Jo Ann Bender’s book Lebensborn has just won the Gold Medal for the Fiction Action Category in the 2011 Readers Favorite Awards. The book has also received an outstanding five-star review from Feathered Quill Book Reviews, which prides itself on searching out unique books from small, independent publishers.

Bender will discuss her book and her research in an interview with Cyrus Webb on his radio program at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Sept. 20 ( Webb presents the news, music, book reviews and interviews from Brandon, Miss., and is heard on the radio in four states and on blog radio ( To see the article she wrote for his magazine about her book Lebensborn, see under the headline “Once Upon a Time in the Time of the Nazis.” It begins:

“There was a romantic fairy tale being spun in Europe before and during World War II. Only honey blondes, reddish blondes, or young women with light chestnut hair were hearing this enchanting tale told by members of the SS and the Gestapo.

“Shush! It was a secret, factual, able to be proven, but still few people heard the tale then or now.

“It was told in the time of war and economic stress which made it so alluring. The story was about luxurious places in remote and sequestered places: hotels, ski resorts, palatial villas. Those had been restructured and furnished with the most elaborate and often choice period antiques.

“The food was plentiful, all you could want. You’d feel safe, away from the war, tucked behind ornate, curving and beautiful driveways that lead to beautiful building behind lovely guarded wrought-iron fences.

“All you had to agree to do was to have a baby for Hitler’s Master Race.”

The review from Feathered Quill Book Reviews says: “The author is to be congratulated for her extensive research that brings the story of Antoinette Gauthier to life. Lebensborn is a story that will make readers think about a horrible time in history and be better able to comprehend the atrocities that took place in the name of the 1000-year Reich.” Read the entire review at There is also an interview with Bender in which she discusses researching the book, as well as the fate of the real life Lebensborn children:
In Lebensborn, Bender introduces readers to the concept of “Lebensborn,” a real network of maternity homes designed to service the SS during WWII. You will be riveted by this heart-wrenching novel of Antoinette, a young French woman whose home is taken over by SS officers. She is forced to act as a servant in her own house and live in the attic. She eventually succumbs to the advances of the charming but cruel Major Reinhart.

She plans to use him to gain information to pass on to the French resistance, but her pregnancy leads him to discard her and send her to a Lebensborn. Antoinette’s yearning for freedom teaches us to cling to hope when all else seems lost. Don’t miss this stirring story of love and faith in time of war.

LEBENSBORN (ISBN: 978-1-60911-450-3) is available for $16.95 and can be ordered through the publisher’s website: or at or

WHOLESALERS: This book is distributed by Ingram Books and other wholesale distributors. Contact your representative with the ISBN for purchase. Wholesale purchase for retailers, universities, libraries, and other organizations is also available through the publisher; please email

About the Author: Jo Ann Bender is passionate about writing and lives a mountain lifestyle conducive to creative pursuits. Bender grew up in Iowa and now runs the rustic Lazy Bee bed and breakfast in the mountains of eastern Washington State.