When I jumped feet-first into the publishing swimming pool in 2011, it was pretty packed—not a lot of room to find yourself a small square foot or two without someone’s chubby foot stepping on yours or catching an errant elbow in the eye socket. Quite a few of the swimmers I ran into that first year were not particularly kind; some even turned out—oddly enough in this typewriter-monkey-eat-typewriter-monkey world—to have (gasp) ulterior motives. (And, yes, I know what you now must be wondering, so I’ll answer, begrudgingly: yeah, after a whole year, the skin does prune up, even though only a metaphor.)
Thankfully there were a few very unselfish and quite happy to help authors who had already been through the fire, to mix metaphors, and come out the other side a success story. Scott Bury was one of those authors. In fact, even of those willing to lend a hand, he was of the select ilk who taught me that writers helping writers is the most probable path to success. A Band of Brothers. AND Sisters.
Well, my friend has a new book out, and believe me, Scott takes his time crafting his work. He refuses to squirt out a piece of pulp every few weeks. Or months.
And it shows. The man can put together a master tome. But, alas, no further delay:
The Army of Worn Soles launch blog tour continues!
Read to the end for the clue that will help you win the Grand Prize of a signed paperback copy of Army of Worn Soles plus a $50 Amazon gift card. If you collect all the clues and put them in the right order, they’ll make a sentence. Send the sentence to the author for a chance to win and autographed paperback copy of Army of Worn Soles plus a gift certificate from Amazon.
For a chance to enter the early-bird draw, enter the clue at the bottom of the post in the Comments section.
To see where the blog tour stops next, and to find the next clue, visit the author’s blog, Written Words.
Peremyshl, Poland, 1938
Maurice had only taken a step into the priest’s office when something banged on the school’s front door, followed by the crash of breaking glass. Father Ihor pushed the boys out of his way and ran to the door. “What in Heaven’s name…” He was cut off by another smashing window and a rock slid across the floor, along with glittering shards of glass.
Through the broken window in the front door, Maurice saw a group of young men his own age with bats and boards, gathered at the foot of the steps. He could hear them chanting in Polish. “Ukies out. Lwow for Poland.” (Lwow was the Polish name for Lviv, the district Peremyshl was part of).
“Get back, Maurice,” Father Ihor said. “Go to your class.” He started to push the door open when another rock hit the door frame. The priest jumped back, letting the door close.
Bohdan had come to the door too, and pointed out the window to the side of the school. The senior classmen came running around from the back, yelling and carrying bats and sticks and whatever else they could find. The Poles at the steps bunched together, almost in military formation, ready for the attack.
Father Ihor threw the door open and strode out onto the landing at the top of the concrete steps. “Stop it,” he said in Polish. “As Catholics, you should all be ashamed.” A rock sailed up from the crowd and missed the priest, but he flinched when it crashed through the window. Inside, Maurice and Bohdan jumped back to avoid the flying glass.
The Ukrainian boys yelled again and charged at the Polish crowd. Maurice and Bohdan stepped outside beside Father Ihor and heard a loud whistle. A uniformed man emerged from the crowd at the bottom of the steps, hands held up high. He blew the whistle again and the charging Ukrainian students skidded to a halt.
“What is this, officer? Why are you allowing these ruffians to break my windows?” said Father Ihor.
Watching the Ukrainian students, the police officer pulled out his nightstick and blew his whistle again. When he was certain they were standing still, at least for the moment, he turned to the priest at the top of the steps.
“These boys are just a little excited, that’s all. A new directive from the Ministry of Education has declared that Ukrainian schools are to be closed, effective today. They—” He lifted one hand to indicate the Polish men as if he were introducing a choir. “—noticed your Gymnasium is still open.”
About the book:
1941: Their retreat across Ukraine wore their boots out—and they kept going.
Three months after drafting him, the Soviet Red Army throws Maurice Bury, along with millions of other under-trained men, against the juggernaut of Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa, the assault on the USSR.
Army of Worn Soles tells the true story of a Canadian who had to find in himself a way to keep himself alive—and the men who followed him.
About the author:
Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and novelist based in Ottawa, Canada. He has written for magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.
a children’s short story, Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds of which are donated to an autism charity), and other stories.
Scott Bury lives in Ottawa with his lovely, supportive and long-suffering wife, two mighty sons and two pesky cats.
Today’s clue: The