๐Ÿ—️๐Ÿšช๐Ÿ’Ž “The Heirs of Falcon Point” (Falcon Point Series #1) (2021) ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿšช๐Ÿ—️– Book Tour & Review

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heirs of Falcon Point
By Traci Hunter Abramson, Sian Ann Bessey, 
Paige Edwards, A.L. Sowards
Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 408 Pages
October 11, 2021 by Covenant Communications

In the early days of World War II, the Lang family lost everything. Eighty years later, it’s time to take it back.

The Nazis have taken control of Austria, and wealthy widower Leopold Lang faces a difficult decision: join the ranks of the foreign power that has taken over his homeland or flee with his children to safety. Leopold makes his choice—but too late. His family is ripped apart, never to be reunited. But decades later, fate brings together the descendants of this broken dynasty in the place where it all began—Falcon Point.

Anna, Cole, and Tess have never met, each relying on fractured pieces of information to understand their Austrian heritage. But when unforeseen opportunities draw these Lang cousins to Falcon Point, they soon discover they are not alone in their quest to claim the coveted property and the fabled treasure hidden within. Unfortunately, another claimant, one with a much darker heritage, is determined to eliminate the Lang family once and for all.

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About the Authors

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She loves to travel and enjoys coaching her local high school swim team. She has written more than thirty bestselling novels and is a seven-time Whitney Award winner, including 2017 and 2019 Best Novel of the Year.



Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English.

She began her writing career as a college student, publishing several articles in the New Era, Ensign, and Liahona magazines. Since then she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today best-selling author, a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.

Sian and her husband, Kent, are the parents of five children and the grandparents of three beautiful girls and two handsome boys. They currently live in Idaho, and although Sian doesn't have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, she can still wrap her tongue around, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch still rolls off her tongue.

Traveling, reading, cooking, and being with her grandchildren are some of her favorite activities.



Paige Edwards is an award-winning author of contemporary Regency romances with a side-order of suspense. Her stories have debuted in the number-one Amazon spot for Christian fiction and have received national five-star reviews by Reader’s Favorite and InD’Tale Magazine. Her novels appeal to a wide range of readers from Historical Romance to Mystery/Suspense. She holds a degree in interior design and has worked professionally in that field. Due to her strong British roots, Paige’s books are often set in the UK, and she hops the pond whenever she gets the chance. She Is the Lady Paige Edwards when in Scotland, but her favorite title is Grandma. When she needs a break from writing, she serves as president of her area’s Interfaith Community Council, she is fond of digging in the dirt (what some might call gardening), she bikes the battlefields, and she kayaks on the lake.



A. L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she’s grateful she didn’t live back then. She doesn’t think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged.

Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have become Whitney Finalists and won a Whitney Award, reached the number one spot across multiple Amazon categories, received praise from the Historical Novel Society, and been loved by readers from a variety of backgrounds.

She lives with her husband and three children and has called Washington State, Utah, and Alaska home. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She doesn’t own a typewriter, but she does own a pair or two of nylons.


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My Review

Thank you in advance to the publisher, Covenant Communications, for providing a complimentary review copy. A positive review was not required or requested and all words are my own.

One “new-to-me” author isn’t a HUGE surprise.

FOUR (4) “new-to-me” author? HUGE SURPRISE.

Books written by two (2) authors? I’ve done that a few times. Offhand – Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks come to mind.

I’ve NEVER read FOUR (4) authors telling a story unless it was a novella like The Kissing Tree (Bethany House, 2020) which featured a continual story arc over multiple stories in different times.

I didn’t know what to expect with this one. And, I’ll admit, after getting it I was left wondering – “what did I get myself into?”

The simple cover was not inspiring me much either, but I was DRAWN to the story and tagline. And, I do love a good WORLD WAR II (WWII) book.

This is more or less a suspense than romance. There are some romances as there are main characters – post WWII:

Anna Cavendish (Beckett Campbell)

Cole Bridger (Isabelle Roberts)

Lars Hendriks (Marit Jansen)

Tess Hendriks (Bram Dekker)

While this is the first book of a series, it can EASILY be a standalone. I would be happy not to know anymore from it. But, I won’t hesitate to read The Danger with Diamonds (February 2022), written by Traci Hunter Abramson and Sian Ann Bessey.

