Archive for Book Reviews

08 Apr 2016

Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Seal for LUDWIKA

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5star-flat-hr

Celebrations are in order. I’m now the proud owner of a Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Seal! 

 https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/ludwika
 
“Ludwika
A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany” by Christoph Fischer
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

StarStarStarStarStar

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany ludwika book conceptis an historical novel written by Christoph Fischer. The author based this novel on the actual life and experiences of Ludwika Gierz. In the later part of 1939, Ludwika was 22 years old and the unwed mother of a five-year-old daughter, who followed her around constantly. Ludwika’s parents had welcomed the child and been supportive of their daughter, but her father had left the town of Przedborow with the armed forces and hadn’t been heard of since. While Ludwika still sang for the local children and delighted in their company, as they did in hers, she couldn’t help but feel troubled at the increasingly fragile hold her family seemed to have on their farm and life. The wheat was almost past the time for harvesting, and she and her sister worked feverishly to harvest it by hand, but they did need help with moving it. They knew that a neighboring farmer had hidden his agricultural equipment, and Ludwika decided to break into the barn and commandeer a tractor. While she was riding it back to their farm, a German officer on a motorbike overtook her and ordered her off the road. Moments later, a convoy of German vehicles passed by. The two had exchanged names during that brief encounter, and Manfred would later come by the Gierz farm to meet with her, until finally he made a proposal for her to come and stay with him in Germany. It would be safer for her, and he promised to get her documentation attesting to her Germanic background. It was hard leaving her family, but, somehow, Ludwika believed it was her best chance to do something for all of them, and she took it.

Christoph Fischer’s historical novel, Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany, offers a little-known look into the impact the occupation of the Germans had on the lives of the Polish people during World War II. While I’ve read a great deal of historical literature focusing on that time, I still found much I hadn’t known about that occupation and the difficulties the survivors faced in the aftermath of the war. I soon found myself wrapped up in Ludwika’s story as she learned to survive in Berlin, where the mandatory letter P on her sleeve meant she’d always be considered an inferior, and her strength and resilience throughout those years of turmoil are inspirational. Fischer’s tale is well written, and his characters are unforgettable, especially Ludwika’s friend and mentor, Fritz, and Luca, the Italian-Dutch man who captured her heart. Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany is most highly recommended.5star-flat-hr

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany
It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

http://bookShow.me/B018UTHX7A

http://smarturl.it/Ludwika

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28111001-ludwika

https://www.facebook.com/LudwikaNovel/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ludwika-mr-christoph-fischer/1123093504?ean=9781519539113

CHRISTOPH FISCHER922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

Short Biography:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel “Conditioned” was published in October 2015. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his second thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015. He published two more historical novels “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and “Ludwika” in December 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=h

19 Dec 2015

First Reviews for Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi German

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

ludwika book concept 668I’m delighted to share the first reviews for my new novel Ludwika:

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn’t stop reading this, December 14, 2015

 
This review is from: Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany (Kindle Edition)
 
Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany by Christoph Fischer starts with an introduction to the story’s protagonist, Ludwika Gierz, a 4 foot-ten inches, 22 year-old, beautiful Polish woman with piercing blue eyes. Children like her because of her friendly disposition. She has a 5 year-old daughter Irena from a non-marital relationship she had years ago, after which the father of the child left town. The well-written prose starts with subtle undertones of what lies on the horizon and we know there will be danger: the German invasion and fleeing of the townspeople, including Ludwika’s father, who disappeared with the retreat of troops; and the fact that Ludwika’s looks, her beauty, was once an asset but now is a liability as it attracts brutish German soldiers. It is a time of war with Hitler’s regime moving in and taking over, which establishes the story’s tension and conflict. In her town in Poland, Ludwika works her farm with her younger sister and mother. Siblings are mentioned, including her brother Franz who drowned in a river 2 years earlier, the memory still raw and painful. The story is off to a good start as we care about the protagonist and sense the danger that’s been alluded to. The story progresses and Ludwika encounters a Nazi soldier on the road who becomes attracted to her and protective of her, granting her rights others do not have. As Jews are being hauled off and the elderly assassinated, Ludwika is learning German from the translator that her “Nazi friend” has enlisted to help him. There’s now enough conflict in the story to propel it forward in this horrific time in history where madness prevailed. Without retelling this page turner suffice it to say that it goes deep and does not hold back as the plot moves through Ludwika’s drive to survive, and all the emotional turmoil, good and bad, that goes along with it. I’ve read several other books by this author and have to say that next to The Luck of the Weissensteiner’s this is my favorite.
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Ludwika, December 16, 201512360399_10153067444957132_5703419004838921262_n
 
This review is from: Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany (Kindle Edition)
Great to see Christoph Fischer, author of The Three Nations trilogy, back with another classic world war 2 story. This is probably his tightest, best work yet. It’s intense and cinematic. Fans of world war two dramas will eat this one up. Well done!
*****

“Ludwika” is another suspenseful historical novel written by Christoph Fischer. It’s a unique story about a Polish woman in Germany during World War II. The author has the keen ability to reach you no matter what topic he is writing about. There is a great sense of urgency to tell the tales. This one is no exception. This might be what he does best though his other novels are all filled with a unique passion. LUDWIKA1

This is an emotional narrative that pulls on your heartstrings. Realistic and entirely gripping throughout. Not at all what I expected but once started I was hooked. Lured in by the comfortable writing style and the ease in which Lidwika’s story is told. Mr. Fischer manages to share a different angle of world war II and this specific period in time which makes for a deeply compelling read.

