Saturday, September 1, 2018

Operation Earth is back!

Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. In the midst of chaos, Rachael Hill struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.

On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more planet on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.

Available for Kindle and as paperback now. :-)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Life when you're clumsy

This summer has been the hottest and driest I've experienced in Sweden. We had snow, about a week of spring, and then it became hot. All through summer, it rained maybe three times. This week, water has returned with a vengeance - it has been pouring down.

As a result, my back yard is now a slope of fresh grass and mud. Naturally, I still clomp out in garden slippers, and naturally I just experienced close contact with the ground.

I surprised myself with the amount of creative curses that flowed out of my mouth. Good thing no one else was close enough to hear.

Catching oneself with one's hands may be a natural instinct, but it isn't a good idea. I could hear something snap in my right hand. By now it's swollen and sad, and all activities including typing are one handed.

Five pets to tend to and just opening a can of cat food is near impossible. Work is out of the question.

I hope it will heal on its own - quickly - but there might be a trip to the doctor in my near future.

Bugger!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Coming soon - Operation Earth

I'm almost done with the re-edit of Operation Earth, and it will be re-published the first week of September.

I need to give it one more read through, and tweak the tag line. Funny thing how it's fairly easy to write an entire book, and nearly impossible to come up with that one sentence to describe it.

This is the new cover - what do you think? (The tag line at the top is more a place holder than anything - I need to come up with something catchier. The rest of the cover is the way it will be.)

Match is not a good match, lol

I've been married twice. Husband number one and I divorced, for several reasons. Husband number two passed away just over two years ago. While I am introverted and for the most part content with living in my own world with my pets, I also have a nagging feeling of, "It has been two years. If you don't act now, you might be alone forever."

A part of me thinks it would be nice to have someone to share things with. The other part points out how eccentric I am, and how much work it is to be in a relationship. The first part says, "You don't really think it will become easier because you wait longer, do you?" and the second part responds, "Can you really imagine a man in here? A man's things? Or, not doing what you want exactly when you want it?"

Most of the time, I end up agreeing with myself: If a really hot alien were to fall from the sky, or my soulmate were to show up on my doorstep, they can come in.

With the likelihood of those scenarions, odds are I'll remain on my own. The part of me that enjoys solitude also likes to point out that I'm settled in, I won't want to move, and a man would probably hit his head on my hobbit-height ceilings.

Somehow, the pro-relationship part still persuaded the other half of my brain to sign up for Match.com. "Just for a month" it said. The argument, "If nothing else, you'll know how it works in case you ever need it for a book" hooked the more reluctant part.

Thus far, it's a spectacular failure. All the people the site has suggested as good matches either look like they're axe murderers, or like they're at least thirty years older than I.

Isn't it a strange society we've created for ourselves? Browsing through faces on the phone or computer, going, "No, no, hell no, no, no, well, no, no..." And there are people doing it all over the world.

Good thing there are dogs and cats. :-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Friday, July 27, 2018

The thing about fighting evil? It keeps coming back.

As the sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, Steve Petersen is damaged goods. He is convinced that he left his sanity within the horror-filled walls that held him captive for the better part of a year. His mind is trapped in moments of graphic, soul-crushing flashbacks, and his only solace is the momentary reprieve he gains from alcohol and drugs.

When he mysteriously wakes in a bright and cheery bedroom that belongs to a woman he barely remembers meeting, he knows he should leave. He should save the widow Anna from his own special brand of crazy. Leaving is not as easy as one would think, and he finds himself drawn into a world of real life problems such as folding laundry, and what to make for dinner.

This new way of life eases his need for drowning his pain in substances and offers moments of quiet healing – until Anna disappears. To save her, Steve must face the demons that have tortured him for so long and return to the place where it all began. Afghanistan.


Flashback has been previously released by Desert Breeze Publishing. The new, re-edited edition will be re-released on August 1st 2018. It is available for pre-order now.

Excerpt:

Life outside could sure be exhausting. Anna went into the kitchen, and Steve rested his head back and closed his eyes. Listening to her hum a song, just a little out of tune as she loaded the coffee maker soothed his nerves.
A hard rattling sound made him open his eyes again. 
Gunshots, and they were close. 
Anna still sang, and she would be an easy target.
He ran through the apartment, making sure to stay away from the windows. Peeking around the corner, his beautiful fiancée was oblivious to the danger.
Women.
How did they survive?
He sprung out from his hiding place behind the wall, shoved her down on the floor, and threw himself over her. After all she did for him, protecting her with his own body was the least he could do.
Anna wheezed, clearly trying to draw a breath.
“Sssh, they’re coming.”
She lay on her back, and the question in her eyes was clear. Have you lost your mind? Of course he had, a long time ago. She should know. 
When she opened her mouth, he covered it with his hand, so she couldn’t draw attention to them.
“Don’t you hear them? The shots?”
She shook her head and closed her fingers around his wrist, attempting to pull his hand away.
“I think we’re safe, but be very quiet.”

