By Donna Wichelman
Paperback & ebook, 320 pages
April 2nd 2018 by Soujourner’s Press
A prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle when a murder sends an art curator and a professor on a hunt for a highly coveted stolen painting.
Escaping a painful past in Cleveland, Ohio, Jamie Holbrooke flees to Milan, Italy as an art curator. But her past follows her during an evening stroll along Varenna’s shoreline walk when an assailant, who looks like her dead brother, presses a mysterious riddle into her hand. Still reeling from shock the next day, she discovers her long-time paragon, Dr. Alessandro Marianni, may have a link to the enigmatic riddle. Before she can discover the answers, their colleague falls prey to an assassin’s bullet. Convinced the riddle and murder are connected, Jamie and Alessandro risk their lives to uncover why an obscure painting has caught the attention of art critics and criminals alike. At stake is a two-thousand–year-old drama, unfolding in the contemporary world of the Northern Italian Alps.
Will Jamie and Alessandro stop powerful organized crime figures before the painting is lost forever and with it a secret more valuable than the prized artwork? Will Jamie find the answers to help her reclaim her life again? She will need the courage to face her fears and the persevering faith of Dr. Alessandro Marianni to heal her wounded heart.
By Donna Wichelman
Paperback & ebook, 281 pages
April 4th 2018 by Sojourner’s Press
For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the French Alps offer some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate their spirits.
But when Alessandro Marianni’s grandmother Luciana is kidnapped during a church conference in Chamonix, the same landscape becomes an ominous height to scale, and Jamie Holbrooke and her fiancé Alessandro have difficulty distinguishing between friend and foe on the race to find her. They will have to weather a rainstorm on a mountain trail, negotiate a dangerous waterfall, outmaneuver a car chase, and defy an assassin’s gun in their search.
Will they find their beloved Luciana before it’s too late? Who will die on the way to the finish line? Who can they trust? And where will Jamie find the courage to confront her adversaries?
In this sequel to Light Out of Darkness, the answers will lie in unanticipated places and with unexpected allies and require Jamie to discover what it means to trust God with Undaunted Valor.
Find Your Own Romantic Adventure in Italy’s Lake District
In Light Out of Darkness—Book 1, The Waldensian Series—Jamie Holbrooke and Alessandro Marianni’s adventure begins on the shores of romantic Lake Como in Varenna, Italy when a prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle and a murder sends the art curator and professor on a search for a highly coveted painting.
Travel expert Rick Steve’s talks about the “allure of Italy’s Lake District …in the shadow of the Alps” (see https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/the-italian-allure-of-lake-como), and I couldn’t agree more. The enchanting and evocative nature of the region is so compelling that it gave birth to setting a book there and provided an environment for Jamie and Alessandro’s romance to flourish.
Indeed, Jamie herself considers the picturesque scene on the first page of the book.
The provincial village had lured artists from all over the world for centuries. Its exquisite proximity to grand vistas of verdant mountains, plunging into the depths of lake Como’s pristine waters, made it a place to behold.
During the day, wherever one wandered along cobbled lanes among gold and russet dwellings, she could find scenes worthy of an artist’s brush …
The following day after their colleague falls prey to an assassin’s bullet and everyone is suspect, Alessandro wanders under the portico on the balcony of the Villa Cipressi, overlooking the lake, and ponders.
The natural beauty of the lake and lakeside villages made the provincial lifestyle compelling. He envied the people who lived here and spent their lives under the grandeur of the mountains. Perhaps that was why he missed the alpine valleys in his home province of Piedmont—simple and uncomplicated by the complexities of life. He could almost forget a murder had just taken place in this setting. But it had, and now darkness hovered over the land, and life had become more complicated.
That evening, looking on the lake from his villa, Carlo Benedetto ruminates on his ascension to captain of his crime family.
He gazed out across the lake from his villa near Tremezzo. The golden-tawny world of twilight … enhanced the beauty of Lake Como and the surrounding Alps. The expansive villas on the darkening green hillsides on either side of his mansion seemed to reside in glowing splendor. Everyone in his world knew he had some of the most coveted property in all of Italy … No one from his childhood would have guessed the boy of poverty would come to live as royalty. Indeed, Carlo was king in his world. He felt smug. He had earned his place of honor.
Pictures of Varenna from the lakeshore walk, the Villa Cipressi and across the lake.
I can’t guarantee the kind of adventure that led Jamie and Alessandro to scale mountains and topple organized crime figures. But I can promise that Italy’s Lake District offers the kind of Old World charm and romantic ambiance that will beckon you to return again and again.
I hope if you visit, you’ll send me a line about your romantic adventures in Italy’s Lake District and let me know if it was as compelling for you as it was for me. Contact me at www.donnawichelman.com.
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Reading Is My SuperPower
It’s all About the Romance
Jen Around the World
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Hearts & Scribbles
Teatime and Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
underneath the covers
Andi’s Book Reviews
May 19th: Grand Finale
1st Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card, Copy of the LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner) + 4 oz. Tea of your choice from the Tea Source or 1 LB of Coffee from DazBog Coffee (will Add $10 to Gift Card for international gift in lieu of tea or coffee)