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Karla Brandenburg

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Touched by the Sun
by Karla Brandenburg   

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Books by Karla Brandenburg
· Mist on the Meadow
· Return to Hoffman Grove
· Heart for Rent, with an Option
· Living Canvas
· Intimate Distance
                >> View all



ISBN-10:  0595233635 Type: 


Copyright:  Jun 1 2002

Barnes &

When she reaches a crossroads in her life, school teacher Kira seeks diversion through her interest in archeology and chases after the "phantom" Holy Grail only to find her life take on a new direction when she meets the troubled Dominic Fioretti.

In the year 79 A.D., Mt. Vesuvius buried Pompeii and two other cities in a sea of lava, but the story that lures Kira Ellison to southern Italy is one of blinding lights and miracles following in the wake of St. Paul as he traveled through that region prior to the volcano’s eruption. For a woman who wants one last chance to chase after a phantom before she settles into a life that seems expected of her, it is the perfect diversion.

Kira signs up for an archeological excavation believing it to be the last illogical choice in life. Her travels take her first to England to the site of Canterbury Castle, the fabled setting for King Arthur and Camelot, but it isn't until she's ready to leave England that her story begins. Maeve Ryan is on loan to the excavation in England from another site in Italy near Pompeii. The legend she conveys to Kira over a glass of wine sparks Kira's imagination - is it possible that St. Paul carried the Holy Grail to Italy where it was buried by the volcano thousands of years ago? The history fits and for a woman who is looking for something more from her life, it provides ample motivation for Kira to extend her quest.

Prior to her arrival, a dream haunts Kira's sleep. The premonition forewarns her of the dangers that lay in wait, but it doesn't prepare her for Dominic Fioretti. When she comes face to face with the "man of her dreams," the dangers become all too real, both physically and emotionally. Will she find the legendary grail? Or will she go back home to lead the life that seems destined for her?

Professional Reviews

Chicago Daily Herald
Author Karla Brandenburg presents a romance novel that strives to expand the genre and offer the reader suspense, mystery, mystic wonder and, of course, true romance. While the book ultimately remains a romance novel, it does sustain suspense and the love interest does not dominate the story.

The narrative follows Kira Ellison in her personal quest for the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend. Her journey begins in America. She decides a summer in Europe would give her some new life experiences to share with her High School students in the fall and at the same time avoid a marriage proposal. Fate leads her to England and then to an archeological site in Italy where Pompeii once thrived. The story blends a mix of interesting characters and subplots hinting at secret lives, lies and motives all focused on finding the Holy Grail: an uncertain love interest in America defined more by comfort than passion, the competing attentions of two Italian brothers and the building sense that she is destined to be the one to find the treasure.

For anyone who enjoys romance novels, this book will not be a disappointment. It is well written and allows the romance to grow as a natural part of the narrative. Much in the same way that Nora Roberts crafts a good story first and allows the love interest to support but not overwhelm the plot, The Treasure Of St. Paul delivers a well told tale that holds suspense until the very end. In the process, we learn a little archeology, develop a feel for contemporary life in Italy, come to understand the history of the Holy Grail and share the joy of a love at last realized.

While Nora Roberts' fans may take exception at the comparison, her reign is not yet threatened. Still, while waiting for the next addition to her treasury of romance novels, readers could find Karla Brandenburg's work worth considering. While this is her first published novel, she presents a very comfortable writing style. Whether as a natural gift or the result of patient review, Ms. Brandenburg has delivered an enjoyable reading experience.

Road to Romance
What intensity of dream would be required to lure Kira Ellison, a homely school teacher, to Pompeii to search for the Holy Grail? During an archeological dig in England over summer vacation, Kira learns about an excavation site in Italy that's currently searching for students to help with the excavation. Dreams of chaos, death, destruction and the Holy Grail entice Kira to travel to Italy to assist with the excavation. Little does she know that she'll find more than the holy relics sought by millions.
Kira boards a plane bound for Pompeii with little knowledge of what she'll find on arrival. She immediately meets the men in her dreams, the Fioretti brothers, who own the excavation site and all it's contents. They recognize her as a person described by their father in a premonition, Il Sole. She is the lady of the sun who will prophetically find the Holy Grail.

Dominic Fioretti finds more than a worker when he meets Kira Ellison. He finds a woman with hair of shimmering gold, unbound passion, limitless intelligence, and unsurpassed beauty. Can he control his attraction for her and keep her safe during her search for prized relics?

Dominic and Kira fight intruders, jealousy, lust and betrayal in a land where no one can be trusted. Can their love survive the atmosphere in which they work?

Karla Brandenburg weaves a surprising tale of suspense and romance in THE TREASURE OF ST PAUL. The historical value of this book is remarkable. The romance depicted is thrilling and satisfying. The characters are believable and well written. This reviewer can't wait for her next novel.

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