Lilian Darcy’s Saving Gerda

One of my favorite authors and dearest friends, Lilian Darcy, is celebrating the release of her new book Saving Gerda.  I got a chance to first read this book when Lilian had just finished it, and it absolutely blew me away.

Okay, yes, Lilian Darcy is one of my best friends, and she’s a bestselling author and has won many awards, but this story just captured my heart and I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters for months after I finished the book, because they didn’t feel like characters.  They felt like real people and I cared so much about what had happened to them, and what could happen.

Lilian is known for writing deeply emotional books, but this is by far my favorite book of hers.  This is Lilian’s description of the story taken from her site:

“I’ve had this book and its characters clamoring in my head for more than fifteen years. It’s the first book in a trilogy that sweeps between Germany just before World War Two, Italy and Antwerp in the Sixteenth Century, and New York in the 1980s. You probably wouldn’t know it was a trilogy if I hadn’t said so, as Saving Gerda stands up completely on its own. I know these characters as well as I know myself – privileged, beautiful, good-hearted Kitty; twelve-year-old Gerda who doesn’t yet know who she really is or who she wants to be; dutiful Sophie, hemmed in by life and desperate to take action; awkward Johannes, whose shyness masks his good looks and acute perception.”

I know this time period, I used to teach this time period in history to my jr high and high school students, but this story had layers and nuances I rarely see in fiction from this time period.  I loved, loved, loved Kitty, Gerda, Sophie, Johannes and I think you will, too.  If you’re a fan of literature, Historical fiction, or Women’s fiction, you’ll find this a compelling, unforgetabble story.  If you’ve got a moment, go read this small, but powerful excerpt on Lilian’s website now.

And to celebrate the ebook release of Saving Gerda, I’m hosting a contest and giving away a prize consisting of:  a $25 B&N gift card, several signed Jane Porter Harlequins, a Starbucks drink gift card, plus lots of other fun JP reader goodies.  The Saving Gerda contest will run for the next five days with winners being drawn on Friday and announced on Saturday morning.  To enter the contest, tell me what you’re reading now, and/or, what you’ve read lately that you absoutely loved.

Bonus prizes —-I have a gift for the first 14 of you who do purchase Saving Gerda….forward  the  purchase receipt to me (via my personal email) and you will get a signed copy of Easy On the Eyes, a Starbucks drink card, lots of other fun goodies.   And then when you’ve read Saving Gerda, we have to chat!  Maybe we can do our bookclub discussion about the story here?

Good luck, and do check out this amazing, unforgettable story!


  1. Saving Gerda which I looked up and then read the excerpt is memorable, special and deserves your accolades. I will by buying this novel and savoring it. Thanks for mentioning this wonderful novel. I am reading The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore.

  2. So glad to find you here today. Hope things are going well with the hotel stay and the eventual move. You are in our prayers.

    Thank you so much for your recommendation of Saving Gerda. I will look for it and suggest our library buy it, too!

  3. Right now I’m reading a cozy mystery The Scarlet Pepper by Dortothy St. James and liking it.

  4. Right now I am reading Because of You by Jessica Scott and really enjoying it. Your books sounds like one I would love to read so I am so glad you are here today. You would be an new author to me. Can’t wait to read Saving Gerda!

  5. I just finished reading I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff and it was so very good!

    Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Saving Gerda, I’m off to check it out now 🙂

  6. Sadly, I’ve been reading but nothing great lately. [50 Shades of Grey was alright]

    A few of my favorite books: The Help, Molokai, Time Traveler’s Wife, The Glass Castle, The Half Broke Horses and Water for Elephants.

  7. I have been reading mostly recipes. Between all of the awards banquets, end of year parties and sports celebrations it has been one giant potluck party! It is so much fun discovering new things!

    1. I looked for Lilian’s book and it seems like it is only available on e-reader. =( WIll have to wait for the un-techie version.

  8. Hi Jane,

    I’m reading The Bake Off. It’s a cute book. I enjoy reading Beth’s books and am almost done with this one. I hope all is well with you and are having a smooth transition with your move 🙂

  9. This book sounds really interesting. I’ll have to wait until it comes out in paperback since I don’t own a reader. Right now, I’m actually reading Not Fit For a King right now. I planned to start it last week, but too much came up. So, I just started it yesterday. So far, I’m really liking this story. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

  10. I had read about this book on another blog earlier this week and it intrigued me. I am off to Chapters tomorrow to pick up a couple of books, and Saving Gerda will be one of them. Can’t wait to get my hands on your first book in the Brennan sisters trilogy… only 3 more months!

