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Season of My Enemy by Naomi Musch Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Season of My Enemy

Author: Naomi Musch

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Romance

Release date: June 1, 2022

“Get Your Farm in the Fight” – The Realities of WWII Come to a Wisconsin Farm

Only last year, Fannie O’Brien was considered a beauty with a brain, and her future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. With her father’s sudden death and her brothers overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm—until eight German prisoners arrive and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Someone seems intent on causing “accidents,” and Fannie is certain the culprit is one of the two handsome older Germans—or possibly both. Can she manage the farm, keep the prisoners in line, and hold her family together through these turbulent times?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“vIctory BegIns on the Farm! overalls are your unIForm!”

“They are my enemies, no matter how many courtesies we share or how hard they work. I must never forget it.”

Wow!! I had never read anything by Naomi Musch before Season of My Enemy, but what a powerful book that tells of some of the unknown history of the home front during WWII. Part of Barbour’s Heroines of WWII series, Musch tells of a Wisconsin farm family, whose father has died and oldest brothers are serving in Europe. Unable to keep the farm running on their own, the O’Brien family is forced to ask for workers from the local German PW(prisoner of war) camp to help with the harvest.

Most of us are quite familiar with “love your neighbor,” and “treat others the way you want to be treated,” but Musch forces us to place ourselves in each family member’s shoes: the mother, Fannie, Jerry, Patsy, and others. How would we react to being dependent on the enemy? Could we trust them? Could we see the PWs as individuals, caught up in something bigger than themselves, or would we, like Fannie, endeavor to hold on to hatred and prejudice?

I loved the reality of the family’s struggle. Just as I would think they all overcoming their fears, events or people would influence them to hold onto their deep bitterness.

I also loved the mom’s path of cobblestones. What a wonderful idea!!

If you like a strong, well-told story of those left behind at home in WWII, you will enjoy this story of uncovered history, faith, slight romance, and intrigue!

I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“We are not involved in a war of ideals. It is a war of hatred.”

“Pray for me, Jerry. I want to believe the best—concerning most of them anyway. They seem like us. Just men stuck in a bad situation.”

“Showing kindness might be the best way to keep them all safe.”

“I pray for all of them. I pray for peace.” “That’s how you manage, isn’t it?”

“Such hatred is a poison, and there is nothing about it that can be understood…” “Only God can change the heart of man.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! I loved this historical fiction by a new-to-me author that taught me Truth and history!! Naomi Musch has been added to my Must-Reads!!

About the Author

Naomi Musch is an award-winning author who writes from a deer farm in the pristine north woods of Wisconsin, where she and husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. When not in the physical act of writing or spending time loving on her passel of grandchildren, she can be found plotting stories as she roams around the farm, snacks out of the garden, and relaxes in her vintage camper. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Wisconsin Writers’ Association, and the Lake Superior Writers. She loves engaging with others and can be found all around social media or at her site naomimusch.com

More from Naomi

Welcome to my wilderness – that’s what it says when you pop onto my website, because so many of my books take place in rural and wilderness settings. That’s where my heart lives too. Therefore, when I decided to write a World War II story, I gravitated to the home front, to rural America, where living out the war years meant a different kind of survival.

Before this story idea came to me, I knew that prisoners of war had been held in America during part of the war years. There are a number of other wonderful WWII novels out there set in North America involving POWs, and I adore the 2005 movie Sweet Land. Yet, until looking further, I hadn’t realized that so many German soldiers were held right here in my home state of Wisconsin! In fact, thousands of prisoners were sent to work in our country’s canning factories and on our farms. How could I have grown up and never been told that there had once been a POW camp right in my home town?

In fact, there were 38 such “branch camps” just in Wisconsin alone—camps that housed workers specifically for contracting work on farms and in canneries. Workers were contracted by farmers with the army and sent to labor in the cranberry bogs, cherry orchards, apple orchards; to farms picking beans, peas, corn, and to tend the other crops. By international treaty, prisoners had to be paid for their work, so they were allowed to earn scrip in the equivalent of 80 cents per day which they could spend in camp canteens on personal items.

Bingo! There was the seed that burst through the soil of my imagination for my novel Season of My Enemy.

