Since today is Father’s Day, I thought I’d share with you a father-daughter scene featuring Mads and his youngest daughter, Freya, from Maybe Forever.

Photo credit: rSnapshotPhotos/Shutterstock.
Photo credit: rSnapshotPhotos/Shutterstock.

Once Anton and I rang off, I took Freya into the bathroom and cooled off her skin with a cold compress. The aloe vera gel came next. Freya whimpered at first but as the gel soothed away the heat she settled down and a tiny smile emerged again. I hated seeing her like this. How did Laney deal with this all the time? All I knew was I wanted to make everything better for my little girl.
She was growing so fast–just yesterday she’d managed to pull herself up on her own and balance for a few moments. Laney and I had watched, mesmerized, as our youngest daughter planted her hands onto the sofa cushion to brace herself and try to stand. In a few days she would be eight months old. Would she be an early bloomer and begin walking before she was even ten months old? Or would she be more like Liv, who’d taken her time about walking and explored every inch of the apartment crawling or scooting, only to take us by surprise on her first birthday by standing and taking off almost immediately in a wobbly run.
After a sleepless night thanks to her sunburn, Freya was more subdued than usual, which was understandable. Hell, I was pretty exhausted too. If anything I wanted to take a nap and I’d barely been out of bed for more two or three hours. Picking up Freya again, I asked her, “What do you think, lille ven? Shall we take a nap?”
My daughter yawned, her sleepy green eyes struggling to remain open. We retraced the path to the bedroom Laney and I had been sharing. The bedroom faced the back garden and was shaded by most of the morning sun thanks to the lush canopy of a marbleberry tree. It cast swaying shadows on the wall as a breeze caught its branches. Freya and I watched the shadows dance. She giggled and pointed at the tree. I kept my arm protectively around her as I began to drift off. It wasn’t long until even Freya settled down and her tiny sighs let me know she’d fallen asleep.
The air conditioner’s hum formed a cloud of white noise that lulled me even deeper into sleep. Freya planted her thumb in her mouth. I wondered if she was dreaming of penguins. Don’t grow up too quickly, I thought as my eyelids grew heavy. Stay my baby girl for just a little while longer.

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All that’s missing is Thor and his hammer. 😉

Sometimes I am a fast adaptor or fast follower. I find out about trend, it interests me and I either accept it or I follow it. This was the case with Pinterest and Facebook. As soon as I tried them, I was hooked. Other times, I am ornery and I just don’t give a fuck and I ignore it. This was how I felt about (and still feel) about the billionaire/stepbrother/dinosaur as hero book craze. I don’t really get all the fuss. But that’s just me.

A few months ago, people began asking me to support their ThunderClap campaigns. I had no clue what it was. Initially, I ignored all the requests. I was usually at work when I received them and I didn’t have time to find out what it was all about. By the time I went home, I’d forgotten about it. But then a fellow writer (Lisa Marie Rice) asked me what I knew about ThunderClap, and I figured I’d better look into it since other authors were now seeing it as something viable.

For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, ThunderClap is a social media crowdspeaking platform–you start a campaign (for a cause, your gig, your book, etc) and you ask people to help you spread the word. In return, you help them spread the word about their campaigns via your social media networks. You set a deadline and you aim to reach a certain number of supporters by the deadline. With a little luck and perseverance, you will get your supporters, word will spread and thousands of people will find out about you and your campaign–and you hopefully will get some new followers and make a few sales while you’re at it.

So now I am trying ThunderClap for the first time. Yesterday, I set up a campaign for Maybe Forever and so far I’ve got 44 out of 100 supporters. I’ve got nine more days to reach my goal. Once I finish writing this post, I will return the favor to the people who’ve supported my campaign. If I’m lucky, by May 15 (the official release date for Maybe Forever) I will have reached thousands of potential readers and hopefully some of them will be intrigued and will have pre-ordered Maybe Forever.

Who knows? If I am really lucky, ThunderClap could help Maybe Forever become my breakout novel. A girl can dream, right? In the meantime, I’ll keep working on my near-future/SciFi-esque love story (working title: Under the Milky Way).

How many of you have tried ThunderClap? Drop me a line and let me know how it went for you.

