Review: Bela's Letters

02_Béla’s Letters

Publication Date: February 18, 2016
Paperback; 596 Pages
ISBN: 978-0985410025
Genre: Historical Fiction

      `Bela's Letters` is a historical fiction novel written by author Jeff Ingber. These are letters that will have been preserved for decades.  It's a story of a large Eastern European family torn apart by war the Holocaust and the feelings that haunt them. This novel is dedicated to the author's family members who perished in the Holocaust.
        There is a well laid out graph of the descendants of Kalman and Eszter Ingber, who died at Auschwitz (May 1944). This is a huge book with 556 pages and pictures dispersed throughout the book. There is a detailed selective  timeline, and bibliography, at the back of the novel.
          Hitler is labled the most dangerous anti-Semite since Haman. Did the Jewish covenant with God also protect them against Hitler?
         This novel is based on Bela's letters.  I didn't like how long it was. I believe it could be much shorter and still get much of the information across. This novel would be great for a history buff. I thought it would be more like `The Hiding Place` and less like the `Diary of Anne Frank.

Disclaimer: I was given this book complimentary to my honest review.

Review: They Were Christians


      `They Were Christians` is about several influential people of history. One thing they all had in common is they were all Christians. This biography is meant to inspire and entertain the reader as their faith deepens. This book is authored by Cristobal Krusen and is dedicated to Cristobal's father, William A. Krusen, Sr. Cristobal studied English Lit. at Harvard University which brought him up close and personal to many of these people, which makes his writings believable.
      The reader may be familiar with some, but probably not all those mentioned. As the reader opens the pages the first person they read about is Dag Hammarskjold who was killed during one of his peace making trips. He was Secretary General of the U.N. He had a miscegenation relationship. He lived in the south, and many didn't like him because of his relationship. He was one of the first to have a miscegenation relationship, before it was acceptable.
      I was inspired by Florence Nightingale and all she did to help mend our military. She is the first woman ever to receive the "Order of Merit Award" for her extraordinary achievements in the field of medicine. In 1860, she established the Nightingale Training School for nurses which is still in operation today.
      This book was written to the awareness of some historically famous Christian leaders in their own right, it is also political history. Even though I learned much in this book I would recommend it to the most well-versed, as it gives much to think and ponder over.  I think this book would be of interest to the most astute Christians.

Where to Purchase


Disclaimer:  I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Blogger program.

5.5 x 8.5
Pub. Date
Apr 2016
Carton Quantity
Number of pages

Review All Summer Long

5.5 x 8.5
Pub. Date
May 2016

      `All Summer Long` written by a favorite author of mine, Melody Carlson, is contemporary fiction.I knew from the cover, the title, and the author, that this would be a good book. The theme is a romantic summer in San Francisco. This is book two of a Follow Your Heart series. Book one is Once Upon a Summertime, book three is due to be published in summer 2017.
      The female protagonist, Tia D'Amico is tired of making pasta day after day, she wants excitement. She wants to move to San Francisco. The D'Amico's live in Norton, Washington where they run the family Italian Restaurant. It was Tia's job to make pasta. All kinds of pasta: fettuccine, rigatoni, ravioli, and others. She went to culinary art school to do more than make pasta. Her uncle did not approve of her opinion of going to school. He says, "He could have taught her everything she knows now. There is no need to have spent her dad's hard earned money.
      As a summer get-a-way Tia helped refurbish a boat. Which was quiet detailed.  Tia met her high school sweetheart, Leo Parker, after several years, and they refurbished the boat together. Leo is soon to be engaged to Natalie, who I did not like. She was too uppity-up, always wanting things her way regardless of her fiancee`. Tia is my favorite, adventurous one.
      This novel seemed to have a lot of rabbit trails, which sometimes made it hard to follow. I felt I was reading in circles.
      I would recommend this book to YA readers.

Where to Purchase


If you are interested in reading more of Melody Carlson's books, here are a couple of my suggestions.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for my honest review. I am not an Amazon Affiliate.


The Gilded Cage by Judy Alter

Publication: April 2016
eBook & Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

      `The Gilded Cage` is a historical fiction novel loosely based on the beginnings of Chicago written by Judy Alter. Although it's historical fiction it is also based on the Chicago Fire, Prisoner of War Between the States interred into Chicago, and the explosive growth of wealth in a prairie town.
      During the 1850's Chicago became a boom town. Potter Palmer, who built the Palmer House Hotel and owned the Mercantile~in the story), asked to marry the very young Bertha Honore. When her father said, "No", Potter said he would wait until she is older.
      Some elements of the author's biography affected her understanding of the topic. Author Judy Alter grew up in Chicago's South Side, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Her mother took her in rowboats around Wooded Island and she learned to ice skate on the Midway. 
      Some of the sources the author used are: "The Fair Women: The story of the Women's Building at the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893 (Jeanne Madeline Weimann & Anita Miller), "The Great American Fair: The World's Columbian Exposition and American Culture (R. Reid Badger's) and several other resources.
      As for dubious information: the novel states there is an attraction between Chicago's mayor, Carter Harrison, and Cissy Palmer. However, there is evidence that points to a long and very happy marriage between the Palmers.
      This is a very long, detailed book. But, it is worth reading.I would recommend it to history buffs of all ages.

