Heroes of the Holocaust – With an Introduction by Author Sharon Ledwith

Heroes of the Holocaust…

Entrance to a death camp. Translation: Work Brings Freedom
April 24th marks
Holocaust Remembrance Day. To honour this day, I approached my author friend,
Carol Browne, who wrote a book about a Holocaust survivor, to ask if she’d like
to get together to do an article about two people who had survived the Holocaust
and made a substantial difference in this world. Carol was totally on board, so
we put our heads together, and these are the two heroic people we chose…

Carol’s hero:

Elie Wiesel
Born in Sighet,
Romania on 30th September, 1928, Elie Wiesel was a student of religion. In 1940 his family was
forced to live in a Jewish ghetto, along with many others, but worse was to
come in May, 1944, when Jews living in Sighet were deported to Auschwitz
concentration camp. Elie was then aged fifteen. He and his father were used as
slave labourers there before being sent on a forced march to Buchenwald, where
his father was so badly beaten by a German soldier he died. The camp was
liberated three months later and Elie was free, but he had lost his parents and
youngest sister to the Holocaust. His two older sisters miraculously survived.

Elie was a student
at the Sorbonne, 1948-51, and began a career in journalism. In 1960 his book La Nuit (Night) was published. It told of his experiences during the
Holocaust and became an international bestseller. Two novels followed: Dawn
(1961) and Day (1962). Altogether these books comprised a trilogy that
looked closely at man’s inhumanity to man.

Wiesel became an
American citizen in 1963. He went on to write many books and became a revered
activist and public orator, speaking out against injustices all over the world.
In 1978, Jimmy Carter appointed him as chair of the President’s Commission on
the Holocaust. Among his many awards were the U.S. Presidential Medal of
Freedom and the French Legion of Honour’s Grand Croix. He held teaching posts
at a number of universities and, together with his wife Marion, founded the
Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, to combat the intolerance and injustice
that so concerned him.
In 1986, Wiesel’s
activism finally won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

On July 2, 2016,
Wiesel died at his home in Manhattan, aged 87. In spite of horrendous
experiences in the death camps, he had not lost his faith in humanity and never
failed in his duty to his fellow man. To quote the citation of his Nobel Peace
Prize, “Wiesel is a messenger to mankind. His message is one of peace,
atonement and human dignity. His belief that the forces fighting evil in the
world can be victorious is a hard-won belief.”

Sharon’s hero:

Otto and Anne Frank
You may have heard of Otto Heinrich Frank through his famous
daughter, Anne. After his liberation from Auschwitz, Otto made his way back to
Amsterdam, June 3rd, 1945, to find out that his wife and later his
two daughters had perished in the death camps. Otto slowly learned to live with
his grief. “There is no point in brooding”, he wrote to a friend on March 16,
1946. “We have to go to living, go on building. We don’t want to forget, but we
mustn’t let our memories lead us to negativism.”

On the same day Otto Frank learned
of his daughters’ deaths, Miep Gies, a trusted employee and dear friend, gave
him Anne’s red-and-light-green checkered diary, her notebooks, and 327 loose
sheets of onionskin paper Miep had rescued and kept safe in her desk drawer.
Otto went to work on putting the papers in some kind of order, and typed out a
manuscript which he had professionally edited. After Otto gave a copy of the
corrected manuscript to several friends and relatives to read, he was urged to
publish the diary by a professor friend, who said, “It was the most moving
document about that time I know, and a literary masterpiece.”

Originally published with the title
Het Achterhuis (The House Behind) in
March 1947, the first American edition appeared in 1952 under the title Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
Believe it or not, the diary didn’t become a bestseller until it was adapted
for the stage and performed throughout the world. On May 3, 1957, the Anne
Frank Foundation was established to preserve the building (263 Prinsengracht)
where the Franks hid during the war. Otto Frank insisted that the foundation
also establish a centre that would promote contact among young people of
different countries and religious backgrounds to prevent intolerance and
discrimination. On May 3, 1960, the Anne Frank House opened as a museum and to
this date receives over a million visitors each year. In the end, the Nazi
terror could not silence Anne’s voice, thanks to her father’s deep devotion to
bring Anne’s words out into the world.

