaking lust for love. She believes that someone like Scarlett has to have skeletons in her cupboards and she begins to snoop around, anything she can use against the other woman, anything that can help her exact revenge.
What Rival doesn’t realize is: no one takes on Scarlett - no one dares. The betrayed wife and the other woman collide. The result is another gripping suspense thriller from best selling author Eve Rabi. If you've enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins, books by Marian Keyes and Liane Moriarty, you will enjoy this 'suspenseful, romantic and entertaining tale of love, lust and revenge.'


The Mistress:

I have an IQ of one hundred and sixty-six. To Forrest Gump, that would make me “awfully clever.” To others, I’d be a bloody genius! I’m charming, easy on the eye, can boast a private school education, and I have not one, but two university degrees. Soon I’ll be able to add Best Selling Author to my list of aptitudes, as I am writing a book that is guaranteed to be a hit.
Impressed? You ought to be. It isn’t every day that you find an inspiring all-rounder like me. However, the above aren’t really my strengths. My real strength is my confidence. Let me tell you, nothing is more commanding than the elusive trait of true confidence, which I have been gifted with. It has made me who I am – the kind of kind of woman who goes wrecking-ball hard after what she wants, and gets it.

Me tooting my own horn? No. I’ll tell you why. I have a tale to tell that will blow that mind of yours. A tale based on my unwavering drive, my steely determination, and my ability to transcend hurdles to achieve my desires and wants. 

You will be regaled, you will be enthralled; you will want to jump out of your seat and applaud. Not only that, but I will be totally honest and upfront about every single thing, and in the process, you will receive an education too. Guaranteed.

So, sit back, kick back, grab a bottle of Pinot Grigio and listen up, ‘cause this is your lucky day – you’re going to learn a thing or two from a pro. 

Author bio and links

Eve Rabi is a screenwriter and author of 33 romantic crime and suspense novels. Inspired by the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Gillian Flynn, her tales are bold, scandalous, controversial and often humorous. To quote an Amazon reviewer: When you pick up an Eve Rabi book, forget sleep. She writes gripping page turners that will keep you reading till the very end. If you’re bored of regular romance, if you like your romance with twists and turns, if you prefer your crime novels to have strong romantic themes, then you will enjoy Eve Rabi’s multi-genre books. In her spare time, Eve likes to dance like no one is watching. She also likes to eat like no one is watching. That's why she has to dance so often. 

Amazon: U.K.:
Amazon U.S.
Google +:
The book is on sale for $0.99.
Links to The Other Woman
Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
Amazon Aus:

Amazon Ca:

Monday, January 21, 2019

Trouble in pharma-land

Today, our major national newspaper headlettered that Social Security has paid 120 million for medicines which should only cost 10 million...

They have done an investigation into the pharmaceutical sector. Some of the big companies sell medicine that are in fact old ones, but have ingredients which could be used for other purposes, such as the battle against cancer. AND they sell them of course for a much higher price... Some companies even have a monopoly on a certain substance - which they can then sell against absurd high prices. For instance, a substance that would cost like 100 dollar to produce would go up to a selling price of 12,000 $!

This causes of lot of anger. Here in Belgium we have a good system, which pays back most of the costs of illness. I don't even have to pay anything for my cancer medication, because it's a recognized severe illness. The big companies take advantage of this system, by making social security pay way more than is due.

Some people want to take action against this but minister Maggie De Block is not quite convinced. She fears that, if action is undertaken, the pharmaceutical industry will stop doing research - research that is needed to produce new medicine and new cures against severe illnesses.

We'll see how it goes...

Friday, January 18, 2019

It's getting cold

This morning, it was a lot colder than the previous days. Up to now we haven't really had any winter. Just grey skies and sometimes rain. Temperatures around 10° Celsius.

When I left the house to do my errands however, there was ice on the puddles left from yesterday's rainshower. And the temperature was -1°. Not that cold, but I was glad I was wearing a woollen scarf and warm socks!

The weather institute expects more cold for the following week. A bit of winter at last. When it's freezing, it's okay for me. I can stand the cold, just as the sun. The only thing I don't like is moisture. When it rains, I often feel cold even when the temperature is up. I need dryness. Dry cold or dry warmth. Moisture gets into my bones.

