Sunday, February 24, 2019

Behind the Mask by Marianne Petit


Author Marianne Petit mixes true life experiences with fiction to create a suspenseful tale of intrigue and romance set in the early days of war-torn France.

In 1940 Paris, both rich and poor are thrust together - a mixed society struggling to survive.

American born Yvette Matikunas, one of the privileged few, goes underground with a deathbed promise to her grandfather that has her roaming the streets of France with a dangerous message. She quickly learns that no one is who they seem to be and trust is a thing of her past.

Injure in battle while trying to save the life of one of his men, Colonial André Rinaldo is disillusioned by a shell-shocked country and a weak government.   Persuaded to go underground and unite his fellow compatriots by forming resistance groups, he meets the beautiful blonde, Yvette, whose determination to free France from foreign dictatorship is as strong as his.

In the middle of espionage and clandestine rendezvous, they form a partnership that deepens even under the ever-present threat of arrest.  But with America’s interest in the war building in the background all Americans are ordered to leave the country. Will Yvette return to the States, or will André persuade her to stay and fight for love?

Book Trailer Behind The Mask


“My commander is not happy,” he said in French. “He has instructed me to find out why an unchaperoned woman of your age, I surmise you are about nineteen, is traveling alone. He believes you pose a threat. Would you care to explain?” His voice took on an air of superiority.

“I am quite adept at taking care of myself and I’m twenty-one.”

“Get up,” he ordered. “Gather your things.”

Her heart fluttered wildly in her chest. Her legs refused to move.

He grabbed her arm. “Now.” He yanked her from her seat.

No one in the compartment made a move to help and she understood their fear.

His touch disgusted her and, for a moment, reined her terror. She yanked free. “My bag.” Before she could reach up for her suitcase, the German grabbed the satchel. She pushed past him and stepped into the corridor. Once again, he grabbed her arm. His gait quick, he practically dragged her down the passageway.

A few times the birdcage bumped the wall and Pierre’s loud chirping filled the corridor.

Yvette clamped her mouth shut, suppressing the barbed words on her tongue. She was in enough trouble. As she walked, she deliberated on how she was going to ditch the hidden message. Leaving Pierre behind was not an option. When they approached the lavatory, she came up with a plan. “I have–“

“In here,” he ordered as he pushed open the door and shoved her inside. “Stay put.” The door thud shut.

Yvette dropped onto the small toilet. What in the world had just happened? Quickly she slid out the bottom of the cage and pulled out the note. She scribbled the words on the tiniest piece of paper she could find, slipped off the metal casing of Grandpère’s cigar lighter and neatly pressed the message inside the casing, something, she realized, she should have thought about doing earlier.

Footsteps stopped outside her door.

Her fingers shaking, she managed to put the lighter back together as the door squeaked open. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the original message on the floor. A long arm shoved a pair of pants, shirt and jacket at her. Yvette’s pulse pounded as she slowly eased her foot over the paper.
“Put this on, lock the door and stay quiet,” the familiar voice ordered.

Before she could say a word, the door closed. This time she locked it. Dumbfounded, Yvette stood in the cramped space and stared at the clothes. Whose side was he on? Why help her? Or was he? If this was some perverse game… no, he didn’t appear to be the kind of man who played games.

Yvette picked up the incriminating note, opened the toilet, ripped up the message and flushed the paper onto the tracks.

She struggled out of her clothes and slipped on the pants that surprisingly, fit rather well, securing them around her small waist with a belt, a size too big. The shirt fit a little snugly, the jacket fit perfectly. The thought that he’d sized her up sent an uncomfortable pang to her stomach. Her nerves throbbed at the base of her throat as she waited for his next move.

Find Me Here – Marianne Petit

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