Today I'm welcoming Kathleen Harryman/Lucy Marshall and their book - The Promise (A world war Two historical romance) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde). I'm delighted to be able to share an excerpt with you which I will do after I've introduced the book.
The Promise By Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
far would you go to keep a promise?
In the heat of battle, one
man's promise to another will be tested.
Britain is gripped by the fear and uncertainty of war, Tom Armitage
stands to gain the one thing that he never thought possible - his
Rosie Elliot sees her future crumbling to dust as
Will Aarons leaves Whitby with Jimmy Chappell to fight in the war. As
she begins work at The Turnstone Convalescent Home, Rosie finds
something she thought she had lost. Friendship. But friendship soon
turns to love. Can this new love replace Will?
is not an ordinary love story.
a story of love, loss, courage, and honour.
Of promises that must
be kept or risk losing everything you've ever held dear.
28th February 2019
Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
328 pages (paperback) 330 pages (kindle)
Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLO2AcnQvWU
You can purchase the book via -
Now for the excerpt -
A thundering noise echoed through my despair. I lifted my head suddenly aware that the sky above me was turning dark. My eyebrows drew together. I wiped at the tears, rubbing at my eyes. What the hell was going on? The noise got louder, roaring in my ears, until it was the only thing I could hear. My pulse sped up. Slowly, I turned around and looked up. My breath caught in my throat; my eyes wide in disbelief. I became glued to the spot as fear slid along my spine. Approximately 8,220 kilograms of grey mass of a Heinkel He bomber came heading my way.
Oh, hell! This was it.
The Heinkel He propellers spun as smoke billowed from the right propeller, casting a stream of dark angry grey fog behind it. This wasn’t good, not good at all. Gravity pulled at the German bomber. Its speed in- creased as it got nearer to the ground, and me. My legs seemed incapable of moving as I watched the large grey mass of the plane come charging towards me. It coughed and sputtered. The left propeller cut out, and it now sat idle like the right one. Suddenly, my brain came to life at an accelerated pace. I frantically looked around me. There was nowhere for me to hide in the open field. The plane dived downward, nose first, spiralling out of control, coming at me faster and faster. It was as if it had me in its sight and wasn’t about to let me go – and live.
Run, run, run! My brain screamed at me repeatedly. I looked at Red. The tractor was the only cover available. I dived beneath it, my fingers digging into the ground as I pulled myself under the dirty green body. I prayed liked I’d never prayed before. Please God, please, not like this... not like this! All the time, my heart hammered against my ribs. I felt the impact of the bomber as it hit Red. The field disappeared from view, replaced with a net of black grey smoke.
The tractor shook and screeched. Metal ground on metal. I was conscious of Red moving under the force of the plane’s impact. I tried to roll with it. Metal flew around me, banging down on Red like huge hailstones. I cried out as the air shifted over me and I became aware that Red no longer protected me. I looked over my shoulder to see what was happening. What was left of the bomber was coming for me. Red lay on its side, as though it had given up and admitted defeat.
I closed my eyes briefly, thinking that if I couldn’t see, it wouldn’t hurt when it hit me. My brain couldn’t take it. My need to see what was happening was too great. My eyes flew open and widened in disbelief and fear. I fought against my brain’s new command, and its incessant screams for me to get up and run. There was no way I could make it out of the bomber’s way in time. Where would I run to? The wheat offered no resistance. I’d never reach a safe place in time.
My heart pounded against my chest. My only option was to hope that by remaining on the ground, the impact wouldn’t be so great. I could survive this. I watched as pieces of the plane rained down around me. I rolled as a large piece of metal came flying my way. It missed me, but not by much. I flipped onto my stomach, pressing myself into the dirt beneath me. My hands wrapped over my head for protection. I felt the impact, as something hit me on the head and ripped the skin on my arms. Panic set in. I stood up and started running, my heart wildly beating against my ribs. Blood drip- ping down my arms.
Something hit me in the legs. The impact brought me down, pressing my face into the earth and wheat. I fell awkwardly and felt my bone snap. Rolling in pain, I saw part of the Heinkel He wing hurtling towards me. My mouth opened but no sound came out. It landed along my legs and chest. I screamed and screamed. Pain shot throughout my entire body. I couldn’t move. I tried shoving at the metal but there was no strength left in my bloody arms to move it. I had become a prisoner. My chest hurt, weighted down by the bomber’s wing. I was being crushed by the sheer weight of it. My ribs hurt. I was finding it difficult to breathe. Sweat broke out on my forehead. I couldn’t feel my right leg. I was aware that at some point, something had pierced the skin along my calf and sunk deep inside my flesh.
