Book Review — The Sound of Light

24 May

Sarah Sundin is a must-read author for my book club. This month we are reading her latest WWII-era novel, The Sound of Light. The historical novel takes the reader to Denmark. To say my knowledge of this small country’s big impact on the war was limited is a huge understatement. I knew nothing! The revelations of the heroics of the Danish people filled me with awe and hope. This standalone is highly recommended!

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. 

American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research–her life’s dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement’s legendary Havmand–the merman–and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels, Sarah Sundin offers pens another story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of Until Leaves Fall in Paris (February 2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), the Sunrise at Normandy series, and three more World War II series. 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.

My Impressions:

I loved The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin. That’s not a shock since she is a favorite of mine. But this historical novel set in Denmark during WWII was a surprise. I had no idea the role that Denmark played in the course of WWII, especially in the lives of its Jewish citizens. I admit to Googling quite a bit. Really, the whole history in this time and place was fascinating. As was the folklore and storytelling of the nation. You can tell that Sundin really did her homework — the book is richly detailed. Inspired by the heroics of the Danish people, many historical figures make their appearance (be sure to read the Author’s Note). Main characters Hemming/Henrik and Else struggle with doubts that are common to all making them relatable to a modern-day reader. Their relationship is a sweet friendship that develops into much more — loved that too! 😉 There’s suspense and intrigue surrounding the increasing crackdown of freedoms by the Nazis, something that came later on in the war than in most other countries under Nazi occupation. I loved how the Danish people met the challenges. Fiercely loyal to their country and countrymen (regardless of ethnicity), they were not afraid to fight injustice. There is one very surprising element to the story that made me proud of the Danes. There is also a wonderful reconciliation and restoration that made this book a highly recommended read.

With a unique setting for a WWII novel and a story perhaps unknown to many, The Sound of Light is another winner from Sarah Sundin.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased this novel from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons For Choosing A Book

23 May

This week bloggers are tasked with listing the reasons why they choose books. Pretty covers tempt, an interesting hook piques interest, and recommendations hold a lot of sway. However, I do have some standards. 😉 So the following are the reasons why I generally acquire a book and books that fit. I have to admit that the authors listed (except Sara Brunvold) are all favorites of mine. And from what I’ve heard about Sara’s book, she will be added to the list as well. 🙂

What about you? What makes you choose a book?

For more reasons to choose a book, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Reasons Why I Choose A Book

Favorite Genre (Suspense) — Fallout Carrie by Stuart Parks

Favorite Author — The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

Interesting Setting or Storyline — The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

Buzz about A New-To-Me Author — The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Next Book in A Series — Blind Trust by Natalie Walters

First Line Friday — The Sound of Light

19 May

My book club is reading The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin this month. Sundin is a go-to author for us, and early feedback is that the book is great. I will be reading this WWII-era novel set in Denmark this weekend.

Here’s the first line:

The sun rose on the first day of another year in the wasted life of Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt.

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. 

American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research–her life’s dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement’s legendary Havmand–the merman–and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels, Sarah Sundin offers pens another story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.

Author Interview — Linda Shenton Matchett

19 May

About The Book

Book: Gold Rush Bride Tegan

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 25, 2022

Tegan Llewellyn has always been different than her adopted family, except Grandmother Hannah, a prospector during the 1829 Georgia gold rush. Now, seventy years later there are reports of gold in Nome, and the opportunity is too good to pass up. But Tegan doesn’t count on the dangers that strike from the moment she steps off the steamer, including the threat of losing her heart.

Elijah Hunter has prospected for gold all over the US and Canada and likes being on the move. The last thing he expects to find on his latest search is a lady miner who proves to be nothing but trouble. Can he convince her that leaving is for her own good before it’s too late…for both of them?

Click HERE to get your copy.

About The Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of World War II and a former trustee for her local public library. She now resides in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities are exploring the state’s historical sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary things women did over the course of history (mostly done in dresses and skirts until about eighty years ago!). When I stumbled on the fact that women were involved during the gold and silver rushes that occurred in the US and its territories, I knew I had to tell their story.

A significant number of women followed husbands, brothers, or fathers, but an intrepid few set out on their own to find their fortune for as many reasons as there were women. Some went to escape difficult (or abusive) situations at home and others because they felt they had no choice. But there was a small percentage who made their way across thousands of miles for the sheer adventure.

The Nome Gold Rush started 175 years ago in 1898, and was different than previous rushes in that much of the gold was on the beach and could be plucked from the sand without any need for a claim. Later, claims were required to mine gold from the Snake River, and this is when things got dirty.

