Posts Tagged ‘Historical War Fiction’

Book Details:

Book Title: The Company Files: 1. The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult Fiction, 251 pages
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Crime Fiction, Espionage
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 12 to March 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (No bad language but there is an attempted rape scene, and some violence.)

Book Description:

In 1948, Vienna was divided among four powers: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jack Marshall had served with Walker during the war, and now, working together for The Company, they are tasked to do the inconceivable. Could former Nazis really be recruited to assist the U.S. in the atomic race? As their team moves forward, they quickly discover they are not the only ones looking for these men. And the others in the search may just have the objective of murder.

In this tale of historical noir, of corruption and deceit, no one is who they say they are. Who is The Good Man in a world where an enemy may be a friend, an ally may be the enemy, and governments deny everything?

To read reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan’s Page on iRead Book Tours.

 

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Meet the Author:

 

Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News Interview with Gabriel Valjan

 

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The hardest character in The Good Man to write was Sheldon. At face value, he is a complex and flawed individual. He is a suspected vigilante whom no jury would convict. He is twice social outcast in that he is a survivor of Auschwitz but also a Sonderkommando, whom some inmates considered collaborators. I explain in the Afterword that their role in the Nazi death camps was poorly understood and they faced frequent purges. Sheldon is also gay, a Jew, so he  has to endure the additional prejudices of homophobia and anti-Semitism. For added measure, he runs counter to the popular option of claiming Palestine as his homeland. The Good Man briefly addresses Israeli terrorism against the British over the Palestine Question. Finally, Sheldon finds himself as a surrogate father to a young Russian girl, who has not only survived a similar trauma but reminds him of his Russian heritage. Writing about and around the Holocaust, retribution and sticky political situations was a tall order. I wanted to avoid clichés and present a multidimensional character, who is heroic, tragic, and someone who you might want as your friend, and certainly not as your enemy.

What made you write a book about post-war Vienna, and the early days of the CIA?

When I looked around at what was in the field, so to speak, I encountered the Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther novels, the le Carré Smiley novels, and, for Vienna specifically, the Frank Tallis Max Lieberman mysteries. Kerr’s Gunther walks the streets of Berlin as Hitler comes to power; Smiley is an intelligence officer during the war years into the Cold War; and Max Lieberman predates them all since he is a contemporary of Sigmund Freud. Before becoming acquainted with those three characters, I had begun to think the classic noir spy thriller was dead.

I was drawn to Vienna for two reasons. I see Vienna as the crucible in which the Cold War started. The city was divided into four zones, the American, the British, the French, and the Russian after World War II. There were refugees everywhere. I also chose Vienna because it was a Wild West after the war. Food and medical supplies were in short supply. In addition to the American and European presence, various Israeli street gangs roamed the streets.

How long have you been writing?

I began in 2008 by writing a novel and then in 2009, a short story a week. I think the only genre I have not attempted was romance. I’ve written crime fiction, horror, science fiction, and quote unquote “literary fiction.” The first novel remains unpublished. After spending a year writing all those short stories, I wrote The Good Man, which I had set aside but revised several times by myself and with the help of a line editor, and then with current publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, in 2017. The Good Man was the result of reading classical noir: Hammett and Chandler. The novel had two close calls with two different publishers, but they dropped it because they didn’t want to take a chance on an unknown writer (their words). Some of my short stories had been published and now I wanted to tackle the novel again. I had discovered the Italian writer Andrea Camilleri, author of the Montalbano series, and I was inspired to write the first book in The Roma Series, which was published in 2012.

What genre do you write and why?

I dislike using the word genre because I believe a good story is a good story. If by genre you are thinking of touchstones for expectation, then I would say that my novels are both crime fiction and thrillers. I consider The Good Man historical noir. 1948 Vienna provides a historical context and my characters make bad decisions with the best of intentions.

The 40s was a unique time. I wanted to recreate the atmosphere and politics of postwar Vienna in a way that still feels fresh and new, despite the historical nature of the story.  That period, with its intricately interwoven and constantly shifting loyalties, was unique, and I wanted to make use of it. I wanted to craft a story in which I could show the characters’ loyalties to their own countries, to one another, and yet have their own sense of ethics.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jane Goodrich’s The House at Lobster Cove. This was a debut novel that introduced me to a new author and to a historical figure, George Nixon Black (1842-1928), who has all but disappeared into history. Mr. Black was gay, the richest man in Boston at one time, and a talented architect. He designed Kragsyde, a Shingle Style mansion, which was demolished a year after his death, at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Goodrich guides reader’s through a gay and very gentle man’s life through the Civil War and the Gilded Age. I should add that each copy of the book has deckle pages and is handmade.