To know that this is based on Ludwika Gierz’s true-life events made it that much more enthralling. Her adventures, her choices and the choices that many people have lived through was told with grace and finesse. A real life force.

As sad as this tale is, there is also hope, inspiration and a spirit that sores high in the sky.

Quote ~

Ludwika hated the rollercoaster of emotions that followed. Her hopes for complete security and stability were raised again but it also brought with it the fear that they would be smashed. In the past, the moments when she dared to dream of a better life for her and her family at home had always been followed by disappointment and disillusionment. She didn’t want that to happen once again…”

***** halina and ludwika

5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, December 18, 2015
 
 
This review is from: Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany (Kindle Edition)
This is an emotional thought-provoking World War II drama that is filled with tension and well-researched authentic scenes that convey images, which are powerful and profound. “Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany” by Christoph Fischer is all the more riveting because it is based on actual events. Fischer is an accomplished author of historical fiction and this book surpasses his earlier work. “Ludwika” is the type of read which is impossible to forget. I remember the question she is asked “Are you Jewish?” The implications of those three words innocent words became chilling during World War II – the consequences were inescapable and, of course, the outcome depended on who was doing the asking . . . Highly recommended. Five stars.
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely a novel of substance 5*****, December 14, 2015
 
This review is from: Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany (Kindle Edition)
Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany – Kindle Edition
Christoph FischerAn atounding and emotional story. irena friend and son

Ludwika is a book of true depth and one would expect nothing less from this outstanding author. If you have read the other Fischer novels, you willl understand the quality of the writing delivered.

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany takes you to a time of heartache, human emotion and feelings almost beyond comprehension.

Truely a novel of substance 5*****

 

Blurb: It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi 12360399_10153067444957132_5703419004838921262_nGermany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

You can find Excerpts of the Novel here:
Excerpt One
Excerpt Two
Excerpt Three

or

Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118

Find it on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LudwikaNovel/

and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28111001-ludwika12341325_10153067415682132_1513409393298449700_n

I’m extremely hopeful for this book: It has done better than all my previous books in pre-sales and it surprisingly sold out completely at the Kensington Book Fair last Saturday, where I had presented the already released paperback version.  

(I will write more about the Book Fair later this week.)

Here is a review (from an Advance Review Copy) by Lorna Lee, author of “Never Turn Back” and “How Was I Supposed To Know”, to whet your apetite.

“This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based halina and ludwikaon the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.irena friend and son

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika’s life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.”ludwika book concept (1)

 

14 Dec 2015

My new release: Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany #excerpt three

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany  has been released today

ludwika book concept (1)

Blurb: It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118

Here is another excerpt from the novel:
(Follow this link to a previous excerpt)

Perrystonetractor 1930sLudwika and her sister began harvesting the wheat. It was exhausting having to do such a big field only with scythes but it was the best that they could do. They had seen Karol Wojick, one of the neighbouring farmers hide parts of his machinery in a shed in the woods before he had joined the defence. Many of those who had decided to flee the invasion had taken as much of their valuables with them as possible and hidden the rest in the hope of retrieving it later. This had created a shortage of materiel and, coupled with the manpower shortage, made the farming work so much harder.
“We’ll never get it all to safety like this,” Stasia said, looking with frustration at her scythe and throwing it on the ground. “If the rain comes it will all go to waste.”
Ludwika understood.
“Keep your heart up,” she said. “Look what we’ve managed already. We can be proud.” download
She pointed at the wheat they had cut.
“We need to get it off the field, too,” Stasia added, close to tears.
“Don’t worry,” Ludwika said, trying to stay optimistic. Her sister was right, though. Something needed to be done soon. AS much as she tried, though, she couldn’t come up with any good solution. Then it hit her – the farm equipment Karol Wojick had hidden in the woods.
“I’ve got an idea,” she said and told Stasia what it was.
“You’re crossing a line,” Stasia warned her when she heard the plan. Her voice, however, carried more admiration for Ludwika’s bravery than gloom or worry.
“Sooner or later the szkopy will find the shed and take away what’s in it,” Ludwika replied defiant.
Stasia giggled at her sister using such a bad word for the Germans. Even though they were alone, she looked carefully around to see if any of the ‘castrated rams’ could hear them.
“Better it got to some use before then,” Ludwika said, serious despite the joke.
“We promised mother not to take any risks,” Stasia said, although her warning sounded half-hearted.
“You know I have to do it,” Ludwika said and Stasia nodded. “There is so much wheat,” Ludwika pointed out. “We can’t let it go to waste. We’ve got no alternative. Collecting it by hand would take too long; and you said yourself that the next rain will ruin it all. We have no choice and the Wojicks aren’t using it, are they?”
Stasia grabbed the scythe and bent down to cut more wheat.
“I’ll be waiting for you with the bushels,” she said.
Stasia was always so full of energy and optimism and Ludwika was grateful that the brief moment of weakness had been overcome.
“Be careful,” her sister added without turning around. “We all need you.”
“I will,” Ludwika replied.
It hadn’t been difficult to break the lock of Wojick’s shed and even less difficult to get an old tractor going that she found there. Her brother Franz had borrowed it often in the past. He had drowned in the river two years ago. The memory of his passing still stung Ludwicka; she missed him more than ever. But thanks to watching him closely when he used the tractor, she would be able to bring the bushels off the field and into the safety of their family farm.
Ludwika’s dark curly hair kept falling into her face as she steered the out of the woods and onto the open road. She had lost her hairband somewhere on the way and was struggling to keep a clear vision. For her this was a welcome distraction from the dangers that were looming and were foremost in her mind. That engine made a terrible noise; she worried over the attention it could bring. Would the ‘szkopy’ allow her drive on the road, she wondered? Would they confiscate the tractor if they saw her? Would they beat her as they had done with so many others for no good reason? Anything a Pole could do was automatically ‘verboten’, it seemed. If she was found, the Germans would understand, surely – the crop had to come in. It was already late in the season, since the war had delayed the harvest. What did the invaders intend to do about the harvest? They could not let the good food go to waste; didn’t they need provisions, too?
She kept her eyes steadily on the road and tried not to think about the dangers.
The Germans had not been seen around their tiny village for a few days, which had encouraged Ludwika to go ahead with this risky enterprise on her own.

