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Thursday 15 May 2014


Welcome to
BOOK TOUR First Stop here at FHC !

New York Times Best Selling Author, Liz Tolsma,
a video peek into the story's background
Editions:   Paperback, ebook - 352 pages
Series:      Women of Courage book 2
Published: May 6. 2014 
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers

From author, Liz Tolsma ~
"It's the real story of two very courageous women. I've taken the true accounts and fictionalized them, but much of what happens in the book did happen. I cannot imagine living during that time, either on the run for my life or hiding for my life. Wondering if each breath would be my last. Praying that the bombs would stop falling while praying at the same time that they would keep falling. I hope the story touches you the way it touched me."
As Liz Tolsma describes, this is a story based on true events of WWII.  Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her Opa and cousin,
Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, both the elderly grandfather and cousin Ella, a nurse, refuse to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela.
During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans.  One wounded German soldier, Kurt, has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over.
Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever and they must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

*My thoughts?

From the one hour window of decision to departure
in the face of the army's approach,
the intensity of this story didn't let up until its conclusion.
"She clutched her chest, finding it hard to breath, and snapped back
to the present.  They had to run. An hour. They would leave in an hour.
She drew an unsteady breath and steeled herself.
"We can't let them catch us.""
Authentic characters living life as was the norm at the time,
now encountering extreme life situations at every turn
was overwhelming to read, let alone imagining the scenarios
Ms Tolsma so realistically painted.
Continual pressure of making decisions with far-reaching effect
yet without time to fully consider consequences.
"Thoughts whirled like a snowstorm through Gisela's mind...
The pictures...rattled on the wall as another shell hit its mark.
They had no time to waste. "
Caring for and carrying two young children from one horrific
setting in succession after another - my heart was pounding 
in a continual state of alarm.
Gisela discovers their only transportation - a bicycle -
has been stolen during their first night of the move west. 
How pleased I was when escaped Brit POW, Mitch Edwards, arrives
on the scene, anticipating him to offer some physical assistance,
yet without grasping the hazard he now becomes to those
of Gisela's immediate group.
His presence as escaped POW, language and accent,
jeopardizes their anonymity just by opening his mouth to speak.
The magnitude of these desperate masses of people
fleeing capture are vividly drawn by Ms Tolsma.
Each scenario tangibly descriptive and emotionally evocative.
"She folded the cash and slipped it into a pocket sewn on the inside
of her dress, along with a handful of cigarettes from the tin.
They were like gold, barter for whatever they needed.
Anyone would sell anything for a cigarette."
Travelling on foot, hauling belongings by cart without rest 
and for endless miles, with bombers attacking from above,
I despaired for their survival and protection.
Every emotion heightened and fully engaged in the outcome
of this young woman and her charges.
When a one armed soldier pulls her to the last spot of safety
in the final departing army transport, Gisela has no way of knowing
what lies ahead...
Bright moments of miraculous provision of food, 
catching train space, help from fellow travellers, strangers,
and the comic relief of two elderly sisters 
living in a world from their past, all serve to provide some cushion 
for the reader from the constant onslaught of darkness that is war.
In the midst of this exterior darkness, Gisela works and reworks the
interior darkness resulting from her past actions
regarding two cousins for whom she feels responsible.
Faith plays out in resolution of her distress and a maturity
I was looking for on her behalf.
Relief at the joys of reuniting once they reach Berlin are soon
exchanged for an entirely new barrage of emotions
when the Allied forces escalate their bombing in the final days of the war,
targeting more than the headquarters to bring down the Third Reich.
The advance of the Russians into the area bodes new evils
depicted by Ms Tolsma 
and we're plunged into horrors that take our breath in new ways.
Personal tension between the main characters, Gisela and Mitch,
increases as the love triangle manufactured by German soldier, Kurt,
plays out to the music of his own imagination.
Ms Tolsma enriches readers' understanding with excellent insights into Kurt's thinking that colours his actions.
A well researched, encompassing story that relieves the suspense  
with a satisfying conclusion.
No what-might-have-beens.
If God says not to worry about tomorrow,
I would think the same applies to yesterday.
There's enough trouble in the here and now
to worry about how differently things could have turned out

Mitch Edwards - Daisies Are Forever
* Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing an ecopy to read and review via Litfuse without cost or compensation.
Author Bio:
Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally one has special needs.
Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released August 2013. Daisies Are Forever releasedMay 2014.
When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family.
Please visit her blog at 
liztolsma.  F
ollow her on Facebook and Twitter @LizTolsma.
Liz is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog.


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michie scott said...

Visiting for Book Review Diva

Mich BookShelf

Teddyree said...

It sounds intense, I love historical fiction, it's on my wishlist. Nice review!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful review and post.

This book sounds very good.

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

Silver's Reviews

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

An intriguing way to write a review. Thanks for sharing it.

Unknown said...

Thanks for linking up at God's Girl. Great to discover your blog. Love the Chesterton quote in your header - words to live by

Unknown said...

The book sounds great
Your review was very interesting
God bless both of you
Chris G

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