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New Release | The Letter Carrier by @laurielclewis #historicalfiction #histfic #newrelease #giveaway


Author L.C. Lewis

Genre Historical Fiction

Publisher Willowsport Press, JATA Inc.

Book Blurb

When the German march across Europe reaches France, young Michelle Naget and her family join the throngs fleeing for safety. But their flight ends in capture by the Nazis, with one member of the family taken, while the rest of the family is sent back to their village of Braquis, France, to serve the enemy who has commandeered their home.

For the next four years, the Nagets live in the crosshairs of the enemy living under their roof and of the neighbors who question the family's loyalties. Every day becomes a test of faith for Michelle-in God, in family, in the hope that the Allies will come, and in the letters from a young French rebel named Légère who promises Michelle that she will be free again.

But when the Nazis' torment increases, and the razor-thin line between life and death narrows for the Nagets, the family’s motto, “We do what must be done,” and Michelle’s faith in God, give her the courage to face her enemy and do whatever she must to protect the family she loves.


I was tired of their chatter about fighting and death and politics, and I hoped to change the topic with my own news. “A family of refugees is in our garden.”

Before answering, Mother looked at Maurice, whose eyes seemed increasingly burdened. When she returned her gaze to me she said, “I know. I saw them too. They mean no harm, Mimie.”

“But the vegetables aren’t even ready for picking.”

Mother’s eyes glistened as she bent forward, speaking to me with measured deliberateness. “They take what they can find because they are hungry.” She handed me a loaf of bread. “Take this to them.” She straightened and turned to Armand. “Go to the cellar and bring up two empty wine bottles and fill them with milk. Then wrap some cheese in a cloth for them. Jacques, run to the shop and bring your father home.”

Refugees had been passing through for weeks, but none had engendered quite this level of assistance from Mother. I stood in my place, pondering the change. “There are more of them every day. Why?”

Jacques’ anger seethed. “Because of the Nazis.”

“Stop it,” Armand warned as every eye in the room flew to Jacques. “At least spare Mimie while we still can.”

“Spare me what?” I demanded.

Mother rose to her full five feet four inches, wiped at her eyes, and cleared her throat. “I’ll take the bread to them, Mimie. You take the little boys outside and play with them for a few minutes before chores and breakfast, please. There’ll be no school today. Instead, we’ll bake bread. Lots of it. Okay?”

“No school? And it’s Wednesday . . . laundry day. Not bread day.”

“This week, Wednesday is bread day. Now go.”

I gathered the boys: Ives—my Titi, nearly seven years old—and Gilbert, only three. While the boys ran and tumbled in the grass, I studied these refugees. I feared the word and the people it described—dirty, needy, ragged wanderers. The hungry children were gnawing on a raw parsnip when Mother arrived with the bread. The displaced mother wept over the loaf, and the father’s knees nearly buckled when Armand arrived with the gifts of milk and cheese. And then I felt it, the childishness peeling off my heart, allowing me to see past the soil and tears that marred the peoples’ clothes, to witness the spark of divinity hidden behind their downcast eyes. I felt God expand my heart, then bathe me in understanding as Mother’s phrase returned to me—we do what must be done.

Was that what they had to do? Flee? Leave all they had behind?

The impersonal war that had been but an annoyance to me suddenly had a face. Five faces. The war was no longer abstract but very real, standing in my own yard. I could no longer ignore the prospect of change because Hitler’s forces were elsewhere, in someone else’s land—Czechoslovakia, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. His army was near, very near, and coming our way.

* * *

Where possible, we crossed beautiful thick forests, enjoying the protective cover they provided from passing planes. By evening, we reached Doncourt-aux-Templier, the village where Father was born. Others marched on into the night, but we stopped, knocking on doors familiar to the Naget family, however, the entire village was deserted.

The doors were unlocked and open, as if welcoming all who needed rest or who could make use of the abandoned goods within. Most of the foodstuffs were gone, but Mother and my aunts were able to make soup from a straggler chicken and bottled vegetables found in the cellar. I caught sight of myself in an exquisite floor-to-ceiling mirror encased in an intricately carved frame.

The mirror was beautiful, one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen, making it all the more obscene that the reflection filling its glass was so ugly—me, and yet not me. An unfamiliar version of me, with straggly, dirty hair and a mud-streaked face and dress. Mother would never have allowed me to come into the parlor of our home looking that way. I suddenly felt unworthy to be in the house, and then I caught sight of another irresistible item—a porcelain doll with silky hair and a gentle painted face. I yearned to pick it up, to hold it close in my arm, where Gisette should have been. I looked at the doll, then down at the soiled nails of my hastily washed hands and the dirt and grass stains on my dress, then back to the doll. Mother caught me scowling at my reflection.

“A little scrubbing and all will be right again.”

I looked at her in the mirror. “Are people in our house, the same way we are in these people’s house?”

Mother placed her hands on my shoulders and drilled her gaze into me. “Probably.” Her glassy eyes closed and tears slipped from the corners. “It’s all right, Mimie. Take the doll.”

Joy and horror mixed in my heart in equal portions. “But that would be stealing.”

A trembling smile pulled at the corners of Mother’s mouth. “You are a good girl, Mimie. I’m so proud of you. It’s not stealing. The doll is abandoned. I think the family would be happy to know a good, hard-working French girl is loving her.”

I wanted so desperately to believe that, but the words drew a new thought. “Do you think some other girl has my Gisette?”

A lingering tear shone in Mother’s eye as she ran her fingers through my tangled hair. “I wish I had let you bring Gisette. I said we only had space for necessities, but these past few days have taught me that joy is also a necessity. Forgive me. I expect that Gisette is making some other girl very happy, and now I hope this doll can do the same for you.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

Additional pictures provided by the author:

A sketch an American soldier made of Michelle, the house she lived in, plus a newspaper article.

Giveaway: I’m one of the authors participating in the Summer in the Sun Book Giveaway and you can win a print copy of Secrets Never Die (releasing later on this year).

Runs July 1 - 31 and is open internationally for many prizes. This prize is open to US residents only. Winners will be drawn on August 1, 2022.

Author Biography

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis grew up within the exciting and history-rich corridor between Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C. which made her a politics and history junkie. Laurie writes in multiple genres, penning her women’s fiction and romance novels as Laurie Lewis, and her historical fiction novels as L.C. Lewis. The Letter Carrier, is Laurie’s fourteenth novel.

Her women’s fiction/romance novels include Cross-Country Christmas, (2021) Secrets Never Die, (2019) Love on the Line (2019), Awakening Avery (2018), Love on a Limb (2017), Sweet Water (2017), The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis. Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical romance series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

Laurie Lewis is a RONE Award Winner (The Dragons of Alsace Farm) and was twice named a New Apple Literary Award winner in 2017 (The Dragons of Alsace Farm), and in 2018, winning New Apple Literary’s Best New Fiction Award (Love on a Limb.) She is also a BRAGG Medallion honoree, A Readers’ Favorite Award Winner, and she was twice named a Whitney Awards and USA Best Books Awards finalist.

Her next project, a political suspense novel titled Revenge Never Rests, published by Covenant Communications Inc., is scheduled for an October 2022 release.

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Laurie Lewis
Laurie Lewis

Thanks so much, Mrs. N, for the beautiful spotlight for "The Letter Carrier." Interviewing Michelle, the main character in the book, changed me in so many ways. I hope your readers will enjoy this story of faith, family, and courage. Laure L.C. Lewis


N. N. Light
N. N. Light

Thank you, L.C., for sharing your new release with us!

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