New cover reveal

Here’s the beautiful cover for the English edition which will be out very soon. Created by Anjanee at 17 Studio Book Design, it captures some of the key elements of the story of why I moved to Romania, and why I’ve stayed.

Stake cover 564kb

There’s Bran Castle, my local fortress, the ubiquitous chickens, the archetypal Romanian haystack against a snowy mountain backdrop, and one of many cats who play an important role in the story.

The black birds figure strongly, both observed in nature, and as metaphors for the dark events that triggered my escape from the UK.

It was important that – despite the Gothic pun of the title – the overall impression was of light and beauty, since the place I now call home is a corner of heaven.

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Din Liverpool în Carpati… la New York

 

My little book went on holiday for Christmas – to New York, USA. My chum Sarah, who bought lots of copies to give to friends (bless her), took a signed copy as a Christmas present, which was received with delight, she said.

But before her friends were allowed to settle down to read, the book was taken on a city tour. Here it is enjoying the sights of a Big Apple Christmas…

Happy everything in 2017!

Wishing you the best of everything, exciting new things, rewards for being lovely, a basis of contentment pierced with lots of fleeting joys, balance with enough upsets to stir your soul, a little chaos to spark creations, ideas and new directions; frequent and uncontrollable laughter, and much love.

Hope in a world where we have lost heaven

Silviu Schuster, a Romanian friend who introduced me to my publisher, has sent a wonderful response to the book. It was read out at the Brasov book launch and it brought a tear to my eye, as you can imagine. Thank you, Silviu, for everything you’ve done for me, and for your warm and generous response which means so much to me.

Here’s an extract  you can read the whole thing here.

I met a phrase they say Leo Tolstoi has written it: “There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.”   În timpul călătoriei am întâlnit o frază care i se atribuie lui Lev Tolstoi: „Nu există măreție acolo unde nu e simplitate, bunătate și adevăr.”

Not that the book is simple, but it has a simplicity that is contagious, what in German would be “Leichtigkeit”, which might be “easiness” in English. Nu că ar fi cartea simplă, dar are o simplitate care este contagioasă, ceea ce în germană s-ar numi „Leichtigkeit”, ce ar fi „ușurință” în română.

You borrow us your sharp eyes and understanding. You make us understand ourselves better, you make us better understand you. You give us importance by understanding us better than we sometimes do. Not that you only answer that untold questions, but you made me ask some deep questions about myself, my life, my deeds. And I do love all this in a good book. Ne împrumuți ochii tăi ageri și înțelegerea ta. Ne faci să ne înțelegem pe noi înșine mai bine, să te înțelegem pe tine mai bine. Ne dai importanță înțelegându-ne uneori mai bine decât ne înțelegem noi pe noi înșine. Nu numai că răspunzi la întrebări nerostite, dar m-ai făcut să îmi pun câteva întrebări profunde despre mine, viața mea, faptele mele. Și asta este ce iubesc într-o carte bună.

Your book gives us hope in a world where we have lost heaven. It shows us that it is worthy to stand up when you feel down, that a tiny ray of hope can activate powers one never thought they lie in oneself. Life might be bad, but we must make it better. Cartea ta ne dă speranță într-o lume în care am pierdut paradisul. Ne arată că merită să te ridici atunci când te simți la pământ, că o diafană rază de speranță poate activa forțe pe care nu ne-am fi gândit niciodată că există în noi. Viața poate fi rea, dar noi trebuie să o facem mai bună.

Wowee – the book has charted!

no-96-in-elefant-chartsMy new book has made it into the Top 100! Just a month after publication, the book is at No.96 in retailer elefant.ro’s  charts. Hot diggety dog…

Let’s hope it goes further up the charts – do please spread the word!