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What To Watch? Rampage

What To Watch?

Yesterday, we decided on a whim to go to the cinema again. The only option we had, with our daughter in tow, was Rampage, a science fiction monster movie. We were not disappointed.

Rampage

Rampage_2

Cast

The main character, and probably the main reason why people go and watch this movie as you know it’s going to be a good one, is Dwayne Johnson. He plays primatologist David Okoye, working at San Diego wildlife preserve. During his anti-poaching unit days, he rescued albino gorilla George and raised him, teaching him sign language. Okoye happens to have a special forces background (very handy).

Naomie Harris plays his side-kick, Dr. Kate Caldwell, the scientist who knows everything that is going on. Another major player is the cowboy OGA (Other Government Agency) agent Harvey Russell, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The bad guy in the movie is a woman, CEO of Energyne Claire Wyden, played by Malin Åkerman.

Plot

Energyne has done some experiments in space that are too terrible to perform on earth. Unfortunately, things go amiss, and the space station blows up. Amidst the debris that falls to the earth are three samples of the experiment which change the DNA of the three animals that come into contact with them: George the gorilla, a wild wolf, and a crocodile. They grow out of control and get very aggressive. Claire sends out a signal from the top of the company’s building, luring the genetically modified animals to the city. She hopes that the animals kill Dr. Caldwell and so prevent her from spilling the beans on the terrible things Energyne has done.

What I liked about Rampage

Rampage is a good old-fashioned humoristic action movie, up there with 2012, San Andreas, and Godzilla. Having Dwayne Johnson in there is a big attraction although I was a bit disappointed he didn’t show off his pecs bounce 😀 . The humor is funny, sometimes predictable, but well spaced.

Rampage_3.jpgThe CG is spectacular. George is almost human with very life-like facial expressions. The people who have put their minds together to come up with the changes of the wolf and crocodile have been extremely creative. There was one revelation that made my jaw drop. They missed out on some opportunity for George, though.

What I didn’t like about Rampage

There were an awful lot of ‘WTF?’ moments in this movie. At one point, a whole building wall falls over while Johnson jumps out of the window (several stories high), yet there is not a scratch on him. Bullets don’t seem to hurt him either. Those are the little moments that take you out of the otherwise spectacular action scenes. But, as I already stated, the movie needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Summary

Rampage is a fun movie that can be watched by teenaged children (there’s one graphic sexual innuendo at the end) and any lover of huge monsters. It is 107 minutes of fun, spectacular action, and awesome CG.

Rampage_1

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New Facebook Page

I have been struggling to keep my personal and professional life separate on Facebook. I had created a Facebook Shop page to this effect, but it wasn’t working as I wanted to. I couldn’t share posts from authors I had befriended on my personal page to my shop page. I also didn’t actually want to reply to these author posts with my personal profile.

Today I learned that I could change all this by setting up a professional profile page on Facebook. So that’s what I did. Now I can chat, laugh, and share all things writing related on my professional page. My personal friends have the choice if they want to follow my professional page or not. How cool is that? (Australian rhetorical question 😀 ).

So, please like and follow my professional page on Facebook:

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I hope to see you all there!

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Tenses – An Overview

In the weeks to come, I will address tenses as part of my grammar blog on Fridays. To most English-bred writers, tenses come naturally, but not to writers to whom English is a foreign language.

A few writers write in the present tense, but most prefer the past tense as it gives more options to describe what is happening. I myself prefer the past tense. Sometimes, however, I find that a simple present tense sneakily slips in. Hence, I love my beta-readers, and I edit and edit and edit…

Overview

Tenses in language are used for time reference. There are many different constructions for time reference and not all languages use the same one. Basic tenses have a past, a present, and a future. Some languages have a past and a non-past (which is both the present and the future), while other languages have a future and non-future (which is the past and the present). Some languages don’t weave time into their verbs at all. Some languages differentiate near and remote pasts or near and remote futures.

The TAM system

The English language uses the ‘TAM’ system; the Tense-Aspect-Mood system.

Verbs mark in what tense the action is happening: the past, present, or future (the tense proper).

