“A-List Love” has a new cover

My book “A-List Love” has a new cover. GetCovers designers proved very efficient and professional for an affordable price. I’ll be putting them on my link list and will use their services again.

“A-List Love” is currently available exclusively on Resurgence Novels, an app for serialized fiction (which you can download here, for Android or iOS). There you can read my latest novel on a pay-per-chapter basis. However, I am planning a release of a paperback, so if you’d like to have a printed copy of this great romance, you can order it from Amazon soon, like the rest of my books.

I hope you like the cover as much as I do. The book is just as great 🙂 A couple of beginning chapters are available to read here for free, so you can see for yourself!

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“The Neighbor” is on Free Book Promotion Dec. 17.-19.

“The Neighbor” is on free book promotion Dec. 17.-19. This is the first book in the series (of two so far) and a great place to start exploring the drama and the romance happening between a dreamy countryside and the buzz of city life. Don’t miss your chance to download a free e-book. And if you are looking for a Christmas gift, paperback copies are available, too.

The story follows the life of Emma, which is an endless struggle with poverty and her mother’s mental illness. The last thing she needs is a new neighbor, a secretive, much older man, who turns out to be the new owner of the estate, threatening to take away the roof over her head. But then, as her world falls apart, he surprisingly offers a helping hand, and Emma has no choice but to accept, her initial dislike quickly changing to respect and admiration. As they grow closer, and the lines between innocent affection and other, not-so-innocent feelings, blur, Emma is pushed into increasingly deeper dependency. Their friendship soon evolves into something much more intense and devastating, as little by little, secrets and tragedies from their pasts are revealed and come to haunt them. Secrets, which could destroy them or offer them a chance for something that has seemed impossible at first – to finally face each other as equals.

Click HERE to read the free excerpt.

Loosely based on “Jane Eyre”, this age-gap romance is full of unforgettable characters which will leave you wanting more. The next book in the series is “The King of One-Night Stands”, and I am currently working on the third part, with the tentative title “The Plaything”.

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“The Lady of the Camellias” – a Book Review

There is nothing as good as a classic if you want to be thoroughly creeped out.

Written by Alexandre Dumas (fils), “The Lady of the Camellias”, or “Camille” as it is also known in English translation, is a romantic and tragic story that has been the inspiration of numerous plays, movies, and even an opera. Since I was so free to quote “The Count of Monte Cristo”, written by Alexandre Dumas (père), in my second book of “The Neighbor” series, it was only fair that for the last book of the series, I should quote the son. Besides, the story I intend to write follows a former prostitute, so what better source material to quote than “Camille”, a tale of a courtesan in love?

With a bit of time on my hands, I bought a version of the story translated from French by Edmond Gosse, with an introduction by Toril Moi. Honestly – just read the introduction. It will tell you a lot you need to understand the book. The scandalous references to sex, the female monthly cycle (just pay attention to the color of camellias), and above all death have all been justly discussed in this introduction. So I won’t bother you with my opinions on those topics but will share with you my impression of the book.

My advice is: don’t read the book in a public place. I read it on the plane and it was embarrassing how often I had to hide tears.

Sure, the story is old-fashioned, and one may argue that such views on sex workers or promiscuous women are outdated. The hero of the story is an idiot with an emotional intelligence of a turnip – come to think of it, he is smart as a turnip too. He is also insecure and intimidated by the beautiful Marguerite and determined to gain power over her. Once he has that power, and believes himself betrayed (even though it is obvious to anyone who cares to look that she did not betray him but handled in his best interest), he uses it to crush Marguerite’s heart and health, to the point that she dies.


Don’t believe the movies, the book is much more cruel.

However, the writing is so masterful that the characters and their actions, both the tragically good ones, as well as the contemptuously bad ones, made me cry in front of strangers. And that’s what I call good writing. I don’t have to like the characters in the book – I can hate them, despise them, judge them, want to strangle them… The only thing I shouldn’t do is be indifferent. Well, Alexandres both the father and the son knew what they were doing in that respect.