Readers will be happy to note that Cole, Lars, Marit, and Tess are featured in the first chapter of book #2. This is from a sneak peak at the end of The Heirs of Falcon Point.

The main bad guy is obviously the grandfather of the bad guy from WWII. And, it is interesting to see how the families are SO intertwined. All characters are written with depth and realism. They’re unique, yet similar. It is definitely hard for me to see the difference in who wrote what. I just read a book from a “single” author who has a large cast and multiple (over 12) POVs.

In the early days/part of the book, Karl Lang is the main POV. Post WWII?

Gunnar

Anna

Beckett

Tess

Cole

Talking about the writing – the authors use my favorite style: short chapters and non-stop, fast-pace action. One reviewer said this was UNPUTTDOWNABLE, and had I not been in the middle of prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – this would’ve been a day read despite being 321 pages. I read over 100 pages in one (1) hour!

There is a mix of British and American English use words. Most all words are American. Though, having read some British books, I can easily understand the terms.

Unlike some books, this story ACTUALLY starts on the first page. The first 74 pages (13 chapters) set up the rest of the story, which is JUST as fascinating as the first.

Since this does take place partly in WWII, Hitler and Nazis are referred to. As these are sensitive subjects caution is noted will reading. There are definitely going to be references to the robbing of some families.  

If anyone has seen The Sound of Music, then the Anschluss - annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938 comes as LITTLE surprise to anyone.

What might come as a surprise?

Prior to the Anschluss (German: “unification”), there had been strong support from people of all backgrounds in both Austria and Germany for unification of the two countries. In the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy – with Austria left as a broken remnant, deprived of most of the territories it ruled for centuries and undergoing a severe economic crisis – the idea of unity with Germany seemed attractive also to many citizens of the political Left and Center. Had the victors of World War I allowed it, Austria would have united with Germany as a freely taken democratic decision.

On 12 March, the German Wehrmacht crossed the border into Austria, unopposed by the Austrian military; the Germans were greeted with great enthusiasm.

That bit of history might have helped some readers to know that this wasn’t a hostile takeover. Most of the Austrians were ambivalent, and approximately 2/3 of Austrians could be counted on to vote for it.

Though there were some, like Leopold and Karl in this book that opposed it and opposed their being forced into Hitler’s military.

Thus sets the backdrop for Herr Wilhelm Sauermann’s visit to Leopold Lang’s residence, Falcon Point, in the beginning of the novel. It is clear that Sauermann wants Leo to join the “Reich”. And, it is clear Karl will be required to, though he doesn’t want to fight for Hitler.

Needless to say, this sets up Karl’s thrilling and dangerous escape for himself and his sisters to get out of the Nazi controlled country.

It is in Karl helping his father hide most of their artwork and belongings that he learns how dire the situation is.

His father’s first plan – stay and ride it out doesn’t work; Sauermann won’t let Leo take up a respectable teaching position – thus there in is plan #3 – leave.

But, from seeing The Sound of Music we all know – easier said that done.

The reference that a dying Leo makes to son Karl “red-white-red”, finished by Karl “until we’re dead” is from a speech given by former Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg. He referred to the July 1936 agreement with Germany and stated: “Austria will go thus far and no further.” He ended his speech with an emotional appeal to Austrian patriotism: “Red-White-Red (the colours of the Austrian flag) until we're dead!”

It is up to Karl to save himself, along with sisters Ingrid and Anna.

The authors make no effort to hide Wilhelm Sauermann’s lying, homicidal, evil character. This even includes chasing the children down to a train station. Where they are sadly separated. Note: no happy ending there as readers will learn.

Anna is safe with the former nanny, though what happens to Ingrid is not a mystery for long.

Karl eventually makes his way to Zurich and gives up some of the information his father had. From there, Karl knows what he wants or has to do. And, meeting a lady isn’t a priority.

But he does … he meets Millie.

Moving to the present day …

Gunnar Sauermann, the latest trustee of Falcon Point (why did this NOT surprise me) is trying to maximize his returns on the property – and one thing? To make sure it becomes his. That is barring any claim within 15 years from the Lang Family Trust. Thank goodness for that.

