book cover review, book review, Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction, Uncategorized, WWII historical novel

Book & Cover Review of 'Through Waters Deep' by Sarah Sundin


Book Review 4BlogStars

Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah Sundin’s Waves of Freedom WWII romantic mystery series. Set in 1941, the U.S. is not yet at war, and a young Mary Stirling is working as a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard. Her secretarial skills and access at the navy yard come in quite handy when suspicious sabotage starts happening. A childhood friend, Jim Avery is an Ensign aboard one of the yard’s brand-new destroyers and assists in her amateur investigations. Will Jim be the only one to take her amateur investigations into the events of sabotage seriously?

The mystery and sweet romance will draw you into this WWII mystery novel. I would say women would enjoy this novel more than men, but anyone who loves fiction set in the WWII time period will find it a very enjoyable read. Both the female and the male leading characters are enjoyable, with personal character flaws that make them endearing to the reader.

Cover Review 5 Star Rating

Revell has done a wonderful job with this cover! By looking at the cover alone it is easy to tell this novel is a romance, that it is set in WWII, and that it involves the navy. The stormy grey sky also adds an air of turbulence and mystery.  Even the positioning of the two cover models hints that this is not just a simple love story – not all blue skies and rainbows to be read about in here. I additionally love the treatment of the title. The three horizontal, and partially translucent, white bars help to draw attention to the title, without blocking out any part of the photo. The spine is also attractively designed, and easy to match up with the correct genre of reader. The back cover design is not as strong as the front and spine, but it is still attractive, and the overall design is carried over effectively.

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction, Uncategorized, WWII historical novel

Book and Cover Review of "With Every Letter" by Sarah Sundin


Book Review

In book one of her new Wings of the Nightingale series, Sarah Sundin has delivered yet another WWII era classic piece of fiction. An unlikely friendship develops between a seemingly friendless flight nurse and an equally friendless Lt. in an Engineer core.  The anonymity of their relationship via mailed letters appeals to them both in the beginning.  Sundin has done her research, weaving her knowledge of WWII history, medicine and the human spirit into a beautiful story celebrating life, friendship and the beauty of a romance that defies the odds.

This book gave you an inside look at what it was like to be among the first trained flight nurses during WWII. Just like in the work places back home, they were not always welcomed into routines previously fulfilled only by men. It additionally covers the fears involved with taking on leadership roles in a time of war – even by talented and capable men.

This book will likely appeal more to women than men, but anyone who is a WWII history nut will find it to be an entertaining read.

Cover Review

I have noticed an emerging trend of dividing the book cover into two sections, either with the title area or a hard edge. I’m personally hoping it’s a passing craze. It bothers me a little that the heroine seems to be floating in the sky looking down on the serene scene of the bridge below the title area. The model is beautiful, though slightly less of mixed international heritage than I pictured when reading the story, but her dress medical nurses uniform would attract historical readers to the novel when spotted on the shelf.

The red area around the title does draw attention, but clearly separates the two areas and does not tie into any other element on the cover. In my opinion, this new style of cover lacks unity/harmony compared to previous cover trends. The clouds in both photos on the front cover, and on the back cover is the only harmonious element uniting it as a whole. However, I do feel the cover will carry out its goal. It will appeal to historical romance readers – particularly women who are fans of reading stories of the WWII era.

*Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The additional information below was provided by the publisher.


With Every Letter

By Sarah Sundin

Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.  In the first of the Wings of the Nightingale series, Sundin introduces us to some of those who courageously served in this dangerous time.

Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant MelodyA Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Praise for Sarah Sundin and With Every Letter:

“I love the nostalgia and drama of the WWII era. No one takes me back there better than Sarah Sundin. With Every Letter is a beautiful love story and has everything you want in a novel: romance, suspense, and characters you care about from the very first page. A marvelous beginning for her new series. I can’t wait to read the next book.”—Dan Walsh, award-winning and bestselling author of The Unfinished GiftRemembering Christmas, and The Discovery

Praise for Blue Skies Tomorrow:

“A great read for those who love romance, WWII-era settings, or just satisfying stories.”—RT Book Reviews on Blue Skies Tomorrow

“A captivating story that offers an unflinching look at the ‘good old days’ that weren’t always so good—and assurance that even when times are hard, God is faithful.”—Crosswalk on Blue Skies Tomorrow



WWII historical novel, YA Christian fiction, YA fiction

Book & Cover Review of "How Huge the Night" by Heather & Lydia Munn

How Huge the Night: A Novel
Book Review
Other than reading the Harry Potter series a few years ago I have to admit that I haven’t been reading a lot of what would be considered YA (Young Adult) fiction for several years. Because of this, the immediate angst of the teenage protagonist, Julien Losier, in How Huge the Night: A Novel was a little jolting at first. However, within a few pages I found myself able to see beyond the angst – to understand the triggers that were setting it off, and felt myself being swept easily into this young man’s world.

