Saturday, May 12, 2012

Edith Parzefall: Wind Over Troubled Waters / Giveaway

A Shining welcome to Edith Parzefall, co-author of Wind Over Troubled Waters, the first book in the post-apocalyptic adventure series, Higher Ground. Edith has several books due for release shortly, and she’s here today to talk about her journey to publication. She's also giving away a PDF of the book. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win!
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A Dream Come True

Dreary November was a bright and sunny month for me last year. First, MuseItUp Publishing accepted my thriller, Strays of Rio, to be released in September this year. Then, only two weeks later, Double Dragon Publishing accepted Wind Over Troubled Waters, the first book in a series of post-apocalyptic fantasy, which I'm co-writing with Francene Stanley.

The release was planned for May, but to my great surprise DDP decided to release early, on April 24. Of course, I thought I had plenty of time to prepare for marketing, a task likely most writers want to postpone to the last moment but shouldn't. ;-) I had collected tons of information. Of course, I'd only skimmed some of it. And suddenly we were only days away from the big moment, the release of Wind Over Troubled Waters. All went well, although my head wouldn't stop spinning the days after.

Now I'm trying to take it easy and relax at your blog while I feel I'm still doing something useful. Three weeks after the release, I've stopped checking for reviews and sales ranks, but I'm craving more of the excitement. I'll have to wait though. The sequel to our post-apocalyptic fantasy, Knights in Dark Leather will be released in November. Before that though, I'm impatiently awaiting the September release of Strays of Rio, a social thriller set in stunningly beautiful Rio de Janeiro. MuseItUp Publishing also signed on my psychological suspense Crumpe Zone, scheduled for release in February. I'm very excited. After many years of hard labor, finally my novels are being published. Now I wonder if I'll ever find the peace of mind to write another one... But of course, at some point the urge to write breaks through and nothing else matters.

Okay, time to show off the new baby Francene and I gave birth to on April 24. I woke in the middle of the night with stomach cramps. I'm certain that must have been the moment when Double Dragon Publishing pushed our firstborn out to the world.

Corn World. Britland. After the great flood, only memories, debris and derelict buildings speak of a past civilization. Visions of these disturbing times haunt Cerridwen's dreams. When her dying mother sends Cerridwen to find a mural in Saint Eyes and lead Britland into a better future, the young healer has little choice but to set out on a life-changing quest. Her ability to perceive auras convinces her to accept nature-attuned Trevly's offer of protection.

Bent on adventure and enthralled by the promise of treasure, beautiful Sasha, cunning Aron and uncut Boris join forces to get the most out of life. Their selfish plans collide with Cerridwen's when they learn about a powerful ring and a mural pointing the way to its location.
Map of Corn World created by Rosalie Skinner
Chapter One

On the bed next to her mother, Cerridwen snuggled further into her sleeping furs. Wind roared over the town. Rain lashed against the thick wooden walls of the house nestled halfway down a steep slope above the quiet village. Built in the before-times, when men knew how to construct things properly, the house resisted continual rain. A lightning flash lit up the small room. Thunder roared. In the cot beside her, Mother whimpered and turned in her sleep.

Cerridwen concentrated on creaking noises followed by a thud. A tree struck by lightning? Aware of possible danger, she bolted upright. Her brother Ivan had left before sunrise with a group of Red Roof men to hunt deer in the first light. She hoped for their safe return.

A mighty growl jarred her out of her drowsiness. What could it be? Not thunder. The sound lasted too long and grew into a rumble.

She sprung up, heart thumping, and shook her mother awake. "Quick, we need to leave the house."

"I had a dream." Mother raised herself on one elbow.

"Take your fur." Cerridwen slid her feet into shoes and grabbed her bag.

Mother’s eyes widened. "What’s that noise?" She swung her feet onto the floor.

"Don’t know," Cerridwen yelled over the roaring, slipping sound. "We’ve got to leave." Underneath her feet, the floor moved.

"It’s no use," Mother sighed but rose and clutched her fur around her shoulders. "Where can we go?"

"The house is moving," Cerridwen yelled. "Come outside." She supported Mother’s frail body while they staggered to the door. Screaming and wailing in protest, mud and water carried debris down the hill. No time to dwell on fear. Cerridwen forced them outside into the eerie backdrop.

Clouds obscured the moon. Rain drove into their faces. She headed for the familiar large overhanging rocks in the distance. At one with the earth, the outcrop would offer safety. But could she and Mother reach it in time? Mud ran over Cerridwen’s feet. "The hill’s sliding toward us." Pushing against the driving rain, they struggled on. She dragged Mother with each step. A flash of lightning lit the rocky part of the hill.

