The Girls from the Beach by Andie Newton #excerpt

Excerpt:

Prologue

New York

1989

The delivery arrived just after lunch: a bulky cardboard box wheeled in on a dolly by a man dressed in a brown uniform. The reporter sent for it that morning from the storage unit where it had sat for over five years, paying extra to have it messengered express.

He jumped up from his chair where he’d been anxiously waiting, and peeked through his office blinds, watching the delivery man weave his way through the second-floor newsroom, past the drum of electric typewriters and correspondents on phones.

He tipped the messenger well; it wasn’t every day a reporter was hand-delivered the story of a lifetime—the kind that made you wonder, the kind that made the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up—the kind that made you question what you knew about the war and its heroine nurses.

The box belonged to his mother, and he felt a pang of remembrance when he saw her handwriting next to the curling postage stamps. He didn’t think much of the box at the time she’d sent it to him; it was something to go through later. But when his boss asked him to work on a series of stories about WWII nurses, he remembered what his mom told him about the women who disappeared.

He used his scissors like box cutters to cut through the tape, knowing curious reporters on the other side of the door were listening, and probably drooling. He stood back after looking inside, hand over mouth; there was more than he expected. He dug in with both hands, sifting through old photographs of his mother’s field hospital and women of the 45th, letters, and medals, and notes.

And a single diary entry dated 1945.

We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies, some of them posing as soldiers. One thing I know for certain: Kit was involved. She might be the only person who can shed light on those five days in September and tell the world what happened when the women went missing.

1

KIT

Lorraine, France

September 1944

A man burst into our clearing station unannounced, scanning the lot of us—three nurses and one surgeon caring for the Third Army. After standing in the open tent flaps and letting the rain and cold push in, he stomped over to the operating table where the doctor and our chief nurse were up to their elbows in a private’s abdomen. A heated exchange followed.

“But I’m two nurses down from yesterday!” the doctor spouted, thrusting a pointed finger in the air, when the man leaned into his ear. I watched them from afar, trying to hear, trying to listen, but they were whispering.

The doctor moved his pointed finger to me.

“Mother of God,” I said, looking away, and my patient struggled under his bandages, reaching for his face like so many of the wounded did, wanting to know how deep the gashes went, but had lost the ability to tell.

“Nurse?” my patient said.

“Just saying a prayer, private. Wrapping you up now. Not to worry.” I squeezed his hand when evac took him away, wishing him well, before my gaze trailed back up to the man.

His eyes looked dark and burdened with thought—not the kind of look I expected if he had come to confront me about the cigarettes I’d lifted from ration packs, and what nerve if he had, coming into our tent when our boys are in such miserable condition. Was he even American? It was hard to tell with the fatigues he wore, which looked unpatched and black at my angle.

Roxy, the other nurse on shift in our cramped little clearing station, looked up from the bedside of some poor fella who bought a heap of shrapnel in his face. “You get yourself in trouble again, doll?” She looped gauze around her patient’s head, glancing up and chewing her gum. “Kit, you do something?”

“No,” I said, followed by a cringe. We’d been at this clearing station for three days, having just bivouacked to our new field hospital after the battle for Arracourt started; I hadn’t had time to get in serious trouble. The spare time I did have I spent sleeping, sometimes on our medical cots in between patients—definitely not something I remember Nurse Blanchfield mentioning in the War Department film on what to expect.

“You write another complaint letter?” Roxy asked, and I rolled my eyes.

Letters. “No,” I said. Roxy didn’t like the letters, said it put a target on her and our chief nurse’s backs since we bunked and nursed together. Not that I complained about anything that important; better toiletries, and a share of the command staff’s wine was about all I had requested.

“Maybe you stayed out too late?” Roxy said, and I shook my head. “Oh, I know!” Her eyebrows rose into her forehead, fanning her thick lashes. “Maybe you forgot a shift? They don’t like shift dodgers, ya know…”

“That’s not it,” I said.

“Maybe you—”

“Roxy,” I said, but she leaned over her patient and projected her whisper with a cupped hand.

“Boy, the doctor looks mad,” she said, followed by a whistle.

I glared. “Would you—jeez!” I said, and she finally clammed up.

