This Week’s Excerpt
This week’s excerpt is from Attack Hitler’s Bunker! which is due to be published on 29 June
Attack Hitler’s Bunker
Copyright © 2012 by Lazlo Ferran
All Rights Reserved.
Hugo Knopfl and Klaas Zapruder stepped onto the pavement. They had to move briskly to let the convoy of Wehrmacht vehicles pass. Half-tracks carrying troops and pulling 88 mm guns rumbled, creaking, over the cobbled stones. One of the camouflaged SS troops waved at them. Above, a cloud passed in front of the sun, casting the town square into dusk instantly. Sonnerberg was one of those pretty German towns, nestled in the fold of verdant hills, populated by slate-roofed houses with walls painted many colours. Ironically it was the home both of toy-making and the Dutch Waffen SS.
Klaas waved back at the soldier leaving.
Hugo threw the butt of his cigarette on the ground. “Don’t do that,” he said in quiet Dutch. “Why pretend when we don’t have to anymore?”
“You’re right. We won’t be coming back.”
“That’s not what I meant. Come on.”
They started walking up the hill in the cloud-formed dusk, towards the road that led out of the square. The barrel of a parked Tiger tank pointed directly at them but they ignored the implied threat.
Hugo tried to look relaxed as he passed other SS soldiers and officers – particularly the officers, but his nerves were stretched as tight as a bow string. He peered around every corner looking for somebody or something suspicious. Both he and Klass were veterans of the bitter siege of Leningrad and only in the spring of ’43 had they returned to Sonneburg, Germany. There, the SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Regiment de Ruyter was to recuperate and reform. As they walked, not speaking, Hugo saw the gruelling expanse of time he had served under cover in the SS contract to almost nothing. At last they had a mission he could believe in. He didn’t mind killing Russians, but killing Germans was his motivation for joining the volunteer Dutch SS unit. Within days he would probably be dead. However it would be a good death – something his dead parents would be proud of. He stifled a laugh at the naïvety of a political power that thought it could murder innocent civilians and yet recruit their children to fight for them.
“Almost there,” said Klaas, quietly. Hugo could hear the man who had become his friend breath out slowly, softly. When they entered the bar they would have to be good SS officers again. “What time do we have to leave?” “Ten. Maybe a bit before. Don’t drink more than three pints but make it look like five. Spill as much as you can.” Hugo often longed to walk up the hill, on through the village of Neufang to the Observatory he had seen once on manoeuvres. His student days studying physics had been left far behind in this war.
Looking up at the darkening sky, he mused that it was not just a quirk of the moody weather that diminished the glory of the mighty Reich. Only one red flag, with a black swastika, now fluttered indolently in the town square. No longer did every week feature a parade of soldiers and armour, cheered on by excited Germans. If they paraded now, a few hungry children would be their only audience.
Here (Link no longer available) is the provisional cover for the book, designed by Ashley Buttle. We are still looking for a really good high-resolution colour image of a Short Stirling we can use, so if you know where we can get one, please get in touch using the email address at the top of this blog.
I have spent the last week updating the Iron Series and Ordo Lupus Series: there were a few too many typos and other details that I wanted to change. I am also now able to see basic stats on how many people are viewing my Amazon pages and where from. The trend is very interesting: both Vampire: Beneficence and Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate get the lion’s share of the views, the other books hardly anything. I think this just goes to show that there is a hunger for books about lycanthropes. It’s a good job I am planning to write a pure vampire book in the autumn. Most of my books are now in the KDP Lending programme so you can borrow them and I will get free promotion ( a period when you can get my book for FREE) for 5 days in the next three months. I will give plenty of warning when this is about to happen.
MotoGP: Amazing to see Sete Gibernau supporting Rossi. Does anybody remember when they were the greatest rivals? I remember Gibernau blanking Ross completely when Rossi pushed him off the track (probably accidentally) on the last corner in Valentino’s first race on a Yamaha. He went on to win.
I watched Marc Marquez interviewed by MCN (I used to read their tabloid paper in the 70s when I rode a Kawasaki Z250 and dreamed of owning a Suzuki GSX1100) and he is very likeable. I will have to support him because Rossi’s days are numbered. I would like to have seen him beat Agostini’s record but it looks unlikely now.
If you haven’t heard about it, there is a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a biopic about the Hollywood actor (he would have hated me saying that) Cliff Robertson. You can find out more and donate some money here: http://www.thomcomm.net/cliffrobertsondoc.html