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

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Among the Reads, September 6

The Power of Words, September 7

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Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9

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Mary Hake, September 9

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10

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

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Maureen’s Musing, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13

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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

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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

Finished

The Hope of Christmas 3 stories in one

The hope of Christmas in my house is that we all get on together! Everyone has expectations of how their Christmas will pan out. Mine is without a doubt that there won’t be any quarrels – that love and peace reign and jealousy takes a back seat.

If that doesn’t happen then I have plenty of books I can submerge myself in. I hope you find this review of The Hope of Christmas wets your appetite and you will rush out and buy a copy! Happy Christmas everyone.

the hope of christmas fb banner copy

My Penny’s worth

The hope of Christmas – Three books in one

Picking a Bride for Paul

Paul and Teddy are likeable characters who carry off this story in a sweet way. What is there not to like about these two people who dance around one another – well Teddy does as Paul has a broken leg!

Enter Catherine, not my cup of tea, who niggles me enough to want to shake some sense into this silly woman. Jodie Wolfe’s writing is smart as she has me bristling at the audacity of Catherine’s pomposity. Usually, at this point, I would put the book down as I can’t relate to such absurd behaviour. However, I needed to know what happened, so I carried on reading, and
I am glad I did.

Did Paul make the right decision or did he trip up on his lame leg?

A great short read by Jodie Wolfe.

Typhoon Prompting

I want to congratulate Terri Wangard on her well written WW2 novella. I loved the way she combined home and the turbulent sea in her book, which brought calm into this action-filled story.

The main character Jerry Collier shares with the reader his highs and lows, and we get a snapshot of what life was like on board ship.

Although this is a novella, the author packed so much into the pages that I felt, nay I needed to know more. This book is an excellent taster of her writing. I became friends with both Jerry and his girl, Evelyn, and I have been left wanting…

An enjoyable short read, when is the full version coming out Terri?

A doctor in the house

Dear Archie, how I felt for him having his ancestral home requisitioned and turned into a hospital for wounded American soldiers. He had already lost so much and is raw from the horrors of the war.

I am not one for the upper classes, but Archie does not come across as the usual standoffish English gentleman. Having an American Army Doctor who is trying to prove herself in a man’s world on top of losing his home naturally rubs Archie up the wrong way. I believe these situations where any army requisitioning property put distance between the locals wherever it happened – trouble always brewed.

I empathise with Emma and understand that she needed to be strong and efficient as a woman doctor and get why she is so focused. However, a little understanding on her behalf might have been a better way forward.

Two determined characters are bound to set off sparks, and in this, I am not disappointed. But will they overcome their differences?

Archie and Emma portrayed a colourful picture of life in a more rural England during WW2.

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

Please continue reading to learn more about this book and the three authors.

There is a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

About the Book

Book review - The Hope of Christmas 3 stories in one

Title: The Hope of Christmas

Author: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: November 24, 2017

Picking a Bride for Paul
When Teddy Love’s neighbor and best friend breaks his leg, she pitches in to do whatever she can to help him on his farm. But when he enlists her aid in finding a wife, she comes to realize she has feelings for him.
Paul Baker follows his heart mother’s wishes by looking for a bride from the East who is refined and gentile, two qualities Teddy isn’t. When his potential bride arrives, he finds himself comparing her to Teddy. How can he go back and change things before he makes the biggest mistake of his life?
Typhoon Prompting

A destroyer escort is among the smallest of warships, but the USS Tabberer has the heart of a giant. A typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific during World War II, days before Christmas. The men of the Tabberer stand tall as they rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. For Seaman Jerry Collier, the typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.

A Dr. in the House

Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?

Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

JodieJodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

lindaLinda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, author, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the light bulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). She volunteers at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.

