Thursday, February 2, 2023

What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma

 

About the Book

Book:What I Would Tell You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release date: January 1, 2023

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

Three generations later, college student Riley Payson and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Riley is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Riley’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.

 My Thoughts:

This is a dual timeline story that is handled beautifully.  The author delves into a time that was darker than most tend to hit on and was very blunt about it.  She handled it so well, don't get me wrong, but there wasn't sugarcoating, she showed the truth.

The faith shown throughout the story is amazing.  Most people shy away from what happened during WWII with Hitler.  It was horrific and easy for most people to dismiss.  I truly love that the author didn't and that we can learn from the past in the present.  Such a good read.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

 

More from Liz

Take a Trip to Greece with Me

I was privileged to travel to Greece last year to research my upcoming WWII novel, What I Would Tell You. God orchestrated it so beautifully. Because of Covid, we weren’t sure my daughter would be able to travel there for the summer internship she had applied for. Eight weeks before her scheduled departure, Greece reopened to foreign visitors. Around that same time, I sold What I Would Tell You, which is set in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Barbour Publishing. I had to go and visit!

 

Greece is a beautiful country. The pictures you see don’t do it justice. And to someone like me, the history is one of the best parts. My daughter and I explored the old city wall, built in the 1400s, many churches that predated the Ottoman Empire, and many excavated Roman ruins that have been dug up in the city’s process of putting in a subway system.

 

Because this is a WWII book, we also spent a great deal of time learning about the history of the Jews in the city. The Kapani Market, just down the street from our apartment, was a vibrant mix of colorful fruits, fragrant spices, and a cacophony of languages. I could well imagine what this old Jewish market was like prior to the war with people hawking olives, fish, and oregano.

 

We wasted no time in visiting the Jewish museum. I was shocked by the heavy security presence with armed guards outside of the building. Once inside, we had to show our IDs and were required to turn in our phones. Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece. But what a place. There were displays after displays tracing the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki from 1492 until WWII. The most breathtaking was the room with stone-covered walls, the names of all 48,000 Salonikan Jews killed in the Holocaust carved into the marble. There’s an entire scene in the book that deals with this room.

 

What saddened me most was what we saw when we visited the trainyard where the Jews were herded into cattle cars and shipped to Auschwitz. Before we got to where the station once stood, there was a wall on which someone had pained a mural covered with black-and-white figures in their striped uniforms, their eyes and mouths wide in horror. As if that weren’t difficult enough to view, what sickened me was the blue swastikas someone had painted over them.

 

We also trekked to the other side of the city to visit what had once been the Jewish cemetery, now the grounds of Aristotle University. All that remains to testify that half a million people were once buried here is a small, ill-kept memorial. There were two dead Christmas wreaths placed there. We visited in August.

 

In addition to a moving and thought-provoking story, I hope to also introduce you to the amazing city of Thessaloniki and give you a peek into the people and the culture of this amazing place. If you ever find yourself in Greece, plan some time in Thessaloniki. Many Americans miss this gem, but it’s packed with charm and history.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 29

Blogging With Carol, January 29

Genesis 5020, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 31

For Him and My Family, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 2

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Betti Mace, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 3

Paula’s Pad of Inspriation, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 6

Holly’s Book Corner, February 6

Bigreadersite, February 7

Blossoms and Blessings, February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Pause for Tales, February 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 10

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 10

Lights in a Dark World, February 10

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23ccb/what-i-would-tell-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Two-Cent Piece by Dennis Conrad

 

About the Book

Book: The Two-Cent Piece

Author: Dennis Conrad (Illustrated by Courtney Smith)

Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Fiction)

Release date: September 3, 2022

Anne wonders what secret her three older brothers are hiding. When she finds out they joined to fight with the Union Army and would leave the next day, she gives them each one of her favorite two-cent pieces and says, “I want you to take one of my new two-cent pieces. I learned these coins are the first to have the words ‘In God We Trust.’ I just memorized Psalm 91:2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’”

Out of a heart of love, Anne gives six of her special coins away hoping the message on the two-cent pieces will strengthen each person’s faith.

 My Thoughts:

This was a cute and enjoyable story.  I was really touched and thought it was sweet   

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

A former coin collector for over fifty years, Denniscombines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.

He retired as a professor of Speech Communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

The Two-Cent Piece is Dennis’s first of seven books in the In God We Trust Series from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

 

More from Dennis

HOMESCHOOLERS, TEACHERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS – 

Coin collecting brings together history, art, and the thrill of discovery.

Children who collect coins will LOOK at coins differently. They can…

 

Look for people. For example, who is on the nickel? (Hint: Thomas Jefferson)

The new quarters featuring women include coins with Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star; Nina Otero-Warren, who advocated for women’s suffrage and was a government official in New Mexico; and Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

 

Look for places. The state quarter series includes all of the states like California with Yosemite Valley.

 

Look for dates. Connect coins to historical events. For example, coins minted in 2001 were minted the same year as the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001.

 

Look at coins as art. The people who design coins are artists.

