blog tour · book review · historical fiction · WWII

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – A Child for the Reich

A Child for the Reich

From the USA Today bestselling author comes a gripping new emotional WW2 historical novel. Inspired by a true story!

‘A moving story of a mother’s love battling against the determination of the Reich to create a pure Aryan race…A recommended read‘ Glynis Peters

‘An intensely moving, brilliantly researched novel about love, loss, and the lengths a mother will go to for her child…utterly compelling‘ Deborah Carr

Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same…

They wanted our children to raise as their own

Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her.

Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins US: https://bit.ly/3xJUXdD

HarperCollins UK: https://bit.ly/3dAADVe

UK retailers:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qWMQ9W

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3LCjSpa

Apple: https://apple.co/3S7zPX9

US retailers:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3feRMUQ

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3f4sNUd

Apple: https://apple.co/3faOrX7

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3eZZoum

GOODREADS: https://bit.ly/3DI0i99

BOOKBUB: https://bit.ly/3C31iDu

Author Bio

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girls from the Beach, The Girl from Vichy, and The Girl I Left Behind.

She writes gritty and emotional war stories about strong women. Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, her two boys, and one very lazy cat.

You can find book club discussion questions on www.andienewton.com

Social Media Links

Twitter: @AndieNewton

FB: Andie Newton Author Page

Instagram: andienewtonauthor

Publisher Socials:

Twitter: @OneMoreChapter_ @Harper360

Instagram: @onemorechapterhc @harpercollins360

Website: http://andienewton.com/

My Review

Based on the real Lebensborn programme – a Nazi initiative to increase the number of children born who met the Nazi standards of “racially pure” and “healthy” Aryans – A Child for the Reich is an emotional tale that delivers on so many levels. The main protagonist, Anna Dankova, is struggling to make ends meet and is more than a little annoyed at her husband, Josef, who left to join the resistance forces some time ago. Having lived in beautiful Prague, it is something of a shock to move to the country where Josef – before leaving them along with Dasa’s husband – insists they will be safer. Now, with her daughter, Ema, her mother (Matka) and sister, Dasa and her children, they live without the use of their car (taken by the Germans), many of their livestock (also taken) and are left to support themselves on the little income they can earn at the market selling the vegetables they’ve grown.

And, as if life were not hard enough, rumours of the Brown Sisters being in their area leave them all fearful of their children being taken next. Given that their neighbours are not the kindliest of people, willing to sell gossip to the Germans in return for better treatment for themselves, who can they trust?

The greatest fear is for Dasa’s young baby, a child she will not name until the men come home, but who meets the requirements of the Lebensborn programme perfectly. Consequently, they try to keep him hidden.

None of them expected Ema, Anna’s daughter to be the target of the Brown Sisters’ next trip to the market. Devastated, Anna concocts a plan to get her daughter back, and using her acting skills (from her days in Prague) and her ability to speak German, she meets with the resistance group to a) locate her daughter, and b) to acquire papers for her to assume a new identity and infiltrate the orphanage where Ema is being kept prior to adoption with a “good German family.”

At this stage, I was reeling in shock at the extent to which the Lebensborn programme was being carried out, but at the orphanage itself, my shock levels intensified as the details of the programme became clearer. Anna is risking everything to get Ema back, and as the reality of her situation unfolds, the tension ratchets up, emotions are incredibly high, and the danger of being caught infers life-threatening consequences.

I found A Child for the Reich to be truly absorbing, a compelling read that had me racing through the chapters to the conclusion. The story does, however, tell of more than Anna’s courage and determination, it highlights the strength of family and friends (Matka is incredibly supportive and inspiring, witty and thoughtful), and the ability to conquer even the most monumental of challenges when the future of family is at stake. If you enjoy reading about strong female characters, particularly during one of the most difficult eras of modern times, then this is the book for you.

My thanks go to the author, and publisher, (Harper Collins One more Chapter) for my copy of this book which I have reviewed freely.

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blog tour · book review · historical fiction · social history · truth · WWII

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Orphans of Berlin

The Orphans of Berlin

A heartbreaking World War 2 novel that tells the story of two women’s fight for love, family and hope, as the world crumbles around them. Based on the true story of the Kindertransport rescue from Nazi-occupied Europe.

