Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Tour and Guest Post: Author Donna Wichelman of The Waldensian Series

On Tour with Prism Book Tours Out of Darkness
(The Waldensian Series #1)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 pages
April 2nd 2018 by Soujourner's Press

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. Valor
(The Waldensian Series #2)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 281 pages
April 4th 2018 by Sojourner's Press

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 fiancĂ© 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.

Guest Post from Author Donna Wichelman

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.

I went in search of a story—something that was unique to the setting and to Italy and its history but still hadn’t been done a thousand times before. That’s when I became fascinated with the real-life story of the Waldensians or Vaudois (pronounced voo-dwa), as they call themselves. This pre-reformation Christian sect remained resilient as a persecuted people and often suffered martyrdom and great strife in their search for religious freedoms.

The Waldensian story is a universal story that most people can identify with, because we all long to live unfettered in the pursuit of our hopes and dreams and life-long happiness. It’s the story of the African American slave in Roots, the French peasantry in Les Miserables, and more recently, Eastern Europeans when the Berlin Wall fell. In fact, Zamir comments on that event during a moment when he is being honest with Luciana and talks about his sheltered life under strict communism in Albania. “Until nineteen ninety-one, [Zamir’s family] had never imagined they could enjoy a reality outside their small world.”

Waldensians wanted religious freedoms to live and worship and assemble in the peace and tranquility of their home valleys in the French and Italian Alps. Their real-life story is fraught with drama, romance and intrigue as families were separated, whole communities exiled, and individuals martyred for what they believed.

Though church historians have written volumes on the religious sect, I found only a handful of fiction novels set around the Waldensian story.  I also didn’t want to write a historical, because it seemed too niche. However given the history of another Italian institution—organized crime—I saw the potential for our modern-day heroes to have a different enemy to fight, a foe powerful enough to entrap, enslave, and expunge them from existence but could be defeated by an even more powerful force—love.

I developed a fictional Christian suspense series that created a contemporary story around a people whose real-life history of valor and faith endured the test of time. In The Waldensian Series, their history becomes integral to the plotlines and character arcs, enabling them to find courage and hope in their own circumstances where death is only a breath away.

Jamie and Alessandro’s stories convey something we all long for—to find peace and joy and love in spite of the complexities of life. In the process, they also find each other. Their faith in God and love in each other transcends the confines of our earthly lives, and we have hope that it can be our stories, too.

If you read my books and would like to comment on your own journey, please contact me at

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.

Tour Giveaway

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

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