The Innocents by C. A. Asbrey

The Innocents (The Innocents Mystery Series Book 1) (English Edition) von [Asbrey, C. A. ]

What a unique story! In this historical mystery, a lady detective employed by the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency sets out to catch the notorious ‘Innocents’, a gang of robbers who operate under a strict code of honor. Unfortunately, the Scottish native lady is caught by another gang of robbers and nearly killed.
Her rescue comes at the hands of the Innocents, creating a rather awkward situation.

The characters in this story are wonderful, well thought out and multi-layered. As the reader gets to know them, more and more pieces are added to the mystery, keeping the reader guessing until the very end.

There’s suspense, there’s humor, there’s a bit of romance, hardly any violence and a healthy dose of prejudice of the times with regard to the capabilities of women.

In my opinion, the plot is almost shadowed by the brilliance of the colorful characters and the emotional depth with which the protagonists are portrayed. Highly enjoyable!


Coming in the Fall of 2019 – The Silent Maid

Have you ever been nagged by a story? I was completely wrapped up in writing my German kids book series Jabando, when a story popped into my head. A historical romance, no less. I tried to push it to the back of my mind, but it wouldn’t stay there. It kept creeping up on me, beckoning me with its mystery. I wrote a story outline and told it to go away and leave me alone.

Useless. When I lay in bed at night, trying to fall asleep, little scenes would play out in my head, keeping me awake. I didn’t want to write anything historical. I didn’t want to do loads and loads of research. I didn’t even know what time it would take place in! But The Silent Maid was anything but silent in my brain.

Eventually, I gave up. I decided to sit down and write it, just to get it out of my head. Here is the first, tentative blurb:

England at the beginning of the 18th century.
Daniel Huntington finds work at Brigham Estate as head groom in charge of the baronet’s stables. He has never been happier in his life, but one thing puzzles him. There is a young maid working in the kitchen who never says a word. Strangely enough, none of the other servants know her name. She lives among them like a ghost, excluded from their ranks by superstition, but made to work like a slave. Daniel’s heart goes out to the lonely girl and they form a secret, fragile bond.
When an old man warns Daniel of a mysterious murderer with his dying breath, Daniel knows he must find answers to the riddle surrounding the silent maid.

As I have only written about half of the story, I’m not giving a publication date yet, but I do intend to publish sometime in the fall, hoping you will enjoy the story as much as I do. It is a challenge I’m finding more and more fun, despite the research involved.

What are your reading or publishing plans for 2019?

Discount January 1-3, 2019

Looking for a contemporary romance, that runs a lot deeper than mere ‘boy meets girl’?

The Way of Life series tells a love story that’s so much more than butterflies and candlelight. Josie and Jim couldn’t be more different, no matter what you look at. Their upbringing. Their background. Their outlook on life. Their mindset. Their experiences. And yet they fall in love and form a bond that can only be described with one word: soulmates.

Yet each of them has their demons to battle and it isn’t easy for either of them.

I invite you to look at the books right here on my site or hop over to Amazon to get your discounted ebook now. Enjoy!

2018 Favorites

Ever since I started this blog, I have taken up reading again after many years of abstinence. While raising two small and lively kids, I had almost no time to dive into a book. But times change and while I still don’t read as much as I used to before family happened to me, I did get a chance to enjoy some awesome and chatworthy reads.

Here you will find a summary of my TOP 5 favorites of 2018, starting with No. 5 and counting down to No. 1:

Number 5

Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen
captured me with a fascinating mixture of paranormal and whodunnit. Well-defined characters with lots of edges made this story three-dimensional, while keeping me guessing until the end in good old Agatha Christie style.

Number 4

I exist. Therefore I am by Shirani Rajapakse
is one of my more recent reads. The collection of short stories about women in India has touched me deeply with its heartbreaking insights into a completely different culture. Not an easy read, but well worth looking into.

Number 3

Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell
I won a print copy of this marvellous book in a facebook event, and boy am I glad I did! This story is so beautifully written, quiet, melancholy and yet always moving at a good pace and dotted with historic detail. Linguistically a masterpiece I fell in love with right away.

Number 2

Twenty-seven Tiered Almond Cake by Amber Laura
has really wedged itself into my brain and heart. The story of the poor girl stuck with organizing her sister’s wedding is so much fun, partly because of her many dreams about cake and partly because there is so much written between the lines. It delves a lot deeper than visible at first glance and makes for a fantastic, slightly romantic read.

And the winner is:

This I know by Eldonna Edwards
It has everything I could ever wish for in a book: Beautiful language and imagery. Three-dimensional characters. Thought-provoking topics. Emotional depth. And that touch of heaven and faith this world so direly needs. If I had to name one book you absolutely have to read, this would be it.

My congratulations and thanks to the authors! You have enriched my life with your words and imagination. Keep going! I’ll say the same to all the other authors I have reviewed in my blog, because it was really hard to choose the top 5 from so many great books I have read this year. I’m looking forward to 2019 and many more fabulous stories by fellow indie authors.

Happy New Year!

The Secret Chamber of my Heart

Slowly I descended the stairs, going round and round, deeper and deeper. It was getting cold and clammy. I could feel my reluctance growing step by downward step. A nameless fear was creeping up my spine, because I didn’t know what would await me down there. Where was he leading me?

As if feeling my hesitance, he beckoned me.

“Don’t be afraid. Come,” he said and moved on. I followed, despite the darkness that enveloped us. I trusted him.

