Posted in Book reviews, Books

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot ~ Book Review

Before I jump into my review I want to say that I loved this book so much. Yes, I will say that again in my review, but I really mean it – it has stuck with me and I want to read it again already. ^.^  I had the privilege of reading a pre-released copy, meaning it is not yet published. But I very much hope that it will become published this year, as it is one I can’t wait to recommend to others!
As it isn’t published yet, there isn’t a proper cover for it. So with the author’s permission, I am using a MOCK cover I created for posting my review. It is not the final version or even one of the versions possible. Just some fun I had after reading. :) Anyway, on to the review!

 

 

Mock Cover Through a glass darkly.png

 

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot

Not yet published

Add it on GoodReads

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

*
*
About the book:
Adam Clark has just returned from the war in Iraq. He has come home to a family which has rejected him and wants nothing to do with him. He feels all he has left is the house his grandpa left him and the God he put his trust in. Dealing with PTSD because of what he experienced in the war, Adam sometimes wonders how he will get through each day.

India Lee struggles with PTSD for different reasons. Suffering trauma from her past, India is often scared to leave her house. Depressed and lonely, her only companion is her older brother Jared and her only occupation her little flower garden. She doesn’t trust her new neighbor anymore than she trusts anyone.

Then comes the day when Adam steps outside his own shell to help India. A small act of kindness changes their lives and sets them on a path which could bring them healing if only they are willing to open up and face their broken pasts and their present pain. Their battles are long and frightening, but both believe God can bring them through the darkness until they see the light face to face

*
*
My thoughts:
How does one even begin to write a review for a book that is filled with so much heart, and emotion, and struggles. I won’t lie: it was a hard book to read. And yet, so much easier to devour than to set down. I read it every spare minute I had. And my heart broke for these characters, and for the story it tells of real life people too.
I loved this story. Not because it was happy and fluffy but because it is real, and beautiful, and hopeful. And it hurts. But I found it beautifully healing as well.
Characters India and Adam immediately became relatable for me. I instantly cared about their journey, their lives, and really everything about them. I wanted to hug them and possibly not let go (they wouldn’t like that, but….).
And I was so proud of them at many turns! They complimented each other so well. They were not perfect, but no one is, and I think that is one of the things that drew me to them so much. Because they were more than believable, they were entirely realistic. And I loved them for it.
India was amazing to me – with all she dealt with, she was still so brave. Same goes for Adam. Their courage, especially when facing their past was inspiring.
I really do have all the love for this book, and I hope it will be published with utmost haste. It made me tear up, feel everything they felt, and cheer them on.
I wasn’t ready for it to end – I thought I had a few more pages left, so that was sad. XD But it was an excellent ending, and so full of hope.
The struggles in this novel are so real, and I absolutely applaud the author for writing this with so much honesty, truth, bravery, and gentleness. It was so well written, and I was blessed by reading it. <3 One of my favorites for 2018!
*
*
*Because of the heavy topics touched on in this novel, I would recommend for ages 16+, but that is just my personal age recommendation, and obviously also depends on where a person is at themselves.
*
*
Mock Cover Through a Glass Darkly 2.png
Posted in Books, cover reveal

Cover Reveal: Finding the Magic

Good morning!

You might remember a while back (quite a while) I had posted a review of a story called “Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Bailott. Well that book is now officially going to be published and it has a cover that is quite lovely! And I am happy to be participating in the reveal of it. First, let’s hear some about the book, shall we?

 

 

Finding the Magic. 

 

Fifteen-year-old Belle is sent to the countryside to escape the London bombings of WWII. She knows she will miss her mother and worry about her father, who is away fighting in the war, but has no idea what awaits her in the manor in which she is to live. She finds friends in the staff but the mysterious and elusive master of the house frightens her. Can she teach him to find the magic in a world where magic seems to be long gone?
About the Author:
 Jack is an author, which is why she spends much of her time writing and little of her time editing. She likes to follow characters around and tell their stories even if they don’t tell her everything they know about their stories.
She lives alone in a Hobbit hole and spends her spare time with her nose stuck in a book. When she isn’t doing that she is busy baking bread and annoying her neighbors with bagpipes.
And now for the cover….
*
*
*
*
*
*
Finding the Magic Full Cover.jpg
I love the front especially – it really fits the whole book.  Congratulations, Jack!
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot ~ Book Review

