Saturday, November 1, 2014

And the madness begins....

"Becoming a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."

I don't remember who said this, but it's oh so true. Especially in November.

It's an anual ritual: Every year on the stroke of midnight of November 1, I sit down in front of a white sheet, cursor blinking, crack my knuckles and take a deep breath. Put my fingers to the computer keys. Exhale. And... here we go.

Fifty-thousand words. One thousand, five hundred and ninety-three words per day. Can't be that hard, can it?

And at first it isn't. The words flow, my fingers flying over the keys (well, and hammering on the backspace/ delete key more often than not, but you get my drift.) It's sheer pleasure and joy.

Until it isn't, usually by the end of the first week. There's that annoying thing called real life getting into the way of the writing - work, bills, chores, dogs, stuffed nose (November has notorious flu-weather over here), choir concerts and birthday celebrations. There's sitting up at the PC until the wee hours, tap-tapping away until the letters blur on the screen. There's trying to focus on my work with my characters screaming in my head, but once I FINALLY get to sit down at the computer, the buggers give me the silent treatment.

And then there's watching that little progress bar crawl along a fraction of a milimeter every day despite everything. There's getting lost in my character's troubles to a point where I turn around, convinced I just felt them tapping my shoulder, only to find myself - surprisingly - alone. There's too much coffee and too little sunlight (Well, assuming the sun shines which sadly, seems to be the prospect for this year's November)

And then there's the point where I'm ready to chuck the whole business into the bin, add some Nitroglycerine and give the entire mess a good kick. To the moon and back.
I've done that, too.

But I've also ground my teeth and carried on stubbornly past that point.

I don't know which way my this year's NaNo-Project will go. To the scrap heap or to the beta?

Because kicking it feels SO damn good - like f*ck the whole cr*p, sweet freedom, here I come!

But finishing NaNo - it's writegasm. Really. With flowers and chocolates.

So either way, cross your fingers for me.

Let the madness begin!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Double Up

Double Up
Double Up by Vanessa North

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gawd, the FEEELZ...

This book is set in the world of wake-boarding, an extreme sport I'd never heard about before. (apparently, it's kind of like water ski, only on a board instead of skis and with a lot of tricky jumps over the pulling boat's wake, hence the name)

Ben is a veteran of the sport who gave up pro-wakeboarding after he hurt his back in a fall years ago. Now he's working at his friend Eddie's wakeboarding supplies shop and coaching other riders. Davis--Dave--is a complete newbie who wants to learn the sport so he can reconnect with his younger half-brother, Ridley, whom Dave's homophobic mother and stepfather have kept away from him.

There's instant attraction between Ben and Dave, and things get pretty intense pretty fast for them. But Ben has issues with his self esteem; he doesn't trust easily, not himself nor others and he also doesn't expect to be trusted. And now there's Dave who gives and demands openness, trust and honesty, and Ben doesn't know how to deal with that. He wants to, but he doesn't know if what he can give will be enough for Dave.

This book had some of the best-written, most emotional sex scenes I've ever read. Also, I fell head over heels for side-character Eddie, who was deliciously flamboyant and the best friend in the world for Ben; his dry wit more than once kept things from getting saccharine.

For a big portion of the book, I had some issues with Dave, even though generally I found him a good guy; after all, he was kind of like the prince who woke Sleeping Beauty Ben with a kiss, quite literall. But Ben tried so hard, rose over himself to make Dave happy, and all Dave did was berate Ben for not being trusting enough, for not being good enough. However, Dave redeemed himself in the end, and if nothing else, his drama queen-ish tantrums made for some deep emotional angsty shakes on Ben's part, so it was all good.

Really, a very enjoyable, engrossing read, one of my close-with-a-happy-sigh-books. Highly recommended.

A "warning", though, it's written in first person POV present tense.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Schaurig - schönes Geschenk zu Halloween - PsyCops von Jordan Castillo Price auf Deutsch!

