Book Journeys – Vienna

Love in Three Quarter TimeI love to travel, whether through my imagination in a book or in real life. Well, Rachel McMillan’s newest novel takes us to the beautiful city of Vienna – and now I want to go there for real.

Since I can’t hop on a plane at this moment, with the handy dandy help of our cyberworld (and some guidance from Love in Three Quarter Time’s heroine, Evelyn Watt, let’s check out some of the lovely world of Vienna.


As noted in Trip Advisor (and portrayed in Rachel’s novella), “In Vienna, the coffee shop isn’t just a hangout, it’s an institution.” A great coffee shop can create a sense of community, and Vienna is known for having quaint coffee shops where you can enjoy delicious pastries, strudels or cakes, as you pause between your walks down the traffic-free shopping streets from one architectural masterpiece to another. Café Mozart is the introduced to us in Rachel’s book and plays a significant role in the story and the especially the romance 😉


Hofburg Palace – Pixabay

Much of the setting of Vienna comes from its “Imperial” architecture, which nods toward the Habsburg monarchy which ruled Vienna for over six hundred years, but it is also a thriving city with modern structures as well. The Hofburg palace, home of the Habsburg family,  is in the center of Vienna. Originally surrounded by a mote, parts of this ‘castle’ can be dated back to the 13th century. The rooms are amazing!! And as I look through the photos of the Redoutenstaal wing of the palace, in particular, I’m struck my its grandeur. Wow!

The Belvedere Palace – Pixabay

For a few more breathtaking historical buildings tops, you could visit the Schonbrunn Palace, The Belvedere Palace (there are lots of palaces in Austria and Rachel mentions the winter garden for this one), or even St Stephen’s Cathedral (a roman gothic structure with a spectacular south tower and referred to as Stephansdom in the novella). Check out the roof of this church. The intricate design is amazing. And all of the palaces have extensive gardens to explore too. Really, there is no end to the historic churches to visit too – St. Peter’s, St. Anna’s…so many!

Museums run aplenty in this city rich in culture. From the Kunsthistorisches Museum which spans centuries of artwork to The Third Man Museum which gives a more modern look at Vienna. Basically, you can see about anything you want – science, art…there’s even a carriage museum. Rachel mentions Musiemsquartier in Love in Three Quarter Time, which basically is a beautiful complex of a myriad art museum, from historic to modern, and for some fresh air on a beautiful day, you can visit one of the many public parks, one, in particular, is Volksgarten.

Staatsoper – Pixabay

Music is everywhere in Vienna, so a visit wouldn’t be complete without taking in an opera or concert (or lots more). Since Mozart’s house (Mozarthaus) is actually in town, why not catch a little tour of it as well. We could catch a performance in the same place as Evelyn Watt – at the Staatsoper – or also in the Musikverein, with its gilded exterior.

There are too many sites to mention in a blog post, but I’ve tried to highlight a few. One thing pictures and videos can’t do is give us a sense of place, which Rachel’s book does through descriptions and story, but I’d LOVE the opportunity to experience Vienna in person too. Have you been to Vienna? If so, what was one of your favorite sites? If not, where would you like to visit in this beautiful city?

You can read my review of Love in Three Quarter Time HERE.

Here are a few more gorgeous photos of the city!

(All photos from

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Swoony Saturdays – Josh Tyler

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Josh Tyler.pngWho? Josh Tyler

Where can we find this dreamboat?  Then There Was You by Kara Isaac (Bellbird Press, June 2017) You can read my review HERE.

Hugh is relaxing before bed.   (Gretchen?  Have we arrived yet?   We've been a little preoccupied....)
Ok…Ok…I know this is not Josh Tyler…But it’s Hugh Jackman. And he is Australian and look at that smile!

Personality summary: Josh Tyler is a man whose past has brought gravity to her personality but depth to his faith. As a musician in a band that performs all over the world, he’s used to being in the limelight but has also learned, due to painful circumstances, to guard his privacy. He wears a smile more readily than a frown…unless the heroine, Paige, is involved, but don’t worry – her proclivity for being unintentionally ridiculous turns Josh’s frown around. With a desire to do what is right, a love for family, music, and Jesus, he oozes a confidence which is seen best in his compassion with others.

What makes us swoon?

Blue Mountains, australia.
Blue Mountains – Australia

AUSTRALIAN!! (Everyone agrees that this is the top swoony feature 😉)

He’s a musician (guitar)

He can sing

He loves his family.

Loves people


Great smile (this is a very swoony one for me. Smiles!! Sigh)

He’s gentle when it’s needed most.

Seriously, this guy is pretty adorable. Funny, confident, flirty…AND he loves Jesus!!!!!! by the best outdoor bar in #SWFL! The Center Bar in Bonita Springs has great drinks and a great atmosphere! level of such swooniness: Okay, we don’t get a whole lot of kisses from Josh, but there’s a FANTASTICALLY notable one that happens in a certain ‘tunnel/hallway’. Unforgettable! Up there in the swoony charts. A solid 4.

