People often ask me, as an author, what I’m reading. Here’s my answer.

I just finished reading From Dust and Ashes by Tricia Goyer (one of my favorite authors, I might add), and it was even better than I’d expected. If you don’t already own this book, you need to treat yourself to one. If you already have it, get one for someone else for Christmas. They’ll thank you for it. Here’s a teaser about the book, plus ordering info at the bottom:

St. Georgen had a secret…

In a small village in northern Austria, white flakes fell from the sky. The month was July. It wasn’t snow that tumbled down, but ash.

For those familiar with World War II history, concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen are well discussed. But there are also many lesser-known camps. One of them is Gusen.

Gusen was a sub-camp of the larger Mauthausen complex. The average survival period of inmates was several weeks. In some cases, it was only a few days.

As early as 1940, prisoners started arriving at the small train station in the town center. A full two years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the citizens of St. Georgen were already experiencing the horrors of war. And by January 1941, the Mauthausen-Gusen camps became the only ‘Category I’ camps in Third Reich history, meaning “camp of no return.”

The camps expanded and by February 1945, 25,000 people were incarcerated inside Gusen. It was then that Himmler and Pohl decided the horror could not be discovered. Their plan was to blow up Gusen’s armament tunnels (Bergkristall) with the inmates and the local population of St. Georgen inside. The Nazis’ goal was to destroy potential witnesses.

Hearing this, Mr. Louis Haefliger (delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross) risked his life on May 5, 1945 to lead in US troops to St. Gerogen, preventing this final catastrophe. The first US GIs at the camp were the 41st Recon Squadron, 11th Armored Division, Patton’s 3rd Army.

Order From Dust and Ashes at