About your Book:
Faith Lincolnshire isn’t an adventurer. She’s a quiet, reserved medical PA who leaves Retrieving to those far braver than herself. But when she becomes obsessed by the mysterious disappearance of 150 children from a train on its way to a Nazi Death Camp in 1942, she has to put forward an audacious plan to rescue those children.
On a Recon mission, her partner is killed and she is saved by a US commando who is seriously wounded during the rescue. Faith breaks Protocol and Retrieves him. But the peaceful, Utopian world of New Atlantis she takes him to is no place for a warrior like Luke Daniels.
At first Luke believes he’s the subject of sophisticated Nazi interrogation process. But, as the evidence to the contrary builds up, he has to accept the incredible truth that he has time travelled nearly 400 years into the future and his beloved rescuer is over 200 years old.
But no matter how much Luke comes to want to remain with his new love, duty calls him back to 1942. He agrees to help complete Faith’s Rescue Mission so he can return to his own mission. But the best laid plans can always go astray. And Love can sometimes be more powerful than Duty, even for the most hardened savage.
Targeted Age Group: Adult
Genre: Time Travel Romance
The Book Excerpt:
Luke Daniels, or more rightly Lukasz Danielewski, heard the shot ring out in the dark forest. He had already buried his parachute, and was set to make his way to the rendezvous point a mile to the north.
The sound froze him in place for a second, as thoughts flew through his mind. It was coming from the east, from the direction of the railway track, if he’d got his location right. The gunshot would have nothing to do with him. His AK, or Polish Home Army, Reception Committee would be coming in from the opposite direction. So it had nothing to do with him.
But, though his training told him to run, and get as far away from the threat as possible, his instincts told him something different. For whatever reason, they demanded he go in the direction of the gun shot.
Before he gave himself a chance to second guess them, he followed his instincts, moving like a loping mountain lion through the undergrowth, toward the report.
The second shot, and a woman’s scream, had him cranking up his speed to a run, his heavy rucksack barely registering as a load. During his Commando training in Scotland, he’d hiked at a fast jog, with a fully loaded Bergen rucksack, over eight gruelling miles in the middle of winter. This sprint was nothing. And his soft soled gym shoes made him as silent as it was possible for a heavy, running man to be, in dry undergrowth.
As he noticed the darkness lessening, he knew he was about to reach the tree line. Beyond it, he would be in the open. He may as well paint a target on his back, if he went out there.
But he could hear someone yelling now. A German male, demanding answers in Polish. Luke’s Polish was perfect, and he understood every word. That was the reason he’d been chosen for this mission. He’d grown up speaking both Polish and German in the home. In those days, it had alienated him from a good proportion of his American peers. Now it was his greatest asset. It was funny how the tables could turn.
Slowing, he pulled his rucksack from his back, and dropped it soundlessly behind a tree. Then he drew a knife and a Colt 45 pistol from his belt, and kept moving. When he reached the very edge of the tree line, he stopped. Now he could see his goal at last.
What he saw turned his blood to ice. Three Gestapo gorillas were interrogating a young girl no more than ten feet away. One had a pistol to her throat, while another stood in front of her with a gun levelled at her head. The third seemed more interested in something he held in his hands.
‘Your friend is dead, and you soon will be, if you don’t tell us where the paratrooper landed!’ The burly man standing in front of her was doing all the talking.
And it suddenly became clear, that she and her dead friend had been innocent bystanders in his own little drama. Someone must have spotted his parachute coming down, and these men had been sent to investigate. These two hapless locals had just happened to cross their path.
This was his fault. It was only right he make restitution. He couldn’t save the man’s life, but he could save the girl’s.
Moving as silently as a shadow through the trees, he repositioned himself directly behind the man holding the girl. With practised ease, he weighed his knife and took aim. In seconds, it had flown true, wedging itself deep in the agent’s back.
As he watched the man’s stance relax in death, Luke sighted his revolver in readiness for the second assailant. He would be revealed after the first had dropped. But he needed the girl out of the way. Now!
‘Hit the ground!’ he yelled in Polish, as the girl’s captor released his strangle-hold on her, and collapsed.
Surprisingly, she did just that. He had a clear line on his prey. Firing off two bullets fast, he took the man facing him in the chest and right shoulder. As he took aim and fired at his last target, two bullets exploded at the same time: one from his revolver, and one from the gun of the man he had just shot. The Gestapo agent must have fired just as death claimed him.
Luke felt the searing pain in his chest at the same moment that the third man fell to the ground. This one was only winged. His aim had been off because of the impact of the bullet.
Frustrated, he tried to move forward to finish him off. He couldn’t leave any witnesses behind. But his legs were losing power. They were turning to water beneath him. Dropping to his knees, he reached for his bloody chest.
