Storytime Bloghop: Chris Makowski

Usually I only host my own story for the quarterly Storytime Bloghop, but this was soooo good I just had to give it a place. It’s written by Chris Makowski, a fellow student in one of my writing classes. He doesn’t have his own website yet, so I am hosting his story for your pleasure. You’ll find his bio and the links to the other bloghop stories at the end of the post. Enjoy his story:

The Color Of …

Bent, weary, cold; the door pushed open as always, leaving me touching the lock I could never remember unlocking of late. Within, the dimness pushed back by fire – there were no more candles, and our lamp had little oil remaining, it being a miracle it stayed lit at all for as long as it had. The door sighed as I pushed it shut and stamped my boots clean enough to walk on mushroom and russet floors which had been swept clean as always. The window would let in enough light this day, even with …
“It’s nearly May, Father. And the snow is still on the ground.” I gave my wife a weak smile, for I did not know, and did not want to guess … but no, our daughter still sat silent in her chair, bundled in white quilts against the cold, as she had been since the leaves had fallen. The copper teakettle swung over the fire, merrily popping, the black iron pot hung below, warmed always and never allowed to grow cold – the only bit of happiness in our squalid little rooms. My wife would take the last of the roots, the onions and whatever else remained, and coax each morsel to give of itself – she had always been able to bring the full measure from everything she touched. Still, it had fallen from a thick stew to a thin broth, and each day, we looked to our daughter in wonder if this would be …
I turned the hourglass on the hearth. Tea, we would have. Herbal, mint perhaps, but not uncivilized. “Thank you, Mother.” I took the cup. Our daughter never had, never would. She sat there, looking out to the snow and the ice and the forest beyond, sometimes looking at the tightly closed flower sitting forlornly in it’s pot, on the sill by the window. Carefully she would shield it from her coughs when they overcame her.
Each day I looked out at the snow and each day some little thing touched – and ran away.

Tick …
Tick …
Tick …

I could only put on a brave face and ascend again into my attic, where tools, glass, springs, gears, clocks awaited my hands and skill. When dark came, drawing down the grayness, I came down, my fingers aching from opening the shutter and checking barometer, anemometer, hygrometer and thermometer again and again but still no answers. I could give my wife but a vague platitude and a smile I did not feel as I turned the glass again: the warm cup would do wonders for my fingers.

The next day came for worse, shadows growing from the trees as the sky fell from cerulean to cobalt not much past midday. Still, she sat and watched, her eyes never straying from that one tight bulb. My wife nearly called for someone, but no, not yet, just a few more days perhaps. I dared not tell her I had but one repair left, then my work would sit, and we would go hungry.

Tick …
Tick …
Tick …

I sat with my daughter as the sun came up, barely an ember in the sky. Winter barked and scratched at the door, the attic would be far too cold and there was nothing left there.
She took my hand, looked away from her bulb, and looked at the doorway, and smiled. What was there? A hat, a coat – threadbare – a few pegs?
Hanging there as if in answer, my keyring. I had quite forgotten it – four gold keys, from longest to littlest. Could the answer be so simple? Her skin had gone to alabaster; there was simply nothing left to lose. The pot and it’s tiny flower looked up at me, the tiny holes at the base to drain the water upon a simple saucer. Could it be? It would take a fine touch, especially in the cold, a fine touch against the cold and with shaking hand perhaps I could just …
To my attic, in the cold, in the night, in the dark, I said silent prayer and hoped and with only my lightest touch in the cold and the dark reached forth and …

Clickclickclick.
Clickclickclick.
Clickclickclick.
Tick!

I dared not move her as the sun rose – but it rose brighter, brighter than before! A shimmer of light sprang forth and through the frozen window, to sit on the edge of the pot, then a bit nearer, a bit more, a bit –
The light touched the silent bulb, lay there quiet in repose …
And the bulb opened slowly –
Tick-tock …
Tick-tock …
Tick-tock …
Tick!
The petals shifted, unwove, sprang apart, a sniff of perfume filled the air. And she smiled – my daughter smiled! And the ice began to break, and fall, until the window itself stood clear, and the snow upon the ground had begun to sink and slurry and flow under the bright goldenness of a perfect awakening … her skin, her skin, from alabaster it reached to peach, rose in her cheeks, cherries on her lips. She looked up with her perfect blue eyes, and all of her was smiling.

