“No Neutral Ground” is an interesting and informative story set mostly in Sweden during World War 2. The key characters met early in the book on a ship bound for Europe. For Jennie it was the first leg of her journey to join her parents in Sweden, a neutral nation during the war. Rafe, an American navigator, is returning to fight against his former countrymen in the skies over the country he fled early in Hitler’s campaign. The pair immediately felt an affinity for each other but had to go in separate directions upon embarking from the ship with little hope of a future reunion.
The author certainly did her research and I learned facts about the war that I wasn’t taught in high school history class. Most notably, details about life in Sweden during that time frame were fascinating. I particularly enjoyed Rafe and Jennie’s adventures as they worked together to gather information about the enemy. Vivid descriptions of air battles and life in the camp were detailed and informative. I also thought that Rafe’s emotional and spiritual journey was handled quite well.
Although “No Neutral Ground” is technically a romance novel, that aspect of the story was subdued and took a back seat to the drama. Those who expect frequent romantic scenes with lots of kissing might be a bit disappointed. Overall, I enjoyed this book even though at times I got just a bit bogged down in the lengthy narrative. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth reading. I am glad I did.
A digital copy of this book was provided for review by the author for her Celebrate Lit Publicity Group blog tour.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family flee Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.
Flying missions against his former homeland arouses emotions that surprise Rafe. Despite being rejected, he is troubled by the destruction of Germany and his heart still cries for his father’s love.
Sweden may be neutral, but it’s full of intrigue. Jennie assists the OSS at the American legation in Sweden. She thought she’d be doing passive, behind-the-scenes work. Instead, she’s pushed into an active role to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.
How can Rafe and Jennie succeed in their dangerous roles when they are so conflicted?
Purchase your copy here.
To celebrate her No Neutral Ground tour, Terri is giving away several prizes.
Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/97ca
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Connect with Terri:
Guest Post from Terri Wangaud
I hadn’t planned on writing No Neutral Ground. Friends and Enemies (book one of the Promise For Tomorrow series) was the WWII story I’d wanted to write, inspired by family history on the German side. Finishing that, I’d started writing a contemporary story set in one of my favorite places, Green Lake, Wisconsin.
At an ACFW conference, I had an appointment to pitch Friends and Enemies with an editor. She said I’d be likelier to get a contract if I had a series. The Green Lake story got shelved.
What could I write to partner with Friends and Enemies? That stumped me. The German side of the story was my big interest, but another one? No. I had no desire to return to Nazi Germany. My ancestry is three quarters German. All of my forbearers arrived in America before 1900, but it’s still a bitter thought that their homeland spawned such evil.
Germany’s out, so that left me with the other side of Friends and Enemies—the B-17s. I’d chosen the Flying Fortress because of my timeline. In mid-1944, the only American military men in Germany were shot-down airmen. I had plenty of material I hadn’t used in Friends and Enemies, but the plot had to be different. Something other writers hadn’t touched on. Maybe…Sweden?
Who’s familiar with Sweden’s role in World War II?
If American planes got in trouble during their missions and couldn’t make it back to their bases in England, they sought sanctuary in neutral countries. Switzerland is usually the first that comes to mind. Tricia Goyer had already written The Swiss Courier which touches on internees.
But Sweden. I had even visited Sweden. In 1993, my dad and I had gone to Sweden to cover a classic boat show for our magazine, Classic Boating. During a free day, we had wandered around Stockholm and taken lots of pictures.
I started the research and discovered, hmm, there’s not much, especially if you don’t know Swedish. One book I acquired held a eureka moment. A B-17 was damaged and the pilot told the crew to bail out. The navigator hurried to the cockpit and implored him to try to make it to Sweden. He was from Germany, a former member of the Hitler Youth, and he did not want to be captured by his former countrymen. There’s my male protagonist! Rafe discovered he had Jewish ancestry and had to flee Germany. Now he’s back at war with the homeland.
