Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Please vote for Covert Identity!

I got an e-mail from Ind'Tale Magazine today, saying my cover for Covert Identity has been chosen for a contest. Please vote! :-)

The cover is made by Taria Reed, and the book published with Desert Breeze Publishing.

To vote, follow this link: http://indtale.com/polls/creme-de-la-cover-contest

And, you're looking for this:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What to do now?

After everything that happened, it's too soon to make any major life decisions. But, I must admit I've been longing to go home for quite some time. I miss my country. Florida is hot, muggy, and crowded. Sometimes I think there are more cars in this city than in all of Sweden.

I do like Cat Depot. I like the people at Cat Depot - I have some really great friends there - and naturally the cats at Cat Depot. What else... I like that gas is cheap, and I really like Hazelnut coffee. Gas in Sweden has always been expensive, and unless it made a leap across the ocean in the last couple of years, we do not have hazelnut coffee.

Not sure those things are enough to keep me in a foreign country.

One of my friends asked what exactly I miss. I think she expected me to answer my family or my friends. Of course I miss my mom and my friends. I have some fantastic friends in Sweden.

But, thanks to modern technology, it's possible to keep in touch even with an ocean in between. If and when I move back there, I will miss the friends I had here, and hopefully keep in touch with them too.

I want Swedish culture. I miss the things everyone do around the holidays - our holidays. I miss the taste of Swedish food. I miss vacations and paid holidays. And, I miss the Swedish spirit. It's difficult to explain, but it's the difference between staying to the side in an aisle in the grocery store, making sure you're not in other peoples' way, or running others down with your cart just because you can.

On the other hand, Sweden is cold, dark, and snowy. Sometimes an entire summer rains away. If I move back, I will lose a lot of my English, which will make being a writer more difficult.

Going through Mike's things and fixing up the house will take time. Listing it for sale will also take time. After that, I guess we'll see what happens. Going home and moving my pets home would require a fair amount of money. I am concerned that once I get there I won't like it at all and want to go back here - that could happen.

Decisions, decisions...

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm a widow

When I was a little girl, I imagined a widow as a very old person with wrinkly face, body bent by time, and arthritic hands. In my mind, widows always wore layers of black, and clutched their black veils.

I never imagined it to be me.

A couple of days ago, it happened anyway.

Five-year-old me would have found 44 quite old, but still not old enough to fit her stereotype. 44-year-old me feels I'm decades too young for this. Relationships start and end, it happens all the time, but usually not like this.

Predictably, my feelings are a roller-coaster. Mike spent the last couple of months in the hospital, at hospice, and in a nursing home, and that makes it easier. I was already getting used to him not being here. I still expect him to show up at any moment, or send a text.

Whenever something share-worthy happens, my first instinct is still to snap a photo and send it to him. It will take a long time before that passes.

There is grief of course, and relief. No one should have to suffer pain like he did. He was sick for years, in pain for years.

From time to time I'm angry with him, for many different reasons, and that makes me feel guilty - you're not really supposed to be angry with people who are dead. I'm guessing all this is normal.

I'm spending the week hiding at Cat Depot. It's my favorite hiding spot, filled with friendly cats and people who act normal. I wasn't going to, but when people started texting me about getting Mike's things mere hours after he passed, I decided going to work was the perfect excuse not to have to deal with anyone.

Some people have shown up with lists of items they feel entitled to, because at some point in time Mike mentioned they could have this or that. Of course I'll share memories of him and stuff doesn't mean all that much to me, but maybe give me a couple of days to re-find my footing?

Also, I'm not sure I'm willing to give away the few things he had that are worth actual money when he left me with tens of thousands of dollars in bills. Saying how this expensive item has a great sentimental value to you doesn't give you any points when I'm selling everything I have - items I've had for decades and brought to America from Sweden - to try to catch up.

Oops, guess anger showed its ugly face again.

Mike's family have arranged a get together for Friday. After that, I intend to cuddle my pets. After that, not sure.

I guess I can do whatever I want - it will take some time getting used to that too.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Sorcerer - it's here!

My new book is here! Yippee! I'm very excited about this one.  The Sorcerer is available as e-book now, and should be out as paperback in a few days. 


Blurb:



When Anne accepts a job in a German boarding school for gifted children, her main concern is surviving without California’s sunshine and beaches. She doesn’t anticipate anything more dangerous than getting lost in an unfamiliar place. Nowhere does her work description mention three men betting on who will get her into bed first, or being rescued by the reclusive math teacher David Lindeman, a man her new friends claim is evil incarnate.

