MORE to BROWSE - Pages that might be of Interest

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

My Coffee Pot Book Club guest today: Rachel R. Heil Leningrad: The People’s War


Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!


Leningrad: The Peoples War (Leningrad, Book 1)

By Rachel R. Heil

Tatiana Ivankova and Heinrich Nottebohm are the two primary protagonists in Leningrad: The People’s War, and when war erupts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union their lives are changed dramatically. They are sent down paths that they would have never traveled before the war, and ultimately the decisions they make as the siege progresses will determine their fate.

I use the characters of Tatiana and Heinrich to explore the differing and yet similar lives Soviets and Germans experienced during this time. Both groups of people suffered under dictators who used their power to implement terror on those they deemed as threats, and mercy was rarely, if ever, shown. Both sides had individuals who welcomed the war and those who wanted to return to their everyday lives.

The People’s War is the first of three books set during the siege, and for the purpose of this post I’ll be keeping my explanation of how the war affected the lives of Tatiana and Heinrich to the timeframe of the first book which is June to December of 1941. Even during those six months, Tatiana and Heinrich’s lives are rapidly transformed.

Tatiana experiences the most drastic change. Before the war, she is a university student and has no grand ambitions for power. In fact, she longs for a quiet life with her big dream of being able to run Leningrad's state library, where she works when the story begins. Like other civilians from the area, Tatiana and her family are still dealing with the traumatic aftermath of the executions of her older brother and brother-in-law as a result of the Great Purge. The Purge swept the Soviet Union from 1936 and 1938 and was implemented by Stalin to solidify his regime and weed out any potential enemies of the state.

Leningrad’s National Library in 1920 when it was known as the Russian National Library. It would have looked like this at the outbreak of war in 1941.”
[Wikipedia]

When the war begins, Tatiana, like her fellow Leningraders, does her patriotic duty and volunteers for work to help the war effort even though many distrust the Party. Tatiana becomes a witness to her city being transformed into a frontline city, all the while her fellow citizens are told not to flee by the government and are branded as traitors if they do leave. Tatiana’s biggest transformation occurs when she is drafted into an all-female volunteer group that is given the impossible task of defending the Leningrad as the German Army encircles the city. Put in a unique position to witness both the struggles of everyday civilians attempting to survive the siege and the corrupt government and Army officials running the campaign to defend Leningrad, Tatiana decides that she will fight not for the Party but for her home.

If there is one thing that certain groups of Soviet and German soldiers and civilians had in common it was fanaticism. Despite all the terror their respective governments inflicted on them, many Soviets and Germans were loyal to their country and would do anything to defend it. For many in the army and back home in Germany the war with the Eastern Front was seen as a great fight between two dueling political ideologies, Fascism and Communism, a battle that would inevitably end with Germany victorious. Before arriving in Leningrad, the German Army had experienced nothing but success. However, Heinrich Nottebohm and his men soon see how victory in the Soviet Union will not come as easily.

“Advancing German troops on the Eastern Front. The quick victory many Germans had hoped for would evaporate when the first snow fell.”
[
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS]

Heinrich arrives in the Soviet Union following a stint in occupied Belgium. He comes to his new assignment with a slight disillusionment of the war and the government he serves based on a previous experience with an enemy of the state. Upon joining his new unit, he is reunited with an old military school friend, Max, who encompasses the type of fanaticism that has penetrated some members of the armed forces. Heinrich is warned that the Eastern Front will be different from what he’s previously seen, but Heinrich finds himself unprepared for just how different it is.  

From the beginning the war in the Soviet Union was different. After taking a town or city, the German Army would be followed by special SS units called the Einsatzgruppen, tasked with dealing with Jews, Communist officials, and other undesirables, as determined by the Nazi government. Violence and acts of cruelty are committed on a whim, accumulating in the siege of Leningrad, where Heinrich’s commanders plan to starve out the city.

Having previously been willing to step back and keep his head down, Heinrich is unable to ignore the situation any longer and finds himself wrestling with his moral beliefs while also attempting to serve his country and men.

