Hi again. Love having you read my blogs. Right now, I’m thinking about my favorite, Rosa and the Prince. I hope you will too, after you finish reading it.
All kinds of novels feature love stories. They certainly make up many pages in historical novels. After all, women are the spinal cords of men. Men cannot maneuver without them. Since everything in life has, in part, a factual history, the love story you’ll read in Rosa and the Prince, is half truth and half fiction.
It took me four years to write Rosa. First, I had to become familiar with the customs that existed in the 1880s in and around the exquisite city of Vienna, Austria. I had to know about the interests of royalty, and how (or if) the politics of the time affected my story.. Acquainting myself with the land was easier, for I had often sat with my mother, Louisa, daughter of Rosa, her arms enfolding me closely, listening to her lovingly describe the nountains and woods of the little village in which she grew up.
I also read and studied many non-fiction books about Austria, the Balkins – all the countries surrounding that remarkable city, Vienna. My mother was not very open about her early life in the village. For some reason, she kept her childhood history to herself. She did share a photograph of herself as a young girl and a picture of the innkeepers. The Habsburgs (the royal family) gave them Rosa’s baby to raise. Rosa (my grandmother), shortly after her baby was born, had been banished o Hungary, her original home.
Abused by her uncle and disowned by her father, sixteen year old Rosa is given to Henry, a forester, who is travelling from Budapest, Hungary, to the Austrian alpine to work for the Royals, the Habsburgs. There she meets Crown Prince Rudolph of Habsburg and his cousin, Archduke Otto.
Crown Prince Rudolph and Rosa begin their romance after her husband’s accidental death. Rudolph takes Rosa to Vienna, where he places her under the protection of a Countess. The story of their love affair is a passionate, unforgettable and heart-wrenching story. It will deeply affect anyone who has suffered love and subsequent loss.
Chronology – the Habsburgs
The Habsburg family ruled much of Europe from the mid-thirteenth century until the early twentieth century when the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess of Hohenberg, were murdered in Sarajevo, 28 June 1914, precipitating World War I
The first Habsburg ruler was King Rudolph of Habsburg. He was crowned Holy Emperor in 1273. At that particular period in history, the Holy Roman Empire encompassed most of Europe, excluding France on the west and Prussia, Poland, Hungary and Serbia on the east.
The Habsburg’ strategies to power and honor throughout the ensuing centuries depended in part on their supposed “imperial descent” from Noah and the House of David. It also depended on their opportunistic marriages. Habsburg marriages were always made to further the Royals’ hunger for the acquisition of land and/or large dowries.
Each Habsburg ruler celebrated the family’s legendary godly Christian heritage in magnificent ceremonials, artworks and music. Archduke Maximilian, who became Emperor of Mexico, expressed the Habsburg’ precepts well.
He said, before being executed by a Mexican firing squad, “Men of my class and race are created by God to be the happiness of nations or their martyrs. I die in the faith, both of the Holy Church and of our lineage.”
“Rosa’s story is a simple story, written eloquently. Kathryn Braund’s descriptions allow the reader to feel what it’s like to be there beside Rosa, and to feel what Rosa is feeling. The foreshadowing and suspense is effective. Butterflies invaded my own stomach . . . thank you for writing it.”
“A wonderful book. I couldn’t put Rosa down. The book has more sex in it than I’m used to reading, but I recognize that it is part of the story. I’m eager to read the author’s next book.”
“This book is more than a love story. It allows the reader to explore the depths of many different kinds of human relationships. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Rosa and the Prince is a must read.”
“It is a fascinating story and Kathryn Braund writes beautifully.”
“Great story and writing in an interesting setting. I did find Rosa was taken in by a scoundrel and the Prince was not an upright person. He would take advantage of anyone he could. From what I have read in history, Royalty was that way in all aspects of experience. Braund did write a tale of human beings reactions to their environment which sometimes does strange things to them when influenced by their own feelings whether right or wrong. Braund wrote the way it was at that time.”
