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Long-listed in the Flash500 Novel Competition 2017 for No Man's Land/The Breach
Winner of the Flash500 Short Story Competition with an extract from Bolzano.
Winner of the Coffee Pot Book Club Book Award Box and Box Set of the Year 2019 for the Reschen Valley Box Set.
A Discovered Diamond, shortlisted for Book of the Month July 2019, Reschen Valley Box Set
Reader's Favorite 5-star reviews for Bolzano, The Smuggler of Reschen Pass, and Magda's Mark (featured in The Road to Liberation Collection).
HNS International Short Story 2nd Place Winner 2014 for Souvenirs from Kiev (short story in the Souvenirs from Kiev collection)
Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger was born in Minnesota in 1969 and grew up in the culture-rich neighborhood of "Nordeast" Minneapolis. She started her writing career with short stories, travel narratives, worked as a journalist and then as a managing editor for a magazine publisher before jumping the editor's desk and pursuing her dreams of writing and traveling. In 2000, she moved to western Austria and established her own communications training company. She has won several awards for her short stories and novels and now primarily writes historical fiction. During a trip into northern Italy over the Reschen Pass, she stood on the edge of Reschen Lake and desperately wanted to understand how a 15th-century church tower ended up sticking out of the water. What stories were lying beneath? Some eight years later, she launched the "Reschen Valley" series with five books and a novella releasing between 2018 and 2021, in parallel to her WW2 novels and short story collections.
For more on Chrystyna, dive in at inktreks(dot)com.
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1938: Magda has led a sheltered life in her small village until the day she is forced from her home by the invading Nazi army. Torn away from her family and the only place she has ever known, she is offered refuge in an alpine villa owned by brilliant Dr Tauber and his talented, beautiful wife.
But despite having friends in high places, the Jewish Taubers are living on borrowed time. When the Gestapo come to arrest them, Magda is asked to protect something more precious than the silver and jewels they leave behind. Their newborn son Samuel.
Magda turns to the local Resistance, who hide Samuel nearby. Determined to help them and save her country, Magda remains in the house to serve the Nazi commander, passing messages and supplies to the secret network. But when she is caught, Magda is forced to flee into the high mountains with a price on her head.
With the Nazis in pursuit, and nothing left to lose, Magda takes up arms with a band of partisan fighters in the hope of rescuing the Taubers and reuniting them with Samuel. Even if it might mean laying down her life to win the freedom of those she loves…
This heartbreaking wartime epic of love, bravery and survival will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. Perfect for fans of My Name is Eva, The Alice Network and The German Midwife.
Previously published as Magda’s Mark, this edition has substantial editorial changes.
Praise for The Girl from the Mountains:
“A gripping read from the start… Magda is a compelling heroine living through the most devastating time in human history… The authenticity of time and place was captured so well.” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Action, adventures, family, war and so many different emotions… Grab a few tissues… Such a powerful story you must read.” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“A wonderful intense read… So vivid you will feel you are there. I could not put this story down. I loved the book.” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Readers will be captivated by Magda's character… I could barely put down the book. I smiled, cried… I recommend it to all history lovers!” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Riveting, intense… From the very beginning you feel like you're amidst the chaos, the heartbreak, the despair but also the incredible bravery and spirit of the people in WWII… A great reminder of what people are capable of.” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This extraordinary war story transports the reader into Czechoslovakia in the first years of German occupation… Conflict and tension await the reader on every page… This is an exceptional read.” Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I am stunned by the sad beauty. I feel like I've gotten a present. That's how I feel after reading a really brilliant book or story.” – Marina Osipova, How Dare the Birds Sing
Kiev. 1942. Larissa is a renowned embroiderer, surviving in occupied Ukraine as a seamstress in her ruin of a workshop. When an SS officer arrives to order a traditionally embroidered Ukrainian shirt, Larissa uses the opportunity to create a piece of art from her handiwork. Threading together the history and the horrors between the two enemies, she finds a way to express her defiance toward the Nazis and the local collaborators. But at what price?
