adult

spring cleaning (late) & book fairs

Ever since spring I had meant to add all the books I published last year, but I only get round to it now. Somehow time seems to go faster with every year (Help! I’m getting old). Yesterday I got started.

The overview of my books is done, but some of the individual book pages are still missing. Therefore you’ll stumble over an “Under Construction” sign in some places for a while. Don’t be annoyed. It was the only way to avoid dead links.

I promise to work as quickly as I can, after all I want to be done before November. As always I’m starting NaNoWriMo, a month where authors all over the world try to write 50,000 words, on November 1st. If one can write every day, one needs to get 1667 words per day. Since I have to take the weekends off (due to my children), I need to write 2381 words. That doesn’t sound like much but is hard work if the words are supposed to make sense. copying the word NaNoWriMo 50,000 times is not an option for me. 😀

By the way, next week there’ll be another episode of our quarter annual Storytime Bloghop. My story will be in English and German (as always) and only available for a limited time. I hope you’re looking forward to it.

Last but not least, I’ll be at two books fairs. The first will be the BuCon in Dreieich near Frankfurt (Main) next Saturday where I’ll be reading at 2:00pm in Deep Space 4 from my Amadi-Trilogy. And on the first weekend in November I’ll be at the schriftGut in Dresden where I’ll be reading too. You can hear about Juma’s Rain Saturday, November 5th at 1:00pm on Bühne 1. For those that are in the area (however unlikely that might be) it’s a good chance to meet me in person.

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My Monday Cup of Tea (ehm Cocoa): Paralan’s Children

My next release is coming closer and I’m now working on the cover art and the back cover blurb. I will reveal the cover next Monday. Now, I’ll tell you a little about my story. It was the one that got me my agent in Germany some years back.

As I said in my Friday post, it is set on a planet that’s mostly covered in ice. The main species of the planet resemble polar bears but their snouts are much longer and they’ve got tufted ears. Also, their internal organs are very different from polar bears (e.g. two brains, gigantic olfactory nerve-cluster etc.). Humans would have never been interested in their planet if it weren’t for a rare mineral their FTL drives need (faster than light, for the non-SciFi readers). Thus, there is a single human colony under the planet’s ice and a space-port on the ice. The settlement is closely monitored by the Paralans who don’t like humans to be there but are depending on them to deliver an active ingredient for a medicine extracted from a Terran plant.

In this uneasy truce, both sides harbor prejudices. When fifteen female Paralan children are kidnapped, a male Paralan officer and a human graduate, the only girl in the human Galactipol station on Paralan, have to learn to work together to follow the traces, and with every passing hour the chances of finding the girls alive are sinking.

When I wrote this story, I played around with gender issues. The main female character is facing harassment by her colleagues and the situation only change gradually when she works with the Paralans, and in the Paralan society, the roles of father and mother are reverted. There are even rewards for exceptional breeding success (meaning at least 3 of the six hatchlings survive). I had so much fun developing the world and its inhabitants, I even came up with Paralan mythology.

I’m really interested to see if you’ll enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it.
Now, let me know, if you had to create life on an ice planet, what kind of creature would you come up with?
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Review Monday: The gauntlet and sequel by Karen Chance

This week, I’m featuring two free books again. I haven’t read anything else from Karen Chance yet because I don’t like to get started on long series but I might just make an exception since I enjoyed these two books a lot. I will also check out some of her other free stories.

The GauntletAbout “The Gauntlet”
Vampire Kit Marlowe seeks out an imprisoned red-headed witch whose help he needs. He didn’t count on her starting a revolt of the prisoners against their capturers that would bring down the whole prison, but in for a penny in for a pound as they say.

 

 

 

 

 

The Queen's Witch About “The Queen’s Witch”
After their escape, Kit Marlowe follows the witch to London and manages to bribe her into helping him. despite the fact that she’s none too find of Queen Elizabeth I., she agrees to help thwart an assassin attempt on her. But their opponents have been planning long and hard, and their connections to the throne are much better. Will Kit and his witch be in time? And what has a zombie-monkey got to do with the story?

 

 

 

My thoughts:
I read “The Gauntlet” and the sequel “The Queen’s Witch” and loved them both. They are very fast paced with wonderful characters. The only drawback was that there were some sub-plots that could have done with some more story time. I understood the need to have the protag’s daughter in the story but her reaction to a traumatic experience was missing. I know that with the fast pacing there wouldn’t be much room for this but a hint here and there would have turned a great story into an outstanding one.

I believe it is worth your time to check out this author,
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Review Monday: The Lands of Hope by Will L. Hahn

This review Monday nearly became a Tuesday because I got exciting news. My eBook “Urchin King” made it into the semifinals of “The Kindle Review Best eBook 2012” competition in the YA category. I was so surprised that I nearly forgot to write this post. But here we go.