  11. I enjoyed the book “Old Filth” by Jane Gardam that I read for my book club this month. I was out of a book to read in the house today and picked up a book my husband is reading, “56” about Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak. It is fun because it is also about the year 1941 when it happened, but I think I would enjoy Saving Gerda more and plan to buy it tomorrow! It sounds wonderful.

  12. Wow- that’s an amazing prize…I could definitely use a B&N card since my ‘to read’ books are slim to none right now. 🙂 I am just finishing Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Amazing book! I will have to check out Saving Gerda! Sounds great! Have a good week!

  13. Finished reading Kathy Lyons’ Blaze, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, last week. Enjoyed every word and liked how well-written their “connections” were with each other. Thought that she nailed it with her military portrayals.

  14. I am very busy with school reading, but I am trying to read a few pages of Destiny by Carly Phillips every night to relax before bedtime. I can’t wait to have some free time to start reading Saving Gerda. It sounds really good and I love historical romance.

  15. I just finished Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. I started “The Standoff” by Chuck Hogan but am having a hard time getting into it..

  16. It is not available for the Nook only Kindle, so I have been trying to download the Kindle app on my phone and my touchpad, but for some reason it is giving fits… I will keep trying though. The book sounds amazing.

    I have been on a reading frenzy lately. There are just so many great books out there.

    I just finished your 2 Presents, ” Not fit for a King, ” and ” His Majesty’s Mistake.” Loved them!

    Also read Caitlin Crews, ” The Relacement Wife.” Awesome!

    And the first 2 books in “The Santina Crown’ series. I love series books!

    I love to read for a bit every day to relax, and the Presents line is perfect for this!

    I also have and thought I would get it read a couple of weeks ago, but wasn’t able to, but it is high on my priority list is Megan Crane’s I love the 80’s, I put off ordering it for a long time hoping it would get published in the USA, but I ordered it through Amazon and the Book Depository, it was so eady and not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be.

    I am sure that you are more than ready to be out of the hotel and into your new home in San Clemente. So CA is anxiously awaiting for you all to be here! Hope that you have a great week!

  17. Hi Jane,
    I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and justed loved the story line.


  18. Just popping in quickly to apologize to those who want to buy Saving Gerda in print or on Nook or Kobo. Those other ebook formats should be coming within the next few weeks, but Smashwords is being a little slow and it’s out of my hands, so right now it’s only available on Kindle or Kindle app, or direct from Smashwords.

    Re the print version, this is going to depend on the success of the ebook version.

    Once again, I do apologize to anyone who was keen to buy and can’t! How did modern publishing get this complicated???

    1. Bummer, I was so looking forward to reading it. Hopefully it will do really well in ebook version and be out in the print version soon. Best of luck!

    2. No worries, I was able to load the Kindle app on my phone, so that I could at least buy it. I have tried to get the app to work on my touchpad, but I have to admit I am not very tech savy, so I have to wait for someone to help me figure it out. I doubt that I will read it on my phone, it is just too little… I will go ahead and buy it for my Nook when it is available if I haven’t figured out the touchpad by then….lol Just keep us updated when it becomes available. Excited to read it!

  19. I am reading a YA book “Across the Universe”. I only have 50 pages left. I am staying up to finish it even though I have to work early in the morning. I have to see what happens!

  20. I’m still reading the series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George RR Martin. It’s brilliant.

    SAVING GERDA looks wonderful!!

    1. My husband is reading the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series. He finished book one while we were on vacation and just started book two. Very long books and tough vocabulary with all of the Welsh sounding names and jargon, but he finds them interesting so far.

  21. I am reading Mariana by Susanna Kearsley, I just started it yesterday. Congratulations to Lilian on her new book and writing a book she has wanted to write for so many years.

  22. Hi Jane – hope you and the boys are doing well while you wait for the big move to San Clemente. I just finished reading the first two “Fifty Shades of Grey” books. Took them with me to Belize and most of the women there (many on their honeymoon) were reading the same book. I smiled when I found out the setting of the story was where you now live, particularly when they mentioned Bellevue a few times. Reminded me of you.

