Treasure hunt, hidden secrets, and broken lives

Treasure hunt

During my childhood, an elderly friend of the family used to do a treasure hunt once a year in her back garden. I would walk around the many paths that led through the flower borders surrounded by trees and shrubbery. The treasure lay hidden high or low, on top, behind or below items. Squeals of delight rose from excited children as they found an object. I loved those afternoons especially as we received prizes and afternoon tea with delicious cakes afterwards.

I have retained my love of hunting for things and enjoy researching family history. Those tiny hints that ended up leading me along the right path to a new distant relative. Often there were sad tales that accompanied these findings. For this reason, Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson appealed to me, as it hinted at a treasure hunt, hidden secrets and broken lives. Just my cup of tea!

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden among the stars by Melanie Dobson

My Penny’s Worth

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson is a dual time story about the present that reaches back to 1938 Austria.

What did I like

I liked the 1938 story which focussed on the hidden treasure of the Jewish people.  Also, how the relationships between the main characters developed under Nazi rule. I could smell the fear from the pages. There are lots of little gems in the writing that take you straight into their world. You can hear the music of the orchestra and see the fearful faces as two cultures try to dance together. However, for one man, there is only his love’s desire in the room.

She slowly picked up the hem of her dress, and he took her hand. “Let’s show them how to waltz.”It seemed to him as if the gates to heaven opened up, joy raining down as the angels themselves sang in his mind.

Bravery and love are at the core of this story, and it speeds ahead through the chapters.

Whoa, slam on the brakes!

The present-day story is sweet and slows the pace of the book right down. At the end of reading the 1938 chapters, I had to slam the brakes on. This I found a tad frustrating as I wanted to continue with the story. However, I knew if I just skipped the present-day contributions I would miss out on the connections between the two. In my opinion, the transition to the first person also made that shift a little harder.

Fear, Annika thought, was a curious thing. Motivating some to hurt and others to heal. #WW2 #courage #love Click To Tweet
Present day

Callie is an interesting character who thinks deeply.  She cares but puts herself last on the ladder, captive to her past.  I love this portion of her thoughts.

Capture every thought, that’s what it says in the second book of Corinthians. Lock the fugitive ones away in captivity. A new picture begins sketching itself in my head. Thoughts – hundreds of them – going rogue. Bent on destruction. I want to imprison them, but I can’t seem to cram them back into their cell.

So you have conflict in the present day storyline as well as the 1938 one.

This is a treasure hunt of hidden secrets and broken lives. Can the treasure found in a book that is linked with the past finally bring peace to troubled minds and hearts? That is a question dear reader you will have to answer for yourself by reading Hidden Among the Stars.

Thank you, Melanie Dobson, for writing this book.

I would like to give it 4****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

#amreading Hidden Among the Stars @MelBDobson #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

This book review was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Giveaway – To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!! To enter see details below. And please don’t forget to comment on my blog – thank you.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson read about hidden treasure.

Book Title: Hidden Among The Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

Synopsis

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie DobsonMelanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Who is Melanie Dobson

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at www.melaniedobson.com.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

Back Porch ReadsSeptember 6

Among the Reads, September 6

The Power of Words, September 7

Multifarious, September 7

lady ansel book vibes, September 7

The Becca Files, September 7

God’s Little Bookworm, September 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8

Painting with Words, September 8

Lis Loves Reading, September 8

cherylbbookblog, September 9

Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9

Madeline Clark, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Faithfully Bookish, September 10

Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11

Daysong ReflectionsSeptember 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11

Seasons of Opportunities, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

Inklings and notionsSeptember 12

amandainpaSeptember 12

Maureen’s Musing, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13

Just Commonly, September 13

Book by Book, September 13

Connect in Fiction, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

Have A Wonderful DaySeptember 14

Splashes of JoySeptember 14

The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15

To Everything A Season, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 16

BigreadersiteSeptember 16

Aryn The Libraryan, September 16

By The Book, September 17

Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17

Janices book reviews, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Carpe Diem, September 18

Godly Book Reviews, September 19

For The Love of Books, September 19

Live. Love. Read., September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ad/hidden-among-the-stars-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dance with Jesus it will change your life

dance with jesus FB banner copy

Dance my friends as today I have Susan B Mead on the couch with me. However, we are not on the desert island this time as Susan has some imaginative writing to share with you. So today’s interview will be a look into her world of hope.

