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Monday 7 December 2015

☀ Riesa Series [1-2] - L.D. Towers

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Riesa, a Military Fiction series by .

PREVIEW: Check out the books' synopsis and excerpt below, as well as our Q&A with author L.D. Towers. The Riesa series is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

L.D. Towers will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

The Series: Riesa

Teufel | New Austrian Order |

All books in the Riesa series are free on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owner Lending Library.

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Teufel [1]

Against the politically charged background of Nazi Germany's police state, Standartenführer Doctor Hagen Kohl is trying to carve out a profession for himself in the SS.

A middle class intellectual with a doctorate in Literature, Hagen is a an investigator who hunts criminals within the party apparatus itself. Hagen justifies everything by his personal code and patriotism, unable to see the flaws of the regime he serves.

When he is ordered to investigate members of the army, he discovers patriotism is entirely a matter of perspective. His eyes are further opened by exposure to Galiena von Steinberg; an aristocrat whose own experiences bring him into the entanglements and intrigues at the highest levels of Third Reich society.

[First published 21 February 2007; this edition , 684 pages]


Chapter 1

September 6, 1937

      He knew he was not a moral man; it had never bothered him before. He was hard. Life had made him hard. The past had tossed him into the crucible and he had emerged as steel. Steel did not have time to be concerned about feelings or right and wrong. It simply was. He thought of himself like a sword in the hands of his masters; where they wielded him was simply not his concern. He was a tool; sharp, honed and deadly. One did not fault the sword for the people whose lives it ended. It was just the weapon at hand.
      Hagen Luitpold Kohl looked at his naked body in the mirror. He knew he was not unattractive. Halfway through his thirty-seventh year, he was beginning to feel the weight of his age and responsibilities. He had light reddish blond hair, streaked with silver, a new development since thirty-five, which had left him feeling a little older than was comfortable. His eyes, too, were a strange colour. So dark a blue as to be violet yet occasionally lightening to grey; which despite creating an attractiveness in the female of the species, was disturbing in a man. He was tall and rangy, not filling out until his late twenties, and he remembered vividly the day he realized he no longer looked like a scarecrow. His height had been an extreme advantage to him and a compensation for his lack of bulk. The ability to look down his long nose at someone, and know they were feeling their inequality was a source of pride.
      Advancing age had brought a few reminders of mortality other than those disturbing grey hairs. Again he felt the old war wound he preferred to forget. Shrapnel shattering a left shoulder while saving his superior officer and earning him an Iron Cross first class had been repaired well at the time, but these days there was stiffness in the morning and occasionally the need for a hot water bottle at night. Fortunately, it was his left arm, and not the right, so not an impediment. He traced the puckered scars on his shoulder with a long finger. Remembering his own near death saving the life of a valued superior officer.
      Other scars came in the form of a two-inch crescent tracing the side of his right eye; an honour scar from a Heidelberg fencing tourney in his university days. A moment of trying to fit in with his fellow students at school. Those men who had not gone to war, and needed to prove their manhood. His lip curled as he reached for his shirt and slipped its cool crispness onto his shoulders. Why had he even bothered to try? Those boys with their duelling societies could never understand the meaning of life and death with their mock tournaments! Fighting to see who could slash the other's face first. What a mockery of bravery! They could only dream of what real danger was. It had been such a futile gesture to join and had only increased his emptiness.
      He reached for his breeches and continued dressing, lost in the past. Reverie was rare for him, but today he indulged it. His war had lasted almost a year and a half before he had been invalided from the front; and while he was proud of his service record, it was the one part of his life he wished he could rewrite. How young he had been! Seventeen years old and anxious to go fight for his nation, he had snuck out of the house early one morning and signed up, writing his age as nineteen on the form. Glory! Honour! Manhood! The things a young man craves. What did he find? Blood, death and terror. Sights which haunted him still in the middle of the night. How many times did he wake up, drenched in sweat, after finding himself trapped back in the trenches? Diving into a shell hole, desperate for cover, only to find himself sinking into the countless bodies of his friends and enemies alike. Drowning in liquefied humanity. Oh, it had almost happened, there had been two unfortunates at the bottom of the hole, and they had probably saved his life.
      Perhaps it had been the war that had degraded the value of humanity in his eyes. Hagen had been at Passchendaele. He had seen fifty thousand casualties in three days. He knew what it smelled like, what it tasted like, and he had brutal understanding of the concept of kill or be killed. Niceties such as caring for one’s fellow man were broiled away in the heat of battle. Perhaps it was then he learned to shunt away the human part of his soul for he wasn't full of hate, or anger when he killed. It was simply something he had to do. He was a sword in the hands of the Kaiser. He killed. That was his job, and he had been quite good at it. He achieved the rank of Offizier-Stellvertreter, the officer candidate rank for those who had been promoted from the lowest grades, and were being considered for a listed rank.
      Then he had been injured; six months spent in a haze of pain, and morphine became his solace as the shoulder healed. When the cravings outlasted the need for the drug, his mother carefully weaned him off; terrified like any good parent he would turn into one of those poor souls who shuffled brokenly in the alleyways. The detritus polite society pretended not to see. While he swam in and out of the arms of Morpheus, his beloved war ended. The Fatherland was defeated. His sacrifice, and the sacrifices of his friends had been in vain. Pain and disbelief had swept him.