Image (1)
At a height of 4 foot 10, with piercing blue eyes, an attractive bone structure and a curvy figure, Ludwika turned many a head. Her beauty, once an asset, had attracted the wrong kind of attention from the brutish soldiers. She wished for her hair band now that would help distract from her features.
The roads into the village were deserted, only some women were digging for potatoes in the neighbouring field. Przedborów had no defined village centre or a market square, most houses being small farm buildings, made of stone with simple tiled roofs or just wood, surrounded by sheds, stalls, orchards and small woods. It was difficult to know what was going on behind the next farm. What was a quiet and peaceful atmosphere in the days before the invasion, now felt eerie. The women in the field were visibly relieved when they saw that the engine noise they heard was coming from Ludwika’s tractor and not a German tank. Soon she would join Stasia on the wheat field. Ludwika hadn’t felt comfortable leaving her sister alone but today it was unavoidable. For a 17 year old, Stasia was mature in looks, and very pretty. Ludwika feared this would make her a target for passing soldiers. Stasia was also overconfident and loud and likely to do something hasty. It was a constant worry for her family.
Still, Ludwika wouldn’t know what she would do without her little sister. They supported each other in this frightening time and kept each other’s spirit up. They refused to believe the rumours that all Polish people would be deported from their properties and that their land and livestock be given to German settlers. With so many empty houses and farms around, the Germans couldn’t possibly have enough workers to take them all over? Surely the Poles who had stayed behind and hadn’t been deported would be left their possessions. Ludwika couldn’t imagine this ‘cleansing’ to happen as many feared. Regardless of how shockingly violent the force used by the occupiers had been so far, things had to calm down and sense had to prevail. All bad things would come to pass and might even return near to normal. Whenever their mother believed those rumours and got herself worked up, the sisters had each other to put things into perspective and keep calm.
Today’s desertion of the village was due to another one of those rumours. Further in the north, Germans were allegedly clearing entire villages and forcing the inhabitants to march east. The more hysterical reports even claimed that people were being led into the woods and killed by machine-gun fire. Others told stories of children being taken from their parents, allegedly to be given to childless couples in Germany. Who had heard of such cruelty?
Seeing other Polish farmers showed Ludwika that she was not the only one who believed the stories to be exaggerations and scare mongering. tn_07_Garson_Blitzkrieg_WWII_singleriflesoldier_ce
She was almost at her field and could see Stasia waving at her when she heard the sound of a motorbike behind her. On it sat a German soldier who waved at her to get to the side of the road. She pulled over, expecting him to step down and talk but he gestured her to get off the road altogether. She only had a few yards to the next crossing, behind which lay the exit to her field. When she tried driving on the man blocked her way and pulled out a gun. She ducked and lost control of the vehicle, which now swerved into the ditch by the road. The man put the gun away and mounted the tractor, pulling her roughly off it. She pointed at her field repeatedly, hoping he would understand. She didn’t speak any German. She pointed at herself and said “Ludwika” and then pointed at the field and said “Ludwika.” He finally got it and drove the tractor out of the ditch for her and onto the field as she had intended to do herself. She ran after him and managed to catch up with the tractor as he stepped down. He pointed at himself and said “Manfred”, he bowed, then did the Hitler salute and went quickly back to his motorbike. Not a minute too soon as it turned out. He only had got back on the bike and started driving when a convoy of army vehicles came up behind him and rolled past the field into the village.
Their sudden appearance was a worry.

Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118

halina and ludwikaBlurb: It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

Review (from an Advance Review Copy) by Lorna Lee, author of “Never Turn Back” and “How Was I Supposed To Know”:

“This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.irena friend and son

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika’s life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.”

Get the book at your Amazon

05 Dec 2015

“LUDWIKA: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany” is available for pre-order

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Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany (my new historical novel) is now available for pre-order and will be released on Dec 14thludwika book concept (1)

In order to present the book in London at the Kensington Christmas Book Fair in London, December 12th this year I have released the paperback version already.
Available at the CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5897536
The cover was once again designed by the talented Daz Smith.

I have ARC copies in pdf and mobi

Blurb: It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

Review (from an Advance Review Copy) by Lorna Lee, author of “Never Turn Back” and “How Was I Supposed To Know”:

“This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations. Image (1)

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika’s life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.”

The book was inspired by a real story. ‘Ludwika’s family asked for my assistance in their ancestry research because one of my other books, “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”, touches upon similar issues of Displaced People in Germany after WW2. With strong support from my sister, who still lives in Germany, I spent several months gathering data and contacts. I was fascinated by the subject and re-read a lot of the books and sources and then decided to fictionalise Ludwika’s life.

Lud 2

People in extreme situations, like during WW2, had to make incredibly tough choices. There was no logic, guarantees or protection from the madness that raged at the time. So much bravery and hardship remains to be told and understood. By telling this story I hope to help fester humanitarian values.

Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118

Here is a little excerpt:

The mother still looked a little suspicious at Ludwika but as soon as the train had started she ran towards the toilet with Martin, the oldest of her boys. He had soiled himself by now, unable to wait and she had to clean him up and put some fresh clothes on. Ludwika smiled at the obedience to rules the young mother had demonstrated by not going to the bathroom, even though it was a child emergency. It occurred to her that from now on she would probably have to conform to the same bureaucracy and strictness.

By the time mother and son returned Ludwika had already made good friends with the remaining three, who were busy teaching her more German nursery rhymes. Martin, the young boy in new clothes, also joined in. The woman watched in awe as her children were completely taken in by Ludwika, almost oblivious to their mother. Once the inspector had seen and validated all of their tickets, the German woman took out a book and read. Ludwika froze when she saw that it was a book written by Adolf Hitler himself.

She heard her father’s encouragement in her head to keep going and not to worry about anything before there was a need for it. It was true, the woman would mean her no harm, not while Ludwika was taking care of the children.

After the singing had stopped the children told her about their grandparents’ big villa by the Alster in Hamburg and how they looked forward to eating ice cream at its shore. The mother had obviously decided to leave her to it and only occasionally spared a glance around the compartment, the rest of the time her head was turned towards the window and deep into her book. Undeterred, Ludwika was grateful for the children’s company and the happiness it brought her. The oldest boy, he looked about six, asked her to read them a story from their book and she happily obliged. It would be good practice for her. She found it very difficult, however, and the children didn’t seem to understand her renditions of a German folk tale.ww2_3_children_carrot_sticks

The mother put her book down now and took the seat beside Ludwika.

“Don’t give up so easily,” she said. Ludwika couldn’t make out if the woman was scolding her or meant to encourage her. The tone was harsh but the face seemed benign.

Ludwika started a different fairy tale, and every time she mispronounced a word the woman would step in and correct her with surprising patience, while one by one the children fell asleep in their seats.

“You’re not bad at all for a foreigner,” the woman whispered. “Your German will get better over time. Don’t lose heart and keep going, then it will become easier and soon take care of itself.”

She looked her up and down.

“Where are you from, Ludwika?”

“Poland,” she replied, a little nervous.

“I know that, but which city?” the mother asked.

“Near Breslau,” Ludwika decided on.

“Are you Jewish?”

Ludwika jerked and shook her head vehemently.

“No,” she said quickly.

“Then I’ve got to thank you,” the mother replied, relieved. “My name is Irmingard. Irmingard Danner. You saved my life by giving me those two precious hours to read.” She looked towards the door and then she added in a low voice, so that nobody could hear: “My husband Erich has been hassling me to read that Hitler book for weeks now. My father-in-law works for the publishers and is a big shot in the party, too. He’s bound to ask me questions about it. I can’t make myself read the damn thing. Don’t you, too, find politics is so boring? As hard as I try, after ten minutes I can’t remember what I’ve read earlier. Today was the first time I could concentrate and I will be able to say at least a few intelligent things about it and do my husband proud.”

halina and ludwikairena friend and son

german-pow-koenigsberg-april-1945Displaced weiss 1.5

Ostpreussischer Flüchtlingstreck 1945

11 Sep 2015

100 Reviews for #mentalhealth drama Conditions

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Book_marketing2-lrg
I’m thrilled to have reached this milestone with my mental health drama Conditions – just as I’m in the final stages of editing the sequel Conditioned. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed the book.
on September 2, 2015

 

I once again enjoyed reading a story written by this author. In Conditions, he slowly developed the characters and the plot. It was very well written and engaging.

Right from the beginning it captured my attention. The other characters were introduced a bit later and they were a treat. I especially liked that the author tackled the tough subject of a mental disorder. This is a tough topic and I wish there were more stories like this available.

This is a great book to make the reader think and reflect.

on August 31, 2015
I’m a psychiatrist, and what is normal and how we define normality are questions that the more one works in the field, the more one wonders about. Absence of a diagnosable mental illness is not the same as what society might think as “normal behaviour”. And each individual’s opinion on the matter is even more varied. Culture shock, for instance, results from differences in what is accepted behaviour in countries far apart (although not necessarily as far as we might think). Being transplanted into a culture or a situation brand new for us might make us question if our version of normal is the correct one. Even what might be normal for our neighbours we might consider utterly bizarre.
The author of this novel explores the reactions to a character, Charles, who has a psychiatric condition (a mental disorder unspecified in the book), by a number of people, including relatives (his brother and sister-in-law), close friends and acquaintances, complete strangers and previous employers. Charles’s diagnosis is left intentionally vague (we can speculate, based on the description of his behaviours, but that is not the point of the story. Charles’s behaviour is peculiar and bizarre at times, but he does not appear to be a danger to others and most of the time remains capable of making his own decisions and explaining himself, although not always) probably to avoid the temptation of turning the book into an apologia or a treatise to defend the sufferers of a particular illness or disorder. It is not about one set of symptoms or even one character, but it reflects back to us some of the standard reactions to people who might be affected by such a disorder. Are they really unable to do a day’s work, or is it all an excuse? Are they telling the truth or are they making up stories to get attention? Why should they be treated differently and given special privileges when they aren’t pulling their weight? Are they just exploiting the system? Should they just be locked up?images (1)
The novel is written in the third person, at times by an omniscient narrator that shares the internal thoughts of some of the many characters, at times the third person narrator simply shares what is happening, without taking any specific point of view, but rather that of an objective observer. That contrast allows us to get a better understanding of the psychological make-up and reasons behind some of the characters’ reactions, and we can compare those reactions to the facts.
Although we never get to see things from Charles’s perspective, we hear the stories of his friends (some closer than other) who are gathered, at the beginning of the book, to help him and accompany him on the occasion of his mother’s funeral. There are a number of works of fiction where a funeral brings people together to discuss the deceased, and in the process discover the true selves of those in attendance, although here, there is less discussion of Rose, the mother, and more of Charles. And also of the rest of the guests. We get to learn about them, their relationships (or lack of them), their sexuality, their weaknesses, their beliefs and interests, mostly through their conversations. All the characters have interesting backgrounds, lives and stories, and we become as curious about them as they are about each other. And we want to learn more. There is plenty of dialogue and not much description or narration. It struck me that this book would make a great play with many juicy parts for talented actors and actresses.
When we get to know both his friends and those who aren’t that close to Charles, we come to understand that all of them (and by extension, also us) have their own conditions, and we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Even the most enlightened of us can have prejudices and misjudge others if we are not open and refuse to take them on their own terms.
Conditions has a fascinating array of characters and is a book that will make all readers think. I believe there is or will be a second part that will follow some of the characters’ stories. I’m looking forward to it. This is the second book I’ve read by this writer and I’m happy that he has so many books available and of varied styles and genres. I’ll keep reading him, enjoying his stories and watching his career.
  FunPhotoBox1142911044zyytrv
August 21, 2015