I still needed a female protagonist, and Jennie proved hard to pin down. I was pulling her together throughout the writing. I enjoyed reading accounts of Betty McIntosh, who served with the OSS in the China-Burma-India theater. Why not enlist Jennie’s services with the OSS in Sweden? She’s talented but lacks confidence. Pretty soon, Jennie found her voice.
As my research continued, I made a surprising discovery. One of the photos I’d taken in Stockholm turned out to be the former home of the American legation in Sweden. Jennie’s workplace. And I had thought it was just an example of lovely architecture.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Rafe and Jennie in No Neutral Ground.
May 3: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
May 4: A Greater Yes
May 4: Simple Harvest Reads
May 5: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
May 5: The Editor’s Note
May 6: Daysong Reflections
May 6: Mary Hake
May 7: Bigreadersite
May 8: Inklings and Notions
May 9: Blossoms and Blessings
May 10: Bukwurmzzz
May 10: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)
May 11: Christian Bookaholic
May 12: Singing Librarian Books
May 13: Texas Book-aholic
May 14: For The Love of Books
May 15: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 16: Artistic Nobody
One thing I have always admired about Davis Bunn is that whatever the subject, the characters, the location, the time frame, etc. I can always count on the fact that he has done his research. While I am enjoying his story, I also seem to be absorbing some facts I didn’t know before. What a delightful way to learn!
During the days following World War 1, as the world is beginning to rebuild, Muriel Ross joins Senator Bryan in Paris ostensibly to photograph antiquities. Little does she realize that she has been groomed for this task by her training at the Smithsonian. She soon discovers the true reason she has been summoned and finds herself in the midst of an adventure that takes her from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris to the U.S. Embassy in Constantinople and more danger than she could imagine.
The story is woven around the search for a fragment of the true cross and is filled with political intrigue between nations and the danger of a country on the verge of revolution. Faced with conflict and life-threatening events, Muriel is forced to choose if she will stand firm in her beliefs.
As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed “The Fragment”. My only complaint is that it ended much to soon.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
It’s 1923, and a resilient Paris is starting to recover from the ravages of World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic.
Enter Muriel Ross, an amateur photographer tasked with documenting the antiques that her employer, U.S. Senator Tom Bryan, has traveled to France to acquire.
Although she’s exhilarated to have escaped her parents and the confines of their stifling Virginia home, Muriel has lingering questions about why the senator has chosen her for this grand adventure. Nevertheless, she blossoms in her new surroundings, soaking up Parisian culture and capturing the sights and sounds of Paris on her camera.
But events take a dangerous turn when she discovers that the senator is on a mission far more momentous—and potentially deadly—than a mere shopping trip.
At the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Senator Bryan asks Muriel to photograph an astonishing artifact: a piece of the True Cross, discovered by Empress Helena—a historical figure familiar to readers of The Pilgrim.
When rumors surface that another fragment has been unearthed, Muriel becomes enmeshed in a covert international alliance dedicated to authenticating the fragment—and protecting it from those who will stop at nothing to steal and discredit it.
The Fragment releases February 19, 2016, from Franciscan Media Books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.
Davis divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College at The University of Oxford. Visit Davis at http://www.davisbunn.com/
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In the first two books of the Wings of the Nightingale series, Kay Jobson was not particularly likeable so I fully expected “In Perfect Time” to reveal reasons behind her behavior. I did not expect to like and sympathize with her as much as I did.
Both Kay and her romantic interest Lt. Roger Cooper had pasts that left them feeling inadequate and undeserving. Roger had found some peace through his fairly new faith but guilt over his past caused him to avoid women as much as possible. On the other hand, Kay’s experiences had left her angry at God and with a need to prove herself by teasing men. Their friendship was unexpected but developed into a relationship that eventually set them both free from their past.
