The Soldier's Return Blog Tour & Interview with Laura Libricz

Hello, dear readers! I am so happy to be kicking off Laura Libricz's Blog Tour for The Soldier's Return today! I have a wonderful interview with Laura & a chance for you to win a set of both books in her Heaven's Pond Trilogy - The Master and the Maid & The Soldier's Return!

Hello Laura and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Soldier’s Return!

Hi Amy! Thanks so much for having me over today!

To begin, tell us a little about yourself and The Soldier’s Return, the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Series.

I’m a fifty-something American who’s been living in Germany for the past 27 years. I only wanted to come and visit my brother for the summer and I got stuck. In an attempt to understand the people better, I read lots about local history. One thing led to another! The Soldier’s Return is my way of recreating an exciting but tough year in local history for an English speaking audience.

What inspired you to write the Heaven’s Pond Series?

Central Europe has been war-torn for generations, centuries. This seeps into all facets of life: idioms, family practices, the way people relate to each other. I have this deep need to analyze and understand why this is. The more local history I read, the more I became obsessed with knowing more. I really wanted to read a novel set in this period, written in English and dealing with early 17th century Germany. There aren’t many, I must say.

What was the hardest scene to write in The Soldier’s Return?

The hardest scenes to write were the violent ones. When I read a book, I don’t want to read page after page of rape or torture. But these were very real situations in The Soldier’s Return and I had to deal with it. I think I got the point across without having to put a trigger warning on my books.

What was your favorite scene to write in The Soldier’s Return?

The scenes I most enjoyed writing were the moments of hope and revelation, those small successes that each character had.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Soldier’s Return?

I would like my readers to, of course, have a better understanding of a very complex time period in German history. I hope the readers see the human element in each character. Mostly, I hope they have a great time reading!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I remember being in third grade and telling the teacher I wanted to be a song writer. I have written bits here and there over the years and only started writing seriously ten years ago when I was 45 and my children were in their teens.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Having to decide between my family and my writing was the hardest challenge I faced and only overcame this when my kids grew up and moved out. I really liked raising kids and I knew they wouldn’t be there forever. I’m really glad I did that now.

Who are your writing inspirations?

My writing is inspired by all those people I come in contact with. People don’t realize how quirky they are and how much I base my characters on them. It’s better this way, I think!

What was the first historical novel you read?

I had to really think about this question. As a kid, I read mostly fantasy and scifi and I love Kurt Vonnegut. I read Slaughterhouse Five when I was a teenager but because it was written in 1969 and dealt with WWII, it isn’t historical fiction, is it? It wasn’t until I was older that I really started to read historical fiction.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I just finished reading Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt and I loved it. It’s a must-read if you like the witch theme. Her writing is superb.

If there was a soundtrack for your novel, what songs might we find on it?

My soundtrack for this series would be a mixture of electronic and rock music. The Pyramid Song from Radiohead, the whole Amnesiac album for that matter. Where I’ve Been by Rival Sons. I am the Highway by Audioslave. Teardrop by Massive Attack. Lights, the song and the whole album, by a wonderful band called Archive. The whole album Splinter by Gary Numan. Lullabies to Paralyze by QOTSA. Pure White Light by a new band called LäGzz

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. After 27 years in Germany, I am moving to England. I haven’t told anybody yet.
2. I am a very grateful recovering addict and have been clean and sober for four years.
3. I cry when I watch Disney films.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love writing historical fiction set in 17th century Germany for an English-language audience because the choice is limited. Novels set during World War II are popular but I feel the market is flooded. The 17th century is a time period to which many people can trace their ancestry. The world was changing, shrinking. Thinking was becoming more liberal. It was an exciting time, albeit violent.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I read just about anything no matter what time period it’s set in. For me the story is everything. If the story is believable and the characters come alive, I am happy. The fun part about historical fiction is learning something about history without trying.

I have also been reading a lot of contemporary memoirs by other indie authors and have found some wonderful ones. I just read Born for Life by Julia Watson about her midwife career. Letting Go into Perfect Love, a memoir by Gwen Plano about how she overcame abuse.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m usually working, supplying the world with Hutchins Guitars When I’m not doing either, I am either playing a board game like D & D or Quirkel. Then, after 8 pm, I am happily binging something on TV or Netflix, analyzing screen plays, because the mind never rests. I love Elementary, Black Mirror, Fargo, The Crown, Call the Midwife, Midsommer Murders, just to mention a few.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am now working on the third book, Ash and Rubble. This is based on a well-documented event, the siege of Nuremberg in 1632 by the Swedish troops. I want to get as close to the documented facts as I can.

Speaking of analyzing screen plays, I am also working on an urban fantasy screen play. I will tell you more about it when the time is right!

Thank you so much, Laura! That was a fascinating and insightful interview. It's so much fun to learn more about the authors you admire.

The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Heaven's Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven's Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 30
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 31
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Thursday, February 1
Excerpt at WS Momma Readers Nook

Friday, February 2
Guest Post at Reading the Past

Monday, February 5
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, February 6
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, February 7
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, February 8
Review at Clarissa Reads It All

Friday, February 9
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, February 12
Review at Back Porchervations

Wednesday, February 14
Review at Rachel's Ramblings

Thursday, February 15
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, February 16
Review at Donna's Book Blog
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog


During the Blog Tour we are giving away a set of The Master and the Maid and The Soldier's Return to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Soldier's Return Blog Tour

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