Kathleen Heady

Sacrifice by Kathleen Heady.

In this fourth book in Kathleen Heady’s series featuring Nara Blake, the story takes us to a small Spanish town in the Pyrenees, where Nara and her now-husband Alex Collier travel to retrieve several notebooks that belonged to a British artist who died there during the Spanish Civil War. Nara and Alex have plans to meet the parish priest, who has possession of the notebooks, in the church during siesta. When they arrive at the church, they find that he has been killed by a vicious blow to the head. They soon learn there is a history of crime in the town going back many decades. But as they are caught up in the criminal investigation, they also learn of the strong ties of family and friendship that exist, even extending to Nara’s own family.

5 Stars: Mysteries Brought to Light In Tardienta!

You will learn some Spanish Civil War History while enjoying ‘Sacrifice’ (book four) in Kathleen Heady’s series. Featuring woman sleuth Nara Blake, each book in the series stands alone, so I invite you to travel with Nara and her husband Alex to Tardienta (a municipality located in Huesca Province, Aragon, Spain) on behalf of the Tate Museum in London, where they both worked as art historians.

The mystery begins when the parish priest discovers notebooks written in English, containing sketches by Felicia Brown. Although a British artist, it is Felicia’s fight against fascism in the 1930s that makes her notebooks a rare find.

Nara and Alex’s visit to Tardienta takes an unexpected turn. It is here, I bring you into the story and the beginning of more than one mystery.

…“From the café, Alex and Nara watched the activity on the plaza. Several police vehicles were parked next to the church when a long black sedan entered the center of the village and parked just past the police cars. A smartly dressed driver emerged to open the back door for a clergyman dressed in a black cassock with red trim.

…“Someone from the diocese,” Alex commented. “I was wondering if the church would have to be re-consecrated since a murder was committed.”

…“They won’t let us look around now,” Nara answered, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand. She badly wanted to get into the church and maybe the rectory too. The notebooks were there somewhere.

Tardienta is rich with history; there have always been goods and human beings smuggled through the surrounding mountains. For Nara and Alex, the mysteries are numerous, the danger is real and suspicions abound. Turns out it takes more than a village to catch a criminal.

The suspense and drama will keep you turning the page. When you are done, you will be ready to try Maria Laura’s Orange Cake recipe. Can’t wait to bake this one.

Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).

Review by Barbara D. Sellars: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Interesting Story of Heroism. Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2021. Verified Purchase. I was not familiar with the history of escape from France to Spain and the role women played in helping Jewish children leave France. It is a murder mystery with lots of intrigue and plot twists.

Review by Amanda M: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Kept me wondering what would happen next. Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2021. I’m excited that the author has written other books. Kathleen’s “Sacrifice” is the first one of her books I’ve read. My education is in librarianship and I enjoyed and was curious about the research aspect of how the author created the plot. I wondered if she, like me, enjoys travel and created this story based on places she’s visited and historical figures she encountered on her travels. I happened to ask her … the answer is yes.

The only disappointment I had was that I bought an eBook rather than a hard copy. However, being able to look up words quickly and easily on Kindle was a plus. I’m a paperback kind of gal, and no matter what people say it’s not easy cozying up with electronics under my throw on my reading chair.

I wonder if Kathleen’s characters in “Sacrifice” will end up in a series. She sets up the story and characters easily enough that it could be. I found myself reading the chapters during my bedtime and staying on edge what would happen next after I finished a chapter. Suspense is not as easy to create as you’d think and she does it masterfully. The novel would make a fun movie; I wonder if anyone has approached her. I love what she’s done in her writing style and the driving actions she’s written to keep readers on edge. Way to go, Kathleen! Looking forward to reading more of your work.

Review by msb2482: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Fascinating Mystery. Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2022. Well researched historical mystery set in a small town in Spain during the dual time periods of present day and the 1930s. I was not very familiar with happened during the Spanish Civil War. The author does a wonderful job of teaching new things about the history and culture of Spain while engaging the reader in an investigation behind the murder of a local priest. I agree with a previous reviewer’s comments that this would make a good movie or TV series given the plot and interesting setting/historical backdrop.