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hot, hot, hot

It's hot. After living in Florida for nearly a decade you wouldn't think I'd find Sweden hot, but this summer has been like an oven.

It's not just my perception - this is the hottest and driest summer Sweden has experienced. I am tempted to say "ever," but meteorologists stick with "in recorded history." That's still hundreds of years.

My thermometers climb up in the 30s (Celsius) in the shade every day, and have done so pretty much since the snow disappeared. My county is almost out of water - it has only rained a few times all summer - and the country as a whole is experiencing the largest fires ever seen.

We've had firefighters from nearly a dozen different nations here to help. These trucks on this photo came up from Poland. Once they set wheels in Sweden, they had to drive for many, many hours to reach the areas where they were most needed.


The heat and drought could be a fluke. But, considering the weird weather we had during winter - I doubt it.

The past winter was cold and snowy all over Europe, because the air over the Arctic was too warm, pressing the cold south and changing our normal wind patterns.

Of course, the climate on Earth isn't just dependent on our planet - the sun goes through phases as well - but we can't do anything about that.

Anyway, the knee-jerk reaction of running out of water is to stop using water for plants. I think this is a horrible idea, and by now I'm pretty sure the county government has labeled me as a crazy person. That's okay.

I'm not saying we have to use our fresh water supply to keep the plants alive - they don't care if their water is drinkable to us or not - but if we don't have fresh water, we need to start reusing water to save them. We cannot let them die.

Other areas of the world already recycle water for the use of plants, but we haven't had to do that in the past. I am convinced we need to get used to the idea and start building systems for the future - the plants are the most important things we have at this point in time.

Plants are the lungs of our planet, and they can assimilate various gasses and produce oxygen and so on. Plants support insects and wildlife, even the soil - and us.

Plants play an important part in the cycle of water. The less plants we have, the less rain we'll have. (The interaction of plants with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere is more complicated than this, but for this line of reasoning, that doesn't matter.)



We're a little funny here in Sweden. We're about, let's see... We're 10,000,000 people. The world has about 7,639,000,000 inhabitants. What's 10 million divided by 7.6 billion? Around 0.001. Not a huge part of the world's population. We still have a kind of hubris and believe we can reverse climate change all on our own. Like, if all Swedes just stopped using fossil fuels and plastic products, all would be well.

Not all 7.6 billion of the people in the world contribute greatly to the greenhouse effect, but the Swedish population is still so small we're negligible.

However, we have the 55th largest landmass in the world.

Keeping it green during the seasons when it can be green could make a difference. Instead we're letting it wither and die. One known side-effect of high CO2 levels in the atmosphere is that it disturbs the plants' cooling system. This disrupts the water cycle, pushing water directly to lakes and streams instead of returning it to the air. Having fewer plants will make this even worse.

What can I do besides preach?

More than I thought before I started.

I've stopped using salt when cooking vegetables, pasta, and similar, so I can use the water for the plants once it cools. All the water used for rinsing out my finicky pets' water bowls now go on the plants, and I've started building a system with water barrels, so I can catch the rainwater we do get from the drains on the buildings in my yard. It's a work in progress, but I will keep my little corner of the world as green and blooming as I can.

In the big picture that might not matter at all, but on the other hand, it might. It matters for all the little bumblebees, butterflies, and other creatures who come here to eat.



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Nesting

I've never been interested in preserving foods. It has seemed super boring and superfluous - there's food in the store. This year, my subconscious has kicked in some weird nesting instinct. 

A part of me in convinced the pets and I will starve this winter if I don't hoard food, grab everything in sight, and put it in jars. My smart brain cell knows this is silly, but somehow stupid brain cell persuades it we need more jars.

And apples in jars, tomatoes in jars, peppers in jars, cherries in jars...

Stupid brain cell has even suggested taking the food cellar into use. That part of my brain claims it could look like this and be awesome. In reality, it's a crammed and creepy space with 5 ft ceiling height.

I'm a lot taller than 5 ft - the cellar seems created by and for a hobbit. I've never been in there, just peeked through the door. Still, stupid brain cell can be persuasive. Like, "If you don't want to use the one we have, how 'bout building a new one?" Because that's what we need.

Munching all this will be great during winter, but smart brain cell still thinks it's weird. Though, not weird enough to prevent looking up more recipes. What can I say - I do like to eat, lol.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The next book in the Embarkment saga is here!