My wife came in, her bonnet set, her smile proud, her back straightening. She cried “Molla, Molla!” My daughter looked and smiled at her name and sat up, took a long breath of that perfect bloom and stood up, the quilts falling away. A bird – or was it two? – sounded outside, the day growing brighter and brighter as we had hoped but not quite dreamed … and I took up my hourglass and remembered … Her dress, celadon now but soon viridescent, flowed about her knees down to her bare feet.

“Father,” she smiled, touched the watch in my vest and took my keys from my hand, and held up the longest. “Please don’t forget again to wind the sun.”

 

Chris was born in the Pacific Northwest and lived briefly in Hawaii before being reared in New England. After traveling up and down and back and forth from coast to coast, he was dragged kicking and screaming in the bonds of matrimony to the State of Texas and has been mostly residing there ever since with his wife, son, two neurotic dogs, and a possessed cat.

 

 

I loved this story and hope you liked it just as much as I did. Now, there are bound to be many more lovely stories in this hop, so you’d better go and read them:

Nightmare by Erica Damon
Pick Up Lines by Bill Bush
The Scorpius Gate by Sandra Fikes
V is for Vortex by Elizabeth McCleary
Deep Dive by Juneta Key
Bugs by Gina Fabio
Secret by J. Q. Rose
Journal of Anah by J Lenni Dorner
The Vineyard at Mar Mozambique by Karen Lynn
Stealing Space by Barbara Lund
The Day I was Clever by Katharina Gerlach
Never kid a kidder by Angela Wooldridge

New Titles for March!

March has been an exciting month. First, at the very beginning of the month, Cat and I attended a workshop together on the beautiful Oregon Coast … our first in-person meeting! It was a delight to get to know her in the real world after all the experiences we’ve shared online 😀

Now, I’m excited to announce that my publisher, WDM Publishing, has released two new titles for March … one for each of my pen names 😀

First, Deb Logan gives us a new Faery adventure. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this reunion with Claire and Roddy.

OF DRAGONS AND CENTAURS“Dragons”
by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Contemporary Fantasy | Young Adult | Short Story

Claire’s 15th birthday brings a huge surprise: she’s inherited her grandmother’s dragon! Imagine her surprise when the toy her grandmother carries with her everywhere turns out to be a real live dragon. One who looks like a toy when any uninitiated person is around. Life is about to get very interesting.

Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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Next, Debbie Mumford gives us a collection of her historical fiction. From the early 20th century to the Highlands of Scotland in the 1400s, we know you’ll enjoy this new edition!

TALES OF BYGONE DAYSBygone
by Debbie Mumford
Audience:
Historical Fiction | General Audience | Collection

From the struggle for women’s suffrage in the early 20th century (“Sisters in Suffrage”) to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the late 19th century (“Incident on the High Line”) to an account of the Cherokee Removal in the late 1830s (“The Trail Where We Cried”) and ending with a time-travel romance in 15th century Scotland (“Her Highland Laird”), this collection of three short stories and one novella will take you on a journey through history.

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Author Spotlight: Caimh McDonnell

A little while ago I read a sample from a book a reviewer recommended to me. I got sucked in so fast, I barely hear the whoosh. Naturally I signed up for the author’s newsletter, and when I got the opportunity to review his new release, I jumped at the chance. Let me introduce Caimh McDonnell, or the white-haired Irishman as he is called. I’ll tell you more about his new release as soon as he answered some question I asked him. But introductions first:

caimhCaimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.
His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.
During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Now, tell us some more about you, Caimh.

Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I’m sure it was in there somewhere but frankly, I think I wanted to be everything at one time or another when I was a kid. I definitely remember wanting to be an Apache Indian, a priest, the drummer in U2, an international footballer and a comedian. I achieved one of those things (comedian) and I’m still holding out for that call-up to the Ireland football team. I have rather gone off U2 so Larry Mullin can keep that job.
I did always want to tell stories as a kid but any chances of my being a writer were held back by the fact that my handwriting was and still is truly awful. Every time I wrote an essay, nobody could read it. Teachers kept telling my mother that I might not be that bright, she was perpetually standing her ground going ‘no, he’s a smart kid, you just can’t understand what he is trying to say.’
Then after I left school, the world got access to Microsoft Word and all of a sudden, people could at least understand what I was trying to write.

