Surviving a Release Week

With Hollywood Demon releasing last Saturday, this week is a bit of a blur. I don’t think that sending a new book into the world ever gets easier, emotionally, but I am learning how to cope. One of the important strategies is to force myself to work on a different project — I’m working on the second draft of Alchemy Shift. The other strategy is vital: to get out of the house and away from the computer. At a minimum I’m stretching my legs with walks around the neighbourhood. It’s spring time which makes it exciting times for my hayfever!

**By the way, and totally off-topic, do you have any natural remedies for hayfever? At home, I have an air filter in my study and that is bliss, but I can’t live my whole life in my study!

Huge Speculative Fiction Sale – all books 99c Sept 3-4

Patty Jansen runs spectacular science fiction and fantasy promotions with some best-selling authors involved. Often the books promoted are free. This time Patty put the call out for 99c books. I’ve included Hollywood Demon, sneaking it in before it goes full price. Other people have significantly dropped the price of their books. It’s an impressive collection and it’s just for Sept 3-4, so mark your calendars!

science fiction and fantasy sale, book promotion,

Re-visiting Childhood

A few days ago I was driving through the area where I grew up. It used to be a semi-rural community, but all the houses have been demolished to make way for an industrial estate. My primary school is gone. Memories are all that remain — except! Just beyond the industrial estate is a pocket of open ground. One swamp has survived major earth-moving activities (my great-uncle’s property became a limestone quarry!) and opposite the swamp a flock of sheep was grazing. I’m not sure how well the photos will show for you, but I can’t resist sharing this proof that not all the freedom of my childhood is lost.

enjoyable distractions, Australian sheep, rural childhood,
Flock of sheep – it looks rural and idyllic, doesn’t it?
Swamp. It used to be filled with water, but now it's just paperbark trees and grass.
Swamp. It used to be filled with water, but now it’s just paperbark trees and grass.
Cooking Adventures

Actually, I have no cooking adventures this week. Given how stressful I find release weeks, I’m just grateful that I’m not eating takeaway – which is a lazy woman’s comfort food 🙂 Do you have a favourite comfort food? This winter I came up with what I’m calling a Mexican soup, although I doubt it’s Mexican at all. I should make it.

I fry a chopped onion in olive oil, salt and pepper. Once it’s translucent-to-golden in colour, I add a generous amount of cumin and smoked sweet paprika and a pinch of dried chilli, and stir through the onions for maybe ten seconds. You don’t want the spices to burn. Then I add two cups of water (or thereabouts, none of my measurements are accurate), a chopped sweet potato (the orange kind) and a drained and rinsed (I’m so fussy!) can of cannellini beans. Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour or even two. Then blitz with a stick blender — is that what you call them in America? — you want a puree. Put the pot back on the stove and add sweetcorn kernels cut from two fresh cobs. Cook for ten minutes. Be careful! The puree might bloop! like a mini-volcano, or stick to the bottom of the pot. Watch and stir. And then … deliciousness. It tastes even better reheated the next day.

Free Contemporary Romance Collection

Jenny Schwartz, cafe nix, contemporary romance free,Cafe Nix is a collection of short stories by Escape Publishing authors, including me. It came out a couple of years ago, but Amazon has been stubborn about setting it free – which is what we all wanted it to be. We want to give it away! Now, suddenly, Amazon has come to the party. So, grab your free copy, today.

Ainslie Paton was the genius and the person who slaved to bring Cafe Nix into the world. She’s also funny and smart and writes intense adult romances that showcase her quirky Aussie humour. This was a fantastic project to be part of: sometimes I’m the luckiest person.

Real Life Paranormal Stories & Investigations

I haven’t had a chance to go through this page on paranormal resources, but I want to! Just the link at the bottom of the page to haunted rocking chairs made me blink. Have you ever encountered the inexplicable? I don’t think I believe in ghosts.

Winners of National Geographic’s Travel Photographer of 2016 Contest

I’m more an armchair traveller than a real one, so I love looking at other people’s travel photos. These National Geographic prize winners take that to the next level. Amazing!

You might have guessed that in a release week I’m easily distracted and a bit random. I think I’d best stop rambling and get back to work on Alchemy Shift.

Final Reminder

Hollywood Demon is only at 99c for a few more days, so if you haven’t grabbed your copy or you’ve been meaning to mention it to a friend, don’t delay!

Jenny Schwartz


5 Replies to “Surviving a Release Week”

  1. First off, Hollywood Demon is awesome and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

    Second – wow, so much news here. 🙂

    I get hay fever occasionally, but it knocks me around when I do get it and I just have to ride it out. I’m sorry I don’t have any quick fixes for you. I just struggle through with panadol.

    Thank you for sharing the pictures and a little of your childhood. Still can’t believe I’ll be seeing the WA countryside for myself in a few months. Very excited. 🙂

    Your soup sounds good. Comfort food – home made bread and cheesy dipping sauce. I wish fondue parties were a thing again. LOL

    I still can’t get my head around some of the things Amazon does. I recently learned another friend had her novella pirated off Amazon – I thought Amazon had safeguards against that?

    Real life paranormal stories – it’s an amazing world out there and science hasn’t explained everything yet.

    As for stock – manufactured ones are too salty in my opinion so if you do find the time / desire to make your own, it’s probably worthwhile.

    1. D – I can’t wait for you to become a sandgroper! (for non-Aussies, West Australians are named after this strange insect, a sandgroper).

      I think come Hayfever Season we should all by shares in Kleenex!

  2. That’s kind of cool that at least a little bit of your childhood home is still around.

    Sorry about your hay fever. Wish I had a remedy but I don’t. I never used to have allergies until recently. Now it seems I’m always sniffling or headachy. Not fair.

    re: Mexican soup
    You had me except for the sweet potato, though I guess I could make it for hubs. He loves sweet potatoes. Is there a reason you use water instead of chicken broth? Just curious.

    1. My childhood home is remarkably resilient – some of it’s simply moved on to Facebook *waves hi to any stray Hope Valley-ites reading this* Stronger community than we maybe appreciated growing up.

      Allergies suck! I didn’t have them as a kid.

      As for the water instead of stock thing … I can’t find a decent stock and I’ve been too lazy/busy to make my own. The interesting thing with soups like this and even some stews is that you really don’t notice the lack of stock. So much so that I’m wondering if we’ve been a little bit conned by stock manufacturers! (paranoid consumer, moi?) Other recipes, though, definitely require stock. Thinking about substitutes for stock is interesting . This summer I’d like to poach more chicken and fish. I tried it once and found chicken, at least, poaches beautifully in water simmering with herbs. Let the chicken cool, then slice and serve in sandwiches or salads with loads of avocado (because the chicken is a bit dry). Yum!