I’ve always been fascinated by the conflict between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and my hope with Leningrad is to accurately portray the difficult feelings and actions ordinary people were forced to face during this time period.

“German troops in the suburbs of Leningrad in September 1941. By then the city of Leningrad had been encircled, thus beginning one of the longest sieges in history.”
[
EBERT GEORGE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS]


About the Book

Leningrad, 1941. As Europe crumbles under the German war machine, the people of the Soviet Union watch. There are whispers of war but not loud enough for the civilians of Leningrad to notice. Instead, they keep their heads down and try to avoid the ever-watching eyes of their own oppressive government.

University student Tatiana Ivankova tries to look ahead to the future after a family tragedy that characterizes life under the brutal regime. But, when the rumors that have been circulating the country become a terrifying reality, Tatiana realizes that the greatest fear may not be the enemy but what her fellow citizens are prepared to do to each other to survive.

As his men plow through the Russian countryside, Heinrich Nottebohm is told to follow orders and ask no questions, even if such commands go against his own principles. His superiors hold over him a past event that continues to destroy him with every day that passes. But, when given the opportunity to take an act of defiance, Heinrich will jump at the chance, ignoring what the end results could be.

Leningrad: The Peoples War tells the harrowing beginning of a war that forever changed the landscape of a city, told through the eyes of both sides in a tale of courage, love, and sacrifice.

Buy  the book

This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited

Universal Link: mybook.to/LeningradWar

Amazon UK:

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon CA:

 https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon AU:

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08PMM3NX6

 

About the Author

Rachel R. Heil

Rachel R. Heil is a historical fiction writer who always dreamed of being an author. After years of dreaming, she finally decided to turn this dream into a reality with her first novel, and series, Behind the Darkened Glass. Rachel is an avid history fan, primarily focused on twentieth century history and particularly World War Two-era events. In addition to her love for history, Rachel loves following the British Royal Family and traveling the world, which only opens the door to learning more about a country's history. Rachel resides in Wisconsin.

Social Media Links:

Twitter:

 https://twitter.com/HeilRachelR

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RachelRHeil

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-heil-90bbb6119/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/rachelrheil/

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/rachel-r-heil

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-R-Heil/e/B07MY8DZT8

Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18802162.Rachel_R_Heil

 

Follow the Tour

Twitter Handles: @HeilRachelR @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @rachelrheil @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #WorldWarII #Leningrad

#BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page:

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/01/blog-tour-leningrad-peoples-war.html

 









note: Helen has not yet read this title - it is on her TBR list though!

*** *** 

You might also like 

books written by Helen Hollick 

Website: https://helenhollick.net/

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 

 
The Jan Christopher Cosy Mysteries
set in the 1970s

from Amazon
https://getbook.at/MirrorMurder

~~ ~ ~ ~ 

The SEA WITCH VOYAGES
nautical adventures set during the Golden Age of Piracy


ANTHOLOGIES

FREE ebook! from Amazon


Monday, 4 July 2022

My Coffee ot Guest: Renee Yancy - More Precious Than Gold

 (The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2)


Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!


The struggles Kitty faces as she pursues a career in medicine.

My protagonist, Kitty Winthrop, is pursuing a nursing career when the Pandemic Flu of 1918 hits New York City. In 1918, seeking a career in medicine, for a woman, was incredibly more difficult.

Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States, moved from England to America at the age of eleven. The daughter of social reformer Samuel Blackwell, Mr. Blackwell ensured his daughters, as well as his sons, received a fine education.

The interesting thing is that Elizabeth didn’t originally desire to become a physician. It was only after attending the deathbed of a dear friend, who sadly stated that she would “have fared better if she’d had a lady doctor,” that Elizabeth sought entrance to medical school.

In Philadelphia, Elizabeth applied to four medical colleges and all four rejected her.  A professor at one school suggested she disguise herself as a man. Still another advised her to go to Paris to study. But she had no intention of doing either.

Elizabeth wrote: “It was to my mind a moral crusade on which I had entered, a course of justice and common sense, and it must be pursued in the light of day, and with public sanction, in order to accomplish its end.”

