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

A Kingdom of ruins what secrets is it hiding?

When I was a kid, I had my own imaginary Kingdom, where battles decided who would be king and if his army might find the secrets hidden within.  The garden sported potholes in many places as I dug tirelessly to excavate the Kingdom’s precious artefacts. The trouble usually started when I trudged the mud indoors, and the queen of the house despaired at my discoveries. I loved the worm which turned into a snake-like sword – I’m not sure the worm took kindly to my imagination.

Discarding the dirty treasures, I decided to opt for more personal items. A train ticket, a ribbon, a colourful pencil, you get the drift. These I stored in a cardboard box and labelled “Private, keep out Margaret’s precious hoard. Anyone caught stealing will be executed!” Even though I collected everyday objects to me the items were otherworldly, they could turn into whatever I wanted.

I read somewhere that this type of imagination is called “thinking outside the box.” Well, Kingdom of Ruins by D.C. Marino is a prime example of this form of vivid of creativity.

Check out my review below and read why this book deserves to be on your TBR list, that is if you enjoy the world of fantasy. And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Kingdom of Ruins by D C Marino

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Penny’s Worth

 

Having read D.C. Marino’s Points Worth – A Kingdom of Ruins Novelette the prequel to Kingdom of Ruins, I knew the story would be refreshing in its originality. The saga is built up carefully like an archaeological dig, with each piece meticulously brushed to its original form so that the reader can see its exquisite outline. The cracks of old age crafted by words to complete the ornate discovery.

Each find tells a broader tale and points to clues that later reveal the missing pieces in the jigsaw.

Trees that talk?

Talk about turning things upside down, with trees communicating, soil passing messages and all contributing to a cacophony of sounds. Everything in nature appears animated as the Kingdom prepares for war.

I love the fact that the main character Lori, an archaeologist has a phobia of ruins. Such a handicap tickled my odd sense of humour.

A reader’s delight, well at least for me!

There are some writing gems such as “His team had uncovered an Anglo-Saxon church in Yorkshire. Its muddy walls were half-exposed and gulped the fresh air. After eleven hundred years they were raised. She pressed her ears to one of the crumbled walls to see if she could hear a heartbeat. She blew on it because maybe it needed to remember how to breathe.”  I wanted to hear the wall breathe too.

What I loved

I love the way Lori talks to inanimate objects; this is so me! “She (Lori) could feel their silent judgement, (in this case she is looking at two black banners heralding her Grandfather’s exhibition), so she asked them, very politely, to please shut up.” The book is full of these conversations, exchanges that bring to life, life that does not exist in such objects. However, they do “Once the glass was removed, Lori picked up the potsherd. It slipped into her palm, blood-warm and with a pulse. No. She curled her fingers around the potsherd. No, I don’t feel a pulse. But there it was: a rapid thump-thump against her fingertips, the heartbeat of someone nervous or scared.” What wonderful writing. Again this book like Points Worth had me hooked.

A Kingdom of hidden secrets

If I said this book is about something hidden from the past that needs restoring in the present,  to protect an unsuspecting community who knows nothing of their history, then the seed is only just being planted in your mind. This is the kernel of the story.  A fantastic web of threads weaving in and out, drawing you in and refusing to let go until you reach the final page. But hang it all you might not like fantasy, if not think of classics like Lord of the Rings or Narnia. Did you enjoy them? If so take a peek at this novel.

What would I award it?

4.5 stars because I have to wait for the next book!!

Thank you D.C. for writing a cracker of a novel.

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

Click here to purchase your copy!
#amreading Kingdom of Ruins @DCMarinoAuthor #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Kingdom of Ruins by D.C. Marino

Title: Kingdom of Ruins

Author: D.C. Marino

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: July 27, 2018

In the Lands Within, history does not rest. Each archaeological layer communicates with the living generation, choosing its friends and enemies—and its kings. But an alliance has been struck no one could have anticipated, and an ancient evil is soaking into the soil. History is being erased, purchased and re-written at a terrible price. And a kingdom that shouldn’t have been forgotten is fading from memory.

In the Lands Without, archaeologist Lori Brickland has found a pottery shard with a heartbeat. The pulse might be a trick of the mind, or it might be the first sign of life in a world of ruin. An exiled traveler will say she shouldn’t search for the truth, a calculating ruler will say she’s the one he’s looking for. And the kingdom? The kingdom will need her before the end. It’s time to accept what she’s always known…

This isn’t archaeology.