Erscheint am 18. November 2014:

Für ihre deutschen Fans hat die Autorin Jordan Castillo Price ein ganz besonderes Angebot:

Für 15 interessierte Leser gibt es im Austausch gegen ein faires Review (auf Amazon und/oder Goodreads) ein GRATIS - Vorabexemplar!

Anzufordern bei Jordan Castillo Price (Autorin) unter jcp (dot) heat at gmail (dot) com
oder bei mir, Feliz Faber (Übersetzerin) unter felfaber at googlemail (dot) com

Wer's lieber vorbestellen möchte, hier sind die Amazon-Links:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: A Matter of When

A Matter of When
A Matter of When by Eden Winters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A book that combined two of my biggest passions - a beautiful story and music. What's not to love? Especially if it's flavored with more of my heart's delights:
- strong female AND male supporting characters
- villains who appear scarily mundane on the outside,but are just as scarily evil on second look
- a love story where love is NOT the magic wand that solves every problem
- beautiful character grow not only for the main characters, but for some minor characters as well
- chocolate (!)
- and not to forget lyrics I'd REALLY love to hear sung...

Many books have some kind of fairy godmother or -father who brings the lovers together. In this book, Music filled that role. Music - Seb and Henri's mutual passion for it, struggling with it, service to it - brought them together, gave those so different men a common language. Music wasn't only a background track to Seb and Henri's love story, but "what holds their world together in its inmost folds", an integral part to both their personalities and their romance.

This book, literally, sang. I loved listening to it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fabulous Five Author Blog Hop: What's your writing style?

I was invited by Eden Winters to take place in the Fabulous Five Author Blog Hop. The idea is that we answer a specific set of questions and tag five more authors to do the same, and so hopefully introduce readers to new authors and their work.

So here we go:

1. What am I working on? 


This is a somewhat tricky question as my work divides into two parts. I write my original pieces in English, but I also translate other people's books into German. The latter has become increasingly important to me, as a) my own muse is a fickle thing and only kisses me when she feels like it, which sadly doesn't happen as often as I'd like, and b) translating has a very particular magic of its own. Putting the pictures I see in my head while reading into the words of my own language, knowing I'll make the stories I love so much accessible to others who otherwise would've never known they existed - that's almost heady.

So, as for my own work, I'm currently writing the sequel/ prequel to my novel Thorns, Nic and Louis's story, tentatively named “Tendrils”. Have been at it for years, actually; that particular story has spawned a published novel in the meantime and still refuses to be written. Sigh. Good things etc., hope it'll be worth it in the end.

Aside from that, my muse seems to get horny lately, so to speak, because she dripped another story into me that even flows quite nicely at the moment. Tentatively titled "Heidelberg Blues", it is set in my hometown and will most likely end up a novella. I can't say much more about it at that point, only that motorbikes will be involved. And Asbach Uralt brandy. And a huge pile of old stones, aka the Heidelberg castle.

As for my translations, I've recently had the privilege of finishing a project very near and dear to me - "Zero at the Bone" by Jane Seville will be published in German sometime later this year. Also, "Fish & Chips" by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban is finished and will hopefully come out by the end of the year. Some other projects are still up in the air (that is to say, in the queue).


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think the most individual feature of my work is the setting, the background, the trappings and context in which the romance happens. Yes, I write romance, but I try to have my characters not to be defined by the fact that they fall in love. I try to make them ordinary people who lead regular lives - regular to them, anyway - and have the extraordinary happen to them. And for greater enjoyment - mainly my own (yes, I'm a geek, so sue me!), but also that of my readers - I take pleasure in giving my characters unusual professions or placing them in exotic environments.

That's why "my" ornithologist Hunter Devereaux from Desert Falcon and City Falcon used to live among the Bedouins in Kuwait and ended up working as a falconer at JFK Airport, New York City.

