Updates and a Freebie

Much has happened in the few weeks since releasing ‘Surviving the Fatherland.’ Here is a list:

  • cover for surviving the fatherland with BGS gold seal of approvalBooks Go Social (BGS), a large writing and reading community, gave ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ its Gold Quality Seal of Approval. Each seal is numbered individually to avoid unauthorized use.
  • For the past two weeks or so, ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ was on Amazon’s bestseller list in second place under Hot New Releases in the Historical Fiction>German category. After a month it dropped away – Amazon’s policy – and has been #4 on Amazon’s Historical Fiction>German category for a while now. Considering how little promotion I can do and that I have no access to national media, I consider it a great success.
  • Total sales in the first 1 1/2 months: 5,500+ (eBooks and paperback)
  • ’47 Days’ also experiences solid sales at about 15% of ‘Surviving the Fatherland.’

Coal – A Vignette

I wrote up a brief scene that didn’t make it into the book, but lends further insight into the situation in civilian Germany of the 1940s.

Solingen, Germany, January 20, 1945

Freezing temperatures have turned our apartment into an icebox. White puffs rise as I watch Mother sort through the ration cards. We received coupons for coal, but none is available. Neither are briquettes.

I chew my lower lip, the skin on my face achy with dryness. “I’m going tonight—Helmut too.” I want to add that the light from a half moon is perfect in the blacked out city—just enough to see, but not too obvious to others peeking through a window. My mouth remains stubbornly closed and the kitchen lapses into silence. I know Mother has long given up arguing. Or maybe she’s plain too tired.

Our steps echo on the hardened snow. Freezing air bites my cheeks, and the insides of my nose. Neither of us speak as we hike uphill. The streets are inky and silent. Not much farther. Every so often I stop to yank free the sled I’m pulling. These days the road resembles a rough field. Rubble mixes with garbage, bits of crumbled bricks and splintered roof tiles. The layer of snow isn’t thick enough to hide it all—the ugliness, the desperation are right there, palatable as salt on my tongue…Continue Reading