    Have to admit that I agree with many fellow readers, that there is a lot of repetition in these books. I loved the first book, then was a little bored reading the first few chapters of the second one. It did draw me in again halfway through. Plan to start the third book sometime today.

    Would love to win this week’s prize package so I can pick up Lilian’s new book as well as a few others for my Summer reading.

  23. Good Morning, Jane. I am definitely going to pick up this book. It look fabulous! I’m currently reading Not Fit For a King. Have you heard of that book 😉 Just playing. I’m loving it and find myself wanting more 🙂

  24. Hi Jane; just finished your Harlequin Presents “Not Fit for a King”. It was a fun read and i enjoyed it immensely. Now waiting for “Majesty’s Mistake”. have a great week!

  25. Just finished reading “Not Fit For A King”. I really liked it. It was entertaining! I will be happy when the next part is released. Thank you.

  26. I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately… My two recent favorites: Carole King’s “A Natural Woman” and Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”. Those are two fierce and fabulous women.

    I hope that someday you will write a memoir, Jane. Of course, it would involve a wonderful romance! Have a good week.

  27. Hi Jane,

    I recently seen the movie. “One for the Money” and must say it was cute. So off to B&N I went and bought the first book in the Stephanie Plum series, hoping it’s a good read. If not, I have a backup novel “The Perfect Poison” by Amanda Quick, that I also hope will make for a good read.

  28. Hi Jane,

    Thank you for the recommendation of Saving Gerda. It sounds like a really good read. I’ll check it out!
    I just finished up a nonfiction book called “Wild” about a woman who hiked a large portion of the Pacific Crest Trail by herself. It was fascinating and very enjoyable.

  29. I’ve added saving gerda to my wish list so will be watching when it comes out for nook.
    Right now feeling overbooked with all the challenge books and book group reads I’m reading.
    caught by Jami Alden (1st in series) liking it so far.
    Out of control by suzanne brockmann (love those navy seals have read alot of her books but now I’m reading the ones I haven’t with a online grp)
    scandal in spring by Lisa Kleypas (loving this series also a group read)
    Colter’s lady by maya banks (reading it just because I was in the mood loved her other books I read)
    Guilty wives by James patterson (love his books and decide to start this one because I’m getting behind on his books)
    will be starting the last of the 50 shades with a group tomorrow I think. love this series. need to get offline and get reading so I can catch up with reading. I’m so behind on my yearly book count this year so far. for some reason the ebooks take me longer which I can’t understand. but it doesn’t help that I’ve been spending more time online lately.

    I also love the cover on Lillian’s book.

  30. Sounds like a fantastic book! Just added it to my TBR list. Right now I am re-reading a comfort read, MORNING GLORY by LaVyrle Spencer. Hubby has been traveling for the past few months & when I am missing him, I pick up an old favorite to read.

  31. Currently reading 50 Shades series I am on the third one. But Saving Gerda has be intrigued. Thanks for the tip, love it when someone shares a good book they have read!

  32. Right now I am reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I have been wanting to read this forever… Can’t put it down, thanks Jane f

  33. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for recommending Saving Gerda.
    I love it when you recommend other authors and their books. it gives me a chance to read some really great books, other than yours.

    I´m still reading on of your Harlequins. Right now it´s Taken By The Highest Bidder.

    Have a nice week.

  34. I know it’s cliche ….but I’m reading 50 Shades of Grey and also Hunger Games (I’m on the second one of those).

    Thanks for sharing your gift of writing. You give a lot of people reasons to keep turning pages. That’s pretty cool.

    Many thanks.

  35. I recently read two books that I really liked, “More Like Her” by Liza Palmer, and “Arranged” by Catherine McKenzie. Hope your move goes well!!

  36. Right now I am reading The Left Behind series. I am so touched by this series. I must say that I am addicted and only have 4 more books left in the series. Considering that I work at a bookstore now I will definetly look into this novel.

    1. I just wanted to add. I took a break from the Left Behind Series. I am almost done with reading your novel Not Fit for a King, I must say Jane that you did a great job. I love the description work in this book.

