Tag Archives: Amanda Barratt

Top 10 Tuesday — Shelf-ish Organization

31 Jan

Happy Tuesday! Today is a Freebie day for Top 10 Tuesday. I am going completely random today with fiction chosen from the shelves in my house — as opposed to those on my NetGalley shelf and Kindle. 😉 I organize my shelves in a way that makes sense to me. Fiction is organized by genre and then alphabetically by author. I keep series in order of publication. If it’s Biblical or historical fiction, I organize chronologically and by location (example: European vs American. Old Testament and then New Testament). And then there is my Austen knock-off shelf which contains a variety of genres, but all tie into one of Austen’s novels. That’s alphabetically by author. I even have a shelf for signed books. So if I am in the mood for a mystery, I know which shelf to head to.

Confusing? Probably, but it works for me. At least I don’t divide my mystery into historical or cozy, etc. I’m not that obsessive or am I?

I am.

In the spirit of transparency, the books represented today are on shelves at my primary residence. We have a house in the woods that boasts a very small library. That’s where it really gets tick-y. That’s where the mass market cozy mysteries reside. Likewise, all the Grishams. Then there’s my husband’s western fiction, the American historical fiction/non-fiction that revolve around major events. Think Revolutionary War, Pearl Harbor, etc. I have a shelf for veterinary fiction. Yes that’s a thing. Small town fiction like Jan Karon. A shelf where humorous fiction (P.G. Wodehouse) coexists with short story collections. And last but not least, the shelf with North Georgia authors. Too much? LOL!

Enjoy my random and complicated system!

For more freebie fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Random Books from My Shelves

Austen Variations (or knock-offs) Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken

Autographed Books — The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Biblical Fiction/OT — Journey by Angela Hunt

Biblical Fiction/NT — Three from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes

Christmas Fiction — A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

Classical Fiction — Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Contemporary Fiction (including romance) — Dearest Dorothy, If Not Now, Then When by Charlene Baumbich

Historical Fiction/European — To Love A Viking by Heather Gilbert and Jen Cudmore

Historical Fiction/American — A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

Mystery — Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt

Suspense — Shadow of Doubt by Terri Blackstock

Speculative — The Ishbane Conspiracy by Randy Alcorn

Book Review: Within These Walls Of Sorrow

18 Jan

I visited Krakow in the spring of 2018. Poland is such a wonderful place — the people are friendly, the city is beautiful, the food is amazing. And history surrounds the visitor. We walked through the old Jewish sector which after WWII houses no Jews despite a large synagogue and vibrant Jewish and Israeli restaurants. We toured Shindler’s factory and marveled at how he saved so many people. We walked in silence through the gates of Auschwitz and among the bombed crematories of Birkenau. Our trip was memorable for many reasons, and I am very glad I was able to travel there. Then I read Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt. It was almost like a return visit, but this time I walked the streets of Krakow and entered the buildings of the concentration camps with friends who lived through the era and ordeal. If you are a reader, you know how characters can become real, and, yes, like cherished friends. This book is amazing and very highly recommended.

“This tense WWII historical from Barratt (My Dearest Dietrich) follows a woman’s efforts to help her neighbors survive the Kraków ghetto. . . . Moving and effective, this inspirational finds light in the darkest of places.”–Publishers Weekly


Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression. 

Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality. 
Zodia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart. 

Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She’s the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.

My Impressions:

I can start off by saying that Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt is one of the best books I have ever read. Not an exaggeration, this novel is so well-researched that the time and place of the book came to life for me. A few years ago I visited Krakow, the setting of the book, and this novel brought back all those images and memories. But this time I felt like I lived alongside the characters. That’s an amazing thing to experience, but also heartbreaking because of the subject matter — the Krakow Ghetto and the Nazi plans for exterminating the Jews. The author details this honestly and realistically. I admit I had to pause my reading in order not to be overcome by the cruelty depicted. Yet, Barratt shines a light in all the darkness with her characters’ love and sacrifice and their faltering, yet continuing faith. The historical detail is key to the novel, but the characterization is what makes this book a 5-star. Many historical figures make their appearances on the pages, including the owner and employees of the Pharmacy Under The Eagle, the Polish-owned pharmacy the Nazi’s uncharacteristically let continue within the walls of Krakow’s ghetto. But the two mains, Zosia and Hania, are fictional, although influenced by the those who lived during these dark days. I won’t go into those things that the characters faced, but just say that the indomitable spirit that helped them survive is a testament to the real people they are based upon. The novel takes the reader from the early days of the Nazi occupation with the beginnings of persecution, through the increasing danger and the plans the Nazi put in place, to the aftermath of the war when those who survived are faced with living with extreme losses and their own futures. Within These Walls of Sorrow will make you think all along the way — would I have succumbed to despair, would I have rallied to face death with dignity, would I have turned a blind eye to what other people were going through? Long after the last page was turned, I continued to ask myself questions that examined what I believe and what I live.