Initially, the courts upheld original claims, but after some of the “claim jumpers” offered to share proceeds from their invalid claims, a few crooked judges and politicians decided this was a great opportunity to line their pockets. Already guilty of stealing votes and voter intimidation, Alexander McKenzie, National Committeeman for North Dakota headed the pack and created an elaborate scheme with the help of Judge Arthur Noyes. It would take nearly two years for the men to be arrested and brought to trial. I included a fictionalized version of this situation in Gold Rush Bride Tegan.

I visited Alaska before writing Tegan and was overwhelmed by its majestic beauty. The photos I’d seen before the trip didn’t do justice to the reality of the state’s glaciers, mountains, rivers, and forests. Wildlife is so abundant that it literally walked or flew through town giving us “up close and personal” experiences with moose, wild sheep, eagles, and more.

Because of the inaccessibility of much of the state, one in fifty Alaskans hold a pilot’s license as compared to the national average which is one in seven hundred. However, in 1898, prospectors didn’t have that luxury, instead making their way to San Francisco by rail and then either going overland with wagons and mules or up the coast on schooners, either choice a difficult and arduous journey.

It is my hope that Gold Rush Bride Tegan honors the stalwart women who left all they knew for the chance of a lifetime.


Linda Shenton Matchett

Q & A with Linda Shenton Matchett

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My parents are voracious readers, and I don’t know if they intentionally pushed me into writing, but when I was about seven or eight, they gave me a package of pens and a 100-page notepad (complete with bouquet of pencils illustrated on the cover) and told me to fill it. They might have just been trying to keep me out of trouble, but the result was that I fell in love with crafting stories. Whenever I filled a notebook, I could count on my folks to give me another one. After my first book was published in 2016, they were huge cheerleaders and told everyone they knew. As each subsequent book came out, they were just as excited as if it was my first. When my mom passed away last year, I found multiple copies of all of my books on her shelves.

What types of research do you pursue?

Books, on-site visits, etc. Research is my favorite part of the writing process. I try to use primary sources as much as possible. I outline all my books which means I know what topics need to be researched, and I do that before starting the manuscript. I happily chase rabbit trails which are sometimes useless, but many time give me ideas for other stories. I am blessed to have a WWII museum in my town and am able to access their archives for my WWII stories. I also watch oral history interviews of people who lived during that time. For books set earlier, I try to find journals, diaries, or autobiographies, and for my books in the Gold Rush series, I unearthed two fabulous books that included diary excerpts from women who were prospectors. I also found several articles and pamphlets written by gold rushers. I try to visit the places I write about, but that’s not always possible. Fortunately, for Tegan I had already been to Alaska. My husband and I had visited there about five years prior to writing the story. I didn’t know I’d write a book set there, but I always troll for history and information of anyplace I visit, so I had plenty of notes!

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I have a full-time job and by nature am an organized person, so I create a schedule for all of my author activities to ensure everything gets done. I’m an “early-bird” and typically am at my desk ready to write by about 5:30 AM on weekdays. I use weekends to create blog posts, write my YouTube scripts, and plan social media engagement.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

The Gold Rush Brides series is a multi-author series that I started after stumbling on two little known facts: there was a major gold rush in northern Georgia almost twenty years before the California rush and there were female prospectors. Some women followed husbands or fathers to the gold fields, but others went to escape a bad situation at home, to make a fresh start, or for the sheer adventure of trying it. I knew I had to tell their story. Book 1 (Hannah)is set during the Georgia gold rush in 1829, and Book 2 is about Hannah’s daughter (set in 1859) at the Pike’s Peak gold rush. To write Tegan (Hannah’s granddaughter), I needed to find a gold rush that occurred at least fifty years later. The Nome gold rush began in 1898. Perfect!

    Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any
    works in progress you can share about?

    I always have a book in process, whether I’m outlining, writing, or editing. I just started Beryl’s Bounty Hunter, a mail-order bride story set in Wyoming during 1875. Beryl comes to America in response to an ad, but soon discovers that the agency is fraudulent and a front for kidnapping women. The book will release in August of this year. Then I have a WWII Thanksgiving story on the docket called Francine’s Foibles.


    To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Visa Gift Card and signed 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.

