In the Shadow of the Mountain

mtn-shadow-100pctThe planning, scribbling of notes, and plot development is firmly underway for book two in the Greenland Trilogy: In the Shadow of the Mountain. But one of the things I enjoy most about writing the book is working on the cover – even before the drafts and redrafts are done. Having a cover is like seeing the finish line in the distance; it’s something to work toward.

While I don’t want to say very much at all about what happens to Fenna, and the decisions she is forced to make in book two, I can reveal that it opens in the USA as Konstabel Fenna Brongaard prepares for her next mission in Greenland. No spoilers here, lots of people have yet to read The Ice Star.

But, with the finish line in sight, there is plenty to keep me motivated and working hard to get Fenna’s story down on the page as the deadlines loom and the shadow of the mountain grows.

Have you arrived at this page by mistake? Are you looking for book one? The Ice Star is available in paperback and on Kindle or for Kindle apps from Amazon:

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There’s no going back!

the-ice-star-25pctThe Ice Star is released tomorrow, and there’s no going back! This is it then, sink or swim.

Will Fenna capture reader’s imaginations?

Will I?

What happens if she does?

What happens if I do?

These are questions I haven’t asked before – haven’t felt the need to. But The Ice Star is doing pretty well just now, moving up the charts in “military thriller” and “international crime and mystery”. I haven’t seen this interest in my other books – it must be the genre.

And what a genre! There’s a lot of competition, and a lot of books competing with the readers’ interest and doing their best to grab their attention.

This is it though.

It’s time to test the ice!

The Ice Star is available for pre-order from Amazon at a reduced price. Spoiler(ish) alert – it’s serious all of a sudden.

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Yeah, and it can kill you!

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Greenland is beautiful. Always. Even in May, when the thaw sets in and the snow melts in the dog yard and the “winter treats” warm up and gush down the rocks in yellow and brown streams of…

You get the picture, but the smell is indescribable!

The sunsets and sunrises though – they never fail to please. Only during the dark periods, when you want  the sun to hang around for just a little longer – and it doesn’t. That can be tough.

But the beauty of Greenland, the raw, unadulterated beauty of ice, snow, rock and sun, and the sparse vegetation and wildlife that eek a living out in the wilds – that NEVER grows old.

I miss it.

There, I said it. But reliving the beauty of Greenland during the writing and rewriting of The Ice Star, compensated – to a degree – for the fact that I can no longer see glaciers from my kitchen window. If you get the chance to visit Greenland, do it. Just do it. You won’t be disappointed.

In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of the raw beauty in The Ice Star, as Fenna does her best to stay one step ahead of the men trying to kill her as she travels across the sea ice in the wake of an Arctic storm.

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On Killing

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I killed someone the other night. Never thought I would write those words. But, it needed to be done, and, if I can find any redeeming aspect of the killing, then I can say it was important to the plot. Still, it didn’t sit all that well with me. It even kept me awake at night.

I have killed before – and just where am I going with this? But this time it was personal. I realised I have known the victim for about four years. I have always known the person was going to die, I even knew how. But when it happened, when I realised that the time had come to do it, to kill them, well, to say it mildly, I wasn’t quite prepared. I take no satisfaction from the killing – perhaps just a little, I think it is a beautiful scene, in its own way – but it is done, and I am coming to terms with it.

Life is hard in the Arctic, and Greenland is no exception. During the 7 years my wife and I lived there, we lost track of the suicides, sadly, and often came to terms with deaths – through accidents on the ice, in the black Arctic waters, from glaciers calving, ice dams bursting, helicopters crashing, and from murder, occasionally.

Death, then, is synonymous with the Arctic, with Greenland, and with my story. The Ice Star reflects that, death is a theme, but so, I hope, is life and the strength needed to live it in harsh environments.

The Ice Star is available for pre-order from Amazon at a reduced price. Spoiler alert – Canadians might be interested in the plot!

Amazon USA

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The Endgame

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The endgame of The Ice Star is set in one of my favourite places in the world: Uummannatsiaq, at the end of Ikerasak Island in Uummannaq fjord, Greenland. I have spent several nights there, over a number of years, listening to the yip of Arctic Foxes, the barrage of iceberg artillery as great chunks of ice calve into the fjord, and the howl of the polar wind.

Since the first few drafts of the story, I have been working my way towards The Schoolhouse. Now that I have arrived – several years and many drafts later – I am hesitant to set foot in that house – I know what happens. Fortunately, The Ice Star is pure fiction, and I can live with what happens at the end of the island, after a long journey on the ice, at sea, and in the dark hold of a rather unique cruise ship.

I look forward to visiting the real Uummannatsiaq again sometime in the future, but I need to let the last few chapters sit for a while before I return.

It’s a beautiful place. A peaceful place, until, that is, The Ice Star anchors in the fjord and all hell breaks loose.

The Ice Star is available at a special pre-order price for kindle readers and apps from Amazon USA, UK, Canada and Australia. It is released on January 26th, 2017.

Just how thick is the ice?

the-ice-star-insert-1That was always the question when I lived on the island of Uummannaq, 650km north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland. The question was often raised around Christmas time, when the thin ice was the domain of the professional hunters only, and the Europeans waited for thicker ice and more daylight – the sun would creep over the horizon around the 11th January.

But this Christmas, in Denmark, the question has an altogether different meaning for me. I am less interested in knowing if the ice will bear my weight, but will The Ice Star, and its story, be strong enough to bear my hopes for my first thriller set in Greenland? Time will tell, but on the 26th January, 2017, Konstabel Fenna Brongaard will be fighting for her life and reputation in a hostile environment, far from help.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One – the opening scene: Continue reading “Just how thick is the ice?”