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#HistFicThursdays - On Bur Oak Ridge - Jenny Knipfer - Book Excerpt

  Today, I'm delighted to hosting Jenny Knipfer once more, this time with the next book in her Sheltering Trees series: On Bur Oak Ridge . I'm sharing a short extract, but first, let's meet the book... “The plot has its twists and turns to keep readers intrigued…to the very end. A great comfort read that will soothe the spirit with renewed hope and faith.” Readers’ Favorite five-star review  A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF FINDING HEALING AND A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE In the early 1900s, quiet and reserved Molly Lund finds refuge from her past at the Nelsons’ farm in Minnesota. In an attempt to turn a new page in her life, Molly works at making peace with her losses and coming to terms with the disfiguring burns on her face.  Samuel Woodson, the Nelsons’ hired hand, carries his own cares. Split from his family and bearing a burden of misplaced guilt for an act that haunts him, Samuel – seeing past Molly’s scars – draws her out of her self-protective shell.  Molly and Samuel form a frie

#HistFicThursdays - The Girl from Bologna - Siobhan Daiko - Guest Post


It's #HistFicThursdays, and I'm so excited to be sharing a guest post from Siobhan Daiko, as part of her Coffee Pot Book Club tour. Find out all about Siobhan's research for her fantastic book The Girl from Bologna and the creation of that fantastic tagline: "the past is never past". But first, let's meet the book..


Blurb

Bologna, Italy, 1944, and the streets are crawling with German soldiers. Nineteen-year-old Leila Venturi is shocked into joining the Resistance after her beloved best friend Rebecca, the daughter of a prominent Jewish businessman, is ruthlessly deported to a concentration camp.

In February 1981, exchange student Rhiannon Hughes arrives in Bologna to study at the university. There, she rents a room from Leila, who is now middle-aged and infirm. Leila’s nephew, Gianluca, offers to show Rhiannon around but Leila warns her off him.

Soon Rhiannon finds herself being drawn into a web of intrigue. What is Gianluca’s interest in a far-right group? And how is the nefarious head of this group connected to Leila? As dark secrets emerge from the past, Rhiannon is faced with a terrible choice. Will she take her courage into both hands and risk everything?

An evocative, compelling read, “The Girl from Bologna” is a story of love lost, daring exploits, and heart wrenching redemption.


The Girl from Bologna is available on #KindleUnlimited via this Universal Link


Guest Post

Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about the historical aspects of The Girl from Bologna on the Crowvus Book Blog. It’s an honour to be here.

The hardest thing about the research for this book was that I needed to read several books in Italian to make sure the background to my story was accurate. I live in Italy and once studied Italian at university, but it was still a hard slog reading in a language not my own.

Three of the books I read in Italian

The more I researched, the more immersed I became in the events. What happened to the urban guerrillas, fighting both against the Nazi occupation and against the fascists in Bologna, was truly harrowing. They grouped in the city when it appeared that the Allies were on the cusp of breaking through German lines in the autumn of 1944 and were caught like sitting ducks by the Nazi-fascists when the Anglo-Americans halted their advance. Making my characters go through the terrible repercussions brought tears to my eyes. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, war returned to Europe while I was writing the story, making it particularly poignant and relevant.

Partisans after the liberation of Bologna

The Girl from Bologna is set during two historical time periods. The first, during the final years of World War II, and the second in the spring of 1981. I loved writing about the developing friendship between my two heroines. Leila, the freedom fighter in 1944-5, rents out a room to a young Welsh student in 1981. They form an immediate bond and I enjoyed bringing their rapport alive on the page. 

I decided to write “The Girl from Bologna” after I visited Bologna with my husband and saw the monument to the partisans in Piazza del Nettuno. I found the photos of the young men and women who’d died for freedom deeply moving. The more I read about what happened in the red city after the Allies stalled their advance, the more my heart broke for those brave partigiani. I hope I’ve managed to convey the magnitude of their sacrifice adequately to my readers. War returned to Europe while I was writing this novel and many of the feelings expressed by Leila are shared by me. “The past is never past” is so true.

Section of the monument to the partisans in Piazza del Nettuno, Bologna, showing the number of partisans14,425. 2,212 women. 2059 fallen. 945 wounded. 6543 arrested. 2350 shot in reprisals. 829 died in Nazi camps. 22 gold bravery medals. 40 silver bravery medals.



Now, let's meet the author:

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and a rescued cat. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time indulging her love of writing and enjoying her life near Venice.


You can follow Siobhan on these links:

Keep up with the rest of the The Girl from Bologna tour stops by clicking on the banner below:

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