This is an I love Authors Interview 32

Hello and welcome Susan. Thank you for joining me on my couch today. I have five questions for you and I can’t wait to hear your answers.

Susan – Thank you, Margaret, for inviting me.

Well, if you are sitting comfortably let’s begin.

A dog starts talking to you, what conversation would you have with him/her? Why?

Susan – In the poem, The Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson calls the Holy Spirit of God the Hound of Heaven, for He pursues us fervently! It makes me wonder if this dog talking to me like Balaam’s donkey talked to him to correct his path and lead me in the way of the Lord?

What would I say to the dog? Do you know we hear that all dogs go to Heaven? I pray you do too. Do you of Jesus? Oh, how He loves you, for He created you for His pleasure… My son, Kyle, is there and will play with you as you two run through fields and streams. Can you imagine the beauty of your forever home?

Do dogs go to heaven?

Honestly, I do not know whether dogs go to Heaven or not, yet it is a comforting thought. We know Jesus returns on a white horse, so what if there are dogs in Heaven too?

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you…In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7,10)

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10)

Not many people think of measuring righteousness by this standard.

I would like to think there are animals in heaven just as it is described in Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” This I feel is a beautiful vision of life in heaven.

A tree 1,000 years old is weeping, what do you think it is weeping about?

SusanRomans 8:19-27 (NIV) tells us the whole earth is groaning, crying, like a woman in labor, in eager expectation of liberation from its bondage of decay!

Romans 8:19-25

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:26-27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

This is so true, Susan, nature yearns for the coming of God just as we do. It goes through the seasons, birth, life, death and resurrection each year waiting for the final amen.

Your calendar has an extra month, what is it for?

SusanAnd the sun stood still…

So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. Joshua 10:13

WOW! We have a whole month! What enemy do we fight, Lord? Those lost from the Lord. Go preach the good news of Jesus Christ…

Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he (Jesus) appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned. Mark 16:14-16 (MSG)

This is certainly our task – to bring those souls to the Lord who do not know Him. I love this answer, Susan, an extra month to do God’s bidding.

A flower is depressed how do you help it unfold its petals?

Speak love…I love you. You are beautiful. Let your beauty unfurl, slowly show and shine your unique beauty that only you can reveal, for you have a purpose here. Lift your head and let your heart open for you are safe here and loved, oh so loved.

You have moments to unlock a door and escape from a terrifying chicken, what key five words do you think will open the door?

Susan – The door will be opened.

Ask, Seek, Knock spells ASK! So ask God…

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Yes, that is so true Susan, so often we forget to ask. Perhaps if we remember what ASK means we might be quicker in finding out the solutions. We might be a little less anxious and keep the terrifying chickens at bay!

An alien demands that you read a book to him/her that epitomizes earth, what would you chose and why?

Susan – The Bible it begins with the creation and foretells the end of the earth. What better description is there, good, bad, ugly and HOPE of Heaven when the earth “rolls up” at the end of this age.

That’s a great answer, Susan and a fitting end to my questions. Thank you so much for sharing your hope with us. Your book Dance with Jesus is full of encouragement to deepen faith and move on with life. I hope you have a great tour with Celebrate Lit and manage to reach out to many readers who need your book.

Friends show your appreciation for Susan B Mead. What an incredible lady.

This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Dance with Jesus @SusanBMead #book on tour with Celebrate_Lit read #interview & enter #free #giveaway $50 amazon gift card Click To Tweet

Giveaway – To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!! See details below.

And please don’t forget to comment on my blog, it is truly appreciated – thank you.

Click here to purchase Dance with Jesus!

If you like what you read please comment below and don’t forget to enter Susan’s giveaway.

About the Book

Dance With Jesus Book CoverBook Title: Dance with Jesus

Author: Susan B. Mead

Genre: Non-fiction: Christian life, Bereavement, Grief

Release date: March 31, 2015

Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions…

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE DEAR TO YOU? A brother, sister, parent, grandparent, family member, friend or a child? A relationship? A body part to cancer or an accident? Do you want to experience the joy of moving from broken to blessed? From GRIEF TO GRACE? Do you want God to take your hand and teach you to dance…with Jesus? Yes?