 

In all human relationships and within the family unit especially, sometimes it takes something dramatic and stressful to happen to bring to the fore some deep-seated resentments, prejudices and feelings of unspoken anguish. This is very much the case here as the death of a family member, the mother Rose, sparks a re-calibration within the remaining members, most notably between the brothers Tony and Charles. To complicate matters Charles has been suffering from a mental condition which will only deteriorate further as time pushes on. Although appearing to be concerned with the material aspects of the situation, Tony has some long-held repressed issues of his own to confront. All in all there is much more going on here below the surface values which each character espouses to represent; in most of these well-written scenes, it’s the subtext that screams drama. Another literary masterclass from this prolific author.
on August 13, 2015
Loved this read and have to say the blurb above does not do the book sufficient justice. I found this a remarkable piece of contemporary drama. It is a book where little happens on the surface but underneath massive shifts of understanding are taking place. The “action” takes place around Rose’s funeral, mother to two sons who have not spoken for years.
Many reviewers have commented on the contribution this book makes to understanding mental health which indeed it does. Instead of repeating those comments I will add the author has got right to the heart of family relations that have gone wrong, the grudges that fester for years and the assumptions people make to prove their prejudiced position.
The conversations and attitudes between Charles’ house guests reflect so much about real friendships and cover a vast range of relationship issues and attitudes.
Great writing, dialogue and characterisation make this a fabulous book with universal appeal.
on August 3, 2015

 

Only too often, readers seem to insist on a neat package to put a book to rest. Give them murder, car chases, gun fights, and sickly-sweet endings. Then they can forget the name of the author, forget the title…they’re done. Next!
Luckily, there are writers who won’t let us off the hook so easily. I have followed Christoph Fischer’s writing for some time now, so I am already a fan. But with Conditions, he truly challenged me. It wasn’t a question of IF I would like it, but what did it bring out in me.
Granted, not much seems to happen on the surface. The fascination with the story are the subtleties about the interactions between Charles’s diverse friends, all with their own quirks, their own problems, but most importantly their own support of a friend who tries as best he can with a “condition.”
The writing, while subtle, brings out intense conflicts among them. The book, like life itself, doesn’t end in a neat package. Instead, to me, it made me wrangle with the one overwhelming condition that wove Charles’s friends together: Empathy.
It made me wonder: Would I have it in me to be such a supportive friend to someone with a “condition”? I am ashamed to admit: I am not sure. The question haunts me. Christoph Fischer achieved his goal; he made me think real hard about “Conditions.”
 family-333064__180
on July 23, 2015

 

Christoph Fischer is a master at writing family dramas. Having read his historical novels, and loving them, I decided to try something of his, which was more along the lines of contemporary fiction.

The cast of characters in this story are all very realistic. Their traits, selfishness, love, likeability and un-likability, shine from the pages. When a patriarch or matriarch dies, sometimes hidden jealousy, bitterness, and resentment floods out and families can and do fall apart. I was heavily invested in this story. I was not engrossed in the novel at the beginning, when mother dies, and the first few chapters cruised at a steady pace. sculpturing the characters, but I found myself being drawn into the story, as it progressed, and the characters became more sculptured. This is what I love about Mr Fischer’s writing. His stories are addictive, and at times I feel as though I am watching a family saga, TV series with the same visual sensation.

Another stellar read. PhotoFunia-1406e95f

on July 11, 2015

 

Conditions is a fascinating piece of literary fiction and human drama focusing on prejudice, grief, misconceptions, and unconditional love. There is a non-fiction element throughout, making it an interesting and informative, as well as an entertaining read.

