Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure by Suzanne Anderson - Excerpt, Giveaway and Book Spotlight

Happy Sunday!

Today I have a pleasure of introducing you one of the books I am going to review - Mrs. Tuesday's Departure by Suzanne Anderson.

Summary of Mrs. Tuesday's Departure

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…


Hungary's fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm's way for most of the war. Now as the Führer's desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie's younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie's twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.


Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna's paranoid explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?


An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.

... faith is the evidence of things not seen.

Buy links:

amazon.com
Barnes and Noble

Author Bio:
 
I was born in Fort Lauderdale, attended the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship for swimming and then worked on Wall Street. I left the bright lights of the big city fifteen years ago and traveled the world. I now live in the mountains of Colorado, where I pursue my dream of writing novels.


Social Media Links:
http://www.suzanneanderson.net/
goodreads.com/SuzanneE.Anderson
http://www.facebook.com/people/Suzanne-Anderson/515402154
https://twitter.com/#!/seakiev

Excerpt:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
~ Hebrews 11:1 King James Version

Chapter One

“I can’t sleep Nana.”

Mila’s skin was clear and pale; like the antique German porcelain dolls I’d bought for her when she was a child. Long dark lashes shaded her almond shaped blue eyes.

I released the doorknob that I’d been ready to close, entered her room and settled into an overstuffed chair with a sigh and a smile that belied my worry. Candlelight silhouetted Mila’s face in a halo of pale yellow. The book she held created a shadow that fell across her chest making the pink roses on her nightgown glow and float in the shadows of her long dark hair. In the five years that Mila had lived here, there were few nights when I did not find her with a book.

When Mila first arrived, I placed this chair next to her bed to read aloud one of the children’s books that provided me with my living and my reputation. Over the years, the chair remained, I wrote more books, and read each one to Mila until she outgrew them and began to read the novels she found in my study. The ritual of our time together before bed, our discussion of books, remained. Even during these years of war.

She propped the book against her chest and watched me expectantly. “You’re coming with us aren’t you?”

“Of course.” I turned from her gaze and smoothed the edge of the comforter wishing our conversation could skim the surface as lightly as my fingers.

“And Aunt Anna?” Mila’s eyes searched my face for signs of deception.

“Yes, she seems to understand.”

“But she forgets things so quickly,” Mila added anxiously. “You know what she’s like when she becomes confused.”

“We’ll sort it out in the morning,” I folded my hands in my lap and leaned back in the chair. “She’ll come with me.”

“Mom’s worried she’ll slow us down.”

“She said that to you?” my voice tightened as I finally looked into her eyes.

Mila looked away. “I overheard Mom and Bela in the kitchen before supper.”

“I’ll make sure that Anna reaches the station on time.”


Chapter Two

With that we sat among the shadows of the bedroom, neither of us willing to enter the overrun province. My younger sister and her husband resented my care taking of my twin sister. A year ago, Anna had moved in with us. A nervous breakdown made it impossible for her to continue living alone in her apartment near the university where she had been a poet in residence.

Mila began again. “When I try to talk to Momma she snaps at me.”

“She’s just concerned about the arrangements for our trip,” I offered.

“Sometimes she looks over at Bela before answering me.”

“Bela’s a difficult man.”

“I think she’s afraid he might leave without her. Would he do that, Nana?”

“No. He wouldn’t leave without her.”

I rubbed my hands down the length of my wool skirt to warm them. This room resisted warmth despite the clanking radiators that sat like plump cats hissing and spitting against two of the bedroom walls.

I disdained my younger sister’s choice in men. Ilona effortlessly used hypochondria as a defense against any form of housework or childrearing labors. She’d picked her husbands accordingly. Men willing to care for her in exchange for total control of her movements and her affections. Jealous masters. As a result of Ilona’s disposition, and the low wages Bela received as a legal clerk, they’d come to live with me after my husband
died. They insisted they were concerned about my living alone. Though I surmised my spacious apartment was a greater priority to them than my welfare. My husband and I lived in a large three-bedroom apartment in the center of Pest. I kept the master bedroom that I’d shared with my husband, which still held his clothes, and his scent. There were two smaller bedrooms. Mila slept in one, my sister Anna in the other. Ilona and Bela felt those bedrooms were too small for them, and when they realized that I was not going to relinquish the room I’d shared with my husband, they claimed the living room as the only room large enough to accommodate them comfortably. As a result, my study became both a library and a living room. The dining room and kitchen remained, as they were when my husband and I lived alone here. I maintained the truce with Ilona and endured the angry outbursts of her husband to keep Mila near. She was the daughter I’d always wanted. She was an inquisitive and beautiful young girl.

“What are you reading?” I leaned forward and gestured toward her book, hoping an old routine would bring comfort and distract us from our separate worries.

“Aunt Anna’s poems,” Mila said, turning the cover toward me. “I can’t believe that she wrote the words.”

“Before her illness, Anna was a brilliant poet with an enormous gift for making the mundane sublime. She was a remarkable woman. She still is.”

“I wish I could talk to her about the poems,” Mila said.

“Try,” I said. “There are moments when she still understands a great deal.”

Mila pushed herself up in the bed and leaned toward me. “What does she remember?”

“For her, the poems that were written a decade ago are the freshest in her mind. That’s some of her best work. She can still tell you exactly what she was trying to achieve in each line. Ironically, it’s her inability to process what she did yesterday, or a moment ago, that keeps her from creating. It’s sad. I know she has so much more to say.”

Mila leaned back against the pillows and chewed her lip. “Does she realize what’s happening to her?”

