My name is Laura Libricz and I write historical novels. Welcome to my Media Page. Here you will find all the pertinent information, pictures and links related to my books. Please feel free to send me a message on my Contact Me page!
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.
Pennsylvania native Laura Libricz 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. A fascination with the country’s history has led her to recreate the 17th century for English speaking readers in the historical novel series Heaven’s Pond. The Master and the Maid is the first book in the series. The Soldier’s Return is the second.
The Master and the Maid (Heaven’s Pond Trilogy Book 1):
Available in paperback and Kindle on amazon: http://bit.ly/MasterMaid
She’s lost her work, her home and her freedom. Now, harboring a mysterious newborn, she could lose her life.
In 17th Century Germany on the brink of the Thirty Years War, 24-year-old Katarina is traded to the patrician Sebald Tucher by her fiancé Willi Prutt in order to pay his debts. En route to her forced relocation to the Tucher country estate, Katarina is met by a crazed archer, Hans-Wolfgang, carrying a baby under his cloak. He tells her an incredible story of how his beloved was executed by a Jesuit priest for witchcraft right after the birth and makes Katarina—at sword point—swear on her life to protect the child. But protecting the child puts Katarina at risk. She could fall in disfavor with her master. She could be hunted by the zealots who killed his beloved. She could be executed for witchcraft herself. Can Katarina’s love for the baby and Sebald Tucher’s desire for her keep the wrath of the zealots at bay? Set in Franconia, The Master and the Maid is an accurate, authentic account of a young woman’s life in Germany in the 1600’s, her struggle for freedom and her fight for those she loves.
The Master and the Maid Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/Uyvddos1N7Y
The Soldier’s Return (Heaven’s Pond Trilogy Book 2):
Available for Kindle and in paperback on Amazon: http://bit.ly/TheSoldiersReturn
Mercenary soldiers terrorize the German countryside. Three unlikely companions must fight together to survive.
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 Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/XZ_lVzMYqXE
Read this 5 Star review for The Soldier’s Return:
After ten years, a young Dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, is returning to Amsterdam in chains, after being captured and imprisoned in the Spice Islands. But he can’t stay in Amsterdam. After his escape, the only place he hopes to find solace is Sichardtshof, a farm in Franconia, Germany. But after being away for ten years, will it still be the same and will he still find the hospitality and warmth of the patrician, Herr Tucher, and his maid, Katarina? Follow the protagonist during a period of turbulence, of conflict between Catholics and Protestants. It is against this backdrop that Pieter navigates through deadly traps and dangerous terrain to find refuge, but can he? The Soldier’s Return by Laura Libricz is a powerful historical novel with a strong setting and memorable characters.
The language is what first caught my attention: it is beautiful, at times poetic, and it unveils elements of the religious, historical, and cultural settings in intelligent and relevant ways. Apart from writing a gripping story, Laura Libricz has taken readers on a historic ride to relive the religious conflicts of the seventeen century, weaving into her narrative great social, religious, and political commentaries. I enjoyed the descriptive style of the narrative, the well-written dialogues, and the surprises and twists in the plot. The tone is unique and compelling, the conflict huge and masterfully handled. It is no wonder that The Soldier’s Return will appeal immensely to fans of historical novels with great settings and compelling characters.
WHERE TO FIND ME ON THE WEB:
Google+ private page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LauraLibricz
Google+ brand page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/111626375322992289353/111626375322992289353
Article by Daryl Nerl, Special to The Morning Call
Bethlehem native pens historical novel set in her adopted home of Germany
Laura Libricz grew up in Bethlehem around obvious German cultural influences that shaped the city.
But she says it wasn’t until her brother was sent to Germany with the Army that she decided to take German language classes while she attended The College at New Paltz in upstate New York.
Thus began a love affair with the German language and German literature for Libricz, an author who recently published the second in a series of historical novels set in the Franconia region of southern Germany outside Nuremberg, where she now makes her home.
Libricz plans to return to Bethlehem to sign books at Moravian Book Shop on Thursday, Dec. 7 and speak to English and German classes at Liberty High School, where she graduated more than 30 years ago.
“The Soldier’s Return,” published by the local Blue Heron Book Works, takes place during the Thirty Years War, which tore through Central Europe from 1618 to 1648.
The war initially started as a religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants, but ultimately evolved into a broader, bloodier political conflict that included England, Spain and France. It resulted in 8 million deaths.
“The marks left by the Thirty Years War are still evident” where she lives, Libricz says during a recent email interview. “There are streets named after the Swedish king who invaded/liberated the area as well as streets named after famous generals.
“In Hochstadt, a bus stop is on a hill named Schwedenschanze, where the Swedes were entrenched in the war. The scars left by that war are too numerous to mention, took generations to heal and were never truly forgotten.”
