Feature & Giveaway: Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to be featuring the newest release from author Elaine Stock during her current blog tour! You can read all about Our Daughters' Last Hope below and be sure to enter to win a copy!


Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock

Publication Date: September 19, 2022
Amsterdam Publishers

Genre: Historical Fiction/WWII
Series: Resilient Women of WWII, Book 2


A mesmerizing story, set during one of the world’s most harrowing carnages, of two mothers as they cross enemy lines for the sake of their daughters’ futures.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands 1940 Herta, and her family, Jewish refugees, are living contentedly until the Nazi invasion, which echoes the persecution and fear they experienced before fleeing Germany. Across town, another wife and mother, Julia, also faces upheaval when her husband becomes more involved in the Nazis’ effort in controlling the world.

When their husbands go missing, one accused falsely of crimes and the other to fight on behalf of the Nazis, Herta, despite the heartache, takes charge and places her daughters into hiding believing they’ll keep safe. Meanwhile, Julia, as the only parent home, chooses to redefine family. These unexpected developments bring Herta and Julia together… until their true identities surface and they’re thrown into dangerous consequences that could harm not only them but their daughters.

Following We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, this story of friendship questions whether two mothers, acting to ensure their children’s future, can put aside the issues of faith and heritage that could bring the Nazis right to their doorstep.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Book Depository



About the Author

 

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 19
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 20
Review at A Baker's Perspective
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, September 26
Review at The Page Ladies

Tuesday, September 27
Feature at Reading Is My Remedy

Thursday, September 29
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Friday, September 30
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock (paperback or eBook, winner's choice).

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on September 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Our Daughters' Last Hope

Review & Giveaway: Out of the Ashes by Samantha Grosser


Out of the Ashes: A Novel of WWII by Samantha Grosser

Publication Date: August 4, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction


England 1944. Amid the ruins of the Second World War, an illegal and tentative friendship begins.

War widow Clare Chapman is still grieving for her husband when the first German prisoners of war arrive in the village. Horrified by the presence of the enemy so close at hand, she knows it is only a matter of time until she is forced to face them.

German soldier Max Peterson has received no news of his family for almost two years when he arrives as a prisoner in England, and all he wants is to go home to Berlin to search for them. But meeting Clare Chapman in the village high street on a cold autumn morning changes everything. So begins an unexpected friendship.

Their secret doesn’t last. Shunned by family and friends for illegal fraternisation with the enemy, Clare risks losing all that she has. Then long-held secrets are brought to light and she must make a devastating choice.

In a world that has changed beyond recognition, can they find a way to build a future together, or will their happiness be destroyed by the burdens of the past?

An enthralling novel of love, forgiveness, and second chances perfect for fans of Deborah Swift, Sebastian Faulks and Ellen Feldman.

Available on Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

First off, I have to comment on this cover. I loved it the first time I saw it but now that I've read the book I see more just how perfect of a cover it is! Like the story it houses, the cover is simple yet beautiful and alluring.

Out of the Ashes is the first book in Samantha Grosser's new WWII series and features Clare Chapman, a school teacher in a small farming town. She gets word that her beloved husband, the loal Vicar who volunteered to be a Chaplain in the war has been killed by the Germans. The family is of course devastated, especially Clare's son and her mother-in-law. Clare's relationship with her mother-in-law is already on tenterhooks and things get worse when German POWs are sent to work on their farm as decreed by the government.

Max is one of the German POWs sent to work on the farm. He is in a foreign land with no word on his family is and the local town people are unwelcoming to the enemy strangers. One day Max helps save one of the town's children from drowning and Clare is intrigued by him. Between stolen glances and secret talks they soon develop feelings for each other. Which puts Clare in an extremely precarious position with her son and MIL who see every German as the killer of their loved one.

The relationship between Max and Clare unfolds nicely and I greatly enjoyed reading about the farm and the Chapman family. Grossman's writing flows easily - it's easy to pick it up and get sucked into the story! I highly recommend Out of the Ashes and I look forward to the next book in the series!


About the Author

 

Samantha Grosser is a very British author who doesn’t function without tea. Having spent many years teaching English in Asia and Australia, she has made a permanent home in Sydney, Australia, where she now lives with her husband, son, and a very small dog called Livvy. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place, The Officer’s Affair, and Out of the Ashes, and the historical fantasy series Web of Witches. When she isn’t writing or reading (which isn’t often) you can find her either doing yoga, going for long walks, or watching old movies.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Pinterest | Instagram


Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Out of the Ashes by Samantha Grosser!

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Out of the Ashes



Feature & Giveaway: Love Ever Lasting by Michelle Helen Fritz & E.A. Shanniak

Hello, dear readers! The last book in Authors Michelle Helen Fritz & E.A. Shanniak's Bramley Hall Regency romance series, Love Ever Lasting, was released earlier this month and I am super excited to share the book with you all! We also have a giveaway so be sure to enter! If you enjoy clean, sweet, Regancy romances this series is definitely for you!