    Blog Stops

    Sylvan Musings, May 10 (Author Interview)

    Lily’s Book Reviews, May 11

    Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

    Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 13 (Author Interview)

    Texas Book-aholic, May 14

    Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

    Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 16 (Author Interview)

    Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

    Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

    Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

    By The Book, May 19 (Author Interview)

    Mary Hake, May 19

    Books Less Travelled, May 20

    For Him and My Family, May 21

    For the Love of Literature, May 22 (Author Interview)

    Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

    Spotlight on Contemporary Fiction — Where Promises Remain

    18 May

    Where Promises Remain JustRead Takeover Blitz

    Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for Where Promises Remain by Heidi Chiavaroli, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

    About The Book

    Where Promises Remain

    Title: Where Promises Remain
    Series: The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series #7
    Author: Heidi Chiavaroli
    Publisher: Hope Creek Publishers
    Release Date: May 16, 2023
    Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

    Hannah Martin thought she was about to have an empty nest . . . until the illegitimate daughter of her late husband shows up on her doorstep.

    Five years after her husband’s death, Hannah Martin runs a successful inn and serves the needy in her community. Despite a house full of guests, she’s worried about the loneliness that will come with an empty nest. Now that no one needs her for anything other than serving her famous five-course breakfasts and retrieving fresh towels, she throws herself into winning Camden’s Hospitality Grant. With the help of the grant, the bed and breakfast will bring in even more customers and Hannah won’t have time to think about what she’s missing.

    But when a handsome lumberjack named Kevin moves in next door, Hannah’s attraction to the widowed bachelor knocks her off-kilter. Just as she begins to think about dating again, a young woman arrives at the bed and breakfast claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of Hannah’s late husband.

    When the Orchard House’s chances at the Hospitality grant is threatened, Hannah’s children oppose her “new” daughter moving in, and Kevin’s problems start to bleed over into her own, she must decide what matters most—before she loses the grant, the bed and breakfast’s reputation, and perhaps, her second chance at love.

    This is Book 7 in The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series, a contemporary twist on the well-loved classic, Little Women. Readers will fall in love with the Martin family—Maggie, Josie, Lizzie, Bronson, Amie, and their mother Hannah—each trying to find their own way in the world and each discovering that love, home, and hope are closer than they appear.

    PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop


    Amos Martin is—was—my father.

    Somewhere in the distance, I heard Josie and Maggie talking. Josie, upset. Of course, Josie was upset. My dear girl, despite her tough exterior, wore her heart on her sleeve.

    Amos Martin is—was—my father.

    I moved my tongue around in my mouth, searching for words. Searching for sense amid the horrifying knowing that built in my gut. In my muddled state, I grasped onto the solidity of numbers, doing the math in my head. Counting years, calculating possible ages against that of Amie.

    When the numbers slid into place, a cold sweat broke out over my skin. 

    I’d never thought my children would have to find out about Amos’s transgression, but then again, I never thought that one night had produced a child. 

    A daughter.

    “Excuse me.” Somehow, I found strength in my legs—enough to push myself out of the chair and propel my body into the house. I heard voices behind me, someone at my heels, but I ducked into Orchard House, its warm folds welcoming me like a mother hen does its chicks. Here, I was safe. Here, I’d built a life after my husband’s death. Here, my faith had deepened.

    Hadn’t it?

    More Books in This Series

    Where Grace Appears Where Hope Begins Where Love Grows Where Memories Await Where Dreams Reside Where Faith Belongs

    About The Author

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    Heidi Chiavaroli is a hope-inspired storyteller writing from the deep curiosity of her own heart. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut. Her second Carol Award-winning novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott’s life and led her to write The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast series, a contemporary twist on Little Women. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

    Connect with Heidi by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

    Tour Giveaway

    (1) winner will receive the complete Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series (7 books) plus $25 gift card to winner’s choice bookstore!

    Where Promises Remain JustRead Giveaway

    Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 17, 2023 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 24, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

    Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

    Enter Giveaway

    Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

    JustRead Publicity Tours

    Spotlight On Suspense + Giveaway! –26 Below

    17 May

    26 Below JustRead Blog + Review Tour

    Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for 26 Below by Kimberley Woodhouse, hosted by
    JustRead Publicity Tours!

    About The Book


    Title: 26 Below
    Series: Alaskan Cyber Hunters #1
    Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
    Kregel Publications

    Release Date: April 4, 2023
    Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

    –Colleen Coble, USA
    best-selling author

    A curse.
    A killer.
    A chill in the air.
    Temps are dropping and time is running out.
    In her new role as Emergency Operations Center director for Fairbanks, Alaska, Darcie Phillips
    prevents disasters. But none of her training can prepare her for the terror that’s coming.
    As a cybersecurity specialist, Jason Myers is determined to ferret out any threats to the town he
    now calls home–and that includes his reckless brother and his ecoterrorist friends.
    When an old woman’s wild prediction–widespread destruction as soon as the Fairbanks
    temperature falls to 26 below–hits national headlines, neither Darcie nor Jason sees a real risk
    to anything but tourism. Then the bodies start dropping.

