Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Please welcome my guest

Today, I'm honored to welcome Rebecca Hadassah Bloomberg, the brave heroine from Alyson Reuben's debut novel, A Beautiful Cage.

Good morning, Rebecca.  Would you tell us a little about yourself?

Rebecca:  I live in Berlin, Germany, 1938.  It's a very difficult year for us Jews.  The Holocaust has began.  And I’m hiding in Gustav von Furst‘s home after narrowly avoiding capture during Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass, when Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues were burned and plummeted, and innocent civilians were terrorized and arrested.

 I'm glad you're in a safe place now.  Do you have any siblings?  Are they currently with you?

Rebecca:  I have two younger brothers, Matthew and Peter.  I’m separated from them now, but they play significant roles in my back-story.

You must be incredibly brave.  How would you describe yourself?

Rebecca:  As a banker's daughter, I was used to the finer things in life before the Nazi regime began limiting my family's lifestyle by putting restrictions on us.  Growing up, I loved pretty dresses and dance class, but was equally at home playing boy's games.  Known to have a sharp temper, I also used to get in trouble for fighting, mainly taking up for underdogs.  In fact, I guess you can say my temper is why Gustav first took notice of me.

I used to love everything about mingling with society.  I also enjoyed using the business etiquette my father taught me, conversing with his regular customers.  I imagined myself  one day holding a position in the banking world.  Let's just say now that I'm on the run for my life, mixing with society doesn't have the same appeal.  And money?  What money?  What little the Nazis didn't confiscate they're now hunting me down for, although I honestly have no idea where it is.

I always imagined myself marrying a nice Jewish man.  A German journalist who writes lies for a Nazi propaganda paper, while wearing a veil of espionage as naturally as his tailored clothes, doesn't quite fit my ideal.  Too bad my brain and heart can't reach the same verdict.

Given that you are currently in hiding, what is a typical day like for you?

Rebecca:  I rise early to fix breakfast for Gustav and his aging Grandmother Bertie, because I love to cook, and it makes me feel like I'm earning my keep.  Since I'm confined to the inside of the house, and only to certain parts of it, I keep myself entertained by reading, making crafts, playing poker with Bertie (a regular cardsharp), searching through old pictures and mementos, and occasionally dancing to phonograph records.  I'm faced with Gustav at every turn, making it impossible for me to ignore him.  In fact, these encounters of ours are getting trickier every day.

What was your first impression of Gustav?  Did it change as you grew to know him?

Rebecca:  My first impression of Gustav?  Um... not too good.  He's a huge blond god of a man, outwardly beautiful.  And inwardly cold as ice.  Well, I thought so at first anyway.  But what I'm discovering is that there's more to Gustav von Furst than meets the eye.  Much more.  Though he's my enemy in many ways, he's also my protector.  And a damned mysterious one, which makes him all the more appealing to my annoying sense of curiosity. 

If you could do something forbidden, what would it be?

Rebecca:  Forbidden?  You mean besides spitting in the face of Hitler and his goons?  How about simply walking down the street in broad daylight? Or going out to a restaurant, or the theather?  And I'd almost kill to go on a shopping trip.

Also, searching through Gustav's many mysterious possessions, including the secret machine he does some kind of spy code with, is strictly off-limits for me.  But, it hasn't exactly stopped me from snooping.

And, lately, my thoughts are increasingly preoccupied more than the man who is inside the house with me, than with any of the ones on the outside.  My fantasies about him are absolutely forbidden.  Trust me.

What is your favorite time of day?

Rebecca:  It's not when Gustav comes home from his questionable job.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself. 

Hmm.  I know exactly what you mean.  Thanks, Rebecca, for spending time with us today.  I enjoyed getting to know you.  I'm looking forward to reading more about you in Alyson Reuben's book, A Beautiful Cage, which is available now.

Alyson will be giving away an ebook copy of her novel to a random commenter.  The winner will be notified tomorrow, 9/15/11, by Alyson. 