"Look. Over there." Nearly to their goal, maybe three men’s length away.

The slipping mud knocked Mother off her feet. Cerridwen clutched her fur, but Mother slid away from her grip. In panic, Cerridwen bent, grasped her arm, and pulled her from the sucking mud. After a few staggering strides, a gust of wind almost pushed her over. A thick branch hurtled toward them and struck Mother. "No!" Cerridwen screamed. Slipping and sliding, she used strength she’d never needed to call on before. With a mighty effort, she pulled Mother up and hauled her over the last few steps to the shelter of large boulders.

In a space just big enough for both of them under an overhanging rock, she bundled Mother in her furs again and lay beside her. "Are you hurting?"

"Don’t worry," Mother whispered. "Not much longer now."

Her weak voice chilled Cerridwen more than the wet garment sticking to her body. She wished she could collect her medicine. She peered over the boulder blocking her view. Maybe she could make it back to... No, the collapsed house lay halfway down the slope.

They huddled together until the roar of the storm calmed to driving rain. Faint dawn light showed the devastation of their dwelling. The collapsed roof and sections of wall littered the mud further down and their possessions scattered the slope.

Cerridwen bent over her mother’s sleeping shape and studied her face. Her cheerful yellow aura paled with each passing moment. Cerridwen had never seen Mother in such a weak state, so close to death. Would she hold on to life until Ivan came back from hunting? How Cerridwen wished her older brother could be here. The veined hand in hers felt too cold.

The crinkled eyelids moved and Mother’s eyes fluttered open. She moaned, looked around, and back to Cerridwen. "The dream," she whispered. She gripped Cerridwen’s hand, raised it, and blinked her eyes. "No ring!"

Cerridwen leaned closer. "What did you say?"

A weak smile hovered around her mother’s mouth, but her arm dropped back to the ground. "I saw you painted on a wall, Cerridwen. A picture-mural. A pretty dress... blue. A ring on your finger that lit up the world. You looked like the goddess I named you after."

"What do you mean?" She gripped the frail hand as if to stop her mother slipping away and forced words through lips rigid with grief. "Don’t tire yourself." She longed to hear more. What did Mother see?

The glassy eyes sparkled. "Go to Hailing, daughter." Her expression became tender. "You’re so young. Just seventeen. The wise woman will guide you. The ring... the key to the future." Mother drew a shuddering breath. "It will lead Britland to...a better tomorrow."

Cerridwen kept a steady grip on the slack skin over her mother’s hand. "I don’t understand." A cry of woe rose inside. She couldn’t help the fifty people living below in Red Roof in their struggle for survival. How could she bring a brighter future to Britland when she couldn’t help the people in Corn World? But she must ease mother’s passing. "I’ll go to Hailing, Mother."

"Good. Your brother will protect you." Mother choked. "With his life." She gasped for air. "So much pain." Her eyes closed. "Wish I could... say good-bye to Ivan." Her voice trailed off and her aura faded.

"Mother, don’t..." Don’t die, I need your love. Your wisdom. No use saying the words, which would make loss even harder to endure. Mother Nature eventually claimed all her children. When to let go one of the most important lessons a healer must learn. Cerridwen kissed her mother’s forehead and whispered, "I miss you already." Tears spilled from her eyes onto her mother’s face as the truth sank in. She’d never again venture out to visit the sick with her mother. Never share the bread people gave them out of gratitude, or cook a thick vegetable soup from their gifts. "I love you."

A last breath eased from Mother’s chest as her spirit lifted. Cerridwen sat back on her haunches, spread her arms and raised her face to the sky. "Farewell Mother! I will do as you wish." Taking a shuddering breath, she acknowledged that she had no idea of how to find Hailing.

Don’t. Don’t fail before you’ve tried. Tears streamed down her face.Too many questions scuttled around her mind, while her Mother’s words sank into Cerridwen’s soul. She too must travel and leave the life she knew behind. She’d go to Hailing and find the wise woman from her mother’ dream. The mention of the mural, the ring and the task of leading Britland into a better future confused her. But she knew one thing: Mother’s visions had always guided their lives for the best. And Cerridwen had promised.
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Edith Parzefall studied literature and linguistics in Germany and the United States. She worked as a technical writer, documentation manager and engineer tamer. Now a full-time writer, she strives to combine her two passions: writing and traveling.

