Welcome Fellow Campaigners!!

I'm participating in the Platform Building Campaign. If you're a fellow campaigner stopping by, make sure to leave me a comment if you follow me so that I can find you. Sometimes there's not a link in your profile on the GFC so I don't have a way to figure out where you came from. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and to reading your posts!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating Eid Non Traditionally

Today is Eid for us. My MIL has been cooking since early morning. I've been  hiding out. I never was much for holidays so I try to be as invisible as possible. It helps that I work nights and sleep during the day so for the most part I can get away with not making an appearance. 

My husband and I don't partake in any of the celebrations. We prefer the less commercialized non traditional way of doing things, but he and I are a minority of two. While his family doesn't do as much as others, they still have their own traditions of food, gift giving (eidi), and visiting each other. However since my husband is the head of the household, we do give gifts to my two sister in laws and provide the food for the day as it is traditionally the head of household's responsibility, but he and I try to be as scarce as possible for the actual festivities.

In the bigger cities, they have major celebrations with lots of sweets, fireworks, camel and horse rides for kids, kite flying, and music. We don't attend those, but for the majority it is the way they celebrate Eid. New clothes, shoes, and jewelry are bought. They were showing how busy the markets were last night on the news and all I could do was shake my head and be thankful I was not amongst them. 

Almost all of the women have mehndi/henna applied to their hands and arms. They are usually done by professionals who apply intricate designs and details. My SIL's both apply mehndi but they do it themselves instead of going to have it professionally done. The first two years I was here they tried and tried to get me to wear it, but I don't wear mehndi. Never. I didn't even wear it for my wedding which is like UNHEARD of. Now though they have pretty much given up trying to get me to put it on. Although every now and then my oldest SIL still asks me to and I still say no. 

The only thing I think I truly enjoy about today is a guilt free reason to eat biscuits (aka cookies) lol

Sab ko Eid Mubarak ho!! (Happy Eid to all)

Two days left to enter my giveaway! Enter now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Time for Indie Ink writing challenge again. This week I was challenged by Diane and I have to admit when I first read her challenge I drew a total blank. It was way outside my writing style and I had no clue what to do with it so hopefully I did a little justice to it. I challenged Tara. You'll be able to read her reply on her blog. Prompt will be at the end.

talking to one's self:

Oh God, she's singing. AGAIN! Doesn't she ever get tired of hearing her voice? I know I do. I just want to sleep and she insists upon screeching. I can't wait to get out of here. Just a few more days, and I'm free. I have no idea what's going to happen when I finally leave this dark, damp, musty ol' rat hole, but I don't really care as long as it means I'm far away from that incessant screeching of hers. 

Chinese takeout again? That's the third night this week she's had Chinese takeout. It wouldn't be so bad if she got it from that place down the block, but noooo she has to be all snooty and order in from that place on the other side of town. Just because she likes their fortune cookies better. How did I end up with these people? 

It has to get better though, right? What the?! Will you please stop poking me? Every time I get comfortable HE has to come along and start poking. One of these days he's gonna poke me and I'm gonna poke back so hard he'll never poke anyone again. Please someone make them shut up. 

Oh! What's that? That's new. I have never seen that before. I wonder what it is. Whoa! Why do I suddenly feel all floaty? What the hell did you people do to me? I have to get out of here before they kill me. I'm certain they're trying to kill me. Wha-? What was that? I thought I saw something down there. What's that noise? 

Who? Who are all of you people? Where did you come from? Hey hey put me down! Who the hell are you? Let go of me. Stop it. Don't do that. I don't want to. Please let me go. Please. I'll do whatever you want. Just please don't stick me with that thing again. Please. Ok. Ok. I'll be quiet now. I promise I'll be quiet just please don't stick that thing in me again. Where are you taking me? What's happening? Will someone please tell me what is going on? Please?


"What is it?", I heard him say. The nurse smiled as she laid the tightly wrapped bundle on her chest. 

"It's a boy". 