What about you?

Monday, January 14, 2019

For Her Honor

Please welcome Holly Bush today. Holly is the author of For Her Honor, a historical romance available as of January 8th from Holly Bush Books. To promote her novel, Holly is doing a virtual blurb blitz tour (which runs from January 7th to February 1st) and she will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes&Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour.


1873 – Adam Gentry, heir to the celebrated Paradise Stables in Virginia, is haunted by the visions of his lost love. Feeling cursed by fate, he slips deeper into grief, shrouded in a cloud of liquor and depression, and neglects his duties and responsibilities. But when Adam is forced to accept that there’s nothing he can do to change his past, he knows he must move on.
And he accepts his own destiny: that he will never love again. Emmaline Somerset finds herself in the worst possible position any unmarried woman can be in. She will have to abandon all of her plans, hopes, and dreams for an independence using her own talents. The only viable solution is to move to a distant relative’s home and reinvent herself as a widow with an infant. No one will ever be the wiser.
Adam, now determined to secure the Gentry legacy, plans to save longtime family friend Emmaline from her embarrassment with an offer of marriage. But what Adam didn’t plan on was how his unexpected attraction to her would stir something inside of him, something he's kept locked deep within.
Can love finds its way between two troubled souls, one driven by duty, the other by honor, both determined to find their way home?


“Must have been so engrossed in what I was doing last night, I didn’t realize I’d had a bit too much to drink. Thanks for the coffee,” Adam Gentry said and took another tentative sip.

Jim Somerset dropped down on his haunches, putting him at eye level with Adam. He shook his head.

“Most nights you manage to stumble up the steps, but last night I carried you up here over my shoulder as I have done four times over the last two weeks.”

“Should have just let me sleep wherever I was.”

Jim shook his head again. “Mrs. Gentry and my wife don’t care for that much. They think you should be in your bed.”

Adam looked at the clock on the table. Nearly noontime. “They should just let me alone,” he said with a shrug.

“I do my best to keep them away from you. I chased Livie from the library last night before I hauled your ass up the steps. Unfortunately, your mother heard me coming down the hallway and opened her door. She offered to see to you. I told her I’d take care of things, thinking you’d not want your mother yanking off your pants at your age.”

Jim didn’t talk much. That trait had nearly kept him from marrying Livie, his being too hardheaded and taciturn for a decade to tell her that he was mad about her. When he did string together a sentence or three it was of some importance.

Author bio and links

Holly Bush writes historical romance set in the the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and an occasional Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 

Connect with Holly at and on Twitter @hollybushbooks and on Facebook at Holly Bush.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New year, new travel plans

We're just home from Mexico and we are already thinking of what to do next! While most of our plans for 2019 were already made last year (and trains, planes, hotels etc. have been booked) we are again thinking of what to do in the next Christmas holidays.

Originally we thought of going to one of the Baltic countries over Christmas. But recently my sister saw a post on Instagram of someone skiing in Hokaido, Japan. She looked it up and so the idea came to us of perhaps going to Japan instead of Estland or Letland. They have powder snow in Hokaido, just like in the Rockies. And skiing is fun! We haven't been doing it while Chris had an accident in Switzerland some years ago and she was afraid of going back. But now she's slowly getting over it. I suppose it will be okay as long as you don't overdo it.

Will have to think this idea over in the coming days! Also need checking up on airfares etc. for Jordan - we'd like to do that in 2020 during the Easter break.

It's great fun checking out future destinies. We can occupy ourselves for hours with it. What about you?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First scan of this year

Yesterday, I had to be at the hospital for my first scan of this year. As a cancer patient, you need to take scans every 3-4 months. This is to see how everything goes, if the medicine is still effective. Now it is waiting for the result. I suppose it will be like this for the rest of my life.

With all these check-ups, I guess I'm living in a much healthier way than most. I mind what I eat and drink (although I allow myself some liberties, like having an icecream or eating pancakes, savoring a glass of wine) and I walk and bike a lot. Apart from being a cancer patient (which I'll always be, even if the tumor is gone) I'm fit and full of energy. I don't allow cancer to dominate my life. It's there, but all is going well, so why bother?

