Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wandering Wednesday - Vienna, Austria

 By Morgan Tarpley Smith

 “The Butterfly and the Violin” by Kristy Cambron
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover—the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul—who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
My Review of The Butterfly and the Violin
The story drops you right in the action with Sera in her long-time search for a hauntingly beautiful painting of a young Austrian violinist named Adele who lived in Vienna at the outbreak of World War II and wanted to make a difference despite the consequences.
Vienna, Austria
Sera and Adele’s stories merge after Sera’s search for the painting and her need to hear of Adele’s life leads her toward healing and a possible chance for love again amidst a broken past—something that Adele herself knew something about along her life’s journey that led to Auschwitz.
Cambron’s writing is fresh and sharp with beautiful and at the same time heart wrenching moments whether in an upscale art gallery of Manhattan or behind the ghastly barbed wire walls of the notorious Polish concentration camp. I learned a lot about the history of art and music at Auschwitz from this novel, and I so keenly felt for the innocent souls who spent their days—most final—there. This story is simply unforgettable.
Wandering Spotlight: Vienna, Austria
My 234th cup of hot chocolate and plate of apple strudel (lol)
I was able to visit the city that Adele Von Bron called home when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in 2014. The city is gorgeous with ornate architecture from the Hofburg Palace to the St. Peter’s Church. 
We enjoyed walking around in the snow taking in its beauty! Also, we stopped in many cafes to enjoy a cup of Viennese Hot Chocolate piled high with fresh whipped cream accompanied by famous Viennese Apple Strudel.
The highlight of our stay in Vienna was our attendance at the Silvester Ball on New Year’s Eve at the Hofburg Palace. It was an incredible experience! I was all dressed up in an evening gown like Adele was for her special and very memorable concert performance for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (That scene! Wow!).
The Silvester Ball (or "Silver" Ball)
Also some members of a Viennese Orchestra performed at the ball as well as the Vienna State Opera Ballet. While in Vienna, we also paid a visit to the Christmas market in front of the lovely Schönbrunn Palace.
Vienna certainly did not disappoint with its charm and beauty, and I cannot think of a more extreme opposite to Auschwitz for Adele to have experienced in her journey than from the opulence of the city’s grand concert halls to the dank, cold bunkerhouses of the concentration camp.
Have you been to Austria before? If yes, what was a memorable experience you had there? If no, what would you like to visit most there?
About the Author: Kristy Cambron
Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. The Lost Castle (HarperCollins, 2018) is her fifth novel. Her first Bible studies, The Verse Mapping Series, will release in 2018.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She loves storytelling from the stage and travels to teach about the intersection of walking story roads with Jesus, and Bible Verse Mapping. Kristy laughs daily with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To order the novel on Amazon, click here. To find out more about Kristy’s other novels, visit her website at
About the Reviewer
Morgan Tarpley Smith

Morgan Tarpley Smith is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also an inspirational adult and middle grade novelist. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include acting, genealogy, photography, and essential oils (Facebook: Pura Vida Louisiana). 
She resides in Louisiana with her husband and is expecting their first child in early 2018.  For more information about Morgan, connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Goodreads.


  1. Hi Morgan, I loved journeying to Vienna with you for Wandering Wednesday! Kristy's book is in my Kindle tbr list and I'm bumping up to the top. Wow, the Silvester Ball sounds like an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing Vienna and The Butterfly and Violin with us. I haven't been to Vienna but it's on my travel wishlist. :)

  2. Thanks so much, Narelle!! I loved revisiting Austria for this post and I love Kristy’s novels!!

  3. What a beautiful country, as well as this stunning book by Kristy that I've read. I drove through Vienna many years ago on a trip France to Hungry, but this makes me want to go back and take some time visiting. Thank you both for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Lisa!! And I’m so glad you loved this book and traveling through Vienna! I’d love to go back too!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Patricia!! I enjoyed writing it!

  5. Love seeing pics from your adventures! Thank you for digging deeper into this story, Morgan. It's critical to keep the Holocaust in an active conversation for future generations.

    Blessings, friend!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Kristy!! And yes it is soooo important to remember history especially the Holocaust!

  6. Hi Morgan! Thanks for kicking off this new series and for setting the bar high for the rest of us. Simply marvellous.

    I now want to read Kristy's novel - I love that you got to experience the Silver Ball on NYE. How wonderful for you and your husband - and on your honeymoon.

    Trust the pregnancy is all going well ... not too long now to 2018.

    Grace and peace,

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Ian!! And I’m so glad you like the post!! Yes, please do. Kristy’s novels are so good!!

      The ball and whole honeymoon was magical and such a memorable time for us!! And yes my pregnancy is going very well! The end of January will be here before I know it! 💙

  7. I haven't been to Vienna, I would like to see some of Austria but probably more Strasburg (I may have spelt it wrong). My friend went there and loved it.

  8. Hi Morgan,
    Thanks for a lovely post. I like the new layout too! I've always longed to visit Austria, Switzerland, etc. I even have a daughter currently living in Montenegro! It's not going to happen unfortunately, so I loved visiting it vicariously through this post.

  9. Super post, Morgan. Like Shirl, I love the new layout. I'd love to visit Vienna!

  10. Lovely! I've always wanted to go to Vienna!