Love Ever Lasting by Michelle Helen Fritz & E.A. Shanniak

Publication Date: July 14, 2022

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Series: Bramley Hall Regency Romance, Book 3


Miss Grace Buchanan has given up any hope of marrying. She's been too occupied raising her younger siblings while her drunkard father spends all of their funds. When a horrid sickness envelops the cottage, she meets the new Parson of Bramley, whom she's never forgotten. All she desires is an everlasting love, but with her family dynamics, it makes any sort of relationship a touch complex.

When tragedy is set to strike, Matthew Morten is called home suddenly. It's time for him to take his place as the parson of Bramley. With his meddling mother and a sickness that is sweeping through the town, Matthew has to lean on his faith to get him through. But when he sets eyes upon one industrious woman, he can't seem to keep her, nor her hazel eyes, far from his thoughts.

Will these two wounded souls find a Love Ever Lasting, or will responsibilities and family drama keep them forever apart?

Love Ever Lasting is a clean Regency Romance and the third book in a three-story series that will entertain and delight you with its swoon-worthy heroes and the compelling leading ladies that capture their hearts. Each book can be read as a standalone, but are best read in release order.

Available on Amazon


About the Authors


Michelle Helen Fritz
was born and raised in Maryland and Arizona with lots of traveling throughout the States. She began her literary career as a personal assistant to Indie authors and loves to see the process of an idea turn into a finished book. Michelle loves to write about dashing heroes, and the compelling women that tempt them, with a dash of intrigue, an abundant amount of romance, and scenes that hopefully make her readers swoon. She is the mother of four children whom she homeschools and currently resides in Maryland with her own jaunty hero who makes all of her dreams come true.

Author Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram


E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak
is the author of the successful fantasy romance series – A Castre World Novel. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Georgia Romeo’s not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets. Ericka loves to write at her desk that her daughter’s cat destroyed. Fortunately for everyone, she can see over it.

Ericka resides in the small town of Coldwater, Kansas with her husband, two kids, two dogs and two grumpy cats. The cats were her kids’ idea.

Author Facebook Page | Instagram


Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, July 14
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Excerpt at Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance

Saturday, July 16
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 18
Review at Bookworlder

Tuesday, July 19
Review at Ms. Darcy Reads

Friday, July 22
Excerpt at Heidi Reads

Monday, July 25
Feature at Lisa Everyday Reads
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, July 26
Review at Pages and Paws

Wednesday, July 27
Review at Cover Lover Book Review

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Love Ever Lasting

Feature & Giveaway: The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very happy to be hosting Lorraine Haas' blog tour & featuring her new historical, The Scent of Gardenias! You can read all about the book and enter to win a signed copy below!


The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas

Publication Date: April 19, 2022
Morewellson, Ltd.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Women's Fiction


She had big dreams. But will war, tragedy, and naïveté ruin her aspirations?

America, the 1940s. Margaret Rose longs to escape her family’s poverty. So against her domineering father’s wishes, the determined young woman elopes with an older man. But shortly after the US enters WWII, her grand ambitions sink when her husband’s ship is torpedoed.

Training to become a nurse to give herself a future, Margaret’s despair deepens when she discovers she’s pregnant and must quit to have the baby. And now without income to support a child, the desperate widow marries a man who takes her far from home… and into disaster.

Will Margaret rise above catastrophic misfortune and create the life she deserves?

Poignant and heartfelt, The Scent of Gardenias chronicles the struggle of a Twentieth-Century woman carving a place in a society stacked against her odds for success. Inspired by her mother’s true story, Lorraine Haas lays bare a brave and challenging journey of grit and self-discovery you won’t soon forget.

The Scent of Gardenias is a beautifully crafted women’s fiction novel. If you like raw emotional battles, family drama, and gut-wrenching dilemmas, then you’ll love Lorraine Haas’s tale of courage and tenacity.

Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Google | Kobo


About the Author

Lorraine Haas is a lover of life, learning, and leisure. She's been accused far too often of being a strong woman, and even that she was raised to be too "independent." She loves stories of women overcoming obstacles and thus, decided to write about them. She loves men--being married to one, the mother of one, and friends with many.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, June 28
Interview at Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance

Wednesday, June 29
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Book Reviews and More

Thursday, June 30 Review at Cover Lover Book Review

Friday, July 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, July 5
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 6
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, July 8
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, July 9
Review at Older & Smarter

Monday, July 11
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 12
Review at A Baker’s Perspective

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed hardcover of The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Scent of Gardenias

Review & Giveaway: Small Eden by Jane Davis


Small Eden by Jane Davis

Publication Date: April 30, 2022
Rossdale Print Productions

Genre: Historical Fiction


A boy with his head in the clouds. A man with a head full of dreams.