Prompt: Pickles and Ice cream?! Also don't forget to check out my giveaway. There's still time to enter!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Big News Reveal & Giveaway

I know this past week must have been torture for you. Having to wait, wondering what the news was. I'm sure it was all you could think about. Well I FINALLY got things sorted and am so excited to announce that what started out as a little side endeavor is officially a DOT COM. 

That's right Indie Designz (http://www.indiedesignz.com/), my cover design business has become official with its own little home on the web. Have a look. Let me know what you think. I'm an avid lover of constructive feedback. I've been doing my happy idiot dance all week. I can't believe I actually kept this a secret all this time.

So in order to celebrate the launching of Indie Designz, Lizzy Ford has been kind enough to allow me to GIVEAWAY an autographed paperback copy of her latest release, Kiera's Moon. It's very easy to enter and there are multiple chances to win. You can do as many as you wish. All you have to do is:

1. Follow my blog (1 entry)

2. Like Indie Designz on facebook (1 entry)

3. Like Lizzy Ford Books on facebook (1 entry)

4. Follow @DafeenaJameel on twitter (1 entry)

5. Follow @LizzyFord2010 on twitter (1 entry)

(If you are already a friend or follower, then leave me a comment on my blog letting me know you want to be entered. If you don't let me know, then you'll not be automatically entered)

Winner will be chosen by random.org. Giveaway will remain open until next Friday (Sept 2nd). Make sure you message me or leave me a comment here on my blog letting me know which of the above you have done. If you don't message/comment letting me know, then it won't be counted as an official entry. It's my first ever giveaway so I just want to be sure I don't miss anyone. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!!

 Fantasy romance novel Kiera’s Moon is available for free ebook download.

When starving artist Kiera wakes up on board a spaceship, she panics. Her best friend has dragged her across the universe to help her find a man and a life, only the man she ends up unwittingly hooking up with is a battle-hardened warrior prince living in exile.

Calculating, cautious A’Ran wants nothing more than to reclaim his planet. He needs Kiera as his lifemate to heal his planet and his war weary people. He’s not prepared to be a lifemate himself, and discovers almost too late what he risks losing if he can’t learn to be more than a warrior.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

That's Why

A little late this week, but here's my weekly Indie Ink writing challenge post. This week I was challenged by Transplantedx3 and my challenge went to Allison. You'll be able to read her reply HERE. This week's reply is slightly different. It's all non-fiction; a first for me. Prompt will be at the end.

When I first read the prompt for this week, a million and one possibilities ran through my mind, but none of them truly captured me. I was going to tell you about how every day during my first marriage my house would be filled with exotic aromas and spices as I prepared dinner. Or how the smell of bread baking in the oven was the first thing that hit you when you walked in my door. I thought about telling you how the shoes sat beside the front door in a perfectly straight line like soldiers awaiting their orders. I thought about all of the different ways I could give you a glimpse of my life, but none of it appealed to me. 

For it was all done because he said so not because I said so.

So I let the prompt float through my brain for awhile. Then finally I knew exactly what I would write about. I would tell you about how the world no longer stomps all over me. Pushing and grinding me into the ground. Then I would tell you about how much I have grown these last few months, how my confidence has improved, and how I have slowly begun to change my outlook on life. I would tell you about how for the first time in my life I have friends. Real friends who care about me, who want me to be happy, who worry if I start to get quiet. Friends who don't let me wallow and call me out when I'm pouting and feeling sorry for myself. As I thought about the reasons why my life and the people around me suddenly seem so very different I realized:

It was all because I said so.

Prompt: Because I Said So

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spark(le) Fest

Today I'm doing a post for SparkFest. There's still time to join and there are prizes!! Make sure to stop back by on Friday for my big news reveal.