The aspect shows if the action is happening (continuous), is completed before another action (perfect), is an action that had been ongoing but is completed at a certain point (perfect continuous), or is an action that is just stated (simple).

The four moods are:

  • indicative (assertion, denial, question of actuality, or strong probability)
  • imperative (request, direct order, permission, and strong suggestion)
  • conditional (if sentences, hypothetical results, reporting dialogue, polite speech)
  • subjunctive (desires, wishes, assumptions).

The indicative is the most used mood form in the English language.

English is a Germanic language that has a past and a present (non-past) and these tenses are formed morphologically (the tense is created with the verb only). The future tense is made with auxiliaries, i.e. it is made of the same non-past tense with a supplementary supporting word (will or shall).

The table below may help you understand.

Tenses
Morphological With auxiliaries
Present Past Future
 

 

 

Aspects

 

Simple

 

I work I worked I will work
 

Continuous

 

I am working I was working I will be working
 

Perfect

 

I have worked I had worked I will have worked
 

Perfect continuous

 

I have been working I had been working I will have been working

Tenses in verbs are a large subject in the English language. Therefore I will limit the forms in the posts to come to regular verbs and the examples to positive sentence structures (no negatives or questions). I won’t go into abbreviations either.

For the following explanation of the tenses, please note that the root of a verb is the base form of a verb (= whole verb minus –ing).

Example: working – verb root = work

An overview of posts to come

Past

  • Simple Past
  • Past Continuous
  • Past Perfect
  • Past Perfect Continuous

Present

  • Simple Present
  • Present Continuous
  • Present Perfect
  • Present Perfect Continuous

Future

  • Simple Future
  • Future Continuous
  • Future Perfect
  • Future Perfect Continuous

 

Timeline Graph

Tenses_Graph

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_tense#English

http://www.whitesmoke.com/tense-aspect-mood/

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/simple-present/

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs

http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

http://www.ef.co.uk/english-resources/

https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar

http://www.whitesmoke.com/tense-aspect-mood

http://www.ef.com/english-resources/english-grammar/verbs/

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My Weight Loss Journey

My Weight Loss Journey

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted an update on my weight loss journey this week. I recently sent my readers a questionnaire about what they wanted to read via my newsletter, and the overall response to my weight loss journey was that they weren’t interested. Obviously, this was to be expected. This website is about writing and it doesn’t really fit here. I just wanted to make sure.

I’m also extremely busy working on new covers for my Suckers Trilogy. They’re going to be awesome but need me to concentrate as I’m doing most of the work (on Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign) myself. It’s a steep learning curve. In the meantime, I’m also working on ideas for my next novel which I hope to begin writing as soon as the covers are done. A writer’s job is never finished!

So, I’m no longer going to post about my weight loss journey. I’ll keep trying to lose weight and may give a quarterly update, just no longer every week. My sincere apologies to those who were following my journey. I hope that my meal photos inspired you to make scrumptious, healthy meals 😀

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Meet the Author… Christine Anne Asbrey

Meet the author

I’d like to introduce you to Christine Anne Asbrey, author of The Innocents, a historical mystery novel that will be available tomorrow. She did an amazing amount of homework before writing her book, and it’s a tantalizing tale of mystery, history, and romance.

Christine Anne Asbrey

ChristineAnneAsbrey

Did you always want to be a writer?

I was always a voracious reader, my mother teaching me with flashcards at the age of two, and graduating to the adult section of the library about the age of ten. I easily finished three books a week for years and was lost without one. Mysteries were a real love, and I consumed the works of writers old and new constantly. The one thing I always wanted to do was to write but never had the confidence or time to do more than dream about it.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

That would be in my work as a young police officer. I learned that talking people down from spiraling emotions is a powerful tool in keeping people safe, and more potent than violence. I also learned that listening to detail is vital too. Noting the small things helped to push cases along in gathering evidence. I also learned the complex and intricate ways people use language to put you down and grab power in a situation. Understanding that really helps you stay in control of a situation.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

That would be either the Pope of the Queen – on a protection duty. When the Pope visited Scotland I was the police officer at the bottom of the aircraft steps. We then moved with him into the city. As a fun aside, the glass-covered vehicle he used was nicknamed the Pope Mobile by the press. The crowds were all still there when we returned to the airport in the Pope mobile without him. We stood in full uniform waving flowers out the top to cheering crowds as we drove the full length of Prince’s Street in Edinburgh (the big main street in Scotland’s capital city). The crowd cheered us and waved flags as we passed. Only a Scottish crowd could hail a car full of police officers like that. Great fun.

