Monday, April 29, 2013

Back from an Awesome Book Tour

Feeling like a true author now—getting ready for
 a signing at Barnes & Noble in Princeton.

Hi Everyone,

I just came back from my first official book tour in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It was rich, exciting and fun and although it left me falling into bed totally exhausted at night, I LOVED every minute of it. I met wonderful people with whom I had lively discussions and in-depth conversations—some had never heard of the Great Trek out of East Prussia and were fascinated by that untold story of WW2, while others I spoke to came from the area and lived through that frightening time, escaping over the ice as my heroine and grandparents did.

My publicist took advantage of every second on the road, cramming in a full schedule of book signings at big bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and smaller ones too. She presented me and my novel at hosted events, private parties, radio interviews, book clubs and wherever she could find an open ear. Whew! What a whirlwind!

Although a novel has many words, I still think a picture can be worth a thousand of them, so I hope you don't mind if I share the journey with you via photos.

The kick-off!
This very first event was held at my amazingly generous
friend—Sandy Fox's beautiful home in Medford, New Jersey.
 Her daughter Sarah is a wonderful chef who served the most delightful tidbits -
pea-soup in tiny tasteful glasses,
finely barbecued roast beef kebabs, and so much more.

My long-time friend Gloria Pearlstein who drove up
from MD with her husband Rich.
We've travelled many roads together
 on the path of transformation.
I'm so thrilled she was there along with my soul sister Sandy Fox
to to support me at the very start.
From Sandy's house to the Barnes & Noble in Marlton.
The gentleman holding the book is Tim Ogline,
my extraordinary book cover designer !
The lady in green is Karenne Snow—
Community Relations Manager and a real sweetheart.
And that lovely little lady on the far left
is my amazing publicist/publisher, Kim Nagy.
Honest to goodness, she drove me everywhere!
Bahamians don't like driving on the right side of the road!
Me talking about The Last Daughter in Princeton
 at the Barnes and Noble.
 I wish I had a pic of the Community Relations Manager
Nagla Badr-Erdogan. Not only is she strikingly beautiful
but helpful and kind beyond words.

The Bank of Princeton Lambertville 
hosted an amazing event for The Last Daughter,
thanks to the kind efforts of the gorgeous
Marianne Rosato Romano.
The woman you see there is my publisher
Joy Stocke of Wild River Books
 standing beside the book table manned by Julian
of the Farley's BookShop, New Hope
We sold a lot of books that day!
We're still at the Bank of Princeton here.
Kim Nagy my publicist is standing and introducing
me just before I give a reading.
What a beautiful event and what a great turn out of
interesting people.
The Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ.
What a splendid afternoon.
Robert Rando and Caroline Scutt are the owners.
They have created a virtual oasis of peace, beauty
and excellent books!
The Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ
Three women who have all written books.
Myself on the left with The Last Daughter.
In the center, Caroline Scutt—Owner of the bookstore
and author of Some Girls— a great book
which helps teens face the pitfalls of youth
and grapples with the topic of
unwed pregnancy.
On the right is my friend and publisher, Joy Stocke
who is also the author of Anatolian Days and Nights
—a book about her love affair with Turkey. we are with the Radio Talk Show Hosts
Rob Bell and Vinnie Verderosa
In The Green Room.
The show was interesting mix of discussions
ranging from  The Boston Marathon Bombing and peoples' rights
to The Last Daughter and the stories that have remained unspoken
because people in that era felt they had no right to talk.
The Wilmington Barnes & Noble in Delaware was fantastic.
Here I am with my amazing helpers and friends
Joyce Belmonte and Cornelia Elsaesser.
This was just before the crown arrived.
So much fun signing and talking to people
 who were interested in The Last Daughter's story.
This is me and a gentleman named Manfred who was born
in East Prussia and who lived in a town called Tilsit
(where Tilsiter cheese comes from).
Tilsit is only a short distance to the north of Guja—
the estate that my grandparents
Walter and Edith von Sanden owned.
Manfred was very young when the Russian Army
arrived and like my family, he too escaped over the ice.
It was such a pleasure talking with him
and finding out about his story.
Here I am again with an elegant gentleman named Binnie.
Binnie loves The Last Daughter of Prussia and that makes me proud
because he reads a lot and knows so much about history!
 He's an American Englishman who was in
Germany as blond -blue-eyed youngster
right at the beginning of the war.
While we talked, he told me how the Germans he was with
would stand him on a table and try to make him say Heil Hitler.
Even then as boy he would not utter the words.
Instead he said Heil Roosevelt!
I love that story!
Okay everyone, almost at the end.  I have a ton of photos but I want to keep moving on.

