Spirit Hunger is now available on all platforms (except for Kobo because I lost my login—don’t ask)!
OMG, I’m so excited! After what felt like an eternity—and was in fact nearly two years—I finished the novel. To be fair, I didn’t WRITE it for two years but spent a lot of time building a mailing list and establishing a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest following. Really bloody hard work!
It has paid off though. I’m really proud of this book, an Urban Fantasy Romance featuring my intrepid heroes Adi Gutseel and Honi Clearsight Fisher. They’ve taken up residence in my heart and house, as my whole family can confirm. There’s paperwork, planning lists, books, and other writing paraphernalia everywhere.
Please Give me Love!
I\’m so happy that readers like the book enough to have already left 19 reviews with an average of 4.8 stars.
The way Amazon works, especially for a new writer, is that my book won\’t be visible unless I get lots of reviews.
Big request to you all: if you downloaded the book and you like it, would you please, pretty please, leave a review for it? Even if it\’s just a few lines? It would make a huge difference to rankings and therefore sales in the future. Thanks!
If you’d like to check it out, here’s a synopsis and links to various platforms:
“Adi is an ordinary student with an extraordinary talent. All around her, she sees wild animals—monkeys on people\’s shoulders, tigers walking by their sides. When her visions turn into terrifying nightmares, Adi fears for her sanity.
Honi is a young Mekui’te Native American, studying law to help his people. He has long ago come to terms with his gift. When he meets Adi, he’s drawn to her against his will. He knows his purpose in life and has no time for a skinny German girl with bad dress sense. But when he witnesses the damage her visions cause, he knows that without his help, she won\’t survive the next few weeks.
Can the two head-strong individuals stop fighting long enough to save each other? Or will Honi suffer the same fate Adi is headed for?”
I’m already working on the second volume, Spirit Elfen. Keep your eyes peeled from end of May. Volume three should be done by end of the year, so it’s all go go go!
Plus, because the characters are so vivid and gorgeous, I’ve decided I’ll bring them to life through a graphic novel. Problem is, I haven’t done any drawings or illustrations for many years. So I’ve registered with PencilKings and hopefully, in a few years or so, I’ll have gained enough skill to make it happen.
I’m only half-joking—there’s a lot to doing a project like that. I should be able to create some lovely character sketches pretty soon though. Learn to walk before you run, and all that 🙂
Can’t wait to show you guys more of the Spirit Walker world. I’ll keep you informed, and if you want to receive more info, you can subscribe to my newsletter and get the prequel Spirit Quest as well.
Given that my new novel Spirit Elfen is at least partly inspired by my German heritage, I thought it would be fun to translate some of the original stories from German to English. The old Grimm, Bechstein or Hauff stories are a treat to read but far more brutal than the sanitized Disney versions might make you believe. So hold on to your hats and join me for the original telling of Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty to you Anglophones)!
A long time ago, there lived a King and a Queen who said every day: “Oh, if only we had a child!” but they couldn’t conceive. One day, when the Queen sat in her bath, a frog crawled from water to land and said to her:
“Your wish shall be fulfilled. Before a year has passed, you will bear a daughter into this world.”
As the frog said, so it happened. The Queen gave birth to a girl that was so beautiful that the King was beside himself with joy and prepared a large feast. He did not just invite his relations, friends and acquaintances but also the Wise Women so that they would favor the child and help her. There were thirteen in the kingdom. But because he only had twelve golden plates, one of them had to stay at home.
The feast was celebrated with all pomp and circumstance and when it was over, the Wise Women blessed the child with their wondrous gifts: one gave her Virtue, one Beauty, the third Wealth, and everything else that could be wished for in this world. Just as eleven had finished their blessings, the thirteenth Wise Woman suddenly entered. Without offering a greeting or even looking at anybody, she called out with a loud voice:
“The King’s daughter shall prick herself on a spindle in her fifteenth year and fall down dead.”
And without another word, she turned around and left the room.
