Monthly Archives: July 2020

Who is Gretchen Wolf

I'm sure by now, you have seen that I also dabble in writing of Novellas. I have self-published three already (linked below) and am currently working on a few. Having self-published under a pseudonym, I have on occasion been asked why. Who is Gretchen Wolf? Read on to find out...

What's in a name?

So, those who know the real me, will know I am married to a German. And as such, my last name is quite German - with funny umlaut letter included. And when I completed my first Novella, Hearts in Edinburgh, I knew that I didn't want to use my real name. For one simple reason: if I picked up an English Novel written by a man or woman with a name that sounded foreign (meaning not English), I would probably put the book back down. That is just my personal opinion. Yes, I know, many best-selling foreign language books have been translated into English. For me it was as simple as the reason I gave above. And so, it took a few days of back-and-forth between me a hubby, until I finally came up with Gretchen and he added Wolf.

Clean Romance?

I have in the past marketed my books as Clean Romance. I know it isn't a thing and it probably won't catch anytime soon. However, I have seen and read books that are marketed as Romance, yet have a lot of 'bite' to it (I am using this phrase because my friend Sandy loves a good bite in her books 🙂 ) Now, while I am all for hot and heavy, I can't write those kinds of scenes, nor can I put my characters in those situations without cringing. Yes, you may call me a prude 🙂 haha.

How did it all start:

About 2 years ago, the Kindergarten Miss E was attending, was having some staffing issues. It had been a very bad winter and many of the teachers were sick. Every other day a teacher was either off sick, or simply not returning after a lengthy illness, which left the kids being moved around from one group to the other. The Principle had then asked if there were any parents willing and able to keep their children home, to lighten their load at school. Just until they could sort out their staffing issue. And so, since I was a Homemaker, I decided to keep Miss E home. And that was when I found I had a story to tell. A love story. Over one single weekend, writing through the night Friday to Saturday, my first draft of Hearts in Edinburgh was finished. I put it away for a few days, never intending on going public with my words.

Self Publishing:

It was only after speaking with hubby, and his encouragement that I decided to put my little Novella out into the world. And so, on March 13th 2018 I published my first book over on Amazon Kindle. It was the start of something very special. It opened up a brand new world of Indie Authors to me that I never really knew existed. The journey lead to two more Novellas which I also published over on Amazon. RSVP Plus One and Richard 2.0 - both very dear to my heart.

It's been two years...

The last two years have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me and even though I've been working on a few stories, my heart is not really in any of them. And I don't want to publish anything, until my heart gives full consent. We have also just passed the six month anniversary of our International Move (more here), and I find myself a little more settled in our new home. So maybe, one of these days I will pick up my laptop and start writing again.

Have you guys purchased your copy of any of my three Novellas? Hearts in Edinburgh is my favourite and I really recommend you start with that one. Summer Holidays is coming and let's be honest, not all of us are going to be traveling. RSVP Plus One can be read in one sitting. And if you do happen to have an extra minute for a coffee, grab Richard 2.0 - you won't regret it 🙂

How did I do with my self-promotion? 🙂

Take care, Lovelies,

Why we moved

When we first started telling people that we were embarking on an International Move, some asked why. It wasn't as simple as "it's a great opportunity". A lot of thought and prayers went into this decision and I am now going to tell you exactly "why we moved"...


This is 'home'

My husband and I met in Dubai. We were expats and we enjoyed the lifestyle. However, after five years, we wanted a change. It wasn't a difficult 'yes' when we were offered a move to Europe. It was a fantastic opportunity for hubby as it would really boost his career. And for me: I was going to learn a new language. When we moved to Germany, I knew it wasn't a forever deal - I did not plan to retire there. And then we had a baby. Our family was now complete. Did we really want to start over somewhere else with a child? Why not?


Miss E has always loved the ocean and being near the water. Our trips up north Germany was always a highlight for her.

Our List:

We had been living in Germany for 5 years, Miss E was 4 years old. My feet had started itching - they wanted to move. Hubby and I started thinking and talking about our options - which were quite limited. I have no higher education and hubby is in a sort of 'specialised' field. Our list of 'must-haves' was very short: warmer climate or at least four equal seasons per year; access to beach. Yep, that was about it. Both hubby and I grew up with easy access to the ocean or beach and it was one of the biggest things missing in our lives. And Miss E felt the same way.


We love the ocean, clearly. Even when it was a bit chilly, we would bundle ourselves up and head out for some ocean air.


