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Guest Post by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Author Picture

I would like to introduce you all to Phyllis Edgerly Ring.  Phyllis lives in New Hampshire and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with the deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and frequently serves as workshop facilitator and coach for others’ writing projects. She is the author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details.

Phyllis has written a guest post for my blog.


Not even in extra-large versions of my wildest dreams did I imagine I would write a novel in which Hitler’s wife is a character.

The Munich Girl is about many things, including a secret friendship between two women, one of whom was the megalomaniac’s mistress — later wife — Eva Braun.

But it’s really about two facets of human experience that matter a great deal to me.

The first is the inner reunion of “coming home to” our truest self that we all must eventually encounter. We each have our own timetable for this, but my opportunity to accompany many people toward the end of their lives has assured me that this is so.

The second, and even more intriguing facet, for me, is the mysterious role that others play in that process, often in highly unexpected ways.

Anna, my novel’s protagonist, grew up eating most family meals under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. This baffling situation has never been explained, other than that the portrait is a sort of emblem for her father of the Allies’ triumph over the evils of the Third Reich.

Everything in Anna’s life is turned upside-down when she discovers that her mother had a secret friendship with Hitler’s mistress, and that the portrait is a key to unwrapping all of the other secrets this enfolds. An added complication is Hannes, a man whose Third-Reich family history is linked with Anna’s. (I’m not a series writer, but if I were, Hannes would be the character who called me back.)

In the years I spent in Germany as both child and adult, some of the kindest, most morally courageous people I knew were those Germans who never wanted the war, or National Socialism, and found creative ways to outlast it and to help others as they did. They also found ways to endure, not lose heart, and keep faith and hope in times of enormous destruction and suffering. And, they made meaningful choices wherever they could, mostly on behalf of others, more than themselves.

I always sensed that there was a lot waiting to be revealed under the surface of such stores as theirs. I just never could have imagined that the path to them would be linked with the life of Eva Braun. When I learned that an action she took in the last week of her life saved tens of thousand of Allied prisoners of war, including some British family members of my own, it was a turning point for me as a novelist. When her portrait then surfaced in my own life, it started me on a journey determined to uncover the legacies that always outlast every war, all of which, of course, can arise only from love.


Book Cover

Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of The Legacies That Outlast War at:




Find the author’s blog at: http://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com

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On Twitter: http:// www.twitter.com/phyllisring

At Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2890301.Phyllis_Edgerly_Ring

For information about all books by Phyllis Edgerly Ring visit:



‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ by J. B. Morrison

Frank Derrick

‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ was published by Pan Books on 5th June 2014.  I liked the sound of this book and was very kindly sent a copy to read and review.

This is the story of Frank Derrick who lives in the British town of Fullwind-on-Sea with his cat.  Frank has just been run over by a milk float, which leads to a broken arm and fractured foot.  His days normally consist of watching DVDs, buying things he doesn’t really need at his local charity shop and avoiding cold-callers who seem to keep targeting him.  It has been hard enough for Frank to fill the hours of each day as it is, so how is he going to manage the next few weeks ahead.

His daughter who lives in America arranges homecare for him.  Frank is totally against the idea.  But when his front door opens and assistance comes in the form of the lovely Kelly Christmas, Frank has a change of heart.  Kelly is like a breath of fresh air for him.  She reminds him that there is life beyond the four walls of his flat and that people of any age can have adventures.

This was a lovely book to read.  It is a story which I am sure lots of people will be able to relate to.  It takes a good look at both loneliness and friendship.  ‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ is touching, funny but also very sad at times.  I loved Frank’s wit throughout and how he could keep himself entertained with his impressions and all the ideas he had.

Well done to J. B. Morrison for writing this story.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

‘Just for Christmas’ by Scarlett Bailey

Just for ChristmasI got a lovely surprise when I was sent a copy of ‘Just for Christmas’ by Ebury Press to review, especially when I discovered exactly who the author is.

Alex Munro is 28 years old and has lived in Edinburgh all her life.  When Alex discovers that Marcus, her childhood friend who she has secretly loved for ages is getting married to someone else, all she wants to do is be alone and get as far away as possible.

Having got herself a new job Alex moves to a small cottage in Poldore, Cornwall where she discovers she has also inherited the scruffiest dog ever.  Alex thinks that she’ll get the peace she needs but soon finds that the local community are determined to get her involved in the Christmas festivities, including the yearly pageant.  Then she meets Ruan who is her rather sexy and moody neighbour and finds that she doesn’t want to be alone at Christmas after all.  But Ruan has issues of his own and having lost his fiancée he has no intention of letting anyone get close to him ever again as he is scared of getting hurt.

I totally loved this novel and enjoyed reading about life in Poldore.  The cover is so beautiful and sparkly and it gave me a nice cosy feeling even before I started the first page.  Alex who I warmed to very quickly was my favourite character.  She took a big and courageous step in her life and I really admired her.  I also liked the dog and thought he was just adorable.

Although a Christmas story, I think this novel is suitable to read at any time of year as it is a stark reminder that some things aren’t just for Christmas.  It also deals with other life issues.

At the back of the paperback version of this book are extracts of two of Scarlett Bailey’s previous novels.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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