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Friday Feature

Welcomes

Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn

By

Linda Bennett Pennell

 

Tagline: Will seven days be enough time to save the Allied war effort and the girl he loves?

Buy link Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn http://amzn.com/B0121Q6S88

20150828 Casablanca Appointment at DawnBlurb:

Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt Heinz, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.

Background of Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn:

I have always been interested in World War II. When I originally started work on what is now Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn, it was entitled Wings and was set in Hialeah, Florida. It was to feature a ninety-day-wonder, as WWII pilots in training were known, and an army nurse. It just wasn’t working for me. While in communication with a former WWII pilot, he mentioned a friend who had been stationed in Casablanca. That sparked my interest. A bit of research into the First Allied Conference, which took place in Casablanca at the Anfa Hotel, and my pilot evolved into an OSS officer from Texas who speaks perfectly unaccented German and looks like a poster boy for Himmler’s SS. The Army nurse remains but she has transferred from Florida to Morocco.

The details of the Casablanca Conference are particularly interesting. It was at this meeting that Roosevelt prevailed upon Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, and Henri Giraud to formulate the policy of unconditional surrender by the Axis powers. Many in the German military and High Command hoped for very different terms of surrender if the unthinkable happened and Germany lost the war. Spying and communications interception being what it was at the time in North Africa, Hitler knew the conference was to take place and its approximate date. What he did not know was the correct location. The translator of the intercepted Allied communication made a significant error. He translated Casablanca correctly as white house, but assumed incorrectly that the conference was to take place at the White House in Washington, D.C., not the city in Morocco. The error was eventually corrected, but not in time for any meaningful action by the Nazis. Imagine how things might have turned out if the Nazis had figured out where the conference was taking place in time to attempt to disrupt it! That’s what I did while writing Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn.

BIO:Linda Pannell

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

Where to find Linda:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaBennettPennell

Website: http://www.lindapennell.com/

http://historyimagined.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@LindaPennell

 

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Thursday Threads

Welcomes

A Journey Home

By

Angela Scavone

Genre: Contemporary/Military

Heat Level: Sweet

20150702 ajourneyhone 

Book Blurb: Stephanie Tyler’s sole job is to fly overseas to war torn areas of the world to retrieve and escort the bodies of fallen soldiers back home to the United States. It is a tough and emotional job but she is honored for the privilege. Her duty also helps her to escape her past and her failed marriage.

But those flights have become increasingly more dangerous and she is forced to have a partner accompany her. Much to Stephanie’s surprise and dismay, she is partnered up with her ex-husband, Captain “D.A.” Douglas Aston. From the moment Captain D.A. enters the scene, he irritates her. It could have something to do with the fact he slept with her best friend while they were married. As they go on several missions together, Stephanie is forced to be courteous and professional with D.A. even though the very sight of him irritates her beyond comprehension.

Then, Stephanie’s cheating, husband stealing, ex-best friend is killed in Afghanistan and Stephanie and D.A. must escort her body home. While executing this difficult duty, a myriad of conflicting emotions makes Stephanie ponder how short life really is . . . and to question her own ability to forgive.

 

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Home-Angela-Scavone-ebook/dp/B00W3UK05A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430155218&sr=8-1&keywords=angela+scavone

 

Social Network Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/angela.scavone.52

Twitter https://twitter.com/busterwhyte

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6683076-angela-scavone

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/busterwhyte/

 

Excerpt:

The phone intercom buzzed and Pam came over the speaker. “Sorry to interrupt, Colonel, but you wanted me to let you know when Captain Aston was here.”

I stared at the Colonel wide-eyed.

He merely smiled and said, “Thanks, Pam. I’ll be out in a minute.”

“He’s here now?” I asked, incredulously.

“Didn’t I mention that?” He rose from his chair and walked to the door as I stood and straightened my uniform.

The Colonel stood with his hand on the doorknob, watching me fuss. “You look tremendous, Captain.”

“What? Oh I don’t care what I look like for him,” I immediately protested, waving my hand in the air.

“Of course.” He was still smiling as he opened the door. “Captain Aston, please come in.”

I heard his voice first. “Thank you, Colonel.”

