Sunday, April 28, 2019

Justice Gone

Please welcome author N. Lombardi Jr. today. Mr. Lombardi is doing a virtual book blast tour for his legal thriller, Justice Gone, available as of February 22nd from Roundfire Publishing. The book tour will run from today until May 3rd.

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes&Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:


When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?


Justice Gone

In memory of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death by members of the Fullerton Police Department on July 5, 2011.

Chapter 1

Bruntfield, New Jersey, just another banal town in a part of the country that nobody thinks about, was about to become famous; or rather, more aptly put, infamous. People sauntered past lackluster shops unaware that in a few days, the lackadaisical streets would bear the rabid frustrations that divided the nation; a pus-like bitterness that was held in check by the demands of everyday survival and the distractions offered by obsessive consumerism and brazen media.

Some would inevitably blame the cascade of events on the weather, since the origins could be found on a hot summer day in 2006. Sure, just about all summer days are hot, but this one was close to the record, and humid to boot. By the end of July, the Northeast coast was suffering under a sweltering heat wave. Despite the humidity, no one could remember the last time it had rained. A hundred-year drought was predicted, they’d said.

Bruntfield, among the many places under this curse, had its water supply so severely depressed that the city authorities were forced to impose water rationing. As if that wasn’t enough, the excessive load on air conditioners led to incessant brownouts. With the weather nothing less than insufferable, suffocating, oppressive, even provoking, tempers flared along with the temperature. But the local situation, as bad as it was, was about to get worse.

Author bio and links

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years. 
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his Goodreads page:

Buy links:
Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
Barnes and Noble:
Book Depository:
Waterstones :

Friday, April 26, 2019

Who (doesn't) love(s) chocolate?

I must confess, I have a weakness for chocolate. And I guess I'm not the only one! What's your favorite? Mine is dark chocolate, with or without hazelnuts. Yum!

Already as a baby I was thus inclined. I didn't like milk, but when grandma added chocolate to it, I drank it willingly. Her chocolate milk was the best in the world, I thought - and so did my friends, who gladly came to my house to enjoy this treat.

When I was about 14, I got infected with hepatitis after a trip to Romania. That was a big punishment for me, because I had to adhere to a strict diet, which included eating no chocolate (neither all the other things I loved...). That is when I learned to appreciate yoghurt and rice.

Just had a great period, that of Easter. Lots and lots of chocolate eggs available in the shops. I couldn't resists, I bought a big bag of them and each time we had coffee, we took a chocolate egg along with it. A pity this period passed and we'll have to wait until St. Martin (or St. Nicholas) in November-December before there comes another excuse to lose yourself in a little sin.

Of course I have to be careful with what I eat, can't raise my sugar levels in the blood too much, but I've noticed that a little (dark) chocolate doesn't do any harm. Good to know!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Please welcome author Russell today. Russell's doing a virtual name before the masses tour for Derrick, a thriller of horror, suspense, mystery and LGBT available now. This tour will take every Wednesday for 16 weeks - it began on Wednesday February 27th.

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


In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening. 

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar… 

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered. 

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.  

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything. 

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a  killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.


Alarmed, the woman’s eyes opened. Her nerves twitched slightly, as if an electric shock rattled her body.

Instantly, an eerie darkness consumed her, and an unusual stillness blanketed her surroundings.

Where am I? the woman wondered.

With her instinctual medical training, she began immediately diagnosing her own condition: blurry vision, raspy breath, citrus acidic taste at the back of her throat, and weak muscles. The signs were a tell-all. She had been drugged. Most likely either clonazepam or estazolam.

As her thick braids fell in front of her eyes, she realized that her body was hanging in midair. Above her, a rope bound her hands. The burning strain in her deltoids ached deep into her lower back.

The air was unusually frigid. Her entire body was trembling. She looked down and realized she was completely naked.

Who took off my clothes? she thought, her mind racing with a fresh wave of panic.

All she could remember was getting home from a run in the cold rain of a late November day that had chilled her to the core. Since the presentation of her dissertation was only days away, she relieved the building stress with those exhilarating runs. They were especially liberating knowing that she had to head back to the university lab. Entering the darkened house, she had sworn she’d left the light on. She recalled a quick shadow slipping just behind her in her peripheral vision. She’d felt a sudden blow to head, had fallen against the wooden banister—

What day is it? The presentation was on Saturday. Did she miss it? A sense of dread engulfed her, then fear. All the seemingly endless months and years of planning her project, all the meetings with that arrogant, dimwitted professor, all those countless hours in the lab…it would all be for nothing. Most importantly, all the sacrifices she’d made with her family, spending so much time away from her daughter—and well, her husband too— would be just a waste.