About the
Authors:

Born in Stafford in the
UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which
she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early
age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an
honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in
the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a
contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being
Krystyna
, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first
non-fiction book.

 Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Being Krystyna; A story of
survival in WWII

It’s 2012, the year of
the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow
countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness.
However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories
about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of
war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration
Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals
Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors
Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.
Will Agnieszka find a
way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is
the message for us today?
Buy Links Dilliebooks  Amazon UK  Amazon US

Sharon
Ledwith

is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE
LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM
FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading,
exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a
serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her
hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check
out
THE LAST
TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES
Facebook page.

The Last
Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2:

Fourteen year-old Jordan Jensen
always considered himself a team player on and off the field, until the second
Timekeeper mission lands him in Amsterdam during World War Two. Pulled into the
world of espionage, torture, and intolerance, Jordan and the rest of the
Timekeepers have no choice but to do whatever they can to stay one step ahead
of the Nazis in order to find and protect a mysterious book.
With the help of the Dutch
Resistance, an eccentric baron, Nordic runes, and an ancient volume originating
from Atlantis, Jordan must learn that it takes true teamwork, trust, and
sacrifice to keep time safe from the evils of fascism. Can Jordan find the hero
within to conquer the darkness surrounding the Timekeepers? If he doesn’t, then
the terrible truth of what the Nazis did will never see the light of day.

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Author Dianna Gunn reveals why there’s no sex in her new book

Why there’s no sex in my book

(It’s not the reason you think)

KeeperoftheDawn_FrontCover

By Dianna Gunn

When a lesbian romance emerged partway through Keeper of the Dawn I found myself faced with a difficult decision: do I include sex?

This was a tough decision for many reasons, but none of them were fear of censorship. I have always believed my fiction should challenge boundaries and that having your book banned is a great marketing tool (seriously, there are entire banned book reading challenges). I also come from a fairly liberal family who won’t disown me if they find out there are lesbians or sex or even lesbian sex in my book.

I also believe it’s important to have sex in YA fiction, and not just the fumbling first time or the regrettable one night stand induced by underage drinking. As a preteen, I learned almost as much about sex from fanfiction as I have learned from sex in the intervening years. This fanfiction—primarily written by older women, at least on the archives I frequented—taught me about enthusiastic consent, about how to please different lovers, and even about various fetishes. I believe YA fiction is an opportunity for us to teach these same lessons to the people who need them most, because they certainly won’t learn it from mainstream porn.

What bothered me was the idea of writing a sex scene between these two specific characters. At first I thought it was mainly because I personally have no interest in sex with women, and the technicalities of writing a lesbian sex scene are rather daunting from my angle. I prepared myself to go out and read more (probably fanfiction, let’s face it) sex scenes between two women, even started looking at lists—

And then I realized it wasn’t about the technicalities at all. It was about my characters, specifically the main character, Lai. I already knew Lai had never been attracted to anyone but Tara (yes, she is named after a Buffy character), but as I continued writing I realized Lai wasn’t attracted to Tara in a sexual way. In fact, Lai is asexual.

I knew Lai for years before I came to this realization, but it certainly wasn’t a surprise. The only reason it took me so long to discover Lai’s asexuality is that when I originally wrote Keeper of the Dawn, I had no idea what asexuality was. It’s a concept that only came into my awareness about two years ago, which is crazy considering that I’ve been hanging out in queer communities since I was 15.

The world Tara and Lai live in has no word for asexuality, but I have worked hard to make it clear that Lai is asexual. I’ve been lucky enough to have a publisher who insisted I make it even clearer instead of trying to suppress this part of her personality.

With or without the label, I hope Keeper of the Dawn will show readers that romantic relationships can be powerful without sex.

ABOUT KEEPER OF THE DAWN

Sometimes failure is just the beginning.

