Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Beginnings & Friday 56 - Tangled Ashes

Tangled Ashes Cover
Author: Michele Phoenix
Genre: Women's Fiction
Number of Pages: 384
Amazon Link: Tangled Ashes

Book Beginnings on Friday: 
Marie stood in the shadow of the grand staircase and held her breath. The lights were out--they had been all evening--but the ochre glow from the flames on the patio illuminated the polished wood and chiseled stone that loomed around her with threatening austerity. Beyond the window, two columns of wide-spaced guards funneled a stream of nurses and maids from the castle's rear entrance to the fire that burned like a funeral pyre, exploding tiny, arcing embers into the warm night sky. 

Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
As Beck got to the final cellar that led to the space under the ballroom, he noticed that the stack of old bookshelves he and Jacques had displaced Monday afternoon had fallen. They'd been propped up against the wall when the two men had left, but now they were scattered on the floor. He stepped into the dark and musty room ahead with a little less confidence in his gait, grabbing a two-by-four from the pile near the destroyed wall. 

Amazon Synopsis: When Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye, France, to begin the massive renovation of a Renaissance-era castle, he unearths a dark World War II history few in the village remember. The project that was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.

My Thoughts: The novel is set in France and two plots intertwine--one taking place in the 1940s during World War II and the other in current times. The WWII tale is told by Marie during the Nazi occupation, while the contemporary part is from the point of view of architect Michael Becker who has been hired to restore the castle where both stories take place.  I enjoyed reading a story told from a man's perspective for a change. Although I wish I'd known what was causing Michael's angst a little earlier in the book, both plots held my interest until the end. Overall, I enjoyed this book. (I just noticed that one of the tags on Amazon for this book is "inspirational romance," which surprised me. Yes, the author did mention religious beliefs, but the result was not preachy or overdone.) 

Anyone can participate in 
Book Beginnings and Friday 56. 
Click here to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (hosted by Rose City Reader.)
Find other Friday 56 bloggers here (hosted by Freda's Voice). 



  1. Very descriptive. You get a real sense of the surroundings.

  2. Ooh, I love the sound of this one! I am fascinated by castles...and WWII stories mixed with contemporary. I'm reading a book like that right now: WWII and contemporary (no castles,though. Kiss River, by Diane Chamberlain).

    But that's not the book I'm featuring today. Here's MY FRIDAY MEMES POST

  3. sounds great.. i am finding some great reads here on your blog, so thank you!
    mine is posted as well on my blog

  4. I love castles and old cellars. I wonder what the gal on the cover is looking at, so deep in thought. This one sounds interesting, especially in beautiful France! Have a great weekend, Sandy!

  5. hi Sandy! this sounds like a great read. thanks again for sharing and for stopping by my blog. have a wonderful weekend!

  6. this is one of those books that i'd love to cozy up and just read through!

  7. Sandy, I know you are an award-free zone but Awakenings is bestowing the Blog of the Year 2012 to you because of your visits and continued support. Just want you to know you are deserving of this and many other awards. Perhaps it will guide others to your site:>)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sharla, and for the recognition. They're sincerely appreciated!

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed my novel, Sandy! Would you mind copy/pasting this review to Amazon? I'd be grateful... ;-)


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