Born with Wings

Visionary Fiction – Book Review

Book Review: Born With Wings by Bianca Gubalke

“I recently finished the incredible work of visionary fiction by author Bianca Gubalke.
It’s one of those rare books that starts off immediately in the spiritual realm. From start to finish, this is visionary fiction at its finest and most bold. Swept up in the tale of incarnation, life, struggle, and purpose we follow the beautifully drawn characters as the author weaves a wonderful tale. An injured gosling and a little girl come together in lush and magical South Africa. There’s a call from ancestors and a drive for purpose, and danger’s never far away.
It’s a captivating tale, a journey of emotions through life, death, and rebirth.”

Book review by Ellis Nelson on Amazon – 18 April 2018

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A new Consciousness for Readers

‘Born with Wings’ – New Book Review

With an exotic setting against the backdrop of the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, Born with Wings: The Immortal Life of Piu Piu by Bianca Gubalke takes the reader on a spiritual journey that explores the mystery of life and the triumph over fear. Right off the bat, the reader is introduced to Anata who seeks wisdom relating to her next incarnation from an Elder. It is interesting to notice that she’d forget who she is and be left alone with the freedom to choose what her next life could be like.
With fear stalking her every step, can she still remember “home” and her real purpose?
 
5 Stars for Born With Wings

When she enters her next life, she is a gosling that falls at the feet of Pippa, an African girl who adopts her. Now, an interesting adventure begins, a journey that will bring Piu Piu to the heart of grave dangers, making her face an enemy that would do anything to destroy her, a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

This novel is a great success on many levels.

Bianca Gubalke tells a story that will awaken a new consciousness in readers, a story that unveils the face of life and allows readers to ask questions about where they come from and what destiny holds for them.
 
The writing is crisp, somewhat evocative, laced with powerful images and symbolism. The author challenges readers to look past appearances, to learn to pay attention to the life surging within and around them, and to get a glimpse of a world beyond the physical.
 
I enjoyed the unpredictability in plot development, the pacing, the wonderful character development and the vivid setting. Born with Wings: The Immortal Life of Piu Piu is an inspiring story that will test the way we see life, ourselves, and the world around us.

This novel is a great success on many levels.

 

~ By Divine Zape on Barnes & Noble – November 2017 BORN WITH WINGS - The Immortal Life of Piu Piu - A Novel

 

As on CBS and NBC

Introducing Librarians

NEW:  BORN WITH WINGS  included in the latest LibraryBub Selection ( September 2017). Category: Fiction – Young Adult.

Alinka Rutkowska, the CEO of LibraryBub, wants to keep her focus on introducing librarians to ” . . . outstanding books from the independent publishing sector”. 

She was excited to “…reveal her attention-grabbing publications for September 2017”. She also noted that “. . . many of the chosen tittles have received glowing reviews and have already won awards”.

As seen on NBC and CBS

‘BORN WITH WINGS’ was featured on networks, CBS and NBC:

As seen on CBS and NBC

“Have we lived before? This modern fairy tale explores the mystery of our connectedness – here and in the ethereal world.

Born with Wings, yet, ironically, unable to fly and feeling abandoned by loved ones, the heroine of this story transforms her life in her burning quest to belong and to love. “

How to get the book

Paperback – published June 2, 2017, ISBN:  978-0620714914  (Gatekeeper Press)

BORN WITH WINGS is available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (also available from Ingram for librarians).

Ebook – published May 24, 2017 – ISBN 978-0-620-71492-1 (Arteby).

The digital version of BORN WITH WINGS  is available on KDP.

NEW: The title was just published through Smashwords (ISBN 9781370402397) for distribution to many online retailers and library platforms, including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, Gardener, and others. It will also be listed on  the bibliographic database of Books in Print. Please be aware that it will take some time until the title is disseminated through all the catalogs.

Who is Born with Wings for?

According to PR Newswire, BORN WITH WINGS was selected for the Young Adult Fiction category, which is fine, as it is often regarded as a ‘modern fairy tale’ – comparable to classics like ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’  (Richard Bach) and ‘The Little Prince’  (Antoine de Saint Exupéry).

