Silence is golden

As I’m working very hard on finishing Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy, I’m going into silent mode. I read the other day the handy tip of another writer to dedicate one month to writing, the next to promoting. That’s exactly what I need to do as I’m wasting too much time on promoting at the moment and not getting very far with my writing.

I promised my readers that my book would be ready by the end of this year. That’s not going to happen and I feel bad for letting my readers down. Going into silent mode will mean that the first draft will be finished before Christmas and that I can hopefully publish the book by Valentine’s Day. I thought that would be a great day to publish the final chapter of my paranormal romance 🙂

So no blog posts from me until I get that first draft finished. As I wrote Book 1 in two weeks, it shouldn’t take that long!

PS: Why does healthy cereal taste like cardboard?

Header photo by Kristina Flour from Unsplash

Last Minute Decision!

My book is available for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Yes, you’ve read correctly. My second book, Raising A Vampire, is free on Amazon at the moment. Only on 23-24 November 2017 will you be able to get this book for free, so grab it while you can!

Cover_Book_2_170725_W300

WHO IS FRIEND AND WHO IS FOE?

Raising A Vampire is a romantic and suspenseful story of Kate, who tries to make the best of life for her family and herself whilst hiding a terrible secret.

Ten years after Black October, when a virus plagued the world and turned people into blood-suckers, Kate invites a colleague into her home. When he attacks Kate, Sue, her daughter, comes to the rescue and is exposed for what she really is. Kate accompanies Sue when she is taken prisoner.

The situation quickly spirals downhill when an old flame of Kate turns up and he resumes his quest for Kate’s love while her daughter is being wooed by a sucker.

Once more, Kate is thrown into turmoil and heartache.

Can Kate keep her family and her wits together?

Find out what happens to Kate and her loved ones in the second book of the Suckers Trilogy.

“It’s fast-paced with plenty of surprises and keeps you guessing until the end.”

“Ms. Dahlhaus reinvigorates those old bitey routines with a bit of smart storytelling while managing to make insightful comments on our society.”

“A mother of emotional rollercoasters.”

“I wanted to slap Kate more than once for her quick actions that highly impacted the safety of the entire family.”

It’s REALLY official now!

Twisted50Vol2WinnerLogo.jpg

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I had to brag some more. Above is the logo awarded to the winners. So proud of myself 🙂

And the winner is…

ME! Plus forty-nine others, of course…

You may remember my post regarding me being shortlisted for Twisted50 Vol.2. Well, today they finally announced the fifty winners whose stories will be entered in the Twisted50 Volume 2 anthology. It was a long wait, but it was worth it :). Check out all the winners here.

My winning story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and is not for the faint at heart. It’s about a girl who stands trial for gruesome murders committed. You’ll have to buy the book to read the whole story, and, man, are there some twisted stories in there! At the moment they’re voting on the book cover, but I’ll let you know the link to the book as soon as I’ve got it.

Now, I’m off to dance around the house!

#Twisted50

 

Sisterly Love

Sorry, this isn’t a true story! No drama in the family at the moment. Well, there is, but not sisterly love drama. It’s not my drama, so sorry to disappoint you again, can’t tell. Not to worry, though! I wrote a piece for the writers’ club and it was well received, so I’m going to share it with you. I will put it up in the Short Story section for later reference, but to make it easier for you, I’ll just paste it here. As it plays on the Isle of Skye, I’ve written it in UK English. Let me know what you think if it.

Sisterly Love

(Keywords: Spoon, Make-Up artist, Isle of Skye, Envy)

(987 Words)

Sisterly_Love_2.jpg

There they stood, all happy and shining. My sister and her groom. The wedding of the century they called it. Probably true. Who else was going to get married here, in the middle of fucking nowhere? The Isle of Fucking Skye; God’s place to torment innocent souls. Right now the rain lashed the town hall as if it wanted to break up the wedding reception inside. The wind was driving it on, howling along with it. It was probably crying with me on this worst day of my life.