    Darcie is relying on her experience and intelligence to stop a killer; Jason is relying on God to
    guide the way. But they’ll have to work together to find the truth and prevent their Alaskan town
    from becoming a city of nightmares.
    “An action-packed page-turner that . . . blew me away. If you like stories of intrigue, action,
    romance, and biblical hope, this is the story for you.” –Tracie Peterson, ECPA and USA
    best-selling author

    Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Bookshop | BookBub


    Alaska was huge. Full of resources for the country and the world. It was about time people understood what it took to protect it. The largest state in the United States wasn’t just about tourists venturing to it to fulfill a bucket list as they chased down the highest mountain in North America, took pictures of moose and caribou, and visited Santa’s workshop.

    No. Alaska was the most amazing place in the world. Which was why she loved having the opportunity to be in charge of the Emergency Operations Center for her region. Her Interior Economic Region encompassed the Denali Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. A large and vitally important region. It covered tens of millions of acres. Larger than most states in the lower forty-eight.

    Threat assessment was where she excelled. Not only had she served proudly in the United States Air Force as a weather specialist, but she had spent years studying and training in the fields of health care administration and emergency management. This should be her dream job.

    So why did that incident with the group the other day get to her? Why did Mr. Oliver’s words of the past get to her? Why did a woman touting that the end was near get to her?

    As she sat behind her desk, she stared out the window. Giving herself a mental pep talk wasn’t doing any good.

    Action was needed.

    A lot of action, actually. Because the biggest threat around the world nowadays was a cyberattack.

    About The Author

    Kimberley Woodhouse

    Kimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling author of
    more than thirty books and novellas, including A Deep Divide, Bridge of
    , and The Mayflower Bride, as well as the coauthor of the Heart of
    Alaska series with Tracie Peterson. Kimberley’s writing has earned a Carol Award, the Christian
    Market Novel of the Year, the Holt Medallion, and many others. A proud former resident of
    Alaska, she now makes her home in the Pennsylvania Poconos.

    Connect with Kimberley by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to
    email newsletter updates.

    Tour Giveaway

    (1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift

    26 Below blog tour giveaway

    Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight
    May 15, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 22, 2023. Winner will be notified
    within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
    US Amazon accounts only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

    Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

    Enter Giveaway

    Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

    JustRead Publicity Tours

    Top 10 Tuesday — Things That Get In The Way Of Reading

    16 May

    This week’s TTT topic is an easy one. EVERYTHING gets in the way of reading. There, done. 😉 Seriously, if you have a reading addiction habit problem passion then you know what I’m talking about. Chores, errands, cooking, cleaning, driving, sleeping, exercising — all are the everyday things that keep me from reading. I refuse to include social obligations and family events, because that would be wrong of me. 😉

    So what do I do when I can’t physically hold a book to read? I listen to audiobooks. Because TTT is basically an excuse to talk about books, I’ve listed the last 5 audi0books I have enjoyed while trying to get a little more reading time in.

    For more blogger’s non-reading woes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

    Last 5 Audiobooks I Have Listened To

    The Chase by Lisa Harris

    Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

    Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

    Turn to Me by Becky Wade

    Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

    Mini-Review — Turn to Me

    15 May

    I love a book by Becky Wade! While contemporary romance is not my go-to genre, her books are. Turn to Me, the final book in the Misty River series, was a delight. Its setting is my happy place — the North Georgia mountains. While that might be inducement enough to fall into the book, the engaging and relatable characters are the star of this novel. Luke, one of the Miracle 5 from previous books, has been a bad boy since the event that took his younger brother and changed his life. He has lots of baggage, but is determined to live on the straight and narrow. Finley, whose father was a friend to Luke in prison, is a flower child with all the charm and quirks that entails. The two come together to embark on a treasure hunt set up by Finley’s now deceased father. It is certainly a puzzler that keeps Luke and Finley on their toes while requiring they spend more and more time together. There is definite chemistry there! Fans of romance will love their relationship. If you don’t mind a mystery, it’s a great one. It kept this reader guessing until the end. For those who have been following the returning characters, you will love how Wade finishes their stories.

    Turn to Me was such a fun book — some lighthearted moments, some soul-searching, a mystery to keep the pages turning. I’m a bit sad that my time in Misty River is at an end — it’s such a fabulous series. If you haven’t read it, you are in for a big treat. make sure you get all the books. You’ll want your stay to continue.

