Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blog Tour Excerpt: Chasing the Wind by C.C. Humphreys


Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 320 Pages
Genre: Historical/Women’s Fiction/Mystery

Smuggler. Smoker. Aviatrix. Thief. The dynamic Roxy Loewen is all these things and more, in this riveting and gorgeous historical fiction novel for readers of Paula McLain, Roberta Rich, Kate Morton and Jacqueline Winspear.

You should never fall in love with a flyer. You should only fall in love with flight.

That’s what Roxy Loewen always thought, until she falls for fellow pilot Jocco Zomack as they run guns into Ethiopia. Jocco may be a godless commie, but his father is a leading art dealer and he’s found the original of Bruegel’s famous painting, the Fall of Icarus. The trouble is, it’s in Spain, a country slipping fast into civil war. The money’s better than good–if Roxy can just get the painting to Berlin and back out again before Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring and his Nazi pals get their hands on it . . .

But this is 1936, and Hitler’s Olympics are in full swing. Not only that, but Göring has teamed up with Roxy’s greatest enemy: Sydney Munroe, an American billionaire responsible for the death of her beloved dad seven years before. When the Nazis steal the painting, Roxy and Jocco decide that they are just going to have to steal it back.

What happens when Icarus flies too close to the sun? Roxy is going to find out. From African skies to a cellar in Madrid, from the shadow cast by the swastika to the world above the clouds on the Hindenburg’s last voyage, in the end Roxy will have just two choices left–but only one bullet.


There’s nothing like dying to make a girl appreciate living.

As she stared down into the pitiless black of the night, seeking, forever seeking, the one pinpoint of light that might yet save her— but it had better hurry up—Roxy Loewen thought about what was waiting for her.

A straw-roofed hut with a tin bath filled with tepid water on its third use that would feel like a clawfoot tub at the Plaza. Rum so raw it hurt your eyes but when mixed with tamarind juice would taste like a Negroni at the Ritz. Steak from a camel or an ass surpassing the finest filet mignon that Rex’s 110th Street chop house could serve.

And at the end of all those, a German. Jochen Zomack—Jocco— with his big hands and his big laugh and the hank of brown hair that, when he let it fall over his face just so and in the right light, made him look like Cary Grant. Jocco, down there somewhere, scanning the black skies as she scanned the black ground, ready with his light.

If her message had gotten through. Communications had been sketchy since the Italians had begun what many were saying would be their final offensive. The gallant, heavily outgunned Ethiopians— guns, hell, a lot of them still fought with spears—would make their last stand against the invader near their capital, Addis Ababa.

The rumours had decided her. To fly her cargo of rifles west into that war zone was suicide. If the Italians didn’t shoot her out of the sky, there probably wouldn’t be an airfield left to land on. The one where she waited at Malco Dube would also be bombed again. Even if her Lockheed 227—Asteria 6, Roxy called her—wasn’t hit on the ground, there wouldn’t be enough time to fill in the craters on the runway that was already more gopher burrow than the racetrack it once had been. But if she could get her cargo to Jocco, he’d know what to do with it. He’d know where some of his comrades might still be fighting. He had run guns all over this continent. All over the world, truly. Hell, he might even get her paid. Though it wasn’t so much the money she’d been thinking of as she’d taken off from the foothills of the mountains and headed toward a moon just peeking in the east. It was him. Lying with him. There was a time she might have blushed at that thought. But she didn’t blush so much anymore.
Night fell fast this close to the equator, but the moon was a day off full and that had given her hope. Three hours’ flight and a landing by moonlight? She’d done that before, half a dozen times.

What she hadn’t reckoned on were the thick cumulus clouds rolling in from the Indian Ocean. She was under them now, halfway between the ceiling and the floor about two hundred feet below her. Flying star quadrants, covering ground above what she hoped was still the airfield at Dubaro. There were no lights. Italian pilots were so bored they would drop a bomb on a fella lighting a cheroot in his cupped hand. The terrain was featureless enough in daylight—arid, scrubby hills or thick jungle, especially this close to the coast. At night there was . . . nothing.

