Just in case you missed the invitation…

Visit Dark Fantasy Books (on Facebook) tomorrow to have some fun with us 🙂

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My BargainBooksy Promo Results

I bought two BargainBooksy deals for last weekend. One was to promote Book 1 on Saturday and the other to promote Book 2 on Sunday. They cost me $70 each. The results are not bad, even though I didn’t get my money back by a long shot. I sold thirty-eight copies of Book 1 (27 + 11) and twenty copies of Book 2 (5 + 15). A total of fifty-eight books! I’m hoping to see some new reviews soon. Fingers crossed!

What surprised me most was the effect it had on my sales and author ranking. Here are the two graphs of my book sales.

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The first thing that strikes me is that both books rose in ranks up to about #35,200. I find this strange as I sold nearly twice as many copies of Book 1 than Book 2. It may be explained when you look at what ranking they came from. Book 1 started at ranking #1,150,000 and Book 2 at ranking #600,000, a near two-fold difference.

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As you can see in the graph above, my author ranking shot up from #575,00 to just under #16,000. It looks even better when you look at my total ranking so far (from January 2016 when I published my first book):AuthorRank160112-171029

From this graph, you can see that my lowest point happened after the launch of my first book. I had no idea about promoting and my book ranking plummeted into the Amazon Abyss. It shot up again after I released my second book. From then on it has been going up and down with sporadic sales, but following the bottom line, it is in a slow but steady climb. Lately, it has been going up with a slightly steeper inclination as I re-released Book 2 a few months ago and am getting the hang of promotions. The latest spike happening due to my BargainBooksy sales. On this graph it looks like I’m almost hitting #1! Wishful thinking, LOL!

The overall picture of all these graphs tell me:

  • Writing and publishing more books makes you go up in rank
  • Paid promoting makes your books go up in rank
  • I’m on the right track
  • I shouldn’t give up

I better get to finishing Book 3 asap!

Vampirism is Not a Simple Life

Being a vampire is hard work and dangerous

First you have to find your blood host, which (relatively speaking) would be found several kilometres between one meal and the next. You have to deal with the danger of being stopped from feeding, the aggressive way. Don’t expect your host to let you feed on them just like that. Although there are nice vampires that may regurgitate their meal to share with your if you have been unlucky that night.

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The toxicity of blood itself is a danger. In the amounts you need, it would cause diarrhoea and kidney failure, not to mention the killing effects of the proteins and iron ingested. Apart from an overdose of some products, blood lacks B vitamins, needed for basic body function, and fat, a major energy source.

But don’t trust my word for it. Read it all in Susan Milius’s article in Science News for Students called ‘Sucking blood isn’t an easy life, even for vampires.’

 

SALE! SALE! SALE!

It’s Halloween soon and what better time to have a PARANORMAL BOOK SALE!

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Book 1 and Book 2 are on sale on Amazon 🙂

 

Movie Review: The Death of Stalin

Score: 7/10

*** Warning: Spoiler Alert ***

The Death of Stalin is described as a comedy-drama and that is exactly where the problem lies. It’s too funny to be a drama, but to serious to be a comedy. I didn’t know what to make of it. The fact that it is based on true events makes it a sad movie.

The cast is a great one and there are some brilliant performances. I liked Steve Buscemi in the role of Nikita Krushchev, Simon Russell Beale as Lavrentiy Beria, and Jason Isaacs portraying Georgy Zhukov. There are many more great performances by Jeffrey Tambor, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, and Paddy Considine to name a few.

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The weird thing was that some of the actors talked with a severe Cockney dialect (correct me if I’m wrong. I’m a layman in this respect). I assume there are dialects in Russian too, but to hear the thick English accent in the very Russian surroundings made it a very weird experience.

There are a lot of funny scenes. For example, when Beria gives out orders, there are people being shot, shoved off stairs, or otherwise maimed in the background. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but it makes it all rather slapstick-like. The whole experience of not speaking out against the regime is also funny and sad at the same time.

It is an entertaining movie that is mainly funny, but not Hollywood-style. You can follow the story-line without a problem even when you’re a person who knows nothing of post-world-war Russia, like me.

 

Insomnia, Hot Flushes, and Procrastination

Menopause

I am nearly fifty years old and menopause is hitting me hard at the moment. For a few weeks now, I have been suffering hot flashes. It’s not that bad, I can live with throwing the blankets off me every five minutes at night (it mostly bothers me at night). What I can’t stand are the sleepless nights. I have been suffering insomnia for about two weeks now. Not every night is bad. I guess my body crashes now and again as I have always been a person who needs at least eight hours of sleep a day. I don’t have to have it in one session; I have perfected the power nap form. So not be able to sleep when I want is a form of living hell to me.