    Highly Recommended.

    Audience: Adults.

    (I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

    His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

    Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.

    Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.

    As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?

    Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her eleven novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.

    First Line Friday — In This Moment

    12 May

    Happy Friday! I am so excited to begin this week’s First Line Friday selection — In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer. I read the first book in the series, When The Day Comes, and was blown away by the unique story, the fascinating historical settings, and the characters that captured my reading heart! If you haven’t read book 1 yet, get it and this book too. You won’t be sorry.

    Here’s the first line:

    Most days, I could pretend that my life was normal.

    Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever. 

    In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.

    While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?

    Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the upper Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. You can learn more about Gabrielle and her books at

    Find Gabrielle on Facebook at, Pinterest at, Twitter at, Goodreads, and her Website at

    Book Review: The Long March Home

    10 May

    The Long March Home, a WWII-era novel set in the Philippines, is a collaboration of two talented authors — Tosca Lee and Marcus Brotherton. They have created an astonishingly beautiful, yet hard story, with one voice uniting the sacrifice and survival of the courageous men who experienced the Bataan Death March. They don’t shy away from the brutality, and it is again hard. But I feel this is a must-read book: first to understand the time and place, and secondly to understand those who went before us. Very highly recommended!

    Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire. 

    Life in the Philippines seems like paradise–until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history. 

    What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive. 

    Inspired by true stories, The Long March Home is a gripping coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting hope.

    Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Between, The ProgenyFirstborn, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker.

    She is the recipient of two International Book Awards, Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion, ECPA Book of the Year in Fiction, and the Nebraska Book Award. Her work has finaled for the High Plains Book Award, the Library of Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, two Christy Awards, and a second ECPA Book of the Year. The Line Between was a Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Mystery/Thriller of 2019. In addition to the New York Times, her books have appeared on the IndieBound bestseller list, and Library Journal’s “Best Of” lists..

    Tosca received her B.A. from Smith College and lives in Nebraska with her husband, three of four children still at home, and her 160-lb. German Shepherd, Timber.

    Marcus Brotherton
     is a New York Times bestselling author and coauthor dedicated to writing books that inspire heroics, promote empathy, and encourage noble living. His commendations include the Christopher Award for literature “that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

    Born in British Columbia, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree from Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors.

    He lives with his wife and their three children in the Pacific Northwest.

    My Impressions:

    I first have to say that The Long March Home is a must-read novel. It is so many things — a coming-of-age story, a tribute to those who sacrificed for their nation and world. a riveting account of an historical event — but it really goes much deeper than that. It explores the triumph of the human spirit, the love one has for a brother born not of blood, but of shared experiences, and search for purpose in the midst of hell. The book has two narratives, both in the voice of Jimmy Propfield. We get his growing up recollections in a past tense POV, and the present tense experiences of three childhood friends who are not quite men forced to endure extreme hardship and brutality. The structure of the novel is important and really works to get the whole of who the characters were and became. The chapters featuring their childhood also help relieve some of the intensity of the war scenes. Jimmy, Hank, and Billy grow up in Mobile, Alabama during the Depression. They impulsively enlist in the Army for varying reasons prior to America’s entrance into WWII. They land in paradise — boot camp in the Philippines. That is, until December 7, 1941. I was woefully ignorant of just what happened when the Japanese were successful in bombing Pearl Harbor. It was not the only serious Allied defeat that month. The Long March Home is an excellent historical account including fictional and historical figures. It reveals the horrors of war, the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese, and the astonishing bravery of American soldiers and the people of the Philippines. The war is ever present in the book — it spans days leading up to the attack through the end of the war. Jimmy, Hank, and Billy are larger-than-life characters that are realistically drawn. Their struggles, doubts, fears are relatable to the modern reader. Their story gives insight into the character of those real men who lived through the nightmare of Japanese POW camps. As you can imagine, the will to live ebbs and flows. But strength was shared between the three men ensuring some bit of survival. Lives are changed irreparably, but not always for the worse. There is healing and hope.

    The Long March Home was an emotional read for me. It drew me in immediately and never really let me go. I’m still thinking about it days after finishing. I believe it will stay with me forever. It gets a very rare Very Highly Recommended rating. I also strongly recommend you read this with your book club or reading buddy. I will be pressuring my husband to read it in the coming days. 😉

    Very Highly Recommended.

    Great for Book Clubs.

    Audience: Adults (please note this book does not shy away from the brutality of war)

    (Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)