My heroine Fanny O’Brien is a Wisconsin farm girl who left state teacher’s college to manage her family’s farm during the war. She never imagined herself coordinating the work of eight German prisoners in the process—or what the outcome of that task would be.

I believe a great story has to reveal strong yet subtle themes in order for the characters and their plight to feel real. In Season of My Enemy, Fannie uncovers a lot of prejudice both in her own heart and as her eyes are opened to the broader sphere around her. There are all kinds of prejudice in the world, and some of it revealed in this story may surprise you. In fact, my editor and several other authors of WWII fiction who read the book all said, “I didn’t know that!” (I won’t tell you what they were referring to, because you know…spoilers.)

Season of My Enemy isn’t all about history of course. It’s a heartfelt story of a man and woman who slowly yield their hearts to love amidst unpredictable times and unusual circumstances. They begin as enemies who finally look beyond their prejudices to find they have more in common than they first thought. To overcome terrific odds, they must depend upon their faith and rest in a powerful hope that touches their own lives as well as the lives of others surrounding them.

I hope you’ll read Season of My Enemy, and be sure and pop me a note to tell me what you think!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, June 28

Blossoms and Blessings, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

For Him and My Family, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

Pause for Tales, July 2

deb’s Book Review, July 3

Book Looks by Lisa, July 4

Mary Hake, July 4

Betti Mace, July 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 7

Connie’s History Classroom, July 8

Books, Books, and More Books, July 8

Bizwings Blog, July 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 10

Labor Not in Vain, July 10

lakesidelivingsite, July 11

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1f45e/season-of-my-enemy-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

Flame of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Flame of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 1, 2022

The fiery pain at her new husband’s murder might equal the disaster blazing across the Pacific Northwest. Stranded in the treacherous railroad camp, baking bread for survival to avoid the life of a bordello canary, Juliana Hayes has no desire to marry a railroad ruffian like Lukas Filips, or anyone else. Her scrimping and saving will pay off soon. She’ll be free of the camps, the rails, and the men who destroyed her life. But she can’t earn her living constantly besieged by desperate bachelors where few women cause chaos in the male ranks.

Juliana reluctantly accepts his protection, but when Lukas reveals the secret of his Montenegrin nobility, the old fears flare as hot as the fire storm eating up the forest at their heels. Can she release her prejudice to love again? Or will either one of them survive The Big Blowup to find out?

Flame of the Rockies, Book 6 in the Queen of the Rockies series, is based on true history when three million acres burned out of control on the border of Montana and Idaho darkening the skies all the way to the East Coast during August of 1910. It’s a wonder anyone survived! Read this heart-pounding romance full of adventure, honoring true history and the heroes that made it. Be sure to follow this 6-book historical romance adventure series, Queen of the Rockies, set in the Gilded Age through the turn-of-the-century. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Why did she have to feed the very men who murdered her husband?”

I really didn’t want to give Flame of the Rockies five stars. But Angela Breidenbach upped her game, if that was even possible, from the others. This was the very best of all six of the Queen of the Rockies series!

Immediately, Breidenbach draws the reader into the story of a widowed bread baker (Juliana) who is constantly fighting off unwanted miners’ attentions. Yet, Lukas, as the latest foreman, is equally compelling and relatable. Breidenbach sets the uneasy, hot 1910 Montana summer scene well. The dangers, manmade or natural, are realistic, well-presented, and suspenseful. The scenery and action are vividly portrayed. What a terrifying event Breidenbach brings to life, one easily ignored. I know I’ll never forget it, as I lived through it vicariously.

Love, love, love the info and the whetting of the appetite Ms. Breidenbach stirs up in the intro! They say a good speaker should lay out his or her main points before the start of a talk, and tell the audience exactly what it is they should learn. Breidenbach does this very effectively. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done so well in a novel before.

Need tourist information for a trip to Montana? Breidenbach could single-handedly handle the tourism industry for Montana, with her knowledge of the state, its history, and her ability to make that history come alive. In this novel, she focuses on the Route of the Hiawatha. Breidenbach even suggests what to take and expect on your tour.

Faith plays an important role in Lukas’s and Juliana’s story. A wonderful part of a great book.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, plus I purchased my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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Notable Quotables:

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Men forged the roads, built the towns, answered the call of adventure. But women—they tamed hearts, settled men, and created civilization.

“You’ve accepted my apology, but have you forgiven me?”

“A woman settled a man. He glanced at Juliana. He wanted to be settled by her.”

“Always give credit where credit is due. My father taught me that. A man will give his best when it’s appreciated.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! An event I’d never heard about, now I’ll never forget!!

About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, the director and president of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies(GenealogicalStudies.com), conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

https://AngelaBreidenbach.com

More from Angela

Research is both a joy and a nemesis for an author and/or genealogist. We’re easily distracted with one more fascinating discovery! The entire series, Queen of the Rockies, came from research rabbit trails when I thought there’d be one book. Now there are six ending with Flame of the Rockies!

Flame of the Rockies happens on the factual Trail of the Hiawatha. At first, this trail was a mining area deep in the mountains on the Idaho-Montana border. So deep that fourteen feet of snow blocking the railroad was common during the winter. Quite the contrast to the hot, dry summers with countless lightning strikes and regular forest fires.

After the Big BlowUp that occurred in August of 1910 burning over 3,000,000 acres, the area gradually became a gorgeous upscale train ride through the mountains. People rode the Hiawatha for leisure, upscale dining, and tourism. Then rails died out. The Trail of the Hiawatha rose from the ashes of forgotten history to become the incredible 16.5 mile bike path it is today. The trail winds down the valley from on top of the Continental Divide with incredible views for miles as you ride and experience the awe of God’s creative grandeur.

Understanding the history and evolution of this special trail isn’t hard. So much work in historical preservation has been done, and continues to be done, for those who come. Be sure to read the travel article in the back of this book so you can be one of those holding your breath as mountain after mountain after mountain roll outward from the trestles. You’ll see mountain tops go on for miles and miles. Those vistas truly feel as if you’re standing on the clouds with the Heavenly Hosts. Then you’ll understand why Montana is called the Big Sky Country!

I hope you enjoy Flame of the Rockies and meeting many of the real people who lived and worked in those extreme conditions. Yes, a few of the characters are fictitious. But remember you’re also going to meet a true hero whose heroism and name still rings through the Hiawatha and the world today!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 18

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Rebecca Tews, June 19

Inklings and notions, June 20

For Him and My Family, June 21

Blogging With Carol, June 21

deb’s Book Review, June 22

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 24

Bizwings Blog, June 25

Sylvan Musings, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 26

Betti Mace, June 27

Connie’s History Classroom, June 27

Mary Hake, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 1

Spoken from the Heart, July 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the prize a free genealogy course to three winners!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1eff7/flame-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

52875674

About the Book

Title: In High Cotton

Author: Ane Mullligan

Publisher: Heritage Beacon Press

Released: August 3, 2020

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

My Review

This title puzzled me from the get-go. What could Ane Mulligan mean by “In High Cotton”? I quickly discovered that this is the story of single mother, Maggie Parker, and her seven-year-old son who live in the small Georgia town of Rivers End in 1929. (Points to Ane Mulligan for the town map at the front of the book.) I was relieved to see Ms. Mulligan capture my attention almost against my will, since the Depression is not one of my favorite historical eras.
But present it well, she did. The small town has some big-hearted people, like Sadie and Mama Faylene and Wade, and even little Barry. It also has some small-hearted people, who can’t see beyond the color of one’s skin, one’s gender, or their own ambition. Mulligan balances out the town’s population with enough of these that Maggie must constantly watch her back and her store.

In High Cotton 1


But this is a novel to be loved for so many things. Maggie’s story is one of most unique and compelling voices I’ve read in 2020!! I loved how Maggie keeps reaching out to help people, because they have needs apparent in front of her, even as her store is struggling. As Sadie would say, “Southern women may seem as delicate as flowers, but we’ve got iron in our veins.” The metal (mettle) of these ladies is truly glorious to behold, whether it is Maggie or Sadie challenging Cal;
the transformation of a surprising character; or Mama Faylene quietly standing up to the worst of the lot.