Now, you might ask why I was creeped out. If I say that the book starts with the exhumation of the poor Marguerite’s body (because her lover wouldn’t leave her alone, even in death), would that explain it? “Camille” is not on the same level of creepiness as, for example, “The Monk” by Matthew Gregory Lewis, but it does have its fair share of obsession with death and sex, of course.

My final remarks: the story is worth reading, but maybe you should be less of a cheapskate than I was, and buy the more expensive version. The edition I read maybe looked good in a printed form once upon a time, but someone decided to make an e-book out of it and by doing so forgot that proofreading it once before putting it up for sale is always a good idea.

The book I read was full of mistakes, which hurt considering that I came across them in a book by a legit publisher called “Signet” (or maybe not so legit? Who knows…). So many times we, self-published authors, are blamed for releasing a work that was not rigorously enough formatted and edited. I think the publishers of classics should be held to even higher standards. After all, the writers they publish are not around to complain.

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Website Novelties

I’ve been busy and added some new things to my Website. These include – more free stuff to read and a corner dedicated to my science fiction stories. Also, my links feature some new arrivals too, including the link to “Resurgence Novels” website, where my latest book is available for reading. Take a look and enjoy these mostly free stories and book excerpts. 

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Larissa has a problem – will I solve it?

"The Plaything" diaries part 1

“The Plaything” will be a book about Larissa, a former prostitute, who has played an important role in both “The Neighbor” and “The King of One-Night Stands”. The way the story is going, it will not be a classical romance, in terms of a boy meeting a girl and, after overcoming some obstacles, they go on to live happily ever after. I opt for realism in my books and Larissa has led such a life that the obstacles she’s facing might be impossible to overcome – maybe not for her, but for the man who is her love interest.

Why exactly? Larissa is in her mid-thirties and for one part of her life she has slept with a dozen men per day. Sometimes more. Are there men out there who won’t be bothered either by her age or her past? Possibly, but not that many. Because if we are to believe what all the self-proclaimed life coaches for men preach on YouTube, she is too old and not a wife material. She belongs to the category “pump and dump”, meaning that she might be good for sex but not for a long-term relationship.

I did not intend to spend hours looking at misogynist videos on YouTube and even worse comments. Honestly, I didn’t. I just typed in “older women” in the search field, hoping to come across some uplifting videos about women becoming stronger with age and men appreciating the maturity and self-confidence of an experienced partner. Little did I know that the YouTube universe is going to welcome me with several videos of guys marrying their grandmothers, and even more of alpha men explaining how women are only good between fourteen and twenty-four years of age. Twenty-four being too old for some.

Men's comments on older women in YouTube videos are often hurtful and demeaning without a real reason.

The videos were bad and demeaning enough, but the comments were worse. Some of the explanations for the older men’s preference for much younger women bordered on ridiculous. Apparently, men are attracted to really young women not because they have tight, young bodies and are impressionable and easy to manipulate but because they are fertile. And as we all know, the first thing any man thinks about when dating is how to get as many children as possible. With a fourteen-year-old.

Another favorite explanation was that women who didn’t have many partners can better bind to the man during intercourse because they still react to the released oxytocin and have not used up their binding capacity on others. Makes me think of my chemistry classes. The binding capacity is obviously critical only for women. Men can have as many partners as they want – they can still bind to the woman they are sleeping with, no problems there. She just needs to be young enough.

Having imbibed this YouTube wisdom, I became very worried about the fate of Larissa in my book. She has been around the block (another popular way to describe experienced women) and has definitely lost the light in her eyes (that light that’s so important for the YouTube machos is connected with virginity and youth, of course). She might never find the love of her life. Poor girl. Samuel from “The Neighbor”, on the other hand, has really scored a jackpot with a much younger Emma.

Except, Larissa is not poor or used up. And Samuel and Emma faced a lot of problems an age gap relationship carries with it. As I  mentioned, I opt for realism, which some YouTube content creators seem to have forgotten about. And in real life, I see people happy in all kinds of relationships. I see women and men of all ages find happiness and comfort in each other, independently of the number of partners they had before.