Must say the hospital is becoming something of a second (wait, that should be third) home to me! I spend so much time there that if feels like home. This afternoon I'll have to go once more, to have my blood checked. This is to see how my liver, one kidney etc. are doing. Last time the results were very good, hope it is again like that. I must mind not have too much cholesterol or sugar in my blood, because I only have one kidney and I must keep it in good working order.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Picture Not Perfect

Please welcome D.E. Haggerty today. She is doing a virtual book blast tour to promote Picture Not Perfect, a romantic suspense novel available January 21, 2019.

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:


A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?


“Ms. Hanson, please have a seat.” Detective Meyer motioned to a chair before setting a bottle of water on the table in front of it. Then, he sat down and placed a file on the table in front of him. His partner remained standing in the corner of the room near the door. Mel started to stomp her way to the chair before remembering someone was probably watching and recording whatever she did and said in the room. She firmed her jaw before slowly walking to the chair and sitting down. 

She took a few gulps of water before asking, “Is this where you finally tell me what’s going on?” 

Instead of answering her question, the detective pulled a picture out of the file and put it on the table in front of her. “Do you know this man?” 

Mel picked up the picture. “Sure. It’s Alfred Schultz. He’s a social sciences teacher at the high school where I’m a guidance counselor.” She handed the picture back to the detective. “Why?” 

Again, he ignored her. He pulled out a series of pictures and laid them on the table in front of her. Mel looked down and gasped at what she saw. Every single picture was of her. “What in the world are you doing with these? What is going on?” 

“These are pictures we found in Mr. Schultz’s apartment.” 

“What?” Why would Alfred have pictures of her in his apartment? They weren’t friends. Was he following her? She shivered. The man’s creepiness level just skyrocketed. “What’s going on?” 

“That’s what we’d like to know,” Detective Davis replied from her position leaning against the wall. 

Mel’s hands shook as she gathered the pictures together and handed them back to the detective. She needed to calm down. Freaking out wouldn’t get her any answers. She forced herself to remember her yoga training. Calming breaths. She could do this. Deep breath in through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Again. Breathe in. Breathe out. 

“What was your relationship with Mr. Schultz?” 

“We don’t really have a relationship. We’re colleagues. He’d like more, but …” she trailed off. Wait a second! Her mind rewound on his words. “Was? Did you say was?” She gulped. “What happened?” 

“Mr. Schultz was found dead in his home yes—” His words were cut off by Detective Davis clearing her throat.  

Mel gasped. “Found dead? Is that cop-speak for murdered?” At the detective’s nod, her mouth dropped open. “How? Why? Who?” 

“We were hoping you could answer those questions for us,” Detective Davis answered. She was no longer casually leaning against the wall but now stood with her arms crossed over her chest staring down at Melanie.  

“Me? Why would I be able to answer those questions for you?” In response, Davis merely tilted her head towards the pictures. 

The pieces of the puzzle clicked together, and she finally realized what was going on. She jumped from her chair. “Holy moly! You think I had something to do with his death!”

Author bio and links

In her own words:

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book. 
Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel. 

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Back from Mexico

We're back from our trip to Mexico. Br, the cold here! It was sunny and warm during our stay and then when you return to winter it's quite a shock. My sister has a heavy cold and spends her days sniffing and blowing her nose.

But it's been a great trip. It's always nice to be able to discover new parts of the world, get to know other cultures. That's the main reason why we like to travel. We are not so much for lounging at a beach or near a swimming pool. No, we'd rather see something of the country we visit.

This year there won't be any big trips scheduled, but we'll be away quite a bit in Europe. We plan to visit places in France, the Netherlands, Italy and one of the Baltic states. And then of course the usual trips to London. Next year we'll do an international trip once more, most likely to Jordan.

Next week or so I'll be posting our travel experiences on my travel blog. We'll have great pictures, so watch out!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone who reds this blog a happy 2019. Wishing you all the best, and most importantly a good health.

We're still in Mexico and right now relaxing at the pool of the rancho. We're staying at Rancho Las Cascades, San Agustin Buena Vista. Nice place and great riding! Unfortunately, this is our last full day at the ranch. Tomorrow night We're flying back to Europe.