Review & Excerpt: Hadamar: The House of Shudders, by Jason K. Foster

Jason K. Foster

on tour

December 2-27

with

Hadamar book cover

 

Hadamar:


The House of Shudders

(YA- Historical Fiction)
Based on true events

Release date: June 1, 2019
at Big Sky Publishing

370 pages

Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Nazi Germany is ruled by Hitler’s barbaric policies of racial cleansing. Ingrid Marchand’s only sin was to be born black. Horrifying institutions like Hadamar are where the undesirables – including the mentally and physically disabled and children – are systematically tortured, gassed and executed. It is where Ingrid is humiliated and brutalised and will encounter a depth of hatred the world has never seen before.
On the brink of starvation, can Ingrid survive the horrors of her incarceration and help bring her tormentors to justice?
Hadamar is a gripping tale of survival in a world of hatred, horror and insanity.

My Review

Hadamar was a tough book to read. It’s not that it was poorly written, because it wasn’t. It was vivid, and compelling. However, the subject matter is pretty dark, given that the book is set in a hospital the Nazis created in order to kill those people (children and adults, though a lot of children) that they felt were not proper Germans, or were disabled or wrong.

Despite the dark subject matter, the book was compelling, and especially the protagonist, Ingrid. Ingrid is of mixed race, with a white German mother and a black French father. At first, her father is taken away, and then she is sterilized. That’d be enough, but then the Nazis take her away from her mother and move her to Hadamar.

The book covers until the end of the war, so there is a lot of historical detail, and a lot to take in. There is also a decent resolution, which I wasn’t certain of, given the subject matter.

This was well worth the read. I expect it would be of special interest to those studying WWII, or other subjects attached to it. I’d like to read other books by this author as their writing is strong and I expect they would do well no matter what their subject.

Excerpt – Chapter 1

Standing either side of me they placed their hands under my armpits, lifted me up off the chair and took me away to an adjacent room. Inside, there were medical stands with hanging bags, and metal trays bearing all kinds of silver tools. In the centre of the room was a bed. At the end were two leg clamps that resembled horse stirrups and on either side there were two more belts. The nurses threw me down heavily onto the bed and attached a black leather strap across my chest, forced my arms along the outer parts of the bed then fastened my wrists into place.

I tried to move my arms. I tried to flip my chest from side to side. It was useless. I went to kick my feet, but the nurses had a tight hold of them as they fixed them into the stirrups and strapped them into place. The two nurses covered their faces in white masks and gloves as the two Obersturmführer appeared. The older doctor paused over my abdomen as he pressed his fingers down on either side of my belly button. He turned around and reached for a large knife.

Hovering above me, the blade glinted in the artificial light as he twisted his hand. With his left hand he retrieved a small square of white bandage. Momentarily placing the knife beside me, he picked up a brown bottle, placed the bandage across the top and tipped it. After dabbing my belly with the bandage, he put the bottle down and picked up the knife once more. I watched on, utterly helpless.

He plunged the knife into me.

At first I felt nothing but the pressure of the scalpel as it drove its way in. I remember thinking that my blood was the same colour as anyone else’s. Then came the most excruciating pain I had ever felt; as if someone was driving a hot poker into my sides and twisting it around and around. I scrunched my eyes closed, but I could still feel the doctor’s careless cutting as he carved me up like a butcher hacking up a carcass. I begged myself to pass out but I couldn’t. Instead I opened my eyes, lifted my head as high as I could, and watched as he reached for another tool that looked like a pair of scissors. Unable to raise my head any higher I couldn’t see what he was doing, but I heard a loud clicking sound. Then I felt a needle being threaded through me.

He cut me again, on the second mark he had made. I felt the same sensation: the scalpel penetrating my skin, the same jagged slicing, the clicking sound.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Hadamar - Jason K FosterJason K. Foster
is an author, poet, freelance journalist and high school teacher.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications)
and Graduate Diploma in Teaching from WSU
as well as a Master of Arts (History) from Macquarie University
and a Diploma in Spanish from Macquarie University.
Jason is widely travelled having spent time in five continents and over fifty countries.
He has taught in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Argentina;
experiences that bring a distinct range and unique world view to his writing.
He has published ten books in the true crime and historical narratives genres.
He has also been published the world over
with his work appearing in a range of mediums
from History magazines in the United States to Australian travel magazines
to Poetry Anthologies in the United Kingdom.

Follow the author on Facebook
Visit his website

Buy the book:
paperback and ebook available from the publisher, on Amazon, Google Play, or the App Store
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or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below,and win more entry points!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
1 winner will receive a print copy of this book

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AND AN INTERVIEW

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Pre-order “A Queer Summer Night in Cowtown” anthology by the YYC Queer Writers!

