[Book Blitz]: The True Adventures of Gidon Lev by Julie Gray




Genre: Narrative non-fiction/biography

Date Published: July 01, 2020

Publisher: Lightning Source

Of the approximately 15,000 children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp of Térézin (Theresienstadt ) near Prague, less than 100 survived. Gidon Lev is one of those children.

On the face of it, The True Adventures of Gidon Lev is the story of an elderly Holocaust survivor—a man who made it through horrifying events and lived to tell the tale. But Gidon (pronounced “Gid-awn”) did more than survive—he thrived. Gidon’s is the story of a little boy who never truly grew up, with a desperate need to belong and to build a family for himself. His story spans the beginnings of a fledgling country, a first marriage gone seriously wrong, a second marriage that lasted for over forty years and a late-in-life relationship with a writer and editor, thirty years his junior with whom his adventures continued, apace.


The True Adventures of Gidon Lev Blitz


About the author 



Julie Gray was born in 1964 in the San Joaquin Valley in California. A longtime Huffington Post contributor, Julie has been published in the Sanskrit Literary Journal, Moment Magazine, The Times of Israel, MovieMaker Magazine, Script Magazine, and Hip Mama. Her essay “The Freaking Autumn of My Life” was included in the anthology “Aging: An Apprenticeship.” A veteran essayist and editor, Julie moved to Israel in 2012 and is working on her memoir “They Do Things Differently Here.”


Contact Links

Website: www.juliegray.info

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MyLovingLifeBuddy/posts/?ref=page_internal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieGray972

Blog: https://www.thetrueadventures.com/blog-1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliegraysays/

Instagram: Https://www.instagram.com/Gidon&Julie


Purchase Links



The Book Depository 



An eBook copy

[Book Blitz]: Living Among the Dead by Adena Bernstein Astrowsky


book cover


Genre: Biography/Memoir/History/Nonfiction/Jewish Studies/WWII

Date Published: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

This is the story of one remarkable woman’s unimaginably horrific journey through the rise of the Nazi regime, the war, and the aftermath. Her story is narrated by her granddaughter and the book is interwoven with beautiful passages of poetry and personal reflection by the survivor, Mania, as she used writing as a medium to deal with the effects of the war. Most Jews did not die in concentration camps. Instead, they were murdered in their lifelong communities, slaughtered by mass killing units, and then buried in pits.

Mania lived in labor camps and witnessed these inconceivable sightings while doing everything within her power to subsist. Although she was the sole survivor of her family, Mania went on to rebuild a new life in a new country, with a new language and new customs, always carrying with her the losses of her family and memories of the brutality she witnessed and lived through. Nearly eighty years post liberation of the Holocaust, we are still witnessing acts of cruelty born out of hatred and discrimination.

Living among the Dead reminds us of the beautiful communities that existed before WWII, the lives lost and those that lived on, and the importance to never forget these stories so that history does not repeat itself.




Living Among the Dead Blitz


About the author



Adena Astrowsky has dedicated her career to helping the most vulnerable of our society. She did this by prosecuting child sexual abuse cases and domestic violence cases within the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. She became the local expert concerning the prosecution of domestic violence related strangulation cases and taught extensively on that subject.
Currently, she handles post-conviction cases on appeal and foreign extradition cases. Adena taught Sunday School at her temple for eight years, and in her last two years she co-taught “Character Development Through the Studies of the Holocaust.” Adena contributes articles to MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids) Magazine, often writing about children’s safety, drugs, law and order, etc.
Once a month Adena volunteers at a local Scottsdale library with her therapy dog, Charlie, as part of the Tail Waggin’ Tales Program. Adena has also chaired events to raise money for the Emily Center of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Adena’s greatest role, however, is as the mother of three very active children. She, and her husband, Brad, are kept very busy with their respective dance, theater, music, and athletic activities.



