Hello everyone! I posted this on my Instagram page and I thought I’d post it here as well. I thought I’d give an update about what I’ve been doing recently in the literary realm.

Writing has not been top of my list of things to do recently, unfortunately. On the rare moment I do sit down to type, I’ve been working on a lot of different ideas, not anything I’m ready to share yet, though. Honestly, I keep jumping from one WIP to the other so I’m really not getting a lot of anything done, haha.

Recently I made these cute bookmarks and ordered some of them from VistaPrint. I’m excited to see how they turn out. I figured if the writing isn’t coming to me, I could at least do a touch of marketing stuff. I’ll pop these in some of the local shops and see if anything comes of it.😆

Regarding the Trilogy, Danethrall is up to a whopping 29 ratings! It’s sitting quite nicely at 4.5 stars out of 5.😍 Rise To Fall has 3 ratings at 4.6 stars out of 5, and Ashes Remain also has 3 ratings at flipping 5 stars out of 5!!🤩

If you haven’t already posted a review or rating, I kindly ask you to.❤️ Each review/rating helps so much to get the books out there. When each book hits 50 ratings/reviews, Amazon’s algorithm starts promoting and advertising the books, so every rating/review counts.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll post some pictures of the bookmarks when they arrive. Fingers crossed they turn out alright!



This evening the celebrations for Samhain (pronounced SAH-win) begin, ending tomorrow 1st November at sunset.

Anglo-Saxons called November Blōtmōnaþ (blót month – blót means ‘blood sacrifice’) for that was the month they slaughtered their livestock in dedication to their gods.

An entry in the Menologium seu Calendarium Poeticum explains that “this month is called Novembris in Latin, and in our language the month of sacrifice, because our forefathers, when they were heathens, always sacrificed in this month, that is, that they took and devoted to their idols the cattle which they wished to offer.”

Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of harvesting seasons and the beginning of winter, the ‘darker half’ of the year. Rooted in Irish and Scottish paganism, modern Wiccans and pagans consider Samhain a sabbath to honour their ancestors. Similar holidays include Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Latin holiday honouring dead loved ones, and, possibly the most mainstream, Halloween.

Norse people did not celebrate Samhain, but they did have many autumn time celebrations, including Álfablót, Dísablot and Vetrnætr.

Álfablót (Elf Sacrifice) took place at the end of autumn when the leaves started to fall and harvest had ended. It was celebrated privately in the homestead and was administered by the lady of the household. Much like Día de los Muertos, ancestor worship was a big part of Álfablót.

Unfortunately, due to the secrecy of the holiday, not much else is known about the celebration. The Norse people were usually hospitable to strangers because there was a possibility the stranger might be the Allfather, Odin, seeking a night’s respite on his journey across Midgard in search of knowledge. On Álfablót they wouldn’t open their doors to a soul.

Álfablót couldn’t be observed by strangers or people who didn’t belong to the family because it was a celebration for the ancestors of the family. In the poem Austrfararvísur by Sigvatr Þórðarson, Sigvatr mentions Álfablót. While on a diplomatic mission, Sigvatr and his companions struggle to find a place to rest for the night, turned away by every house they approach.  

Álfablót was not just about honouring family but was also dedicated to honouring elves and landvaettir (land spirits). Elves were seen as spirits closely connected to the fertility of the land but also in contact with the dead. Landvaettir were spirits who cared and protected the land.

Dísablót (Dísir Sacrifice) was a public sacrifice held during Vetrnætr honouring the female spirits or deities called dísir.

Vetrnætr (Winter Nights) was a three-day-long holiday celebrating the end of the summer half of the year and the beginning of the winter half. Celebration of Vetrnætr varied from region to region but was unanimously a three-day event. Some modern-day heathens celebrate Vetrnætr on 31st October.

According to it lands between the 19th and 26th October on the modern calander:

“Since the Old Icelandic/Old Norse calendar was kept on a lunar basis rather than solar, the dates of things such as seasonal changes had more variation than they do by our modern reckoning. As Winter Nights was held at the onset of winter, we can use this information to better pinpoint the timing. The beginning of winter on the Old Icelandic calendar was said to occur in the month of Gor (Innards), which began on the Saturday after the 26th week of summer. Since summer ends on a Wednesday, this leaves a gap of two days in-between, and this gap would most likely be the time of Winter Nights, making it a three-night long festival. On modern calendars, this lands between the 19th and the 26th of October.

Andreas Nordberg claims as well that all major sacrifice days were observed 28 days after a solstice or equinox event, which would place Winter Nights 28 days after the Autumnal Equinox in modern reckoning.[iv] This lines up as well with the timing based off of the old calendar. Most modern Winter Nights celebrations, though, will usually be held on a Saturday during that time frame, due to work schedules and other factors.

[iv] Nordberg, Andreas. Jul, disting och förkyrklig tideräkning: Kalendrar och kalendariska riter i det förkristna Norden. (Uppsala, 2006). Available from:

However you intend to spend this evening, I hope you have fun and stay safe!


Further reading:

Finished Writing Book 3!

Holy cow. I did it! I finally finished writing the third and final novel in the Danethrall Trilogy! By “finished”, I mean I’ve completed writing the manuscript and now it’s time for a few rounds of reading, editing, rereading, and yet more editing before sending it off to be read and edited by a couple more pairs of eyes, considering and making recommended changes, etc, etc, etc.

I was hoping to have this book finished, edited and published in 2020 – at this point it’s looking like it won’t be published until early 2022 if I’m lucky. Still, step one is done and I’m choosing to focus on current accomplishments rather than the past.