This is war.

About the Author

Dcmarino autho picD.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

Guest Post from D.C. Marino

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share Kingdom of Ruins with you! This story has been on my heart and mind for over ten years now, so this feels a bit surreal. I’d love to tell you a bit about why I wrote this book. But in order to do that, I need to tell you why I almost didn’t.

Fantasy. It isn’t real. Why should I spend time writing a story that doesn’t grapple with the actual issues of the day? Why not speak plainly, instead of inventing another world to explore the real one? These were the questions I asked myself every night before I fell asleep. I adored fiction that transported me to factual events or introduced me to historical figures, but every time I picked up a pen, the fantastical wiggled out of it.

I was afraid I was writing the wrong story.

This story oddly (or not so oddly) enough began with Lori, an atephobic archaeologist. Meaning she had a passion for archaeology, but a phobic fear of ruins. Why would she shrink back from the work she loved? Because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make whole the broken. Life ends in dust, and that’s all there is to it. I felt the same way. Not only was I writing something I wasn’t sure would be relevant, but could it mend anything? Make a difference? Or was it futile, like trying to resurrect the past?

What I found was exactly what Lori begins to find in Kingdom of Ruins. That even though things seem unfixable, it isn’t the end. The world Lori enters is full of darkness and peril, but it also holds a chance for her to heal from more than just her fear. While I wrote, and especially as I neared the last chapter, I realized she and I had both overcome a great challenge. Of course, I won’t tell you her conclusion, but I will tell you mine:

I wrote the right story.

I hope you enjoy every bit of the journey as I did, dear reader.

D.C. Marino

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 31

Remembrancy, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Fiction Aficionado, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 3

Connect in Fiction, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Bibliophile Reviews, August 5

A Reader’s Brain, August 6

Just the Write Escape, August 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 8

Aryn the Libraryan, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, August 10

proud to be an autism mom, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Janices book reviews, August 12

A Baker’s Perspective, August 13

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/ced0/kingdom-of-ruins-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

cc86deda-3163-43d9-9dd1-41c6c31fdaf7

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

 

Emotions trap a captured heart, can love free it?

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Captured Bride by Michelle GriepCaptured – My father in law loved to tell a story, especially about his heroic escape attempts during WW2. As he led me through the details, I vividly remember holding my breath as he described hiding under an upturned tree root inches away from the pursuing dogs. A drum crescendoed in his chest deafening his ears. Amazingly the dogs scampered off without finding Jan. Peering out cautiously with beads of sweat pouring down his back in a heightened state of flight, Jan ran for his life. Being captured the first time only made Jan want to escape again, his loyalty to his country provided the ammunition for two more attempts. Even a firing squad didn’t prevent this brave man; nothing would stop him from returning to his unit and fighting again.

Such bravery echoes throughout The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep. This book is a captive read in my opinion. For my penny’s worth scroll down to continue to peruse my book review.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

My Penny’s worth

Captured

Mercy Lytton and Elias Dubois are both quality characters whose lives intrigued me from the start. One has a captured heart tight in its denial, keeping love at a distance, and the other captured and in jail. Both weary that their emotions will get them caught by the enemy. What a brilliant combination by Michelle Griep.  I love these two as they travel together on a journey of knowledge and danger. Consequently, I sensed that fear in the writing as if it were I only inches away from being caught. I held my breath.

A complex character

My favourite person out of the two, however, is the complex, Elias Dubois. This passage sums him up for me,  “Yes despite his rugged exterior and the fact that he rode toward God knew how many years of imprisonment, he guided the horses as if he were on a Sunday drive. A strange contentedness flowed from him as if he’d lived and walked around in hunger and need, then strolled out the other side a more peaceful soul for the journey.”

A Gem

One of my favourite lines is “Outside; water dripped everywhere. Heaven’s tears, weeping life into the earth.” I love this image.

Other characters that found their way into my heart or not

Matthew the ranger, the dependable father-like figure who looks out for Mercy. He completes the triangle of love. And of course, you must have a fly in the ointment to keep you on your toes, Rufus. Yes, he annoyed me, but he plays an important role, and that is all I am saying!