As writers, we're always striving to get out a message of inspiration to others. This blogfest is a celebration for those who have done this for us. Join the Spark Blogfest, aka Sparkfest, by posting your answer to any of the three prompts above (or make one up as long as it fits the theme).
So here's my answers to her questions. I did all 3 because I'm geeky like that:

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer? 
It wasn't a book so much as blogging. I have written my whole life but never ever considered I had talent, potential, or ability until I began blogging. Now I am addicted and have become one of the masses of insecure aspiring writers. However I think my writing style is definitely Stephen King inspired. I love how he writes about the dark side of things but in a not so dark way. Needful Things is one of my all time favorite books.
What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?
There are 3 actually for me. I know I haven't mentioned it on my blog but I do have a WIP. Although I am not forcing it and am just taking it slow. The writers who influenced me and gave me the courage to begin are Lizzy FordKaren Walker, and Dues Ex Machina. Each inspired me in different ways and gave me the support to begin my WIP.
Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?
I don't  know if this counts or not but as a child I read National Geographic books constantly. I was fascinated by the exotic places and locations. I came from a very secluded backwoods redneck town smack in the middle of the Bible Belt and those books were my first glimpse into what lay beyond the county line.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big News Super Excited

I have big news and I am super excited about it. I'm not gonna tell you yet. Yea I know I'm mean, but I couldn't contain myself and had to tease you because I am super excited about all of the things that have happened in the last couple days. Once I get everything all sorted out I'll be sharing all of the news with you guys!! Probably one day next just not sure which day exactly yet. Happy dance!! Happy dance!!

Yay me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Invincible Doubts

I have moments of weakness. When doubt creeps into the crevices of my mind and causes me to wonder if I truly am capable of being loved, appreciated, cared for.  Most of the time when these creepers come, I can quickly throw them out  and shut the door before they have a chance to rush back inside. However, some days a few seem to sneak in without being seen. They settle in and wait until I'm not looking then they slowly make their presence known. It is during these moments I feel my weakest. When time seems to stand still and the earth stops rotating. The air hangs heavy around me and the wind blows restlessly. Even though I am at my weakest during these moments, they are also when I am at my strongest.  For it is during their reign, I become invincible. Strong, confident, and certain of the path that lies before me. I push ahead fearlessly and I achieve my greatest accomplishments. Maybe next time when the creepers come I won't be so quick to chase them away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building Your Writing Empire

Now that I am starting to get back into a bloggy routine I thought I would again start my Writer Spotlight, but this week I am doing things a bit differently. I don't have a "writer" to spotlight. Instead I wanted to share with you a couple blogs and writers who are doing amazing things to help writers promote/market/sell themselves and their books. I have utilized a few of their strategies and have found them extremely helpful in gaining more views on my blog so I know they will definitely be able to help you. 

I am sure you all remember Lizzy. She is a fabulous YA paranormal/fantasy/romance writer. I have been working with her for several months now and recently her IT sherpa (aka her husband Matt) has started a series on their website Guerilla Wordfare. Not only are his tips extremely useful but he explains it in a way that even someone like me who knows jack squat about SEO and all of that can understand. I have learned so much from his posts and if you're not getting many hits on your site/blog/books then I definitely suggest you to read Matt's helpful tips. They are easy to do and the best part they are absolutely FREE!! 

Here are a couple of Matt's previous posts. Check out Guerilla Wordfare for the entire series. 

Building Web Presence for Authors: Google Analytics

Every writer wants to get as much exposure as possible for their books and one way is by getting them reviewed. Jenn has just started her own review blog so if you're looking for a place to get your book reviewed and/or interview then she is definitely the place to start. She loves all things indie and is an absolutely fabulous person.  Jenn describes herself and her blog as:

 a sarcastic, strong willed chick with a huge fear of spiders and june bugs. My passions are my family, books, music and animals. I love me some gooey brownies, coca cola and can slam a Starbucks Vanilla Frapp like it's a shot. My purpose here is to review and discuss books, support indie authors and just have fun.

So if you're looking for a good place to get your book reviewed, then head over to Jenn's blog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

No Nonfat Caramel Lattes with Whip Cream For Me

After months of being away from the Indie Ink writing challenge and worrying they would kick me out forever because I wasn't able to participate, I am finally getting back on the II bandwagon. To get my feet wet again, Feisty Cat challenged me. The prompt was "no fancy espresso drinks for you". My challenge went to Wendryn. You can read her reply HERE because she's  super fast like that. I actually wrote this the first month I started blogging back when I had two followers who were actually the same person but I pretended they weren't just so I could say I had TWO followers instead of just one with two ID's. When I saw the prompt I immediately thought of this post and since most of everyone hasn't read it I thought I would jazz it up a bit and use it for the prompt because it really just fits that well.