Some time ago, I asked Russell what brought him to writing. This is his answer:

THANK YOU for Having Me! 

I must share some exciting news with all of you!
My new book, DERRICK, just won in 2018 New Apple Literary Awards Contest as Official Selection in Psychological Suspense. I am completely surprised, flattered and humbled by the honor!
Also to add, GAVIN (Part 1 of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy) won 2017 New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards as Official Selection in Horror. 

In my youth, I had a knack for spinning a tale. Because my family moved around quite a bit, my talent for telling stories grew more as the new set of friends began to know me. I would describe malevolent narratives of missing people captured in the basement of nearby houses, specters or ghouls haunting the school or even crawling malformed creatures in the shadows that grab children in order to bring them back into the depths of sewers. Seriously, I always had a dark imagination! Truly, it wasn’t until I read my first ‘grown-up’ book--Cujo by Stephen King--which I grasped the concept of being a writer, and desired to conjure up an equally terrifying story. Plus, it’d be awesome to have my name on the cover! Even then, I realized I had to drop my last name: My god, it’d take up too much space… ;) 
 As an adolescent, I attempted writing: Really premature renderings of dialogue, descriptions and scenes paved my wave into larger pieces. In college, I did take creative writing, but I found it to be too structured for me.  In my twenties, I wrote my first manuscript—not exactly a great piece of literature—and then buried it. Will it ever come to the surface one day? Perhaps. 
 Anyway, the sense of accomplishment catapulted me into writing The Tale of Old Man Fischer, which took me a long time to write and edit. Frankly, I never really told anyone in my family (and even my friends) that I wrote books. When Old Man Fischer hit the shelves, they were
absolutely flabbergasted! Attending Graduate School and completing my thesis further ignited the writer in me. In essence, I wrote GAVIN as a study break. Soon after, DERRICK was conceived.
 Currently, I am editing the final part of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy: QUINN. It will be definitely the end of the series…and maybe answer all the questions. Or not…we’ll see.  QUINN should be out next spring 2020. Taking a breather from Gavin’s world, I penned another piece called The Eradication Initiative. It’s about a group of strangers being hunted down, collected and brought back to an underground facility. But for what malicious purpose? Hmm, you’ll just have to wait until Late 2020.
 In my ‘downtime’ from editing QUINN, I am also writing a new untitled piece--a ghost story set in Up-State New York. I’ve only been writing snippets here and there because I’ve been scaring myself…even during full daylight! After that, I’m toying around another trilogy involving immortality. No, no, no, it’s not another overdone vampire series! My history geek side has been interested in Druid culture and history…and I’m formulating a beginning in my mind.
 So many thanks! Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

 Remember…Read to Escape! 

Author bio and links

Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Last day of the vacation

Later today we are heading home once more. Neighbor Willy looked after the house while we were away, like always. It's good to have great neighbors!

It was quite a strange holiday. The first week it was really cold, even colder than it was in February or March. Then this week, the weather turned and we were thrown into summer, with temperatures to match. We've been sunbathing on our terrace the last couple of days, getting the white of our skin.

Tomorrow, everything's back to normal routine. Chris to work, I getting some errands so we can eat and putting some laundry in the washing machine.  Luckily, it'll be weekend soon. And the following weekend we're spending in Antwerp. The town where our grandmother was born, so we like it very much. We're going to see a musical on Saturday night and we'll go dining in our favorite restaurant there, De Arme Duvel (the poor devil). Little place, very cosy, great food!

Shortly after that weekend, I'm having another scan. It needs to be done every 4 months now. Last one was ok, so I hope this one will be the same. I feel good, if that's something to reckon with.

Then general elections are coming up (that will be something, wonder how long it will take this time to form a government... last time it took over a year!). And shortly afterwards we go to Nice in France for a couple of days, followed by a stay in Rotterdam the week after.

Ok, I can live with this!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easter weekend coming up!

It's getting pretty busy here at the coast. Thousands of tourists are heading North Sea wise to enjoy the Easter weekend. Especially after the weather bureau predicted summer weather for the next couple of days. The sun is out in full glory and it was already nice and warm this morning when we went to the nearby supermarket to get our food for the day.

This afternoon we'll get the relax terras seats out of the (rented) storeroom and set them up at our terracce. I'm sure we'll be able to use them this weekend. Perhaps even have the first barbeque of the year.