I met Will Hahn when he joined my critique group some time back. At first I thought I wouldn’t be of help because he’s writing epic and heroic fantasy — and I don’t much care for either. I did read “Lord of the Rings” and liked the story well enough (please don’t kill me). My favorites were the talking trees. But I found it hard work to get through the three fat volumes. There were so many boring parts I never managed to read it a second time (which might have been due to the fact that it was a German translation. Nowadays I know that the voice sometimes gets lost in a translation. I might have to check out the original soon).

Out of duty (Will made some very insightful comments on my stories), I read his first story and was hooked. For my taste, he couldn’t write fast enough. I even helped a little with one of his covers. His stories are amazing. The characters just step off the page, grab your hand and drag you along in the most daring adventures you can imagine.

There are three books available at the moment, and they all take part in the Lands of Hope (Compendium available here). Still, they are all independent from each other. And the best is from the 1st to the 31st of July 2012, all three novels are FREE!

The Ring and the FlagThe first story is “The Ring and the Flag” (Don’t judge this book by the cover). It tells the story of Justin, a very bright recruit in a new army who fails his entrance exam only to discover he’s been set up. Instead of leading an impressive envoy to an important meeting, he’s been chosen to get to the very same meeting but in a much more secretive way. The task he’s been set upon is so difficult, it takes all his loyalty, intelligence, and strength to complete it.

Justin’s struggles and insecurities mirror that of so many young people today. It’s lovely to see him grow into the challenge and fight for the place he should have had in the first place. I loved this book and read it more than once.

Fencing ReputationThe second story is “Fencing Reputation“. Feldspar is a stealthic, but no one knows his face. That’s why he tries for the first time in his life to live a “normal” life — with little success. Also, his newest task, to find a circlet with incredible magical strength, proves to be more demanding than he thought. The master of disguise may need to be more than one person before he gets to the bottom of the mysteries.

The way the greatest stelathic of the land is trying to adapt to a normal life is hilariously funny. It heightens the contrast when he goes after his business. In the end, I wished I could have met Feldspar in real life, not in a novel only.

Three Minutes to MidnightAnd the third story is “Three Minutes to Midnight“, the most breathtaking story of the three. In it, stealthic Trekelny (which isn’t a thief but a dedicated lover of danger) sets out to despoil a temple, and he cannot succeed unless he wins the love of a woman who hates him above all others.

I bit my nails from the first sentence to the last and never noticed the time fly past. Had my kids been near, I would have forgotten about them.

 

I know for sure that Will Hahn is working on another exciting story — this one much longer (understatement), and I really hope there will be many more. I couldn’t be a greater fan.

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Review Monday: Catspell by Danyelle Leafty

First of, I love Fairy Tales in every disguise. If you don’t, this book is not for you. Catspell is the retelling of a little known Fairy Tale called “The White Cat” but it’s so wickedly funny, you don’t recognize the tale until half way through the book. Even then, you can’t predict the outcome.

About the book:

Catspell by Danyelle LeaftyA head cold can muddle the clearest of heads, and fairy godmothers are no exception.

Which is why Nerissa finds herself agreeing to help Breena, a Damsel in Distress, even though she’d rather wrangle a whole posse of evil stepmothers than accept the job. To her credit, Breena, would rather kiss a hundred toads than work with a fairy godmother.

After an ill-fated attempt to get out of their contract, Breena now has whiskers, claws, and a tail. Finding a suitable prince for a small, white cat isn’t going to be easy, but that’s the least of Nerissa’s problems. The person who gave Breena the “cat” potion isn’t going to stop until she’s destroyed everything Nerissa stands for as a fairy godmother.

If she wants to save Breena, Nerissa is going to have figure out where the fairy tale went wrong and how she can bring a Happily Ever After to the only girl she’s ever failed.

 

My thoughts:

Due to the great description and the wonderful cover, I had this book on my “Wanted” list for quite a while but never got round to ordering it due to a very busy schedule. Then, I won it in an Internet competition held by several new but good Indie authors. It came as a surprise when Danyelle contacted me about my win since I had already forgotten I participated (‘Unimportant’ things like that often slip my mind, but my kids and hubby never do 😉 ). Of course, the book immediately went to the top of my TBR pile. I started reading it a few days after I got the eBook and went through it without a break. I even neglected my writing a little.

From the first page on, the slightly sarcastic voice of the fairy godmother grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It was very well counterpointed by the slightly naïve Damsel in Distress (DID) with her cats, that weren’t really cats, and the voice of the adventuring prince’s magician who’d rather be somewhere else studying magic. The story twists often but never once got confusing. The author expertly tangled the DID’s and her fairy godmother’s life in a net of interwoven story threads and never dropped a single one. The end is full and well fitting for the story. I already ordered the three available sequels, Firespell, Applespell, and Frogspell.

I hope you will enjoy the book just as much as I did,

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