Berlin, 1936. The Landau family are at the heart of their community, running a music shop in Berlin and just trying to survive. But their lives are unravelling as Hitler’s power increases and the treatment of Jewish families deteriorates. Eldest daughter, Rachel, fears for her sisters’ future and will do anything she can to keep them safe. Will she find hope in the darkness?

Paris, 1936. As whispers of war travel over from Europe, American debutante Kay escapes her mother’s grasp and travels as a reluctant spy from Paris to Berlin. But a chance meeting with the Landau family will change her life forever. Kay is determined to give Rachel and her sisters a fighting chance in a society where the youngest are paying the ultimate price, even if it means making dangerous enemies along the way…

As the world marches toward war, these brave women will find strength in joining forces to save the ones they love. But they will need the support of one another more than they will ever realise in order to survive…

A gripping and heart-wrenching historical novel about hope, tragedy and two women’s limitless courage. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale and My Name is Eva.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3A64rjQ

Author Bio

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books.

She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA.

Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories. Her first novel with Boldwood is called Her Lost Love.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

Twitter https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jinabacarr/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/JinaBacarrNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jina-bacarr

My Review

Wow, what an emotional read that was.
The story starts with Kay Alexander, an American heiress being arrested by the Gestapo in Paris. A young German girl, Rachel, has come to warn her, but is also traumatised by the fact her little sisters have been taken into custody as well.
From there, the story is principally a long flashback to how Kay and Rachel met, and how their lives became permanently entangled.
A light-hearted beginning sees Kay as a reluctant debutante in Philadelphia who rebels against her mother’s wishes to “come out” and find a husband. Sneaking off to dances with her instructor, Kay falls in love… but it doesn’t end well (I’m not going to spoil things here, you’ll have to read it for yourself 😉 Sorry, not sorry!) Unable to face returning home with her mother after what she has put her through, Kay moves on to Paris before war breaks out, asked by her uncle to keep an eye on things “over there” and report back.

On a trip to Berlin at her uncle’s behest to see how the German citizens are coping, in particular the Jews, Kay takes refuge from the rain in a glorious music shop, not realising that purchasing from Jewish businesses is forbidden. What follows is an enlightenment for Kay, especially on seeing how Rachel stands up for her deaf mother. Kay wishes she had that kind of lovingly loyal relationship with her own mother. Ever the rebel, she buys sheet music and a music box from Rachel’s family shop, asking for the goods to be shipped to The Ritz in Paris. It is this connection that gives rise to the heart of the story.

Expect romance for Kay with a quirky British artist/pilot, a deep friendship with the amazing powerhouse that is Gertrude, and a heart-warming and heart-breaking relationship with Rachel and her sisters, whose life in Berlin is getting worse and more dangerous by the day.

The Orphans of Berlin tells the tale of despair turning to hope, casual encounters leading to the strongest of “family” ties, and the difficulty of keeping secrets from those you love. Told from Kay’s and Rachel’s perspectives, the story is based on the Kindertransport scheme that saw 10,000 children be taken to the UK during the war. What seemed to be a rebellious streak in Kay turns out to be a determination to help others, to use her wealth for the greater good.
Beautifully told, with an ending as perfect as one can be given the atrocities experienced, it brought a tear to my eye. Highly recommended!

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As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Betrayal: An Ann’s War Mystery (The Ann’s War Mystery Series Book 1)

Book description:

With her husband away on a top secret mission, Ann Morgan prepares for another secretarial day at Trevor Bowman’s detective agency.

However, this day will be unlike any other.

Over twenty-four hours, Ann will find her life turned upside-down as she discovers a murder, meets a handsome widower, Detective Inspector Max Deveraux, and confronts the murderer in a tale of temptation and duplicity

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My thoughts

Recently married, Ann Morgan says farewell to her husband as he undertakes a mission for the war effort. He should only be gone a couple of days, and Ann determines to carry on as normally as she can until his return. In his absence, she has the use of the car and takes to the quiet streets, passing a horse and cart on her way to work for Trevor Bowman, a private detective. No sooner has she arrived than her boss sends her to deliver a report. When she finally gets back to the office, a shadowy figure almost knocks her down and she enters the office to find her boss shot dead.
Had she just passed the killer? The thought runs through her mind when she tells Detective Inspector Max Deveraux what had happened.
Now, she is not only without her husband but also a job. With time on her hands, she wonders who would have wanted to kill Bowman, and can she possibly help to catch the killer?
With a pace and vibe reminiscent of the TV series Foyles War, Betrayal features a polite, softly-spoken detective in Max Deveraux and a young woman, modern in her actions and ambition in Ann. After deciding to question her boss’s last known client, Ann has unwittingly stumbled upon a scene of treachery, and the culprit does not wish her to be free to share her discovery with the police.
A short story, delicious in detail. Clearly well-researched, this first book in the series is engaging and invites me to want to read more … which, of course, I will. 😉

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Rose (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 6)

Operation Rose is book seven in the Eve’s War Heroines of SOE series.

