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Happy New Year!

It’s 2018… and I’m back!

It’s been a while, over a month I’d say, and I’ve missed blogging. Did you miss me? I bet you’ve had many things to keep you busy over the festive season. I have so many things to tell you and I hardly know where to start. 2018 is going to be such an active year for me.

Killing A Vampire

My biggest accomplishment in 2017 was finishing Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy. I was able to send it to the beta readers before Christmas, and I’m receiving their responses back now. The few grammatical errors (tenses keep being my bane), the odd remark on character statements, but overall a positive reaction. I even received a pat on the back for two suspenseful chapters by Kathy Lance, an ex-director of an international school of linguists and now book reviewer for One Stop Fiction. She’s a tough one, writing very honest reviews, and her comment made me very proud.

I must admit I was a bit wary of this book when I began writing it. I have planned this story for a long time, and writing it according to ‘plan’ felt different than writing the first two books, which were written ‘from the wrist.’ Writing the interactions between the characters still felt exciting as they were new on the page, but I worried about the storyline once I finished it.  I wanted a grand finale and felt my story lacking. I discussed the issue with my family and they helped me improve it. Now I have revised the ending, got rid of the grammatical errors, and changed the wording here and there, I feel this story is a great ending to the trilogy and am ready to promote it.

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Christmas Celebration

Over Christmas, we flew to Holland to spend time with the family. We visited almost all of our dearest family and slept in four different beds in the seven days we were there. The weather was great, we only had rain the last day. We were very lucky to get a Maastricht city tour from my uncle, who has been a tour guide in one of Holland’s oldest cities. We visited the tunnels as well, which was very different from what I expected. We spent two days in the Efteling, a fairytale theme park, which is always a big hit with the kids. It was great to see everyone again and we were sad to leave.  I was glad to sleep in my own bed again though 🙂

What is 2018 going to bring?

Promoting

First of all, the promotion of my trilogy. I never thought I would ever write a book, so finishing three has been a major accomplishment in my life. It gives me a real boost and I’m looking forward to promoting them. I love writing and will continue. There are so many new ideas already flying around in my head.

Improving health

The new year also brings a new year’s resolution for me as I have never been this unhealthy and overweight in my life. Writing has been my passion and I have put all things aside for it. This year, I need to take more care of my body, my family, and my house. I have started doing yoga exercises and will begin doing some physical exercises as well. I’ll have to take it slow, as I’m as flexible as a door. Next to this, I fell on my wrist during ice skating on our holiday and it is still painful. Fingers crossed it won’t be a chronic issue.

 

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Family time

I also need to take out more time for my family as I feel like I have neglected them badly and want to spend more time with them. I’m going to cut our TV-watching dinners and eat at the dining table so we can have actual conversations. Cooking more interesting dinners and resolving the draft issues in the dining room will probably help promote this.

Renovations

2018 is also the year that we are going to have major renovations done to the house. We have decided that it takes too long to do everything ourselves. Sometimes you need to put a little water to your wine. The work doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it functions and you can enjoy life instead of worrying about not having enough time. So, the kitchen and family bathroom are going to be done by someone else than ourselves. The kitchen project will cause some problems as last year, my husband decided to rip out the little kitchen in the basement ‘because it was ugly.’ We will now have to organize a makeshift kitchen in the dining room when we rip out the old kitchen. This will mean my previous resolution of having meals in the dining room will have to be postponed, but hopefully it won’t take a whole year (famous last words).

Reading

As I won’t be writing 24/7 anymore, I also hope to have more time to read so watch this space for some awesome book reviews!

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Do you have any new year’s resolutions or major plans for 2018? I’d love to hear what’s written down on your calendar 🙂

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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!

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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.”

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It’s official! Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy is being written!

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This morning I turned my social media off and opened Scrivener to begin writing the last installment of the Suckers Trilogy. Two hours later, chapter one is written.

