Fire & Steel Series, 1896 - 1938: German Saints
Fire & Steel, Vol 1: 1896 - 1918
The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames.
From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?
As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.
Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.
Fire & Steel, Vol 2: 1918 - 1919
In the second volume of bestselling author Gerald N. Lund's explosive new series, the Eckhardt family finds that the turmoil in their lives will only increase as they try to move forward in a nation divided. Sergeant Hans Eckhardt has been discharged from his military service and wants nothing more than to start a new life with a career and a family, but the unrest swallowing his homeland seems determined to stop him.
Suffering the devastating impact of defeat in the Great War, the people of Germany must find ways to face widespread food shortages, crippling unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and the forced disbandment of the German military. The nation becomes a hotbed of revolutionary attacks, bringing the fledgling government to its knees. Conditions are so grim that the German people are desperate for someone—anyone—to step forward and bring stability back to their beloved Fatherland.
But as the flames of adversity grow more threatening, hope is on the horizon for the German Saints. With the help of Mitch Westland, from faraway southern Utah, they discover that the Lord has not forgotten them.
THE SHADOW FALLS
Fire & Steel, Vol 3: 1919 - 1923
How do good people mistake evil for good? Is it possible for an entire nation to be deceived?
In the third volume of master storyteller Gerald N. Lund's dynamic new series, the Eckhardt family finds itself clinging to hope in a nation on the brink of collapse. Work is scarce, food has become an extravagance, and money is practically worthless. War-torn Germany has been battered down and humiliated on an international scale, and the people have lost the pride and conviction that once carried them.
Living in such desperate circumstances leaves the people vulnerable to fall for a wolf in sheep's clothing, and Hans Eckhardt is not immune. His friend Adolf is charismatic, driven, a man of vision—seemingly, everything that Germany needs. While a few suspect that this rising new political leader may not be the rescuer they seek, many more are quick to turn a blind eye to the warning signs.
But there are bright spots amid the bleakness. Faith and family continue to provide joy and solace as life journeys forward. And a visit from two former LDS missionaries and their families brings a spark of excitement to the Eckhardts. Family life seems to be the one area unmarred by the turmoil all around them—until personal tragedy strikes.
Join the Eckhardts and their American friends the Westlands as they unknowingly dive into a momentous turning point in the world's history.
THE PROUD SHALL STUMBLE
Fire & Steel, Vol 4: 1923 - 1929
It's a truth that has stood for centuries: pride goeth before the fall. And Germany, emboldened by an increasingly popular dynamo, is becoming proud.
Across the ocean in America, people have been enjoying years of plenty since the Great War. Electricity in every home, shiny new automobiles lining the streets, roaring new music, shocking new clothing styles—a whole nation wanting nothing more than to let loose and get rich. But beneath the glittering surface, the economy's foundation has already begun to crumble.
On opposite sides of the world, the Eckhardt and Westland families are as caught up in the fast-paced times as anyone else, and they find their personal lives deeply affected by the shocking events occurring on a global scale. Though they all seek to follow a wise path, the way becomes hazy when powerful forces aim to cloud their judgment. Will they be able to recognize the darkness before they sink further into it? More dark days lie ahead, and the families stand to lose everything if they don't cling to the light.
Join the Eckhardts and Westlands in this fourth volume of master storyteller Gerald N. Lund's gripping tale of war, family and the fight for what's right.
OUT OF THE SMOKE
Fire & Steel, Vol 5: 1930 - 1933
In Volume 5 of the Fire and Steel saga, the Eckhardt and the Westland families move into one of the most turbulent times in history. Facing tectonic shifts like few generations have ever seen, they are caught up in a whirlwind that will permanently and profoundly alter their lives.
Mired in the depths of a global economic depression, the world takes little notice of a 1930 Parliamentary election in the floundering democracy of Germany. But overnight, Hitler and his Nazi Party catapult from the smallest to the second-largest political party in the country. And he would not stop there. From the compulsory indoctrination of Germany's youth to the persecution of Jews and the Nazi book burnings (which included Latter-day Saint classics such as Jesus the Christ), Hitler's policies deeply affect the Eckhardt family, particularly Hans's oldest daughter who must keep the real identity of her best friend a secret at all costs.
For Hans, Hitler's meteoric rise to power reveals a horrifying truth: Hitler has no intention of abiding by the rules of democracy he claims to espouse his goal is total dictatorship, and it is now in his grasp. For the Westland family, the Great Depression brings hardships and sacrifices they never imagined. The fifth volume of Fire and Steel weaves together the story of two families on opposite sides of the world, each caught in a maelstrom of events that will test their faith to the very core.
INTO THE FLAMES
Fire & Steel, Vol 6: 1933-1938
Volume 6 of the Fire and Steel series begins as Adolf Hitler completes his transformation of the German Republic into a total, harsh dictatorship and as the Great Depression continues to ravage the United States. The tumultuous times bring new experiences, new challenges, new opportunities, and not a few tragedies into the lives of the Eckhardt and Westland families.
In America, Mitch and Edie Westland continue their struggle to hang on to the ranch they created almost fifty years earlier, while Benji's quest to find work turns to tragedy and sets him on a new path that will take him to exotic climes and an unexpected reunion.
In Germany, Hans makes a dangerous, life-changing decision to leave the Nazi Party leadership and seek a new career. But when the ugly specter of anti-Semitism wields a direct and devastating impact on the Eckhardt family, they too are drawn into a maelstrom of events that threatens to destroy the very fabric of their lives. As 1938 draws to a close and the dark clouds of war move in, they must draw on their faith and courage to endure whatever life has in store for them.
A World War II Story
On a mission to bomb a French bridge and slow down Hitler's retreating army, U.S. bomber pilot Wendell B. Terry miraculously survived a harrowing parachute jump after his plan was hit by enemy fire. Scorched by the burning plane, he landed amid German SS troops and soon found himself in a German prisoner-of-war camp. He shared a cement room with 23 other prisoners. He lived with a dirt floor, no heat to ward off the bitter cold, one small window, and not much to do. To make matters worse, Christmas was approaching, and Lieutenant Terry's heart ached for his new wife and their child who would soon be born.
In the depths of the cold and dark, however, a light of hope was sparked by the arrival of a small parcel from the Red Cross. Chosen by lottery to receive that package, Lieutenant Terry opened it to find a small can of powdered milk, a packet of sugar, two squares of unsweetened chocolate—and a chance to bring a glimmer of Christmas joy to his fellow prisoners.
Brought to life with original drawings by Lieutenant Terry himself, this heartwarming true story of sharing what little you have even in the direst of circumstances will inspire you to look for small ways to bring joy to others. Charmingly retold by beloved author Gerald N. Lund, Lieutenant Terry's Christmas Fudge is a classic tale you'll want to revisit every Christmas for years to come.