Ashes Blog Tour ~ Week Five


It’s been five weeks since From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw was launched and the blog tour is still in full swing. On March 21st an interview with Gudrun posted on The Literary Nook. Today, March 28th, a guest post appeared on Cover 2 Cover.  For the full schedule please visit PUYB. Or follow us on twitter @raincloudpress where I am posting links to all the interviews with Gudrun Mouw and other reviews.

The blog tour continues through the first two weeks in April. We’ve been informed that a review of From Ashes Into Light will be published in Whole Life Times, print copies of which are available in Los Angeles or by subscription (no review link yet). Also in April, for a few days in the first week of April, the kindle version of From Ashes Into Light will be free. Stay tuned for more about this promotion.

On May 7th, at the Los Olivos Grange, and hosted by the Book Loft of Solvang and the Solvang Library, the first reading and book event with Gudrun Mouw will take place. Details about the event will be posted here when it gets closer to the event. You can follow Gudrun on Twitter (@GudrunMouw) for updates too.


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

From Ashes Into LightIt’s been an extraordinary process
getting the cover just right for From
Ashes into Light
. And I couldn’t have done
it without designer Josue Menjivar of Fresh
Brewed Illustration
and my husband Zeke. I
also couldn’t have done it without
reading the novel again, for a seventh
time probably, doing the final edits
(except I’m still waiting for the Native American readers who are giving
feedback on the Native sections of the book). A story of this depth has
something new to say in each reading.
This time, I really felt the struggles
and the beauty together, the paradox,
that makes the tale so enthralling. That gave me the inspiration
for this installment (hopefully final!) of the cover.

Jewish Literature

This last year is the first time that I’ve sought out Jewish Literature. I’ve always enjoyed books about the Jewish experience if I happened upon them. But this year I am trying to become somewhat up to date with the genre because by this time next year I will be putting the finishing touches on From Ashes into Light by Gudrun Mouw, a book about, in part, the Jewish experience during World War II.

ezra&jasper copyMy husband is Jewish and his grandparents emigrated from Germany in the 1930s. I have a keen sense of relief every time I think on this. I am so thankful to those grandparents, both passed now, and the factors that allowed them to escape. It has away of coloring my sense of what’s right and wrong. It gives me perspective when confronted with trivial discomforts of a daily life without war or discrimination. Two of my own grandparents were also both German citizens during WWII and had their own abominable experiences living through war. So I grew up with a feeling that I was privileged in simply living in a non-war zone.

But even still, I remember thinking as a teen that “I’ve read enough books about the Holocaust and WW II.” I think I was trying to protect myself from how painful reading those stories felt. Now, seeking them out, I recognize the benefit of tears, feeling empathy for others and honoring their suffering in a way. Today, it doesn’t hurt me, even though it hurts; in fact, it may provide brief moments of healing.

Some of the books I’m reading include the “Book Thief,” “People of the Book,” “Sarah’s Key,” “Henna House,” “Night,”  and “Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Book I.” The above authors are amazing, and it makes me feel proud to be a small part of the publishing community.

Erika Lunder

Raincloud Press