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World War II Art stolen by Nazis: will Capt. O’Casey rescue the beautiful Sister Angelina from the Nazis in time?

In case you’ve missed it, I’ve been posting about the wonderful new film starring George Clooney, Monuments Men, and the story of art stolen by the Nazis during WW2. I’ve posted some excerpts from my WW2 story A Soldier’s Italian Christmas: One Two Three Four Five.


In Excerpt No. 6, Sister Angelina has the Cross of St. Cecilia hidden in her pocket as the Nazi major threatens her…will her handsome American captain save her in time?

The video is what I call a “living photo” of the hero and heroine. No sound, just their photos arranged in an interesting manner.


His eyes burned fire, the rage inside him so intense all Mack could think about was sending the major to hell so fast he’d slide all the way down the black hole on his burning ass.

“Drop it, Major, or you’re dead.”

World War II Art stolen by Nazis: will Capt. O’Casey rescue the beautiful Sister Angelina from the Nazis?

The Nazi stiffened, as if he couldn’t believe anyone would dare invade his sanctuary. “I didn’t expect the Fifth Army so soon,” he said, tightening his hold on Angelina’s arm so hard she cried out in pain. Mack wanted to jump him and make him pay for that, but he held back. A fool’s move. The man was inhuman and would strike like a cobra to save his own skin.

“We’re here, Major.” Mack didn’t breathe as the two men sized each other up. “Get used to it.”

“I beg to differ. These hills are filled with my men, nests of machine guns pointed directly at your so-called invasion.”

“Don’t count on it. We outnumber you two to one.”

“You’re a convincing liar, Captain, but I don’t believe you.” He held Angelina tighter. “You came here alone.”

“Which puts us on even ground.”

He raised a brow. “I’m not falling for your tricks, Captain.”

“It’s no trick. Your two guards are in no position to come to your aid.”

The major ground his teeth and dragged back the girl’s head, the barrel of his Luger under her chin. “That presents quite a dilemma, Captain. You kill me, but not before I shoot the beautiful nun. It’s like bluffing at poker. You don’t always win.”

“Why, you bastard—” Mack snapped.

“I see I’ve struck a nerve. This isn’t the first time you two have met.” The major smirked. “Did she share with you the secret of Monte d’Oro Rose in the dark? Then let you steal a kiss?” He pushed harder. “Did she promise you more if you helped her find where the priest hid the treasure?”

“Don’t listen to him, Captain,” Angelina cried out.

Mack didn’t take the bait. He looked at Angelina’s face, her eyes meeting his. She looked down. A signal. If he squinted hard enough, he could see the bulge in her  pocket. The cross was safe.

“Let her go, Major,” he warned, “or I’ll blow your brains out.”

“Not a pleasant thought, Captain. May I suggest we settle this like officers and gentlemen.” He paused. “Unless you’re not a gentleman.”

“I come from Brooklyn, Major. We settle things there with our fists. Put down your gun and we’ll see who’s the better man.”

“What fools you Americans are. You think you can defeat the German Army with your brashness and crude tactics. Our troops are better trained, our generals more organized, and we know the terrain.”

“But we have something you don’t, Major, and it’s a helluva lot more powerful than your storm troopers and tanks.”

He looked smug. “I doubt it.”

“We’re fighting this war because we believe in Mom and apple pie. And yeah, one more thing.”

“What is that?”

“Freedom. To think what we like, go where we want, and pray to our God, no matter what we call Him,” Mack said. “You Nazis have taken that freedom away from the people in every country you invade and they’ll fight like hell to get it back. Your goosestepping soldiers in their hobnail boots don’t stand a chance. In the end, you’ll lose.”

He tightened his grip on Angelina. “It’s you who will lose, Captain.” He shoved the pistol against her skull. “Don’t try anything or she dies.”


Will Mack save his beautiful Angelina? Find out in A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.”

Here’s the trailer:

Also, here’s an extended video excerpt from Chapter One of A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.”

