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: prohibition

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***

Exciting News!

New Literary Agent

I’m very excited to share that I’m now represented by literary agent, Dr. Dorothee Schmidt. As you know I recently translated my award-winning novel, Surviving the Fatherland, into German and I’m hoping this true story about my parents will be available in the German language market.

New Prohibition Novel

prescription alcohol I’m putting the finishing touches on my upcoming historical novel, THE ITALIAN’S DAUGHTER. Next step is a complete checkup by my editor. Right now I’m anticipating a release date of March 2019. I’m also still on the fence about the novel’s title, so that may still change.

Like ‘Surviving the Fatherland,’ this novel is written from the points of view of Sam and Paul, the adorable and flawed protagonists. I’d call it a love story, but not in the sense of a historical romance.

Here is a short intro (subject to change):

men spilling liquor into the street during prohibition

U.S. Library of Congress

Cincinnati, December 1924: When feisty and headstrong Sam (short for Samantha) loses her mother in a freak accident, she decides to search for her brother, Angelo, who didn’t return from a business trip to Chicago six months earlier. It is the year 1924, the height of prohibition, and the city of Cincinnati is in the midst of a deep recession. Narrowly escaping a band of thugs, Sam meets Paul, a twenty-year old hobo with a big secret. Together they make their way to Chicago where Al Capone is building an empire.

During a raid Sam and Paul are separated. Sam is forced into a brothel while Paul is arrested. Trapped without money and decent clothes, Sam plots on how to evade the demands of her new profession and the inevitable that comes with it. She realizes that she doesn’t even know Paul’s last name and that she is on her own.

Because the judge is an old family friend, Paul learns during his hearing that his father, a wealthy inventor, is on his deathbed. The judge gives Paul an ultimatum. Go home now and see your father or go to jail. Reluctantly, Paul returns home and learns that his decision to run away seven years earlier was based on a terrible mistake.

Here is to all things new!