Tag Archives: WWII

Book Review: The Land Beneath Us

26 Mar

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for — fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family — the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true

Sarah Sundin is the CBA-bestselling author of The Land Beneath Us (February 2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), and the Waves of Freedom series, the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series, all from Revell. In addition, she has a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook).

Her novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. In 2019, The Sea Before Us received the Reader’s Choice Award from Faith, Hope and Love. Both When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the 2016 INSPY Award, and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

A mother of three, Sarah lives in northern California and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups, and has been well received.

She serves as Programming Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference, and she belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network.

 

My Impressions:

The Land Beneath Us is the concluding novel in Sarah Sundin’s Sunrise at Normandy series. The books feature the three Paxton brothers — men impacted by the actions of a single night back at their home in Texas. Lots of mistakes, poor decisions, and, yes, sins took place on that tragic day, and all three men have to deal with the repercussions. In The Land Beneath Us, youngest brother Clay takes center stage. He trains to be a Ranger to fulfill what he believes to be his destiny. On his way he meets a remarkable young woman whose own life has been marked by tragedy and violence. Her example of forgiveness impacts Clay, changing how he sees his life, his brothers, and God. An excellent finale to this series, this book gets a highly recommended rating from me.

There are so many things to love about The Land Beneath Us. I love how Sundin brings the day-to-day activities of WWII-era America to life. Small details such as fashion, baby care, scrap drives show just how life has changed in the modern world. Yet there is much to be learned — unity of purpose and watching out for our neighbors. There were definitely some dark aspects  — prejudices of many kinds — that shine a light on the shortcomings of modern day America as well. Sundin’s research is remarkable. I really felt I was in those Ranger training sessions and on the streets of small town Tennessee. And Clay’s experiences on D Day spotlight the courage and determination of our Greatest Generation. Spiritual themes abound and are naturally woven into the narrative. Forgiveness, feelings of unworthiness, and clinging to what others have done to us are just a few. The two main characters’ developing relationship was special as well. Through letters they go from a marriage of convenience to a deep love. The book includes an epilogue wrapping up all of the books — I loved that too!

For fans of historical fiction set during WWII, this series cannot be beat! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, you need to. Start at book 1 and get ready for a great reading experience.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — WWII Fiction

24 Mar

As Covid-19 news is everywhere, and people around the world are called to shelter in place, I have been giving more and more thought to what people endured during WWII. Talk about a world turned upside down overnight — Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Poland, Dunkirk, concentration camps, and D-Day. There are many excellent WWII novels from which to choose so it is hard to pick just 10, but I did my best to whittle the list down. I hope these novels inspire and encourage you with their messages of hope in a very dark time.

For more Genre Favorites from other bloggers, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top WWII-Era Novels

 

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, 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: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

Years of Nazi occupation have stolen much from Brigitte Durand. Family. Freedom. Hope for a future, especially for a woman with a past like hers. But that changes the day American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down over occupied France. Picked up by the Resistance, Tom becomes the linchpin in their plan to infiltrate a Germans-only brothel and get critical intel out through Brigitte, a prostitute rumored to be sympathetic to the Allied cause.D-day looms and everyone knows that invasion is imminent. But so is treachery, and the life of one American pilot unexpectedly jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes that her actions could change the course of history.

The Girl from The Train by Irma Joubert

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families — so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright―a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call―piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen — Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war — if any of them survive — is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison

Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.

Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.

Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.

With their deep love comes risk — and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.

Based on detailed historical research, this true love story is at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge

In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission

Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal.

In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness. Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him — even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends — only to confront a decision that will change everything.

Sunrise at Normandy series by Sarah Sundin

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

 

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

A boy coming of age in a time of war . . .
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Anticipated Books of 2020 (a few months worth at least)

7 Jan

A new year means new books! And although I have shelves full, there is always room for more great books. My list contains novels that I am looking forward to in the next few months. I am an eclectic reader, so the fiction I have listed runs the gamut of genres — something for everyone!

What new book are you looking forward to in 2020?

For more bloggers’ highly anticipated lists, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Anticipated Books of Early 2020

 

Chasing The White Lion by James Hannibal (3/3)

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar (2/4)

  • End Game by Rachel Dylan (released today! Woo hoo!)

 

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall (4/21)

Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck (2/4)

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin (2/4)

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble (3/3)

 

Promised Land by Robert Whitlow (1/14)

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (3/31)

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd (released today!!)

 

2020 Book Club Picks

1 Jan

Happy New Year! My book club has A LOT of great reading ahead of us. We would love for you to join us online at our FB page. And if Santa brought you some bookish gift cards, our list is a great place to start!

 

Happy New Years Reading!

January — Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock

February — Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

March — The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

April — Surprise!

May — Promised Land by Robert Whitlow

June —Magnolia Storms by Janet Ferguson

July — Living Lies by Natalie Walters

August — Surprise!

September — Under A Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

October — Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

November — Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

December — Christmas book, TBA

 

Book Review + Giveaway!: The Plum Blooms in Winter

12 Nov

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge

In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission

Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal.

