Tag Archives: Kristy Cambron

Top 10 Tuesday — War Torn Worlds

29 May

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is book worlds that readers do/do not want to live in. I love that authors take me away to times and places I could not and would not dare to visit. I want to know what actual people went through, but I would never wish to have those experiences first hand. My list is all about the sieges, battles, and internment camps of war time. The books on my list are rich in detail and capture the times perfectly. They authors created worlds I am so glad I visited from the safety and peace of my favorite reading spot.

Make sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl to discover other bookish worlds.

 

Top War Torn Book Worlds

The Civil War

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Andersonville Prison Camp)

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green (Battle of Gettysburg)

Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green (Sherman’s March to Atlanta)

 

WWII

The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron (Auschwitz)

Daisies Are Forever by Liz Tolsma (Fall of Berlin)

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart (Ukraine)

 

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot (Dunkirk)

Remember The Lilies by Liz Tolsma (Philippine Internment Camp)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Dutch East Indies Internment Camp)

 

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Throwback Thursday — The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron

19 Apr

Today I am making my way to Europe! I am so excited! I will be in Krakow come Sunday and will be visiting Auschwitz while there. I imagine it will be an overwhelming experience for me. In honor of my trip, today’s featured book is The Butterfly And The Violin, Kristy Cambron’s beautiful debut novel. If you haven’t read it yet, you really must!

A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

My Impressions:

Sometimes the books that make the biggest impression on me are the ones I have the hardest time reviewing. They blow me away, and I just can’t find the words to express myself. Bear with me as I try to explain why The Butterfly And The Violin, Kristy Cambron’s debut novel, is a MUST READ! This beautifully written novel grabbed my heart at the start and still has not let go even after the cover has been closed.

There are two stories in The Butterfly And The Violin. Sera James is an art gallery owner searching for a painting that she glimpsed for just moments as a child. It made such an impression, that years later she is obsessed in finding it again. Adele Von Bron, the subject of the painting, was a young, talented violinist in Vienna at the start of WWII. It is Adele’s story that Sera and the reader are really searching for. Filled with unforgettable characters, moving images, and faith challenging moments, The Butterfly And The Violin is more than a romance or an historical novel. If you like those two genres, you will like this book, but its story of survival and hope in the midst of the darkest darkness is why you really need to read it.

Cambron uses a unique structure for telling the women’s tales. Sera’s story is told in chronological order. Although important to the progression of the novel, it almost provides a respite from the wrenching images and emotions that make up Adele’s story. Adele’s story does not follow a strict chronological order, but it really works in depicting the motivations of the characters and the time in which they lived. Much of Adele’s story takes place in Birkenau, part of the infamous Aushwitz concentration camp. Cambron manages to capture the beauty of that experience that most would overlook. One quote sums up Adele’s feelings of her time there — “The God-worship of every life — this was the art of Auschitz”. The treatment of the prisoners by the Nazi regime is horrifying and almost unbelievable, even though very, very real. And while the book cannot be described as a quick read, I just could not put it down.

And there you have it — my poor attempt to tell you why you really need to read The Butterfly And The Violin. Gripping, emotionally wrenching, and challenging, Cambron has written a masterpiece.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for book clubs.

Audience: adults

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Top 10 Tuesday — Looking Forward to 2017!

13 Dec

I can hardly believe 2016 will soon be ending. I have had a great year of reading! But now it is time to look forward to the hot new books to be released in early 2017. To find out what books other bloggers are looking forward to, visit The Broke And The Bookish.

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I only made it to March releases before finding my top 10 of early 2017! So many great books that will soon grace my shelves. Many are the next book in favorite series, so those are very much anticipated. I have a good mix of historical and contemporary, with plenty of suspense and a bit of romance. All are from favorite authors who never cease to satisfy. So without further ado, drumroll please . . .

Top 10 Anticipated Books of Early 2017

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

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Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Moving Target by Lynette Eason

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

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Still Life by Dani Pettrey

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What books are you looking forward to?

 

September Book Club Picks

2 Sep

September marks the anniversaries of both my book clubs. By The Book celebrates 14 years of meeting and Page Turners marks its 4 year! Time flies when you have so much fun! Both groups are reading Christian fiction this month — Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall for By The Book and The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron for Page Turners. I’m looking forward to great discussions and I hope a little something special for each group.

 

UnknownAriana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
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Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

 

51ljwwXk0hL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_An ounce of courage.

A leap of faith.