What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
Time. I have a head over-flowing with ideas and there’s a permanent sense of frustration that I can never get them all out. I think the most surprising thing about being an author is how much time is taken up by things other than writing. The reality is that when you write a book, you are starting your own business, whether you’re traditionally published or doing it yourself.

I’ve been lucky enough through my various jobs writing for TV, to have been a professional writer for over a decade before I wrote my first novel. I think that gives me a very different perspective on writing. If you’re writing for TV nobody cares if you’ve got ‘writer’s block.’ Everyone is on a deadline, so you learn to be disciplined or you don’t get the work. I prefer to think of writing as a craft than an art-form because craft implies you can work hard and get better at it, whereas art-form implies you’re sitting around staring at cloud formations, waiting for your muse to show up.

What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
My novels are set primarily in inner city Dublin but it is a version of it that is tinged with my inevitable nostalgia from living in the UK for the last 15 years. Also, my version has a little more of the Wild West about it. Certainly, Detective Sergeant Bunny McGarry, who is one of my central characters, would probably last about five minutes in the real Irish police force.

What was the most exciting thing happening when you wrote your novel?
I don’t know if exciting is the right word, but certainly the oddest thing involved reality spookily mirroring the world of my imagination. In The Day That Never Comes a group of homeless protesters take over a building owned by the Irish government that had been left vacant for years. That exact scenario played out in real life in Dublin just before Christmas. The real building is called Apollo House and it was about a 4-minute walk from where I’d placed the imaginary one in my head.

Who is your favorite Indie author?
Tough question but I’d go with Sean Platt, David Wright and Johnny Truant a.k.a the boys from the Self-Publishing Podcast. First and foremost, through their various combinations they write really well and they’ve also been phenomenal mentors to me on a personal level. I’m amazed by how much quality work they produce while at the same time giving so much to the Indie community.

Who is your favorite traditionally published author?
So hard to pick just one but if you’re twisting my arm, I guess I’d go with Dennis Lehane right now. I’m amazed more people don’t know his name. Put it this way, have you heard of the films Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island, The Drop and the recently released Live By Night? Did you know they were all based on books written by one author? That’s Dennis Lehane!

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

Chocolate would taste like celery, celery would taste like chocolate.

About the Book

the-day-that-never-comes-coverThe Day That Never Comes
Published 23 January 2017
McFori Ink
340 pages

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.
Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.
Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?
When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?
The Day That Never Comes is the second About the Bookbook in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

My Review

OK, so I hardly ever do this in public, but this time I’m making an exception. The Day That Never Comes convinced me on all fronts. back in the time I used to love crime stories. However,after a while I found them boring. I mean, there are only very few motives to work with (love-problems, money/greed, power, or a combination thereof) and it’s really hard to write something that twists these elements into something I haven’t read before. But Bunny McGarry’s (whom I fell for in the previous book, A Man With One of Those Faces, currently available for 99ct on Amazon) disappearance caught me off guard.
I loved the way Caimh managed to make the Irish and their capital come alive with very few words. He mostly focuses on his extremely interesting characters. Although I did see one plot twist coming from a mile off, it was still fascinating enough to watch the characters involved struggling through revelation. Also, the rest of the book kept me guessing. I had all the necessary clues, but the resolution of the murderer still took me by surprise which I loved. Really, if you like crime novels, give this a try. It’s well worth it.

If you want to learn more about Caimh or his books, you can visit his website. Also he’ll be on these blogs in the next few days (you’ll have to search for the blog names since I’m extremely pressed for time. I need to hand in another 6000 word short story by tomorrow and I’m only 2000 words in, plus my first ever grandson keeps distracting me 😀 ):
the-day-that-never-comes-blog-tour

First New Titles of 2017!

