Matthew 14:6

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matthew 24:6 KJV

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Book Review: THE MOON CHASER by Alexa Kang

Today I am featuring 
The Moon Chaser 
by Alexa Kang

About The Moon Chaser:

In one night, Yuan Wen-Ying can take down the Japanese commander who slaughtered masses in Nanking. Can she set the plan in motion if she has to destroy the unrequited love of the only one remaining by her side?

Shanghai, 1944.

After seven years of Japanese occupation, the once glamorous metropolis now lies in ruin. Sirens of air raids haunt the sky. Illnesses, starvation, and death plague every corner.

With only faint hope, Yuan Wen-Ying pledges her allegiance to the Heaven and Earth Society, Shanghai's most notorious underground resistance group. Once the daughter of a wealthy and prominent family, she now moves from one dingy hideout to the next, aiding the group in their lethal plots. Japan, she swore, would be her enemy in this life and beyond.

A chance has come for her to strike back against a Japanese commander who led the massacre in Nanking. The stake surges when the plan gives her a way to reclaim her ancestral home and avenge against the traitors who destroyed her family. By her side, Masao Takeda, her group's covert agent, promises to help her succeed. Could she seize the moment and deliver justice?

And will she heed the call of her heart, even if the blood of the enemy runs in the man she loves?
- - -
The Moon Chaser was first published as part of the USA Today Bestselling anthology The Darkest Hour: Tales of WWII Resistance". It is a spin-off novella from the WWII trilogy Shanghai Story, and can be read as a standalone.


"How can he be in charge?" Yao Kang asked, ignoring Huang's hopeful yet conceding gaze. "I've seen him in action many times. He makes too many rash decisions. His temperament is still that of an immature young man. If we rely on his judgment, he'll get us all killed."
"That's not true!" Huang retorted. "It's you who will get us killed. You can't see it when things go awry and you can't think on your feet."
"How dare you talk back to me?"
"I've held my silence too long. I did it out of respect for Fan Yong-Hao. Now, I can't idly watch us go down the wrong path." He raised his head at Dai Li. "General, if you choose me, I will put Kazuki and all the treacherous rats down to death's floor. I will obliterate that house. I will burn it to ashes."
Wen-Ying glanced up. Obliterate that house? Burn it to ashes? Who was Huang Jia-Ming to make these bold claims? Did he know that house was a symbol of Chinese prestige in Shanghai? A show of equal wealth and power to the Western foreigners who had taken their land? To let them know the Chinese could still rise?
But all that is gone now...
Silence! She shouted at the voice in  her head. And yet, that voice wouldn't stop. None of that mattered now, did it? It taunted her. In this war-worn city, even the Western foreigners had long since raised their white flag of defeat. What Chinese prestige was there to speak of, when the Japanese made them kneel at their feet?
"He's not the right person, General," Yao Kang pleaded with Dai Li. Wen-Ying glared at him but he didn't notice. "Please think thrice. Tian Di Hui still stands today because we abide by our rules. If you choose Huang to lead a mission over me, our members will not accept it. It we don't follow ranks and rules, our organization will fall apart. There'll be chaos. Our brothers and sisters will rebel."
"They won't rebel," Huang fired back. Wen-Ying threw her glare over to him. "Many of our brothers and sisters have been questioning your ability to lead. Given the chance, they'll give their support to the right candidate to take the seat of the First Helm. You are not the right person."
Wen-Ying watched them argue. Neither of them was the right person. At least not the right person to burn down her house. The former Yuan villa was her ancestral home. No one had the right to touch it. Liu Kun and Shen Yi had no right to occupy it. Dai Li had no right to order it demolished. Yao Kang and Huang Jia-Ming had no right to destroy it. If anyone was entitled to take it down, it should be her.

Book Review:

I read this first as part of the anthology, The Darkest Hour. Set towards the last year of the Second World War, this story highlights the continuing struggles of the Chinese of Shanghai against their Japanese occupiers and oppressors. It paints a vivid picture of the conditions in Shanghai at that period in time.

The author wrote her characters so they became alive on the pages. Although always a strong personality who refused to allow anyone to dictate to her, she had been a person who worked behind the scenes over the years. She had never asserted her right to lead an overt mission until her group of resisters were assigned to assassinate a prominent Japanese leader. The author wrote the action of the event in detail, and was a pleasure to read.
In addition to the power struggle that arose after the death of their former leader, the author also walked us through the dilemma the main character, Wen-Ying, faced as she began to love one of the men in the resistance group who was half-Japanese and half-Chinese. How could she love someone who bore the facial characteristics and name of the hated enemy?