It is such relief. I have waited so long to do this. The main story line exists in my head, but I can’t wait to flesh it out ‘on paper’ and find out where my characters are taking me this time. I may have the ending plotted, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get there. Kate may take a completely different route. Who knows?

I’ll try and keep you up to date (without any spoilers) of my trials and tribulations on this final epic journey of Kate and her family.

If you haven’t had the chance yet to get acquainted with Kate, now is your chance. Book 1 of the Trilogy is on SALE, but only until the 16th of September. You can get your copy on Amazon or KOBO.

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Book 1 of the Suckers Trilogy Now On SALE

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Header image by Aris Sfakianakis

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Killing A Vampire – Playlist

The Music I’ll be listening to when writing Book 3

I’m on the brink of writing Killing A Vampire and I’ve made a playlist to get me in the mood. I’ve written Book 1 and 2 with music from the albums Just Great Songs 2014 and 2015. I was amazed how many of those songs fit my stories.

Killing A Vampire is going to be a lot darker than the previous installments as it is the final of the Suckers Trilogy, hence the music is a lot darker too. My favorite is Arsonist’s Lullaby by Hozier at the moment (I play it so often until I will come to hate it 🙂 ). Drink the Water by Justin Cross is coming in at a good second place. The song has nothing to do with the story. I just like the tone it sets. The songs are not in a particular order, they don’t ‘tell the story.’ Let me know if you know any of the songs and what your favorite is.

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Header image by Diego Sulivan

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Raising A Vampire Review

A Monster of All Emotional Rollercoasters!

I just saw the review I received from Sandra Vattimo, a person I don’t know but who apparently read Book 1 and now Book 2. It appears she liked it, so I must be doing something right 🙂 .

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Here’s what she wrote:

“Book two of the Suckers Trilogy was filled with just as much excitement as the first, but was laced with more emotional turmoil. The cause of the turmoil is a huge spoiler so I’ll try my best to share my anxiety carefully.

**If you haven’t read book one, the following will be considered SPOILERS**

I hope you all paid attention to the end of the first book because this one begins 10 years later. The world was provided with vaccinations against the virus which had caused all the problems to begin with. It doesn’t take too much imagination to realize not everyone has been located for vaccinating. It also doesn’t take further imagination to understand it won’t work on everyone.

But what about the babies?? Early on in this story we learn the answer to that question. Baby Sue is now a 10-year-old young lady. A series of awful events lead to the heart of the story. I spent most of the read on the monster of all emotional rollercoasters. I was angry, then hopeful. Frustrated beyond belief, then confused and hopeful again. Throw in some heartbreak and a bit of relief.

I loved reading this book. The ending was a mix of happy and sad. Sue’s future looks … Kate and Charlie appear to be … I was sad when “he” died. I was happy when the other “he” died. I will continue to mourn until the final book in this trilogy comes out.”

Thank you so much for your review, Sandra! It made my day and all my sweat, grit, and love worth it! 🙂

Raising A Vampire is available on Amazon

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Another Great Review!

Check out the review Luna Rugova wrote about Book 2 on Luna’s website!

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Get your copy here!

 

 

 

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My Book is Soon Live on Amazon!

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I finally did it! The second book in the Suckers Trilogy has been handed in and will be published on Amazon the 28th of August! I’m so glad it is done. I need to tweak the blurb still, but the manuscript is as good as it can get.

Now to work on advertising…

 

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Finished the first draft of the Prequel!

Woohoo! It actually didn’t take that long to do, I just needed to find the time to sit down and do it. Once I got stuck into the story, my fingers were flying over the keyboard. Honestly, I could have written a whole book on this story. However, it’s going to be my magnet to the trilogy, so I’m not going to make it longer. 12+K Words is a nice teaser, I’d say.

So what happens in the story? It’s the few months before Black October. It starts when the go ahead is given to test the virus which is intended to grow muscle mass in soldiers. Then, of course, it all goes out of hand when the side-effects start to develop.