  37. This sounds like a wonderful book! I am looking for something good to read now that I am about done with Fifty Shades. And, Jane…I have not read any of your Harlequins yet and would absolutely love to delve into them. If I were to win, I would definitely buy Saving Gerda and Jane’s Harlequins.

  38. HI Jane,
    Saving Gerda sounds like a book I’d love to read. I am going to see if it’s available through my local library.
    I have just started Insurgent by Veronica Roth. It is the 2nd book in the trilogy. The books I’ve recently read that I’ve loved is the Hunger Games trilogy.

  39. Hi Jane,

    I’m reading a book called Man and Maid by Elinor Glyn — a romance first published in 1922:) I LOVED On the Island. I ordered Saving Gerda. It sounds great.

    There are free Kindle Apps for computers, phones, and iPad at Amazon for readers that don’t have a Kindle but would like to read Kindle books…I know people that read on their phone and their Kindle. Here’s the link:

  40. Dropping in again to say a huge thank you to Jane for featuring Saving Gerda here. For anyone who doesn’t know Jane personally, she really is the kind, beautiful, generous and all-round fabulous person that her blog and her books suggest!

    Sorry to gush, Jane, but it’s true.

    Also wanted to give a heads-up that another book of mine, “Cafe du Jour” is available free on Kindle till Friday, in celebration of the publication of Saving Gerda.

  41. I’m finally reading the 50 Shades trilogy. Aside from the craziness it centers around, it really is a good love story. At least that’s what I’m taking from it! Christian can say some of the sweetest things when he isn’t being overly possessive or irrational!

  42. Saving Gerda looks like an amazing tour de force. Right now I am reading A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch!

  43. Gosh! Looks like there’s another book to add to my “to-read” list! I’m currently reading “The Scottish Prisoner” by Diana Gabaldon and recently read some Kristin Hannah and Jane Green books. One book I just read on a recommendation that was really good was “The Language of Secrets”. Hope you are having a great week, Jane!

  44. Saving Gerda sounds like a very interesting read. I enjoy historical books and will add this to my reading list. I just finished a contemporary romance by Kristan Higgins called “Somebody to Love.” It was fun and I enjoyed it. I had not read anything by that author before, but I now plan to pick up some more of her books.
    Take Care and I hope your week is going well and that things are going well at the hotel.

  45. I just finished reading Sugar Rush and Sweet Stuff by Donna Kauffman. They are the first two books in her Cupcake Club series. I loved them both. I always enjoy romance with food involved, especially pastries. She also has recipes in the back, yum!

  46. Really happy you checked in to visit with us…bet you are so ready to check out of that hotel…lol. Saving Gerda sounds like the perfect read for me, especially when I can free up some time to sit down with it. I am currently trying to finish She’s Gone Country and enjoying it very much. Good luck with the big move…Ruth

  47. I just finished “Not Fit For a King,” and I can’t wait to see how you are going to redeem Emmeline and make her a character to root for! Really, these are some powerful characters.

  48. Hi Jane! Saving Gerda sounds great, and the cover is beautiful. I’ll be adding it to be (fearfully long) TBR pile for sure. Right now I’m studying for the bar so I’m reading some truly awful stuff, but the last thing I read was Tracy Garvis-Graves’ On the Island. I was really surprised by how much I liked this book – when I looked at the synopsis I didn’t think I would enjoy it at all, but I heard some really great things about it so I decided to try it out, and I’m so glad I did.

    Hope all’s going well with the move!

  49. Hi Jane! Saving Gerda is on my top of the list of ‘to read’ books- sounds great! Right now I am finishing Fifty Shades of Grey.
    Have a great weekend!

  50. Thanks to Elisabeth for letting me know my winner announcement didn’t come through. Not sure what happened!

    The winner is #42 Alysha!

    Thanks all for being so patient!

    I’m planning to hunker down now to get some more writing done on this novella. Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!!

  51. Thank you for the book recommendation, I’m adding it to the list. And a new-to-me author, too. I’d love to chat about it, our book club basically fizzled out as everyone just had too many commitments.

  52. Congrats Alysha! You will love your prize package when you get it. Jane is always so generous! I got mine a few days ago and it was like getting an extra Christmas present or Birthday present at an unexpected time!

    Jane, hope your day got better.

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