I highly recommend author Christoph Fischer, in fact, I’m off to read another of his books now.

on June 5, 2015
The wonderful privilege we have as readers is to step into any kind of world of our choosing. There are no boundaries, as in the real world; we can go backward or forward in time, be amongst aliens or zombies. We can be in war or on a desert island or in a world of high finance.
Then there are stories like ‘Conditions’. This book is simply about family in all its diversity and how the death of a mother brings together people bound by birth and family ties but burdened by prejudgment and misunderstanding.
The story centres around Charles and his brother Tony as they come together for their mother’s funeral. Tony is full of bitterness and resentment at what he perceives as his unfair ‘lot’ growing up in a household where one child was ‘normal’ and the other suffered from mental illness. I could empathise with that, parents must go through this dilemma all the time when one child has special needs be it physical or mental.
But times move on and Tony is still burdened by his perceptions whilst Charles has found some kind of freedom in his condition.
I have personal experience of mental illness with a family member and it can be hard not to feel resentment and a weariness at the sacrifices inevitably made. I could not condone Tony’s attitudes but I could understand them.
Into the story the author introduces a smattering of interesting peripheral characters (family members and friends) all with their own opinions and flaws. Even with the boundaries of time and space set by the author it made for a very diverse and ultimately satisfying read.
on June 2, 2015 alone-62253__180
While there are a few characters you meet in this story, the author had written them so well, I knew who was who. I’m loving it and I love Elaine, Simon, Tony and Charles. Catherine is also a hoot and I totally understand where Martha is coming from…I went through the same thing.
It’s the two brothers, Tony and Charles who are integral to the story and they stand out.
My favorite is, Elaine. Her wisdom and psychic readings were great.
At times, I wanted to punch Tony for being a wuss for not standing up to his greedy wife’s mother (which I felt sorry for…at first) and for being a dick to his brother.
I love the different personalities and I see a little bit of myself in all, except for the douches, Ruth, Clare and Anna.
Tony has so many issues with his brother that it only seems as if Richard can help. Tony seems to feel more comfortable with him and him “thinking” he’s an alpha male, he would listen to a man before a woman.
I enjoyed each character, some I hated and some I loved. I was intrigued the whole way through.

Conditions 922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. 
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. 
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/529337

On iTunes: https://itun.es/i6LL8nt

Nook Book Link: http://ow.ly/LMhGM

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

06 Aug 2015

Two of my books honoured at the ReadFreely 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading

6 Comments Book Reviews, News, Review

The results of this years’ ReadFreely 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading Poll have just been released and I’m thrilled to announce that two of my books made it onto that list:

In Search of a Revolution came in at #26 1396723_341749826010367_6630772716168220504_oI love this cover.  It's great. and The Healer at #13 

Thanks to all who voted for me!

download (1)P1110789922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

This is particularly exciting since two years ago The Luck of the Weissensteiners came in at # 21

41VgkxyAMFL._UY250_431237_148777191939921_176430924_n and last year Time To Let Go came in at #12 

Congratulations to some of my dear author friends who also made it to the final 50 out of 6000 nominations:

41 Love  A Foot Above Ground by Anna Celeste Burke 40 Pull the Trigger by Stefania Mattana 39 Our Frugal Summer by Sarah Jane Butfield 23 Spilt Milk by D.K. Cassidy 19 Cupcake Cutie by Lynn Cooper 11 Murder in Cottage 6 by Dianne Harmann

The Healer 10911330_10152481888797132_6034506825720280017_o When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her.  Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her.  Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/thehealerthriller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23662030-the-healer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHealerNovelbyChristophFischer?ref=hl

Book-likes: http://booklikes.com/the-healer-christoph-fischer/book,12975746

Rifflebooks: https://read.rifflebooks.com/books/388235

IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION revolution_new

In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War. Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.   

His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.

Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order. 

Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.

The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War. Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.

http://smarturl.it/SearchofRevolution

https://www.facebook.com/InSearchOfaRevolution?ref=hl

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25113498-in-search-of-a-revolution

https://read.rifflebooks.com/books/416436

05 Aug 2015

A warming review for CONDITIONS on the devilwinds.blogspot

4 Comments Book Reviews, News, Review

Since I cannot re-blog from blogspot, here is the link to the original post with the review of Conditions on the marvellous blog by award nominated author Inge H Borg

http://devilwinds.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/christoph-fischer-has-condition-and-its.html

New 5-Book-June 2015

Here is the excerpt from her review:

Christoph Fischer has a Condition – And it’s Electrifying

My Review of Christoph Fischer’s

ConditionsCover for Goodreads

Only too often, readers seem to insist on a neat package to put a book to rest. Give them murder, car chases, gun fights, and sickly-sweet endings. Then they can forget the name of the author, forget the title…they’re done. Next!

Luckily, there are writers who won’t let us off the hook so easily. I have followed Christoph Fischer’s writing for some time now, so I am already a fan. But withConditions, he truly challenged me. It wasn’t a question of IF I would like it, but what did it bring out in me.

Granted, not much seems to happen on the surface. The fascination with the story are the subtleties about the interactions between Charles’s diverse friends, all with their own quirks, their own problems, but most importantly their own support of a friend who tries as best he can with a “condition.”

The writing, while subtle, brings out intense conflicts among them. The book, like life itself, doesn’t end in a neat package. Instead, to me, it made me wrangle with the one overwhelming condition that wove Charles’s friends together:Empathychristoph-fischer

It made me wonder: Would I have it in me to be such a supportive friend to someone with a “condition”? I am ashamed to admit: I am not sure. The question haunts me.

With me, Christoph Fischer achieved his goal: he made me think real hard about Conditions.

Conditions 

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFFBook_marketing2-lrg

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/529337

On iTunes: https://itun.es/i6LL8nt

Nook Book Link: http://ow.ly/LMhGM

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

I’m currently working on CONDITIONED, a sequel that is scheduled for release this fall.