1884. The symptoms of scarlet fever are easily mistaken for teething, as Robert Cooke and his pregnant wife Freya discover at the cost of their two infant sons. Freya immediately isolates for the safety of their unborn child. Cut off from each other, there is no opportunity for husband and wife to teach each other the language of their loss. By the time they meet again, the subject is taboo. But unspoken grief is a dangerous enemy. It bides its time.

A decade later and now a successful businessman, Robert decides to create a pleasure garden in memory of his sons, in the very same place he found refuge as a boy – a disused chalk quarry in Surrey’s Carshalton. But instead of sharing his vision with his wife, he widens the gulf between them by keeping her in the dark. It is another woman who translates his dreams. An obscure yet talented artist called Florence Hoddy, who lives alone with her unmarried brother, painting only what she sees from her window…

‘Life as it is, in all its terrible beauty.’ - Jean Gill, author of Historical Fiction series The Troubadours Quartet

‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep foundations.’ - JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs Series



Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Small Eden was the first book I've read by Jane Davis and I can safely say it won't be my last!

Small Eden kicks off with a very emotional scene when Robert and Freya lose their two boys to Scarlet Fever. Freya is heavily pregnant at the time and is sent away with her daughter so they don't become sick also. While Freya mourns for them, Robert stocially busies himself with his successful medical business. Pleasure Gardens are all the rage at this time and Robert finds the perfect place to create one of his own as tribute to his sons. I've never read about pleasure gardens before so this was a real treat to learn about.

There is another storyline as well featuring Robert's mother Hettie who travels to Scotland to find out what happened to her father. I really enjoyed this as well and it brought another fascinating aspect to the book.

Davis is an exceptional writer that knows how to keep the reader engaged and can bring out all the emotions! Once I started reading it was hard to put down - I was compltely invested in the story and characters and enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. Highly recommended!


About the Author

 

Jane Davis is the author of ten thought-provoking novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as ‘A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.’ The Bookseller called her 'One to Watch.' In 2016, Writing Magazine named An Unknown Woman their Self-Published Book of the Year. Her 2018 novel Smash all the Windows won the inaugural Selfies (Best Independently Published Work of Fiction) Award at London Book Fair. At the Stroke of Nine O'Clock was shortlisted for the Selfies, is an Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice and was featured by The Lady Magazine as one of their favourite books set in the 1950s.

Jane lives in Carshalton, Surrey with her Formula 1 obsessed, star-gazing, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos.

For further information, or to sign up for pre-launch specials and notifications about future projects, visit the author’s website at www.jane-davis.co.uk.

Be sure to follow Jane on BookBub for the latest on sales.

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Small Eden by Jane Davis!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Small Eden

Book Blast: Journeys: The Archers of Saint Sebastian by Jeanne Roland

Hello all! Today on the blog I am very excited to be spotlighting a fascinating historical from Author Jeanne Roland. Journeys is the first book in the Archers of Saint Sebastian and is available now to read! Stay tuned for next month when she is on Blog Tour and be on the lookout for reviews and great posts!


Journeys: The Archers of Saint Sebastian by Jeanne Roland

Publication Date: November 13, 2021
Nepenthe Press

Genre: Renaissance Historical Fiction/Young Adult
Series: Archers of Saint Sebastian, Book One


A barracks full of beautiful boys. A girl in disguise, living among them.

It’s the 14th century, and the longbow is king. But in the northern European principality of Ardennes, archery isn’t just the nation’s defense. It’s the national obsession.

MEET THE JOURNEYS

12 young Journeyman archers, the best in the country
2 years of public competitions, in which looks count almost as much as ability
6 will win a coveted membership in the Archers’ Guild of St. Sebastian
1 will become the prince’s new Guardsman

MEET MARIEKE

15-year-old Marieke is as obsessed with St. Sebastian’s as everyone else in Ardennes. Only it’s the middle ages, and girls just don’t become elite archers. Except Marieke's prospects as a girl aren't promising either, after a well-timed kick from a mule has left her with a face that’s badly scarred and ruined for marriage. But when circumstances force her to leave her old life behind and flee to the guild for refuge, there are only two things Marieke really knows about the place. One is that a mysterious accident ended her own father’s time as a Journey. The other? There are no women allowed inside St. Sebastian’s.

Marieke knows disguising herself as a boy and infiltrating the guild means embarking on a dangerous deception. But it may be her only chance to find out the truth about her father’s past and to stop a murderous plot from coming to fruition. When the dashing young Journeyman Tristan takes her under his wing as his squire, she’s got to stay – at least long enough to help him beat out his brutal arch-rival to win the competitions.

Keeping her identity a secret will be hard. Living in close quarters with a pack of gorgeous boys? That will be harder still. But the hardest thing of all will be keeping the vow she makes for herself: to see Tristan become the next Guardsman, without ever letting him find out she’s a girl - a girl, who loves him.

Part Robin Hood and part Princess Bride, with a pinch of Mulan and a dash of Cyrano de Bergerac in the mix, The Archers of St. Sebastian I: Journeys is a humorous action and adventure saga inspired by late medieval/early Renaissance Belgium and packed with romance, wit, and longbow archery. Perfect for adults who love young adult themes, Journeys is an escape into the past that reads more like romantic historical fantasy than pure historical fiction.