Contact Links



Twitter: @adena_astrowsky

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adena_astrowsky/


Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble




eBook Copy




[Book Review]: The Old Man’s Request by Joab Stieglitz




Genre: Horror, thriller, noir

Published: November 3rd, 2018

Publisher: Rantings of a Wandering Mind


Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.Hampered by the old man’s greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, Doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O’Malley gather the knowledge and resources needed to defeat the entity?The Old Man’s Request is a pulp adventure set in the 1920s, and the first part of the Utgarda Trilogy.


About the author:  

Joab Stieglitz was born and raised in the Warren, New Jersey. He is an Application Consultant for a software company.  He has also worked as a software trainer, a network engineer, a project manager, and a technical writer over his 30 year career. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

He is an avid tabletop RPG player and game master of horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres, including Savage Worlds (Mars, Deadlands, Agents of Oblivion, Apocalypse Prevention Inc, Herald: Tesla and Lovecraft, Thrilling Tales, and others), Call of Cthulhu, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Pathfinder.

Joab channeled his role-playing experiences in the Utgarda Series, which are pulp adventure novels with Lovecraftian influences set in the 1920’s.

You can follow Joab on Twitter @JoabStieglitz and his blog joabstieglitz.com



My review: 

This is the first book of Joab Stieglitz I’ve read. The author has made a lot of research and described well the dark and unsettling atmosphere of the place. All characters are believable, but Anna, a Russian anthropologist, is probably, my favourite one. She’s a strong woman who went through a lot in her life, but didn’t lose her charm and drive.
It’s not quite clear though what exactly has happened to her in Dr. Lamb’s house, and it stays a mystery. I hope to learn more about it in the next book.
I’d also prefer to learn more about detective, his first encounter with a ritual, and people who conducted it. In the book, it’s described only once as his flashback. It’s not quite clear on what stage he became possessed by a demon.
The book has a bit of horror and graphic violence in it, but just enough to keep it within the noir/paranormal genre, without going too gory. The plot is well-balanced and fast-paced which I like in thrillers.
A bit too much details of the characters’ appearance and description of the places, but I suppose, it’s a part of the author’s style.
I’d recommend this book to all fans of Lovecraftian horror and fast-paced thrillers. It’s a great, easy, quick read.


Purchase Links:


Barnes and Noble


[Free read]: His Personal Reich is available for free

    We’re all stuck at home, we can’t travel, and our holidays’ plans are ruined for this season. Right? Perhaps, but we still can go on an adventure with a great book!

    My debut thriller/action novella, “His Personal Reich”,  with its plot set in England and snowy Iceland, is available now for free on Booksprout. Download it in exchange to your honest review.


His Personal Reich _cover_front


Genre: Thriller, Adventure

Publisher: Crazy Ink Publ.

Release day: 26th April 2018




Andrea Zissman was brought up by her strict grandmother and never knew the truth about her family. When her mother dies at a special care home, the only legacy she leaves her daughter is a mysterious envelope full of old photos.

Andrea finds out that her father, a scientist who studied the energy of Aurora Borealis, didn’t die in an avalanche in the French Alps, but was killed by members of some mysterious neo-Nazis’ colony somewhere on a remote Icelandic island. Moreover, she has an older brother she has never seen before.

Desperate to find her brother and bring to justice her father’s murderers, Andrea meets Leon Callais, a flamboyant, scandalous journalist, who is on the hunt for the Nazis’ super weapon “Nothung”, a device which can open a portal to other dimensions. He believes that death of Andrea’s father and “Nothung” are connected.

The investigation leads Andrea and Leon to Iceland where they are determined to discover the truth about the neo-Nazis’ colony, its secret weapon, and Andrea’s family. However, the colonists give them an extremely cold welcome. Now, they need to fight not only for the truth but also for their own lives.


Download an ARC for free: His Personal Reich by L. Salt



[Book review]: The Last Nazi by Andrew Turpin



Genre: Thriller/Speculative History

Publisher:  The Write Direction Publishing

Release Date: August, 2017



The buried contents of a Nazi train. An ageing SS mass-murderer. And the wartime secrets of a U.S. presidential hopeful’s Jewish family, hidden for seven decades.