Then devour the words of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace! Expect to laugh through the tears and experience a deepening of your faith.

Are you looking for a free mini-course to deepen your faith? Text DanceWithJesus (all one word) to 444-999, then reply with your email to receive 6 days of Biblical encouragement.

10% of the profit from Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace will benefit Water for LIFE to help dig water wells in remote locations around the world. People Matter!

About the Author

susan b meadA master storyteller and award-winning, bestselling author, Susan B. Mead leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle. With over 22 years in corporate America, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 1 eLit Book Award Gold Medal and 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelfan MBA and a Certificate of Ordination hanging on the wall, as well as a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world. Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Josephine’s Thoughts, August 29

Carpe Diem, August 30

Multifarious, August 31

Simple Harvest Reads, September 1 (Spotlight)

proud to be an autism mom, September 2

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 2

Texas Book-aholic, September 3

Artistic Nobody, September 4 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 5

Janices book reviews, September 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 8 (Interview)

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9

Bigreadersite, September 10

Giveaway

 

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0bc39d2b2/?

Isn’t it great when you hate the bad guy?

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Bad characters, bad writing, poor plot – not a bit of it. Minding the Light had me riveted. Read my book review below.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My penny’s worth

I have been eagerly waiting for the 2nd book in the Nantucket Legacy Series, after reading Phoebe’s Light. Would Minding the Light proved to be just as good? Well, my friends, I ate up the pages!

Why?

The bad character

Oh, my word, I disliked Lillian Swain Coffin, she is everything I loathe in a Christian. My heckles began to rise at the mention of her name. I mourned for Jane and Daphne having a mother like Lillian. Yes, I wept. Suzanne Woods Fisher did a commendable job with her bad guy (well woman in this case!). How I wanted to shake her. Now calm down Margaret, she is only a character in a book. I know, I know, but you see how she affected me. And it is great to hate a bad character in a book, it shows powerful writing.

Great Mary

Yes, Great Mary is back with her wisdom, and there is one particular quote from the book that will stay with me. It is referring to the story of Elisha from the Bible. A native Indian is talking to Great Mary, “God has a great and good future for you. Can you not see? God surrounds with his protection, with his presence. (Mary is) Like Elisha. Eyes closed. (If Great Mary opened her eyes…)

“What might shift in my heart if God were to unveil my eyes and show me that despite my fears and uncertainties, I’m surrounded by his powerful protection and presence. This Wampanoag had given me a great blessing. He reminded me not to fear the future, but to embrace it. To welcome whatever will come with open arms. For we are not alone on this journey.”

This is what I needed to hear. I am thankful that God has used Minding the Light to reveal to me what I need to do, just like Mary, I need to open my eyes and embrace the future.

So if it isn’t a bad book what is so great about it?

Let’s just say that within its pages there are secrets, loss, love, guilt, awakenings, transformations, hypocrisy, risk, reconciliation and regrets. Is that enough? Oh and the question of slavery, both religious and actual.

And the writing is just beautiful.

“A frown darkened Patience’s brown eyes, and she gave a nod. Such an economy of words out of this woman, and yet they clattered into the room like stones down a dry well.”

All of the characters are strong and powerful. Do I need to say more?

There are times to ponder.

“Tis all about the keystone, Mary. Think on that.”

And situations that melt your heart. I cried too, oh have I said that already!

Would I recommend Minding the Light.

Just go out and get a copy, is that recommendation enough? But read Phoebe’s Light first.

I have to give this book 5*****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Remember there is a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the page, please enter for a chance to win.

If you liked my review let me know in the comments. Many thanks 🙂

#amreading Minding the Light @suzannewfisher #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

FIsher_MindingtheLight(2)

Book Title: Minding the Light

Author: Suzanne  Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 3, 2018

 

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisherCarol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

Eight Curious Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

One

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

Two

Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

Three

The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

Four

Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

Five

Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

Six

Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

Seven

Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.

