Tag Archives: historical drama

The Brotherhood of Pandora by David L. Nichols Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A mission from President Jefferson to wage a secret war against France in the Caribbean sends a naval hero into the world of pirates in author David L. Nichols’s “The Brotherhood of Pandora”.


The Synopsis

To combat Napoleon’s increasing interest in the Caribbean and help pressure France to sell New Orleans to America, Vice-President Thomas Jefferson enlists the aid of friend and naval hero Captain Jacob May. He asks Captain May to wage a clandestine war against the French in the Caribbean not as part of the US Navy, but as pirates.

To accomplish this, Captain May uses the cutting-edge technology of 1799: Girardoni air rifles, Fultons self-propelled torpedoes, a submarine, cannons with rifling, and Pandora, a specially modified ship. Captain May molds his crew into the Brotherhood of Pandora and gives Jefferson chaos in the Caribbean.

ABN Banner

The Review

This was an absolutely compelling and captivating read. The author does a fantastic job of crafting a narrative that plays to both the excitement of a high-seas adventure and the detail of a historical fiction novel. The rich detail helped bring this time period and setting to life perfectly, from the frigid airs of the North to the warm waters of the Caribbean. The story itself carried an air of authenticity as if readers could feel this secret mission taking place in the shadowy world of hidden history.

To me, the heart of this narrative resided in the dynamic atmosphere and the compelling character dynamics that this novel housed. From the inclusion of historical figures like Napoleon Bonaparte and Thomas Jefferson gracing the background of this narrative through their actions during this tumultuous time, to the heartfelt and engaging personal moments between the protagonist and his crew who undertake this mission to begin with, this novel featured some great moments of tension, shock, and thrilling action all in one great story.

The Verdict

Memorable, action—packed, and entertaining, author David L. Nichols’s “The Brotherhood of Pandora” is a must-read historical fiction novel that readers won’t put down. The gripping atmosphere and daunting task presented to the cast of characters and the detailed historical aspect of the narrative allowed this narrative to shine and keep readers invested until the book’s final pages. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

David L. Nichols has been building boats and making sails for approximately fifteen years. When he isn’t designing sails or building boats you’ll find him in the boats he’s designed and built. He feels that the only way to truly understand boats and sails is to use them. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has written for boating magazines like WoodenBoat and Boatbuilder, as well as writing and producing boat building videos.

Dollybird by Anne Lazurko Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman with dreams of working in medicine is forced out of her home and into the wild after she becomes pregnant out of wedlock in early 20th century Saskatchewan in author Anne Lazurko’s “Dollybird”. 


The Synopsis

Housekeeperor whore?

Twenty-year-old Moira, the daughter of a Newfoundland doctor, dreams of becoming a doctor herself; but when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is banished to the bleak landscape of southern Saskatchewan in 1906. There, she must come to terms with her predicament, her pioneer environment, and her employment as a “dollybird,” a term applied to women who might be housekeepers, whores—or both.

A saga of birth, death, and the violent potential of both men and the elements, Dollybird explores the small mercies that mean more than they should under a vast prairie sky that waits, not so quietly, for people to fail.

Bookbaby.com helps independent authors bring their creative vision to the marketplace. Sell eBooks online in the biggest retail stores.

The Review

This was a visceral, captivating, and engaging historical fiction read. The author did a wonderful job of using imagery and atmosphere to their advantage, taking readers deep into the past to experience the hardships and struggles of life in the west. The grit and harsh conditions of the atmosphere during those times added to the wealth of struggles the protagonist faced, and really brought the era to life in the reader’s mind so perfectly.

Yet it was the powerful themes of double standards found between the expectations of men and women during those times, and how misogyny has plagued our world for so long, that really drew me into the narrative. The violence and cruelty of men and the unfair expectations placed upon women to fit a particular mold in society and live a certain way to be considered “civilized” was felt through every chapter of this book, and it was through protagonist Moira that the reader really felt the strength and resilience of her journey. The way she fought for what she believed in and made her own way in the world despite her “banishment” and yet found the means to learn the skills to survive in the wilds of the frontier made this a compelling read.

