Selected Quotes – Feel Free to Share


A number of book clubs have been reading A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other (a semi-finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards – Memoirs/Biographies).  I felt honored when someone handed me this list of quotes from my book.  

“Life does find a way to create a balance somewhere between smiles and tears.  And, like a pendulum’s swing, life seldom stays in one place.  Life keeps on moving until, one day, it stops.”

“Nothing about these times makes any sense.  Nothing.  Putting it to words only makes it sound too simple.”

“I can tell you that events were incremental, that the unbelievable became the believable and, ultimately, the normal.”

“I thought those were others.  Soon, I was to learn that they were us.”

“My parents have lived longer than most and have expected very little.  We have been blessed in too many ways to count.”

“I’ve made my peace.  He will always be part of me.  I don’t need to watch him die.  I am just glad I was able to watch him live.”

“He told me that what he owned and accumulated didn’t matter.  He still had his family.  We still had our future.  Go forward,  You can’t look back.  It will destroy you if you do…  Ever since that day, I have seen the world through a different prism.”

“The way I see it, religion, has done our family more harm than good.  For me, faith has never been a source of comfort…  For herself, Mela always missed having that sense of identity.  She had a longing to belong…  Long ago, we found that compromise.”

“With all her heart, Mom believed in opportunity for everyone and privilege for no one.  She put her children first, and her faith and trust in the American dream.”

“All of us have parents.  Generations pass.  We are not unique.  Now it is our family’s turn.”

A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other is a story about the holocaust and the struggles a proud, prosperous, and patriotic German family faced.  Their circumstance is compelling.  Baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church they were abruptly cast as Jews – an ancestry always respected but never embraced.  It made a life-and-death difference.  Some would say this book is a biography; others might call it a memoir.  While true in terms of people, places, and timeline, it reads like a historical novel.

Thank You to The Escape Book Club


A heartfelt thank you to my friends with The Escape Book Club. It was a wonderful evening – great conversation and provocative discussion.  I felt special to be invited and honored that you selected A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other as your monthly read.  Congratulations – 98 books and your club is still going strong!

Audio Book Available

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The audio version of  A Smile in One Eye is now available at Audible – an Amazon company. A note to my friends…You can download one audio book free when you try Audible for 30 days!  Just be sure to read the fine print!


Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards – Thank You!


A special thanks to everyone!  A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other finished as a Semi-Finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards in the category of Best Memoir/Autobiography.  Being in the top 20 was an honor that exceeded every expectation.  I am grateful.

WOW! Goodreads 2016 Semi-Finalist


A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other is one of 20 books selected as semi-finalists in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards for the category Memoir/Autobiography.  What an amazing honor!  This worldwide competition is the major book award decided by readers.

I hope you will consider -> voting <- for my book to become one of 10 finalists.  Second round voting started today.  Thank you, Ralph



Interviewed by Lisa Haselton


Thank you to Lisa Haselton and her Reviews and Interviews Blog. I really enjoyed doing the interview! Hope everyone will check it out and share with others. This whole thing has been quite an adventure!

“One of the best reads I have had in a long time.” Fran Toolan,


A special thanks to NetGalley CEO Fran Toolan for his wonderful review on Goodreads and on NetGalley’s website.  See their October 21 newsletter recommendations.

Thank You to Book Clubs

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Yesterday I participated in the monthly meeting of our local Wine, Words, and Women Book Club.  About 20 people attended.  This was the third book club to have selected my book and invite me to join their discussions in as many weeks.

As an author, I cannot say thank you enough.  I always learn so much from these exchanges.  Of course, there are usually more accolades than stinging criticisms in these situations.  People are always kind, polite, and respectful.  For me, though, it is amazing to learn how people can read the same book, yet come away with different emotions, opinions, questions, and observations.  And, I can recall the joy and sometimes anguish of writing every word.

I wish I could do this every week – and I will if given the chance – just invite me in person or via video.  A big shout out and thank you!  You really read my book – and you liked it!




Thank you OBX Literary Circle!

Book Cover
Thank you to the OBX Literary Circle for selecting the book and inviting me to participate today. Really enjoyed your book club. Wonderful turnout…Great questions… Interesting discussion.  Also a shout out to Ireland based book blogger Liis Scanlon and her Cover to Cover Blog.  Loved your review and the comments that followed.

A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other by Ralph Webster

Cover to Cover

30634883The Third Reich is rising. The creeping madness in the heart of Germany will soon stain the entire world. This is the chilling account of one family as they flee for their lives.

The Wobsers are prosperous, churchgoing, patriotic Germans living in a small East Prussian town. When Hitler seizes power, their comfortable family life is destroyed by a horrifying Nazi regime. Baptized and confirmed as Lutherans, they are told they are Jewish, a past always respected but rarely considered, and a distinction that makes a life-and-death difference. Suddenly, it is no longer a matter of faith or religion; their lives are defined by race. It is a matter of bloodlines. And, in Nazi Germany, they have the wrong blood.

Written by a second generation Holocaust survivor, this compelling, heart wrenching story will touch every emotion.

If you read the blurb, then this book does exactly what it says on…

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