Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things about the novel Cold Lonely Courage


An assassin born of death and violation is the most dangerous of all. Cold Lonely Courage tells her story.

The action begins during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France in the opening days of World War II. The heroine, Madeleine Toche races to the front to find her brother dying after his unit is destroyed as the Germans advance. Crushed, Madeleine returns his body to her parents.

In the months that follow, Madeleine is raped by a Nazi officer. Seeking revenge she kills him and flees to England to volunteer for duty with Britain's shadowy Special Operations Executive. Trained as an assassin she clandestinely returns to France with Captain Jack Teach a veteran of the SOE 'Dirty Tricks Department'. They find themselves in love but are torn apart by duty and the insurmountable odds of survival. Madeleine fights on terrorizing the murderous Nazi elite always only one step ahead of capture and torture.

Thirteen Things about Cold Lonely Courage

1. The story is set in occupied France during World War Two. The setting is historically accurate and depicts the terrifying struggle, the men and women of the Resistance faced every day.

2. The protagonist Madeleine Toche, finds her way from France to England following the occupation of France by the German army.

3. Madeleine answers a newspaper add seeking French speaking individuals for dangerous work. Really, the British Special Operations Executive, SOE put an add in the local London papers seeking volunteers.

4. The SOE was the forerunner of M-I6, in operation today. The SOE’s activities were so clandestine, that their records have only very recently been declassified, more than 60 years after the end of the war.

5. Many of the incidents depicted in Cold Lonely Courage actually occurred and were fictionalized for the purposes of the novel.

6. Close to one-half of the SOE agents operating in occupied France were women.

7. The best shot of all of the SOE agents was Violette Szabo.

8. Madeleine Toche, operates as an assassin for the SOE, she like her real life sisters in the Russian Red Army had over 200 kills. Many of the female Red Army snipers, were the deadliest.

9. Cold Lonely Courage is also a love story that spans the entirety of the novel.

10. Madeleine befriends and is rescued by two German Officers, who originally were detectives set out to capture her.

11. There are periods of levity and outright humor that make the German officers, Major Stenger and Captain Petersen many reader’s favorite characters.

12. Madeleine comes from a modest back ground; she and her parents operate a small bistro in the town of La Ciotat. La Ciotat is in Provence on the Mediterranean and is one of the most picturesque places on earth.

13. Madeleine’s story continues in the soon to be release novel, The Patience County War. She is as fierce as ever! Madeleine's story is raw and driven. There are no detours. I engage the base emotions of my readers. I want them to live the characters the way I did when I wrote them. This is not an ordinary World War II novel. Cold Lonely Courage tells the brutal truth about the violence people are capable of when called upon to defend themselves and their families. The courage of women in war is marginalized and given subordinate consideration in popular fiction. Many women don't read novels about war because of it. Cold Lonely Courage changes that.


Soren Petrek is a practicing trial attorney with a passion for studying World War Two. He lived in France and England for years, listening to people's stories of personal sacrifice and struggle during the darkest years of the war. Cold Lonely Courage was inspired by the true story of a young Belgian woman who helped countless Jewish children escape from the terrors of the Nazi regime. Soren lives with his wife, Renee and sons, Max and Riley in central Minnesota.

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