I started promising people the book was "almost done" a few years ago. It has remained "almost done" for an admirable amount of time. But now it's here, and it's called Anguish and Hope. 

Will it be the last one? Not likely - these characters are active and they will want to appear in more books. But, now I have learned my lesson - I will not give a time frame.


The beginning:

Adam’s footsteps echoed through a long corridor. 
Except for needing maintenance, the Palmetto wasn’t a bad ship, not really, but he still hated it. 
He suppressed the emotions through an act of will. His crew should not know their android captain’s aversion to the ship or the mission, or to being there in the first place. He committed to this to help his wife save his father, and he would have to see it through. Even if it made him want to disassemble his own head.
Alex. The woman who sacrificed her life for him in the distant past: 2014. He brought her to his own time and world to save her, and for years they were inseparable. His affection for her was hardcoded with his base programming, a part of his mind that served much like the autonomic nervous system in a human. It contained things he knew and did without having to think about it. He put her there, not because she wanted him to or asked him to, but because he saw no other way to live. He needed her.
If Alex had been on the ship, he would have loved it. Now it was just one more obstacle that kept him from going home.
I should send her a message. Let her know I’m still alive.
He had intended to do so many times, but something always prevented it. If he hadn’t been so firmly rooted in logic, he would have thought the ship itself worked against him. It acted like a jealous lover who would rather sport an engine fire or mainframe breakdown than allow him to contact his wife.
Maybe he could get a message out if he did it right now, before anything else happened.
Running footsteps approached. “Captain, we have arrived at PB6524. There’s no sign of any technology or facility.”
That didn’t mean it wasn’t there. Though, it seemed unlikely on a planet so far out no one even bothered to name it.
“May I ask why you come running to tell me this instead of using the radio?”
At least the ensign had caught his breath. 
Humans had so many funny expressions. He’d never seen a person reach out and actually catch their breath. Doing so wouldn’t be possible.
“Com system is down, Sir.”
Of course it was.



The books in the Embarkment 2577 series are:

The first four are novellas, also available in a collection volume: Embarkment 2577. It has gotten a new cover, courtesy of Juan Villar Padron. I love it - it looks like a movie poster!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Conversion has gotten a new cover - and some new chapters.


My novella Conversion has gotten a face lift. It has a gorgeous new cover by Juan Villar Padron, and it has gotten a few new chapters, to round off the ending better.

If you already have it as e-book, it should be possible to update to the new version through the Amazon website. You should be able to get the new version under "Your Account" and "Your Content and Devices."

Blurb:

Rhodesia runs through the forest, hunted by creatures wearing the faces of people she loves. They plead to her to wait in the voices of her family, and the sound sends chills down her back. What is worse? Succumbing, and becoming a mindless drone with the others, or perishing in the forest, alone?

Roy Planter is a man with a mission, and he has no intention of staying on a plague-ridden planet where more humans turn into mindless drones every day. Being stuck in a city, grouped with a sword-wielding stick insect of a man and a busty blonde with a too vivid sense of humor are only temporary setbacks. He's leaving, first chance he gets. At least that's what he thinks until Rhodesia arrives.

Caring for someone will not make his life easier, but can he really leave her behind?

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Do men know when they're mansplaining?

To comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner".
Funny examples from my own life:

  • The man who will explain to the woman where her house is, even though she lives there and he was unable to find it
  • The man who knows nothing about music, yet feels the urge to explain "how all songs are really the same" to a woman as soon as he learns she's a musician
  • The man who insists on explaining how to move a file - to a female network engineer
We've all encountered it. I'm sure most men have heard another guy do it too.

But, why?

Are men aware of doing it?

What's the most hilarious example you've heard?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Flashback will be re-released soon

Desert Breeze Publishing are working on the reversal of publishing rights. It's a process that takes some time - they want to ensure all the old versions of books are actually down before anyone re-publishes. The current time frame is August 1st.

Flashback will be my first one out. I am working on re-editing it, there wasn't a lot I wanted to change, but some small adjustments and fixes. I am purchasing the rights to use the old covers, and I have debated whether to keep the old cover or not.

Then, I got this from Juan Villar Padron. I love it so much there's no way not to use it.


If all goes well, it will be available again on August 1st.

As the sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, Steve Petersen is damaged goods. He is convinced that he left his sanity within the horror-filled walls that held him captive for the better part of a year. His mind is trapped in moments of graphic, soul-crushing flashbacks, and his only solace is the momentary reprieve he gains from alcohol and drugs.

When he mysteriously wakes in a bright and cheery bedroom that belongs to a woman he barely remembers meeting, he knows he should leave. He should save the widow Anna from his own special brand of crazy. Leaving is not as easy as one would think, and he finds himself drawn into a world of real life problems such as folding laundry, and what to make for dinner. 