“Oh God, I knew he was going to die, butI didn’t want it to happen to him. I wanted her to live for many years in that hut with her woodcutter. I wanted her to love him, to feel safe in his arms. I wanted him to know passion from her. It is a compelling book.”
After reading my Shattered book, the FBI mailed me an FBI patch that I could place on a jacket. Instead, I placed it inside a frame with a copy of the cover of my second novel, Shattered Innocence; The Adventures of Janice, Melissa & Andrew, and proudly hung it on a wall, Someone in the FBI liked my story about the most awful scourge of mankind, slavery. In this book, human sex trafficking!
Sex slavery is the most depraved, evil, monstrous, unspeakable byproduct of human mentality. Sexual depravity is commonly called a mental disorder, a psychopathic disorder. In my opinion, it’s been around before the beginning of recorded time. From what I’ve learned about life on our planet, the vanquished often became a slave of the victor doing his bidding in one way or another. Every human, every animal, every microscopic being has the ability to become a predator. We are all connected. What twist of fate has given us that hideous power, I don’t believe we know.
Today, sex trafficking is as common in a small town as in a big city. But most of us do not even know about sex-trafficking and/or why it is so invasive. We do not look for things that are disgusting. That’s why I wrote this book.
Shattered is about a family; a widowed father, son, and two daughters. They live in the county of Cascade, in Montana, on the father’s large ranch. The three children have been raised well, if somewhat isolated by the ranch’s distance from city life. The eldest girl, Janice, now twenty-one, meets in a restaurant John Territori, a suave New York hoodlum who is checking on his Montana sex holdings. He invites this beautiful young girl to New York City. He says he will star her in one of his movies (he produces porn movies). Thank God, the ranch’s housekeeper accompanies Janice to New York. Thank God, Janice is saved from the infamous Territoni who would captivatingly introduce her to sexual slavery. She is discovered (before she meets with him) by the owner of a famous model agency. The family’s housekeeper, Merry, is able to return to Montana knowing Janice will be protected while learning and working as a magazine cover model
Andrew, her brother, is studying at a college in Spokane, Washington. He becomes smitten with a pretty blond girl, not knowing she is a sex slave. She had been introduced to that life by the villain of our story, John Territoni. She is one of his paid workers. After several bold, awful incidents, he is rescued by his sister, Melissa, who drove to Spokane to find her missing brother.
Janice, in New York, narrowly escapes dangerous situations, protected by both Ms. Patsy, owner of the famous modeling agency, and Bill Smith of the FBI. You’ll agree this is an exciting book, happily with a good ending, yet with terror traveling with you through the pages.
Just remember, the majority of sex workers (of both sexes) are “sex slaves.” forced to service men and women by threat, abuse, deception, false affection, clothes, drugs or abduction. The criminal organizations that head up these operations profit in the multi-billions each year off the girls and boys and women and men they treat as commodities, not human beings.
Many Americans have read about or listened to some of the horrifying stories told by a few escaped slaves, but as yet we, because of lack of human outcry, do not take these stories to heart. We do not believe anything like that could happen to a member of our family.
It can and does.
“Don’t be put off by the slow opening pages of this story. This book is based on a wealthy father and his three children. Each of the children’s personality is typical of children today. The book shows that it is not just the children like these three young adults, growing up in a sheltered environment, who are ill prepared to deal with a sinister population, rather that all children and young adults are vulnerable.
“The story involves the drug trade, human trafficking, high fashion modeling and life on the ranch. The fast paced story will keep you busy as each of the young adults emerges safely from their adventures. Even adult readers will wonder if they, themselves, would have used the writer’s hints to survive in these situations. These practical survival aids are written into the story in such a way that readers can remember but hopefully never have to apply.”
“This novel was an eye opener. I recommend it for all teenagers and parents. Loved the Montana setting and flow of the story. I did not realize the horror of things that happen or could happen to the youth in the U.S.”