Francene Stanley found initial inspiration in poetry and songwriting but later turned to writing novels. Like her main characters, she expresses optimism, determination to succeed, and illustrates the principle of positive thinking combined with the trust that things will work out.
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Wind Over Troubled Waters / Available Now from

Sequel, Knights in Dark Leather
Coming Soon from Double Dragon Publishing

Strays of Rio and Crumpe Zone
Coming Soon from MuseItUp Publishing


  1. A wonderful interview, Edith. I felt as if you were speaking to me in the same room. You have a gift for writing. May all your MuseItUp books do well.

    Pat, you've set this blog out so well with all the links. Thank you so much for hosting me as part of Edith's team.

  2. Thank you, Francene! And a big thanks to you, Pat, for hosting me and our first baby!

  3. Even when you say you are relaxing I get this breathless feeling, Edith. So much is happening so much excitement ans so well deserved success. I've read Wind Over Troubled Waters and can highly recommend it. Edith and Francene did a great job. They speak with one voice in spite of being countries apart. Congratulations ladies.
    Lovely presentation, Pat.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, Wendy! We sure are happy that you enjoyed the book!

  4. Hi Edith, Francene (in the background) and Pat... what a great post. It is a breathless time when your first novel is released. I hope the hype and excitement never fade as your wonderful series takes off and the a new world of readers discover Corn World 2222. I have read your novel and echo Wendy's recommendation. It has been a pleasure being involved in creating a map of Cerridwen and Sasha's adventures.
    The ability to write in collaboration, across two countries is an achievement in itself. Congratulations.
    May your books never go out of print!!

    1. Thanks so much, Rosalie! For your praise of Wind Over Troubled Waters and the gorgeous map of Corn World! I still love to gaze at it!

  5. Great post, Edith and all of us celebrate in your success. Writing books is like birthing babies and only other writers fully understand that.

    1. Thanks, Gail! I guess the first time is always the most exciting. But then I doubt I'll ever get really used to it. Can't wait for Strays to pop out. ;-)

  6. I see the party is already in full swing. Gotta love those time meridians! A very enjoyable post, Edith, for readers and writers alike. Delighted to have Francene visiting too, and Rosalie and her fantastic map. Wendy and Gail, thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Thanks for the giveaway. I enjoyed the interview and review. Gale

  8. Rebecca RasmussenMay 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I am definitely envious. I have this vague urge to write but can't pull myself together enough to even get half way into a manuscript. And you've got one in print and several more on the way.

    I've loved everything of yours I've read. I didn't get the privilege of seeing WIND before it was printed, but once I got it in my hands, it really blew me away. I can't wait for the others to come out too!!

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful words, Rebecca! :-) I hope you'll find the peace of mind to write again soon!

  9. A must-read! great interview, glad to "discover" you, Edith! Best wishes!

  10. Thanks so much, Archie! Love to be discovered. :-)

  11. Loved the excerpt--so wanted to keep reading. The map was fascinating too. Great post.

    1. Thanks so much, Conda! Glad you enjoyed the read. :-)

  12. Congratulations on your new releases! What an exciting time for you. It must be you, Edith, and Francene, live in different countries and still managed to write a fantastic book together. Now THAT would be a great story to tell. Is that posted someplace? Best wishes for success in this crazy publishing world!

    1. Hi JQ, thanks for dropping by! Yes, a very exciting time. I wrote an article about our co-writing experience at Montana Scribbler's Blog:

  13. This is such a great story and a wonderful series to follow. Congratulations Francene and Edith. I wish you the very best.

    Jennifer Killby (IWW)

  14. Thank you all for your kind comments. Edith deserves every bit of praise. My writing partner is a joy to work with, although a hard task master. She's full of praise when something works well, but brings out her whip when I'm assigned another scene. Hehe. Being only an hour apart on the timescale helps our collaboration. She can stop for lunch while I write and then the reverse. We've planned future novels once the four written books are underway with publishing, but in the meantime we're writing our own stories, which isn't half as much fun without the impetus.

    1. Hehe, by now my cheeks are burning and probably glowing in the dark. Hm, a hard task master? Wait until we start on the next book and you'll learn what a hard task master is, partner. ;-)

      Yep, it sure feels strange to be on the solitary road of writing again... I miss you, Francene!

  15. And the winner of a free copy of Wind Over Troubled Waters is: Archie Standwood! Please contact me to at edith_parzefall at to collect your prize!

    Thanks so much, Pat, for inviting us to your blog! It's a great place. :-)

  16. Congratulations, Archie! And thanks again to everyone who stopped by to support Edith, Francene, and Wind Over Troubled Waters. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit, Edith!