Friday 3 May 2019

Have you heard? #HistoricalFiction author, Kathryn Gauci, has a fabulous new book out — Code Name Camille #WW2 #mustread @KathrynGauci

Code Name Camille
 By Kathryn Gauci

From the USA Today runaway bestseller, TheDarkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales of Resistance.
Code Name Camille,
now a standalone book.

1940: Paris under Nazi occupation. A gripping tale of resistance, suspense and love.

When the Germans invade France, twenty-one-year-old Nathalie Fontaine is living a quiet life in rural South-West France. Within months, she heads for Paris and joins the Resistance as a courier helping to organise escape routes. But Paris is fraught with danger. When several escapes are foiled by the Gestapo, the network suspects they are compromised.

Nathalie suspects one person, but after a chance encounter with a stranger who provides her with an opportunity to make a little extra money by working as a model for a couturier known to be sympathetic to the Nazi cause, her suspicions are thrown into doubt.

Using her work in the fashionable rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, she uncovers information vital to the network, but at the same time steps into a world of treachery and betrayal which threatens to bring them all undone.

Time is running out and the Gestapo is closing in.


(From Chapter 10)

The following day, Paul called at the Reynauds for dinner. He had a new assignment for Nathalie.

‘There’s a man I want you to accompany as far as Tours. I think you will suit the job perfectly,’ he said, lighting up a Gitane. ‘He’s someone very important and it’s vital we get him out of Paris as soon as possible.’

The first thing Nathalie thought of was her new job. If she failed to turn up on Wednesday, that would be the end of it. And then there was the matter of the clothes. She would look like a thief.

Paul read her mind. ‘Madeleine told me about your new job and I think we can work our way around it. If you leave on Saturday, you should be back by Tuesday at the latest. It should only take a couple of hours to get there, but I would like you to stay the night, possibly even two.’

‘May I ask who this man is?’

‘You will know him as René Hubert and he will be your husband.’

Nathalie’s eyes widened. The Reynauds listened without uttering a word.

He took an envelope from his jacket pocket and pushed it across the table towards her. She picked it up and emptied out the contents. In it were two false identity cards, a marriage certificate dated a month earlier, two tickets, and an Ausweis each – a travel pass. She looked at René’s photograph. He was a handsome man, and according to the date on his ID, he was thirty-one years old. She looked at her own. She was to be Madame Camille Hubert, age twenty-four, from a village outside of Tours.

‘Your ruse will be that you have just recently married, and René has volunteered to go to work in Germany on behalf of the French government. He has volunteered to work for the betterment of Vichy France and the Fatherland because the factory where he worked on the outskirts of Paris was bombed by Allied Aircraft, killing his comrades. You are both travelling to Tours because you want him to meet your parents before he goes away.’ He studied her face. ‘Any questions?’

She leafed through the IDs and several pages of notes.

‘Study the information with the IDs and then destroy it. One more thing, the name, Camille, is also your code name. It will only be used when you come in contact with one of our agents. At some time during your stay in Tours, someone will direct you to a place where you will meet one of them. The message will be carefully worded, so please be on the lookout for it. Follow the instructions carefully and the agent will meet up with you. This person will not address you as Nathalie, only Camille. If he does not address you as such, he will not be one of our own. In which case, you must consider you could be compromised and act accordingly.’

Paul finished his cigarette and glanced towards Mme Reynaud. ‘There’s one other thing. This new job of yours, I applaud you for getting it, but I am in agreement with Madeleine. De Rossier is a collaborator. However, if we take great care, we can turn that to our advantage. Think of it as another little assignment,’ he said.

‘What do you have in mind?’

‘Make a note of everyone you come in contact with – a mental note, you understand. Under no circumstances are you to write anything down. I want to know who his clients are, and anyone else – including the mysterious man from Café Voltaire who helped you to get the job.’

Nathalie looked at the Reynauds.

Mme Reynaud shrugged. ‘I’m sorry, Nathalie. We have to be careful. We have a responsibility to your father to take care of you. I know the proprietor of Café Voltaire well and I checked with him. He’d never seen the man before so he couldn’t possibly live around here.’