Review by Kathryn Parker: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. A treat for fans of historical mysteries. Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021. This is a well-researched mystery in two eras and in two countries. The details make you feel you are in the Spanish Pyrenees and make the story come alive. You don’t need to read this series in order to enjoy Sacrifice.

Review by Nichols Brown: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Nice weaving of history into the story. Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2021. A pleasant read, enjoyed the historical aspect to this story and the small town, everyone is a suspect, feel to the story. A fun read.

Product Details:
Paperback: 219 Pages
Publisher: ‎Sage Words Publishing (September 2, 2021)
Jake George (Editor)
Language: ‎English
Adult Readers: Women Sleuths
Adult Readers: Mysteries (Suspense)

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Jewels In Time by Kathleen Heady.

Young Brianna’s life changed the day her mother left to save herself from being burned as a witch. Brianna was left alone in the middle ages knowing just enough magic to have her called a witch, but not enough to try to save herself.

Brianna knew she had to flee but to where? She had to follow her instincts and run and run hard. Ending up in a large city she took a job as a kitchen girl and was befriended by Sir Michael a knight in King James’s court.

Brianna could not hide her magic and was accused of witchcraft and ordered to be burned at the stake. Sir Michael, helped her to escape. They just knew somehow, they had to head toward Wales where the Kings men could not follow. Not knowing magic was guiding their way.

Brianna was the granddaughter of a most powerful wizard and his witch wife. They helped to guide Brianna and Sir Michael from afar. The magicians had the power to visit forward and past in time. Brianna’s mother was banished to 700 years in the future to Dover castle during WW II so she could not cause havoc in her abandoned daughter’s life.

Brianna learns magic along the way and the truth about her past. Always staying one step ahead of the Kings men who wish to burn her to death.

Review by Augustus M. Cileone: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. A book about magic, magically written. Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2018. Verified Purchase. “Jewels in Time” is a book about a young girl’s rite of passage in King John’s England. But what makes this story different is that the main character, Brianna, must learn how to develop her potential to perform magic. And, she must do so without her mother, who has vanished from her worldly life. With the supportive assistance of her magical relatives who occupy a dimension between various earthly time periods, a knight who is more than he first seems, and a cat with special abilities, she must escape the witch hunters of her time on her road to empowerment. The novel thus becomes a metaphor for female liberation. It is also a critique on prejudicial thinking because people may, out of fear, try to rid themselves of those who are different. The style of writing is hypnotic as it carries the reader along on a river of words that flow easily throughout the narrative. The ending is satisfying, but it allows for the possibility of returning to this enchanted realm to experience further adventures.

Review by Lizanne: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Five Stars. Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2018. Verified Purchase. Great read! and magical coming-of-age story!

Review by Barbara Kirch: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. 12-year-old boy reader approved! Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018. I want more. Jewels in Time is so good. It’s a page turner with surprising twists. There is a new mystery around every corner. Brianna’s life is turned around when she has to leave her village after she is accused of being a witch. Then she learns that the king is dying, which is an interesting part of the story. Orangino is a playful, funny, magical cat, who is also a wimp. Marged, Brianna’s mother, is confused and doesn’t tell all she knows. Although I am a twelve-year-old boy, I enjoyed a story with a girl as the main character. (review written by my son).

Review by Lawrence S Brown: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Delightful Romp. Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2018. Hop scotching between centuries, Jewels In Time by Kathleen Heady is a delightful romp. At thirteen Brianna is trying to find her place in a medieval world full of dangers both magical and physical. Without parents she must forge her own way as a possible witch and with the aid of a very knowing pet cat – or might Orangino actually be her familiar? – Brianna sets out on a journey whose steps she can never retrace. Jewels In Time is a coming-of-age yarn that will delight both young adults and readers of other ages. – review by and posted at the request of James Tichenor.

Review by Katherine Jacques: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. An inspirational journey in which the reader and the characters experience together. Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2018.Jewels in Time follows the story of a young girl- Brianna, and her journey to find herself, whatever that might mean. She completes dangerous journeys, learns valuable lessons, and learns to be confident in her being. Searching for a family she never had, she finds her magic; in every way.

