On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Waldensian Series
By Donna Wichelman\We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch – Interview with the Author
What was your motivation behind writing these books?
A number of years ago, I became fascinated by the real-life story of the Waldensians, a persecuted, pre-reformation Christian sect who were often martyred for holding to their doctrinal views against papal authority over the centuries of the second millennium. While church historians have written volumes on the religious group, I wanted to write a fictional, Christian suspense series that created a contemporary story around a people whose real-life story of valor and faith endured the test of time. In both Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor, Jamie and Alessandro come face to face with unrelenting criminal forces that require the protagonists to find courage and hope by looking toward the preserving faith of their ancestors.
Heidi Reads… – A Series is Born
A number of years ago while my family and I were on vacation in Varenna, Italy and enthralled with the beauty of the Lake District and the Northern Italian Alps, I pictured the place as an enchanting setting for a book. On our return home, I couldn’t get the allure and Old World charm out of my head. Still, I needed a story to make the setting come alive…
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review
“A well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with a great romance.” – Review of Light Out of Darkness
“As with the first story, this is a well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with sweet romances…
I recommend this book to other readers. It is a very good read.” – Review of Undaunted Valor
Stacking My Book Shelves! – Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness
Jamie froze. Panic choked her throat.
She whirled around and peered down the path behind her. No one else seemed to be on the darkened walkway. Those who had hurried past her were nowhere in sight. She heard only the calm lap of the water against the shoreline and relaxed again. Wasn’t it just like the darkness to make insane fools of us all?
Coming to a stretch of the walkway where the path widened and a bench sat under another lighted lamppost, Jamie caught sight of a shadowy figure, elongated by the extended light. A tremor chased through her body. There was nowhere to go except straight ahead. She began to run, but the footfalls matched her pace. Her feet shifted into high gear.
Colorimetry – A Future Historical is Born
In Undaunted Valor, Book 2 of The Waldensian Series, Jamie finds a letter written by her seventeenth century cousin Anne Charbonnier. Anne’s story of courage and strength bolsters Jamie’s fight against the men who want to destroy her and Alessandro. Jamie identifies with the persecution her ancient cousin faces at the hands of King Louis XIV during the Nine Years’ War. Setting out to eradicate Waldensians and Huguenots from existence, Louis sends dragoons—military soldiers—to their home valleys to confront them at gunpoint. His message—convert, accept exile in Switzerland. or die for their faith…
Uplifting Reads – Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness
They clambered about the exterior of the stone edifices for a few minutes more. The buildings seemed in need of repair after the winter snows, though Jamie imagined these structures had never been truly rain- or snow-worthy. She suspected the barba had always contended with their surroundings in the same way they persevered through persecution.
All at once, an explosive cacophony of what sounded like firecrackers ricocheted across the valley. Jamie whirled around as Alessandro snatched hold of her. “We’re being shot at. Follow me!”
She clutched his hand and sped with him toward the stone pathway back down through the chestnut forest.
Another round of shots rang out.
Reading Is My SuperPower – Review
“If you like different-than-the-norm settings, high-tension suspense, art and antiquities intrigue and sweet romantic chemistry, then you definitely need to check out The Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman. Layered characters and fascinating history in a modern & picturesque locale draw you in and keep you engaged with the story and its outcome. Pop some popcorn and settle in for a riveting journey through Italy and France!” – Review of the Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor
Remembrancy – Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness
Jamie appealed to the woman once more, her voice more urgent. “Signorina, we’re terribly concerned for our friend. You must understand …”
The woman kept her nose down, straightening up the clutter on her desk—or pretending to. She seemed to cogitate in silence. She looked up and around and then back at Jamie. Her eyes pleaded, and she whispered. “Signorina, please. The man in the photograph. Capo di Mafioso.”
Jamie’s eyes softened, desperate to show the woman she understood. Of course Justina would fear the mob boss. “Just tell us. Our friend—did he say where he was going?”
Paulette’s Papers – 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…
It’s all About the Romance – Excerpt from Undaunted Valor
Outwardly, Luciana could only manage deep guttural sounds through the hands that clasped her mouth. What did these two people want with her, an old lady from a long-forgotten Alpine people? She didn’t have a scrap of money. They would see that right away.