In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness. Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him — even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends — only to confront a decision that will change everything.

Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves — stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an A.C.F.W. Genesis contest winner and a finalist for FOUR 2019 awards: a Carol Award, the Independent Book Award in two categories, and a Cascade Award. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research Officer, two mostly-grown-up kids, and a small platoon of housecats. When Linda isn’t writing, you’ll find her rollerblading — yes, that does make her a throwback — taking in a majestic desert moonrise, or dreaming of an upcoming trip. She and her husband recently returned from tours of Israel, Jordan, and Wales.

My Impressions:

A debut novel? Really? The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson is unbelievably a first effort. With a unique subject matter for CF, the bold voices of its characters, and complex plotting, this novel grabbed me from the first pages and refused to let me go. I read this book at a furious pace determined to find out what would happen to the characters. And I am glad I did. However, this one really deserves a slower go with time for reflection and perhaps some Google searches 😉 . It is also a great choice for book clubs — I really, really wanted to discuss this book! It gets the very rare very highly recommended rating!

The Plum Blooms in Winter is set during and after WWII in both Japan and China. It tells the story of the consequences of war from both sides of the conflict — an American airman held as a POW and a young Japanese woman striving just to survive. Much of the story is told from the perspective of  bitter spirits seeking vengeance, that is until God shows up. Never preachy, it tells the story of a God who lovingly pursues to bring meaning and worth to people in spite of themselves.  I loved the historical points that somehow I missed in long-ago history classes. The time and place are vividly portrayed by Thompson. The barbarism of the war and the extreme deprivation of a defeated nation are not glossed over, making the reader really feel what the characters feel. It was interesting to have empathy for both main characters. Main characters Matsuura Miyako and Lt. David Delham are deeply flawed and deeply wounded, and touched my heart in ways that are hard to express. I loved them both and hoped for their ultimate rescue and redemption. The novel was inspired by real events, but the author is quick to say that the story is pure fiction. From this, I found the perspective realistic and the message relevant.

I definitely would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their preferred genre. But if you like WWII novels, The Plum Blooms in Winter should be in your library. It is a must-read! More books are planned in this series — cannot wait!

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Giveaway!

Linda Thompson is giving away a fabulous prize package. To enter click HERE.

 

THE GRAND PRIZE MOVIE BONANZA

The Grand Prize will include:

A signed copy of my award-winning novel inspired by the Doolittle Raid, The Plum Blooms in Winter

PLUS FOUR awesome WWII DVDs:

Pearl Harbor
Unbroken: Path to Redemption
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
And, The NEW Midway Movie!! (This one will ship separately when it releases on DVD.)

And there’s a second prize.

The NEW Midway Movie!! (Ships when it releases on DVD.)

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin, Author of Sunrise at Normandy Series

4 Nov

I discovered Sarah Sundin early in my blogging career. Her first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010, and I was offered the opportunity to review it. (You can read my review HERE — don’t judge! 😉 ). I was immediately hooked! Sarah is a must-read author for me. Her books have also become favorites of my book club. We just cannot wait for the next book to be released. Sarah has a wonderful website where she shares her writing adventures. Be sure to check it out. Also make sure to check out the link to the 10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Today, Sarah is sharing about her research travels for the Sunrise at Normandy series. Thanks so much, Sarah!

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin

Touring England and Normandy . . . I call it, tongue in cheek, “suffering for my art.”

Whenever possible, I visit the settings for my novels. Each novel in my Sunrise at Normandy series has scenes in England and culminates on D-day, so I was able to lump research for all three books in one trip. My husband was a trouper and let me hijack most of his vacation for research.

Sarah Sundin at Big Ben in London, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

We started in London, which is the main setting for the first novel, The Sea Before Us, and is featured in the other two novels as well. Of course, we saw the big London attractions — because my characters visit these sites too — and because we had to see them! But we also strolled through the Kensington area to find the house where my heroine Dorothy Fairfax “lives,” found the building on Grosvenor Square where the US Western Naval Task Force had its headquarters in the lead-up to D-day, and saw Norfolk House on St. James’s Square, which served as Allied Naval Headquarters.

For The Sea Before Us, we also took a tour of Southwick House near Portsmouth, which served as Battle Headquarters for the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, where Gen. Dwight Eisenhower made his famous final decision to carry out the invasion — and where Dorothy Fairfax serves on D-day as a Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service), monitoring the action on the far shore.

In The Sky Above Us, the hero serves on D-day as a fighter pilot, so we visited the Duxford Air Museum to see the workings of a real airfield in Britain. Plus, we saw several

US P-51 Mustang, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

P-51 Mustangs, the plane my hero Adler Paxton flies.

To travel to Normandy, we took the ferry from Portsmouth across the English Channel to Ouistreham, France. Since Wyatt Paxton, the hero of The Sea Before Us, serves as a naval officer on an American destroyer on D-day, I loved approaching Normandy from the sea and imagining what all those soldiers and sailors must have been thinking as that same shoreline came into view on June 6, 1944.