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey behind the Second World War’s eastern front. Six short stories, based on the author’s family's true accounts, will put you alongside painters and poets, partisans and dissidents, as they navigate through Ukraine’s war-torn landscape on a harrowing escape from tyranny.
Souvenirs from Kiev was awarded 2nd Place in the 2014 HNS International Short Story Award and the collection won the silver medal in the IPPY Book Awards 2020 for Military and Wartime fiction.
A plan to flood her valley. A means to destroy her culture.1920, former Austrian Tyrol. Katharina Thaler faces becoming the first woman to ever own a farm in the Reschen Valley. The end of the Great War has taken more than her beloved family, it has robbed the province of its autonomy and severed it in half. As her countrymen fight to prevent the annexation to Italy, Katharina finds a wounded Italian engineer on her mountain. Her decision to save Angelo Grimani’s life, however, thrusts both into the midst of a new world order—a labyrinth of corruption, prejudice, and greed.
Trapped between a growing fascist regime and a man who threatens to tear her home away, Katharina must decide what to protect: love or country?
No Man’s Land is the first book in the Reschen Valley historical fiction series. If you enjoy gripping, historical fiction that will stay long after you've read the last chapter, you will love Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger’s vivid saga.
"An authentic, rich story." Laurel Busch, historical fiction editor and author
"Well-executed…powerful…moved me to my core.” Ann Howard Creel, The Whiskey Sea
"...vivid and intriguing...will have you mesmerized from page one." Kristi Saare Duarte, The Transmigrant
In the process of understanding who she was, she discovered who she was not.
1937. Northern Italy. New international conflicts loom on the horizon, and Italy must feed its war machine. Angelo Grimani has a plan to keep the Reschen Valley reservoir out of his father’s hands but he needs a local front to succeed. He faces his past and seeks an alliance with Katharina Steinhauser. But when he sees Annamarie, Katharina's daughter, for the first time, Angelo realizes he faces an altogether different conflict.
Unaware of the history between Angelo and Katharina, Annamarie is convinced her future lies beyond the confines of the valley. When an Italian delegation arrives to assess the reservoir, Annamarie believes she has found her ticket out…in the form of Angelo’s son and a Fascist uniform. When you cannot hide from the truth, where do you run?
Love, betrayal, and deception explode in this next instalment of the Reschen Valley. This is the third book in the series and can be picked up as a stand-alone.
Burying the past comes at a high price…
It’s 1922 and a year after the Italian Fascists marched on Bozen.
Nationalism in the Tyrolean Reschen Valley creates enemies out of old friends and Katharina Steinhauser fiercely protects the identity of her daughter’s father from both her family and her community.
Meanwhile, the Fascists have wrested control from the monarchy and momentum behind the Reschen Lake reservoir increases with plans to wipe out the Reschen Valley's towns and hamlets. Katharina risks writing to Angelo Grimani, the man in charge, and begs to have the project reassessed.
But Angelo is hemmed in by a force that steers him far from his dealings with the Reschen Valley and that which binds him to Katharina. It's the opportunity the Fascists have been waiting for.
Following No Man’s Land, The Breach is the second part in the Reschen Valley series. If you enjoy gripping historical fiction that won’t let you go, you will love Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger’s vivid saga. Buy or try now!
"An authentic, rich story." Laurel Busch
"Well-executed…powerful…moved me to my core.” Ann Howard Creel, The Uncertain Season
“…vivid and intriguing…transports you to another time and place.” Kristi Saare Duarte, The Transmigrant
“Utterly atmospheric. I could not put this down.” Louisa M. Bauman, Sword of Peace
A plan to flood out her valley. A means to destroy her culture.
1920. Former Austrian Tyrol.
When Katharina Thaler, a young Tyrolean farmer, finds a wounded Italian engineer in the mountains of the Reschen Valley, her decision to save his life thrusts both of them into a labyrinth of corruption, prejudice and greed.
Angelo Grimani, a civil engineer, knows the details of a project that will destroy Katharina's valley. Not in favour of it himself, he returns home to fend off the forces that envision the biggest reservoir in Italy, headed by Angelo's own father.
As the Tyroleans gear themselves to fight for their land, the Fascist party gathers power and momentum. Katharina and Angelo must each decide what to protect: love or country?
