Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spotlight: Spy Island by Sophie Schiller

Please join Sophie Schiller as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours with her historical fiction novel, Spy Island, from September 15-26. Read on for more info about the book, the tour schedule full of reviews, interviews, and giveaways, and a chance to win your own copy of Spy Island!

Publication Date: January 16, 2013
Formats: eBook, Paperback

A forbidden friendship that blossoms into love is at the heart of this colorful historical novel.

Abigail Maduro arrives in the Danish West Indies on 1916 to live with her Aunt Esther, a bad tempered spinster, and her houseful of eccentric servants. Despite the island’s veneer of tranquility, St. Thomas is a hotbed of German spies who use their Hamburg-America steamers to aid the Kaiser’s war effort.

When a mysterious stranger suddenly appears in town, Abigail is drawn into the conflict. In the scholarly Erich Seibold, she finds the friendship and love she has been craving, even after she learns that Erich is really a deserter from a German U-boat. But their idyllic interlude comes to a crashing halt when the island’s German consul also discovers Erich’s identity, and blackmails him into committing sabotage. After a melee involving the Danish governor, Erich is thrown into prison, forcing Abigail to risk everything to save him. Action and adventure abound in this colorful historical novel that brings to life a fading West Indian sugar colony in the last days of Danish rule.

Praise for Spy Island

“Spy Island is an exciting adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I love being immersed in the world of the Caribbean during World War I, I felt like I was looking into a snapshot of the past. This book is full of adventure, exciting twists, just when I thought I had the plot figured out, it would change again. The descriptions, the characters, and the plot of this story all weave together into a tight package of fun that you do not want to miss.” The Howling Turtle Book Reviews

“Spy Island is a fun, fast read for any fan of historical fiction and adventure stories.” Lynne Hinkey, author of Marina Melee

“Spy Island hits that rare spot for me in historical fiction. Not only is it an entertaining story with lots of movement, but the authentic island feel and early 20th century world surround you. A great read!” Dianna Rostad, Amazon Reviewer

“From the first page, I was instantly thrown into Abby’s world and truly taken aback by the lovely descriptions ranging from those of Panama to those of life at sea to those of the Danish West Indies. Sophie really managed to make me feel like I was right there with the characters in this one and it added a lot to my enjoyment of the book. Spy Island is a thrilling and fast paced novel perfect for fans of historical fiction and mystery.” Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf Blog

***  Excerpt  ***

Suddenly, a posse of machete-wielding men appears out of nowhere. They offer to find the shooter and bring him to justice. My heart races as I catch the glimmer of the razor-sharp machetes in their muscular, outstretched arms. These men are after Erich and there’s no way to stop them.

I push my way through the crowd, attempting to flee to the safety of the Grand Hotel. All around me scuffles and brawls erupt among the outraged horde, while panicked faces emerge from windows and doorways, each one trying to make sense out of the confusion and strife. I crane my neck over the commotion, hoping to catch sight of the governor. Thankfully, he is still alive, although dazed with confusion. Two policemen haul him to his feet and lead him to the safety of Fort Christian. Still no sign of Erich anywhere. If Erich was indeed was the shooter, he has simply vanished.

Just then, someone screams, “There he is. Grab him!”

I look up. A dozen natives, all brandishing machetes, take off in hot pursuit of a solitary individual who resembles one of the Cha Cha’s from Frenchtown who is pushing his way across the square in horror. Making out his features is impossible as he has a scarf tied around half his face, rendering him unrecognizable. But by his size and height, I am pretty sure it is Erich. I yell for him to run faster, but my voice is drowned out by the deafening roar of the crowd.

Erich scales a low wall and races down the nearest alleyway with a posse of men in hot pursuit. His pursuers shake their fists indignantly, swearing and yelling out threats as they attempt to catch him. Somehow Erich is faster, remarkably agile and adept at outrunning an angry mob, but I know his life is in great danger. With no thought to my own safety, I chase after the posse, hoping I can somehow help to avert disaster.

Erich races down Norre Gade as if he’s on fire. He climbs up the steps of the Frederick Lutheran Church two at a time. When some of the men catch up with him, he swings around, kicking one in the chest and sending them all toppling backwards like a line of dominoes. Another one catches up with Erich, but receives a blinding punch in the face that sends him rolling down the steps like a broken wheel. Erich shakes his fist, then disappears inside the church, barring the door shut.

Another group of indignant citizens reaches the front door of the church and pounds on it with tremendous anger. They lunge at it, trying to push it open. All their force is no use; Erich has barred it from the inside with an iron rod. Amazingly, while they fumble with the front door, Erich slips out the back with the stealth of a mongoose and heads to the back of town.

I catch sight of him as he races down Kongens Gade, dodging bewildered donkey carts and flustered market women as he runs for his life. Just then, a thought occurs to me that by going through with Lothar Langsdorff’s diabolical plan, Erich has sacrificed his own life to save mine. My heart swells with love for him. Fueled by the hope that I can repay the favor, I follow the trail of angry natives intent on bringing justice down on Erich’s head, yet realizing I may never see him again.

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies amid aging pirates and retired German spies. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

You can find more information on Sophie Schiller and her novels at her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
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Enter to win your choice of a paperback or ebook copy of Spy Island!

Simply leave a comment on this post with your email address, and you're entered!

This giveaway is open to US residents and ends at 11:59pm Monday, September 29, 2014. Winner will be selected at random. 
Thanks, and good luck!

Spy Island is on a blog tour!


  1. How interesting! I enjoy WWI settings and have read several HF novels set in that time period, but I've never read anything with a setting in the Caribbean. Thanks for the giveaway; this sounds exciting.

  2. Thanks for this fascinating giveaway and interesting feature.This novel sounds unforgettable and the era is a great favorite. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. Love Historical Fiction / Islands!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!


  4. Hope this is as good as it sounds. I love the outline, thanks

  5. This historical is unique and intriguing. Thanks for this amazing giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. What a great sounding story. I wasn't even aware that Denmark actually controlled parts of the West Indies at some point in history. WWI is one of my favorite historical periods anyway so this would be a great book for me. Thanks carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  7. I have rarely read any historical fiction based in the Caribbean. This one sounds intriguing and I have added it to my TBR list. Thanks for another great giveaway.

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

  8. I have added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. a definite 'must-read' for me!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  10. This one would be a new era for me to try. I don't think I've read an historical fiction set during WWI before.

  11. Just read Land of Love and Drowning and would love to read something more with this Caribbean setting
    mgifford01 @ snet.net

  12. It sounds like a great read. I would love the action and adventure in this novel. Thanks for having the giveaway.



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