Alex and Sasha are twin sisters, physically identical down to their freckles. But the resemblance is only skin deep—Sasha is profoundly autistic, while Alex is not. Sasha can’t communicate and acts bizarrely, and the family revolves around her and her intense needs. Yet the aged, wealthy, and mysterious Aunt Nana seems to have a particular interest in both girls. Offering a helping hand, she encourages the family to move to San Francisco to be near her. And when the young twins discover a tunnel in Nana’s tool shed, it leads them on a journey across the world and back 100 years in time. The tunnel is a pathway to the Firebird Estate, the home of their ancestors, located in rural Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. Even more remarkable, through the effect that twisting time has on cognition, Sasha is not autistic when she’s at the Firebird Estate. Now, growing up in two strikingly different times and places, the twins must face their separate destinies among the ravages of the incipient Russian Revolution. Can they save their families on both sides of the tunnel? Can they simultaneously stay true to their own hearts, to each other, and to the people they left behind? Each sister must face her own personal challenge — but only together can they discover their own future within their family’s past.
Come, take a journey into the dark regions of the mind as Tricia DiSandro, narrator for VLZ’s new thriller; Hellen Back, curls your senses, heightens your smells, and gives you an old fashioned scare; bringing to life the characters in VLZ’s latest thriller: HELLEN BACK, the tale of a young girl lost between worlds inside of a nightmarish-nightmare, where nothing is real, yet everything could be. Adventure along the steepened stairwell, through a dark tunnel, and arrive in hell. Sit back and relax with narrator Tricia DiSandro as Tricia portrays, so vividly, every character in VLZ’s latest suspense novel now available on audio at Amazon.com and Audible.com and ITunes. To receive your code for a free download of this audio version, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Luck is off to college. Finally, she’s getting away from her crazy mother and that attic room. Only now Jennifer is about to discover a world within a world, within yet another world. A world where monsters do not only hide under beds and lurk inside of closets, but monsters who dwell in the souls of the unlikeliest people.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one of the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.
Spy Island is a spy thriller set on a Caribbean island during WWI. If you can imagine “Summer of My German Soldier” on a tropical island replete with German spies, Old World Danish characters, colorful West Indian characters, blazing luger pistols, a mad Voodoo Queen, and a brave and resourceful heroine, then you get the picture.
In 1916, Abigail Maduro is a down-on-her-luck orphan who plunges into the dangerous world of German spies when she rescues Erich Seibold, a deserter from a German U-boat who has washed ashore on her remote Caribbean island. Abigail hides Erich in the basement of her house and an unconventional love blossoms between the unlikely pair. When the island’s German Consul, Lothar Langsdorff, also discovers Erich’s presence, he forces Erich back into the conflict. Langsdorff blackmails Erich into committing sabotage and murder, throwing Abigail and Erich’s lives and the whole island into turmoil. When Erich is arrested and thrown into prison, Abigail must free him or risk losing him forever. But with Langsdorff still on the loose, Abby learns to rely on her wits, courage and a little island magic to rid her tranquil island of a nest of German spies.
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
Writing Historical Fiction requires months of months of dedicated research time. Discovering and acquiring old, out-of-print books becomes an obsession that borders on mania. Thankfully, google books has made acquiring old books as easy as a digital download. But sometimes you just have to get your hands on a very rare book or manuscript that requires traveling great distances. Another challenge of writing historical fiction is filling in the missing blanks of history. We know about certain important figures in history, but we don’t know everything: their motivations, their desires, their fears. That’s where writers come in. We weave together everything that’s known and add a touch of the unknown to create a believable and enjoyable story.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Read alot. But don’t force yourself to read a book that you don’t naturally love. If you find yourself gravitating toward a certain author, style, or genre, stick with it. That’s your subconscious telling you something about yourself. Don’t be afraid to put words to paper and don’t censor your thoughts. Learn to trust that inner voice.
Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and raised in the West Indies amidst aging pirates and retired German spies. She was educated at American University and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Spy Island is her first novel and she’s currently working on a sequel as well as a historical thriller set in Tibet.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
While growing up in St. Thomas, I was always obsessed with a single, nagging question: Why aren’t there more books detailing the rich, vibrant history of the Danish West Indies? Since there was nothing available to read, I resorted to roaming the alleyways and side-streets of Charlotte Amalie, drinking in the history, imagining what life was like back then, back during Danish times. The beautiful Danish colonial architecture, the Danish street names, and the red-roofed houses all stirred my imagination. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would write my own novel about this beautiful and unforgettable place.
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