Beside a graffiti-embellished pew, I turned to Rose and said, “You’re taking great risks for us.”
“Freedom is worth the risks,” Rose said.
“What about the risks to your family?”
Rose turned and offered me an angry glare. “Who said that I have a family?”
“I assumed that you are married,” I said, “with children.”
Rose looked like a housewife. She wore no rings on her fingers, yet her whole manner suggested a housewifely air.
“I would rather not mention my family,” Rose said.
“I understand,” I said.
At that point, the sound of an organ reverberated through the cathedral. Its sudden appearance caught me by surprise. It startled Rose and made her jump.
“I must go,” she said.
I nodded. “Take care.”
I waited and listened to the organ. The sound was modern, electrified. I didn’t recognise the tune, but it was pleasant enough.
Outside, I walked through the narrow alleys, along the cobbled streets. I couldn’t explain why, but I loved cobbled streets.
At a distance of five hundred metres, I turned and stared at the cathedral, and reflected on Rose. I considered that she was an enigma. Maxime Durand had vouched for her. London trusted Durand, but I had my doubts about him. For security’s sake, I reckoned that I should learn more about Rose.

My thoughts

Yay! I’m back with the latest in the Eve’s War series, and it was like catching up with old friends, the only downside being these stories are short in length and always leave me yearning for the next one.

Guy and Eve’s relationship has developed considerably but the question of whether her husband, Michel, still lives, lingers. When Guy has to leave for a meeting under the guise of an archaeology convention, he says he’ll see if he can find out about Michel.
Meanwhile, Eve is in charge and when a mayor is shot in public view by German Officer, Raab, she – and others – suspect they have a traitor among them.
If they can root this person out, Eve has to consider shooting them. Can she do it? Her answer: if need be. But when the time comes, she’s relieved to find another issue that explains everything.
In Operation Rose, the team work together to seek out the traitor and their reasons for betrayal, only to find it’s not what they think and instead they are thrown into a rescue mission.

As always, the story moves along at great pace and the main characters reveal just a little more about themselves. In this case, Eve is bewildered at her sudden weight gain 😉 … and when Guy returns to say Michel is alive, then you have to wonder what’s next for the couple.
The saga continues … and I must practise patience LOL

I’ve learnt from experience that this author’s books are addictive, and I was planning on starting The Olive Tree series next. However, I’ve now decided to wait until that series is published in full (hopefully that’ll be soonish) Instead, I’ll be getting my WWII historical fiction fix with The Ann’s War Mystery series, starting with Betrayal – all five books in this series have been released and I can binge to my heart’s content. Look out for my reviews on these stories in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Cameo (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 6)

I sat in the farmhouse in front of the open fire and read Vivienne Fernandez’s file.

Aged 24, she resided in London where, before the SOE recruited her, she was a switchboard operator. Multilingual, she enjoyed gymnastics – like Mimi – cycling, ice-skating and dressmaking. Her assessors also noted that she loved to party.

I’d met her from the plane and noted her elegance and grace. She was stylish, beautiful – the complete package. Jealousy should have raised its ugly head. Instead, I smiled at that recent memory; I liked her.

Vivienne’s French husband had died fighting for the Free French in Senegal. She’d left a two-year-old daughter at home, with childminders. Father and daughter had never met. That was sad, and all too familiar.

Vivienne’s mother was English, her father French. They’d lived on the French-Spanish border and, when the Nazis invaded, escaped over the Pyrenees. It was a route I knew well.

I tore Vivienne’s file into strips and placed it on the fire. Within seconds, it turned to ash, consumed by the orange and yellow flames.

I wondered what Guy would make of Vivienne. I would discover his thoughts soon enough, when he returned from the coast. I wondered how she would fit into our team. As a short-term replacement for Mimi, I didn’t foresee any problems.