Thank you for coming with me on my journey back to 1943 to Italy, lost art treasures, and forbidden love.



World War II Art Stolen by the Nazis: The Cross of St. Cecilia

George Clooney’s fascinating new film, “Monuments Men,” explores the Allied Forces mission to retrieve art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

But what if a sacred relic from a saint was also in danger of falling into Nazi hands?

© Ruzanna Arutyunyan |

© Ruzanna Arutyunyan |

Here’s the backstory of the Cross of Saint Cecilia from my recent post as it appears in my romance novella, A Soldier’s Italian Christmas

“A strange tale about a sacred cross that protects its wearer from harm in battle. A gift to the Church from a noble crusader grateful to have been spared during the siege of Constantinople. On his deathbed, he gave it to his wife to take to the Vatican in Rome, but she never completed her journey. She sought refuge in the monastery during a storm but she later died. According to the legend, she gave the cross to the abbot for safekeeping, but he wanted the artifact for himself and poisoned her. He hid the relic in a secret place on the hill, but he was later exiled for his black deeds. No one has ever been to find the exact spot where he hid the cross.”

In Excerpt No. 5, Sister Angelina is being interrogated by the Nazi major seeking the cross. He’s commandeered the monastery for his headquarters. She prays the handsome American, Captain Mack O’Casey, will find her…


*****Spoiler this scene appears later in the novella


“Where is the Cross of St. Cecilia?”

“I don’t know.” He [the major] pushed his knee between her legs, making her squirm, and then ripped her sleeve, exposing her bare shoulder. She backed away from him, crossing her arms over her breasts. He came up behind her, grabbing her around the waist.

Please, Father in heaven, help me. She flinched when she felt the heavy cross in her pocket hit her thigh.

“I don’t believe you.” The major pulled a Luger from his holster and then pointed the pistol at her temple. She heard an unnerving click when he cocked the hammer. “Tell me where Father Tom hid the cross or you’ll meet your God before you take your next breath.”

* * * * *

By the time Mack saw the tall doors leading into the library, he was in such a heightened state of awareness he was as dangerous as a lethal weapon. Every nerve in his body on alert, every muscle wired, every thought primed for battle. He took long strides, his heavy boots making no sound. He focused solely on his mission, having forfeited the right to any emotional attachment.

Until he heard a woman scream.

Then all hell broke loose. Angelina was in the hands of that madman.

Mack checked his rifle, his ammo, keeping his breathing steady. He took a calming breath and focused on the moment, taking no time to wipe the sweat off his face. He’d only seen the inside of the library through the peephole, which meant he’d have a different perspective of the room once he was inside. Every second counted. He had to sweep the room with his eyes, take down whatever threat awaited him, and find the girl. The situation was fluid, uncontrollable, and he had no backup until Sergeant Duffy got back here to bring up the rear.

Even as he calculated his next move, Mack kept an ear open for the sound of her voice, her scream telling him Angelina was still alive. The idea of that bastard hurting her caused such feverish agitation in his soul he had to rely on his training to get the job done. God knows, his mind was reeling with crazy thoughts that could get them both killed if he made a mistake.

Rifle raised, finger on the trigger, Mack kicked open the library doors.

Holy shit.

The sight that greeted him turned his guts inside out.

His beautiful Angelina was a prisoner of the Nazi. She attempted to hold up her torn bodice, her pale, creamy shoulder exposed, her hair hanging to her waist. Death stared her in the face and yet she refused to cower before the German. It scared the hell out of him.

The major pointed his Luger at her head.

© Gary Blakeley |

© Gary Blakeley |


Will Mack save his beautiful Sister Angelina? Check back for Excerpt No. 6 in A Soldier’s Italian Christmas


Also, here’s an extended video excerpt from Chapter One of A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.” I used beautiful photos from to put it together with my voiceover and music by Kevin MacLeod

Cover Design by Ramona Lockwood

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