Expected publication: April 22nd 2014 by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
YA romantic historical thriller
2. What inspired you to write a historical novel?
A couple of years ago, I had a baby and started reading a lot of nonfiction so my brain didn't turn into sleep-deprived mush. One of the books was about Geli Raubal, Hitler's real-life half-niece. Long after I'd finished the book, it stayed with me, and I couldn't stop thinking about Geli. What must her life have been like, sharing Hitler's luxurious Munich apartment while he campaigned for the presidency? Was she lonely, living so far from her mother and siblings? How did Hitler treat her?
The lure of writing about a girl close to Hitler was irresistible. I wanted the freedom of a fictional main character, though, so Gretchen Müller was born. How, I wondered, could I make Gretchen realize what Hitler, her beloved family friend, really stands for? How could she break free? Once I figured out the answers, I started writing.
3. Can you tell us a little something about Gretchen?
At the book's beginning, Gretchen's a seventeen-year-old student. She's smart, sensitive, and tough...and a Nazi. Her father and Hitler fought in the same regiment during World War One, and she's known and loved the man she calls "Uncle Dolf" since she was little.
Gretchen's determined to become a doctor. Her papa was killed during a street fight between the Nazis and the state police several years earlier, and she doesn't want more people to die needlessly.
I don't want to give too much away, but I can promise that Gretchen is very different by the story's end.
4. Give us 3 interesting things about you.
I'm named after a fictional character. When my mom was a kid, she loved Anne of Green Gables so much that she promised herself if she ever had a daughter, she'd name her after the redheaded orphan. Fortunately, my dad liked the name, too!
I'm also a librarian, which means not only do I love recommending books to people but all the books in my house are arranged alphabetically by author or by subject, if they're nonfiction. Even my daughter's picture books. I just can't stop myself from doing it! On the plus side, I can easily find any book I'm looking for.
I used to fence competitively. Sabre was one of my weapons, which meant I competed against REALLY.BIG.GUYS. Did I mention they were big?