Within These Walls of Sorrow is a must-read. Be prepared to be shocked, but also be prepared to be changed. I also recommend you read this book with someone — you will need to talk about it.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

Happy Release Day — Within These Walls Of Sorrow

17 Jan

It’s release day for Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt. This WWII-era novel is a moving tribute to the love and sacrifice of ordinary people who are placed in horrifying situations. This was a hard book to read because of the subject matter, but well worth it. Masterfully written depicting the time of German occupation of Krakow, it will definitely make my best of the best list this year. I very highly recommend it! And now it is finally available — make sure you get your copy now!


“This tense WWII historical from Barratt (My Dearest Dietrich) follows a woman’s efforts to help her neighbors survive the Kraków ghetto. . . . Moving and effective, this inspirational finds light in the darkest of places.”–Publishers Weekly


Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression. 

Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality. 
Zodia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart. 

Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

To purchase, click HERE.

ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She’s the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.

First Line Friday — Within These Walls of Sorrow

16 Dec

Happy Friday! Last week I was lamenting my lack of Christmas preparedness. Well, I have almost all my shopping done — just need a few more stocking stuffers — and my Christmas tree has ornaments on it. 😉 I am going to forgo baking since my husband and I will be solo for Christmas. But come New Year’s all bets are off since the whole gang will be back together to ring in 2023. So I guess I have a little reading breathing room!

One of the books calling my name is Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt. It is set in Krakow during WWII. I am excited for this book for a number of reasons, one of which is that my husband and I visited this magical city a few years ago. We toured the Jewish sector and Schindler’s factory while we were there. I was not acquainted with the story told in Barratt’s novel — can’t wait to find out more. Here’s the first line:

The sun shone the day I married Ryszard Lewandowski.

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression. 

Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportations winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality. 

Zosia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart. 

Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She’s the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.

Top 10 Tuesday — Titles with Names

1 Feb

Happy Tuesday everyone! Who knew there were so many book titles that feature names? That’s the prompt for this week’s TTT. I didn’t have to go far in my reading log to find some great books. I have included a few older titles to go along with new-ish releases. There are lots of genres too — something for everyone.

For more bloggers’ lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Titles with Names

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Burying Daisy Doe by Ramona Richards

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson

2021 Christy Award Finalists

5 Oct

Congratulations to the 2021 Christy Award Finalists! So many books to add to your TBR list! 😉

Contemporary Romance

Just Like Home by Courtney Walsh

Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Rain by Dana McNeely

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

General Fiction

Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson

Historical

Like Flames in The Night by Connilyn Cossette

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Point of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Short Form

A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh

Joy to The World: Far As The Curse Is Found by Amanda Barratt

Joy to The World: Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Speculative

Extinction Island by Janice Boekhoff

Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

Dust by Kara Swanson

Moral Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann

2021 Carol Award Winners!

11 Sep

Congratulations to the talented authors who are this year’s winners of the ACFW Carol Award. I hope your TBR wishlist just got longer! 😉

2021 Carol Award Winners

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: L. B. Norton

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

Historical Romance

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jennifer Veilleux

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jean Bloom

Novella

Far as the Curse is Found (from The Joy to the World Collection) by Amanda Barratt; Kregel Publications; Editors: Janyre Tromp and Dori De Vries Harrell

Romance

Love and A Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: Raela Schoenherr

Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Ines Jimenez and Deb Elkink

Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter; Love Inspired (Harlequin); Editor: Melissa Endlich

Speculative

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Rebecca Heyman and Janelle Leonard

Young Adult

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads; Enclave Publishing; Editors: Steve Laube and Lisa Laube

Debut Author

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

2021 Carol Award Finalists

29 Jun

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors who are finalists in the 2021 Carol Awards presented by the ACFW. Now you know what to read this summer! 😉