What inspires you?

Often fact is stranger than fiction, so I’ll start with real crime or criminals. I‘ll then change it to ensure that even people familiar with that particular crime can’t guess whodunit. The stories are inspired by real crimes and people but they are not a memoir. They are stories where everything is historically possible. It either happened or could have happened.  

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been playing with the characters for about ten years, but work and life got in the way. I started writing seriously about two years ago and spent about a year being turned down by everyone. I acted on every bit of feedback and continually got my work reviewed and improved until it was polished enough to be accepted.

Do you write under a pseudonym?

I kinda do. I write under my married name and feature on social media under my maiden name for social interactions. I also write under initials. I don’t hide my gender, but it’s not immediately obvious when you look at the book cover.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

That would have to be ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins. Not only is it considered the first proper detective novel in the English language, it also shows working class females as rounded characters instead of foils for male attention. It also is the first to introduce many of the elements we take for granted in mysteries such as red herrings, false suspects, the skilled investigator, and a final twist. Collins was actually vastly more popular than Dickens in his day, but is now largely forgotten in comparison.

How did you come to write The Innocents?

My grasp on the methodologies used by law enforcement, when applied the law in day to day enquiries in the days before technology was available, as well as historic weaknesses and blind spots in the both the legal and court systems, make for an authentic backdrop to the characters.     

I first became interested in the female pioneers in law enforcement when I joined the police in Scotland. History has always held a draw and the colorful stories of the older officers piqued my interest, making me look even further back.

The very first women in law enforcement had been in France, working for the Sûreté in the early 19th century. They were, however, no more than a network of spies and prostitutes, the most infamous being the notorious ‘Violette’. Now there’s another story which needs to be told!

Kate Warne
Kate Warne, the first Pinkerton woman, is the one holding the pole and dressed in pants.

The first truly professional women in law enforcement worked for the Pinkerton Agency, and they were trained by the first female agent Kate Warne, an ex-actress and an expert in working undercover. Kate Warne was an expert at disguise, adopting roles, and accents. She was said to be daring and able to pass her characters off, even in close quarters. In the only known photograph of her she is dressed as a man. 

These women were fully-fledged agents, with their skills being held in high regard by Alan Pinkerton who once said, “In my service you will serve your country better than on the field. I have several female operatives. If you agree to come aboard you will go in training with the head of my female detectives, Kate Warne. She has never let me down.”

I started to wonder why one of the female agents couldn’t be a Scottish Immigrant. After all, Alan Pinkerton was one. He came from Glasgow. Being a Scot in another land is something I know well. They do say you should write what you know.    

The topic for ‘The Innocents Mystery Series’ simmered in the background for years, and all the time I was researching more and more deeply into the period. I love the rapid pace of innovation and invention in the 19th century. Nothing pleases me more than finding spy gadgets available at the time which were invented far earlier than most people would think possible.

Work and life got in the way of the books being anything more than an idea until I was suddenly grounded by a serious accident. The enforced leisure time of recuperation focused my mind and the old dream of writing resurfaced. It started as a short story which took on a life of its own when it grew and grew—then grew some more.

Eventually, ‘The Innocents Mysteries’ evolved and I found the perfect home for it at Prairie Rose. This is my first foray into fiction. I have produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law and written guides for the Consumer Direct Website. I was Media Trained by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC’s One Show and Watchdog. I have also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.

How long did you spend researching before beginning your book The Innocents?