So, there might be some hope for Larissa yet. That is, if I stop watching YouTube and get back to writing.

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“Hunter’s Fortune” is out and about

My sweet romance novella “Hunter’s Fortune” is finally out there and available for free reading. My idea at first was to write a short story about one of the characters appearing in “Forest Magic”. It was Albert, the rich bank manager, who had harbored secret hopes and desires about Nelly, his former employee. Unfortunately for him, he was too late and had to return empty-handed to his successful but lonely life, because, as we know, Nelly decided to…well, read “Forest Magic” and find out.

Naturally, I couldn’t let it rest and I had to give Albert a chance to find happiness. At the same time, I had a lot of contact with hunting (and hunters) and am currently spending a good portion of my time roaming through the local woods. That’s how I came up with the idea to send Albert on a hunting trip where he would come across an entirely different prey than he had expected to catch.

However, when I started writing I realized that what I had to say would not fit into a short story. Albert and Luisa needed more time to understand each other and discover that the person they are dealing with has much more to offer than they originally thought. There is a bit of “Pride and Prejudice” in this story, which was unavoidable considering how stubborn the protagonists are, and a bit of humor. Overall, I hope I have managed to remain faithful to the original character of Albert and skillfully present his somewhat reluctant acceptance of the fact that deep inside he is a decent person after all.

If you wish to see for yourself, you can access the novella HERE. I’m looking forward to your comments!

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“Love in the Villa” Movie Review

It’s not a villa. It’s an apartment.

I’m not sure I even need to do this because many people had pointed out everything wrong with this movie elsewhere. So, I’ll start by pointing out some good things first.

1.) The actors are cute. I enjoyed watching their banter and they’ve tried their best, considering the script.

2.) Verona is an excellent backdrop for any movie.

3.) I liked her dresses.

4.) When you’re lying sick in bed like I was, and your brain refuses to work, this movie is a good choice to watch, because it won’t overwhelm those exhausted brain cells at all.

But, now to come to what was so obviously wrong with this movie that I sincerely hope someone at Netflix deciding what to film next will look at the comments people are leaving, and take them seriously. Spoilers ahead, so, be warned!

1.) The beginning of the movie and the meet-cute are perfectly fine for a romantic comedy. So, why ruin everything by forcing an enemy to lovers trope? And, in the process, making Julie look like a deranged psycho? Let me explain – after she arrives in Verona and finds out her apartment was double-booked by Charlie, he allows her to stay in the apartment, and although not happy about it, is actually quite civil. She, however, wants to get rid of him – by triggering his cat allergy and getting him arrested. What? Since when does endangering someone’s health and job count as romantic?

2.) Yes, we all know, Italians have a funny accent and drive their cars like crazy. They are unorganized and all men have mistresses. They like to hug and kiss. I don’t know, is there a single stereotype about Italy and Italians that was not served in this movie? Is that even funny anymore?

3.) Why is Julie so upset that Charlie served her horse meat, that she throws plates of food around a rented apartment? I would understand if she were a vegetarian, but why is in her non-vegetarian world eating horse meat so much worse than eating cow meat that it makes her puke and redecorate walls with food?

4.) And finally, after the movie spends most of the time focusing on their “little war”, which involved the police a couple of times, there is hardly any time left to persuade us that Charlie and Julie actually like each other. Enough that she would decide not to marry her boyfriend of four years. I don’t know, maybe I don’t understand the workings of an insta-love, but I didn’t buy it.

Maybe by scaling down their antagonism and allowing Julie and Charlie to spend some more quality time together in the movie, their romance would become more convincing and we, as observers, would get a couple of thrills more out of the whole thing. Or any thrills at all.

This way, I am left mildly underwhelmed and am giving the movie 2.5 * out of 5.

Then again, what do I know? I’m only a romance writer…

What do you think? What are your favorite romance movies of all time? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your opinion.

