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Hoffnungslose Ziele: A Dark Journey of Lost Causes is a dark fantasy novel taking place in Central Europe in the 1860s. It is a world where witches, werewolves, and vampires are real. Best friends Anna and Christine live in a rural farming town in Eastern Prussia, along with Christine's fiancée, Karl, and his best friend Gustav. The two men are about to enter conscripted military service in the Prussian Army at a time when tensions are high between the Prussians and the Austrians, as both vie for control of German-speaking Europe. Anna is a devout Catholic, while Christine is allegedly related to a witch--hardly an endearing rumor in a small, religious farming town. In spite of this, the two teenagers share a deep friendship and loyalty to each other. The story begins with Anna and Christine dabbling in witchcraft for the protection of Karl during his military service in the Prussian Army. While Anna's Catholic faith is being tested by her dabblings in the occult, however, a more sinister trial awaits: a 300 year old vampire takes an unhealthy interest in her. As her friends try desperately to save her, they meet various friends and foes along the way–including a mysterious demigoddess from the pagan world whose intentions are anything but clear. Hoffnungslose Ziele is quintessentially a story about coming of age, as the young friends confront the painful realities of innocence lost, finding love only to lose it, responding to trauma, and finding one's way in an often harsh and unforgiving world. The four unlikely heroes from rural Prussia find themselves thrust into the adventure of a lifetime: a dark and at times hopeless journey in which more than one "lost cause" must be taken up, or that which each holds most dear abandoned. Hoffnungslose Ziele is written in the epistolary format, offering the first person perspectives of six protagonists who do not always see eye-to-eye, as they recount fantastic events and their part in a journey across 19th Century Europe and beyond from each of their unique perspectives.
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About the Author
Kevin Reinholz is a 37-year old father of four and a practicing attorney licensed in the State of California. He is also a United States Air Force veteran with service in Afghanistan and the Republic of Korea. He's dreamed of writing since his youth, and wrote short stories, often in collaboration with friends, as early as 1st grade. He currently resides with his family in the Greater San Diego Area.Hoffnungslose Ziele: A Dark Journey of Lost Causes came to be after a friend issued a challenge during National Novel Writing Month 2014. That short story had little to do with the resulting novel, but Reinholz fell in love with the epistolary novel format and wrote entirely from the perspective of six characters penning diary entries and the occasional letters to each other. It's a very interesting format, giving the reader a first person perspective, without limiting that perspective to the mind of a single protagonist. Reinholz also explores Central European (especially Prussian) folklore, which is why "Hoffnungslose Ziele" dispenses with many of the 20th Century conceptions of such creatures as werewolves and vampires, hearkening back instead to 19th century folklore about these creatures with a healthy dose of his own imagination mixed in.Reinholz is also a Veller, Gauger, Rhode, Strehl, and Ehlers descendant, which gives the novel a bit of a personal touch.