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I am pleased to introduce today’s new Author Feature. From Vancouver, Canada, welcome my guest, Anneli Purshase!

Image of Anneli Purchase

Vancouver Island author, Anneli Purchase, has published her third novel. From “The Wind Weeps” set in the wilds of the BC coast, to “Orion’s Gift” set in Baja, Purchase now takes us to postwar Europe in “Julia’s Violinist.”

Imagine yourself growing up in a rural town in what used to be Austria-Hungary, expecting a normal happy life, when war shatters all your hopes and dreams. You are 32 and widowed with two small children. Like thousands of your fellow Sudetenlanders, you’ve been driven out of your country and strangers have taken over your home and all your possessions. You survive their brutal lust for revenge for Hitler’s mistreatment of them, survive the harsh conditions of refugee camps, survive disease and starvation. All you want is a return to the contented days of the past. But it is not to be. Once transported across the German border, you try to pick up the pieces of your shattered life and remarry, perhaps more for security than for love.

You’ve just begun the arduous task of rebuilding your life in war-torn Germany, when the young man you loved more than twenty years ago writes to tell you he has been searching everywhere for you. He still loves you and wants you to come to him. Such is Julia’s dilemma when her husband hands her the letter with the Canadian postmark.

What would you do?

Read “Julia’s Violinist” and learn how Julia’s decision changed her life.

Excerpt from Julia’s Violinist

September 1939

War! War? War. The terrible word was on everyone’s lips. Julia’s first thought was to find Lukas. She needed Lukas. As she pedaled furiously towards Bechert’s to find her husband, she heard the word in every snatch of conversation that reached her ears. War was about to change their lives.

Julia threw her bicycle down outside the factory and ran to the department that Lukas managed. “Georg! Have you seen Lukas? Where’s Lukas?” Georg turned from the pile of bolts in front of him and pointed down the hall just as Lukas appeared. “Lukas!” Julia shouted. “Did you hear?” Lukas looked white and shaken as he folded her into his arms.

“You’re shivering, Julia.”

“I’m still shaking from pedaling so fast, but I can’t seem to stop. Did you hear?”

“Yes,” he whispered, and pulled her closer. “Don’t worry.”

“You’re not going, are you? Please say you’re not.” She felt as if vise grips had hold of her stomach. He couldn’t leave her now, just when life was perfect. “Say you won’t go, Lukas. Please, say it.”

“Come, we’ll ride home on the motorbike and we’ll get your bicycle later.”

The ride home seemed too short. Julia clung to Lukas so tightly that she could feel his heart beating. She dreaded the conversation she knew was coming.

“You know I have to go, don’t you, Julia?”

She could feel tears trickling down her cheeks finding their way to her chin. “Why? Lukas!” She choked out his name. “You can’t. What about the children? Your aunt? What about me? Don’t you love me? How can you leave me now?”

“Sweetheart.” His eyes brimmed with tears. “The Czechs will be trying their best to get us under their thumb again. I have to—”

“No, you don’t have to. I don’t want you to—”

“I have to do what I can to help stop them.”

“If you really loved me you wouldn’t go.”

“It’s for you and Sofie and Steffie that I’m volunteering to go, exactly because I love you all so much. What kind of a coward would I be if I didn’t protect my family?”

Julia couldn’t argue when he put it that way, but dammit, why did he have to choose now to be so noble? Their happy life would be torn apart. She loved him so much. Her children loved him, needed him. How could he do this to them? She wiped her wet cheeks with the backs of her hands and sank into the nearest chair.

“Oh, Lukas! How will I manage without you?” She knew that further entreaties would only add to his pain. She was sure he was hurting as much, well, almost as much, as she was.

“I’ll be back before you have time to miss me. Meanwhile, you’re a strong girl, Julia. I want you to remember that, if times get hard. That inner strength that I love so much in you will see you through. God willing, I’ll come back to you.”

“You still believe there’s a God? How could He allow this to happen?” She flung out her arms indicating her crumbling world. She was incredulous at his naiveté.

“We aren’t meant to question God. Please, Julia. We need to believe He will guide us.”

“Oh, Lukas! There is no God. Why would God ask people to kill each other? How can you believe in God now?” She was amazed at his blind faith. They went to church, said the prayers, and sang the songs, but had never really had any serious discussion over their beliefs before.

“I have to believe in Him to see me through.”

Julia clamped her teeth together tightly. She didn’t want to take away Lukas’s crutch if he was counting on God to see him through. She needed Lukas to come home safely. But every rational thought told her that God had forsaken her.

***

“The Wind Weeps,” “Orion’s Gift,” and “Julia’s Violinist” can be found on all Amazon sites for paperback and Kindle versions.

Visit Anneli’s author page on amazon.com http://ow.ly/je5rT to see all her books.

They are also available in all e-book formats at smashwords.com http://ow.ly/je5IX

Anneli’s website: http://anneli-purchase.com

Anneli’s blogs: http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com

and http://annelisplace.wordpress.com

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