The Verdict

Visceral, captivating, and entertaining, author Anne Lazurko’s “Dollybird” is a must-read historical fiction novel. The twists and turns in the narrative will keep readers hanging onto the author’s every word, and the memorable themes will resonate with readers today in a very profound and heartfelt way. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Anne Lazurko is an award-winning novelist, a no-awards farmer and a sometimes poet. As the youngest of six daughters born to Dutch immigrants, she grew up with a nuanced view of people and their stories.

‘What Is Written on the Tongue’ (April/22 ECW Press) was shortlisted for the Glengarry Book Award. Her first novel ‘Dollybird’ won the Willa Award for Historical Fiction and Anne received a 2018 Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Literary Award.

A graduate of the Humber Creative Writing program, Anne is published in literary magazines and anthologies. An active editor, mentor and teacher in the prairie writing community, she writes from her farm on Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan. 

Give Me Shelter by David B. Seaburn Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two boys grieving the loss of their parents nine years earlier venture into their own futures amidst the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in author David b. Seaburn’s “Give Me Shelter”.


The Synopsis

The dual challenges of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that threatens the world and the unexplained loss of parents that threatens a family are the driving forces behind the lives of two boys and their grandfather.

Willie, Denny and their grandfather, Pop, have lived together for nine years, ever since the boys’ parents died in an accident that remains a mystery to the boys. Denny reluctantly leaves for college, while Willie enters sixth grade, fearful of the menacing missile crisis and curious about his parents’ fate.

Willie’s best friends are Lucy and Preston. Lucy wonders about the ‘man in the suit’ who seems to be everywhere she goes. Her mom, Trish, grapples with unemployment. Preston is burdened by the trauma his father is experiencing due to his military service. Denny meets his first-ever girlfriend at college, Lucy, who has one leg that’s shorter than the other. Good neighbor, Robert, is building a bomb shelter in the back yard. Muriel, his mother is a shoot-from-the-hip older adult with dementia.

Over time, the connections between them create the shelter they need for their common journey. Seaburn again tells a story of human vulnerability, endurance, secrets, truth, loss, humor, resilience and love.

The Review

The author has done an incredible job once again finding just the right balance between the genre of the novel and the emotional weight of the character’s journey. The historical fiction aspect of this novel showcasing the tense atmosphere of the missile crisis was brought to life perfectly on the page, showcasing the heart-pounding fear and paranoia that so many were forced to live in on a daily basis for so long. The intimate look into these characters’ lives and how their past and present circumstances are impacted by this crisis was amazing to get lost in.

The emotional character development and vivid imagery the author used to bring these settings to life made the story soar. The realism that the author utilizes in their writing style and narrative not only adds relatability to the story but kept readers invested in these character’s lives as they dealt with everything from loss and grief to caring for a parent in their elderly years and living in a state of fear and trying to find the hope to combat that fear. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, captivating, and engaging, author David B. Seaburn’s “Give Me Shelter” is a must-read historical fiction meets drama novel. The imagery almost reminded me of the nostalgia and style of Blast From the Past with a more mysterious and intriguing tone to the narrative, and the realism of the characters and their individual plights will help readers feel more invested as the story winds down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

David B. Seaburn’s first novel, Darkness is as Light, was published in 2005. He followed with Pumpkin Hill (2007), Charlie No Face (2011), a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in General Fiction, Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), and Parrot Talk (2017), which placed second in the 2017 TAZ Awards for Fiction and was short-listed for the 2018 Somerset Award. Gavin Goode (2019) was an American Book Fest Finalist for Best Book in General Fiction and Semi-finalist in Literary, Contemporary and Satire Fiction for the Somerset Award. His latest novel is Broken Pieces of God (2021).Seaburn and his wife live in western New York. They have two married daughters and four fabulous grandchildren.




Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again by Roni Rosenthal Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The struggles and hardships faced by a young Jewish-Romanian woman and her family in 1930s Romania are explored in full in author Roni Rosenthal’s “Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again”.


