The Kammersee Affair by John Holt


cover Kammersee

Lake Toplitzsee is located in the Austrian Salzkammergut, the Austrian lake district.Kammersee It is approximately 718 metres above sea level, approximately 1920 metres long and 388 metres wide, at its widest part. It is one of the deepest lakes in the region, extending down to a depth of 103 metres. The water temperature of the lake is abnormal. Kammersee2Its basic temperature is about 5.8 degrees Centigrade, which is about 1.8 degrees Centigrade warmer than other lakes of this type. The name Toplitzsee probably comes from the Czech word “Teplice” which means “Warm spring.”

From the middle of 1943, until the end of the war, the German Navy had established and operated a secret marine testing facility on the lake. The facility had been set up to test dynamite, explosives, underwater torpedoes, mines and rockets. Using a primitive device, the scientists had even succeeded in launching a rocket from under the surface of the lake.Men

As the end of the war in Europe drew to a close, orders were given that numerous items, including weapons, documents, and counterfeit money, were to be destroyed. Large quantities, of these items, were subsequently packed into wooden crates, and then placed into the dark murky waters of the lake.


Several hundred documents were destroyed in this way. Torpedoes and crates of ammunition were disposed of in a similar manner. Large quantities of counterfeit money, and the printing presses that produced the forged notes, were also deposited into the lake. Rumours began to spread regarding buried treasures, and hidden gold bullion.

Over the years following the War extensive searches have been carried out, but no gold bullion has ever been discovered.

* * *

In August 2005 I stayed at Lake Grundlsee, a mile or two from Toplitz.

This is the background and the inspiration that led to my first novel “The Kammersee Affair”. It is a story of the search for hidden nazi gold, but it is much more than that. It is the story of two men, an American GI, and an SS Major. It is a story of murder, blackmail and revenge.

The story begins in the summer of 1955. Two college friends are at the lake.

The lake was flat and calm with barely a ripple. Its dark waters glistened, reflecting the moonlight as though it were a mirror. A myriad of stars shone brightly in a cloudless sky, their shimmering light dancing across the surface of the water. Around the perimeter of the lake were tall conifer trees. Slender, and majestic, they grew, stretching high into the air, competing with each other for the available natural light. Surrounding the lake were sandy, gravely, banks of earth, which extended down to the water’s edge. Beyond, the land gently rose up, the slope gradually growing steeper and steeper, climbing up high along the limestone face to the side of the mountain. In the moonlight the white limestone glowed eerily, contrasting with the blackness of the shadows of the trees.

* * *

A young man sat by the water’s edge. He was in his middle twenties, tall, and slim, with light brown hair. Lying next to him was a discarded oxygen tank, and a diving mask. He sat contemplating the stillness of the lake. A stillness that was momentarily disturbed by a fish as it rose to the surface for air, or to catch an insect. There was no sound, other than the gentle rustle of the trees, and crickets chirping. Or perhaps the gentle lapping of the water as it met the shore. Nearby, a frog croaked, and splashed into the lake. Overhead an owl hooted and then settled down for the night.

The young man stared at the water, and thought of the series of dives that he and his friend had made that day. Over the past few days they had gradually worked their way across a section on the northern shore. Today they had been concentrating on a section to the northeast. The area consisted of a large clearing which gently sloped down to the edge of the water. It was reasonably accessible, and looked promising, and they had just started to investigate the area that day. They had achieved a depth of twenty metres, down to one of the shallower shelves that lined the perimeter of the lake. Even at that depth it was still quite dark. Visibility was made even more difficult by the swirling undercurrents stirring the sediment in the lake.

Fritz Marschall knew that neither he, nor his friend, should really have been there. They, like many others before them, had been attracted to the lake by the many rumours that had been circulating. They had been drawn to the area by tales of hidden treasure, and buried gold. They were only rumours, and there wasn’t an ounce of proof, or a shred of evidence to back it up. But still the rumours persisted, and the attraction was still irresistible.

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Featured Author – Sarah L. Wallace

S.L. Wallace in hat resizedToday the lovely Sarah L. Wallace is a guest on my blog. She is here to answer a few of my questions and to talk about her work.

Hi Sarah, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions of mine. I’d like to start with some personal ones to get to know the woman behind the author a bit. Is that okay?

Sure! What would you like to know?

You have a family name that sounds familiar. Why do I think I have heard it before?

