Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ by Rochelle Alexandra. Thanks to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for the invite. Before I share the extract here’s what the book is all about:
“In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.
In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.
Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.”
“Oh, just about the last time I had chocolate to eat.”
“Tell me about it.”
So, Alexa began telling him of the last two times she had chocolate and then rewound her story back to its nightmare beginning, telling Antoni of how she was originally taken away from her mother in Poland, almost five years earlier. Antoni listened to every word of her story and several times during it, seemed visibly uncomfortable. He smoked two cigarettes while she spoke which Alexa put down to the stressful nature of her story.
“…and then I got moved to the job in the supply store on Monday, met you and here we are on our first date.”
“That’s quite a story Alexa. You have been through a lot.”
“Yes, but I always tell myself, it could have been much worse. There are so many people who have suffered horrifically during the war and have perished. Me, I’ve always had God on my side, and he’s kept me safe. I’m still alive and soon I will make it back home and hopefully find my mother and sister there waiting for me.”
“You have a very positive attitude despite what you’ve been through. That’s good! You also don’t seem to hold hatred or malice towards the Germans’.”
Don’t get me wrong, I despise what the Nazis have done to millions of people under Hitler’s direction, but I don’t hate all of the German people because if it. I believe that when hate is encouraged, supported and allowed to run loose in society, the stronger it becomes. Hate is like a poison, that can infect and quickly spread becoming pandemic. Look at the influence that Hitler’s hatred of the Jews’ has had on such a mass scale. His toxic hatred became so divisive, so destructive and so deadly.”
“You are right Alexa, what you’re saying is so true.”
“Just look at how the Jewish race has been treated, terrorized, tortured and almost totally annihilated across Europe and for what? What did they ever do that was so terrible? They raised families, worked hard and worshipped their God. Is that not what we all should have the right to do?”
“You’re right Alexa, I agree with you.”
“Good, because it’s very clear that through hate and peoples’ indifference and intolerance, hate spread like wildfire. And look how it then spread throughout Europe to non-Jews. Look at my life and that of my mother’s. We were Catholic and look at how our lives and the lives of so many others, have been forever changed all because of the spread of Hitler’s hatred. So, No Antoni, I will not allow a breeding ground for hatred in my life. Love is the answer, only love! ”
Published by Author Academy Elite it’s available now from:
About The Author
Rochelle Alexandra was born in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up, then moved to New York to live when she was eighteen. She had an early love for writing poetry, winning a National Scottish competition and later had a few poems published in the USA. She’s a talented artist and photographer with a real love for children, horse riding and travel. Her favourite jobs were in advertising, working for a newspaper, a photographer’s assistant and private chef. She ran her own freelance art business painting portraits, murals, abstracts and commissions.
She never set out to be a writer, but after hearing her Polish grandmother’s gripping true life history during WWII first hand, she made a promise to her gran that she would write her story in book form. Sadly her grandmother Alexa passed away aged 92, just two months before the novel ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ about her life was due to be published. Little did Rochelle know that she’d love the writing process so much and now has several future novels planned.