We Must Be Brave #FrancesLiardet

2019 (1)

I’m pretty excited to be reviewing my first book for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge sponsored by Passages to the Past. I agreed to read 10 books this year for the challenge. 1/10

We Must Be Brave is a beautifully told tale set in England at the height of WWII. It is the story of heartbreak and sadness but ultimately one of love, particularly the love one has for a child.

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Because I was taught WWII history from an American perspective, it was only recently and primarily through historical fiction that I learned that massive numbers of children in England were evacuated to farmhouses throughout the countryside. The fathers were off fighting, the mothers left behind to work in the factories. These children often were abused, sometimes lost, and not always were reunited with their parents after the war was over. Only now are their stories being told en-masse. This is a fictionalized account of such a tale.

During the helter-skelter rush of evacuations, no one notices that a child has been left behind on the bus. Ellen discovers the child, Pamela, and takes her home to foster. There are trials and tribulations as Pamela grieves for the parents she has lost and troubles for Ellen, as well, as she deals with her own husband who doesn’t want the child. However, over time they fall into a routine and Ellen falls in love with the child. But, as fate would have it, the child’s father returns for his child. Ellen is heartbroken, of course.

The first half of the book is told in elaborate and beautiful detail. The facts regarding the war, the evacuations, the atmosphere surrounding war-time England and its effects on its people. It was devastating for all, those who fought overseas and those who persevered at home. Each time I read a book like this one, I learn something new and am given a new perspective. In this respect, We Must Be Brave did not disappoint.

The latter half of the book, after Pamela is removed from Ellen’s care, felt a bit rushed and disjointed. The details were scant and the imagery that was present in the first part was missing. It was as though the author had a vision for the beginning and knew where she wished it to end but wasn’t quite sure what to do with the middle. However, I enjoyed the beginning and loved the ending so much that I was able to somewhat overlook the minor shakiness sandwiched in between.

Admittedly this is not my favorite era  to read about; I’m not sure we’re quite far enough removed to be objective enough to write historical fiction about this time period. But, if you enjoy WWII fiction, I think you will like We Must Be Brave and I know you will find the historical facts fascinating.

Thank you to #Edelweiss, @PGIPutnamBooks and the author for my advanced copy of @WeMustBeBrave

 

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NAUGHTY OR NICE?!

I used to be on Santa’s Nice list every year. Then I learned that being naughty has more advantages. 😉 Ho Ho HeHe!

SOUTHERN WRITER

Santa list

[Disclaimer:  For any children reading this poem, please note that it is ALWAYS better to be nice!  And if Santa is reading this, I hope he has a good sense of humor!]

NAUGHTY OR NICE?!

Santa is coming!

Were you naughty or nice?

Please listen to me

And take my advice,

Sometimes, being naughty

Is more fun, than some

Of Santa’s gifts,

Which are ho, ho hum!

So, listen to me,

Make giggles, my advice!

Sometimes, it’s better

To be naughty, not nice!   🙂

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Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas!!

When I started the Twelve Weeks ‘Til Christmas countdown ten weeks ago, it actually seemed as though the holidays were so far away. Now, we are down to TWO weeks, 14 days, until the big celebration. Today, since it’s a Top Whatever Tuesday, I thought I would recap some of my favorite holiday books of 2018.

First and foremost, my very favorite holiday book this year was A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories. You can read my review HERE. If you haven’t read this compilation yet, I highly encourage you to give it a try. The stories within are some of the best I’ve ever read – as in – ever!

Obviously, over the past few months I’ve read a LOT of holiday books so that I could do this countdown. Some were typical, a few never made it to the blog and one or two I couldn’t even bring myself to finish. The ones shown below, however, definitely were the highlight of the season.

The favorite among you, my blog readers, was Mutts and Mistletoe and I have to admit it was a favorite of mine as well. The story was adorable but the dogs absolutely stole the show! I also just found out that the author, Natalie Cox, has another “mutt” based holiday book, Not Just For Christmas, so I definitely have to find and read that one too!

I previously had read The Fairy in the Kettle and fell in love with writing and the incredible artwork. I was thrilled to discover that there was a Christmas follow-up story: The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish. If you have any younger kids in your life, I highly recommend this book above all others. It’s beautifully written and the storyline is marvelous!

I was super excited to discover some new authors through their holiday work, one of whom is Sue Moorcroft. Her writing style is just great and exactly the type of writing that I love to read. I’ve already ordered more of her books and next week will have a review of one of her previous holiday tales.

In the historical genre, I fell head over heels in love with two of the writers in The Christmas Heirloom. The story of a brooch that is passed down from mother to daughter for centuries absolutely stole my heart! And, I think it is safe to say that after three years and three books, Rebecca Boxall’s holiday reads will be on my Must-Read list and I hope they will be on yours as well. I read Christmas on the Coast in January of this year and followed up with her newest, The Christmas Forest, a few weeks ago.

