Happy news – at least for me

I am doing the happy dance today. There were so many good things that happened today (and one unshared older news) that I just have to tell you.

Two of my short stories have been accepted for (paid) publication in anthologies in the US.
(SQUEAL)
One story will be published in an anthology by Freedom Forge Press, the other made it into the “Think Sideways Writers Anthology” of writing teacher Holly Lisle. Isn’t the cover just awesome?

The Adventure of Creation

The Adventure of Creation
Think Sideways Writers Anthology

Also, my Wattpad story “Swordplay”, a YA fantasy murder mystery, made it into the final round in “The Write Awards 2013”. This contest is looking for well crafted stories on Wattpad, and the competition was fierce. We started out with nearly 100 participants and have been narrowed down to 10 by now. Mid-August, they will announce the winner.

And finally, my novel “Scotland’s Guardians” passed the first round of judging for the “Kindle Book Review: Best eBook 2013 Award” and is now a semifinalist in the Young Adult category.

All these good news make up for the fact that I don’t get much done with the kids on holiday.

Have a good time,
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free today and tomorrow

From yesterday(25th of June) till Thursday (27th), my YA Science Fantasy “Paralan’s Children” is available for free on amazon.

Paralan's Children

About the book:

 

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it’s anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn’t know he’s facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can’t get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn’t solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet’s far side too?

It’s already rated 4-5 stars on Amazon.com and Amazon.de.
Get the English verison here
and the German version here.

Enjoy, and please leave a review,
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Blog-Break

I am going on a holiday to visit gardens and castles in Kent, England! It will be the first time since my marriage nearly 20 years ago that I’ll be travelling without my husband and kids. I’m scared stiff to say the least.

What if hubby doesn’t manage to handle the kids? After all, they’re both in puberty and very easily annoyed. What if they have to live on muesli and pancakes for the whole week? What if it keeps raining and our house is flooded? What if my dog stops eating because he misses me so much? What if… But probably not.

My mind knows exactly that everything will go well. It’s just this over-active imagination dumping horrors on me. I wonder how people who aren’t authors cope with these things. I can sit down and write a story where all the bad things happen increasing the catastrophes until the world explodes. After that, I can set aside my worries because my emotional side finally understands how unlikely these things are. But what do you do (no, not you, author. The one beside you)? Let me know, please. I’m curious.
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Release Day!

Here is my latest release, “Paralan’s Children“, a YA soft SciFi story. Hopefully, you’ll like it. It’s available for 99ct as a special introductory price until tomorrow, 23rd of May. Then, the price will go up to $4.99 for good.

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it’s anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn’t know he’s facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can’t get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn’t solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet’s far side too?

Get your copy while it’s cheap.

and enjoy the day,
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My Monday Cup of Tea (ehm Cocoa) – Cover Reveal

I’m sorry for not posting more last week. I prepared everything, but then, I fell ill (including fever and heavy coughing). As long as the kids were out of the house, I slept. Now, I’m finally feeling well enough to show you the cover for my next release “Paralan’s Children”.

Paralan's Children

I like the way the picture captures the dramatic surface of the ice planet. I would have liked to add the main characters, but everything I tried looked artificial, so I left them out. The writing is easily visible at thumbnail size (very good for Amazon’s previews). You want to know what the story is about? Well, here you are:

Fresh from the academy, ambitious Galaktipol officer Vera Staven has been transferred to the only human settlement on the ice planet Paralan. Aside from smuggling, crimes are rare and the suicide rate is high. But something at the latest find nags at Vera, although no clues indicate it’s anything but a suicide.

When native Galaktipol officer Joloran Durim Brunàhgan meets the mother of his wee-ones for the yearly egg-opening feast, he doesn’t know he’s facing the worst case of his career. The next morning, fifteen Paralan wee-ones went missing, girls only. A catastrophe for the natives. Joloran hurls himself into the investigation, but he can’t get the murder of two wee-ones out of his mind that he couldn’t solve many years ago.

Paralan and humans harbor prejudices, making it hard for Joloran to follow all clues. Against his will, his superior requests support from the humans. POK Vera Staven is assigned to him, the only woman in the human Galaktipol station on Paralan. And time is running out. With every passing day, the probability of finding the wee-ones alive shrinks. But only as a team, Joloran and Vera might have a chance. Can they overcome their prejudices and cooperate, or will they find these children disemboweled in the icy wilderness of the planet’s far side too?

