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Flight of the Night Witches series by @HVanlandingham is a must-read #fantasyromance #bookseries

The story behind the series:

While researching Heart of the Soldier, I stumbled upon an article about a World War II squadron of female Russian pilots. I was so fascinated, I read everything I could find about these amazing and talented women. Much to my surprise, they are not well known. The accomplishments of these women aren’t taught in schools, read in books, or seen in movies; and this is a travesty.

While weaving a fictional romance, my goal for the Flight of the Night Witches series is to show the remarkable valor these women possessed. I hope to give readers a glimpse of what these female pilots experienced during their nightly battles as they helped to terrify and defeat the German army.

Title: Night Witch Reborn: Natalya

Author: Heidi Vanlandingham

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Shadowheart Press

Book Blurb:

Natalya Volkov’s dream is to fly, but when she’s killed in a plane crash defending Mother Russia, the Norse goddess Freyja gives her a second chance at life—for a price. For immortality, she must hunt down the most powerful man in Europe or give up the man she loves.

Romani-Jew, Mikhail Abramovich has known hardship. He escaped a Nazi camp, became a Resistance soldier, and the love of his life died in his arms. Yet, when Natalya miraculously returns to life; he is plunged into a world that is no longer black and white.

Is the hunt for Hitler and immortality worth giving up everything they have ever known and loved?


Mikhail shifted Julek in his arms until he was able to pull out the documents he’d traveled through enemy lines for and handed then to Andrei. “These are the plans for the German offensive, code name Operation Blue. General Zhukov needs to see these and plan his attacks accordingly to keep the Germans out of Stalin.” He hesitated, holding himself completely still as his gaze moved back to the windows. At the far end of the room, a door opened, and two men walked in. The light dimmed and, from a distance, he heard Andrei’s voice asking him if he was all right, but he couldn’t respond.

Mikhail stepped back and ran into Adela who let out a tiny squeak, helping to break the spell holding him in its grip. “It’s coming,” he whispered and took another step back. Just then something large slammed through the windows. Chaos exploded around them as someone screamed in agony then abruptly stopped.

In an instant, Mikhail turned and shoved Adela from the room and tried to follow her but was slammed from behind. With the last of his strength, he threw Julek through the doorway. Crawling, he almost made it to the hallway when he crumpled to the floor, darkness filling his mind. Refusing to give in, he shoved it away.

He turned his head to find the crumpled remains of a plane lying part-way in the room. He heard a low groan somewhere close by and crawled over to where it came from. Despite the pain in his back and shoulder, he started picking up and tossing debris to one side. Underneath, lay Andrei—blood everywhere. A gurgling noise came from his friend’s throat then he gave a single cough then nothing.

“Andrei?” Mikhail felt for a pulse but his friend was gone. Reaching down, he uncurled his friend’s fingers and pulled the crystal from his hand, securing it in his jacket pocket once again. With awkward, jerking movements, he stood and the light came back on, dimly flickering. The wall of windows was now filled with the plane, which was almost smashed beyond recognition, but he would recognize this aircraft anywhere. It was the small biplane the 588th Night Bomber regiment flew each night. It was the biplane his Talya flew.

He rushed to the first cockpit and cried out. Inside lay the pilot, her beautiful face marred by a single scratch on one cheek; otherwise, she was unblemished and perfect. His Talya. He climbed over the broken plywood and pulled Natalya from the plane, making it as far as the wall when he slid to the ground, holding her against his chest.

“Natalya? Open your eyes…stay with me, liybimaya.” He held his breath when her eyes moved beneath her closed lids. Finally, her eyes opened as she stared up at him and tried to smile. She raised one hand and cupped his cheek.

Liybimaya—my love,” she whispered than coughed. Her hand dropped back onto her stomach. “I will always love you, Misha.” She continued to stare into his face and slowly let out one final breath.

“No, Talya! You can’t leave me—I need you,” he sobbed and pulled her to his chest, his heart shattering into a thousand pieces.

