the ways we hide by Kristina McMorris

From the author of the wonderful Sold on a Monday comes another heartfelt story full of all the feels.

A story set during World War II of an illusionist who was recruited by British Intelligence and the ingenious use of Monopoly as a tool.

Fenna Vos is from Michigan. She knows what hardships are and she knows how to survive. As the war rages on overseas, she is working as an assistant to an escape artist. While she is the mastermind of the act. She controls it all. And this is one of her survival mechanisms. Control.

Just as she is fed up with her partner in the act, a man approaches her about working with British military intelligence. She works to design escape aids. MI9 is looking for those with special skills to end this war.

So Fenna becomes an inventor. Her loyalty will be tested and she may never be able to escape her own past.

This is a beautiful story of survival, courage, and overcoming when the odds are against you. And who knew about the Monopoly angle? I did not and I love it!

NetGalley/September 6th, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark

About the Author:

KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of two novellas and six historical novels, including the runaway bestseller SOLD ON A MONDAY with over a million copies sold. The recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, she previously hosted weekly TV shows for Warner Bros. and an ABC affiliate, beginning at age nine with an Emmy Award-winning program, and owned a wedding-and-event-planning company until she had far surpassed her limit of “Y.M.C.A.” and chicken dances. Kristina lives near Portland, Oregon, where she somehow manages to be fully deficient of a green thumb and not own a single umbrella. For more, visit www.KristinaMcMorris.com




THE POPE AT WAR by DAVID I. KERTZER

Pulitzer Prize-winner David I. Kertzer brings us this magnificent work of the history of Pope Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler.

Based on newly opened Vatican archives, a groundbreaking, explosive, and riveting book about Pope Pius XII and his actions during World War II, including how he responded to the Holocaust, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Pope and Mussolini

Pope Pius XII, who died in 1958 and immediately had his archives sealed, probably didn’t think they would come to light in 2020. For a long period of time, we have wondered about his stance on the war and the people who surrounded the papacy. As a Roman Catholic myself, I can say he was very controversial.

Kertzer, who is one of the world’s leading scholars on the Vatican has been digging around in those archives for a while now. And he reveals how this pope traded moral leadership of the church to save its power.

It was difficult to read the atrocities and the deals that were made with fascists. But really haven’t we always known the church always acts in its own best interest? Not only is the research impeccable, but the facts are also explosive.

The amount of research that had to take place is monumental. I thought it read like historical fiction, but unfortunately, it was not fiction.

Outstanding work!

NetGalley/ June 7th, 2022 by Random House






THE WEDDING DRESS SEWING CIRCLE by JENNIFER RYAN

Three plucky women lift the spirits of home-front brides in wartime Britain, where clothes rationing leaves little opportunity for pomp or celebration–even at weddings–in this heartwarming novel based on true events, from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

Cressida Westcott fled her family manor many years ago. She is now a very successful designer in London and runs her design house. Until the Blitz. Bombs drop on the poor and wealthy the same way. Like so many people, she now has no place to go. Swallowing her pride she calls her niece and nephew who still live at the manor and is told she is more than welcome.

Returning with only what she had on when the bombs fell. Her niece, Violet, is thrilled her aunt has come to stay. Violet is young and about as shallow as a saucer on the surface. Her father taught her from birth that it is her job to marry well and have children.

Cressida isn’t the only thing going to the manor. So is Violet’s conscription letter. She is furious. How in the world can she find a titled husband wearing a uniform and scrubbing toilets?

Meanwhile, in the village, the vicar’s daughter, Grace, is hoping her sewing circle can help mend her mother’s wedding gown so that she can wear it at her own wedding to a much older and staid man of the cloth.

While trying to be useful Cressida and Violet both volunteer at the sewing circle and much to everyone’s surprise it’s a great fit. Cressida has connections and Grace is a worthy protege for her. As she helps them, they also help her. What woman doesn’t want a special white dress for her wedding? The ladies soon hatch a plan to get as many gowns as they can and re-make them so the war brides all feel special on their day.

Having Cressida down in the village encourages her nephew, Hugh, to come as well. And he finds he may still have feelings for the little girl who was his best friend for so long.

Oh, the power of women having to make do. That is when things get interesting. And this book was full of women getting the job done. And figuring out who they are in this new world.

Such a beautiful concept and telling of a story that made me laugh and cry!

NetGalley/: May 31st, 2022 by Ballantine Books

WHO CAN HOLD THE SEA by JAMES D.HORNFISCHER

THE U.S.NAVY IN THE COLD WAR 1945-1960

A close-up, action-filled narrative about the crucial role the U.S. Navy played in the early years of the Cold War, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fleet at Flood Tide

This remarkable work tells of the Navy in the Cold War. There is history, and adventure, on and under the water.

In 1945, at the end of WWII, the Navy is sending its soldiers home and decommissions most of its warships. And then, Stalin, a former ally, begins to make moves in Europe leading Churchill, worried about the Communists, to declare an iron curtain and the U.S. set out to establish military bases all over the world.

The Navy played a crucial role in that time of increasing tensions. Things were happening and they were at the forefront. The A-bomb tests, the science behind waging war and sonar, and the underwater battles with the submarine.

So much research went into this book. All of his books. He passed away writing this book. If you are interested in Naval History, this is the book for you!

NetGalley/ May 3rd, 2022 by Bantam

BLACKOUT by SIMON SCARROW

Blackout

Berlin, December 1939

So much tension in this one! The Nazis are quickly taking over and everyone is a little paranoid and terrified. There are shortages, blackouts, and murders.

