Join me in conversation with Historical Fiction author,
Mary D. Brooks.
Please give a warm Coffee Pot welcome to author, Mary D. Brooks. Mary, it is so good that you could join us today. Before we begin, could you tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mary D. Brooks and I’m an Australian writer of Greek heritage. I’ve written ten books and ten non-fiction books. I’m a wearer of many hats including web designer, artist and publisher. I started writing when I was 8 years old and got my first novel published in 2001. I write historical fiction with a dash of history fantasy (urban fantasy), little bit of mystery and at the core of my series is the relationship between two women who meet during WW2.
What inspired you to write In the Blood of the Greeks?
This is a long, roundabout way of explaining “Enemy at the Gate” novella from The Darkest Hour anthology.
When I was 10 years old, we moved into a home next to an old lady (what I assumed was old…everyone was old to my 10 year old eyes). The woman would become my adopted grandmother. She was an Auschwitz survivor and I spent quite some time with her after school. At 14 years of age, she gave me my first Holocaust novel because I didn’t have a clue what the Holocaust was. The book is called “I Am Rosemarie” by Marietta D. Moskin. It changed my view of the world and increased my desire to find out all that I can. As it happened when I was 14 we went on a trip to Greece and I met my grandfather. We spent the afternoons on his rooftop with the homing pigeons and his stories of the German / Italian occupation of his town. He told me stories of the Greek Resistance and how he took part.
The idea to bring those two elements together in a novel began to take shape. It wasn’t until my grandfather died – well into my thirties – did I come back to the idea and began to research and develop the storyline. That idea gave birth to my first novel “In The Blood of the Greeks”. The character of Zoe Lambros is one that begs to be written about (and she doesn’t shut up so I have to write about her).
Enemy at the Gate is her coming of age story as a Greek resistance member. In the Blood of the Greeks picks up the story 2 years into the German occupation.
Enemy at the Gate is at the beginning and tells the first year of the occupation through Zoe’s eyes.
Enemy at the Gate is such a marvellous novella. You can read The Coffee Pot Book Club Book Review HERE! What were the challenges you faced in researching this period of history?
Getting EVERYTHING historically accurate as possible was the biggest challenge. I love research so that part was not a chore. I’m a history nerd so delving into WW2 Greece was manna from heaven. While the subject matter can get dark and emotional, telling the story that is historically accurate is paramount. I set about finding various different sources for each historical fact I want to introduce.
Your research certainly paid off. There are many books about WW2. Can you tell us three things that set your novel apart?
It’s set in Greece. Not many WW2 novels are set there so it’s a different locale.
It’s got Zoe Lambros. A force of nature and I have NO idea where she came from but she’s here to stay, living rent free in my head and on paper/screen. She’s quite an addiction.
Stories involving strong female Greek Resistance members.
One last question. Can you tell us what are you currently working on?
I’m turning the novella “Enemy at the Gate” into a novel by adding details and additional chapters which didn’t make it into the novella due to length constraints.
I’m writing Surviving The Peace – my characters of Eva & Zoe are at the end of the war on the mainland (Greece) but must escape the country before Civil War breaks out. They head for Crete on one final Resistance mission with the Germans still occupying the island.
I’m in the planning stages of a prequel and concentrating on Eva Muller’s backstory and setting that in Paris in 1941 when she decides to collaborate with the French Resistance against her Nazi father. That’s called “Resistance in the Shadows”
I am so excited that you are turning Enemy at the Gate into a full long novel. I cannot wait to read it. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Scroll down for a fabulous Giveaway.
In The Blood Of The Greeks
(Intertwined Souls Series: Eva and Zoe Book 1)
By Mary D. Brooks.
Forbidden love, heart racing suspense, an epic tale set in war-ravaged Greece.
Two women -- one a German officer's daughter, the other a young Greek woman filled with fury -- race against time to help Jews escape a Greek town during World War II. They are moments from death if their clandestine operation is exposed.
Eva and Zoe should be enemies but fate brings them together to work as a team to accomplish their life saving mission. They find themselves in an unlikely friendship that transcends the barriers between them and while they work to help Jews escape, their unlikely friendship turns to love. Zoe Lambros' faith in God is shattered after her mother's death at the hands of the German Commander. She determines to defy the enemy in every way she can--including a festering urge to kill the German Commander's daughter, Eva Muller.
Eva Muller has a tortured past, and a secret, if revealed, will lead to certain death at the hands of her father. Despite knowing the risk, Eva is working with the village priest to help the Jews escape. With her activities closely observed, Eva needs help to continue the clandestine operation and Zoe Lambros is the answer despite her antagonism to the fiery Greek.
Zoe and her mother Helena walked towards the field. As she looked around the small farming community, Zoe carefully watched her fellow countrymen assembling as they were instructed. They were subdued. Memories arose of balmy summer nights walking along with her friends, memories of carefree days when the worst that happened was a boy yanking her hair and being generally a nuisance.
Those boys were no longer there, no longer part of her life. Zoe felt her throat constrict and tried to swallow the lump in her throat but couldn’t. Tears threatened to spill but were kept back by sheer will. She didn’t want those German bastards to see her cry. She didn’t want to show any weakness. It was also the last thing she wanted for her mama to see. Too many nights were spent crying over the deaths of her brothers and her father. Zoe mentally shook herself and glanced at Helena, who was talking animatedly with her cousin.
Zoe’s attention shifted as a group of soldiers passed by. She wondered when the nightmare would end. To the Germans, the Greeks were a stubborn people who refused to surrender when all was lost. To the Greeks, the Germans were going to know that the country was not going to be subjugated without a struggle, without exacting a hefty price from the occupying force.
The town gathering had become a regular occurrence with the Italian commander. Major Busto was a sadistic man who took delight in torturing the populace. News of his death was met with muted joy—they knew another monster would take his place soon enough. They were right, and a demon had taken up Busto’s mantle for brutality if the stories everyone had been hearing were true.
They arrived at Maragos’ Field, which was now had acquired the unfortunate reputation as an execution field—it was where many innocent villagers had been murdered, and the soil was drenched in the blood of the Greeks. Zoe sighed and looked down at the brown sludgy mud under her feet.
Zoe glanced around her at familiar faces, faces that betrayed their fear. She saw old men and women barely being able to stand, huddled in the rain. The young children clasped their mothers’ hands. Some were too young to know what was to come. She felt sick as she glanced at her own mother, who had her eyes closed and was silently praying.
“I love you, Mama,” Zoe whispered. She took hold of Helena’s hand.
Helena opened her eyes and smiled. “I love you so much, my child. Have faith in God; we will be all right. Saint Achillius will protect us,” she said and leaned down and kissed the top of Zoe’s red-gold hair.
Mary D. Brooks is giving away 3 ebook copies of
In The Blood Of The Greeks
All you need to do is answer this question:
If you could meet any female resistance fighter, who would it be?
Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
• Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm BST on June 5th.
You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is only open Internationally.
•Only one entry per household.
• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
•Winners will be announced in the comments.
• Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Pick up your copy of
In The Blood Of The Greeks
Mary D. Brooks
I'm a wearer of many hats: author, graphic designer, artist, webmaster and assorted other creative hats. My passion is writing WW2 fiction and the aftermath. I was inspired to write about WW2 because of my adopted grandmother who was an Auschwitz survivor and my Greek grandfather who was in the Greek Resistance during WW2. They lit a fire in me when I was fourteen years old and it has never gone out; if we stop talking about it, people will forget. I'm also passionate about telling the story of the people history doesn't remember. Throw in some romance, a whole lot of history and a touch of urban fantasy.