‘The café was packed,’ Nathalie replied, with a tinge of annoyance. ‘Surely you can’t expect him to remember everyone who goes there? He probably doesn’t even remember me?’

‘His café is in this street. We all know each other. He knew who you were from the moment you moved in. The street has eyes. Every street has eyes.  It will pay you to remember that.’

Nathalie felt her cheeks redden. Mme Reynaud was an enigma. On the one hand she could be the motherly, gentle type, and on the other – like now – as tough as any man, chastising her for letting her guard down.

‘That’s it then,’ Paul said. ‘Now, no more talk about work. Let’s enjoy our dinner.’

Pick up your copy of
Code Name Camille

Kathryn Gauci

Kathryn Gauci was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later at Kidderminster College of Art and Design where she specialised in carpet design and technology. After graduating, Kathryn spent a year in Vienna, Austria before moving to Greece where she worked as a carpet designer in Athens for six years. There followed another brief period in New Zealand before eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia.

Before turning to writing full-time, Kathryn ran her own textile design studio in Melbourne for over fifteen years, work which she enjoyed tremendously as it allowed her the luxury of travelling worldwide, often taking her off the beaten track and exploring other cultures. The Embroiderer is her first novel; a culmination of those wonderful years of design and travel, and especially of those glorious years in her youth living and working in Greece – a place that she is proud to call her spiritual home. It has also been translated into Greek.

Seraphina’s Song and The Carpet Weaver of Usak, both novellas, complete The Asia Minor Trilogy.

A word from 
Kathryn Gauci

The seeds of The Embroiderer, Seraphina’s Songand The Carpet Weaver of Usak, were sown during my years working as a carpet designer in Greece, 1972-78. The company was situated in a suburb of Athens populated by refugees from The Asia Minor Catastrophe, 1922-23. Working amongst these people, many of the older generation of whom still conversed in Turkish, I grew to understand the impact of the disaster and the intense yearning these people still held for Turkey, the land of their forefathers and a land in which they are still unable to reside. Significantly they shared a separate sense of identity, so much so that fifty years after the Catastrophe, many of them still referred to themselves as Mikrasiates (Asia Minor people) and still chose to intermarry.
The Asia Minor Catastrophe was a pivotal turning point in Greek/ Turkish relations which began a century earlier with the Greek War of Independence. The Ottoman Empire was at a turning point and for both Greeks and Turks, ultimately resulting in a war of attrition on both sides. Millions lost their lives and out of the ashes emerged two new nations – the Turkish Republic under the soldier statesman, Ataturk, and the Hellenic Republic – modern Greece.

Today, most of the white-washed prefabricated homes in the refugee neighborhoods in Athens have been replaced by apartment blocks but the street names still bear testament to their origins: Byzantium Street, Pergamum St, Anatolia St, Bouboulina St, and Misolonghi St. to name just a few. And whilst women no longer spill out of their doorways sitting on rush-bottomed chairs chatting to their neighbours whilst embroidering cloth for their daughter’s dowry, and basement shops selling bric-a-brac and musical instruments from the ‘old world’ are few and far between, if we look closer, the history and the spirit of these people still resonates in their everyday lives; in their music, their food, the plethora of Turkish words and phrases that punctuate the Greek language, and the ancient belief in the evil eye. Most important of all, it is through the time-honoured tradition of storytelling that their memories are kept alive.

WWII Novels

Conspiracy of Lies, is set in France during WWII. It is based on the stories of real life agents in the service of the Special Operations Executive and The Resistance under Nazi occupied Europe. To put one’s life on the line for your country in the pursuit of freedom took immense courage and many never survived. Kathryn’s interest in WWII started when she lived in Vienna and has continued ever since. She is a regular visitor to France and has spent time in several of the areas in which this novel is set.
Code Name Camille, Originally published as part of The Darkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales ofResistance with nine other WWII authors.

When I wrote Code Name Camille, I wanted the reader to imagine what Paris was like under the dark cloud of Nazi Occupation, in particular those sights of Paris that are so familiar to us - the embankments of the Seine; Montmartre; the fashionable rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, home of the great Parisian couturiers; the beautiful buildings; the outdoor cafes, and the enchanting florists with their colourful flowers spilling onto the pavements. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx