Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: Lighting the Stars (The Muskoka Novels Book 4) by Gabriele Wills

Book Blurb & Info

Tucked into the rugged Canadian wilderness of Muskoka's majestic lake country, Merilee Sutcliffe's peaceful town seems worlds away from the escalating conflict in Europe. But life is about to change dramatically in the Summer of 1940. As her patriotic friends and relatives leave for battle, her small town is thrust into the war machine. Merilee's formerly tranquil skies soon roar with aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, stationed nearby to train young men determined to liberate their country from Nazi occupation. When German Prisoners of War march into her shocked community, they become Merilee's closest neighbours - and biggest threat.

What unfolds in her remote town and on foreign shores sets Merilee and her growing circle on a collision course with an unimagined destiny. Caught up in the chaos is Luftwaffe pilot Erich Leitner. Shot down during the Battle of Britain and transplanted to a lakeside prison in Muskoka, he discovers he has more to fear from his comrades than his captors.

While her cousin-in-spirit, Elyse Thornton, navigates the treacherous skies of Britain as a Spitfire Girl, audaciously ferrying warplanes from factories to airfields, Merilee becomes quietly entangled in her own dangerous liaisons on the home front. Caught between worlds, with conflicted loyalties and a sense of duty, she joins the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division, and soon finds herself in ground-zero London, focussing her photographer's lens on a city under bombardment.

Far from carefree summers on the lake, struggling to survive the relentless demands and sacrifices of war, Merilee, Elyse, and their friends wonder if they dare to risk their hearts as well.

As unlikely lives intersect, ideologies and social hierarchies are challenged, loves and friendships are forged or broken, and countless heroes are made and lost. But even those who return to the serenity of Muskoka are changed forever.

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Toot's Review by Betty Bee

Highly compelling and absolutely captivating, 'Lighting The Stars,' by Gabriele Wills is a novel set during World War II that deals with themes of love, compassion, freedom and the ever present shadow of war.

Merilee Sutcliffe is a young woman on the brink of self discovery when her small town in the Canadian lake country suddenly gets plunged headfirst into the conflict of World War II.

A POW camp for German prisoners is set up in her town of Muskoka, right next to her friend, Peggy's house. The intrusion of the camp brings not only German prisoners, but soldiers into Merilee's peaceful life, and soon she begins experiencing the effects of the war in ways that she never had to before.

Much of the story revolves around Merilee, but other characters include Elyse, her flirty and witty cousin and a German prisoner named Erich, who eventually strikes up a romance with Merilee.

Without spoiling too much, because this novel is just too good to pass up, Merilee's story becomes so much more than I expected it to be from the description alone. I couldn't believe the journey that this story takes over the course of years of these characters lives and the course of the war.

This novel was not only an excellent reading experience, but an enlightening learning experience as I found out a lot more about the Canadian lake country and its role in the war than I knew before I started reading.

The sense of atmosphere and place are crystal clear and couldn't have been done better. It's clear that Gabriele Wills loves that part of the country just as much as her characters do and this book reads almost like a love letter to Canada.

An excellent look at this period in history and an unforgettable read. Wish that I could give it even more than 5 stars!

Author Info

Gabriele Wills is the author of 6 highly acclaimed historical novels, including 4 in The Muskoka Novels saga set in North America, Britain, and Europe through the two cataclysmic World Wars and the seductive Jazz Age.

Her passion is to weave compelling stories around meticulously researched and often quirky or arcane facts in order to bring the past to life, especially with regard to women’s often forgotten contributions.

The first novel in her ‘Muskoka Novels’, ‘The Summer Before the Storm’ was the “Muskoka Chautauqua Reading List Winner”

Website: https://www.themuskokanovels.co
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabrieleWills
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabrieleWills


Print copies are open to the U.S. and Canada only. Gifted Kindle is open to the U.S only and Kobo is open to anyone who has a usable account on Kobo. It ends on June 30, 2021,midnight pacific time.

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