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, he looked mad all right, shaking that pointed finger. I certainly didn’t have to come all the way to France to get a finger pointed at me. I could have stayed on the dairy farm in Washington where I was doing a fine job upsetting my father regularly by smoking in the barn, and everyone knows you shouldn’t smoke in a barn with all that hay, but I was trying to hide my ugly little habit from my mother.

The doctor shook his head as he continued to operate, and the man left in a rush, throwing back the tent flaps.

“Well think,” Roxy said. “You must have done something.”

Headlamps from his parked vehicle shined onto our tent. He was waiting for the doctor to finish. It’s not the cigarettes, and it’s not the letters… I gasped, hand to my mouth. Ah hell, what if he knows? My stomach sank, thinking someone had found me out.

Roxy waved me over to help her, and I composed myself as best I could, holding her patient’s head steady between my hands.

“No sense in getting upset yet. Right?” Roxy said, but even she glanced up at the illuminated tent flaps. “I guess you’ll know when the doctor’s done.”

I nodded, and her patient squirmed. “Hold still, soldier,” I said, tightening my grip on his head. His cheek had been a pile of mush before Roxy got a hold of it, and she stitched him up as clean as she could before evac and reconstruction, but there was little she could do. The scar that would form would be his reminder, a souvenir from this damn war.

He caught me looking into his eyes and mumbled some words. “Don’t worry,” I said. “Roxy here knows what she’s doing. Don’t you, Rox?”

“Sure do.” Roxy pulled scissors from my waistband to cut the gauze. The soldier whimpered a bit, then asked the question we knew we couldn’t answer truthfully.

“Are the girls gonna wanna kiss me back home?” Suddenly his voice sounded like all the other boys before landing on the beaches, naïve and sweet, and oh so pure, not yet sullied by the harsh reality of war.

Roxy stopped chewing her gum and batted those big brown eyes of hers. “Hey, now, big fella.” Roxy grabbed the soldier’s hand and pressed it against her right breast, which was covered only by the thin twill of her olive drab nursing fatigues. “Who cares about kissing when you’ve got these big hands?” Only Roxy could do these things and get away with it. She gave me a wink. “Right, Kit?”

“Roxy doesn’t lie,” I said, and that really was the truth. “She’s from New Jersey.”

Roxy smiled with that famous Roxy smile of hers. “That’s right, I’m from Jersey and ask anyone out here. Nobody from Jersey will lie to you.” She leaned over the soldier and kissed him right on the mouth. “If anyone gives you crap back home, you tell ’em you had the greatest dame in all the Nurse Corps. You got me?”

She kissed him again before the medics moved him to evac, only he smooched back a second too late while staring at the tent ceiling. And he was gone; only the faint scent of Roxy’s hair soap to remember her by.

We rushed to prepare her vacant bed, and soon enough we each had another patient. Spitting rain turned into a pour, knocking on the tent like big, fat knuckles, channeling a muddy soup of water around our floorboards.

The doctor took off his gloves, and I immediately sat down when I heard the latex peel and snap from his fingers. He rushed toward me, and I had a terrible sinking feeling that this had nothing to do with my secret, but had everything to do with my brother, who’d been captured by the Germans not long ago. Red, our chief nurse, walked up behind him and my whole body tightened, bracing for the terrible news he was about to deliver.

“Doctor Burk—”

“Kit,” he said, and I stopped breathing, waiting for those inevitable words of doom. Your brother’s dead. My heart lobbed in my chest and pumped in my ears. “Is it my brother?”

He shook his head, and the breath I’d been holding blew from my mouth, but I still wasn’t completely relieved. He motioned for Red to sit next to us. “Some men are waiting for you outside this tent—a sergeant and one other—you’ll need to go with them and do whatever they say.”

“From the Nurse Corps?” I asked.

“Sergeant Meyer is his name.” He swallowed, appearing conflicted, which did little to ease my nerves. “He’ll tell you everything you need to know.”

I pointed to my wounded soldier, waiting to be bandaged. “But I have a patient,” I said.

“Roxy and I will manage,” he said, and Roxy looked up from the suture needle she was threading. Red looked concerned, taking off her hair cap and holding it between her hands.

“But Doctor Burk…” Red said.

“It’s an order, Red,” he said, and that was enough for her. “Do what they ask.”

The tent flaps flew open and the sergeant stepped inside. He pointed at me and then to Red. “You two,” he said, hiking a thumb over his shoulder, “this way.”

