Blog Tour

Blog Tour #Willem-of-the-Tafel by @hans_hirschi. A future and a past eerily recognisable

Hi all:

Today I’m really pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for the new novel by Hans Hirschi. If you remember I already brought you another one of his books ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka‘ and I jumped at the chance of bringing you his newest novel. We have a character profile (a truly enlightened character. If only our politicians were like him) and I’ve had the pleasure of reading it too, so I leave you the review as well. And don’t miss the fabulous giveaway.

And now:

Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi

Willem of the Tafel by

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by

Beaten Track Publishing

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, LGBT, Post-Dystopian, Young Adult

194 pages

Release Date:  May 28, 2015


The world we know is gone, destroyed by greed and ignorance. On a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries into the future, few have survived the Great War. Some have taken refuge deep inside a mountain. One of them, Willem, is exiled to the surface… Alone and struggling to survive, Willem embarks on an epic journey, making a discovery that could once again alter the future of humanity. Willem of the Tafel is an epic tale of survival, second chances, hope and undying love.


Check out the trailer for Willem of the Tafel




Follow the Willem of the Tafel Virtual book tour here


Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.
A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.



The giveaway for Willem of the Tafel has 11 randomly chosen winners; 10 will receive $15 Gift codes to the author’s shop, but the grand prize winner will receive a free ticket to GayRomLit retreat 2015, in San Diego, CA, happening October 15-18th, 2015. Ticket value is $175, but if you win the grand prize, you’re responsible for travel and accommodations. Please notify the author in advance should you win and be unable to attend, so we can choose another recipient to enjoy the prize! 

Character Profile from Willem of the Tafel 

Adrianjaka, Chief of Madagascar

Gender: Male

Age: late forties when we first meet him

Occupation: Chief of Madagascar and one of the four leaders of the world

Adrianjaka is an interesting man. Born into a powerful family with royal roots, he is used to being in charge, making decisions. He is the elected leader of the Malagasy people in the 26th century when the story begins. He was mated to a white woman of Kiwi descent, whom he lost to cancer, one of the many diseases plaguing a world that has no modern technology. His daughter, mother to one of the main characters, Hery, dies giving birth to Hery, which leaves Adrianjaka devastated, as he was very close to her, and it strains the relationship to his grandson for years. Hery eventually attends a school in the north of the island, a school dedicated to kids with disabilities (Hery is deaf) and meets the fisherman Stephane on who’s boat he begins to work as a sailor, further alienating him from his grandfather who had different plans for him.

However, the stubbornness and dedication of Hery slowly wear down the old man and when they meet at a crucial point in the story, Adrianjaka realizes that the path Hery has taken has prepared him for the future.

Adrianjaka is a crucial secondary character in the book. He is wise, he is powerful, but he’s not blinded by it, unlike his counterpart in South Africa, Mavuto.

I, personally, love Adrianjaka, because he’s not perfect but has a good heart and is able to recognise his mistakes, move on and accept. And he has the well-being of his people as his main interest. As I said at the beginning, if only…

Here, my review:

Willem of the Tafel is not an easy book to classify. The main protagonist, Willem, is quite young at the beginning of the action, and the novel follows his journey towards independence and adulthood, so it has elements of a Young Adult story. It portrays a future post-nuclear catastrophe, where environment takes its toll and pays humanity back, with most of the population being wiped-out and the few survivors taking some radical decisions. It’s a dystopia/utopia (depending on each person’s viewpoint) whereby whilst some groups of humans have decided to abandon technology to avoid further catastrophes, others depend on it for their basic survival. So it could be a science-fiction novel. It’s a novel with a strong pro-environmental message, and it reflects upon the human condition (fear, power struggles, and race relations). It is also a beautiful love story between two extraordinary young men, as different from each other as they could be, but as compatible and similar in their outlook as would be possible.

The author uses third person alternating point of view to make the reader share in the feelings of those characters that, although initially might appear completely alien to us once we move past their circumstances, they are not that different from all of us. Both of the post-apocalyptic societies that are shown have their problems. The people living on the surface who have renounced technology see their lives shortened but their lack of science and experiment hardship without any relief in sight, although they live a much simpler life and enjoy human contact. The society of the Tafel has developed a model of life where the main goal is survival and nothing that does not increase its likelihood is considered worthy of pursuit. Reproduction has become mechanised, society divided and dying due to lack of new blood and light, and each individual is only a cog in a machine. And there are huge division and differences according to race. Neither model is shown as perfect although the Tafel seems, by far, the sadder of the two (and perhaps the closer to where we are going).

