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About the Author

Mark Stevens' love for nature was shaped at an early age, in his own backyard in Willingboro, New Jersey . He has fond memories of his discoveries on and around the cherry tree in his backyard. When he wasn't helping his mother plant seeds in the vegetable garden, he was climbing trees, playing sports on the grassy fields, observing the local wildlife, and exploring in the woods with friends. Venturing beyond the Pine Barrens to the wide beaches along the Atlantic Ocean gave him his first peek at the wide world and the curiosity to find out what lay beyond those waters.

Such outdoor adventure stories as The Call of the Wild and Moby Dick captured his imagination as a child and further inspired him to see the world. After earning an economics degree from Rutgers University in 1992, Mark set out on his own travels through North America, Middle America, and Europe, where he settled in his twenties.

After nearly a decade of living in Europe and hiking across hundreds of hills and valleys, he met his German wife, Nina, on a ski slope in the Austrian Alps. In June 2003, he and Nina were blessed with a baby girl, Luisa.

Observing Luisa's nature and, with her, rediscovering the nature surrounding him are the most wonderful experiences Mark has ever had. Luisa was the inspiration for this book and, in fact, she became the narrating voice of it.

In addition to German, Mark also speaks fluent French and Spanish. He is currently a news journalist for Crain's Automotive News Europe nearby Munich, Germany.

Mark lives with his wife and daughter in Waldperlach a richly wooded area of Munich, just north of the same Alps where his and Nina's love story began. The family spends much of their free time enjoying nature at the nearby mountain lakes.