Copious amounts. The Innocents has taken years of research into the work of the early Pinkertons, especially the female agents and the kind of work they did, including their methodologies. My work has taken me all over the world, but working in the USA and visiting the places where these women worked deepened my passion for finding out more about how they lived. I also researched the tools and equipment available to them at the time. Connections to police and Home Office experts allowed me to research the birth of forensics with people who knew their subject intimately. 

I research everything, even the stationary which was in use and the correct codes for the telegraph stations mentioned in the books. The theatrical make up used as disguises in the book began to flourish right around the period the books are set in as lighting improved and people could see the flaws in the rudimentary stuff previously only lit by candles. The forensics are fascinating to dig into too. You name it I researched it.

How did you select the names of your characters?

As I write 19th century characters I try to keep them in period and maintain a sense of place. I’ll research popular or unusual names as well as using names of people I know if they’re appropriate. I’ve also been known to add really unusual names to my note as I come across them. Some are too good not to use.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The interrogation scene. I had to inject a sense of menace into it to make it work. I know it’s not usual to make your hero do bad things, but he’s a professional criminal and he has to find out who this mysterious woman is and how much danger the heroine poses to him.

Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

‘The Innocents’ is most definitely part of a larger body of work. It’s the first of a trilogy, but if people like them there’s plenty of scope to keep them going. I would still continue with each book being a self-contained mystery with the larger universe of the characters providing an over-arching connection between the books. The third book is written and at editing stage, but there are plenty of trials I can still put the characters through yet.

The Innocents, by C. A. Asbrey

Thanks, Christine, for sharing your writing journey of The Innocents with us.

If you like to follow Christine’s writing journey, you can find her on the following media:

Website: C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period http://caasbrey.com/

Facebook: The Innocents Mystery Series Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/937572179738970/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mysteryscrivener/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CAASBREY

Christine Anne Asbrey’s book The Innocents goes live on Amazon tomorrow but you can pre-order today!

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Great 5 Star Reviews!

I am so happy to receive reviews for my books. Today, I received two and they are both five star reviews. It’s hard to stay in my seat! 😀

This first one is from Ingrid for Book 1, Living Like A Vampire:

Ingrids_Review

The second is from Sandra for Book 3, Raising A Vampire:

Sandras_Review

Thank you so much, Ingrid and Sandy! You made my day!

via GIPHY

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What To Watch? The Blues Brothers

What To Watch?

Yesterday evening I was browsing through the Netflix assortment for a good movie and stumbled upon The Blues Brothers. It was a movie I wanted to show my kids for a long, long time. I’m not sure for how long this movie will be available, but I suggest you watch it while it’s there!

The Blues Brothers

Blues_Brothers.JPG

This musical comedy is from 1980, nearly forty years old, and a classic. It brought back good memories of my teenage time. I was amazed at how I still could sing every song along 🙂

Cast

The cast in this movie is outstanding. Next to John Belushi as Jake ‘Joliet’ Blues and Dan Ayckroyd as Elwood Blues, there’s a whole list of music greats such as singers James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, musicians Steve “the Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Murphy “Murph” Dunne, Willie “Too Big” Hall, Tom “Bones” Malone, “Blue Lou” Marini, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and “Mr. Fabulous” Alan Rubin. There are guest roles of actors Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, John Candy, and model Twiggy.

Plot

When Jake Blues comes out of a three-year stint in prison, he finds out that the ‘Penguin,’ i.e. the nun who runs the orphanage where Jake and Elwood grew up, owes $5000 in taxes. When they visit the church (where James Brown delivering the gospel), Jake is enlightened, and they decide to ‘put the band back together’ to raise the money to save the orphanage. Unfortunately, in the past three years, the band has been dissolved and Jake and Elwood have to convince their ex-band members to leave their current jobs to join the band again.

What I liked about The Blues Brothers

This movie is extremely funny and just rocks! It’s not a true musical where dialogue is sung. This is rather a show of great songs with some (dubious) acting around it. Most of the songs texts have some link to what is happening, but mostly it’s about the music itself. The plot is fun, slapstick like, the dialogue full of funny one-liners (see image above), and the car chases unbelievable (making it one of the most expensive comedies according to Wikipedia).

