Towers and Bridges and Steps- It’s Prague

20170912_220324Towers and Bridges and steps, we’re off again!  Honestly, I’m starting to not get nervous before going through security – although did you know that they don’t know what a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread looks like on their screens and they’ll have to search your bag to figure out what that lump is?  This adventure we decided would be a little longer – 8 days from start to finish beginning on a Tuesday night in September.  We met up at Washington Dulles, and, even though we were flying standby, instead of wondering if we would make the flight, got assigned seats before we even arrived at the gate, a whole row for the 2 of us – not that it meant I got a moment more of sleep than usual but I didn’t have to worry my head would flop on the man next to me.

In the previous blogs I gave a description of our days but since this was a longer trip I’m going to change the format and give the good, the bad and then funny!

Arriving in Frankfurt on Wednesday morning, a-whole-lot of sleep deprived, we picked up our itty, bitty, teeny, tiny rental car.  It was no joke that it was a 1 suitcase trunk because that’s all that fit there!  With little delay, we got on the autobahn to drive 3 hours.  Kate is an excellent navigator – with the help of google maps.  But – when we got 10 minutes from our destination – the home of Kate’s friend Kay – it completely and totally failed us as there was a closed road!  Remember, it’s 10am our time, we haven’t slept in over 24 hours and we have no “real” map!  Fortunately, Kate could call her friend and she pieced together where we were, drove to us and had us follow her to her house!  We made it to our first destination!

That evening we had dinner in a nearby city at Brawirt, located in a 600-year-old building.  (I’ve discovered I love being in a really old building – as long as the bathroom isn’t just as old!)  There we had some amazing food – Schwabian pork and cheese spaetzle (and yes, since I’ve gotten home I’ve found some recipes on Pinterest that look pretty good so I want to try them soon!)

On Thursday, we headed for Prague.  It’s amazing what some years with capitalism can do for a country.  Instead of driving twisty, tiny, country roads, we had a smooth trip on highway – all the way to the city limits.  Fortunately, Kay had told us that we needed a vignette – a sticker to show that we had paid to drive on the highways.  It was about $15, good for 10 days, and we purchased it at a rest stop as soon as we crossed the border – cash only!

Our AirBnB in Prague was great!  Our host opened the double wood doors and we drove through a narrow passageway (good thing it was a tiny car!) into a courtyard, 20170917_150800where we could park and leave the car for our stay (we used the small pedestrian door each time we came and went and opened the wider doors when we drove the car in and out).  We then climbed 75 stairs in a very old building, walked though our host’s apartment and into our own.

The view from there was great, the bed comfortable, and the bathroom “difficult” as the shower was really a tub under the very sloped roof!  (it was 1” from the ceiling at one end and made for some creative “showering”.)

Food in Prague was fun!  We purchased cheese, bread and pastries in the supermarkets each evening for breakfast and lunch the next day (Yup, bread and cheese sandwiches every day!).  We ate our dinners in different restaurants – one in the cellar of a very old building, one outside on a river patio with a water wheel turning near us, and then our favorite, one on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Old Town Square!  What a treat and so worth it!22343686_10155936709263291_289048764_o

During our stay, we managed to eat great Italian pizza, Czech goulash with dumplings, both pumpkin and mushroom risottos, ice cream, delicious pastries, lemon crepes, golem cookies, and trdelnik (a piece of dough wrapped around a wooden roller, baked as it spins over coals, sprinkled with sugar on the outside, and then coated with chocolate on the inside).

But, what sights did we see?  Lots and lots and lots!!!  I had gotten off the internet a list of the 25 best things to do in Prague – some were great and some we wondered why they were on the list!!!  Here are our top 10, in no particular order!

#1 – Museum of Historic Chamber Pots and Toilets – As we wandered down some quaint streets in the old town, we came across this unusual museum.  As the name and topic intrigued us, we entered.  What a fun and unusual museum!  They had so many chamber pots and unusual toilets, all with little placards to tell a little about each.  One that caught our eye was a chamber pot with a frog in it (to indicate the sounds that might come in the pot) as well as the rhyme, “Keep me clean and use me well and what I see I will not tell.”

Another one was French – given to newlyweds to end the “night of love” and filled with Nutella, bananas, chocolates and other foods which are then eaten by all present (umm, really???).  There were portable toilets, elaborately painted ones and then those disguised as normal looking chairs.  We also used their real toilets (a plus since it was free and everywhere else – even McDonald’s – we had to pay 50 cents to make our wee deposits) and the walls were covered with interesting bathroom art.

