Friday, August 17, 2012

Featured Ebook : Destinies by Karleene Morrow


Genre : Historical Fiction

Author : Karleene Morrow

Author Websites : 3 websites 



Autographed Paperback from Author’s Website:  $12.99 
Amazon  Stores : Kindle Edition

Amazon  Stores : Paperback Edition $22.50

ISBN: 978-0-9837711-1-1 (.mobi ) and 978-0-9837711-0-4 (.epub)

Barnes and Noble Stores : $4.99 Nook Edition

Kobo Stores :  $4.99 EPUB Edition

Reviews : Multiple 5 stars (16 on Amazon, 2 on Barnes and Noble) 

Blurb : Destinies is a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s BEST INDIE BOOKS OF 2012.  It is an epic tale of royalty and rural family. Catherine II seizes the crown of Russia and a thousand miles away a Rhineland boy’s life changes forever.

Uprooted from his home near the Rhine River and taken to a hostile land on the Russian steppes, Christian comes up against adversity and setbacks as he attempts to make a new life for himself and his family. His efforts at enlisting a blacksmith and Gypsies to help a Russian girl sold into servitude put all their lives in deadly peril.

Meanwhile, Catherine, in her new role as empress, is surrounded by court intrigue and secret plots to overthrow her; rumors of her lover’s infidelity; an army of wild Cossacks and escaped serfs thundering down on Saratov intent on burning the city, sacking Moscow and locking the empress in a convent. Now Catherine must find a solution to the challenges she faces at court – as Christian must find his own solutions in the colonies.

Destinies is a compelling, multi-layered story of power, love, deceit and betrayal, and the extraordinary strength and determination of the human spirit in common people thrown into uncommon situations. 

Barnes and Noble Reviews (Click on the link) 

Amazon Reviews (Click to view all reviews) 

Treacherous Journey, February 28, 2012
By The Kindle Book Review TOP 500 REVIEWER
star star star star star
This historical novel is written with such grace, compassion and attention to detail that it is like no other I have read before. The story is expressed from two viewpoints, Katherine II, Empress of Russia and Christian Kehler a young boy who departs Germany with his family for a better life in Russia.

Katherine II, Empress of Russia, offers free land and homes to those who come to Russia. She is a strong, complex woman who wishes to populate Russia's Eastern frontier. Her personal love exploits provide a glimpse into her frailties and insecurities.

Christian Kehler is the main character in this story as he comes of age throughout the course of the book. Christian travels from Germany across the Rhine River with his family and neighboring families full of hope and determination. His journey is long and arduous as he encounters obstacles beyond his imagination. He is a strong, insightful and intelligent boy whose contribution to the journey and the eventual settlement of the people is invaluable.

The additional characters are rich in description and extremely well defined. They play an integral part is this story and add to its complexity. Each one experiences their own personal tragedies and triumphs. Each character has a personal story of their own which is portrayed with clarity, compassion and resolve.

The descriptive writing of the journey itself and the landscapes that are encountered are vividly drawn in such a way that you will make the journey as well. This story is very fast paced and surprises you at every turn of the page. I felt a great sense of compassion and trepidation for the characters in this story which is a direct result of the tremendous writing in this book.

I highly recommend this book to all readers. It is not merely a book of historical fiction but a book of families, hardships, love and determination. It portrays the best and worst of human nature and their struggle for survival.

Destinies by Karleene Morrow is truly a MUST READ.
Marilou George – The Kindle Book Review

Katherine the Great, June 10, 2012
By Mary Crocco – book reviewer / writer
This review is from: Destinies (Kindle Edition)
star star star star star  
Becoming the Empress and Ruler of All the Russians, Sophie Auguste Friedrike, was only fourteen when her mother made sure she became princess of Russia. The tsarina of Russia, Elizabeth Petrovna, was searching for a wife for her nephew who would inherit the crown.

Leaving her small town of Stettin, Poland, she met the tsarina and her heir in Russia. In 1762 Sophie became Katherine II. Known as Katherine the Great, the Empress was literate, cultured, and loved the arts. Throughout Destinies, Karleene Marrow proves how she painstakingly researched every event during Katherine's 34 year reign.

To not only enlighten her readers with facts and knowledge, but to entertain at the same time, Karleene Morrow writes her historical novel, Destinies, using Katherine the Great's point of view plus a young boy, Christian, who emigrated from Germany to Russia with his family and friends searching for a better life. The way Morrow skillfully does this is what makes this book extraordinary.

Katherine II is known for her sex scandals and her desire for power. Morrow includes her political decisions and many of her lovers. During the day Katherine II was a powerhouse of a political leader, and at night she could not go without a man.

We see Christian grow up from a boy into manhood in Destinies. We meet and love his family and friends. He has strong family values and morals that he struggles with on his journey. His relationship with the Gypsy's is my favorite. His life, along with his family and friends, is not an easy one. Emigrating from Germany and putting down roots in Russia was an unbelievable feat.

Going back and forth between Katherine the Great and Christian's life was easily done. There is never a time where I got lost or confused. This is a longer book than most, but it never felt like it. I could not put it down. The story is terrific!

I recommend this book for readers of all ages. In my opinion, reading a historical novel that is well researched and written, is the best way to learn. I'm hoping Destinies will have a sequel. I would love to read another historical novel by Karleene Morrow.

You will savour every page., January 3, 2012
By Masquerade Crew
This review is from: Destinies (Kindle Edition)
BEC'S REVIEW star star star star star
Historical novels are a tricky subject to get right. Unlike most novels they require a lot of research in order to ensure that events and characters stay as close to their real life counterparts as possible, and that those who have researched or know of the characters won't get upset by them acting in strange ways. 

As such it's a genre not every author can pull off but one that Morrow does with such ease. I found myself eagerly turning the pages of this book and finishing it in a short time despite its large size. Do not let the size put you off either, this is a real page turner.

Dealing with the story of Katherine the Great and the European settlers she invited to immigrate to Russia, this story is told from two perspectives, that of Katherine but mostly that of a fictional immigrant teenager, Christian, who grows up over the years that this book is set in. Each of the characters has trials they must face, successes and failures, and life changing decisions. Each of the characters is a refreshing read, with individual voices that combine the story telling in an enchanting read.

There were some parts of this story that amused me, and some parts that had me worried for the characters but no matter what was happening I couldn't put it down. At times it did get frustrating when it would switch to the other character, especially when something good was happening with the first one, but this only added to the suspense. 

I believe Destinies can stand it's ground against other historical novels that have graced book store shelves, and would highly recommend it. Don't let the fact that it's a rather long book put you off, as you will savour every page.

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