A Queer Summer Night in Cowtown is the latest anthology from the YYC Queer Writers group and features 10 new shorts, ranging from erotic to spec-fic and everything in between. Best part? All royalties go towards the amazing Camp Fyrefly!

There’s an ebook, and a paper book. Pre-order now from Amazon (links for Kobo, etc. coming soon!)

Review: Exposed by Jean-Philippe Blondel

Jean-Philippe Blondel

on Tour
May 15-28
with
Exposed
Exposed

(fiction)
Release date: June 4, 2019
at New Vessel Press
157 pages
ISBN: 978-1939931672
Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

A French teacher on the verge of retirement is invited to a glittering opening that showcases the artwork of his former student, who has since become a celebrated painter. This unexpected encounter leads to the older man posing for his portrait. Possibly in the nude. Such personal exposure at close range entails a strange and troubling pact between artist and sitter that prompts both to reevaluate their lives.
Blondel, author of the hugely popular novel The 6:41 to Paris, evokes an intimacy of dangerous intensity in a tale marked by profound nostalgia and a reckoning with the past that allows its two characters to move ahead into the future. [provided by the publisher]
NB: this is NOT erotica!
Exposed deals with the joys and uncertainties of youth, as well as aging and regret, thwarted friendships and loves, and nostalgia and searching for renewal. It’s beautifully written and sensitively translated from French, highly engaging and accessible to a wide array of readers. It contains no explicit sex or anything that would put off a reader open to the experience of good literature.”

MY REVIEW

This book was a bit of a tough read for me. I found it hard to get into, and then hard to stay engaged. I usually quite like this author’s books, but somehow, the characters just didn’t do anything for me, didn’t liven my imagination. It could be that it was just too much interior development, too much “navel gazing” for my taste. Certainly I can relate to middle to late-aged white men having some sort of existential crisis, but this time, it was difficult at best.

As the synopsis points out, this isn’t erotica. Though I don’t know why someone would think it is, aside from the mention of a character posing for a portrait in the nude. (the “NB” seems a bit prissy, IMO, a bit too judgmental about erotica. In fact, this book may have done better to have some proper erotica in it. There is definitely homoeroticism in it though, between the teacher and the artist.)

I’ll likely read other books by M. Blondel, but this one definitely won’t get a re-read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

portrait de Jean-philippe Blondel
Jean-Philippe Blondel
was born in 1964 in Troyes, France
where he lives as an author and English teacher.
His novel The 6:41 to Paris has been acclaimed
in both the United States and Europe.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Alison Anderson is a novelist and translator of literature from French. Among the authors she has translated are JMG Le Clézio, Christian Bobin, Muriel Barbery and Amélie Nothomb. She has lived in Northern California and currently lives in a village in Switzerland.
Follow New Vessel Press on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.
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GIVEAWAY

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all US residents
5 winners

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ MORE REVIEWS,
AND EXCERPTS

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Release Day: Rayanne Haines’ AIR BORN!

 

Air Born (The Guardian Series), an all-new Paranormal Romance by Rayanne Haines is NOW LIVE!

 

Quinn Taleisin hates secrets, and shadows, and subterfuge. Which is why she still can’t believe she agreed to become a member of the Guardians, an elite force of immortals tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world.

Sounds great, except, to be a guardian you must agree to live in secrecy. Quinn is a wind elemental. Being caged in by secrecy is worse than death for someone like her. She can’t imagine a worse fate—until she’s asked to work with Lachon Findel, the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death and her father’s insanity.

Lachon is the oldest living elemental in the world. Known as Lachon the Law, he’s an earth element; a man who sees the world in black and white, right and wrong. So maybe once, briefly, a hundred years ago she thought he was a good guy. She knew better now. No way would she fall for his savior of the world shtick.

When the dangers of the past catch up with them, Quinn realizes the only way either of them will make it out alive is if she can put the ghosts of the past behind her and finally trust the flesh and blood man in front of her.

 

 

Grab your copy Today!

Free in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2HS8zLw
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2CQi4XM
Amazon CA – https://amzn.to/2FBzLKY


New to the Guardian Series? Start Reading Today!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2HSmcdI
Amazon Worldwide – mybook.to/FireBornRH

 

 

About Rayanne Haines

Rayanne Haines grew up on a small horse ranch in Alberta. She spent most of her youth re-enacting scenes from Anne of Green Gables to attentive audiences that included pygmy goats and roan stallions. The horses were thrilled. Her father could never figure out why it took her three hours to clean the barn.

Her mother was an avid reader and instilled a love of literature in her at a young age. She has always been fascinated with learning people’s stories.

