(The video above takes place on a train in 1944 Germany — my heroine, Angeline, is very pregnant and on her way back to Auschwitz with two SS guards…)
Nothing is more heartbreaking than holding a newborn baby in your arms and it doesn’t cry.
The anguish, holding your breath while you wait for that first sign of life, the tears that fall upon your cheeks as you pray for that lovely, beautiful cry.
Then… a burst from the baby’s lungs and a heart-swelling joy overcomes you when the infant’s wail fills the air like an angels’ choir.
But what if you’re pregnant and imprisoned in a concentration camp in Southern Germany? A place where American soldiers were so devastated by the horror they found when they neared the camp, they wept when they liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945.
They discovered more than thirty railroad cars filled with dead bodies.
What if you were imprisoned there? Would you have lived? The odds were against you if you were a soon-to-be-mother.
It’s well documented the chances for survival for pregnant women and their babies in the camps was practically zero. They were immediately singled out for execution when they arrived.
It pains me to write this, but Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was determined to exterminate all Jewish children (he proclaimed his policy in a secret speech in Poland on October 6, 1943).
As many as 1.5 million Jewish children died in the Holocaust.
Thanks to survivors’ stories and seven Jewish mothers from Hungary, we have the miracle of the Dachau babies. How for reasons never made clear, these mothers were allowed to live and brought to a sub-camp of Dachau in the waning days of the war known as Kaufering I.
And how under horrific conditions (no hot water, no instruments for the prisoner/doctor), they delivered seven healthy babies from December 1944 to April 1945 when fate stepped in and dealt them a cruel blow… I shan’t spoil it for you, but I promise you, I followed these events as they happened in ‘The Lost Girl in Paris’.
My heroine, Angéline de Cadieux, was there and very pregnant.
How did this Frenchwoman born Roma find herself in a concentration camp with Hungarian mothers-to-be? It was a challenge to orchestrate the series of events that bring her there… counting the days of her pregnancy in Paris, being honest to the unsanitary, degrading conditions found in the camps, the treatment of Roma by the Third Reich. Few have written about the Roma Holocaust and how anywhere from 220,000 to half a million Romani people died at the hands of the Nazis.
I admit it was a tremendous undertaking bringing all this to my story. I spent many sleepless nights trying to bring justice to these unbelievable women who not only survived the camps, but had the courage to tell their stories.
I have tried to tell one woman’s story albeit fiction, but everything Angéline de Cadieux experiences in the camps is based on truth.
So, my friends, cry as I did, become angry these events ever happened, but most of all, never forget.
THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is now available across all platforms.
Available in e-book, print and audio
The Lost Girl in Paris universal link: https://books2read.com/u/3LyrdN
It’s the story of woman who survived both Auschwitz and Dachau, but never spoke about it until she meets a young reporter named Emma Keane who touches a nerve in her that now is the time to speak about those times. Her memories are as vivid to this eighty-year-old as if she were the seventeen-year-old girl who ran away to Paris to become a parfumier after losing her mother to the Nazi war machine.
I wrote THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS to pay tribute to the strong women who survived the Holocaust and willingly shared their stories with us. The horror of Nazi brutality, the loss of family, their dignity… but also about their strength just to ‘survive another day’.
And the strong bonds with their sisters-in-arms they formed with fellow prisoners. How they learned to trust each other and stood up against the enemy to save each other.
We must never forget.
Here is a second short excerpt from THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS:
The LOST GIRL IN PARIS is part of the ‘Get Inspired’ promotion in UK, AU, and NZ
I’ve had a zillion jobs in my career.
US Army rec specialist in Europe, AM/FM radio commercial artist, traveling cosmetic saleslady for a French company, club dancer, soap opera player, writer for kids’ TV…
And perfume model.
So, what does a perfume model do?
The gig started when I got a call from the modeling agency I worked for asking me if I was available to introduce a new perfume. Since I was freelancing for a travel magazine company in Beverly Hills back then, I jumped every time the agency called me with a perfume job.