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Author Biography

Heidi Vanlandingham writes sweet, action-packed stories that take place in war-torn Europe, otherworldly magical realms, and the Wild West. Her love of history finds its way into each book, and her characters are lovable, strong, and diverse. Heidi’s stories transport the reader to a different place and time for understanding, compassion, and most of all, love.

Growing up in Oklahoma and living one year in Belgium gave Heidi a unique perspective regarding different cultures. She still lives in Oklahoma with her husband and youngest son. Her oldest son is in the autism spectrum and is working toward his own dreams. Heidi’s favorite things in life are laughter, paranormal romance books, music, and long road trips.

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Title: The Peacemaker: Aleksandra

Author: Heidi Vanlandingham

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Shadowheart Press

Book Blurb

Russian-Japanese pilot Aleksandra Rybakov searches for her place in the world and finds it as a Night Witch. After a fatal crash during the Battle of Kursk, she is offered a second life with the bonus of immortality by the Norse goddesses Freyja and Idunn, but there’s a catch. To defeat an army of monsters, she must find her courage and believe in herself or lose everyone she loves.

German resistance fighter Jakob Matthau saw his life ripped away when his parents were thrown into a Nazi death camp. Fueled by anger and vengeance, every battle he wins is one step closer to freeing his family. When the beautiful Night Witch Aleksandra introduces him to a world filled with magic and monsters, can they win the most difficult battle of their lives or will billions die in Hitler’s final solution?


He'd never been fooled quite so easily, which left him with an unsettled feeling. Maybe Bernard was right when he said Jakob needed to step back and get hold of the anger boiling inside. Normally, that roiling emotion focused him and drove him in the right direction. Other times... Well, those other times hadn't ended quite so well. He had to admit, though, in this disguise, she did pass as a slender man.

Jakob pulled off her hat and tucked it around the side of her face so she wouldn't be laying in the dirt. He grabbed his last clean handkerchief from inside his jacket and tenderly pressed it against the bloody gash on her forehead. The woman let out a soft moan but didn't awaken. Reaching with one hand, he turned around his pack and unzipped the front pocket where he kept his first aid supplies. Turning back to her, he stopped, the kit lowering to his knee, as his gaze locked with her large eyes, their dark brown depths drawing him down into their darkness.

For the first time since he found her, he noticed the knife clutched in her first. "Zdravstvuyte." Not wanting to startle her, he whispered the word hello in Russian. "You seem to need a bit of help." He held up the sulfa powder and bandage Bernard had supplied him with, liking the American supplies more than the German ones he'd had before.

She raised her free hand to her head, but he grabbed it before she could touch the wound and held her hand in his. "You've got a nasty cut on your forehead. I'm not sure if it happened during the fight or when you fell, but if you'll let me, I'd like to clean it." He waited for her to make up her mind and followed her gaze to the hand still holding hers, his thumb rubbing back and forth over her knuckles. He stared at it a moment longer and fought the urge to jerk away, but an abrupt motion like that could get him knifed.

Laying her hand on her stomach, he cleaned the wound as best he could. Just before he poured the disinfectant, he met her pain-filled gaze. "I'm sorry, but this is going to sting a bit." She nodded, and he dumped the white sulfa powder on the laceration. He tried to ignore her quick gasp and the slight flaring of her straight nose as she breathed away the pain. Laying the bandage over the wound, he taped the ends then leaned back on his heels.

"There. I'm done. Head wounds tend to be messy. Do you think you can sit up?" He held out his hand, once again waiting. Her steady gaze never left his face, as if trying to make up her mind about him. When her hand rose to meet his, a burst of unfamiliar emotion blossomed in his chest. He eased her into a sitting position. He stood, not moving her too much as he helped her stand. Wrapping one arm around her slender waist, he moved her to a nearby rock, so she could sit.

