“You think you have a view of what’s waiting for you just up the road, but then something happens, and you find out pretty quick you were looking at the wrong road.”
― Susan MeissnerAs Bright as Heaven

Nothing is more wonderful than reading a novel and learning about history at the same time. It’s one of the reasons why I love historical fiction and Susan Meisser is one of the most gifted authors writing this genre. Her novel, AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN (Berkley) is set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after arriving, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America claiming more than twelve thousand lives in their adopted city of Philadelphia alone. Their world is completely turned upside down. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their source of hope. Throughout the challenges and heartache they make decisions which affect their human spirit.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN engulfs you like a warm cashmere blanket. I suggest coupling this novel with a very rich Merlot.



Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

Thanks to Susan, Shelf Awareness and Berkley, we have one copy of AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN to giveaway. Just tell us whether or not you got your flu shock this year and if your think it’s important.

We’ll announce a winner next week. Good luck!

42 thoughts on “AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN by Susan Meissner & GIVEAWAY

  1. I believe some people should have the flu shot. I fall into that category but do not get one by choice. I just have never had one and with all of my other health issues, choose not to start now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i have. i get mine every year. i have chronic health issues, so i feel it is what i need to do to help myself. my 4 kids get one every year also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (my oldest sis did not get a flu shot this year & got the flu. she ended up so sick, & in hospital for 5 days. she was so sick, her kidneys started to shut down. it is a month later, & she is still weak.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I did get my flu shot. I try to every year now since I had the flu back about 7 years ago and I missed a whole week of work. Anything you can do to not feel like that again is worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband, son at home, and I got our shots here, the two college boys got theirs at college. I’ve had one every year since 1997. I had a horrible flu in 1996. Even if the shot isn’t 100% effective this year, at least it offers some protection. I have three autoimmune diseases, so it’s imperative I have the shot each year.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did not get the flu shot this year or any year. I don’t necessarily think it’s a good thing. Especially since I have a friend who took her two sons to get the flu shot one year and they developed diabetes. But others may choose to get it. I would support their decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did not get the shot, haven’t been sick. Probably should have gotten the shot.. Thanks for the chance want to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ever since our youngest had asthma, we’ve been getting the flu shot. I was late in going in for it this year and got the flu. It was miserable. I don’t want o go through that again. I will make every effort to go in October from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well I live in New Zealand so I got mine last March ready for the winter and I will be getting it again this year. My husband has COPD and we have to be super careful he doesn’t get flu so everyone around him is careful , as he can end up in hospital very quickly with pneumonia. It is free for those over 65 in NZ and those with chronic illness

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, I have been getting it every year since having my daughter. She also gets the shot every year. Her school arranges for the health department nurses to come give it very year. I think it is so important. A friend’s pregnant cousin died from the flu. Anything I can do to lessen symptoms I will.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I got a flu shot this season for the first time in MANY years. (I had been reluctant after getting quite sick from the swine flu shot a LONG time ago!)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes I absolutely got the flu shot along with the rest of my family members. It’s best to do everything you can to protect yourself and those you love from becoming sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have to get a shot every year due to the disease that I have RSD even though this year I didn’t get it bad I did loose part of my hearing in one ear and congested but the dr says when the congestion goes away I will gain the hearing back well that was 2 full months ago and i still only have 1/4 hearing in the ear it sounds like it is coming thru a tunnel.My husband has to get one due to me having a disease but he would get one anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I failed to get the flu shot this year for myself (my kids are covered). Not for lack of trying. Lots of local spots here ran out of the shot. I have been dousing myself with gallons of purell on a consistent basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Got mine plus a couple other immunizations as I had to start a new med for my ulcerative Colitis…as an RN I think all immunizations are an extremely important part of our personal and community healthcare. There is a reason we were able to eradicate many diseases that were once deadly. Although the flu shot can only protect against particular strains it is still saving lives and helping to protect those who are already immune compromised. That being said.. wash your hand wash your hands wash your hands lol it’s the first line of defense against EVERY GERM!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I got my flu shot this year.
    Of course, I got it last year too and STILL caught the flu, so I can’t say if it’s effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. No flu shot, luckily also did not get the flu. But if I had I would have been able to stay home for a few days and I would have told everyone I was contagious so they’d leave me alone and I could read in peace. Hope everyone else made it through flu season unscathed


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