There are actually several teenagers featured in this book, some of them facing the typical struggles all teens face, but all of them additionally facing the hardships of a war-torn country filled with pockets of racial hatred and loyalty suspicions. I enjoyed this story a great deal, and would recommend it be given to any teen you love. Especially if they have any curiously about what it was like to be a teen in another time and place. As an adult I still found this book to be very engaging. The authors definitely did their homework about the time period, and the stories seemed at times all too real. This book would make a great addition to home studies about WWII for teen students.

Cover Review
I think that the dark and foreboding image of the aging bridge in an approaching storm on a moonlit night is … a great start. Unfortunately, by the cover alone, at first glance I can tell nothing of what the actual story is about. I would have no idea it was YA, no idea it was a WWII novel, no idea it was about a French village helping Jewish refugees … I would only know that it appeared to be dark, a bit creepy, and in an older, probably Europeon village. 

I was attracted to this story by the back cover copy. The copywriter has done an admirable job of matching the tone of the story within and writing intriguing text to pull a reader in. Though this cover photo is interesting … I don’t think the cover will quite grab the attention of the intended audience unless they read the text. Without reading the text, however, … I’d imagine this would get picked up for review by those seeking a supernatural or horror novel rather than a WWII YA historical.

* This book was provided for review by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA). Additional resources for the book, provided by the CFBA, can be found below.

This week, the  Christian Fiction Blog Alliance  is introducing  How Huge the Night  Kregel Publications (March 9, 2011)  by  Heather Munn and Lydia Munn   


Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland of American parents and grew up in the south of France. She decided to be a writer at the age of five when her mother read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books aloud, but worried that she couldn’t write about her childhood since she didn’t remember it. When she was young, her favorite time of day was after supper when the family would gather and her father would read a chapter from a novel. Heather went to French school until her teens, and grew up hearing the story of Le Chambonsur-Lignon, only an hour’s drive away. She now lives in rural Illinois with her husband, Paul, where they offer free spiritual retreats to people coming out of homelessness and addiction. She enjoys wandering in the woods, gardening, writing, and splitting wood.

Lydia Munn was homeschooled for five years because there was no school where her family served as missionaries in the savannahs of northern Brazil. There was no public library either, but Lydia read every book she could get her hands on. This led naturally to her choice of an English major at Wheaton College. Her original plan to teach high school English gradually transitioned into a lifelong love of teaching the Bible to both adults and young people as a missionary in France. She and her husband, Jim, have two children: their son, Robin, and their daughter, Heather.


Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.

Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father’s dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more
deeply about their everyday choices.


“The Munns have written an engrossing historical novel that is faithful to the actual events of World War II in western Europe during the tumultuous year 1940. But How Huge the Night is more than good history; it is particularly refreshing because the reader sees the conflict through the lives of teenagers who are forced to grapple with their honest questions about the existence and goodness of God in the midst of community, family, and ethnic tensions in war-ravaged France.”—Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Seldom have the horrors of war upon adolescents—or the heroism of which they are capable—been so clearly portrayed. I loved this coming-of-age story.”—Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky

“The book expertly weaves together the lives of its characters at a frightening moment in conflicted times. As we read of their moral dilemmas and of their choices, we too wonder, Would I do has these in the story have done?”—Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls

If you would like to read an excerpt from How Huge the Night, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Christian fiction, Christian historical, WWII historical novel

Book & Cover Review of " A Bond Never Broken" by Judith Miller

A Bond Never Broken (Daughters of Amana, Book 3)

Book Review
What was it like to be German-American during WWI? If you have ever wondered then you should put this book on your reading list. I was not familiar with the Amana Colonies previously, but author Judith Miller brought this German-American, peaceful community to life in A Bond Never Broken, book number three in her Daughters of Amana series. I have not read either of the two books in this series, but this did not hinder my enjoyment of this book. It stands on its own.
The book also dares the reader to consider what they would do if any group of people were to make demands of them, and threaten harm to those they love.  Would it be easy to make the right decision? Fear is a powerful enemy.
This was another great book by Judith Miller. I have been reading her novels for many years and they never disappoint with their beautiful combination of historical detail, realistic characters, and intriguing plot lines.  Females are the main characters in this novel, so likely women would find this more appealing to read then men – but a woman of any age who is interested in historical fiction would likely love this novel.
Cover Review
The plain calico dresses and unusual bonnets worn by the 4 women pictured on the cover help to establish that this is a historical novel, but not about the ever popular amish community. The posing of the woman in the foreground is also well-done. You definitely get the feeling that she is leery of something. She doesn’t seem to quite ‘belong’ even though her outfit matches that of the other three women walking away in the distance.
The background skyline and buildings seamlessly flow with the portraits of the young women. The artist has successfully captured a frozen moment in time. Both the spine and the cover would definitely attract female historical fiction fans – especially those already reading ‘bonnet fiction’ as I have so lovingly heard it referred to within the Christian market.
* This book was received from the Christian Fiction Book Alliance (CFBA) for review. An author interview and further book information can be found below (provided by the CFBA).

