Genre: Historical romance
Release Date: June 24 2016
Publisher: Amelia Press
With the Nazis poised to invade Guernsey in 1940, feisty student Lydia Le Page returns from England on the day the island is devastated by the first bombing of the war on British soil.
Trapped on the German occupied island, two men enter Lydia’s life: Martin Martell, the handsome but mysterious rector and Major Otto Kruger, the ruthless German Kommandant who falls under her spell.
When Martin disappears, Lydia discovers a secret from her past that threatens her future. Will she be able to keep it from the enemy? And will she choose love or duty?
Occupying Love is a story of love, loss and the identity that makes us who we are.
‘So you’ve met the handsome new rector, you lucky girl.’ Maggie’s eyes twinkled. ‘What did you think of him?’
‘He’s good looking, I’ll give you that. I gather you haven’t been introduced?’
‘I’ve had the odd glimpse since he replaced old man Ozanne, but believe me, tongues are wagging. Some folks say he’s a double agent put here by the Jerries, and that he daubed “V for Victory” on the prison walls. Isn’t it exciting?’
‘Exciting he may be,’ Lydia kept her voice casual, ‘but he’s not really my type.’
‘You mean you fancy him?’
‘I mean nothing of the sort, Maggie. He’s a rector, not a movie star – don’t you think of anything but the opposite sex?’
‘Not very often, to be frank. I think of food, of course, seeing as there’s never enough to go round, and going out after the curfew, and being able to buy whatever I like in the shops. What else is there to occupy my mind?’
‘You could help with the Sunday school at Torteval. The lady who leads it has gone to England.’
‘Me? Help with the Sunday school? You do make me laugh. There’s hardly any kids left on the island and those that are here wouldn’t gain much from me. Or much that would do them any good. I think all that book-learning’s gone to your brain. You need to relax a bit more.’ Maggie winked. ‘There’s a picture on at the Regal tonight. Do you want to come with me?’
Lydia pulled a face. ‘It’s German, with English subtitles. Are you still sure you want to go?’
‘You never know who you might meet.’
‘Oh, Maggie – you really are a hopeless case.’
Lydia Le Page returns to Guernsey just as the Germans invade her island home. Life soon changes beyond all recognition, with houses being commandeered, islanders shipped out to POW camps in Europe and the inevitable food shortages. Volunteering to help with the school Lydia meets and falls for handsome new vicar Martin Martell. Soon she is joining the group of islanders this controversial man of the cloth leads; individuals who are involved in clandestine and dangerous activities. The death of her beloved father at the hands of the Germans and requisitioning of her home sees her agreeing to a hazardous plan concerning the island’s unpleasant Kommandant, Otto Kruger, a man who has developed an unhealthy fascination for her.
I absolutely loved this book. The historical detail is exceptional and makes the read all that more believable…and enjoyable. The reader becomes immersed in the daily survival struggles of the islanders, something that wraps itself so well around Lydia and Martin’s story. If you love historical reads with a brave hero, a feisty heroine and a plot that will hold you until the end…then this is the book for you.
ABOUT MARILYN CHAPMAN
I got my first break writing in a football magazine when I was 15 and have been writing ever since. An NCTJ qualified journalist, I spent my early years on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and Lytham St Annes Express in Lancashire. I then helped to set up a family PR and publishing company on the Fylde Coast and freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including Woman.
My debut novel Baggy Pants and Bootees was released as an e-book in February 2014 by a small publishing house based in Britain and Germany. A time-slip novel set between World War Two and the ‘swinging sixties, it was published as a paperback in August 2014.
Born in Guernsey, I have always wanted to write a novel set in the Occupation of the Channel Islands, after hearing so many stories about life under German rule from my grandparents, whose home was requisitioned by the enemy. Occupying Love is the result.
After spending several years in the Midlands I now live in Lancashire with my husband of 45 years. We have two daughters and two granddaughters who we spend lots of time with.
A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association I am currently working on a sequel to Baggy Pants and Bootees.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7912863.Marilyn_Chapman
For a chance to win an e-copy of Occupying Love (open internationally)or a paperback copy of Baggy Pants and Booties (UK only), simply click on the link below and register your details