Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

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 Bambi that 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.


Well, I'm not gonna lie. The part that really sealed the deal for me in whether or not to sign up for this book was the beautiful cover. But the cover isn't nearly as beautiful as the contents. This book had me shaking near the end. I was holding my breath, rocking back and forth. {This happens to be the response I get when I can see what the characters can't and I'm just wanting to tell them what they don't know.} Anyway, this book... well it captures time and place so well. Two different times, several different places. While sometimes the present would spoil the historical bits, it was fine. I didn't mind too badly. One thing that was difficult to get used to at the beginning was the present times were written in present tense, but eventually it became part of what kept the two worlds separated while also being entwined beyond all hope of untangling. Hidden Among the Stars was a book that pulled my heartstings as I saw pain, past and present. The fear and awfulness that the Nazis generated made my blood boil and brought tears to my eyes. The writing style was elegant. I could see, smell, hear, even taste everything going on around the characters. The characters were relatable, and you just wanted to be able to help them somehow. They grew and changed over the time of the book. They were deep characters, not just cookie-cutter WW2 people. I'm enamored with this book, and can't wait to read more books by Melanie Dobson. I really can't believe that I've never read anything she's written before! This five star book is one that will truly transport you, while also doing significant emotional damage ;)




I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author


Melanie-Dobson-Author-Photo
Melanie 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.

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.


Guest Post from Melanie

Hallstatt’s Hiding Places
Backpacking across Europe—that’s how my husband Jon and I decided to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We savored the old world culture and charm as we hiked along Italy’s coast, toured medieval castles in Germany, and cruised the canals in Belgium; we both left a bit of our hearts in an ancient lakeside town called Hallstatt.
The moment we stepped off the ferryboat and into this storybook village, we crossed through a portal of sorts, traveling back several centuries in time. The rugged, snow-capped mountains around us and alpine lake, the quaint village with its church steeples and cobblestone lanes and waterfall that spilled into town—all of it captivated us.
Along the shore, hidden partially by trees, we could see spires of an abandoned castle, and I wanted to know its story. No one in Hallstatt could tell us who’d lived in the castle—at least, not in English—so my husband agreed to a new adventure. With a swan as our escort, we glided across the lake in an electric boat so I could study the rusty turrets, boarded windows, and wooden boathouse resting in the water like a felled log.
Instead of quelling my curiosity, the match of inspiration ignited my mind. Who had lived in this castle, and what happened there? I began writing in my journal that night, trying to capture my rogue thoughts on paper, hoping that one day a novel would emerge from the ashes of this castle’s story.
When we returned home, I began researching more of Hallstatt’s history and discovered that this region, in all of its beauty and mystique, had been infiltrated by an enemy in 1938. This town and the surrounding Salzkammergut became a mountain retreat for Nazi officials who built mansions on the shores of its many lakes and used salt mines to hide “ownerless treasure”—the gold bullion and artwork they’d stolen from the Jewish people.
The Nazis intended to build a Fourth Reich in this alpine fortress, but the Allies had other plans. Near the end of the war, these lakes became a dustbin of sorts, collecting whatever the enemy dumped into its waters—weapons, counterfeit banknotes, concentration camp lists—as they fled south from the Allied troops. The Devil’s Dustbin, locals call it.
Lake Hallstatt plunges more than four hundred feet between the fortress of mountains. Because of its depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, divers continue finding World War II artifacts today. Some still believe there’s a treasure trove buried on the bottom, but no one has reported finding any gold.
After our trip, a story about this castle and what happened to the heirlooms of the Austrian Jewish people continued to burn inside me until I finally put it on paper. So I built Schloss Schwansee—Castle of Swan Lake—in my mind, inspired by the castle along Lake Hallstatt, and created a cast of historical and contemporary characters who are searching for lost treasure.
Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel about a castle and treasure and fairytales, but most of all, it’s a story about God using ordinary people across Austria to resist evil in their own extraordinary way.

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!!
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

See what others are saying here:


Blog Stops



Fiction Aficionado, September 6
Back Porch Reads, September 6
Among the Reads, September 6
The Power of Words, September 7
Multifarious, September 7
The Becca Files, September 7
Painting with Words, September 8
Lis Loves Reading, September 8
cherylbbookblog, September 9
Madeline Clark, September 9
Mary Hake, September 9
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 Reflections, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
amandainpa, September 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 Day, September 14
Splashes of Joy, September 14
Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15
To Everything A Season, September 15
Bibliophile Reviews, September 16
Bigreadersite, September 16
Aryn The Libraryan, September 16
By The Book, September 17
Janices book reviews, September 17
Texas Book-aholic, September 18
Carpe Diem, September 18
Godly Book Reviews, September 19
For The Love of Books, September 19
{You are here!} Live. Love. Read., September 19
Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19




8 comments:

  1. This sounds very good! I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh wow, thanks for your wonderful review. this is so on my to read list. i love history and time slip books
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love Melanie's books. She really puts a great deal of time into research and her characters are amazing. They show such tenacity during such difficult times.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

    ReplyDelete