It’s time to start thinking about a name for the novel – after that, I can work on designing a cover while the manuscript is being looked over.

I’m feeling a mixture of emotions – I’m ecstatic and relieved to finally finish writing this novel, but I’m sad, too. I intended for this series to be a trilogy, and now the trilogy is done. This is it for this story. Once the rest of the editing and refining processes are done, it will be time for me to say goodbye to these characters. Very bittersweet.

Amazon Advertising Campaign

2021 has been a bad year for business – and I mean bad. I’ve sold four books since 1st January 2021 to now (1st October 2021). Four. In the same time frame, only 3717 KENP pages have been read – that’s roughly a quarter of the usual pages since 2018.

(For those who don’t know, KENP stands for Kindle Edition Normalised Pages where some of my earnings are determined by how many of my books’ pages are read.)

Have some pretty charts to see why I’m a sad panda.

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The last 90 days worth of sales (aka Units Ordered) and KENP read for my novels.
Mar 2018 – Oct 2021 KENP

Pretty abysmal, amiright?

After having a whine on Twitter and feeling rather sorry for myself, I realised that for the entirety of 2020 and 2021, I’ve written possibly two chapters on the still-as-yet-unnamed final novel in the Danethrall Trilogy. Other than sharing a few posts on Twitter and uploading a picture or two on Instagram, I’ve literally done nothing to promote/improve/market my novels, so the fact I’ve made sales (even minimal sales) and had any type of KENP read at all are things I should be grateful for, not whine about.

To try and rectify my situation (not to mention, be proactive) I decided to create my first campaign on Amazon Advertising.

I’ve always been quite afraid of ad campaigns – I could end up spending a bunch of money and get zero results in return. But realistically, if I’m grazing the bottom of the barrel anyway, what harm will it do to sink some money into my books and hopefully bring about better results? I like my books – I like writing! – so why not invest in my novels?

Campaign Details

I set a budget of just over $16 USD for a week long campaign. Not a lot, but, as I pointed out before, I’m a chicken when it comes to spending money. If I see positive results from this campaign, I intend to run another with a larger budget, but until then I only want to dip my toes in. Chances are I’d get better results with a larger budget, but I’m doing only what I feel comfortable with, first.

Anyway. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of tutorials and this is what I decided to do:

Market: (US)
Dates: 10th October – 16th October 2021
Daily Budget: $2.34 USD
Default Bid: $0.35 USD
Targeting: Manual targeting
Campaign Bidding Strategy: Dynamic bids – down only
Adjust Bids By Placement: Top of search (first page) +10%. Product pages +0%

If this campaign is successful, I’m going to play around with increasing the ‘top of search (first page)’ bid up to +50%, possibly immediately, possibly over the course of a few campaigns. First page top of search is the golden position, it’s where I’ll get the biggest audience, so upping my budget, default bid and adjustment percentage will help me get to that spot, and hopefully increase my reader audience.

Keyword Targeting

My budget is low, so the money I want to spend on keyword clicks is low too.

Broad terms: $0.21
Phrases: $0.28 USD
Exact: $0.28 USD or $0.35 USD

I used two prices for the exact matches – $0.28 USD for exact matches WITHOUT a suggested bid, and $0.35 USD for matches WITH a suggested bid. The reason why I did this was because the exact words/phrases with a suggested bid were a lot more popular with much higher suggested price ranges than the ones without a suggested bid. It made sense in my head, so that’s what I went with.

For a list of the keywords, please visit my Keywords page (titled Historical Fiction Keywords under the Extras category in the menu). I did NOT use all of the ones listed, but I did use a lot of them.

I only had two broad termsDanethrall and Rise To Fall. I had 144 different keywords/phrases that I used for both the phrases and exact categories, which brought my total to 290 keywords.

Please cross your fingers for me and wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll be back with good news at the end of the campaign.


PS- I dyed my hair blue, what do you think?

Me with light blue hair 🙂

Halloween Week

Hey everyone! How is your Halloween going so far? My youngest and I kick-started Halloween by making an adorable (and delicious) cookie house. It was yummy and she was so cute and excited to make it. ❤

During Halloween, the kids and I like to attend at least three trick-or-treating events, including the 31st itself. This year, we’re doing four! We love dressing up, getting scared and eating candy; Halloween is our favourite time of year.

Round 1 of Halloween was ‘Haunted Hallways’ – an annual trick or treat event held at the kids’ school. It was a lot of fun, although it did seem smaller this year, probably due to them rearranging the whole thing. Didn’t stop it from being fun, though. I went as a vampire, my son went as Slenderman, my daughters went as Alice Angel (a character from the game Bendy and the Ink Machine), Tiffany (aka the Bride of Chucky) and a broken doll.

Today, my kids’ cousin Gabby told us of an event held at Genesee Valley Center in Flint. The whole mall got together with the police, fire and ambulance services and set up a trick-or-treating bonanza. Participating stores gave out candy to the kids, there were a couple of scare rooms, trunk or treat from the cop cars and more. We didn’t do much of the trunk-or-treat outside because the kids were getting tired and cold. There were lots of queues, it was chaotic but we enjoyed it. 😛

Tomorrow is Halloween round three. The kids and I love Halloween, can you tell? Haha. One of these years I will get a real costume put together, but yet again I didn’t get one together in time. My youngest child is four, so hopefully within the next fourteen years I’ll go trick-or-treating with the kids in costume. 

How have you been spending your Halloween? How many trick-or-treating events have you gone to? What’s your favourite part of Halloween?