Author * Speaker * Editor

Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

Liz Tolsma D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour

D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour
June 2-13, 2014

Welcome to the D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour! Ten authors of Christian World War II novels are commemorating the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Thank you for joining us as we remember their heroism and sacrifice.

Our novels illuminate different aspects of the war—from the Holocaust to the Pacific to the US Home Front. Each day, visit with a new author as we share about our stories, our research, and our unique settings. With each blog post, you’ll have the opportunity to win that author’s novel, plus a chance to win a packet of ALL TEN featured novels!
Giveaway Details
For a chance to win ALL TEN novels featured on our blog tour, please visit each blog, collect the answers to the questions, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the BLOG TOUR PAGE You have a new chance to enter each day of the tour! The contest opens June 2, 2014 at 1 am PST and closes June 13, 2014 at 11 pm PST. The winners will be announced on Monday, June 16, 2014. *Note* Several of the titles will not be released until later in the year—these copies will be mailed to the winners after the books release.
To win the prize of ALL TEN books, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. The winner must be prepared to send ALL TEN answers within 24 hrs of notification by email, or a new winner will be selected.
You can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once each day! The more often you visit, the more entries you receive! However, you only need to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once to be entered. But don’t forget…to win, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. To gather the answers, you may download the Word document on the BLOG TOUR PAGE 
Welcome to those of you visiting me – Liz Tolsma – today! 
My second WWII novel, Daisies Are Forever, released last month and I’m so excited about it. 
Why I Write What I Write
Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to be a civilian during WWII? Not an American here on the home front dealing with rationing and victory gardens and riveting tanks. No, a civilian caught in the middle of the fighting in Europe or the Pacific. Imagine the fear and the suffering these people endured.
Now imagine being a civilian in Germany during that time. Not many of us think along those lines. Sure, there were plenty of Germans who were Hitler fans, to say the least. But there were also plenty of everyday Germans who felt much differently about him. Who just wanted the war to be over and for Hitler to be gone.
One of these civilians was my aunt. She was born in the U.S. to German parents who returned to Germany in the 30s. This courageous woman spent the last part of the war in Berlin, which was being bombed almost constantly. There was little of the city left by the time peace was declared. 
She and her parents lived in the basement air raid shelter, desperately trying to survive. She told me how they would sit there and listen to the bombs fall. Each one brought it’s own terror. Would they be hit? Was this the final few seconds of their lives? But each bomb also brought it’s own hope. Hope that soon the Allies would prevail and that liberation would come soon. 
What a mix of emotions. 
And then one day, she returned from work to find her apartment building destroyed and her parents missing. It took several frantic hours of searching for her to locate them. Put yourself in her place.

Can you feel the sheer panic she felt? 

My aunt is the inspiration for my newest novel, Daisies Are Forever. I have admired her all of my life. She taught me to think about the “other side”. She and the others were ordinary people like you and me caught up in the circumstances of time. She taught me about hope and faith and grace. In order to survive, she had to depend on God and God alone to bring them through.

In what circumstances in your life have you had to rely on hope and faith to get you through?

Book blurb:

In the final days of Nazi Germany, the strength of one woman’s heart will determine the fate of a family.
Prussia, 1945
The fall of the Third Reich is imminent. As the merciless Red Army advances from the East, the German people of Prussia await the worst. Among them is twenty-year-old Gisela Cramer, an American living in Heiligenbeil with her cousin Ella and their ailing grandfather. When word arrives that the Russians will invade overnight, Ella urges Gisela to escape to Berlin—and take Ella’s two small daughters with her. The journey is miserable and relentless. But when Gisela hears the British accent of a phony SS officer, she poses as his wife to keep him safe among the indignant German refugees. In the blink of an eye,  Mitch Edwards and Gisela are Herr and Frau Joseph Cramer. Through their tragic and difficult journey, the fabricated couple strives to protect Ella’s daughters, hoping against hope for a reunion. But even as Gisela and Mitch develop feelings beyond the make–believe, the reality of war terrorizes their makeshift family. With the world at its darkest, and the lives of two children at stake, the counterfeit couple finds in each other a source of faith, hope, and the love they need to survive.