The doctor patted the top of my head as if he was sending me off to an unknown place, never to see me again. “I don’t understand.” I looked to Red for help, but she’d made way to leave.

“Kit,” Red said. “It’s an order.” She fit her helmet over her head, hastily tucking in her ginger curls, and left out the open tent flaps. The doctor put his head in his hands, which only made me feel more uneasy than before.

“Where are we going?” I said.

The sergeant hiked his thumb over his shoulder again. “You’re wasting time.”

Roxy pretended not to know anything strange was going on, refitting her pink headscarf and tying it just so over her dark hair, but she was a lousy pretender. She reached for my hand. “I’ll keep things going here,” she said.

The doctor handed me my helmet.

And I walked out of our clearing tent and into the rain.

*

I climbed into the back of a covered army lorry, taking a seat across from Red on a metal bench. A soldier sat with us, helmet down low, holding a gun by his side. I wasn’t sure if he was guarding or protecting us. The engine started up and we lurched forward, driving down a dirt road with our lights off. I held on to the bench.

The soldier didn’t move, and I looked him up and down, studying him, black duty boots, and worn fatigues but no patches. “You got a name?”

He moved slightly so he could see me, and shook his head.

“Well, can you at least tell us where we’re going?” I said, and he shook his head again.

“We’ll find out soon enough,” Red said, but my stomach swirled from not knowing.

German screamers dropped in the horizon, lighting up the sky in quick bursts while we jostled and swayed in the back from the uneven road. The lorry turned sharply, and the body-shaking zing of German 88s spewed into the air.

“Red,” I called out, and she placed her hand on my knee. “We’re driving into it.”

“Like old times, Kit. Me and you,” she said. “Utah Beach.”

A blast on the road threw me from the bench into the tailgate. My ears rang, spits of mud flew up from the back tires, and my helmet slipped off my head, dangling from my neck.

*

Utah. D-Day+4

Red and I waited in line for the ladder ropes off the SS Pendleton, the sea washing up against the ship in swift waves, causing the landing craft to whack against the starboard side. A boom from a German shell on the beach, and I grabbed Red’s arm, looking over the bow of the ship into the swirling water and at a mine that had yet to be swept.

“Don’t look at it,” Red said. “Mind your feet and get in that landing craft. You hear? Be glad we have ladder ropes.” She looked at me. “It was worse in North Africa.”

“Worse?” A shell exploded in the water, spraying us like a typhoon, very close to the mine, which could explode from troubled waters. “We’re gonna die, Red!” Dead soldiers bobbed in the water, sinking and then reappearing moments later, bloated as whales.

Red turned me by the shoulders. “We’re not going to die. Got it?” She nudged me toward the rope ladder. “Now go. Eyes on your boots, Kit!”

GIs already in the landing craft shouted at us to hurry as we climbed down the rope, canteens hanging from our belts, medical kits tied around our waists, and wearing men’s uniforms that were two sizes too big. Only I fell feet above the craft and landed mighty hard from a shift in the water. Red grabbed me by the sleeve and pulled me in close next to her in the rear of the craft. “Stick close to me,” she said, and that was exactly what I’d been doing since we met in England, waiting for orders at the evacuation hospital at Tortworth Castle. She’d just arrived from North Africa, having already seen her fair share of horrors, and took me under her wing.

Our craft motored toward the shore after a listing start. The nurse next to me vomited into her helmet. “Helmets on!” Red barked, and the nurse burst into tears, holding her helmet like a bucket between her legs. Red dumped the helmet out in the water collecting around our boots and told her to put it back on her head.

The bow ramp lowered, and we marched right into the water, which looked to be about waist-deep. “The swells come in fast,” someone shouted. “Get off the beach!”

I stepped into the cold ocean water as a German aircraft fired on the beach, punching holes into the sand. Zap, zap, zap. Nurses fell into the surf like dominoes, screaming along with the sharp zips of returning fire. Ships still looking for sea-lanes erupted into flames. A swell took me under, and I sank to the seafloor under the weight of my pack. Red’s searching hand grabbed a hold of my collar and lifted my nose above the churning water, dragging me to the beach.

“Kick,” was all I heard between the pulses of water splashing into my ears. “Kick!”