In life, we wear many labels simultaneously. Some out of choice. Others come as part of a package, and some just because we have to.

What are my labels?

I am southern and redneck.
I know who the Cable Guy is and how to Get Ir Done
I also know the meaning of "Here's your sign"
I know duct tape will fix anything and Monday morning is the best day to find "good furniture" at the dump.
I have been snipe hunting, and for $49.99 I will take you and two of your best friends. (Half off to anyone who has been before but just wants their friends to enjoy the thrill)
I have eaten frog legs, squirrel, rabbit, deer, and snake.

I am muslim.
I wear a veil.
I pray in Arabic.
I don't believe in ritualized dogma of religion, but I believe in the spirituality of it.
I also believe everyone must find their own path and what is right for me may not be right for you.

I am a mother.
I do not get awakened from a deep sleep by two little eyes staring at me and a small voice whispering "Are you asleep?"
I do not have to repeat myself ten times to take out the trash.
I do not get to hold my children when they have bad dreams.
I do not get to wipe their tears when they fall down trying to learn something new.

I am female.
I prefer doc martins and rodeos to high heels and Rodeo Drive.
I don't wear makeup or jewelry.
I haven't had my hair cut by a professional for almost ten years.
I only found out last year that Jimmy Choo wasn't a man and Lady Gaga wasn't the newest Teletubby.

I am unschooled.
I didn't finish highschool, but I have my GED.
I taught myself to read and write in Arabic and Urdu and now work as a translator.
I speak 3 languages. My pronunciation might be horrible but I can make myself understood.
I am not an expert but I know how to design a website and can use HTML and CSS.

I am a wife.
I love it when my husband asks me to make him a cup of tea.
I love being able to look across the room and see him busily working on his latest project.
I love that he allowed me to be a part of his world without trying to change me.
I love that he protects me from the big bad world and wouldn't think twice about cutting anyone in half who tried to hurt me.

I am a friend.
I can be your shoulder to cry on.
I am caring and non judgmental
I get when you just need someone to "listen" and aren't really interested in "advice"
I might call you a bitch but I will bitchslap anyone else who even thinks it.

These are only a few of the labels I wear. While they are common everyday labels worn by millions of others, I wear them much differently than most. At times, they are burdens, heavy and difficult to carry. Then suddenly their load lightens. Sometimes it's because someone offers a helping hand. While other times, I change my point of view and what once was burdensome becomes a blessing. Regardless of where I go or what I do, these labels will follow me. My light in the darkness. My constant companions. They are more than just labels.

They are me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eat and Be Merry

I posted a few days ago about the month of Ramazan. There are always lots of special treats  that are made during this month and some main foods which are typically eaten to begin the fasting day (sahoor "morning meal") and to open one's fast (iftar "evening meal"). 

Usually in the mornings, a light meal is eaten. Fried paratahs are served with either yogurt or chutney. Water and juice will be drunk a long with hot tea.

aloo (potato) parathas w/yogurt

The real treats are saved for the iftar meal or evening meal when the fast is broken. The first bite of food that is eaten to break the fast is typically dates. One or two dates will be eaten before eating the actual food. In our home, the fast is opened with pakorays. Each day a different pakoray will be prepared, but most often it's either potato or eggplant which are covered in a batter made from besan (chickpea flour) and deep fried. Although you can pretty much make anything into a pakora even chicken and fish.