Eight

There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3

midnightbookaholic, July 3

The Avid Reader, July 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4

The Power of Words, July 4

A Baker’s Perspective, July 5

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Just the Write Escape, July 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Bibliophile Reviews, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, July 9

Captive Dreams Window, July 9

Book by Book, July 9

Back Porch Reads, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 10

The Morning Chapter, July 11

Vicky Sluiter, July 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11

Among the Reads, July 12

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Two Points of Interest, July 12

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13

Blogging With Carol, July 13

Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14

Maureen’s Musings, July 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Inklings and notions, July 15

Bigreadersite, July 15

Connie’s History Classroom , July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16

Pause for Tales, July 16

Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

I love Authors Interview 22 this is Barbara Bras

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Barbara Bras author of She Who Knows No Fear

I love Authors Interview 22

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Welcome to I love Authors Interview 22. Today we meet Barbara Bras, author of She Who Knows No Fear, which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 26th April – 9 May. Let’s all give Barbara a warm greeting.

Bstsell auth

Hello Barbara, it’s lovely to meet you today. Come and have a seat on my couch.

I’m so glad you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit which is running from 26th April – 9th May, as it gives me an opportunity to get you onto my sofa for a chat.

Barbara – Well, I am delighted to be here Margaret.

I hope you don’t mind but my interviews revolve around a desert island theme.  So I want you to imagine that we are on a deserted island somewhere remote. This means we are going back to basics.

However, for my first question, I want to know..

What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?

Barbara I enjoy my own company Margaret, but I would love a working radio (with extra batteries) for music and for news of the world’s events…to stay connected to the universe in that little way.

We could let you have a wind-up radio with a solar panel Barbara, better for the environment and then you wouldn’t need batteries as the sun charges it. Perfect for a hot desert island. Just try not to get sand in it!

I know you love books..

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

BarbaraJesus Always, by Sarah Young. I find the daily devotions speak to me and come with great Bible references, which on the desert island I would have plenty of time to read!

You certainly would Barbara, once you have built your shelter and fished for your supper!

 

Talking about food..

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

BarbaraThis is embarrassing, Hebrew National Hotdogs. I’m crazy for them.

Ok, so I will need to look these up when we are on the mainland again with an internet connection. But they sound delicious. I learn something new everyday!

We’ve talked about books, food and now I want to know something about your writing..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Barbara –“She thought everyone had found a secret she didn’t possess, but now she knew it was no secret. God loved her, too.”

Oh yes, that realization when you understand God loves you. That is a beautiful quote Barbara, thank you.

 

I always love these answers..

To leave the island, you have to describe your main character in five words, can you tell me what they would be?

Barbara – Gentle spirit seeking everlasting love.

Oh so true, I remember Cassie from your first book “She who knows – the tale of the heart”, which I liked. I think readers will enjoy this sequel.

Well, there you have it, readers, I am so glad Barbara you came to meet us on my couch today. It’s been fun getting to know a little bit more about you.

Barbara Bras readers, she deserves a mighty round of applause. I hope you have a successful blog tour.

It’s GIVEAWAY time so don’t forget to read the rest of this post and then enter Barbara’s competition at the bottom of the page. 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Bstsell authTitle: She Who Knows No Fear

Author: Barbara Bras

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: December 8, 2017

 

Cassie’s dream is about to come true. She’s marrying her best friend, the love of her life.

She will never be alone again.

But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie’s safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew.

Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden “treasures” in the house she inherited.

With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother’s journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

About the Author

untitled-1In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God.  She believed that her first step was to share the amazing story of God’s blessings in her life. Wrapped in God’s Grace, A Life Rediscovered does so through a trio of narratives. It begins with the story of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia, and her own quest for purpose and love.  Once written, Barbara realized her life’s new purpose. Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, she views her writing as a tribute to the God who comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials, and as her mission to encourage others.  Her first novel, She Who Knows, A Tale of the Heart, seeks to inspire and encourage. The sequel, She Who Knows No Fear:  Another Tale of the Heart, released in December 2017. Solo Deo Gloria, To God Alone Be the Glory

She who knows no fear image

Blog Spots

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

proud to be an autism mom, April 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Bibliophile Reviews, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Josephine’s Thoughts, April 30

Among the Reads, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2

Janices book reviews, May 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Reading is my Super Power, May 3 (Interview)

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 4

Pause for Tales, May 4

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, May 5

Carpe Diem, May 5

A Baker’s Perspective, May 6

margaret kazmierczak, May 6 (Interview)

