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Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Spotlight with Aubrey Taylor & a Giveaway

By Deena Adams

By Aubrey Taylor

Enjoy this author spotlight on Aubrey Taylor’s debut military historical novel, Sani: The German Medic. She’s graciously offered a copy as a giveaway, winner’s choice of format. Comment on this post by February 8 for a chance to win.

Welcome to the blog, Aubrey!

I am so excited for this opportunity to spotlight my debut novel, Sani: The German Medic. I’ve always loved reading about the Second World War, but sometime around Christmas 2020, I became fascinated by the stories of those German boys in their feldgrau uniforms and steel helmets. What would a devoted Christian man do if he were serving in Hitler’s army? Let’s make it a little more interesting. Let’s say he’s a German American. A few of them did go back and serve the army of “the Fatherland.” Fascinating indeed!

Eight months after publishing Sani, my protagonist, Frederick Smith, still seems so real to me, almost like a member of my family. 

Here’s his backstory: at an early age, this warm-hearted, compassionate young man was forced to shove his childhood enthusiasm and thirst for adventure deep down in order to help his widowed mother care for her ailing parents.  

As he comes of age in 1938, that thirst for adventure re-emerges and he determines that he will return to his family’s homeland, despite the warnings from those closest to him. Shortly after his arrival in Germany, he is encouraged by his new best friend, Fritz, to enlist in the army. As it turns out, the years spent nursing his grandparents served him well: the army recognizes his skill and trains him as a medic (Sanitäter!).

I’ve never served in the military, but the camaraderie bred in the trenches is something with which we are all familiar, at least conceptually. I loved creating a tight group of friends for Freddie, and honestly, pouring over old photographs in order to get to know these boys better was fascinating.

Not photographs of goose-stepping young men in pressed uniforms and polished boots, but photographs of filthy boys in faded uniforms, desperately in need of a haircut and shave, fighting defeatism and lice as well as the enemy, resting their backs against a broken down vehicle, exhausted, somewhere in Russia, wishing they were home… needing to know the Savior that loves them, just as so many lost boys do today.

Frederick saw that need, and fought for the souls of his comrades as he bandaged their wounds. Though he may have been exceptional in his boldness and devotion to God, for me he embodies everything God’s remnant is left on earth to do, especially in the darkest of circumstances.

And though Frederick himself is purely fictional, there are anecdotes within the book that reflect things that truly happened, especially on the infamous Eastern Front: German soldiers reopening Russian Orthodox churches that the Soviets had closed, and participating in the baptism of Russian children. Petitioning their Chaplain for Bibles as they lay wounded and dying in a Stalingrad hospital.

Sani ends with hope as God begins to bring about a new beginning for Frederick that only his dearest friend could see coming. But! The story is far from over. I look forward to continuing Frederick’s story, and others, in a series entitled Gott Mit Uns

Your book sounds fascinating, Aubrey. Thanks so much for sharing with us. May God bless you as you continue writing for Him.

Join the conversation. Do you enjoy reading stories that highlight military members? What about those set during the Second World War? Be sure to comment by February 8 for a chance to win Aubrey’s book.

Sani Book Cover

Sani: The German Medic by Aubrey Taylor

Click the book cover for purchase link

“I have no regrets. In the midst of evil, I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

It’s 1938. Nineteen year old German American Frederick Smith feels the call to his homeland. In spite of warnings from those closest to him, he boards a ship and crosses the ocean, and steps into the Germany of Hitler and the Nazis. 

Though he tries to remain uninvolved in the terror that surrounds him, his thirst for adventure and friendship draws him to service in the German Army. As a medic, or Sani, he is a non-combatant, but as war breaks out, the actions of his comrades challenge him to question whether he can truly stand on his own beliefs.

Faced with inner conflict and the constant death that surrounds him, he comes to faith in Jesus Christ amidst a sleeping battalion following the Invasion of Poland in 1939. Afterwards, he is soon called by God to do much more than bandage wounds and try to bring soldiers comfort in their dying moments. Through this he learns that “Gott Mit Uns” still holds true for those that stand for Christ amidst great evil.

Head shot of Aubrey Taylor

After creating stories prolifically as a child, Aubrey has only recently experienced a renewed interest in writing. Character development was then, and is now, her favorite part of authorship, and she strives to get to know her characters as real human beings, as if they were members of her own family. 

A mother of three, she also enjoys playing music, crafting, sketching, and exploring the outdoors. She is a lover of the Bible, history, German culture, tea, and cats, and has a special heart for those who struggle with severe anxiety and depression. Although it is primarily done with the Christian reader in mind, her writing has also been enjoyed by a number of readers who do not share the same faith.

Connect with Aubrey: Website / Facebook / Instagram

Please share this spotlight on social media to help spread the word about Aubrey’s book!

If you missed last week’s Zoom interview with Cheryl Kramarczyk, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


      • Teresa+Moyer

        I am so excited that I won your book. But I cannot find the email you sent me I was at a writers conference on the 10th and didn’t get home until the 13th and maybe somewhere in there I accidentally deleted it because it’s not in my spam and my trash folder has emptied itself between then and now. Can you please resend the email that you sent me so I can get the information that you were requesting to receive the free book. I am excited to read it and look forward to looking for your email. Thank you and God bless.

  • Carolyn Miller

    Hi Aubrey. Confession time: I don’t tend to like war books because they’re just too real. But this book would change my mind! What an intriguing premise!

    • Aubrey

      Thanks for your comment, Carolyn! Although there are a number of battle scenes, I avoided making them too graphic. The book also focuses quite a bit on Freddie’s experiences off the battlefield, in his relationships with his comrades and chaplain. I hope you find you really enjoy it!

  • Teresa+Moyer

    Not something I normally would even read but saying that after reading this blog about the book/author I am intregued. Will add this book to my amazon wish list.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Dave. Good to see you here! Frederick does seem to be in a predicament, doesn’t he? I’m sure Aubrey does a fine job of navigating his troubled waters to bring him to a place of hope. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Aubrey

      Thanks for your comment, Dave and I’m glad Deena chimed in. Yes, although he struggles at times, Frederick definitely holds onto hope that goodness will prevail. One of my very first thoughts when I began the book was “to paint a picture of God’s love against the darkest of backdrops.” I could certainly use the world “hope” in that sentence as well!

  • Linda Gawthrop

    As the daughter of a WWII Army veteran, whose family emigrated to the US from Germany, I have always found this period of history so compelling. Thank you for adding to that body of rich stories.

    • Aubrey

      Thanks, Linda! It’s always been one of my favorite periods. My family has German heritage as well, and I’m so glad that I did the research I did for this book because it really smashed a lot of my preconceived notions. I’m actually having difficulty responding to your comment because this has become so close to my heart — but I wanted to let you know I DID read it and appreciate your response!

      • Aubrey

        What I mean is — I kept finding myself getting started sharing more detailed responses and I knew I should probably keep it short! LOL!