I so do enjoy nice weather. Sun, lots of it. Not to go sunbathing, but when the sun is out it is ever so nice to go cycling or walking. And of course have a drink at our (very) big roof terrace...

And on Sunday, will the Easter rabbit bring us some chocolate? When our mother still lived, we could expect a treat on Easter morning. She always went to the baker's and bought some dark chocolate figurines for the three of us. Such a warm gesture!

So everyone, have a nice Easter weekend and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame de Paris

The seven o'clock TV journal yesterday evening came quite as a shock. The centuries-old Notre Dame cathedral of Paris was in flames!

Apparently, the fire started around 7 pm. Restoration work was going on at the moment and perhaps the cause lies there somewhere. Anyway, the fire caught on quickly and soon the entire roof was burning. This cathedral was built between the 13th and 14th century and withstood more than one disaster (among which the French revolution in 1789). But now fate struck. A banal accident, most likely.

The firebrigade worked tirelessly all night and by now the fire is contained. They were able to save the main structure of the cathedral. It's only the wooden roof and the high spire that were destroyed.

Already money is being gathered to start the restoration of this national monument for France. Let's hope it can come back to its original beauty!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Lazy weekend

Yesterday evening we went out dining at La Guera (restaurant in Knokke-Heist), which was like always a unique experience. Young chef Glen knows how to prepare meals! He dares to experiment with tastes and they always work. Like yesterday, we had asparagus and he added cheese (Oud Brugge) to the recipe. It tasted wonderful!

This morning, we take everything a bit slower. Lazy breakfast and a good cup of coffee. Later on today we'll make a walk (Chris is slowly getting better, now she can already walk for a while) and then watch the cycling Paris-Roubaix. A pity it doesn't rain, that makes it even better!

Tomorrow the last week of the break starts. Holidays are always over too quickly! Luckily, not long after the Easter break, we have planned a weekend in Antwerp and next we'll go to Nice in France - and the week after to Rotterdam (Holland).  Nice prospects!

Our grandmother being born in Antwerp, we both love the city and it's our favorite destination for a trip in our own country. We know the town quite well and I can even speak the dialect when I try.

The previous days, when Chris still couldn't walk a lot (sprained ankle) we kept ourselves busy looking for possible destinations in future years. For 2020 we already have fixed plans - going to South Africa in February (school break), to Sofia in Bulgaria (probably in summer) and to Morocco in autumn. Not to mention short trips to Antwerp or London! But now we looked at Japan, Chile, Uruguay, Australia... It makes great fun, even when you realize you won't ever make the trip. Don't you agree?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Accidents do happen

This time I wasn't the victim, though. My sister, who always warns me to look out (!) did not see the small pebble on which she slipped and smacked right on her face. It happened the day before yesterday. She has a bruised knee, a sprained ankle and some cuts on her right hand.

I've been accident free since last summer (2018). Fact is, that when I fall, I don't usually feel a lot of pain afterwards. I can walk around pain free even when half my face is blue. But Chris is always hindered by her injuries. Now she can barely walk and so we are condemmed to stay a lot inside although the weather is quite nice - a bit cold, but sunny.

Well, nothing can be done! I'm having some washing and drying done in the meantime. Being home means I can watch if nothing happens (we are on top of the building and the wind can be treacherous sometimes).

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Virgin Club

Please meet author Kayley Wood today. Kayley is having a virtual book blast tour for her contemporary romance, The Virgin Club (available as of March 19th). This tour begins on April 8th and goes on until April 12th.

During the tour, April will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes&Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Please use the following link to place your comment:


Challenge: Lose my virginity before my 24th birthday. Time Left: 23 days.

Appletinis, a semi-meltdown, and a ‘Lose My Virginity Challenge’ post. That's all it took for my little blog to go viral.

I’m going to be fine. I’m anonymous. I can just delete the post and pretend it never happened. No big deal, right?


My co-worker crush, Logan—gorgeous, yummy and out of my league—found out about my secret deadline-driven cherry popping quest.

Humiliated would be an understatement.

Fortunately, my besties come to the rescue with a brilliant plan that involves my trending blog. If all went smoothly, I'd not only win over the untouchable Logan but also live my dream of becoming a full-time writer.

The plan isn’t just brilliant, it's perfect… until my new boss, Alexander Freeman comes into the picture with his Brooks Brothers suit and Tom Ford briefcase.

So what if the Stiff is hot? I will not ruin my one chance with Logan or my dream career.

But I'm in more trouble than I originally thought.

Turns out Alex has a few intentions of his own and a huge secret I'm totally unprepared for.