The wife of one of the Nazi lawyers is found murdered. Brutally so. CI Horst Schenke is following the law and doing his investigation. He is already suspicious in the eyes of his superiors for not registering for the Nazi party.

When another body comes up he thinks they may be looking at something truly evil. But who is to be trusted? No one.

This was a tense read. Not only are the Nazis making life impossible for everyone in the country, but they fight among themselves just as cruelly. It was amazing to see someone stand up to them and get some sort of justice.

NetGalley/ March 29, 2022, Kensington Publishers

UNDER THE GOLDEN SUN by JENNY ASHCROFT

Under the Golden Sun

Rose Hamilton is boarding the train to meet her Uncle and her brother for tea. Rose is at odds with her life at the moment. World War II has everyone on edge. She is still healing from being dismissed from military service and is engaged/not engaged to a truly narcissistic man. When she happens to see in the paper an advertisement for a companion to a young child. The job would be accompanying the child to Australia where his family will meet him and give him a good home.

On a whim, she stops in to apply for the job. She meets Vivian who is in very poor health and needs to be sure someone she can trust will care for a five-year-old Walter. A shy little boy whose mother has died and whose father is unknown. Walter tugs at her heartstrings hard. And she immediately knows she will take the job.

Walter and Rose board a ship during a scary time. With ships being bombed and enemy ships around, not to mention the seasickness.

Being on the ship in such close quarters Rose has become quite fond of Walter and him of her. When they finally land no one is there to meet them. When a hand shows up he deposits them in the pouring rain at a house with no one home. Or is there? What is wrong with these people? And why is his Uncle Max so distant and not in the least expecting them?

Secrets and family. Can one child and one rather headstrong woman change them all? Or will more misunderstandings cause her a broken heart?

Jenny Ashcroft writes so well you feel fully immersed in whatever world she has created. The colors of the Australian sky, the smells of the ocean liner, the heat so hot you can feel it.

A beautiful historical fiction novel that will move you to tears!

NetGalley/March 15th, 2022 St. Martin’s Press



The Unwilling by John Hart

The Unwilling

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

This book had a little bit of everything in it. The Vietnam War, family secrets, misunderstandings,coming of age,gun running and even murder.

Gibson is the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Robert and Jason are twins. Robert and Jason both were drafted in the war and only one comes home. It’s not the one their mother wanted to come home and now Gibson is on lockdown. His mother controls his entire life. And isn’t about to let him get mixed up with Jason.

Jason wants a relationship with Gibson, but has no idea how to go about it. So they go behind their parents backs. Gibson is drawn to Jason and is determined to find out all he can about him. Spending an entire day with him and two young ladies seems like a good way however, one of whom is certifiable crazy. The day goes from bad to worse when the pass a prison bus and Tyra literally shows her bum. One person on the bus however, recognizes Jason and knows who will pay for that information.

Soon after Tyra is savagely murdered. And I do mean Savagely. There is nothing spared here. Jason is immediately a suspect and Gibson is under suspicion as well.

His brother does have a dark side and when he is caught with a lot of cash and weapons, he goes back to jail.

While he is there things become much clearer. There is a puppet master behind all of this and Jason will get out of jail when X says he can.

This was so twisty and insane I do hope there will be a follow up!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 2nd, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

WAR, How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan

War: How Conflict Shaped Us

Margaret MacMillan, a renowned historian looks at war. Why choose war? What does it say about us?

From the beginning, there has been war and peace. Sometimes at the same time. Everything we know and have comes from war. It brings out the worst in us and challenges our beliefs and what we hold dear.

This is a look at war from all sides. Is it in our very nature to be at war? How do we decide to go to war?

We all know that war shapes politics, values and can be destructive so why do we humans keep planning, strategizing, and declaring war? And why is it mainly men?

Some very good history here along with a lot to think about.

NetGalley/ October 06, 2020 by Random House

LINEAGE MOST LETHAL by S.C.PERKINS

Lineage Most Lethal (Ancestry Detective #2)

Ancestry Detective Mystery 2

Welcome to the second book in this series about Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster.

Lucy is crazy busy trying to wrap up a project for Pippa Sutton of Sutton Hotel fame. After months of work, she is ready to present her results to Pippa and the rest of the Sutton family. And it’s just a week before New Year’s Eve.

After a day of research, she comes back to the hotel but before she reaches the steps a man stumbles towards her and shoves something in her hands before dropping dead. Whispering a cryptic message to “keep them safe”.

Looking at her hand she sees it is a Mont Blanc pen and while her grandfather is a collector Lucy doesn’t understand what the man meant, so she calls in grandpa and all of a sudden Lucy is wondering what in the world she has gotten herself into!

After speaking with him, things get very interesting! And Lucy isn’t sure who her grandpa is anymore, but boy is he interesting!

A really good mystery here. Spies, murder, an old vendetta based on a lie. It’s all here! Enjoy!

NetGalley/ July 21st, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

Paris Never Leaves You

A story with Paris, a book shop, a publishing house and set in the past and present sounds like a great idea.

Charlotte was a difficult character to know. I didn’t feel as if I knew any more of her story than what we knew at the beginning.

What was her sin? We know people who did whatever they had to do to survive the Nazi regime. They lied, they took food from the enemy, some even informed on their own people. But Charlotte wasn’t one of them. And where this war is concerned, people aren’t so forgiving of those who did what she did.

The entire thing felt disjointed and shallow. Not my cup of tea.

NetGalley/ June 2nd, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin