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Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

[ Edited ]

Today's guest blog is by our old friend REBECCA CANTRELL! Rebecca has visited with us a few times before. Her series is highly acclaimed and very well written. If you haven't discovered her books yet, check them out!

 

I've been thinking of Rebecca a lot lately, as I prepare to move a whole 400 miles from Cincinnati to Chicago. The longest move I've ever done was from Chicago to London (and back again several years later), but that's nothing on Rebecca. She recently moved from Hawaii to Germany! The mind boggles.

 

Rebecca Cantrell author photograph

 

Rebecca Cantrell

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

About Rebecca:

 

 

A few years ago Rebecca Cantrell quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer.  She writes the Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s, including A Trace of Smoke,  A Night of Long Knives,  A Game of Lies, and the upcoming A City of Broken Glass.

 

She is currently working on the first book in the Blood Gospel series with New York Times bestselling thriller author James Rollins.

 

Her novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards, and been nominated for the Barry, the APPY, the RT Reviewer’s Choice, and the DABWAHA Crossover awards.

A faded pink triangle pasted on the wall of Dachau Concentration Camp and time in Berlin, Germany in the 1980s inspired A Trace of Smoke. Fluent in German, she received her high school diploma from the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin and studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Georg August Universität in Göttingen before graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

When she visited Berlin in the summer of 2006, she was astounded to discover that many locations in her novel have been rebuilt and reopened in the last few years, including the gay bar El Dorado and the Mosse House publishing house.

 

Her short stories have appeared in the Missing and First Thrills anthologies.

 

Her screenplays The Humanitarian and A Taste for Blood were finalists at Shriekfest: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival.

 

As of this writing, she and her family just moved to Berlin to spend more time in Hannah’s world.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

News and updates from Rebecca's website: http://rebeccacantrell.com/

 

  • Very excited by today's starred review of "A City of Broken Glass" inLibrary Journal! "compulsively readable...Cantrell's series stands tall."
  • Thrilled by the wonderful reviews of "A City of Broken Glass" atPublishers Weekly, Booklist, and Poisoned Pen ! PW said: "The opening of Cantrell’s gripping fourth novel featuring journalist Hannah Vogel finds Vogel and her 13-year-old son, Anton, in 1938 Poland...Cantrell poignantly conveys the plight of Nazi Germany’s Jews through the story of one child."
  • Great mention of A City of Broken Glass at Library Journal Mystery Preview, Grasping the Unfathomable

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

[ Edited ]

Rebecca blogs here: http://rebeccacantrell.com/blog/

 

She's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaCantrellAuthor

 

And on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/rebeccacantrell

 

Rebecca is interviewed here: http://vimeo.com/10252276

 

"An interview with author Rebecca Cantrell from this year's Left Coast Crime convention where she won the Bruce Alexander memorial award for best Historical Mystery for her book A Trace of Smoke."

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

A City of Broken Glass  

 

A City of Broken Glass

 

 

Overview

In Rebecca Cantrell's A City of Broken Glass, journalist Hannah Vogel is in Poland with her son Anton to cover the 1938 St. Martin festival when she hears that 12,000 Polish Jews have been deported from Germany. Hannah drops everything to get the story on the refugees, and walks directly into danger.

 

Kidnapped by the SS, and driven across the German border, Hannah is rescued by Anton and her lover, Lars Lang, who she had presumed dead two years before. Hannah doesn’t know if she can trust Lars again, with her heart or with her life, but she has little choice. Injured in the escape attempt and wanted by the Gestapo, Hannah and Anton are trapped with Lars in Berlin. While Hannah works on an exit strategy, she helps to search for Ruth, the missing toddler of her Jewish friend Paul, who was disappeared during the deportation.

 

Trapped in Nazi Germany with her son just days before Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Hannah knows the dangers of staying any longer than needed. But she can’t turn her back on this one little girl, even if it plunges her and her family into danger.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Or How a Tiny Character Finagled a Big Role in the Hannah Vogel Books


By Rebecca Cantrell

 

I try to be a good author to Hannah Vogel. I do. I know I throw her into Nazi Germany every couple of years. I know I’ve broken her rib, her arm, let her get shot, had her hit by a car, knocked her out with chloroform and poisonous gas, and once almost set her on fire—but it’s all in the name of story. And I like to tell readers that in the years between books she lives in a comfortable house in Switzerland and eats a lot of chocolate and has a capital time with that good-looking banker from A Trace of Smoke.

 

I figured it was the least I could do for her.

 

But then Lars Lang got uppity. He was supposed to be a minor character in A Trace of Smoke. He was a smart but creepy guy who Hannah tried to avoid because he knew that she was up to something. I was pretty sure I was going to get him shot in A Night of Long Knives. It would have been a heroic death—valiant and brave and for some large altruistic purpose.

 

I couldn’t do it. I gradually realized what he’d been through and what he would go through and I wanted to explore that. So I gave him a few more pages. I could, I decided, kill him in A Game of Lies. And in the beginning of the book, I didn’t think it would be that hard. He’s a spy against the Nazis who works for the Gestapo, he has a drinking problem, and he’s unstable in such a dangerous environment that it seemed unlikely he’d make it through the book no matter what I did.

 

But he did.

