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Between These Walls Book Review

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A novel of historical fiction that turns on two key events: the discovery of a dead body and a tape.

About Between These Walls

A novel of historical fiction that turns on two key events: the discovery of a beautiful blonde woman’s body in the back seat of a burnt out SS staff car during the last days of World War II, by US Army Medical Corps Colonel Samuel Singer, and the unsealing more than four decades later of a security-taped package from Germany, bearing a secret that changes the life of New York art curator Daniel Singer, the adopted son of Colonel Singer.

As Daniel learns more about the package’s contents, he unlocks the history of three families — one American and two German – through tumultuous times, from the end of the First World War to the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and through to three Middle East wars. Along the way, he gets entangled in the web of the Mossad, Israel’s top secret spy agency and Naomi one of its beautiful operatives, and is ultimately faced with a life-altering choice – and the opportunity to right the most heinous of wrongs.

My Thoughts

I love historical novels, they take us on a special journey to the past where we get a glimpse of what could have been happening and the people of this time. Between These Walls follows several seemingly unconnected characters from the the end of World War I through to World War II and three wars in the Middle East. It is intense and leaves you on the edge of your seat, never quite knowing what to expect next.

The centre of this story is Daniel – a young man raised in the Jewish faith who very early in the novel receives a mysterious package in the mail filled with documents in German that he does not understand nor particularly seem to interested in. The story then jumps in to his family history and we learn about his Father who served during the war as a surgeon, the relationships he builds during this time that last a lifetime and a discovery he makes near the end of the war. We learn about his past and how his actions bring him into connection with other key characters in this novel both good and bad. It is these connections that are key to the story and how they connect to Daniel. We are witness to horrific acts of evil, acts of kindness and bravery and acts of forgiveness.

I loved every moment of this novel, from the plot to the characters and the way it was written. I did not want to put the novel down, I had to know what happened next and how each evolving story brings us closer to Daniel’s past and future. It is well written and I loved how the story connects characters and events that span several decades. Even though the ending was a mix of hope for the future and pain, it is amazing to see how life and our actions can come full circle. It is a story of hope, faith, bravery in the face of evil and healing that comes with time. It is a definite must read novel, you will not be disappointed.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

A Hungarian refugee (1956) and the son of Holocaust survivors. A retired lifetime entrepreneur living on Toronto’s waterfront with my wife and cocker spaniel. Enjoys reading, mainly books about WW2, boating and worldwide travel. Father of three kids and grandfather of eleven. You can connect with him on his website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Delicate Dance of Souls Book Review

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When souls intersect deeply, but their paths are separate.

About A Delicate Dance of Souls

After a harrowing experience from his service in the military, Matt returns only to find his marriage to the love of his life is over. In the midst of his darkness, Matt seeks peace camping in Wyoming, where he meets Nicole, an intriguing woman who shifts his perspective, and changes his life forever. As their connection deepens, their relationship uncovers the fears that are holding both of them back.

Matt isn’t the only one with an unresolved love in his past. Waiting in the wings is Sam, Nicole’s business partner and best friend. The pair have a history of more than just catering and event planning, but Nicole has always been afraid of letting Sam get too close.

In this novel of self-discovery, compassion and healing, Nicole and Matt are brought to a greater understanding and acceptance of themselves, and who they are in the world.

My Thoughts

This novel introduces us to two main characters – Nicole and Matt. Nicole has had a rough past and from the outside, she doesn’t seem to like to let people to get to close (especially men). She holds a lot of her past inside her and this prevents her from allowing herself to be open to receiving love. She is a bit of a free spirit, she doesn’t seem to care about what others think of her, and she dances to the tune of her own beat. But at the same time she is thoughtful and kind – just timid in accepting love because of her past. Matt has his own scars after serving in the military. His time serving causes him to become emotionally and physically distant from his wife, to the point that they separate after not being able to come to some middle ground. He is left lost, hating himself and feeling lonely and lone.

The two characters have a chance encounter, with sparks flying but more importantly they connect on a deeper level. Matt is finally able to open up to someone about his past and face his fears about the past, himself and his worries about his future. He is able to push past those mental blocks that kept him emotionally and physically distant from those he loves, including his wife that he is separated from. Nicole while initially is the one that appears to do all the helping, is also able to confront her past and work through her own mental and emotional blocks.

This is a wonderful story of faith, second chances and the healing powers of friendships. Their chance encounter develops a strong friendship that helps them face their past, come to a level of healing and understanding and the ability to move forward with hope and trust. While they are at first physically attracted to each other, out of this grows so much more. This novel is different then anything I have read before but I enjoyed it. The beginning felt a bit rushed as their physical relationship developed but about a quarter of the way in, the novel returns to a normal pace and we can appreciate their relationship and the healing nature of it.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and Books-a-Million.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Karen D. Hamilton’s spiritual journey has spanned decades and has included several teachers with transformative perspectives. Believing that life is a wondrous gift, she strives to appreciate all aspects of the human experience. Karen loves the excitement of thunderstorms, the silence of falling snow, the chirping of late summer crickets, the meditative art of weaving, and the natural beauty of mountain streams. She especially loves being with family and friends. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and fluffy cat, Merlin. Karen hopes her work will give readers a broader and more compassionate view of their own lives. You can connect with her on her website.