Product Details:
Paperback: 224 Pages
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing (April 15, 2018)
Language: English
Adult Readers: Fantasy: Historical)
Adult Readers: Horror (Occult)

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The Gate House by Kathleen Heady.

The old gate house where Nara Blake and her father lived in the English Midlands was cold and filled with secrets. And Nara wasn’t the only one who felt its mystery. Although Nara’s aunt insisted the building held nothing more than useless trinkets and cheap copies of nineteenth century art work, someone had attempted to break in, until Nara caught them in the act.

The police force of the small English town where nothing ever happened was suddenly besieged with burglaries and a murder. As the net of British law began to close in on the art thieves, Nara found herself and her family caught in the net. And the new man to whom she has opened her heart, is helping the police to close in on them.

Review by David B Coles (Author of The Back of Beyond-Abbot and the Acolyte): 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Crime and Romance among the Antiques. This is a delightful book with a surprising number of characters all of which Kathleen Heady manages to keep quite distinct and memorable. The characters – both good and bad – are nicely drawn, nicely observed. I warmed particularly to Elaine and how she rose above the terrible environment of her young life.

I was really pleased to be able read “The Gate House” because I spent the first 21 years of my life in Lincolnshire, first on the edge of the fens and then in Lincoln itself. It brought back the ambience of the area and of hurrying to school, straight up Lincoln’s Steep Hill, vividly. Kathleen has painted a great portrait of Lincolnshire which I can recognize both from my early days and today, on my occasional reunion visits.

The story centers around a railway Gate House used in the trafficking of antiques and works of art stolen from tiny country churches through to Lincoln Cathedral itself. We are given some fascinating glimpses of the Cathedral’s behind-the scenes interior as Nara and her father – visitors to the UK from the Caribbean – become enmeshed in the robberies. The finale, again set within the Cathedral, is more than thrilling enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I shall certainly be on the watch for Kathleen’s sequel to “The Gate House.”

Product Details:
Paperback: 300 Pages
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing (May 14, 2021)
Language: English
Marsha Briscoe (Editor)
Gemini Judson (Illustrator)
Language: English
Adult Readers; Mysteries (Private Investigator)
Adult Readers: Romance (Suspense Thriller)

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Hotel Saint Clare by Kathleen Heady.

A Caribbean island paradise, a place filled with happy carefree people whose only concern is the pleasure of the tourists. NOT. Appearances are superficial. Lust, greed, envy, jealousy, murder… all can be found within the Hotel Saint Clare and Nara Blake: young, beautiful and inexperienced, meets them all when she takes on the job of hostess at the hotel. Fortunately, not everyone falls into those categories, and help and support and the promise of romance help Nara into her new life.

Review by Mary C Thompson: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Still as riveting as the first time! Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021. Verified Purchase. I am rereading Ms. Heady’s books to prepare for reading Sacrifice. I really like her style.

Review by OldGoatHerder: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Ms. Heady does a wonderful job with character development and with visualization of the … Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2014. Verified Purchase. Hotel Saint Clare is a very well written story by Kathleen Heady. Ms. Heady does a wonderful job with character development and with visualization of the tropics. The book helps tie together The Gate House and Lydia’s Story, also by Heady. I love the way she brings Nara to life. This is a kick off your shoes and relax kind of story.

Review by LProd: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Keeps you turning pages. Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2014. This book was refreshingly different, not only for the setting but in how the plot develops. This book centers around 22-year-old Nara, a native of the islands who is trying to find her way in the world. She begins working at the Hotel St. Clare and quickly moves up the ladder due to her intelligence, business acumen, hard work . . . and, since I won’t give any spoilers, let’s just say because of a pretty shocking development. Heady does an excellent job keeping up this underlying sense of menace, particularly from a certain slimy character. I was holding my breath a few times and hoping Nara would be okay. Just when you think that things have begun to smooth over for her, there are new, astonishing developments. It will lull you into a nice easy, engaging pace and then suddenly drop you down a roller coaster ride with some of its twists and unexpected turns. Beautifully written, it is a quick, easy read that will keep you guessing. I loved Nara–she was spunky and smart and didn’t take her youth or her beauty too seriously. She is a character who is easy to love and root for and I hope to see more of her in future books. This makes for a great summer read or a great winter read given how Heady puts you right in the tropics with the incredibly well-written setting. Don’t miss it!