The Synopsis

Friddie, 18, is an ordinary yet rebellious young Jewish woman, living in Bucharest in the 1930s. Born and raised in Romania’s capital, she dreams of living as a “free Romanian woman.”

After calling off her wedding to a young, parentally-approved accountant, she escapes to a city on the coast, where she meets a scientist-perfumer named Freddy. He is the true love she has been looking for—and a ticket to her dream.

Soon, though, that dream turns into a nightmare she never could have predicted.

Friddie’s story of incredible hardship is interwoven with the stories of her family. We follow her Aunt Rosa’s life as the glue of her household, even though she loses her husband in mysterious circumstances; her Uncle David, who dreams of becoming a schoolteacher and starting a family in Iași, and her cousins, who uproot their lives in Bucharest to start again in Israel.

In this tragic-heroic novel, the true stories, the victims, and the small moments of happiness are revealed in the Danube’s labor camps, under the fascist-dictatorial and communist rule that has been a part of Romania for so many years.

Based on the true experiences of a Jewish Romanian family, Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Againunearths stories that could so easily be lost to the passage of time. This family’s tale has emerged at a critical time, to show the need for compassion and kindness, even in the hardest moments.

The Review

Much like the author felt compelled to write this story, I felt compelled to read this incredibly moving and emotional story as the rise of anti-semitism continues to plague the United States, and my desire to bring awareness to this cause made this one story I couldn’t turn down. The heart and passion for which the author crafts this narrative made this a truly incredible read. The depth of detail the author captures in this narrative also does an incredible job of bringing to life captivating imagery that creates an almost period-piece film style of writing. 

The most engaging aspects of this story are the author’s inclusion of both history and culture along with her own family history into the narrative, as well as the dynamic character development this story takes on. The way the author was able to incorporate and tell her own family’s history and illuminate the rarely discussed Romanian labor camps and how Jewish-Romanian citizens were forced to experience its cruel nature, highlighted the hardships and struggles they were forced to endure, while the characters, while based on true events and people, added a depth of human connection and emotion that kept the reader invested in the events this historical fiction is depicting.

The Verdict

Captivating, emotional, and brilliantly written, author Roni Rosenthal’s “Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again” is a must-read historical fiction drama. The strength of the family portrayed in this book and the inspiration they have on others to overcome tragedy and hardship kept me as a reader invested, and spoke to the need to end hatred and violence against the Jewish people around the world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Roni Rosenthal is the CEO and Founder of “The Pencil Pro.” She is the innovator of the Brain-Empowered with Creativity model, an adjunct-Professor and an Education Director.

Roni is known for challenging and motivating people in becoming creative thinkers.

She is a frequent speaker at workshops, universities, and schools.

Roni believes that creative thinking is a virtue and a must have skill in the 21st century. Her goal is to promote original thinking worldwide, and she has developed the tools to do so.



Dead End Summer: A Political Novel by Avner Tavori Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Three childhood friends who grew up together in 1950s Israel meet 30 years later, and find themselves worlds apart from the boys they once were as war and terrorism fight a bloody battle in author Avner Tavori’s “Dead End Summer: A Political Novel”.


The Synopsis 

Is equality essential for justice to prevail?

What happens if whole countries become lawless?

These are questions central to the plot that caused three men to move far away from each other, only to meet again one day, and face those existential questions head on.

Gavri, Chaim and Uzi were born as Israel became an independent country. They grew up in the Israel of the 1950’s, attended the same school, were involved with the same youth movement, and became close friends. However, thirty years later, in the summer of 1982, they find themselves as far away from each other as it is possible to be.

Gavri, who has become an influential photojournalist, is embedded with the Israeli troops that invaded Lebanon in the summer of 1982. He is covering the war there, and experiencing a country that has become lawless following years of conflict and civil war. Self-described as politically ‘leftist’, Gavri is horrified by the implications of a lawless society becoming a legitimate choice.

Chaim, moderately religious, has become radicalized over the years, and is now one of the leaders of the Settler movement in the Occupied West Bank. He finds himself entangled in a murder plot when a group of young Settlers plant a bomb that kills the mayor of a small Palestinian town.

