Blogging, novels

A Dogwood Christmas Available Now on Amazon!

Hi, I just wanted to make a quick update to let everyone know that my latest book, a New Adult Christmas romance novel called A Dogwood Christmas has been released on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Kindle Unlimited here and here, just in time for the holidays.

Book Cover Art

Here’s a little about it…

A Dogwood Christmas– We’ve all heard the stories of corny romance where the boy meets the girl and falls in love, but strap-in for a tail with a slight twist. Dogwood the Cat guides us through the story of his owner, Aoife, as she meets and quickly falls for the new veterinarian in Crossville, Tennessee, Dr. Cillian O’Doherty, but as the holiday season fast approaches, a surprise visit from Cillian’s family will test the limits and sanity of both our young couple as well as Dogwood. Can the lovers and their faithful furry companions make it through a chaotic Christmas, or will Aoife once again don the infamous title of the town’s crazy cat lady?
Find out in A Dogwood Christmas…

Also, if you’d like to see my other series and works, here’s my Author Central Page of them.

Thanks everyone for your support of my works, and God bless.

Blogging, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Book Cover (Library Bar code covered up)

I saw this book advertised on some sites like Goodreads as well as my library’s website, so in looking for comparative titles for my own WWII/Holocaust Historical Romance novel for agency querying, I sought out the book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Written by Heather Morris, it is based on a true story of a real Holocaust survivor named Lale (born Ludwig Eisenberg) from Slovakia.

Spoiler Alert: There will be some of the plot discussed in this review, though I’ll try to keep it brief and unspecific.

The concept behind the book with as little spoilers as possible is the story of Lale’s journey as he voluntarily surrenders himself to the Germans for work at Auschwitz concentration camp under the guise that in doing so, he can protect the rest of his family from a similar fate. Once there, he fights to survive, trying to find the best method of getting the least taxing job. Thanks to his multilingual capabilities, he befriends a French political prisoner who works as the Tattooist for new camp prisoners and brings him alongside him as an assistant. Before long, though, the original tattooist is taken without Lale knowing his fate, and Lale replaces him as the new tattooist of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

One day, a transport of women posted in the Canada room (the area where raided wealth and belongings from prisoners and murdered Jews is stored) are brought to be re-tattooed when their previous stamped on numbers start to fade off. Lale is apprehensive to do so, but as he begins, he matches gaze with one of the women and has a love at first sight moment. Before long, his goal is to find out more about this woman and survive the camp so that they can, in his own words, “make a life where [they] are free to kiss when [they] want to, make love when [they] want to” (Morris, 2018, p.131).

From this concept, the story blooms. Is it a cheery story filled with first love and passion? No, not really. It’s partially that, but one cannot forget the setting even within this romance. There is passion and first love between Lale and Gita (her name, which she is apprehensive to tell him at first), but there are also marks of tragedy, fear, survivors’-guilt, and violence. This story doesn’t sugarcoat the dark reality of what happened in the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, but it paints a tale of the human spirit mixed in all that to show how much is capable past such bleak, evil circumstances.

The writing style is easy to read, and it holds a very true to life air to it in which you can place yourself in Lale’s and/or Gita’s shoes. We can see both people’s motivations and sympathize with them. They even handle the dynamic of Lale’s relationship with his guard, Baretski, in a interesting way. Baretski is a young Romanian who joined the Hitler Youth and SS from a young age, and while he views Lale’s as evidently beneath him, he also forms a weird, be it twisted, friendship with Lale, asking the Tattooist advice about women, having Lale organize a prisoner team for a game of football against the SS guards, and even doing Lale a few favors in regards to Gita.

It helps to show how some of the SS guards, while still fundamentally backwards-minded and cruel, weren’t all the stereotypical monsters some media likes to portray Nazis to be. This doesn’t in anyway downsize the evil actions they did, but it helps to show how scores of people can be manipulated through misinformed information, propaganda, and lies of riches/lands of milk and honey. Schindler’s List (1994) follows a similar idea with how it portrayed the camp Commandant, Amon Goeth, a twisted-minded person who shows instances of humanity but ultimately, cannot get past his prejudices and sick loyalty to Hitler’s ideals. I appreciate this because while one still can’t sympathize with them, it makes them a much more real, compelling, and terrifying villain. Additionally, seeing as it’s based in the reality of a real SS guard, I thought it added an interesting dynamic to the story.

As for how factual this story is, there have been questions on the authenticity of details from the routes taken from Auschwitz to Burkenau to the number tattooed on Gita’s arm, so keep that in mind when reading this novelization form of Lale’s story (Flood, 2018, p.6-8). Likely there are some exaggerations and/or creative licensing that were utilized, and when covering such a delicate and tragic concept as this subject matter, I definitely think readers should research more on the nonfictional accounts of the Holocaust for comparison and understanding. However, I think there is a way that fictionalized stories of the Holocaust can be thresholds for younger audiences to seek out such media. It was the Diary of Anne Frank and meeting a Holocaust survivor named David Faber myself that encouraged me to research so heavily into the subject matter, and so, I think books like The Tattooist of Auschwitz can have a similar affect on younger generations like mine.