My aunt, sitting next to me, had told me to suck it up, to get over my envy. She stopped my hand tapping the dessert spoon on the edge of the table. What did she know? Suck it up. My soulless sister had ruined it all, ruined my life, my happiness. Yet everybody was smiling at her, applauding her words as she gave her speech. I bet she didn’t mention how she stole my love away like the conniving bitch that she was. She flashed her pearly white teeth as the lies continued to pour from her mouth. She had always been the pretty one. From when we were toddlers, everybody had always been drawn to her. ‘She’s so cute,’ they’d say. ‘What a pretty smile you’ve got there,’ they’d croon. No one ever saw me standing there; Plane Jane with sleek, mousy-coloured hair and a face you would forget as soon as you blinked. Not her. Everybody remembered her. Was it her sky-blue eyes? The dimples in her cheeks as she smiled?  She was beautiful, I couldn’t deny it. Still, Mum had organised a make-up artist to make her pretty today. As if she needed a fucking make-up artist for her flawless skin. She could make men drool with her looks after she had been boozing all night and having a mother of a hangover. Whatever it was she had, it stole my love from me and she knew it.

It was two years ago that I met him. He was a cousin of the vicar and had come to Skye to help rebuild the church. How handsome he was and how handy with all the tools. We had flirted and teased for weeks. Then, one night after going to the movies, he had kissed me. Me! I had been in seventh heaven. Mum had noticed my happiness and made me spill the beans. I then had to bring him over for dinner of course. That’s when my sister got her evil claws into him.

From the moment he saw her, he could only pay attention to her. After all we had shared, the fun, the flirting, the kiss, I suddenly was nothing, an empty space. He listened to every word she said, commented on every move she made, came to visit her. They were always giggling and laughing, no doubt at the expense of me. Soon he was taking her to the movies, and kissing her.

My aunt looked annoyed at me as I had begun tapping the spoon on the table again. I ignored her. She should know better. She was an old spinster, older sister of my mother, and should know how it felt when your younger sister was getting married before you did. It just wasn’t done. My sister, like my mother, had ignored the old tradition. She had taken no head to my complaints for getting married so soon. And to him. She fucking ignored me. Period. So much for sisterly love. Love. It was all a bunch of lies. It only caused grief and pain. My sister hurt me, deeply, and yet she didn’t give a shit. She had to marry the only man who had looked my way, the only man who had kissed me. And only because she could. She could get a thousand others to fall in love with her, yet she had to have the one that I wanted. She stole him from me just so she could hurt me.

All of a sudden I heard her say, “…and all because of my dear sister.” The words were dripping with honey, oozing with feigned love. They made my blood curl and sent shivers down my spine. The people ooh-ed and aah-ed at her words and turned towards me. They didn’t know that all she had done was hate me from the moment she was born. Nobody knew she had used every single word, action, and thought to hurt me, to make me feel miserable, worthless, and to be pitied. My rage welled up in me like lava in a volcano. No more!

I turned to her, my eyes blazing a fire from hell. I pulled back my hand and threw the spoon in her direction. It hit the dog that my cousin was playing with in front of the happy couple’s table. It yapped in surprise, which made my cousin jump up and fall backwards. He tried to keep his balance by holding on to the table cloth. The wedding cake began shifting as the cloth moved down the table. My love hastened to keep it in place. In his sudden, forceful dive, he slammed down on the edge of the plate holding the cutting knife. The knife flicked up towards his face. He brushed it away with his arm just in time, making it do a somersault high in the air. Lightning reflected off the sharp edge of the blade before it went on its downward course. As if with a purpose, the knife buried itself deep into my sister’s heartless chest. The room went quiet. My sister looked at her chest, then at me. She dropped to the floor with only a swishing of her silk, white dress. My love let go of the wedding cake. His eyes were on me.

Finally, I had his attention again.

Copyrighted (c) by Jacky Dahlhaus

Header image by Peter Clarkson from Unsplash

Wedding image by Luis Tosta from Unsplash

GET YOUR FREE COPIES NOW!

Only one day left!

Get your copies now, before the promotion ends. There is a multitude to choose from. They’re free, so why wait?

Click here to get your FREE romance kick!

Paranormal Romance GiveAway Novemberjpg.jpg

Book Review: Shifters Stand

Shifters_Stand_Cover

I read this book as I was intrigued by its blurb. Even though it is the third book of a trilogy, it was easy to follow. The backstory was slowly revealed the further I got into the book, yet from the first page onward, the story is engaging.

Characters are fleshed out, emotions are well described, and tensions are high to get mates back as their lives are at stake. The Shifters must defeat their enemy or all will be lost. Until the very end, you don’t know if this is going to happen or not as the threats are as real as it gets. Whether the Shifters make it or not… well, you’ll have to read the story. Take some time for reading as you will want to know the ending.

Mr. Griffith has produced a great ending to a great, and clean, YA adventure.

Get your copy on Amazon.