It wasn't just the beach though, we craved Vitamin D

Happy Family:

There were many days I would wake up in Germany and think of beautiful sunrises and amazing sunsets. And I was always disappointed when I looked out of my kitchen window to grey skies. Miss E often talked about how she wished she didn't have to wear gloves and scarves and the thick jackets during the long winters. She has always been a very bubbly, active child, but in the summer months, she bloomed - just like here mama. But unlike her mama, she kept her bubbly personality throughout the year. I couldn't. Winters were very depressing for me. I would go days without wanting to leave the apartment. It was only because I had to take Miss E to Kindergarten and collect her, that I would force myself to soldier on.


Summers were rather short, and so on the days we did venture out when the sun shone, we still needed sweaters

Our Decision:

It wasn't very difficult to decide to accept the offer to move to the Island of New Providence. Honestly, The Bahamas was never on our list of countries to move to, but we jumped at the chance to be near the ocean and wake up to bright skies all year around.


Sun and surf

So you see, our reason for moving was quite simple: sun and surf.


Miss E has enjoyed wearing her sleeveless dresses


We have not worn jeans in months...we don't own jeans 🙂

Have you ever moved to a different country? What was your reason? Do you think it is easier moving with smaller children or teenagers?


Smiles all around

Till next time, Lovelies

Corona Bake Off – Round 2

To crepe or not to crepe! If you love Crepes and you love Cake, then you'll definitely LOVE the Crepe Cake. For Round 2 of our Corona Bake Off, the winner of Round 1 (read here for more), Sara decided we would take on the beauty that is the Crepe Cake.

What I love about this cake is that the options are endless. I mean you could literally make any flavour you want. And you could use any flavour combo, and it will probably work as well. I could NOT decide on my Crepe Cake. I wanted to keep it classy-looking, but also put in a punch of flavour.

The Chocolate & Strawberries Crepe Cake:


That Chocolate Mirror Glaze is so perfect

Sara decided on bringing together a combination that has worked for decades: Chocolate and Strawberries. She made Strawberry and Vanilla Crepes, sandwiched together with gorgeous Vanilla Mascarpone Cream. The entire cake was covered in a beautiful Chocolate Mirror Glaze. I mean, just look at this beauty! There was definitely no doubt she would win Round 2.


Nicely defined layers - well done, Sara!

And me?


I struggled with my drip on this cake and totally regretted it after the first drip - but because of the 'naked' sides, I couldn't take it off and had to just continue...

I eventually, after much deliberation (in my head), I settled on a Tiramisu Crepe Cake: Amaretto Crepes, sandwiched together with a creamy Amaretto Cream Filling. I kept mine a 'naked cake' and dusted the top cream layer with cocoa. In all honesty, I could have done better on my presentation and photography. My flavours were definitely there and those who were lucky enough to get a piece, all said they loved it. But at the end of the day, our voters are voting purely on looks, presentation and the description of the cakes.


I was happy that my layers set up well

The Winner:

In the end, the clear winner was Sara. That mirror glaze was so beautiful. My Amaretto was just not hitting the right spots with many people. And a few mentioned my presentation. Something I will definitely work on.


It was a no-brainer on this round that Sara would win.

Sara chose for Round 3 another classic: The Opera Cake. Head on over here for more...

Which one would you have chosen? Both our Socials are on lockdown, unfortunately as we make use of our personal profiles for the Challenge. But I'm curious what the readers of my blog would have voted for.

Till next Round, Lovelies.

Corona Bake Off – Round 1

Over the last few weeks, my friend Sara and I have been doing a weekly Bake-Off Challenge over on our Socials. I came up with the idea when I started feeling a bit bored in my kitchen during our lockdown and I wanted to mix up my baking a bit - and at the same time learn some new skills and hone my old ones.


I baked my Classic Carrot Cake, and used Pecans instead of Walnuts

What we decided was, we would bake on Wednesdays, upload our pictures labelled A and B on Thursdays and open voting to all our friends and followers for three days. On Saturdays at 8pm EST, we close voting and tally up the numbers. The winner is announced that night and on Sunday mornings, the winner decides what we create or bake the following week.


The sides of this cake made by Sara looks so delicious!!! I ate nuts for hours after seeing her pictures

Our first week was so exciting. Sara won by a landslide and I totally agree with those who voted for her: her cake looked amazing! We had to bake and put our own spin on a classic: The Carrot Cake.

I used my classic recipe, one I have been baking for years. I changed one thing: I added Pecans instead of Walnuts.


As always, my carrot cake was super moist and yummy!

Of course it was difficult for our voters, because they were voting purely based on looks and presentation. Maybe one day, we can perform a proper bake-off, with an audience and judges who get to taste our bakes too. What do you say, Sara? Would you be up for it?


Look at those layers - no wonder Sara won this round

Check out Round 2 here - Sara chose a Crepe Cake

Have you guys ever watched The Great British Bake-off? What do you think of shows like these? Have you been baking interesting things during the Corona Lockdown? Tell me in the comment section below, I'd love to hear.

Till next time, Lovelies, keep baking!