Two New Holiday Stories Available: Christmas after the End of the World and Santa’s Sticky Fingers

It’s the last new release announcement for 2019. And what would be more fitting for a new release announcement that goes out on Christmas Eve than a holiday story? And this year, I have not one but two holiday stories to announce.

As the title implies, the first new release Christmas after the End of the World is a post-apocalyptic holiday story. Now post-apocalyptic fiction is not a subgenre you’d expect to fit in with holiday stories, but I hope that I managed to pull it off.

As for how Christmas after the End of the World came about, I try to write a holiday story every year. However, this year I was racking my head trying to come up with an idea for a holiday story, because inspiration for holiday stories usually doesn’t strike me until two or three weeks before the holidays.

However, I chanced to listen to this recording of the post-apocalyptic fiction panel at the 20Booksto50K Vegas writers conference. The panellists – all male, by the way – declared that post-apocalyptic fiction should have male protagonists, preferably ex-military, and lots of action to appeal to the prepper crowd. Now as anybody who has read After the End or The Hybrids knows, I don’t write that sort of post-apocalyptic fiction at all. Mine is more quiet and cozy and people actually help each other rather than shooting at each other. My protagonists are all civilians, often female, often young, sometimes children and teenagers. And then I thought, “Why don’t I write a post-apocalyptic holiday story? About a family trying to celebrate Christmas after the apocalypse.” And so Christmas after the End of the World was born. And because I’m a contrarian, I made the protagonist a thirteen-year-old girl.

So follow along as Natalie tries to prepare as good a holiday as she can for her younger siblings in…

Christmas after the End of the World
Christmas after the End of the World by Cora BuhlertIt’s Christmas… five months after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted, blacked out the sun and covered most of the western US in ash.

Thirteen-year-old Natalie, her younger brother Liam, baby Olivia and family dog Bud are among the few still holding out in the evacuation zone.

Day to day survival is hard enough, but Natalie is determined to give Liam and Olivia an unforgettable Christmas… after the end of the world.

And who knows, maybe they’ll even get a true Christmas miracle…

This is a post-apocalyptic holiday novelette of 10000 words or approx. 35 print pages.

More information.
Length: 10000 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

***

The second holiday story, Santa’s Sticky Fingers, is also the latest entry in my Helen Shepherd Mysteries series. It is also the second Christmas mystery in the Helen Shepherd series after A Bullet for Father Christmas.

The inspiration for this story was a news report about pickpockets operating on Christmas markets, which is a recurring problem during the holiday season. Now I had already considered writing a mystery set at a Christmas market, but was still looking for a suitable plot. And when I heard that news report, I thought, “That’s it. Why not write a mystery featuring the hunt for pickpockets terrorising a Christmas market? After all, it doesn’t always have to be murder.”

The hunt for pickpockets of course requires someone to do the hunting. And since I already had a series featuring a regular investigative team, I thought, “Why not make it a Helen Shepherd Mystery?”

Now Christmas markets were originally a very German phenomenon, but they have become a lot more popular abroad during the last ten to fifteen years or so, particularly in the UK. And so many British cities now have Christmas markets of their own, often with vendors coming over from Germany. Therefore, it was absolutely no problem finding one in the greater London area for Helen and her team to investigate.

And so I sent Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd, Detective Constable Kevin Walker and Scene of the Crime Officer Charlotte on a tour across the Christmas market to interview vendors and witnesses and find the pickpocket who has been ruining many people’s holiday cheer.

So follow along as Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team investigate…

Santa’s Sticky Fingers
Santa's Sticky Fingers by Cora BuhlertNormally, Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd doesn’t deal with petty crime and pickpockets. But when the Christmas market in Kingston upon Thames is hit by a wave of thefts, Helen and her team are called in to help out.

Harry, a homeless man who always hangs around the market, seems to be the most obvious suspect. But there is also the mysterious man in the black leather jacket some witnesses claim to have seen. Or maybe, the thief can be found much closer to home…

Can Helen and her team crack the case in time for Christmas?

This is a holiday novelette of 7800 words or approx. 26 print pages in the Helen Shepherd Mysteries series, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 7800 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

I only finished Santa’s Sticky Fingers early on Sunday morning, so the book isn’t up at all vendors yet.

If you want more holiday stories, you can get all of mine in a handy bundle at a reduced price over at DriveThruFiction. The bundle contains ten holiday stories ranging from romance via science fiction and fantasy to mysteries and thrillers.

And if you want even more holiday stories, I just posted my annual round-up of my favourite holiday speculative fiction and holiday mysteries and crime fiction by indie and small press authors.

Finally, if you’re looking for some free science fiction and fantasy e-books, there is a giveaway going on at StoryOrigin, where you can get more than forty e-books for free, if you subscribe to the author’s newsletter (don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe). The Crime Thriller and Vigilantes giveaway also still going on at StoryOrigin.

That’s it for this year, at least with regard new releases. There will still be blog posts, of course. I’ll probably write a post about Star Wars (both The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian) and I also have an announcement to make that has nothing to do with my books for once.

Next year, there’ll be more In Love and War stories, more Thurvok adventures, more Silencer stories, including one where the Silencer meets a John W. Campbell stand-in. I’m also planning to launch a new series called Raygun Romances and I hope that I’ll finally get the long delayed After the End 2 – More Stories of Life After the Apocalypse out.

But until then, have a very happy holiday season, whichever one you celebrate.

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