As the trilogy has flying insects on the cover (two butterflies and a moth, see my web page’s header), I thought it would be nice to have a caterpillar on the cover of this one. What do you think?

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Fun Friday!

This last week has been a great week. Not because of the weather. The weather has been dreadful. Rain, rain, and rain again. We didn’t have the basement fill with water for a change though. My husband must have fixed the leaking gutter drain properly earlier this year. The man is so incredibly handy! At the moment he is working on the basement bathroom. The plumbing for the laundry in the dressing room is ready and we’re working on the painting now. Progress!

Spent nearly all day yesterday with my son. He had an appointment with a new orthodontist. This was orthodontist #3. Fortunately, the woman agreed that my son does have a dental problem. His top and bottom teeth are not touching except for the very back molars. Orthodontist #2 didn’t see an issue with that. Orthodontist #1 acknowledged the problem but had an issue communicating. So glad we finally have someone who knows what they’re doing and can explain what needs to be done. Which is not a lot for now. Next appointment = next year.

I have been going to the gym, following instructions of my trainer, and it seems to be paying off. I’m sure I saw the outline of some biceps in the mirror. It takes a lot of time and stamina, but I’m still losing weight while gaining muscles. I must be doing something right.

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Talking about muscles… I lied last week. I said there wasn’t a movie out worth seeing. How wrong was I! We went to see Wonder Woman and it was great. As I have been so incredibly busy, I haven’t been able to write a review yet, but will do soon. For the moment, have a look at those biceps of Gal Gadot. They’re almost like mine 😀 .

The best thing of all last week is, of course, that I finished editing Book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy! I finished it on Monday, but couldn’t send it out to my launch team until yesterday. Even then I had to wait till the afternoon as my son’s download that was supposed to happen overnight (some game or other) didn’t happen overnight due to an obscure reason and took up all of our bandwidth the whole morning and early afternoon.  But the Book is out the door now (not yet on Amazon!). If you’re interested in becoming part of my launch team and receive the book for free, sign up on my Suckers Trilogy website. You can actually read a preview of my first book when you click on the preview button to the top left of my page. Nifty widget, if I may say so myself.

Another fun thing that happened this week was my meeting with two brand new actors, Calum and Katy, for our shoot on the 18th of June with AFP in Belmont Film House. It was so nice meeting them and going through the script. It wasn’t my script this time, but another AFP member’s one. Couldn’t have written it better myself though. It’s going to be such fun.

I must admit I haven’t been sending a lot of memes this week. Too busy. I still found some great ones that could have been applied to certain situations 😀 .

PS: I’ve been tweeking my website look again. I hope you like it 🙂

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What’s happening?!

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My dear family, friends, readers,

Just letting you know I’m still alive! If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these last few weeks; I’ve been writing. Actually, I should say editing. I’m working on improving ‘Raising A Vampire,’ Book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy. It’s hard work, much harder than writing. At least, that’s what I find. You need to be more focused and it’s not as creative.

So, I bet you’re asking yourself now ‘how long is this going to take’? Um, I don’t know. I got to chapter 6 and decided to start at chapter 1 again. I have ‘discovered’ the ‘text to speech’ option in Word and am using that now to get rid of the flow issues in sentences. I know, I told you about this function before, so I knew it existed. Didn’t mean I used it :). It’s a great feature though, helps a lot. And I still use ProWritingAid. That takes up the most time. Making decisions on what is ‘cleaner’ writing without making it clinical. Tough one.

But I promise you I will be more active on here again. I’m waiting for the files from the cover designer, so I can tweak them a little and will then go into full advertising mode. First for Book 1 and, as soon as the editing is done, for Book 2. I’m hoping to write Book 3 before the end of the year. So I need you guys to spread the word. Help me get more people on my email list! You can direct them here or to my Suckers Trilogy site:

Welcome to the Suckers Trilogy!

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Many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Jacky D.