Did I wet your mouth? In that case sign up for my mailing list immediately, I will make a special announcement before the release.

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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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World’s Day of the Book

On the World’s Day of the Book, more than one thousand German authors and book bloggers host give-aways for books. I am participating too. I have been planning that for quite a while but nearly forgot. Luckily, you guys overseas wake up much later than we do in Germany. 😉

Now, for my giveaway. I will give one copy of my YA Fantasy eBook “Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx and the Djinn” to anyone who leaves a comment on this post AND who likes my Facebook fan page before midnight today. Amadi is a Trilogy of short adventure books set in a fairytale world resembling the Arabian Nights.

Alternatively, you can get an eBook of Scotland’s Guardians, Ann Angel’s Freedom or Victor’s Rage. Please tell me in your comment which eBook you’d like and which format you need.

I’m looking forward to your comments,
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I’m looking for help

I’m thinking about redesigning my website. I’ve got the feeling that this is not working the way I want it to. With these blogposts, I can tell you lots about me, but I don’t feel comfortable advertising my books.

So, I’m looking for options. What would you be interested in seeing in my weekly postings? Should I post once, twice or three times a week? Do you want snippets of work in progress? More giveaways? More book reviews? What would draw my target readers (MG and YA fantasy lovers who enjoy twisted and fast paced stories) to my site?

Please help me to find something I will enjoy writing that you will enjoy reading and commenting on.

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P.S.: Since the Authors in Bloom posts have to stay visible until the 20th of April, I’ll stop posting till then and hope for many ideas in the comments.

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Authors in Bloom: Recipes

As promised, here are two recipes.

1. Spring Jam:
Collect elderflowers in a clean bucket. rinse them lightly and soak them in 3/4l apple juice over night. Stain them the next morning and make jam from the juice with 1 packet of jam sugar using the instructions on the packet. This jam tastes even better when allowed to rest for a few months.

2. German Cheesecake:
Time needed ca. 15min
Ingredients: 1kg curd cheese, 125g soft butter (I usually melt it in the microwave), 4 eggs, 375g sugar, 1 pack. Vanilla-sugar, 2 tablespoons of semolina (you can replace this with flour but then, the cake will be less spongy), 1 pack. baking powder, 1 pack. Vanilla-pudding for cooking, a little lemon juice (you can use concentrated juice).
Preheat oven to 200°C (Gas 3).
Mix all ingredients in a bowl (I usually mix the dry ingredients with a spoon first, and then add butter, eggs, lemon and butter). Oil a springform pan and rotate it with a little semolina until bottom and sides are covered with it (the leftovers can be added to the batter), fill the batter into the form and smooth the surface. Cover with backing paper or tinfoil and bake for 90min. Take off the paper/foil for the last 15min so the cake can get brown.
Let the cake cook inside the oven (too fast and it’ll sink in too much). Put on a serving plate when cold.

I hope you’ll like it. Remember to take part in my raffle to win an eBook. For the main prize (Kindle Fire), leave a comment on the previous post.
Good luck,
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Authors in Bloom: Giveaway and Gardening Tip

This year, I’m participating in the “Authors in Bloom” Bloghop. In this context, you can win something again (see below). But first, I’ll share a gardening tip (The bloghop requires a tip for the garden or a recipe. I’m going to post two delicious recipes on Friday. First, the garden).

To reduce weeds in flowerbeds and to make weeding easier, cover the bare earth with shredded wood. The cover should be at least three inches thick to make it really hard for seeds to take root. When the cover grows too thin, refill. Do not use bark mulch. It’s not suitable because it’s partially composted and thus providing nutrients for weeds. I’ve been doing this for more than five years, and the soil in my flowerbeds is so fluffy, I can pull out the few weeds that manage to take root with a single grip of my hand, roots and all.

Now to my giveaway. Winners will get one of my eBooks (see Rafflecopter below). There are more prizes (recipes and gardening tips inclusive) to catch on the Authors in Bloom partner pages, so check them out too (see linky list below). The Mega-Super-Prize is a Kindle Fire (or Nook) eBook reader. You can win it on the webseite of Dianne Venetta the initiator of the Bloghop. All you need to do is leave a comment in this thread (don’t forget to give us an eMail where we can reach you in case you win). Winners will be announced on the 21st of April.

Here is the rafflecopter for my giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And here you’ll find the other participating sites:


I wish everyone the best possible success. Remember to leave a comment if you want to win a Kindle Fire (and don’t forget your eMail or we can’t reach you if you win).
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