#2 – The towers of Charles Bridge, best climbed just before sunset – There are 2, one at each end of the bridge.  We climbed one at night and the other we climbed just before sunset so we got both daylight and nighttime for that one.  The town looks magical from these old (think 1300’s) towers.  It’s 138 steps to the top and it was just neat to emerge from the interior and lean back against the roof of the top of the tower and view the town on one side and the bridge and castle on the other.

#3 – Charles Bridge – or Karluv most –  Morning, noon, and night is a great time for this bridge!  Pedestrians only, it has lots of entertainment to enjoy while crossing – puppet shows and artists and statues to see (and touch).  Begun in 1357 and finished in 1402, it is Prague and it is free!20170915_141006

#4 – Old Town Square – A bustling area with lots of merchants, entertainers and tourists here as well as a beloved statue to Jan Huss, a church reformer, 100 years before Martin Luther.

There are lots of open air restaurants here but I recommend the roof top terrace restaurant U Prince – located across from the Old Clock Tower.  Here’s the view from the restaurant looking at the clock tower on the right and the square is just behind it.20170915_174635.jpg

#5 – Astronomical Clock – Located at the Old Town Square, this clock has been operating since about 1490.  But it is really neat when it strikes the hour and the Apostles pass by the open windows and bow.20170915_165957

#6 – Old Jewish Ghetto – the section of the town known also as Josefov.  Here you need a ticket to get into any part and the expensive ticket does get you into everything – the old cemetery and the 5 synagogues – so we visited it all.  It seems there was always a love/hate relationship with the Jewish population of Prague – at times they were depended on and at other times they were either expelled from the city or forced into a very small area.  In the 1600’s Prague had the largest Jewish community in the Diaspora.  But at turn of the 19th century, Prague was “revitalized”, to become more like Paris and the Jewish area was “sanitized”, turning the “malodorous” backstreets into blocks of luxurious five-story Art Nouveau mansions.  When the Nazi’s invaded there were about 55,000 Jews in Prague, but less than 1000 remained in 1989.  As our guidebook said, “In any other European city occupied by the Nazis in WWII, what little that was left of the old ghetto would have been demolished.  But, although thousands of Jews were transported to the new ghetto in Terezin and eventually to Auschwitz, the Prague ghetto was preserved under the Nazis in order to provide a record of the communities they had destroyed.  20170915_154855By this grotesque twist of fate, Jewish artifacts from Czechoslovakia and beyond were gathered here, and now make up one of the richest collections of Judaica in Europe.”          The cemetery struck us as crowded and old – just like the ghetto would have been.

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The Pinkasova synagogue filled our hearts with sadness as we saw written on the walls the names of the 77,297 Czech Jews killed during the holocaust.  Every wall in the entire building has just names and dates on them (the name followed by the date of birth and the date of death or transportation to the death camps).

 

 

#7 – Prague Castle – One of the most popular sites in Prague as it is the largest castle complex in the world!  It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been there since the 9th century (it’s old!!) although it has changed a lot over the years.  Since it houses the president of the Czech Republic, you do have to go through security to get in.  And lots of brides get their pictures taken here!

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In the middle of the complex is the Cathedral of St. Vitus, which, although it was begun in 1344, did not get finished until 1929.  Inside it there is the Tomb of Saint Jan of Nepomuk, which is sculpted in solid silver – it is huge!  Then there is the Chapel of St. Vaclav (or Wenceslas in English), the walls of which are inlaid with 1372 semiprecious stones!  It is stunning!  We also visited the Golden Lane, which has above the shops a museum of sorts of knight armor.

There is also a crossbow shooting lane and we both got to fire a crossbow!

#8 – Infant Jesus of Prague located in the church of Panna Maria Vitezna – Infant Jesus or Prazske Jezulatko is a 45cm tall wax sculpture of a 3-year-old Jesus.  He has over 100 items of clothing in his wardrobe and is changed 10 times a year by the nuns.

Make sure you visit the museum where some of his clothing is displayed (It’s a little awkward getting to the museum because it’s at the front of the church on the right side – we had to walk through a service to get to it!)  We found this more interesting after visiting Brussels and seeing all the clothing for the mannequin pis (the peeing boy).

