22 July 2022

The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth Book Tour and Giveaway! #TheCrimsonThread #KateForsyth #HFVBT @KateForsyth @blackstoneaudio @hfvbt

 


The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth

Publication Date: July 5, 2022
Blackstone Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction


In Crete during World War II, Alenka, a young woman who fights with the resistance against the brutal Nazi occupation, finds herself caught between her traitor of a brother and the man she loves, an undercover agent working for the Allies.

May 1941. German paratroopers launch a blitzkrieg from the air against Crete. They are met with fierce defiance, the Greeks fighting back with daggers, pitchforks, and kitchen knives. During the bloody eleven-day battle, Alenka, a young Greek woman, saves the lives of two Australian soldiers.

Jack and Teddy are childhood friends who joined up together to see the world. Both men fall in love with Alenka. They are forced to retreat with the tattered remains of the Allied forces over the towering White Mountains. Both are among the seven thousand Allied soldiers left behind in the desperate evacuation from Crete's storm-lashed southern coast. Alenka hides Jack and Teddy at great risk to herself. Her brother Axel is a Nazi sympathiser and collaborator and spies on her movements.

As Crete suffers under the Nazi jackboot, Alenka is drawn into an intense triangle of conflicting emotions with Jack and Teddy. Their friendship suffers under the strain of months of hiding and their rivalry for her love. Together, they join the resistance and fight to free the island, but all three will find themselves tested to their limits. Alenka must choose whom to trust and whom to love and, in the end, whom to save.

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In this extract from The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth, a young Greek woman named Alenka has put herself in acute danger by hiding two Allied soldiers during the German occupation of Crete. Her younger brother Axel is a Nazi sympathiser, and she knows he will betray her if he should discover her secret. 


Alenka lay curled on her bed, examining the angry red circle of teeth marks on her arm. She could not believe her brother had bitten her. She had tried so hard to be loving and kind. Yet again and again she failed.

Alenka wanted to crawl under her blankets and never come out again. What was the point? Another day of digging through frost for weeds to make soup, another day of grinding acorns to make bread, another day of shrinking away every time she heard the stamp of German boots.

Tears slid down her face. She wiped them away, but still they persisted. Her brother had bitten her so hard. Would it leave a scar? Like the welt on her other arm. Axel had given her that when he was only nine. She had been sitting at the kitchen table, chopping onions with the big kitchen knife, trying to make her brother do his homework. She had put the knife down so that she could lean over and correct his maths. He had picked up the knife and sliced open her arm.

‘Why? Why?’ she had asked him then too, weeping and struggling to stop the blood. He had shrugged. ‘I wanted to see what was inside.’

Flesh, muscle, sinew, nerves, veins, capillaries, arteries, intestines, lungs, heart.

Alenka had been afraid of her brother ever since, no matter how much she pretended not to be.

She lay still, listening to the thudding of her heart, watching the blood seep through the tiny crescents her brother’s teeth had made in her skin. It was dark outside. She could hear the bare branches of the almond tree creaking in the wind. If she did not get up now, it would be too late to go to the little church and be back before curfew. Jack and Teddy relied on her for everything. They would be looking for her, hoping she would come, fearing something had happened to her. Alenka could not lie in her warm bed feeling sorry for herself, when the lives of two young men depended on her. If she failed them, she was letting the Germans win; she was letting terror and death win.

Slowly Alenka got up, put on her shabby coat, wrapped an old black scarf about her head, and pulled on a pair of battered boots soled with the rubber from old tyres. At least they were soundless on the stone floor. She crept into the kitchen, lifted the pot of lentil soup, wrapped it in a cloth to keep it warm, tucked it under her arm and hurried out into the bitter-cold blackness.


Axel was roused by the furtive sound of the front door opening. He peered out his shutters. Alenka was creeping down the laneway. At once he got up, put on his coat and shoes, and slipped out after her.

He knew the general was angry people kept painting huge white Vs on the walls of the villa. Perhaps it was Alenka. If he followed her, he might catch her in the act. Then he could tell Papa Ringel. He would be so pleased, he would have to take Axel to Germany.

But Alenka was walking away from the villa, heading south into the hills. It was hard to see her, so Axel had to creep close to be sure not to lose her. After about half an hour, the old Venetian aqueduct loomed ahead. The road led into the archway, swallowed by darkness.

Alenka trudged into the shadows, her head bent. Suddenly she gave a cry of surprise. It was cut short, as if a hand had been clapped over her mouth. Axel hurried closer.

‘Teddy, no,’ Alenka was saying. ‘Please, stop it. I don’t want . . .’ Again her voice was muffled. Then a loud yelp.

‘Hell, Alenka, there’s no need for that,’ the man’s voice said. Axel stiffened all over. The man was speaking in English.

‘Yes, there is,’ she answered in the same language. ‘Here’s your food. But you’d better get good at catching snails because it’s the last I’m bringing you.’

A low murmur. Axel sidled right up to the archway, trying to make out the words. ‘Okay, okay, I’m sorry,’ the man said. ‘I just wanted some time alone with you. Is that such a crime? It was just a kiss.’

‘Now is not the time for kissing. There’s a war on, remember?’ 

‘All the more reason for it, we might be dead tomorrow.’

‘We will be if you don’t stay hidden. Now I’m going home, and you should too.’ Alenka came quietly out of the shadows, and Axel had to duck down so she wouldn’t see him. She hurried past, her scarf drawn close about the pale oval of her face. Axel waited. He wanted to see who she was meeting.

The scrape of a match being struck. Axel turned back in time to see the flare of light illuminate the face of the man as he lit his cigarette. Fair hair, blue eyes.

Axel recognised him. It was the Australian soldier who had guarded the king.

He grinned.

 

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling author of 40 books for both adults and children.

Her books for adults include 'Beauty in Thorns', the true love story behind a famous painting of 'Sleeping Beauty'; 'The Beast's Garden', a retelling of the Grimm version of 'Beauty & the Beast', set in the German underground resistance to Hitler in WWII; 'The Wild Girl', the love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world's most famous fairy tales; 'Bitter Greens', a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale; and the bestselling fantasy series 'Witches of Eileanan' Her books for children include 'The Impossible Quest', 'The Gypsy Crown', 'The Puzzle Ring', and 'The Starkin Crown'

Kate has a doctorate in fairytale studies, a Masters of Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, and is an accredited master storyteller.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 28
Excerpt at Novels Alive

Wednesday, June 29
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, June 30
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, July 1
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Monday, July 4
Review at A Girl Reads Bookss

Tuesday, July 5
Review at My Reading Getaway

Wednesday, July 6
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Thursday, July 7
Review at Girls Just Reading

Friday, July 8
Review at Dive Into a Good Book

Sunday, July 10
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, July 11
Review at Jessica Belmont

Tuesday, July 12
Excerpt at Bonnie Reads and Writes

Wednesday, July 13
Review at The Page Ladies

Thursday, July 14
Review at Momma Doc Reads

Monday, July 18
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, July 19
Interview at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, July 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, July 22
Excerpt at CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, July 23
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, July 25
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, July 26
Review at With a Book in Our Hands

Wednesday, July 27
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 28
Review at Bibliotica

Friday, July 29
Review at Reading the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth! We have 10 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Crimson Thread


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