I’m excited to announce my first new titles for 2017 … one for each of my pen names and both with a deep blue ocean theme 😀

First, Deb Logan gives us a new tale of supernatural discovery. We know you’ll enjoy meeting Maris, a fifteen-year-old girl whose world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters Salt Water for the very first time.

SALT WATERsaltwater-cover-2x3
by Deb Logan
Audience: Juvenile | Siren | Short Story

Maris, a fifteen-year-old girl from Wichita, Kansas has never seen the ocean. Intentionally. Her parents have an unreasonable fear of the sea. When Dad allows Maris to accompany her best friend on a family vacation to Portland, Oregon, he has no idea that their ultimate destination will be Cannon Beach … and the wild waters of the Pacific Ocean. Maris is about to learn the truth behind the family taboo against salt water.

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Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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Next, Debbie Mumford takes us on a mysterious ride as Meredith discovers the meaning of her dreams of drowning in deep water!

DEEP DREAMINGdeepdreaming-2x3
by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Historical Fantasy | General Audience | Short Story

Meredith has vivid dreams … of drowning in deep blue water, but she’s not unduly worried since she lives in St. Louis. When her father announces that he has accepted a prestigious position in Bermuda, she begins to wonder if her dreams have been precognitive. What will happen when she finds herself living on the edge of the deep?

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Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Author Spotlight: Donna Usher

donnausherToday, I’d like to introduce you to Donna Usher whom I met (virtually) through one of my Facebook groups. We got talking and I was fascinated by her story. It resembles the journey of many, many writers, don’t you agree?

The book she’s presenting today is the first in her trilogy. You can get it on Amazon for 99ct or for free on her website if you leave her your eMail address. The choice is yours, but you should really be reading this.

Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I kind of accidentally became an author. I always enjoyed writing, and I loved reading, and I actually started writing a book when I was about 8. But then I had an English teacher that put me off and I kind of forgot about writing for a long time.
After I sold my dental practice I had a few months off and I started writing during that time. It took me a few more years before I actually sat down and wrote my first novel.

What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
I don’t really have many obstacles with writing. I guess that makes me lucky. I’ve learnt over the years to recognise the signs that there is something wrong with the plot – that normally can cause what some people might call a writer’s block, but what for me is writer’s confusion. So now I go for a long walk and let the book play in my head like a movie and I normally work out pretty quickly where I have gone wrong.

What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
Well Faery Born is set in England, but it is a magical England where witches live freely with humans. There is also an overlay land in which the faeries live. And although there are cars and televisions and other modern conveniences, there are no weapons of mass destruction and no firearms.

Who is your favourite Indie author?
There are too many fantastic Indie Authors out there, and I have to admit often I’m not sure if what I am reading is Indie or not. But I really enjoy Shannon Mayer’s work.

Who is your favourite traditionally published author?
There are so many. I think Jim Butcher would be in a neck-and-neck tie with Stephanie Meyers. And lately I have been loving Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan Series.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Hmmmm – More hours in the day, or to need less sleep. I think one of the things I am so jealous about in the Twilight Series is that the Vampires don’t need to sleep. I could get so much more done it I had that extra 7-8 hours a day.

faerybornAbout her Book

It’s been thirteen years since the Dark Years ended. Thirteen years since the mad War Faery responsible was imprisoned in stone. Now, with goblin attacks on the rise it seems Galanta, the Goblin Queen, is intent on returning the land to chaos and terror.

Isadora Scrumpleton is trying not to think about the Dark Years. She’s just been chosen by her ‘familiar’, found out she’s half faery, and discovered she’s dating the second-in-line to the Faery Throne. That’s enough for one teenage witch to handle. But when goblins attack her village, Izzy is forced into action, ultimately joining the elite Border Guard and attracting the attention of the Goblin Queen.

As Galanta weaves a web of deceit, Izzy struggles to control her powers. Will she be able to stop the Goblin Queen in time, or will the world be plunged into a dark new reality?

A few words from Donna Usher

Hi there, I’m Donna Joy Usher. I started writing my first novel when I was seven. With no idea about plot or character development (I mean I was only seven) my storyline quickly disintegrated into a muddled jumble of boring dialogue between two horses. Disillusioned, I gave up writing stories for quite a while after that. Instead, I concentrated on my studies, eventually graduating as a dentist.

