by Elizabeth B. Splaine
Genre: YA/ Women’s Historical WWII Fiction
Deadly secrets & destructive, unintended consequences are unearthed in this coming-of-(s)age story of an unlikely friendship between a teenage girl and a former WWII spy.
Some truths are best left unspoken.
Ebony Dobbs has problems: unruly hair, not fitting in with the popular kids, figuring out how to pay for college…and a secret she’s buried so deeply even she doesn’t know the truth. A kick-butt best friend Connor Leibovitz, uses his computer genius to dig into a new secret…
Ebony reluctantly accompanies her mother on a home health visit, meeting Madame Celeste DeWit, a 97-year-old with a closet full of skeletons from WWII. As Ebony learns the truth about Madame’s wartime exploits, she comes to terms with her own past, realizing she and Madame share more than they differ.
When Connor uncovers information that implicates Madame’s estate manager in a plot to steal the old woman’s fortune, the teenagers launch a campaign to protect her, even as Madame’s past barrels into the present, threatening to destroy everything in its path.
Inspired by real people and places, Steel Butterflies will have you marveling at the beautiful simplicity of true friendship, as well as the courage of women who come face-to-face with determining their future.
My version of happiness was shattered during the war when many of us were tested in unimaginable ways. I now truly understand what is important and what is not.”
Ebony leaned forward. Now this was some information she could put to good use. “So…what’s important?”
A cloud crossed Madame’s features. “I cannot answer that for you, my dear. What is important to me may not be important to you. You are on your own journey of discovery. I am a bold woman, but I am humble enough to realize I have no right to dictate importance. Young people today seek validation through others. But when you allow others to form your worth, you don’t do the hard work of determining what’s truly important to you. You’re cheating yourself out of integrity and losing the strength of having convictions to live by.”
Ebony twisted her mouth in thought. Although she’d been lectured to about qualities her generation lacked, no one had ever framed the argument in such a forthright, honest manner. When she sifted through Madame’s comments, she realized she didn’t want to be responsible for cheating herself out of anything. “I’ve never thought of it that way.”
“Just as true strength is quiet, grace and dignity are found within oneself. You will never find inner peace on a computer screen or by how many likes you get on a post; those are hollow and don’t stand up to even a small breeze. We have choices each day. Between right and wrong, kindness and cruelty, faith and faithlessness. It’s what we do with our ability to choose that defines who we are, what we stand for. So here is my question for you, my dear Ebony. What do you stand for?”
**Also by the author in the same genre**
by Elizabeth B. Splaine
Genre: YA/ Women’s Historical WWII Fiction
Ursula Becker’s operatic star is on the rise in Nazi Berlin…until she discovers that she is one-quarter Jewish, a mischling of the second degree. Although Hitler is aware of her lineage, her popularity and exquisite voice protect her and her family from persecution. As Ursula’s violin-prodigy half-sister comes of age, she comes to the attention of the Führer, who welcomes the awestruck teenager into his elite, private circle.
When William Patrick Hitler arrives in Germany and is offered employment by his doting Uncle Adolf, a chance encounter with Ursula leads to a romantic relationship that further shields the young diva from mistreatment. But for how long?
Restrictions on Hitler’s perceived enemies tighten, and Ursula is ordered to sing at Hitler’s Berghof estate. There she throws down a gauntlet that unleashes the wrath of the vindictive megalomaniacal leader. Fearing for her life, Ursula and Willy decide to emigrate to England. But as the ship is about to sail, Ursula disappears.Desperately hoping that Ursula is still alive, Willy crosses the globe in an effort to find her, even as his obsessive uncle taunts him, relishing in the horror of the murderous cat-and-mouse game.
Without warning his petulant demeanor changed dramatically. Singling out Ursula, his furious eyes burned as he repeated, “You did this. You did this.” He lunged forward and grabbed her wrist, forced her to stand, then dragged her out of the room, down the stairs and out into the snowy street. Ursula remained silent and ran to keep up with his long strides as visions of being shot or hanged ran rampant through her fertile mind. She knew better than to ask where he was taking her, and she steeled herself for what was to come.
Each time she stumbled he would drag her until she managed to stand again. By the time they reached a building three blocks away from Dresden, she was out of breath and struggling to see out of her swollen eye. Seidl slowed and walked her toward the Eger River. As they neared the edge of the bridge that crossed the river, Seidl stopped, stepped behind her and grabbed her shoulders. This is the end, she thought. He’s going to shoot me and throw me in the river. She closed her eyes and pictured Willy and Otto, allowing the wonderful images to wash over her like the water rushing below her feet. Her trembling body calmed as she spoke to Otto in her mind, silently saying goodbye. Willy whispered sweetness in her ear, reminding her who she is, and urging her to maintain her dignity and composure.
After several moments of silence, however, Ursula realized that Seidl hadn’t drawn his weapon. She opened her eyes and found that she was facing a building on the other side of the bridge. The Little Fortress. He’s going to imprison me, she realized. Like Herr Abendroth, I am to be jailed. But I will not die today. “Resist. Survive,” Willy whispered in her ear. A euphoric relief shuddered through her, and she sent a silent prayer upwards.
Seidl gripped her shoulders. “Do you see that building, Fräulein?”
Before she could answer, he shook her so hard that she was concerned her neck might break. His lips brushed her ear. “It’s as if you want to go there. Do you?”
Afraid to respond, Ursula remained mute.
He whipped her around to face him. “Do you?” he screamed in her face.
Ursula cringed and whispered, “No.”
“Then stop defying me! This will be your last warning!”
He shoved her away from him and raked his fingers through his hair, upending his cap, which fell to the snowy earth. “I don’t understand this hold you have on me!” He walked in circles as puffy, white snowflakes settled on his dark hair. After several moments he retrieved his cap, brushed it off, and replaced it on his head. Abruptly he turned to her and looked suddenly sad. “You came to me with special instructions.”
What does that mean? she wondered.
“I shouldn’t tell you that, lest it embolden you, but I can’t help myself. I had heard that you were a siren, but you are not. You are so much more than that. Even now…”
A beautiful gold butterfly bookmark,
$20 Amazon giftcard
-1 winner each!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Elizabeth B. Splaine wrote the Dr. Julian Stryker series of “Blind” thrillers (Blind Order and Blind Knowledge), as well as Devil’s Grace, the winner of the When Words Count writing competition, released through Greenwriters Press. Her most recent book, Swan Song, an historical fiction novel, was released in October 2021 through Woodhall Press.
Prior to writing, Elizabeth earned an AB in Psychology from Duke University and an MHA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She spent eleven years working in health care before switching careers to become a professional opera singer and voice teacher.
When not writing, Elizabeth teaches classical voice in Rhode Island where she lives with her husband, sons, and dogs.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon
One thought on “Elizabeth B. Splaine ~ Steel Butterflies ~ Book Tour / Excerpt / Giveaway”
Love the cover. So pretty. Sounds like a really good book.