Finding the Magic

 

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

A Novella Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

This was super sweet and super good! The writing alone was excellent, and the story-line was positively adorable. It was just a short novella sort of story, but it held great meaning, and was a superb Beauty and the Beast retelling. I love how it started out with an excerpt of the original tale.
It has a beautiful and gentle faith-strand that glitters sweetly.
And the fact that it was set in Winter, with the snow and all the happy feelings that creates… <3
I definitely have a soft-spot for Beauty and the Beast stories, and this one was extra delightful! I love the author’s writing talent, and look forward to more of her penned creations!
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in 1940's, Author Interview, blog tour, Books

Book and Character Spotlight: “Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot

Today I am excited to share about the upcoming release of Jack Lewis Baillot’s amazing book, “Brothers-in-Arms”!! I really am happy for this release! I have read (review) this book previously and fell absolutely in love. I’m looking forward to reading this updated version too!

In addition to spotlighting this book, I am also featuring one of the characters – Japhet Buchanan. So read on to hear more about the book and to have Jack introduce Japhet to us!

 

 

13bf3664-c645-4fdd-a722-529d4dde2979

Release Date: May 31st

Synopsis:

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 

With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.

With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

Character Spotlight: Japhet Buchanan

Raechel has asked to do a character spotlight during my blog tour, and she chose Japhet Buchanan as her character. I have to admit, I was very happy to get to write a spotlight for him. The moment he showed up and presented his story to me, years and years ago, I fell in love with him. (He arrived before Franz. I didn’t know it would also be Franz’s story until I started it.)

I wanted to write a story set in Germany during WWII. I read a book which started it, a book which showed a side of the WWII story my history books never spoke of. It was about a small group of Germans who fought the Nazis and tried to stop Hitler’s slaughter of babies with deformities.
Japhet showed up about this time. He didn’t tell me his name, he told me nothing really, just that he was a German, wasn’t a Nazi, had a story to be told, and he had a best friend. I ignored him because I didn’t want to write a WWII story, I knew it would be painful and I wasn’t ready for it.
Years later Japhet returned, this time with a fuller back story and big brown eyes which he used to charm me. He told me he had a story he knew I’d love to write and he wouldn’t go away even when I threw boots at his head. Then he took it one step further and started to tell me his story. A few weeks passed, and the next thing I knew I was sobbing in front of my computer as I wrote the story down.
I am attached to all my characters, but some have very special places in my heart. Japhet Buchanan is one of them, and I’m not even sure I really understand why. I just know I love him.
To give you a quick overview of who he is…
Japhet Josef Buchanan is the youngest of four. He has three older sisters. His family is Jewish and they live in a little German village where his family is well liked – until trouble starts.
Japhet has an out going personality. There are few people who meet him who don’t like him. He’s fun, light-hearted, and gets along with almost everyone. (This is his early history, of course things change.)
When he grows up Japhet has plans to become an artist. He loves to draw, mostly scenery pictures and animals. He’s not so good at drawing people, but his landscapes are stunning. Mostly though, Japhet just has fun getting into trouble with his best friend, Franz Kappel.

In spite of having a fun personality, Japhet is also loyal to his family. He has a fighting spirit and a hidden temper which smolders rather than explodes. When he’s upset, angry, or scared he keeps it all hidden away inside and lets it simmer. He won’t tell anyone his fears unless he is pushed hard enough to bring them up. He’d rather make people laugh than talk about anything serious. He’d also do anything to keep his family safe.

Japhet was a hard character for me to work with, and also really easy. I didn’t really get why I felt this way until the final edit and I realized how much of a change Japhet goes through in the book. (Then I had another crying moment.) He goes through so much that by the end of the book he is not the same boy at the beginning, and it wasn’t fun to see, but it also gave me a chance to do a complete character arch. I don’t think I’ve ever taken characters as low as Japhet and Franz, and for being an Author, it was almost fun to stretch myself to new limits. Painful, agonizing, but also kind of fun. (What can I say, Authors are weird beings.)
And…I guess there he is. Somewhat slightly summed up. I hope readers will be drawn into his and Franz’s story the same way I was and come to love them as much as I do. 