‘Oh, dear God!’ It was the girl, and she was speaking English with a very proper accent. How strange was that? What was an English girl doing in the Polish woods?
But the girl was next to him now, and somehow he was on the ground looking up at her. It was growing darker, but even the lengthening shadows seemed softened by the lines of her luminous face. Big eyes stared down at him in horror, as she reached for him.
‘Get the last one!’ His voice was little more than a raspy growl, but she would understand him. He spoke in English to make sure. His accent would mark him immediately as a Yank. He wondered fleetingly if she was one of the girls who swooned when Americans came to town, or one of those who turned up their aristocratic little noses, and ever-so-politely chilled them out.
What difference did it make? She was too young for him. Even in the depth of twilight, she looked no more than eighteen. Just a kid.
He tried to thrust the revolver into her hand, but she reacted as if it burned her. ‘No, I can’t!’
‘Get me up then!’ He tried to yell at her, but a croaking whisper was all that came out of his mouth. Nevertheless, she seemed to understand him.
With all her meagre strength, and what was left of his, she got him to his feet. Slinging the arm furthest from the wound over her shoulder, she moved him, one staggering step after another, toward the writhing Gestapo agent. The Nazi was so consumed by pain he didn’t notice them coming for him.
In a way, Luke was doing the guy a favour. Left unattended, he’d die a long and agonising death. It was what he deserved. But the risk that other Germans might have been attracted by the gunfire, and find him in time to get information, meant he had to end his suffering now.
With a shaking hand, he aimed and fired into the uniformed chest. The girl at his side jumped at the sound, and looked away. Instantly, the agent was still.
Luke’s legs gave way beneath him again, and the girl let him drop. Surprised, he watched as she grabbed something from the ground beside the man he had just killed. Then she checked in her own pocket.
‘Thank heavens!’ Her voice was high with tension and barely controlled hysteria.
Luke had no idea what had concerned her, but it didn’t actually matter anymore. His limbs were losing sensation. It would not be long before he too was dead. Leaning back on his elbow, his hand clamped to his chest in a half-hearted attempt to staunch the bleeding, he watched her with detached interest.
She was intently pressing little buttons on what looked like a small version of the new walkie-talkies. Could she be calling for help? It was too late for him, but he was glad there was someone who’d come for her. They needed to get her as far away from all this death as possible. Get her back to her home in damp, old Blighty.
What a debacle this mission had been. It had probably never been any more than a fool’s errand, anyway. The idea that Hitler was systematically exterminating a whole race of people was simply absurd. But the Polish Underground had been insistent, and so his superiors had sent him to verify the preposterous rumour.
If he’d done what his training required, he would still be on mission. But the girl would be dead. And he couldn’t regret saving her.
Suddenly, there was a bright Light in front of him. So the stories were true; you did see a Light when you died. He wondered if his mother would be in that Light somewhere, waiting to welcome him. He still missed her, even after twenty years. Pleurisy had finally taken her, when she’d fought hard to survive so much else, over the years. It hadn’t been fair. But then, life wasn’t fair, he’d learned that the hard way at a very early age.
But if the Light he was seeing meant he was dead, why did it still hurt so much? And why was the girl trying to drag him to his feet again? He had to try to help her. It was clear she wanted him to get up and go into the Light with her. So he would do what he could to assist.
Uttering a guttural cry, Luke heaved himself up onto his hands and knees, and let her wrap one dead weight of an arm around her thin shoulders. With another mighty cry of agonised determination, he thrust himself up onto his feet. Then, with her help, he staggered the two steps to the buzzing curtain of Light.
And toppled into it.
God, it was so loud! No one said it would be so loud. His ears screamed their pain almost as loud as the wound in his chest tore at him. And then, when he thought he would go mad from the agony, the Light was gone, and so was the sound. He found he was crashing onto a stone floor, the last of his strength spent.
‘Medivac team now!’ He heard someone yell. What kind of team was that?
The girl was looking down at him again, and he could see her clearly in what seemed to be broad daylight.
He had his answers. It was all so obvious, now he could see her properly. She was an angel. That was why she’d carried him into the Light. Not a human girl at all, but a beautiful angel with soft, grey eyes that dominated her fragile, delicately featured face. Her light brown hair was parted down the middle and drawn back away from that gentle face. There was a hallo of light around her head. He had never seen anything so lovely.
‘Stay with me! Look at me soldier, look at me! Stay with me!’
Why was she saying that? Of course, he would stay with her. And he never wanted to look away. If this was what death was, then he didn’t mind the pain. If it meant he could spend eternity staring into those bottomless, grey eyes, then it was worth it. Don’t be sad. I won’t leave you!
And as the darkness replaced the light, he heard her say, ‘At last.’