Uzi has grown up to become a right-wing Jewish Nationalist and a prominent professional in ShinBet – Israel’s most powerful national security apparatus. A believer in the supremacy of ‘Law and Order’ in society, as well as in his personal and professional life, he is resentful of any attempt to manipulate his basic core values and is horrified by an attempt to place Settlers above the law.

During the summer of 1982, with war raging in Lebanon, and the cycle of Palestinian terrorist attacks reaching one of its peaks, settlers in the West Bank take matters into their own hands.

It is at this point in history that the three childhood friends meet again and are forced to make choices in the most dramatic of circumstances.

For more about Avner Tavori and a PDF of the original Hebrew edition of this book please visit:

The Review

The first thing that struck me about this incredible novel was the authenticity that the author brought to the story. As a former war correspondent, the author was able to bring vivid imagery and a gritty atmosphere to the war-torn setting that this narrative takes place in. The historical fiction aspect of this story really draws in the reader as it captures a period of history rarely examined in a public forum, and highlights the intimate struggles of all sides of the conflict in an honest way.

The character development and simply profound themes really elevated this novel to new heights in this genre. The close examination of these three friends and the very different paths they went down was extraordinary. The multiple philosophies and worldviews the author explores through Gavri and his friendships turned strained relationships with both Chaim and Uzi allowed the powerful themes to come to life so naturally, highlighting the ways in which opposing worldviews can often lead to violence and turmoil, and sometimes the hardest path is finding the common ground in any situation.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, heartfelt, and captivating, author Avner Tavori’s “Dead End Summer: A Political Novel” is a must-read historical fiction novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the importance of culture and philosophy on the characters and their viewpoints and interactions made this one story that I couldn’t put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

AVNER TAVORI has actually lived in the world he describes in his novel. In 1982 he was a war correspondent in Lebanon and spent more than three months with the advancing Israeli troops, and with units of the Christian Militia in Beirut.

He was born in 1947, in what was then British Palestine, and grew up in the Israel of the 1950’s in the socialist environment, typical of the time, in his hometown of Haifa. After completing his mandatory military service in the Parachute Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he served a short stint as a Desk-Officer in the Jerusalem headquarters of ShinBet – Israel’s National Security Service – and coordinated field operations in the occupied West Bank.

As a journalist (1970-1986) he was the political correspondent for Israel’s Public Radio (Kol Israel) and covered the inner workings of Israel’s political scene. He also worked for the daily newspaper, DAVAR, and published opinion pieces on a variety of issues.

In the 1990’s he worked for the Israeli Labor Party, and then Rabin’s Government, culminating in being appointed to the position of Press Secretary for the Israeli Ambassador to the UN in New York.

He now lives in New York City. He can be reached at, avnertavori@aol.com


A Death in Berlin (The Simon Sampson Mysteries Book Two) by David C. Dawson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

In the 1930’s Berlin, a city that once stood for liberation is about to become the capital of one of the world’s largest waves of oppression, and one man must fight to save the lives of several gay men as the Nazi party rises in author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Berlin”, the second book in The Simon Sampson Mysteries series.


The Synopsis

Berlin 1933: When the parties stop…the dying begins

The city that’s been a beacon of liberation during the 1920s is about to become a city of deadly oppression. BBC foreign correspondent Simon Sampson risks his life in a bid to save thousands of gay men from the growing Nazi threat.

This is the second in the Simon Sampson mystery series. The first, A Death in Bloomsbury, was hailed as ‘a good old-fashioned John Buchan-esque mystery reworked for the twenty-first century’.

Simon moves to Berlin where he meets British author Christopher Isherwood and his lover Heinz. He’s also reunited with his banter-partner Florence Miles, better known to her friends as Bill. She’s recruited him into the British intelligence services and he’s got the task of hunting down communist spies.

But when Simon is ordered to spy on an old college friend, his loyalties are brought into question. Who are his real enemies? And how much can he trust his masters?