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to better know the older sister of Clark Yuan, one of the main characters in the Shanghai Story Trilogy books. Only two of the three have been published. I gather because of the death of the younger sister who was still alive in the second book, and Clark being missing from Shanghai, this takes place after the third book, which has not been published. This story, as written, is a stand-alone, especially if you have not read the related Shanghai series books. For people like me who have read the first two books, I recognize the names of several characters. It prompts me to anticipate even more the publication of the third book in the trilogy.

About the Author:
Alexa Kang’s debut series, Rose of Anzio, was first released on Amazon on January 22, 2016. Alexa grew up in New York City, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She has traveled to more than 123 cities, and she loves to explore new places and different cultures. This September, she took a special WWII tour of Southern Italy to visit historical sites of the Allies’ Italian campaign (including the sites where scenes from Rose of Anzio occurred). You can view the albums of her tour on her Facebook Author Page.

When not at work, Alexa lives a second life as a novelist. Alexa loves writing larger-than-life romantic tales and hopes to bring you many more. 

Connect with Alexa Kang:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Book Tour: THE ROAD TO FREEDOM by Shawn Pollock

Today I am participating in a blog tour for
The Road to Freedom
By Shawn Pollock


About The Road to Freedom:

“We could go to Elbe River.” Kohler didn’t have to say the rest. After a baleful stare, the captain did it for him.

“You want to surrender to the Americans.”

Kohler gulped.

In 1945, World War II is ending but not in favor of Germany. Hans Kohler is a young Mormon German who knows more about farming than being a soldier. A worn copy of the Book of Mormon is the only thing that brings him comfort.

Captain Christoph Meier seems to be the perfect German soldier. His pristine Aryan features and strong family ties to the Nazi Party should have placed him at a far better post than this unit. Instead, he’s leading broken veterans and inexperienced greenies. 

When the Russians attack their unit, it leaves Meier and Kohler trapped behind enemy lines. To get past snipers, the Nazi SS, and the Russian Army, they need to use all of their skills, including believing that God wants them to survive. Tormented by his past, his only ally is a young private who practices a strange American religion. As they travel through treacherous Russia, the two quickly realize they will have to trust in a merciful God to have any chance of escaping a deadly fate.


     The captain glanced after the speaker but said nothing. To the green troops, his words were curt. “I am Captain Meier. This is Sergeant Erlichmann. You are now part of the 44th Machine Gun Company. I highly doubt they taught you how to retreat and training camp, but that's what we've been doing for weeks now.”

    The words shocked Kohler. The drill sergeants had told the new recruits of the Fűhrer’s order that not one soldier would take a step back. They should expect to die first.

    The captain continued. "A few of you will be assigned to the mortar platoon. The rest of you will support the machine gunners in each squad, and we also need one machine gunner.” His gaze lighted on Kohler after the sentence. Kohler felt himself shrink until it seemed he was looking up at the captain from the bottom of a pit. “What's your name, Private?”

    “Kohler, sir.”

    “You go with the sergeant,” said Captain Meier. “The rest of you, come with me.”

    The sergeant led Kohler away from the others, passed a scattering of men and supplies. As they walked, the sergeant asked, “Where’d they pull you from, Private?”

    “429th Field Hospital.”

    “Yeah? You a doctor?”

    Kohler thought he Erlichmann meant it until he saw the sergeant's grin. It made him feel a little better. “No, sir. Corpsman.”

    “That's a fine thing, understaffing the hospitals. Well, now you get to see how the wounds are made. I'm a surprise a guy your size didn't get sent straight to combat. Ever do any fighting?”

    Kohler wondered if the sergeant had already forgotten about the 429th. Erlichmann must have noticed his confused look because he said, “I mean boxing. You ever boxed?”

My book review:

This was an interesting World War II story set at the end of the war. The two main characters, although they do not appear to have much in common, must rely on each other for survival as they make their way west in hopes of surrendering to the Americans. Their journey is one fraught with danger and suspense, which kept me interested and reading.

This novel can be characterized as a Christian or inspirational story with its references to faith in God and the Mormon soldier’s believe in the Book of Mormon. This difference between the religious beliefs of the two main characters added to the story. I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

Purchase links for The Road to Freedom

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books & Things | Deseret Book

About Shawn Pollock:

Shawn Pollock grew up Cache Valley, Utah, served a mission in Japan, and graduated from Utah State University with degrees in Professional Writing and Instructional Technology. He works as an instructional designer in the software industry. His short story, “Hats,” won first place in The New Era magazine’s fiction contest. Any time not devoted to work and family goes to cooking, reading about history, and participating in the League of Utah Writers. The Road to Freedom is his first novel.

Connect with Shawn: Facebook | Goodreads