venerdì 20 novembre 2015

Review, Interview & Giveaway: Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn by Linda Bennett Pennell

Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn
by Linda Bennett Pennell


GENRE: historical fiction with romantic elements



Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt Heinz, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.


My Review:

This historical novel set during World War II is really fascinating, full of tension and complete: there is a beautiful love story, a wonderful setting, charming characters, lots of action, plot twists, espionage, and a dangerous intrigue to solve before it's too late.
Sarah has had a big disappointment in love and devoted all her time and her attention to treat her patients. She doesn't want to open again her heart, even the beautiful blue eyes of Captain Kurt Heinz. Kurt is on a mission, a delicate and dangerous mission that can decide the fate of the war. He knows Sarah while he tries to spy on a suspect. He has no time for love and just can not afford distractions. But when she becomes the guardian of an important message, her life is in danger and can not help but to protect her.
This is a great, lovable, fast-paced book. It's well written, the author does a great job in vividly describing, she makes you feel like you are actually there. The plot is well developed and intriguing, full of tension and dangers and so addictive that keeps you attached to the pages until the end. And there's a sweet but troubled love story.
 I highly recommend this book!



Kurt watched in dismay as the man in gray picked up his fedora and rose from the table next to the one recently vacated by the two women. This had to be his contact. The man had watched Kurt on the sly since he arrived at the restaurant. Moreover, the guy matched the description right down to the red pocket square in his suit breast pocket and the thin, pale scar running along his left jawline. Making a quick decision, Kurt pushed his chair back and tossed some cash on the table.

"It's been interesting guys, but I'm calling it a night. Use this to cover my tab."

"What's the rush, Heinz? We haven't even ordered dinner."

"I guess my sins are catching up with me. It's return to quarters and bed for me."

"You headed back with us on the return flight tomorrow?"

"Nope, I'm here with the Old Man for the duration. You boys have a good trip."

The street was nearly deserted when Kurt stepped out onto its glistening concrete surface. Misty rain created halos around the sparse street lamps and obscured most objects more than a few feet distant. Only the two women, Sarah and Agnes, stood under an umbrella waiting for a taxi. Kurt watched them from the restaurant's portico. Focused on their conversation, they seemed oblivious to anyone behind them.

Glancing to his right, Kurt saw his man in gray scurrying toward the cross street. He stepped onto the sidewalk and crept along a good twenty paces behind. When his quarry slowed at the corner and looked back over his shoulder, Kurt stepped into the shadow of a doorway behind the taxi stand and waited. If this guy didn't want to make contact, he wouldn't appreciate being followed.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend."

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire 


Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing
When War Came Home from real Cypress Press
Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn available 8/28/15 from the Wild Rose Press

Twitter:  @LindaPennell

Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel
Buy link for Confederado do Norte:
Buy ink for When War Came Home:

A little interview

Where are you from?

I spent my first 16 years in Cordele, Georgia, a very small town on Interstate 75 half way between Atlanta and my second hometown, Lake City, Florida. College, marriage, and a move halfway across the country landed me in Houston, Texas. My husband and I have both lived here longer than any other place, so Houston is now home. Our children were born here and our lives are firmly planted here.

Who are your favorite authors?

Being a true G.R.I.T.S. (Girl Raised in the South), Harper Lee and Kathryn Stockett are my two of my favs. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help were stories that needed telling. Others include Daphne du Maurier, the Bronteës, Jane Austin, Victoria Holt, Ellis Peters, P.D. James, Anne Perry – basically, give me a good mystery in a historical setting and throw in a touch of romance.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I have always been interested in World War II. When I originally started work on what is now Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn, it was entitled Wings and was set in Hialeah, Florida. It was to feature a ninety-day-wonder, as WWII pilots in training were known, and an army nurse. It just wasn’t working for me. While in communication with a former WWII pilot, he mentioned a friend who had been stationed in Casablanca. That sparked my interest. A bit of research into the First Allied Conference, which took place in Casablanca at the Anfa Hotel, and my pilot evolved into an OSS officer from Texas who speaks perfectly unaccented German and looks like a poster boy for Himmler’s SS. The Army nurse remains but she has transferred from Florida to Morocco. 

The details of the Casablanca Conference are particularly interesting. It was at this meeting that Roosevelt prevailed upon Churchill, Charles de Gualle, and Henri Giraud to formulate the policy of unconditional surrender by the Axis powers. Many in the German military and High Command hoped for very different terms of surrender if the unthinkable happened and Germany lost the war. Spying and communications interception being what they were at the time, Hitler knew the conference was to take place and its approximate date. What he did not know was the correct location. The translator of the intercepted Allied communication made a significant error. He translated Casablanca correctly as white house, but assumed incorrectly that the conference was to take place at the White House in Washington, D.C., not the city in Morocco. The error was eventually discovered, but not in time for the Germans to take action. Imagine how things might have turned out if the Nazis had figured out where the conference was taking place in time to attempt to disrupt it! That’s what I did while writing Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn.

Where's your favorite place to write?

It is a testament to my particular form of ADD that I can and do write whenever and wherever the notion strikes. I don’t have a favorite place really. I do a lot of my writing in my Lazy Boy in the family room. Remember what I said about ADD? When I’m in full on writing mode, you could probably fire off a pistol next to my chair and I would not notice. It’s great for focusing on projects, but can be hard on relationships.

What are you working on next?

My work-in-progress is set in Miami and Havana. It features Professor Liz Reams from my first release, Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel. This time she is chasing theretofore unknown information about Meyer Lansky, the “Mob’s Accountant” and a founding member of Murder Incorporated.

Describe your book in 5 words.

Suspenseful, historical, romantic, informative, and fast paced.



Linda will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 commenti:

  1. Do you write every day? Do you have a word goal for each day you write?

  2. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and your honest review. I'm looking forward to reading this one, it sounds like a book I will really enjoy!

  3. The book sounds interesting, thanks.

  4. This book sounds intriguing, and I liked your review. Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. I enjoyed the interview. Thank you!


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