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The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

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1948 – Japan

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge–In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission–Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal. In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness.

Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him–even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends–only to confront a decision that will change everything.

 

Kiss Me Once Again by Gail Kittleson

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1940s – Iowa

No one ever accused Glenora Carson of being a breathtaking beauty. Her talk, gangly figure and angular face are more solid midwestern stock than Hollywood glamour. But Joe liked her. He even told her, “You’re the one for me.” He gave her a locket with his picture inside, to remind her of him while he was away, serving his country on the U.S.S. Arizona.

After December 7, 1941, Glenora shelves her dreams of attending college on the scholarship she was offered by Iowa State University, locks her heart away, and focuses on holding down the home front by helping out the family business – Carson’s Garage. The grease-stained overalls didn’t do much to compliment her female figure, but they cover her female heart well enough.

That is, until Hank Anderson, a wounded warrior back from battle, walks into the garage and into Glenora’s life.
Is an old maid’s future Glenora’s fate, or will Cupid throw a wrench in her plans?

Remnants by Stan Poel

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1940s – Netherland

Nineteen-year-old Jenny DeHaan is determined to live her life outside the confines of the family farm. When accepted to a prominent university, she sets out on the road to independence. While in school, she develops a bond with Marten Demeester, a Jewish student who shares her goal of becoming a pediatrician.

When Hitler breaks his promise and invades their country, everything changes. The peaceful land becomes a battlefield, and the Netherlands quickly falls to the overwhelming German forces. The Nazis, aided by local collaborators, begin a process of arrest, deportation, and extermination of Dutch Jews, with Marten’s family targeted by a powerful Gestapo colonel.

The race to save their Jewish neighbors puts Jenny and Marten, now members of the Dutch Resistance, squarely in the crosshairs of the cunning and ruthless Gestapo. Failure could mean death for them and for their families and friends. As the Nazis close in, the pair is forced to make fateful choices. What price are they willing to pay to save others?

When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma

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1943 – Poland

Natia has a secret—and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose.

In 1943 Poland, the Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their peaceful farm to the harsh confines of a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear—but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price. . .

Jacob’s Bell by John Snyder

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1944 – Illinois and Maryland

For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Melody Carlson comes JACOB’S BELL, a heartwarming Christmas story about how an unlikely friendship between an old man and a little girl saved a family.

Sometimes the road to forgiveness and restoration can be a rocky one. Set in Chicago and Baltimore in 1944 with flashbacks to the 1920s, JACOB’S BELL follows Jacob MacCallum on his arduous journey to redemption.
 
At one time, Jacob had it all: wealth, a wonderful family and a position as one of the most respected businessmen in Chicago. Then he made some bad decisions and all that changed. For the past twenty years he lived in an alcohol-induced haze, riddled with guilt for the dreadful things he had done to his family and his role in the untimely death of his wife. Estranged from his children and penniless, he was in and out of jail, on the street and jumping freight trains for transportation. Realizing he needed a drastic change, Jacob embarked on a journey to find his children, seek their forgiveness, and restore his relationship with them. Befriended by a pastor at a Salvation Army mission, he struggled to transform his life. Yet finally he overcame his demons, but not without a fair number of setbacks. Jacob became a Salvation Army Bell Ringer at Christmastime. While ringing his bell on a street corner one snowy day, he met a young girl who, through a series of strange coincidences, led him back to his children and facilitated Jacob’s forgiveness just in time for Christmas.

Flame in the Night by Heather Munn

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1942 – France

In occupied France, a teen is torn between hate and love
Julien Losier has just turned eighteen. But this is Vichy France in 1942, and his coming of age is marred by the Nazi occupation of his homeland. His father has always taught him that evil is resisted by the power of God, not by the gun. But when the roundups of Jews begin and both his best friend and the girl he’s falling for become targets, Julien must question where real power lies. Can he be a man who protects the people he loves if he follows his father’s ways of peace?

His hometown is a fragile fortress where hundreds of Jewish youth hide in plain sight, protected only by the goodwill of their neighbors. Julien takes part in the intricate system of sentries and alert codes that keep them safe, doing what he can to resist the Nazis. As the Germans close in, he can see the moment coming when all the town’s careful defenses will fail. He’s torn between the faith of his father and his increasing surety that fighting violence with violence is the only way to win. How can the meek inherit the earth when the strong hold all the cards?