New Austrian Order [2]

1938. Germany is moving faster than Standartenführer Hagen Kohl thought possible. Sent down to Vienna to investigate a potential threat to Hitler’s plans for Austria, Hagen is drawn in to an aristocratic world he’s never encountered before. Without Hauptsturmführer Eugen Friesler at his side, Hagen is in more danger than he could have imagined as he hunts for a shadowy organization called the New Austrian Order.

Back in Germany, Galiena von Steinberg returns to Riesa and the von Steinberg Gesellschaft, but taking over the reins of her Grandfather’s empire comes with many challenges.

Can she protect her family holdings while keeping true to the new sense of self she has worked so hard to find?

[, BadBird Publications, 454 pages]


Chapter 1

February 10, 1938

      The Pfalzgräfin von Steinberg zum Riesa held the limp hand of the man laying in the hospital bed. Galiena was rubenesque, with thick auburn hair braided in a knot at the back of head. Her large-brimmed hat was perched elegantly on her head and matched her violet suit perfectly. A wide velvet ribbon encircled her throat, pinned shut to one side with a broach; the long streamers trailing to the level of her waist. The ribbon looked out of place, as if it was to cover something.
      “Come now, Rottenführer Lustig. You must get better! I know you must be upset to hear the Mercedes was irreparable, but don’t let that deter you from consciousness!” Galiena urged the motionless figure.
      “He is in a coma, Pfalzgräfin. He cannot hear you,” Hauptsturmführer Eugen Freisler, the six foot five giant, rasped at her side. Immaculately turned out in his SS uniform and with his vocal cords shattered by gas in WWI, Eugen was a man much feared. Called the Höllenhund1 by his enemies, Eugen was known to be ruthless to a fault. Galiena believed Eugen to be in his forties, but taking in his strangely unlined face, pure white hair and eyebrows, gauging Eugen’s age was a difficult thing.
      Eugen was the best friend and subordinate to Galiena’s intended husband, Standartenfuhrer Doctor Hagen Kohl. Some had told her to fear Eugen, but strangely, she felt no fear of the man at all. Eugen was a monolith of a man, but she had seen a different side of him. Besides, she had her own nightmares, and she knew Eugen would protect her from them to his last breath.
      Galiena turned to Eugen where he stood quietly at her back. Since the attack on Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s car just a week previous by a group assumed to be members of the army, Eugen had become her shadow; steps behind whenever she left the protection of her residence. Something had changed since she had become Hagen’s fiancée. It was as if being claimed by the one man had made her the property of the other.
      “But he must hear me! Just because he is asleep, doesn’t mean he can’t hear, Eugen! I refuse to believe he can’t!” Galiena protested, before turning her gaze back to the stricken young man. Rottenführer Thilo Lustig was Hagen’s driver and Eugen’s nephew. He had been shot three times in the chest during the ambush. He was only alive because the bullets of the field machine guns had passed through the door of Hagen’s Mercedes before entering Lustig, slowing down their path of destruction. Lustig had been using the Mercedes to push the Reichsführer’s disabled Maybach out of the range of the attack at the time. The young man had not regained consciousness in the eight days since the battle.
      Galiena did not know Lustig well; indeed she barely knew him at all. He was Hagen’s chauffeur and the young SS man who delivered Hagen’s letters to her. Galiena remembered how the shy soldier had been teased into demonstrating his ability to do one handed push-ups like his uncle and how he had once buried her in a snowball fight. Now he hovered between life and death and she wished she had taken the time to know him better. There had been too much death that day. The attack occurred just after the funeral of one of Hagen’s officers, and eight of the Reichsführer’s guards had perished defending them.
      A pale hand inadvertently touched the ribbon at her throat. Underneath lay a finger-shaped burn; oozing and blistered, close to her jugular vein. The spent shell of a defender’s gun had landed there and the searing heat of it had blistered. Still, she was very lucky for she had been protected in the footwell of the Maybach; Heinrich Himmler covering her with his person. Hagen, Eugen, Himmler, and the brave Gruppenführer Wolff had all emerged unscathed.
      A large paw descended on her shoulder, jolting her back to reality. “That is fanciful, Pfalzgräfin, but I do appreciate the gesture.” The ruined voice dropped even lower. “Lustig is like my own son.”
