Until Leaves Fall in Paris

Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail in Until Leaves Fall in Paris.

About Until Leaves Fall in Paris

When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And she must keep the store open if she is to continue aiding the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. But in order to carry out his mission, he must appear to support the occupation—which does not win him any sympathy when he meets Lucie in the bookstore.

In a world turned upside down, will love or duty prevail?

My Thoughts

I could not wait to dive into this historical romance and the novel did not disappoint – I could not put Lucie and Paul’s story down!

Lucie is a brave, kind, smart and compassionate young woman whose many gifts come in handy throughout the novel – from her command of the French language, to her passion for ballet and even to her kindness to others. While Lucie is an American at heart, she loves her home in Paris – this is where she called home since she was a young girl. It broke my heart for her when she comes to learn that not others feel the same – something that the war caused out of hunger, mistrust and anger at their situation. Lucie finds a way to help a couple who took care of her from a young age and becomes the owner in name of a lovely bookstore. And while she helps others in small ways, she wants to help more in the fight against the Germans. This comes with a great risk to not only herself but to the bookstore. She also meets Paul – a man who her heart tells her to trust but on the outside he appears to be aiding the Germans, but is this just a front?

I loved the many layers in this story – not only Lucie and Paul’s, but also the lives they touched and helped. Many times they had to put their own feelings and dreams on hold to help others, and many times this came with great risk to themselves. They had to find the strength to keep fighting and to keep going at so many times throughout the novel. So many times they could have given in, ran away, been selfish but still they carried on helping others, stealing small moments together and carrying for Paul’s daughter. As the story carries on, you wonder will they finally be together as they so deserve or will the war win and keep them apart for eternity?

Until Leaves Fall in Paris is an incredible read from start to finish. It has a touch of romance swirled in with the reality of war, compassion, strength and dignity. I loved every moment of this beautiful story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks and several popular WWII series, including Sunrise at Normandy, Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory. She is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award winner, and her novels have received starred reviews from BooklistLibrary Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and have appeared on Booklist‘s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

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

Continue Reading

Sunrise Book Review

Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.

About Sunrise

Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him.

That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.

When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

My Thoughts

Dodge walked away from his family, the town he loved and the dream job that he thought he would spend the rest of his life doing more than ten years ago. While the pain stays with him, for him this was the best choice he could make. When his Father is in an accident, he is forced to return home to the family and life that he walked away from so many years ago.

With Dodge’s return to his hometown, he is confronted with both his past and his future. The town is full of memories, his lost love and the past that he thought was going to be his future. He must help take care of his Father – a man who is quite determined to do it on his own, while struggling with their relationship that is quite rocky (with both having very different understandings of how they left off). Dodge is constantly reminded of his past – something he thought he had forgiven and forgotten but he has very clearly not. He is forced to come to terms with how he saw the events that led up to his leaving and how others in his life saw and felt those same events. And while a good portion of the story is on him – Echo plays a large role in his story and in this novel. We are also privy to her inner feelings, hopes and fears. Together they must learn to work through their past, the scars that it has left on them in order to find healing and forgiveness. And as so many of us know – this is not a linear process, they struggle as they take two steps forward and one step back. Watching them grow as individuals and that glimmer of hope that both can find love again was so lovely.

I loved every moment of this heart warming story of facing our past, forgiveness and growth. I loved the way the story ended and cannot wait for book two.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 85 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.

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

Continue Reading

They Called Him Marvin, A History of Love, War and Family 

iRead Book Tours

In They Called Him Marvin, A History of Love, War and Family, they were just kids, barely not teenagers, madly in love, desperate to be a family, but a war and a B29 got in their way.

About They Called Him Marvin, A History of Love, War and Family

They were just kids, barely not teenagers, madly in love, desperate to be a family, but a war and a B29 got in their way.

Three hundred ten days before Pearl Harbor, buck private Dean Sherman innocently went to church with a new friend in Salt Lake City. From that moment, the unsuspecting soldier travelled a remarkable, heroic path, falling in love, graduating from demanding training to become a B29 pilot, conceiving a son and entering the China, Burma and India theater of the WW2.