Latest bio: Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series and The Company Files from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Website: www.gabrielvaljan.com

Blog: https://gabrielswharf.wordpress.com

Purchase link: Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2COa5HY 

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Historical Fiction

Date Published: March 15, 2017

***An IWIC Hall of Fame Novel***

***Winner 2017 National Indie Excellence Award***

“This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as “Diary of Anne Frank” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It is truly that amazing!” InD’taleMagazine

“This family saga is wonderfully written and, aside from the emotional ramifications, very easy to read. I stayed up too late a couple of nights reading it…I highly recommend this book!” Long and Short Reviews

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander’s SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also looses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family’s ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary.

As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter’s lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father’s last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal–always just one step away from execution.

When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother’s severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor’s grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.


 


Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame and won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West.

Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha, in Bloomington, Ind.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: CLICK HERE

Barnes and Noble: CLICK HERE

Kobo: CLICK HERE

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com

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

Blog: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com/blog

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

 



Excerpt

Surviving the Fatherland

Chapter One

Lilly: May 1940

For me the war began, not with Hitler’s invasion of Poland, but with my father’s lie. I was seven at the time, a skinny thing with pigtails and bony knees, dressed in my mother’s lumpy hand-knitted sweaters, a girl who loved her father more than anything.

It was May of 1940, my favorite time of year when the air is filled with the smell of cut grass and lilacs, promising excursions to town and the cafes in the hilly land I called home.

Like any other weekend, my father came home that Friday carrying a heavy briefcase of folders. Only this time, he flung his case in the corner of the hallway like it was a bag of garbage. You have to understand. My father is a neat freak, a man who keeps himself and everything he touches in absolute order. And so even at seven—even before he said those fateful words—I knew something was different.

My father had been named after the German emperor, Wilhelm, and Mutti called him Willi, but to me he was always Vati.

Ignoring me, he hurried into the kitchen, his eyes bright with excitement. “I’ve been drafted.”

At the sink, Mutti abruptly dropped her sponge and stared at him. Her mouth opened, then closed without a sound.

I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I didn’t understand the meaning of a lie, yet I felt it even then. Like others detect an oncoming thunderstorm, pressure builds behind my forehead, a heaviness in my bones. There is something in the way the liar moves, his limbs hang stiffly on the body as if his soul cringes. His look at me is fleeting and there is something artificial in his voice.

At that moment I knew Vati was hiding something from us.

“They want me there Monday. I’ll be a captain.” His voice trembled as he sank into a chair, still wearing his coat and hat.

“But that’s in three days.” Mutti picked up Burkhart, my little brother who was a just a toddler and had begun to whine. “It’s fine,” she soothed as she paced the length of the kitchen, the click-click of her heels like an accusation.

I frowned and moved closer to my father. Since my brother’s birth, Mutti had been spending every minute with the baby. No matter how well I behaved, how I did what she asked, I rarely succeeded drawing her eyes away from my brother. It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t stop myself from trying.

“Vati, where are you going?” I asked, secure in the knowledge that my little brother wouldn’t draw away his attention.

My father’s cheeks glowed with excitement. As if he hadn’t heard me, he rushed back into the hallway and knelt in front of the wardrobe. I followed.

One door gaped open, revealing a gray military uniform. He was rummaging below.

“What are you looking for?”

“Just a minute.” He emerged with a pair of shiny black boots.

He knelt at my level and to this day I remember smelling the cologne he used every morning, a mix of spice and citrus.

“I am packing.”

“Where are you going?” Vati had never been away, not even for one night. In fact, he and Mutti had strict routines, and these were dictated by the clock. We ate every night at six thirty sharp. Even on Sundays. Breakfast was at seven in the morning. Clothes never ever lay on the floor, each item brushed and aired and returned to its spot in the closet. Life was laid out in rules, washing hands before dinner, carrying a clean handkerchief at all times and always, always looking spotless when leaving the house.

He smoothed the pants of his uniform. “I’ll be helping out in the war.”

“Will you be back for my birthday?” My birthday was on June fourth and I worried about our customary visits to town. In the window of Wiesner, our local toy store, I’d discovered a Schildkröt doll. Her name was Inge and I wanted her badly. Vati said she looked just like me, with blond hair and this pretty red-checkered dress with a white apron and white patent shoes you could take off.

As Vati lifted me in the air and turned in a circle, I shrieked in surprise and delight. I was flying.

“They want me after all! With all my experience, they should be glad.”