Another thing I liked about this movie is its unpretentiousness. Even though the movie was made in 1980, there is no hint of any form of discrimination (leaving out the far right extremists in this remark, of course 😀 ). Yes, there is a scene where Aretha Franklin is left by her ‘man’ (so he can join the band) after her pleading him not to go, but she is the owner of the shop; a very independent woman. There are no remarks about looks or disabilities, and people of all shapes and races sing and dance together without putting emphasis on the fact. What I’m trying to say it that I like that people are in it for their abilities, not for what they look like.

What I didn’t like about The Blues Brothers

Don’t expect to see great acting. They must have been time-deprived when filming John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd tiptoeing to the music as any five-year-old would be able to do it better 😀 . It’s a fact that John Belushi’s drug problem made filming take longer and more expensive, but this didn’t make his acting better. Their singing is also not of the best quality and is better left to the professionals 😀

Even though John Landis edited Dan Aykroyd’s script, the dialogue is still quite stinted most of the time.

Summary

The Blues Brothers is a fun movie with great music that needs to be watched at least once in your lifetime.

The Blues Brothers is available on Amazon.

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Meeting Nancy Jardine, Author of Celtic Historical Novels

What to Read?

My family and I were in town for a cup of coffee when we saw a pamphlet informing us of a craft fair in the town hall of Inverurie. Of course, we had to visit, and who did I immediately see when I walked in? Nancy Jardine!

Nancy and Me.jpg

Nancy had a big table at the fair, full of all her books; her romantic mysteries Topaz Eyes (a mystery in a mystery), Take Me Now, Monogamy Twist, her Young Adult novel The Taexali Game; an anthology Crooked Cat Tales; and of course her Celtic novels The Beltane Choice, After Whorl-Bran Reborn, and After Whorl-Donning Double Cloaks.

We chatted about all things writer-related, from how long it takes to write a novel, to being on fairs and selling books. I learned something new from Nancy too, to about making files especially for Amazon. It was great to talk to another author about the trials and tribulations we have to go through from putting pen to paper all the way to get people to read our books.

I bought the Taexali Game for my daughter and you can expect a review of it soon (but she has to finish reading the Harry Potter books first)!

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What To Read? Cursed: Ruadh’s Story

What to Read?

I have a little gem for your today. I’m particularly proud of this one as I’ve helped the author, Troy A. Hill, a little bit with it. It is published today!

Cursed

Ruadh’s Story

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You may remember the Dark Fantasy Spring Giveaway Event not long ago. I won this book in Troy’s competition after guessing the correct shifter form of Ruadh (and no, I didn’t see the bear in the moon on the image that he showed us 😀 ). That’s the first thing that attracted me to this book; the cover. The artist did an excellent job detailing the atmosphere described in the story (not that I knew that when I saw the cover for the first time, of course).

It’s a short read, with only one hundred pages. This doesn’t diminish the reading entertainment, though. Mr. Hill has a particular way of writing, one that suits the character of Ruadh very well. He gets you to experience exactly what Ruadh is going through as he shapeshifts and on his flight from evil but without getting overly descriptive. His words are straight to the point yet transporting you into the scene. You get drawn into this ancient world with shapeshifters, banshees, and godesses creating havoc. There even is a comic relief in there, although this may not have been intended 🙂 . There truly is not a dull moment in this story. It is a good set up for the main novel to come, and I hope to read the other books soon.

Troy_Hill_Books

All of Troy A. Hill’s books are available on Amazon and Cursed is on sale at the moment, so grab it while it’s hot!

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Meet The Author – Ingrid Foster

Meet the author

Ingrid Foster is the author of two short horror stories, a fantasy suspense novel, My Father’s Magic, the first in the Esme Bohlin suspense series, and working on the sequel called Revenge of the Dark Queen. She is a real world traveler and a great storyteller.

Ingrid Foster

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You have traveled a lot, including to places like Australia and The Netherlands (places I traveled as well) as well as thirty US states. What attracts you about traveling?

I grew up a reader, loving books about foreign places and strange names. When I enlisted in the Air Force and was given an opportunity to be stationed in Germany, I jumped at the chance. Exploring Germany and much of Western Europe allowed me to experience places I’d only read about. That’s what traveling gives you, opportunities to explore and sense new things.