Everybody was horrified but then the twelfth Woman stepped forward who still had her wish. And because she couldn’t lift the curse but only lessen it, she said:
“It shall not be death but a deep sleep lasting a 100 years that will fall upon the King’s daughter.”
The King who wanted to protect his beloved child from all evil that might befall her, decreed that all spindles in the whole kingdom should be burnt. All blessings that were bestowed on the girl came true because she was so beautiful, virtuous, friendly and sensible that everybody who looked at her had to love her.
So it happened that on the day of her fifteenth birthday, the King and Queen weren’t at home and the girl was left alone. She went around everywhere, visited rooms and chambers as she pleased and finally came to an old tower.
She climbed up the steep spiral staircase and reached a small door. In the lock was a rusted old key. When she turned it,
the door sprang open and in the little chamber sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax.
“Good morning, grandma”, said the Princess, “what are you doing?”
“I’m spinning”, said the old woman and nodded her head.
“What is that thing that jumps around so merrily?” said the girl, took the spindle and tried to spin as well. She had barely touched the spindle when the curse fulfilled itself and she stabbed her finger.
In that same moment that she felt the prick, she fell onto the bed that stood there and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep spread throughout the entire castle. The King and Queen that had just come home and entered the throne room, began to sleep and their whole court with them. The horses slept in their stables, the dogs in the yard, the doves on the roof, the flies on the wall. Even the fire flickering in the stove became still and fell asleep, and the roast stopped sizzling. The cook who meant to pull the servant’s hair because he had forgotten something, let get of him and slept. And the wind quieted down and not even a leaf stirred on the trees in front of the castle.
A thicket of thorns began to grow around the castle. Every year it grew higher, finally surrounding the whole castle so nothing was visible anymore, not even the flag on top of the roof.
A tale spread around the country of the beautiful sleeping Dornröschen (lit. Little Thorny Rose) – because that’s what people called her – so that Princes came from time to time and tried to penetrate the hedge of thorns. They didn’t succeed because the thorns stuck so closely together as if they were hands. The young men got stuck in them, couldn’t get loose and died a pitiful death.
After many long, long years, another Prince entered the country and heard an old man tell of the hedge of thorns. A castle was to be behind it in which slept a beautiful Princess named Dornröschen for the last 100 years, and with her the King and Queen and their whole court. He knew from his grandfather that many Princes had come and tried to break through the hedge. But that they had got stuck and died a sad death.
The young man said: “I’m not afraid, I want to go and see beautiful Dornröschen.” The good old man tried to discourage him as much as he could but he wouldn’t listen.
It just so happened that 100 years had passed and the day had come that Dornröschen was to wake again.
When the Prince approached the hedge, it was covered in large pretty flowers. They parted by themselves and allowed him to enter unhurt and behind him, the hedge closed again. In the yard he saw horses and piebald hunting dogs asleep and on the roof sat turtle doves with their little heads stuck under their wings.
And when he entered the house, the flies slept on the wall, the cook in the kitchen held his hand as if he wanted the grab the boy and the maid sat in front of the black rooster that was supposed to be plucked. Then he continued on and saw in the throne room all members of the Court lying down asleep and near the throne lay the King and Queen.
He went even further and all was so still that he could hear his breath. Finally he arrived at the tower and opened the door to the little chamber in which Dornröschen slept. There she lay and was so beautiful that he couldn’t turn his gaze from her. And he bent down and gave kissed her.
When he touched her with his kiss, Dornröschen opened her eyes, woke up and looked at him with a friendly smile. They went to the throne room together and the King awoke and the Queen and the whole Court and looked at each other with big eyes. And the horses in the yard stood up and shook themselves; the hunting dogs jumped and wagged their tails; the doves on the roof pulled their heads out from underneath their wings, looked around, then flew into the field; the flies on the walls crawled away; the fire in the kitchen rose up and flickered; and the cook slapped the boy so that he yelped; and the maid finished plucking the rooster.
And the wedding of the Prince with Dornröschen was celebrated in all its glory and they lived happily ever after.