War crimes investigator and ex-CIA officer Joe Johnson is more than intrigued when he learns of a link between the contents of a Nazi train, hidden by Hitler’s Third Reich, a ruthless blackmail plot, and financing for a U.S. presidential hopeful’s 2012 campaign.
But the investigation becomes bigger and more deeply personal than Johnson expects when it leads him toward an SS Holocaust killer who escaped his net years earlier, and propels him into a deadly conflict.
Soon there are high-level intelligence and criminal networks combining against Johnson across three continents.
He finds himself inextricably caught up in a terrifying quest to win justice, to avenge his mother’s tortured past and revive his flagging career.
With dramatic settings, explosive action and characters readers will come to love, The Last Nazi is a gripping full-length thriller—the first in a forthcoming series featuring Joe Johnson.


My review: 

“The Last Nazi” is a great, well-researched, fast-paced thriller which takes a reader on the ride through time. From USA to England, from Argentina to Poland–Joe Johnson is on the hunt for the Nazis’ gold and ferocious Nazi war criminals.

Andrew Turpin is a new author to me, and “The Last Nazi” is his first book I’ve read. I wasn’t disappointed. There is no lack of action, twists, and turns of the plot as well as historical references.
The amount of research Mr. Turpin has conducted, describing the Nazis’ lost gold, the SS’ atrocities during the war, a life of prisoners in concentration camps, etc. is enormous.
As a huge history fan, I really enjoyed reading the backstory.
The author gives us lots of insights into the life of the CIA and the OSI agents.
Slightly rushed in the very end, the story kept me wondering about what has happened to Ignacio when his plan was ruined? How did Brenner face the trial? Was he afraid? Did he repent in the end? Constantly surrounded by ladies, why Johnson hasn’t got a girl, after all?
I look forward to reading the sequel and recommend this book both to both history lovers and thrillers’ fans alike.

[Excerpt]: The Seeds of Stars

His underwater “space odyssey” didn’t last long, though, and after a couple of minutes, the cave narrowed and turned into a man-made tunnel with concrete walls which formed an arched ceiling. The tunnel ascended gradually, and after another few yards, Kobra had emerged in front of something which looked like metal steps, leading to a door.

He pulled himself up, grabbing the railing and stepping on the corroded metal. The ladder seemed solid, and he reached the door safely.

This is “the back door”, he thought, observing the thick, once painted in khaki, green metal. From here, the lab’s staff could escape, using a mini-submarine for ten, twelve people like these daft Plexiglas things they use here to show tourists the underwater world of the bay. You can even swim out by yourself, if you’re a good swimmer and can use an aqualung.

Despite the corroded metal and faded paint, the door looked inaccessible, and Kobra didn’t have any special equipment to open it or cut through. He hadn’t noticed any hint of a handle or a lock either. Indeed, why do you need an outside handle on the door which serves as an escape route?

There should be something. Some kind of a hidden mechanism. The bluish light of his torch glided around the door in a fruitless attempt to open it. I can’t believe I’ve made it all this way here just to get stuck in front of the door. It won’t stop me. Kobra gritted his teeth.

His gloved fist banged at the wall in helpless anger.

What is it? He frowned, touching the cold, moist concrete.

The wall’s surface looked smooth, but… He had knocked at the wall again, and the muffled sound of a cavity replied to him.

‘It’s a void,’ Kobra whispered to himself.

He pulled out a hunting knife he took from the boat and made a couple of powerful knocks with its heavy handle. The wall’s plastering had broken and opened to reveal a square niche, carved in the thick mass of concrete. The beam of his torch illuminated the void, revealing the long metal lever.

Kobra needed all his efforts to push it down, and finally, the gnashing sound of the sliding door echoed around the cave. Despite all his titanic efforts, the lever seemed stuck halfway down, and so did the door.

The gap looked big enough for him to squeeze through, and he took the first, uncertain steps into the darkness.

His torch illuminated the corridor with bare walls and no other doors. The debris of plastering and bars of the reinforcement were sticking out of the ceiling and hinting at an attempt to destroy this place.

