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: Reading

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***

New Reviews of ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ from NetGalley

Surviving the Fatherland with IndieBRAG medallionLast month I offered NetGalley readers a chance to review my bestselling and award winning WWII novel, Surviving the Fatherland. Here are snippets of their reviews, which I have to admit, are great fun to read.

  • “Definitely 5 stars. I can see why this book is so loved. Very engrossing, deeply moving and character you will not forget. Everyone that loves a well researched historical will want this one.”
  • “Recommend to teens and adults. Highly readable.”
  • “I highly recommend it to anyone that likes coming of age stories or is fascinated with WWII as I am. This book should become a classic story of the German people during and after World War II because of the knowledge it imparts to each reader.”
  • “…this novel completely exceeded my expectations. It was heartbreaking, brutal, and beautiful. The fact that this is a true story, makes all of these characteristics stronger. I cannot encourage you enough to check it out!”
  • “This is a fascinating and in places a heartbreaking read. It is an honest, true, look at how two peoples lives were affected by World War 2.”
  • “…truly unlike any of this genre I have read and that’s a lot! A very remarkable book that everyone should read.”

German Translation of Surviving the Fatherland

I’m super excited to share that the German translation of Surviving the Fatherland, currently called Vaterland, wo bist du? will be represented by my literary agent, Dr. Dorothee Schmidt. This month she’s going to take the novel to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Please keep your fingers crossed!