Howdy folks. Welcome to the ranch today. And what a wonderful day it is! My first December guest comes bearing gifts. Alyson Reuben is in the round pen!!!
Care to tell us a little about your writing to kick us off, Alyson? Then we’ll get to the really good stuff; like your intriguing book from The Wild Rose Press, A Beautiful Cage. 🙂 I tell ya gang- this book has the most beautiful cover!
The first question people generally ask is what influenced me to begin writing?
I caught ‘Writer’s Itch’ in second grade after listening to a visiting author share his book at my school. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the title of his book, or even his name, only that he greatly stressed the importance of writing down stories as they come to you. As far as writing about WWII and the Holocaust, the biggest influence came from my now deceased grandfather, who patiently answered my questions and discussed those horrific events with me. He was never overly graphic, though he got his points across. Years later, I sat on the idea for A BEAUTIFUL CAGE while playing around with other less serious stories. By the time I became earnest about writing it, everything eased into place.
I’m a huge believer in writing from my heart and soul. If a scene makes me cry as I’m writing it, I know it’ll probably bring some tears to readers’ eyes. If it makes me smile, it will make someone else smile, too. To give my character’s realistic personality traits, I just observe people in general, taking mental notes of their behavior and body language. Friends and family tell me I scare them — they’re afraid they’ll end up as an antagonist in one of my stories! Ha! It hasn’t happened yet, though.
Determined to become an author while still in elementary school, Alyson Reuben frequently found herself in trouble for writing stories while she should’ve been studying for math tests. Some years later, by combining a love of history with her enthusiasm for storytelling, she seeks to entertain readers with passionate accounts of vintage romance. Occasionally, she still find herself in trouble for writing when she should be cooking dinner. Alyson enjoys small-town life in Indiana with her husband and daughter.
Wanted by the Gestapo, Rebecca Bloomberg is on the run for her life. Sheltering in the home of a reporter who writes absurd lies for a Nazi propaganda newspaper is hardly an ideal solution. Irresistibly drawn to the man, she dares not trust him, until she discovers his journalist position is a mask for involvement in an anti-Nazi resistance ring.
Gustav Von Furst has done all he can to perfect his mask. Neither his family nor his close friends know the truth. Hiding a Jewish girl is the most foolish risk, yet there is something about her that makes him want to protect her.
Eager to forget the outside world, Rebecca and Gustav are caught up in a private world of forbidden passion—until unexpected danger lands on their doorstep and they’re faced with a decision that will change everything. Will love demand a sacrifice too great to give?
Entering Aachen Central Station, Rebecca drew
a deep breath.
People were bustling in all directions—children,
the elderly, everyone in between. Some carried
luggage, others toted parcels. All of them seemed to
be in a hurry, paying no attention to those around
Huddled together, a small choral group was
singing “Silent Night,” their voices barely rising
above the crowd’s racket. “Stille Nacht, heilige
Nacht, Alles schläft, einsam wacht.” All is calm, all is
bright… Ironic, Rebecca thought. All was not bright.
And it certainly wasn’t calm.
“This place is crammed,” Gustav murmured
more to himself than to her.
Was he thinking the same thing she was? That
the holiday might make their situation easier
because the employees’ minds would be less on their
jobs and more on getting home to their family and
She shifted the brim of her hat lower over her
forehead so that it shaded her face as much as
possible without seeming too obvious. Her hair,
pulled back in the style of the girl in the picture on
the visa, did quite a bit to alter her usual appearance,
while her makeup, heavier than she’d normally wear
in the daytime, did the rest.
“Remember, Louise,” Gustav stressed the
counterfeit name, “you’re supposed to be looking
forward to seeing your aunt and uncle, and excited
about going to Limburg, so laugh and flirt with me.
Pretend to be all keyed up.” His jaw visibly twitched.
“Most of all, do not look anyone directly in the eye.”
He squeezed her hand.
She nodded. “Let’s go.”