I glanced down at my uniform to make sure everything was in place before he came into the room. When I looked back up, Captain Aston was walking through the door.

To the female eye, he was a very attractive man. He stood at six-four and was well built, but not so much that muscles and tendons were popping out everywhere. He had a strong jaw and black hair just long enough to run your fingers through. Dressed in full uniform, his handsome features were even more prominent.

Not that I noticed.

“Please come in and we can discuss your new role.”

“Yes, Sir.” Captain DA put out his hand for me to shake, flashing his killer smile that started in his bright blue eyes and ended in a set of mouth-framing dimples. “Good to see you again, Captain.”

I returned his smile and handshake, determined to be professional in front of the Colonel even if it killed me.

Colonel Madison resumed his place behind his desk. “Please sit. This is a quick, informal meeting to get reacquainted with each other.”

I remained on my feet which kept both men standing. “Sir, with all due respect,” I began, facing the Colonel, “I cannot work with Captain Aston.” Apparently, my mouth wasn’t on board with being professional.

“Why not?” DA asked, sounding offended.

I ignored his question and kept my attention on the Colonel, who looked as if he were about to laugh. “We used to be married.”

“I know that.” He smiled.

“Our marriage did not end on a positive note,” I continued, “and I don’t think I can work with him on a day to day basis. In fact, I left Virginia to get away from him.”

“You know, I’m standing right here,” DA chimed in.

“Captain Tyler, are you telling me you can’t put your differences aside to work together as a team? Even though I asked you as a personal favor?” The Colonel’s smile had vanished and there was now a warning in his tone.

“No, Sir.” I heard the warning and decided it was time to back off the fight. “I’ll try putting our differences aside to work together, but I can’t promise I won’t kill him in the process.”

The Colonel coughed out a chuckle. “That’s all I can ask for. Now, you—hopefully—have some time off before another call comes in. Why don’t you show Captain DA around?”

The Colonel spoke as I reached for the door handle. “I’m curious, off the record, of course. How did your marriage end? I remember the wedding. You two seemed so compatible and so in love. What happened?”

DA and I looked at each other for the first time since his arrival.

“He cheated on me with a friend of mine,” I replied baldly.

“I did not cheat on you! How many times do I have to say it before you believe me?” he retorted, all vestiges of professionalism gone.

“Oh, here we go again!” I shouted back. “I came home early, I walked into the kitchen and there was Alex on top of you on the kitchen floor.”

“I told you it wasn’t what it looked like. I have said over and over again that I did not sleep with Alex!” His tone increased until he was shouting, too.

“You’re telling me that you two never slept together?” I demanded an answer.

“Well . . .” He looked away from me. “Not while we were married.”

“I knew it!”

“It was after we were separated and you had moved here! What did you want me to do? Never sleep with anyone again?”

“You can sleep with whomever or whatever you want for all I care—”

“Ahem.” The Colonel cut in. I jerked back, startled; in the heat of arguing with my frustrating ex, I had forgotten my boss was there.

“Sorry, Sir. Do you see why I can’t work with him?”

The Colonel regarded us both. “Alex?” he questioned DA.

“Alexandra Keating, Sir. She was Stephanie’s best friend.”

“Best friend, my left toe! She’s a traitorous, backstabbing, two-faced, lying, husband stealing bitch.”

“Wow, that’s quite descriptive, Captain. Why don’t you tell us your true feelings about her?” Both of the Colonel’s eyebrows rose in shock.

“I’m only speaking the truth, Sir.” I addressed the Colonel but glared at DA.

“Well.” He clapped his hands together to signal the end of our bickering. “I know you two can be respectful when escorting a fallen soldier home and I know you will be professional during the dignified transfer ceremonies. However, please try and be professional at other times as well or at least civil to each other.” He waved us toward the door.

DA and I both nodded and exited the office. Before we could leave the reception area, the Colonel poked his head out of his office door.

“And, Captain Tyler-”

“Sir?”

“Try not to kill him, please. He just arrived at our base and it wouldn’t look good in the press.”

Knowing the Colonel had a wicked sense of humor, I still couldn’t find my own jocularity. “No promises, Sir, But I’ll give it my best shot.”

“That’s all I ask.”

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