Unrequited love? Ugly heroines who stay ugly? Friendship, coming of age, romance, adventure, and plenty of archery competitions? A unique setting inspired by the glorious city of Bruges, with a richly imagined, immersive world set within the walls of a male-only archers' guild? Journeys: The Archers of Saint Sebastianhas it all, so if you're looking for a great escape, don your disguise and join Marieke as she enters the forbidden world of Saint Sebastian's, and prepare to fall in love with the Journeys - that is, the twelve best and most beautiful archers in all of Ardennes, the Journeyman archers of St. Sebastian's.

Available on Amazon


About the Author

Roland hails from Davis, California, where she spent most of her youth lounging at the pool, soaking up the sun, and daydreaming. She had a key ring that read 'I’m running away to join the circus,' and her favorite moment of the day was when the local movie theater went dark, and the slogan 'escape to the movies' appeared on the screen. As an adult, her passions include all things melodramatic and beautiful — everything from classic movies, British romantic poetry, ancient tragedy and epic, to Italian opera. She is now a professor of Classics in a small midwestern town, where she lives with her Greek husband, her fraternal twins, and a Bernese mountain dog named Franco Corelli.

Visit www.jeanneroland.com and www.nepenthepress.com for more about Roland's upcoming projects. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal: Love After Lasting by Michelle Helen Fritz & E.A. Shanniak

Today on the blog I am excited to share with you all the cover for the third book in the Bramley Hall Regency Romance series by authors Michelle Helen Fritz and E.A. Shanniak! It releases on July 14th and is now available for pre-order so be sure to see the link below.



Love After Lasting by Michelle Helen Fritz & E.A. Shanniak

Publication Date: July 14, 2022

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Series: Bramley Hall Regency Romance, Book 3

Miss Grace Buchanan has given up any hope of marrying. She's been too occupied raising her younger siblings while her drunkard father spends all of their funds. When a horrid sickness envelops the cottage, she meets the new Parson of Bramley, whom she's never forgotten. All she desires is an everlasting love, but with her family dynamics, it makes any sort of relationship a touch complex.

When tragedy is set to strike, Matthew Morten is called home suddenly. It's time for him to take his place as the parson of Bramley. With his meddling mother and a sickness that is sweeping through the town, Matthew has to lean on his faith to get him through. But when he sets eyes upon one industrious woman, he can't seem to keep her, nor her hazel eyes, far from his thoughts.

Will these two wounded souls find a Love Ever Lasting, or will responsibilities and family drama keep them forever apart?

Love Ever Lasting is a clean Regency Romance and the third book in a three-story series that will entertain and delight you with its swoon-worthy heroes and the compelling leading ladies that capture their hearts. Each book can be read as a standalone, but are best read in release order.

Available for Pre-Order


About the Authors


Michelle Helen Fritz
was born and raised in Maryland and Arizona with lots of traveling throughout the States. She began her literary career as a personal assistant to Indie authors and loves to see the process of an idea turn into a finished book. Michelle loves to write about dashing heroes, and the compelling women that tempt them, with a dash of intrigue, an abundant amount of romance, and scenes that hopefully make her reader’s swoon. She is the mother of four children whom she homeschools and currently resides in Maryland with her own jaunty hero who makes all of her dreams come true.

Author Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram


E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak
is the author of the successful fantasy romance series – A Castre World Novel. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Georgia Romeo’s not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets. Ericka loves to write at her desk that her daughter’s cat destroyed. Fortunately for everyone, she can see over it.

Ericka resides in the small town of Coldwater, Kansas with her husband, two kids, two dogs and two grumpy cats. The cats were her kids’ idea.

Author Facebook Page | Instagram

Interview & Giveaway: We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Hello dear readers & Happy Monday! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting Author Elaine Stock, who is currently on a Blog Tour for We Shall Not Shatter! It's been getting great reviews so far and I hope you enjoy getting to know Elaine. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book + a $15 Amazon gift card!



Hello Elaine and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about We Shall Not Shatter!

Thank you, Amy, for hosting me on your lovely blog and for all of your support behind We Shall Not Shatter.

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

It’s so funny, but I must share that, at least for me, it’s easier to write a 300-something page novel than it is to talk about myself… Ever since I could recall, I’ve enjoyed creating stories. I’m sure having a mother who always read novels—while she wasn’t taking me weekly to the library—and an aunt who loved to orally tell stories deeply influenced my love of storytelling. In fact, during my school years, while others my age did kid-like pastimes, I enjoyed staying home and writing. Although I jumped from hobby writing to wanting to write for publication in my late 20s, it took several decades, navigating around “life,” to become a published author. After a false start in the romance genre, I did publish in Inspirational Fiction, though I discovered that I just didn’t have the right voice or interest to pursue it. Having devoured many historical fiction novels, and with We Shall Not Shatter’s premise brewing to the point of having to share it, I (carefully) leapt into the historical fiction genre, blended with women’s fiction, and know now that this is my true writing-home.