However, aside from the African-American stories, my favorite book this holiday season was Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood. I simply adored the characters in the story, the setting, but mostly, how they overcame their past to find love once again. I truly enjoy reading about the healing powers of love and the joy of this season.

I hope, if you haven’t read these yet, that you will give at least one or two of them a try. I know you will enjoy them as much as I did.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 

NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2019 “Sign-Ups” #NGEW2019

I’ve been reading about this challenge the last few months and I’m excited to give this challenge a shot for 2019. I’m shooting for Platinum since the majority of books that I read are from NG and EW. That is half of my reading goal for 2019 so I think – hope – that I will be able to do this! What about you? Did you join the challenge last year? Why not join us for 2019? It will be fun!

Reading Between the Pages

Welcome to the sixth annual
NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge!

This challenge was created by Emily@Falling for YA, then moved to Katrina@Bookish Things & More (site no longer available) and now it resides here at Reading Between the Pages.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of NetGalley/Edelweiss books sitting on your shelf to be read?
Have you lost your 80% rating and would love to get it back?
Do you want to challenge yourself to read more NetGalley/Edelweiss books?

If the answer is “YES” to any of these questions then this is the challenge for you!

Challenge Guidelines… 

  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. There is no deadline to signup.
  • Everyone is welcome to participate – you do not need to have a blog.
  • Any genre, release date, length, etc. counts, it just needs to be a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You Would Want at Friendsgiving

This is the first time I’ve actually participated on this thread posted on Goodreads primarily because I didn’t know it existed. I think there are a lot of things at Goodreads of which I’m unaware. 😦  However, since my family firmly believes that I have a difficult time separating my favorite book characters from real life people, I found this to be the perfect time to join in. You can find the original thread here: TOP 5 Wednesday

#5 – 51W-HzcFZZL

Minny from The Help. Of all of the characters in the book and movie, I most identified with is Minny. She’s strong, funny, has a marvelous temper and knows how to settle scores when needed. Most importantly, she knows how to be a good friend! I wouldn’t ask her to bring pie, but I’d love some of her southern fried chicken!

#4 – 35879889

I have read Christy over a dozen times throughout my lifetime and it remains one of my all favorite books. However, it isn’t Christy that I would invite rather it is Alice Henderson, the very wise Quaker woman who guided Christy after her arrival in Cutter’s Gap. That character has influenced and guided my life more than any other in literature. I even chose a home built by a Quaker gentleman to rehabilitate because of my love for Alice Henderson and the Quakers I’ve known throughout my lifetime.

#3 – 517vbd5D37L._SY346_

I realize that Armand Gamache is Canadian but since this is a Friendsgiving and not the traditional familial Thanksgiving, I think it will be okay. Inspector Gamache is the epitome of everything that being a gentleman represents. I love keeping up with him, his family and his work. I supposed he could bring his wife if he wanted but I’d rather he brought with him all of the marvelous characters from Three Pines.

#2 – 514OvCNr+WL._SX296_BO1,204,203,200_

I read this book for extra credit while still in high school and I have re-read it multiple times since. I cannot think of any character in American history that I cherish more than Sacajawea – well, perhaps George Rogers Clark, on whom I have a very strange crush. And yes, I know he’s dead. <sigh>  After reading this book, I became fascinated with Lewis and Clark’s journey to the west and have, actually, followed their trail from Missouri to the Oregon coast. I now live in Indiana where George Rogers Clark is buried, To say that I love book characters truly is an understatement.

#1 – 32506

There was a time when my kids actually thought that Harry Bosch was a real person because I talked about him so much! It occurred to me, with the publication of his latest book, that I have, quite literally, grown old along with Bosch. We started together nearly three decades ago and each year I look forward to catching up with him. While I’ve lost interest in so many other series or have parted ways with some of the characters, my love for Harry Bosch stays strong. 🙂

And that’s my list, although I easily could have hosted a banquet of 100 or more! I hope some of these characters inspire you to read more about them. Have you read these books yourself? What did you think about them? Who would among you Top 5? Link me up and let me know. If you are in the US, I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving. To everyone else – Happy Reading!

 

FREE Book Download: FATHER FIGURE #NA #FamilyDrama #Relationships

I haven’t read this one yet so I am downloading it today. I LOVED Watching Glass Shatter and Academic Curveball so I feel comfortable recommending this one to any of you who haven’t read it yet. Enjoy!

This Is My Truth Now

Not only did I release the 2nd book in the Braxton Campus mystery series — ‘Broken Heart Attack‘ — for pre-sale this week, but ‘Father Figure’ is a free download thru 11/21. Please SHARE… thanks.

FREE DOWNLOAD (1)

Description

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate…

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