She has a fondness for mountains and rivers and all the creatures that live within them. And she believes in magic, the spirit, that which we cannot see.

Rayanne knows stories and poetry can transform lives. She approaches her writing from a place of joy, wonder and empowerment.

Connect with Rayanne Haines

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rayanne_haines/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/inkrayanne

Website – http://www.rayannehaines.com/

 

Review: Nothing is Forgotten, by Peter Golden

nothingisforgottenNOTHING IS FORGOTTEN by PETER GOLDEN

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (March 19, 2019)

From the beloved author of Comeback Love and Wherever There Is Light, comes “a sweeping tale full of humor and heartbreak” (Karin Tanabe, author of The Diplomat’s Daughter) about the life-changing journey of a young man who travels from New Jersey to Khrushchev’s Russia and the beaches of Southern France to discover long-hidden secrets about his heritage.

In 1950s New Jersey, teacher Michael Daniels—or Misha Danielov to his doting Russian-Jewish grandmother—is at loose ends, until he becomes the host of a nightly underground radio show. Not only does the show become a local hit because of his running satires of USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, but half a world away, it picks up listeners in a small Soviet city.

There, with rock and roll leaking in through bootlegged airwaves, Yulianna Kosoy—a war orphan in her mid-twenties—is sneaking American goods into the country with her boss, Der Schmuggler.

But just as Michael’s radio show is taking off, his grandmother is murdered. Why would anyone commit such an atrocity against such a warm, affable woman? She had always been secretive about her past and, as Michael discovers, guarded a shadowy ancestral history. In order to solve the mystery of who killed her, Michael sets out for Europe to learn where he—and his grandmother—really came from.

“Both heartbreaking and mesmerizing, Nothing Is Forgotten is the sort of book you won’t soon forget…Cold War Europe, lingering Nazi secrets, and the tragic history faced by millions of families not only bring this tale to life but will keep you turning the pages” (Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author) and will appeal to fans of novels by Anita Diamant and Kristin Hannah.

 

MY REVIEW

I didn’t know what to expect when I first started reading. Michael’s life was outside my own almost completely, both in experience and in the time frame. How to start to consider a teenage DJ who knew English and Russian and whose grandmother ran a candy store? I know, it’s fiction, and you’re supposed to relate. Even though I didn’t know what to expect, once I started reading, it was hard to put the book down! And there were twists and turns and details and trips that were (to me) completely unexpected, and completely intriguing. How Michael came to know Yuli, how his grandmother fit into things, how Yuli’s adopted papa fit… everything.

The book is vivid and compelling, and reminded me somewhat of reading Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It also reminded me somewhat of The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff, another excellent historical novel. I’m always delighted to find more that I can read and immerse myself into an historical period. I highly recommend this book!

“Golden draws a vivid portrait of the Cold War era, but it is the complex and unexpected connection between Holocaust survivors and their descendants that turns this book into a page-turner.” (RT Book Reviews)

Nothing Is Forgotten is a Russian nesting doll of plot twists across continents and decades. This cleverly constructed Cold War tale, based on gripping true events, keeps readers eagerly anticipating what lies at its heart.” (Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children)

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Peter Golden

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, novelist, biographer, and historian. He lives outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son. He is the acclaimed author of the novels Comeback Love, Wherever There Is Light, and Nothing Is Forgotten.

 

Cover reveal and preorder: City Kitty and Country Mouse is here!

I’m so excited to let you in on my big news and my favourite new book, the upcoming release of

CITY KITTY AND COUNTRY MOUSE!

This book is really a work of love for me, bringing together two of my favourite things: love stories and food. It’s an indulgence of Canadian Chinese and Western food, but also peeking into the lives of my two protagonists, Kitty & Lucy. What would a lawyer close to making partner do when she’s captivated by delicious blackberries, and meets the woman of her dreams? Suddenly being a lawyer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… and Lucy has a few surprises of her own!City Kitty & Country Mouse

Pre-order here!

Kitty Kerr is a high-flying lawyer when her career plans are derailed by the luscious blackberries from Lucy Shen’s Country Mouse Farms. Kitty can’t get enough of the fruit, or of Lucy. Suddenly, she’s wanting things she never dared to want—Lucy, and the life on the farm. But how will being an artisan cook/farmer fit with her legal ambitions and city habits?

Between her beautiful farm and her sculpture, Lucy’s life is set. Falling for a big city lawyer is not part of the plan. Even as Kitty helps make her dreams of spotlighting her farm’s produce in restaurants a reality, Lucy’s terrified that she and the farm aren’t enough to keep Kitty interested in love and the simpler things in life.

Pulled in two different directions, will the city kitty and country mouse be able to make it work?