Monthly Archives: January 2013

New release: Scotland’s Guardians

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's Guardians

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 Scotland’s Guardians. Let me know if it does.
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The Voice of Purple Prose? Audio Version of “The Ring and the Flag”

I am very excited that the first audio-book for the Lands of Hope is done at last. Purple prose has found its voice.

The first tale in Shards of Light, “The Ring and the Flag”, is now available at Podiobooks.com. You can listen to as many episodes as you like for free, and I certainly encourage you to try a few chapters. I would love to hear comments as well, which you can leave right there or on the LoH Facebook page, or here!

Making an audio-book is what I call dogged fun: I really had to stick with it, very labor intensive as I learned everything the hard way. But I haven’t had a chance to hone my craft at speaking and acting in several years, so that was invigorating. I still don’t think I do women’s voices well- thank heavens it was just three lines in this book, but I’ll need to practice hard if I want to try for “Fencing Reputation”. And I think I need to spring for a microphone that was NOT made in the Philippines… before Marcos stepped down. The last two chapters I recorded sounded like they had been dunked in Rice Krispies- snap-crackle-pop on every take, sometimes on the same sentence of three different takes! Plus for some odd reason, whenever I went back to re-record lines for “punch-in”, the presence sounded altered. With all that, I think it  came out rather well. But if you’re thinking about trying it- I can assure you, it’s work. The community at Podiobooks was very supportive and gave all kinds of useful advice, invaluable really.

So I got to thinking, there are now so many ways to experience the Lands, you might need help deciding. Being a good analyst here in the Alleged Real World, I made a Decision Tree for you. Click for a close-up view. Just answer honestly and you’ll be all set!

LoH Decision Tree Jan 2013

Cover reveal: Scotland’s Guardians

Hi,

I’ve been struggling with this cover for a while. My biggest problem was that I got terrific art by a guy called Bramasta Aji, but I just couldn’t fit the title or author name in without blocking out the most interesting part of the picture. In the end, I decided that the picture is more important. The title will still be readable enough in a thumbnail, but the picture will be the main focus. What do you think? Will it draw readers?

 

Scotland’s Guardians tells the story of Bryanna, a young girl with few friends living in Edinburgh, Scotland. When her father is kidnapped by a woman with a strangely familiar scent, Bryanna follows them instead of calling the police. It’s a choice that will change her life forever. Luckily, she does remember some of the old Scottish tales she loved so much as a child. Now, she needs all that knowledge to survive, especially with a Kelpie on her heels bent on murder (I’m still working on the cover-text).

Scotland’s Guardians will be available on Amazon before the month is out. Other retailers will follow soon.
Let me know what you think of the cover,
Cat

lucky me — or health insurance surprise

As of late, I find myself wondering if I’m spreading myself too thin. I’m doing so many things at once that I often find myself confused. Did I do this already? Did I forget this or that? My kids complain because some of the things I told them we’d do take longer than anticipated. So, last weekend, I sat down and thought long and hard. Do I really want to give up any of the things I set in motion?

The answer is clearly, “NO”

So, do I have someone who can help? The answer was, “No”, too, but then I got a letter from our health care insurance company (obligatory in Germany), and suddenly the answer was, “at least a little.” Due to my kids disabilities, we will get a small sum per month that will allow me to hire someone who can clean my house once a week.

That means, I’ll have less trouble keeping up with household chores, and it also means I can really reach for my goals with all I have. Some of my blogposts will still be late, but I’ve got a notebook where I write down all the tasks I need to do and cross them out when they’re finished. That will keep me on track — mostly.

Hopefully, you will have luck smile your way once in a while like I did this week.
Keep growing.

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