Author: <span class="vcard">Erika</span>

beverlyhillsbookawardsFrom Ashes Into Light, Gudrun Mouw’s debut novel, just won two awards in the same week! In the 2016 Best Book Awards From Ashes Into Light placed as a finalist in two categories: Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. In the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards Ashes won in the same two categories. In fact if you take the win in each category as a separate award, From Ashes Into Light has won four awards, placed as a finalist in two awards, and received the silver award in another. Phew, seven awards altogether! The author asked me to guest write this post because she was just speechless with the acknowledgment.

best_book_award_badge_whiteHowever, winning awards doesn’t always translate into becoming popular. It’s challenging being an author in a genre that is possibly not well understood. Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction actually have a wide range of titles that qualify in each genre. So you can get a zombie fantasy as well as literary fiction in both categories.

For From Ashes Into Light, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. From Ashes Into Light is literary fiction with spiritual, new age (ie. the character believes in reincarnation) and visionary (consciousness-oriented) elements. It’s not exactly mainstream. But anyone interested in Buddhist teachings or spirituality in general should appreciate this well-crafted book.

In fact, the more people find out about these genres the better. Because picture this, you love books about the Dali Lama or this or that Rinpoche, and you love certain self-help books, but you’ve never tried reading fiction that’s spiritual. Now there are many, many options to combine entertainment and spiritual endeavors. Besides From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, I have read a handful of spiritual fiction that I would recommend.

Spiritual Fiction

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler

Each of these titles explores spirituality in a alternative, entertaining way. And as I immersed myself in these titles, I found myself open to new possibilities in myself, and sometimes feeling a closer connection to the Divine. Give them a try!

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Gudrun Mouw should be back to posting her blog sometime in the next two weeks. Stay Tuned. To purchase From Ashes Into Light, go to an online seller, your bookstore to order, or you can call the distributor directly (800-888-4741) to order a copy in paperback or hardcover.

Erika Lunder, publisher

Raincloud Press

 

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From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw has won the 2016 International Book Awards in both the Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction categories. Gudrun Mouw and everyone at Raincloud Press are very excited! We appreciate the recognition!

From Ashes Into Light is available online or through your local bookstore.

Description for the Award Winning From Ashes Into Light

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

 

Post by Erika Lunder, Publisher at Raincloud Press

Contact her at: raincloudpress @ gmail dot com

From Ashes Into Light

Gudrun has begun the process of reviewing a draft of the next book in her From Ashes Into Light trilogy. Stayed tuned for more soon!

Forthcoming Work

bavarianhut_2Gudrun Mouw will be in Los Olivos this Saturday morning at 11 am to read from her book From Ashes Into Light. Please join us at the Grange Hall at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. Books will be available for purchase, and Gudrun will stay to sign copies. Thanks to the Book Loft and the Los Olivos Library for hosting the event!

In case you missed it, Gudrun was interviewed on the Northern California radio program called “Nancy’s Bookshelf.” You can listen online to the interview that aired on April 22nd. But spoiler alert, if you haven’t read the book, you might want to skip listening to the interview until afterwards.

 

From Ashes Into Light description:

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

From Ashes Into Light

FromAshesIntoLightBookReadingSolvangBlog Tour

There were some really great posts last week for the From Ashes Into Light Blog Tour. Gudrun visited several blogs and gave interviews and a guest post herself. Check them out:

There are just a few more stops in the coming week, we will keep you posted either here on Gudrun’s website, or at my website: www.raincloudpress.com. Stayed tuned to a link to Gudrun’s first radio interview, which is playing on the 22nd of April. I hope you have enjoyed following the tour, and learning more about Gudrun and the process of writing her novel From Ashes Into Light. It’s been an honor to help midwife her book into the world! If you’ve finished reading the book, don’t forget to write a honest review on Amazon, it’s a huge help to our marketing goals.

Book Event

You are invited to a book reading, signing and questions and answers with Gudrun Mouw on Saturday, May 7th at 11 am. This event will be held at The Grange at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. in Los Olivos, California. This event is cohosted by The Book Loft (Solvang) and the Solvang Public Library. Books will be available for purchase.

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German CountrysideI told Gudrun I would do a guest post for her this week. She deserves a rest. I had her read her novel one last time in January, to approve the copyedits. At least a dozen writers and literary types have read From Ashes Into Light in the last year and a half as it has been prepared for publication, and there was still one typo that no one had caught. Thanks Gudrun! It was the old i before e except after c, and it almost got through.

Gudrun has read over her forthcoming novel more times that she cares to count. She has always been a thorough editor, first in grad school (English Literature at San Jose State), then as a college English instructor (during the Vietnam Draft days, her classes were packed with men!), as columnist, and as a poet. She says she has always enjoyed the revision process.

When she is writing, Gudrun likes to get out of the way of her work. Meaning, she let’s what wants to come through come through, suspending any judgment or criticism.  Then when it’s time to revise, Gudrun’s emphasis is how it sounds either reading it aloud or in her head. She uses poetic techniques to shape the effect of her passages, deleting or rewriting until the music of the writing appears. People often comment her work has a strong emotional impact and this might be part of the reason.

Of course, From Ashes Into Light required a lot of research too. As a former librarian, Gudrun was not afraid of the library at the University of California at Santa Barbara which provided a lot of the information about World War II and the time of the Spanish Conquest of California. She spent long hours there and lots of photocopying. Then there was the research trip to Czech Republic, the former East Germany, Germany, and Austria. Gudrun got to spend time with some her cousins and visit in person some of the places her characters visit in the book: Salzburg, Magdeburg, the Bodensee, Dachau.

There’s three weeks left until the publication date, and it’s a twilight time. After one and half years for me, and over 20 years for Gudrun, it’s hard to believe it’s almost here. It’s strange working on something for so long that is only going to take two or three days for folks to read. It’s ephemeral. But like other works of art, the reverberations can last a lifetime.

Thanks for tuning in to Gudrun’s Blog. She will be back, probably in two weeks. She’s working on a few guest posts for her blog tour. Gudrun’s blog tour is starting February 22nd, which just means she and her book will be featured on many different blogs as a way of letting people know about her book. There will be reviews of her book, interviews with Gudrun, and a few guest blog posts written by Gudrun for other blogs. Links to this activity will appear here, or on Raincloud Press’ website.

Forthcoming Work The Process of Writing