Anna Lucia, Book 2 Casa Bella Chronicles

Life hasn’t been kind to Lucinda Stewart. Unforgettable heartache, loss, and unspeakable violence mark her heart and her face. Twenty years have passed and she’s yet to put the fractured pieces together. Now a spinster without hope, Lucinda resigns herself to live a quiet life with her brother. For who would dare love a physically and emotionally scarred woman?

But when she and her brother travel to Italy, Lucinda’s life is hurled back in time. When they arrive at Casa Bella, she’s introduced to Vincenzo Castello. Something about the dark Sicilian haunts her. Memories dance inside the shadows of her mind, but never close enough to the light for her to remember. Is he a friend or a long lost enemy returned to finish her nightmare? Why should she trust him, a complete stranger?

Liz Galvano Book Meme

Vincenzo Castello is a God-fearing man haunted by the past. If he could go back… When Lucinda Stewart waltzes back into his life without a memory of that night, Vincenzo’s doesn’t know what to do.  Does he tell her the truth inside his heart and fill in the gaps of her memory? Will that truth set her free or tighten the chains that now hold her? Can he convince her to trust him and his God? Can he and the Castello family protect her from the one man threatening to take her life?

Liz Galvano transports her readers to faraway places through the lives of unforgettable characters. In her latest novel, Anna Lucia, Book 2 in the Casa Bella Chronicles, she shares her love of family, food, horses, and fencing. Yes, fencing! And she wraps it all up with God’s amazing gift of love and compassion for the hurting.

I give Anna Lucia five hearts because it is the story of two people overcoming the obstacles in this journey we call life. They have seen heartache, and still, they choose to trust a faithful God whose love never fails. The characters love hard and fight harder. Galvano doesn’t sugarcoat the war we must wage to become overcomers. It isn’t a short or easy read. But it is worth the time, belly laughs, and tears.

Happy reading!

What makes a good book for you?

I was given a copy of this book by the author and was under no obligation to publish a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Messina: Book 1, The Casa Bella Chronicles ~ Liz Galvano

 

Messina, Book 1 The Casa Bella Chronicles

Messina, Sicily December 28th, 1908.

 

Seventy thousand people never woke up. Of the first sixty days after the catastrophe, it rained forty-five, making rescue extremely hazardous for the doctors, nurses and rescue crews. When all was said and done, the death toll estimate stood at two-hundred thousand people. Some details in regard to the earthquake have been changed to help the flow of this story. The overall account of this tragedy, however, remains intact. This is a fictional tale based on historical events, yet by no means represents all that happened in Messina.

This book is dedicated to the men and women who sacrificed themselves willingly to help during this great tragedy, and to those who were lost that fateful night.

My Thoughts

Encouraged to follow her heart, Lucy James studied hard and became a doctor—a surgeon, in fact—only to be looked upon as inferior in 1908 society. But being ostracized didn’t bother Lucy. She never desired to be a member of the boy’s club. All she ever wanted was to heal the sick and hurting.

When Messina is devastated by an earthquake, Lucy quickly volunteers to help in the makeshift hospital. A fact that raises Dr. Giovanni Castello’s blood pressure. Will he permit her to stay long enough to prove her medical expertise?

Giovanni lives in Messina and chooses to stay and help the people. Working in the horrific conditions, he and the new lady doctor does whatever they can to aid the injured, hungry, and homeless. Giovanni questions Lucy’s presence and safety in Messina’s current condition. He needs men capable of taking care of themselves in a world thrown into chaos, not this woman.

Heart-breaking? Gruesome? Riveting? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Thankfully, Galvano doesn’t leave her characters amid the horrors of devastation but sweeps them to the family home of Giovanni’s ancestors where he and Lucy become better acquainted and find hope for the future. But when they think they’ve found happiness, tragedy strikes again.

Galvano has done an excellent job describing the devastation during this historical event. Her characters are well-rounded and likable. I enjoyed the way she allowed their friendship to evolve through the day-to-day triumphs and heartaches.

I confess, Messina was a pleasant surprise. It’s not your ordinary book. So if your reading time has stalled and you’re looking for an out-of-the-box experience, I recommend Messina.

I was given a copy of this book by the author but not required to write a review.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Liz Galvano AuthorLiz Galvano has been writing since she was a little girl. Her stories combine old style adventure and romance with a dash of humor. She loves family, food, animals, and all things Italian. Liz lives with her husband Jeff, two rambunctious dogs, two entitled cats, and a horse who thinks she’s a princess.

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Sutter’s Landing (Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 2) ~ Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Owens Sutter

The year is 1955, and although they don’t have a comfortable life, Connie and Annabelle are happy to be home in Trenton, Tennessee.  But as Connie’s marriage draws closer, Annabelle worries about being alone. Something she doesn’t look forward to after losing her husband and sons. But, when an old friend shows up on her doorstep with a plan, Annabelle must make a decision to hold to her beliefs or live out her days alone.

Owens gently weaves a picture of the South with all its charm and bigotry. Through Connie’s eyes, we feel the pain when asked to leave a store because of color. We understand her remorse when friends are not treated like other folks. And we empathize with her when she and Alton are kept apart by family members.

One of my favorite scenes is the accidental meeting with a famous singer. I found the song mentioned on Youtube. I loved the fact that Owens included that particular part of history in her book because it made the story pop.

I have another favorite scene where one character is praying. I can’t share all the details without revealing too much. But I wanted to explain why this story will stay with me for a long time. During this particular scene, I suddenly had an epiphany of how the Lord continually watches over us, loving us, even though we may not return His love. And yet, He is still part of our lives whether we want Him or not.

How sad it must be to love and watch over and not have that love returned!

Although the author didn’t bring out my spiritual thoughts, the scene was the springboard that catapulted me into a wonderous moment. And that, my friend, is why I give Sutter’s Landing 5 hearts.

The second installment in the Kinsman Redeemer series is a crawl-into-your-favorite-chair-and-sit-awhile kinda book. Anyone who enjoys family, history, and the South, will enjoy Sutter’s Landing by Betty Thomason Owens.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the author. All views expressed are my own.

#BOOKGIVEAWAY: Today on Writing Prompts Thoughts and Ideas, Betty is offering to giveaway either a print copy or Kindle to one commenter. So click the link and comment for your chance to win!

img_9428 copyBetty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of their Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Along with the upcoming Sutter’s Landing, Book 2, Kinsman Redeemer series (June 2017), her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series, and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015) (Write Integrity Press). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

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