All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess, like her mother and grandmother before her, in service to their beloved goddess. That’s before the unthinkable happens, and Lai fails the trials she has trained for her entire life. She makes the only choice she believes she can: she runs away.

From her isolated desert homeland, Lai rides north to the colder, stranger kingdom of Alanum—a land where magic, and female warriors, are not commonplace.

Here, she hears tales about a mountain city of women guardians and steel forgers, worshiping goddesses who sound very similar to Lai’s own. Determined to learn more about these women, these Keepers of the Dawn, Lai travels onward to find their temple. She is determined to make up for her past failure, and will do whatever it takes to join their sacred order.

Falling in love with another initiate was not part of the plan.

Keeper of the Dawn is a tale of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.

 

EXCERPT

Lai practiced until well after dark, ignoring the call for supper. She tore a massive hole into one of the dummies with a training sword in her rage, but it didn’t make her feel better. She had spent most of her life training for this day, and Kaiden ruined it with a few words about their father.

Eventually she gave up and collapsed in a heap on the ground, pulling her knees up to her chest so she could rest her chin on them. She forced herself to breathe deeply, using all her willpower to push the rage into the ground. Bit by bit it drained into the soil around her, dispersing harmlessly.

She sat like that in the clearing until clouds engulfed the stars and rain started pouring, one of the last rains before the dry weeks of summer. Lifting the hood of her robes to cover her head, she rose and hurried towards the temple.

Her left foot caught on something and Lai flew through the air, losing her grip on her sword and landing face first in a puddle. Her nose shattered when it smashed into the tough ground, and when she grabbed it to feel the damage her hand came away covered in equal parts mud and blood. Her stomach churned as she picked herself back up, her whole body aching.

Something sharp pierced her back, tearing into her skin and muscles like sharp fire. She screamed and fell face first to the ground. She caught herself on her forearms, avoiding bashing her head against the rocky path.

Lai’s attacker pulled the knife out of her shoulder. She screamed as warm blood flowed freely down her back, mixing with the rain. Fiery agony filled her body, blurring her vision. She gritted her teeth and flipped over to face her attacker.

She froze at the familiar sight of white robes with golden cuffs. Another initiate. Her hood hid her face completely.

Lai gathered her strength with a deep, ragged breath and reached for her training sword. The initiate kicked Lai in the back then stomped on her wrist, grinding bone under her boot, sending sharp waves of pain up Lai’s arm.

“You understand, it has to be me.”

Lai knew that voice, but she couldn’t focus on it through the pain, couldn’t remember who it was.

The initiate seized a clump of Lai’s hair and yanked her head backwards. She knelt and raised her knife towards Lai’s exposed throat.

Something knocked the initiate into Lai’s back. Black spots appeared at the edges of her vision as agony surged outward from her wound. The other initiate didn’t move, suffocating Lai with her weight. Lai tried to lift herself up with her elbows, but a fresh wave of pain knocked the wind out of her. She col­lapsed onto her stomach and closed her eyes, willing her body to die quickly.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORHeadshot

 

Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She blogs about writing, creativity and books at http://www.thedabbler.ca. You can also follow her on Twitter @DiannaLGunn or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dlgunnauthor/.

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon:

Ebook: http://amzn.to/2nHgqNN

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2o5ZrI6

 

Goodreads: *Cover has NOT been uploaded yet to give Tor “the scoop”

Paperback: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34810880-keeper-of-the-dawn

Ebook: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34810885-keeper-of-the-dawn

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/716545

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/keeper-of-the-dawn-2

 

Google: https://play.google.com/store/search?c=books&q=9781942302476+

 

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The Scent of Rain: New Release for Anne Montgomery

Anne Montgomery brings to light the physical and emotional abuse too many young people are forced to suffer on a daily basis. Her well written novel is a no holds barred work of fiction that creates a myriad of emotions in the reader. Even though this book is in the Young Adult genre, I recommend it to everyone who has the courage to face reality.