After many years of ‘drilling and filling’ I turned to writing in an effort to escape the seriousness of my day job. During that time I created my first book, The Seven Steps to Closure, and discovered that I love nothing more than making other people laugh. Well that, and my husband and two miniature schnauzers, Chloe and Xena.

I currently live near the beach on the Swan River in beautiful Perth. When I am not working or writing, I love to paddle board, walk along the river and sip chai lattes at the local cafe.

Good-bye, 2016 … Hello, 2017!

I’m thrilled to announce that WDM Publishing has released my final SPUN YARNS Short for 2016: NEW YEAR … just in time for the arrival of our real New Year: 2017 😀

NEW YEARnewyear-2x3
by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Science Fiction | General Audience | Short Story

A mother’s agonizing attempt to come to terms with the death of her beloved daughter turns to excitement as she realizes her adult child has solved the riddle of time travel

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Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar

Indie Authors' Advent Calendar

Today is the 4th of December and silly me forgot to let you know that the annual Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar has opened its doors again. If you love a surprise story every day, it’s THE place to bookmark. And if you sign up for the alert, you’ll get a bonus every day (a picture, a poem, a recipe or another story), and the eBook with all stories and bonuses on Christmas Day.

Have a wonderful Advent and do come by and read the stories. It’s completely free.

a near miss

(cross posted from my personal blog)

I sent in one of my fairy tale retellings (an adaption of Cinderella) to the Writer’s of The Future Award, one of the best known competitions in the US where hundreds of aspiring authors present their manuscripts every quarter. Naturally I had hoped for the best, but I didn’t count on it, being a non-native speaker/writer. And now this (self-explanatory):
Certificate from Writers of the Future
I’m bursting with pride and had to tell you right way. Go on, celebrate with me. Here’s sparkly wine (German naturally, but I’ll have still water please) and chocolate (yummy). 😀

Reflections on an Epic

Kat has me so happy over on my own site I’ve seldom posted here in the past year or so, but today I’m thinking about a major milestone in a chronicling career, celebrated this week. It’s just another book, I suppose. But The Eye of Kog is that most fabulous of monstrous beasts, that legendary chimera so many seek and never find.

It’s an epic fantasy sequel.

Hooked from the Start… Make that Tangled

jt-full-amazon-webThink about two tales, two seemingly-separate plot lines. That’s what I thought I had, when I finally decided to chronicle the Lands of Hope back in 2008. As I was drawn into Solemn Judgement’s early days, and looked more closely at how he came to Hope and began to influence the history of the Lands, I figured there would be a novel-length tale about his deeds. Other things were happening, there’s always more. But my dull brain couldn’t see beyond the part that was “Judgement’s tale” at first.

It was just the ending that was killing me.

All’s Well, When it Ends with All

By the time Solemn does his best against the worst, I could no longer ignore the fact that there were these other guys around. A whole party of them, candidly. And even more frustrating, the people Judgement met on his journeys, when he walks a circuit of the northern Kingdoms in the second half of the tale, kept popping up and… well, doing things,  things that were important to understanding the stakes, dare I say the theme of the darn thing. Assuming it all belonged in another book somewhere, I kept trying to juggle some excuse to introduce them in the last few pages. Long entries in the Kingdom Chronicle– ahm, no, even the Children of Hope don’t read that thing before Anteris takes it up. I tried for the minimum– no soap, each element of summary and recap just pulled on threads that extended further and further back, into “Judgement’s tale”, but really not separate from it.Created with Nokia Refocus

I broke down at last, of course. Two novels, entwined, telling both stories at once (well even that’s a simplification, telling the whole story in order). Without Treaman, Gareth, Linya, Pol and the others, I would never be able to show the story of Solemn Judgement at all. Sleeves rolled up, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone… just try getting any work done in that position! But then I sat my butt down and started to type. All the threads into one tapestry: and I think the results have been worth it.

