Release Day Plus Surprise

Here it is, the long awaited print edition of “Scotland’s Guardians“. I know there still are some readers who prefer the printed word to the digitalized ones. Unfortunately, createspace found a couple of bugs and as hard as I tried to make it, they won’t ship the books to Amazon for another 5-7 days. Argh. I’m so annoyed. Still, it is officially published and available on createspace and should be on Amazon in a few days too. Sorry for the delay.

Scotland's GuardiansI got the idea to this story during one of my numerous visits in Scotland. Beside the unbelievably beautiful nature, this country has much to offer particularly one thing: the supernatural. Every region has its own mythical creature and every Scotsman knows at least one haunted house or monster of a loch. No matter if on the mountains, at the coast or in the valleys, there are as many stories about Brownies, Boobries and Kelpies as there are grains of sand by the sea. Fascinated, I decided to put at least some of these creatures into a novel but it only took form after a woman appeared in my mind whose eyes mirrored the Scottish moors and not the garden she looked at.

Cover Blurb
Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with hobgoblins, selkies and kelpies from the tales of her mother country. But she is very surprised when she starts seeing these creatures one day. Is she hallucinating? Before she can ask her father’s advice, he is kidnapped by a woman whose scent seems awfully familiar. Instead of calling the police, Bryanna follows the kidnapper and lands smack-dab in the middle of the adventure of her life. It’s just as well she knows the old legends and myths well. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous. And even if she survives the journey, she is fated to kill her father.

Now, for the surprise
Of course it will only be good for those who want to own the eBook too. From midnight tomorrow the eBook version will be available on Amazon for free for FIVE DAYS. Tell all your friends. Everyone can download a copy. The more the merrier.
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Countdown…

… the day after tomorrow, my story “Scotland’s Guardians” will be available as a print book through Amazon’s createspace platform. I chose to publish it there, because I can offer the book for less then $10 without worrying about up front costs. As much as I dislike Amazon’s growing piece of the publishing pie, they make it easy for us Indie-authors to reach our readers.

Just in case you haven’t noticed my book before, here’s the trailer (it’s really short, so watch it!):


Music by Barbarian Pipe Band

And I’ve got a great surprise for everyone who’s interested. Watch out for an announcement on Friday!

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Spring Equinox (20th to 22nd March) and Diana Wynne Jones Giveaway

Diana Wynne Jones has always been my favorite author aside from Astrid Lindgren. When she passed away, we lost one of the most imaginative fantasy story tellers of our time. In her honor, fans of her dedicate this March to her. Those that are authors (like me), decide to give away an array of books. Since I mangled the Raffle from the Spring Equinox Giveaway (*blush*), I rolled the two into one. I hope you’re all going to participate.

For three days from now on, a plethora of authors discounted their books to less than $5 or are giving them away for free. In combination, readers can win an incredible bunch of eBooks or even printed books from participating authors. In addition to that, many authors are hosting additional giveaways. In that regard, welcome to my site.

If you Like my Facebook page and leave a comment on my site with your facebook name (so I can verify your like), you get the chance to win a printed copy or one of three eBooks of “Scotland’s Guardians”. Additional points are awarded for following me on Twitter or for tweeting this giveaway. Entries from all over the world are welcome. I will send the winning copy of the print book as soon as I get it (publishing date will be the 5th of April).

Pease enter through the rafflecopter-form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck,
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P.S.: OK, I botched it, so what? It was my first try at Rafflecopter and I didn’t realize there would be timezone-differences. To make it up for you, I extended the deadline. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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My Monday Cup of Tea (ehm Cocoa)

Creativity is not restricted to words. As a child, I used to tinker a lot. My favorite pastime were pop-up picture books of my most favorite fairy tales. I still have the booklets, although many are missing the writing (either because I never got round to writing it or due to the fading of ink with age ;-)). Here are some stories I made into books:

all my little pop-up booklets

all my little pop-up booklets

Frog King

Frog King

The Golden Bird

The Golden Bird

In some of my stories, I even managed to create some movable parts.