The Review

This was such a well-developed and engaging historical fiction meets mystery thriller. The atmosphere and intrigue the author was able to infuse into the story really elevated the historical time period the narrative took place in, and the gripping story kept me on the edge of my seat as the author’s balance of fast-paced action and slow-build character growth kept the novel moving at an even pace. The LGBTQ aspect of the narrative and the character growth felt refreshingly natural and insightful, as it played into the history itself quite well.

The rich character dynamics and the unique setting are what really made this story stand out. The chaos and sadness that became such a part of everyday life at the beginning of the Nazi occupation were felt strongly in this novel. The harmonious way the author was able to weave these emotions and facts from our world’s history into the actions and experiences of this cast of characters made this novel so gripping. It allowed the mystery itself felt elevated as the narrative dipped into the espionage spy genre with ease.

The Verdict

Entertaining, thought-provoking, and uniquely pertinent to many of the recurring struggles so many around the world face today, author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Berlin” is a must-read historical fiction meets suspense thriller and a great addition to The Simon Sampson Mysteries series. With the adrenaline rush and mind-bending twists and turns, this narrative will resonate with readers who enjoy an almost pulpy noir-style storytelling with an LGBTQ-driven cast of characters and a heavy dose of historical research and accuracy. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Men in love, men in jeopardy.

David C. Dawson is an award-winning writer of page-turner thrillers with a gay theme and the occasional romance.

His latest novel A Death in Bloomsbury was published in November 2021.

His debut novel, The Necessary Deaths, won bronze for Best Mystery & Suspense in the FAPA chairman’s award. It became the first in the Dominic Delingpole series. The other two books are The Deadly Lies and A Foreign Affair.

His first mystery romance For the Love of Luke was published in October 2018 followed by Heroes in Love.

David lives in London with his boyfriend and ageing motorbike.

You can read his blog here: http://bit.ly/DavidCDawsonblog

In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.



Spring House (Westward Sagas Book One) by David Bowles Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Families of both Scottish and Irish descent settling into the colony of North Carolina find themselves fighting to not only survive but thrive in the new world in author David Bowles’s “Spring House”, the first book in the Westward Sagas series.


The Synopsis

The Westward Sagas tell the stories of the lives of Scots-Irish families struggling to find happiness on the new frontier. Spring House, the first book of the series, begins in North Carolina in 1762 and paints a vivid picture of colonial life in the backwoods of the North State. Adam Mitchell fought to protect his family and save his farm, but his home was destroyed by British troops in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, and his corn fields were turned into fields of death.Finalist in the Historical Fiction category of the National Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards.

The Review

This was a powerful and moving historical fiction read. The intimate look into the lives of these ordinary families just trying to make a home for themselves and how the events of the Revolutionary War would impact them was so moving to read about. The atmosphere and tone the author struck in his writing allowed for some engaging moments between the reader and the narrative, giving a sense of urgency and the scenes themselves had some depth thanks to the great use of imagery in the writing. 

Yet it was the balance the author struck between history and character-driven narratives. The story of protagonist Adam and his pursuit of what would later be known as the “American Dream” was great to see, and whether intentional or not, showcased every immigrant’s dream of finding a place to call home, free to be themselves and without fear of persecution. The detail of historical events and figures made the story feel much more alive, and the captivating moments where these families were able to set aside their differences in everything from politics to faith and instead focus on surviving together against insurmountable odds showed the true heart of what this nation’s foundation was meant to be.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, entertaining, and character-driven, author David Bowles’s “Spring House” is a brilliant historical fiction novel and the best introduction novel to the Westward Sagas series. The rich setting and historical facts layered into the personal character growth and emotional narrative allowed readers to feel connected to both the story and the period of time in a really unique way. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

David A. Bowles is a fifth generation Austinite. Both parents from early Travis County pioneers. His great grandmother Elnora Van Cleve, is recorded as the first birth in Austin, Texas during the days of the Republic. The author and his dog Becka travel in a class A motor-coach they call home, telling and writing the stories of the Westward Sagas. David grew up listening to stories of his ancestors told by his elders. Their stories so fascinated him that he became a professional story-teller, spinning tales through the Westward Sagas as well as the spoken word. He is a member of the National Story Telling Network and the Tejas Storyteller Association. David entertains groups frequently about his adventures on the open road and the books he has written. All four books in the Westward Sagas series have won awards. He is presently writing the sequel to Comanche Trace which won 1st Place at the North Texas Book Festival.