Somewhere, I thought I heard someone shout my name. My head was ringing. I wasn’t sure if what I was hearing was a human voice, or just the ringing in my head. It could even be my brain playing tricks on me. Its desire for human contact, for someone to save me.
Darkness kept pushing at me. I knew I should stay awake, keep my eyes open. As the seconds ticked into minutes, I couldn’t remember why closing them was a bad idea. They felt so heavy. Suddenly, closing them seemed to be the right thing to do. My eyes had long since stopped seeing or focusing on anything. There was a bright light. Maybe it was the sun? Everything was beginning to hurt, and I was starting to feel really cold. A shiver ran along my body. I twitched, as pain like a hot iron crawled along my skin. I cried out. My eyes opened momentarily. The pain seemed to heighten. I closed my eyes again and the pain went away a bit.
I thought I heard someone speak again. It sounded like my name. Everything seemed unreal, as though all of this was happening to someone else. Dad’s face came floating in front of my closed eyes. I thought about let- ting go, like he had. Leaving the responsibility of the farm, of mum and Becky, to someone else. I’d be free. Free to fly with the birds high in the sky. Free to not feel. It sounded good. My thoughts hesitated. Who would be that someone I could trust to look after mum and Becky? To care for them and the farm? I tried to think. There must be someone. My brain hurt. Too tired to think.
Free, be free like a bird. My brain called. I raised my arms. I flapped them at my sides, like they were wings. I wasn’t sure at this stage if the lifting of my arms was a hypothetical thing, or if I really was flapping them. I looked at my arms. They weren’t arms, they were feathers. Free. Free to fly. I smiled. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Had this been what dad had done? Had he planned to kill himself, days, weeks, months before he did so? All the while acting like the loving husband, and doting dad. Had he carefully planned it, thought about how it would feel to be free of the torment that sat heavy upon his soul?
Yeah, at last I think I got it. To be free. To never feel. Was dying giving up? I began to wonder if it did bring peace, or if your soul would be forever tortured by the decision that you made. Did dad look down on us and think that he had made the worst mistake ever when he’d tied that rope around his neck? I groaned, even now with my body shaking in pain and the coldness set- ting in, I could still feel the weight of my responsibility to the farm, to mum, to Becky, pulling at me. It made me realise that I still had a choice. That I could fight this.
I had to concentrate. I had to think of mum and Becky. It would be wrong to give up now, like dad had done. To entrust them to someone, not knowing who that someone would be. I screamed, hoping that some- one would hear me, even out here.
That I hadn’t been delusional
That I had heard someone shouting my name. Suddenly, the warmth of the sun hit the right side of my face. I blinked. It was so bright. Too bright. Regardless of the intensity of the light, my eyes flew open as a hand gently touched my face. Brown eyes met mine. Tears swam within their deep brown depths. I looked upon her face and thought I had never seen something so wonderful as the soft smile that played upon her lips. The relief that filled her eyes with light. Someone cared. Cared about the loner. Cared about me. And that someone wasn’t mum or Becky. And that someone was looking at me. And she had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.
“Don’t you dare die, Tom Armitage!” Rosie gently touched my brow.
A tear fell from her eyes. I longed to wipe it away. My arms felt too heavy, so I smiled back at her. At least that’s what I tried to do. Pain was everywhere. Oh, God, I hurt.
I closed my eyes and gave in to the darkness, and the pain disappeared. I felt something wet touch my cheek. It felt good that someone cared about me. That if I died, my death would mean something to someone. For the first time in such a long time, I felt at peace.
I hoped that dad had felt peace when he had stepped off the ladder, and the rope had tightened about his neck...before death claimed him.
Harryman is a storyteller and poet in the historically rich city of
York, North Yorkshire, England, with her husband, children and pet
dog and cat.
was first published in 2015, a romantic suspense entitled The Other
Side of the Looking Glass. Since then, Kathleen has developed a
unique writing style which readers have enjoyed, and she became a
multi-genre author of suspense, psychological thrillers, poetry and
You can connect with Kathleen Harryman via -
I hope you will check out Kathleen's work.
Till the next time.
Take care Zoe