This new way of life eases his need for drowning his pain in substances and offers moments of quiet healing – until Anna disappears. To save her, Steve must face the demons that have tortured him for so long and return to the place where it all began. Afghanistan.

Friday, June 15, 2018

My publisher is closing

Desert Breeze Publishing is closing. They aren't going bankrupt or anything like that, just closing. I admire them for having continued for so many years - I can't even imagine the effort that goes into running a publishing house.

It is sad news for me; I have been with them for many years, and it feels like the end of an era. Now, all the smaller publishing houses I once submitted to are gone.

Their wonderful editors and cover artists have helped me so much, bringing me all the way from a clunky foreigner who didn't understand American styles to an actual writer. They have believed in me, and put time and energy into helping me. I will forever be grateful.

Practically, I'm getting my book rights back. I will re-edit them, and some will get new covers. I think Flashback will be the first one to be re-published, and it will return to the market early August.

Thank you, Desert Breeze Publishing for everything you have done. You will be missed.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Behind Kidnapped

I've been meaning to do a re-write of Kidnapped. It was my first book and my writing style has changed completely since then. I talked to my publisher about it a couple of years ago, and didn't get any further. Soon...

Thinking about the book has made me want to talk about the book. It all started with this song.


And then there was a TV show called "Better off Ted." I loved it. Few TV shows make me laugh, but this one was hilarious. Portia di Rossi played Veronica, manager at Veridian Dynamics. Her character is fantastic - and tickled my imagination enough to become Supreme Commander Veronica.


There are still Veridian Dynamics ads available on Youtube. In retrospect, they explain a lot more about Kidnapped than I thought at the time.

"Our team, over one hundred thousand strong. And we love all of them. Unless they cross us. Then we'll hunt them down and hurt them. Because that's love too."


Patricia also came from a TV show, but not one of mine. At this point in time, Mike - my late husband - watched "That 70s show" religiously. I don't like the show at all, but the actors' voices crept into my mind anyway. To this day, when I think of Patricia, she sounds like Mila Kunis.

Travis got his name from a kid in math class. I love the name. It's so... Not Swedish.

 I do need to revisit them and brush off their story. Might not be this year - as quickly as time flies past it will be April 2019 before I know what happened, but soon. I have a half-written prequel too, telling Aaren's story before he became an outlaw.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Zero Vision

Zero Vision sounds like something interesting and futuristic, right? Or, maybe like someone stumbling about in the dark with zero vision.

I'm leaning towards the latter: in Sweden, the government has a vision of zero people killed in traffic.

The real number is about 250 every year - not a gigantic problem. But, traffic is their thing, and the focus is on speed. Probably because it's easy to measure. (I sometimes feel like it doesn't matter if you can see, hear, remember how to operate your vehicle, or even know what side of the road you're supposed to be on, as long as you drive slowly.)

Late one evening a few months ago, I headed home from visiting my old home town and was caught by a speed camera. These are strange contraptions that line our roads. They're never, ever placed near crosswalks, schools, or similar where a crazy motorist could mow down pedestrians - they're more likely to be seen on wide roads where the speed limit is 55.

Anyway, I thought I was going approximately the right speed - an impression supported by all the cars in front of me passing the camera just fine, at the same speed. Then, the world turned white and I couldn't see shit. Literally; I couldn't see for several seconds and almost went off the road, because I couldn't see that there was a curve.

I grumbled, went home, and made a mental note, "Speed cameras are dangerous. Their flash was invented by an evil mastermind and may kill you."

After a couple of months, I got a pile of papers home with a photo of me in my car, asking if I confess to the crime.

I went about 5 mph too fast.

I wrote back, "Yeah, that's me." And added that there must be something wrong with the camera/flash, because they can't be intended to blind people like that. And, why did it only flash me? Seems unfair, lol.

About three weeks after that, there was a really thick envelope in the mailbox, explaining how my criminal act would now be forwarded to the DA, who may or may not want to see me in court.

I thought, "Whatever. It's 5 mph, it's not like I'm trying to overthrow the government. Send the ticket and get it over with."

Today, I got the ticket from the DA's office together with a pile of papers lecturing me on my crime and malicious intent.

This raises questions. Like, don't these people have anything better to do? Is this why we have such a low rate of solving real crime? And, how much did the administration of all this cost. Is it worth it?

Could we maybe spend some resources on solving the increasing problems with youth gangs in the cities instead?

I suspect it's easier to spend a few months lecturing me for driving 5 mph too fast.

That's not what "leave me alone" means...

There's a super annoying guy in my village. I've been trying to be patient with him - he has some form of brain damage - but at this...