Blog Stops

Christian Author J.E. Grace, December 10

Blogging With Carol, December 10

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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 11

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 12

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Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14

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The Power of Words, December 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 15

A Greater Yes, December 16

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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

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Carpe Diem, December 19

A Baker’s Perspective, December 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 20

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Maureen’s Musings, December 22

Blossoms and Blessings, December 23

BigreadersiteDecember 23

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afLit Publishing is giving away a $25 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/c514

That moment of anger when you rage uncontrollably

A moment of anger and my life changed forever. Shocked eyes gazed at me as I realized the scale of my actions. Nothing could take away my fist punching explosion that made twelve placid ladies jump from their seats. My reaction to a statement that contradicted my self-knowledge appeared disturbingly extreme.

That moment of anger changed my life

The door closed on my tranquil life, and I would never return to live there again. That moment of anger had risen from the depths of my childhood. All the sad memories wrapped up in one deadly time bomb. It stripped me of my vocation and flung me into the world again. I may have had my limbs intact, unlike Michael the main character in All of You, but my heart felt crushed beyond repair. Now what?

Michael’s life changed, and he knew more than one moment of anger as he strived to rebuild his life. Michael is a hero. Unfortunately, I am not! But he too asked the question “now what?”

All of you FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: All of You All of You by Sarah Monzon

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dualtimeline/Contemporary Romance

 

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Penny’s worth
1944 or modern day

All of you is an interesting story about two eras. I was surprised that I related more with the modern day saga than to the WW2  drama. Maybe it was the strong central character Michael who captivated me with his vulnerability. That macho Navy Pilot who had it all then dramatically lost everything in a freak accident. How I felt for him!

What I liked

Jack, a woman after my own heart, a girl from a male dominated family – I could identify with her and the struggles she had with overprotective brothers. Michael and Jack at times need their heads knocked together, even if self-sacrifice appears the better choice. I loved the sweet touches that at times had the pair believing they had a future together then moments later the barriers crash down. Michael’s courage and faith shine through but there is a moment of anger when he lets rip, only one you say, I am sure there were others!

What I felt it lacked.

Some of the story for me, unfortunately, left little surprise and I could figure out what would happen, especially in the 1944 tale. There were niggles in this storyline which at times distracted the enjoyment – but that is just me.

Oh that word “Bloke”, I dislike this used by a gentlewoman of the period. “Chap” would have been more in keeping with her background and class. Some others I won’t mention. Otherwise, they will ruin the plot apart from saying the book tended to be too neat in its solutions to various situations. Having said that I did enjoy the way Sarah Monzon’s chapters ended leaving me wanting to turn the next page!

What the book provides

This book gives an insight into a sudden traumatic event that tears the life out of a high flyer. The reader is subjected to the emotions of a fallen hero who no longer knows his worth. Michael’s protective nature is compromised due to his disability – can he be the man he once was? You will have to read All of You to find out!

There is also the bravery of a woman who wants to “do her bit” in the war. The information on the ATA (Air Transport Auxilary) was interesting and will no doubt be new to some readers. It made a change having women winning the war instead of the men!

The book also shares the message of trusting in God no matter what the life circumstances.

Don’t forget to put it on your holiday read list.

Thank you, Sarah Monzon, for writing this book.

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

About the Author

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to thebio photo(1) two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.

Blog Stops

September 12: A Baker’s Perspective

September 12: Quiet Quilter

September 13: Books, Books, and More Books

September 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts

September 14: Cordially Barbara

September 14: Smiling Book Reviews

September 15: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 15: Carpe Diem

September 16: Inklings and notions

September 16: Christian Bookaholic

September 17: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

September 17: Artistic Nobody

September 18: Bookworm Mama

September 18: Remembrancy

September 19: Back Porch Reads

September 19: Kat’s Corner Books

September 20: Just Jo’Anne

September 20: Margaret Kazmierczak

September 21: The Power of Words

September 21: Mary Hake

September 22: 100 Pages per Hour

September 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books

September 23: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)

September 24: Blossoms and Blessings

September 24: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 25: Kathleen Denly

September 25: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winners.