Although Wallace is my pen name, William Wallace was an ancestor of mine. If you’ve seen the film, Braveheart, you may recognize the name. He fought for Scottish independence from England at the turn of the 14th century and is often thought of as one of Scotland’s greatest heroes. Here is a brief biography for anyone who is interested in learning more:

I know you are a Montessori teacher–I am a great supporter of the idea and even had my son enrolled in a school based on the same ideas in his early years–but can you explain why you chose this education system over what is generally seen as the ‘normal’ one?

I earned my degree as a public schoolteacher and spent my first two years teaching English classes and reading in a traditional middle school. Then we moved to Chicago. That is where I first toured a Montessori school. The child-centered approach to learning drew me in, so I took a huge pay cut to switch from being a traditional teacher to being an assistant in a Montessori classroom. After spending two years working as an assistant, I earned my Montessori degree.

Many people think that all teaching is child-centered, but that’s simply not true. In most traditional classrooms, the teacher is the main focus. In Montessori classrooms, the children are the main focus. The main components of the Montessori philosophy are hands-on materials, which allow even the youngest of children to learn abstract concepts; multi-age classrooms so that children at the same stage of learning can learn from each other as well as the adults in their environment; and a child-centered approach in which the teacher has been trained to observe each child as an individual, take them where they are, and propel them to ever higher levels of understanding.

I’m really glad to have you on my blog and explaining this great educational system to the readers.

Would you as a reader after doing a bit of research opt to enrol your child on a Montessori school?

Now we’d like to hear about your writing!

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Let’s talk about Retrospection.

Retrospection final cover


Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Yes, did I ever! I even posted a poll on Facebook as well as on my website. I took suggestions from everyone, even some of my students got in on the fun. In fact, Retrospection is dedicated to one of my students: And for Monet, because history is about so much more than names, dates and wars.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

No, I don’t think my book conforms to any particular genre. Even though the dedication makes it clear that it contains some historical fiction. The first part of my dedication is to my grandmother; it gives us a different glimpse into the genre of this book: For my Grandma Gert, who always loved the strange and unexplained. I think of Retrospection as a paranormal historical fiction, but that category simply doesn’t seem to exist. It is not a paranormal romance.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

First, I feel satiated. I’ll sit back and just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Later, I’ll remember that chapter and share my tale with anyone who cares to listen. cover canvas skiesFor example, in Canvas Skies (the second book in my dystopian trilogy), there is a chapter where Guy takes Keira to a formal dinner at his parents’ home. The conversation there is upsetting to both Guy and Keira, who are members of the Resistance. When I first wrote that chapter, I was very unsatisfied with it. It just fell flat to me, but I couldn’t figure out why. So I set aside my writing for a few days and just let it simmer in the back of my mind. Eventually, I realized the problem. I had no idea how his parents would react if they ever learned their son was a main player in the Resistance, a movement they are strongly against. Once I figured this out, I was able to imagine these more minor characters and really bring them to life in my mind. Then I scrapped the entire chapter and rewrote it. It is now one of my favorite chapters from any of my books.

What don’t you like about writing?

I love everything about writing, from the planning, to the writing, to the editing. I don’t even mind formatting most of the time. What I don’t like and don’t have the time for is putting the energy into a marketing campaign. With teaching full time, fitting in writing when I can, and spending time with family and friends, I simply have no energy left to market.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Sadly, my books don’t get much attention. The one that has been the most successful is my free book, Price of a Bounty.SLWallace_PriceOfBounty_eFINALclean It’s the first of my trilogy. Pricing it for free has allowed many people who would not have otherwise noticed my books to become aware of my other books, especially the rest of my trilogy. I think some people also discover my books due to my Twitter posts.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

In my books, Keira enjoys drinking wine, and at one point the gang has a lasagna dinner. Oh, and Guy makes Keira an amazing omelet. But no, there’s no constant food or beverage factor in my books. As for me, I consume a lot of caffeine.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

My favorite dish is a pasta recipe I learned about in college. My roommate’s fiance worked at an Italian restaurant, and he taught me how to make it. Way back when, he asked me not to share it, so he wouldn’t get in trouble for giving out company secrets. But I think enough time has passed. Don’t you?

To 10 ounces of cooked pasta, add 2 teaspoons parsley, 1 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. I like to serve it with chicken.


Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

This one’s easy! And it happens all the time.