"Spasibo," she thanked him, her gaze never leaving his. Her lip twitched a few times as if she were trying not to smile. "You speak Russian with a slight German accent. The last thing I expected was to find a Nazi who didn't shoot first and ask questions later, much less one who treats my wounds. I'm the enemy, you know."

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Title: The Warrior Queen: Raisa

Author: Heidi Vanlandingham

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Shadowheart Press

Book Blurb

Raisa Sorokin is a Russian Night Witch who grew up dreaming of her grandmother’s Norse tales of valor and glory, never realizing they were true. When her plane crashes, she must come to terms with her new life and the man who saved her.

Ailuin Vakas is a dark elf forced to fuel Hitler’s war for the Norse god, Odin, but when he shares his life force to save a beautiful Russian pilot, everything unravels as their journey of discovery is wrought with more evil than they bargained for.

As the Nazi war machine continues a worldwide path of destruction, an ancient evil infiltrates its ranks, and Raisa and Ailuin must decide which path to take, stopping Hilter and his Third Reich or saving those they love—and themselves.


Raisa sat up, holding her stomach with one hand as a new bout of pain stabbed her midsection. “I don't understand why I hurt so much. I am whole and without any evident injuries, yet I feel as if I slammed into something at full speed.”

“Well,” Freyja chuckled. “You did—the ground. As I told you earlier, you must take it easy and let your body heal.”

The goddess motioned for Ailuin to support her other side but instead, he wrapped his arm around her back and held her against his body. “I will aid her in getting through the portal.”

Raisa's glance flew from one face to the next, her anxiety spiking. “Portal? What are you talking about?” She tried to jerk away from Ailuin's grasp, but his grip was too strong, and all it did was drain more energy than she could afford to lose.

She forgot everything when a brilliant flash of light filled the room. Ailuin's grip tightened around her as the warmth from his body seeped into hers. Closing her eyes, she pulled in a breath of freezing air, but her stomach pitched and nausea tried to claw its way upward, forcing her eyes open again.

She swallowed several times, confused by the reaction. She flew planes for goodness sake. Not once had she ever had a single occurrence of vertigo. So why was she experiencing it now?

“Open your eyes, izrȇ, and see what normal mortals will never experience. I have spent thousands of years traveling through portals and every time is just like the first. True beauty is all around you—in the brilliance of the stars, the colorful nebulae, and even the rocky asteroids,” Ailuin's silky voice moved through her mind, once again reminding her of buttery syrup. A lighter touch, like the cool misty rain she loved so much, flowed into her, soothing away her overwhelming anxiety. For fear of triggering another panic attack, she decided she didn't want to look too closely at whatever was happening to her.

Staring up into his face, she gave him a quizzical look. “There’s that word again. Izrȇ. What does it mean?”

He stared into her eyes and shrugged. “In your language, the closest meaning would be sweetheart.

Not knowing what to say, she glanced around instead. Her eyes widened as she took in the sights speeding by them, or maybe they were the ones flying by. She couldn't tell and didn't care. In all her dreams and vast imagination, she had never seen anything so spectacular and breathtaking.

Her grip tightened on Ailuin's forearm. “Oh my…I…you…I have no words...”

A tiny white speck flew toward them. Ailuin's arm snaked out, the movement so fast she almost missed it. Holding out his fist, he turned over his hand and uncurled his fingers. In his palm lay a glowing white crystal, its core a vibrant kaleidoscope of colors. She reached out and touched it, immediately pulling back her finger. “That's freezing!”

Ailuin smiled down at her, his blue eyes glistening like the crystal he held. “This is space, izrȇ. There is no sun to heat it like on your Earth.”

Her eyes widened again, their motion never stopping as her gaze touched on everything. Her laughter, unexpected and a bit startling, wrapped around her heart like a pair of wings and took flight. She had not felt this free in so long.

Turning in his protective embrace, all but forgetting Idunn's grip on her shoulder, she cradled Ailiun's face between her palms. “Gods above, but we're in space! How is this even possible?”