 

Movie Review: Murder on the Orient Express

Score: 8/10

– Warning: Spoiler Alert! –

In a spur of the moment, we decided to watch Murder on the Orient Express last night. To be honest, I’m not a fan of Kenneth Branagh as an actor (no reason, I just don’t) and didn’t want to have my image of Poirot (in the form of David Suchet) ruined by him. It appeared, however, that I was the only one in my family who knew the story of MotOE. So we had to go.

It took me a while to get used to seeing Mr. Branagh in the role of Poirot. He didn’t have a chubby tummy, nor was he short or have the peaked, black mustache David Suchet used to sport. He did have an exceptional mustache though. Only one third into the movie did I realize his mustache was actually two mustaches. Like the mustache, Mr. Branagh’s performance grew on me. He was hardly recognizable, disappearing into his role as Poirot, and he played him excellently. Poirots.jpgThe cinematography was stunning. One ‘but’ I have is the movement of the camera up and down a train carriage, and I literally mean a vertical movement. It was used at least twice. The first time we follow Poirot in thought looking out the window and this is okay. The second time we see a conversation between Poirot and one of the passengers interviewed. The movement of the camera makes no sense here and took me out of the story. Often, directors decide on a weird, unconventional camera actions… and it doesn’t work. Such a shame.

The cast was well chosen, with appearances of Penelope Cruz, William Dafoe (forever the Green Goblin in my eyes), Judi Dench (aged 82!), Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi (aged 79!), and Michelle Pheiffer to name the most famous ones. All the actors played their role exceptionally well. MOTOEI have never read the books of Agatha Christie, so I can’t compare the movie to her story. What struck me about the plot, afterward, is that Poirot interviews all passengers and finds a reason for murder for all of them. What is not shown is that he dismisses the reason of his previous suspects when he finds a new one. Surely you would start to doubt yourself when you find so many reasons for murder in so many suspects. There is no reasoning as to why one would have committed the murder over another, only the quick epiphany at the end. Strange.

A great movie to watch to enjoy excellent performances and an early 20th-century setting.

 

 

Social Media Takeovers: An Unknown Phenomenon

Yesterday, Halloween 2017, I took part in the Dark Fantasy Books takeover and had a ball. ‘What’s a takeover?’ you may ask. That’s exactly the problem; most people don’t know what it is, let alone that they can participate. I’ll try and remedy this situation and hopefully help authors and readers alike. A win-win situation!

What is a Takeover?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, a takeover is the act of taking control of a country, political party, or movement by force. The takeover I’m talking about is less aggressive as it is a virtual party where various people take the reins and host the party for a limited time, usually half an hour. I have only done Facebook takeovers (two in total; I’m still a noob), but you can have them on any type of social media.

There should be guidelines to a takeover and the person organizing it usually lets all participants know what is expected. See it as a real party. First, you introduce yourself in a post. You talk a bit about where you’re from and what you do. Then you promote whatever you’re promoting in a couple of posts, including samples and links to your product. You usually end with a post on how people can contact you for more information.

Sounds like a boring sales talk? Wrong! Laced through this information are quizzes, games, funny anecdotes, unknown insights, and samples! People have to post funny GIFs, answer questions about topics of the takeover, and there are usually jokes. The crazier the questions, the crazier the answers, the more fun to be had!

Party2.jpg

Gain for Readers

Takeovers are so lucrative for readers! I was, again, amazed that all participants in the takeover were only authors. Apart from being lots of fun with quizzes and games, there are lots of free books up for grabs. Most authors give away prequels for free and the prizes are usually their books. Next to this, you get to know the author. You get a connection with them and this makes reading their books so much more interesting.

So you get a fab time and free books. What more could you ask for?

Gain for Authors

When you do a book takeover, you usually do it with a group of authors that write in your genre. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded spirits, read samples of their work, and make new friends. It is amazing how small the world becomes in this virtual reality. Best of all, your work gets seen by more people who hopefully will share your work, spread the word about your book, and possibly write a review.

Promotion

I guess the key to a successful takeover is promotion. If you don’t promote the takeover well in advance, nobody will know about it and nobody will show up. You can use all social media available to spread the word. Do it clear and do it loud! The more attendees, the merrier 🙂

If you are a reader and you know an author, participate in a takeovers when they advertise one. Like I said, it’s a win-win situation!

Header image by Luiz Hanfilaque from Unsplash, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus

Party photo by Anthony DELANOIX from Unsplash.