The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.
The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Christoph Fischer's New Book: The Gamblers.
UK Author Christoph Fischer writes Historical Fiction.
Author: Christoph Fischer
Ben is an insecure accountant obsessed with statistics, gambling and beating the odds. When he wins sixty-four million in the lottery he finds himself challenged by the possibilities that his new wealth brings.
He soon falls under the influence of charismatic Russian gambler Mirco, whom he meets on a holiday in New York. He also falls in love with a stewardess, Wendy, but now that Ben’s rich he finds it hard to trust anyone. As both relationships become more dubious, Ben needs to make some difficult decisions and figure out who’s really his friend and who’s just in it for the money.
Excerpt from The Gamblers
He stopped at a very modern warehouse conversion in the meat-packing district and parked on the road. Finding a spot so easily was yet another token of luck, Ben thought. Mirco rang an unmarked doorbell and got buzzed into the building straight away. He walked with familiarity through a set of doors and around the corner towards a lift. The thing was made of bleak metal and didn’t signal anything like ‘way to a reputable designer or stylist’. Ben started to have doubts about this adventure until the elevator opened directly into a penthouse with massive windows and a French door out to a roof. He walked to the window to admire the stunning view over the river. The air was crisp, the sky clear; one could see for miles.
There was something incredibly beautiful about this and empowering.
“You like?” Mirco said, amused, and laughed at his friend for being so easily impressed.
“I keep forgetting you’re a tourist here.”
Ben almost didn’t notice, he was so taken in by the view.
“Bella,” Mirco called out loudly and clicked his fingers. “Your clients are here. Let’s have some champagne, shall we, and an espresso for me, too.”
Ben turned around to have a look at the inside. Standing with his back to the window he saw the elevator and a reception desk beside it. All of the space this side of the elevator was a large walkway with a few seats and a sofa. Behind the reception desk and along the wall were several closed doors.
A stunning, dark-haired woman in a tight black leather dress and high heels came from behind the desk with a tray of filled champagne flutes, obviously prepared for this request.
“Oliver will be out in a second,” she said as she handed Ben and Mirco each a glass. She kissed the Russian on the cheek. “Good to see you. It’s been a while.”
She looked dismissively at Mirco’s suit. It was bland in comparison to what the Russian had worn a day before but it surely didn’t call for such contempt. Ben could tell that it wasn’t cheap.
“You’ve been cheating on us and been going to the shops,” she said and looked at him with assumed disgust. “Shame on you! Wait what happens when Oliver sees it.”
Mirco pulled a scared face and winked at her.
Seconds later a tall but plump man of about fifty entered the room. He wore heavy-rimmed glasses on a string around his neck, a green plaid jacket and yellow trousers in a similar check design. Balding and wearing a scarf, he looked incredibly camp, but when he spoke he sounded rather butch and serious.
“Is this the guy?” he asked, pointing at Ben.
“Yes, Oliver” Mirco replied. “We need a full new wardrobe and to refine his look.”
“Oh yes,” Oliver said to Mirco as if Ben wasn’t even there. With no introduction or formality Oliver ruffled through Ben’s hair and shook his head. “First, we need to get his hair sorted.
Bella, ring Jean and tell her it’s a Mirco-emergency. Tell her to bring her entire team. We’re going the full shebang.”
Then he took out a tape measure. “Eve, bring your notebook,” he ordered and an equally stunning blonde girl in a short leather skirt and a silk blouse came running, ready to take notes.
Oliver took measurements of Ben’s body. Fast, rough and focused on the task, he shouted out numbers to Eve.
“I’ll be one sec,” he said and disappeared into the rooms behind the elevator. When he came back he brought a couple of clothes stands with suits, shirts and coats.
Ben stood there like a lemon, puzzled and uncomfortable.
“Get him a refill,” Mirco said to Bella. “The accountant is starting to feel nervous at the sight of your glamour,” and laughed heartily. He turned to Ben. “Don’t worry, it’s my treat. I want to show you what the good life is like. I know you’re happy with your own boring style, but get a taste of mine and see how much fun it is. You’ll never go back, trust me.”
Ben shook his head but didn’t argue. The pretty girls made the ordeal of modelling rather bearable. As he looked at himself in the mirror from time to time he did like the improvements. It was rather skilled what the team did to him, he had to admit it; money well spent, he reckoned.
Fiction, Historical Fiction
Christoph Fischer Books
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Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. "Time To Let Go" , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller "The Healer" was released in January 2015 and his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
Author's Book List
- The Three Nations Trilogy - Volume 2
Sebastian is the story of a young man who, due to an unfortunate accident, has his leg amputated shortly before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty, and hopefully find love. Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna, the time of war and the end of the Monarchy, while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear. Fischer brilliantly describes life in Vienna during the war years; how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the monarchic system , the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era. As in the first book of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, nationality and borders. The step back in time from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of sequential order, so as not to see one as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the reality it must have felt like for people at the time.
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The Luck of the Weissensteiners
- The Three Nations Trilogy - Volume 1
In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families.
The story follows their lot through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after. From the moment that Greta Weissensteiner enters the bookstore where Wilhelm Winkelmeier works, and entrances him with her good looks and serious ways, I was hooked. But this is no ordinary romance; in tact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story.
What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance Christoph Fischer gives his readers to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences.
Set in the fascinating area of Bratislava, this is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck. I cared about every one of this novel's characters and continued to think about them long after I'd finished reading. -- Andrea Steiner, University of California Santa Cruz
The Luck of the Weissensteiners is an epic saga set in wartime Eastern Europe. It follows the lives of two families - one Jewish, one Catholic - and their entwined survival amidst the backdrop of the second world war; first the fascist then the communist invasion and occupation of Slovakia, and the horror of the consequences of war. The reader is transported to a world of deception, fear, distrust and betrayal, alongside enduring love and family drama. The characters are vividly painted in the mind of the reader as we follow their journey across Europe at a time of unimaginable challenge and trauma. Weissensteiners is a magnificent tale of human survival. I wish I hadn't read it already so that I may repeat the pleasure of discovering and becoming lost in the story once again.
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