“This novel flows beautifully through the Montana Big Sky country and beyond, with endearing characters and a good storyline that keeps the reader glued to the pages. At the same time, this valuable book tackles the issue of child trafficking in a realistic way – opening the readers eyes to a problem that stays fairly quiet in our society. A must read – kudos to the author.”
“This novel grabbed my attention from the first line and never let go; it’s because the characters are is interesting and the Montana setting so wonderful. Kathryn Braund is a very good writer. Many thanks to Kathryn for exposing the horrific business of trafficking children, teens and young adults into the world of cruel sexual ordeals. This holocaust is global and most children, teens and adults who are rescued may never recover from their experiences. These young people do not even know what a normal life is. My hat is off to you, Kathryn, for taking up the challenge of researching and writing this book. A must for parents, teens and young adults.”
384 pages. Available at amazon.com, amazon kindle.com and from the author. Kindle (digital) $1.99; amazon.com $9.99; Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405. 406-454-0537. $9.99 (postage, handling, free).
Hello Again! I’m so glad you are back!
Murder in the Senior Manor was my third novel. I had moved, willingly yet unexpectantly, into a Great Falls, Montana, Senior Manor on January 2, 2009. Naturally, the sudden necessary health decision to leave my wonderful five acre country home on December 28, 2008 put me in a state of shock.
I soon fell in love with my ‘new home. The residents; the staff; the healthy, positive atmosphere; the nice looking single and double room studio apartments – one wall in each facing either wide open, tree-line street-scapes or a vast uncultivated acreage that led the onlooker’s eyes to views of the distant beautifully forested mountains.
I put aside the loss of my wonderful home. I could not put aside the loss of six of my eight show dogs. I know you believe me when I say my heart was broken. I cried myself to sleep many a night. I was allowed to take two dogs into my one room apartment. In the beginning it was tough on all three of us; my dogs missed the rest of their family and the expanse they had to run and play on. I had not taken my beautiful home-bred Havanese show dog. I had not taken my beloved show active Portuguese Water Dogs or my sweet, happy-hearted Havanese. I took two who had problems, both Havanese. One had hips that said she shouldn’t enter any type of training. That she should be able to move about in her lifetime in her taste and her time; the other was too little and ill-equipped in lower body strength to jump on to anything higher than a big, fat pillow. Although her overall health was good, I worried that a new owner might not abide with that lack of jumping-up characteristic.
Along with other senior activities, I began teaching a writing class. Doing so told me I should put some of the seniors’ life adventures inside a book because every one of us (and that includes you) have had multi-colored happenings in our lives that makes memory treasures both good and bad. And nobody ever wants to be someone else.
I devoted five chapters in Murder in the Senior Manor to resident stories. Stories that gave meaty glimpses into the great depression of the 1930s, how settlers and wild animals learned to deal with one another, and the development of some towns along with the exit of others in this uncorrupted, pristine state of Montana.
I set the book scenes lightly. And the fun begins when Louise Knight, a retiree, discovers the body of a fellow resident, horrifically murdered. The Sheriff immediately labels her as a person of interest. The murderer goes one step further. He or she not only labels Louise as a person of interest, but also decides she and her two dogs would be good killing trophies.
You are guaranteed fingernail biting time as you follow several residents help ninety-year old Louise track down the killer while in peril for their lives. This book is a bold and whimsical page turner.
The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) awarded Murder in the Senior Manorthe Best Mystery Book of the Year (2011). Kathryn has won numerous writing awards from her peers. Among them, her first breed book on the Portuguese Water Dog was awarded Best Book of the Year (DWAA) in 1996.
“The characters are likable and fun; the plot is complex enough to hold your interest and there’s plenty of action – yes, action – along with some rich snippets of American history thrown in by the seniors.”
“Recommended Reading: Murder in the Senior Manor is a cleverly crafted, fun, romp of a read by Kathryn Braund.”
“The author weaves a murder mystery into this novel which gives a realistic glimpse into life at a retirement home. And should be read by anyone considering living in one.”