In retrospect, I would regard that assessment as a huge mistake.

My thoughts

Eve and Guy have noticed Mimi’s decline, while she’s still the fastest wireless operator out there, she has lost her spark. They arrange for her to return to England for a break, and a new operator – Vivienne – is brought in. Mimi is not at all happy; she feels she’s being sent away because she knows how close Eve and Guy have become, and that she’s in the way. Eve admits her feelings for Guy, but assures Mimi that the break is only temporary.
Meanwhile, Eve’s German Officer admirer, Raab, wants her to spy for him. Despite Guy’s reluctance, Eve is determined to do so, although she plans on giving him out-of-date info, and just enough detail to keep him distracted from his amorous overtures to her, and to the real matters of business that they’re pursuing.
Vivienne is soon put to work, but her love for fashion worries Eve, who feels the new operator – a mother of a two-year-old – will stand out too much. Nonetheless, the business of sending and receiving messages continues until one night the power fails. It’s a tactic used by the Nazis to track down wireless signals. They have to flee.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets away and, together with Jean-Claude’s men, the SOE agents have to rescue one of their own. Clashes with the Gestapo lead to losses on all sides, and even Eve’s ardent admirer, Raab, is caught in the crossfire. Revenge is inevitable, the Resistance will not accept anything else.

Looking forward to the next in the series – roll on July! Now I’ve read all those published to date, I’m sort of wishing I’d waited till the whole series was available to binge read … but I’m not that patient!

I said in a previous post that I had a plan about how to fill the gap between now and July (for book 7) and the three month wait for each subsequent book. It’s not as if my TBR list is lacking, but having studied this author’s extensive back catalogue, I think I’ll be checking out The Olive Tree series next. As a former student of Spanish political history, I’m looking forward to this one. Hannah Howe, right now, is hitting all the buttons on my “want to read” list 😉

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Sherlock (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 5)

“Arthur is concerned about the Nazis’ latest terror weapon,” Guy said. “Rockets; they have the potential to cause death, destruction and chaos in Britain. He wants us to locate the launch site so that the RAF can bomb it.”

“How do we achieve that?” I asked.

“The Resistance in Paris think that they have identified the site,” Guy said. “Arthur wants us to confirm their suspicions.”

“Why doesn’t the local Sherlock network deal with this?” Mimi asked.

“Recently,” Guy said, “the Gestapo captured their wireless operator. Their network is in chaos. Trust is at a low ebb.”

I glanced at Mimi and noticed her pale, drawn features. As our wireless operator, she lived under constant stress; each transmission represented a moment of potential capture.

A trip to Paris sounded sublime. However, Mimi’s troubled expression reminded me that we were travelling into danger, potentially to our deaths.

My thoughts

Whoa! This book ratchets up the tension yet another notch.
The SOE are concerned about the Nazis’ latest terror weapon – a ‘silent’ rocket that could cause mass destruction and deaths if launched. The trio are informed that the weapon is being developed on the outskirts of Paris, and the Resistance think they have identified the site.
Guy, Eve and Mimi head for Paris. Mimi is already struggling so when she is challenged over the contents of her case (the wireless) she has to rely on her cover story to avoid raising further suspicion. Eve steps in to help and distracts the guard so they are able to board the train. But that is not the first time Mimi’s case will come under scrutiny …and the lengths to which Eve goes to avoid that scrutiny is shocking and yet to be applauded.

Unfortunately, sending messages in Paris is fraught with danger, the Gestapo are very active. When it appears they may be caught in the act, the idea of a traitor in their ranks comes to mind. Finding out who betrayed them is paramount. Guy and Eve have their suspicions … and are forced to confront the traitor. Working so close together in such dangerous circumstances forces the two of them to admit their feelings for each other.

So, you see, the tension is not just putting their lives at risk, it now involves risking their heart too.
Another fabulous tale that was over too quickly.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Treasure (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 4)

“A message from Arthur,” Mimi said. “He wants us to steal a set of plans from a factory and blow up the building.”

“Who owns the factory?” Guy asked.

“Auguste Maingard,” Mimi said.

“And what does the factory produce?” I asked.

“It’s a scientific establishment,” Mimi said. “It’s developing a frequency-hopping guided missile system. Naturally, the Nazis are aware of this work and intend to exploit the invention.”