The old castle houses many secrets, and as days go by Anne finds it increasingly difficult to separate reality and superstition. She becomes a reluctant participant in an ancient battle between good and evil, and to survive, she must channel a power from deep within herself she could never have imagined. Who can she trust in a world where myths become real and nothing is what it seems?

Excerpt: 


"Go back that way. The third door to the left leads to an old staircase. Be careful, the wood is old. It will take you to a back room in the archive. I'm sure you can find your way from there."
It wasn't the way she came in, but that didn't matter. 
She caught a glimpse of the other man's face over David's shoulder. He stared at her in a strange way, like a famished person who sees food for the first time in days.
"Thank you, Professor. I wish there were a GPS version of you. You're the only one around here who gives directions that make sense."
"Yes, I'm quite wonderful. Now go."
She took a couple of steps, but paused and glanced back. David held his position between her and the other man, and she could swear she saw glowing red eyes behind him.
"Maybe you should come with me?"
"Just go."
He hadn't raised his voice, but he didn't need to. She heard the urgency anyway and hurried along the corridor as fast as she could without running. 
Behind her, she heard David's voice. "No. She is not for you."
The reply sounded more like an animal than a person, and she broke out in a full run.
First door, second door, third door...
The wood was crooked and swollen, and for a panicked moment she didn't think the gateway to safety would open.
David's voice reached her from a distance. "...and I said, 'No.'"
Sounded like a battle of wills. Hopefully, the creepier guy wouldn't win.
She gave one final hard tug and the door squeaked open. When she pulled it shut behind her she thought she heard someone shout.
Just the old hinges and your imagination.
One part of her claimed she should go back and see if David was alright.
A bigger part said she should listen to him and get a move on. If she could open the door, others could too. Other... things.
She stood in a small space barely lit by a dusty bulb. A narrow wooden staircase led upwards, into darkness. 
He wasn't kidding. This thing is ancient.
She scaled it one step at a time like a little girl, testing her weight on each step before relying on it. A couple squeaked too much or felt like they would give way, and she took a large step over them.
The spiders in the corners appeared the size of kittens.
Nothing approached from behind, but she kept glancing back, hearing imaginary footsteps.
It took a long time to get to the archive and from there to the ground floor.

Click here to see the book on Amazon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Interesting neighborhood development

If you follow me you've probably seen an extensive amount of whining about my teenage neighbors. They've been up to a lot o no good. I thought they were just annoying, I've assumed they were young and didn't think their actions through. I might have been mistaken.

This evening, I left my house to go visit the husband in the nursing home. Right across the road from my gate stood an unmarked police car. I thought that was odd, because the neighbors who live there are really nice and quiet.

Turning my head ever so little, I saw half a dozen more police cars. Lots of officers with bullet proof vests and masks, and the neighbor kids being dragged away in handcuffs.

I don't know what they did, but it must have been something significantly more than annoying me. There were a lot of deputies.

The youngest boy smirked and seemed to think this was the most amusing thing that could ever happen. The officers did not seem to appreciate that. The older boy's face was set in stone. I always kind of liked him, because he tried to take care of their dogs and keep his friends quiet. One time he helped me gather up another neighbor's Great Danes and fix their fence so the fur-kids wouldn't get out again.

Now I'm worried about their dog. I don't know if anyone remains in the house, but she did come by my place and I gave her a bowl of food. Then, she went home and jumped the gap in their fence. Guess I'll have to keep an eye on that, in case no one takes care of her now.

Getting another dog is the last thing on my to-do list, but if no one else cares for her...?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

They shot my house!

When I bought my house and moved in around three years ago, this was one of the calmest areas in the city. It still would be if it wasn't for the teenage neighbors across the street. I have thought - and still think - they're pretty good kids at heart. They're just teenagers, and don't think the next step when they do something.

Like, if I leave the gate open, my dog will run out and I will lose it, having to go around the neighborhood calling for it at 2:30 in the morning, which will tick off all my neighbors who are sleeping.

You know, that kind of thing.

Lately they got a BB rifle. BB rifles are fun, I love shooting them myself. Though, since I've reached an age of well over 40 I realize that if I miss my target the BB will keep going and hit something further down the road. Thus, only fire airguns - and other weapons - in a secure area.

The neighbors haven't quite reached that level of awareness. Lately they've shot my car - I had to get a new windshield on Monday - and my house. There's a big hole in one of my office windows.

How do I know it was made by a BB?

Well, I found it.

How do I know they did it?

I've seen them with a BB rifle. No one else along the street plays with one.

