Island of Dreams By Harry Duffin will release in December in the Historical Family Saga genre.
In May 1939, when Professor Carl Mueller, his wife, Esther, and their three children flee Nazi Germany, and find refuge on the paradise island of Cuba, they are all full of hopes and dreams for a safe and happy future.
But those dreams are shattered when Carl and Esther are confronted by a ghost from their past, and old betrayals return to haunt them.
The turbulent years of political corruption leading to Batista’s dictatorship, forces the older children to take very different paths to pursue their own dangerous dreams.
And – among the chaos and the conflict that finally leads to Castro’s revolution and victory in 1959, an unlikely love begins to grow – a love that threatens the whole family.
Having escaped a war-torn Europe, their Island of Dreams is to tear them apart forever.
When Jose didn’t come back all evening, Anna began to think that something might be happening about Hans already. It was late. She decided to go out to look in the bars that Jose would likely to be in. But he wasn’t in any. So, where was he?
She had to try and persuade him that he was wrong. People had been told about the broadcast, so they could tell others. They wanted the whole city to listen. The secret police were everywhere in the city. They must have heard, and tracked the transmitter.
Hans would probably be at the club. He would be safe there, probably. No-one in their group would just walk into the club and shoot him. That would give themselves away. They would wait outside, among the crowd. The tourists were always milling around until the early hours. That would be the best time.
Of course, she believed in what the group were doing. She cared passionately about Castro’s campaign. But Hans was her brother. He didn’t believe in her cause, but she didn’t think he believed in Batista’s brutal regime either. Could she let this happen? Let her brother be killed? If Hans died it would destroy her mother. Probably drive her crazier than she already was. Not that she cared all that much about her mother, but her father would have to bear the brunt of whatever Esther did. She didn’t want him to go through that.
Passing a public phone she decided to call Hans, and tell him she was coming to the club to speak to him. But the phone was engaged. The club wasn’t far away. She began to hurry there, through the back streets of the Old City.
Entering the street dominated by Giorgio’s neon sign she saw, through a group of tourists, the door of Hans’ coupe closing. She hurried to catch him before he drove away.
Ten yards away, she was blown backwards as the car erupted in flames.
Dazed and shocked, Anna picked herself up, unhurt apart from the fall. Hans’ coupe was engulfed in flames. There was no way anyone could get near it. She could see the figure of her brother, already unrecognisable by the inferno surrounding him.
There were screams and cries from some of the tourists who had been injured by flying glass. All the rest of them were panicking. There was no point in her being there. The police would be here soon, and she didn’t want to be anywhere near the scene when they arrived. She stumbled away, shaking, too numb to cry.
With police sirens wailing in the distance, she wandered the back streets for a while. Thoughts tumbled through her head, as she tried to block out the image of her brother being burnt alive. She didn’t want to go back to her apartment. Right at this moment, there was no way she wanted to be with Jose. He might be sympathetic, she was sure, but underneath he would be celebrating.
She had expected it to be a gunman. That’s what she was hurrying to tell Hans about. Maybe the group thought he was the police spy, but she couldn’t believe it. If she told him someone was about to shoot him, he could take precautions. But there were no precautions you could take about a bomb.
Harry Duffin is an award-winning British screenwriter, who was on the first writing team of the BBC’s ‘Eastenders’ and won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial for ‘Coronation Street’.
He was Head of Development at Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment Group, producing seven major television series, including ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ starring Richard ‘John Boy’ Thomas, and ‘Twist in the Tale’, featuring William Shatner.
He was the co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘The Tribe’, which ran for five series.
He has written three novels, Chicago May, Birth of the Mall Rats [an intro to the TV series ‘The Tribe’], and Island of Dreams, which will be published in December 2022.
Chicago May is the first book of a two-part series: www.chicagomay.com
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Duffin/e/B005KR3E74