Tag Archive | WWII

#Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin–Review–4 stars–#NetGalley

Mistress of the Ritz::.jpg 850.jpgMelanie Benjamin’s Newest Novel–Coming 5/21/19!

 

Mistress of the Ritz is an engrossing historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Blanche and Claude Auzello during WWII, in occupied France. After a quick, whirlwind romance in Paris, Claude and Blanche married. Claude never considered the possibility that his new American wife would have difficulty in accepting her role as a French wife. He should have. Claude expected Blanche to cook, clean, satisfy his needs, and then look the other way when he took a mistress. Blanche assumed that her husband would be faithful to her. She realized too late that she’d made a big mistake. Although their marriage was turbulent, bitter, and hurtful, they stayed together.

Blanche enjoyed her role as mistress of the Ritz until the Nazis stormed in, took over, and used the Ritz as their headquarters. During the German Occupation, the Auzello’s marriage difficulties rose to a new destructive level. Blanche looked upon her husband with disgust whenever he bowed to the Nazis and fretted over them. She was also fed up with him leaving in the middle of the night to be with another woman. So, Blanche changed, made friends, drank, and worked on a new purpose for her life. And, Claude didn’t like it one bit. Claude really wanted to tell Blanche his secret. He wasn’t convinced though, that she was trustworthy enough. What Claude didn’t realize was, that Blanche was hiding something as well. A secret, that was as dangerous, and risky as his own.

Although the pace of the book slows down at times, it is still captivating and enjoyable. If you love reading WWII historical fiction books, this may be just the read for you.  

Thank you, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life–as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library–she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have.

While attending Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis, Melanie performed in many community theater productions before meeting her husband, moving to the Chicago area and raising two sons. Writing was always beckoning, however, and soon she began writing for local magazines and newspapers before venturing into her first love, fiction.

By combining her passion for history and biography, she has found her niche writing historical fiction, concentrating on the “stories behind the stories.” Her most recent novel, THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, tells the fascinating and timely story of the first true female partnership – and enduring friendship – in Hollywood, between the silent film star Mary Pickford and her collaborator (and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay), Frances Marion. 

Her previous novels, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best sellers. Her first novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, was a national bestseller; this was followed by the critically acclaimed THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. Her next novel will be out in May, 2019. 

She and her family still live in the Chicago area; when she’s not writing, she’s gardening, taking long walks, rooting for the Cubs–

And reading, of course.

 

#Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert–Review–4.5 Stars

daughter of Moloka'i:.jpg 850.jpgNew Historical Fiction Novel by Alan Brennert–Coming 2/19/19

 

 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a well-written, poignant, and bittersweet novel. The story begins in 1916, in Moloka’i Hawaii, a place designated for people with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). When Ruth was born to parents suffering from the disease, she was taken from them, within an hour of her birth.

Ruth was brought up in an orphanage, run by nuns, until she was adopted by Japanese immigrants, living in Honolulu. Ruth loved her parents but often wondered why her biological parents had given her away.

Ruth was content with her life in Hawaii until her Uncle convinced her father to move to California. The opportunity he was offered, was supposed to be, a wonderful one. It wasn’t. It was a scam. But after her father uprooted his family and moved to America, it was too late to turn back. Being taken advantage of was not the worse thing, that happened to Ruth’s family in California. WWII was about to break out, and with it, Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. The President’s reaction to the Japanese invasion was to gather, isolate, and relocate all Japanese immigrants and their family members, to less than ideal internment camps. 

Everyone who was sent to these camps had given up their homes, farms, businesses, and belongings. Many of these people with Japanese parents and grandparents were US citizens, but sent to camps, just the same. 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a compelling and engaging book, well-crafted and researched.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Alan Brennert is the author of the best-selling historical novels MOLOKA’I and HONOLULU, both favorites of reading groups across the country. MOLOKA’I was a 2012 “One Book, One San Diego” selection and HONOLULU was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. PEOPLE Magazine said of his novel PALISADES PARK, “Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey plaground of his youth in RAGTIME style, mixing fact and fiction. It’s a memorable trip.” His work on the television series L.A. LAW earned him an Emmy Award in 1991 and his short story “Ma Qui” was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992. His latest book, DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA’I, is a follow-up to MOLOKA’I that tells the story of Rachel Kalama’s daughter Ruth, her early life, her internment during World War II, and her eventual meeting with her birth mother, Rachel. The novel explores the women’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at it in MOLOKA’I. It will be published by St Martin’s Press on February 19, 2019.

 

The Vogels: On All Fronts by Jana Petken–Review–5 Stars!

The Vogels::.jpg 850.jpgDon’t Miss Jana Petken’s Newest Fascinating Historical Fiction Novel–Out Now!

 

The Vogels: On All Fronts is an amazing story and the second book in Jana Petken’s fascinating German Half-Blood series. This superbly-written WWII novel is as unputdownable as the first book in the series.