Two Arizona teens find their fates intertwined. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl—Rose—running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

Amazon Buy Link

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

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Friday Features Celebrating Women

My thanks go to CD Hersh for hosting me today

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Celebrating Women

by

Carol Browne

March is Women’s History Month, an event that can be traced back to 1911 when the first International Women’s Day (March 8th) was initiated in the USA. In 1981 Congress authorised the President of the USA to proclaim that the week beginning 7th March should be Women’s History Week. The National Women’s History Project subsequently petitioned Congress which led to the month of March 1987 being designated as Women’s History Month. Congress continued to pass annual resolutions requesting the president to make a proclamation to this effect and this has continued down the years.

This month is celebrated in a variety of ways, from demonstrations of respect, love and admiration for women, to acknowledgement of their political, historical and social achievements and contributions. It is also a time to speak out for women’s rights, to bring to light the struggles…

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Remembering Joan Court: Animal and Human Rights Activist

JoanCourt1An inspirational woman I recently heard about through my involvement with an animal welfare organisation is Joan Court. Despite leaving school at twelve, Joan became a social worker and specialised in caring for children with behavioural problems and she also qualified as a nurse. She went on to work in poverty-stricken regions of Turkey, India and the Appalachian Mountains and 1946 saw her in the slums of Kolkata organising midwifery care. It was then that she met the great spiritual leader Mahatma Ghandi whose example had a tremendous impact on her life.

One day in 1978, back in the UK, someone handed her a leaflet from Animal Aid, an anti-vivisection organisation I have supported for many years. Joan wasted no time in setting up a new local group and they conducted all-night vigils outside Cambridge University to demonstrate their opposition to the animal research being carried out there.

Joan’s campaigning didn’t begin until she was almost sixty but she involved herself in any issue that caused suffering to animals and became well-known for her stunts: public hunger strikes, sit-downs, and scaling high places to hang protest banners. Her greatest achievement for the cause of animal rights was being a founder member of the national campaign against the new research facility at Cambridge University. Plans to build this massive complex, which would have carried out horrific and invasive experiments on monkeys, were abandoned in 2004.

And Joan wasn’t finished there. Aged 89, she joined Sea Shepherd’s flagship Farley Mowat as it sailed off to the South Atlantic to hunt for vessels that were engaged in illegal fishing.

On 1st December, 2016, after a lifetime spent making a difference, this intrepid lady died at the age of 97 in her Cambridge home, in the company of her many cats.

(Photo courtesy of Joan’s family and via Animal Aid.)

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Night Witches: New Release for Mirren Hogan

Mirren Hogan is celebrating the release of her historical fiction novel Night Witches. This is an excerpt of this exciting story.

nwitches

Searchlights lit up the sky, but they were looking where we had been. Antonina had restarted the engine and nimbly avoided them every time they moved.

“This is too close,” she declared, sounding breathless herself. Another couple of minutes and we’d be safely away. I swallowed hard and tried to force my heart to slow. I didn’t want to come that close again.

A second later, one of our bombs exploded, earlier than it should have. We used bombs with delayed fuses, deliberately set to go off once we were safely clear. We flew so low we could easily have been caught in the blast from our own bomb and blown out of the sky.

As it was, the shockwaves from the explosion rocked the Po-2, making it shudder violently. Pieces of shrapnel flew up at us from below, tearing several small holes in the wings and a large one in the cockpit floor beside my feet.

I felt a searing pain in my arm and leg and realised I’d been hit. A sudden burst of wet heat at the back of my left leg told me I was bleeding. I tugged off one of my gloves and reached down to feel a shard of metal sticking out of the underside of my calf. Although it hurt like nothing I’d ever experienced, I didn’t dare to pull it out in case I bled even more.

“Are you all right back there?” Antonina asked, so at least I knew she was alive.

“Yes,” I lied. “You?”

“I’m fine, but Valentina is going to be busy.”

That was true. The Po-2 could fly as normal, but the poor thing was going to need some patching up, as was I.