I woke up bright and early at 5:30 A.M. on a weekday morning. I spent about 20 minutes tweeting and checking my messages, then I got ready for work. I tried to let my daughter sleep as late as possible, so I took the dog out for a quick walk around the block. When I got home, I had just enough time to wake my daughter, help her get ready for the day and pop a frozen waffle into the toaster. After she put on her coat, I got us into the car and handed her the toasted waffle to eat on the drive to school. At 8:00, I dropped her off at early arrival and headed back to my classroom. My work day was filled with teaching lessons, mentoring children, supervising during lunch and recess, and using my prep time to plan tomorrow’s lessons. By 3:30, I was ready to relax, but no such luck because we had a staff meeting that ran until 4:30. After that, I returned to my classroom and prepared the environment by posting the next day’s lessons on the whiteboard and setting out materials. At 5:00, I was in my car heading home. I had dinner with my family, then took my dog and daughter outside to play for awhile before it got dark. When we came inside, my daughter wanted to draw for a while, so I hopped on the computer hoping to accomplish something, anything. But my daughter saw what I was doing and asked to chat with my friend on FB. A half hour later, it was time to get her ready for bed, and I was exhausted. So I sat in bed and read for a little while before turning the lights off and getting some much needed sleep.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please, no cats, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something no one has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

This isn’t a dirty little secret, but it’s a dream of mine that not many people are aware of. I’ve always wanted to learn to fly. I love the feeling of being high above the ground, just sailing along on the wind itself. Looking down upon the land, from such heights, gives you a panoramic view of a patchwork quilt, filled with the greens and yellows of farmland. Why is it that human activities leave a geometric imprint on the world, when geometric designs are inherently a part of nature? Still, from such elevations, it’s the natural world of lakes, streams, and rivers that interrupt the orderly patterns of humans. My uncle once took me flying in a very small plane. There was room for only four people: my uncle and dad sat up front by the controls, while my aunt and I sat just behind them. Four tiny humans in such a big wide world. And then we flew over the devastation of a tornado. So much destruction, another blotch on that patchwork quilt. Even so, I was hooked from the moment we rose into the air.

That is a great anecdote Sarah! Thanks for sharing so much of you with us. The only thing left for me to tell the readers is where they can find you and your books.


Book Tour The Saviour Series by Lesley Jones

cover 1

Saviour (Book 1 of The Saviour Series)

by Lesley Jones

Publication Date: May 16, 2013

Available at AMAZON

She’s a smart mouthed Essex Girl, now living in Australia.

He’s a good looking, born and raised. all surfing Aussie Boy.

Enjoy the fireworks, fun and the very hot sex as their worlds collide



Lauren has decided that her marriage is over but has yet to tell Jay, her abusive husband of the past twentyfive years. After making this decision and resigning herself to the fact that she will now be middle aged and single, she embarks on a girls night out and spills her guts to her girlfriends about what she has endured, in secret all these years.

Gabriel joins his brothers for a drink at a local bar. He’s thirty five and very single. Good looks and a good job mean the ladies are generally lining up every night, which is just the way he likes it, straight sex, no complications.

Then their worlds collide, neither of them looking or thinking that what they need is each other, but the chemistry is instant and overwhelming and has the possibilty to consume and destroy them both. Can they overcome both their pasts to survive the future, together? Is the amazing, mindblowing sex enough?Join Lauren and Gabriel on their emotional, funny, sexy and traumatic journey as they try to conquer the demons from their past and try to build a future together. Their story will make you laugh and it will make you cry and sometimes do both at the same time!

Will you add it on GoodReads


Resolution (Book 2 of The Saviour Series)

by Lesley Jones

Publication Date: October 4, 2013

Available at AMAZON

Resolution picks up exactly where Saviour left us all hanging! Having left an abusive marriage at 45, Lauren can hardly believe that she has found Gabe, a 35 year old blonde buff sex god, their instant chemistry has convinced him that that he wants to change his serial shagging ways and to make what they have found permanent, he knows that he loves Lauren but relationships are a whole new concept to him and he doesn’t always get it right.

Lauren, still reeling from the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her ex husband is not convinced that jumping straight into another marriage is the right thing for her, despite how much she loves Gabe, the sex is amazing, they have no problems there, with Gabe she is growing in confidence and trying things in the bedroom (and every where else) that she never even considered during her marriage but they have known each other for just 10 short weeks and already they have been through enough drama to last a lifetime. Lauren has once again been beaten and humiliated by her soon to be ex-Husband, Gabe has revealed he was sexually abused by his Step-Mother as a teenager, and Gabe’s ex is threatening to stop him seeing his daughter.

Will Lauren listen to taunts from jealous exes and her own self doubt; or will the love (and lust) Lauren has found in Gabe’s arms be enough for her to let go of her painful past to build a future with Gabe. Resolution is the conclusion of Gabe and Laurens story, it will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, with some steamy and erotic sex scenes, just to keep your pulse racing, like Saviour, some scenes are gut wrenching, it will have you laughing, crying and wanting to not only hug Gabe and Lauren but also wanting to shake some sense into them. Buckle up and enjoy the ride

Of course you’ll have to add this one on GoodReads too!