Naturally, they're mostly out and about when I'm not, so I put a note on their fence asking them to please pretty please stop shooting in my direction and explaining that I can't afford to keep fixing stuff they break. Besides nuisances they're up to a mailbox, a tail light on my car, a windshield, and now a house window.

Yes, I did talk to the Sheriff's office too, and they started a file. I don't want to press charges against the kids just yet, I don't think going to juvie will make a thoughtless 15-year old or whatever age they might be any better, but the deputies did promise to put the neighborhood on their list for increased patrols. Hopefully things will calm down on their own.

Keeping fingers crossed for nothing more being destroyed, and for a calm 4th of July holiday.

Other weird stuff, this showed up in my yard the other day. It was on the lawn, packed in saran wrap.
I take it as evidence that more of my neighbors than just the kids are dingbat crazy.


If you made a sermon you're so proud over that you want to spread it, maybe it would be a good idea to write who you are. I mean, how else will I know who to thank or follow or whatever? I guess it might be mentioned in the sermon, but I'm not putting that thing into my equipment. It could be anything.

It's probably completely harmless, an over enthused religious person preaching about Natalie Wood and whatever, but in an area where people shoot your house, better safe than sorry.
SaveSave

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Sorcerer, coming soon!

Life has put up a good fight against writing lately, too much going on, but I accomplished something: the final round of edits for The Sorcerer are done and submitted!

I am very excited about this book and I hope you will be too. To be released early July.

Blurb:

When Anne accepts a job in a German boarding school for gifted children, her main concern is surviving without California’s sunshine and beaches. She doesn’t anticipate anything more dangerous than getting lost in an unfamiliar place. Nowhere does her work description mention three men betting on who will get her into bed first, or being rescued by the reclusive math teacher David Lindeman, a man her new friends claim is evil incarnate.

The old castle houses many secrets, and as days go by Anne finds it increasingly difficult to separate reality and superstition. She becomes a reluctant participant in an ancient battle between good and evil, and to survive, she must channel a power from deep within herself she could never have imagined. Who can she trust in a world where myths become real and nothing is what it seems?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Weird events around my house

I live on a corner lot and my house is fenced in on all four sides. I didn't plan it like this, the house had the fence when I moved in, but I like it. It's great for the dogs, and normally enough to keep unwanted solicitors and religious people wanting to spread the good word away from the front door.

Across the road from me lives a group of unsupervised teenagers. I think they might have an adult living there right now, but they've been alone a large part of the spring. They're sweet kids, but they're also teenagers, and from time to time strange things happen.

Like, one day when I came home to a yard filled with softballs.

For the longest time they didn't have anyone driving, so they would walk to the store, take a cart back, and leave it at my house. Annoying, and if someone dumps a cart a day outside your gate, you get a lot of them quickly.

I went to talk to the kids about it, and they were understanding.

A couple of days later, there was a stack of baskets instead.

Annoying, but also really, seriously funny!

Not so funny was the day when they played football on the road and ruined one of the rear lights on my car along with my mailbox, but that's another story.

This fine evening something else strange happened. I visited Mike in the hospital, went to the store, and came home right after eight. Here in Florida, that's late enough to be getting dark. I was preoccupied by a discussion at the hospital - they want to set up a hospice thing for him in my house and I really don't want that - so I didn't pay attention at first. I let the dogs out and put the groceries away.

When I went back outside to call the dogs, I decided to walk around the house. On a tree in the middle of the yard hung a long, white shoelace. In order to get there, someone must have jumped the fence.

Admittedly, it could have been dropped by a bird, but it was so neat.

Back home I wouldn't have paid much attention to it. I would have assumed the bird-theory was correct. After eight years in the USA, surrounded by gangs and dog fighting rings, and being fed conspiracy theories through the Internet, I'm significantly more paranoid.

And, in my defense, I'm a bit rattled after losing my Bonnie just days ago and Mike ending up in the hospital. The doctors say he's on the last stretch.

I called the dogs inside, muttering, "If you want to steal my dogs you'll have to deal with one armed and bad-ass momma," locked the door, went to get my gun, and called the Sheriff's office.

I said, "I feel like an idiot even saying this, but I have to ask... Is this a sign or something? You know, all the crap one reads on the Internet about dog thieves and such has made me paranoid."

We have the best deputies you can imagine, and none of the people I talked to laughed, even though I really felt like an idiot voicing my concern. They also knew nothing about a shoe-lace gang. We have many, many, many gangs in this city, but none is known for using shoe-laces. Haha.

I'm thinking, either it really was a bird, or the kids dared each other to enter the yard. I'll still keep an extra eye on things for a while. Just in case there are puppy-stealing, shoe-lace-wielding maniacs out there.