Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Comes a Horseman, the 3rd and final book in my WWII Echoes Rising series from DSP Publications.
I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.
I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt with you today. This is from Matt’s POV. He’s the leader of the Allied Team sent to retrieve the plans for the German atomic bomb project. At present he and members of his team are hiding out in temporarily in Pont-Audemer before continuing toward their final destination.
Echoes Rising Book 3, sequel to Winter Duet
Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.
Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.
When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options as they fight to keep atomic plans from the Nazis. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.
“Please, leave me alone.” Germaine spoke in a whisper, but her voice still carried. “My father will be home shortly. It is better that you leave now.”
Matt paused on the bottom step of the stairs leading to the first floor. While he knew he shouldn’t reveal his presence, he had no intention of abandoning the girl if she needed help. Jacques and his wife had left for town a short time ago and wouldn’t be home for at least another hour.
“Nice girls don’t tease.” The man spoke in German, his voice slurred as though he were drunk. “And I asked you nicely.”
Germaine’s voice shook. “I haven’t teased you, Leutnant, I swear. I have done nothing to encourage you. Please let me go.” Her breath hissed. “Please. You’re hurting me.”
Matt sighed. He turned around and crept over the partially open door to peer through the gap so he could see what was going on. He’d come inside a few minutes before because he’d heard the sounds of a motorbike approaching. Germaine was a sweet girl, and only sixteen.
She was also very polite and demure. He doubted she would have behaved in any manner that could be construed as teasing. Her father had warned them about his man, although he seemed to think the Leutnant had given up.
Unfortunately he was wrong.
The German officer had pushed Germaine against the outside wall. Not only that, but he had his mouth next to hers, as though about to steal a kiss. She looked terrified, frozen in place.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Matt strode over to the man and pulled him off the girl. The Leutnant lashed out with one hand. Matt ducked out of the way, narrowly avoiding being punched. His opponent fell forward and hit the ground.
Germaine stared at him. She put her hand to her mouth yet didn’t move.
“Go inside and lock the door,” Matt told her. “Your father will be home soon. Stay inside until he is.”
The Leutnant—Jacques had told them his name was Beutel—growled and picked himself up off the ground. He eyed Matt up and down. “You have struck an officer of the Third Reich,” he said. His eyes were bloodshot.
“No, I didn’t. You fell because you tried to strike me. Not only that, but you’re a drunk and attempting to have your way with a young French girl. What would your superior think of that?” Matt stood his ground.
Although he didn’t know this man, he’d met men like him. There had been a couple of them he’d had to deal with in his unit before he’d shipped out on his first mission. However, he’d been their superior officer in that case, so they’d had to respect his authority. This man was German, and Matt was dressed as a Frenchman, although he was speaking German.
He’d have to think fast.
“It’s my word against yours, Frenchman.” Beutel spat his last word, then wiped his mouth. He smiled, looking pleased with himself. “Who do you think will be believed?”
“Let’s see.” Matt ignored how fast his heart was beating and kept his tone casual. “You’re drunk.” He leaned in closer as though about to impart a huge secret. “You’ve jeopardized an undercover operation that is so crucial to the war effort your superior isn’t aware of it. I outrank you, soldier. On your feet, and salute me. Now.”
Beutel paled. He shuffled to his feet and saluted sharply. “Forgive me, sir. I had no idea.”
“Obviously,” Matt said dryly. Now to move in for the kill. His mouth was dry, but he didn’t dare swallow and risk Beutel figuring out his bluff. “As I said, this operation is crucial. I can’t afford to draw attention to the fact I’m here or risk the locals discovering I am not who they think I am. You keep my secret, Leutnant, and this will go no further.”
“Yes, sir.” Leutnant Beutel saluted again. “Heil Hitler!”
“Heil Hitler.” Matt paused before continuing, just long enough until he saw the man’s relief start to slip. “If anything like this happens again, I will be contacting your superior. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, sir.” Beutel stood still, unmoving. He didn’t offer his name or seem to notice Matt hadn’t asked for it. That suited Matt fine, as he had no intention in giving his own.
“You’re dismissed.” Matt waited until he heard the motorbike engine start, then leaned heavily against the wall. “You can come out now,” he said.
“You never could walk away from someone in trouble, could you?” Ken said softly from behind him.
$10 Gift Card/Voucher from DSP Publications
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.
In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.
She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.
Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.
Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Dreamspinner Press Author Page:
DSP Publications Author Page:
Queeromance Ink Author Page:
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers:
You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:
July 25 – MM Good Book Reviews
July 31 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
August 1 – Two Men Are Better Than One
August 1 – Top to Bottom Reviews
August 1 – Genre Talk at The Novel Approach Reviews
August 2 – Love Bytes Reviews
August 3 – Andrew Q. Gordon
August 3 – DSP Publications Blog
August 4 – Nic Starr
August 4 – Alpha Book Club
August 7 – My Fiction Nook
August 8 – Divine Magazine
August 9 – Aisling Mancy
August 10 – Lucy Marker