The pay was good. The hours ranged from four to six hours a day. The location was always a posh department store (remember Bullocks, I Magnin’s?), and occasionally, I’d get to wear wardrobe from the couture department to complement the color scheme and theme of the perfume.
I felt like a film star.
After a session with the perfume rep explaining their marketing campaign, off I went. Sashaying around the store like I was walking on the red carpet. I’d engage customers in small talk and introduce them to the perfume.
I’d spray it on their wrist – or mine if they preferred – and then gave them a sample. It wasn’t easy. I was snubbed by snooty women, hit on by male customers, and constantly asked, ‘Where is the ladies room?’
By the end of my shift – toes squashed in three-inch heels – my feet were killing me.
But I loved it. The customers were enchanted by the quick whiff of a new fragrance and loved being whisked away for a moment of glamour. I’d regale them with my stories about Paris and the Belle Époque department stores I visited along with the history of perfume.
And the different notes of the perfume. Top, heart, base.
I soon discovered you didn’t sell the steak… perfume, that is… but the sizzle. The mystique, the mood. I had to evoke an emotional response in the customer and I did it by storytelling and learning as much as I could about perfume. How it’s manufactured, the ingredients, what that perfume can do for that customer to make her happy, feel sexy. Powerful. Loved. I became an amateur ‘nose’, learning about the different scents and essences and how they configure in varying ratios to make up a lovely new fragrance.
I used that perfume experience to create parfumier Angéline de Cadieux when I wrote ‘The Lost Girl in Paris’.
How a girl from a controversial upbringing becomes a famous perfumer during the war when she comes to Paris in 1940 to escape the Gestapo. Then how she uses perfume to do her part to win the war…
THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is up for pre-order – and my just-revealed cover is on Amazon!
Release date: November 30, 2021
Jina Bacarr: Laura Burke Photography
Background: ID 137251284
Nearly 500 ratings on Amazon UK!
The Resistance Girl
Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris & her shocking secret…
Date Published: 10-06-2021
Publisher: Indies United
Escaping from her childhood, Sheela, flees her aunt’s motel where she is forced to work as a cleaning maid and provide ‘favors’ for wealthy guests and winds up in Miami in Kit Malone’s fancy brothel. Beautiful and stately, Sheela becomes a high-class prostitute, a millionaire’s mistress and a Billy Rose showgirl. When she meets the love of her life in Manhattan, the charming but naïve Julius Clark, life blossoms into something both frightening and titillating. But when Sheela gives birth to her daughter, Fanny, it is this shadowy and stormy relationship that alters the course of both of their destinies and defines their future.
Vera Jane Cook was born in New York City and has been a city girl ever since. As an only child, she turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Before Jane became a writer, she worked in the professional theatre and appeared on television, in regional theatre, film and off Broadway.
At the age of fifty Jane began to write novels. Some of her titles include Dancing Backward in Paradise, winner of an Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and an Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater and Dancing Backward in Paradise received 5 Star ForeWord Clarion Reviews and The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was named a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards. She has published in ESL Magazine, Christopher Street Magazine and has written early childhood curriculum for Weekly Reader and McGraw Hill.
Jane still lives on the upper west side of Manhattan right near Riverside Park, where she takes her delightful dogs, Peanut and Carly, for a jog,. She comes home to her spouse of thirty years and her two cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.
Date Published: 08-01-1021
Publisher: BQB Publishing
England, 1609. Matthew did not trust his friend, Richard’s stories of Paradise in the Jamestown settlement, but nothing could have equipped him for the privation and terror that awaited him in this savage land.
Once ashore in the fledgling settlement, Matthew experiences the unimaginable beauty of this pristine land and learns the meaning of hope, but it all turns into a nightmare as gold mania infests the community and Indians become an increasing threat. The nightmare only gets worse as the harsh winter brings on “the starving time” and all the grizzly horrors of a desperate and dying community that come with it.
