About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Yesterday's Tides by Roseanna M. White

Yesterday's Tides

In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the man he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.

Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, but he doesn't count on falling in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. When war breaks out in Europe, and their relationship is put in jeopardy, will their love survive?

As Evie and Sterling work to track down an elusive German agent, they unravel mysteries that go back a generation. The ripples from the Great War are still rocking their lives, and it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.

Bestselling and award-winning author Roseanna M. White whisks you away to two periods fraught with peril in this sweeping and romantic dual-time tale.


I've read and enjoyed many of this author's books and I now have a new favorite! Yesterday's Tides is a stunning historical fiction saga with dual timelines that cover the lives of several family members through both WWI and WWII. Author Roseanna M. White weaves mystery and romance in this book that's primarily set along the North Carolina Outer Banks on Ocracoke Island, and her fans will recognize her dedication to in-depth research. This book showcases her amazing ability to combine true facts and fiction, and I especially loved that so many characters from her previous books are featured in this story!

I've come to expect characters with strong faith and moral values and White certainly didn't disappoint me! My heart was stolen by the intriguing human connections and the touching faith message, as these families deal with the ugliness of discrimination, deception, death, and war. This time-slip novel is truly a testament to the power of hope, faith, and love, and a compelling reminder that our actions of yesterday and today may very well alter our tomorrows. I highly recommend Yesterday's Tides to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. 

You can learn more about her and her stories at her Website  Facebook  Twitter   Instagram

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Hearts of Steel (The Blackstone Legacy, #3) by Elizabeth Camden: Review & Excerpt #HFVBT

Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden

Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Historical Romance/Christian
Series: The Blackstone Legacy, Book #3

His steel empire has catapulted him to the top of the world, but loving her could cost him everything.

Maggie Molinaro survived a hardscrabble childhood in the downtrodden streets of Manhattan to become a successful businesswoman. After a decade of sacrifice, she now owns a celebrated ice cream company. But when she offends a corrupt banker, she unwittingly sets off a series of calamities that threaten to destroy her life's work.

Liam Blackstone is a charismatic steel magnate committed to overhauling factory conditions for the steelworkers of America. Standing in his way is the same villain determined to ruin Maggie. What begins as a practical alliance to defeat a common enemy soon evolves into a romance between two wounded people determined to beat the odds.

A spiraling circle of treachery grows increasingly dangerous as Liam and Maggie risk their lives and fortunes for the good of the city. It will require all their wit and ingenuity to protect everything--and everyone--they hold dear.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million


I loved Hearts of Steel! This final book of the Blackstone Legacy trilogy has multi-layered characters and historical details woven into a totally captivating story. We first meet sixteen-year-old Maggie Malinaro in 1890, but her story quickly progresses to the year 1902, as the Gilded Age gives way to the Progressive Era. Maggie sees her successful ice cream business threatened by one conniving man and her only hope may be Liam Blackstone. They are both intriguing characters, but Charles Morse is the ultimate villain, and the truly disturbing fact is that he really existed! In her historical note, author Elizabeth Camden explains that Morse designed "a network of extortion, bribery, and threats" to drive competitors out of business and create his ice trust. Remember, ice was a much-needed commodity in the early 1900s and Morse's monopoly was devastating! As they work together, Maggie and Liam experience a powerful connection that cries for a happy ending but there are so many obstacles in their way. Can work-obsessed, overachieving Maggie ever allow a man into her world? Will hot-tempered, impulsive Liam ever consider himself worthy of being Theodore Blackstone's son?

This book presents a vivid glimpse of the differences between the working class and the upper class in the early 1900s, but it also chronicles the personal struggles of both Maggie and Liam. There are fears and failures to overcome but hope and faith is ever present. I especially loved their spiritual growth, and I highly recommend Hearts of Steel to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


New York City

June 1902

The prospect of apologizing to the only enemy Liam Blackstone had in the world was galling, but he’d do it to keep Fletcher’s respect. Liam strode down the street alongside his mentor, listening to Fletcher’s reasons he should apologize to Charles Morse, possibly the biggest scoundrel in the city.

“The point of yesterday’s outing was to have a cordial afternoon sailing in the harbor so you and Charles could bury the hatchet, not to stir up new resentments,” Fletcher said. “Throwing him off your yacht opened up a whole new front in the war between the two of you.”

“He slapped a seventeen-­year-­old deckhand,” Liam bit out.

