Dear Reader,

My father was in the Marines during World War II.  As a child I had asked him many times about his shiny medals, photos, letters and postcards to my mother, things about the war.  It seemed the more I pressed him for answers, the more reticent he became.  By the time I was eight years old I was writing war stories in the closet where my father's uniform hung.  I became obsessed with writing, and then one day I mailed one of my stories to the Oakland Tribune, and it was published the next weekend in the "Aunt Elsie" column.  Well, that did it for me.  I was a PUBLISHED author!

I lived in Berkeley, California and a few years later I entered college and majored in English.  I was still writing stories in my free time.  A friend of mine, who was editing for me, suggested that I attend the IOWA WRITER'S WORKSHOP in Iowa City, Iowa.  So off I went to write more stories, and I absolutely loved it!

I had just finished a summer session when I received a phone call from my mother telling me that father had just died from an aneurysm.  I was devastated.  My chance to know him was over.  A few months later, a package arrived for me in the mail.  I quickly opened it, and found wrapped in old newspapers, my father's war journals.  What a day that was for me!  Though, by the time I began reading it, I soon grimly understood why he never spoke of the war.  It took me a long time to absorb, to rethink, rehash everything that had happened to him.  I really took it hard.

My husband, Ken, and my daughters suggested I write his story, that it would be therapeutic to cleanse myself of grief.  So, I began writing and I could see with every page I completed that I was beginning to come to terms with it all.  By the time I was finished, I was healed.

My book, EVENSONG, is dedicated to my father.


M. L. St. Sure




Evensong
M L St. Sure
Book Surge Publishing



M L St. Sure's Evensong is a powerful and captivating historical romance novel, set in World War II, about a beautiful, celebrated opera singer forced to sing the singspiel before Hitler. Amidst terrible consequences, after heartbreaking conflict and loss, the heroine's voice carries the ultimate message of courage and freedom.

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Evensong

Excerpt © M L St. Sure

On June 16, 1940, Philippe Petain arranged an armistice with Germany and became premier of France. He was now a force in Hitler's war machine, and it came to him that the commandant was studying him carefully like an old master's painting, preparing him for the final plan, the plan that his niece, Christina would become part of. For once, he felt shrewd, brilliant, and lucky. The capital was moved to the city of Vichy, and he was authorized to create a new constitution. Within weeks, he launched a revolution that established fascist political and economic institutions. His government paid heavy financial tribute to the Germans and sent French workers to German. He ordered his troops stationed in North Africa to resist Allied landings, and arranged an opera to be performed for Hitler.

"You should be pleased to sing for the Fuhrer!" Uncle Philippe persisted. "Did you not know that in his youth he sang in the church choir and dreamed of becoming such a singer as yourself?"

"But the singspiel, the German opera?" Christina cried frantically.

"The songs are simple, folk-like. You'll have no trouble learning."

"I have only a week before I leave for El Alamein. I can't possibly learn it in a week!"

"The campaign in North Africa is of utmost importance to the Fuhrer! You cannot disappoint him. You cannot let his men down. Montrose, Goering, Hess, Himmler, Rosenberg, they will all be there. They are weary with war and need distraction. I have spoken of your voice to my Fuhrer, that you sing like a bird, and he is eager to listen."

"In other words, I have no choice."

Uncle Philippe shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut. He knew the wrath of Hitler and could not challenge his order. He had only hoped Christina could live up to his expectations.

Christina took the box of bonbons wrapped in lace that he had offered and walked to her room. She felt her knees go weak and paced the floor like a stricken animal. It was insane to think that she would be singing for Hitler in little more than a week's time. She crawled into bed, and tossed and turned all night. In the morning, she got up and walked to the secretary, sat down, and began to write.




Contest!

M L St. Sure is offering up two copies of her book EVENSONG!

For a chance to win a copy, please email us with your full name and mailing address by November 23rd, 2008.

Winners will be announced at My Tote Bag. Good luck!

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