That's why "my" journalist Will Yeats from Thorns finds himself at a racehorse training center in Normandy, France, investigating a Kentucky Derby scandal that happened twenty years earlier.

And that will be why "my" Nic Pithiviers, a horse trainer from France, will find his life and everything he thought to know about his profession and himself turned upside down by a young German jockey. 

3. Why do I write what I do?


Short and sweet:  I write what I like to read myself, and since I like to read m/m romance, I write m/m romance.  Yes, it’s that easy.

As for a more in-depth answer, I guess it’s the same for me as it is for other women of no matter which sexual orientation who write in this genre: there’s just something so liberating about writing romance when both main characters are the same gender.
No matter how open-minded the author’s (or the reader’s) approach, there will always be preconceived gender-specific undertones if it’s a het pairing. With two men (or two women, for that matter*), the dynamics are much more open. Whether they meet as equals or not, neither of them is pigeonholed in advance. Anything goes, everything is possible, and that’s just so much more interesting, both to read and to write about.

*I think the same applies to f/f, which I also read occasionally. It just so happened that I ended up writing in the m/m genre, but if inspiration strikes, I might well try my hand at a f/f story in the future, who knows?

4. How does my writing process work?


Most of the time, I start with the first sentence and go on from there. That might sound simplistic, but is actually not; most of my stories start with a sentence that just pops up in my mind one day. I have a whole folder with single sentences on my hard drive; most of them will never make it into a story, others might perhaps end up as first sentences of chapters or paragraphs in other stories. I’m the queen of one-liners. 

Plotting, outlining is something that happens when I’m halfway through mostly. It’s often the case that I know the first few chapters and some sections near the halfway point. I don’t write linearly; in most cases, I know what the climactic event is going to be and where I want the main characters to end up. But it’s getting them from point A to Point Z without mixing up the rest of the alphabet in between that I often struggle with.

My writing process in and of itself is slow for some other reason too. When I write, I think and formulate in English, but sometimes a word or a sentence I use feels just wrong to me, even if it's, for all intents and purposes, proper and correct English. It can take me an hour or longer of consulting the dictionary, looking for the one English word or expression that says exactly what I want to say. 
When I translate, the process of finding the right words is much faster since it's "only" a matter of conveying the author's intention into the language I use actively every day. (Anecdotally - growing up, I spoke a strong German vernacular, so proper German is, in fact, not my first language. I've been told this shows in my translations occasionally, but that's another matter altogether ;-) ) 
I also draw inspiration from things I read, be it newspapers, novels of other genres, non-fiction books, even trade journals.  Airport falconer Hunter Devereaux, for example, had his very first beginnings in an article from our local rag that portrayed a female falconer who kept the parking garages at Stuttgart airport dove-free with her birds. 

And being a reader for as long as I can remember, I of course have idols and inspiring examples. Everybody who’s ever read Dick Francis will know that Thorns is, in its modest way, a small homage to this admirable writer.  

5. Who'll be next on the Blog hop? 


I tagged five people but some of  them had to decline for various reasons. So this will continue with AJ Rose , Cheri Noel and Julie Bozza

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Calamity Jane's New Home

So I realized just now I failed to announce my (yet again) new reviewer gig. A matter that needs instant squaring!

After Mrs Condit & Friends closed down on May 31, 2014 (sniffles), I've joined Prism Book Alliance.

Prism Book Alliance

And I'm proud to be a part of this fabulous team now!

Hop over and take a look:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Reviewer Gig

As many of you know, I've been a reviewer at for years, and I've enjoyed it greatly. After Wave, Lynn and Christian closed shop at the beginning of this year (*sniff*) I felt kind of homeless.

Buuuuuuuuuuut (drumroll), I've found a new home!

As of Jan 28, 2014, I've been officially a reviewer with Mrs Condit& Friends. I'm very excited and looking forward to working with the friendly bunch there !

If you want to find my reviews, look for them here:
See you soon!