 

Maybe Forever Teaser #4

Maybe Forever…a snippet…

I wasn’t sure how long I sat on the sofa, waiting…my face stripped of all the makeup, my dress draped across a chair in the bedroom. I would never wear it again. Now it felt jinxed. I’d changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top. My stomach grumbled, reminding me that I’d not had dinner. I should have been hungry…but the roiling sensation in my belly didn’t make me want to eat. It was too hot. My skin felt clammy, sticky. I hadn’t smoked in over a year but now I wished I could have a cigarette. I longed for the illicit pull of the tobacco. I longed to forget.

How could he forget? How could I be so easy to forget? He used to remember everything. Every little detail of my life, memorizing it like it held some hidden meaning. He used to tell me he wanted to know everything about me. He’d remember things I’d forgotten. Now it felt like he’d forgotten all the important bits. Maybe he didn’t want to remember.

Cover of Maybe Forever

The anticipated sequel to MAYBE BABY and MAYBE TONIGHT

Is the honeymoon over…?
Now married with two children, Laney and Mads are finding their life together isn’t as simple as it used to be. While Laney struggles with motherhood, Mads is so focused on chasing success that he loses sight of promises he’s made.

Better apart…?
When frustration gets the better of her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find solace with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation in Florida.

Will Laney and Mads find a way back to one another…or is it too late?

Launching on May 15 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

PRE-ORDER LINKS COMING SOON

Add MAYBE FOREVER to your TBR List on GoodreadsMaybe Forever

Coming June 1 in paperback.

Cover designed by Arijana Karcic of Cover It! Designs.

30 Days30 StoriesEarlier today, while sitting in a meeting at work, I started thinking about my 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge and how it would be great to have all the stories in one place where people can read them. I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook author page and on Goodreads, now I’m sharing it on Wattpad as a compiled book–and, yes, it’s free.

Are the stories perfectly edited? Nope, and they probably never will be until I decide to use them in some future project. But if you want to read them on your phone or your tablet as a proper e-book, you can read them for free by using this link, http://embed.wattpad.com/story/32495751.

Or, if you’re already a member on Wattpad, add it to your library. I’ll be updating until the end of the month. One of the stories, “Drive”, is the first chapter of a novella I’m working on about Jesper, Niklas’s teenage son from Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. You’ll see it later this spring. I’ve got to finish a couple of other projects first. 🙂

Only one more week until NaNoWriMo and I am nearly done with my outline. I’m getting really anxious to start. I don’t remember feeling this excited last year–which is probably why I didn’t finish my 2013 NaNoWriMo effort.

This year, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be returning to Copenhagen and writing about Laney and Mads. We meet them four years after the end of the Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. I’ve made a vision board for the novel and it’s been a great help during this outlining stage.

I wasn’t going to share the plot just yet, but I changed my mind. Here’s the gist of the story I’ll be working on:

Add text-2Now married with two kids, Laney and Mads are finding life together is not as simple as it used to be. Laney is struggling with juggling a new baby and her four-year old daughter, Liv, and pressure to come back to work early from her maternity leave. She’s also worried that she and Mads are drifting apart. He’s so caught up in his furniture making business that he’s forgetting promises made to Laney and to Liv. And he’s missing signs that all is not well with Laney…

When the pressure gets too much for her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find sanctuary with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation to pensioners and at-risk teenagers in Florida.

Will Laney and Mads find a way back to one another…or is it too late?

Next Saturday I’ll be ready…and I will probably exhaust myself (and my fingers) the first few days, but I’ll keep writing. I’ll also have a temporary page here on the site where you’ll be able to read the very, very rough versions of the chapters I pen. I hope you’ll cheer me on. If you want to follow my NaNo progress, save this link.

By the way, the cover image is just inspiration. It’s not the final cover. I made it just to keep me motivated. When it’s time for publication, I’ll be contacting Arijana at Cover It! Designs for another amazing cover. 🙂

I wonder how many of you will be joining me for the NaNoWriMo challenge…drop a line and let me know! 🙂

 

I don’t know about you but my World Cup fever is finally beginning to wane…well, just a wee bit. I am not the world’s greatest football (read: “soccer” for my fellow Americans) fan. I never watch the Swedish Football League matches. I think they are incredibly boring. When I am in Italy, I never watch those matches either. Why? Same reason–boring. But give me the European championships or World Cup and I’ll pick my favourite teams and scream and cheer with the best of them.

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This year, my favourite team, Italy, didn’t fare well. Still, my love for Gli Azzurri reigns. I know, I should have been cheering for Team USA–and I did! I was so happy that we did as well as we did this year, but I was convinced the Italians would make it to the final and bring the trophy home to Rome again–just like they did the very first time I was ever in Rome. I still have fond memories of that trip and it’s mostly because of how great the Romans where as they celebrated the return of their team.