Tension and distraction

There is plenty of tension and distraction to keep you captivated with Mercy blowing hot and cold, Matthew trying to keep them all on track and Elias trying to rule the roost by being in charge. The captured man knowing more than his jailors and Rufus disappearing when the jobs need to be done!

All in all, I enjoyed this book and would like to give it ***** stars as it kept me up long after my bedtime.

Thank you, Michelle Griep, for writing this gripping novel.

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

Click here to purchase your copy!
#amreading The Captured Bride @MichelleGriep #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit & enter #free #giveaway #bookreview Click To Tweet

About the Book

The captured bride

Title: The Captured Bride

Author: Michelle Griep

Release Date: June 1, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

 

A war-torn countryside is no place for a lady—but Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause . . . to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

About the Author

unnamedMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leapt the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, June 9

Fiction Aficionado, June 9

Blossoms and Blessings, June 9

A Baker’s Perspective, June 9

History, Mystery & Faith, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 10

Just the Write Escape, June 10

Faithfully Bookish, June 11

The Power of Words, June 11

Genesis 5020, June 11

Bakerkella, June 11

My Writer’s Life, June 12

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 12

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 12

Among the Reads, June 13

Book by Book, June 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 14

Splashes of Joy,  June 14

Neverending Stories, June 14

Bibliophile Reviews, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

Bigreadersite, June 15

Connie’s History Classroom, June 16

Simple Harvest Reads, June 16 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, June 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 17

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Novels corner, June 17

Kathleen Denly, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 18

Remembrancy, June 18

proud to be an autism mom, June 19

A Greater Yes, June 19

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 20

Red Headed Book Lady, June 20

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 20

Mommynificent, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Janices book reviews, June 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 21

With a Joyful Noise, June 22

PInk Granny’s Journey, June 22

Carpe Diem, June 22

Giveaway

cd62edc0-0105-4e08-a6e7-50bcf86b86ca

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of

a signed copy of The Captured Bride and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d06e/the-captured-bride-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

untitled-1

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

How many victims can a book have?

Have we become de-sensitive to victims?

There’s no end to the victims in this world; you just have to turn the news on to be accosted by scenes of violence to back up that fact. All too often it is the vulnerable that suffer. Images of bulging bellies from malnutrition to cities destroyed by bombs due to war. Our senses bombarded with desperation can lead to paralysed and hard hearts, that is a crying shame. We’re in danger of becoming desensitised to the victims who stare out at us from behind the lens.

What has this to do with Storms in Serenity written by Fay Lamb? Read my review below to find out.

Storms in Serenity FB Banner copy

My Penny’s worth

How can one man create a domino effect from his actions causing a wave of victims to rise out of his mistake? Just how many victims can a book have?

When a disaster happens, the world often knows about it instantly due to 24 hours of news shown through the media. Secrets, however, don’t get this type of coverage. It is usually many years later that the effects of the sin emerge. The victims that stare out at us today from our screens are the result of man’s campaign to rule the earth. To be god’s of their world, with no compassion for the victims that are left in their wake.

Secrets

David New knows he needs to speak up about his past because he is sensitive to the hurt that his secret has caused. He is a victim just as much as his family if he allows the past to rule his present and future.

I found that it was hard to put this book down as so many lives were affected because of David New. Each character became important to me as they fought with their victim status. Could they rise above the sin, would they? The book made me think, what would I do in the circumstances, how would I react, could I forgive? There is just so much to ponder on with the different relationships.

Were there too many victims?

Personally, I think this book dealt with the issues compassionately and showed how many people get hurt when a person deviates from God’s path and commands. The storms were thick and left a devastating trail behind with the characters having to pick up their lives and reassess how they could survive. In this case, there were not too many victims as the story moved from one relationship to another. It showed how much we need God in our lives as we are all vulnerable.

I can say without a doubt this book is one of hope. It might not make headline material, but it does provide the reader with an opportunity to assess their degree of compassion and mercy. Something that this world needs to combat the desensitisation we may have towards others.

Thank you, Fay Lamb, for writing this book.

I would like to give this book 4 stars.

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

Fay Lamb has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Let me know in the comments if this book review was useful. Many thanks – Margaret 🙂

About the Book

0 Front Draft 2Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

 

 

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

FLamb 16Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking WillowBetter than RevengeEverybody’s Brokenand Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

Giveaway

 

502668e9-98f3-4c44-8865-f56ad827f304To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75