Somehow, someway, I was able to turn upright by digging my water-filled boots into the soft sand. I gasped for air and got a load of saltwater instead. The enemy aircraft flew off inland, smoke billowing from one of its engines and droning from being hit, while we washed up onto the shore, coughing and yakking up the sea.

I clawed my way up the beach, one hand after the other.

Red spat out some sand, coughing and mumbling, before swiping seaweed from her eyes. Her chinstrap dangled from her helmet, then a rolling wave took it from her head. “Damn, Kit, you’re heavy for being so small.”

I spat once in the surf, lifting my face from the sand, and she tugged a lock of my hair where the seawater had turned it dishwater brown.

“You okay?” she said. “I thought I’d lost you there.”

“Yeah.” I patted the sodden pockets of my uniform, feeling my army knife and the morphine syrettes I’d packed earlier, taking a big sigh.

Two more enemy aircraft flew out of the clouds like angry bees, engines revving. Zap, zap, zap… Patrolling MPs shouted at us to run, and Red took me by the hand, and together we ran up the beach and into the war.

*

The lorry’s gears shifted into a low groan. We turned away from the fighting, and the noises of the war fell behind darkened hills. I could tell we’d driven into the country from the smell alone, with the reek of rotten grapes thick in the air from vineyards left to the crows. And the soil. French dirt smelled like spoiled milk when wet—and boy was it wet. I’d never seen rain like I’d seen in France.

We crept up a mound of dirt that resembled a trail, gears grinding, engine chugging, and drove right through a spot of tall trees with low-hanging branches. An occasional explosion in the distance sparkled through the leaves and shimmered like fairy lights dancing on the ground.

“Where are we?” I said.

Red looked out the back of the lorry, shrugging. “I don’t know…”

I addressed the soldier. “Will you tell us now?” I asked, but he only looked straight, hand on his gun barrel beside him. Sergeant Meyer cut the engine, and I held on to the seat as we rolled to a slow stop into some thorny bushes. Gooseflesh erupted up and down my arms from a pocket of static air. I heard the sergeant’s door open and close, and I saw a cottage in the distance, darker than the night, with a roof that had toppled inward from a bomb. He came around the side of the lorry and unlatched the back, whispering for us to follow him. The air felt cleaner here, cold, and less wet from the sheltering trees. Quiet.

The sergeant talked to Red, leaving me lagging behind, as we walked toward a barn several yards away made of wood and rock. “Are we clear?” he said to Red, and she nodded.

The sergeant shoved a medic’s bag into my hands and rolled open the squealing barn door. It was bright inside, lit up by lanterns. I saw firewood stacked in the corner next to a cold, black stove. And a farm boy, which surprised me. Too young to be the owner of the farm and still too young to fight in the war. He stood against the wall with a rifle at ease by his side, but when he saw the sergeant, he disappeared into the dark back where the rafters had fallen and split.

“Well, go on,” he said, and the soldier who’d ridden with us stayed behind to guard the door while I walked inside.

A soldier lay on a makeshift cot made of blankets and hay, groaning, with shaggy blond hair that hadn’t been washed in days. Dirt covered his uniform as if he’d been lying outside on the ground for some time. One arm thrashed about at his side from shock, his eyes glassy and swiveling like a compass with nowhere to go. When the barn doors closed behind us, I smelled him, irony and warm from wounds left unattended for too long.

Then he spoke and the gasp that came from my mouth sounded more like a last breath.

“Fräulein,” he said, reaching for me. “Hilfe.”

“He’s German?” I said, and the sergeant huddled me and Red into the corner.

“He’s an SS officer, dressed up as one of ours,” he said. “He’s important. And he knows it. I need you to make sure he doesn’t die. Get him coherent. Then I need you to talk to him.”

“Me?” I put a hand on my chest. “But I’m a nurse!”

“Who speaks German,” he said, and there was a pause.

A long, awkward pause.

My mouth gaped open as if it was such an outlandish idea—me speaking German.

“Are you denying it?” he said.

I looked at the ground, searching for words that weren’t the truth. After all these months, my secret was out.

Red reached for my arm. “You speak German?” she said, but I wasn’t prepared to answer and blathered some words, which nobody could hear.

“Kit—”

“Yeah, all right,” I finally said. “I know it.”