#9 – Petrin Hill Observation tower – or Prague’s little Eiffel tower (it’s 1/5 the size of the Paris one).  Just 299 steps to the top, you get a great view of the city!  The tower was built in 1891 for the Prague Exhibition.

#10 The hanging Sigmund Freud –

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this isn’t really that great but so unusual that I have to mention it!  It was interesting to look up in the old town and see high above the streets a 7’ tall statue of Freud hanging by a hand and “pondering whether to hold on or let go.”  It is in the old town at the intersection of Husova and Betlemske.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two places outside of Prague and worth going to are Karlstejn and Terezin.  We did them as ½ day trips.  Karlstejn was the summer castle of Charles IV and it served as a getaway place for him as well as a place to store his crown jewels and relics.  To see the magnificent chapel, you have to book a tour in advance – we did so the day before going and were able to get an English tour, which you will want and we did!  You are not allowed to take pictures inside the castle which is why we don’t have very many here!

 

Terezin, or Theresienstadt in German, is the town the Nazi’s turned into a Jewish Ghetto by displacing the 3,500 Czech residents and forcing 60,000 Jews to live there before transporting them to Auschwitz.  The Nazis used Terezin also as propaganda, showing how nice it was to live there, with cultural events, playgrounds and more – this 12-minute film can still be seen there. There is a museum, a memorial and several other buildings as well as the fortress here.  One building has recreated the woman’s dormitory.

Another building (hard to find, by the way) has a recently discovered tiny hidden synagogue in it.  The fortress on the outside of town, built in the 1780’s, (it’s most famous inmate was the young man who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914) was also a SS prison that mostly housed inmates who had been active in the resistance.  Although the town now has residents, it also seems very ghost like.

And what things should you avoid while in Prague?  I can’t speak for them all but I would stay away from the KGB museum!  Trip Advisor made this out to be one of the must sees – what a dud!  The owner/guide was probably a former KGB agent who waxed on about the glories of the KGB and how they killed – with highly theatrical sound effects!  Boris was entertaining but not for the amount he charged to get into the museum!  And you had to listen to him because there was no information about the artifacts in the room, except what he told or made up?

Trip Advisor also said that the Lennon wall (think Beatles) was a place to go – as Kate said it was just a wall covered in graffiti and not worth the time it took to find!

 

We also visited Wenceslas Square but since the museum was closed and we weren’t interested in big shopping stores, all we did was take a picture and eat some (wonderful) pizza there!  And, for the record, shopping in Prague was wonderful!  They had all sorts of fun things – crystal (both Swarovski jewelry and dinnerware), Russian matryoshka dolls, chocolate, as well as normal souvenir t-shirts and bags, etc.  You could also in every store find cannabis – lollipops and chips, teas and muffins, chocolates and cookies.

With our 4 days in Prague over, we reluctantly pointed our teeny, tiny car towards Poland (we really were ready to come home at this point but still had places to go, things to buy and people to see!).  So, we bid Prague adieu – what a fun city!20170918_063325

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Deadly Proof

I know – 2 reviews in 2 days but I’m a little behind and I need to get caught up before I fly away again!!  So, here’s

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Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense with a Romantic Twist

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

Packing a powerful punch, this novel had suspense, romance, and even legal drama, with the characters both seeking and questioning God.  Kate Sullivan is a lawyer who is tapped to lead a big case against a large pharmaceutical company.  But how far will the company go to keep from losing money?  And who is behind the evil Kate finds herself up against?

After being chosen lead counsel and realizing she needs to dig deep into the case as there is much more than meets the eye, Kate decides to hire a private investigator and has Landon James recommended to her.  He is former military who is “haunted by mistakes in his past” but determined to make the future different, and to protect Kate!

Both Kate and Landon have issues – will the issues keep them apart or draw them together (okay – it’s a romance novel so what do you think!).  But seeing them work through them really was great!   He feels God has abandoned him – she relies on God “…she closed her eyes for a moment and asked God to give her the strength to get through this litigation.”  I really loved some of the seeking dialogue between Kate and Landon.  Kate encourages him – “He knows your pain and struggles, Landon.  They aren’t any surprise to Him.”

This is a wonderful novel and I recommend it!  I had such a hard time putting it down! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author:71L2nNpxBSL._UX250_

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories.  Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Justice Buried

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In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing–and looking over their shoulders.

What a neat murder mystery – although that sounds a little strange!  I so enjoyed how a “cold case” came to life!  And honestly, my hands got clammy as I read Kelsey’s adventures climbing up walls and rappelling down great heights without a belayer!  The author is quite skilled at bringing words to life!