The Lone Leopard by Sharifullah Dorani Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Politics, religion, and culture clash as one man must return to his home decades after civil war and a question of his cowardice threatened to upend his standing in society in author Sharifullah Dorani’s “The Lone Leopard”.


The Synopsis

THE LONE LEOPARD is a heart-wrenching, yet hopeful story of family, friendship and love set against the nationalistic and religious conflicts of Afghanistan’s last four decades. 15-year-old Ahmad finds it hard to live by tradition among Russians and ‘Communist Afghans’ in the liberal Makroryan, known as the ‘Little Moscow of Kabul’. It becomes harder with the arrival in the neighbourhood of the 16-year-old Frishta. Naturally, their conflicting outlooks on tradition clash. Frishta calls Ahmad a shameful coward, and Ahmad accuses Frishta of being a ‘bad woman’ who has picked a war with half of the population and their way of life.

Does Ahmad really lack courage and loyalty? Is Frishta really dishonourable? It is 1990s Afghanistan, where a man is stripped of character if he is proved a coward, and where a woman is merely seen as valuable goods, and even a perception of unchastity will lose her all her worth. And, worse, is what Ahmad does to Frishta justifiable? By the time Ahmad and Frishta have answers to these questions, it is too late, and their lives will never be the same. The mujahedeen run over Kabul, and the civil war begins, compelling Ahmad to flee to Russia and then to England.

But Ahmad does not realize that one day he will be forced to return to the homeland where his past catches up with him and puts him in a situation in which he has to choose to either live like a coward, by killing a once-loyal friend, or die with courage.

The Review

The author did an incredible job of crafting a story that both brought to life and examined the history and culture of Afghanistan and infused complex character dynamics with rich storytelling. The contemporary drama explored the historical fiction genres and Middle Eastern history expertly, and the tragedy that often comes to those caught in the crossfire of war and conflict. The exploration of Afghanistan’s somewhat troubled past with women’s rights and the conflict that emerges when faith and belief systems come into play clashes well with the exploration of outside influences bringing innocent civilians and villages into the list of casualties of a war they had nothing to do with.

Yet it was the emphasis on relationships and their impact on the cast of characters that really captured my attention. At the root and heart of this grand narrative of culture and history stands the story of a young man who along with his friends and family witnesses heartbreak, violence, and tragedy and how it impacts his relationships moving forward. The relationship between the protagonist Ahmad and his mother Mourr held a special place in my heart, as it speaks to the strength and resilience that many mothers have as they sacrifice everything for their children. This also lends to the protagonist’s future relationships with others down the road, and the complex questions of morality and culture that play into his development as a character.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and engaging, author Sharifullah Dorani’s “The Lone Leopard” is a must-read historical fiction Middle Eastern and contemporary romance drama novel. The author’s thoughtful and brilliant writing style compliments the volume of history and culture that he brings into the narrative, and the mesmerizing and emotional story that rests at the heart of this novel will have readers hanging onto the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

SHARIFULLAH DORANI was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and claimed asylum in the UK in 1999. He has undergraduate and master’s degrees in Law from The University of Northampton and UCL, respectively. He completed his PhD on the US War in Afghanistan at Durham University and authored the acclaimed America in Afghanistan. Sharifullah frequently returns to Afghanistan to carry out research. He is currently South Asia and the Middle Eastern Editor at The Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN International) and has written nearly two dozen articles on Afghanistan (and the broader region), international relations and law. He lives with his family in Bedford, England.

Moral Fibre: A Bomber Pilot’s Story by Helena P. Schrader Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A fighter pilot during WW2 struggles to return to duty after the loss of his best friend, while also dealing with a mark on his record stating he lacks moral fibre after his failure to return to duty during a raid in Berlin and fledgling feelings for the woman his best friend had been engaged to in author Helena P. Schrader’s “Moral Fibre: A Bomber Pilot’s Story”. 


