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Saturday, March 16, 2013


Blog Tour: Spy Island - Excerpt

Title: Spy Island
Author: Sophie Schiller
An adventurous girl in the West Indies risks her life to save a German U-boat deserter and stumbles into a nest of German spies hell-bent on taking over her tranquil island.

In 1916, Abigail Maduro plunges headfirst into the dangerous world of espionage when she travels to the West Indies to live with her Aunt Esther and witnesses a brutal murder at the hands of a notorious German spy. Vowing revenge, Abby embarks on a career as a spy hunter, not realizing that St. Thomas is a hotbed for German spies and saboteurs who use their Hamburg-America steamers to run clandestine missions against the Allies. But Abigail has more pressing problems of her own. She's forced to work as a seamstress, and is on the constant receiving end of her aunt's vicious tirades. Her only salvation are the two aging servants, Nana Jane, the daughter of an African slave with a taste for gossip, and Cooky Betty, the rotund, back-talking cook who samples most of what she makes.

A chance encounter with a mysterious stranger hurls Abby to the center of the conflict. Erich Seibold claims to be a stranded sailor in desperate need of shelter. Despite the danger, Abby hides Erich in the basement of her house and friendship blossoms between the two outsiders, even after Abby learns that he is a deserter from a German U-boat. The local German Consul, Lothar Langsdorff, also discovers Erich's true identity and blackmails him into committing sabotage and murder. When Erich is arrested, Abigail attempts a daring breakout to free him. But with Langsdorff still on the loose, Abigail relies on wits, bravery and a little island magic to save her island from a dangerous German spy.

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     "But Erich, I don't understand. Why would anyone want to harm you? I feel like there's something you're not telling me. Sometimes you act like it's me you don't trust."
     "It's for your own safety," he says, snapping the book shut. "The less you know about me, the better. Because of the war, my situation is delicate. And desperate times require desperate measures."
     "What do you mean, because of the war?"
     Erich shuffles his feet. "The truth is I escaped the war. Or if you prefer the correct military term, it's called desertion. And desertion during times of war is a serious offense. So serious in fact, that if the wrong people were to find out about me, my life would be in grave danger."
     The sudden awareness that I'm harboring a dangerous fugitive hits me like a mountain of bricks. My throat tightens and I feel the blood rushing from my head.
     "Erich, why did you lie to me?"
     "If I had told you I was a war deserter, would you have let me stay in your house? Would you have trusted me? Or would you have alerted the authorities?"
     I shake my head. "I don't know. I can't believe this is happening to me. I've read about all the atrocities. I know about the saboteurs. What if I've put all of our lives in danger?"
     "Abby, listen to me," he says. "It was a question of survival. I didn't know if I could trust you. But I assure you I have no ulterior motive; you have nothing to fear from me. But if you've changed your mind, if you want me to leave, I'll be gone by morning. Yes, I admit I'm a deserter, but I did it because I refused to continue causing the deaths of more innocent civilians. Can you at least try to understand that?"
     His clear blue eyes are searching mine in earnestness. He's searching for the compassion and understanding that exist at the core of every human being, but are so scarce in times of war. He touches my arm with his warm, strong hand, sending shock waves through my body. But all of this is too overwhelming. I take a step backwards.

Author Bio:
     Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies amid aging pirates and retired German spies. She was educated at American University, Washington, D.C. and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently at work on a sequel to "Spy Island" and a historical thriller set during the Great Game in Tibet.
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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.