 

Look for and find coins in change. Let the great adventure begin.

 

Look and learn why some coins are more valuable than other coins. There is a difference between the face value of a coin (a dime is worth ten cents), and its value to collectors.

 

Are you a homeschooler, a teacher, or a family member who wants to help children start their first coin collection?

 

Get Free Resources about coin collecting by conveniently subscribing to Dennis Conrad’s newsletter.

 

You will receive a link to my resource page, where you will find two free resources. One for ages 5-6 year olds, and another for ages 7 and up. Or you can choose both. Let the fun begin! https://dennisconradauthor.com/coincollecting5/

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, January 18

Girls in White Dresses, January 18

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 20

For Him and My Family, January 20

Cover Lover Book Review, January 21

A Reader’s Brain, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 28

Labor Not in Vain, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Lights in a Dark World, January 30

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, January 31

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dennis is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a hardcover copy of The Two-Cent Piece!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23bc2/the-two-cent-piece-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, January 27, 2023

Twice Sold Tales by Chautona Havig

 

About the Book

Book: Twice Sold Tales

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release date: November 2, 2022

If only owning a bookstore didn’t mean dealing with people.

No one was more surprised than Harper Brevig when Great Aunt Lorene (not “Lori,” thank-you-very-much) died and left her least favorite niece her bookstore–including a prime piece of real estate in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.

Making a go of the place shouldn’t be too hard. With her library science degree, she should be set. Then again, the website describing library degrees had said it would teach her excellent communication skills. It had not. Could she get a partial refund?

Still, owning the building should mean crazy-low overhead to offset her less than optimal “book-side” manner.  Ahem. So when yet another huge bill arrives, and she starts getting twitchy about the low bank balance, Harper does the only thing she can think of.

Enter Milton Coleridge. He’d been excited about the possibilities of the store last year, but Harper had sent him packing before he could talk to her about them.  Now he has a chance to make a difference. But she’s right. She’s bleeding money, and it doesn’t make sense!

Milton’s job is to figure out what’s going on, plug the financial leak, and maybe… do a little matchmaking. That dad with the adorable little boy would be good for her… and she’d be good for him. Probably.

Twice Sold Tales: the first full-length novel in the Bookstrings series releasing with The Mosaic Collection

 My Thoughts:

I always enjoy this author's books so I was excited to get this one.  I liked Harper and related well to her.  I would love to own a bookstore!  I loved all the books mentioned in the story and there are books everywhere.  You have to enjoy a book with a lot of books.  

The story itself flowed well and I enjoyed it and the characters very much.  It is a book that you just enjoy reading and pulls you along in the story.  

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

“What kind of research does a contemporary book need? I mean, she’s a bookstore owner in a town you’ve been to several times. What’s there to research?”

I can’t be the only author to get questions like this. And I certainly can’t be the only one who has to fight the urge to laugh. Folks, authors research everything. In Twice Sold Tales, I think I looked up almost as much as I did in my Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries!

Because here’s the deal. What I didn’t know about Red Wing, Minnesota wouldn’t have hurt the story most of the time. Who cares that Bev’s CafĂ© has amazing creamy cucumbers? It doesn’t technically matter. Well, except to my character who hates veggies but will eat those. They make her feel virtuous. And you get to know about it.

But… what you discover about a place or a time or an occupation or whatever can totally change the course of your story. Case in point? I went to a website about River City Days because my niece suggested it might be a good thing for Noah to do with his son. That led me to the Farmer’s Markets and to other things. How I got to the first Ghost Walk in Red Wing taking place this year? I don’t even know. What I do know is that the moment I read about it, I knew Harper had to go. And if she did, and if Milton were the instigator, Noah had to go. #BecauseMatchmaker.

And this is where it got really cool. To make the walk as authentic as I could, I read everything I could find about it. And I discovered something super cool. Like… blow you out of the water cool.

Red Wing, Minnesota sits near the shore of Lake Pepin. Little House on the Prairie lovers will remember this as the lake that Laura Ingalls crossed in the wagon as they left the Big Woods of Wisconsin (you know, right across the river/lake from Red Wing???) Well… Lake Pepin has a monster—the Nessie of the Mississippi. Yes, you read that right… a monster! I went looking and guess what? The “monster” has a name. Pepie! Needless to say, Pepie became a an important part of my story. Because how could he not?

And… I happened to find a stuffed Pepie at Treats & Treasures in Lake City, just south of Red Wing, so I ordered a couple for giveaways—including the one with this blog tour. Happy reading, and what do you think? Shouldn’t someone write Pepie’s story?

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 21

Vicky Sluiter, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 25

Lots of Helpers, January 25

Cover Lover Book Review, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Splashes of Joy, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

She Lives To Read, January 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 30

Divine Perspective, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 31

Aryn the Libraryan, February 1

Books I’ve Read, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Back Porch Reads, February 2

Pause for Tales, February 3

Spoken from the Heart, February 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback of the book, a stuffed “Pepie” and a few other bookish goodies!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/23bc5/twice-sold-tales-celebration-tour-giveaway