This week, the  Christian Fiction Blog Alliance  is introducing  A Bond Never Broken  Bethany House (March 1, 2011)  by  Judith Miller   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Word from Judith:

Most readers want to know how authors ‘got started’ writing. My first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when I was commuting sixty miles to work each day. I wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. When the book was completed, I tucked it away. I had absolutely no idea how publication of a book occurred and had given no thought to the concept. However, through a co-worker, I was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from me. Having never met Tracie, I was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history…

With a graciousness that continues to amaze me, Tracie agreed to read my story, directed me to a publisher, and gave me information on a Christian writers conference. Since that first encounter many years ago, I have been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, Tracie and I had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, we have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy. In addition, I have continued to write several solo series.   


For many years, Ilsa Redlich has helped her parents run a hotel in South Amana, but as the United States enters the Great War, she can feel her world changing. The residents of the towns surrounding the Amana Colonies used to be accepting of their quiet, peaceful neighbors, but with anti-German sentiment running high, the Amana villages are now plagued by vandalism, threats, and insults.

Things get even worse when Ilsa finds out her family won’t be allowed to speak German in public–and that Garon, the childhood friend she’s long been smitten with, has decided to join the army. Jutta Schmidt is shocked when several members of the Council of National Defense show up on her family’s doorstep. Sure, the Schmidts once lived in the Amana Colonies, but that was years ago. She’s even more surprised when the council demands that she travel to Amana and report back on any un-American activities.

Not daring to disobey the government agents, Jutta takes a job at the South Amana hotel, befriends the daughter of the owners, and begins to eavesdrop every chance she gets. When Jutta hears Ilsa making antiwar remarks and observes Garon assisting a suspicious outsider, she is torn at the prospect of betraying her new friends.

But what choice does she have? And when Garon is accused of something far worse than Jutta could imagine, can the Amana community come to his aid in time?

If you wou
ld like to read the first chapter of A Bond Never Broken, go HERE.

Christian fiction, Christian historical, WWII historical novel

Book & Cover Review of "A Memory Between Us" by Sarah Sundin

Memory Between Us, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)
Book Review
At first glance, the plot may sound overly familiar – a cocky WWII pilot falls for a stunningly beautiful army nurse and she resists his advances. But in A Memory Between Us by author Sarah Sundin, there is much more at stake than a war-torn romance. Lieutenant Ruth Doherty is fleeing from more than one secret in her past, and desperately trying to financially support a struggling and separated family of siblings back home in the states. But will temptation lead her down old paths, with whispered reasonings?

Similarly, Major Jack Novak, won’t back down from making the pretty nurse fall for him, even when it is so obviously not what she wants, and possibly not what she needs. Will Jack let his pride get in the way of actually being in love, or becoming the best leader his fellow airmen really need him to be?

This well told story is actually book two in author Sarah Sundin’s series entitled Wings of Glory, published by Revell. I have not read book one, and that did not seem to be a factor in my enjoyment of the story.  I didn’t feel like I had jumped into the middle of the storyline.  This title was enjoyable, filled with true internal struggles, as well as wonderful detail on WWII nursing and aviation life. The author masterfully wove the story and historic detail together to make a very enjoyable book.

Book Cover Review
The cover photo used for this book perfectly fits with the writing inside. The background of an older Euro-style neighborhood … the WWII dress uniforms … even the teasing smile on the faces of the young couple match well with the voices given to the main characters in this novel.  It’s obvious that there is connection, and at least a happy friendship between the two people, but the stiff arm-hold also hints that there is some romantic tension/conflict as well. The choice to show them walking arm in arm instead of in each others arms is (I’m betting) intentional. The character of Ruth Doherty is not that of a young woman pining for love. Jack is bound for much turbulence when trying to woo her heart.

The spine also sports the head shot of the beautiful nurse on the front cover, and with the figures wearing WWII uniforms both the spine and front cover will draw historical readers to pick it up off of the shelves.  The back cover is a little less impressive.  It matches in color and style with the rest of the cover, but largely leaves blank space for text. The tiny plane on the back cover would not draw enough attention on it’s own. Assuming that this book will largely be first seen from the front or the spine, I think this book will still reach its intended audience of Christian historical readers.

* Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The Book & Cover Reviewer received a free copy of this book without the guarantee of a positive review.

** American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) posted an interview with the author about this series that is very interesting