What inspired you to write We Shall Not Shatter?

There are a lot of mysteries in my family, due to unfortunate circumstances such as the passing of my grandfather before my father was born. Sadly, with his death, also went the answers to much of my roots. What I knew was that my grandfather was one of a handful of siblings that accompanied his parents when they emigrated from Brzeziny Poland, arriving at Ellis Island on July 4, 1914 and permitted into the country the next day. He arrived on one of the last passenger ships allowed to cross the Atlantic before WWI broke out… makes me shudder to think what might have happened if my family remained behind in Poland. That said, though my grandfather was able to hear, he had several deaf siblings. At that time, deafness was seen by many countries as a liability and a socio-economic risk to those already living in the country. Fortunately, the younger deaf children circumvented the health inspections that likely would have rejected them. However, the oldest child who was deaf—my great aunt who was a young teen—wasn’t permitted into the country and remained in Brzeziny where, as a Jew and deaf and deemed as sub-human by the Nazis, she perished in the Holocaust, along with older relatives.

My great aunt inspired my character Aanya, though Aanya is totally fictional. My novel is not autobiographical, but instead is my attempt at a tribute to what Brzeziny had once been like, as well as to the strong spirit of my family.

What would you like readers to take away from reading We Shall Not Shatter?

I hope the story uplifts and encourages readers to cling to their hope and determination to persevere during troubling times, that family and friendship is precious, and to make a good home wherever life places you.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I have two, actually. First, is when Artur learns of Aanya’s deafness. And without giving it away (no peeking!), the very ending. Oh, I also enjoyed writing Zofia’s encounter with a stranger while she sailed on the St. Louis.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

While I can’t really say “difficult,” I will admit to getting teary-eyed through some of what my characters had to experience by both the hands of what they thought were once good people and by the Nazi hands.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Definitely a pantser! In the past, whenever I tried to outline and plot my stories, they failed miserably. I think it’s because I like to have the story and its characters dictate to me what direction it should go. For me, it’s just more fun that way.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Research. I was too intimidated by it. Although writing contemporary fiction does call for research, historical fiction demands researched accuracy that many fiction readers look forward to reading—and they know when something is amiss. I had thought wrongly that this research would overwhelm me and it kept me away for too many years of writing the genre that I loved reading. Lesson learned: make my research fun! And, it is.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I’m not so sure I have author inspirations so much as having learned from these two: Danielle Steele’s earlier novels and Jodi Picoult. Both have taught me some distinct techniques, Ms. Steele on the art of storytelling and structure, and Ms. Picoult on packing a punch in characters’ emotions and timing it within sentence placement.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I’m not sure of the very first historical novel I read, but I will say that John Jakes’ The Bastard series (Kent Family Chronicles) hooked me solidly on historical fiction.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I sense that people often misjudge my quietness and aloofness to “having an attitude,” but rather, I’m a big introvert. Yet, get me around books and the topic of writing, and I’m flying a kite high in the air and can’t stop. LOL. I am not a fashionista, much preferring baggy pants and a sweatshirt. And, I love classical music and show tunes (because I also love watching movie musicals).

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Life is a mystery full of so much good battling against so much bad, and at any given moment throughout the day, both worldwide and within one’s own personal life. I’ve learned so much about this thing called life and how others have not only survived but thrived from reading both historical fiction and non-fiction that I’ve benefitted from. I’m an optimistic person by heart and hope I can encourage others to thrive as well.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Easy answer: WWII. There’s something extraordinary about the resilience of humankind against the backdrop of the opposite—evil—that I find encouraging and can apply in my everyday life.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

In addition to reading, I enjoy walking (living in a rural area has some advantages!), discovering new independent bookstores and cafes, and exploring quaint towns with my husband.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I just wrapped up Book 2 of the Resilient Women of WWII, Our Daughters’ Last Hope, which will release on September 19th of 2022 and am writing Book 3, When We Disappeared.

I can't wait for that one! Thank you for stopping by today, Elaine!

 

We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Publication Date: May 15, 2022
Amsterdam Publishers

Genre: Historical Fiction


An unforgettable story of friendship, family and hope as two courageous young women face one of history’s most horrific tragedies.

Brzeziny, Poland, 1939 Zofia’s comfortable-lifestyle overturns when her husband, Jabez, who monitors Nazi activity, has gone missing. Rather than fleeing the country with her young son, as she had promised Jabez who is fearing retaliation, she decides to stay. She cannot possibly leave her friend, Aanya. Since their childhood they have amazed fellow Brzeziners that it does not matter that Aanya is Jewish and deaf, and that Zofia is Catholic and hearing. Now, more than ever with war looming, Zofia will do whatever is necessary to protect her family and Aanya.

