Saturday, June 21, 2014

We Were Hit By Lighting! The shocking details...

First of all, I want you all to know that we're all okay. There was no fire, and we were very lucky, in many ways.

Here's the full story...

Thursday morning 5:30am
Thunderstorms in area

My husband and I were eating breakfast when we heard a loud POP! It wasn't unlike a helium balloon that pops. It startles you, and it's loud. The lights went out completely and we smelled something hot.

My husband, being next to the door that leads to the dining room had somehow zoomed out of the kitchen. 
"Get out of there," he said in a rather normal but stern voice.

Yeah. I was up, out of my chair, and when I got into the dining room where we waited to see what more would happen, I realized I still had the butter knife in my hand!

In the next five or so minutes Dennis located his flashlight, and went down into the musky basement to see if the circuit breaker had done its job. It had. He turned it back on and lights were working--except for the ones above the table where we had been sitting. This is a fan light. Odd thing about lightning and electricity--it is very selective as to how it travels and where to. The fan part was working. The lights were not. 

"That's weird," I said.

Upon checking the light bulbs, we found they had been fried--blackened! Then, I noticed the digital clock on the stove wasn't working. We checked the range. It was working. The oven was not.

What else had it done to the house? We were worried about a possible fire, of course, so that had to be checked out. We, living in the country, have lightning rods on this 1906 farm house that stands three stories tall. As far as we could tell, there was no fire.

My computer was plugged into a surge protector. But I had done one thing the night before, that I sometimes do when I know that there are bad storms in the area--I unplugged the phone cord from the modem. 

I went to work with the story about our oven and lights getting fried. I later learned that day that one digital fan was also fried. And when I went to check my computer (I had unplugged it for the day, worried about it being fried.) It came back to life, slowly. I kept looking at a black screen and the little boxes at the bottom where my files were. Eventually, the computer came back on. OMG! 

But when I tried to get on line--nothing. The phone was dead! I called the phone company and put in an order.
The phone technician had been out on Friday, zooming back and forth from our box to the neighbor's. I think we have three people on the same line. No dial tone on the phone by Friday night.
We went about our morning, and I wound up planting almost all of the rest of my annuals in mud. We'd gotten so much rain, even one and a half days of no rain and some sun did not dry us out. While I was out in the swamp, I heard someone driving back and forth. My husband came out to tell me that the phone guy was out there working on the phone again. Good. I was worried, since I never got a message saying my problem lie inside the house not inside.
I had taken a shower to get the grime off me from planting in the mud. A knock came to the door. We knew it would be the technician. It was and I went to speak with him. He asked me to check for a dial tone.
I did. Oh, I was so happy to hear it!!!
I went back to the young man at the door with a tan shirt that had Frontier embroidered over his heart. His face was flushed from the heat. I told him it was back up.

He said good, that the people just down the way (the Hunts), and the lady up the street, had both lost their computers. And the Hunts had a surge protector. I told him, I had unplugged that phone from the computer the night before we had those storms.

He went on to say that the lines under ground had been fried. "I don't know where it hit, but-"
"Here!" I said. And I told him what all we lost. I was taking in the fact that everyone else had lost their computer. I hadn't even known they were on dial up, but then they probably can't use anything else. I don't know.

I was prepared to call both the phone people and my Internet people to cancel, if the problem was inside the house--because they'd charge us for it. I would then write a letter to Shelly Arkon and tell her the news and ask her to keep me in her thoughts. I was prepared for the worse.

I've been living by a shoe string with this Internet thing, and so forth. If it or my computer goes I'm up the creek. The oven and light will be replaced (courtesy of the forest preserve who owns the house). My computer might have been fried, but wasn't. We might have been fried, but weren't.

Yeah, you just have to be grateful for all that you have, the bumps you get through in life, and also for being so damned lucky!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vampire Caprice NOW AVAILABLE!!

Hello, my pretties. Well, this has been a long haul for this book and me. I don't know, but I think this bugger was written about 3 years ago--it only took me 3 months to get it down. Of course, after that the work begins, and I'm what you might call a layering type of writer. I layer in details, and I do mean details...

I'd like to thank a bunch of people who have helped to make this possible.
Shelly Arkon Beta reader #1
Jennifer Wydert - Beta reader #2
and my ever devoted husband Dennis (who does a lot of work around here to allow me to work in my office)
Also a thank you to Lucy Pireel who put the cover together for me
and the cover photo (cave), is by Gord McKenna

Now, for those of you who have not had the chance to read all books, and would like to, I've initiated a KDP select pricing where the price on all books are at $.99 starting on June 14, and will go up gradually up until the 21st. Which means you can buy all three previous books for .99 NOW! 

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!! Vampire Caprice is also .99 on AMAZON until June 21st. (I sound like one of those info commercials, don't I??) 

I've got a busy summer coming up, so I'll be posting occasionally here. Thank you to all my fans--yes, all ten of you--and hope you all have a great summer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Photo Shoot for Cover

It was a beautiful day to get some shots of Paul Cummings' awesome tattoo. It's called, "Dracula's cross". What do you think?

