Unmasking a Nazi Conspiracy in 1930s Hollywood

“If not us, who? If not now, when? It must be us, and it must be now. I would fight this war. I would not be silent!”― Stephanie Landsem, Code Name Edelweiss. Code Name Edelweiss is a fabulous historical thriller that reveals a chilling but little-known chapter of American history. Set in the summer of 1933, it follows Liesl Weiss, a single mother in Los Angeles, struggling to support her family during the Great Depression. Enter Leon Lewis, a Jewish lawyer deeply alarmed by the rise of Adolf Hitler and the increase in anti-Semitism in America. Convinced that Nazi agents are plotting to seize control of Hollywood, the world’s greatest propaganda machine, […]

Read more...

Hauntingly Beautiful

4.5 stars rounded up to 5. Only the Beautiful is a poignant historical novel set during the 1930s and 1940s that masterfully intertwines the lives of two remarkable women. The story begins in 1938 with sixteen-year-old Rosanne, whose life is shattered by the tragic deaths of her parents and brother in a car accident. Taken in by the owners of the vineyard where she has lived her entire life, Rosanne soon uncovers a dark secret about her new guardians. The narrative then shifts to 1947 Austria, where Helen Calvert witnesses Adolf Hitler’s ruthless pursuit of racial purity. Upon returning to her brother’s vineyard in California, Helen unravels the mystery of […]

Read more...

Exploring Time and Redemption in Venice

All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes is a novel that intertwines history, mystery, and faith in a richly detailed narrative set against the backdrop of Venice. The story spans two centuries and follows Sebastien Trovato and Daniel Goodman, whose lives intertwine through the enigmatic Book of Waters. 1807: Sebastien Trovato is found floating in a basket along the canals of Venice. Raised by a guild of artisans, he grows up skilled in various trades but haunted by questions about his origins. His quest for answers intensifies when a mysterious woman washes ashore on his lagoon island. 1904: Daniel Goodman, a reformed thief from California, seeks redemption and a fresh […]

Read more...

A Soul-Stirring Journey of Faith and Freedom in Ancient Jerusalem

“She felt a presence within her, one so strong she could barely breathe, one so gentle she felt laughter bubble up. She never wanted to move, never wanted to lose the intensity of this moment, even as she thought that it would surely consume her totally if it remained over her much longer. The peace filled her so completely that there was surely no room left for anything else.”—Rosanna M. White, A Stray Drop of Blood A Stray Drop of Blood by Roseanna M. White is a touching and soul-stirring tale that captivated me from start to finish. Abigail, born free but sold into slavery after her parents’ death, serves […]

Read more...

Just Once

“But it was another reminder to hold tight to today. The gift of this one sunrise and sunset. God alone knows what the future holds for any of us, but He has called us to appreciate this life, and to thank Him daily for it. While we still can.”—Karen Kingsbury, Just Once. Just Once begins when Irvel Holland Myers receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Knowing she has just six months before the disease ravages her brain so badly that she forgets everything, her husband records her memories, including those of her time serving as a code breaker, a secret she has kept from her entire family. Set against the backdrop of […]

Read more...

The Widows of Champagne

Wow, what a book! I dove into The Widows of Champagne thinking it might be just another sad World War II tale, but boy, was I in for a treat. This novel took me on a journey with three generations of resilient women fighting to safeguard their family’s vineyard during a tumultuous time in France. Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree, a woman with a secret mission, is at the forefront. Instead of gearing up for a grand celebration of two centuries of champagne excellence, she orchestrates a covert operation to protect the vineyard’s most precious vintages from the clutches of the Nazis. The tension is palpable, and you can feel the weight […]

Read more...

Bridge of Gold

  Bridge of Gold is an entertaining history lesson about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge during the Gold Rush era. Imagine constructing a 1.7-mile suspension bridge in the 1930s without modern equipment? To set the footings, divers wore clunky suits that weighed hundreds of pounds with heavy copper helmets. It’s mind blowing to me. As I read, I stopped many times to do online research. San Francisco’s famous fog and rocky coastline make for a deadly combination. There are an estimated three hundred wrecks in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the adjacent Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Fascinating. But I digress. Bridge of Gold is a […]

Read more...

Until Leaves Fall in Paris – Book Review

  “Not everything God created is useful, but it’s all good. He didn’t have to create beauty, but he did. He didn’t have to create color, but he did. He didn’t have to create music, but he did. None of it useful. Then he created us in his creative image with the ability to make beauty and color and music. It might not be useful, but it’s good.” ― Sarah Sundin, Until Leaves Fall in Paris. When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And […]

Read more...

Amy’s April 2022 Book Reviews

Sheesh, will I ever catch up on my book reviews? I read some amazing books in April, and I’m thrilled to share my reviews. Here goes! The Progeny By Tosca Lee Emily Porter is on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save. The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Báthory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. The […]

Read more...

My Favorite Book of January 2022

Amanda Dykes knocked it out of the park with Whose Waves These Are. The story is so beautiful it changed me. It inspired me. It made me weep. Her book made me feel warm inside and her words were medicine for my weary soul. I could feel God in them. And her writing is gorgeous; lyrical and sweeping. I like to highlight passages when I read for later reflection, but if I did that with this book, my eBook would have been more yellow than not. Don’t even get me started on her characterization. I fell in love with the people and their way of life. I envied their sense […]

Read more...