The Mad Girls – free promotion!

For three days, you have the opportunity to get acquainted with an interesting new writer, published by Candied Crime, our family publishing company.
Rannva Saltoft writes a delicious combination of Scandinavian noir and Gothic horror.

the-mad-girls600The Mad Girls of Angel Maker Lake

Meet the mad twins, Lily and Ivy, bound for the Asylum after a ghastly encounter with a suitor, but a dark man follows them while they are traveling through “Murder Forest”. Will they get there alive?

The short story offers a brilliant opportunity to get acquainted with the main characters of “Killing Birch”, cranky old Mrs. Kofoed and her rescue children Jenny and Birch. Besides, it is a treat for any reader with a crush on the Victorian age.

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New Year’s Discount

Happy New Year to all my readers!

This year begins with two discounts for you:

North Sea Cottage (the first mystery about Tora) is available for $ 0.99 only just now.


Crystal Nights (Scandinavian novel, set in my childhood time and place) is available for $ 0.99 today and tomorrow. Saturday the price will be $ 1.99, and Sunday it will be back to exorbitant $ 2.99.

Shares and tweets are much appreciated!

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Rannva Saltoft, Killing Birch

We proudly present the e-book version of Killing Birch, a debut novel written by my countryfellow Lene Rannva Saltoft, published by Candied Crime, our family publishing company. $ 2.99 only.

The lovely cover is photoshopped by Canadian artist Emilie Léger.
KILLING BIRCH – an unusual combination of literary fiction, love and horror.


Where do you go, when home is the place that scares you the most? This modern-day saga revolves around a brutal murder and offers a story of love and heartbreak, set in a picturesque village on the West Coast of Jutland.

Two childhood friends, Jenny and Birch, are torn apart by a sinister tragedy. Birch is found sitting beside his mother’s corpse by the edge of the ancient Angel Maker Lake. Deeply traumatized and unable to account for his mother’s fate, the boy is disowned by his family.

Twenty years later, the adult Birch is crippled by gory visions and inexplicable dreams. An unexpected visitor forces him to return to the eerie village and face his past. In this narrow community where most people harbor secrets and ancient grudges, the general belief is that Birch is a murderer. But nature has a way of intervening when hearts turn dark and demons are let off their leash.



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Miller’s Cottage (new Tora Skammelsen novella)

millers-cottageMiller’s Cottage

Finally, my second novella about the curious writer Tora Skammelsen from the remote Danish region of Thy is out there. Price: $ 1.99 only.

Tora buys her home near the North Sea, but village life does not quite live up to her expectations. Soon she develops a keen interest in the activities of her peculiar neighbour Margrethe. Why does the widow try to hide the fact that a man is living with her? Besides there is Rune, the charming sales rep at the Old Mill Inn, who all but sweeps Tora off her feet while her friend, Police Inspector Thomas Bilgren, is preoccupied with a bank robbery.

The story can be read as a stand-alone, but for readers with an interest in Tora’s private affairs it may be a good idea to read North Sea Cottage first.

A warm thank you to my editor and translator Miriam Hummelshøj, my proofreader Emily Nemchick and my faithful beta-reader Margot Kinberg.

Tweets etc will be much appreciated!

Did you know there are also two short stories, featuring Tora Skammelsen? The Woman behind the Curtain and Football Widow.

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Intriguing title, don’t you agree?

the-mad-girls600This little miracle is not mine, however.
For the first time, I have published an English story for another Danish writer.
Lene Rannva Saltoft writes fantasy/Gothic horror, and she does it so well that I knew immediately that I had to publish her books. So well, that I feel a little bit envious – because I am the one who is used to receiving praise for my command of the English language.

The story is available from Amazon for $ 0.99 only, but please tell me if you want a review copy – or if you know of reviewers who would appreciate this little horror gem!


A revival of the Gothic Horror story and a prequel to Rannva Saltoft’s Scandinavian debut novel, “Killing Birch” (to be published in November).

Meet the mad twins, Lily and Ivy, bound for the Asylum after a ghastly encounter with a suitor, but a dark man follows them while they are traveling through “Murder Forest”. Will they get there alive?

The short story offers a brilliant opportunity to get acquainted with the main characters of “Killing Birch”, cranky old Mrs. Kofoed and her rescue children Jenny and Birch. Besides, it is a treat for any reader with a crush on the Victorian age.


Thank you so much to old and new friends for sharing the news on twitter! It means so much to me that I have reliable and generous friends who remember me after so long time!






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Crystal Nights – the first review!

I am still scatterbrained after the successful launch yesterday so instead of trying to do anything sensible, I spend my time on Facebook, telling other writers how important your network is. And I mean every word!

Thanks to lovely friends and faithful readers, the first review of Crystal Nights appeared yesterday.

Crystal Nights, A Scandinavian Mystery by Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen is an extraordinarily interesting chilling read that captivated my senses right away. The author has a unique style that I can see readers gravitating towards. An unusual way of telling a fictional story that plays true in many ways. She has an authentic voice that I found easy to absorb as I went through this story rather quickly, as if it was urgent business. With my curiosity spiked, I needed to know where this would lead.

The riveting mystery called me to attention and the smooth, clever writing style had me turning the pages with a certain enthusiasm I don’t always get from reading a book. This one took me in from the very beginning.

Crystal Nights is a gripping thriller that captured the essence of the time and the place. Emotional, it stirred feelings in me I didn’t realize were there.

And this morning, my brand-new novel was # 23 in the special, British category ‘Scandinavian crime’ – in the very best company.

Crystal Nights # 23

Happy and grateful? Yes, indeed.

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Crystal Nights – published!

Finally. Crystal Nights is out there.