25 Jul 2015

Venturegalleries: Authors Showcase The Gamblers

4 Comments Book Reviews, News, Review

Many thanks to venturegalleries for this kind blogpost
Authors Showcase: The Gamblers by Christoph Fischer

41MHtZD7bSL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

The Book: The Gamblers

The Author: Christoph Fischer

The Story: Ben is an insecure accountant obsessed with statistics, gambling and beating the odds. When he wins sixty-four million in the lottery he finds himself challenged by the possibilities that his new wealth brings.

He soon falls under the influence of charismatic Russian gambler Mirco, whom he meets on a holiday in New York. He also falls in love with a stewardess, Wendy, but now that Ben’s rich he finds it hard to trust anyone.

As both relationships become more dubious, Ben needs to make some difficult decisions and figure out who’s really his friend and who’s just in it for the money.

About Christoph Fischer:

Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence.

After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Review by Brenda:

The Gamblers by Christoph Fischer is another captivating piece of fiction by this passionate author. I love his authentic quality of writing and the candidness in his characters. There is an ease to the style of writing that makes you want to keep on reading once you start. This book was especially gripping as it kept me in suspense through all the clever twists and turns.

The human existence never gets old and this book explores it through love, loss, deceit and friendship. Trust is a big issue here and when money is involved anything can happen.

Ben, an accountant in a law firm had become an obsessed workaholic with few friends to speak of. His closest friends were people he knew from online gaming and chat partners. Not anyone he knew in person. He was a loner in London who had plenty of secrets up his sleeve.

Money can’t buy everything. Or can it?

Quote ~

“The glory was coloured by the slight feeling that maybe this was too huge for him. The scale of this win was soon beginning to feel intimidating. Joy, panic and shock rotated in his head on a fast carousel. Adjusting to this was hard. Lately, he wasn’t particularly close to anyone and couldn’t share his sensational news…”

Review by Billy Ray Chitwood:

This was indeed an enjoyable read – I know just enough about gambling to get me in trouble. Mr. Fischer appears to me a student of human behavior, and The Gamblers does a very nice job conveying this, along with other books he has previously written.

Take a handsome, geeky introvert London accountant who lives modestly and gets his jollies from video game playing with a good friend. Then this handsome geek wins a 64,000,000 Euro Lottery, and you might think even a geek will do a few windmills. Not Ben Andrews! Ben shuns all the brokers who know so well how to manage his money, decides ultimately to give a million to Cancer Research and a million to Children Projects, and leaves the rest in the bank for a monthly payout of roughly 64,000.

He does splurge and moves into lovely quarters at Covent Gardens in the middle of London, then further decides to travel to his favorite city – New York. For some reason the big ocean-crossing jet upgrades his business class ticket to first class. Here, he is prevailed upon by a beautiful blue-eyed and curvaceous flight attendant who gives him tips on places to visit in New York City. Lovely Wendy shows interest and it is clear these two will meet again.

In New York Ben meets a handsome Russian gentleman by the name of Mirco. Ben and Mirco bond nicely over the NY stay, gamble, and pick each other’s brains…Mirco plays poker intuitively and Ben tries to put a formula together for betting. Mirco takes care of all the tabs the two run up, not allowing Ben to chip in and pay his part. The two become close friends as the tale progresses…Ben has not had too many close friends in his life.

Ben also runs into Wendy and has a rather flammable rendezvous in his hotel room…is it okay to hate a guy in a ‘book review’? Look, I saw the starlet the author wants to play Wendy’s part in a movie!

So, these three protagonists meet in London, Nairobi, and other exotic places for gambling and romance, Mirco still picking up the tab – hey, he’s a wealthy guy! Wendy moves in with Ben and some issues come up for Wendy about his gambling and her dislike for Mirco.

The novel moves sequentially along very nicely and intrigue follows chapter after chapter. It is a solid read and will be pleasant reading for romantics and risk-takers…and you surely don’t want to miss the ending!

06 Jun 2015

First reviews for THE GAMBLERS

6 Comments Book Reviews, News

I’m delighted to share the first reviews for THE GAMBLERS – My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped and supported me during the last few weeks, and of course to the generous reviewers for their time and kind words.

5.0 out of 5 stars changing social status may be sometimes easy, but changing one’s heart is a lot harder, June 2, 2015 The Gamblers-book
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Gamblers (Kindle Edition)
Christoph Fischer is a talented and eclectic writer. Throughout his work he has explored different genres because in the end the genre is secondary, as his main interest, in my view, are human relationships. Mr. Fischer takes a deep and intimate look at how humans relate to one another in the most different situations: family loss (Conditions), war (in Search for a Revolution), disease (the Healer), and now, with this latest thriller, wealth. What would you do if you found yourself suddenly wealthy? It’s what happens to Ben, an accountant with not too many friends and not too much experience in relating to people. His life changes now that he suddenly sees his bank account grow every month. But can he handle this lifestyle? And more importantly, can he still find friendship and love or is the money getting in the way? Ben struggles to find his true self and true love, as he learns that while changing social status may be sometimes easy, changing one’s heart is a lot harder.
The title and cover give you a pretty good idea of what the book is about, and both pulled me in at first glance. I don’t know much about gambling, but quickly was pulled into this story. When you win the lottery why not take up a bad habit that’s virtually not going to cost you anything, but let you move up in the world. The book also pulls us in with a world wind romance. I love when an author has you so focused on two entirely different ideas then ties them together in a shocking ending. Excellent read, I can’t wait for more by this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Money Can Make You Or Break You, June 2, 2015
 ad5_sm-lottery
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Gamblers (Kindle Edition)
Ben is a very well written out character who’s geeky, shy, very smart. He’s an accountant and a gambler. Out of sheer luck, he won a whopping 64 million in the lottery and I dived into a world of how money can change a man and the people who surrounded him. It’s amazing how some people who have never spoken a word to you, all of a sudden are in your face, trying to be friends or somehow try to swindle what you have. Mr. Fischer did an excellent job of explaining reality. Ben meets a woman and you know he has to question if she’s with him for him or for the money. You will definitely be curious in finding out
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GAMBLERS!, June 1, 2015
ad4-lottery (1)
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Gamblers (Kindle Edition)

The Gamblers by Christoph Fischer is another captivating piece of fiction by this passionate author. I love his authentic quality of writing and the candidness in his characters. There is an ease to the style of writing that makes you want to keep on reading once you start. This book was especially gripping as it kept me in suspense through all the clever twists and turns.