 

 

 

Thanks so much, Jack, for telling us about Japhet! And congratulations on this fantastic book release!!

 

 

(No idea why, but her photo won’t show up here no matter how many times I try or try to it differently…Sorry!)

 

Author Bio:

Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.

When Jack isn’t writing, which doesn’t happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.

She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn’t quite equal to Prince Adam’s but will be, given enough time and a secret doorway.

 

Contact Info:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5862775.Jack_Lewis_Baillot

Blog – http://www.jacklewisbaillot.com/  

 

Goodreads link –  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24703965-brothers-in-arms

Brothers-in-Arms Pintrest Page – https://www.pinterest.com/jackbaillot/brothers-in-arms/

Posted in Books

Cover Reveal: “Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot

Today I get to share with you the cover for Jack Lewis Baillot’s soon-to-be published book, “Brothers-in-Arms”! I’m really excited for this book, because I’ve read a previous unpublished version of it (my review here), and I adored it so much. Cannot wait for everyone to read it! So, without further ado, here is the cover:

13bf3664-c645-4fdd-a722-529d4dde2979

 

About the Book:

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 

With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.

With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

 

Author Bio:

Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.

When Jack isn’t writing, which doesn’t happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.

She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn’t quite equal to Prince Adam’s but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.

(She has an author photo, but for some reason, it refuses to show up here. =/)

 

 

Contact Info

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5862775.Jack_Lewis_Baillot

Blog – http://www.jacklewisbaillot.com/  

 

Goodreads link –  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24703965-brothers-in-arms

Brothers-in-Arms Pintrest Page – https://www.pinterest.com/jackbaillot/brothers-in-arms/

 

 

 

Displaying IMG_0990.JPG

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Books

Book Review: “Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot

brothersinarms cover

 

“Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot

WWII fiction

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Unknown Release Date

 

 

 

 

About the Book:

Nazi Germany.

Childhood friends, Japhet Buchanan and Franz Kappel, have grown up together and are closer than brothers.

The world they have always known is changing.

When disaster strikes close to home Franz and Japhet make a choice to enter Berlin, determined to gather needed information to get their families out of Germany alive.

There is one problem.

Japhet is a Jew. Even with the world telling him and Franz they shouldn’t be friends Japhet has always believed Franz would never leave him.

But then Franz joins the Nazis.

Their friendship is soon put to the test as both battle to escape the place they called home and the people who would kill them if their secrets were ever discovered.

 

My Thoughts:

Where do I begin? This book was fantastic. Why was it fantastic? Because it was real, it was deep, it was heart-wrenching. In short, it was so good! When I received this book in the mail after winning it in Jack’s give-away, I was astounded at the sheer-length of it. It’s huge! But it needed every page, and none of it felt like it lasted too long. It was incredibly hard to put down, and I was thinking about when I wasn’t reading it.

The friendship between Franz and Japhet was nothing short of amazing and just…ah! I loved it. It was so sweet, so innocent, so real. And yet, it made it that much harder when their friendship was strained for a while. But it still lasted. They were still the best friends they were when they were boys. No harsh war, cruelties, or beatings could tear that away from them, and I loved that.
The characters were all so well-constructed, and believable. I don’t know if I could choose just one favourite, because I became VERY attached to a few. Especially Franz and Japhet, but I also liked Sam Winters, and Jimmy’s friend Danny, and Odis – we can’t forget Odis.
There were characters you absolutely hated. Strongly. But as terrible as they were, they were required in the story to make it what it was and is.

This book, though heart-wrenching to its fullest, was engaging – it was not one you slogged through at all. You kept reading even when your eyes are sore. Knowing the subject, at first I was worried it would be hard to read – a bit ‘advanced’ but it wasn’t. Somehow, it was deep, and gritty, and painful, and amazing, without being hard to read.