As both love and war approach their Polish town, Zofia and Aanya must make choices that will change the meaning of family, home, and their precious friendship. The journey, decisions and the no-going-back consequences the women face will either help them to survive—or not—as Hitler’s Third Reich revs up its control of the world.

Inspired by the author’s paternal heritage from Brzeziny, this is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Look for the Audio Book of all 3 books of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy to be released by Tantor Media, part of Recorded Books. They will be sold in both downloadable Digital formats, as well as CD audiobooks and will be sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, and most any other of your favorite venues.


Praise

"For anyone who loved 'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr, this is another beautiful journey of not just one woman's story through the turbulent times of Nazi Germany, but two. A story which will touch your heart, and perhaps bring a few tears to wipe away, showing how love does indeed break barriers and sees beyond human labels and disabilities. You will absolutely fall in love with Zofia and Aanya, and how strong friendships were forged in the heat of oppression from Hitler's Germany despite their different faiths."
-- Historical Fiction Company

"Drawing from her own family's history, author Elaine Stock has created a compelling story of enduring friendship, heart wrenching sacrifice, and resilient strength. While set during one of the darkest moments on history's stage, We Shall Not Shatter's themes—conveyed through characters who will inhabit your heart—have much to say to readers in today's world, too."
— Carrie Schmidt, ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

"Elaine Stock's novel, We Shall Not Shatter, the first of a promised trilogy, Resilient Women of WWII, is a poignant and heartfelt tale of perseverance, of friendship across boundaries, of making families in different ways, of horror and of healing. In the characters of Zofia and Aanya, and the families they make and lose in their native Poland, the barbarities of war, the added peril of Aanya's deafness, and their harrowing escape, the story is offset by the plot strands of Christians helping Jews, Germans helping Poles, hearing people cherishing the strength of the deaf, and the deaf healing others. This is a story not only of resilience, but of the victory of love and friendship over pain and suffering."
— Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning novels, Even in Darkness and Hard Cider, Speech-language therapist and Teacher Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

"We Shall Not Shatter is a compelling novel, inspired by real-life events in Brzeziny, Poland that so dramatically changed the fortunes of both a close-knit Jewish family and a Catholic family during the Hitler years. Elaine Stock's poignant narrative charts the despair, confusion and sheer will to survive during this terrible period in modern European history. This is a story that oozes tragedy, hope, love and courage in the face of adversity."
— Ron Vincent, author of The House on Thrömerstrasse: A Story of Rebirth and Renewal in the Wake of the Holocaust

"The story and its characters will linger in the reader’s heart for days... perhaps forever."
— Patricia Bradley, Author of the Logan Point Series, Memphis Cold Case Novels, Natchez Trace Park Ranger Series

"We Shall Not Shatter takes readers on a rare journey of life-tested relationships and uncompromising courage. Stock brilliantly creates a time and place that is terrible and heartbreaking only to reveal the beauty that awaits on the other side of devastation. This story will stay with you long after the last page is turned."
— London Clarke, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Wildfell and The Meadows


About the Author

 

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon


Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, May 15
Review at Dive Into a Good Book

Tuesday, May 17
Review at Novels Alive
Review at A Baker’s Perspective

Friday, May 20
Review at Girl Who Reads

Monday, May 23
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 31
Review at Reader_ceygo.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of We Shall Not Shetter + a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

We Shall Not Shatter

Review & Giveaway: A Deadly Legacy by Malia Zaidi


A Deadly Legacy by Malia Zaidi

Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: A Lady Evelyn Mystery, Book 6


A few months after the Carlisle Detective Agency opened its doors, Lady Evelyn and her partner, Hugh, are twiddling their thumbs. The cases are slow to trickle in, leaving the detectives feeling uninspired. So, when Evelyn's Aunt Louise asks her to join the local chapter of the Women's Institute, she has no excuse to decline the invitation. Yet what she expects to be a tedious gathering, turns out to be anything but. She meets former suffragettes and outspoken women, eager for change, forcing Evelyn to reexamine her own prejudices. A decidedly less welcome surprise is the body she comes across only a few days later. Evelyn need hardly be a professional detective to recognize a murder when she sees one. Amid planning her wedding and navigating family affairs, she sets out to solve the case. The investigation takes Evelyn and Hugh into the past, examining the war years, which left the present far from untarnished. Is the victim's history connected to her death? Could her involvement in the war have given someone a motive for murder? The questions pile up, and Evelyn and Hugh must race against the clock to discover the truth, before more lives are lost, not least, their own…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Target | Walmart



Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

"A detective's greatest challenge lies not in solving a crime, rather in honing her patience."

I love when a book has a strong opening, one that immediately grabs your attention and this book had just that! It was a dramatic and foreboding scene that makes you wonder just how in the world they ended up in that situation. So of course I had to read on to find out just that.

