Monday, March 1, 2010
Excerpt Monday - Destination: Berlin
Stuck in a routine job in Cold War Germany guarding nuclear weapons. U.S. Army Corporal Sharon Cates thinks she is going to Berlin to attend an orientation tour. Unknown to her, the briefcase she carries contains top-secret information that the Stasi and KGB are willing to kill for.
Russian Junior Sergeant Dimitri Nagory is an assistant to a high-ranking Soviet officer in his country’s embassy in England. Dimitri isn’t expecting a great adventure as he boards the duty train for a routine trip to headquarters in Berlin, and he certainly isn’t expecting to meet any Americans.
The Stasi derail the train in the middle of East Germany, expecting to take the information from Sharon’s dead body. The sparks fly when Sharon and Dimitri meet. When the sudden explosion hurls Sharon and Dimitri from the train and into each other, he too becomes a target. With Sharon nursing badly bruised ribs and branded by her country as a traitorous thief for stealing top-secret documents, Dimitri goes against everything he’s been trained to do when he offers to help her to Berlin. Can Sharon trust Dimitri or will he break her heart?
Author Bio: New Hampshire native SG Cardin (also writing as Stephanie Burkhart) spent more than seven years stationed overseas in Europe as member of the Army’s Military Police Corps. Currently she lives in California and works as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She’s married with two boys, 7 & 3.
“A tautly written military adventure.” – Midwest Book Review
There's a little bit of everything mixed into this story. There's history, adventure, suspense, romance and of course so military jargon. The author does a good job though, of simplifying the military lingo, so that it never becomes a burden to understand. The story flows well, and moves along quickly. If you're looking for a good story to keep you occupied for a night or two, I'd highly recommend this one. – Book of the Moment Reviewer
Destination Berlin is a military thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. - Starrstruck
Spies. Espionage. Danger. The Berlin duty train hinted at it all, as it carried the four allies between the West and occupied Berlin. Corporal Sharon Cates was high on the potential thrill, but her military common sense kept her anchored to the fact that hints rarely ever gave way to facts.
She walked through the doors and into the duty train’s dining car, wearing her class “A” uniform. It was relatively empty. A lone concession window was open selling coffee and brötchen. She bought a cup and sat down next to a window. It was dark outside, and she couldn’t see much. Glancing at her watch, she saw that it was two o’clock. Sharon knew she should be asleep, but she was too excited. Soon she’d be in Berlin, and she was thrilled. Going to Berlin would be stepping into living history. She put her briefcase on the table and took out a guidebook to Berlin, thumbing through it as she drank her coffee.
A faint creak pierced the air. When Sharon looked up, she spied a Soviet soldier also buying a cup of coffee. A warm shiver slid down her spine. After all, she knew the Soviets also used the duty train; she just thought she’d never see one. He was tall and filled out his uniform well. From the markings on his uniform, she gathered he was a non-commissioned officer, but that was all. To her surprise, he approached her booth.
“Good morning, Corporal. I am Junior Sergeant Dimitri Nagory of the Soviet Army. May I join you?”
Sharon looked up. He was talking to her—in English! She motioned to him to have a seat.
Dimitri sat down and smiled. “If you don’t mind my asking, what’s your name, Corporal?”
“ Sharon,” she answered, as distantly as possible. She never thought she’d meet a Soviet soldier on the Berlin Duty Train. This felt like a page out of a LeCarre spy novel. “Sharon Cates.”
“Is this your first time on the duty train?” he asked.
Sharon stared at him. Nosey Soviet. Cpt. Heathers had cautioned her about them during her security briefing.
“Because it is the first time I have seen you,” Dimitri continued, sipping his coffee.
“Ah, yes,” Sharon finally answered. Should she finally entertain those thoughts of espionage and secret spy scenarios? “It’s my first trip to Berlin,” she added.
“I see. Are you attending the Berlin Orientation Tour?”
“How did you know?”
“Most of the Americans I see on the train travel to Berlin for that purpose,” Dimitri explained, grinning.
“If you don’t mind my asking, why are you on the train?” Despite the desire to keep her composure, her lips curved into an inquisitive smile.
“I work in the Soviet embassy in London. My headquarters are in East Berlin. I travel between London and Berlin every two weeks,” he answered.
“And you can tell me that?” she asked, raising a surprised eyebrow.
“It’s common knowledge,” he added.
“Do you make it a habit to talk to Americans on the train?” Sharon asked.
“No, I don’t. I usually sleep in my train car, but I haven’t had much to eat today so they let me out to do that,” he replied.
“Touché,” she said curtly. “So, Jr. Sgt. Nagory, what do you do in your army?”
Destination: Berlin is available at: http://www.amazon.com and http://www.iuniverse.com