Kobra moved slowly and carefully, not only because of his fear to tear his diving suit, but also because his flippers made his walk awkward and clumsy.

The corridor wasn’t long and opened to a much larger space which looked like a laboratory.

The same mess of debris, pieces of glass and plastic, broken furniture and old-fashioned, bulky computer monitors on working desks, all covered in dust—that was all that was left of the top secret project. Kobra squatted in front of a half-burned hard drive.

It seemed like the staff had left these premises in a hurry, destroying and burning everything that they couldn’t take with them.

Kobra shook his head in deep regret, observing the leftovers of computers, equipment, and furniture. Everything which could’ve given at least some clues about what was going on in this lab had been either destroyed by the staff or by the time, moist, and the war.

On the opposite side of the room, he noticed another metal door which was partly opened. The gap was too narrow for him. He tried to push it aside a bit more or find a similar opening lever like on the first door but struggled. The door was stuck completely.

He pushed one shoulder inside, trying to film as much inside as possible. The cold beam of his torch snatched a control panel with an endless amount of buttons, scales, and mini-screens.

This is a control room. 

He made an effort to move his arm slightly to illuminate the opposite wall, but his flippers slipped on a wet floor, he lost his balance, and fell back in the lab’s room.

He stretched his empty hand instinctively to protect himself from the fall, but it was too late, and he ended up on the slippery concrete. He sat up, trying to find something to hold on to, and only then noticed a piece of white plastic which stuck to his glove. Taking a closer look, he realised it was a negative of a photo in a plastic frame. A tiny hint from the ‘70s and ‘80s, a piece of a much bigger puzzle which supposed to be classified and hidden here, in these mountains forever…

Kobra squinted, examining this piece of film under the unstable light of the torch.

The photo depicted a group of vertical objects which looked like stalagmites with polished sides. Their shape reminded him of slender spindles used for making woollen threads. It was impossible to distinguish their real size. The only thing Kobra could bet on was the fact that this photo was taken somewhere in a dark, enclosed space.

Another cave? He arched his eyebrows, putting his finding in the hidden pocket of his suit.

He took a few last photos of the lab, when his camera beeped, asking for charging, and he decided it was enough material for the next ten broadcasts.

He shot the last final look at this space, sighed, and headed back to the exit.

The trip back in the dark and silent underwater “cosmos” was quick and easy, and soon, he reached the surface.

He pulled the mask off, observing the surroundings. His boat remained where he moored it. The full moon, bright and cold, came out of the light clouds, illuminating his way out of this rocky mini-fjord.

Kobra reached his boat, changed back into his clothes, switched his camera off, and navigated slowly between the rocks to the “corner” of the cliff.

After a few minutes, the boat made the final careful turn to the open waters of the bay and…he froze on the spot.

It had appeared from nowhere, a boat much bigger than his, some kind of a hovercraft with a fan on its stern. The vessel moved fast, and Kobra needed to turn back to the cliff to avoid the collision. Instead of slowing down, it seemed like the hovercraft picked up speed and was racing to catch up with him.

Kobra made a semi-loop, revved the engine, and headed to the bay. And then…he didn’t even realise what had happened. A gunshot ripped off the sleepy waters of the bay, and then another one and again.

‘Jesus Christ!’ Kobra screamed, shouting down the buzz of bullets. ‘Who the fuck are you?’

He turned around. A tall dark figure, dressed in all black, stood on the aft, and then a second one joined it. He could distinguish the third one on the stern, navigating the vessel.

The gunfire made him flattened to the bottom of his boat. He was squeezing everything possible out of its powerful but still tiny engine.

‘What the fuck?’ he couldn’t stop screaming.

The salted waves were hitting his vulnerable vessel with vengeance. The gunfire didn’t allow him to navigate, and he lost his way completely.

The sound of a helicopter interrupted the chase for a moment.

It sounds like the coast guard. A slight wave of hope hit his mind.

The next moment, he heard the bullet pierced the thick material of his boat, the vessel went out of control, swirled like in a maelstrom, and threw itself to one of the massive rocks, sticking out of the waves.