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The Nightjar’s Promise Book Review

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As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

About The Nightjar’s Promise

Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.

As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this group of strong, intelligent young women. Each one has had a difficult past but instead of letting this define them, they embrace what makes them special and support each other through all of their ups and downs. Each of the young women carries a special gift – arts, language and math. Combining these skills with the guidance, connection and love from their teacher, Carolina, they can be unstoppable. They use these special gifts to help solve their past and the current mystery in the novel.

In this novel, Jennifer is presented with a huge mystery – what really happened in the deaths of her parents, could they possibly still be alive? And if so – how could they just leave her, did they not love her?? As she pulls from her own strengths and the strengths of her friends, terrible secrets unfold along with a plan to regain what was lost so many years ago. We are taken down a path of darkness and pain but along this path, we find glimmers of hope, strength and kindness.

This is an excellent short story for young adults and adults who like an interesting, suspenseful read. You can read the novel on its own but I would recommend reading the rest of the novels in this series. We are given enough of the history of each of the young girls and Carolina’s family but to really gain a better understanding of their past, it is best to read each of their stories (bonus – you will not be disappointed). I loved the build up of the story and how we uncover Jennifer’s family history and how this was connected to the looting of arts from World War II. I loved how their friendship, their unique skills and their strength is highlighted throughout the novel. While they are strong individually, they need each other in order to solve the mystery (a great reminder that we are always stronger together!). This is a novel that does not disappoint.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese, and Earl Gray – Reese’s best friend.

You can connect with her on her website, and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Killer Deadline Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist. With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

About Killer Deadline

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

My Thoughts

I love the way that Lauren Carr writes and she does not disappoint, this book is a huge treat! I loved our strong, independent characters, the plot that was true to her style of writing and full of twists – the novel is fantastic from start to finish.

Nikki is incredible – brave, confident and strong. She is not afraid to say how she feels and go after what she wants (except for maybe that lost love of hers). She lost her Father many years ago and the murder had gone unsolved, something that she intends to change once she gets a tip from a frenemy (who she also later discovers dead!). This sets her off on a very dangerous path of lies and betrayal and a discovery in the death of her Father, while reuniting her with a lost love, her hometown and those who she thought loved her family.

There is an excellent blend of mystery and suspense with comic relief and romance throughout novel. Lauren has a great way of balancing this without taking away from the story. We have well developed characters, that you can’t help but feel a connection to. I loved Nikki’s character but also her connections to her hometown, her family and her lost love. We learn about so much history in this small town and how this ends up being connected to several murders. I loved the way the story unfolds, it kept me on my toes and constantly guessing on who actually committed the murder of her Father so many years ago. I definitely did not see the end coming!

Killer Deadline is a fantastic read from start to finish – you will love the plot and characters. A definite must read.

You can pre-order a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren’s first venture into mystery’s purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Child Lost Book Review

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A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl .

About A Child Lost

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.

My Thoughts

A Child Lost is an excellent novel from start to finish, I couldn’t stop reading – I had to know what was going to happen and how our mystery would unfold.

This is the fifth book in the installment and we are introduced to Henrietta and Clive just after a miscarriage. Henrietta is very much still hurting and understandably can’t quite seem to shake off her feelings. She has lost her drive and her husband is worried about her. He wants to distract her with a new case, thinking that this will help her to re-focus and heal. To his surprise, his wife had already taken on her own case!

This book has two intriguing cases at the same time – the story of a young girl abandoned overseas, with her caregiver coming to the USA to help find the girl’s Mother and the second a mysterious psychic that has been accused of stealing precious items from unsuspecting victims. We are taken down a dark path – in the first case we see first hand the awful treatment of women, children and men claimed to be “mentally unwell”. We learn of mistreatment, misdiagnosis, death and terrible living conditions (not to mention the stigma). The second is a psychic with an ability to hit so close to home with her predictions that she leaves even the stubborn Clive second guessing himself. The team must work together in order to solve both mysteries – especially when lives are on the line.

Although this is the fifth book, the author does an amazing job with the characters and plot so you don’t feel lost (that being said I am going to look in to ordering the first four books!). I really enjoyed the characters, Henrietta is a strong, determined young woman. I could feel her pain throughout the novel but she kept pushing forward. Her husband was a bit overbearing at times but done so out of worry. He could have saved himself some grief by being open and honest with her!

The book is fast paced but not overwhelming. The author does an amazing job of unraveling the plot that leaves you hooked and craving for more. I was left guessing and to be honest I never saw the twists coming (especially the end). This is a perfect novel for young adults and adults who love a little bit of everything.

You can pre-order A Child Lost on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.

Connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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