“Yes, and that was regrettable, but there were better ways to handle it than letting your temper fly off the handle.”

Yesterday’s fight had been a doozy. The afternoon sailing excursion on Liam’s private yacht had collapsed quickly after Morse struck the deckhand, a sweet kid named Caleb. While Caleb could be a little slow, once he understood a task, the kid carried it out doggedly and never tired. The problem was that Caleb couldn’t adjust. Any change to his routine got Caleb flustered, which was what happened when Morse started banging out orders yesterday.

They had been a mile out at sea when Morse slapped Caleb. Liam ordered Morse to be rowed ashore, and the incident cast a pall over the rest of the afternoon. Several of the other businessmen aboard the vessel privately commended Liam for the way he protected the deckhand, but no one approved of what he’d done in throwing Morse off the yacht.

Now Fletcher was dragging Liam to Morse’s home like a disobedient child to apologize. The Morse estate squatted on a large plot on the richest part of Fifth Avenue. It was where robber barons flaunted their wealth in grandiose palaces towering five stories high with molded entablatures, spires, and turrets . . . so different from the slum where Liam grew up.

“I understand you are still new in the world of Wall Street,” Fletcher said. “Everyone appreciates the fresh perspective you have brought to the board of directors. You are the only one among us who has actually worked at a steel mill or made anything with your own two hands. Against all odds you persuaded the board of directors to authorize a huge pay raise for the men in the steel mills—”

“Over Morse’s objections.”

“Yes! Charles Morse is the shrewdest man on Wall Street, and you got the better of him. Be proud of that. You won. Why can’t you simply get along with him?”

Because Charles Morse was a bully. He showed it in his brusque manner in dealing with servants and how he cheated at cards if he couldn’t win honestly. If the rumors were true, even Morse’s own wife disliked him, and they were newlyweds.

Fletcher continued his litany. “You are the two youngest men on the board of directors, and I’m baffled as to why the pair of you can’t get along. He is only forty-­six, and you’re what, thirty-­seven?”

“Thirty-­five,” Liam corrected.

“Old enough to control your temper,” Fletcher said. “I’ve spent the past year playing peacekeeper between the two of you, and my patience is wearing thin. You are an asset to the board, but if push comes to shove, we need Morse more than we need you. As chairman of the board, it is my job to create a strong and productive group of people dedicated to maintaining U.S. Steel’s prominence in the industry. If the two of you can’t manage to be in the same room without coming to blows, it won’t be Morse I ask to leave.”

The pronouncement landed like a fist to Liam’s gut. He was the only person on the board committed to putting the welfare of the workers ahead of profits. U.S. Steel employed 160,000 frontline workers in steel mills all over the nation. They were in Pittsburgh, Scranton, Cleveland, and Chicago. Those men earned a living with their hands, their backs, and their brawn. They didn’t get ahead by scheming, cheating, or smacking servants. They depended on Liam to represent their interests on the company’s board of directors, and if he had to swallow his pride and kiss Morse’s ring to keep his seat, he’d do it.

They marched up the flight of marble steps to the cool shade beneath the stone-­arched portico of the mansion.

“This is where I leave you,” Fletcher said, offering a good-­natured handshake.

Liam was flabbergasted. “You’re not coming inside?” This would be a disaster without Fletcher to play the peacekeeper. Morse usually pretended to be friendly in front of the chairman of the board, but when no one was watching, Morse’s true colors emerged.

About the Author

Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won Christy, Carol, and RITA Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 17
Review at Ms. Darcy Reads

Wednesday, January 18
Excerpt at Aubrey Wynne
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Thursday, January 19
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, January 20
Review at Classicly Kait
Review at Tammy Reads

Saturday, January 21
Review at Reading is My SuperPower

Sunday, January 22
Review at Debjani's Thoughts

Monday, January 23
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Tuesday, January 24
Guest Post at Heidi Reads

Wednesday, January 25
Review at Bookworlder

Thursday, January 26
Review & Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Friday, January 27
Review at The Lit Bitch

Monday, January 30
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, January 31
Feature at I'm Into Books

Wednesday, February 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Friday, February 3
Feature at Coffee and Ink


We have two copies of Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Hearts of Steel

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Kidnapped in Texas (Cowboy Protectors #1) by Virginia Vaughan

Kidnapped in Texas

A kidnapping case

reveals a secret that changes everything…

After witnessing an abduction, FBI agent Luke Harmon vows to return the teenage victim safely to her aunt, his ex, Abby Mitchell. But Abby has a secret—the girl is their daughter. To rescue his child from a human trafficking ring, he’ll partner with the woman who deceived him. But can he forgive the past before Abby becomes the next target…and his family is lost forever?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.