Samosas are also a favorite for breaking the fast. They are filled with either a chicken or potato mixture. All pakoras are served with different types of chutneys for dipping. My favorite is imli (pronounced M-lee). It is made from tamarind and has this tart sweet taste to it. It is what I use instead of yogurt for dipping pakoras and parathas.

imli chutney & samosas

Then after the fast has been opened the dinner will be served. There is a lot of food during Ramazan. I always wonder how on earth people eat so much, but they do. There is always rice and meats as well as desserts. Chicken biryani is a favorite in our house. It's made at least once to twice a week. Tikkas and some type of chaat are also must haves during Ramazan.

chicken tikka

It is also a common practice for people to gather together and break the fast. People are always inviting their neighbors, friends, and family over so they can break their fast together. Ramazan creates a real sense of community and brings people together. 

typical iftar (evening) meal during Ramazan
And of course, no meal is complete without dessert. Fruit chaat is served almost daily. It is basically cut up fruit mixed with spices and yogurt. It is another must have during Ramazan. There is always an endless supply of meethai (sweets) from halwa to gulab jaman. 

meethai  (sweets)

People who aren't muslim always assume that because we are fasting and not eating or drinking during the day then we must be hungry and lose weight during this month. However, that is far from what happens especially for those muslims living in the Middle East and Subcontinent. Working hours are shortened and adjusted during the day so that most shops are not even open during fasting hours. They only open after the fast has been broken. Also in most countries, it is illegal for adults to eat, drink, or smoke during fasting hours in public regardless if you're fasting or not you can't eat or drink outside during fasting hours even if you're non muslim. Only children are exempt from this rule.

People spend all night eating. Then sleeping for most of the day. The majority of people I know end up gaining weight because they eat things during this month that they don't typically eat and they eat a lot more of it. I have only mentioned the MOST common things that are served but it doesn't even begin to cover all of the different foods that are served during Ramazan. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

15 Years Ago Today

I was lying face down in my own vomit in cardiac arrest, moments from death. In a little while they would be cutting open my stomach to remove the 7 month old infant that was living inside of me. The body that had been her sanctuary for 7 months was failing and if she wasn't removed, she would certainly die. All 2 lbs of her was taken from me within seconds, but it would be six more weeks before I even knew. 

Six more weeks of she and I both fighting for our lives.
Six more weeks of waiting and uncertainty.
Six more weeks of my 1 yr old son asking, "When Mommy was going to wake up?"

Six long weeks. 

Summer is rough for me. Lots of memories. My son was born in June and my daughter in August. Today. It makes me wonder what type of young adults they have become. No longer are they the little beings that live in my memories. They have thoughts and opinions all their own and I wonder what they are.

It's been almost six years since I last spoke to her. Since I last heard her laughter. Since I last wiped her tears. I don't write about them to gain your sympathy or to make you feel sorry for me. I accept the consequences of my actions and I wait for the day when she is a mother herself and maybe a bit more understanding. I write so they know I didn't forget them. I never stopped loving them. I write so one day they'll have something tangible to look at and know that even though miles and oceans separated us, they never left my heart.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Petals of Flesh

Petals of flesh pulled from bone
Cast aside in the darkness of frivolity
Left alone to wander through the wasteland known as life
But for some it seems more like a death
Slowly she watches the world from within
Eyes unmoving, breath unceasing
From within her sanctuary
She watches and waits
She waits for the time  that is hers to bound forth and consume her
She waits for the moment without knowing
So she grabs each and every one that passes by
Yet it never is
so she lets it slide through flesh that covers the bones
Another one cast aside

This was written based on a prompt for the 100 word challenge at Velvet Verbosity.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Free Almost

Free at last!! I can't believe it!! Finally I'm free!! This summer has been difficult to say the least.There were floods and no elec and computer deaths, but I survived because someone threw me a life preserver. So now all of the things I have wanted to do but couldn't I shall do. My  bondage has been broken. My silence unleashed. I know my words. My voice is unafraid. For now it is free.

It's Ramazan (or Ramadan depending on your accent) for us now. For those who may not know what that is, it's a month on the Islamic calendar where muslims from all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. I will be honest about it. I don't fast. At least not in the traditional physical sense. I have sugar probs and other health issues which keep me from doing so, but the reality of Ramazan is much more than abstaining from food and drink during the day. A lot of people including muslims don't know that if you back bite, gossip, become angry, and/or tell lies then your fast becomes void and you might as well go ahead and eat and drink because the only thing you'll find at the end of it is thirst and hunger.

