To our readers from the States, Happy July 4th! To our readers everywhere, a Book Sale Sunday salute!
FREE SUNDAY ON AMAZON: The Fires of Lilliput, Shosha Mordechai's and Jakub Chelzak's epic story of courage, suffering, and love during the Nazi siege of Poland.
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Through short excerpts below, meet three people central to life in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto up to and during the 1943 revolt: Uprising leader Icchak Cukierman (aka 'Antek'); Nazi commander Jürgen Stroop and his predecessor, Ferdinand von Sammern-Frankenegg; and the fictional counterpart of orphanage founder Dr. Janusz Korczak.
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Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller, Historical Mystery, Historical Military, Christian Historical Fiction, and Historical Romance.
My personal favorites include three little-told tales: of Northern Ireland's role in World War II; of the Biblical Eve; and the lost story of Howard Hughes' biological mother. I'll get into each of those stories more below.
BUT FIRST: We plunge into the war-torn Warsaw Jewish Ghetto in these short excerpts from The Fires of Lilliput.
She and Jakub had walked from the cemetery, hiding in the usual places, and now they crouched in a doorway on an alley. Shosha heard her name, but didn’t recognize the urgent, hushed voice.
“Shosha.” She stood and bent around the edge of the doorway. “Up here!”
She looked up. From a building across the street, a man waved in a window without glass.
“Antek?” she said.
“Yes. Who’s with you?”
“Who is he?” Jakub asked.
“Icchak,” Shosha said. “But he’s called Antek. He’s our best shooter, but he hates to kill. The women are all in love with him.”
Photo: Icchak Cukierman (aka 'Antek'), a Warsaw Jewish Ghetto Uprising leader, ca 1943
Monday of Holy Week, First day of Pesach
19 April 1943, Warsaw Jewish Ghetto
JÜRGEN STROOP WASHED SHAVING cream off his face when his aide, a young lieutenant, answered a pounding at the door of the general’s suite at the Hotel Bristol on the Aryan side.
Sammern-Frankenegg rushed past the lieutenant and looked in every room until he found his commander.
“We’ve sustained losses, Herr Stroop.”
Stroop was staring at himself in the mirror over the sink.
Excerpt from The Fires of Lilliput, Chapter 16
“To be expected,” Stroop said.
“I ordered a retreat.”
Stroop lit a cigarette.
“We need aircraft,” Sammern-Frankenegg said. “We could get them from Krakow in under an hour.”
“Bullshit.” Stroop spoke through his cigarette. “How long can these sewer rats resist?”
THE NEXT DAY, IN the early morning, Shosha left her house by the back door and took a carriage to the Jewish orphanage.
She stepped off at a corner and walked the rest of the way and when she arrived, she saw the double front doors open.
She hiked her skirt and mounted the steep brick steps. At the top, she paused. She was hungry, she was always hungry, and every effort loosed wavelets of fatigue. She had lost twenty pounds and was not a large woman before.
When she took off her top garments, she no longer had to contract her diaphragm to see her ribs, which lay bare and malnourished, embarrassing protrusions that forced her to wear heavy clothes, even on warm days.
She leaned against the railing and breathed. Fatigue roiled her stomach, like a grinding wheel sharpening a dull and chronic pain that wanted to waylay her.
She rolled her head to stretch her neck.
She looked around and noticed the windows on either side of the doors were open as high as they could be forced. She peered in.
“Hello?” Her voice jarred the air.
“Hello?” A hollow echo returned.
She looked at the wood floor down the long center hall and the dark lights hanging from ceilings eighteen feet high. She heard water, dripping in the cavern. She stepped in and heard her hard shoes echo on the black slate tiles in the entryway. She pushed a door and it stopped against the wall. She looked into a room.
She walked into it—tap, tap, tap—on a hard painted floor and saw a long row of windows that looked out on an alley, and beneath the windows, a row of radiators connected by a thick pipe and a thin pipe that stopped at valves and stopcocks then turned and dove through round, coarse holes in the floor.
She stared. She thought about how she had wanted to speak with Jerczek last night, after the show, maybe stand outside with him, away from the others.
But well-wishers surrounded him and she may have missed an opportunity by spending too much time in the lavatory with Leiozia, who was drunk.
Excerpt from The Fires of Lilliput, Chapter 7. It's the morning after the going-away party for orphanage founder Dr. Janusz Jerczek and the remaining orphans. Jerczek is told the occupiers are building a new, fine orphanage well beyond the Jewish Ghetto.
But Shosha fears the worst.
Photo: Dr. Janusz Korczak and orphan, the real-life inspiration for the fictional Janusz Jerczek.
Details around the birth of billionaire Howard Hughes have been argued for decades. Now, a shocking new angle…
In the early 1900s, fourteen-year-old Emma did the impossible to survive. Forced to flee her alcoholic father, she moved to Galveston, Texas, sold her body to start a new life -- and in 1905 may have given birth to Howard Hughes, one of America’s most influential tycoons, whose family origins -- from his certificate of baptism to rumors about his mother -- are still shrouded in mystery. Author and researcher Ora Smith may well be the great-niece of Howard Hughes. She reveals detailed evidence that fills in mystifying blanks about this enigmatic and reclusive icon, of film, business, and legalized gambling. Was Howard Hughes’s eccentricity born of one young woman’s checkered past?Unacknowledged: The Possible Biological Mother of Howard Hughes is a thoughtfully written work that dramatically recounts a new theory of the conception and birth of an American legend.
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"In this wonderful tale, Eve becomes human with human frailties and a heart," writes an Amazon reader about Eve: First Matriarch, Angelique Conger's novel about the Biblical foremother. "It is an amazing look at what might have been, had a woman recorded the life of Adam and Eve and the changes they faced leaving Eden and learning to be human, rather than Biblically perfect."
Conger casts Adam and Eve as survivors, cast out of the only home they've known, Paradise, into the harsh, unfriendly environment known as primitive mother Earth. "It was thought-provoking to envision the many ways Adam and Eve worked, through trials and error, to navigate the world once they were banished from the Garden," another Amazon reader writes. "I think this story illustrates how imaginative and SMART they must have been, to fulfill their commandment: go forth and multiply, but also thrive and flourish."GET YOUR COPY TODAY!
Northern Ireland. The name prompts memories of terror and hardship, during the decades-long civil war known as The Troubles, which pitted the separatist Irish Republican Army (IRA) against Unionist forces intent on remaining part of the United Kingdom.
The Yankee Years by Dianne Ascroft tells another story, of Northern Ireland in the early years of World War II, and the problems war wrought: rationing, sabotage, bombing raids, the need for woman power with men gone to fight, the need to maintain civility with friends and neighbors.
The story occurs in three books set from 1941-42.
The Shadow Ally finds Ruth Corey trying to safeguard a military secret and protect her journalist boyfriend, Harry Coalter.
Acts of Sabotage has Ruth and an American military contractor, Frank Miller, trying to stop the IRA from sabotaging an important mission.
Keeping Her Pledge introduces Pearl Grainger, who after helping her family rescue an air force crew from burning wreckage, must face the moral choice of helping the war effort or playing it safe and staying alive.
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Thank you so much for reading! Until next time,
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