The Synopsis

Riding the icy, moonlit sky—

They took the war to Hitler.

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent.

Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one bomber pilot, his crew, and the woman he loved.

It is intended as a tribute to them all.

Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancé, but she is not yet ready to become romantically involved again.

The Review

This was such a powerful and thought-provoking WWII historical fiction read. The author perfectly captures the chaos and struggles of men and women during WW2 who fought against Hitler’s regime in the skies and on the ground. The attention to detail the author utilized in the narrative and the heavy emphasis on setting and tone really brought the history aspect of the novel to life perfectly.

Yet it was the character development and themes that really spoke to me in this read. The way the author wove these themes of racism, grief, PTSD, and “good versus evil” was fantastic to see, as they mirrored the historical context of the war so seamlessly. Kit’s development in particular was so moving, as the psychological and societal impact of his experiences during the war and his background overall played a role in the development of this rich and captivating read. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Helena P. Schrader’s “Moral Fibre” is a must-read historical fiction novel! The complex themes the author explores, the rich character development, and the incredible historical detail of both the war and in particular the world of aviation during a time of war were so brilliantly portrayed here, and the emotional bond the reader makes with the protagonist and the cast of characters will have readers hanging off of the authors ever word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Helena P. Schrader is an established aviation author and expert on the Second World War. She earned a PhD in History (cum Laude) from the University of Hamburg with a ground-breaking dissertation on a leading member of the German Resistance to Hitler. Her non-fiction publications include Sisters in Arms: The Women who Flew in WWII, The Blockade Breakers: The Berlin Airlift, and Codename Valkyrie: General Friederich Olbricht and the Plot against Hitler. In addition, Helena has published eighteen historical novels and won numerous literary awards. Her novel on the Battle of Britain, Where Eagles Never Flew won the Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction and a Maincrest Media Award for Historical Fiction. RAF Battle of Britain ace Wing Commander Bob Doe called it “the best book” he had ever seen about the battle. Traitors for the Sake of Humanity is a finalist for the Foreword INDIES awards. Grounded Eagles and Moral Fibre have both garnered excellent reviews from acclaimed review sites such as Kirkus, Blue Ink, Foreword Clarion, Feathered Quill, and Chantileer Books.

You can follow her author website for updates and her aviation history blog.

Purchase a copy of Moral Fibre on Amazon, Bookshop.org, and Barnes and Noble. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

August 15th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader. Read more about this fascinating historical fiction novel and learn more about the author. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too!


August 17th @ Deborah Adams’ Blog

Deborah Adams features Helena P. Schrader’s guest post about dissecting a novel.


 August 19th @ Life According to Jamie

Join Jamie as she reviews Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


August 21st @ What Is That Book About?

Join Michelle as she features Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader. 


August 22nd @ Mindy McGinnis’ Blog

Join Mindy as she features a guest post by Helena P. Schrader about how editors are not optional.


August 23rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Book Reviews and Interviews

Don’t miss an interview with author Helena P. Schrader about her book Moral Fibre.


August 24th @ A Writer of History

Read Helena P. Schrader’s guest post about the challenges of designing book covers for historical fiction.

August 25th @ Bring on Lemons

Join Crystal as she reviews Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


August 26th @ Bookshelf Journeys

Read Terri’s review of Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


August 27th @ Mercedes Rochelle’s Blog

Read Helena P. Schrader’s guest post featuring her book Moral Fibre.


August 30th @ World of My Imagination

Join Nicole as she reviews Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


September 1st @ The Faerie Review

Check out a spotlight of Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


September 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina

Anthony reviews Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


September 5th @ Choices

Join Madeline as she features a guest post by Helena P. Schrader about the author and the seven drafts.


September 10th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdre as she features Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.


September 12th @ Word Magic

Fiona shares a guest post by author Helena P. Schrader about the lack of moral fibre.


September 17th @ Jill Sheets’ Blog

Visit Jill’s blog today where she interviews author Helena P. Schrader.


September 18th @ Wildwood Reads

Join Megan as she reviews Moral Fibre by Helena P. Schrader.