However, this visionary fiction novel addresses a much wider and more mature audience. It is widely read by baby boomers, anyone who love nature, animals and pets or generally interested in the body/mind/spirit sector (Spirituality, Inspirational, New Age).

Set in the mystical landscape of the Western Cape coast of South Africa, the touching, hilarious, wildly romantic human-animal relationships in ‘Born with Wings’ awaken a sense of mindfulness and guardianship for the Earth that will leave you inspired and longing for more.

If you feel the calling, get your copy now!

Networking for librarians:

To register with this brilliant networking opportunity for librarians, do so so HERE.

Stay tuned; there’s more to come!

 

© 2017 Arteby Publishing

As seen on NBC and CBS News

 

#librarylife  #librarianlife  #LoveMyLibrary  #libchat  #librarianproblems

BORN WITH WINGS 2017

The Immortal Life of Piu Piu Second Edition

Finally, the Second Edition of my magical realism novel is now available on KDP (ebook) and, published by Gatekeeper Press, USA, also in printed format, at all major retailers, including Amazon.com and Amazon Europe; Baker & Taylor (a leading distributor of books to libraries, institutions and retailers); Barnes & Noble, the Internet’s largest bookstore; Ingram Spark, the world’s largest distributor of physical and digital content, delivering worldwide to retailers, bookstores, libraries and school.  And more. YAY!

Born with Wings Novel by Bianca Gubalke

 

Why a Second Edition for ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’?

Good question! Was there some major change with the content? No! Actually, looking back across the tedious process, it was a major side effect – and lesson – for working my way through the publishing jungle as an independent author, made even more difficult as I am not living in the US. Many things that may seem obvious when living in the country, are not obvious at all if you don’t. There’s no access to get answers quickly when you need them, hardly any ‘expert’ available beyond the programs you bought (it is assumed there are no further questions …), and so even though we try to circumnavigate the traps and try to get it all right, the journey is – by definition – a steep and, sometimes, painful, costly, and vastly time-consuming learning curve!

I was very happy with the book I had created, and the feedback and reviews I got from readers – many of which I didn’t know – reflected the same. In view of what happened and triggered a second edition – and I give you some pointers below – I’d recommend to every real true ‘indie author by passion’ with a profound message to share, to create exactly the book they love. Make sure it’s the best you can do: well edited – absolutely! Great cover – that’s a must! I’m talking quality A to Z. But then . . .  just get it out! It’s your baby! Readers who resonate with you will sense just that: your truth! Let it shine and be happy! And be grateful that – as an independent author – you have that exquisite chance! As a traditionally published author you don’t have that chance – it’s no longer your baby.

And know that that happiness may not last as there’s always room for improvement. We grow. We expand. We change . . . there’s never perfection. So just get over that in your mind, relax, and open yourself to new possibilities of improvement when the moment comes, that moment every author has to face inevitably: when the happy author’s hat has to go down and the publisher’s hat takes over. After all, you want that message so dear to your heart, to spread. You want to see your book in many readers’ hands. So now it’s no longer about you and your sense of pride and fulfillment, now it’s about your readers: What do they want? Listen closely – as despite the fact that you may have listened before, it was as the author, not the publisher.

Of course, in this particular case I’m talking about fiction. If you write non-fiction, you need to think of your target market first: What do they want? Where could you deliver the answer or the solution to a burning question? A pain? So one has to differentiate. Here, we’re talking about fiction. Visionary fiction. Magical Realism . . . to be exact.

So despite trying to really get it right, there was one big issue that came up rather quickly and painfully. My previous work has been published traditionally – whether I wrote, illustrated or designed the book. I never had to do with pricing and marketing issues so to speak. No wonder this happened to me – although later I discovered I wasn’t alone with this at all! So let me mention it here as it may help someone else avoid the mistake:

  • Watch your page count
    It sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? In pre-digital times I designed books for authors, artists and architects, where ‘the white space’ was always an important element. Pages had to ‘breathe’. Ah yes, l’art pour l’art . . . Having a background in Fine Art, I admit, I love it! And that’s how the book was designed – all 358 pages! As any other artist-author would, I put my heart in creating a beautiful book and was very happy with the printed edition, front flaps, back flaps – that was my baby! But then I walked out into the new and glamorous, fast and easy digital publishing world . . .No, it was no problem as an ebook . . . perfect! Next: it was no problem in Create Space (Print on Demand). They are great! Delivered the book even under 24 hours to a client in Berlin! Incredible – right? And very encouraging! Piu Piu started to fly . . .
    But once I was set up with Ingram, using the same price as on Create Space (quite logical, no? as the price was also for POD there . . . ) but, suddenly, it no longer covered the production and distribution costs of the book! I lost some $ when the book was bought! And with our exchange rate x16 plus that was nothing that made me laugh at all! And as Create Space adjusted the price due to price-matching – that priced me out of the market pronto! Once I realized what was happening – which wasn’t immediately – it was such a shocker that it completely stopped the flow. Literally! It would with everyone – garanteed! I mean GARANTEED!The solution: either split the book or redesign and reformat it with a different font. This was not a quick decision . . . weighing the pros and the cons. And what followed wasn’t done in a day neither. However, the idea for a Second Edition was born. And as I had to go that painful extra mile anyway – a ‘brave decision, but the right one’ a dear fellow author commented – I decided to go through everything once again, checking on what could possibly still be improved. And that’s when I got to the title!
  • The title sells your book
    Yes, the title “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” was tested and seemed perfect for me and most of my readers, but I soon noticed with sheer amazement that, during presentations and webinars when the book was discussed by a host or expert in the book marketing field, that they had a problem pronouncing ‘Piu Piu’ (from pew-pew)! I cannot expect that everyone knows that the name ‘Piu Piu’ is a cherished figure in French literature, and that I explain the source of this name clearly in the book, but the fact is that too many people in the US have problems with it, never mind retain it. What you do want is a title people can remember. Especially if you target the biggest market there is, the US. Yes, I tested it again . . . now with many people and authors who do not know the book. Most even don’t know me! So. . . after coming up with a new title I could live with, and feeling quite happy about as ” . . . born with wings yet unable to fly . . .”  is quoted in the story, the same cover illustration with the new title was designed and then offered to be compared to the ‘old’ title.
    The result? Well guess what . . . it was 100% for ‘BORN WITH WINGS’! 100% is just too much to be ignored . . . and for publishers the numbers count. BOLD is what the market dictates. . . and that’s when an author has to have the guts to forget self and see with the readers’ eyes.  It’s also when I suddenly remembered that when designing books for a large German publishing house, they actually always had a separate company to do the covers – ‘to sell the book’, they said. The author was NEVER happy! But as indie authors we have a message to share and want our book in many peoples’ hands. This only happens if the title stands out boldly and can easily be retained. But wait . . . I looked also at something else:
  • Was the description strong enough?
    Potential readers are attracted by the cover first, then read the title, then turn the book to look at the description: was it something that they’d want to read? You see it on Amazon with every book. As authors we are often too close to the material, we lack distance and a different perspective. And writing good copy that sells is actually a whole different art and profession. It’s a difficult one for most authors who are too close to the material. And it really takes work! But with some distance you’re less close to the material and if you take the time and patiently write at least 20 versions, and test them,  you may well end up with a fantastic description from an angle you had never thought of before. And that’s when you know it’s good. And it’s FUN! And it works!
    Looking back over this long and somewhat unnecessary journey, I believe that it was worth it as everything has improved and the reformatted book – now 236 pages – looks stunning! Amazing what a different page setup and font can do – and the impact this has on the price.
  • “BORN WITH WINGS – The Immortal Life of Piu Piu!”
  •  Resume:
    Again, I’m glad that a limited edition was printed exactly the way I wanted it. I love the illustration on the cover, the fine elegant font, and the title. No one can take it away. Do this for yourself if you can! The day you have to put on the publisher’s hat and listen to what people want and will buy, it’s easier to let go and make the changes. And accomplish them the best you can . . . even excel! . . . Something astonishing will happen: you suddenly see the merits from a different perspective! And, suddenly, you love your somewhat new version, too! It’s not an orphan . . . it’s your baby as well.

In my case and ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’, and while both editions are available on Amazon and KDP, my recommendation is to get BORN WITH WINGS! The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” is still there, in the sub-title, it will always be – and there’s an amazing gift waiting for you . . .

2016 Book Reviews Fiction

Life is a desire, not a meaning!