IN HIgh Cotton 2


Reminiscent of the movie, Steel Magnolias, you will want to have your tissues ready, but also keep an eye out for the wonderful humor, funny sayings and colloquialisms of the time. By the time you close the book, your heart may feel like you, too, are In High Cotton! Mine did.
Themes include finding true family, trusting God, and standing tall against evil, together. If only Ms. Mulligan’s map had shown how to get to River’s End.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.
 

 

My Rating

5 Stars- Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

8061216I’ve been a voracious reader ever since my mother instilled within me her own love of reading at an early age. Together we would escape together into worlds otherwise unknown.

A new love entered my life when I saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN. Struck with a fever from which I never recovered, I submerged myself in drama through high school and college, but, alas, Broadway never found my phone number.

While a large, floppy straw hat is my favorite, I’ve worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), business manager, creative arts director and writer. My lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for my Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast).

I wrote and published my first script in 1996 and to date have over 4-dozen scripts in print, nine books, and numerous articles on various aspects of Christian drama and the craft of writing. In Jan of 2003, having quit my job with my husband’s encouragement, I began to write full time. I reside in Sugar Hill, Georgia with my artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler.

You can connect with Ane at

https://www.anemulligan.com

https://goodreads.com/anemulligan

 

 

Bethany House, BLOG, NetGalley

The Runaway Bride, #2 The Bride Ships by Jody Hedlund

46125033

About the Book

Title: The Runaway Bride

Series: #2 The Bride Ships

Author: Jody Hedlund

Publisher: Bethany House

Released: March 2020

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Haunted by mistakes in her past, will she ever again trust her heart to another?

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship, still bearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately attracts suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by making a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy, held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town’s baker who has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella’s affections, but also clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl left behind by her tribe. Intent on helping the child, Arabella leans on Peter’s advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what’s right cost both her and Peter everything?

 

My Review

Jody Hedlund won me over in The Runaway Bride, #2 The Bride Ships, with her hero. He
is Pete Kelly, a baker who is well-liked and charismatic. He also has a keen eye out for
injustice done to his fellow-man and is quick to get involved. He is kind, has compassion
even on his enemies, and is really trying to live for God. Which brings up his biggest
question for God: if he’s living according to God’s plan, why is his life so tough? Pete has
to decide if living life God’s way is worthwhile if it doesn’t always result in a life of ease
or happiness.
Runaway Bride #1
Arabella is one very confused lady. She certainly seems to have a severe case of
indecision. She brought to mind that verse in James about a double-minded person that
is “blown and tossed by the wind.” (James‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬) Just when I thought, “Now she’ll come
to her senses and understand which direction to go,” she would falter and backpedal
faster than a carriage whose horses are spooked. Thank goodness for Hedlund’s author’s
notes. Hedlund assures us she’s aware we 21st-century readers might have difficulty
understanding a 19th-century English woman’s hesitation to step outside of societal
norms. By the novel’s end, Arabella develops a very strong spine and I wondered if I
would be that courageous.
Runaway Bride #2
This is a nonlinear story, so we are fed a bit of the present story, then a memory bite of
the past. Eventually, the dichotomous storyline is completed after much danger, soul-
searching, and exciting adventures with a few clean romantic kisses, plus a nice ending
twist.
Perhaps the players I most admired stayed in the background. Mercy taught Arabella so
much by her example. Mrs. Moresby and Hayward were ladies I really wanted to meet
and enjoy knowing.
One other note. Hedlund’s historical research is impeccable and a reader can learn a
great deal about Victoria in the 1860s.
Notable Quotables:

“He’ll give you courage like no other can.”

”I always figured if God thinks the condition of a person’s heart matters more, then I should, too.”

”She’d been satisfied with eating crumbs in her relationships when there were feasts that awaited if she just had enough courage to partake.”

”…when we stand up against injustice, we’ll likely suffer for doing the right thing.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Bethany House through NetGalley. This in no way influences my opinions, which are solely my own.

My Rating

5 Stars– Hit My Reading Sweet Spot

 

About the Author

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Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Find Jody at her website, http://jodyhedlund.com/
or on Twitter as JodyHedlund.