As she swung the bird again, dipping the wings each side and scanning the dark, the engine gave a cough, picked up, then coughed again. A small block in the intake valve, she prayed. That would, with luck, clear itself. The alternative? She truly had no clue how much gas was in the tanks. The gauge was busted, and though she’d woken from a snatched hour’s sleep to be told they’d given her the last of what they had, she hadn’t been able to confirm exactly how much that was before she made the decision to go.

It coughed yet again and she pushed the stick forward, dropped lower. If she ran out of juice, she would have to glide. Then it would be a choice between which piece of blackness looked most appealing. Trees would finish her. Scrub could break her undercarriage, flip her and hurl her through the windshield. She really wished she’d insisted they fixed her lap straps the last time a mechanic checked the bird over.

Waggling her wings, looking either side for even the flare of a match, she then glanced at the leather saddlebag at her feet. It didn’t hold much. Compact and lipstick. A mickey of rum. Her Luger pistol. Three vials of morphine. One was for pain if she was hurt and had to wait for a rescue. Three were for when hope ran out. Between them and the Luger she was pretty much set.



Praise for Chasing the Wind:

“A barrel-rolling barn-burner of a book! Roxy’s got a tender heart with a steel jacket, and the skill and courage to bring her in on a wing and a prayer. A good thing, because this girl doesn’t pack a parachute.” —Diana Gabaldon

“Chasing the Wind has everything a historical fiction reader could want. The suspense is wonderful; the writing is sure and confident; and the dialogue is witty and fast paced. I was completely engrossed from the very beginning.” —Roberta Rich, author of The Midwife of Venice

“Flying on the wings of Humphreys’s vivid imagination, spunky aviatrix Roxy Loewen soars from Ethiopia to Madrid as the Spanish Civil War rages, and to Berlin and Hitler’s Olympics, where she contends against the Nazi elite in a struggle to retrieve a stolen sixteenth century painting. A hold-on-to-your-seats aerial display with the throttle open all the way.” —William Deverell, author of the Arthur Beauchamp series

About the Author:

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto, lived till he was seven in Los Angeles, then grew up in the UK. All four grandparents were actors, and since his father was an actor as well, it was inevitable he would follow the bloodline.

Chris has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood in roles including Hamlet, Caleb the gladiator in NBC’s AD-Anno Domini’, Clive Parnell in ‘Coronation Street’, PC Richard Turnham in ‘The Bill’, the Immortal Graham Ashe in ‘Highlander’, Jack Absolute in ‘The Rivals’ (This performance led to him writing the Jack Absolute novels – and they say acting doesn’t pay!). Bizarrely, he was also the voice of Salem the cat in ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’.

A playwright, fight choreographer and novelist, he has written eleven adult novels including ‘The French Executioner’, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; ‘The Jack Absolute Trilogy’; ‘A Place Called Armageddon’; ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ and the international bestseller, ‘Vlad – The Last Confession’.

He also writes for young adults, with a trilogy called The Runestone Saga and ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’. The sequel, ‘The Hunt of the Dragon’, was published Fall 2016.

His recent novel ‘Plague’ won Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 2015. The sequel, ‘Fire’ is a thriller set during the Great Fire, published Summer 2016. Both novels spent five weeks in the top ten on 2016’s Globe and Mail and Toronto Star Bestseller lists.

His new novel is ‘Chasing the Wind’ about 1930’s aviatrix – and thief! – Roxy Loewen, will be published in Canada and the USA in June 2018.

Several of his novels are available as Audiobooks – read by himself! Find him here at Audible.

He is translated into thirteen languages. In 2015 he earned his Masters in Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from the University of British Columbia.

Chris now lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, with his wife, son and cat, Dickon (who keeps making it into his books!).

For more information, please visit C.C. Humphrey’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Chasing the Wind is on a blog tour!


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of the short story, The Birth of Jack Absolute by C.C. Humphreys! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Chasing the Wind

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting C.C.'s blog tour & sharing an excerpt with your readers!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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