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Come fly with me

Chapter 22, I had some unforgettable and quite scary experiences in Dubai.

Chapter 22, I had some unforgettable and quite scary experiences in Dubai.

It’s Thursday and that means tomorrow is the last day to get your FREE Kindle version of Fly Away Home  (Just by clicking on this link)

For those of you who have already read, or are planning to read… Here are pictures from some of the different places I write about in the book.

Chapter 2, Jersey Girl

The Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore is the 130 miles of New Jersey coastline, where summertime tourists come to enjoy the white sandy beaches and boardwalks. By day they pack the beaches, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the rigorous Atlantic surf. By night they flock the boardwalks, emptying their pockets at the arcade, riding the roller coasters, enjoying things like snow cones and cotton candy. In winter the action slows and the locals can stroll along the boards, breathing the salt air and enjoying the peace.

Chapter 3, My Maiden Voyage

Egersund, Norway

Egersund, Norway

In New Jersey everything was spread out and people would drive here and there, for this and that. There was a constant blur of activity everywhere. Norway was the complete opposite, I never saw any traffic or crowds, just small towns with quaint little shops located in quite, pedestrian only areas. Egersund reminded me of a miniature town I’d once seen on a train board.

Chapter 17, Mixed Blessings

Our house in Norway

Our house in Norway, the same house that’s on the cover of the book

We could hardly believe our luck. We built the house of our dreams on one of the most idyllic spots on the island. I now had my own little place in the world and over the next few years, life couldn’t have been any better…

Chapter 19, Life Goes On

Alexander and I in Hawaii

Alexander and I in Hawaii

All I wanted to do is run away as far as I possibly could. In hope of breaking the circle of grief, Harry, Alexander and I took a trip to Hawaii. It was not a vacation, more of a distraction.

Chapter 20, A Window Opens

Harry and I in front of the house in Houston

Harry and I in front of the house in Houston

The house the company rented for us was on a shady cul-de-sac in a quite neighborhood. It had a built in swimming pool in the back yard and palm trees in the front. The house looked like a mini mansion with 4000 square feet of pure grandeur, which included Swarovski chandeliers hanging in both the marble foyer and formal dining room. A spacious living room with a fireplace, a game room, modern kitchen with breakfast nook, three bedrooms, plus a master suite and five bathrooms all for us!  The house was light, airy and adorned in crown molding, it was, in a word, elegant.

Chapter 22, Going Dutch

Brian and I in the Netherlands

Brian and I in the Netherlands

They say God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland. The Netherlands is an architectural masterpiece. It’s designed down to the last detail and only a minute portion of the country has been left in its natural state. Because of their struggle against water more than a quarter of its surface is below sea level. The Dutch leave nothing to chance, instead they create their own nature and this makes the Netherlands a beautiful and fascinating place.

Bicycling through Provence

Bicycling through Provence

We cycled through the most magnificent vineyards where clusters of dark purple grapes hung irresistibly from the vines. We rode through fruit orchards and dried up sunflower fields. We pedaled down tight little streets lined with crooked stucco houses painted in pale colors, with shutters hanging on every window. We stopped along the way to eat cheese on long loaves of French bread and drink wine among the olive trees. We spent our nights tucked away in tiny old provincial towns oozing with charm. After making our way down to the Mediterranean we headed up through the Alpilles Mountains of Provence and back to Avignon. The jagged rock formations protruding upward through the oak and pine forests created panoramic views at every twist and turn of the road. We were escorted everyday through Van Gogh country by a warm September sun, and the experience was unforgettable.

It’s Free!

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For me there is nothing better than a comfortable chair, a pot of hot tea and a book. I’m also happy reading poolside, or under an umbrella on the beach and I would never – ever go on vacation without one!

I’m sure we can all agree there is nothing better than a real book in your hand however, Kindle has made book buying so much easier. Especially for me, living in a small town in Norway, where most books are only printed in Norwegian. I don’t have a Kindle, so I download them onto my iPad and I’m ready to go…

I’ve signed my book Fly Away Home up for a five day giveaway on Kindle from 10-14 June. There’s no gimmick, it’s totally free, ready to be downloaded and read.

The book is about my life. Leaving America under duress, with three young children in tow. Finding love again, rebuilding my life in a foreign country and a lot more… If you’re interested just click on this Amazon link and get your FREE copy now:  Fly Away Home

Feel free to leave a review on Amazon after you’ve finished and Happy reading 🙂

Here are some pictures that were sent to me last summer:

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On a beach in Jersey

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On a beach in Florida

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By the pool in Point Pleasant NJ

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At a resort in Las Vegas

On a beach in Italy

On a beach in Italy

One year later

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‘Hjemmet’ means the home

As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.

Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!

From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.

To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read,  here and here and here.

It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!

At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…

They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!

The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.

They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.

Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway  -I was assured it would not appear. It did

Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.

It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.

For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:

drøm ved sjøen means a dream by the sea

‘drøm ved sjøen’ means a dream by the sea

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I've collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I’ve collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

the dreaded bedroom picture

the dreaded bedroom picture

The article also explains how my husband and I met, where we live and of course about the book

The article also explains how my husband and I met and where we live 

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And of course the book

Windows

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After getting the baby settled down into his first night in our new home, I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea and looked out over the fjord. The evening sun shone down on the water causing its reflection to dance on the wall behind me. From where I was sitting I had a clear view of Strandveien, the small farm my grandparents owned, where my father was born and where they struggled through loss and poverty. The same farm sold years ago, to fund my family’s new life in America.

