Tomorrow is Halloween which means a few things in our house: only one more day until sugar-induced craziness and several pounds of excess candy sent off to deployed American military and first responders. If you weren’t aware that this service is available, several organizations like Operation Gratitude, Operation Shoebox, and Soldiers’ Angels have drop-off locations across the country or check with your local law enforcement, fire station, or dentist. My family loves it because it’s an easy way to give back to the community and support our troops. Plus, last year we donated over seven pounds, which is seven pounds of sugar I was happy to say goodbye to.
Also, I know many of you may be nervous about trick-or-treating due to COVID. You need to do what’s best for your family, whether that means going out or staying home. My children will be wearing masks and distancing exactly as they would do at school, and as always I continue to pray that whatever festivities you partake in find you safe and healthy.
We’re only a few days away from the virtual book tour for Broken Lines. I am so blessed to have 22 amazing authors, bloggers, and bookstagrammers participating and am looking forward to hearing their reviews on my latest novels. Make sure to follow their pages to keep up with each day of the tour including additional author interviews, book features, and chances to win an e-book copy of Broken Lines. A full list of tour stops is included below. Instagram or Blog are linked; however, many tour stops will also participate on Facebook and/or Twitter.
In other news, the first draft of Unsettled Shores is now about 50% complete, which keeps me on schedule for completion by the end of 2020. Stay tuned!
This month’s reads included two wonderful historicals linked by a common theme: The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor and All That Was by Tanya E. Williams.
The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
I love historical fiction, but it’s especially enjoyable to read when it reflects a little known mystery of the past. The Paper Girl of Paris is exactly that. Although the Jordyn Taylor doesn’t include historical notes in her book, the minute I read this book’s blurb, I knew it was based on the true story of Marthe de Florian’s Paris apartment, locked up and unchanged since the Nazi occupation in 1942.
This emotional dual timeline novel switches between Alice in the present and Adalyn in the early 1940’s, telling an engrossing tale of Nazi-occupied Paris and the resistance efforts performed at the time. The story is both tragic and hopeful, switching between moments of victory sliding into moments of despair. Each woman had distinct characteristics and was strong in her own way, but had times of emotional vulnerability too. I did find it interesting how, even though Alice’s grandmother left her the apartment, her role was relatively minor in the overall WW2 story. Where she did play a major role was in highlighting how grief takes its toll on people in different ways. In particular, the author did a great job showing how that grief can cause someone with chronic depression to tailspin. She approached the topic in a kind way and showed that there isn’t one correct way to help our loved ones with mental illness, but that we shouldn’t be afraid to try.
For more information on Jordyn Taylor’s books, visit: https://www.jordynhtaylor.com/
All That Was by Tanya E. Williams
Tanya E. Williams’s latest novel, All That Was, released October 20, and I was thrilled to once again beta read for this fantastic author. This novel which I’m dubbing contemporary women’s literature with a historical flair, involves two women, one who can’t confront her ghosts in the present and an actual ghost who can’t let go of the past. Through an old church and a box of diaries, the two women discover all they are through all that was.
What I loved about this book, other than everything, was that it provides a realistic yet hopeful look at the all consuming power of grief. Emily, a lawyer in the present, believes by stifling the pain of her past, she’s moving forward, when in reality she is doing anything but. By comparison, Elizabet, after spending her entire life consumed by grief over her husband’s untimely passing, is now a ghost and refuses to “move on” due to her fear of possibly spending eternity without him. They are both stuck in place and although they do not realize it, have become comfortable in their idleness. Moving forward is frightening, so it is better not to move at all. Through a wonderful cast of supporting characters, All That Was shows the importance of grieving as a community, of having the courage to share our pain with others, and having compassion for those who are still in the midst of their grief journey. Although the two women are unable to physically speak to one another, they must work together to overcome their grief and finally allow themselves to truly live.
Also, this month only, Tanya E. Williams is providing an opportunity to win one e-book copy of All That Was. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by November 20. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page.
Enter the “All That Was” Giveaway Here
For more information on Tanya E. Williams’s books, visit: https://tanyaewilliams.com
Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of All That Was from the author; however, a positive review was not solicited or required. All opinions expressed are my own. The giveaway copy will be provided directly from Tanya E. Williams.
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