Dive in and discover the gripping saga based on a history you never knew. This box set contains the first three of six books: No Man's Land: Part 1, The Breach: Part 2, and the dark prequel to the story, The Smuggler of Reschen Pass, plus bonus material. Save now on the regular individual retail price!
Winner of the Coffee Pot Book Club Book Award 2019 (Best Box Set); Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019 Finalist, Discovering Diamonds Book of the Month Finalist 2019 and a Flash Fiction 500 Novel Award winner 2018.
★★★★★"Wonderfully addictive. Lucyk-Berger is a born storyteller." - Mary Anne Yarde, Coffee Pot Book Club blogger
★★★★★"A gripping set of historical novels packed with political intrigue and memorable characters. A FINALIST and highly recommended." The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
★★★★★"A little love, a little politics, a huge number of dilemmas, this is a compelling story. The author is an excellent storyteller with a gently flowing writing style that never detracts from the story she’s telling." - Goodreads Reviewer
It's a dangerous time to be a dissident...
1938. Northern Italy. Since saving Angelo Grimani's life 18 years earlier, Katharina is grappling with how their lives have since been entwined. As construction on the Reschen lake reservoir begins, the Reschen Valley community is torn apart into two fronts - those who want to stay no matter what comes, and those who hold out hope that Hitler will bring Tyrol back into the fold.
Back in Bolzano, Angelo finds one fascist politician who may have the power to help Katharina and her community, but there is a group of corrupt players eager to have a piece of him. When they realise that Angelo and Katharina are joining forces, they turn to a strategy of conquering and dividing to weaken both the community and Angelo's efforts.
Meanwhile, the daughter Angelo shares with Katharina - Annamarie - has fled to Austria to pursue her acting career but the past she is running away from lands her directly into the arms of a new adversary: the Nazis. She goes as far as Berlin, and as far as Goebbels, to pursue her dreams, only to realise that Germany is darker than any place she's been before.
Angelo puts aside his prejudices and seeks alliances with old enemies; Katharina finds ingenious ways to preserve what is left of her community, and Annamarie wrests herself from the black forces of Nazism with plans to return home. But when Hitler and Mussolini present the Tyroleans with “The Option”, the residents are forced to choose between Italian and German nationhood with no guarantee that they will be able to stay in Tyrol at all!
Angelo, Katharina and Annamarie are trapped on separate fronts, forced to take a stand, but their enemies lurk where they thought was safest. Out of the ruins of war, will they be able to find their way back to one another and pick up the pieces?
This blockbuster finale will keep readers glued to the pages. Early readers are calling it, "...engrossing", "...enlightening" and "...both a heartbreaking and uplifting end to this incredible series!"
“Lucyk-Berger is a born storyteller.” – Mary Anne Yarde, Coffee Pot Book Club blogger
“Absolutely gripping storytelling. These characters jump off the page and take you to a place too few of us have heard about; a tragic conflict overshadowed by the many atrocities committed during WW2. The Tyroleans were victims of calculated corruption enacted by the two fascist leaders, and Lucyk-Berger has whisked off the dust cover of a popular tourist spot to reveal a dark history and a highly controversial story beneath the Reschen Lake reservoir.”
1900s Austrian Tyrol. Fritz Hanny, confident and optimistic, enjoys the prestige of belonging to one of the most respected families in the Reschen Valley. When he falls in love with Cecilia, a young girl in a neighboring village, he is certain he has found his purpose in life. Already on his way to making his own fortune, Fritz pursues Cecilia only to be cut down by one external force after another. Disappointment, violence, and conflict turn Fritz into a desperate man. When the Great War ends, Fritz is trapped between two borders: on one side, the family he has. On the other, the family he wants. This is a stand-alone novella and a prequel to NO MAN'S LAND, the first book in the Reschen Valley series.
"Lucyk-Berger has explored the darker side of human nature in this tale, and she has done so with great skill and splendour. This story appalled, impressed, and fascinated in equal measures. It is wonderfully told and impossible to put down." - Mary Anne Yarde, Coffee Pot Book Club blogger