“If you are looking for some pure enjoyment for a day at the beach, or a light read on a flight somewhere, this is the book for you. You can’t help but enjoy the quest for Maddie’s killer by several residents along with Louise.”
204 pages, Times type. Available at Amazon.com, AmazonKindle.com, and from the author. Kindle (digital), $1.99; Amazon.com, $9.99; Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405 406-454-0537. $9.99.
I am back. This is my second blog. And it’s mostly about my fourth book, Prisoners in Paradise, and why I wrote it.
But first, look at the sky above. I thought you would enjoy viewing one of Montana’s beautiful sunsets. I see these from my apartment window every night unless grey clouds, like very full bedspreads, cover the sky’s shifting iridescent evening colors. I live in a Senior Retirement Manor in Great Falls, Montana (I grew up in San Francisco, California) – and love living in our scrumptiously wild (in places) and ever interesting (in all the other places), peaceful state. Every evening, my Havanese dog, Jazzy, and I sit by the window to enjoy the bold color movements of nature’s spectacular evening sky display. Yes, my dog watches with me. I’m not certain what she sees; however, she stares at the sky for more than a minute, then turns ands looks at me happily. She watches TV quite a bit, so I presume she can see some sky color.
Enough! I must apologize. I think this is a different site than what you logged into and read last week. I had signed in at that site last year, but never used it because of health issues. The site waited for me to show up; when I did not, (I can’t blame them), they dropped me from the program. I did not care to repay, so here I am. I paid for a new site on a different program. Somehow, migrating (that is what this program calls moving) has not filled my cup of tea. I do not know where I am. I am thankful you don;’t know what a long drawn-out ENDLESS process this has been (and still is). You should be able to find me. Here are my two domains (each at a different site)
My fourth novel, Prisoners in Paradise, is a honey (as we used to say) of a book. It keeps you reading until it hits the back cover. It fills your reading heart with terror, love, and new friends. Some really nice characters (along with a few sleazes), a brutal cult leader, along with absolutely gorgeous scenery (even though tropical islands cater to billions of bugs), accompany you. Read what reviewers say. “It’s a book that grabs you by the throat and dares you to finish reading it.” “Loved it. Read it all in one day.” “It’s a terror struck, danger-filled romantic tale of a young socialite, lost in the Pacific Ocean after a cruise ship sinks, and who is caught in a cult’s web on a beautiful South Sea island.” “A great read.”
Why did I pick a South Sea island for my story? I’ve never been out on the big Pacific Ocean. I said ‘no’ to the USO back in World War II, because I saw a best friend (who told the USO ‘yes’), return from the Pacific sporting an almost incurable skin rash.
I wanted the setting of Prisoners to be a place where several horrific human traffickers could stash away kidnapped young boys and girls before selling them to despicable Eastern customers. I yell about the despicable billion-dollar sex traffic industry every chance I get. It’s worse now than its ever been in the known history of the world.
I spent about a year reading every book I could find about the Marquesas Islands. You’ll find their listings on my Reference pages in Prisoners. Only when I was well immersed in the islands’ beauty and fascinating history did I sit down and type color my story.
Mark Russell is my hero. Lia Paulson, my heroine, thought he should be called the ‘sexiest man alive,’ although she never voiced those words aloud (even in the book). Mark had been a pseudo father – a Big Brother to a Little Brother who succumbed to bone cancer. Going on a sea voyage seemed a necessary depression lifter. He was also a top-selling mystery writer and rejoiced in gypsy-like adventures between his writing chores. Lia’s reason for taking off alone on a very long sea voyage was a failed marriage and a family death. It was also a recovery drinking problem present to herself.
Of course they met, although they didn’t declare their passionate love for each other until they spent time in Hawaii with Mark’s best friend, the famous Todson Hope.
Lia’s first meeting with the legless Todson was disastrous. The touring of Hawaii with Mark and Todson quieted her reservations about Mark’s mentor. Then she and Mark set out on another leg of her water journey (Mark insisted on accompanying her).