13About the Author:

I was born and raised in a small working class town in Essex, just outside of East London. I am married with three sons and in 2006 we all moved to the other side of the world, settling on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, about 50K outside of Melbourne Australia. It’s a whole new way of life for us down here,we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

I am currently a stay at home mum but in the past I have worked at Marks & Spencer, as a classroom assistant/teachers aid, and have run my business.

As well as writing, I love to read and have been known to get through four or five books a week. My other interests are watching my boys play football…The round ball version; I am happy to admit to being an addict of social media and I owe a lot to my Facebook and Twitter family in promoting my work; I am also rather partial to a glass… or bottle of wine, a nicely chilled Marlborough Sav Blanc being my favorite. Being a born and raised Essex girl, I will happily admit to be being a big fan of spray tans, Shellac and am regularly, waxed, tinted and sculpted, although I am more likely to be found in thongs/flipflops than a pair of white stilettos these days.

I think that gives us a nice little peek at the person behind the author. Thanks for telling us these cute ‘secrets’. 🙂 But I think the readers would also like to know that they can find, follow, or stalk (erm, I mean friend) you on:

Facebook  – Twitter GoodReads Author Page Amazon Author Page

What would you do if you found yourself in a situation like Lauren’s?


Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Unholy Alliance by Juliet B. Madison




DI Frank Lyle is about to confront the depths of human depravity and despair.

It’s autumn 1991 and a horde of Anglican clergy has just descended on Ashbeck for an ecumenical conference at St Luke’s church.

DI Lyle and his team are called in to investigate when the mutilated body of curate Martin Hayes is found in the churchyard. They are assisted by Canon Thomas Rice, a former police officer, who is able to see both sides of the coin. But who was Martin Hayes, and did aspects of his troubled past lead to his brutal demise?

As the team get closer to the truth they begin to understand Hayes. But will too much knowledge prove a dangerous thing?

This author is a bit shy, or she wants the mystery of her visage be as mysterious as her books (in a good way). However, she does reveals the veil and tells us a bit about herself.

julietHi. I’m Juliet B Madison & I’m the author of the DI Frank Lyle Mystery series. It’s a British based police procedural thriller series set in the imaginary town of Ashbeck, which is loosely based on my hometown.

I read a lot of British crime fiction. My favourite British crime authors include Agatha Christie, Peter Robinson, Peter James, P D James, Ruth Rendell, Peter Lovesey, Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride and Colin Dexter. I’m not so keen on American crime fiction because I have no real idea how American police work, but I like Jonathan Kellerman, Tess Gerritsen and Michael Connelly & Linwood Barclay.

I have joined a few FB crime writer groups and made a few new friends. I love Indie crime books especially by my good friends, John Holt, Alfie Robins and Babs Morton.

I am single with no kids and have a mind-numbing crap paid office cleaning job. While I’m at work I always think about my books and attempt to resolve plot problems as anything is more interesting than cleaning, apart from cricket which always sends me to sleep.

DILyle_sketchfinalI hope that you will like my hero Detective Inspector Frank Lyle as he is thorough, dedicated, humane and compassionate, not to mention being gorgeous to look at.

Here is an excerpt from Unholy Alliance chapter 1 where DI Frank Lyle realises just what kind of brutality he is dealing with

I drove downtown to St Luke’s church. I was not a churchgoer; in fact I wasn’t even sure I believed in God. Certainly what I saw on a daily basis did rather challenge the idea of a benevolent loving deity.

I parked close by. I saw the blue and white police tape fluttering in the breeze. The cordon was guarded by two uniforms and in the distance I could see two small tents which indicated that Dr Bradley and SOCO were already in attendance. With DI Redfern headed for two weeksof honeymoon bliss in Crete, I was the only murder squad DI available, but one of the DSs could be made up in his absence.

Evening DI Lyle Sir.” The PC at the cordon said.


I hope you haven’t just eaten Sir, it’s not, well not a pleasant sight, DI Ward could not have handled it.”

DI Simon Ward had been dismissed earlier in the year for leaking details of the Kenyon investigation to the Ashbeck Courier. He had been of a somewhat squeamish disposition. Inspector Morse seemed to get away with an inherent dislike of such things, but I preferred my officers to be made of stronger stuff.

Evening Guv,” A familiar voice. DS Mark Slade came towards me. He had been promoted, along with Redfern, following the satisfactory resolution of the Kenyon business.

Evening Mark.”