Review by David B Coles: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Thinking of life in the Caribbean? Enjoy. Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2014. I’ve always liked the thought of a life on a Caribbean Island. It suggests racial tolerance, harmonious lives, music, and shear enjoyment. The reality is almost certainly different and, as Kathleen Heady suggests in Hotel St. Clare, there are less pleasant aspects of life which crop up in any community.

Nara Blake, dissatisfied with her life as a school teacher, aspires to something better. She takes a position as hostess in the restaurant of the top Hotel St. Clare and very soon impresses everyone with her professionalism and intelligence – not to speak of her fresh beauty and youth which attracts the ageing owner’s interest as well as that of the hotel’s chef.

Nara is the latest in a long line of such attractions and sidesteps the owner’s advances adroitly only to begin falling for the chef’s charms.

Now darker events crowd in. Illness, murder, threats, and Nara finds herself up to her ears in jeopardy as those she thought of as allies show their true colours and her position at the hotel becomes a dangerous place to be.

There are friends though. The old man who knows everything about the island, his sometime lover and their son – he with the green eyes and strong arms…

Review by Sandra Cody: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. The story is strong and the characters are a believable mixture of good and bad. Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2014. A young woman steps out of the sea, shaking the seaweed from her hair. Two boys gathering shells at first think she is a mermaid. Thus, begins Hotel Saint Clare, setting the stage for a story that is never far from the natural elements of life on a Caribbean island. The young girl is Nara, who has arrived to work in the hotel on the big island. Nara grew up in two different worlds: the world of wealth and privilege of her father and the more earthy world of the island people; she is a strong character who respects both worlds, but is determined to find her own place in the life of the island. This is a story of intrigue, of mystery and danger. True to its Caribbean setting, there is a hint of voodoo, but Heady never lets the magical element or the island people slip into cliché. The writing is crisp and clear. The descriptions give a feel of the lushness of the setting, but are written with a light touch that does not overpower the story.

Review by Augustus M. Cileone: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Intriguing mystery amid tropical island life. Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2014. The narrative of this book flows so that you want to keep reading about these interesting and unique characters. The novel provides a fascinating insight into the mysteries of the people living on the island where this mystery takes place. I feel like I want to know more about how their lives will turn out in subsequent stories.

Review by Mary Thompson: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Great Book. Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2022. If you like a little bit of romance mixed up with a little bit of intrigue and mystery. You’ll love Kathleen Heady’s books. Hard to put down.

Product Details:
Paperback: 162 Pages
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing (June 24, 2014)
Language: English
Adult Readers: Mysteries (Contemporary)

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Lydia’s Story: The London Blitz Files by Kathleen Heady.

A simple box of mementos, hidden in a farmhouse in Wales for nearly seventy years, is enough to set Nara Blake on a search for the truth about her great-grandparents, and to put her own life in danger. Even as she begins to read her great-grandmother’s diaries, a French brother and sister whose family lost everything in World War II, blame Nara’s family for their lost wealth, which includes a priceless Cézanne painting. As both families learn the truth of their ancestors’ activities during the war, they are put on a collision course that can only end in the destruction of long-held beliefs, and ultimately one must pay the price for the losses of the past.

Review by Desalto: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. A Good Read. Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2020. Verified Purchase. I really enjoyed this book. The writing style is vivid, the characters are well developed and the story kept me interested all the way through.

Review by James Tucker: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Lydia’s Story a great read. Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2013. Verified Purchase. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was entertaining as well as educational. I learned some things about England during that time period.