Now that Italy and the US are out, I am not sure who to cheer for. The Swedish team didn’t even qualify for World Cup, so I can’t cheer for them. I like the Dutch team but Robben is making it hard for me to cheer for them because he is crying wolf too much with all his exaggerated “falls”. C’mon, Robben, then Dutch team has always been renowned for playing honourable football, so get with the program! I could cheer for Germany, but the games are always boring. You know they are going to win… And the Brazilian team… I used to love the Brazilian football team. Now, they’re just not doing it for me.

Tord just told me he misses the Biter (Uruguay striker Luis Suarez) but we can always  giggle about how he inspired a nipple clamp. Maybe I should add this to one of my novels. It could be amusing. We can all laugh about it now, but you do have to wonder what’s going on in Suarez’s mind when he thinks biting someone is no big deal. At least he finally apologised to Giorgio Chiellini, though it took him long enough.

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Chiellini is much nicer than me. But then again, I am a grumpy Capricorn, so I hold grudges. I am trying to learn not to do so. But it isn’t easy.

Well, I will watch the final. As I write this post, I am watching the Netherlands-Costa Rica match. It’s in overtime and the score is *still* 0-0.  How will I survive when World Cup is over? I hadn’t even planned on watching it. I guess I will have more time to work on my next novel. 😉

 

A few weeks ago, fellow writer and former expat Emily Breunig asked me if she could interview me for her blog. We ended up having a great chat session in which we talked about Maybe Baby, our characters, the expat life and a whole lot more.

One of the things we ended up talking about a lot was this idea of the disconnect and rootlessness a lot of expats feel. I’ve been an expat American for over twenty years now, so I can relate. I love the life I have here in Sweden. I sometimes miss my life in the US but I’ve been away so long that I feel like a tourist when I am there. It’s disconcerting. 

I think my character Laney feels a similar rootlessness. For her it is more pronounced: she has no family to go back to the US for–her mother is dead, her father abandoned her. Her only family now is her cousin Eddy, Eddy’s mother and her Swedish boyfriend, Niklas. Is it any wonder she feels so confused about exploring the unknown? Well, that’s for you to decide when you read Maybe Baby

Emily and I have both written about the expat experience. Her novel, A Ghost at the Edge of the Sea, is out on submission and is represented by the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. And while Maybe Baby deals with the game of love and an expat woman at a crossroads in her life, A Ghost… deals with ghosts, parallel universes and the afterlife in modern day Shanghai. 

I can’t wait for Emily’s book to finally be published. Or maybe she’ll take the plunge and go down the self-publishing road.

magic size (1)Maybe Baby has been on sale for a little over a week and it’s doing really well. For that, I thank all of you who’ve purchased it and supported my writing dream. Thank you a thousand times over.

So what’s happened in that week? Maybe Baby was (and still is) on Amazon’s Hot New Kindle Releases list for African-American Women’s Fiction. The highest ranking for it was #6. As of the writing of this blog post, it’s at #11 for Hot New Releases and #21 for Amazon’s Kindle Bestsellers List of African-American Women’s Fiction and #97 for the paperback Bestsellers List of of the same genre.

It’s also been around a week since I released Maybe Tonight, the e-short told from Mads’s point of view. I’d initially only planned on Maybe Tonight being an e-short but it’s been so much fun writing from Mads’s perspective that I’ve decided to keep updating it with 3-5 chapters every few weeks until it’s a full-length novel. So you pay 99 cents Maybe Tonight Cover for WPnow for a 22-page story, which gets updated every few weeks until you have a novel. Do you pay anything extra? Nope. Just the initial 99 cent investment.

So what else is in the pipeline? I’m plotting two novels at the same time: a sequel of sorts to the Maybe Baby story (called Maybe Tomorrow) that focuses on Laney’s cousin Edwina (also known as Eddy) and what happens when she meets Mads’s cousin, Henrik; and there are also two standalone novels in the works that are set in Hunters Grove–the town where Snowbound is set. Yes, Mia and Jake will pop up in these novels but the focus will be on other couples.

That’s it for now. If you’ve already read Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight and liked them, please consider reviewing them on Goodreads, Amazon and Kobo. And thanks again for your support! It really makes my day when people tell me how much they’ve enjoyed my books and connected in some way with the characters and the plot.

Happy reading! 🙂