At that moment Harry came up behind me, laid a hand on my shoulder, leaned down and whispered in my ear, “Do you think you’ll be happy here?”

I didn’t have to think, I already was.

Fly Away Home

Look Here

 

I’ve been getting up early lately to read posts and drink tea and thats when I stumbled across this post by Paula Acton. It seems I’ve been tagged in a new game…

The idea of the game is to locate the word ‘look’ in whatever manuscript you have lying around, then post a few previous and following paragraphs around it. Afterwards, invite other authors to do the same.

My “look” comes from chapter 15, in my book Fly Away Home.

My heart began to pound as I looked over at the man I once loved, now sitting behind his desk staring at me with utter detest.

“Where were you this weekend Mag?” he asked vehemently.

“We took the kids to Pennsylvania for the weekend,” I answered smugly.

“Why didn’t you ask me first?” Ask him first, who did he think he was? I thought.

“Because you never ask me when you take the kids. You just do what ever you damn well please! So how does it feel when I do the same?”

“Oh, so you were trying to teach me a lesson. Well, that was a big mistake!” he yelled, and pounded his fist on the desk before continuing on. “Don’t you ever take my kids anywhere, ever again, without asking me first! You got that?”

“Only if you promise to do the same. Things are different now and the sooner you except that, the sooner we can all move on. If you don’t, then be prepared to go to court!”

With one panther-like spring he leapt towards me. Frightened, I turned to run but as I fumbled with the doorknob, I felt a quick hard punch hit me right between my shoulder blades. Unprepared for the blow my knees sagged, the door finally opened, and I escaped without looking back.

___________________

Here are the writers I’m tagging:

 

Dayla Moon Author

 

Hot Pink Underware

 

Dianne Gray author

 

Expat Alien

 

M. Latimer-Ridley

 

Book Giveaway

A quiet summer at home, well that was the intention…

The only plans my husband and I had this summer were to paint the house and work in the garden. After finishing up a lot earlier than expected and in desperate need of sun, we decided to spend a week in Italy.

Some friends have talked us into taking a long-weekend in Dublin, at the end of August. I’ve been invited to join a group of women-writers, meeting in Scotland the weekend before that, and now a trip to America has unexpectedly dropped into our lives.

My husband was asked by his company to give up a week of his vacation and go to Houston on business. Of course he agreed to do it, as long as they were willing to buy a ticket for me too. I then decided to trade in my ticket to Houston for a ticket to New Jersey, which is where I come from.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading home to the Garden State, for a whole week with family and friends. (Plus shopping, no tax on clothes in NJ). When I get back, my new baby granddaughter will be coming to stay with me, while my daughter and her family go to Lego Land in Denmark. There’s nothing like cuddling with a new born.

There is also an Austen in August reading challenge over at Roof Beam Reader. If you’re a Jane Austen fan (like me) check it out! I will also be participating in a book giveaway there…

Leave me a comment if you’re interested in winning a free copy of my book, Fly Away Home. At the end of August, I’ll pull one name out of a hat, contact the winner, and send the book anywhere in the world.

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen novel however, I’ve decided to read Persuasion, because Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine. I’m also very fond of Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Which one will you read?

I’ll be gone for the next two weeks, but am leaving you with these awesome pictures, people have posted on Facebook. I hope you’re all having a great summer…

Torn between lands

This picture was taken in 1963, the woman in the picture is my grandmother, Gerd. She was living in America at the time, but at home in Norway for a visit. I’m not sure what she was up to with clothes slung all over the open car, suitcases in the trunk and a bucket? Whatever it was, I can see she was certainly dressed for the occasion.

Life didn’t start easy for Gerd, she lost her father when she was quite young. She was married at nineteen, had three children and lost one to pneumonia. At twenty-five, her husband died and three weeks later she gave birth to her fourth child (who she would later loose in a boating accident). She was also left with a small-run-down farm to manage (which I can now see from my kitchen window).

Five years later, in 1949, she gave the locals something to really talk about when the widow up and married a man eleven years her junior. They sold the farm in 1955, packed up the children and moved to America. They stayed for thirteen years before moving back to Norway, but Gerd had a restless soul and lived the rest of her life with a foot in each country. Bouncing between her devotion to Norway and her love affair with America, she never could decide where she was happiest.

At ninety-two, Gerd passed away yesterday. She died quietly in her sleep, of old age.

Not many people are lucky enough to have their grandmother for over fifty years, like I was, but that doesn’t make it any easier to let her go. I have plenty of memories, like when I was little and we would visit her on a Sunday afternoon. She would always spread a blanket on the floor and there my sister and I would sit eating ice cream, looking through photo albums of people in Norway, we didn’t know. When I was eleven and visited her in Norway, I remember asking if she could make me a tuna salad sandwich for lunch one day. After she explained and I saw that Norwegian tuna was pink, I was a bit skeptical but it turned out to be the best I ever tasted. She later confessed that when she couldn’t find canned tuna in Norway, she used salmon instead.

With her in America and me now in Norway, I’d ring her every other week and she’d always answer the phone saying, “Is it really you Margaret?” and then when it was time to hang up she’d say, “I’m so happy you called, its always nice to talk to you Margaret.” She was sharp and clear to the very end. I’ll miss those calls.

The one thing I’m most grateful for is that she was able to hold my book in her hands and see her picture inside it. She couldn’t read it, but she lived it and now she will live on forever…

Back soon!

Busy signing books!

Book signing on Saturday April 28, 2012 11-13:00

at Rassmussen Libris in Egersund Norway.