Keeping to my inescapable what goes up, must come down philosophy, it seems only fitting that during my first job interview, I tripped over a cord and face-planted into someone’s desk, breaking my nose. You wouldn’t believe the amount of blood that can come out of your face. By the horrified gasps of those in the office and their reluctance to come anywhere near me, you would’ve thought I had transformed into a hideous zombie, unsteady on my feet, reaching out for help and gurgling through the faucet of red flowing out of my nostrils.

Thankfully, someone did eventually come to my rescue. With watering eyes and searing pain, and in a state of panic from the amount of blood on my shirt and hands, I could put girl power on the wayside. Adrenaline doesn’t give a crap about your sense of independence or not wanting someone to be your “savior.” It has only one job—survival.

I took his help without shame.

Although I couldn’t see his face through blurred vision, I still remember his voice, calming me and telling me that I’ll be fine and how he had had his nose broken twice. My heartbeat eventually slowed to a more normal rate as he waited with me for an ambulance. There’s something reassuring about having someone by your side who understands you. Someone who had been through it and was willing to go through it again with you.

I never got his name, and I sure as hell won’t go back for a second interview.

So if you’re out there, I just wanted to say thank you.

Author bio and links

Kayley has three simple rules in life:

1.         Surround yourself with some incredible, kick-ass women you call friends.

2.         Don’t worry about failure or mistakes. It’s how you respond to them that makes all the difference.

3.         An appletini is never complete without two cherries.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Sometimes my hair raises on end

When my hair wasn't already white, it would turn that color when I read certain things. Like this: nowadays it seems that all crooks have had a bad childhood, and that's why they became what they are.

Wrong! In my opinion is is not so much the environment that determines who'd you become, but your character. People with a strong character can overcome each condition they face.

Take my own family. On mother's side, no problems. They were a well-to-do middle class family who also had a warm family life. But my father was born in quite a different place. Both his parents were alcoholics, who spent every penny they had to booze. They also had seven kids and a dog... From those seven, only my father and the sister who came after him escaped this hell. They were determined to make a better life for themselves. When dad was not even 14, he went out working as an errand boy for the railway services. With the money earned he could at least fed his brothers and sisters.  His sister Lucy managed to finish her school and then met a young fella who worked for a painter. They married and soon afterwards Andre had his own company. They moved to West Flanders and started a family. They did well; their three kids all have a good job (the second eldest overtook the  company, another is a ITT specialist and the girl has a travel agency).

Gradually, my father worked up his way by taking exams and doing various courses. He then met my mother and he got very well along with her parents. They did not have any objection to their marriage. Dad ended up his career as station manager. Unfortunately, he did not become very old. He died aged 64 from a heart attack.

But you see, character means a lot. When we were kids, we were trained in this. We were taught about the world, about good and bad, and having a mind of our own. We still have. If I'd had kids of my own, I would have raised them in the same spirit.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Holidays coming up

It's almost time for the Easter break... Lots of people will be travelling to the sun - Brussels airport expects over1,2 million passengers on the busiest days. Last year and the year before we also took a trip; first to Argentina and next to the Emirates. This year we'll be staying at home for a change (we went to Mexico during the Christmas break).

Tomorrow I'll be leaving for the coast, and Chris is joining me later that day. She still has to work until 4 pm. Hopefully the weather will co-operate and we'll get some sun and not too much rain. The coast can be nice this time of year when the weather works along. Good for making long walks along the beach or into the hinterland, ride the bike when there is not too much wind, go to Bruges for a day, just name it.

It'll get busier after the Easter break. Then we have trips planned to Antwerp, Nice in France, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Brussels to start with. Later on we are also heading to Firenze, London, Leeds, Vienna and Bratislava.

And Easter is also a nice period. Lots of chocolate easter eggs... My favorite is black chocolate filled with hazelnut creme. What's yours?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lack of inspiration

I haven't been feeling all that well the last few days, and thus I don't really have an object to write about. Lack of inspiration!

Inspiration is a strange thing with me. It comes and goes as it likes. Sometimes, I'm into a flow and then I work out plots for various novels - and also write long chapters. That can last a year or even two. But then, there comes a time in which I find no fun at all in writing. Then I need to do something different.

It's been a while again since my last novel was published. That same year I began working on another plot - and it's still in its early stages. I just don't have the drive to continue. I also know I should write part 2 of the Medici Diamonds, and the first chapters are ready. I guess I still can't continue because I want this part to become as good as the first one.

I really have no clue when I'll feel the urge for writing once more. Is it because I got cancer? I don't know. I just hope I'll be able to finish at least those two books I started.