Kelsey is the daughter of a thief and she loves finding flaws in security systems – not for her own illegal gains but so the owners can improve their systems.  And she loves the challenge – not only with the cyber part of security but also the brick and mortar as she skillfully breaks into buildings.  But will Detective Brad Hollister believe her –  that she is not like her father?  Kelsey and Brad have a past – but will they have a future?

This novel had action through and through, yet also an underlying message that God is there.  At one-point Kelsey struggles as she reads the Bible.  “People let you down; how did she know God wouldn’t too? … She wasn’t even sure she’d know how to depend on God.”  As an aside, I loved how Kelsey was reading her Bible on her phone!

If you are looking for a suspenseful murder mystery with some romance and the seeking for God in one’s life, I highly recommend this book!  I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author:pbradley-2015

Patricia Bradley is the author of Justice Delayed, as well as the Logan Point series. Honoring God through her writing is top priority for this Mississippi Writer. When she’s not writing or speaking, she throws mud on a wheel and tries to make something beautiful. Bradley won an Inspirational Readers Choice Award in Suspense, was a finalist for the Genesis Award, won a Daphne du Maurier Award, and won a Touched by Love Award. Bradley is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Learn more at http://www.ptbradley.com.

Irish Castles – Part 2 (Finally!)

20170515_111403This is the second part of our 4 day trip to Ireland in May 2017.  The first 2 days we stayed in Dublin exploring it and on our 3rd day we got a bus tour for Northern Ireland as I did not want to drive in Ireland.

An early wake-up and rain greeted us the next morning as we walked to the meeting point for our bus tour.  We were off to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway.  What a great decision to go on the tour!  Our bus driver told us interesting facts as we left the city and drove north, first about Dublin and then about Belfast.  Although Belfast is not the same hotbed it was 30 years ago (when the only hotel in the city was bombed or attacked almost daily), it still has an uneasy air to it.  Catholics still cannot go into a Protestant’s house or might find themselves injured the next day.  A wall exists between the 2 sides and the gate gets closed each evening.  It seemed a little unreal to me!

Here we are at the Wall of Peace

 

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On our arrival in Belfast we stopped at the dock where the Titanic was designed, built and launched – and the original H&W cranes are still there.  We were directed toward a Black Cab and got in it and spent the next 90 minutes driving around Belfast on a “Political Tour”, stopping at all the significant places from the “troubles”, seeing all the wall murals, and eventually ending up at the Wall of Peace.  Our cabbie told us many stories from the time of the “troubles”  – about the IRA and Bobby Sands (a 27-year-old member of the Irish Republican Army (catholic) who was voted a Member of Parliament while in jail.  In 1981, he staged a hunger strike and starved himself to death 66 days later.)  And, by the way, calling it the time of “troubles” seems a little understated!

After signing our names on the Peace wall, we returned to the docks, got back on the bus and headed for the Giants Causeway.  But before we got there we stopped to see the ruins of Cair Paravel – otherwise known as Dunluce Castle (#4) – spectacular beauty on the shore of Northern Ireland!  20170515_125930(2)

Giants Causeway, located on the very northern part of Ireland is a world Heritage site and a fascinating natural wonder.  It looks like lots of stepping stones placed on the shore, some rising high and others more like pavers – most of them are six-sided basalt columns of different heights.20170515_133042 (2)

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Legend has it that it is the remains of the causeway built by the Irish giant Fionn.  A Scottish giant Benandonner was threatening Ireland.  Furious about this threat, Fionn throws chunks of the coast into the sea which forms a path for him to go over to Scotland to oust his enemy Benandonner.  But when he saw Benandonner from a distance he realized his enemy was bigger than he had thought so he quickly retreated home.  Unfortunately, Benandonner saw the causeway and came after him.  But Fionn’s wife, thinking quickly, told him to strip and put on a nappy (diaper), making him appear to be a huge baby.  When Benandonner arrived she told him she didn’t know where Fionn was but to be quiet because the baby had just fallen asleep.  Benandonner took one look at the large baby and decided that if the baby was that big, the daddy must be huge so he returned to Scotland.  Fionn then dismantled the causeway, just leaving a few stones on the shore.  Another possibility for the stones is volcanic activity and lava a long time ago and when the lava cooled it formed these stones.  I don’t know – which one do you think sounds better???