A kidnapping on the very first page sets the stage for this exciting story that never slows down. Abby Mitchell and her ex-boyfriend Luke Harmon set out to find her niece Kenzie but their rescue efforts become even more frantic with the possibility that she's been abducted by a human trafficking ring. Can they overcome their troubled past so that Kenzie can be saved?

Virginia Vaughan works her magic once again in this carefully crafted story that is the beginning of a new series. Multiple twists and turns kept me turning the pages and the intrigue steadily intensified as the search continued. The addition of surprising secrets and a second chance at romance made this a story that you don't want to miss! I recommend Kidnapped in Texas to all who enjoy romantic Christian suspense.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Virginia Vaughan is a former investigator for the State of Mississippi who left a promising career to pursue her dream of being a writer. Blessed to come from a large, Southern family, her fondest memories include hearing stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself, delving into the genre of romantic suspense, armed with her passion for writing and the knowledge gained from her criminal justice background

Learn more about Virginia at her Website   Facebook    Twitter     Instagram     Pinterest

Monday, January 23, 2023

Her Secret Amish Past (Amish Country Justice #14) by Dana R. Lynn

Her Secret Amish Past

Stolen from the Amish…

with no memory of her past.

When her mother is shot as they flee an unknown threat, Josslyn Graham discovers her entire life is a lie. Not only is she adopted but she's the target of armed assailants—and she doesn’t know why. With an old doll the only clue to her true identity, Joss needs Sergeant Steve Beck’s help to find the truth…before a deadly criminal ring buries the remaining evidence: her.

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.



Imagine finding those words in a note that's been stuck under your windshield wipers! How would you feel, and better still, what would you do? Josslyn Graham doesn't know what to think but it doesn't take long for her to become trapped in a web of secrets, lies, and constant danger! Author Dana R. Lynn takes readers on a thrilling ride of suspense. adventure, twists, and turns, but she blends them with a mix of intriguing characters, inspiring faith, and sweet romance. This story has something for everyone!

Her Amish Secret Amish Past is another exciting book in the Amish Country Justice series, but it can certainly be read as a standalone. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to see what's next in this Amish Country Justice series! Great job, Dana R. Lynn!!

I received a copy of this book from the author but there was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Dana R. Lynn is a USA Today bestselling author who believes in the power of God to touch people through stories. She met her husband at a wedding and married him nineteen months later. Today, they live in rural Pennsylvania with their three teenage children and enough pets to open a petting zoo. She is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by day and writes stories of romance and danger at night. Dana is an avid reader, loves cats, and thinks chocolate should be a food group. Dana is a Selah Award winner, a Holt Medallion Finalist, and a New England Reader’s Choice Award winner. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She enjoys engaging with readers and can be found on social media or contacted via her website.

CONNECT WITH DANAWebsite   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram


Book 1:Plain Target
Book 2: Plain Retribution
Book 3: Amish Christmas Abduction
Book 4: Amish Country Ambush
Book 5: Amish Christmas Emergency
Book 6: Guarding the Amish Midwife
Book 7: Hidden in Amish Country
Book 9: Deadly Amish Reunion
Book 11: Covert Amish Investigation
Book 12: Amish Christmas Escape

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Together for the Twins by Laurel Blount

Together for the Twins

He opened his home to twin boys

Will he open his heart to their nanny?

Self-made man Ryder Montgomery is the guy with all the answers…until he inherits custody of his out-of-control twin nephews. Nanny Elise Cooper is a lifesaver and even agrees to give him parenting lessons. Soon they’re starting to feel like a real family. But with an end-of-summer expiration date, is it even possible to build a future together?  

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.


Together for the Twins takes us back to Cedar Ridge, Georgia as Ryder Montgomery takes on the care of his four-year-old orphaned twin nephews. Thank goodness that there's help from his foster mom and a nanny named Elise!

Laurel Blount is such an engaging author and her contemporary romance stories are some of the best! Her characters are sometimes imperfect but aren't we all? Their lives are often messy, and a happy ending may seem unlikely, but Blount makes sure that hope and faith are present. Much of the hope and faith in Cedar Ridge is delivered by Ruby Sawyer. Oh, if there were only more Rubys in our world today! She loves God, the foster children that she's raised, and the family they've become. She's not above pulling out the big guns to help them find families of their own, and her biggest gun is prayer. Ruby definitely knows how to reach the ears of God!

