Just before their B-17 bomber crashes in German-occupied Austria, two of the three remaining crewmen manage to parachute out of the aircraft. Captain Charlie Banks and Corporal Samuel Aldridge find shelter in a barn, where they are discovered by a beautiful young Austrian woman. Despite the danger to herself and her family, Marianne Leichtner decides to help the two Americans. Her courage and character soon win Charlie’s heart.
When the Nazis come to investigate the plane crash, Charlie and Sam must escape through enemy territory. Just steps from freedom, they are captured by Italian fascists. Survival takes on a new meaning for the airmen, and Charlie begins to questions everything, including his faith. Only the hope of seeing Marianne again keeps him going over the long months in prison. But if he survives, will she still care for him? And will Charlie learn to trust in the Lord’s promises?
Melanie Mason is an author, designer, and flight attendant all rolled into one. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in communications. She has told stories all her life and her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She hopes to be on an airplane one day and see someone reading one of her books. Melanie lives in Portland, Oregon—with her two Dachshund Chihuahua dogs—where the beauty of the Pacific Northwest feeds her imagination, and the rainy winter evenings encourage her to curl up with hot chocolate and a good book.
Top Ten List
- Book: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
- Color: Red
- Clothes: yoga pants and a long sleeved t-shirt
- Place: Beach
- Season: Fall
- Time of Day: Late morning
- Actor I’d like to Kiss: Chris Evans (I seriously want his muscles hugging me.)
- Dessert: Homemade raspberry cheesecake (I have the recipe for anyone who wants it.)
- Food: Italian
- Flower: iris
An hour after nightfall, a scraping noise at the door brought Charlie’s head up. The narrow trapdoor at the bottom opened and a tray slid into the cell. Moments later, he heard a tray slide into Sam’s cell. With a grunt Charlie got to his feet. He moved to his door and crouched down. in the dim light, he could see the contents of the tray—a thick slice of bread, a narrow hunk of cheese, and a cup of water.
He sat back, crossing his legs beneath him, and pulled the tray over. First, he brought the cup of water to his parched lips and sipped, letting the moisture seep into the dried cracks of his mouth and throat.
“Grazie,” he whispered hoarsely, hoping whoever had shown them mercy was still there on the other side of the door. “Sam, food and water.”
Sam groaned, then rolled off the bed and crawled to the tray at his door. He took a drink and sighed. “Thank you, Lord.”
Charlie took a bite of the soft bread and let the subtle spices mixed with garlic roll across his tongue. even more delightful sensations lled his mouth when he tasted the sharp cheese. He ate slowly, making the food last as long as he could. When every last crumb had been picked off his plate, he slid the tray back to the door. “Grazie, amico mio.” Thank you, my friend.
“Fratelli,” came the reply as the tray slid out the small opening.