Buy Night Witches at:

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Night-Witches-Mirren-Hogan/dp/1988281164/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484729011&sr=8-1&keywords=Night+Witches+mirren

Barnes and Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/night-witches-mirren-hogan/1124869702?ean=9781988281162

Mirren Hogan lives in NSW Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cat, rabbits and countless birds. She has a Bachelor of Arts (English/ history), a Graduate Diploma of Arts (writing) and a couple of degrees in education. She writes fantasy, urban fantasy and science fiction, as well as historical fiction.

Her debut novel —Crimson Fire— was released in October 2016.

Burning Willow Press will be releasing Nightmares Rise – co-authored by Erin Yoshikawa – on April 8.

Sands Press released historical fiction titled Night Witches On March 15.

Mirren also had several short stories published and has co-edited two charity anthologies; for breast cancer research and Plan Australia.

mirren

Mirren Hogan’s author page- https://www.facebook.com/MirrenHoganAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

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Celebrating Women

My thanks to author Sloane Taylor for hosting me on her blog today.

http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/celebrating-women.html

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Author Spotlight: Carol Browne

Many thanks to horror and fantasy writer Jay Michael Wright II for interviewing me on his blog

Jay Michael Wright II's Writing Page

Hello readers, internet maniacs, and other assorted freaks, goths, and lovers of the odd! Our series of author spotlights continues! Today’s subject in the hot seat is author Carol Browne (with and “E” at the end, don’t forget the “E”, boys and girls!) Firstly, Carol, nice to have you with us. You’re another member of the Burning Willow Press asylum. How you diggin’ life over at Burning Willow?

Thanks, Mikey. So good of you to have me on your blog and thanks for pointing out the ‘e’. It has dogged me all my life. My name sounds simple and ordinary but I’ve spent my life saying, “That’s Carol without an ‘e’ and Browne with an ‘e’.” My middle name is Ann and I don’t use it as it would further complicate matters. To answer your question, I have been very impressed with BWP. I find most authors I know are…

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Three Wishes Bookstore-exciting new online venture opening soon

Jeanne De Vita and Marci Clark are talented people with a combined twenty-five years of experience in the writing and publishing industry. These experienced ladies are in the process of opening a new online e-bookstore that satisfies writers and readers alike. Here’s a peek at their logo.

Three Wishes Bookstore is slated to be an interactive site where readers can store unlimited numbers of audiobooks and e-books, engage with their favorite authors through interviews and featured content, and most of all, access their favorite books in a user-friendly, attractive online store with competitive pricing and perks for enrolling in their book clubs and programs. Learn more about this exciting new venture on kickstarter. You may well discover an exciting opportunity.

Jeanne De Vita attended her first RWA Conference at age 14. Jeanne has a B.A. in English from Iowa State University, and the MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has taught writing and rhetoric/composition at the college level as well as corporate courses in written communications. She has worked for a literary journal and spent more than 15 years in private industry. Jeanne has personally edited and acquired more than 50 books in almost every genre. Jeanne has hired, trained, and mentored several dozen interns and editors and has overseen the day to day operations of a publishing company. When she is not editing, Jeanne writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and has published under the pen name Annie Anthony. Jeanne has presented at writer’s conferences and participated in panel discussions on various topics related to publishing and writing and is available for in-person speaking engagements, online classes, etc.

Marci Clark, who writes as Marci Boudreaux, is a freelance editor, book/cover art/promo materials designer, published author, and all around publishing nerd. She’s worked for Kensington Publishing since 2014, as well as several indie houses over the years. She is proficient in self-publishing and would love to help you with all your publishing needs, including pre-made or custom cover art.

Reach out to her at marci.clark.editing@gmail.com if you’d like to discuss your project with her.

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Being Krystyna: Book Review by Sharon Ledwith

I am grateful to Sharon Ledwith for her excellent review and for having me on her blog today:

https://sharonledwith.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/book-review-being-krystyna-by-carol.html?showComment=1486993065577#c234532488054274762

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