“How come you didn’t tell me?” she said.

I took a long jittering breath from having said it out loud; there was no going back. “Because if anyone knew they’d send me to a POW hospital.” I swallowed. “I didn’t come here to fix up Germans.”

She squeezed my shoulder, and my eyes lifted to hers. There were no words between us, but I knew she understood and respected how I felt even though she wouldn’t have any qualms about serving in a POW hospital—a patient was a patient.

“How did you find out?” I looked at Meyer.

“I’m OSS.”

I covered my mouth. OSS—Office of Strategic Services.

“You can hide that sort of thing from the Nurse Corps—” he shook his head “—but not from us. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your little secret if you do this. You help me, and I’ll help you. Understand?”

Red tore off the German’s jacket and clothes, ripping his shirt in half to assess his wounds. A bullet had pierced his upper chest, and the blood that had once pulsed from the hole was now crusty and brown. When Red pressed a few sheets of gauze to it he cried out with nail-scratching pain.

“But it’s illegal, Sergeant,” I whispered. “There’s rules—the Geneva Conventions. He needs to be brought to a field hospital.”

“This is war. Not everything is legal out here.”

Red rolled him over to see the bullet’s exit wound, but there wasn’t one. She felt his tender flesh above his shoulder blade, nodding to me that she’d found the bullet that was still lodged in his body. This man could live if we let him, but we’d have to hurry, and I knew that each second I spent staring at him was a second wasted. The German waved in and out of consciousness, his head flopping and jerking.

“But I could get in trouble for this,” I said in a breathy whisper. “Big trouble.”

I wanted to ask why us—why me and Red specifically—but as I watched Red preparing for surgery, I thought maybe I knew. Red was a seasoned army nurse, having served in two campaigns; she was the most qualified to do the things he asked, except for our surgeon, and nobody would have put Doctor Burk in that kind of situation. As for me, well, that was an easy one. Surely there were other medics and nurses who spoke German, but probably none who got in trouble as much as me. Petty rules I’d broken, sure, but a troublemaker nonetheless, and one who kept secrets.

“Kit…” Red looked over her shoulder, motioning with her fingers. “Morphine.”

I took a step back, gripping the medic bag a little tighter. “Kit,” the sergeant said, and I was surprised to hear him call me by my nickname, “what do you think they’re doing to our boys over there, the ones they capture and imprison?”

The sergeant let me soak in that thought for a moment before he brought out his big gun, which was more like a bird that had crawled into my heart and ruffled sharp feathers. “Your brother was part of the Eighth—the airmen captured not long ago by the Germans. Is that right?” he said, and I whipped my head up, meeting his eyes. “If this Kraut dies, we get nothing. If you save him it could lead to information that would end the war, bring all our POWs home. Is that worth violating the rules of war?”

Maybe a second passed, I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking anymore about what was legal and what wasn’t. I was only thinking of my brother and the day he left for basic. How he swept his hair from his eyes and told me to remember his face, not him walking away. But I’d watched him leave anyway, slinging his duffel bag over his shoulder and walking down the long gravel road away from our farm until I couldn’t see him anymore.

“Do you know my brother?”

“I know men like him—brave.”

It was true. All our men were brave, walking into the war and into the fire.

“My brother’s name is Sam,” I said, and instead of pulling back even more, I reached into my medic bag for the morphine Red had asked for. She immediately injected the German in the neck with the syrette, and soon enough he was out. Limp as a noodle. And the barn got very quiet.

I nodded.

“Yes?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said.

Sergeant Meyer ran his hand over his face. “Good,” he said, and the other soldier closed the barn doors. “Now hurry, ladies. We don’t have a lot of time.”

I worked side by side with Red as the sergeant watched us with his arms folded. We patched him up good with supplies from the medic bag, sticking him with plasma and sewing up his chest wound and his shoulder, which felt hot from an oncoming infection. After hours of working on him, we finally reached a point where we had done enough.

Then we waited.

Waited for him to open his eyes, and waited for him to talk.

“Red,” I said, quietly, “what if he knows where Sam is?” I watched the German breathe and Red grabbed my arm. “I can ask him where. Find out about my—”

“No,” she said. “It’s too risky.” She pulled me in close after Meyer looked at us. “And it’s not up to you.”