As they made their way to the checkpoint, she
forced an exchange punctuated with giggles that
didn’t, in the least, belong to Rebecca Bloomberg, but
perfectly suited the woman who was accompanied by
the striking Nazi, proudly sporting a swastika
armband over his expensive wool coat. Squeezing his
opposite arm, she leaned toward him, angling her
head, and in doing so noticed someone out of the
corner of her eye. A man standing off by himself was
staring at her and Gustav in spite of the surging
crowd all around him. There was no time to point
him out to Gustav before the line moved and they
were face to face with an officer, dressed in Nazi
“Heil Hitler,” Gustav addressed briskly, arm out.
The officer, looking fresh out of Hitler-Youth,
returned the greeting, staring at Gustav before
casting a casual glance, like an afterthought, at
Rebecca. She forced a smile, concentrating on his
forehead and not directly at his eyes. But it didn’t
seem to matter; within seconds it was clear he was
focused more on Gustav, obviously impressed by his
height, which towered above him by several inches.
“To Heerlen, Limburg,” Gustav announced with
the brusqueness of a businessman.
Rebecca was careful not to appear too anxious as
she pulled out a compact from the purse that Bertie
had given her and laid it on the ledge, making
believe she had to search for the papers.
“Oh, here they are,” she crooned. “Silly me,
forgetting which compartment I put them in.”
Handing the documents over, she couldn’t help but
cast Gustav an anxious glance. The officer studied
the papers carefully. Very carefully. If he had any
doubts or suspicions…
Her stomach was churning like ocean waves in a
storm, threatening to send an earlier cup of coffee
back up her throat. She swallowed down the bitter
bile and prayed she didn’t appear as ashen as she
And then, suddenly, he reached toward the
Rebecca closed her eyes, bracing for the worst.
But a dull thump was immediately followed by the
swish of paper, and she opened her eyes to see that
the officer had been reaching for the nearby inkpad
and was proceeding to stamp each of the three
Her passage had met the final step of approval.
Could a person die of relief? Her heart was
beating three times its normal speed, as if the blood
had been drained and it was now having to struggle
to make a fresh supply.
The officer handed everything back to Gustav—
not to her, she noticed. Was he intimidated by
Gustav? Probably. She understood the feeling all too
And now he was actually telling her to have a
It was done! It seemed unbelievable.
As she and Gustav turned in unison toward the
train, she saw the loitering man again. He’d moved a
few steps closer, glowering at them with a silent
threat that pasted chilblains all along her upper
Suddenly, he strode ahead of them, meeting
with another official who was passing by. His hand
gesture caused the second officer to crane his head to
look at them.
Did Gustav notice?
Yes. The pressure on her arm signaled her to
change paths, bypassing the men. Just a few
more feet and they’d be out of their sight.
A few more feet and…
Suddenly a voice called out behind them, “Halt.
Entschuldigen-Sie, mein Herr.”
Without looking at one another, Gustav and Rebecca both
turned to face the second officer. This one was much
brawnier than the previous one, nearly matching
Gustav’s size. He held out his black-gloved hand,
wiggling his fingers, indicating they needed to hand
something over to him. His smile was a polite one
but didn’t reach his eyes. Beside him, the mole was
leaning against the post, staring at them with
“Is there a problem, mein Herr?” Gustav
addressed the officer, his voice unmistakably cold as
ice. Clearly, Gustav wasn’t about to let either man
In spite of herself, Rebecca glanced again at the man
leaning against the post. His tattered coat was
probably five years old. He was, she guessed,
someone who needed money and would probably do
anything to get it—including hounding Jews for
payment. Right now, he stood unmoving, his face a
Their eyes met for the briefest of seconds. His
were dark, full of malice and anger.
She wasn’t supposed to look anyone in the eyes,
and now she understood why. This man was her
Yet she had no idea what spurred his hatred.
BTW, we’re doing an ebook giveaway too, aren’t we, Calisa? I’m perfectly happy to give away one or two copies.
Yes, let’s do two winners to start the giving season off with a bang! Whooo- Dogieees!!!!
Oh, happy days! I’m so thrilled you found your way here Alyson.
Thanks again for inviting me to blog for you!!
Posted on 12/06/2011, in Promotion, The Wild Rose Press and tagged #TWRP, Alyson Reuben, Calisa Rhose, Free books, giveaway, guest, The Wild Rose Press, Winner, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.