Basic hero type: Josh can brood with the best of them but underneath is a very caring heart. I think brooding might not be his typical trait, so I’m placing him in the Wentworth (for grudge holding) with a dash of Knightly underneath. What do you think?

How can I meet this swoony mister?Then There Was You

You can find Josh Tyler in all his swoon worthy handsomeness in Kara Isaac’s most recent release, Then There Was You. You can check out my review HERE. And don’t miss out on the Book Journeys post featuring this beautiful country!

Amazon| Goodreads

About the Author

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

More Books by Kara Isaac 


Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Songspiration – Charming the Troublemaker Part 1


Now, you may be wondering what that word means. Well, Songspiration means songs that have inspired characters, story lines, and other aspects related to writing a book.

Today I am sharing the Songspiration for the hero in my upcoming release, Charming the Troublemaker. Alex Murdock is a swoony hero – a flirt…and #adorkable but he’s also quite the troublemaker…And maybe that has a little bit to do with being a flirt. 😉 I can’t wait for you to meet him. Get a peek inside his character in the video below.

Add Charming the Troublemaker to your Goodreads shelf now!  (Releases November 1, 2017)

Swoony Saturday – Tate Whitcomb

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.


Earlier this week I posted a review for A Note Yet Unsung (you can find my review HERE). Next we travelled to Nashville with Book Journeys to visit Belmont Mansion (travel with us HERE). And today, we are swooning over the hero…Tate.

Who? Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb

Where can we find this dreamboat? A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers 2017)NoteYetUnsung_cover-4color-SIM.inddPersonality summary: Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his father, who is dying. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream? (From the back of the book)

What makes us swoon?

Es el dinero el que lleva la batuta                                                                                                                                                                                 More

MUSIC! He is a musician, need I say more?

Not only is he a musician, he is a nationally acclaimed conductor!

He is a serious, brooding sort.

Beth Erin says: “Rebekah and Tate made music together (literally) which was quite HOT like ‘you complete me’ good!”

He’s a moody fella, but, oh so tender with his family.

Fiercely loyal.

Rebecca Maney says: “(He is) complex, but he has his reasons.”

A Note Yet UnsungGifted Musician…Wait did I say that already?

Toni Shiloh says: “Protective and debonair.”

He is a Godly man!

The mountain music will make you swoon indeed!

Though his relationship with Rebekah begins with discord, they learn to work together to complete Tate’s symphony.

Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. The auditorium of the Odessa Opera House is decorated in the style of the late French Rococo decorated with stucco ornaments with the finest gold. Figure ornament never repeated. Throughout the abundance of marble, velvet, gleaming crystal, glittering mirrors and gilding.

Kissing level of such swooniness:  They didn’t kiss much but the sparks were definitely flying. After conferring with fellow Tate fans, we decided on a solid 3 “May forget to breathe.”

Basic hero type: Tate is definitely a Darcy-ish character. His serious, brooding nature coupled with his fierce loyalty makes him a top notch swoony hero!

How can I meet this swoony mister? You can find a copy of A Note Yet Unsung from the following retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Christian Book Distributors

About the Author

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist and one of today’s most beloved authors of Christian historical romance. Her works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, among them the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, Library Journal’s top honors, and have earned the distinction of Publisher’s Weekly Starred Reviews. Her deeply drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide.

Tamera and her husband reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Nashville’s Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation , the setting of Tamera’s #1 CBA bestselling Southern series. Her upcoming series, the Carnton Novels , launches in fall 2017 with Christmas at Carnton  (October 3, 2017), a Christmas story, which is set at Franklin, Tennessee’s historic Carnton Plantation.


Kissing Levels & Hero Types


Setting Your Novels to Music?

Do you set your books to music?

Are there certain types of songs that are the backdrop for the scenes swirling in your head, or is it just me?

All of my novels have songs that I either write or hear that I associate with the story – so, I play the songs while I’m brainstorming.

For example, with one of my contemp romance’s, the song is You Got Me by Colbie Caillat

I wrote an instrumental piece to go with my historical novel, but I also am inspired by Nickelback’s Far Away.

I just discovered a new song that has so many of the elements for a new novel idea (part of my contemp romance series). The style of the music and message are perfect for this novel. The song is called It’s all about your Heart by Mindy Gledhill.

As crazy as it sounds, I even have a song that fits my Speculative Fiction novel.  It Is You I have Loved by Dana Glover.

I’ve created a Playlist of songs that are particularly inspirational to me – spiritually and with my writing, so that as I listen, my mind is sifting through my stories and trying to make the images more vibrant.

Somewhere in my brain, there’s a story for the song When Did You Fall by Chris Rice – but I only feel it percolating back in my mind. The story is yet to unfold 🙂

Do you have songs that inspire you in your writing?