This story takes place on several fronts, Germany, Poland, Russia, and England. The Vogels love, and stand by each other, even though their political views and loyalties are very much divided. Dieter Vogel is German, his wife Laura is English, and their children, are German half-bloods, each having their own opinion on what is right regarding Hitler’s treatment of the Jews. All three Vogel boys take part in WWII but play different roles. Both Willie and Paul wear the German uniform, but only Willie is an SS soldier. Paul is a doctor, and, unfortunately, is forced to follow the Nazi rule regarding medical treatment for the Jews. Max, is as German as his two brothers but wants nothing, to do with Hitler, his cruelty, and his lies. Max works as a British spy. 

Jana Petken brings each main character in her book to life, as well as many of the horrific war atrocities that occurred during WWII. If you have not read book one in the series, this novel may be a little confusing at first, but don’t worry, it becomes quite clear quickly, as well as unputdownable. This story ends with a set up for book three. I will definitely be reading the next novel in this series. 

5 out of 5 shining stars!

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Jana Petken is a bestselling historical fiction novelist and screenwriter. 

She is critically acclaimed as a bestselling, gritty, author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines. She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction and is presently in talks with film producers regarding one of her titles. 

Before life as an author, she served in the British Royal Navy. During her service, she studied Naval Law and history. After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely.

Titles by Jana Petken. 

Bestseller, Multi Award Winning, The Guardian of Secrets. (2013) 

The bestselling Mercy Carver Series: award-winning, Dark Shadows, book 1, and award-winning Blood Moon, book 2. (2014) 

Multi Award Winning, The Errant Flock: The Flock Trilogy Book 1. (2015)

Multi Award Winning, Swearing Allegiance. (2016)

Award Winning, The Scattered Flock (The Flock Trilogy book 2)

Flock, The Gathering of The Damned (The Flock Trilogy Book 3)

2018, The German Half-Bloods

http://www.janapetkenauthor.com

@AuthoJana

petkenj@gmail.com

 

#The Soldier’s Girl by Sharon Maas–Review-4 stars-#NetGalley

A soldier's girl:.:.850.jpgNew WWII Historical Fiction Romance by Sharon Maas-Coming 11/2/18!

 

The Soldier’s Girl is a captivating, historical fiction novel, which takes place during WWII. I found the book to be a little confusing at first, but after a few chapters, the story fell into place. I was wholly engrossed until the very end.  

Sybil missed her life and her childhood friends, in Alsace, France. And, although, Sybil had been living in England for years, she always considered France to be her home. So after becoming a competent nurse, she sought a position in France, nursing soldiers back to health. Sybil was granted her wish to go to France, not as a nurse, however, but as a British Agent, for the French Resistance, in Alsace. She was recruited because of her unique ability to speak flawless, French, Alsatian, and German; and her talent for staying calm under pressure. 

France was under German occupation, except for Alsace. Germany had annexed Alsace instead. The people of Alsace were forced to become German citizens and were given new identities. Everything written in French was destroyed. No one was even allowed to speak the language. As a result, the French Resistance of Alsace was born. Sybil’s job was to supply weapons, organize, and train the members. She was also the one responsible for setting up a wireless connection to England. 

But shortly after parachuting into France, Sybil met Commander Wolfgang Von Haagan. The man who would frighten her, as well as win her heart. If only the Commander had been cruel to Sybil, it wouldn’t have been so difficult to carry out what her duty demanded of her.  

Thank you, Bookouture and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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#The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith–Review-4.5 Stars #NetGalley

the dutch wife..:. 850.jpgDon’t Miss Ellen Keith’s Novel–The Dutch Wife–Coming 9/4/18

 

 

The Dutch Wife is a well-crafted, riveting, and haunting novel. It held me captive from the very first page. There are two stories which run parallel in this book, with different timelines. The first story takes place in Germany during WWII, and involves, a political prisoner, Marijke, and the Schutzhaftagerfuhrer for Buchenwald, Karl Muller. And, the second timeline, is in Argentina, during the Dirty War, involving, a University student, Luciano Wagner.

In Amsterdam, Marijke de Graaf, and her husband, Theo, were arrested for taking part in the resistance against the Third Reich. The two of them were considered political prisoners and sent to different camps. Because Marijke was beautiful, she was given the choice of working in a brothel at Buchenwald, or staying where she was, and possibly not surviving the work camp. She chose the brothel. Initially, she was hoping to see her husband at Buchenwald. But as time went on, Marijke felt more and more ashamed, for prostituting herself, and for her growing attachment to Karl Muller, the Schuzhaftagerfuhrer. 

 The parallel story in this book, takes place in Argentina, during the 1970s. Anyone in Argentina who was discovered, speaking out, against the government, disappeared. Luciano Wagner, a University student, was arrested for attending a resistance rally. He became one of many students who were kidnapped by the military and tortured. I didn’t know much about the Dirty War, so the details shocked me. The torture that took place was hideous, heartbreaking and haunting. 

