A final sneak peek

I haven’t written many of my trademark witty posts lately. I’m sorry about that. I tried to think of something funny to write about today,  but I got nothin’.

Actually, I have several things…but I can’t share them. The kids are at the ages where they get all embarrassed and mortified at the thought of me sharing anything about them. I mean, SHEESH! Don’t they know we’re living in the technical age when all of life is lived under a bowl and nothing is left private?

They’re holding me back, they are.

Please note the sarcasm. I do not want any nasty notes about how I need to respect my children and guard their privacy.

Anyhoo, the kids have done and said and written some HI-LAAAAA-RIOUS things as of late. But alas, I will not share it with the world because there will be plenty of opportunity for me to drive my children to a counselor’s office, but oversharing their childhood will not be one of them.

So I’m not really feeling that funny today. I do have a couple of ideas rolling around, though, so stay tuned. I’ll make you laugh again, dear readers. I will make you howl with delight, roar in helpless hysterics, chuckle with amused glee.

Or I will bore you to death.

Today I am going to give you one last sneak peek at the novel. This is the last time I’ll let you see what I’m writing until the finished product is in your hand. I don’t want to give too much away. I want to leave you hanging a bit. To recap, here are the teasers I’ve already let you read:

Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek 2

The Novel

One More Glance

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

Another Peek

Okay, so the final peek? Are you ready? Here it is.

A little set up: A young man named Oleg has gone missing. Hans is a German soldier who has fallen in love with Luda. He is helping the family find out what happened to Oleg. I know it sounds confusing. You’ll just have to read the rest of the book to figure it all out!

Hans looks hard at me and I nod, squeezing his hand in reassurance. He nods back, then shifts his gaze to Alexei again.

“Oleg and the other prisoners are being forced to construct a secret hide out for Adolf Hitler. It is to be a place where war time operations are discussed and where Hitler can come to vacation and hide.”

“What?” Baba Mysa gasps and she sinks down into a chair next to her husband. Katya shrinks back against the wall, her hands still clutching her chin.

“Hitler is constructing a hideout in Vinnitsya?” Alexei says, his eyes wide with shock, anger and fear.

Hans nods. “This is top secret information among the ranks,” he says and together he and I sit across from Alexei and Baba Mysa. “They are calling the hiding place Werwolf, or Vervolfy.”

“When will it be completed?” Alexei asks.

“Very soon, I imagine,” Hans replies. “The prisoners are now digging underground tunnels which will work to allow Hitler the freedom to wander from one building to another without exposing himself outdoors. I’m told that Hitler is planning his first stay for July.”

“That’s just a couple of weeks away!” I exclaim and Hans nods soberly.

“There isn’t much time,” he says quietly.

“How is Oleg?” Baba Mysa asks. Her voice is tired and her eyes drawn. This week has aged her.

Hans looks at her closely and I see him judging how much he should admit. “He is tired,” he answers. “And I believe he is sick. All of the prisoners are sick.”

Everyone sits quietly for a moment as we ingest this news. Finally, I speak. “What are we going to do?” I ask.

Hans looks at me and grabs my hand, then he turns to the rest of the group. “I am going to get him out,” he answers. “If I don’t, Oleg will be killed.”

Alexei leans forward and pressing his elbows against the table looking hard at Hans. “They will kill all the prisoners when construction is complete, won’t they?” he asks and Hans nods slowly. Katya begins to weep softly and I feel my hands begin to shake.

“Will you be safe?” I ask.

“Stupid girl!”

We all jump at Katya’s outburst. She shoves herself away from the wall and lunges toward me. Alexei manages to catch her just before her fist hits my face. “You’re worried about this…this…GERMAN while my brother is being forced to build a hide out for the devil?! I hate you! I HATE YOU!”

Alexei drags his daughter from the room as she writhes and squirms in his arms. The tears fall hot against my cheeks and Hans wraps his arm around my shoulders protectively. In the background, I hear my son begin to wail.

“I will get the baby,” Baba Mysa says, standing up slowly. She looks at Hans closely. “I believe Luda, now,” she says. “You are a good man. Forgive my granddaughter’s emotions. Thank you for what you are doing.”

Hans nods and Baba Mysa moves quickly to retrieve Sasha.

“I’m sorry, Hans,” I cry. “I’m so sorry.”

“Ssshhh…” Hans whispers. “It’s okay. I understand. I know that Katya is upset and I believe she has the right to be angry at me. But I don’t like her anger at you.”

“I’m afraid of losing you,” I weep and I bury my face in his chest, his strong arms engulfing me in a tight embrace. “I’m so afraid.”

Hans lets me cry for a moment before pushing me back. He wipes the tears from my cheeks gently and offers a small smile. “I’m afraid, too,” he says. “Which is why I have to do what I’m going to do.”

The sound of his voice stops me cold and I look up at him closely. His eyes burn bright and his jaw is set firmly. “What are you going to do?” I ask.

“I’m going to free Oleg,” he answers. “And then I’m going to kill Adolf Hitler.”

©Kelli Stuart, October 2012

Do you want to read the rest? Great! You can buy it when it comes out, hopefully sometime next year! (Yes, I’m thinking positive).

Another peek

Want another peek? This is Frederick, a Nazi soldier stationed in Kiev in World War II. He is a torn character who is ugly and horrifying and completely and totally sympathetic. I have really loved writing his story.

I was ten years old the first time my father took us all to Berlin. The year was 1934 and the memory dances through my mind in moving pictures, every emotion joined together in fluid motion. I remember the sights and sounds of the bustling city as we exited our train at Berlin’s Lehrter Bahnhof and moved to the Nazi provided car. The officer appointed to transport us was solemn and stern and I shrunk back in fear when he looked at me prompting my Father to pinch the back of my neck in annoyance.

He always hated when I showed any semblance of fear and I felt his disappointment as we slid into the plush car.

That trip to Berlin was the first time that I remember being in awe of my father’s status. He was so revered that as we exited the car, hotel staff hurried to us, picking up bags and rushing to our room to set it up in a fashion that was worthy of someone with such great importance.

We stood in our expansive room on the top floor of the Esplanade and looked out over the beautiful city. Talia and I pressed our noses to the cool glass and pointed out the cars and people walking far below us. I was awestruck at the bustle and energy that buzzed through the city.

“The cars look like small toys,” I cooed just before my father stepped up behind us.

“Stand up children,” he snapped, his words sharp and clipped. Talia and I stood and faced our father, my heart beating like a drum. “Good. Now, who can tell me what we worked on earlier this week.”

Because I was always so frightened of my father, it seemed to take me a long time to register any question he asked. Panic that I would produce an unacceptable answer left me mute. Talia thrust her hand in the air.


“We learned to remain quiet and calm and to not speak unless asked a direct question,” she said with a smile, her bright red hair cascading over slender shoulders. Father smiled and ran his hand down her cheek.

“Very good, my darling,” he said. “Now, Frederick,” he said turning to me. “How are you to greet any official that walks your way?”

My heart raced as I searched for the words to answer my father. I couldn’t find them, so I merely thrust my arm in the air, straight up above my head. Father sighed and shook his head.

“Yes, Frederick,” he said with a heaping portion of annoyance, “but what do you say when you greet them?”

My hand, still high above my head, shook as I searched for the greeting that I knew so well. Why did I always feel so incompetent in his presence?

Talia snapped her heels together and threw her arm up next to me. “Hile Hitler!” she said, throwing me a sideways glance.

“Hile Hitler!” I repeated after her and Father nodded at us both.

“Very good,” he said. “Now go prepare yourselves for dinner.”

©Kelli Stuart, October 2012