Review by M. Lignor: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Completely Unforgettable! Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2013. This novel begins in an unforgettable, heart-wrenching way, becoming a truly `memorable read.’ Here, a little girl is about to have her life thrown into upheaval as WWII comes knocking on her door. Many Jewish children were sent from France to Spain over the Pyrenees Mountains to hide from the Nazis, and people like Lydia who worked to save these children from a fate worse than death, were heroes.

Jumping to present day, Jack Blake and his daughter, Nara, are on their way to see Lydia’s daughter, Rebecca, who wants to give them a few of her mother’s possessions. These `memories’ have been hidden in Wales for about seventy years and are about to set Nara’s life on a new path. The story she was told was that her great-grandparents had been killed in the London Blitz, but when Nara discovers Lydia’s diaries, a new story comes to light.

On a parallel front, a French brother and sister whose family lost their prestige during the war blames Nara’s family, especially for their lost wealth, which includes a painting worth millions. As each family comes together to learn the truth about their ancestors, a life is almost lost and one family ends up paying a high price.

This is truly an outstanding story that jumps between Nara’s present-day issues and Lydia’s diaries that talk about the war and her work with the French Resistance. Add to that the true pictures and emotional turmoil of life in London and Wales during the `40s when the war was at its worst, and the reader gets a true picture of what people gave up in order to help their fellow men.

This will be an `eye opener’ for many, and cause most readers to feel privileged that they’ve had the opportunity to read a book that shows the real atrocities that happened to unsuspecting families who were just trying to get along. Unlike other WWII stories, this new `angle’ is truly unforgettable and deserves only the highest recommendation.

Review by Robin L: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Well-researched, captivating book. Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2012. Lydia’s Story is a captivating novel that paints a living, breathing picture of life in London during the blitz of 1941. At its center is Lydia Roberts, an unsung heroic figure who is balancing the roles of wife, mother, and woman striving for a sense of independence through her contribution to the war effort. She has kept ongoing diaries that her daughter has stowed away for two generations without ever knowing what is in them. And it is Lydia’s great-granddaughter Nara Blake who uncovers the diaries and tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Lydia’s death. She is pitted against an angry, disturbed young man who is trying to find treasures that he believes were wrongfully taken during the war and now belong to him. Whereas Nara seeks something far more important – the truth about her great-grandmother. The novel is well-researched, drawing a vivid landscape of the behind-the-scenes action during WWII from London to the French Resistance. And in Kathleen Heady’s good hands, the transitions from the past to present are smooth, allowing the narrative to unfold naturally and pulling the reader deeper and deeper into the story. Well worth the read!

Review by Sandra Cody: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. A Complex Story, Elegantly Told. Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2013. This book is a fascinating look at one family’s involvement in World War II – the wartime activities and sacrifices of the family and the impact their actions have on future generations. Kathleen Heady tells her story with a combination of diary entries, scenes taking place in 1941 and present-day scenes. These disparate elements are woven together with such skill that I was never lost. The characters are well drawn. Settings (London, Wales, France) are sharp and very real; I felt I was present in each locale. But what stands out is Heady’s attention to detail. We know about the shortages of food and clothing, but the inability to buy a toy for a child, unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but so important on a personal level, gives the story heart. I highly recommend this book.

Review by Mary Thompson: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Keeps you on your toes! Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2022. This third book in the Nara series is even better than the first two. I can’t wait to read “Paradise!”

Product Details:
Paperback: 298 Pages
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing (September 17, 2012)
Language: English
Adult Readers: Fiction (Historical)

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About The Author: Kathleen Heady grew up telling stories – to pass the time, or just to exercise her imagination. She spent her childhood on a farm in southern Illinois, where she was fortunate to have parents who encouraged her to study, read, and learn about the world. Besides rural Illinois, she has lived in Chicago, Costa Rica, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and now North Carolina. Her current new “challenge” is learning to play the ukulele.

Kathleen has spent most of her professional life as a high school teacher, teaching English, Spanish and social studies. She shares her “almost a tree house” home with her husband and two cats, Macavity and Violeta. She has a daughter, two sons, two daughters-in-law, a grandson and a granddaughter who are all really cool people.

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