What a picturesque place!  We loved climbing on the stones and walking the area – it really was fascinating!  But wait … there’s more!   We then went on to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, a small rope bridge going across a 66-foot-wide chasm, 98 feet above the rocks and sea, originally built for the salmon fishermen.  (And I just found out that just a week after we visited it the bridge was vandalized and closed for a period of time until it could be repaired!)

Having safely crossed both ways on the bridge, we returned to the bus and in due time to Dublin.  There we ate dinner at a lovely Greek restaurant before crashing at our little apartment!

Up early the next morning, we once again got on a bus – this time heading for Cork and the Blarney Castle!  Our guide wasn’t as talkative as the one the day before which was a bummer –  and ironic because of our destination –  but the stops were fabulous!  Stopping first at Cashel, sometimes known as the Rock of Cashel or even as St. Patrick’s Rock, we were able to see the site where supposedly Aenghus, the King of Munster converted because of St. Patrick in the 5th century AD.

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It was the seat for the Kings of Munster for years but then was given to the church.  So it is both a castle (#5) and a church but unfortunately the whole thing is in ruins but still amazing to look at and wander around.  The sheep like grazing there too!

Next stop was a couple of hours in the city of Cork.  There we wandered the main street, walked through the English Market, shopped, saw some churches, and eagerly anticipated our next stop – The Blarney Castle (#6).  From The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,

“The blarney stone is a triangular stone on the very top of an ancient castle of that name in the county of Cork in Ireland, extremely difficult to access; so that to have ascended to it, was considered as a proof of perseverance, courage, and agility, whereof many are supposed to claim the honour, who never achieved the adventure: and to tip the blarney, is figuratively used telling a marvelous story, or falsity’ and also sometimes to express flattery.”  And, from Monsignor Fulton Sheen, “There is a world of difference between ‘Blarney’ and ‘baloney’.  Baloney is flattery laid on with a trowel.  Blarney is flattery laid on with the lips; that is why you have to kiss a stone to get it.”

Actually, the castle and its grounds are beautiful!  And they have the most interesting garden – a poison garden containing all sorts of poisonous plants – Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Opium and Cannabis to name just a few.  But, the reason for stopping at this particular castle is yes – to kiss the Blarney stone.

And, it is quite the climb up narrow, steep steps to the top where you wait in a line before lying down on your back over an opening in the wall, then lean back, way back, and kiss the stone.  It is quite the production for the men on the wall as they tell you to “lie down, grab the rails, lean back, lean back, kiss, kiss, kiss, come on up now, love.”

Some people expressed fear and weren’t sure they would be able to do it but once you start the process you don’t think much about it because your orders were just barked out to you and the whole process took maybe 10 seconds!  So Kate and I both kissed the Stone of Eloquence – and bought the pictures to prove it!!!!  With a little bit of time left before we needed to be back on the bus we did some souvenir shopping at the conveniently located shops by the castle, boarded the bus and returned to Dublin.  We still had a little time to wander the city, revisiting Trinity College and seeing St. Patrick’s Cathedral before grabbing some dinner at a fish and chips shop right next to our apartment.

Once again, early in the morning we left the apartment and caught a public transportation bus to the airport.  Our guide two days earlier had told us we needed to be at the airport 3 hours early – he didn’t say why but fortunately we listened!  Dublin has you go through American customs and immigration there – which takes extra time!  Once through that line we relaxed at our gate and then were thrilled to get to ride back to Virginia in First Class!  20170517_114451

What a fabulous trip!  Castles and tea, Battenberg cakes and wool hats!  And lots and lots of walking – about 90,000 steps in 4 days!  No, we didn’t get to the Cliffs of Moher – we went north and south and east but not west –  maybe another time?!?!     So, what’s on your bucket list – where would you want to go if time and money weren’t an issue???  I’d love to know – just leave a comment below!

 

Fatal Trust

41SOn7T9eLL._SS300_This book had more twists and turns than a roller coaster!  Seriously, several times I had to go back and reread different parts because I wondered how I had missed certain things!

The novel begins with a scene from the end of the book so from the get go the reader is wondering how mild Ian Connor could end up in a scene like that!  And then the author unravels the story, with bits from the past, and dreams, and even from the view points of different characters.  What a suspenseful novel – with hit men, armed robberies, shootings, etc.