Whenever I see people "celebrating" during the month of Ramazan it saddens me because the true meaning and spirit of the month is slowly becoming lost. It is suppose to be a month of reconnecting to your spirituality. A month of cleansing yourself of toxins and other bad habits that have made your body and spirit impure. It is a month to center yourself. To find the parts of you that get lost throughout the year. A time to slow down and reflect upon all you have. A time to remember there are those without and a time to give and share with friends. However for the most part I don't find this anymore.

People are too busy staring at the clock waiting for it to tick over so they can gorge themselves on special treats and foods only served during this time of year. Then they promptly forget about the thirst and hunger that filled their bodies throughout the day. Sometimes I just want to tell them there is really no point in fasting in the day if you're behaving like that one clock tick after sunset but it's not my place. Not my judgement.

I worry about me. Trying to find myself. I have much to be grateful for this month. Much to remember and many pieces of myself to gather. As the month goes on I'll be posting things. Things you may or may not know and trying to give perspectives that you might otherwise never see. Feel free to ask any questions about anything and I'll do my best to answer them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vampires Rule You Drool

It's me again Margaret!! I had big plans in August. Things were going to change. I was going to be able to start posting again. I even announced it to the world which was my first mistake because the universe just laughed at me and said "Oh yea? Really? Let me see what I can do to change that" and it did. Sigh. I meant to post this last week. I had a whole series of posts lined up for last week. Their drafts sit in my unpublished folder. Waiting. Like me. Maybe September will be the month that I return. Shh!! Don't tell the universe though. So until then here is a great guest post from Kasi. She was originally published by Harlequin but  has jumped onto the Indie train. She has two books out, Vampires Rule and Crushed. You can read more of her shaningans on her blog, Ghost Writer. Thanks for stopping by Kasi!!!

It's All About Control

When I was asked to write a post on my experiences in self-publishing, I didn't know where to begin.  This is my fourth attempt.  The last three were dry, boring, and all over the place.  I finally decided to narrow my focus.  Today I want to talk about control; specifically, who has control over your book?

If you go the traditional route, which I did several years ago, you have to sit back and watch control slip through your fingers as other people take your book on as their project.  In some ways this is a good thing.  When I published with Harlequin, I had a team of editors going over my manuscript line by line.  That alone will give you real peace of mind, but you have to give up control.  It isn't just your baby anymore.

On my first book, the title was changed to something that makes me cringe even now.  I tried to offer my editor a list of new titles, but she was set on the one that I hated.  In the end I gave into pressure, half-afraid my book wouldn't be published if I didn't let them have their way.  On the second book, almost every single aspect of it was changed by the editors.  First, they wanted me to change my main character's name to something they liked better.  Then they wanted me to get ride of her family, move her out of town, and basically rewrite everything.  I think the only thing they liked about the story was the idea of it.  To this day the book feels like it is more theirs than mine.

But now I've self-published a book called Vampires Rule, a YA Urban Fantasy with a unique twist on the whole vampire thing.  I have total control over this book, which isn't always a good thing.  There were a few times when I wasn't sure if I should leave something in or take it out.  I asked a friend and she said, "It's your book."  Then one day the truth of it hit home.  It is my book.  I am totally responsible for how it turns out.  Not only do I have to make sure it's edited properly, I have to create the cover, format it as an ebook, and do all the marketing. 

It's been kind of rough to be honest with you.  There have been times when I thought I should forget the whole thing and stay in bed, but the book is available on Smashwords now.  I'm hoping to have it on Amazon someday soon.  The marketing, I think, has been the worst part.  Starting a blog and joining social networking groups like Facebook has left me very little time to write.  Sometimes I feel like I am going up to everyone in the world one person at a time, tapping them on the shoulder and asking, "Would you like to read my book?"

I am learning so much about the publishing business and about marketing.  It seems like I find a new and wonderful site online to help me with marketing every day.  For instance, yesterday I found Book Blogs, and my blog followers shot up by ten overnight.  Also, a few people have asked to review my book because they saw my blog on this site. 

I love it that I don’t have to just publish one book a year like with traditional publishing.  Vampires Rule hit the cyber-shelves in April, and Crushed was released a few weeks ago.  Now I’m getting ready to put out the second books in each of those series, Werewolves Rule and Witch Hunt.  Both should be available sometime this year.