Evie has just opened up The Carlisle Detective Agency with her partner, Hugh, and is recently engaged to her fiance, David. The agency is a little slow with cases so when she is invited to attend a chapter meeting of the Women's Institute where women gather to help other women and to further the cause of women's rights, she accepts. When one of the members is found murdered she and Hugh investigate the case.

As this is a mystery novel I don't want to give too much away. I can say that I really enjoyed following Evie and Hugh as they navigate the investigation. This is the sixth book in the series so while I missed a lot of backstories, I don't feel that it hindered my enjoyment of the book. I would definitely like to go back and start at the beginning though because it's a great cast of characters! And I'd also love to see Evie's growth as an amateur sleuth.

The writing flows well and is an easy read and the author's knowledge of the time and setting shines through the pages. If you're looking for a fun historical mystery that will entertain and intrigue you, then you should definitely pick up A Deadly Legacy!

About the Author


Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, May 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 23
Excerpt at Heidi Reads

Friday, May 27
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Monday, May 30
Guest Post at The Cozy Book Blog

Tuesday, May 31
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, June 2
Guest Post & Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Saturday, June 4
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, June 6
Excerpt at bookworlder

Thursday, June 9
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win all 6 books in the Lady Evelyn Mystery series!

Book One: A Poisonous Journey
Book Two: A Darker Shore
Book Three: The Study of Silence
Book Four: The Golden Hour
Book Five: The Quality of Mercy
Book Six: A Deadly Legacy

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on June 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Deadly Legacy

Cover Reveal: The Sign of the Weeping Virgin by Alana White

I am so excited to share the wonderful new cover for The Sign of the Weeping Virgin! Now in paperback for the first time! Isn't it dramatic and atmospheric? I love it!

You can enter to win a paperback below, so be sure to throw your name in the hat!


The Sign of the Weeping Virgin by Alana White

Paperback Publication Date: May 2, 2022

Series: The Guid’Antonio Vespucci Mysteries, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery/Fiction


Florence, 1480: Guid’Antonio Vespucci is back in town. One man. One clue. One last chance to save the Republic.

Florentine investigator Guid’Antonio Vespucci returns to Italy from a government mission to find his dreams of peace shattered. Marauding Turks have abducted a young girl and sold her into slavery. Equally disturbing, a revered painting of the Virgin Mary is weeping in Guid’Antonio’s family church. Are the tears manmade or a sign of God’s displeasure with Guid’Antonio himself?

In a finely wrought story for lovers of medieval and renaissance mysteries everywhere‚ Guid’Antonio follows a spellbinding trail of clues to uncover the thought-provoking truth about the missing girl and the weeping painting’s mystifying tears‚ all pursued as he comes face to face with his own personal demons.

“Color, intrigue, and elegant prose bring the 15th-century City of Flowers to life.” —Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Bestselling Author of The Illuminator and A Far Horizon." -Historical Novels Review Editor’s Choice

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


About the Author


Alana White is the author of the Guid’Antonio mystery series set in Renaissance Florence, Italy. The next title in the series, The Hearts of All on Fire, is coming soon. Like Guid’Antonio, Alana loves dogs. While he dwells in 15th-Century Florence with his brave cane corso Italiano, Alana currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, their cat, and two boisterous schnauzer boys.

For more information, please visit Alana White's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal Schedule

Monday, May 2
Booking With Janelle
Bonnie Reads and Writes

Tuesday, May 3
The Page Ladies

Wednesday, May 4
Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, May 5
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, May 6
Jessica Belmont

Saturday, May 7
Passages to the Past

Monday, May 9
Bookworlder

Tuesday, May 10
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, May 11
Reader_ceygo

Thursday, May 12
Coffee and Ink
Impressions In Ink

Friday, May 13
Pages and Paws

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Sign of the Weeping Virgin by Alana White!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Weeping Virgin Paperback Cover Reveal

Book Blast: The Professor's Lady by Holly Bush


The Professor's Lady by Holly Bush

Publication Date: January 25, 2022

Series: The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian


Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…

1870 Kirsty Thompson is determined to begin her own business bringing beloved Scottish fabrics and yarns to Philadelphia but first she must meet the men and women who weave the plaids and spin the wool. How will she ever escape her protective older siblings and sail to Scotland?

Albert Watson is a medical doctor focusing on research, especially that of Joseph Lister and his sterilization techniques. He speaks at universities in America and in England while visiting his London relatives. As he prepares to sail for just such an engagement, Kirsty Thompson boards his ship to beg him to take her with him. What’s a gentleman to do? Albert cancels his trip across the ocean to escort Miss Thompson back to Philadelphia and finds there is danger afoot for her and her family.

Soon he comes to realize there is also danger for his heart, even for a man who rarely pulls his nose from a medical journal. He finds himself unable to put Miss Kirsty Thompson out of his thoughts, where they belonged, because certainly a beautiful, ambitious, and charming young woman could have no interest in him. Or could she?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

About the Author

“Love always has something to say. Sometimes it shouts from the highest hill, and sometimes it whispers so softly one must listen closely to hear. Do not turn away. It is a rare and precious commodity. Treasure it.” The Gentrys of Paradise

Holly Bush's historical romances are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, released in the spring of 2017 and began with the novella Into the Evermore where readers meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series. Olivia's book, For This Moment, released in the spring of 2018. The final book, For Her Honor, is now available.