And that’s the end of the first original Grimms fairytale. Personally, not one of my favourites. There are sooo many things wrong with this – don’t get me started on the poor kids dying in the hedge or the young princess being forced into marriage with some dude on her 15th birthday just because he happened to come along at the right time. Yeah, I know, there’s no point super-imposing modern sensibilities onto old stories but seriously, come on!
Anyway, what do you think? Did you enjoy the story? Wanna hear more? Let me know below!
The working title Spirit Elfen gives you a clue to my own background (Elfen is German for Elves).
I’m German bred and raised but always had a huge interest in American Indian mythology and history. Which isn’t as weird as it sounds – there is a massive interest in US Western history in Germany, mainly due to late 19th century writer Karl May who strangely never made it to North America. His main heroes are blood brothers Old Shatterhand and Winnetou, Chief of the Apaches. The books are still as popular today as they were 120 years ago. Doesn’t hurt that the 1960 actors Pierre Brice and Lex Barker (of Tarzan fame) were seriously gorgeous!
I don’t personally know any Cheyenne people and while I will do my best to be respectful to beliefs and culture, Spirit Elfen is fiction. So if any Cheyenne out there feel like they want to help me with local and tribal knowledge, please contact me! I would be very appreciative 🙂
So What is Spirit Elfen About?
I got up early, wrote 1500 words yesterday, feel motivated to write more today and generally, had a blast researching images for my pinterest board Spirit Elfen. So here is my quick and dirty summary:
Adi who dreams of earning her hostile family’s respect, begins to suffer from hallucinations that rapidly drive her to the edge of sanity. Honiahaka, a young Cheyenne student, has the answer to her problems but isn’t sure that helping Adi is worth interrupting his studies. Soon the situation spirals out of control and both Adi and Honi are drawn into a whirlwind of spiritual and physical danger. Can the knowledge of Cheyenne and German mythology offer the answer to survival? Or is the difference in their backgrounds too large to overcome?
I love the tension between the heroine’s mundane life and her heritage. She’s been forced to fight against her family’s and her own expectations. Even harder to find out that everything she thought she knew, doesn’t apply anymore. Good thing she meets a mysterious boy who might help her?
Ooooh, I’m excited to write this!
Meet the Romantic Leads of Spirit Elfen
The images are representative of the casting I envisage, should this book ever be optioned for a movie (one can dream, no?) Obviously they’re totally cliche, but hey, it’s my Kopfkino (cinema inside my head) as we say here 🙂
Adi’s mom was German and her dad is from a very wealthy family. When he married beneath his station, his family wasn’t happy and particularly his mother (Adi’s Grandmother) hated her daughter-in-law. Adi stayed in Germany for most of her childhood and teenage years because of the friction. Her father wisely set up a trust-fund in her name that his family can only access if Adi is declared mentally unfit to handle her own finances.
The story begins as Adi pursues a German degree to fulfill her dream of one day teaching the language and culture herself.
Adi is very plain looking (at least at the beginning), a hard-working student who suffered some trauma in her childhood when she experienced visions. Her parents were so worried about the mental health that Adi had to undergo psychiatric treatment until her hallucinations went away. She has very low self-esteem and is desperate to gain respect from her peers, her teachers and above all, her family.
Honiahaka Clearsight Fisher
Honi is a young Cheyenne student whose studies are financed by his extended family and tribe. He is mentored by a family friend who understands Honi’s gift of being able to see Spirit Animals. In this ‘verse, Spirit Animals represent people’s souls and character, and Honi has spent years of rigorous training learning to control his gift. He is a gorgeous dork, isolated from the rest of the students who think he’s weird. When he’s with his family, he comes into his own, proud, self-confident but at Uni, he’s introvert and ill at ease.
When he meets Adi, he sees her for who she is but has to take a decision whether helping her is worth interrupting his studies and potentially disappointing his sponsors.
The two are such odd-balls, pushed apart because of totally different backgrounds and goals in life, but drawn together because of their shared Gift but also very very strong chemistry. Yep, there will be physical reactions like lighting strikes!
And yes, I will allow my kids to read an edited version of the final book 🙂
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