Although I was totally engrossed in this novel, and highly recommend reading it; switching back and forth, between Germany, 1943, and Argentina, 1977, in my opinion, took away from the book. The two parallel stories do come together, however, in the end. The Dutch Wife is a compelling read, realistically graphic, engrossing, and well-researched.

Thank you, Harlequin and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Winner of the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, Ellen Keith is a Canadian writer and a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA program in creative writing. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New Quarterly and the Globe and Mail. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

 

#Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey–Review–5 stars

Finding Rebecca::.jpg 850.jpgA WWII Love Story–5 stars!

 

Finding Rebecca is a love story that takes place during WWII. 

Although Christopher was born in Berlin, he wanted nothing to do with the Nazis until, Rebecca, the love of his life, was taken from him. Christopher and Rebecca would have married if it had been allowed. It wasn’t. Rebecca was Jewish. When Rebecca was forced out of her home and sent to a work camp, Christopher became an SS officer. His one focus was to find and save Rebecca.

The story is a beautifully written love story. But because it took place during the Holocaust, it’s raw and graphic at times. Although I’ve read several books about WWII, the atrocities that were carried out by the Nazis never cease to sadden, anger, and horrify me. 

Although this story is emotionally draining and painful to read, it’s a compelling and well-crafted historical fiction novel.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

I was born and raised in Ireland. I lived there until 2008, when I moved to the USA. It was during that time that I came up with the idea for a novel. So I wrote it. That book became FINDING REBECCA. 

My second novel, THE BOGSIDE BOYS, was an amazing experience to both research and write.I visited Germany to research my new novel, WHITE ROSE BLACK FOREST. The Black Forest region was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. 

I’m a full time writer now, in Philadelphia, where I live with my wonderful wife, Jill, and sons Robbie and Sam. You can connect with me on my website eoindempseybooks.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eoindempseybooks/ or by email at eoindempseybooks@gmail.com

 

#The German Half-Bloods by Jana Petken–Review-5 stars!

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Don’t Miss Jana Petken’s Latest Outstanding Historical Fiction Novel!

 

The German Half-Bloods is a superbly written, unputdownable historical fiction novel. 

The book begins in Germany, during the early days of WWII, and follows the family of Dieter and Laura Vogel. Dieter is a successful businessman, and fiercely loyal to Germany. Because Dieter married an English woman, he was the only pure blood German in his immediate family. Dieter often invited Nazis into his home for dinner, hoping that his close contact with them, would keep his half-blood children, and English wife, from the Gestapo’s watch list. I quickly became invested in this family; and loved following them into England, Paris, Poland, and Russia. 

Chaos was breaking out in Germany, and the air was thick with fear. Nazis were arresting Jewish families, Jewish sympathizers, and anyone verbalizing thoughts against Hitler. Although Nazi soldiers were often in Dieter Vogel’s home, mingling with his family, Wilmot, Dieter’s youngest son was the only one interested in joining the military.

 Wilmot Vogel couldn’t wait to put on his SS uniform. He was looking forward to serving Hitler. Wilmot was proud to be part of the military until he discovered the horrendous acts that he’d be forced to perform. Max, the oldest son, was constantly on the move. He was an undercover, English spy, gathering intelligence against Germany. Max’s twin, Paul, a psychiatrist, was forced to stay in Germany and work in a Nazi-run hospital. His job was to sterilize disabled, and mentally-ill patients. He also had to witness the gassing of patients deemed unworthy of life. Hannah, the Vogel’s only daughter, was in England, getting married. Although Dieter’s wife Laura despised having Nazis in her home and missing her daughter’s wedding; she stayed in Germany, to support her husband. 

 Jana Petken brings these characters, as well as the atrocities of war to life. The author’s research and writing talent shine brightly in this book. The German Half-Bloods, however, did end, leaving some unanswered questions in my mind. I’ll anxiously wait for the next book in the series. Jana Petken is a brilliant, gem of an author. Highly recommended. 

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Amazon

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Jana Petken is a bestselling historical fiction novelist and screenwriter. 

She is critically acclaimed as a bestselling, gritty, author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines. She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction and is presently in talks with film producers regarding one of her titles. 

Before life as an author, she served in the British Royal Navy. During her service, she studied Naval Law and history. After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely.

Titles by Jana Petken. 

Bestseller, Multi Award Winning, The Guardian of Secrets. (2013) 

The bestselling Mercy Carver Series: award-winning, Dark Shadows, book 1, and award-winning Blood Moon, book 2. (2014) 

Multi Award Winning, The Errant Flock: The Flock Trilogy Book 1. (2015)

Multi Award Winning, Swearing Allegiance. (2016)

Award Winning, The Scattered Flock (The Flock Trilogy book 2)

Flock, The Gathering of The Damned (The Flock Trilogy Book 3)

2018, The German Half-Bloods

http://www.janapetkenauthor.com

@AuthoJana

petkenj@gmail.com