Wanted by the Gestapo, Rebecca Bloomberg is on the run for her life. Sheltering in the home of a reporter who writes absurd lies for a Nazi propaganda newspaper is hardly an ideal solution. Irresistibly drawn to the man, she dares not trust him, until she discovers his journalist position is a mask for involvement in an anti-Nazi resistance ring.

Gustav Von Furst has done all he can to perfect his mask. Neither his family nor his close friends know the truth. Hiding a Jewish girl is the most foolish risk, yet there is something about her that makes him want to protect her.

Eager to forget the outside world, Rebecca and Gustav are caught up in a private world of forbidden passion—until unexpected danger lands on their doorstep and they’re faced with a decision that will change everything. Will love demand a sacrifice too great to give?

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it.  Read on for an excerpt.


Splaying his hands across her bottom and mid-back, he pinned her tight.
She froze, motionless, staring up into his shadowed face, into eyes that glittered in the low light. How did he manage to look both irritated and roguish at the same time?

“Let me go, I—” But the words were smothered in her mouth as his lips plunged down over hers. She pushed at him, but he was unmovable. And with each passing second his lips ravished hers, she grew weaker, reserves fading. Even while she thumped his shoulders with her fists, her traitorous mouth opened wide for him.

At what point had she started losing control of her life? Was it when she lost her family? Lost James? When she was assaulted in the alley? Or when it was decided she must stay inside the von Furst home?

Well, there were some things she could still control. And this was one of them. With that resolve, she shot up on tiptoe, angling to bite his lips, digging her fingers into his back. She was going to take control of this kiss, dammit, whether Gustav liked it or not.

You can buy A Beautiful Cage at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon .

About Alyson Reuben:
Determined to become an author while still in elementary school, Alyson Reuben frequently found herself in trouble for writing stories while she should’ve been studying for math tests. Some years later, by combining a love of history with her enthusiasm for storytelling, she seeks to entertain readers with passionate accounts of vintage romance. Occasionally, she still find herself in trouble for writing when she should be cooking dinner. Alyson enjoys small-town life in Indiana with her husband and daughter.

Alyson can also be found on Facebook, Goodreads, and twitter.


  1. Thank you for having me on your blog today, Katherine! It's nice being here :)

  2. I loved the interview with Rebecca, Alyson. It made me want to read her story. Wishing you big sales!

  3. Thanks so much, Jannine! I hope you do read her story and fall in love with it!

  4. Hi Alyson! What a great interview - it really brings Rebecca to life. I love the premise of this story. It's nice to see something different in historical romance. Congratulations on this book.

  5. I love my characters Rebecca and Gustav, Alison, and I think it shows in the story as well as in this type of interview. And I like different spins on historical romances, too. Thanks so much for stopping by and showing your support!

  6. Hi Alyson. So I just wondered, are you German? How did you come up with this idea and put it all together? Did you have to research Germans, Nazis? I know you did extensive research from previous blog posts, but how much was already inside your head when you began? I think you took a strong topic/time to make a romance bloom in. Congrats for that and the release!

  7. Hi Alyson,

    Thank you again for being my guest and sharing some of Rebecca's story. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  8. Hi, Calisa! Thanks for stopping by! I have a LOT of German ancestry, on both sides of my family, mixed with British. Fortunately my German ancestors migrated to the US long before WWII. About research, I've definitely done my share. I discovered an interest in studying the holocaust back when I was still in high school. And studying the resistance groups came about because it involves espionage, which fascinates me. I love Gustav's outwardly cold shell, which houses intelligence and a warm heart, willing to sacrifice to help those who can't help themselves. He and Rebecca share a lot more in common than either of them realized in the beginning. I think their inner connection is what makes their romance so poignant.

  9. You're welcome, Katherine! It's been fun :)

  10. Wow, sounds like a wonderful story. I wish you much success!

  11. Thank you, Penny! Glad you stopped by!