Mary Hake, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, May 8

Bigreadersite, May 8

For the love of books, May 9

Pursuing Stacie, May 9

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus a signed copy of She Who Knows and She Who Knows No Fear!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca74

A Song Unheard an amazing book about love and war

A Song Unheard requires an ear to hear the music of the writer’s pen.

a song unheard fb banner copy

My Penny’s worth

A Song Unheard

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White has just blown me away with its pure musical writing. Yes, I raise my hands up – a book that sings despair and hope through its melodic pages. Consequently, it would lure me into a gentle aria only to send my senses into a crescendo moments later. I wanted to stand and applaud even though I had just read the first chapter.

Should you trust a thief?

Dear reader, can I be honest? A question you don’t ask a thief as it requires a truthful answer which the pilferer might steal! However, I don’t mind as A Song Unheard has taken my heart. But steal away Willa Forsythe steal away as there are very few books where I shed a tear.

A book to top A Name Unknown?

I thought Roseanna White’s first book very good, but in my opinion, this one tops A Name Unknown. Why? This book builds upon the Family of thieves and uncovers more of their secrets. Willa takes the lead role this time and what a character she has turned out to be. A Song Unheard plays to her strengths and weaknesses superbly. I loved Willa and her music, how she made a beaten up old violin her friend. With skill like hers, it is no wonder she made the Stradivarius putty in her hands. So who wouldn’t fall in love with her music?

Can you hear the message?

There is a beautiful message floating amongst notes, can you hear it? Oh, this book oozes brilliance.

A guarded heart

I love the stamina in which Willa keeps her heart enclosed. Equally, her freedom will take this determination to a higher level. There are no accessible routes for Willa or her heart. Or are there? Well sorry folks, I’m not going to do a spoiler as I want you to read the book for yourselves.

Who else is part of the music?

Of course, the book isn’t only about Willa. Lucas De Wilde plays an important part too. And I love the way he is caught in Willa’s web just as I am. Barclay, also a member of the Family steps into the breach and is infuriating but often right when decisions need action. The story would not be complete without Lucas’ family who needs rescuing from the Germans.

Finally…

So there you have it, a story of thieves, spies, deception, love and forgiveness all written into a musical composition and awaiting an audience.

Can I just say, I loved A Song Unheard? Well, I just have.

A recommendation is a given. But I would read A Name Unheard first so that you get to know this family.

I hope my five stars won’t be stolen by the Family!

Thank you Rosanna for writing this lovely book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Don’t forget the FREE GIVEAWAY at the end of this blog.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

SongUnheard

Title: A Song Unheard

Author: Roseanna M. White

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 2, 2018

 

Willa Forsythe

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

About the Author

Roseanna White 2017Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, Roseanna is homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. She is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest post from Roseanna White

An early start

I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers. Moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

Making the music weep

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

Music can be many things

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope, tears or truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

A change of tempo

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

My prayer

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11

History, Mystery & Faith, January 11

Genesis 5020, January 11

Bookworm Mama, January 11

A Simply Enchanted Life, January 11

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 12

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 12

Blogging With Carol, January 12

Multifarious, January 12

proud to be an autism mom, January 12

Faithfully BookishJanuary 13

Christian Bookaholic, January 13

Karen Sue Hadley, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

A Greater YesJanuary 13

Remembrancy, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

Just the Write Escape, January 14

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

A Reader’s Brain, January 15

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 15

Smiling Book Reviews, January 15

Cordially Barbara, January 15

Pursuing StacieJanuary 15

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

The Artist Librarian, January 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 16

Bigreadersite, January 16

Mommynificent, January 17

Seasons of Opportunities, January 17

Moments Dipped in Ink, January 17

Baker Kella, January 17

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, January 17

God’s Little Bookworm, January 18

allofakindmom, January 18

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Pause for Tales, January 19

Have A Wonderful Day, January 19

Just Commonly, January 19

Bibliophile Reviews , January 19

Janices book reviewsJanuary 19

Radiant LightJanuary 20

The Power of Words , January 20

Book by Book, January 20

CAC Devourer, January 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20

Splashes of JoyJanuary 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 21

Neverending Stories, January 21

Faery Tales Are Real, January 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

margaret kazmierczak, January 22

The PhD Mamma, January 22

Cafinated Reads, January 22

Daysong Reflections, January 22

Romances of the Cross, January 23

Purposeful Learning, January 23

Rachel Scott McDaniel, January 23

Carpe Diem, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, January 24

Henry Happens, January 24

Joy of Reading, January 24

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 24

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Giveaway

 81aff2f9-c69d-4f15-a1a1-d701278cf344

In order to celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book. There is also a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!

