Friday, 31 May 2019

This Blog has Moved and I have a New Book Out!

I haven't written anything on this blog in years, but I figured I'd drop by to let you know about some of my recent news.

First of all, my blog has moved.

I have an official website now, and I update the blog there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

This blog doesn't feature anything beauty-related anymore, though I still talk about life as an immigrant, share photo diaries featuring our travels, and art tutorials. I also talk about writing, review books and series I love, and the odd post about motherhood or mental health.

Do be a dear and check out the new blog, won't you?

Secondly, I have a brand new book out!

A Study of Ash & Smoke was published on 20 May, 2019, and has been getting in a few good reviews.

I'm very excited about this project, formerly known as They Physician's Apprentice. Here's what it's about:

Plague, deception, and spies in a steampunk setting.

Cara should be the queen of Mordoux, but instead she must pretend to be a boy named Carl. 

Her father hunts her, and will kill her if he finds her.

She’s trapped with him beneath the Mantle forcefield that isolates the kingdom of Aelland. The only way to elude him is to hide as a male physician's apprentice, keeping her telltale royal hair covered beneath medical robes. 

But when the enigmatic Nathan Cutter takes over her apprenticeship, her secrets could be exposed.

Nathan knows surgery, not deception, and certainly not the feelings he starts to develop for his new apprentice. Pulled into an ever tighter web of lies, he must decide how much he is willing to give up for a person he hardly knows.

While Cara's father tries to manipulate the puppet queen he installed in Cara's place, a terrible plague threatens to rot Aelland from the inside. 

Can Cara and the other physicians find a cure? Or is the only solution the fall of the Mantle, and surrender to the emperor who's claimed the rest of the Seven Kingdoms?

Check out A Study of Ash & Smoke Online:

Thanks so much to those of you who still frequent the Couch. I really would love to see you over at the new blog.



Monday, 18 January 2016

So, it's official

This blog is officially moving. I have a full post on the 'why' here, so please go have a look at that.

You can also check out some of the older posts, so head on over to the new blog, Yolandie Says, and check it out. I really hope you'll take this new journey with me.


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Vacation Day-By-Day : Aachen

Aachen is a beautiful town in Germany on the border with Belgium. It's one of those typical European places, with the most beautiful building style and cobbled streets. The Aachener Dom is a picturesque cathedral, though not nearly as magnificent as the Cologne Cathedral. It's still pretty though. It was being renovated on our visit, so we hope to go back one day when the renovations are complete.

Aachen is famous for the printen biscuits. It's a type of soft Lebkuchen (gingerbread), sweetened with honey or syrup and often covered in chocolate or marzipan. Some varieties are decorated with various fruits and nuts. This stuff? Amazing. Like seriously, amazing. I'm not a gingerbread fan overall, except where my mother in law's gingerbread cookies are concerned, and then I only want them on a good day. But the printen biscuits are seriously yummy. We got ours from the prettiest bakery you'll every lay your eyes on, the Nobis Bakery near the cathedral.

To round off our visit in Aachen, we made a stop at the Lindt factory.



So, basically what goes on there is this; Lindt chocolate at low prices. Yup. Chocolate on every shelf, beautifully packaged and in flavours I've only dreamed of. And that at bargain prices.

We went bonkers in that place. BONKERS! We bought arm-loads of chocolate, much more than we have ever bought at any one time before. Obviously, only for gifts for our friends and family in South Africa. Not for our own consumption. Really. I promise! *crickets chirp*


Here are the photos.

I'll definitely go back to Aachen one day. No, not for the Lindt chocolate! Well, not only for that.

Just a heads up that this might be the last post here for a while. I just got my editor's feedback on my new novel, so I'm going to keep my head down and get this thing edited soon. I'll pop in now and again, but I should probably tell you right now that the change thing is still looming. I'll do a detailed post on that, but just be forewarned.

Have a good one!


Friday, 8 January 2016

Vacation Day-By-Day : Cologne Cathedral

Am I addicted to great architecture and lead-glass installations? Why, yes, I sure am. 

That statement means cathedral and church-hopping is on my A-list of things to do and sights to see. The Cologne Cathedral (Or Kölner Dom, as the Germans call it) is AH-MAZE-ING. It is, without any trace of a doubt, the biggest structure I have seen in my life. 

The Gothic style has always been one of my favourites. The detail, arches, gargoyles and just everything about it screams to me, and I feel a deep affinity with it. The Kölner Dom does not disappoint. The structure took over 600 years to build (with a time of rest included in that period) and was only complete for a short time before the Second World War, which saw it heavily damaged by bombings. The tall peaks of the cathedral were easy targets in the war, so it was often attacked. This tragedy means that a lot of the structure as it now stands is the work of modern repair, clearly distinguishing the original stones from the new ones. 

Having said that, the building is still absolutely majestic and unbelievable. The sheer mass of it is mind-blowing and has already inspired magical stories in the back of my mind. I would recommend it to any lover of architecture and anyone else who wants to be awed. It's absolutely worth the trip. 






We also made a stop at the Christmas Market next to the Dom. Awesome fun! Though we did have the hardest and most un-yummy sandwiches in the history of the world there. Don't let the picture fool you. We didn't even finish them. :P




Awesome, don't you think? I really want to go back there some day, I could spend an entire day just staring at the details. We also went down to the treasury, but the quality of the photos from there are not too good. No flash photography is allowed, so the result is pixily and dark photos. The outside of the cathedral more than made up for it though. 

Have a good weekend, folks!