“So,” I said, “we steal the guidance system from Maingard and the Nazis.”

“That’s right,” Mimi said.

“And if we fail?” I frowned.

“If we fail,” Mimi said, “Arthur will send in the bombers and raze the factory to the ground.”

“That would mean the loss of many innocent lives,” Guy said. He stared into the middle-distance, grim-faced. “We can’t allow that. We can’t afford to fail.”

There was a determination on Guy’s face, a passion in his voice that demanded success. Obviously, a new missile guidance system was important, but Guy’s look and tone suggested that this operation went beyond the machinations of war. For some reason, it was personal.

My thoughts

Eve, Guy and Mimi have assumed their new identities in France and are going about the business of obtaining information, sending coded messages, and training up the Maquis for future acts of sabotage against the Nazi regime.
Guy is revelling in his findings as an archaeologist and Mimi is proving very adept as a nurse, while Eve – aka Genevieve – is playing the mourning widow with a penchant for sketching all too well. The trio’s bond is even tighter now, and there are hints of further closeness to come between Eve and Guy. Unfortunately, this time Eve has to contend with an amorous and immensely arrogant German Officer on a date she cannot turn down. Can she handle him? Of course she can – for now, at least.

Mimi celebrates her 21st birthday and is overwhelmed by gifts and a party, although she is seriously missing – and worried about – her fiancé, Henri.

Relations with the Maquis are fraught as they are keen to show their “muscle” against the Nazis, but their leader does not like “taking orders” from a woman; patience is waning and they want to strike quickly. However, the risk of moving too fast, or being disunited, comes with consequences. In the heat of war, success relies on keeping a cool head. The tension is mounting and the team have to think on their feet when things take a wrong turn regarding a mission to sabotage Nazi plans. They’re forced to act, and Mimi has to come to Eve’s rescue. In doing so, she carries out her first kill, but is the pressure getting to her now?
This story sees both Mimi and Eve hanker after happier times; Mimi longs to be with Henri and Eve thinks about her family in Wales, sending a letter to her brother before challenging Guy on his motives for joining the SOE.

This story is short in length but goes a great way in grounding the reader in the French countryside, understanding the dangers faced by the civilians who are helping them, and in showing the arrogance of the German officers who still believe they can and will win this war.
As always, elements of the story are based on real events as experienced by female SOE operatives, and the author includes snippets about them at the end.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be rushing to read Operation Sherlock, the next in the series. I can’t wait!

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Broadsword (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 3)

As Mimi examined her wireless, a figure emerged through the darkness. In his mid-thirties, he possessed broad shoulders and a muscular frame while a proud nose and a neatly trimmed moustache dominated his handsome features.

“The owls are loud tonight,” the man said revealing a voice blessed with a deep baritone.

“You’re allowed to make a loud noise when you’re the wisest of birds,” I replied.

With our code words established, the man stepped forward and shook my hand. His handshake was firm while his pumping action threatened to remove my arm from my shoulder.

“I am Jean-Claude,” he smiled. “Jean-Claude Quiniou. I will escort you to the safe house and introduce you to the Le Roux family.”

“I’m Genevieve,” I said, “and this is Lise.” Of course, I used our aliases, for Eve and Mimi belonged to another life.

My thoughts

As you can tell by my weekly blog posts, I’m loving this series. It’s taking all my strength to not post daily about them, but that’s only because half of the series is, as yet, unpublished. What will I do when I get to the end of the current publications? Well, funny you should say … I have a plan in mind. Stay tuned!

Now, where was I?

Operation Broadsword is the third in the series, and the pace is accelerating. The trio of SOE operatives, Eve, Guy and Mimi, are waiting for the go ahead to see them parachute into France. With their training complete, it’s only a matter of time before they can leave within the window of opportunity granted them by the night’s sky. Eve will not let the minor inconvenience of a fever stop her from going and lands in France to be escorted to the Le Roux farmhouse where she will be staying. Her first few days are spent recuperating, and we get to know the Le Roux family a little. Guy and Mimi take up their positions and become acquainted with the Résistance leaders and Maquis who will work alongside them.
As she is becoming accustomed to life there, Eve still wonders what has become of her husband. Is she a widow for real or is this just a cover?
Another intriguing and engrossing novella in what is proving to be a gripping series.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Locksmith (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 2)

“I understand that you wish to return to France,” the man behind the mahogany desk said.