He chronicled his story with letters home to his bride Connie that he met on that fateful Sunday, blind to the fact that fifteen hundred seventy five days after their meeting, a Japanese swordsman would end his life.

His crew, a gaggle of Corporals that dubbed themselves the Corporalies, four officers and a tech Sargent, adventured their way across the globe. Flying the “Aluminum Trail” also called the Hump through the Himalayas, site of the most dangerous flying in the world. Landing in China to refuel and then fly on to to places like Manchuria, Rangoon or even the most southern parts of Japan to drop 500 pounders.

Each mission had it’s challenges, minus fifty degree weather in Mukden, or Japanese fighters firing away at them, a close encounter of the wrong kind, nearly missing a collision with another B29 while flying in clouds, seeing friends downed and lost because of “mechanicals,” the constant threat of running out of fuel and their greatest fear, engine fire.

Transferred to the Mariana Islands, he and his crew were shot down over Nagoya, Japan as part of Mission 174, captured and declared war criminals.

Connie’s letters reveal life for a brand new mother whose husband is declared MIA. The agony for both of them, he in a Japanese prison, declared a war criminal, and she just not knowing why his letters stopped coming.

My Thoughts

They Called Him Marvin tells the story of a young couple, full of promise and love (with a little one on the way) and the horrors of war that kept them apart.

Like many young couples during this time period, their time together was short, full of passion and hope. You can feel how quickly the pair fall in love and how much they mean to each other. The story begins to be told in a series of letters as Dean heads off to war. We watch as their relationships grows together and how each of them grows as a person while the war separates them. Dean was always there for Connie, I loved his thoughtful letters and gifts sent in the mail to her as he travelled to new places and the way he was able to bring to life the places he was stationed at. You can feel him wanting to be there with her but at the same time wanting her not to worry about him, to be reassured he was okay and that he would soon be home. Connie’s letters were full of all the information that Dean needed to know about their growing child and to make him feel his connection to his home. These personal glimpses into their lives give such a different look at what life was like for individuals at this time. I felt myself get excited to read the next one – would it be from Connie or Dean? Would it be in order or not? And you can feel the anxiety begin to rise as Dean’s letters stop arriving.

While I knew some of the events that occurred during World War II in Japan, this book really helped to expand my knowledge. You not only see the story told through an American viewpoint but also from the Japanese civilians and how the war affected their people – especially the bombings. You feel the suffering and pain of both sides and it is hard to put into words how painful this is.

I loved how the story took not only a historical approach but also told the story from the human viewpoint and the devastating affects it has on them as people. I would strongly recommend this book to readers of all ages for the important lessons it holds.

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

I am, by my own admission, a reluctant writer. But there are stories that demand to to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories be lost. Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story of his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war. The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result being They Called Him Marvin.

My life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. I pray that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of the book here.

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

Continue Reading

Grey Dawn of Dharaven Book One: Katz Island Spotlight Tour

iRead Book Tours

Grey Dawn of Dharaven, is a fantasy adventure book about an archeology expedition that heads off into uncharted areas on Katz Island on the planet Dharaven. 

About Grey Dawn of Dharaven Bk.1: Katz Island

A fantasy adventure book about an archeology expedition that heads off into uncharted areas on Katz Island on the planet Dharaven. Earth Dragon Clan born archaeologist Grey Dawn Fields leads to a team of explorers and archaeologists into the wilds of Katz Island looking for a human underground settlement. She’s seen it on an ancient map found in an antiquarian store. That’s when the problems start, and they’re not only coming from the island. When they arrive on Katz Island the expedition is forced to wonder why they are even there when they find little in the first valley the team ground searches. The second valley is more promising as it shows signs of old habitation in its cliff caverns. It’s still not what Grey is looking for.

When an Earth Dragon attacks the second camp looking for food, then dies leaving a baby Earth dragon behind; Grey realizes she has trouble on her hands. Between training a baby Earth Dragon and her archaeology expedition duties Grey is required to stretch her problem solving capabilities and is forced to rely on her friends, colleagues and even her Earth Dragon Clan for help.