Now the young Jewish woman who has captured his heart comes under deadly threat, and there are no good choices. But for Elise, there’s nothing Julien won’t risk.

Based on actual events in Vichy France, Flame in the Night is a powerful examination of the strength of faith and peaceful resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

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1938/Present Day – Austria

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

 

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

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1943 – Poland

Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.

On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.

Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

Facade by Pepper Basham

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1940s – England

A reclusive academic who would do anything to save her brother.

A reluctant spy who’d risk is life to save the woman who broke his heart.

Olivia Rakes has almost mythic observations skills when it comes to facts, figures, and details, but she stumbles through matters of the heart. When her brother goes missing over German-occupied France, Livy enlists her services with a group of search-and-rescue spies, who not only thrust her toward espionage, danger, and deceit, but the most frightening of all…romance.

Agent Christopher Dawson has avoided Livy Rakes since she broke his heart three years ago. Which is probably for the best, since, as a British spy, he could very well die any day and pursuing a romantic relationship is not on the agenda for him. But when the search for a downed-pilot brings them together on a secret mission, the heart takes on a mind of its own.

In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can Christopher and Livy work together to complete their rescue mission before the enemy catches them first.

Shadowed by a Spy by Marilyn Turk

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1942 -New York

In the dead of night on June 12, 1942, four sailors climb from their German U-boat and make their way toward the coast of Long Island, NY. From there, they board the Long Island Railroad heading into Manhattan. One of the men, Cal Miller, is a US citizen, making him the perfect candidate for a special mission to infiltrate the States and gain access to key economic targets he can destroy.

Three seats ahead, Lexie Smithfield ponders her future as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital and wife to her fiancé Russell Thompson. A brief encounter with Cal Miller on the train leads to an unlikely friendship, and ultimately to the fearsome discovery that this handsome, kindly man is not who he appears to be.

When Russell is given an opportunity to work overseas, Lexie reluctantly encourages him to go. But his absence leaves Lexie alone in a strange city where her path becomes increasingly darkened by her unwitting connection to the German saboteurs. As the spies lay plans to destroy American factories and bridges, it becomes clear that only two people can stop them. One is a catatonic patient at Bellevue who must be strapped to his bed and sedated. The other is Lexie herself, a young woman who longs only for the security of marriage while ministering to the war’s physically and emotionally wounded.

Can Lexie’s unintended friendship with a Nazi spy thwart a terrorist attack? Or will her hopes and dreams — peace on the American homefront — become another casualty of war?

We’ll Meet Again by Melody Carlson

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1944 – California

Now in its third year, World War II still rages, taking its toll on everyone. On the home-front, the Mulligans continue to face war-related challenges . . . and patience wears thin.

Margaret is pulled in various directions as she attempts to care for her toddler and disabled husband Brian, who’s haunted by mistakes made on the battlefield—and their marriage is put to the test. Colleen is still pursuing her Hollywood career, but will the arrival of her baby change everything? And with Navy pilots being shot down daily, will Geoff escape the odds and make it safely home?

Bridget still serves as an Army nurse in the Pacific front, where not only her life, but health and heart are in harm’s way. Molly continues to do her part to help her family and find her place in the world, but when her relationship with Patrick gets shaken to the core, she heads off on a journey that leaves her family conflicted.

The war will eventually end, but will the Mulligan family remain intact when it does?

Firing Line by Mike Hollow

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1940s – England

Flames leap skyward from a blitzed factory in West Ham as an air raid destroys all in its path. When the blaze threatens neighbouring houses a volunteer fireman breaks in to rescue a trapped resident – but instead finds only the body of a young woman, strangled in her bedroom. For Detective Inspector John Jago the scene brings back memories of the Soho Strangler. He suspects this woman had a secret – that she is not what she seems – and that this may be the root of her untimely end. Investigation reveals a drunken sailor may hold the key to what happened in Joan Watson’s flat. But his information points Jago towards family jealousies, violence, robbery, and the underworld of political terrorism. Was Joan as innocent as her friends claim, or was she mixed up in crime? Jago must unpick multifarious motives if he hopes to reach the truth.

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

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1944 – England

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

 

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

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1943 – Czechoslovakia

It’s 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she’ll do anything to keep her safe—a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.

Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.

Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

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1940 – England

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

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