Tag Archives: historical fiction

St. Kunibert

Medieval Cologne and St. Kunibert Through The Eyes of a Main Character

St. Kunibert

Built in the mid-thirteenth century, St. Kunibert is Cologne’s youngest Gothic Cathedral. (Photo Credit: The Great Jesus Experiment)

Where in the world is Ivo Bauer?

It is the 24th of April in the year of our Lord 1248 and Ivo Bauer sits perched in an oak that’s just beginning to leaf outside St. Kunibert’s Gate in Cologne. If he cranes his neck, he can see beyond the Gothic towers of Cologne’s newest cathedral to the dozens of trading vessel flocking to Rheine Gate.

Writing takes me—and my characters—to wonderful places. If you couldn’t tell already, today we are in thirteenth-century Cologne just outside one of its many famous gates. If you keep up with my blog, you’ll know that Cologne has a rich and fascinating history. The parish of St. Kunibert is no exception.

St. Kunibert

The historical map (bottom left) shows the city of Cologne. The map (at right) shows the city’s divided into parishes. St. Kunibert is located in the lower left. The map on the upper right is a close-up of this section of the city.

A Brief History of St. Kunibert

St. Kunibert’s Cathedral still stands today in the southeast of Cologne. The youngest Gothic cathedral in the city, it was consecrated in 1247, despite not being finished. To celebrate, Cologne’s infamous archbishop—Konrad von Hochstaden—threw a feast for Cologne’s elite. A year later this same archbishop laid the cornerstone of the city’s famous cathedral after the previous cathedral burned to the ground.
The area of Kunibert has a long history. Prior to the cathedral, a seventh-century basilica dedicated to St. Clement sat on the grounds, but when Cologne’s beloved bishop Kunibert died and his remains were interned at the church in 663, the basilica soon became synonymous with him.
Two fairly famous legends surround the area. In May of 1030, when a fire in St. Mary of the Steps threatened to burn the city cathedral, canons from St. Kunibert lugged the sainted bishop’s shrine to the cathedral steps and it’s said that the fire extinguished instantly. Perhaps even stranger, the cathedral houses a room beneath the altar with an ancient well. Women once believed drinking its waters increased their chances of fertility. I’m not quite sure why they have blocked it off. It makes me wonder if people, believing the legend, still attempt to drink from it.

Thanks for reading. Want to explore the fascinating world of Medieval Cologne with my characters? Get a FREE sample of The Fairytale Keeper sent to your Kindle from Amazon.com. To see more posts like this one, click the follow button in the sidebar or sign up for my monthly newsletter.



Help Fund The Second Novel in The Fairytale Keeper Series and Get a Reward!

Andrea Cefalo with StudentWhether finishing a masterpiece or just getting started, the most daunting task for authors is coming up with the funds. In the not-so-distant past, writers relied on major publishers to fund the editing and marketing of their novels. But times have changed. With the help of crowdfunding, authors are ditching publishers and going out on their own.  Self-publishing is nothing new, but with the use of crowdfunding, authors can get the money to create novels that rival traditionally published books.

When author Andrea Cefalo published her first novel, The Fairytale Keeper, she was told that indie authors need at least $5,000 to help fund their projects. Sadly, that was a gross underestimate. Cefalo says she’s spent far more than that, even though she does much of the work herself. “If I can learn how to do it, I do,” Cefalo said. “I spend my money where I think it makes the biggest impact–editing, marketing and advertising.” In order to fund the editing and printing of her second novel, The Fairest of All, Cefalo is turning to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Cefalo’s second novel is the much-anticipated sequel to The Fairytale Keeper and is book two in The Fairytale Keeper series. The novel combines Grimm’s Fairy Tale characters, key players from the world of 13th century Holy Roman Empire and dynamic characters with real historical settings and events to create a tale that leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.

Since its publication, The Fairytale Keeper has become a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s 2013 Breakthrough Novel Contest, won Indie Book of the Day and was second runner-up in Writing.com’s Hook Us Contest.  As a result of these awards, Cefalo has gained positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, which says The Fairytale Keeper is “a…resonant tale set late in the 13th century… with unexpected plot twists. An engaging story of revenge and redemption… An opener to a future series.” A professional reviewer from Amazon’s contest says it is a “really great story. The author’s style reminds me of many great historical fiction pieces that I’ve read. Strong emotion injected into almost every page.”

So if you want to help an up-and-coming author see her dream of publishing her second novel become a reality, please visit her Kickstarter page, share it with your friends, and consider supporting her with a donation.  All donations come with a reward of equal or greater value than the donation itself!

The Fairytale Keeper Book Trailer!

I’m very proud to (finally) present The Official Fairytale Keeper Book Trailer.

I owe a great deal of gratitude to my very talented husband, Ken Morrill, who created this book trailer for me.

Can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of The Fairytale Keeper? Order it now @

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The Fairytale Keeper: Indie Book of the Day

Indie Book Day Andrea CefaloI’m very proud to announce that The Fairytale Keeper was nominated and awarded The Indie Book of the Day Award on April 12, 2013.  To see, The Fairytale Keeper and other past award winners, visit: http://indiebookoftheday.com/past-winners/.

The Fairytale Keeper: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter-Finalist

the fairytale keeperI am happy to announce that The Fairytale Keeper has been named a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest!  Click the picture to read a free excerpt and give your opinion.

If you like what you read, The Fairytale Keeper is available for $0.99 until April 1st on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Who would make the best Ivo?


For 72 hours,  The Fairytale Keeper ebook will be 87% off the cover price.  Amazon and Barnes and Noble will allow you to send ebooks as gifts so if you’ve already read it, send an ecopy to a friend for only 99 cents.  Sale starts tomorrow at noon.

Click here, to get The Fairytale Keeper at Amazon.com

Click here, to get The Fairytale Keeper at BarnesandNoble.com

The Countdown Begins

It’s hard to believe that the release for the second book in The Fairytale Keeper series is only eight months away.  If you didn’t know, the book has a tentative title, The Fairest of Them All.   At this point,  I am halfway done with writing and beginning work on revisions.  For me, this is the perfect time to start revising.  It’s quite fun to read parts of the book that I’d written months ago.  They feel so new. Thankfully, I am very pleased with the first chapter.  For those of you who know me personally, I am no good at keeping surprises.  I am absolutely dying to post the first chapter of The Fairest of Them All today!  But I think I will be a good little author and wait until after the entire book goes off for editing. For those of you who are dying to have a sneak peek into The Fairest of Them All, visit my Pinterest page, which holds clues as to what will happen in the next installment of The Fairytale Keeper series.

Amanda’s Writings Book Review

“There was never a slow moment, and I couldn’t put the book down… And then came the end. Gah! That can’t be it! It was perfect, and I was excited and it ENDED! I sincerely hope there will be a book two!”

Oh yes, Amanda, there is definitely a book two coming.  To find out what else Amanda had to say about The Fairytale Keeper click here.