Kobra hit the stone. And then…there was just nothingness.


Purchase Links

Amazon: The Seeds of Stars

UBL: The Seeds of Stars 

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads

[New release]: The Seeds of Stars. Excerpt.

‘Kobra? Can you hear me?’ The distorted, pale face of Kira had immerged in front of him.

He was back in the hospital again, and this time, it seemed like the pain calmed down slightly. At least, he could focus now.

‘Kira? You’re? Here?’ he murmured, trying to raise his head from the pillow. ‘What’s going on? Who are these people? Why do they want to kill me?’

‘It’s a long story. Now, we need to get you out of here as soon as possible.’ Kira sounded determined. ‘Can you walk?’

‘I hope so.’ He made a weak attempt to get of the bed, but the headache pressed his head again.

‘You had a minor concussion when you flew out of your boat and landed on the rocks,’ she explained.

‘Why do we need to go? We need to report this to the police. We need to tell them what has happened.’ He worked hard to pull himself together, but struggled. ‘Where is the woman? The police officer?’

‘A woman?’ Kira frowned.

‘Yes. There was a woman here. She told me she is from the police.’

‘Who was she? Did she show you any ID?’

‘No, but she spoke with an accent.’ Kobra played his last card. ‘She followed me my first day in Perast, and then I saw her again on the embankment near the marina. She told me her name was…ehm…Katarina…Marina maybe? Ah, I don’t remember.’ He squeezed his aching temples with his palms, but his short-term memory had failed him.

‘Whatever her name is she is not from the police.’ Kira made an impatient gesture. ‘She might be one of them—the people who tried to kill you.’

‘And you? How did you know what happened? Why are you here?’ Kobra raised his watering eyes to her.

‘I’ll tell you everything when we get out of the hospital,’ she promised. ‘Now, we need to hurry.’ She rushed around, gathering his belongings from the bedside table and chairs.

Somebody’s steps echoed at the end of the empty corridor, and Kira froze on the spot. The door was left half-opened, and Kobra could see the familiar slim silhouette of the brunette woman.

For a moment, the time had stopped for Kobra. He saw the woman striding down the hall, and Kira rushing to the heavy ward’s door.

‘Halt! Halt!’ The woman shouted, the black barrel of a gun flashed in her hand. She aimed at Kira, but the door slammed in front of her just in time.

‘To the bathroom! Quick!’ Kira grabbed his hand and pulled him from his bed, slamming the bathroom door behind their backs.

Kobra, still heavily drugged, responded with a delay. His head was spinning, all his movements clumsy and awkward.

‘Follow me,’ his companion commanded, opening the second door which led to the some kind of a resting area and from there to the hallway.

‘The door at the end.’ Kira nodded to the hallway. ‘It looks like a fire exit.’

They crossed the empty corridor and, to their relief, the door led to the steps and outside to the rear of the building.

A sudden wave of nausea made Kobra stop and cling to the railing. His hospital gown, long and baggy, had constrained his movements even more.

‘Are you okay? Can you walk?’ Kira who had made her way almost to the exit needed to return to him. She pulled a tiny radio out of her pocket and commanded to somebody: ‘Meet us at the rear, next to the fire exit.’

‘Copy,’ a familiar male voice had responded through the radio’s interference.

She put his arm over her shoulder carefully and helped him the rest of the way downstairs.

The metal door gnashed, and Kira glanced outside, Kobra caught himself thinking he might’ve spent a while here. The evening was dark, but he could distinguish a silhouette of a parked car at the opposite side of the road.

‘Finally…I was ready to go inside and search for you.’ Edel’s voice sounded from the driver’s seat.

He revved the engine, and the car flew along the almost empty streets.

‘What has happened? Why did it take you so long?’ he continued questioning, throwing inquiring looks at a still dopey Kobra.

Usually polite and calm, Edel’s voice sounded strict and almost abrupt.

‘We’ve grown a “tail”,’ his fiancée responded. ‘I’ll tell you the details when we leave town. Now, just drive.’