Sleeping Beauty, flames closed

Sleeping Beauty, flames closed

Sleeping Beauty, flames open

Sleeping Beauty, flames open

 

I hope you liked them. How about you? Do you like to tinker? Have you ever made toys from paper or other material? Or do you prefer to buy your toys?
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Freaks Fun Friday: The Scottish Kilt

So, what if it’s Saturday? I didn’t have enough time for anything the last few days. Maybe I’ll tell you about it on Monday. For now, I need to go to bed. 😉

I am a freak, I admit it. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed going to school (go ahead, laugh at me) — not because I wanted to meet my friends, but because I loved learning new stuff. It hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still delighted if I manage to smuggle facts into my stories without anyone noticing. at this place, I’ll give you access to my twisted mind. Welcome to a Freak’s Fun Friday.

I’m currently putting together the files I need for publishing a print version of “Scotland’s Guardians” and noticed that I never mentioned the Scotsmen’s best known garment. Well, I’ve had a good reason. The people Bryanna meets during her travels did not know kilts like the ones we’re used to seeing today. Originally, Scottish people wore the belted plaid, an extra large piece of fabric in tartan colors. It was meant for wrapping around ones body, and it was long enough to be used as a cape or a blanket too.

quote: “The philibeg or small kilt, also known as the walking kilt (similar to the modern kilt) was invented by an English Quaker from Lancashire called Thomas Rawlinson sometime in the 1720s for the use of the Highlanders he and Iain MacDonnell, chief of the MacDonnells of Inverness employed in logging, charcoal manufacture and iron smelting, for which the belted plaid was “cumbrous and unwieldy.

This story has become well known, due in part to the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper’s work, but more recent evidence has shown this theory to be out of date as several illustrations have been found of Highlanders wearing only the bottom part of the belted plaid that date long before Rawlinson ever set foot in Scotland. There is some suggestion of its use in the 1690s, and it was definitely being worn by the early 18th century. It most likely came about as a natural evolution of the belted plaid and Rawlinson probably observed it and quickly deduced its usefulness in his situation and insisted on introducing it among his workers.” (from Wikipedia)

I do belief that this compressed history is probably the correct one, although I like the story better where the Scottish poet Robert Burns invented the kilt for a visit of the English king. In my eyes, this makes Scotsmen even weirder. What about you? Have you ever tried to imagine a Scotsman without his kilt?
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My Monday Cup of Tea (ehm Cocoa): Booktrailer

Somehow, I’m rather proud of this trailer and hope very much that you like it too. There are a few tiny mistakes in the credits. If you notice one, you can contact me, and I’ll send you a small reward.

 

Have fun watching it, and don’t forget to share the trailer with your friends — or use the “thumbs up”-button at the top rim of the video (once it’s playing) to show me you liked the trailer.
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My Monday Cup…: Release Day

It’s time. Everything went as planned, so here it is: Scotland’s Guardians

Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with hobgoblins, selkies, and kelpies from the tales of her homeland. But she is extremely surprised when she starts seeing these creatures one day. Is she hallucinating? Before she can ask her father’s advice, he is kidnapped by a woman whose scent seems awfully familiar. Instead of calling the police, Bryanna follows the kidnapper and lands smack-dab in the middle of the adventure of her life. It’s just as well she knows the old legends and myths well enough. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous. And even if she survives the journey, she is fated to kill her father.

scotland

All right, I played around with the cover some more, but I didn’t like the way the letters obstructed the lovely picture. I think it’s better now. Hopefully, you think so too.

I got the idea to this story during one of my numerous visits in Scotland. Beside the unbelievably beautiful nature, this country has much to offer particularly one thing: the supernatural. Every region has its own mythical creature, and every Scotsman knows at least one haunted house or Loch monster. No matter whether on the mountains, at the coast, or in the valleys, there are as many stories about brownies (household sprites), Boobries (giants birds), and kelpies (waterhorses) as there are grains of sand by the sea. Fascinated, I decided to put at least some of these creatures into a novel. It took form after a woman appeared in my mind whose eyes mirrored the Scottish moors and not the garden she looked at.