My friends where I work agreed to do this for me. Mark Wojcicki is the photographer. Paul Cummings was my arm model. I needed Paul to hold a "dagger" for this, and I chose his arm because of the cool tat. This is for the cover of my stand-alone book, Dhampir Legacy, which I'm still working on.

Paul's grandparents are from Romania and he decided to get this tat called "Dracula's cross". The writing above it says "Live your life in Romania".

If I figure out how to take the arm holding the stake and paste it onto a background picture, I'll be ecstatic! That'll be great!

But the book isn't finished yet, so I've got a while before I have to worry about it. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

WHERE'S THE BEEF? ( I'm Ranting Again)

There's a few people out there who are slightly fed-up, or have fallen out of "love" with blogging. Or, some of us just don't have time. You're into writing your book, not writing--or trying to come up with something to blog about. Case in point here's  Norma Beishir's blog , and she has a few suggested posts on the subject. I happen to agree with her. Blogging is becoming a time eating monster.

I've had the feeling I'm working my fingers to the bone for a while, for no reason but to ramble. I reach very few of you (there are a couple who respond here and come over to visit on facebook too), who are actually "followers", and some who are "fans" of my books. The rest of them, I have no idea why they come to my blog. Some are "anonymous" making comments hoping that their blog will be visited too (usually these blogs are ads).

Once upon a time,when I had a publisher (for a very short two and 1/2 years), I was supposed to post something on his blog every week--which I got him down to once a month (I simply didn't have the time for that blog and mine, and other things!). He said that quite a number of people stopped by his blog (it was in the five-figures), and I did get hits on my various posts. But this didn't translate to many actual SALES. That frustrated me. The same holds true here at this blog. I've had days where I've reached over 100 people. Sometimes it's in the hundreds. Are they even looking at my books over on the sideboard? No. No hits there, and no sales. So, what gives? Why am/are we doing this?

The question remains: WHERE'S THE READERS??? Well, they sure as hell aren't here in Blogsphere.

Sort of like the "Where's the beef" commercials. Let's face it, readers don't come to our blogs. Back around 2005/06, you may have read in Writer's Digest - and publishers believed this too - they suggested that blogging was the way to reach readers.

I believe that it was about the end of last year-maybe earlier--when we writers began to question this. Really question it.

Of course other writers come to our blogs. We go to theirs. That's about it. I'm not saying I don't appreciate the support, and especially those of you who have bought my books, left comments, allowed me to come and be on your blogs, and made revues on Amazon or Goodreads, whatever. I do. But the long and short of it is it's not where the money will come from in the long run to keep me doing what I'm doing and having to pay for the Internet, or any other expenses. It's actually a drain on our monthly income. I'm questioning if it's worth keeping it. Yeah. I am. My husband still supports me, and tells me it's totally up to me. We'll see when winter is upon us again, with the electric company upping their service 35%, starting this month.

Just a few weeks ago I was having trouble with connecting. I was told that my modem might be bad. I thought I was going to have to actually call the phone company and my Internet providers and tell them I wanted to cancel the service. Eventually I figured out the problem and fixed it (the stupid guy who I had to talk to for an hour trying resolve this told me this, but didn't make any suggestions except that I may have to buy a new modem). Thankfully, I didn't. I figured out what I needed to do and got it fixed all by myself--and somehow that worked.

But, I don't know how much longer I'm going to pay for this Internet and not get something in return. Until I can get a laptop computer (and find a way to reduce my monthly payments), I've gotta use this dial up (I won't go into a long explanation here why, but it's virtually impossible for me to get wireless for this desktop computer.)

I still have a lot of stories inside me. That's not the problem. Or, maybe it is, as far as trying to keep up with blogging. I find myself asking myself,  "Is it all worth it?" This past winter I re-found my interest in crocheting, and thoughts of doing crafts again--that's where I made money on a monthly bases, usually, when I was in a booth/store. It's all changed of course, since the '90's. Everything has changed! And I'm not sure I can keep up with the technology any more.

Back to blogging. I'm not keen on the idea of doing blog hops, you're not really gaining anything by doing them. Really. Unless all you want is a lot of followers who stop by and leave comments on your blog, which means you have to go and do the same with them. Great, if that's the case, and you've got a lot of free time on your hands that's fine. I don't. I don't know about you, maybe it's because you've got fast Internet, but I don't. I just don't have time to sit and wait for one blog to come up--might take ten minutes for it to come in fully and then to make a comment. I follow a few of you on a regular basis, and if I've time, I leave a comment, but I do read them via my email.

As you all know (who follow my blog), I've been trying to get a third read-through on this next book, Vampire Caprice done, so that I can publish it. I've just finished with that and sent it to my formatter. It's a long, freaking book--it's over 130,000 words! I don't think any publisher would want a book this long. But eff it. It's my book, and I'm going to do it. I've got the next one (#5) in the series waiting for me to work on that one, and the 8th one is trying to come to the forefront, and I've still to finish Dampire Legacy. Plus I've got a new work in the back of my head, making my notes for it!!! It's like I'm giving birth to a litter here! Possibly, if I ever get to retire (at this rate it might be at age 89!!!), I'll have time to work on all my little projects--if I live that long.

Okay, that's it for my rant. If you haven't changed the dial, you're free to do so. Have a good rest of your Sunday!

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