9 Days Until Release with Guest Sylvia McDaniel on Medieval Times

TODAY’S WINNER: JANICE

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The release party continues! There are nine days until release of A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER. Today I welcome fellow Plotting Princess and the super-awesome SYLVIA McDANIEL to the blog. She’s talking about her recent trip to Germany and Switzerland and WOW – what a trip it was! Wish I could have gone. 😉 I’m giving away an ebook copy of her book, THE RELUCTANT SANTA. So be sure to comment to win as well as get entered into the grand prize drawing for the Nook Simple Touch Reader! Grand Prize open to US residents only.

Germany_122813_476-XL1Thanks Michelle for having me on your blog today and I’m so excited about the release of your new book. 🙂  I read the sequel to this book for Michelle after she’d completed the final edits, and I can only say that I thoroughly enjoyed that story so much that now I can’t wait for this one to come out. In fact, I enjoyed book 4, A Knight Like No Other, so much that while we were on vacation in Germany, I couldn’t help but think about the story.

There were two places we visited that reminded me of Michelle’s books. The first was in Lucerne, Switzerland where we rode a gondola up the side of the mountain in a freaky snow storm. At the bottom of the mountain in Lucerne, it was raining, but about halfway up the mountain it began to snow and by the time we reached the top, it was a complete white out. All you could see was white when you looked Germany_122813_479-XL1_1out the windows. The name of the mountain is Mount Pilatus and in medieval times they believed that dragons with healing powers lived in the rugged clefts and crevices of the mountain.  They had a tunnel that you could walk through and peer out over the edge, but all we could see was snow falling. As you walked the tunnel, you begin to believe that a dragon could have lived on this mountain. If you want to learn more about the Dragon legends, there is a wonderful article here.

The second time I thought of Michelle’s books was when we were in Nuremberg, Germany. This town is known for being where the Nazi party ruled. It was here that Hitler gave speeches and held parades. There’s a wonderful museum (Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände) located on the party rally grounds that if you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend. It has interviews with people who lived during this time and all kinds of photos and memorabilia from that time period.

But that’s not what reminded me of Michelle’s books. For lunch, they took us to the heart of the city that has existed since medieval times. Here you can see parts of the old wall that surrounded the city along with a moat and the castle that sits up rather high on a hill.  While the city was heavily bombed in 1945, and many of the older buildings and much of the wall was destroyed, the people in this town have tried to rebuild the village with the same old days architecture.

Germany_122813_514-XL1On our way to the castle, we became lost and walked the entire city arriving at the castle right before we had to head back to our bus. I can’t tell you what the castle looked like inside, but the city itself was gorgeous. Imagine old buildings with shops downstairs and residences on the upper floors. The streets are narrow and lined with cobblestone. Truly a medieval city still existing in today’s time frame.

So why did these places strike a chord with Michelle’s stories? Michelle’s writing is filled with legend, with good versus evil and magical powers. These places reminded me that they have been on this earth for many, many years and have survived wars and tragedies and still flourish today. As I walked the streets, I imagined her characters and the battle for good and evil depicted in her story. Our journey to this village made Michelle’s story seem real. I could see her characters living in this place. I could see her heroine walking the streets and the battles being played.  The castle reminded me of her kings and queens and their magic. There was even a dungeon in the city, but we never found it.

Pick up Michelle’s book and read about legends and fantasies of old and if you ever have the chance visit Germany. Go to the old cities that still have moats and castles.  Your imagination will soar as you visit the old villages.

If you could visit another country, where would you go?

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.