Together for the Twins is a delightful story that tugs at your heartstrings, and it's the perfect read for all who enjoy contemporary Christian romance. Best of all, Ruby Sawyer has more foster children who need their own 'happily ever after'!

I received a copy of this book from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Laurel Blount lives on a small farm in middle Georgia with her husband, their four children, and an assortment of very spoiled animals. She divides her time between farm chores, homeschooling, and writing. She's busy, but she's never bored!

Laurel writes inspirational contemporary romance, and A Rancher to Trust is her fourth title for Harlequin’s Love Inspired. She’s the recipient of the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence and has been a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the New England Reader’s Choice Award. She’s represented by Jessica Alvarez of Bookends Literary Agency.

Whenever she's not working, you can find Laurel with a cup of tea at her elbow, a cat in her lap, and a good book in her hand.

CONNECT WITH LAUREL:    Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

Cedar Ridge Books!
Together for the Twins

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz

The Rose and the Thistle

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley's father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems--a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies--and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.


Romance, adventure, and intrigue in the 1700s! What more could a fan of historical fiction ask for? Author Laura Frantz blends fact and fiction to create a time and place that I'd love to visit, and her descriptive words make me long to stay! I visualize the castles and beautiful gardens, hear the Scottish brogue, experience the political turmoil, and feel the intense feelings between Blythe and Everard.

The Rose and the Thistle is a spellbinding story with engaging characters and a lovely romance that made me swoon. Blythe and Everard share a special chemistry but they genuinely like each other, and I adored the humor and banter between them. There's also a faith message that can't be rivaled. We need to trust, we must accept God's Plan, and even though a man and woman love deeply, their deepest love must be for their Heavenly Father!

This is fantastic historical fiction! Grab a copy of The Rose and the Thistle and prepare to lose yourself to another time and place.

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I am voluntarily sharing my honest review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including An Uncommon WomanTidewater BrideThe Frontiersman’s DaughterCourting Morrow LittleThe Colonel’s LadyThe Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart. She is a proud mom of an American soldier and a career firefighter. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at her   Website    Facebook     Twitter     Instagram  

Friday, January 20, 2023

Lulu and Malek Sail Off to Sea! by June N. Foster and Rob Scheer

Book Details:

Book Title:  Lulu and Malek Sail Off to Sea! by June Foster and Rob Scheer
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Hubble & Hattie
Release date:   August 23, 2022
Content Rating:  G.  The book is designed for children between 3-7 years of age.
Book Description:

Adventurous friends Lulu and Malek make fantastic discoveries, take care of our planet, and meet new friends as they explore the wonders of the world under the sea. With vibrant illustrations and endearing characters, this fun-to-read rhyming book is sure to be a children's favorite that they will want to read over and over again! Add this fun-filled and inspiring book to your home or class library! It will be enjoyed by children who love adventure, a good laugh, and want to learn more about the sea and conservation.
Buy the Book:
Amazon B&N ~ BAM
Indigo AbeBooks IndieBound
add to Goodreads

Lulu and Malek Sail Off to Sea has everything that kids love, including colorful illustrations, rhyming text, and an exciting adventure to enjoy! In this new book that is both entertaining and educational, authors June N. Foster and Ron Scheer introduce children to two adorable animals. Lulu and Malek are very different but they're still best friends who are eager to see the world around them. Following this cub and giraffe on their journey allows children to learn about new animals in their natural habitats, and when Lulu and Malek work to clean the beach, little ones are reminded that they need to take care of the world around them! After all, it's never too early to learn the importance of recycling and protecting our environment!
This is a wonderful book to read to your children or grandchildren but it also offers many teaching opportunities for teachers and programming ideas for librarians. I enjoyed reading it myself and I hope that Lulu and Malek have many more adventures in the future!

I received a copy of this book from the authors via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meet the Authors:

Just a bit about me. I live in Arizona, but for most of the year, I travel across our beautiful earth as a deckhand and yoga instructor in the yachting industry. I love the serenity of the sea, exploring treasured caves, hiking through lush green forests, immersing myself in different cultures, and meeting new friends. I recently launched an online retail store (www.yachtieinspired.com) that offers conservation and yachtie inspired designs through my Sea Our Love and Silent Whispers Collections. You can also purchase a Personalized Signed Copy of my books on my online store, or please visit junenfoster.com to learn more!

