Once Upon A Romance

In the Spotlight

The Spotlight is Shining Brightly on Sandra Schawb...

Sandra Schwab picture "I started writing my first novel when I was seven years old: a heart-wrenching story about the friendship between a puppy and a little cat, probably inspired by Disney's FOX & HOUND. I filled page after page with pink ink from my pink, heart-dotted fountain pen, inserted illustrations and even wrote a sequel! Twenty-odd years later, telling stories is still my greatest passion, even though by now I have exchanged my pink fountain pen for a computer keyboard (black, no hearts).

In my late teens I wrote melodramatic poetry (heck, what can you expect from someone in the throes of late puberty?), before I returned once more to fantasy stories and started to think seriously about publication. Yet several rejection letters later - by then I was becoming something of an expert on rejection letters, and let me tell you, several of these people knew nothing about putting together a rejection letter and got the phrasing all wrong! - it seemed as if my wished-for writing career was over before it had ever started. As can be expected, this was not the most jolly moment of my life! But, alas, I had one last chance: in the early months of the year 2000 I switched not only genres (from fantasy to romance), but also languages (from German to English). The latter was definitely the more daunting endeavour, but I was lucky enough to find a wonderful writers' group on the net, and these awesome ladies supported my first stumbling steps in the new language.

A few years later I joined RWA and entered the first chapter of my second English novel, Straight to the Heart, in the Opening Gambit Contest of the Northeast Indiana Romance Authors. All I hoped for was that nobody would make disparaging remarks about my English. So imagine my surprise when I not only got into the final round, but actually won that contest! Now I finally had my proof that the decision to start writing in a second language had been a sound one - and for days, I was walking around on clouds! Several months later, after getting a first place in the Winning Beginnings Contest of the Valley Forge Romance Authors with the same manuscript and blubbering into the year of the poor contest coordinator when she called to tell me the good news, it finally happened: I got The Call! (Thank God, I got an e-mail first, else I would have blubbered into my poor editor's ear as well. *g*) And thus, Straight to the Heart eventually became The Lily Brand.


These days I live in a small town near Frankfurt on the Main, Germany, with altogether too many books (have you ever heard of books procreating? I believe mine do!) and three rather vocal cats. In my "other life" I teach English literature at the University of Mainz and, when not writing, cuddling cats, preparing class, or correcting student papers - ah, yes, and the litter trays, let's not forget cleaning the litter trays! (all my friends know that the litter trays are the bane of my life) - I work on my PhD thesis. "

Castle of the Wolf...

Castle of the Wolf cover The castle of her dreams...

1827: After her father’s death Cissy Fussell finds out that she has inherited a castle in the Black Forest – but on one condition: in order to keep it, she has to marry the son of her father’s old friend. Unfortunately, her intended turns out to be a beast rather than Prince Charming.

... is the place where his nightmares have come alive.

Ever since he returned home from the war, physically and emotionally wounded, Fenris von Wolfenbach has lived as a recluse in the castle of his family. Thus he is far from happy when one day a young Englishwoman turns up on his doorstep to claim his home as hers. Indeed, Fenris is prepared to use any means fair or foul to get rid of his unwelcome visitor again. But will he manage to put Cissy to flight with rats on the loose? Or will she unravel the secrets of the Castle of Wolfenbach and eventually tame her beast?

"Ms. Schwab has written a second novel that I find to be better than the first novel. She writes with such delightful descriptions that you are immediately transported into the scene."
Robyn Roberts,
Once Upon a Romance

"This story is a hugely enjoyable historical romance with a paranormal touch . . . . an excellent read from start to finish."
Helen Hancox,
Curled up with a Good Book

A Bit of Trivia...

The fathers of my main characters are scholars of mythology and medieval languages. The study of history, especially of the Middle Ages, had become extremely popular in Britain since the late 18th century and sometimes bore rather whimsical results: the rich had castles built for themselves, put fake ruins in their parks and gardens, and everything to do with knights and chivalry became all the rage. Even the coronation of George IV (the former Prince Regent) was staged in a mixture of pseudo-medieval and pseudo-Elizabethan fashion. But people did not just collect medieval armour, had portraits done of themselves in fake armour, or tried to follow the "rules" of knighthood, they also held tournaments. The most spectacular of these was the Eglinton Tournament of 1839: it financially ruined the Earls of Eglinton for generations and, to make matters worse, it ended in a downpour. Not surprisingly, perhaps, given that it was staged in Scotland.

Additional Tidbit of Info...

Did you know that in each of my published novels you can find a unicorn? And a reference (or two) to Terry Pratchett’s novels: in Castle of the Wolf Cissy finds a German translation of Pratchett’s Men at Arms in the castle library.

Warm Wishes,

In The Spotlight

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Once Upon A Romance ~ #17 ~ 3601 S. Noland Rd. ~ Independence, MO 64055