Driven to the depths of despair by the guilt of his sins against Richard and his lust for that man’s wife, Matthew seeks death, but instead finds hope in the most unexpected of places, with the Powatan Indians.
In this compelling and extensively researched historical novel, the reader is transported into a little-known time in early America where he is asked to explore the real meanings of loyalty, faith, and freedom.
About The Author
A retired Aviation Safety Inspector for the FAA, Daniel V. Meier, Jr. has always had a passion for writing. During his college years, he studied History at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) and American Literature at The University of Maryland Graduate School. In 1980 he published an action/thriller with Leisure Books under the pen name of Vince Daniels.
He also worked briefly for the Washington Business Journal as a journalist and has been a contributing writer/editor for several aviation magazines. In addition to Bloodroot, he is the author of the award-winning historical novel, The Dung Beetles of Liberia that was released in September 2019 and the highly acclaimed literary novel, No Birds Sing Here in April 2021.
The night slowly yielded, as it always does, to happy daylight. Never was I so happy to see it come. The dark, strange shapes slowly became bushes, or the trunks of trees covered with vines, or they disappeared altogether—mere night shadows. All manner of birds awoke and greeted the day with their particular songs. The sun warmed and dried the ground which yielded a sweet, wild scent.
The Lieutenant himself came to fetch us from our post, saying to me that we were less than a day’s march from the land of the Saponi, and there we might expect to bargain for fresh victuals and peaceful relations. So, after breakfasting on more dried beef, we continued our march along King James River, going further into the interior of this strange land.
The men had begun to grumble about the value of our undertaking and openly doubting that any of us would return alive. Lieutenant Webster did his best to appease them but, as the day wore on, their complaints grew stronger. The Lieutenant ordered a halt. He reckoned that we were well out of the land of the Monacans and ordered camp to be made on a height next to the river. There were many hours of daylight left, and he ordered our best marksmen, of which I was not one, to go into the woods and kill the fattest deer they could find.
The Lieutenant himself went in search for whatever fruits the land would provide. He soon returned with his hat and shirt full of berries which looked similar to English strawberries but with a sweeter, juicer taste. We heard a musket report not too far off and, in less than half an hour the marksmen returned, bearing a large male deer strung on a carrying pole.
Every man in the camp, including myself, was most happy over the prospect of fresh meat. We set about dressing the deer and constructing several roasting pits. In a short while we had the best cuts of the venison sizzling over glowing wood coals. The unusable parts of the animal we buried away from our campsite. To clean ourselves of the blood and animal fat, we bathed and frolicked, like schoolboys, in the running cool waters of the river.
When the meat was done, we sat around the fire, naked as Indians except for a loincloth which the Lieutenant demanded that we wear. We feasted on well cooked meat until we could not force another mouthful down. We then lay by the fires, gorged as the most gluttonous of Romans, and instantly fell asleep. I hardly gave a thought to whatever Indians might be lurking about.
I’ve been writing humorous poetry since I was a wee girl at me Irish grandmother’s knee… she’d chuckle and get on with baking her apple sugar pies and then winding her blue rosary around her gnarled fingers, praying, ‘What’s the lass going to come to with these ditties?’
Novels, mostly historicals these days and I’m finishing up a second Paris WW 2 novel while pulling all-nighters… I needed a break, so here’s a lighthearted poem about everyone’s favorite frog from this Irish Poetess.
Put the kettle on and Enjoy!
The art of writing fairy tales
is a joy I claim.
But frog or toad, what’s in a name?
’Tis a prince I seek at the end of my tale
And that happily ever after, but to no avail
Ah, but yes have I the power of the pen
So with my snappy keystrokes Poof! I say.
He’s here. Amen!
Here the first in my Occupied Paris series:
The Resistance Girl
Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris
And the shocking secret her mother never told her…
5* ‘… a beautiful and poignant historic fiction that left me in tears’ Jessica F NetGalley
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