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Title: The Last Night Witch: Lilyann

Author: Heidi Vanlandingham

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Shadowheart Press

Book Blurb

After a near-death mission and ultimately grounded from flying with her fellow Night Witches, Lilyann Volkov helps the Resistance until she can return to the skies.

Uncovering vital information that could turn the tide of war for the Allies, she makes a fatal mistake and crashes again. Before the Norse goddess Freyja can find her and offer her a new life, her soul attaches itself to a handsome soldier.

Charles Duquesne is an American soldier with a go-get-’em attitude and a secret. He sees spirits walking the Earth and, after a lifetime of denial, must embrace his ability and accept their help in the war effort. When he is fatally shot, Freyja forces him to accept the drink of immortality, which saves not only himself but also the beautiful Night Witch he’d just buried.

No longer knowing what is reality and what is not, Lilyann and Charles embark on a quest to discover who is weaving magical chaos into the human war. Will they be able to stop the forward march of the Third Reich or is the German war machine unstoppable?


Lilyann’s gaze moved around the wide valley, jerking to a stop when she spied her shattered biplane. Resting her hand against the boulder behind her, she stood, wondering how she'd managed to get thrown this far away and not suffer any major damage. Something should have broken, like a bone—or her head. She ran her hands along her arms and over her chest and abdomen then down her legs, wiggling her fingers and circling her ankles but didn't find anything wrong.

She frowned and glanced up at the overcast sky. Medium to dark clouds lay like a thick blanket. The waving of tree branches and the dense layers of green upper boughs of evergreens drew her gaze. Billowing smoke rose from the plane, the wind swirling it around and carrying it up into the darkened clouds overhead until she couldn't tell which was smoke and which was cloud. A realization struck her, and she pressed her fist against her collarbone. She couldn't feel the wind...

A strange, hollow sensation settled in her chest as she forced her boots to carry her toward the shattered plane as apprehension trickled through her. Stopping a few feet away, she surveyed the damage. "This looks more like a pile of kindling than a biplane." The dread filling her chest grew heavier. She didn't want to go any closer. Instinct told her she didn't want to see what lay inside but knew she had no choice.

Forcing one foot in front of the other, she covered the distance over the snow-covered ground until she stood facing one of the broken double wings, the wood supports and canvas shattered and torn. Remnants of smoke flittered on the breeze, jumping this way and that before dissipating. She exhaled, letting her gaze fall to the open area where the pilot's cockpit was.

Shock filled her. She couldn't move. A strangled cry emerged, sounding foreign and strange to her own ears, as she stared at the broken body still strapped to the seat inside. Curly blond hair had escaped from her leather helmet, which had been partially torn from the head. Just above the right ear, twisted ringlets were blood soaked and pressed against the skull, but it was the thick chunk of wood protruding from the abdomen that had sealed the pilot's fate.

Forcing her gaze to the pale face, Lilyann stared into her own lifeless blue eyes, her vision blurring as she took in her own broken body, not really seeing any of it. Grief-stricken and terrified, she stumbled away from the site and dropped to her knees on the ground. Hard sobs were wrenched from her throat as sorrow poured from her. She rocked back and forth on her folded legs, her arms wrapped around her chest.

Spent and exhausted, she swiped the tears from her face and stared at the snow-covered area in front of her. It was pristine. If she needed more proof, it now glared at her. She had left no footprints in the snow when she'd walked to the plane, nor were there any leading to where she now knelt.

Staring into the heavens, she felt so bereft and alone. "Why?" she asked the silence blanketing her. “Freyja, why haven't you come for me?" A burst of anger filled her. "Am I not good enough to be in your army? Am I not as talented as my sister?" Just as fast as it showed up, the irritation disappeared, and her shoulders slumped lower, tears trickling once again down her cheeks. "Why does no one want me?"

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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 03, 2021

Thank you, Heidi, for sharing your book series with us!

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