Her impostor spoke in Italian. “I feel … old in this drab outfit. I don’t understand why I need to impersonate her. It’s not like anyone will care.”
Perhaps not here. But my grandson—
“You are not being paid to ask questions. Just do your job right, and you will be handsomely rewarded.”
Mel’s Shelves – Excerpt from Undaunted Valor
Not until they were halfway through the park at a curve in the path did Jamie see another living soul. She slowed her pace, her heart pumping hard. She released Alessandro’s arm and halted, staring ahead.
Alessandro took a step back. “What’s wrong?”
“The man leaning against that tree, leering at us.” She indicated the towering ash ahead of them and the lanky man whose hands dug into black leather military jacket pockets as he rested with one foot against the tree. She’d know that figure anywhere from their encounter with him the year before. She wanted to flee, but he pulled her in like gravity to a black hole.
Moments – Spotlight
Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt from Undaunted Valor
Out of nowhere, Alessandro’s Mercedes came to an immediate halt in front of them. “Get in!” Nico shouted. Jamie hopped into the back on the driver’s side.
“I’ll drive,” Alessandro said, waving his hand at Nico to go around to the other side, while he slid into the driver’s seat. He slammed his door. As soon as Nico had dumped himself into the front passenger seat, Alessandro accelerated forward toward the way they had come.
“Have we lost them?” Jamie gripped the armrest, her knuckles turning white, her body fighting the G-forces as Alessandro drove past the park and village businesses, then up an incline.
Teatime and Books – A Journey of Spiritual Proportions Awaits You
Jamie and Alessandro’s ancestors come from the Cottian Alps—the mountain range that forms the border between present day France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoy) and Italy (Piedmont). For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the terrain provides some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all of Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People all over the world come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate…
Locks, Hooks and Books – Review
“Light Out of Darkness is the beginning to Donna Wichelman’s series. . . . It is full of hold on your seat action and adventure and nail biting suspense and mystery. Jamie and Alessandro were quite the duo and I enjoyed reading how it would end for them…
Undaunted Valor continues Jamie and Alessandro’s story . . . . I had a hard time putting it down and no problem turning the pages. I found their story to be fascinating, intriguing and exciting.
I give Undaunted Valor 5 stars and I highly recommend it. It is so so good.”
underneath the covers – Italian Food: One of Life’s Most Delectable Encounters
If you’re like me, Italian food sits right up there with life’s most delectable encounters. In Italy, meals are a festive time enjoyed with family and friends and accompanied with a good glass of wine. Like art and culture and love, Italians are passionate about their food and pay particular attention to the preparation and presentation. Each region has its own cultural flair and unique flavors…
All-of-a-kind Mom – Review
“I loved the fact that this story is set in Italy. (It’s on my bucket list of places to visit) The setting, the details, all of it, make this a lovely place to “visit”.
And then there’s the mystery…
She gets to know Alessandro. There’s a bit of romantic attraction between the two. And they are determined to solve the mystery…
The Italian Mafia also has a part in this story….and there are other elements as well that all tie together to make this an intriguing suspense novel.” – Review of Light Out of Darkness
Andi’s Book Reviews – Review
“Any story that takes place in Italy is going to grab my attention. Add to that numerous references back to Cleveland, which was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Ohio, and the setting has completely grabbed my attention.” – Review of Light Out of Darkness
“…the setting is a good one. I adore the area around the French Alps. It’s just majestic and a place that everyone should aspire to visit at least once in their life…
And again, I adore Luciana. Plus my antique book geek side loved the secret Jamie finds in her grandmother’s trunk.” – Review of Undaunted Valor
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…
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.
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.
About the Author
Donna Wichelman was a communications professional before writing full-time. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications and lives her dream writing novels and screenplays. She and her husband work with teens at their local church in Fort Collins, Colorado. They travel, bike and kayak whenever their schedules allows.
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)
2nd Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)
3rd Prize: Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)
Ends May 23rd