Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Book Review #American Fly Girl #Susan Tate Ankeny # Citadel Publishers #WWII Biographies # Women's Biographies



Susan Tate Ankeny's "American Flygirl," releasing on May 28, 2024, takes readers on a thrilling journey into the world of aviation, weaving a narrative of empowerment, determination, and the relentless pursuit of dreams. Against the backdrop of historical aviation challenges and societal norms that restricted the ambitions of women, the novel introduces a captivating protagonist who defies expectations and soars to new heights.

The novel, set in a pivotal period of aviation history, immerses readers in the challenges faced by female pilots breaking into a male-dominated industry. Ankeny's meticulous research is evident in the authentic portrayal of the aviation landscape, creating a vivid and immersive experience for the reader. The depiction of the protagonist's journey is not merely a story of flight but a symbolic representation of empowerment and resilience.

The strength of "American Flygirl" lies in its well-crafted characters, particularly the protagonist who becomes a beacon of determination. Navigating societal prejudices and defying gender norms, the character resonates as a symbol of empowerment, inspiring readers to challenge limitations and pursue their passions unapologetically. Ankeny skillfully blends historical accuracy with a compelling narrative, making the protagonist's journey relatable and emotionally impactful.

The pacing of the novel is masterfully executed, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Ankeny's prose not only propels the narrative forward but also vividly describes aviation sequences, instilling a palpable sense of excitement and tension. The novel goes beyond being a tale of aviation; it serves as a powerful exploration of themes such as perseverance, resilience, and the courage to confront societal expectations.

"American Flygirl" is a triumphant celebration of trailblazing women who dared to break barriers both in the skies and on the ground. The novel's overarching message encourages readers to embrace their ambitions, challenge societal constraints, and reach for their aspirations, regardless of prevailing norms. It stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who defy expectations, making it a compelling and inspiring read.

In conclusion, Susan Tate Ankeny's "American Flygirl" is not just a novel; it is an empowering narrative that transcends its historical setting. Through a captivating protagonist and a richly detailed depiction of aviation history, the novel encourages readers to break free from limitations and pursue their dreams with unwavering determination. Ankeny's work is a must-read for those who seek tales of empowerment, resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Thanks to NetGalley and Citadel Publishers for the advance copy for my honest review. 


One of WWII’s most uniquely hidden figures, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fly for the United States military amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and policies.

Her singular story of patriotism, barrier breaking, and fearless sacrifice is told for the first time in full for readers of The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia, Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown and all Asian American, women’s and WWII history books.

In 1932, Hazel Ying Lee, a nineteen-year-old American daughter of Chinese immigrants, sat in on a friend’s flight lesson. It changed her life. In less than a year, a girl with a wicked sense of humor, a newfound love of flying, and a tough can-do attitude earned her pilot’s license and headed for China to help against invading Japanese forces. In time, Hazel would become the first Asian American to fly with the Women Airforce Service Pilots. As thrilling as it may have been, it wasn’t easy.

In America, Hazel felt the oppression and discrimination of the Chinese Exclusion Act. In China’s field of male-dominated aviation she was dismissed for being a woman, and for being an American. But in service to her country, Hazel refused to be limited by gender, race, and impossible dreams. Frustrated but undeterred she forged ahead, married Clifford Louie, a devoted and unconventional husband who cheered his wife on, and gave her all for the cause achieving more in her short remarkable life than even she imagined possible.

American Flygirl is the untold account of a spirited fighter and an indomitable hidden figure in American history. She broke every common belief about women. She challenged every social restriction to endure and to succeed. And against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hazel Ying Lee reached for the skies and made her mark as a universal and unsung hero whose time has come.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Citadel (April 23, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages

Monday, March 4, 2024




Soraya M. Lane's "The Berlin Sisters" takes readers on a poignant journey through the heart of war-torn Berlin, unraveling a narrative of courage, sacrifice, and resilience against the backdrop of World War II. From the bestselling author of "The Secret Midwife," Lane introduces us to the Müller sisters, whose lives are forever altered when they find themselves caught in the crosscurrents of loyalty, morality, and the brutal reality of Nazi Germany.

The story unfolds in 1943, with Ava Müller proudly supporting the German war effort alongside her father, a high-ranking official in the Reich. Lane skillfully paints the portrait of a model Nazi family, with Ava's sister Hanna working as a nurse, risking her life amid bombing raids to save others. However, the façade crumbles when Ava stumbles upon a shocking secret—her parents and Hanna are secretly working for the resistance.