      Galiena rested her cheek on the hand; she liked Eugen very much despite his terrifying voice and powerful body. He struck her as being a man lost. Arrested in development. He’d never moved past the Great War and it coloured all aspects of who he was.
      “He will get better, Eugen. I know he will. I feel it,” Galiena replied earnestly, trying to reassure the man with her eyes. “He just needs time. That is what the doctors say. Time. I’m sure they are right. Herr Himmler assured me that he sent his personal doctor to help Rottenführer Lustig.”
      “If he dies, my sister will have my guts for garters. Excuse the expression,” gruffly said, but the hand squeezed her shoulder. Eugen touched her all the time now; her head, neck or back, in a way which was new to her. It was as if that was the only way the taciturn Bavarian could demonstrate his affection. Galiena didn’t mind precisely; but it was foreign. In the cold world of the aristocracy, people didn’t touch one another. The only person who had free reign of her body was her maid.
      Galiena leaned her head back to gaze all the way up into Eugen’s eyes; brilliant green like a cat’s. “You are forgiven, Eugen.”
      “Very gracious of you, Your Serene Highness.”
      “My pleasure,” she smiled up at him. He did not return the smile, but he did pat her shoulder slowly, almost absently. She stroked the hand in hers again, returning her attention to the invalid. “Come, Rottenführer Lustig! Fight harder! Just open your eyes! Please? You’re too young to give up!”
      “The Freisler blood is in him. We are hard to kill,” Eugen told her flatly.
      Galiena stood, and arranged the flowers she had brought. Her previous bouquet of a few days ago had faded and she relegated them to the trash. Hospitals were so dreary. Galiena walked over to the window and opened the drape to let in the feeble winter sunlight. The day was overcast but the sun kept trying to break through the clouds. “It is so dark in here. Who would want to wake up at all in this gloom?”
      “The boy is asleep. I don’t think it makes any difference,” Eugen stated, his consternation evident. Galiena glared back at him. “It makes all the difference in the world, Eugen. Put a plant in a closet and it dies. People must be the same way.”
      Eugen rolled his eyes and grunted. “His eyes are closed. He can’t see the light.”
      “But he can feel light! Feel the sun on his skin,” Galiena retorted hotly at his lack of understanding. It all seemed so simple to her. Feeling useless, she twisted her blue diamond engagement ring on her finger. It’s newness still felt strange on her hand.
      Eugen grunted again; he seemed to be fond of that noise. He moved closer to the bed and bowed his head in recognition. “Get better, boy. The Reichsführer wants to give you a medal. Hard thing to pin on a corpse.”

The Riesa Series
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from find on Goodreads

About the Author

LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.

Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. Also look for a series of novellas about the despicable yet intriguing Meinrad von Steinberg from the Riesa Series, coming in fall 2015.

Follow L.D. Towers:

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

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LD Towers said...

WOW! Thanks so much for the amazing post! You found pics of my actors! WOW! I'm bowled over! Thanks so much for hosting!!!!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

BooksChatter said...

My pleasure :-)
Thank you for the great interview!


Anonymous said...

Loved the interview.

Stormy Vixen said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great series, thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great series.

MomJane said...

This really sounds like a wonderful series.

LD Towers said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to read it! :)

LD Towers said...

Thank you so much for stopping by!

LD Towers said...

I'm really proud of it! Thank you for taking a look!

LD Towers said...

That is so kind of you to say! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Such a fun interview!


LD Towers said...

Thanks! I had fun doing it! :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Sounds like an awesome series - thanks for sharing!

LD Towers said...

Thanks so much! :)

LD Towers said...

If anyone has any questions, I'm around! :)

Unknown said...

Great excerpt, thank you!

LD Towers said...

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Victoria Alexander said...

You're welcome :)

Nikolina said...

The book sounds very intriguing, thank you for the reveal!