Any time I feel like our world has gone totally crazy, I only have to read a novel about the people who lived through the absolute terror of Hitler’s assault on Europe. Melanie Dobson has a rare talent for taking me right into their reality for awhile and leaves me more appreciative for the blessings I have in my own life.

Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel that moves back and forth between war-torn Austria in 1938 and present day in the United States. When an antique book with mysterious lists inscribed within its pages is given to her, bookstore owner Callie Randall determines to do her best to solve the mystery. The narrative alternates between Callie’s story and that of Max Dornbach, Annika Knopf, and Luzia Weiss, central characters to the story connected to the book.

Not only is this book very well written but its characters and setting are so vividly described that I could almost see them. Much of the book is intense with several separate threads that are all tied together perfectly at the end. Hidden Among the Stars was such a powerful story that I feel mostly inadequate to even review it. It is nearly impossible for me to imagine the sheer strength of character it took Max, Annika, and Luzia to remain so strong and determined in the face of the Nazi takeover. The story is truly a perfect example of what it means to lay one’s life down for another.

If you enjoy your history with plenty of action, drama, mystery, and a touch of romance, Hidden Among the Stars might just be perfect for you.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Book Title: Hidden Among The Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Click here to purchase your copy!


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at


Hallstatt’s Hiding Places

Backpacking across Europe—that’s how my husband Jon and I decided to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We savored the old world culture and charm as we hiked along Italy’s coast, toured medieval castles in Germany, and cruised the canals in Belgium; we both left a bit of our hearts in an ancient lakeside town called Hallstatt.

The moment we stepped off the ferryboat and into this storybook village, we crossed through a portal of sorts, traveling back several centuries in time. The rugged, snow-capped mountains around us and alpine lake, the quaint village with its church steeples and cobblestone lanes and waterfall that spilled into town—all of it captivated us.

Along the shore, hidden partially by trees, we could see spires of an abandoned castle, and I wanted to know its story. No one in Hallstatt could tell us who’d lived in the castle—at least, not in English—so my husband agreed to a new adventure. With a swan as our escort, we glided across the lake in an electric boat so I could study the rusty turrets, boarded windows, and wooden boathouse resting in the water like a felled log.

Instead of quelling my curiosity, the match of inspiration ignited my mind. Who had lived in this castle, and what happened there? I began writing in my journal that night, trying to capture my rogue thoughts on paper, hoping that one day a novel would emerge from the ashes of this castle’s story.

When we returned home, I began researching more of Hallstatt’s history and discovered that this region, in all of its beauty and mystique, had been infiltrated by an enemy in 1938. This town and the surrounding Salzkammergut became a mountain retreat for Nazi officials who built mansions on the shores of its many lakes and used salt mines to hide “ownerless treasure”—the gold bullion and artwork they’d stolen from the Jewish people.

The Nazis intended to build a Fourth Reich in this alpine fortress, but the Allies had other plans. Near the end of the war, these lakes became a dustbin of sorts, collecting whatever the enemy dumped into its waters—weapons, counterfeit banknotes, concentration camp lists—as they fled south from the Allied troops. The Devil’s Dustbin, locals call it.

Lake Hallstatt plunges more than four hundred feet between the fortress of mountains. Because of its depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, divers continue finding World War II artifacts today. Some still believe there’s a treasure trove buried on the bottom, but no one has reported finding any gold.

After our trip, a story about this castle and what happened to the heirlooms of the Austrian Jewish people continued to burn inside me until I finally put it on paper. So I built Schloss Schwansee—Castle of Swan Lake—in my mind, inspired by the castle along Lake Hallstatt, and created a cast of historical and contemporary characters who are searching for lost treasure.

Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel about a castle and treasure and fairytales, but most of all, it’s a story about God using ordinary people across Austria to resist evil in their own extraordinary way.



Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6 amandainpa, September 12
Fiction Aficionado, September 6 Maureen’s Musing, September 13
Back Porch Reads, September 6 Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13
Among the Reads, September 6 Just Commonly, September 13
The Power of Words, September 7 Book by Book, September 13
Multifarious, September 7 Connect in Fiction, September 14
lady ansel book vibes, September 7 Pause for Tales, September 14
The Becca Files, September 7 Have A Wonderful Day, September 14
God’s Little Bookworm, September 8 Splashes of Joy, September 14
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8 The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15
Painting with Words, September 8 Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15
Lis Loves Reading, September 8 To Everything A Season, September 15
cherylbbookblog, September 9 A Baker’s Perspective, September 15
Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9 proud to be an autism mom, September 16
Madeline Clark, September 9 Bibliophile Reviews, September 16
Mary Hake, September 9 Bigreadersite, September 16
Reflections From My Bookshelves,
September 10
Aryn The Libraryan, September 16
Genesis 5020, September 10 By The Book, September 17
Faithfully Bookish, September 10 Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17
Simple Harvest Reads, September 10
(Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Janices book reviews, September 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11 Texas Book-aholic, September 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11 Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18
Daysong Reflections, September 11 Carpe Diem, September 18
Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11 Godly Book Reviews, September 19
Seasons of Opportunities, September 12 For The Love of Books, September 19
Remembrancy, September 12 Live. Love. Read., September 19
Inklings and notions, September 12 Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19

To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.