Click below to enter and be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a

Struggling with life after death the crushing truth

Struggling with life after death

“Hold her till she dies,” the nurse said, but she didn’t tell me about struggling with life after death. I drank in my babies features trying to brand them on my mind before the nurse took her away for the autopsy. My beautiful perfectly formed baby breathed her last, the oxygen alien to her undeveloped lungs. A cry from the depths of my wounded heart filled the air. Such a short life tortured my mind. I ought to be preparing her Moses basket not a putting her in a coffin.

Struggling with life after death sucks, it cuts you up and takes away the normal. I wiped away the tears as I read Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent. This family’s loss was not for a baby but the mum. How would the father cope with being a single dad with two girls to bring up? Read on for my review.

Waiting for butterblies FB Banner 2

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

My book review of Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent

Book title: Waiting for Butterflies

Author: Karen Sargent

Release date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction 

When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.

Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.

Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.

A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.

My Penny’s worth

Immediately the Blake family consisting of Sam, the father, Rachel and Olivia, his daughters, became real as I turned the pages. The sudden death of Maggie traumatises the family, and four-year-old Olivia starts to hear her mum’s voice in all the turmoil. With Maggie becoming a lingering spirit the story takes on the form of a beautiful script. I had no problem with this imagery as God plants thoughts into our mind when we are open to His murmurings that can lead us to health and healing.

What I liked

Each character is robust and believable. Sam tries to cope with the death of his wife, but it is tough. His grief immobilises him and takes him out of his comfort zone. He knows how to be a cop, but a dad trying to take on both roles?  Sam makes mistakes not surprising in his state of bereavement.

Rachel, the oldest daughter, deals with her loss with messy choices and I get her angle especially as she has a secret that eats away at her heart. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her.

Dear Olivia the wisest of all, young but dealing with her loss in the way she knows how. She holds the key to the struggles. The insights she has, come from Maggie, although I suspect an intuitive young person capable of such words are entirely plausible having worked with young children and heard their remarkable sayings.

What I disliked

There appeared to be no reason why Sam disliked the pastor, or perhaps I missed it. Maybe someone can fill me in on this point.

Would I recommend Waiting for Butterflies?

Karen Sargent paints a realistic portrait of grief and spins a beautiful story around the Blake family. Her characters have to find their new normal, as they work through their grief. This book was a page-turner for me, and the crushing truth is that it takes courage and time to adapt when you lose a loved member of the family, especially when you have not been able to say “goodbye”. This family certainly depicted the struggling of life after death. The verdict – yes I would recommend Waiting for Butterflies.

Thank you, Karen Sargent, for writing such a poignant book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Author

K. Sargent Pic

Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com. When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.

Guest Post from Karen Sargent

Waiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy

I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy.

As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe.

But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all.

When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally, my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home.

Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs.

I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one sceptical reader shared in her review:

“While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.”

I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid ReaderSeptember 21

Avid Reader Book ReviewsSeptember 21

Blogging With Carol, September 22

The Power of Words, September 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 23

Carpe DiemSeptember 23

A Baker’s Perspective, September 24

Christian Bookaholic, September 24

Reading Is My SuperPowerSeptember 25

Smiling Book Reviews, September 25

BigreadersiteSeptember 26

Cultivating Us, September 27

The Fizzy Pop CollectionSeptember 28

Pause for TalesSeptember 29

RemebrancySeptember 30

Janices book reviews, October 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 1

Margaret Kazmierczak, October 2

Reader’s cozy corner, October 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 3

A Readers BrainOctober 3

His Grace is Sufficient, October 4

Cafinated Reads, October 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes a few of Karen’s favorite things – one of which is a Hobby Lobby gift card!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winner.