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Saturday, February 25, 2023

About the Book

Book: A Ransomed Grete

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: December 28, 2022

October 1939—What happens when you run from danger… and into a trap?

After the Anschluss, Austria becomes a place its citizens don’t recognize—especially its Jewish citizens. Whispers ripple through Jewish communities—whispers about a chalet where a woman protects Jewish children from discovery. She’ll keep them safe, fed, and far away from Nazis.

Parents are forced to make horrific decisions. Send their children away to safety, possibly never seeing them again, or keep their families together and risk their children’s lives?

Hans Hartmann arrives at the chalet with a chip on his shoulder and a little girl in tow. He found Grete waiting at the train station. Alone. But life at Chalet Versteck feels more ominous than the streets of Vienna. Children sometimes vanish, and before Hans can figure out what’s happening, a high-ranking officer appears—and is killed.

It’s a race to find out who killed the man and get himself (and probably that pesky Grete) out!

A Ransomed Grete is the bridge book between the 1920s and 1940s Ever After Mysteries, combining fairy tales with mysteries.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Picture it. Ventura, California,1982. Why I went to the lock-in, I still don’t know. It wasn’t my church, I didn’t actually like the girl I went with, and I knew no one else. In hindsight, I think God put me there, because that was the night I was introduced to Corrie Ten Boom.

Yes, they showed The Hiding Place, and a near obsession with all things Holocaust followed.

I don’t remember when my brain connected The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to that same war and helped me realize that the people bombing London and making the need to protect those children were the same ones ripping fathers, mothers, and children from homes in other countries and sending them “out into the country” too. But it happened. A sickening, nauseating understanding that still infuriates me today.

I railed against the evil soldiers. How could they do such a thing? My ever-patient father said, “Like our airmen should have refused to drop the bombs that ensured we’d end the war with Japan? When do soldiers get to decide which orders they will obey and which they will not?”

In my self-righteous, ever-black-and-white mind, I remember saying something to the effect of, “If they’d all refused, then the generals would have to listen. You can’t kill all your soldiers for insubordination.”

Dad’s quiet voice (it wasn’t always, but it was when he was deadly serious) answered that with a… “Considering the millions of Jews they slaughtered, I think they might have. Live soldiers can make a small difference.”

Look, Dad wasn’t defending the Nazi regime. He wasn’t defending sending innocent people to their deaths because some madman said they must. He did, however, point out that sometimes what seems to be acquiescence is really a front for helping people under the radar. Without proof of someone’s guilt, we could hope there was more to it than fear for self.

And that taught me another lesson—to assume the best of people until they gave me a reason to know otherwise. It also sparked ideas. How many men, women, and children pretended to be in league with the Nazis when they weren’t? How many people cowed to Nazi ideals out of self-preservation? How many others didn’t really see the evil until it was shoved down their throats?

It took forty years to do it, but those questions became the basis for A Ransomed Grete(pronounced Gret-uh, if it matters to you). What happens when the horrific occurs and self-preservation becomes a means of evil? I hope I offered enough hope amid the horror of Jewish genocide.


This has been a book that captured the essence of a fairytale that many are familiar with grace and truth. I was amazed at how the book  was transformed into a take on Hansel and   Gretel. The author takes us back to a time when danger surrounded Jewish  people in 1939. I remember the horrible fate many of them faced from books I have read.  The horror that was forced on the Jewish people make my heart hurt . I will never be able to understand why this happened but hope that this never happens to anyone again. 

We follow Hans and Grete as they are dumped at a place where they are suppose to be safe until they can get on a train to a safer country. Hans was such a warrior to me. He may be small and young but he took his responsibilities to watch over Grete with honor. I loved how he always made sure Grete was safe and had food when he could provide it. 

The children have no idea that the  place they are at will become like a prison to them. The woman they thought took children in, was not compassionate at all. She didn’t care for children at all and their  lives are in danger the longer they stay. Through the darkness in this story arises hope and trust when the children face their darkest moment. I loved how the author shows us the journey that many Jewish families endured whether it was death or deciding to send their children away in hopes that they would be spared . 

The emotions in the  book are felt deep within the pages and I could picture the desperation the children felt as they weren’t sure if they would be able to trust anyone. I can’t imagine the dark room they stayed in with barely any warmth or food to sustain them. The author does an excellent job of delivering a realistic look at a part of history that can only be described as heartbreaking and unjust. 

Thank you Chautona  for  writing a book that illustrates how hatred can cause people  to turn on others.  The evil that was brought to these innocent people should never be forgotten. This story is a reminder to trust God and stand up against evil.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

deb’s Book Review, February 25

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Lots of Helpers, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

An Author’s Take, March 3

Denise L. Barela, Author, March 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 4

Connie’s History Classroom, March 5

For Him and My Family, March 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 7

Betti Mace, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Aw, Deana. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. It's a hard one but an important one, I think.

  2. Thank you for sharing your review of A Ransomed Grete, this sounds like an emotionally difficult but excellent book to read and I am looking forward to it

  3. Thank you, Deana, for your thoughtful review. It helps knowing what to expect overall.