Monday, June 21, 2021

Review Tour + #Giveaway: The Strong Within Us by JA Boulet @love_walk_life @GoddessFish

The Strong Within Us

by J. A. Boulet

GENRE: Historical Fiction


A struggle. A war. The past. Would you recover?

Nathan Olason picks up the pieces of his life in 1893 and becomes a devoted father and grandfather. Except something from his past is holding him back.

When his grandson, Mike, announces that he is joining the Great War, Nath fears the worst. Armed and deadly, his grandson hones his marksmanship skills to a perfection not seen in any other soldier. But once Mike arrives at Vimy Ridge, France, with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, the biggest fight of his life has only begun.

Feeling helpless to stop this dangerous chain of events, Nath flees to a place that he thought was his salvation but turns into something else; an old weathered cottage that holds the key to his future.

Follow in the footsteps of heroes.

Be vulnerable.

Would you recover?


Ivan had spent days mulling over what they would do on their first date. He walked into Yuri’s farm, intent on buying a promising strong colt for the farm. He was surprised and delighted to bump into Annabella there. She was visiting her cousins, Julia, Aron and their daughters. They were all sitting around the kitchen, sharing stories, when Ivan walked in with the ageing Yuri.

Hi, Ivan,” Annabella said immediately.

Ivan smiled broadly, a boyish grin gracing his handsome face. “Hi, Annabella,” he said. “How have you been?”

Great, actually,” she said. “I proposed your idea to fix the dock to my father, and he is trying to put it through the town council. Pabbi is a retired assistant reeve.”

Oh,” Ivan said. “I didn’t know that.” Ivan looked at Annabella wondrously. She looked as gorgeous as ever again. He felt his mind turning to mush. “You look very beautiful today, Annabella.”

Thank you,” Annabella said, blushing.

Julia looked at Ivan and grinned. Her daughter’s giggled.

Would you like to take a walk with me, Annabella?” Ivan asked. “It’s a beautiful day today. I can resume my negotiations with Yuri afterwards.”

Annabella smiled. “Alright, let’s go,” she said, standing up.

Ivan gestured with his hand towards the door. “After you, my beautiful lady,” he said.

Julia giggled, and her daughters glanced shyly at the handsome Ivan. “Ladies,” Ivan said, tipping his small hat. “We will be back. Have a wonderful day!”

He closed the door and stepped outside. Ivan saw Annabella already walking towards the old horse road; he ran to catch up. “Hey,” Ivan said, laughing. “You are a fast walker.”

I am,” Annabella replied, grinning. “You look handsome today. You had my cousins blushing.”

Ivan laughed. “Thank you, my dear,” he said, gazing around, scanning the distant fields. “Where did you want to walk?”

Hmm,” Annabella said thoughtfully. She scanned the farmlands, her eyes lighting up. “I know! Why don’t we get two horses and take a quick ride over to Willow Point? It’s beautiful there. Have you seen it?”

Ivan laughed wholeheartedly. “You’re serious?” he asked.

Yes,” Annabella said. “As you said, it’s a beautiful day.”

Okay,” he said, his boyish grin lighting up his face. “My father has some horses that are rideable. Do you know how to ride horses?”

Annabella laughed. “Of course, silly,” she said. “Who doesn’t know how to ride?”

Ok, come this way,” he said. “My farm is not far.” He pointed in the distance to the west. “See that brown house? That’s where it is.”

They walked across the field. After several minutes, Ivan’s hand brushed against hers again. She felt sensual currents run up her spine. Then his hand slipped into hers. She loved that feeling. Her heart melted. They continued walking hand in hand in silence until they reached the brown house. Across the field, there was a house half-built. The roof was constructed and the walls standing, but there were no windows or doors yet. The front steps were just a rough bare wood structure, enough to allow access in and out while working.

Annabella pointed. “Whose house is that?” she asked.

That’s my house,” Ivan said nervously. “My parents are building it for me. Well, I am building it too. But, yes, it’s my house.”

It looks like a big house,” she said. “Just for you? Aren’t you too young to be living alone?”

Well, I hope that I don’t live alone for long,” Ivan said, glancing at Annabella sideways.

What does that mean?” she asked.

Ivan coughed. “Let’s discuss it after our day at Willow Point,” he said, pointing. “There’s our horses now. See them by the barn?”

My Review:

The Strong Within Us is the second book in The Olason Chronicles and just like the first book The Strong Amongst Us I fell deep and hard for all the characters. Just like with the first book once I opened The Strong Within Us I was lost from that first page as Nathan Olason’s story continued with his daughter Annabella and her family.

The Strong Within Us beings with Ivan when he first met Annabella and fell in love with the most beautiful woman he had ever met. The Strong Within Us continues on to tell about all of Annabella’s children and when they were born but the story mostly belongs to Nathan Olason and his grandson Mike, Annabella’s firstborn.

The Strong Within Us spans through many years as Mike grows into a fine young man and joins the Great War. When Mike announces that he is going to join the war it scares Nathan so bad that it takes him way back in the past to a place he never thought he would visit again reliving a very rough patch in his life and to the time when he lost his wife Anwa, Annabella’s mother to smallpox.

Mike spent a lot of time with his grandfather, Nathan over the years learning so much from him and picking up a lot of his ways. Nathan loved spending time with his grandson just as he had with his daughter when she was growing. He loved teaching them things about how to fish and live off the land just as his wife Anwa had taught him all those years ago when he first came to Canada from Iceland.

The Strong Within Us is a very heartwarming story that touched me deeply on more than one level. It reminded me of a Daniel Steel novel. The Strong Within Us is a family saga stretching over many, many years of love, grief, sadness, happiness, joy, and heartache, with so many more feelings. The Strong Within Us is filled with a lifetime of feelings.

The Olason Chronicles is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. I will carry all the characters tucked away inside my heart for a long time where they will pop up in my head from time to time as I ponder on what they are up to now and where their lives have taken them. The feelings that The Strong Amongst Us and The Strong Within Us left in me will be there for a long time as well. I can’t wait to see where all these lovely characters take us next on their journeys through the years.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength. The Strong Within Us Book 2 was released on Amazon November 11, 2020. J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father was enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.

J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. J. A. Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Olason Chronicles is the series you’ve been waiting for. Watch for Book 3 being scheduled for a summer 2021 release.

She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ YouTube ~ Reddit

Buy Link:



$15 Amazon/BN GC

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JA Boulet said...

I am thrilled that you loved the story so much and my characters took up residence in your heart! Book 3 just came out last Friday and I hope you will get a chance to read it. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed review, it touched me deeply this morning. ❤️ Thank you, I appreciated every word.

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very good book.