He knows of two heirs – those of Ingrid Lang-Hendriks – Tess and Lars His grandfather, Wilhelm (no surprise) was able to hide Ingrid’s claim to the estate.

Most estates were reverting to the prior owners or rather their heirs. And, let’s face it, I never doubted Gunnar’s apple didn’t come from his grandfather’s orchard. You know? Apple & tree reference. Despite being the third (3rd) generation trustee, he acts like he owns the place.

I had to laugh at his wife Petra’s “put-out” attitude about being forced out of her home. While I know this was a serious story, the woman’s attitude about it was laughable. I mean, she has to know the truth, right?

Gunnar’s about to have more issues when Anna shows up. She’s there to find her granny’s people. She has a photo and knows her grandmother was born at Falcon Point. Anna tells this to the main architect, and someone she “knew” – Beckett. And, it was interesting to watch them navigate their relationship during the work on Falcon Point as well as the investigation.

One thing is clear – Gunnar doesn’t want Anna investigating and looking around. And, let’s face it – he knows why. Beckett wants Anna to continue, but after hours and when he is there.

The readers learn the separate histories through the others’ own recollections. But, one thing is clear – Anna doesn’t know about Ingrid or her family. They believe she was killed in the Blitz. Gunnar overhears this and is alarmed – that makes three heirs that could take the estate. The estate STILL belongs to the Lang family. Gunnar has ZERO claim. And, he is horrified by the fact there is another heir. I was laughing by this point.

Halfway through chapter 18, readers meet Cole Bridger. And, it is clear that he is a descendant of Karl Lang.

It is when the estate’s website goes live that he gets a hit on a “search”.

In chapter 21, readers learn more about Karl and what happened with him along with the “paperwork” that Cole has proving his claim. His grandfather had been searching for the estate. And, Karl has a letter about Leo’s death. And, Cole doesn’t want to use his CIA access to find things.

There’s another letter – Ingrid also knows who killed her father.

Gunnar then has to start eliminating them. Anna overhears the conversation and heads to the police.

It is in Chapter 23 readers met Tess and Lars. Tess gets a call from Anna just before Lars and his “lady friend” are hit by a vehicle. It’s clear it is no accident and Tess wonders if it is related to the stalker. She soon learns about the connection between her grandmother’s jewelry and Falcon Point. She has to go there while Lars recuperates.  

Eventually the authors connect one of the hitmen hired to eliminate Tess and her brother to a stolen art ring that involves the CIA. And, eventually the three cousins (Cole, Anna, and Tess) find their way to Falcon Point. And, eventually there is a major showdown between the Lang heirs, Gunnar, and a character that didn’t surprise me.

Thankfully the ending chapters gave me time to decompress from this pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, enthralling, riveting suspense read. I could EASILY see this as a movie. A lot of books do better as books, movies do better as just the movie. This? Someone call a producer!

There were times, despite the seriousness and suspense I was laughing. One of those was Gunnar hiring hitman that keep failing – yes, three failed hits.

This is more of a suspense than romance – obviously given the proximity of everyone involved and the different people, there will be some romance. This was a pet peeve with one reviewer. But, again, this is the first book of a series; it is designed to establish what will happen in future stories.

One reviewer noted that they had an issue with the Lang family collecting gold, diamonds, precious jewelry, original paintings given the poor people who’d suffered more before the war – that “wealth” could’ve helped them.

Collecting these items were sometimes a way to invest one’s money in something that could easily be sold or traded without keeping “cash” all over in case of financial need or war like in this case. Often the “wealth” was passed from one generation to another (usually going back 3-5 generations if not more) – thus what an “estate” is when someone dies. Such as my grandmother’s pearls, collectibles, etc. Sometimes these were the only “money” the families had. This sort of spoils the ending of the book though; but the letter also highlights the more important treasure – family.   

Given that Austria was considered part of Germany – the belongings would’ve gone to the “Reich” had they been found.

This is a VERY clean read. There are no intimate scenes at all. There is NO foul language. Very few references to God and faith. There is some violence with regard to murders and fighting. These are not too graphic in detail.

These was definitely a book I definitely enjoyed and highly recommend.

NOTE: After WWII, Austria’s sovereignty was finally restored in 1955. 


RATING:

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – BookBub 

5 ⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html

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