Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »


Going Back in Time

old fashioned door lock with large key

The door lock of our room

I’m the first to admit that I find the Middle Ages fascinating. But anyone who knows what life was really like in those days, also knows that we tend to romanticize—a lot.

The old castle ruins of Hanstein I still use as the header for my website were my inspiration to write the ESCAPE FROM THE PAST time-travel trilogy. Located on a mountaintop with sweeping views of Thuringia and Hessen, they represent the best part of medieval history. At its feet sits the old Klausenhof Inn, a restaurant and hotel built in 1487.

table in chair in old room

Under the eaves in our bedroom

Since we were visiting friends in Kassel, I thought it might be fun to spend the night in the old inn. We’d eaten there before and the food and home-brewed beer are worth a stop anytime. They offer Thuringia specialties and out of this world venison dishes. I stuffed myself with a Jägertopf, a hunter’s pot until I could no longer move.

medieval armor

This fellow hangs out in front of the Knights Hall

Our sleeping quarters were on the third floor, up two flights of stairs that squeak to tell you their age. We actually signed an acknowledgement about the fire hazard the old and well-seasoned walls and floors present—five hundred thirty two years to be exact. To abide by modern laws, the inn installed an external fire escape staircase in back. Nonetheless, open flames and smoking are strictly prohibited. Who would blame them since spending time in these walls feels like staying in a historical monument. It is beautiful.

old fashioned open fireplace

In book 3 of ESCAPE FROM THE PAST, this fireplace (Knights Hall) has an important task.

The floor of our room groaned with each step and reminded you that countless generations of tired pilgers have walked here before you. Windows are small and under the eaves. But do not worry yourself. We did not need to use the outhouse. Our room came with a modern tiled bathroom and shower.

The inn is a gorgeous historic building with eating rooms where lords and ladies dined as well as peasant quarters with sheepskin covered benches and an indoor well. I don’t know if I could take another night in the old-fashioned beds, but I would recommend visiting the Klausenhof Inn to anybody who is interested in medieval history.

The Klausenhof staff was super nice and you can sign up for wonderful events that celebrate the Middle Ages.

A Few Tidbits

woman standing at a desk holding a bookReading

As a member of the Solinger Autorenrunde I participated in a wonderfully diverse reading organized by the Monheim Public Library. In the garden, framed by picturesque brick walls and flowering plants, we read and listened to amazing stories and poems. In-between we enjoyed refreshments and guitar and song music.

I read the beginning of the German version of SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND and an essay about the children’s evacuation program during the Third Reich, also the subject of my next novel.

New Manuscript Set During WWII

I feel I still need to deal with WWII issues. So my new manuscript is about Hitler’s children’s evacuation program. I’m seventy percent through the first draft and aim for publication in December.

dog photosMocha

Our old puppy, Mocha, has been gone for four months now and the house is terribly quiet. I often feel her presence as if she’d walk into my office any moment. We hung a few photos of her in the kitchen and I find myself looking at her all the time. Sometimes we talk. On the other hand it is quite freeing not to have to plan walks and meals and trips.