“[Daisies are Forever] is a compelling and fast-paced tale about the atrocities and tremendous losses endured by those marked forever by World War II. Recommended for fans of Rosamunde and Robin Pilcher, Kate Morton, and historical romances.” —Library Journal

“Tolsma isn’t afraid to detail the horrors of war as she depicts how tragedies can be obstacles to one’s Christian beliefs.” —Romantic Times, 4-star review

“Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting and gritty, persevering characters make this WWII-era novel a must-read.” —CBA Retailers + Resources

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com


Blog hop question: Who was the inspiration for Daisies Are Forever? 
Remember to write down the answer of log it in the Word doc available on the blog tour page. And enter the main Rafflecopter giveaway today!

To win a copy of Daisies Are Forever, please …

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Schedule for the D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour

Be sure to visit each site for a chance to win ALL TEN featured novels!
Note: Links will go live on the post date.
June 2: SARAH SUNDIN, author of In Perfect Time
June 3: LIZ TOLSMA, author of Daisies Are Forever
June 4: MURRAY PURA, author of London Dawn
June 5: CARA PUTMAN, author of Shadowed by Grace
June 6: MELANIE DOBSON, author of Chateau of Secrets
June 7: KRISTY CAMBRON, author of The Butterfly and the Violin
June 9: TRICIA GOYER, author of  Chasing Mona Lisa
June 10: PATTY SMITH HALL, author of Hearts Rekindled

June 11: CATHY GOHLKE, author of Saving Amelie
June 12: SIGMUND BROUWER, author of Thief of Glory

 

81 Comments

  1. Liz, I can’t imagine the horror of trying to survive one day at a time. My oldest brother fought in this war and we worried if each day might be his last. I was 10 during this time. I would love to win this book. I have the Tulips book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. I cannot imagine what your aunt must have felt huddled in that shelter. I think the closest we have come was during the last tornados that came through Arkansas. The kids and I were home alone when the sirens went off. My little girl sat with me in our closet, tears resting on her eyelashes, “Mommy are we safe from the tornado in the closet?” I couldn’t lie to her, “We just have to pray baby.” After making it through that storm we bought a storm shelter. It will be piece of mind during the next storm.
    Your book sounds wonderful. I had not thought about what German civilians who where not loyal to Hitler must have felt. I look forward to reading Daisies Are Forever. It’s on my Goodreads TBR list and I’m following on fb and twitter.

    Grace & Peace,
    Amanda Geaney
    http://christianshelfesteem.wordpress.com

  3. Wow. There is nothing as inspiring as the stories of those who are dear to us. I can’t imagine what your aunt felt but I know you will bring me as close as possible in Daisies are Forever.

  4. My Dad was in WWII & it was through the letters that my Mom & Dad wrote to each other that they fell in love & were married after the war was over. I am always interested in reading about this time & your book sounds very good – thanks for the chance to win s copy!

    Stimmer(at)familylife(dot)com

  5. What terror your aunt must have felt, Liz! What a privilege to grow up listening to her stories and gaining a perspective of those who lived through the war in Germany. Your book sounds fascinating, and knowing the story behind your story makes it all the more compelling!

  6. You hit the nail on the head in regards to why I absolutely love novels set before, during or after both World Wars! I always try to put myself in the character’s places and try to imagine the utter despair and fear they must have felt. I so admire all the brave men and women who had to go through the war and watch bombs destroy so much of what they loved. Can’t wait to read your book!

  7. This book sounds so good! I am going to check out Snow in the Tulips too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I love history and your aunt’s story is so interesting–thanks for sharing it with us. I can’t wait to read this new novel. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. These stories are memorable and unforgettable. Your novel would be a treasure. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Just discovered how much I love this era – would love to read “Daisies are Forever” to include in my collection!

  11. Looking forward to reading your stories. My grandpa was in the USN during the war and my mom’s family were in Greece. Much different experience under Italian/German occupation. I am interested in both sides. As you say the “everyday” German story is seldom told. very interested in this era.

  12. I can’t imagine those horrors as I have never had to endure them. I do however, get into stories like this and can almost see these things happening. I am like a person on the side witching. I loved Snow on the Tulips and am looking forward to Daisies are Forever. Your aunt is a precious person to survive and be a wonderful example to you.

  13. great blog…thank you for sharing!

  14. not sure my previous comment made it through…thanks for this blog post!!!