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I lay awake at night, worrying about all the things I need to do. Sometimes, I think about getting up and doing them, but I don’t want to wake my husband and children. I could stay in bed and do stuff on my phone or laptop, but the brightness of the screen would probably screw up my circadian rhythm even more and also wake my husband. Next to this, I have this unreal hope that ‘I may fall asleep anytime now.’ I keep fooling myself.

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Ever since I suffered from glandular fever at the age of nineteen, sleeping has been my number one hobby. I could sleep anywhere; in a car, on a train, in a plane. I could sleep lying down, sitting up, folded in crooked angles. I’m lucky if I get four hours of sleep a day now. I’m so tired. I’ve tried sleeping during the day to catch up on my daily dose of sleep. A power nap used to be a relief to me, a safe haven into which to temporarily retreat from reality. I can’t function without my sleep. I can’t concentrate and have no energy, making my procrastination even worse. I’m even not interested in my (second best) favorite thing, writing.

Menopause-humor-funny-life-quotesFingers crossed this menopause is just that; a pause, and that it’ll quickly be over and done with.

 

Header image by Adnan Shahid, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus

An Invitation!

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This is an online Facebook Halloween Party invitation. Go to Facebook, look for Dark Fantasy Books and you should be able to find the party on the 31st of October!

Great fun, giveaways, and prizes! Hope to see you there 🙂

 

Movie Review: The Babysitter

Yesterday, we watched the movie The Babysitter on Netflix. My son had already seen it and my daughter wasn’t interested watching it with us as she doesn’t like scary films. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if she was swapped at birth. So my husband and I watched the movie with the two of us. We hadn’t had such a good laugh in ages.

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Storyline (from IMDb):

Cole (Judah Lewis) is madly in love with his babysitter (Samara Weaving) Bee. She’s hot, funny, and popular. One night, in a moment of defiance, Cole secretly stays up past his bedtime to discover she’s actually a cold-blooded killer who’s in league with the Devil. He now must spend his night evading Bee’s band of killers who will stop at nothing to prevent Cole from spilling their dark secret. It’s up to Cole to survive the night (and blow up a few people along the way).

The movie starts rather slow. Interesting, but slow nevertheless. Don’t worry though as soon, when Cole is discovered by Bee and her gang, all hell breaks loose. I didn’t expect much of this movie, so it surprised me when it kept me awake through the whole eighty-five minutes. Much action was expected, but there were some twists here and there I didn’t anticipate.

It had all I wanted in a film: action, humor, horror, romance, gore, and a good ending. When you’re going to watch it, do stay tuned until the very end 🙂 .

Lost!

For some reason or another, I googled Ian Somerhalder today (to be honest, does one need a reason?). You know, Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. To my surprise, I found out that he was a character in the series Lost. He played the character Boone Carlyle and died in the twentieth episode due to his injuries from being crushed inside a falling plane.

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Now, I didn’t watch all the seasons of Lost. I think I managed to get to the end of season two, by which time I was fed up with the non-endings and unrealistic happenings. The only reason I watched season two was because I wanted to know what was in the hatch. Maybe, deep down, I was no longer interested because Ian Somerhalder was no longer in it.

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My kids don’t know the series Lost, they are too young. I think I need to watch season one again with them. You know, because it’s good for their all-round knowledge 🙂 .

It’s the Season of the Witch

Yesterday, I had to play the Wicked Witch of the West, a mother’s prerogative. We booked tickets to see the second Kingsmen movie. As they’re working on the freeway to go around Aberdeen, we were guided along a detour that almost got us to Aberdeen via Inverness, but we managed to get there just in time. I got my phone out and showed the lady the Q-code. “Okay,” she says after scanning it, “Can I see some IDs please.”

Now you must know that we are regular visitors at the cinema. Not that I’ve seen this particular lady before, but we are visiting this place about twice a month.  Never before have we been asked for IDs. I have, however, since my kids turned fifteen, told them to bring IDs to the cinema. We buy them student tickets and to see a 15-rated movie they need proof of studentship and being older than fifteen.

I turned to my children and they are both shaking their heads. They didn’t bring their IDs. The woman said we couldn’t go in without proof they were students and older than fifteen. I browsed my whole photo gallery on my phone, but she wouldn’t accept any photo of my kids in school uniform. Of course, I didn’t have any proof of their age either. My son looks like he could be eighteen and my daughter could pass for twelve (they are twins nevertheless).

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I ‘lost the plot’ and reacted very badly, cursing at anybody who tried to get my attention. We got a refund and drove back again. I didn’t speak a word the whole trip. I even refused a chocolate as a peace offer and the kids know it’s bad when their mother refuses to eat chocolate. My husband didn’t get it. He even tried to soothe me. I was laughing on the inside but put up a wicked face until the end. When we got home I gave everybody a hug and told them to never to forget their IDs again. We then watched the first Kingsmen movie from the comfort of our home instead.

Sometimes, you just have to let your kids know they screwed up big time for them to remember not to make that mistake twice 🙂 .

 

Images from NMgnCP.com