In Normandy, we toured the German gun batteries at Longues-sur-Mer, walked along Omaha and Utah Beaches on gray and blustery days, and lingered in the American cemetery, an incredibly moving experience.

Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

In The Land Beneath Us, the final book in the series (coming February 2020), the hero, Clay Paxton, serves in the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, legendary for scaling the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-day. We spent another gray and blustery day visiting Pointe du Hoc, pockmarked with giant craters from naval shells and littered with chunks of concrete. We also hiked through the infamous “bocage” (hedgerows) and saw where the Rangers found the German guns and destroyed them.

I had the time of my life! And my husband . . . ? As we were traipsing through a muddy gun emplacement on a gray and blustery day (did I mention it was gray and blustery?), my husband was thoroughly enjoying the adventure and history. I said to him, “Aren’t you glad I don’t write novels set in pretty little English tearooms?”

The look of horror on his face . . . Sadly, I did not get a picture of that.

 

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us (coming February 2020). Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award, When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com

 

One fateful night of tragedy and betrayal drove the Paxton brothers apart. Now, as D-day approaches, they battle the Nazis on the sea, in the air, and on the ground. Three women capture their hearts — a British naval officer striving for acceptance, a Red Cross volunteer searching for purpose, and a librarian longing for family. Will the battles they face lead them to redemption . . . or destruction?

 

10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway!

Be sure to enter HERE.

Book Review + Giveaway! — The Medallion

24 Jun

About The Book

Book: The Medallion

Author: Cathy Gohlke

Genre: Historical Fiction (World War II)

Release date: June 4, 2019

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen — Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war — if any of them survive — is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About The Author

Cathy GolkeThree-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

More from Cathy

Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy.

The Medallion was inspired by two true stories — the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology.

The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within Żegota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one?

Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.

 

My Impressions:

Cathy Gohlke is a new-to-me author. I have seen her books all over the web, but hadn’t had a chance to read any until her latest WWII-era novel, The Medallion, was released. I am now a big fan of this talented author and cannot wait to dig into more of her books. The Medallion is a challenging read — it is filled with heartbreak and despair, yet has an underlying message of hope and love in the midst of the cruelest of situations. And though many of its images were hard to take, I just could not put down this riveting novel. Told with sensitivity and grace, The Medallion is one of the best novels I have read all year. It definitely earns a very highly recommended rating.

Set from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland through the harrowing war years and the rebuilding following the demise of the Nazi regime, The Medallion focuses on the heroism of ordinary people determined to do whatever they can to save lives, especially those of the children of Warsaw’s ghetto. There are two parallel stories — Itzhak and Rosa, a young Jewish couple with an infant who are forced into the ghetto, and Sophie, a British woman married to a Polish pilot who resolves not to play it safe, but to work against the enemy. The two stories intersect and intertwine midway through the book. The abrupt devastation that the invasion brought to both Poles and Jews is vividly described. Even though I have read many books set in this time period, Gohlke communicated it in a way I have never experienced. Sacrifice, danger, daring, and bravery are exhibited throughout the book, even in the midst of circumstances that were truly hopeless. The characters are both ordinary and extraordinary — they faced fears and doubts, yet drew from a deep well of tenacity, perseverance, and faith. I loved how the author drew upon real life events and historical figures to bring a greater depth to the reading experience. The message of God’s sovereignty is powerfully portrayed, yet the book is never preachy. Many lived out their convictions in the face of great danger and often certain death. I especially loved how God’s orchestration of events is shown in spite of man’s attempts to manipulate them.

I could go on and on about this many layered story. But instead I will just say, read this book! The Medallion is one that will stay with you for a very long time. I promise you will want to talk about it, so just go ahead and get your book club or group of friends reading it too. You (and them) will not be sorry!

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for book clubs.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 22

Christian Bookaholic, June 22

Carla Loves To Read, June 22

The Power of Words, June 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, June 23

Mary Hake, June 23

janicesbookreviews, June 23

Where Faith and Books Meet, June 24

By The Book, June 24

For Him and My Family, June 24

A Reader’s Brain, June 24

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 25

Through the Fire Blogs, June 25

Retrospective Spines, June 25

Inklings and notions, June 25

Remembrancy, June 26

Lis Loves Reading , June 26

The Becca Files, June 26

Genesis 5020, June 27

Reader’s Cozy Corner, June 27

Connect in Fiction, June 27

Bigreadersite, June 28

Maureen’s Musings, June 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 28

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

For the Love of Literature, June 29

Spoken from the Heart, June 29

Inspired by fiction, June 30

Have A Wonderful Day, June 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Inspiration Clothesline, July 1

Connie’s History Classroom, July 1

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Just the Write Escape, July 2

Seasons of Opportunities, July 2

Pause for Tales, July 2

As He Leads is Joy, July 3

To Everything A Season, July 3

Hallie Reads, July 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 4

For The Love of Books, July 4

Emily Yager, July 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5

Texas Book-aholic, July 5

 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/e50c/the-medallion-celebration-tour-giveaway