Libricz’s book, the second in what she calls the “Heaven’s Pond” trilogy, continues the story of the maid Katarina and her patrician master, Sebald Tucher, at Sichardtshof, the Franconia farm where they live. The war has scarred the surrounding area and a witch-hunting Jesuit priest looking to rid the region of evil has set his sights on the farm.
“The parallels between wars in the past and present day conflicts are so obvious,” Libricz says. “During the Thirty Years War, just like today, religious strife covered up what the war was really about: money, trade routes, riches, natural resources, territory.”
The first book, “The Master and The Maid,” is set just before the war begins when 24-year-old Katarina is traded by her fiancee Willi Prutt to Tucher to pay off his debts.
On the way to Tucher’s farm, Katarina is met by a crazed archer who is carrying a baby under his cloak. The archer tells her that the baby’s mother — his love — was executed by a Jesuit priest for witchcraft, and makes Katarina swear at the point of a sword to protect the child.
A belief in witchcraft and witch hunting was a real issue people of that time and place faced, Libricz says.
Two characters in the book, Fuchs von Dornheim — who was known as the “Hexenbrenner” or witch burner — and Friedrich Forner, were Catholic bishops who played a role in the infamous Bamberg Witch Trials, which resulted in the death of as many as 600 people in southern Germany during the Thirty Years War.
Sebald Tucher also was a real person and the documented owner of the Sichardtshof property, a Franconian estate. The Tuchers remain an influential family in the Nuremberg region, though little is known about the real Sebald Tucher, who Libricz “loosely based” the character on.
“I fashioned his character to be a man of the times: enlightened, embracing new philosophies, a bit of philosopher himself, a modern man open to new discoveries and concepts,” Libricz says.
“The other characters are all products of me trying to understand why people do what they do,” she continues. “Katarina represents certain aspects of motherhood that I try to understand.”
Katarina’s character is also a means by which Libricz conveys social criticism.
“Instead of criticizing contemporary issues, I find examples in historical incidents. I am very passionate about those that would be classified as ‘women’s issues,’” Libricz says.
“I address many of these through her character: The art of forgiveness, the different types of love, the illusion of personal freedom. What makes someone voluntarily give up their freedom? What sacrifices do we make to save others? The power we really have in our own hands, the sneaky nature of addiction, owning one’s true desires; the role women played in war as human spoils — issues that are all extremely relevant today.”
Libricz says she has already outlined and framed the third and planned final book in the series, named “Ash and Rubble.” She hopes to complete it by the end of 2018.
It will be set during the 1632 Siege of Nuremberg, in which a force of 120,000 soldiers representing the Holy Roman Empire laid siege to the city where 150,000 Swedish, Saxon, Rhine and Nuremberg soldiers made camp. The main character will be the baby Katarina agreed to care for during “The Master and The Maid,” Isabeau, who will be 16 years old.
“The character Isabeau is my ‘mighty girl,’” Libricz says. “She’s not based on a real person but we may all know someone like her. I would say that the first two books are her origin story.
“In the first book, she is born and adopted by Katarina. In the second book she is 9 years old. These are the years that formed her and made her who she is. She has lived her whole life in a war zone. She is clever and focused.”
It is Isabeau’s story that launched the trilogy, Libricz says.
“In the beginning, as I began to create her character and her life, her origin was so fascinating I found I had two volumes leading up to the main feature. Because the book would have ended up a 1,000-page epic, I decided to split it into three volumes.”
Libricz says she has been writing all her life, but “the ‘Heaven’s Pond’ trilogy is the first serious project I have really worked on and finished. I write short stories, which are on my blog, as well as short articles about the things I am passionate about: music, herbs, cooking and baking, the human condition.”
Libricz says she also has started to write “a dystopian Stepford Wives-type novel with a strong female lead set in upstate New York.” She says she would also like to write more about the Nuremberg area during its economic boom in the 16th century and before the Thirty Years War.
History’s early modern period, from the end of the 15th century until the late 18th century, “is often overlooked by historical novelists even though it is, for me, a fascinating time: enlightenment, science, mobility, globalization — the world was evolving,” Libricz says.
Libricz is by trade a luthier who is part of the “base team” of Hutchins Guitars, an artisan guitar maker with a factory in Bavaria where custom instruments are built. She also sings with an electronic music collective that calls itself LaGzz.
She returns to Bethlehem at least once a year and is looking forward to seeing the city’s Christmas lights and getting a cheesesteak at Carl’s Corner near Moravian College.
“Bethlehem is fascinating and I love the people,” she says. “It’s wonderful to see that the city did not descend into ruin after the Steel closed down and that the arts are flourishing.”
Book signing by Laura Libricz
What: The Bethlehem-born resident of Germany signs copies of her new historical novel “The Soldier’s Return,” set in 17th century Germany during the Thirty Years War
When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7
Where: Moravian Book Shop, 428 Main St., Bethlehem
Info: moravianbookshop.com, blueheronbookworks.com