Friday, June 28, 2019

Fourth of July

By Kelly Bridgewater

Happy Fourth of July!!!

I pray you see fireworks, have a cook-out with all the trimmings, and spend time with family and friends.

I usually get a little nostalgia watching the fireworks. It is my only highlight of summer.

Then on July fifth, I go back to praying that summer will hurry up and end.

I don't know about you, but in Indiana, summers are miserable.

Hot. Sunny. Boring.

Too much sun brings migraines. Hot makes me sweat way too much.

So, as an end result, I don't like to be hot. It is better to hibernate inside with a good book and a nice cold drink.

I would rather play outside when  it is cold and overcast.

Maybe that is why I enjoy winter so much.

How about you? What are you looking forward to for the Fourth of July weekend?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Liz Tolsma: The Pink Bonnet

By Kelly Bridgewater

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.

How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

What a tragic story! Liz Tolsma's The Pink Bonnet does a wonderful job at showing the horrors of the adoption agencies in the 1930's in Memphis Tennessee. I kept waiting for Tann to receive her justice, but if you read Tolsma's footnotes at the end, Tann never does. How sad! As a mother, I couldn't imagine the horrors of trying to struggle to put food on the table, then turn around and have someone turn your child in, only to learn they have been adopted by someone else who might be able to take care of them better than you. Tolsma's story had plenty of action especially the ending. Lots of hair raising moments where the characters come close to finding Millie, than something happens to make her a little farther out of reach. The only item I found unrealistic was the romance between Cecile  and Percy. It didn't quite fit with the way Tolsma created the characters. It felt completely out of place for the story. Overall, The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma opened my eyes to another horror in our American history. The characters fought hard and made for a wonderful ending. Fans of this series should pick this one up too.

I received a complimentary copy of The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Pink Bonnet

Monday, June 24, 2019

Cathy Gohlke: The Medallion

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book:

Book: The Medallion
Author: Cathy Gohlke
Genre: Clean Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 4, 2019

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Cathy Gohlke does a fabulous job at creating stories that tug at the heart. My favorite novel of hers is Secrets She Kept. I keep recommending it to tons of people. Even you. As for The Medallion, first, I LOVE the cover. So pretty and mystical all in the same page. As for the plot, Gohlke does a fabulous job at creating and showing the horrors of World War II, but this time in Poland. I have heard of these mass graves where they lined the Jews up and shot them all, but Gohlke took a different twist and made it super personal. My heart ached as I watched one of the characters find his mother, wife, and three sisters. The plot is moving and heartbreaking all at the same time. The characters are brave, heroic, and wonderful to watch as they struggle to feed their family. They all do whatever it takes to survive. Overall, The Medallion is a well-crafted story of Poland during World War II with the heart of what makes a family. Fans of Gohlke's other works, Sarah Sundin, or Melanie Dobson might enjoy this novel too. I can't wait to see what she comes up with  next.

 I  received a complimentary copy of The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Medallion

About the Author:
Cathy Gohlke
From Amazon

Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels The Medallion, Until We Find Home, Secrets She Kept (winner of the 2016 Carol and INSPY Awards), Saving Amelie (winner of the 2015 INSPY Award), Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award.
Cathy writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith.
When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks (Taken from Amazon.)

More from Cathy

Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy.

The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology.

The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within ┼╗egota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one?

Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, June 23
By The Book, June 24
Remembrancy, June 26
The Becca Files, June 26
Genesis 5020, June 27
Bigreadersite, June 28
Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Hallie Reads, July 3
Emily Yager, July 5


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

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Literary Vacations

By Kelly Bridgewater

Now that summer is finally on us, I was wondering about vacations.

(Oh the dread for me!!!)

My family really doesn't take summer vacations because of the heat and my reaction to it, so we prefer to take vacations in the fall or spring where the weather is more to my liking.

BUT . .  .

I do enjoy taking Literary Vacations.

Do you know what I mean?

Where you spend time reading a book and disappear in the pages?

How about traveling to Hogwarts upon the Hogwarts Express?

I have actually every summer read through the entire Harry Potter series just because I enjoy them so much.

What about traveling to Middle Earth with Frodo and Sam? Or Legolas? What a hunk of an elf!!

I have traveled to England in my stories. From The Secret Garden as a girl to modern day stories like Julie Klassen's books or Carrie Turansky's.

From Amazon

I have time-traveled to Biblical time with Connilyn Cossette.

I enjoy spending a couple of hours or days, if possible, to travel to another part of the world that I haven't been to.

These are my favorite type of vacations. I enjoy traveling to different places in the comfort of my recliner with a cup of water and a book to lose myself in. It is harder to spend a lot of time in a book during the summer because my three boys are home. I do enjoy working on puzzles, board games, or working on some issue they struggled with last school year, so I can't spend all day reading.

Wish I could though.

How about you? Do you actually take or plan literary vacations? If so, where do you end up? If not, where would you like to go?