But the ship they were on sank in a fierce storm. Lia lost Mark in the violent waters and ended up on an island, seemingly uninhabited. Ha!
The part she landed on had been taken over (along with some of its natives) by a gangster who was breeding both the willing and unwilling to gain white babies. He murdered all dark-skinned babies.
If you think I am going to tell you what happened to Lia and everybody else, I am keeping the rest of this fast-paced love story to myself. You have to read Prisoners in Paradise to find out.
When you do, you’ll laugh at a very funny post office scene. You’ll enjoy Eric, although be horrified at what our cult breeder did to him. You’ll see sweet little boys and girls at work – yes, slaves. And you’ll find a happy ending, although I refuse to tell you how it comes about. It’s a really good story. Although there aren’t many American readers (they don’t yet know about the book), Japanese readers tell friends, and the friends buy Prisoners in Paradise.
Another: “The author writes with finesse about a subject many of us want to turn away from – human trafficking. She wraps it up within a love story that is compelling in its honesty but horrifying in reality. Mrs. Braund is able to draw pictures in your mind with her descriptive prose as she draws you in. Once in, you are hooked and must read it to the end. Her stories stick with you and you’ll want to return to them for a reread. I highly recommend this author’s novels.”
“Prisoners in Paradise surprised me by having a lot more teeth and by digging deeper into a very serious and difficult subject as sex-trafficking. Don’t let the author’s age put you off. Kathryn is a very skilled author whose eloquent penmanship has crafted a compelling novel that I didn’t want to end. It’s the first of her books I’ve read but will now work my way through the rest of Braund’s books.” Green Pastures
460 pages, published October 2013. Available from Amazon.com. Amazon Kindle; and from the author. Amazon,com, $12.95; Amazon.Kindle.com $2.99 (digital); Author,Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, Montana 59405, $12.95 (free packaging and mailing).
Hi! So glad you stopped by.
Let me persuade you to settle in while I tell you stories about each of my five fiction books. My make-believe stories stir restlessly, even pushing against the fiction door, so eager are they to express themselves on pages in a book for you to enjoy, to smile with, to cry over, to cringe, and make your heart beat with passion. They are easy to read and (I’m told) impossible to forget.
My newest book, by the name, “Melinda Mahoney Powers,” boasts Melinda and her brother Leroy’s, fictional biography. I should not say boast. Their biography is unforgettable, making this an unforgettable book you just have to read. Leroy Mahoney, terribly abused as a small child, relies on his sister, Melinda, to guide him through life. This remarkable adventure takes the two through life journeys that will (as I said earlier), make you angry, make you smile, make your heart beat with passion, and definitely bring a tear to your eye.
Louise Knight, a resident of the Montana Senior Manor, tells Melinda and Leroy’s incredible story. Follow the two on a fascinating path from a farmhouse to a mansion, from an orphanage to Hollywood glitter, to a senior retirement home in Montana.
Melinda began to worry my mind because I kept thinking she could not put aside, forgive, or forget what she had seen and lived, and, if so, it would eventually prove to be the total downfall of her life. There are lots of people like that. Leroy was always trapped by the horrors of what was done to him, but his retreat into gentleness was different than Melinda’s anger fueled response. I loved these two, Melinda and Leroy, and the people they met and lived with. You will also.
I have to confess their story was not the one I planned to write. I had been contemplating (and researching) writing a serial killer story. I had recently read about a man declared innocent, after years of imprisonment for killings he did not commit. I wanted the public to hear his and others tragic stories about their lives in prison, and how they felt about what their future lives would give them.
BUT, when I saw (in my mind’s eye) the little girl, Melinda, a passenger in a long-ago 1930s Studebaker, I had to follow her. She was so small. so sweet, so age beguiling. Little did I know what I was in for.
Incidentally, I turned 97 in October 2017, wrote this, my fifth novel, Melinda Mahoney Powers, in my 96th year. It was published in November 2017.