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life — one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confi nes of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

August Book Club Selections

1 Aug

I am excited about my book clubs’ selections this month. I have already read the Page Turners‘ selection, The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron and am hoping for a special guest to turn up at our meeting! (More to come on that later.) By The Book is reading the latest release of our favorite authors, The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow. August looks to be a very busy month, but I am up for some really good reading. Have you read either of these books? Let us know your thoughts.

51+hlwxbkcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_An ounce of courage.

A leap of faith.

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confi nes of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

 

518j31rOpsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Young lawyer Parker House is on the rise — until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye — a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.

Two witnesses, two paths, an uncertain future.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books That Made Me Want to Travel!

26 Jul

Thanks so much to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish who week after week host the fun and fabulous Top 10 Tuesday. This week’s challenge is to list the Top 10 Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do. To find out what other bloggers have learned or are inspired to do, click HERE.

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Well above all else, books make me want to travel. Now as my husband will attest, I am not much of a traveler. But the following books have really sparked my interest. Whether it is to real life places or places I can only dream about, here is my list.

Top Books That Make Me Want to Travel

 

Travel in Unique Ways

Route 66 — The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee

Public Transportation — Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin

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Travel to Unique Locales

Ca d’Zan Ringling Museum — The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

Oregon Sea Stacks — Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Shetland Islands — The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

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Travel Back in Time

Viking Days — God’s Daughter by Heather Gilbert

Medieval Period — The Abbess of Whitby by Jill Dalladay

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr

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Travel to Fictional Small Towns

Appleton — Lock, Stock And Over A Barrel by Melody Carlson

Bright’s Pond — The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

Last Chance — Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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Travel Across Time/Space/Universe

The Bright Empires Series by Stephen Lawhead

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Where do you want to travel?

Book Review: The Ringmaster’s Wife

28 Jun

The-Ringmasters-Wife-672x1024-504x768An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!

KCambron-295Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.

Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.

Find out more about Kristy at http://kristycambron.com.

 

My Impressions:

Kristy Cambron established herself as a must-read author with her WWII-era novels, The Butterfly And The Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin. In The Ringmaster’s Daughter, Cambron turns her focus to the Greatest Show on Earth with the meticulously researched The Ringmaster’s Wife. Featuring both historical and fictional characters, this novel looks behind the scenes and the masks of the Ringling Brother’s Circus. This book is not just about life under the Big Top, however, but rather has a message for all who would go after their dreams. If you like books with rich historical detail, this one is for you.

Lady Rosamund Easley’s life has been mapped out for her by her parents and societal expectations. But Rosamund wants to really live her life and takes a journey of discovery across the ocean and into the equally exciting and frightening world of the circus. Twenty-five years earlier, Mabel Burton left her safe, small town world to discover life. The women’s stories intersect as they endeavor to live a life of love.

Ca' d'Zan (home of John and Mabel Ringling)

Ca’ d’Zan (home of John and Mabel Ringling)

I have to admit that The Ringmaster’s Wife started out rather slowly for me. Although really I liked both of the main characters, fictional Rosamund and historical Mabel Ringling, I had trouble connecting with their stories. Not sure if it was me or not, but I struggled with staying focused. Then about half way through the book, my attention became riveted to this story told against the backdrop of the lights, sounds, and scents of the circus. Cambron again shows her painstaking research with wonderful descriptions of the people, places and sights of the late 19th and early 20 century America. The circus came to towns all across the country via the train, and I felt the excitement of those days. Cambron also does a great job of unveiling the real life behind the glitz and glamor, the oddities and extravaganza, that was the circus.  As Rosamund muses on p. 191 ” . . . how peculiar it was that her surroundings weren’t so peculiar after all. They included real people. With real hearts and giving natures few ever saw.” The underlying theme of the book is not just following a dream but of ” . . . cultivating the courage to live it out day after day”. Whether you ride bareback, fly through the air, or go after more practical endeavors, it’s important to continue the quest through hardship, trials, disappointments and victories, small and large. Two love stories will make romance fans happy — the fictional relationship between Rosamund and circus boss Colin and the real life romance of John and Mabel Ringling. The Ringmaster’s Wife is also a book that will make you go back to Google time and again — you just have to see the many images of Ca’ d’Zan, the Ringling’s home in Sarasota, Florida.

(As an aside, one scene features my father’s hometown, Altoona, Pennsylvania. If the events depicted are in fact true, my father would have been 7 years old at the time, and I am sure he would have been excited to know that the circus had come to his hometown. Unfortunately, he passed away over 23 years ago, so I cannot ask what his experiences were. 😦 )

So what is the final takeaway for this book? I liked it. Fun for fans of the circus, rich details for history buffs, and satisfying for romance fans, I can recommend The Ringmaster’s Wife.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Thomas Nelson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)