Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Women Heroes of World War II," by Kathryn J. Atwood Book Review

"All evil needs to triumph is for good men [and women] to sit and do nothing."- Sir Edmund Burke. 

Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinations. In these pages, young readers will meet these and many other similarly courageous women and girls who risked their lives to help defeat the Nazis. Twenty-six engaging and suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls’ refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history. An overview of World War II and summaries of each country’s entrance and involvement in the war provide a framework for better understanding each woman’s unique circumstances, and resources for further learning follow each profile. Women Heroes of World War II is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf.

Kathryn J. Atwood is the author of “Women Heroes of World War II,” “Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics,” and the editor of “Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent.” She has contributed to War, Literature, and the Arts,, Midwest Book Review, and Women’s Independent Press. To learn more about her and her other books, check out her website at

“Women Heroes of WWII,” is a collection of 26 stories, each containing a tale of an inspiring woman or girl who lived and breathed during WWII. From the four corners of the world, you learn about strong individuals who did what they could to make a difference in the dark world they were living in. Some rescued Jews, others wrote illegal pamphlets, some were spies, some lived to tell their stories and some died for what they believed in. From all walks of life, from various backgrounds, different religions, and separate social classes, these ladies left the mark on the world and are excellent role models for today’s youth. Though these ladies would never think of calling themselves heroes, read their stories and discover what true heroism is.

I actually borrowed and read this book a few years ago as research for a WIP of mine and loved it. A couple weeks ago I saw that they were giving it away on Goodreads and signed up for a chance to win. Imagine my surprise when I received a message from the author herself asking if I would be interested in a free copy in exchange for a book review. Not only that, she also sent me her latest book “Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics,” to review as well. I give “Women Heroes of WWII” five stars, not only because of the stories of the ladies featured in this book, but because I love the writing itself. The style is easy to read, smooth but very detailed. I learned about different countries and cultures that I knew very little of, and how those places responded to the Nazis and the Holocaust.

I was thrilled to find many of my own personal heroines featured in there: Sophie Scholl, Irena Sendler and Sophia Podgorska. I was also introduced to many others that I was not too familiar with: Noor Inayat Khan (fun fact, there is a PBS documentary out about her called, “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story”), Josephine Baker (had heard of her, of course, but had not realized all that she had done) and Martha Gellhorn (one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century).
I hope to lend this book to my sister that way she can write a review too. She was particularly excited to hear that Noor Inayat Khan was included, since that is a heroine of hers. But I’m selfish and plan to keep it for myself for future reference and enjoyment. Thank you, Kathryn Atwood for sending this to me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor

Book Description: 

If you’re living with a mental illness, you’re in good company. Disease doesn’t discriminate; One in four people suffer from mental illness, and yet the stigma still remains. Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor contains stories of hope, despair, and hilarity by writers who are walking the mental health journey, as they discuss their experiences with Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Anorexia, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder and more.
While the lows of living with mental illness can be devastating, the disease doesn’t define the lives of these contributors, and it doesn’t have to define yours, either. Some of these essays will make your heart ache, some will make you cry with laughter, but in reading this Anthology you will see that living with mental illness doesn’t equal a life of endless misery. Join us as we ‘laugh stigma into submission’ by growing attitudes of acceptance and compassion.

To purchase this anthology, click here.

About the Authors: 
A former Jersey Girl, Alyson Herzig has moved to the Midwest but has kept her cynical sarcastic ways. She shares the many disasters and epic fails in her life on her personal blog, She helps all her readers realize they could have it a lot worse, they could be her. From family debacles to observational wit she bares it all. Alyson has an essay in the anthology My Other Ex, Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friendships, as well as in the anthology Not Your Mothers Book On Working for a Living. Alyson is also the co-creator of a soon-to-be released anthology titled Surviving Mental Illness with Humor.

Jessica Azar, writes while raising four stair-step kids, known affectionately as The Herd, with her husband and college sweetheart in her Alabama hometown. She blogs at Herd Management and humorously details the adventures and mishaps of being a homeschooling, work-at-home-mom. She also happens to like running and Single Malt Scotch a whole lot. Jessica co-edited a mental health anthology entitled Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor, and has had essays published in humor anthologies like Clash of the Couples. She is a Huffington Post Blogger, POPSUGAR Select Blogger, a NickMom Ambassador/Writer and does marketing work for various prominent brands. Her published work can be read on POPSUGAR, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, NickMom.Com, Venn Magazine, BluntMoms and other online locations.

My Thoughts: 

Okay, naturally I am totally biased about this anthology because I have a short story included in it. Entitled, "The Attack," my little section gives my tongue-in-cheek take on anxiety attacks and how I cope when one strikes. 

"Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor," is for anyone who has suffered, endured and triumphed over their mental illnesses. Through this collection of stories, you will find that you are not alone and despite the darkest of times, there is always hope. 

Special thanks to Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar for including my tale in their book. I wish them every success and hope that I can do my part to help them promote this dynamic book. 

Friday, April 3, 2015


The latest issue of Femnista has been released, featuring stories and tales from ancient times. Yours truly has an article in there on the Maccabees, a Jewish group that rallied against the Seleucid's. Discover their connection to the eight day holiday Chanukah and how this ancient resistance group continues to inspire those today.