Created with Nokia Refocus

Even today, every time I think to myself “that tale is told” I feel a kind of shock, as if I’ve gone over a hill on a rollercoaster. I re-read the whole thing on the polishes, and again on the edit, and each time I’ve had that wonderful feeling authors get, that strange sense that someone else must have written about your characters. {Oh yeah, that bit where two knights and two squires fight a pair of giants by the salt pool, that was pretty good stuff!} Why did that poor girl in Hollinsfen have to die? You’re telling me she’s a ghost now too? And how ironic, when the Chosen Wanderer is down and wounded, only a grey-clad gate-walker who’s tramped five hundred leagues can get past the knight’s fierce warhorse to help him, because Solemn knows Quester by name.

All here, woven together: the lost city of Oncario, travel through time, the curse of lycanthropy, miracles of restoration in the middle of the chaos-lands, a falling crimson star, warriors who can disappear at will, one king crowned and another going without; and naturally, a desperate race againVuth2.JPGst time and the odds. There’s a lot more than “Judgement’s tale” in The Eye of Kog: Solemn is still there, a bright grey thread that runs through the center. But now he’s in his proper place, sojourning in search of knowledge beyond the world that has not yet adopted him, a drumbeat to the symphony ushering in the Age of Adventure for the Lands of Hope.

With this book, most likely the longest and most complex chain of events that needs to be told about my world is on paper. Hardcover first, for anyone who likes to prop open a fire door after reading. And I dedicated this sequel to you, the readers, because with all my heart I believe that this, reading an epic, is an heroic feat in today’s world. I hope you will attempt it, and believe you will find the effort well rewarded. I know I have.

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More New Releases

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I admit, it was a little quiet on this blog, but we’ve all been extremely busy behind the scenes. Many of us prepared new releases. Last week, you may have noticed that Debbie announced a Halloween anthology. And today, I’ll show you what I’ve been up to (beside writing nearly 100,000 words and translating them).

51ydyl5cnrlThe first of my new publications is already available. It is book #7 in the fairy tale retelling series, Treasures Retold (German versions of #1-6 are in the middle of the banner above). “Royal Swans” is an adaption of “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen, and I wrote it upon a request from a German blogger. It tells the story of Prince Laurent and his siblings when he angers the princess of the visiting neighboring royal family by rejecting her proposal.

The next release is, naturally, a horror short story. It will be available in time for 51kivdr5pdlHalloween. “Insider” shows us the other side of death as a scientist discovers the truth about the light at the end of the tunnel (Beware, this story is NOT meant to be read by children or sensitive people).

coverIn November, you can become an active participant in a non-linear time travel story. “Troubled Times – Time Troubles” is a branching, interactive short story with several different endings where you can choose the path through the story. It started as an experiment after I had been asked in which time forms and points of view I’d already written. I found that I’d covered most combinations except second person and future tense, so I tried to find out if that could lead to a valid story. My beta readers thought it did, so here it is. An experiment for you. Do you dare? Look out for it by mid-month.

coverNaturally December is reserved for all things seasonal. Since I’m not overly fond of the commercial push Advent and Christmas get these days, expect something more subtle from me. My short story collection “The Christmas Dragon and other Seasonal Stories” will be available on December 6th, 51r9htcyytlpreceded on December 1st by the eighth fairy tale retelling “The Challenge“, an adaption of “The Cold Heart” by Willhelm Hauff where a charcoal burner wants to improve his lot in live and makes a mess out of it. In my version the two magic entities that complicate the charcoal burner’s live are featured much more strongly.

And right after New Year, I will publish the most complicated story I ever wrote: an interactive non-linear murder mystery novel that tells a complete story. What do I say, it tells several complete stories. There are more than 20 endings for the reader to explore.grimm-e.jpg

As a child I loved “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, but I hated the second person point of view and the lack of a story line with a vengeance. So when I set out to write this novel, I was determined to tell a story of connected events in one of the more traditional points of view (he or I) and settled on 1st person. This/these story/stories were a lot of fun to write but a nightmare to revise. It took me several years to get the novel into a shape where it could go to my editor. But now it’s nearly there, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am.

Maybe one of the books will make a nice gift for you, before, for, or after Christmas. Let me know what you think before I head into NaNoWriMo (a November writing challenge).

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