It’s not a pretty sight, Guv,” he said. “They got some big league church conference on this week, so they got bishops and everything around the place. I’m on my way to have a chat with the vicar. He found him. I’ll catch you in the rectory later.”

I put on a sterile gown and overshoes before taking the regulation extra strong mint offered by Dr Bradley’s assistant, Kieran.

I then ventured into the next tent. I swear I will never forget what I saw for as long as I live.

Dr Bradley was bending over the naked inert torso of what I presumed had once been a young man. His face was a bloodied pulp and his body was soaked with blood. On his chest bleeding marks spelt out the message “I have sinned.” and the man’s genitals had been cut off and thrust into his mouth, halfway down his throat. There was a clerical collar wrapped around the shaft of his penis. I felt acrid bile rise into my throat. I took a few deep breaths.

What have we got Doc?” My voice did not sound like mine.

Reverend Martin Hayes, curate.” Bradley said. “I hate to tell you this, Frank, but none of these wounds or the castration was done post-mortem. He was still alive.”

My God!” I gasped.

I’ve taken blood samples to see if he was anaesthetised in any way, to make it more bearable, but I don’t hold out much hope. There are defence wounds to his hands, so at least he put up some sort of fight, which means we may get some DNA from under the fingernails. He’s been dead between four and six hours, so I put the time of death no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8 pm,”

You can follow Juliet on Twitter where she’s knowns as @JulietBMadison, or her blog.

DI Frank Lyle can also be found on Facebook, he has several pages actually.

And you can get your DI Frank Lyle ebooks Authorgraphed by putting in a request on:

Book Tour #Giveaway – The Novice by Harlem Dae

Today I host a stop on the Holiday Party Blog Tour & Giveaway

This will feature …

The Novice by Harlem Dae



The Novice by Harlem Dae

London – one meeting, one month of lessons and a landslide of new desires.

My journey to hell started with a decaf coffee. Nothing more than a grey mug full of dull-brown liquid devoid of its most useful ingredient.

One sip, one smile, one touch of her hand and it was soon clear my life wasn’t destined to stay dull. Oh, no, suddenly I had a month of bedroom education planned by a sultry vixen who intended to broaden my horizons beyond my usual peach-pink palette.

She wanted to take me to deep purples and navy blues and the pitch blackness that was pure sin. And on the other side of that blackness was a place that might look like Hell, with debauchery and wantonness, people playing devil’s advocate, luring innocents into the hotter, steamier corners of the world.

Her world.

Oh, yes, she promised each night to take me there and paint me an orange-and-red picture that would come alive, flickering like flames, enticing me, holding me spellbound and eager to learn more. To touch, explore, drown in coming.

And drown I would. I was no match for her tricks and taunts. My only chance of survival was to show her that I wasn’t vanilla. I had a rainbow of mastery up my sleeve, too, and if she just opened her eyes, she might be dazzled enough to stay—stay and take ‘my’ lessons. If she didn’t kill me first, that was, with pleasure.

Please note The Novice is book #1 in the Sexy as Hell Trilogy which is best read in order. At the end of The Novice you will find the first 3 chapters of the next book, The Player, available for your enjoyment.

If you care to read a red, hot excerpt click here

Or skip it and buy the book on AMAZON


• 1 of 5 Sexy as Hell Box Set by Harlem Dae

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Let me tell you a bit about the Author, or really authors. 

Harlem Dae is the pen name of two authors – Lily Harlem and Natalie Dae. They have been writing together for several years on top of their individual author projects and enjoy being represented by traditional houses including HarperCollins and Totally Bound as well as self-publishing their sexy stories on Amazon.

The Novice, Anything for Him and Good Cop, Bad Cop have all claimed the #1 spot on the Amazon Erotica chart in 2013 and with the popularity of the newly released Sexy as Hell Trilogy it looks like 2014 is going to be another wild ride of success for Harlem Dae.

Both live in the UK and gain great satisfaction from bouncing characters and their raunchy antics back and forth, growing, nurturing and stoking plot lines until they steam off the page and push boundaries. They consider themselves to be solitary, whacky, spontaneous and desirous for many things including perfection and are frequently caught sending messages back and forth referring to each other as Rodney and Delboy.

Their Social Links:  

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads 

Tour Coordinator:

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Please check out the other stops on this tour today:

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This Holiday Party Blog tour is being run in conjunction with the 

Check out the entire schedule of the 18 Holiday Party Blog Tour stops & participating bloggers HERE.

Join the party and win from a prize pool of over 1,500 books and prizes by these generous authors!This post contains Affiliate Links.