Following are several reviews I’m sure you want to read.
I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ALL WHO LOVE A MYSTERY Melinda Mahoney Powers is a gritty, gripping, and at times, grotesque novel. The story encompasses several decades and fascinates with its window on history, but also becomes very relevant to today with its depiction of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. The author keeps you guessing with its story within a story up until the very end. I recommend this novel to all who love a mystery.
VERY GOOD READ My brother lives at the Manor where the author lives and I enjoyed meeting her. The book was so interesting and fast paced and an easy quick read. I enjoyed it very much.
UNIQUELY TOLD TALE OF FAME AND ITS COST Melinda Mahoney Powers is the engrossing story of the making and unravelling of a glamorous 1940s movie star in the mold of Sunset Boulevard’s Nora Desmond. Told through the incisive words of a sharp-brained senior home resident, who quickly sees beyond the surface of Melinda’s facade, Melinda Mahoney Powers delivers on many different levels. The igniting incidents in Melinda’s life and the following consequences, joys, and sorrows follow a fascinating path filled with recognized motion and truth. Author Kathryn Braund is a natural story teller.
Great Falls MT author Kathryn Braund resides in a local retirement home and spins a fictional biography of a Hollywood actress. Is it a coincidence that the invented biographer, Louise, lives in The Montana Senior Manor where actress Melinda Mahoney Powers becomes a new resident? There are many coincidental parallels between the author and the character Louise: both are 96 years old and write novels. Louise won my heart when she proclaimed that bear claws were her favorite pastry (or are they Kathryn’s favorite?) Louise Knight is the chair of the welcoming committee and also all of its members. She wheels forward in her walker to greet Melinda and her brother Leroy to their new home and is rebuffed by a string of profanity uttered by this once famous movie star. Not happy that her alias of Whoosh Smith was not embraced and all the residents were staring at her famous self, Melinda froze until she beheld Classy. Her heart softened when she gazed upon Louise’s puppy, offering to buy it. After explaining her dog was not for sale, but she could have two pets at the Manor, Melinda warmed up to Louise. Upon finding out Louise was a writer, Melinda reads a couple of novels written by her new friend and asks Louise to write her life story. This storyline becomes engaging as we follow Melinda and the story of her brother Leroy. The time period begins in the 1930s with a much darker tone describing her brother’s life. Suspense and intrigue peak our imagination as details surface. The 1930s was a turbulent time, as the Great Depression and drought brought poor economic conditions. Melinda and Leroy’s parents had died and the children had been separated, one going to an aunt and the other to an uncle. The saga builds as the author proceeds with the adventure disclosing Melinda’s story.
“That Melinda loved Leroy with all her heart and soul was obvious. I sensed she would die for her brother, if necessary. He would die for her, too. They were that close. Separated by the war in the 1940s as Melinda embarked on aUSO European tour, Leroy held his own at home going to school and learning a trade. Leroy’s traumatic childhood was becoming a faded memory. By the 1950s Melinda was starting her actress career with Leroy by her side. She definitely was at the right place and the right time to be discovered. The newspapers and magazines printed everything they could about Leroy’s horrific torture, Melinda’s compassionate care for her brother, and the newsworthy but awful life at an orphanage. We finish up back at the manor in 2010 with Melinda assuring Louise, “I won’t look for any more excitement in my life. I’m going to settle down and enjoy my time here.”
The end of the story is just as traumatic as its beginning, but the ride in-between is well worth the reading. Great Falls Library and Great Falls Tribune.
Melinda Mahoney Powers can be purchased at Kindle Amazon, $2.99 (digital); Amazon.com, $15.00 paperback; or from me, author Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405, $15.00 (shipping free, one signed paperback copy).
If you enjoyed this little blurb about Melinda, do come visit again. I’m going to tell you about my 4th novel, Prisoners in Paradise.
P.S. I have lots of other things to tell you. Please revisit my blogs.
April 20, 2018