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Holly's books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

She also writes General Fiction under the name of Hollis Bush.

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever and a clever Jack Russell rescued from the pound, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com, on Twitter @hollybushbooks, on Instagram, and on Facebook at Holly Bush. Follow Holly on her Amazon author page to receive new release updates and on BookBub to check out her reviews and get sale information.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 11
Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, April 12
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, April 13
Booking With Janelle

Thursday, April 14
Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Friday, April 15
My Reading Getaway

Monday, April 18
Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, April 19
CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, April 21
A Girl Reads Bookss

Friday, April 22
Passages to the Past



Book Blast: We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Hello lovelies! Today on the blog I am super excited to share with you an intriguing historical that will be released on May 15th from Author Elaine Stock! It's available for pre-order so if you'd like you can treat your future self!


We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Publication Date: May 15, 2022
Amsterdam Publishers

Genre: Jewish Historical Fiction


An unforgettable story of friendship, family and hope as two courageous young women face one of history’s most horrific tragedies.

Brzeziny, Poland, 1939 Zofia’s comfortable-lifestyle overturns when her husband, Jabez, who monitors Nazi activity, has gone missing. Rather than fleeing the country with her young son, as she had promised Jabez who is fearing retaliation, she decides to stay. She cannot possibly leave her friend, Aanya. Since their childhood they have amazed fellow Brzeziners that it does not matter that Aanya is Jewish and deaf, and that Zofia is Catholic and hearing. Now, more than ever with war looming, Zofia will do whatever is necessary to protect her family and Aanya.

As both love and war approach their Polish town, Zofia and Aanya must make choices that will change the meaning of family, home, and their precious friendship. The journey, decisions and the no-going-back consequences the women face will either help them to survive—or not—as Hitler’s Third Reich revs up its control of the world.

Inspired by the author’s paternal heritage from Brzeziny, this is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.

Available for Pre-Order
Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Praise

"For anyone who loved 'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr, this is another beautiful journey of not just one woman's story through the turbulent times of Nazi Germany, but two. A story which will touch your heart, and perhaps bring a few tears to wipe away, showing how love does indeed break barriers and sees beyond human labels and disabilities. You will absolutely fall in love with Zofia and Aanya, and how strong friendships were forged in the heat of oppression from Hitler's Germany despite their different faiths."
-- Historical Fiction Company

"Drawing from her own family's history, author Elaine Stock has created a compelling story of enduring friendship, heart wrenching sacrifice, and resilient strength. While set during one of the darkest moments on history's stage, We Shall Not Shatter's themes—conveyed through characters who will inhabit your heart—have much to say to readers in today's world, too."
— Carrie Schmidt, ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

"Elaine Stock's novel, We Shall Not Shatter, the first of a promised trilogy, Resilient Women of WWII, is a poignant and heartfelt tale of perseverance, of friendship across boundaries, of making families in different ways, of horror and of healing. In the characters of Zofia and Aanya, and the families they make and lose in their native Poland, the barbarities of war, the added peril of Aanya's deafness, and their harrowing escape, the story is offset by the plot strands of Christians helping Jews, Germans helping Poles, hearing people cherishing the strength of the deaf, and the deaf healing others. This is a story not only of resilience, but of the victory of love and friendship over pain and suffering."
— Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning novels, Even in Darkness and Hard Cider, Speech-language therapist and Teacher Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

"We Shall Not Shatter is a compelling novel, inspired by real-life events in Brzeziny, Poland that so dramatically changed the fortunes of both a close-knit Jewish family and a Catholic family during the Hitler years. Elaine Stock's poignant narrative charts the despair, confusion and sheer will to survive during this terrible period in modern European history. This is a story that oozes tragedy, hope, love and courage in the face of adversity."
— Ron Vincent, author of The House on Thrömerstrasse: A Story of Rebirth and Renewal in the Wake of the Holocaust

"The story and its characters will linger in the reader’s heart for days... perhaps forever."
— Patricia Bradley, Author of the Logan Point Series, Memphis Cold Case Novels, Natchez Trace Park Ranger Series

"We Shall Not Shatter takes readers on a rare journey of life-tested relationships and uncompromising courage. Stock brilliantly creates a time and place that is terrible and heartbreaking only to reveal the beauty that awaits on the other side of devastation. This story will stay with you long after the last page is turned."
— London Clarke, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Wildfell and The Meadows

About the Author

 

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 18
Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Tuesday, April 19
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 20
A Baker’s Perspective

Friday, April 22
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, April 25
The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, April 26
Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, April 27
Impressions In Ink

Thursday, April 28
Reader_ceygo

Friday, April 29
CelticLady's Reviews

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