  15. I can’t wait to read your book – what a remarkable woman your aunt is to be the inspiration!
    Corrine R
    Des Moines, IA

  16. This sounds like a great book I can’t wait to read.
    Deb
    lhxp73@yahoo.com

  17. Sounds like an fascinating story. Would love to win it!

  18. Wow, that is amazing. Sounds like a great book.

  19. This sounds like an amazing book.

  20. This sounds like a great book.

  21. I really enjoyed Snow on the Tulips. I am looking forward to reading Daisies Are Forever!

  22. What a great story. Your book sounds wonderful. I am definitely going to be getting this one to read. Good luck with it!

  23. I love the inspiration for your book can’t wait to read it

  24. I love the inspiration for your book and can’t wait to read it!

  25. Sounds like an excellent read with a very different viewpoint. Can’t wait!

  26. Sounds like a great book! Can’t wait to read it. Thank you for sharing your aunts story.

    Blessings,
    Cheyenne –
    http://rosevinecottagegirls.blogspot.com

  27. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  28. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  29. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  30. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  31. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  32. It is hard to visualize what those poor people went thru at that time, yet the survivors were so full of faith and love and hope in the end! Loved the story of your Aunt and I can see where she would have been an inspiration to you. God bless her for her courage. Your book Daisies are Forever is a great tribute to her. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  33. I couldn’t put the book down once I started reading.

  34. I can’t wait to read this one. I loved Snow On the Tulips and I know this one will be at least as good. What an amazing woman your aunt must have been!

  35. My family had distant cousins in Germany, who after the war, got in touch with the American cousins, asking for help. My grandparents sent care packages. The letters received from Germany were the inspiration in my writing efforts.

  36. Love WWII history, and love that you got your stories from your family history!

  37. Thanks for sharing what your aunt experienced during the war. It all seems so far away from us here in the USA. For me, it is just history, but for her it was very real!
    Looking forward to reading Daisies Are Forever!
    bettimace at gmail dot com

  38. What a fascinating post! And I loved Daisies Are Forever. It’s important for us to remember the harrowing stories on all sides of the war.

  39. Wow, great blog. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Daisies are Forever.
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

  40. Not that this was of the bomb-dropping caliber, but we had to rely on hope and faith when my husband and I got married. As of our wedding day, he had no job and we had no housing, so we bummed around between relatives for three and a half months before finally securing an apartment, and then it took another six months before my husband was hired (and that with a college degree!). But God was faithful to provide enough for food and rent during that stressful time!
    Thanks for the giveaway – your book sounds great!

  41. I’m glad your aunt survived the war and was able to share her stories of her experiences with you.
    I have to rely on hope and faith everyday but thankfully not in a life or death situation like your aunt.
    Thanks for the chance to win your new book. I’d love to read it.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

  42. I have signed up for an advance copy but haven’t received it yet. I enjoy WW2 fiction and look forward to reading this book!

  43. Thank you so much, everyone, for all of the wonderful comments. I have enjoyed reading each one, though I haven’t been able to respond as I’m on deadline for book 3 – I’m sure you all understand 😉
    @Jen L: I’m sorry you didn’t receive your advanced copy. Could you please resend me your information?

  44. My dad served in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII. I’m so glad your aunt survived to tell you her story so that you could share it with us. I can’t even imagine all of the terror and heartache she went through during WWII.

  45. My dad served in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII. I’m glad that your aunt survived to tell her story so that you could share it with us. I can’t even imagine all the horror and terror she went through. I would love to read this book.

  46. Hi Liz! I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for your aunt and others like her, but I am looking forward to reading Daisies and finding out a little more about her “story!”
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

  47. Thank you for giving us a different perspective on the war in Germany. Thank your aunt for sharing her stories and experiences with you. It is so easy to judge what we do not know and this just helps me remember that there are always two sides to everything. Thanks.

  48. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to live during that time. My favorite time period is the American Revolutionary War. As a amateur writer, I try to get a sense of what it was like to live during those times and portray that in my book.
    What I try to do, with the ARW, you do magnificently with WW2 (my second favorite history period) Thank you.

  49. I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like to live during that time, caught between two dictators with two brutal regimes: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. As an amateur writer of the American Revolutionary War, (My first favorite history) I try to get a feel of what it was like to live during that time, for that is what draws me into a book. The more I emphasize with the characters, the more pulled in I am to the book.
    You do this magnificently!
    Thank you.