Below is the description, but if you are curious and want to know what Vendsyssel (my region) was like in the 1960s, you should take a look at this free picture companion.

Kristallnacht in Berlin, 1938.

A Jewish family flees from persecution, the mother desperate to assure her children freedom is within their grasp.

Thirty years later, ten-year-old Lars-Ole disappears from a sleepy village in Denmark.

After months of investigation, the police have no leads. Creeping unease thickens when another boy disappears, and Lars-Ole’s best friend is determined to act. Will Niels succeed when the police have given up? Or will he pay with his life?

CRYSTAL NIGHTS is the story of the violence and evil that rips through a cosy and peaceful Danish village in the 1960s.

The psychological mystery is Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen’s third standalone.

* * * *

The Danish edition of the book, Krystalnætter, won a national competition in 2013. Judge and editor Lene Dalmejer explains her choice:


”Crystal Nights” is a highly commendable historical suspense novel that captures the reader from the opening phrase. It opens in Berlin in 1938 on the Night of the Broken Glass, and a Jewish family is preparing for a perilous escape to Scandinavia. Subsequently the story moves 30 years ahead to 1967, to the small town Kalum in Northern Jutland.

… and soon tales of destiny emerge, much larger than tiny Kalum. The novel is well-turned, and the plot is spot-on. Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen writes in a fashion that almost makes you forget you are reading. This is in itself a huge achievement. The language breathes freely, and we delve into the Denmark of the 1960s without any discord whatsoever. It is, in short, a first-rate novel!



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Crystal Nights – one great step.


Finally! Less than an hour ago, I finished fiddling with the manuscript of Crystal Nights and sent it off to the proof-reader.

The novel is a historical mystery, a standalone like Anna Märklin’s Family Chronicles, and if you like remote Danish villages and creeping anxiety, this one may appeal to you.

A quotation from chapter four:

Sonja kept insisting Lars-Ole was with his father, but now Mikkelsen and Lyngby felt an urgent need to get back to the station to organize a search for the boy. Mikkelsen had stopped joking about little tramps when it dawned on him that none of the parents had seen Lars-Ole for more than forty-eight hours. Mrs Nielsen downstairs believed she had heard the boy leave the flat Wednesday morning. She had not seen him, but she was sure she had heard the main door open some time in the morning.

“I didn’t hear him on the stairs, but he is a quiet little boy so most days I don’t,” she explained.

Sonja had given them the names and phone numbers of her boyfriend and Lars-Ole’s closest friends from school. Afterwards, she had gone with them outside to point out the corner of the road where Kaj Bager was supposed to have picked her son up.

“It’s right up there. See? A few hundred metres away.” She wrapped her sweater around her as if it were cold, and though she held her chin high, her voice was brittle by now.

“All he had to do was walk up there to meet his father.”

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Crystal Nights – some progress

Happy New Year to my readers.

I have enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family, and now I am back in full swing, editing, editing and editing.

krystalnætter ebogI have finished the draft of my next stand-alone, Crystal Nights. The main part of the story takes place in Vendsyssel (the very northern part of Jutland) in the sixties, and though I have changed the name of the village and made the main character into a boy, my close relatives have seen through the disguise – this is my childhood revisited. The environment, mind you, not the violent crimes. I was very happy in ‘Kalum’, a lovely and peaceful place to grow up so it is only in my horrible mind that children keep disapearing.

Here you can see the Danish cover, created by Mallory Rock.

A teaser from one of the first chapters

“Open your books on page forty-seven.” Mr Petersen leaned back in his chair behind the heavy desk, his dry voice hypnotizing the children to the point of sleep. “Lone, what can you tell us about the Kristallnacht?”

“Well, Kristallnacht that was the night between the ninth and the tenth of October 1938. The National Socialists burnt down Jewish shops, homes, schools and synagogues all around Germany. They did it because they wanted to blame the Jews for a murder in Paris. Ehm, they called it Kristallnacht afterwards because they smashed in so many windows that there were hardly any whole panes left where the Jews lived.” The blacksmith’s daughter rattled off her homework while making fresh dog’s ears in the history book in front of her.

Mr Petersen was not as mean as Mr Sahl, the headmaster, but Lone was not exactly one of the brightest children of fourth class. Quite soon she began to stutter and repeat herself so it would not take long before Mr Peterson had had enough of her rambling.

Niels’ attention drifted away long before Mr Petersen’s. He did not mind history in general, but the weather was unusually fine today. After several rainy days, the school year had started, and of course the summer hit them at full force. It was downright unfair to coop them up in the dusty classroom, and many of the boys dreamed themselves outside, on the sports field or up in the trees, while Mr Petersen tried to make a confused Lone understand the gist of the Nuremberg laws and a few major, historical events of the 1930s. When he seemed to think she had repeated herself enough times, he let her off the hook and nodded in the direction of Anna. Could Anna tell them about the Jews in Warsaw?

“Lone forgot to mention that Kristallnacht was also called the Night of Broken Glass,” Anna began. She embarked on a smug account of ghettoes and work camps, Jews who tried to escape by emigrating to America and the humiliation of wearing the yellow star badges. Mr Petersen leant back in his chair, putting his fingertips together as if he were listening to his favourite composer. Did he actually understand it would be a waste of time to test the boys who still had the long holiday under their skin? And it was just Wednesday; three long days to go before Sunday.

Niels glanced at the empty chair next to his, wondering if the history lesson would ever end.

The novel should be ready for publication in a few months, but if any of you would like to betaread it for me, just let me know.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to friends from near and far. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas Eve with our three children – and we had a lovely family party in Vorupør where we live now.

And today we woke up to this view. Enjoy!


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