FREE BOOK SUNDAY from Heart Beat Books!

FREE BOOK SUNDAY from Heart Beat Books!


The Fires of Lilliput
is free on Amazon TODAY, April 24.

The story follows Shosha Mordechai and Jakub Chelzak as they fight to survive the Nazi onslaught in Poland during the WW II and the Holocaust. Shosha tells the story years later to Cardinals at the Vatican, who are investigating Jakub for Catholic sainthood. Check out the excerpt below.


I'd also like to welcome readers who've joined us via The Trouble, my latest book presently FREE at Story Origin. Thanks for joining us!

The historical fiction author Kazuko Nishimura, my guest this week, brings us Himiko the Warrior Queen, a novella based on the true story of 2nd century Japanese Empress Himiko, forced to grow up fast after her husband dies, leaving her with an army to lead -- and a child to deliver.  

"What happens when she goes into labour in the middle of the battlefield? Can she still fight the battle?" an Amazon reader asks. Find out by checking out Himiko the Warrior Queen, also FREE.

Other Amazon readers had this to say about Himiko the Warrior Queen: 

" . . . a short, but very powerful story with a wonderful mixture of history, mythology and culture."


"Always good to see a story about a powerful, thoughtful woman."

"I am so glad Nishimura has put this magical tale in writing for those of us who love Japan, but have little ability to search out this story in such detail."

" . . . the writer portrays the strength, power, wisdom of Himiko not only as the empress, but also with the motherly love and kindness. She is the epitome of womanhood."


Visit Kazuko Nishimura:



Shosha Mordechai has been left to die in the notorious Hospital Block at the Nazi concentration camp in Melinka, Poland. She has wasted down to nothing and she is certain, with all the death around her, there is no hope.

She hears a woman nearby, praying in a foreign language. But the end of the prayer sounds like the way Shosha and other Jews end their prayers.

SOMEWHERE IN THE HOLLOW, Shosha heard a woman begin a prayer in a foreign tongue. Shosha didn’t recognize the prayer, but it was beautiful, the way it settled the void.

“Bismillaah ah-Rahman ar-Raheem
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

“Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world

“Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Most Gracious, Most Merciful

“Maaliki yaumid Deen.
Master of the Day of Judgment.

“Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iy yaaka nasta’een.”
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

Shosha heard the guards enter again.

“He should be helping.”

“He’s in charge.”

“He’s a pussy.”

They came to Shosha. She could feel their breath as they bent down to look at her. She could feel their shadows. She knew a hand was reaching out to touch her face.

“She’s got sores. Don’t touch.”


“You want to get sick?”

“I’m not touching it.”

“Unless you want to burn your gloves, don’t touch them. We don’t have any other gloves.”

The guard craned his head around to see Shosha’s face. She kept her eyes open in a dead stare. She felt sick—sicker than she thought she had ever been—when the guard’s eyes met hers. She couldn’t look away, couldn’t blink, couldn’t cry, couldn’t close her eyes.

The guard pulled back. “This one’s gone.”

“Leave it.”

When the guards moved away, Shosha let her eyes close. She didn’t know whether to thank G-d or cry out for them to take her and get it over with. She wondered why she didn’t blink and let them take her. Why should she lie here when there was no hope? Why should she lie here and die?

But even if she had wanted to call out, she could barely raise the strength to speak. So she would lie here and wait. She would live a little longer, another hour or maybe another day. Maybe she would live a few days.


She would live here alone among the dead they had left, but she would live and they would not kill her directly, with their own hands. She would starve to death but she would die on her time. The pain of starvation was terrible but she was more used to it now and at least there would be meaning.


She heard the prayer again.

“Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Show us the straight way

“Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim, waladaalee.
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace
Those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.


It sounded like “Amein” to Shosha and she was surprised. It was almost a reflex when she said it in her mind. She heard shots again. Only three this time. The living were getting fewer and harder to find.


Thank you so much for reading!

Until next time,

Michael Martin

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