Myths and Facts about Dissociative Identity Disorder / Multiple Personality Disorder


It is almost ten years since I started working on my book GIRL IN THE TREE HOUSE. Back then I stopped after a few months frustrated and discouraged. Somehow what I wrote didn’t feel right. What I read on paper looked like a hybrid between fiction and non-fiction. Weighed down by years of academic writing, I struggled with a piece that, in my eyes, had a serious identity crisis. “Am I a novel, a scientific paper, or an instruction manual?” As it turned out, it was none of them. Continue reading “Myths and Facts about Dissociative Identity Disorder / Multiple Personality Disorder”

Cover Reveal: Girl From The Tree House

I totally forgot how difficult it is to decide on a book cover. Going by my romance series THE GOLDEN GIRLS, that’s easy to see. After haven published the series with two different cover versions so far, I’m now thinking of giving it a ‘facelift’ from the cover artist who did my new novel GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE. Check out the cover she did for me. What do you think?

The book is now available as pre-order for the special early bird price of $4.80. The price will go up to the normal $9.80 on release date, 30 May 2019.

Pre-order through Amazon:

Pre-order through Apple/Kobo/B&N and others: 

It all unraveled at the funeral… 

Horace Reid’s death opened the door to our freedom. His widow, Elizabeth, exists only on paper. She disappeared thirty years ago. It’s us, the Tribe, who live in her body now. But nobody knows that. Us are Elise, the reluctant host, Lilly the closer, Ama, the proverbial mother, Sky, our wise guide, Amadeus, the warrior, and Luke, the man around the house. There are others, but we make sure they stay hidden and away from harm.

After Horace’s funeral, they tried to lock us in a mental hospital. Our sister-in-law had it all carefully planned. Thanks to quick thinking—yes, being a multiple has its advantages—we escaped to New Zealand’s South Island. Tucked away in the West Coast wilderness we… well, the plan was to continue our healing. We didn’t expect that monsters from our past still had us on their radar. When the police accuse us of murder we have to run again. Where to go, which way to turn? Our neighbor Scott appears helpful, but can we trust him? Can we trust ourselves? Can we trust anyone?

THE GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is the first of a series of psychological thrillers set in current day New Zealand. It describes how Elizabeth, a thirty-two-year-old woman with multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID), fights for her sanity and freedom. Four core personalities tell the story from the inside out, giving a touching insight into the workings of the dissociated mind. There are no graphic descriptions of abuse.

Gudrun Frerichs is a retired psychotherapist and trauma specialist in the field of (sexual) abuse recovery. She successfully worked with many clients who had a DID diagnosis. Recovery from trauma and dissociation has been the focus of her Master’s dissertation (2000) and Ph.D. thesis (2008) and is also the topic of her blog Multiple Voices. THE GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is a spectacular departure from her romance series THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

Love, Sexual Abuse, and Mental Health

white daisy flower in grey bottle vase
Photo by Bryan Schneider on

Love, sexual abuse, and mental health are the main ingredients of the new book I’m currently working on. In my case, the love of the innocent that fuels survival, the abuse and disregard of some people who don’t hesitate to perpetrate crime on vulnerable people, and a mental health system that fails to deliver. Continue reading “Love, Sexual Abuse, and Mental Health”

Sixty is the New Forty?

More and more frequently you hear the phrase, sixty is the new forty. I guess that is supposed to be a compliment. At least it seems to say, that we look and behave younger than our parents or grandparents have at the same age.

Still, it means the point of reference is forty. Forty is cool, being like forty when you’re sixty, is a good thing. Having a skin like a forty-year-old is remarkable when you’re sixty. And so on. Although it’s quite nice if someone tells me I look nothing like my age, it gives me a bad taste in my mouth. I just don’t like the generous portion of ageism in that statement. Continue reading “Sixty is the New Forty?”

Why Writing Romantic Fiction with Mature Characters

Ever since I’ve been through all the Pippi Longstockings, the Karl May books (a German-style Western for youngsters), and matured through the rest of our tiny island’s library, I’ve been reading romance novels. I devoured them all my life.

Until a few years ago. I got bored with the flawless, beautiful, size ten, gorgeous, fashionable and funkily dressed young heroine. Yes, I remember those times… not very well anymore, but yes, I’ve been there, done that, and got the stretch marks to prove it. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t relate to these young girls anymore. And I would like to identify with the heroines I’m reading about and get lost in their worlds before I contemplate what to cook for dinner tonight. Continue reading “Why Writing Romantic Fiction with Mature Characters”

Beat the Sugar Craving: #2 of 69 Challenges

 It’s that time of the year again ~ exciting End-Of-Year-Do’s and heartwarming get-together with neighbors, friends, and family. For me, it involved in the past weeks of baking (yes I made that gingerbread house myself a few years ago), and consuming tons of sweets and chocolate.

No surprise then that I am battling the bulge for as long as I can think back. I have lots of convenient excuses, from growing up with buttered sandwiches with sugar to my pet-excuse: Hubby is buying all this stuff. Yes, he is one of the unnatural people who can have a bar of chocolate and eat only one piece and then not touch it for another week.

I went sugar-free once for about seven months – during my last pregnancy. On doctors orders, who threatened I would give birth to a twenty-pound baby. That was all the incentive I needed back then. So I know I can do it. Although at the age of 68  the chances of another pregnancy are about zero.

Thus for my 69 Challenges leading up to my 69th birthday, going sugar-free is #2 and probably one of the highest hurdles to take. Starting before the full-on-Christmas-indulging-sweet-stuff seems a wise idea. I’m sure–no, I hope rather than being sure–my body will thank me for it because next May I’m going to walk part of the Camino in Spain, and the less weight I’m lugging around, the easier the walk will be.

The good news is, there is enough research showing that we can learn how to resist the lure of chocolates and icing coated cakes. Like any other addiction, it takes some preparation and research. I can work. Thousands of people have proven it. It’s not rocket science. I am particularly encouraged by a research that stipulated that intense cravings stop after two to three days for half of the participants and 87% reported no withdrawal symptoms after six days.

So here is what I came up with while looking for ways, crutches, and strategies to beating the sugar craving. I’m not a nutritionist, so do your own research. This is what I found as I looked for things that could help me!

  1. Clean out your pantry >> If it’s not in the house, it’s more unlikely to end up on your hips. A very sensible suggestion. Get rid of all the temptations makes abstaining so much easier. You might still sneak out at 10 PM and sneak over to the petrol station for a candy bar or an ice cream, but I put my money on my laziness.
  2. Cut out artificial sweeteners >> They say artificial sweeteners change your palate. the effect of cutting out sugar and sweeteners seems to be that your ‘normal’ food actually tastes sweeter.
  3. Eat food high in minerals >> A big part of sugar cravings could be related to a lack of certain minerals in your nutrition. Making sure you take in enough
    1. magnesium (leafy greens, raw cacao, nuts and seeds, brown rice, avocados),
    2. chromium (broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, whole grains, free-range eggs)
    3. zinc (whole grain, seeds, nuts, free-range eggs, oysters)
  4. Consume healthy fats >> (coconut oil, avocados, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, free-range eggs, salmon) Try putting coconut oil in your salads, smoothies, soups, or stir-fries.
  5. Go easy on coffee/tea and alcohol >> caffeine and alcohol are said to cause dehydration of our bodies and therefore prone to cause mineral deficiencies. So it’s back to water and herbal teas. I like both, and in summer I always have a pitcher of water ready with some cut lemon pieces and fresh mint leaves from my garden.
  6. Upgrade your lifestyle >> say goodbye to long nights in front of the computer or TV. Instead, make sure you get adequate sleep, put some regular exercise into your daily schedule, and manage your stress levels.

Looking at the six points – it’s all do-able. So today is my first day.

Do you have any further suggestions how to beat the sugar cravings? My goal is to be sugar-free in 2018. What about you? Please, use the comments for your suggestions. I’ll give one of my e-books free to a commenter each week.










Continue reading “Beat the Sugar Craving: #2 of 69 Challenges”

69 Challenges until November 2018 – win a free book

It will be my 69th birthday next year. Although I’m happy with my age (I mean it) the NUMBER is a little bit shocking. Some of it is of course just in my head, but some is real. Like not knowing where I put the car keys, being blind without my glasses, falling asleep in front of the TV… things like that.

I decided to make a big dash before I’m hitting the Seventies. Hence the 69 challenges. So challenge # 1 was to walk the Wellington Skyline. My Fitbit watch said I did 19 kilometres, but that sounds a bit steep giving it’s officially only twelve. Continue reading “69 Challenges until November 2018 – win a free book”

4 Weeks to Christmas

Zimtsterne ~ Cinnamon Cookies

Homemade cookies are a very traditional part of German Christmas. We start baking them just before the 1. Advent Sunday (4 Sundays before Christmas)

“Zimtsterne” cookies are one of my favourites. They are delicious and—glutenfree.

We have them for Sunday’s afternoon tea or bring them as gifts when we visit friends.

Try them out  ~ They are very easy to make! Happy baking… and let me know how you liked them.  Continue reading “4 Weeks to Christmas”

Books Can Change Lives

It took me years to find the books that changed my life in ways, nothing else has. I was a young mother with a 3 months old baby (said baby is today 44 years old) and had to seek refuge from a howling snowstorm with an older friend of the family. I still remember the scarcely furnished guest room. Over the bed, a little bookshelf was the only adornment in the room. I grabbed a book and read Breakfast at Six by Mary Scott. In German mind you, Mary Scott was famous in Germany! Go figure.

Our friend had a few more of her books and was friendly enough to let me borrow them. I loved the humorous stories of the life on a farm in the New Zealand backwaters. And forgot about it.  Continue reading “Books Can Change Lives”