My favourite aspect of the book though, was probably the dedication Franz had towards Japhet and he towards Franz. “I will always catch you” – Franz Kappel. Makes you just…ahhh!

And I have to say something about the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but can I tell you how relieved I was at the end??? I was SOO worried, and SOO tense. But it ended really, really good. (I think Jack should put one of those things in the front of her book – “Dear Reader: don’t worry, it ends happily” :D). But yes, I got so involved in this book, and I am so glad it can sit proudly on my shelf for me to return to many times.

There was a fairly significant faith-strand, but sometimes it was missing. It is because of this reason that I rated it 4.5 stars instead of a full five, because I would have liked to see a stronger tie to God in it. I think Jack handled it well for the most part, really. I am not saying writing a book like this would be easy – no – but there were a couple of instinces where I felt it really needed God. For example, there was a part where Japhet was struggling (won’t go into detail there) and he kept calling out for Franz to save him – I was hoping that he would come to realize more strongly than he did that only God can save him, not man. But still, the moment Franz and Japhet re-found God was powerful.

So yep. I loved this book. I cannot wait till Jack publishes it because everyone needs to read it. *Nods*.

*I received this book in a give-away – I was not required to post a review

Posted in 1940's, Books, Pictures, Pinterest, Pinterest favourites, reading, Writing

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week 16

Happy Friday Folkes! :D
How has your week been? Good, I hope. I personally enjoyed the cooler weather over last weekend and early week. =) It also made gardening easier.
So, this weeks pins are as follows:

 

beautiful crown/tiara!

Beautiful isn’t it? I love tiaras/crowns.

Pink and white bridal designer lehenga. Indian Fashion and Clothing.

Some beautiful Indian Fashion. It says it is a bridal outfit, and you can see why – lovely!

Hahaha...

I love this – quite funny!

Gorgeous!!!

This bag is amazing, isn’t it? I would love to own it!

beautiful mask!!!

Another gorgeous masquerade mask!

I’m currently reading:

033

It’s not a great picture of me, but it shows off the book! I was sooo pleased to win one of the copies of “Brothers-in-Arms” on Jack’s blog. You might remember that I entered THIS short story for the give-away/contest. The book is amazing, trust me! Franz and Japhet…their friendship is amazing. It’s very emotionally investing though… XD

So with that I shall depart! Comment and tell me what you’re reading/pinning/etc.! Have a good weekend. :)

Posted in 1940's, Books, update, Writing

Cover Reveal: “Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

Hello readers! Today we have something a bit different from the ‘Pinterest Favourite Friday’! Today I am delighted to be sharing the cover reveal for Miss Jack Lewis Baillot’s upcoming book,

Finding The Magic

It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and sounds lovely. Of course you are wondering what does it look like? Oh yes. Well, without further ado…here it is:

 

Displaying CHIP.jpg

 Book Blurb:
 Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
 Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.
About the Author:

Jack chases Dragons on a daily basis though has yet to decide if she wishes to slay the Dragons she finds or ride them. She wishes she had a library as big as the Beast’s, or Prince Adam, or whatever you wish to call him. She’s working on that goal currently, at the same time searching for a house with two stories so she can slide down the banister every morning on her way to breakfast.

As a general rule, Jack doesn’t write sad books, but she might have slipped in this area when she started to write about World War Two.

When she isn’t writing Jack is researching, which means she is reading. And when she isn’t reading, it might mean she’s sleeping, but probably means she’s eating. Especially if the food is cookies.

Currently Jack is trying out the life of a Dwarf, even though she’s a Hobbit. She’s traveling about, looking for her home, and hoping the end of her search leads her to a cave with a Dragon who needs to be battled and enough Arkenstones to fill her dream library with books.

You can learn more about Jack and her newest books at jacklewisbaillot.com

======================================================

So! There we have it. See, didn’t I say it sounded good? And the cover is delightfully beautiful. Can’t wait to read it! Also, just because it is fun, Jack put together some posts on her blog introducing her characters, so I thought I would share that as well:

Character Post One

Character Post Two

Thanks for letting me be apart of your cover reveal, Jack! I enjoyed it. :) Congrats on this new book of yours!