To celebrate the release of her latest book, Amanda has graciously offered to give away a print copy of this new release (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends July 4, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.)
A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison...
Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.
Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn't always logical.
Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he's unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.
With their deep love comes risk--and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.
Based on detailed historical research, this true love story is at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian ... and the woman who changed his life.
How well Dietrich remembered the day when Hans ad first revealed the existence of plans that would seem Hitler overthrown and a new government put in place.
It wasn't that Hans had ever kept any secrets. Quite the contrary. He had always been frank with his wife, Cristel, and brothers-in-law about the dirty linen that the Reich Justice Ministry, where he worked in the legal department, preferred to keep off the public washline.
But it wasn't until Hans showed him the dossier that Dietrich realized how painfully little he had known. That evening, those memories, would never leave him. The sky above had been a fathomless canvas of pitch. The Dohnanyi house, still and silent, children asleep, Christel down the hall. Hans had ushered him into his study, metal scraped against metal as he turned the key in the lock. He'd lit a lamp. Just one.
Dietrich had sat in the cracked leather chair —the Dohnanyis always believed in frugality — and watched as Hans fumbled with the file drawer of his desk. A thatch of his usually slicked back light brown hair fell over his high forehead as he placed four black files atop his empty desk. He brushed a hand over one, features tight.
"Take a look. It's all here."
More danger could lurk within a single lethal paper than the deadliest Luger. As Dietrich turned to the files, reality embodied that statement. In explicit detail, the documents told stories, each more horrifying than last. The corruption and thievery practiced by Nazi officials … the orders given to burn synagogues with the Jewish population of a village locked inside … mass murders in Poland where thousands upon thousands were gunned down, their lifeless bodies danced upon by their so-called victors … concentration camps…
Pictures accompanied the files. Naked men standing in front of a ditch, guns trained on their bodies. The same men lying in the ditch after being mercilessly shot, bodies woven together in a macabre braid of bullet-riddled humanity. Charred corpses … the emaciated body of a child …
Perspiration broke out on Dietrich's forehead. He closed the folder and met his brother-in-law's gaze.
"The information you have here …"
"Could get me killed," Hans stated, features grim in the swath of lamplight.
The story behind the story…
I owe my discovery of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to two people I highly esteem—Eric Metaxas and my mom. I'm from a very literary family, and our dinner conversations often revolve around the books were reading. After my mom read Eric Metaxas's Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness, she shared the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer with us. Hearing about a pastor who worked as a double agent for the German resistance and whose brother-in-law was deeply involved in plots to assassinate Hitler intrigued me.
But I wasn't inspired to write about Bonheoffer until I came across a quote from Love Letters from Cell 92, which is a compilation of letters he exchanged with his fiancée during their engagement. When I read the quote, the dots connected in my mind. "Wait. Dietrich Bonheoffer had a fiancé?" The minute I began reading about Maria von Wedemeyer, I knew theirs was a story begging to be told.
That summer, I began the research process, which was a huge undertaking, but one that never ceased to fascinate and inspire me. It took eighteen months from the time my agent sent a proposal to the time I signed the contract, and there were seasons when I wondered if this story would ever be read by anyone besides my sister, who read the chapters as I wrote the first draft. I feel so blessed to be able to share this novel with readers and give all glory to God for making it possible!
ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story, a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. Her novel My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love released from Kregel Publications in June 2019.
She’s also the author of My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey, as well as seven novellas with Barbour Publishing. Two of her novellas have been finalists in the FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.
Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.
Amazon link for My Dearest Dietrich: https://amzn.to/2UINshB
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