By the time the stairs ended and the ground levelled out, everything was pitch black around me. I needed my hands to guide me along the tunnel we were in and my feeling of apprehension threatened to overwhelm me. His presence alone kept me from turning around and barging up those stairs.

“Where are we?” I asked timidly, trying not to let my fear show in my voice. I heard a low scratching noise and suddenly a small flame sprang up in his hands. The soft, warm glow revealed a large chamber hewn right into the rock, dark stones glistening with moisture. A table and two chairs sat in the middle. He placed the candle he had lit on the table and invited me to sit. Even with the light, the place felt uncomfortable, cloying and depressive.

“This is the secret chamber of your heart,” he said softly and looked into my eyes. I swallowed hard. My heart was such a desolate place? I closed my eyes, feeling tears pushing against the lids. It was the truth, wasn’t it? My childhood filled with loneliness, my teenage years full of desperation and suicidal thoughts, all the hopeless hours of feeling so totally out of place in this world… Yes, if all of that were stuffed into a room, it would feel like this.

When I opened my eyes again, he had taken the candle and moved to the wall, pressing the burning wick against the cold stone. ‘No!’ I wanted to yell, ‘Don’t kill the light. Don’t put me back into this cold, clammy darkness. This way I can at least see your face!’ But no sound left my mouth. I sat there paralyzed, watching helplessly.

But the flame didn’t die. The flame moved into the wall. It sparkled and glowed and began to spread, slowly at first and then faster and faster, until the whole chamber was glowing in a multicolored light, as if the rock surface had turned into a million rainbows. It grew warm.

He came back to the table and took both my hands, pulling me to my feet. I looked into his gentle, brown eyes and saw the fluctuating light reflected in them. A smile played around his lips and I could feel my heart picking up a beat. The glowing walls began to pulsate in time with my heartbeat, growing brighter and stronger. A surprised laugh escaped my throat and I threw my arms around him, hugging him close, burying my nose in his neck and breathing deep.

Just like that he had driven out desperation and loneliness and replaced them with hope and love. I could feel his answering laugh rumbling in his chest as his arms locked around me, pulling me in.

“Don’t be afraid any longer,” he whispered into my ear. “I live here now.”

This story is my Christmas gift to all of you who read this, who follow my blog and have shown me your love and support over the past year. I’m deeply grateful to be able to connect with people all over the world and share my love of all things bookish, as well as passing along some faith-related thoughts.

Christmas is a very special time of year and I have had my share of wonderful Christmasses, whether they were spent with family, friends or even strangers. As a child, it was the warm glow of the candles on the brightly decorated tree, the expectation of gifts and the singing together that made Christmas the most magic time of the year. I didn’t understand the true meaning of the gift God gave us and it took me along time to truly grasp it.

“The Secret Chamber of my Heart” is my personal reception of the gift God gave us. It really happened, not in this world, but in a spiritual realm I sometimes have the privilege to enter. It describes the moment Jesus Christ moved into my heart (as referred to in John 14:23) and transformed it into the warm and loving place it is today. It did not happen when I first decided that I needed a saviour and turned to Jesus. It happened many years later, after he had first decluttered that dark, cold cave. It has completely changed who I am, how I see myself and how I interact with those around me. Having a warm, glowing heart is the best gift in the world. Maybe my little story will light the way for you?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The Sheriff’s Woman by Jackie Weger

The Sheriff's Woman (English Edition) von [Weger, Jackie]

I won this book in the RAC Magazine giveaway a few weeks back. While I am in touch with many authors, this one has somehow escaped my radar. She certainly has my attention now, because her lovely romance novel is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Meet widow Rachel who holed up with her three children on a small farmstead in the mountains, afraid to meet the gossipy neighbors because her husband has not only comitted suicide, he has done so while in custody. The humiliation and shame keep her isolated, as does her lack of funds.

Enter the sheriff. Ex-marine, handsome, single and totally determined to make that widow his. This story’s strength definitely lies in its characters and their development. Whether it is Rachel being freed of her angst, her youngest daughter finding her speech or the proverbial evil mother-in-law who makes every encounter a drama scene, the characters are strong, well defined and absolutely believable. So much so that you would expect them to knock on your door any second and you’d love to spend an evening filled with gossip and good food with them. (Minus the mother-in-law.)

Small town charm, a true and honest man with his own little flaws, and some action involving feral dogs and a lost child make for a great escape from whatever the reader is dealing with in real life.

Fallen Cross Pack Series by Aliya DalRae

This four book box set found its way on my kindle because I had already read book one, Bitter Beginnings, and always wanted to know what happened next.

Meet Patrick, your favorite neighbour. He’s married, one kid, and goes out for the proverbial pack of cigarettes – never to return. The reason for his absence is rather unusual, though: He’s turned into a werewolf and forced to join the pack under the rule of a criminal Alpha. But Patrick is the good guy and he’s really upset about what was done to him. There’s only one way to turn things in his favor: He must fight the Alpha and win.

Please don’t ask me where one book ends and the next one starts. I read them all in one go because every time I had one finished, I thought ‘It was too short! I want more!’ So I went on to the next. I was lucky there were only four or I would have spent the entire night reading.

The characters are strong and emotional, the story is so unusual and well thought through with just the right amounts of action and drama that you simply can’t put it down. Honest. I don’t write that in every review, you can check back on it.

If you love wolves, a bit of supernatural and a powerful love story, get this series.