I've given up time to write, sleep, and inner peace, but I have total control over my book.  If you want to know if it was worth it, ask me next year after I've had time to promote it some more.  I'll be able to answer you then.  Hope this was helpful.          

Where you can find Kasi:

Kasi's Books:

 Click HERE to read a sample chapter

To view a sample chapter of Crushed click HERE
or you can buy on Amazon by clicking the links below


Monday, August 1, 2011

Eye of the Crystal Ball

One of the things I have missed the most this summer is my Writer Spotlight. I always enjoy finding new books and meeting all of the up and coming new authors. Then when they are famous I can brag about how I had them on my blog way back when. So today I am handing my blog over to T.P. She has written a guest post and you can find out more about her book, The Eye of the Crystal Ball at the end. Take it away T.P. Thanks for stopping by!!!

A lot of people ask me when I came up with the idea for ”The Eye of the Crystal Ball”, and I answer them that the story is very new, but the main character - the gypsy-girl Sara – has been with me always. She appeared in my head when I was still a child.

Where did she come from? Well, my parents actually. It is kind of strange I admit, but I think it is part of the reason why I have such a great imagination still as an adult. The thing is, my parents (mostly my dad – but my mom didn’t contradict him) used to tell me that I wasn’t their child. According to their story I was left on the doorstep at their house as an infant. They found me there in a small basket with a note on the pillow telling them to take good care of me. They told me I was a gypsy girl and that my real parents were going to come and get me one day soon.

I know it sounds like a horrible thing for parents to say to their child, but it wasn’t like I was young enough to really believe them. But I loved the story, and it made me very interested in gypsies and whenever we went on vacation to the South of France – where we always went because we had an apartment there – I would always go out looking for gypsies and try to get in contact with them. I didn’t believe the story – but I think maybe a big part of me wanted to. And that is where I think my love for storytelling began. My dad would tell me vividly about the gypsy way of living (in order to prepare me for when I had to go back, he would say while winking his one eye) and I would get drawn right into these stories of the dark and mysterious people from distant and exotic places. Stories filled with music and dancing and fluttering skirts. And my new best friend became Sara, the gypsy girl in a long red dress that would dance in my mind and make me dream of being different, or at least something else than the pretty ordinary girl from a middleclass family in Denmark that I really was.

As I grew up she followed me. I knew in my heart that I would one day write her story, and after having written four mystery novels, three in Danish that are published in Scandinavia and Germany, and one in English, I finally realized some time this spring that Sara had returned and she was getting ready to go on a dangerous quest to find a cure for her little brother’s strange illness.

I told my parents that I had written the story and they laughed a lot about it. So did I. To their defense I can tell you, that they told my older brother that he came from the monkeycage at the local Zoo, so I would prefer my story anytime over his.

But to be honest I loved that they gave me a world of imagination and they made me believe that I could do anything. Even fly. Yes, you heard me. Fly. My dad told me that he could teach me how to fly and every weekend for a long period of time we would practice in the driveway. My dad would put me on our garbage can outside and then he would have me jump towards him while he yelled: Flap your arms, flap!

And I jumped, of course, and flapped firmly believing that I one day would fly over the top of the roofs and look down at the small world underneath me. Some small part of me still believes that one day it will happen. As long as I keep flapping … and believing.

Who is T.P. Boje?

T. P. Boje is a mother of two, a stepmother of another two and a hardcore cartoon lover, Tim Burton enthusiast, and enjoys any movie the Coen Brothers have made (with the big Lebowski being her favorite strongly followed by Burn after Reading). She is also a Y/A fantasy and mystery-writer. She is originally from Denmark but currently living in Florida, USA. Her books are translated into several languages.

To learn more follow her on Twitter, visit her fansite on Facebook or check out her web-page: http://www.tpboje.blogspot.com/

Synopsis of The Eye of the Crystal Ball:

When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider’s house.

When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was – or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.
When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness.

To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure – well knowing that it will cost her dearly.
Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother’s strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

Get The Eye of the Crystal Ball on Amazon:


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