Content-wise there are some curse-words scattered throughout, but they aren’t used abundantly for shock factor. They fit the story for what it is telling, and there is a couple implied sex scene with one holding some minor lead up, but nothing is explicitly detailed in it.

Overall, I’d give The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris a 5/5 star, because I loved the concept, Lale and Gita are so preciously beautiful together, and it presents the material in an appropriate, tactful manner without sugarcoated too much. I was tempted to take .5 of a star away from historical inaccuracies, but at the end of the day, the novel’s cover states, “based on the powerful true story of love and survival”. Thus, the room for creative licensing seemed a little more evident for me in going in. Again, for future readers, be mindful of that fact if it’s a concern of yours.


Flood, Alison. The Tattooist of Auschwitz attacked as inauthentic by camp memorial centre. (2018, 7 Dec). Retrieved from


The First I Do Now Available on Amazon

Hi, I just wanted to make a quick update to let everyone know that my latest book, a Young Adult Christian Romance novel called The First I Do has been released on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Kindle Unlimited here.

Here’s a little about it…

The First I Do – September 15th, 2001 seemingly fit the category of an uneventful day for Maybelle Lloyd and Michael Hawkins, but unbeknownst to them, it was one of the most important days of their lives.

Thirteen years later, the two teenagers are met with the shocking discovery that on that day, they promised before God to be wed till death do they part! Who in their right mind would allow a pair of toddlers to wed? Yet, when they learn it was done with the intent to just be ceremonial for Michael’s terminally ill mother, it begins to click. Somehow, it was legally recognized, and now, the two teens are met with the question, do they honor the promise they made as children, or do they annul it?

Also, if you’d like to see my other series and works, here’s my Author Central Page of them.

Thanks everyone for your support of my works, and God bless.

Blogging, novels

The First I Do Book Trailer

In honor of the upcoming release of my 7th novel, here is a book trailer to give you a peek of what to expect in The First I Do.​​

Hope you enjoy and here’s where to find it if you want to read it for yourself.
Other Works by Sarah N. Ham

Blogging, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Written Essays

Book Review: Jenny of Lebanon

Warning: Some Spoilers ahead

Jenny of Lebanon is an easy, single day read. I got the book in the mail today and then, proceeded to read the book in less than an hour. It’s roughly 50 pages in length, to put it in perspective (that’s not counting any acknowledgement pages or about author page). However, aside from the book being short in length, it just grabs you rather quickly and holds onto you, where you can’t help but finish it in one sitting. At first, the descriptive introduction of the characters made me worry that it was going to be too descriptive (the first chapter is complete setup), but even that was too lively to bore me. I’m a sucker for cats, so an opening with a cat trying to catch a robin is a great way to keep my attention, be it a tad biased (love you, Marvin, you adorably bratty cat). Still, the minute we see Jenny and Billy interact, it’s fast-paced throughout the rest of the story.

So…the story.

What can be said about Jenny of Lebanon other than the fact that it is painfully relatable even if you aren’t dealing specifically with the same themes and problems as Billy and Jenny. As a person who fell in love and married my high school sweetheart, I’m a sucker for first love romance, but this book doesn’t sugarcoat the other side of that dynamic. First love is full of first mistakes, first fights, and first shortfalls, and while we don’t get to see that firsthand in this story, we see the aftermath of it for Jenny and Billy. They’ve dealt with the realities of life, and author, Gabrielle Olexa, is smart in giving just enough subtle, implicit glimpses at that to make you not only want to know more but also, grasp some of the lives these two has faced.

I don’t per se relate to either of them specifically in their choices to play this cat-and-mouse game of kiss-and-fake-the-make-up, but I’ve also never encountered the painful pasts that are peppered throughout their dialogue and carefully described settings/memorabilia. So, I feel an empathetic heart for them as they both struggle to decide if they should actually remain together or finally end it, and the book leaves that open to the reader to decide as it ends with her leaving, but Billy clearly leaving his door open for her return.

There are a few themes that are personally hard for me, as a Christian: some vulgar language, an implied sex scene that luckily peeks away into the next chapter for the aftermath, discussion of one completed abortion, and the implication of a second one likely to follow, but in the context of the story, they all makes sense. This story isn’t some fluff piece with cutesy childhood friends who married and lived happily ever after. It’s painfully real story of heartbreak, attempts to mend a broken marriage, and a past littered with regret and consequences, and in that, it is beautifully written.

As the book blurb puts it, “Jenny… hits a lot harder than a Honda”, and I think that’s a fair representation of Jenny of Lebanon.

5/5 Stars

Where to Buy it: Amazon

Where to See Gabrielle Olexa and her story: Twitter

Her Website