Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Spider and The Sparrow by A.L. Sowards {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

The Spider and The Sparrow by A.L. Sowards
~A WWI Novel~
Kindle Edition, 291 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Covenant Communications Inc.
May 1915. After tragedy strikes during the Second Battle of Artois, Frenchman Julian Olivier will do anything to get out of the trenches. So when British Intelligence recruits him to spy behind enemy lines, he jumps at the opportunity. Just before he begins, however, he has a chance encounter with a young French woman who leaves his heart marked for the remainder of the war—even if he doesn’t know her name.

Warren Flynn is a Canadian airborne hero, and dogfights with the Germans are all in a day’s work. Second only to his love of flying is his fascination with Claire Donovan, the daughter of an American munitions manufacturer living in Paris. Warren flies Julian into Germany and soon receives orders to post the Allies’ newest operative—an attractive peasant woman named Evette—in Claire’s home.

As a dangerous ring of spies and saboteurs threatens to turn the war against the Allies, Julian discovers goodness in his enemies’ hearts. But even if he survives, will he ever be reunited with the woman whose memory he can’t erase? Will Warren survive the war, and will Evette unearth the infiltrator in her own territory before it’s too late?
My Review: 5 Stars
I remember when I was young after my great-grandma passed away--we were cleaning out her house and came across a "hidden" panel in a wall, where we found my great-grandpa's WWI gas mask. I remember wondering about what he went through and what that mask had seen. I'm not sure where it ended up, but I do know that this story really brought that period of time alive for me.
I love a book that has a few different story lines that are woven together in a way that binds them in unexpected ways. It always takes me a few chapters to get a feel for who is who and then I'm off on an exciting adventure. In this book, we are introduced to Julian, a French soldier who is recruited to be a spy in Germany. We also see a French peasant woman, who is determined to escape an abusive half brother, and also serves as a spy. She lives with an American, Claire, who is living in Paris with her father. Claire is tied to Warren, a Canadian pilot, who is the man who dropped Julian off on his assignment. See how they're all connected?
Each chapter pulled me deeper into this story of intrigue, adventure, war, and love. I couldn't help losing myself in depths of the story and found myself rooting for these characters, along with feeling their heartbreak, pain, stress, nerves, and joy. I hope there will be more books in this era forthcoming from Ms. Sowards. I loved it!
Content: war violence, not overly graphic, but still moderate. Mild romance (kissing, vague mention of prostitutes). Clean!   
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Buy Links:
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About the Author:

AL SowardsA.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons. Her books are known for heart-pounding action, memorable characters, careful historical research, clean romance, and family-friendly language. Several of her novels have been Whitney Award finalists in the historical fiction category. 

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  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review, Katie! I enjoyed your story of how WWI touched your family. I had a similar thing happen to me last summer (after I'd written the book). We were going through my grandma's things after she died and found pictures of her dad and my grandpa's dad. Both were in Marine uniform and both served in WWI. I'd known my grandpa was in the navy during WWII, but I hadn't known two of my great-grandparents were in the service during WWI. Knowing more about the time period helped me feel closer to them, even though they both died before I was born.

    1. I LOVE it!! My great-grandpa died when I was two and I wish I would've cared enough to learn more about him and his service from my great-grandma before she passed. These stories really make those family members more alive for me. Thanks for writing such great books!

  2. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing my book!

    Isn't it sad that by the time we're interested in family history the people best able to share stories are gone? And so many soldiers didn't want to talk about their experiences. Last summer we also found a postcard sent by my great-grandpa to my great-grandma (they weren't married yet) telling her he was leaving France on his way back to the US. It was pretty cool to hold that little piece of paper! (and wordpress and blogger aren't liking each other tonight, so this might appear under anonymous)