Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »

 

Category Archives: Action/Adventure

Change is Good – Most of the Time

Well, I thought I’d work ahead with my newest manuscript and get it listed on my online platforms. I was still waiting for the editor to finish and sure enough, she didn’t like the title of the book. Yikes. So I hemmed and hawed whether to go against my editor’s comments—and my husband’s who also didn’t like the title—or to give in. Too schmaltzy they said, too soft and romantic.

book cover image of where the night never endsIn the end I agreed with them. It took some doing, having my cover designer change the art, switch out all references to the old title, and make changes to the online sales platforms. There is a saying in Germany: “Those who don’t have work, make some for themselves.” That was me.

It is really a drawback of the independent author to be in charge of all aspects of writing and marketing. While I sell only through national and international platforms—I don’t have time to package and ship books myself—there is still so much to do. And a new novel requires an extraordinary amount of preparation, often many months in advance. Publishers do this kind of work for the author, but they also leave the author with precious little royalty, often pennies per sale.

So, I am happy to announce the upcoming release of WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS. And I thank you, dear readers, for your continued support and your reviews. I look forward to hearing from you.

***Presale Only $0.99***

In case you wonder why you should spend $0.99 on an eBook, let me tell you a bit about the way this story was created.

How I found this Story

last call book coverIn early 2017, I spent time in Cincinnati in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. I walked the streets and took a neighborhood tour to get familiar with its unique history. Over-the-Rhine is the cradle of beer brewing in Cincinnati. A lot of old brick homes and the remnants of various brewing companies are still present. You can visit the skeletons of old breweries, their incredible cellars where humungous kegs were pushed along wooden tracks. People often got crushed when barrels broke loose. The neighborhood has maintained some of its old charm and you can imagine how it must have bustled with life a century ago when the beer brewing industry was at its height.

black duck bookRequired Reading

To get a feel for the prohibition era, I read a number of books, including novels and non-fiction. I read about Al Capone, wets and drys, George Remus, the King of Bootlegging in Cincinnati, speakeasies, corruption, brothels etc. I even listened to YouTube clip of Al Capone so I could hear his voice and describe it correctly.

mr. capone book coverDespite all the preparation and historical study, writing WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS was a struggle. Some books write themselves easier than others. They do truly write themselves. I just sit there and use my fingers on the keypad while my brain cells go up in smoke. Just kidding.

WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS was not an easy project. It did not write itself. It fought me. It bucked and bit. Many days I dragged myself to the desk just to produce a few sentences. I also made many changes, starting out with a younger protagonist. I added the second protagonist Paul later. I changed from close third-person point-of-view (POV) to first person POV.

So now, two years later, I am ready to publish my seventh novel. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll consider $0.99 a bargain.

***Presale Only $0.99***

Something New

audio book cover for civil war novel 'everything we lose'Recording of ‘Everything We Lose’ Audiobook Finished

Alan Taylor has completed narration of ‘Everything We Lose,’ my civil war adventure. Alan’s voice truly brings Adam’s and Tip’s adventurous plight to life and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Just a few more weeks until administration and distribution are complete. I’ll keep you posted and will soon share an exciting audio sample!

holsten gate in Lübeck

Holsten Gate, the only remaining city gate, completed in 1478

Visiting the Lübeck Dom

Lübeck, an ancient German trading town, located at the East Sea, is a beautiful place to visit. Its entire Altstadt (old city), an Unesco World Heritage site, is located on an island, surrounded by the river Trave and a canal. Many old buildings like the famous Holsten Gate still offer a medieval flavor of what life was like hundreds of years ago.

brick church in Lübeck

Lübeck Dom, started in 1173 by Henry the Lion

But that’s not why I visited. I actually went to the Lübeck Dom because it is said that Knight Werner von Hanstein, one of the heroes in the Escape from the Past trilogy is buried here. The Dom is giant and built entirely of red brick. Inside dozens of sarcophagi are part of the floor. I walked through the church searching for Knight Werner’s remains, but sadly was unable to because many of the stones have badly deteriorated. No wonder, if you imagine the number of people walking across them since the year 1485 (Werner von Hanstein’s burial year). I did track down the Dom’s administrator who is currently searching for a listing of all burial sites and promised to share his findings. I’m carrying his business card in a safe place.

First Draft of ‘The Italian’s Daughter’

I’m happy to report that a first draft of ‘The Italian’s Daughter’ will be completed very soon. However, a first draft is just the beginning of a lengthy process of rewriting. That is the price to pay when writing historical fiction. In order to bring a historical novel to life, in this case, the U.S. prohibition in the 1920s, every detail has to be researched. It is a slow process and to be honest, I sometimes wish I could enjoy writing a different and ‘faster’ genre. But then, I love immersing myself into a historic world, try to imagine what life was like. As always I’m interested in illuminating what it was like for the common folk because unlike the wealthy who had ways to maneuver the inhumane laws, average people were the ones suffering and dealing with a crazy world.