Willem is and extraordinary character. An individual part of a system who is wonderfully unlike anybody else and whose punishment for an accidental death becomes his (and humanity’s) salvation. Willem brought to my mind Herman Melville’s character ‘Billy Budd’, the beautiful and innocent sailor who kills another sailor (unintentionally) and pays dearly for it, not only for his crime, but because he represents what the captain can’t be or have. Thankfully, in the case of Willem, this young man goes on to become the link between the two societies and a symbol of hope.

A joyful and optimistic read that affirms the human spirit. Suitable for all ages. A character and a novel I won’t forget.


Willem of the Tafel Tour brought to you by…

Happy Geek Media

Thanks to Amberr for organising the tour, thanks to Hans Hirschi for another fabulous book, and thanks to you all for reading. And don’t forget to like, share, comment, participate in the giveaway, and of course, CLICK!


Please Help! I need some suggestions!

Ballerina Tower Cupcakes. Gorgeous!
Ballerina Tower Cupcakes. Gorgeous!

Hi all:

Sorry to start the post with such a dramatic title, but I’ve read that a call for action and requests for help work.

If you’ve read my recent post about my future plans, featuring Escaping Psychiatry and other ideas, you’ll remember I mentioned I was thinking about a new romantic book. Somehow, although it was not my first priority, I keep coming back to it and keep writing down more and more ideas and details about it. I suspect it might take precedence over other plans I had.

I started checking the internet and created a board in Pinterest (real fun, and there’s so much more to add to it).

Just in case you need some inspiration, I enclose the link here, although I’d advise you not to visit if you are hungry or thinking of taking up a diet.

“So,” you’ll be wondering, “what does she need help with?”

I don’t want to give you too many details about the story, because at the moment it’s only a few ideas in my head, but unless I decide to change it completely, I’m thinking about a female protagonist, with a friend (at the moment the friend is female too, but that could change…Now, that’s an idea). There will be a cupcake shop (or bakery).

I don’t have names for the characters yet, although I haven’t thought about them that much, but suggestions are welcome (throw in some male names, because yes, it is a romantic story, and there will be a few male characters too).

What I’ve been looking at so far are names for the shop. I’ve looked in the internet and found some real names I liked (but won’t copy):

Fab cupcakes

My Delights

Iceing on Your Cupcake

Cupcake Heaven

Lola’s Cupcakes (or any name’s and Cupcakes. It’s simple but I quite like it).

Lickylips Cupcakes

Sugar Baby’s

The Cupcakery

Cupcake Couture

Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Sugar Bliss

Eat Cake

Dream Cupcakes

Sugar Daddies

Swirl Cupcakes

Sprinkle Cupcakes

Your Cup of Cake

Maison Cupcake


I’m not sure about “Sweet” in the name, but on the other hand…

I’ve thought about a few names myself, but I’m not sure of any of them:

Killer cupcakes

Cupcake Madness/Paradise

Cupcake Magic

Cupcake Love/Cupcake Lovin’

Sweet Surrender

Lady Cupcakes

Sweet Temptations

I’d like to know if you think any of them are winners, and I’m open to suggestions (I suspect I’ll have some of my own by the time I read the post, but if I do I’ll try and add them on).

Blueberry cupcake (No, I haven't made it. Belongs to a blogger)
Blueberry cupcake (No, I haven’t made it. Belongs to a blogger)

I don’t have a title for the book either. It could be the name of the shop or something related to it, or something completely different.

I’m thinking of including some recipes for cupcakes or other cakes, so if you think of some fairly original and delicious and want to share, I’d love to hear them (and possibly feature them).

If I come to use your ideas or suggestions and you want me to include you in the book, let me your name and link and I’ll officially thank you for your contribution, and I’d be happy to also gift you or send you an e-copy when it’s ready.

Thanks so much for reading, for all the suggestions, and you know what to do, like, comment, and please share if you can!

Peacock cupcake. Amazing!
Peacock cupcake. Amazing!


And just to leave you an update, Escaping Psychiatry is now available in a few more formats:

Banner for Escaping Psychiatry. By Ernesto Valdes
Banner for Escaping Psychiatry. By Ernesto Valdes

In Barnes and Noble (for Nook readers):

If you have a Kobo, you can get it here:

Sweet and dark… a bit of all…