“Life is a desire, not a meaning, Princess!”

Slowly, she drifted away through intelligent emptiness, further and further, alone. She felt some of her essence flowing out of her to remain in the spiritual realm. Although it was too abstract even to imagine, she remembered that this would be the hardest to endure: the loss of home, the perception of separation.

~ Extract from ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ – a magical realism mystery novel by Bianca Gubalke

5 Star Book Review of "The Immortal Life of Piu Piu" on Amazon

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER HERE

5 Star Book Review

Life is a desire, not a meaning!
~ Charlie Chaplin
~

Pippa is an orphan girl who undergoes several life incarnations. This is the story of her awakening and self-discovery, made magical with the help of vibrant and talkative creatures: an Egyptian goose, a wily tomcat, a famished caracal who vows to eat Pippa before her third birthday, to name a few.

It is a spiritual tale, grounded in the realistic, botanical beauty of South Africa. Through each incarnation, Pippa comes of age in new and different ways, swimming through time while learning of timelessness, contained in a body while learning of her limitless capacities. An imaginative, thought-provoking story that deals with the nature of life and death, and questions the very nature of reality. Poignant, funny, and beautifully written, it will delight the child within adults, and younger audiences, too, who yearn to explore the great mysteries of a multi-dimensional universe.

~ By Robin Gregory, Award-winning Author of
‘The Improbable Wonders of  Moojie Littleman

5 Star Review on Amazon.com – 20.11.2016

Reader Feedback

Independent book reviews help readers find what they want – THANK YOU for a wonderful 5-Star review – both on Amazon and Goodreads! I value honest reader feedback; please feel free to comment or contact me!

Main website:  Bianca Gubalke

Piu Piu of Noordhoek

Piu Piu is back!

Incredible, but true, our wild Egyptian goose, Piu Piu, is back! And even more exciting: he brought his mate, Poline! If you followed how the story of Piu Piu started HERE and – apparently – ended HERE, and if you’re an animal lover – and you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t! – then you can feel the joy! It’s just too beautiful for words!

Piu Piu of Noordhoek by Bianca Gubalke

Piu Piu of Noordhoek

The amazing thing about ‘Piu Piu of Noordhoek’ is that he not only came to visit us, but also the family who originally found the little abandoned chick! Now how cool is that? Stay tuned as this new story evolves… while the book on the Life of Piu Piu (adventure fiction) – is already going through the pre-publishing channel.

Lots more to come…

 

Piu Piu of Noordhoek

Piu Piu of Noordhoek

The 20th January was the last day Piu Piu of Noordhoek watched the glorious sunset together with me – this is his last photo! Piu Piu never understood why I did not lift up into the air together with him and fly those beautiful rounds above the valley, far out across the wetlands, the ocean and the mountains… I had taught him how to run, spread wings and fly… and then I never got up above the ground myself! What a fake goose – duhh!

Piu Piu of Noordhoek

He had become a very strong and courageous goose. Besides, it was clear that his hormones had kicked in; he kept listening to voices from deep down in the valley, where the other geese met before leaving for lusher grounds as here the sun had licked up every drop in the dam and the little Piu Piu Pond was fun to dive in but nothing compared with the water and reeds he had experienced so abundantly in the dam.

And yes, there was that aggressive single female goose that came after him; I could not really decypher her intentions. Perhaps geese ladies have to be bad-tempered to be cool following goose etiquette. I don’t know.

What I do know is that on the morning of the 21st of January such a ‘rendez-vous’ took place on the lawn and since then he disappeared. We had hoped he’d return perhaps at night to cuddle his ‘cow’, but no. Oh, he would sure be back in the morning for his early treats… but no. Clear enough, someone or something else has taken over – and despite the pain this truly caused, we hope he’s finally where a wild Egyptian goose belongs, happy and enjoying the thrill of life. We were blessed to experience his first few months, of which I have documented each day. There is a whole story waiting to be edited to go up on YouTube – one day.

Of course, nothing would make me happier than seeing him visiting one day… and who knows? This may well happen!

Have a wonderful Piu Piu Day!

PS: Meanwhile, the novel “Piu Piu of Noordhoek” is complete and being revised! Watch for updates!