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“Forest Magic” – second edition

It’s finally here – freshly edited and with a new cover, my first book “Forest Magic” is available to the audience starting from today. I love this incredibly romantic story taking place in a small village in the middle of the Black Forest. I’ve become enchanted with it all over again while preparing this second edition.

I have some plans regarding promotion and writing a short sequel, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime check out this wonderful tale of past mistake and second chances. You just might become a firm believer in the powers of forest magic.


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About Queen Bees and other nonsense

July is well on its way and for me, July feels like the end of summer. Wait, I hear you say, summer has only just begun, and July is the most summery of all summer months, so how can it feel like the end of summer?

Well, I have a confession to make – besides being an author, a bookworm, and a blogger, I’m also a passionate beekeeper. And for bees in central Europe, July is pretty much it when it comes to summer. In two weeks I’ll be harvesting the last of honey and then it’s all about preparing the bees for winter.

As I said, I’m a passionate beekeeper, and that’s because I passionately hate bees. You’d probably hate them too if you’d been stung hundreds of times like me. My beekeeping efforts can be reduced to me trying to get some honey out of the hives while avoiding being eaten alive by their occupants. Every year I tell myself it is the last one I’m keeping any bees – and then, spring comes, they start flying around looking cute, pollinating stuff, and I decide, one more year.

It’s been like that for more than a decade now and after a lot of experimenting, I developed a formula for how to get a lot of honey and keep healthy bees with a minimum of effort. I even wanted to write a book about it and I still might, if my romance novels allow me. It will begin with the first step: get your partner to help you and then slowly let them do most of the work.

But, being intimately acquainted with the life of bees it grates on my nerves when I encounter the expression “Queen Bee” connected to women in a position of power who behave as if they were more important than other women. It implies someone spoiled, someone who rules others and doesn’t do it kindly. However, the whole idea that a queen bee rules the beehive is entirely wrong. A hive is not a monarchy – it’s a democracy and a ruthless one, especially for male bees and the queen. If you want to know more about it, try reading “Honeybee Democracy” by Thomas D. Seely.

So, to debunk this nonsense, I’ll describe in a couple of sentences the true life of a queen bee. Her youth is a race against time – if she is among the first to be born, she’ll have a chance to kill all her other sister queens and remain the only one because, as we all know it, there can be only one. Then she’ll embark on a perilous journey to a secret place, known only to the chosen few, where, high above the ground, she will mate with up to twenty males, one after the other. Her partners will all die following the mating, dropping down completely exhausted (that’s how good the sex is). Thus burdened by their seed, the queen will return to her hive, where she’ll remain for the rest of her life, in complete darkness, never to see the sun again, giving birth every two minutes. Her whole life will be controlled by her daughters – they’ll feed her, clean her, tell her if she’s to give birth to a daughter or a son, or, at last, to her successor. Maybe one early summer she’ll get carried away by a rebellion and leave her home in a swarm to find a new habitat. But eventually, she’ll live through many seasons, while her short-lived daughters die around her or get lost on their foraging trips. When she grows old and cannot fulfill her childbearing duty any longer, her daughters will raise her substitute, and she, their old, spent mother will starve in one corner of the hive forgotten by everyone – a queen of everything and of nothing.

Also, honey is actually the vomit of bees.

So, after we’ve clarified these important facts, we might agree that the life of a queen bee would be good material for a romance novel. A reverse harem, dark, suspense, and a generally weird romance novel, so maybe it’s better not to go there. But anyway, the next time someone describes a woman as a Queen Bee to you, feel free to quote me and ask them if they’re sure they know what they’re talking about.


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“The Neighbor” has a new cover

Newly edited and with a new cover – “The Neighbor” is still the same heart-melting age gap romance telling the story of Samuel and Emma. The cover is adapted to fit the other two books from the series, “The King of One-Night Stands” (coming soon) and “The Plaything” (in the outline stage). It still features the fateful window, but now there is a silhouette of a man in front of it. I rather like it – the dark atmosphere of the cover appropriately reflects the events in the book and it looks great when printed. How about you? Let me know what you think in the comments below.


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