​My co-author, Rob Scheer and I have completed two beautifully illustrated, heartfelt children's books. Rob is the Founder and CEO of Comfort Cases. Since 2013, Comfort Cases set out on a mission to eliminate the use of trash bags and provide children entering the foster system with brand new essential and comfort items. To date, Comfort Cases has positively impacted over 110,000 children, and has recently opened a chapter in the United Kingdom. For each book purchased of Lulu and Malek Sail Off to Sea, we will donate one book to Comfort Cases.

connect with the authors: website twitter facebook instagram instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Lulu and Malek Sail Off to Sea! Book Tour Giveaway

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Her Heart's Desire (A Season in Pinecraft, #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Her Heart's Desire (A Season in Pinecraft, #1)

Mary Margaret Miller needs an escape from her small Amish community. She boards a bus, all alone, for a vacation in Pinecraft, Florida. Meeting Betsy and Lilly on the way, she's amazed to find two kindred spirits. They become fast friends and determine to have the best two weeks of their lives. For Mary, it starts when she meets Jayson Raber. The handsome and charming carpenter is taken by Mary from the get-go, but he has responsibilities back home in Kentucky--including a girl he's supposed to marry.

When someone from Mary's past shows up in Pinecraft, it seems like her perfect vacation is ruined. But that's nothing compared to what's coming when she realizes what Jayson has been hiding.


As I read this new book, I was once again reminded of the preconceptions concerning the Amish lifestyle. Are these people, who are so faithful and dedicated to their simple way of life, exempt from hurt and loneliness? Of course not, and this story illustrates it perfectly! Three young Amish women meet on a trip to PInecraft, Florida and it's apparent that they've all experienced feelings of loneliness and separation in their individual communities. They even joke about being wallflowers but deep down they aren't laughing! Is it possible that these three strangers can find true friendship as they enjoy their vacations in Pinecraft?

Author Shelley Shepard Gray invites readers into the thoughts of these three young women as they experience new adventures. Her Heart's Desire focuses primarily on the relationship that develops between Mary Margaret MIller and Jayson Raber. Will their friendship deepen into something more?

This is a touching story of hurts and sorrows that are laced together with faith, forgiveness, and healing. Her Heart's Desire is the first book in the 'A Season in Pinecraft' series and it appears that Betsy and Lilly will each get a chance to end their wallflower status. Fans of clean romance and Amish fiction will surely enjoy this book and series!

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I am voluntarily sharing my honest review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


Shelley Shepard Gray has written over one hundred novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full-time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults and she is an active member of her church.

Learn more about Shelley at her    Website     Facebook 
                                                       Twitter       Pinterest    Instagram    

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Within These Walls of Sorrow: A Novel of World War II Poland by Amanda Barratt

Within These Walls of Sorrow: A Novel of World War II Poland

As superbly written as it is haunting in its truth. --Kate Breslin, best-selling author of For Such a Time

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany's invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.

Hania Silverman's carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto's population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania's natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.
Zodia and Hania's lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.

Amanda Barratt's meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times.

An unflinching tale that implores readers to stop and see, not a massive crowd of people, but individual hearts and souls. This book will linger in your heart and mind long after you've read the final page. --Amanda Cox, Christy Award-winning author of The Edge of Belonging


This stunning story, set during the German occupation of Poland during World War II, chronicles the plight of the Jewish people who lived there and the brave Polish citizens who dared to help them. Author Amanda Barratt shares a tale of the special friendship that develops between a young Jewish girl who is sent with her family to the ghetto and a female Polish pharmacist who works inside the ghetto. Barratt once again proves her remarkable talent for combining historical facts and fictional detail and delivers their story in a way that I will never forget. There are scenes that left me emotionally drained but there are also moments that renewed my spirit. Emotionally drained by the evil, ugly, and terrible atrocities that existed during this time but spiritually revived by the love, hope, strength, and courage that were able to prevail.

I was captivated by this powerful book, and it now has a place on my keeper shelf! I also consider it worthy of being added to the reading lists and syllabuses of classes that cover World War II history. Within These Walls of Sorrow is a stunning depiction of a time that must never be forgotten and a reminder that we must always be on guard!

"There is evil and there is good and there is space in between. We are given free will to choose where we stand. Evil thrives when good men choose the space between."

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She's the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Visit her Website or follow her on Facebook    Twitter     Instagram  

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