Peter and Kathy wish you ...
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year
Visiting Coburg (as in Germany not Ontario)
Coburg is the ancestral home of Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria. Kathy and I had a chance to visit in October when I was in Germany on business.
Apparently Queen Victoria loved to vacation in Coburg. I can see why: it's a beautiful city and it must have been a vacation to get away from the rigours and pageantry of the court.
We were in Coburg just before the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The fortress in Coburg called the Veste Coburg (the gate across the dry moat is shown below) also played an important role in the reformation. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther was under protection at the Veste, since he was under an imperial ban at the time. While he staying at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Old Testament into German (the New Testament had been completed in September 1522).
Update on my next book: Descent into Abaddon
The next book in The Halcyon Cycle
is up to 91K words. More importantly, the plot is set and I'm focusing on making the scene descriptions more vivid and the dialogue more crisp. Every book I've ever started has taken more time to complete than I had hoped. I remember thinking last year my goal was to get this book out by this Christmas, yet it's still not ready. I wish I could write more quickly.
If you're thinking about reviewing a book ...
When I look for a new book, recommendations from people I trust and whose reading tastes are similar to mine, influence my decision most strongly. However, if I read a review that identifies qualities I like in a story (not all readers like the same qualities, of course), then that also encourages me strongly to consider reading that particular book. If any of my friends and readers are interested in reviewing one of my books, send me an email telling me which one you would like to review, and I'll send you a copy of the book in gratitude (please include your most recent mailing address).
Finally, reconnecting ...
Reconnecting with friends is one of the things I like best about sending out these periodic newsletters. If you have a few moments during this busy season, please send me an email note and let me know how you're doing. Merry Christmas!
My Books are Available in the Mississauga Library and on Overdrive
of The Halcyon Dislocation
and my other books by The Mississauga Library has been the big news for me. It came about through my friend Bob Parry who primarily reads e-books he can download through the public library. His inquiry about my book titles led to the listing and also motivated me to get my books into Overdrive, the e-book provider for most libraries in North America.
It took a bit of work to get my book into Overdrive. My publisher, at this time, does not ship e-books to libraries. After a few dead ends that led to unacceptable epub files, I was able to use a service (Draft2Digital) that produced a high quality output file. If you're interested in borrowing one of my books from your favorite library (I use Libby on my Android phone - it's all done remotely and the e-books are even retrieved when your borrowing time is up), put in the request and they should be able to locate it in the Overdrive central depository.
This is my first foray into generating my own Overdrive epub. As far as I can tell, the file produced was glitch free. If you borrow a copy and find any defects, I'd be grateful to hear about them so that I can improve my process.
What Peter's Been Reading
I read G. K. Chesterton's story The Ball and the Cross
and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I was looking for the ball and cross symbol all over churches in Germany when I traveled there.
Enjoying Indie Fiction
I also read quite a bit of Indie fiction this past year. The publishing industry has consolidated into five mega-publishers, but there are many books that are published with small publishers or by the authors themselves. I find these independent books delightful. They often show great imagination and have merely been overlooked because the authors are not well known. Here are a few I would recommend.
- Pandora by Joshua Grant. I don't normally read horror stories, but these on intrigued me. If I were to give it a one-line description, it's Alien on a cruise ship. For my review, check here.
- Seahaven by Raymond Cain. This young Adult, magical adventure adventures around an undersea city called Seahaven. I enjoyed reading this story very much. If you would like to read my review, look here.
- New sky: The Watcher by Jason Kent. This is classic Science Fiction with space marines taking part in an interstellar conflict. If this is your reading style, check out my review here.