Friday, June 21, 2019

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book

Book: The Medallion
Author: Cathy Gohlke
Genre: Historical Fiction (World War II)
Release date: June 4, 2019

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Read.  This.  Book.

The horrors, atrocities, and crimes against humanity that took place during World War II were so accurately described, that I wanted to weep several times as I read this book.  I would think about it as I went to sleep, during my dreams, then again as I woke up each morning.  THAT is a good story.

What I loved about this book was that the characters persevered.  Nothing was easy then, and average citizens were victims of the circumstances of the time.  But they pressed on, with encouragement from Scripture:  He will "make a way, when there seems to be no way."

What I didn't like was the pure evil that propelled the Nazis to mistreat the Jews and many other people groups.  But Gohlke handled that tactfully, and I commend her for that.  

This is not an easy book to read because of the subject matter, but it was very readable, and I got through it fairly quickly.

Every adult should read this book.  Yes, it is fiction, but the events and people surrounding those fictional characters were real.  Those with a special interest in World War II will especially appreciate the research that went into this novel.  5 stars.

Read this book, because we need not to forget what happened to fellow humans at the hands of other fellow humans.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Tyndale House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

More from Cathy

Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy.

The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology.

The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within ┼╗egota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one?

Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.

Blog Stops

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 22
Christian Bookaholic, June 22
Carla Loves To Read, June 22
The Power of Words, June 23
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, June 23
Mary Hake, June 23
janicesbookreviews, June 23
Where Faith and Books Meet, June 24
By The Book, June 24
For Him and My Family, June 24
A Reader’s Brain, June 24
All-of-a-kind Mom, June 25
Through the Fire Blogs, June 25
Retrospective Spines, June 25
Inklings and notions, June 25
Remembrancy, June 26
Lis Loves Reading , June 26
The Becca Files, June 26
Genesis 5020, June 27
Reader’s Cozy Corner, June 27
Connect in Fiction, June 27
Bigreadersite, June 28
Maureen’s Musings, June 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 28
Blossoms and Blessings, June 29
For the Love of Literature, June 29
Spoken from the Heart, June 29
Inspired by fiction, June 30
Have A Wonderful Day, June 30
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30
Inspiration Clothesline, July 1
Connie’s History Classroom, July 1
Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Just the Write Escape, July 2
Seasons of Opportunities, July 2
Pause for Tales, July 2
As He Leads is Joy, July 3
To Everything A Season, July 3
Hallie Reads, July 3
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 4
For The Love of Books, July 4
Emily Yager, July 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5
Texas Book-aholic, July 5


To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Book Review: The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

About the Book:

The Toughest Puzzle She'll Have to Solve 
Might Be the Wishes of Her Own Heart

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

My Review:

What I love about reading a book by Roseanna M. White is that you get a good, solid book.  It's well-researched, the characters have depth, and there is an interesting plot that pulls through until the end.  No fluff. 

Margot De Wilde, whom we met in a previous book, is a fascinating character.  Her mind thinks in numbers, and her communion with God is based on numbers, as well.  She is most comfortable being "one of the guys" at work, so it was interesting to witness Margot expand her circle of friends.  Drake Elton was an amazingly well-educated, caring, competent, and dedicated man.  He served his country faithfully, and was an all-around great guy.  He figured out how to speak Margot's language, which was no small feat.

The mystery and intrigue surrounding the spy network during World War I makes for an interesting story line that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Those who have an interest in World War I and those who enjoy historical romance will certainly enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Helpful Links:

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review with a Giveaway: Just a Train Ride by Elizabeth Wehman

About the Book

Book: Just a Train Ride
Author: Elizabeth Wehman
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Release Date: September 1, 2017

She was born during the Great Depression, dated a soldier shipped across the world into the upheavals of war. Despite the haunting scars of battle, she married that soldier when he returned. After the loss of her husband of sixty years, an annual trip to visit her grandson in Chicago always helped ease her loneliness. Yet in the face of ailing health, Callie had boarded a train and now needed to make her way back home to Michigan. She’d made the same trip many times before, yet this time it was clear to Callie it would be her last. That’s when she met Blaine. The young, agitated woman appeared to be seeking an escape which inspired Callie to remember her own struggles in life and love. Had their lives merged for a reason? They had a train ride from Chicago to Lapeer to find out.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

When a mundane event becomes a life-changing one. That's the theme of Just a Train Ride. I enjoyed this ride. I got to meet Callie and Blaine, and hear Callie's story. It was such a treat to go back in time and experience the joys and heartaches of a simpler lifestyle. I loved the closeness of Callie's family, how well her mother understood her, and how her strong, silent father was supportive of her. The heartache and uncertainty that surrounded World War II was aptly described, and the themes of love and faithfulness, and how that is lived out was heartening. Callie’s transformation in the midst of her difficult circumstances was encouraging, and the resulting changes in Blaine’s outlook made me want to cheer for her.  I'm looking forward to what's next from this author.
This is a gentle, enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of historical and contemporary fiction.  The back-and-forth from past to present would work well in a movie.

I received an ARC of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Raised in Michigan, Author Elizabeth Wehman loves to incorporate cities in the state for her inspirational fiction. Famous Michigan flowers adorn the back covers of her books from peonies to lilacs and apple blossoms. Her first novel, “Under the Windowsill,” reflects the tranquility and hidden treasures of Mackinac Island for a much needed hideaway for Kenna, a young girl raised in Iowa. This coming-of-age story uses the growing pains of a quiet, country girl to reflect the dangers and unknowns of breaking away from family and security. From the frustrations of trying to make it alone, Kenna’s experience cements a permanent trust of the goodness of her past and a true hope for the future. Elizabeth’s second novel reflects the tumultuous relationship between sisters in “Promise at Daybreak.” Two elderly sisters are forced together by illness which leads them to fulfill a pact they made at their mother’s grave. The story reflects the storms of dealing with dementia and the results of fulfilling a promise, despite its drawbacks. The setting for this novel is Elizabeth’s hometown, Durand, complete with its historic depot and the thunderous noises of a train town. Both novel settings share historical and distinctive aspects of both Michigan cities. Elizabeth’s third novel, released the summer of 2017, is entitled, “Just a Train Ride.” All of her novels are clean reads, with a clear inspirational message for her readers. Elizabeth’s home is in Owosso. You can find more about Elizabeth at or on her Facebook page – Elizabeth Wehman/Author.

More from Elizabeth

Just a Train Ride is a fictional version of my parent’s love story from the 1940’s. My father fought in WWII and he returned from his fighting experience after having a nervous breakdown. He suffered repercussions of that throughout his entire life. My mother sent off a different man than the one who returned home to her, but she was faithful to her promise to marry him. Their story and his experiences were a private matter, so I waited until after his death to write their story. Some of it is based on facts, other parts are just my imagination…filling in the details. I included the train ride as a major part, due to the fact that my mother had gone on a train to see my father just before he shipped off to war. My main purpose in writing JATR was to show how you can be faithful in marriage, despite the setbacks, sorrow, and fateful events that can ravage even the best of marriages. This is my third inspirational novel.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, May 25
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26
Just the Write Escape, May 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 27
Retrospective Spines, May 28
janicesbookreviews, May 28
Stephanie’s LIfe of Determination, May 29
Mary Hake, May 29
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 30
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 31
Bigreadersite, June 1
A Reader’s Brain, June 1
For Him and My Family, June 2
Inklings and notions, June 2
Pause for Tales, June 3
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6
Texas Book-aholic, June 7

To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away a grand prize of a Michigan-themed basket!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the below to enter.