“That’s correct,” I said.

“Your motivation?” he asked, smoothing the corners of his moustache.

“To do my bit for the war effort,” I said, “to defeat the Nazis and to discover what’s happened to my husband.”

“It would be extremely risky,” the officious-looking man said, “suicidal even, for a lone woman to undertake such a venture. However, there is an alternative.”

“Alternative?” I frowned.

“Yes. We’ll parachute you in, as one of our people. Of course, you’d have to undertake training first. Rigorous training. Top secret training. If you fail, I’m afraid it will mean a spell in the cooler, possibly until the war is over.”

“The cooler?”

“But I trust it won’t come to that,” he said, ignoring my question. “When can you start?”

I began immediately. And during my training I met two people who would radically reshape my life – Guy Samson and Mimi Duchamp. I also discovered secrets about myself, abilities beyond my imagination. However, as the training heated up so the situations became all too real, until they reached a point where I had to kill, or be killed.

My thoughts

Having returned to Britain from France, Eve meets Vera Penrose who arranges for her to take a job at the Air Ministry. It’s dull work in comparison to her former life in France, leading airmen to safety across the border into Spain and beyond.
When Eve is offered something more suiting her skills, she can’t wait. But first she has to endure a brutal training camp, from the physical to the psychological. It’s not all plain sailing, Eve is a skilled lockbreaker and a superb shot but struggles with some of the more physical challenges. She’s also very observant and when she suspects foul play, she is not one to sit back and ignore it.
The training programme is extensive, and she builds a great bond with fellow trainees, Mimi and Guy. She’s also cutting back on the cigarettes, which makes the usual feisty Eve way more feisty when tested.
I raced through this book, it’s fast-paced and entertaining and nicely sets the scene for her next adventure.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation ZigZag (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 1)

Marseille, December 1942

“We’re in a fix,” Vincent said. “The Gestapo have captured a British agent, code name Zigzag. They picked him up through his false identity papers, only the thing is they haven’t discovered his true identity, yet. But they will. And he will talk. They all do in the end. And when he talks he will reveal secrets that will destroy the local resistance networks, including our own. But there’s a way out, through a guard. He’s open to bribes. We’d like you to meet the guard, bribe him, spring Zigzag from the Gestapo prison then escort him over the mountain pass into Spain.”

“Why me?” I asked.

“Because you helped to establish the escape network. And you know the mountain trails like the back of your hand. Furthermore, as the wife of respected industrialist Michel Beringar you are above suspicion.”

I glanced at Michel. From the stern look on his face, I could tell that he wasn’t pleased. Was this one risk too many? And as for me being above suspicion…the Gestapo were following me and they were tapping my phone.

As a child, I’d run away from home. As a teenager, I’d travelled the world, living on my wits. As a journalist, I’d witnessed atrocities inflicted in the name of fascism. As a member of the Resistance, I’d eyeballed fear and stared it down. For the past thirty years I’d lived a full life. I could do this. However, even as I voiced my agreement I knew that my life in Marseille, my life with Michel, would never be the same.

My thoughts

I can’t resist reading stories set in this period in history. It never fails to amaze me how much there is to the topic; you’d think we’d heard it all. But no, as we come to learn, these stories – especially those based on real people and events – tell the lived experiences of those caught up in the war. No two stories are ever the same just as no two people experience the same event in exactly the same way. Eve’s War is a series of twelve novellas, around 20,000 words in length, and each is a complete story. The stories follow Eve from her childhood in Wales right through to her days as an SOE operative, her story arc concluding in the final book. At the very affordable price of 99p, these episodes of Eve’s War quickly become addictive and each one is easily read in one sitting.

As the first in the series, this book – Operation ZigZag – provides the background to Eve’s life, from the Welsh mining town to her marriage to Michel and a privileged life in France. It’s well-paced and hones in on what Eve is all about, and how her desire to beat the fascists drives her on.
There’s a very real sense of danger when she falls into the hands of the Gestapo, but her strength and resilience never waver. By the end, however, she is presented with a very real dilemma and has to trust her own instincts to survive.
I’ve already started book 2 and can see myself motoring through these in no time at all.
Highly recommended for fans of wartime heroines and strong females who “take no prisoners”!

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,