I liked how this book was a clean suspenseful novel – no profanity or sex.  But I will say I was expecting there to be some mention of God, since the publisher is Bethany House, but I did not find any.  I do highly recommend Fatal Trust as a clean, suspenseful legal thriller but wouldn’t say it is Christian Fiction.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author: Todd M. Johnson

Todd M. Johnson has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. Todd’s passion for writing blends well with his legal career and his novels are drawn closely from his personal experiences as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, Todd taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law and has served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Johnson’s first novel, debuted in 2012. His second novel, Critical Reaction, was released in October 2013.

A third novel, Fatal Trust, is set in Todd’s hometown of Minneapolis.

EXCITING NEWS!!

I’m sure you are all waiting for days 3 and 4 of my Irish Adventure but you are going to have to wait a little longer because first I have some exciting news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m going on a mission trip!!!!!!!!!

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Couldn’t wait any longer to say that!  Now to give you some background!  A few years ago, my daughter Rachel went to Peru on a medical missions trip.

Medical Ministry International Canada has expressed the good news of the gospel for over 40 years by caring for those who have little or no access to medical care. Medicine is ministry!

She was only a nursing student but she really enjoyed working with the people.  Now she is a nurse and wants to go back to use some of her training to help the people.  So, she got approval from her job exactly 1 week ago today to take 2 weeks of unpaid leave to go.

Since they not only need medical personnel, they also need a person to help with general stuff –  “General Helpers are crucial to the success of the project team, and the variety of needs that will arise may be many. Some examples of General Helpers’ tasks: registration, crowd control, assist in the pharmacy, serve in visual acuity, or pray with patients and show God’s love to those we serve.”   I’ll be that person!  Although I have sent my kids on numerous missions over the years, I have not personally been on one since I was in college so I am just so excited!

And nervous!  Did I mention that this trip is to Cusco, Peru – where the altitude is 11,000 feet and people frequently get altitude sickness there?  Or that it is an extreme trip – which means we will be hiking from village to village (did you see those mountains in the picture???).  Or that we are going in October – the rainy season!  I’m also excited because Cusco is also the city you have to travel through to get to Machu Picchu so we’ll get the chance to visit it too!

Both Rachel and John have said that I am not prepared for this trip – so I’m going to need to do some serious hiking between now and then.  I need hiking sticks and hiking boots and sock liners and … says my husband who has hiked in New Mexico.  I also need some shots!   I think I need a lot of prayer!!!!  And some hiking buddies!

So – if you want to hike with me – let me know!  If you want to pray for me and Rachel – let me know!  Want to give us some medicines (we have a list) or some gifts for the patients – let us know!  And lastly, if you’d like to partner with us in raising the revenues to go on this trip – let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the info if you want to donate and we are very appreciative of any amount!:

If you desire a tax receipt, you must send your donation to our American partner “I Care San Antonio” (ICSA)
➢ Mail with check: 1 Haven for Hope Way, Suite 200 San Antonio, TX, 78207 [501(c)3 non-profit tax ID: 74-2690192] Please make a detailed note (Example: MMI Peru Cusco Extreme October 2017 project – Kris or Rachel Markovich) designating the funds for MMI Canada project participation donation.
➢ Online with Credit card: http://www.icare-sa.org/global/ Select “Donate” button part way down the page on the left. Please fill in the “Purpose” (at the top in the blue box) Example: MMI Peru Cusco Extreme October 2017 project – Kris or Rachel Markovich. Enter your Name, credit card information, address, phone and email address.

The Captain’s Daughter

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It takes place in 1879 in London, mostly in the theater world.

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

Although I’ve read history about the Globe theater in Shakespeare’s day, I’d never read about the theater in a more “modern” time (just about 140 years ago!). I found the details about the shows fascinating as the theater was producing HMS Pinafore – a musical still known today. There’s a scene with Gilbert and Sullivan working out the details of their next show and words from some of the songs are in the book both of which getting me thinking of those tunes! A lot of the action revolves around backstage – costumes and lighting and sets as Rosalyn is hired first as a cleaning lady and then as a dresser and Nate is working as a stagehand. I also enjoyed the referencing to George Mueller’s orphanage and his beliefs/actions. I’ve heard of him, so to have his orphanage play a pivotal part in the lives of the characters and seeing how it influenced them really intrigued me.

There were just so many details of London life woven around a great story of love and forgiveness and the grace of God that I found this book captivating and look forward to reading the next one by this author, about Rosalyn’s sister Julia! I highly recommend it! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author: Jennifer Delamere

Jennifer Delamere

Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.