  50. Thank you for sharing your inspiration for DAISIES ARE FOREVER. What a fascinating post!

  51. I absolutely loved reading Snow on the tulips- it was so moving. Looking forward to reading your new book!

  52. Wow, what an amazing ordeal that your aunt lived through! The book that your aunt inspired sounds so intriguing…I am so fascinated by this time in history and would love to win this book!

  53. I really like the concept for this book. I love reading about civilians during wars but I haven’t read a book about German civilians! Thanks for sharing your aunt’s story! kosterbind (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. Your aunt sounds like an amazing woman. I’d really like to read this.

  55. Hmmm, didn’t get where to put the answer to your question….till today. Anyway, it’s Liz’s aunt. Sorry about that.

  56. I love that the story, in part, is about your Aunt Lillian. Has she read the book, and it would bring tears of remembrance to her eyes?
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  57. @Kathleen – yes, my aunt has read the book and enjoyed it very much. I haven’t had the chance to talk to her yet about it, but I’m anxious to find out what kind of memories it brought up for her.

  58. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to live through the bombing of Berlin. It sounds like your aunt is an extraordinary lady!

  59. Thank you for sharing your story. I have heard such great things about your book.

  60. Horrific era to imagine never mind live through… you must have been deeply affected in the telling. bravo for not letting truth die!

  61. When I read your book, I often thought of God telling us to be content no matter what happens. That’s hard to do! But, when there is nothing much we can do about a situation but be political pawns in a game of power, our sanity and spiritual strength depends on it. When things are bad, this is our assignment. We can crumble under it or we can do what your aunt and the others did ~ survive. Survive until things get better. Nearly always they do, though they may take a long time. We must believe things will get better, whether here or in our afterlife. But they WILL get better. That attitude gets us through the impossible. After all, we worship the God of the impossible.

  62. wow, I didn’t think they had world war 2 novels like this. Thank you for the giveaway.

  63. Do you think my daughter would like these books. She is 14 yrs old and she is learning about world war 2 in school. Would this be good for her?

  64. @Tammy: My 14 year old daughter and many of her friends have read my books and have enjoyed them. I think yours might, too! Thanks for stopping by.

  65. I have recently been attracted to reading Historical Novels as a homeschool mom. I never really liked history untill now. I am fascinated by history, especially reading living books about events that really happened. Thanks for your spin on History.

  66. Daisies Are Forever sounds like a very interesting book. I definitely want to read it!

  67. Knowing that your aunt was your inspiration makes this book even more meaningful. I look forward to reading it.
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

  68. How special to have your aunt as your inspiration! Looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the giveaway!
    cyndilou83(at)gmail(dot)com

  69. I am looking forward to reading this book.

  70. The inspiration for the book is Liz Tolsma’s aunt. Thanks for your writing and contest. sharon, wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  71. Would love to win Daisies Are Forever!

  72. I am very anxious to read your book. The WWII era is one of my very favorites – guess the time from 1900 to 1960 is really interesting to me. My mom’s first husband died in France in June, 1944, and she remarried more than a year later – my dad who served twice in Europe – in Gen. Patton’s tank corps in the Battle of the Bulge. Lots of other military people in my family, too, including my mom during WWII.

  73. Thank you for your WWII era books. Both my parents were in the Army during WWII. My dad was in the Battle of the Bulge. Mom was a photographer. Her first hubby died in France in June, 1944. My stepdad was a bombardier in the Army Air Corps. Lots of military folks.

  74. Would love to win!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  75. I have always been fasinated with WW2, and I can’t imagine going through what they did. Looking forward to reading your book

  76. After reading about your inspiration for this newest novel, I look forward to reading it.

  77. I so much want to read this. TY for sharing your story.

  78. Thank you for writing your family history and teaching us about the sacrifice that was made. I cannot imagine the fear and time of uncertainty! Blessings!

  79. I can’t imagine the fear and then the continued uncertainty of day to day without any real surety of ever being normal and never being able to be together again! I have lived through tornados and hurricanes but war .. . hmm. . no.Thankful that we have our trust in Christ, He walks each day with us. Thanks for writing your family’s story. *not sure if my first post got in ? so wrote again. : )

  80. Your fmaily’s history will inspire us — can’t wiat to read it!

  81. So glad your aunt made it through the war. You are right, so many Germans did not like Hitler and were waiting out the war to get their country back.