The author skillfully navigates the moral dilemma Ava faces upon discovering her family's secret. Lane paints a vivid picture of the internal conflict as Ava grapples with the choice between loyalty to her country and the shocking truth revealed by her childhood friend Eliana Goldman, hidden in the attic. The narrative gains depth as Ava is forced to confront the horrifying reality that has been hidden beneath the surface of her seemingly perfect Nazi life.

Lane expertly weaves together a tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit as Ava and Hanna join the resistance network to undermine the Reich from within its own headquarters. The bond between the sisters becomes the driving force behind their dangerous mission, providing a gripping emotional anchor for readers.

"The Berlin Sisters" stands out as a powerful work of fiction inspired by the real stories of those who chose to resist the Nazis from within Germany. Lane's storytelling prowess captures the nuances of wartime Berlin, offering a heartbreaking yet hopeful exploration of the choices individuals faced during one of the darkest periods in history.

The novel's thought-provoking narrative delves into the complexities of morality, shedding light on the internal struggles of individuals torn between allegiance to their country and the pursuit of justice. Lane's vivid characters, meticulous historical research, and emotionally charged storytelling make "The Berlin Sisters" a compelling read that lingers in the minds of readers long after the final page is turned. This book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the indomitable will to make a difference, even in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advance copy for my honest review.


From the bestselling author of The Secret Midwife comes a story of bravery, sacrifice and resilience in war-torn Berlin―and two sisters who will risk it all to make a difference.

Berlin, 1943: Ava Müller is a proud supporter of the German war effort, working for Joseph Goebbels alongside her father, a high-ranking official in the Reich. With her sister Hanna, a nurse, braving bombing raids to save lives, they are a model Nazi family. Until Ava discovers her parents and Hanna are secretly working for the resistance…

Returning to their country home, Ava is shocked to find her childhood friend Eliana Goldman and her family hidden in the attic. Suddenly she faces a stark choice: denounce her family, as she’s been taught, or betray her country. She knows only too well what happens to traitors―but as Eliana’s story of terror at the hands of the Nazis unravels, Ava realises her loyalty to the regime has blinded her to the horrifying truth.

Drawn into the resistance network alongside Hanna, Ava begins the dangerous work of undermining the Reich from within its own headquarters. Relying on each other for courage and resilience, the sisters must risk their own lives to save others, knowing that every day brings them one step closer to making the ultimate sacrifice…

Heartbreaking, hopeful and thought-provoking, this is a powerful work of fiction inspired by those who chose to fight the Nazis from within Germany and the events that followed.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lake Union Publishing (16 May 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 300 pages

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Book Review #Murder in the Library #Anita Davison ​#Crime & Mystery #Boldwood books publishers #Book Tour #Rachel's Random Resources


Anita Davison's "Murder in the Library" presents an enthralling dive into the Crime & Mystery genre, delivering a gripping tale that unfolds within the hallowed halls of a library. The novel introduces readers to a meticulously crafted world of suspense and intrigue, where the tranquil setting of a library is shattered by the heinous act of murder.

The narrative revolves around a carefully plotted mystery that keeps readers guessing until the very end. Davison skillfully introduces a cast of characters, each with their own motives and secrets, creating a web of intrigue that adds complexity to the investigation. The protagonist's quest to unravel the truth becomes a compelling journey, and the author masterfully intertwines clues and red herrings, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

One of the strengths of "Murder in the Library" lies in Davison's ability to capture the essence of the crime genre. The pacing is well-executed, and the suspense is maintained throughout the narrative, making it difficult for readers to put the book down. The author's descriptive prose paints a vivid picture of the library setting, immersing the reader in an atmosphere that is both charming and sinister.

The characters in the novel are multifaceted, adding depth to the story. The detective's sharp intellect and determination provide a solid anchor for the reader to follow, while the supporting characters contribute to the overall complexity of the plot. The interpersonal dynamics and conflicts between characters add an additional layer of interest, making the novel not only a whodunit but also a study in human behavior.

Davison's writing style is polished and evocative, allowing readers to visualize the scenes and feel the tension in the air. The author's attention to detail and meticulous plotting showcase a deep understanding of the conventions of the crime genre. The resolution of the mystery is satisfying, tying up loose ends and providing a sense of closure while leaving room for lingering questions that add depth to the narrative.

In summary, "Murder in the Library" is a captivating addition to the Crime & Mystery genre, showcasing Anita Davison's talent for crafting a compelling and suspenseful narrative. With a well-developed plot, engaging characters, and a skillful blend of mystery and atmosphere, the novel offers readers an immersive experience that will delight fans of the genre. Anita Davison's "Murder in the Library" is a testament to her storytelling prowess, leaving readers eagerly anticipating her next foray into the world of crime fiction.

