Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Song in the Night - by Julie Maria Peace

From her earliest days, Rosie Maconochie has only ever trusted one person – her brother, Ciaran. Yet 
even she knows anything of the dark secret that has overshadowed her life. Now, twenty-one years old and determined to put her troubled past behind her, Rosie is living in London near Ciaran and his young wife, Beth. With a steady job, a new sister-in-law for a best friend, and even a hint of romance in the air, it looks like life might just be coming together for Rosie at last.

A Song in the Night
On a day out in the countryside with Beth, a chance find in an old bookshop seems a fairly unremarkable event. At first, the battered diary of a First World War soldier holds little appeal for Rosie. But when Beth becomes gravely ill, Rosie’s tenuous hold on life is shaken to its roots, and suddenly the diary begins to assume an uncanny relevance to her own fragile existence. As both girls struggle to come to terms with the issues of mortality and meaning, they find their own journeys mirrored in the life of Sam, an unknown infantryman fighting to survive on the notorious Western Front. For Beth, the deterioration of her health marks the beginning of a rediscovery of the spiritual perspectives she left behind in childhood.

For Rosie, however, the picture is very different. Observing her friend’s progressive decline, she finds her own defences crumbling, her flimsy worldview  in crisis, and her troubled mind starting to unravel. Meanwhile, in the journal, Sam is trying to make sense of the increasing chaos and carnage he sees all around him. It is only because she has made a promise to Beth that she will type up the diary for posterity that Rosie can muster up the resolve to keep reading the soldier’s disturbing memoirs.

The discovery of a tribute on a village war memorial suddenly brings further significance after Rosie meets Jonathon Kirkbride, a descendant of a certain soldier whose name appears frequently in Sam’s writings. Though their births are separated by almost a century, history and real life start to intertwine as Rosie and Sam find themselves staggering helplessly towards breaking point. It is only when circumstances bring Rosie face to face with her abusive past that the healing grace of God is finally able to break through and begin mending her fractured soul.

A Song in the Night takes the reader on a journey from hopelessness to hope, brokenness to redemption. Set on two very different timelines, this compelling story will speak to anyone wrestling to understand God’s heart for this hurting world.
Readers comments:
"It as a gentle book and very cleverly intertwines the First World War with what is happening to a family today. It teases out the past lives of the central characters and reveals the trauma they have experienced, as well as showing that sometimes we can get relationships wrong - good and bad. If you are looking for a good read with good old fashioned values then this it."
Anne G
"A totally engaging read from start to finish with more than enough for both genders to enjoy. Life and its many mysteries and challenges are dealt with with much thought and sensitivity."
"This book was fantastic! Finished it in 3 days. The way the story moves between the different time periods is seamless and the imagery very powerful. This is a genuinely moving and emotional story. S.H."


Author Bio
Julie Maria Peace was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, and has lived in the area for most of her life. The eldest of four siblings, she was raised in a very artistic household and remembers growing up surrounded by books, colourful half-painted canvases and glorious classical music. Her love for writing began at a very early age, always vigorously encouraged by her grandmother who herself wrote prolifically.

Leaving home at the age of eighteen to do a French degree, Julie spent three years at Hull University and a year in Nancy, France. After graduating, she returned to South Yorkshire where she met and married her husband, Alan. Between them, the couple have one son, four daughters and three granddaughters (two of them American and the other living in Spain!)
With strong Irish connections on her mother's side, Julie grew up in a devout Roman Catholic home. www.julie-maria-peace.co.uk


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Refugees Welcome


"There was a time, in living memory, when refugees clamoured to board trains to get out of Germany. Today they yearn to board trains going in…" 

Thoughts about and stories of the hardship that refugees endure - in English and German language. This will be an ongoing story, so check back often.

Pray that you don’t have to live in a war zone! The largest migration of people since the end of the second world war is happening right now. The number of displaced persons has reached 50 million. From an Australian journalist: "Those that do make it to our shores are horribly mistreated. We persist in demonizing these most vulnerable of human beings and placing them in uncertain, and often unsafe conditions".

REFUGEE CRISIS: eight life stories from Budapest's Keleti station


In German: 



"Tag der deutschen Patrioten" - Aufmarsch von Neo-Nazis in Bremen untersagt


Syrischer Flüchtling an Uni Marburg:  "Ich erlebe immer wieder Rassismus"

Yesser Natafji, Professorensohn aus Syrien, musste seine Heimat verlassen - seit seiner Flucht studiert er Medizin in Marburg. Ob er in Deutschland bleiben will, weiß der 21-Jährige noch nicht. Ihn belastet die Ausländerfeindlichkeit.

Der Ton unter den EU-Partnern wird rauer: Österreichs Bundeskanzler Werner Faymann vergleicht im SPIEGEL die Flüchtlingspolitik Ungarns mit jener der NS-Zeit.



“Syrien ist seit Jahren ein Schlachthaus, (mithilfe von Waffen, geliefert von den G7) 
auch die Flüchtlingskrise wird ein dauerhaftes Problem sein. Die USA nahmen nur 
ein paar Hundert Menschen auf - eine Schande für ein Einwanderungsland.”

Allein das Land Berlin nahm im Juli 1000 Syrer auf - und täglich werden es mehr.

Volunteering for Refugees in Hamburg, Germany, Fairground Buildings

Psychisches Leid von Flüchtlingen: Verwundete Seelen, keine Hilfe

Mit Hashtags gegen Hass: Zehn Netzinitiativen für Flüchtlinge

Arabisch-Wörterbuch: Was Helfer den Flüchtlingen sagen wollen

Bloß raus aus der Massenunterkunft: Mareike Geiling hat ihr WG-Zimmer in Berlin an einen Flüchtling vermietet - und zeigt nun anderen, wie das geht. Über ihre Wohnbörse haben schon 74 Menschen ein neues Zuhause gefunden.

Fotoblog über Flüchtlinge in Berlin: "Am liebsten würde ich bei einer deutschen Familie wohnen"

Flüchtlinge erreichten die griechische Insel Kos mit kleinenen Schlauchbooten. 

Mitten in der Flüchtlingskrise hielt EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker 
am Mittwoch eine eindringliche Rede und übte scharfe Kritik am Verhalten 
mancher Staaten in der Flüchtlingskrise. Er forderte die Länder dazu auf, 
mehr Flüchtlinge aufzunehmen. Zugleich warnte er vor dem nahenden Winter.