I have so enjoyed this entire series and loved reading about each of the “Nightingales” and their experiences as flight nurses during World War 2. Sundin’s character development is exceptional and lends an extra depth to her plots. I like the way she weaves all aspects of life during that era into her stories – from the hum drum daily routine, to dangerous missions both in the air and on the battlefield, to fun and sometimes humorous scenes, and of course some excellent romantic vignettes. Sarah also manages to include plenty of the gospel message into the plot in a natural way as her characters wrestle with their faith or in some cases embrace the gospel for the first time.
For wartime novels set during the Second World War, Sarah Sundin is an author not to be missed. I always look forward to her next one.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love
Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?
Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.
Read an Excerpt from “In Perfect Time” HERE.
Praise for Sarah Sundin’s Novels:
“WWII-era fans won’t be able to put it down.”–Publishers Weekly on With Every Letter
“Excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance.”–CBA Retailers+Resources on With Every Letter
“Sundin’s novel features characters living large under emotional and physical stress, while the setting provides invaluable details and insights into the wartime mind-set.”–Booklist, starred review on A Memory Between Us
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California, with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.
“Glittering Promises” is the third and final book in Bergren’s Grand Tour series and I must say that it brings the series to a very satisfying conclusion. Although a thick 400+ pages, the story was so well written and compelling that I found myself surprised when I reached the end so quickly. If I ever find the time, I plan to read the entire series again, one after the other. It is that good.
This installment finds the Kensington and Morgan families determined to keep a lower profile in order to avoid the attention of the press and of a man who is a potential threat to them all. Cora has finally chosen between the two men who profess to love her but the rejected suitor does not intend to give up easily. Relationships between Cora and her recently discovered siblings have improved but the one with her father remains difficult. The following weeks bring new challenges to the group as conflicts, jealousies, accidents, death, and more danger stalk them. The plot takes more than one very unexpected twist as the suspense builds to its climactic conclusion.
At this point in my life I doubt that I will ever set foot in Europe but through the magic of Lisa’s writing, I feel like I have experienced some of its wonders along with Cora and her friends and family. Her descriptions are so vivid that it almost as good as actually being there. I was most gratified by the positive changes that took place in most of the characters during the course of the series, especially Cora’s decision to use her newly acquired wealth to help others as directed by God.
For those who have not read any of the Grand Tour series, I strongly recommend that you do. I also recommend that you start at the beginning and read all three books in order. I don’t think you will regret it.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lisa T. Bergren’s popular Grand Tour series concludes as Cora Kensington journeys farther into Italy, wrestles with a terrible ultimatum from her father, and comes to terms with the Father who will never fail her.
America’s newest heiress must decide if her potential fortune is rationale enough to give up her freedom and all that God is leading her toward. And when her newly-discovered siblings are threatened with ruin, her quandary deepens. Then as Cora nears Rome, more journalists are tracking the news story of the decade—“Copper Cora,” the rags-to-riches girl—and want to know more about her family and the men vying for her attention. Meanwhile, a charming Italian countess decides that if Cora isn’t going to claim Will’s heart, she might just try…
Purchase a copy here.
Read what others are saying about “Glittering Promises” HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa T. Bergren is the award-winning author of over thirty-five books, with more than 2 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, Lisa now divides her time between writing, editing, parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of her next trip to Italy. She lives in Colorado Springs.
Find out more at Lisa’s website.
Welcome to the blog tour for the exciting conclusion of Lisa T. Bergren‘s beloved Grand Tour series, Glittering Promises (David C. Cook). Wealth cannot buy peace or direction, and as Cora Kensington glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her . . . and who and what does not.
Lisa is celebrating the release of Glittering Promises by giving away a $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma and hosting a fun Facebook party on October 29th.
One winner will receive:
- A $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma delivered to your door
- The three-book Grand Tour set
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 29th. Winner will be announced at the “Glittering Promises” Facebook Author Chat Party on October 29th. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, European trivia, and prizes, and get an exclusive look Lisa’s next book.
So grab your copies of the Grand Tour series and join Lisa on the evening of October 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 29th!