Thanks to Netgalley and Boldwood Publishers for an Advance copy for my honest review 

                                                     BOOK DESCRIPTION

A body in a hospital isn’t so unusual. Unless they’ve been murdered!

1916, London: Keen to support the war effort, bookshop manager and sometime amateur sleuth Hannah Merrill has taken a volunteer role in the library of the nearby military hospital. But arriving at the hospital one cold winter’s morning, she is horrified to find the body of a dead soldier in the library.

What’s more, a beautiful young nurse confides in Hannah that she thinks she’s being followed, and then she abruptly disappears.

Hannah can’t shake the suspicion that the two cases are connected, but she can’t solve the case alone. She’ll once again need to call upon her delightful, demanding, only-occasionally devious aunt, Violet.

The two women know they must find the missing nurse before it’s too late… but they don’t realize they’re now both in the killer’s sight.

About Anita Davison

Anita Davison is the author of the successful Flora Maguire historical mystery series. Previously published by Aria, she is writing a new cosy mystery series for Boldwood, the first title of which, Murder in the Bookshop, will be published in August 2023.

Follow Anita Davison

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/AnitaDavisonNews

Bookbub profile: Anita Davison Books - BookBub

Murder in the Library by Anita Davison

Genre: Crime & Mystery

Tour Dates: 19th - 25th February 2024

Publication Date: 19th February 2024

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Book Review #Last Seen in Havana #Teresa Dovalpage #Mystery #Standalone 4th book in the Havana Mystery series #Book on Tour #Rachel's Random Resources



"Last Seen in Havana" by Teresa Dovalpage is a tantalizing mystery that unfolds against the vibrant and enigmatic backdrop of Havana, Cuba. The novel introduces readers to a captivating blend of intrigue, culture, and complex characters, making it a compelling addition to the mystery genre.

The story follows the character of Detective Marlene Martínez as she navigates the rich tapestry of Havana, solving a puzzling case involving a missing American woman. Dovalpage skillfully weaves together elements of mystery, culture, and history, creating a narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

One of the strengths of the novel lies in its atmospheric setting. Dovalpage brings Havana to life with vivid descriptions, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the city's streets, culture, and people. The backdrop of Cuba adds a unique and exotic flavor to the mystery, making it a standout in the genre.

Detective Marlene Martínez is a well-crafted protagonist with a depth of character that adds layers to the story. As she unravels the mystery, readers are drawn into her world, experiencing the complexities of both the investigation and her personal life. The author's ability to create relatable and authentic characters enhances the overall appeal of the novel.

The mystery itself is intricately plotted, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Dovalpage skillfully integrates elements of Cuban history and culture into the investigation, providing a rich and immersive experience for the reader.

Additionally, "Last Seen in Havana" explores themes beyond the mystery genre, including the nuances of relationships, cultural identity, and the impact of political and historical events on individuals. These thematic layers add depth and substance to the narrative, elevating the novel beyond a typical mystery.

Teresa Dovalpage's writing style is engaging and evocative, capturing the essence of Havana while maintaining a brisk pace that propels the story forward. The novel is a delightful blend of mystery and cultural exploration, making it a standout choice for readers who appreciate a compelling mystery set in a richly detailed and exotic locale.

In conclusion, "Last Seen in Havana" is a well-crafted and immersive mystery that successfully blends cultural elements with a gripping storyline. Teresa Dovalpage's ability to transport readers to the streets of Havana, coupled with a compelling protagonist and a meticulously plotted mystery, makes this novel a must-read for mystery enthusiasts and those who enjoy a touch of cultural exploration in their literary journeys.

Thanks to Netgalley and Rachel's Random Resources for an advance copy of my honest review


A Cuban American woman searches for her long-lost mother and fights to restore a beautiful but crumbling Art Deco home in the heart of Havana in this moving, immersive new mystery, perfect for fans of Of Women and Salt.

In 2019, newly widowed baker Mercedes Spivey flies from Miami to her native Cuba to care for her ailing paternal grandmother. Mercedes’s life has been shaped by loss, beginning with the mysterious unsolved disappearance of her mother when Mercedes was a little girl. Returning to Cuba revives Mercedes’s hopes of finding her mother as she attempts to piece together the few scraps of information she has. Could her mother still be alive?

33 years earlier, an American college student with endless political optimism falls deliriously in love with a handsome Cuban soldier while on a spontaneous visit to the island. She decides to stay permanently, but soon discovers that nothing is as it seems in Havana.

The two women’s stories proceed in parallel as Mercedes gets closer to discovering the truth about her mother, uncovering shocking family secrets in the process . . .