​Is there an ancient human underground settlement on Katz Island or is Grey on a crazy quest to find something that does not exist? Grey’s archaeology career rests on her ability to solve every problem that stands in her way of success. Readers of fantasy adventure books will be captivated by this book.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo.

About the Author

Katherine E. Soto is a writer of fantasy novels. Her passion for writing started in high school with free form poetry writing, although she does remember creative story writing at an early age. Katherine enjoys composing short stories, flash fiction, poetry, sci-fi/fantasy novels, and nonfiction. She wrote her first fantasy novel in 2019 and it was published in 2022.

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

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of the novel here.

Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Ten Thousand I Love Yous

iRead Book Tours

In this humorously touching novel, Ten Thousand I Love Yous, by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.

About Ten Thousand I Love Yous

In this humorously touching novel by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.

At sixteen, Kimberly Kirby thought the only thing she needed to be perfectly happy was to spend the rest of her life with Jay Braxton. Twenty years later, she still believes it. As they proudly watch their daughter, Haley, graduate from high school, she imagines her life is as perfect as anyone could reasonably expect. Jay is a formidable attorney, she a freelance writer, and their love as strong as ever. With Haley heading to UC Berkeley in the fall, Kimberly fantasizes about making love on the kitchen table. She has no clue that Jay’s bags are already packed.

Now divorced and determined to squelch her love for Jay, she accepts a gig writing a sex and dating blog for divorcees. As the Virgin Dater, she is on the hunt for love. No-strings-attached nights with a sexy fireman and moving to San Francisco are just what she needs to boost her battered ego and mend her shattered heart.

But just as she falls hard for a talented young chef, Jay fights to win her back. Torn between her bold new life and the comfort of Jay’s strong arms, she questions if there is too much to forgive. The ten thousand I love yous that had passed Jay’s lips can’t be dismissed, but nor can her newfound freedom and the knowledge that her happiness doesn’t depend on Jay.

My Thoughts

Wow, just wow. This novel had me crying, laughing, crying again and just unable to put the story down. The story focuses on Kim who had her whole life ahead of her watching her daughter graduate from high school and how that came crashing down the day her husband left her.

After allowing herself to fall apart and pity her situation, Kim takes a hard look at herself (forced upon her by her good friend) and realizes she needs to take her life back into her own hands and rediscover herself. This is not an easy journey for her, she struggles, she fails, she picks herself back up, she has doubts and makes mistakes (she finally enjoys her youth that she missed out on raising her daughter). I think this is what makes her character and story so relatable and real. You just can’t help but love Kim. She feels like so many of us – and while I haven’t had the same experience, I can see the valuable lessons in the story. What happens when we stop appreciating the people we love, how we can grow apart, the family dynamics that bind us and even society expectations. While it was a great read that makes you laugh and cry, there are so many valuable lessons in those pages that we can learn so much from. It made me pause and re-examine my own life and how I treat others.

I did not want this novel to end. I fell in love with Kim and the journey she was on finding herself. You kept rooting for her throughout this story, hoping she sees her worth and how amazing she truly is. I loved the pace and the way the story unfolds – Kim shares parts of her past with her ex-husband at various stages in the novel which helps her with her own growth as well as our understanding and context of their relationship and how it evolved (especially as Kim ponders everything she thought she knew).

This is an amazing book that you will not want to put down, a definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Target.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Ten Thousand I Love Yous is Lisa Slabach’s second novel.

Prior to publication, her first novel, Degrees of Love was recognized as a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review. Degrees of Love made its publishing debuted December 1, 2017 and was nominated for a 2017 Reviewer’s Choice Award by RT Book Reviews.

In addition to writing, Lisa is a Fintech Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. She is a long-time resident of Northern California and lives with her husband, one-hundred-forty-pound puppy and numerous goldfish. In her free time, she enjoys wine tasting, shopping with her daughters, and cooking in her pink kitchen.

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

Continue Reading