About the Author

Judy Alter is the award winning author of fiction for adults and young adults. Other historical fiction includes Libbie, the story of Elizabeth Bacon (Mrs. George Armstrong) Custer; Jessie, the story of Jessie Benton Frémont and her explorer/miner/entrepreneur/soldier/politician husband; Cherokee Rose, a novel loosely based on the life of the first cowgirl roper to ride in Wild West shows; and Sundance, Butch and Me, the adventures of Etta Place and the Hole in the Wall Gang.
For more information visit Judy Alter’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I was given this book complimentary to my honest review.

A Moment Forever (Liberty Victory Series, Book 1)by Cat Gardiner

A Moment Forever (Liberty Victory Series #1) by Cat Gardiner

Publication Date: May 28, 2016
Vanity & Pride Press
eBook; 600 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets there is a story waiting to be discovered and told.

In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.

Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle's and others' lives - and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.

This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.

A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.


The closed door to the attic appeared innocuous, but like the pleasant personas and expressions many people conveyed, Juliana felt it was a dead giveaway that something terrible hid behind it. She was, after all, an example of that. Her deepest wounds, she believed, were cleverly masked behind her jovial expressions and happy demeanor, but she didn’t realize that the signs were evident in her near anorexic figure.

However, on this late afternoon, she felt open and liberated after surviving the luncheon with her mother. She had bared her inner feelings and animosity then came home to clean the vintage kitchen. Feeling renewed, she went to the grocer around the corner because her white Frigidaire looked as hollow as she had felt these last eleven years. Strangely, she was in the mood to cook a cheeseburger.

From the top of the staircase, Juliana could still hear the record player from the parlor. Melancholy tunes by the Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald filled the entire house. She hoped it would carry up into the attic, thinking the soulful music would transport her back to the era and mindset of William when he had last locked the garret.

Yes, it was locked and after an hour of searching the house high and low, she finally found the key inside a small box in one of the dresser drawers. Beside the brass skeleton key sat a gold signet ring with engraving upon the face: propellers and wings surrounded a small diamond at its center. The inscription along the inside of the band read, “With Love, Mom and Dad.”

“Here it goes,” Juliana said before holding her breath and nervously turning the key. She felt on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.

The door creaked like all the others in the house and her heart rate sped up as it had time and again in the course of this home’s unveiling.

Once the door was fully open, she pulled the slender cord hanging against the wall, illuminating the narrow passage by the bare light bulb fixture.

Each step up the steep staircase issued a groan from the hardened planks beneath every footfall of her black Converse sneakers until she stood at the top, fiercely gripping onto the simple banister. She looked around the large, dark room before taking the final step into the unknown, mysterious, and yet-to-be-discovered past of her great-uncle. After working herself up to it for the last two days, Juliana had been expecting something ominous and frightening in the attic, yet instead she felt a sense of peace coupled with sadness. Her thoughts traveled to her father, and her emotions became even more pronounced. Her eyes welled with tears at the morose tranquility the attic emanated.

Essentially, but for a couple of trunks and a few boxes neatly placed upon a shelf, the attic was empty, having lain undisturbed and unfilled since its purchase in December of 1942.

If these walls could talk, they would tell her how William had slid his footlocker under the eave after placing the last of its contents within and how he had waited one full year before doing so. They would tell his grand-niece how he waited until the very last minute to place the newspaper over the windows. Once beige strips of masking tape were now an aged, burnished orange. The empty space staring back at the modern-day interloper represented the very reason for William’s departure.

Although expecting the worst in the attic, she wasn’t prepared for the emptiness. She had imagined cobwebs extending from box to box and odd pieces of furniture and tools that had long outgrown their usefulness. She thought the attic would surely be filled with scary dolls and broken strollers, perhaps a rocking chair or an eerie mirror, maybe even some Dorian Gray-type painting and faded photographs. Expecting an antique cemetery of sorts filled with memories, stories, and voices of the past residents who had once lived at 300 Bradford Road, she was surprised by the vacant space before her.

The startling emptiness of the room confirmed to her that no happy memories had ever been created in this house. The house never became a home, had never filled with children’s laughter or generations of family dating back to its initial construction. No household item ever had the luxury of being used enough to justify its disregard, saving and eventual storing on the third floor. It was clear to Juliana that Primrose Cottage was only a place where William laid his head, not his heart. True life had never infused these walls. The attic led her to believe he had been a bachelor—never married, never had children, never sharing his life, let alone this house, with anyone. The starkness of the attic revealed the loneliness of the man at the time of his departure.

About the Author

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™.

Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

For more information please visit Cat Gardiner's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, June 15
A Holland Reads
Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 16
Susan Heim on Writing
History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, June 17
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, June 18
The Never-Ending Book

Monday, June 20
New Horizon Reviews
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, June 21
Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, June 22
A Literary Vacation
The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, June 23
Library of Clean Reads
What Is That Book About

Friday, June 24
The Recipe Fairy

Monday, June 27
Cafinated Reads
The Reading Queen

Tuesday, June 28
The Gadoury Dreamer

Wednesday, June 29
Beth's Book Nook Blog
Singing Librarian Books

Thursday, June 30
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!


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A Moment Forever Book Blast

A Moment Forever Book Blast