She widened her search and Geneva Medical College, in upstate New York, accepted her by vote. But it wasn’t the faculty that encouraged her but rather the male student body! They adopted a resolution in October of 1847 stating in part that:

“To every branch of scientific education the door should be open equally to all; that the application of Elizabeth Blackwell to become a member of our class meets our entire approbation; and in extending our unanimous invitation we pledge ourselves that no conduct of ours shall cause her to regret her attendance at this institution.”

What progressive and far-seeing young men for their time!

Elizabeth graduated in 1849 and went on to found a hospital for indigent women and children and a medical college for women.

My character, Kitty, is similar to Elizabeth Blackwell in that both Kitty’s parents encouraged education for their daughter, as opposed to most families at that time, who felt that only boys should be educated.

Almost seventy years after Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to obtain a medical degree, prejudice against female physicians still existed. Compared to today, when most graduating classes from medical school are split 50-50 between men and women, a female physician in 1918 still had to put up with condescension and disdain, and the prevailing notion that there was something “wrong” with her because she wanted to enter a “man’s field.”

Those early female pioneers had to work twice as hard as their male counterparts did. But they persevered and began a long line of illustrious, successful, and dedicated physicians who accomplished amazing things.

Rosalind Franklin, remembered for her DNA studies which aided in the discovery of DNA’s double helix.

Virginia Apgar, known as the inventor of the Apgar score, which assessed newborns immediately following birth and helped lower infant mortality.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who pioneered research that led to the development of the five stages of death, or as we know it today, the Kubler-Ross model.

Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space.

Mary Edwards Walker, the only female surgeon who took care of injured soldiers during the American Civil war. I bet she had some stories to tell! Maybe I will look at her life and write a book about her!

 

About the Book

Book Title: More Precious Than Gold

Series: The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2

Author: Renee Yancy

Publication Date: 28th June 2022

Publisher: Vinspire

Page Length: 345 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

A young woman refuses to become a pawn in her grandmother’s revenge scheme and forgoes a life of wealth and royalty to pursue a nursing career as America enters WWI and the Pandemic Flu of 1918 wreaks havoc in New York City.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQPlGd

Amazon UK: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Precious-Than-Renee-Yancy-ebook/dp/B0B2ZQXTHV

Amazon US: 

https://www.amazon.com/More-Precious-Than-Renee-Yancy-ebook/dp/B0B2ZQXTHV

Amazon CA: 

https://www.amazon.ca/More-Precious-Than-Renee-Yancy-ebook/dp/B0B2ZQXTHV

Barnes and Noble: 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/more-precious-than-gold-renee-yancy/1141594321

Kobo: 

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/more-precious-than-gold-4

Apple Books:

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/more-precious-than-gold/id6442926646

About Renee Yancy

Renee Yancy is a history and archaeology nut who works as an RN when she isn’t writing historical fiction or traveling the world to see the exotic places her characters have lived.

A voracious reader as a young girl, she now writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail interwoven with strong characters facing big conflicts. Her goal is to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

When she isn’t writing, Renee can be found in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband and a rescue mutt named Ellie. She loves flea markets and collecting pottery and glass and most anything mid-century modern.

Social Media Links

Website: https://reneeyancy.com/

Twitter: 

https://twitter.com/YancyRenee

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/renee.q.yancy/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/reneeyancy/

Pinterest: 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/reneeyancy/novel-more-precious-than-gold/

BookBub: 

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-yancy

Amazon Author Page: 

https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Yancy/e/B00726MJDQ

Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5754717.Renee_Yancy

Twitter Handle: @YancyRenee @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @reneeyancy @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page:

 https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/02/blog-tour-more-precious-than-gold.html


note: Helen has not yet read this title - it is on her TBR list!

*** *** 

You might also like 

books written by Helen Hollick 

Website: https://helenhollick.net/

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 

 
The Jan Christopher Cosy Mysteries
set in the 1970s

buy from Amazon
https://getbook.at/MirrorMurder


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