20 December 2012

Excerpt Thursday: DREAMS by André Jute

This week, we’re welcoming author André Jute whose title DREAMS is the first in his eight-volume COLD WAR, HOT PASSIONS series, focused on three generations of embattled Russian and American families.  Join us Sunday, when André will be here to talk about the novel and offer e-book copies to THREE lucky winners in the following formats: MOBI for Kindle, EPUB for iPad/Nook/etc. or PDF/. The giveaway is open to worldwide visitors. Here's the blurb:

FROM THE STORMING OF THE WINTER PALACE...

In the beginning they were impassioned young revolutionaries risking only own their lives for justice. The prince, the soldier, the peasant and the baroness became the founders of three families, steadfast in love and war, whose generations are enfolded in the sweep of humans and inhumans, inquisitors and victims, the betrayals of friends and family, the show trials of colleagues, the psychiatric tortures of dissidents, that was Russia under the Communists, right up to glasnost, when the fourth generation must answer the question, Was the result worth three generations of tragic suffering and sacrifice?

And the Americans who opposed them for liberty, the patrician Adams family, the refugee Hirches, the redneck Remptons who became political powers in the land, the McQueens who did not count the price of rising from smalltown mid-America to the highest levels of the nation, the Drexlers who had always served their country, the implacable Southern Hubbells who could — and did — threaten Presidents, and the clever Talbots whose shy Joanne married the handsome Russian who was the cleverest traitor of them all.

In his first novel for two decades, a storyteller who has always had a knack with the true history of men and women will touch your heart and thrill your mind with the risks these men and women took with their lives and their families for the ideals they were born to — which some betrayed, and some paid too high a price for in love, even with their lives.

** An Excerpt from DREAMS, first in André Jute’s eight-volume saga of Russian and American families COLD WAR, HOT PASSIONS**

PLAN FOR TAKING THE WINTER PALACE

Back at the Smolny, while Dzerzhinsky’s aide went to discover when Trotsky could see them, they went to eat because Nikolai said he did not know when they would eat again. But they were hardly seated when Trotsky himself stormed in. ‘What the devil do you think you are doing, Bibikov, stuffing your face when the Revolution hangs in the balance?’ Trotsky was not a big man but so great was his passion that he fairly jerked Nikolai, at least twice his mass, out of his seat at the end of the bench.
For a moment it seemed as if Nikolai would say something harsh, then he swallowed and gently took Trotsky’s hands from his arm.
‘If you have orders for us, Comrade,’ Nikolai said politely, ‘we are at your service.’
Behind Luki, Larissa said in an undertone, ‘Lenin has been raging like a caged lion all day at the delays, threatening to have the members of the Military Revolutionary Committee shot, every one of them, if they don’t take the Winter Palace before the Soviet meets. He wants to announce victory. Trotsky caught most of it full in the face. He’s hurting.’
Luki reached behind him to squeeze her hand and squeezed her breast instead. She giggled softly in his ear, then cuffed the straying hand hard.
Trotsky’s head turned between them. His eyelids were so swollen from exhaustion that he could no longer move his eyeballs; even the pupils were hardly visible in the slits between the puffed red eyelids. Trotsky was normally a vain dresser, with crisp linen, but now his collar was almost black with the accumulated grime of days without rest or change. ‘Shall I find that my trust in you is misplaced?’ he hissed malevolently.
‘No, Comrade,’ Nikolai said stoutly. ‘We have discovered what you want to know. But if you treat us like children you can, saving the lady’s presence, go fuck yourself.’ He took Trotsky’s lapels in one huge hand and pulled him close. ‘If you’re to command soldiers, remember that we need to eat and sleep or we cannot fight. We are not numbers in your little black books but flesh and blood.’ He let Trotsky go. ‘And people, besides, with pride.’
Trotsky gaped like a fish.
Dzerzhinsky, arriving unnoticed, said, ‘What did you discover?’
Nikolai turned to him. ‘The Winter Palace can be taken with minimum force.’
Anna put bread and tea on the table. Luki told her, ‘Bring us three slabs of dough, about this thick and this size.’ He indicated with his hands.
Nikolai nodded. ‘Then we can show you,’ he said.
They waited in silence for thirty seconds until the dough arrived. Luki cut a strip off the edge of one piece of dough and put it along the edge of the table. ‘The Neva River,’ he said. Anna threw a handful of flour on the table and Luki nodded gratefully to her as he pulled a slab of dough across the flour towards the strip. ‘This is the ground floor of the Winter Palace. Here is the Jordan entrance, the marble one. It was undefended two hours ago. You can go up but the entrance to the government quarters is bricked off.’
These are the best of times, Sergei thought, slap in the middle of a revolution, spying for Lenin’s right-hand men, in the same building as Lenin. His grandmother would never believe it. His grandmother thought Lenin was the Devil.
Luki methodically marked the other entrances that did not lead to the government quarters. Then he said, ‘We used this one, the Saltykov, to find the government. It is guarded both on ground level and on each floor at the stairhead but only lightly. It leads directly to the government. The problem is getting our people across the square under the remaining two canon and the machine guns and the guns of the armored cars.’ Luki drew the square in the flour with his forefinger, then marked the positions of the armaments covering it with dents into the dough representing the Winter Palace.
‘We may not have to,’ Nikolai said. ‘Our comrades are inside, agitating among the troops.’ He told of the women’s low morale and the departure of some of the Cossacks. All this was obviously news to the command.
 ‘Communications in a revolution are not the same as in conventional warfare,’ Trotsky said heavily. ‘As Comrade Bibikov has just observed most memorably.’
Nikolai decided to take that as Trotsky‘s best effort at an apology. He nodded. ‘We would suffer least casualties if we approach through the barracks of the Pavlovsky and Preobrazhensky. None of the entrances on the Winter Canal side are guarded.’
 ‘By god, this a straightforward, workable plan,’ Lenin said.

 Copyright © 2012 André Jute. Published by CoolMain Press.


André Jute is a writer, critic and teacher in fiction, engineering and the arts. His forty-plus books are published in over 300 editions in more than twenty languages. His most recent award winner is the lyrical IDITAROD, a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth , and his current best seller (written with Andrew McCoy) is the controversial literary biography STIEG LARSSON - Man, Myth & Mistress. He lives on a salmon river in Ireland with his wife and son. 

“Wild but exciting. A grand job with plenty of irony.”New York Times

Check out these links to more about André Jute

André's Website, including his hobbies 
Wattpad — free stories by André  
HENTY'S FIST 1: GAUNTLET RUN, a FREE serial by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin, Andrew McCoy 

1 comment:

andre Jute said...

Thanks for having me, Lisa, and all you lovely Unusual Historicals (why do I feel I'm remarking on a lady's -- youthful -- years?).