John Martosella Sr. of The Book Swap in Haddonfield, NJ
Such a sweet man and great book store!
I have to say I think Haddonfield is a gorgeous town.
And the shopping! Wow.
Luckily I didn't have enough time to
spend all my husband's money!

After The Book Swap signing I was invited to a fabulous
Ladies Book Club in Haddonfield.
I was so honored to meet these women,
and discuss The Last Daughter  in person,
hear their questions and discover their reactions
to various components of the novel.
I must confess I LOVE talking at Book Clubs.
It's so relaxed and yet serious points come to light.
Well...okay not only serious points but it seems
the sex scenes get their fair share of discussion too.
And we always have a good laugh.
These ladies were wonderful.
On the bottom left is Cheryl Squadrito,
 my PR go to at Media Friendly.
A well deserved break after the whirlwind!
Kim Nagy and me at Martine's River House.
What a restaurant—amazing food. Yay!

Here we are at the end.
This photo was taken by a reader
Robin V Schwoyer whom I'll quote
"A serene setting for resting and reading.
 Marina Gottlieb Sarles' book,
The Last Daughter of Prussia is a powerful story
told with grace and beauty of a time of pain,
brutality and loss in the midst of love and courage."
Thank you for this Robin.
My thanks to everyone who helped make this book tour so meaningful for me. Thanks to my readers and all those who support The Last Daughter.

Until next time.

—Marina Gottlieb Sarles

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Recent Interview for The Last Daughter

  Last night I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Elsie Kerns a wonderful advocate in the field of empowerment and holistic healing. A wellness educator, Elsie attended (as did I) The Barbara Brennan School of Healing and The Center for Intentional Living—an in-depth experiential learning community that explores the interface of the psychological and the sacred.

The Great Trek out of East Prussia at the end of WW2

  You may ask what healing has to do with my WW2 novel, The Last Daughter of Prussia. I would answer "a lot." I might be "putting myself out there" as the saying goes, but truthfully I feel this book was guided from the start. In the interview I talk about how, in my meditations, I often heard a compelling voice that urged me to write. I didn't know what the subject would be, but then in a string of synchronistic occurrences and in what I almost would call an epiphany, I realized I was being called on a soul level to bring to light a dark, untold chapter in German history—one that involved my family and one that lies hushed in the bones of the East Prussian people. Every family has a story, but sometimes if the story is too traumatic or shameful it remains a secret. Secrets affect all generations both past and future. The dead often can't rest in peace and the living, if they don't know about the secrets, can carry unresolved issues into their lives. Elsie Kerns and I talked about these things in the interview and how telling untold stories can heal and liberate.

My grandparents, Walter and Edith von Sanden who
survived the trek and later called me to the task
of writing the story of their vanished land.
(Photo (C) Gottlieb Family)

  I hope that by writing The Last Daughter of Prussia I have broken the festering silence and taboos long held in the hearts of many East Prussian Germans who felt they could not speak about their suffering and loss in the face of Hitler's atrocities. I hope too that I have given them a voice and honored the horrendous journey so many of them embarked upon in those final winter months of the war.

The Last Daughter of Prussia can be ordered on
in both Hard Copy and Kindle Edition

Here's the link to the interview once more. 
When you open it there will be slides that depict East Prussia
and that time during the war. 
It takes a moment for the black screen to change  
and for the slides to come up
so please be patient.

Until next time,

Marina Gottlieb Sarles