I took Mila’s hand in mine and gently squeezed it. “She knows.”

A year ago, Anna had handed me a stack of leather-bound books. The journals contained Anna’s notes on poems that she had struggled through, political skirmishes at the university, and embarrassingly detailed notes on her love life. Anna asked me to edit them and publish them for her. It was one of the first things she asked for when the doctor concluded that her delusional bouts would become more frequent over time. She
wanted some testimony to survive as her real self slipped away. I’d begun working on them when my own writing stalled. I was piqued, discomfited, and touched by what I read. In the long sloping lines of confession that covered the pages of her journals, I realized a depth to her I’d never imagined.

“How long will she recognize us, Nana?”

“I hope forever.”

Some things a young girl should not have to learn too quickly. The irony of life, that insanity should take the one thing that allowed Anna to express her greatest gift. I shook my head. No, that was the least of it. There was so much more I was trying to protect Mila from. Outside her windows, four floors above the street, the March wind moaned.

The windows rattled and whistled softly as cold air seeped through cracks in the warped wooden frames. The streets were unusually quiet. Even at this hour, Budapest should have been alive with the sounds of the city. But there were no cars on the street or pedestrians making their way home from the opera house or the cafe. What a sharp contrast to the celebrations held just days before.


Chapter Three

On the fifteenth, the National Opera premiered “Petofi”, its opening coinciding with our national holiday. The Regent Horthy and his wife attended the event and there was a collective opinion that this was a good omen. So many happy memories belonged in that hall. Then in the last two days, the lightness and hope vanished. The streets were alive with rumor and fear. Increasingly, it became clear that we would be drawn into the same hellish pit that had swallowed our neighbors. Budapest was the last morsel for the Nazis to devour before their own demise.

For years, we had remained remarkably unscathed by the war. Hungary had made a pact with Germany, more to their economic benefit than ours of course. In exchange, lands that had been taken from us during the First World War had been returned and we were mollified.

Then the tide had turned. The Allies on one side and the Russians on the other were finally weakening Germany’s stranglehold on Europe. As the noose tightened, the Germans had become more brutal. Bela told us of rumors that our government was secretly in negotiations with the Allies. As a result, Hitler had ordered his troops to invade Hungary, punishing us like disloyal children.

An uneasy calm fell over the city. It was as if the entire we were playing a deadly game of hide and seek. People watched one another, no longer sure who to trust. We’d heard what had happened in Poland. Our government seemed more likely to aid the enemy, than us.

Mila brought me back to her.

“Did you ever write poetry?”

“Many years ago,” I smiled, shaking off a bitter memory.

“You haven’t read anything to me lately, are you working on something new?”

“No.” How to explain that watching children being taken away to labor camps, separated from their parents, left me with little motivation to write fanciful stories. To lull innocents? To suggest that the world we had brought them into was fair and just? What use would a work of fantasy be in times of such horror? “There’s no market for children’s books right now,” I said.

“You haven’t stopped writing have you?”

I bowed my head and looked at my empty hands. “I have nothing to say right now.”

“When the war is over? Or when we get to Switzerland. When we are safe, will you write again?”

“Yes, when we are safe.” I leaned over and gently kissed her forehead before blowing out the candle. Mila was my greatest source of inspiration. From our home in Pest, Mila and I’d spent Sundays’ taking the tram to the zoo, or the City Park to rowboats on the pond. How could I write when she was in danger? If I could write anything, it would be a story of her escape to safety. I would attach the four posts of her bed to a hot air balloon and send her sailing through night sky, across the ocean, to safety.

“Nana, what if the German’s arrive before we get to the train?”

I reached over and brushed the hair from her eyes. “I believe we still have a little time.”

Mila turned and looked out the window, she flinched at the sound of distant gunfire.

“We’ll leave before it gets worse,” I promised.

“Do you really think we can?” Mila turned to look at me. “Everyone will want to get on that train. Is there enough room for us?”

“There will be,” I assured her. “We have tickets.”
 
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Suzanne agreed to give away a copy of her book Mrs. Tuesday's Departure! This giveaway is open from 11th of March until 20th of March. The giveaway is international.

To enter the giveaway, please leave comment together with your name and address.

Good luck and happy reading!


16 comments:

  1. I really like the books cover! From the excerpts it sounds like an interesting book to read :)

    Lena M.
    re.komunikace@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to win this book. Sounds very good.
    thanks for the chance. Best wishes.
    Andreea Martes
    just.andreeam@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. This book is on my TBR list. I would love to have it.
    debbie
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for this giveaway :) Another book to add to my list!

    Name: Cean

    cean.loves.you AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loe when there's an excerpt, so I can see if I may like the book. This one sounds really good!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    Lucia

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the giveaway. I like this book, want to read it

    Daniella
    ella_danii@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. sounds like an interesting read!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would love to read MRS TUESDAY'S DEPARTURE thank you. It looks amazing.

    Cheers!!


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. This book sounds great, thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    Colleen Turner
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

    Melissa C

    wihockeycall (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the excerpt. It gives me an idea of whether or not I would like the writing style. To the author: "GO BLUE!"

    ReplyDelete
  12. Name and address for above comment:
    Mary Ann Woods
    1198 Evelyn Ave.
    Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi,
    I would love to win the book. This is my email adress
    sara_rihanna@hotmail.it
    X

    ReplyDelete
  14. Umm PuttPutt, I think they meant your email address :[ I hope the blogger deletes it D:
    Back on topic: I like how her name is Ms. Tuesday like the days of the week :D
    Email: puieread at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a fan of WWII fiction. Thank you for the great giveaway.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. It looks like an interesting story
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete

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