Which country do I like best?

I don’t know yet, maybe I’ll know after I’ve gotten a chance to explore them all 🙂

You have written two short stories (A Home for Rose and Fresh Meat) and a novel; My Father’s Magic. In Fresh Meat, you feature a grandmother. Did you have a special bond with your grandmother?

I did. My grandmother is no longer with us. In truth, she was my best friend, especially when I was a child. My mother suffered from Post Partum Depression, so my grandmother retired early from her job so she could care for me. When I was a small child I used to spend hours playing with old makeup and perfume bottles, whatever I could find and create the most elaborate stories. My grandmother was always amazed and supportive; she never had a negative word, even when I beat her at Chinese Checkers.

Where did you get the idea for My Father’s Magic?

I wanted to write a memoir, but quickly tired of it. So I decided instead to write a story about a lonely young woman who finds a key to an old haunted house and discovers a family she didn’t know she had. Of course, being me, I needed to keep it entertaining, so I included magical creatures and scary things that go bump in the night.

I don’t plot my stories, so when I write, I never know what will happen next. My theory is that if I enjoy writing the story, my readers will enjoy reading it.

What is your favorite passage/dialogue in the book?

My favorite passage is when my main character, Esme, whose memory had intentionally been blocked by her sorcerer father when she was six, gets her memory back:

(Excerpt) Reaching out to open the stainless refrigerator, something caught my eye. At the far end of the kitchen, in a vacant hearth, sat a child’s table with two small chairs and a half-played game of checkers, the game appeared to be waiting for the children to return.

My_Fathers_Magic.JPGSomething was familiar about the scene, something that wouldn’t let me pull my eyes away and as I stared, a sense of déjà vu hit me. “Stoney, we never did finish that game of checkers, did we?”

As if in response, there was a loud thud and then Stone was by my side. “No, your father called you home and you never came back.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask at that moment, but my mouth could only form one, “And you never picked up the game?”

Stone smiled down at me. “My mother thought to a few times, but I told her no, that one day you’d be back and we would finish.”

…over coffee laced with whiskey, we finished the game we started eighteen years before, in the living room in front of the fire. I had never enjoyed a game more in my life. And then as we curled up on the sofa, in each other arms, and the flames danced across the thick logs, I was content for the first time in a very long time; probably since I was six and my only care in the world was beating my best friend, Stoney, at checkers.

(Excerpt, My Father’s Magic)

What part of the story did you find the hardest to write?

When Esme is sexually assaulted by someone close to her. It was hard for me to write because I have a history of being both sexually assaulted and raped. I had to put myself back in those memories, so I could capture the raw emotions. It was actually quite therapeutic, especially when Esme gets justice in the end.

What can readers expect when reading your work?

My stories are all suspenseful and captivating leaving my readers wanting more. Or, at least, that’s what they tell me. At 5 Stars for most of my reviews, I must be doing something right.

Are you working on another book? If yes, what’s it about and could you give us a little preview?

The second book in the Bohlin Series is coming out later this year. It’s titled Revenge of the Dark Queen and it picks up where My Father’s Magic left off.

In the following scene, my main character Esme is on her way up in an elevator to her father’s penthouse. With her is Liebling, the last known Katzenspinder, a very old magical species that has the cashmere-soft body of a cat and eight legs like a spider, the front two ending in paws. Liebling’s fur changes color according to his mood:

(Excerpt) Seconds later, the elevator stopped and I took a deep breath, “Okay, we’re here.” As the doors opened, not waiting for my signal, Liebling dropped his invisibility and jumped down from my shoulder.

“Wait,” I told him telepathically. I started scanning the apartment.

It felt all right. I didn’t sense anything, no people, no spirits…but still, something was definitely off. I pointed my wand at the far wall, opposite the elevator, where my father’s elaborate gold mirror once stood.

“Revelare Cesern,” I said with more power in my voice than I expected considering how nervous I was.