About Teresa Dovalpage

Writer, translator and college professor, Teresa Dovalpage is a Cuban transplant firmly rooted in New Mexico. She is the author of twelve novels, among them the Havana Mystery series, three short story collections and four theater plays. She lives with her husband, one dog and too many barn cats.

Follow Teresa Dovalpage

Blog in English https://teredovalpage.com/

Blog in Spanish: https://teresadovalpage.com/

Link to book(s) on Amazon:

Amazon kindle



Amazon hardcover





Genre: Mystery

Tour Dates: 6th - 12th February 2024

Publication Date: 6th February 2024

Standalone 4th book in the Havana Mystery series

Estimated Page Count - 360        

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Book Review #I Have to Save Them #Ellie Midwood #Bookouture Publisher #Book On Tour #Historical Fiction World War 2



"I Have to Save Them" by Ellie Midwood is a heart-wrenching and gripping World War II novel inspired by the true story of Orli Reichert. Set against the haunting backdrop of Auschwitz in 1942, the narrative unfolds with a nurse named Orli, who finds herself betrayed by her own husband and thrust into the horrors of the concentration camp.

The story kicks off as Orli, a German resistance fighter, arrives at Auschwitz, fully expecting to face certain death. However, to her surprise and horror, she is assigned to work in the infirmary under the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, infamously known as the Angel of Death. The author skillfully portrays the internal turmoil faced by Orli as she grapples with the moral dilemma of aiding a man responsible for the cruel experiments and deaths of thousands of innocent inmates.

Midwood's narrative captures the desperation and resilience of Orli as she navigates the grim reality of Auschwitz. The character's determination to continue her resistance work, even within the confines of the infirmary, adds a layer of suspense and intrigue. Orli's decision to smuggle medicine to the suffering patients and her subsequent plan to fake a typhus outbreak to save lives showcase her courage and the lengths to which she is willing to go to defy the evil around her.

The novel's strength lies in its portrayal of the indomitable human spirit amidst the darkest of circumstances. Orli's attempts to save others, even at the risk of her own life, make for a compelling and emotionally charged storyline. Midwood effectively captures the camaraderie among the nurses, highlighting their collective efforts to resist the atrocities unfolding within the camp.

The writing style is evocative, immersing readers in the grim reality of Auschwitz while also conveying moments of hope and humanity. The author skillfully balances the horrors of the Holocaust with Orli's determination to bring light into the lives of those she encounters.

"I Have to Save Them" stands out as a poignant addition to World War II literature, offering readers a gripping and unforgettable tale of one woman's courageous struggle against evil. Fans of historical fiction, particularly those drawn to stories like "The Choice" and "The Tattooist of Auschwitz," will find themselves thoroughly engrossed in this emotionally charged and unputdownable novel. Ellie Midwood's skillful storytelling and dedication to depicting the resilience of the human spirit make this a compelling and memorable read.


Auschwitz, 1942: The nurse’s entire body trembles as she watches the doctor guide the beautiful twins with chestnut curls into the infirmary. Everyone thinks he’s helping these innocent souls, but she knows the truth…

Betrayed by her own husband for being a German resistance fighter, 
Orli has no one left in the world as she stumbles from the cattle truck onto the frostbitten grounds of Auschwitz. She has arrived expecting to be sentenced to certain death. Instead, as a trained nurse, she is assigned to work in the infirmary to assist Dr Josef Mengele.

Soon, Orli learns Mengele is known as the Angel of Death, and is the most feared man in Auschwitz. At his hands, thousands of healthy inmates are cruelly killed and experimented on: and Orli is expected to assist him. 
She realises that her resistance work is not over. From inside the infirmary, she will secretly try to save as many souls as she can.

Orli starts to smuggle medicine to the most desperate of patients. But when Mengele instructs her to find children, she knows it isn’t enough… she has to keep him away. With the help of her fellow nurses, Orli plans to fake a typhus outbreak.

But can Orli really fool one of the most powerful men in Auschwitz? And if Mengele discovers her plan, will the cost of saving others be her own life?

Inspired by the incredible true story of Orli Reichert, this unforgettable World War Two novel brings to life the powerful tale of a woman who risked everything to fight against evil. Fans of The Choice and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be utterly gripped by this unputdownable page-turner.

Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author, whose works have been translated into 20 languages. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, a Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, "The Girl from Berlin." Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents. In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her husband and their three dogs.
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bookouture (January 31, 2024)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 31, 2024

Books I Read

Book Review #American Fly Girl #Susan Tate Ankeny # Citadel Publishers #WWII Biographies # Women's Biographies

  MY THOUGHTS AND BOOK REVIEW Susan Tate Ankeny's "American Flygirl," releasing on May 28, 2024, takes readers on a thrilling ...