I very much hope you will enjoy the book.
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Cover Reveal: Scotland’s Guardians

Scotland's Guardians

Since Bryanna grows up in Scotland, she is familiar with Hobgoblins, Selkies or Kelpies from the tales of her country. But she is very surprised when she begins to see these creatures one day. Is she suffering form hallucinations? Before she can ask her father’s advice, he gets kidnapped by a woman whose scent is strangely familiar to Bryanna. So, she follows the kidnapper instead of informing the police and lands smack dab in the middle of the biggest adventure of her life. It’s just as well she knows the old tales well enough. The world she lands in is murderously dangerous.

Scotland’s Guardians will be available at the end of the month as an eBook on Amazon. Other retailers will follow. A date for the print-version will be announced on time.

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Freak’s Fun Friday: The Nok-Culture

I am a freak, I admit it. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed going to school (go ahead, laugh at me) — not because I wanted to meet my friends, but because I loved learning new stuff. It hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still delighted if I manage to smuggle facts into my stories without anyone noticing. At this place, I’ll give you access to my twisted mind. Welcome to a Freak’s Fun Friday.

My current WIP (Work In Progress), “Juma’s Rain”, is set in a Stone Age Africa that never was. Still, some facts remain true to what happened in our world. I love mixing real life elements into my story, so I did it again. This time, I chose the Nok-culture, named after some terrific Terracotta statues first found near the town of Nok.

 African_Art-_Louvre Nok_terracotta_figurine

Nok-mapScientists are loathe to declare Nok a culture because they know so little about their economy, religion, or everyday life. One thing they are certain about is that the Nok people learned to forge iron 500-1000 years BC. Intensive research showed that they learned iron forging without learning about copper first. Scientists all over the world are still puzzled by this fact, and I find it absolutely fascinating. They are wondering if the Nok developed these skills independently or if they learned them from traveling smiths of other countries. I’m inclined to believe they learned it without help. Maybe, one of their gods taught it to them. *grin*

It was hard to find relevant facts about everyday life in Stone Age Africa, so I mixed what I know about the time in Europe with the way some of the more traditional tribes still live today. It might not be accurate, but should be close enough. Truth be told, life wasn’t all that different all over the world at that time. Sure, the cultural backgrounds and the individual religions, customs, and beliefs differed, but planting and harvesting, breeding and slaughtering, cooking and cleaning had to be done with only slight variations due to climate.

Whenever I read something about people from the Stone Ages, I keep wondering if they really were that much different from us today. They fell in love, they ate, they had to use the toilet, they quarreled, they were happy or not… I’m sure they would get along well today, too. What do you think? Have you ever thought about people from other times or cultures? Let me know in the comments.
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My Monday Cup of Tea (ehm Cocoa)

Welcome to the New Year. I truly believe that 2013 will be the year, when eBook readers will soar in countries like Germany and France. Last year, I prepared to become active, and this year I will. Most of my finished novels are translated, and I will begin publishing them one book per month from January onwards. My first project, “Scotland’s Guardians”, will be available in the last week of January. It will be followed by the books I mentioned in my last blogpost (The Next Big Thing). If you want to be notified about the exact day of release, join my mailing list (Plus you’ll get the free YA Fantasy novel “The Witches of Greenwitch” if you do). Or return to this site for the announcement.

I’m really, really excited. With two YA Fantasy and two YA historical romance novels already available, and with the ones I’m planning to get out, I will have ten published novels in two languages by the end of the year. Now, I just hope you will like to read them as much as I enjoyed writing them. If you do, please leave a review somewhere (on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, your blog, or any other site you want).

Reading over the beginning of this post again, I just realized one thing. You don’t need to own an eBook reader. If you’ve got a smartphone, you can simply download the appropriate app and read eBooks there. With a small display, this might be a bit awkward but you’ll save the money for an eReader. Oh, and if you’ve got an eReader for Christmas, what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself some novels to read.

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