Red words, left splattered and dripping, appeared on the far wall. Liebling, his fur now white, began to shake. “Need Edgar.”

I looked down at him, trying to catch his meaning. “Bruce is in school.”

“No. Go. Need Edgar.”

In my mind’s eye, I knew he thought I was walking into a trap and, based on my experience with my father’s magic, I knew that even though the last occupier of the penthouse, Geoff, was dead, his magic could remain.

“Very well,” I said, pushing the elevator’s “G” button. I lifted Liebling onto my shoulder and he turned invisible before I thought to ask. As the elevator lowered, Liebling shuddered. “Bad magic. Bad magic.”

(Excerpt, Revenge of the Dark Queen)

What is your preferred surrounding when writing?

I have a home office that allows me to close myself off from the world. As for music, I only listen to instrumental while I’m writing, and it varies according to the scene and story. For the Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, I listened mostly to Nox Arcana, Escala and anything Celtic. For the Dark Desert Tales which is all dark fiction, I’ll listen to something darker.

Thank you so much, Ingrid, for sharing your life’s experiences and giving us those wonderful excerpts of your novels. Katzenspinder… I just have to read your books now! 🙂

 

Ingrid_Foster_Books

Ingrid Foster’s books are all available on Amazon.

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 13

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 13

Summary

It had to be week 13… the week when Friday is the thirteenth… and I’m back where I started. Well, sort of. I’m not exactly back at 80 kg, but I’ve let myself go for a few days (it is a holiday after all), and my weight has shot up again. Two steps forward, one step back. Feels more like one leap back, but oh well. Next week, I’m back into doing exercises and sticking to my diet!

Results

I’ll be honest, I waited another day in the hope my weight would drop miraculously. It didn’t, of course. Yesterday, I weighed in at 77.1 kg (12.14 stone). Sigh. I thought it was the huge Indian meal I had the night before, but today I was only 100 grams lighter. Obviously, my waistline has also gone up to 81 cm (31.9 inches) as well and I’m back to two holes again in my belt. That’s what you get for drinking a glass of wine every day and eating as if there’s no tomorrow.

W0-13F

W0-13S

Needless to say, there hasn’t been much change…

Exercise

We’ve been horseriding on Saturday, and I’m still walking like a seasoned cowboy. All those exercises and stretches I’ve been doing these past weeks haven’t done much to alleviate the muscle ache I’m feeling at the moment. Mind you, as I was the most experienced rider, they put me on the slowpoke, and I had to work my butt off (I wish) to keep this animal going. I suppose it could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t done those exercises.

Diet

Diet? What’s that? Can you eat it? 🙂 Honestly, apart from that one salad I made myself for lunch, I haven’t been sticking to any form of diet at all. I’ve been snacking and boozing for the last week. I’m terrible when my kids are home (not that my kids drink alcohol!). We sit in front of the TV, stuffing ourselves while binge-watching series we’ve already seen before. It’s a great time, but detrimental for the waistline.

Anyhow, next week I’ll be at it again. Starving myself and getting out of bed to do my exercises early in the morning. Fingers crossed I can make my words come true!

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How not to lose your uploaded Amazon Music

This post has nothing to do with writing. Unless you use music to get your writing inspiration like I do, of course. I don’t have an extended library in Amazon Music as most of my music is on my PC, the place I work at, but lately, I have been using Amazon Music mostly. As I still like to keep listening to my ‘old’ music (I’m an eighties girl), I have uploaded music from my PC to my Amazon Music account, so I can listen to all my music on my mobile phone as well.

What’s the deal with Amazon Music?

So, what’s happening with Amazon Music? Why would you lose your uploaded songs? Well, apparently Amazon’s changing its strategy, and as of the 28th of April, that is just over a fortnight from today, all your uploaded songs will be deleted from your account. That’s right, all gone!

How to keep your uploaded songs?

Not to worry, there is a way to keep them! If you log into your Amazon Music account and go to the Settings menu, there is a yellow button on the page (see image below) that you have to click to keep your songs. That’s all. All your uploaded songs will stay where they are. But you’ll have to click the button before the 28th. Better do it now 🙂

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