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

On a Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas


Historical Romance

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund


Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Baby’s Right to Choose by David L. Winters


Novella

Far as the Curse is Found, from the collection Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection
by Amanda Barratt

Christmas in Galway, in the collection Christmas Lights and Romance by Elizabeth Ludwig

A New Hope for Christmas by Erin Stevenson


Romance

Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter


Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

Airborne by DiAnn Mills


Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter

Killer Insight by Virginia Vaughan

Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan


Speculative

Cry of the Raven (Book 3, The Ravenwood Saga) by Morgan L. Busse

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall

The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder

Young Adult

Victoria Grace the Jerkface by S.E. Clancy

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Debut

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Top 10 Tuesday — Books I Meant to Read in 2020

19 Jan

2020 was going to be the year of Beckie! For you Seinfeld fans, you know what I mean 😉 . I retired from my job (doing my husband’s books) late 2019 and only had some tax tasks to take care of in January. My first grandchild was born in December 2019. And I had all of the time in the world to travel, visit my family, and read, read, read! Boy, was I in for a big disappointment! The first two things on my agenda were thwarted by breast cancer and, of course, Covid. The third? You would think that not being able to go anywhere would have created great reading opportunities. For me, not so much. I ended up reading a lot less than in past years.

Did you read less or more last year?

Last year has set this year’s bar very low. I have few expectations of 2021. Plans are held loosely. It’s only January, and I have already had to cancel one trip to see my grand baby. 🙁  My Goodreads Reading Goal is set low as well. But there are many unread books staring at me from my shelves. I am determined that while the number of books may be low, the quality will be high. Included in books I want to read are those I missed last year, hence today’s Top 10 Tuesday list. All of these books deserve to be read — here’s hoping I do in 2021. For more books bloggers didn’t get to, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

What books did you not get to last year?

 

 

Top Books I Meant to Read in 2020

 

Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason

Active Defense by Lynette Eason

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

 

The Key to Love by Betsy  St. Amant

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

 

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

 

Which book should I read first?

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Reading Resolutions

12 Jan

A new year with new hopes, that’s what 2021 represents to me. If I can pick a word to describe 2020, it would be distraction. Anxious about many things described this Martha very well. Distraction over health issues, the lockdowns and other restrictions, civil unrest, the unrelenting political squabbling — you name it and I was everything but focused. Of course, 2020 also brought reasons to celebrate. My daughter got engaged, my son’s family was able to spend weeks at a time visiting due to work at home, and my cancer prognosis is excellent! But my reading life suffered the most. Now to most non-bookworms that would earn a shrug. But I know you know what I mean. 😉

This year I aim to be more intentional and that goes for my reading resolutions as well. I am joining other bloggers for a Top 10 Tuesday list of resolutions. I certainly don’t have 10, but I do have a few that I hope ramp up my reading enjoyment. For more bloggers’ lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

2021 Reading Resolutions

 

Read More

This actually doesn’t mean more books, although I would like to beat the number of books I read last year (103). What I need to do is put down the time wasters — FB, Instagram, and Twitter come to mind — and pick up a book. My time wasted while staying at home more is astronomical. I’m hoping by intentionally getting off social media, I will spend more time in reading pursuits.

 

Read Intentionally

There’s that word again. I have a hard time turning down bright and shiny new books. Hence my towering TBR stack. Part of the problem comes from saying yes to a lot of review requests. I pared that down some last year. This year I resolve to think and think again before accepting reviews.

 

Read from The TBR Pile

All those bright and shiny books get a bit dusty waiting impatiently on the shelf. I recently downloaded Libby and can access lots of audiobooks. I have been reluctant to use Audible credits for books I already own, but with Libby I can check off some worthy reads without feeling guilty. My husband and my budget will be happy! (Below are two notables from my TBR shelf that I want to have read this year.)

 

Read More Widely

I plan to look for books that I would not generally choose either because they are general market or a genre I don’t usually read. I am part of a FB book club that reads mystery/suspense and have been introduced to books I have never heard of, yet enjoyed immensely. This month I am listening to The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens. It is a YA mystery/thriller. I have found it intriguing even as I have cringed at some of the scenes. This novel is really expanding my horizons.

 

I would also like to add international and classic novels to my reading this year. Libby is a great resource for this extracurricular reading. I also have many physical copies that I need to read.

 

What are some of your reading resolutions?