The human existence never gets old and this book explores it through love, loss, deceit and friendship. Trust is a big issue here and when money is involved anything can happen.

Ben, an accountant in a law firm had become an obsessed workaholic with few friends to speak of. His closest friends were people he knew from online gaming and chat partners. Not anyone he knew in person. He was a loner in London who had plenty of secrets up his sleeve.

Money can’t buy everything. Or can it?

Quote ~ g1-sm-lottery2

“The glory was coloured by the slight feeling that maybe this was too huge for him. The scale of this win was soon beginning to feel intimidating. Joy, panic and shock rotated in his head on a fast carousel. Adjusting to this was hard. Lately, he wasn’t particularly close to anyone and couldn’t share his sensational news…”

The book on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TheGamblers

The book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25541467-the-gamblers

The book on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gamblers/1483080171982117

 

Blurb:

It is the story of Ben Andrews a shy accountant who becomes obsessed with numbers and luck.

When he wins the Lottery and becomes rich over night his life changes, but not necessarily in the ways he had thought.

Who can he trust, now that he’s rich? How should Ben build his new life? Still frugal and determined not to waste his money unnecessarily he unexpectedly falls under the spell of a charismatic and seductive Russian poker player, named Mirco. They share a passion for gambling but this fascination remains ambiguous for Ben.

What follows for Ben becomes a gamble with trust, corruption and ‘betting on the right horse’.  

 

19 Apr 2015

Review: “The Drowned Phoenician Sailor” by Lesley Hayes

3 Comments Book Reviews, News

21245885“The Drowned Phoenician Sailor” by Lesley Hayes is a remarkable book and a real treat. Character driven and with focus on their development this is just my type of novel. The reader is allowed to get insight into the thoughts and background of the protagonists through the analytical and reflective narrative that provides substance and much food for thought.
A huge fan of novels that use psychology and / or spiritualist themes I was extremely happy to find both of these themes in this novel. We witness a few months in the life of Fynn/ Fiona during which she has contact with the dead, namely her sister and her psychologist, while she also meets a man and learns to loosen up a little. Partaking in her development has been a privilege, thanks to the sensitive and yet entertaining writing skills of the author. For me the most enjoyable parts were the many great discussions between the characters. It’s the sort of book to read with a pen in your hand to underline the many wonderful lines you wish to remember and write down later. Full of insight in human nature and psychology and full of warmth this is a treasure to cherish for me.

The book on Amazon UK and Amazon US 

Fynn is resolutely unromantic, a bit of a loner, and sceptical about life before death, never mind after it. And yet since she was fifteen her dead sister has been visiting her on a regular basis. Fynn doesn’t believe in ghosts so is she crazy? Three years after starting psychotherapy with Paul, she arrives for a session and finds him lying dead on the couch. But this is just the beginning… The same night she gatecrashes Paul’s funeral he turns up in his newly disembodied form and her dilemma takes a different turn… And when she meets the enigmatic Jack, washed up like driftwood on a beach in Cornwall, she begins to revise her jaded beliefs and expectations, discovering that life, and death, is far more mysterious and intricate than she imagined.

Lesley Hayes Lesley-Author

Link to my interviw with Lesley

Lesley Hayes was born in Deptford, in South East London, in 1948, and started writing almost as soon as she could talk. Her first story was published when she won a literary competition at the age of 13. Between 1966 and 1992 she was regularly and prolifically published in literary and women’s magazines, writing stories, serials and articles, and in 1986 had a novel published called ‘Keeping Secrets’. For the following two years she had a weekly slot on BBC Radio Oxford reading her short stories, and in 1999 a collection of linked stories called ‘Oxford Marmalade’ was brought out on audiotape, read by the actress Susanna Dawson. Her son and daughter, born respectively in 1969 and 1971, helped her throughout these years to keep her feet on the ground and her sense of humour alive and well and occasionally kicking. In 1990 she came to the conclusion that continuing to write about the fascinating vagaries of the human condition just wouldn’t be enough, and for the next four years she trained to become an integrative psychotherapist. Her long and successful career as a psychotherapist over the ensuing years took her away from fiction writing, but brought quite different rewards. It was a fork in the road she never once regretted taking, and she was aware of using many of same creative skills and insights. During the past five years the compelling urge to write fiction has again emerged, and she has given in gracefully to the inevitable return to her first love. Her novels ‘A Field Beyond Time’ and ‘The Drowned Phoenician Sailor’ are available on kindle, along with three collections of short stories: ‘The Oscar Dossier’,’Without a Safety Net’ and the aptly named ‘Not Like Other People.’ As you might expect, now that the genie has once again escaped from the bottle, more will soon follow.

Website: http://www.lesleyhayes.co.uk

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lesley-Hayes/e/B00HR65DES

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/157854.Lesley_Hayes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hayes_lesley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesley.hayes.author

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