‘Damn! We need to move to plan B. We can’t risk flying directly from here.’

‘Edel, maybe you can explain what the fuck is going on?’ Kobra gathered his last efforts. His heavy head was spinning. The road lights pierced his eyes like needles, making them watering even more. ‘How long have I been in the hospital?’

‘I’ve told you already. You had a brain injury,’ Kira answered instead. ‘You spent almost two days there. You’re lucky to survive such an attack at all.’

‘Where are we going now?’ He wanted to ask, but everything had been spinning in front of him, sucking him back into a massive black hole of unconsciousness.


[New release]: Calling all bloggers and fellow authors! I need your help.

Dear blogging friends and all thrillers’ fans,

I have a new release, coming out December, 11th.  It’s just over a month before the great day, and I need your help. The ebook is ready for pre-order on Amazon and all major platforms, the paperback is live.

“The Seeds of Stars” is a thriller/suspense novella with some historical references and the plot set in Scotland, Berlin, and the Adriatic coast of Montenegro. I would like to spread the word about it as much as possible by setting up a blog tour/blog feature with the full information about the book.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact me via email (saltandnovels@gmail.com) or comment under this post. In return, I can feature your book/business/etc. on my blog, Facebook page/in the group, on Pinterest board, etc.

Thank you all for supporting me!!



The life doesn’t promise to be joyful for a “Chernobyl child” born straight after the nuclear disaster. True…but not for such an adventurer, adrenaline junkie, and popular extreme sports’ blogger like Yuliy Kobrin aka Kobra. Adopted by a British couple, Kobra spends his life in urban exploring and travels.

Skiing in the Scottish Highlands, Kobra meets a young German couple, Edel Baum and Kira Schneider. The new friends invite him to their luxurious house, where Kobra’s attention is drawn to Edel’s collection of World War II antiques and a mysterious Yugoslavian file which the couple asks to translate for them.

The file reveals classified underwater facilities from the Cold War times, hidden deeply in the Kotor Bay of Montenegro. Yuliy can’t miss an opportunity for such a discovery.

Six months earlier, a prominent scientist died in his apartment in central Berlin. The authorities believe it was a heart attack, but a police officer, Trina Stahl, thinks this case is far more dangerous and complicated.

All hell breaks loose for Kobra when he comes under attack in the Kotor Bay, when he realises his new German friends are not who they say they are, and his life now is of an interest for many parties. From Montenegro to Scotland, from Berlin to the Isle of Skye—Kobra is on the hunt for a mysterious alien object, the Seeds of Stars, but also for the truth about his own past.


[New release]: “The Seeds of Stars” is on pre-order now. Paperback is live.

  My new thriller/sci-fi novel “The Seeds of Stars” is out in December.
You can get your paperback already now or pre-order an ebook on Amazon 


         The life doesn’t promise to be joyful for a “Chernobyl child” born straight after the nuclear disaster. True…but not for such an adventurer, adrenaline junkie, and popular extreme sports’ blogger like Yuliy Kobrin, aka Kobra. Adopted by a British couple, Kobra spends his life in urban exploring and travels.
          Skiing in the Scottish Highlands, Kobra meets a young German couple, Edel Baum and Kira Schneider. The new friends invite him to their luxurious house, where Kobra’s attention is drawn to Edel’s collection of World War II antiques and a mysterious Yugoslavian file which the couple asks to translate for them.
           The file reveals classified underwater facilities from the Cold War times, hidden deeply in the Kotor Bay of Montenegro. Yuliy can’t miss an opportunity for such a discovery.
           Six months earlier, a prominent scientist died in his apartment in central Berlin. The authorities believe it was a heart attack, but a police officer, Trina Stahl, thinks this case is far more dangerous and complicated.
           All hell breaks loose for Kobra when he comes under attack in the Kotor Bay, when he realises his new German friends are not who they say they are, and his life now is of an interest for many parties. From Montenegro to Scotland, from Berlin to the Isle of Skye—Kobra is on the hunt for a mysterious alien object, the Seeds of Stars, but also for the truth about his own past.