Darkness Before Dawn – PROMO Blitz
By Kellie Wallace
Date Published: 7/17/2013
In June 1940, Germany bombed the Island of Guernsey, bringing World War II to the Channel Islands. With her home in the midst of war, jazz singer Catherine La Mar must adapt to change. Within days, the island is overun. Resistance cells start to emerge, hindering the German forces. Catherine’s life is inevitably changed when childhood friend Thomas Potter is linked as the ringleader to one of the Island’s biggest cells.
The people she once knew are no longer who they seem to be. But nothing could prepare her for when she meets Nazi officer Captain Max Engel. Her view on the war forever changes when she is given a chance for love and new beginnings. For once in her mundane life she unveils her true self, as Max teaches her how to truly live. Their love puts a strain on Catherine’s family, risking the lives her sisters and friends. As the war intensifies and divides the people on Guernsey, Max and Catherine must decide if their love is really worth risking it all?
Plush greenery cushioned Catherine’s as she trudged through the knee-length grass towards the cliff face. A violent wind came up from the sea whipping at her dress and hair. Brightly coloured daisies and narcissi flowers dotted the swaying plain.
A sense of ease and sovereignty came over her as she stood in the wind, moving gently against its brunt. German tankers tarnished the vast ocean in front of her. Seagulls and kestrels sang in the air, catching the passing wind like dancers.
She always loved coming here to revel in nature’s beauty, believing nothing will ever change it. With the occupation taking force, it seems inevitable the world she knew will never be the same again.
Visiting the cliff tops on her own was risk, but as headstrong as she might be, Catherine wanted a release, to see a part of Guernsey not yet touched by the Reich. She slunk past
German patrols on her way, blending into the environment like a chameleon.
As she stared out into blue azure of the ocean, movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention. A young man teetered on the edge of the cliff, peering over the brink. Without a second thought, she ran towards him, slowing her pace when he saw her approach. His eyes wide with fear.
“I’ll do it,” he warned, his body stiff as though he was still deciding to jump. The wind grew stronger and the man appeared to be using all of his strength to stay upright.
“Are you alright, sir?” she asked calmly.
His hair was blown high on top of his head and the wind already made its mark upon his skin. “No . . .”
“Did you lose something?” Catherine said carefully. “Has someone fallen off the cliff?”
“I don’t want . . . I don’t want this,” he cried.
“Don’t want what?”
The man stole a quick glance towards the tankers dotting the ocean horizon and turned back to Catherine. “I don’t want them,” he yelled, pointing towards the sea. “I don’t want to be ruled by those murderers!”
Catherine now understood the catalyst to the man’s distress. No one on Guernsey wanted an occupation by the Germans. Half the population had fled in terror.
Catherine took another step closer, wary of the fear in his brown eyes as she did so. She reached out her hand until they were inches apart. “What’s your name?”
“Ben, what about you with come with me and grab a nice piece of cake at the cake shop? How does that sound?”
The young man shook his head furiously. “No, they will be there! They have taken over everything!”
“No, they won’t be,” Catherine said slowly. “It will only be you and me.”
Ben looked behind him to the crashing waves below, his body limp in defeat. He let out a sigh and turned towards her. “Okay,
I will come with you.” He reached for her hand, when another voice broke through the defiant wind.
“What’s going on here?”
Catherine glanced over her should to see a young German officer standing behind them, bracing against the wind.
Ben’s eyes widened at the sight and he started to back up towards the edge of the cliff. “No, no, no,” he mumbled, slipping on the lip of the cliff.
Heart pounding, Catherine stretched out her hand to the distressed youth. “Ben! Please, come with me,” she ordered, ignoring the figure behind her.
Ben shook his head, his hands outstretched as though seeking redemption from above. “I’m sorry. I cannot do it,” he said. “Not with him around.” Ben’s swollen eyes glanced at
Catherine once more, before turning into the wind, and jumping off the cliff.
“Nooo!” Her body flashed hot then cold as she fell to her knees in the damp grass, her hand stretched outright, grasping nothing but thin air. She felt the officer brush past her as he poked his head over the cliff.
The man’s body lay crucified on the rocks, blood speckling the blue ocean water.
Catherine ignored the tugging on her arm as the German officer hauled her to her feet. Violently, she pushed him away.
“Get off me!” she screamed, regaining her footing. He was close now, close enough she could see the lines of youth etched in his face.
“What is your name?” he asked calmly.
“Catherine La Mar.” She almost spat her name at him.
The officer dipped his head in a polite greeting as if what happened meant nothing to him. “May I see your papers?” he asked, bringing out his hand.
Catherine sucked in a breath of indignation and pulled her papers, which consisted of an identity card and birth certificate from a pocket in her dress. She watched him as he scanned them over. It was the first time she managed to have a good look at him.
It was his eyes that caught her breath, standing out in contrast to his dull uniform. They were the same shade of the sea, crashing and spitting below them. His straw-coloured hair was slicked under his visor cap. He was the perfect example of Hitler’s Aryan race.
The officer handed her papers back to her. She wanted a fight; wanted anything to contest him. “Why didn’t you stop him?” she asked.
About the Author ~ Kellie Wallace
Born in Sydney, Australia Kellie Wallace developed a love for the written word early in life, recalling her earliest memory when she was three years old. Her father used to read to her when she was a child, establishing a deep love and respect for books. Kellie wrote a bit in high school, most memorably her first fantasy book called Giblin the Conquer, an X Files fan fiction and a military fiction.
After finishing high school, Kellie moved to the sunny Northern Beaches from the Central Coast and carved a successful career in the media/advertising industry writing for numerous Sydney based publications.
An aspiring novelist, Kellie fulfilled a dream in 2008 having her first book All She Ever Wanted published by Zeus Publications at the age of 22 years old.
In 2013, Kellie released her newest catalogue of books, Darkness before Dawn and Skylark. In her spare time she loves to write, game and draw. Her first crime fiction novel To lean of falling men will be out in April 2014, along with EarthWalker (out now!) and dystopian Edge of Tomorrow (August 2014).
She currently resides in Sydney with her husband.
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