 

He’s scrappy, he’s tough, and he has an unexpected sense of nobility. To make matters worse, he has a wonderful dark sense of humor and Hannah starts to fall for him. I talked to her most sternly about it. She knows he’s a bad romantic choice. She knows he’s trouble. She knows a lot of things. But she still doesn’t listen. As a friend, I think Boris will give her the easier life, but as an author, I can see why she’s attracted to the complex, troubled, dark figure that is Lars Lang.

 

Nowadays I get plenty of emails and comments about Lars. He’s a polarizing force, and readers are passionate about him. A bookseller threatened to kill me if I “touched a hair on his head.” A reader invented a long fictitious life for him that ends up with him retiring in Greece and spent the better part of a book club meeting telling me all about it. Someone else at that same book club wanted Lars shot, and on page 1 of the next book. I’m not saying he lives through A City of Broken Glass, but I do know that if he goes, he’ll be missed.

 

What do you think ought to happen to Lars Lang? And why?

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Please welcome REBECCA CANTRELL!

 

 

Note from Rebecca: "I'll pop by to comment as much as I can on release day (Tuesday, July 17), but it might take me a bit because Berlin is 9 hours later than CA, so a lot of your day is the middle of my night."

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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Welcome Rebecca:

 

Love, love, love your books. This is my favorite series. I am axiously awaiting the next installment, A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS.

 

In regards to Lars - he needs to stick around - he makes things very interesting and he needs to be there for Hannah when she gets into trouble!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Um, he ought NOT die!

 

I really disliked Lars in A TRACE OF SMOKE, but by the end of LONG KNIVES, I'd started softening towards him. By A GAME OF LIES, I was hooked. I like that he's complex and dark, and I know I've said this about a million times, but I think he and Hannah are well-matched. Boris would be good for Hannah if she wanted a stable life, but she can't sit idly by while all these horrors are happening in Germany, and in that way, Lars is a better partner. He tries to keep her out of danger, but he doesn't stand in her way either.

 

Somehow, I don't see the two of them ending up together forever, even though I think they should! I have a feeling Rebecca has a few tricks up her sleeve... :smileyfrustrated:

 

How is Berlin?

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Hello Eadie,

 

Glad you like the books so much. 

 

That's a strong vote for Lars. I have grown to love him over the series, but I have to admit that I have dark plans for him in the next book, tentatively titled, "In a Time of Night and Fog." 

 

His past in Russia is about to catch up to him, poor man.

 

Rebecca

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

"His past in Russia is about to catch up to him, poor man."

 

Noooooooooo!!!!!!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Lars has quite a fan club, I've discovered.

 

But can you see him settling down, going off to work in an office, and then coming home for a quiet dinner?

(OK, I actually can, if he just gets ten minutes peace in a row).

 

Hannah has a lot of work ahead of her with him, should she choose not to send him packing.

 

And Israel is going to be a difficult place for Lars. I'm not saying he dies, but I'm not saying he doesn't. :smileyhappy:

 

Rebecca

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!


Cantrell wrote:

Hello Eadie,

 

Glad you like the books so much. 

 

That's a strong vote for Lars. I have grown to love him over the series, but I have to admit that I have dark plans for him in the next book, tentatively titled, "In a Time of Night and Fog." 

 

His past in Russia is about to catch up to him, poor man.

 

Rebecca


That sounds exciting but Lars is a survivor!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for joining us! I love short stories in general, but yours was one of the most memorable in the First Thrills anthology I read. Do you have others?
Also, I forgot to mention that you also write YA as Bekka Black:
iDrakula  
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!


Cantrell wrote:

Lars has quite a fan club, I've discovered.

 

But can you see him settling down, going off to work in an office, and then coming home for a quiet dinner?

 

 

I can see him becoming a member of intelligence or something like that. If he makes it through, of course. I just hope he and Hannah don't end up stuck in East Germany or something...

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

I always have to mentally gird myself before reading stories set in WWII Europe - particularly those set in Germany. The suspense and tension is already in my head, so when I start reading everything is more nerve-wracking. I'm a nervous wreck before I'm halfway through the book! Rebecca's Hannah Vogel books are so vivid I feel like I'm there. 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Wow! Thanks!

 

I have a short story in the "Missing" anthology:

http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Barbra-Annino/dp/1590806115/ref=la_B001MOS172_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=13425313...

 

But other than that, I haven't been writing them lately. I've been too busy with novels.

 

Thanks for posting iDrakula! That was a fun book/app. I'm writing a sequel, iFrankenstein, for Halloween release too!

 

Rebecca

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!


becke_davis wrote:

I always have to mentally gird myself before reading stories set in WWII Europe - particularly those set in Germany. The suspense and tension is already in my head, so when I start reading everything is more nerve-wracking. I'm a nervous wreck before I'm halfway through the book! Rebecca's Hannah Vogel books are so vivid I feel like I'm there. 


I know! I've felt that way ever since Book 1. Rebecca is really great at both setting the scene and putting her characters in genuinely precarious situations. I was lucky to get an advance copy of A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS, and I spent eh majority of the book in a state of high anxiety---but in a good way!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author REBECCA CANTRELL!

Farin and Becke,

 

Sorry to torture you!

 

Bwahahahahahaha!

 

(wait, that's not too convincing, is it?) :smileyhappy:

 

Rebecca

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books