The German moaned, finally waking up. “Quick, give him something…” Red said, tapping me. I searched my pack for something to give him other than morphine, thumbing through the different medicines. I paused, fingers on the sodium pentothal.

“What is it?” Red asked, and I looked at her, suddenly aware I was more prepared for this situation than I thought.

“I have this.” When I showed her the glass ampule of injectable medicine, she smiled.

“If only Roxy was here,” she said.

We administered sodium pentothal for pain, but we called it the Roxy drug because patients babbled on for many minutes about anything and everything. It was worth a try.

Red swabbed the German’s skin while I prepared the medicine and drew it into a hypodermic syringe. “Here goes nothing,” I said, and I punched the needle into his fatty upper arm. His pasty face turned peach in a matter of seconds. He’d stopped moaning, and Sergeant Meyer pulled me off to the side.

“Tell him you’re a special agent with the SS. You’re embedded with the army. That will explain our uniforms. Make sure he thinks you’re one of them…” The sergeant went on and told me things only a German agent would know, battle positions and plans lifted through telephone conversations. “Then, when he fully trusts you, ask him about the giant. What does it mean? Let him do the talking.”

I nodded, trying to remember all he said, and thinking of the right words to use. I was the only girl in my town forced to go to German school, and I hated every minute of it. Never had I been more regretful about cheating on my final exam than at that very moment, standing next to a Nazi. Frau Hess, my long-suffering teacher, would flip over in her grave if she knew what I was about to use my German for.

“Anything else?” I said.

“Yeah,” Meyer said. “Stick to the script. These Nazis are clever bastards.” He pushed me toward the German.

“Stick to the script,” Red warned, and I nodded, making the short walk over.

The German’s eyes lifted and then fell, lifted and then fell. I waved smelling salts under his nose, and he roused enough to look at us coherently. My cold palm frightened him. I cleared my throat. “Officer…”

He took a sudden breath and I think he was glad to hear my accent, which my mother made me master. “She must have a proper northern accent and know perfect German,” she had told my teacher, “as if she is one.” I swallowed, thinking of all the times I cursed my mother’s persistence.

“Fräulein,” he said all weepy.

“I’m an agent with the SS.” I waved my finger at the sergeant and Red. “These are my informants.” I went on to repeat the information the sergeant told me, and the officer nodded intermittently as if he already knew the things I told him.

“Officer,” I said, messing with his blanket, buying time to remember the right words, and how to say “giant” in German. I tried looking into his eyes, but they were still a little shaky. “I need to know about the giant.” He’d just realized we’d sewn up his shoulder and felt around for the sutures, asking about what else we’d done to him. “Officer,” I said again, using his chin to move his head, and his eyes wheeled to mine. “The giant.”

And he spoke very fast from the medicine I’d injected him with. Too fast for me to translate in my head, and I interrupted to tell him to slow down. “The giant,” he said, “was quartered and moved. Resistance. Alps. The tunnel, long days and nights.” He pointed a finger in the air. “Deposit is secure in the Black Forest. Führer is prepared. Be restful with this, fräulein. The butcher knows where,” he kept saying. “The butcher, the butcher…”

“What’s secure, Officer? Ammunition?”

“No, fräulein.” The man swallowed, taking a labored breath. “The Reich’s war chest,” he said, and I jumped up from the ground.

The Girls from the Beach
by Andie Newton

Digital Publication Date: July 8, 2021
Paperback Publication Date: January 2022
Aria Fiction

Genre: Historical Fiction

‘We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies…’

In 1944, four American nurses disappeared for five days. No one knew what happened to them. Until now.

When Kit and Red set foot on French soil during the Normandy landings, they know they have to rely on each other. As they head for the battlefield, their aim is simple: save lives. But when they’re called away on a top-secret mission to patch up a few men behind enemy lines, everything changes.

Alongside fellow nurses, Roxy and Gail, they’re told to prepare for the worst, trading in their nurses’ fatigues for civilian clothes and hiding medical supplies under their skirts. But it’s a lie. Their real mission tasks them with the impossible – to infiltrate the Reich and steal something the Nazis desperately need to win their losing war.

In an ultimate test of courage and comradeship, each woman must decide what she is prepared to risk and what she has to live for.

Praise for The Girls From The Beach

‘One of my favorite books of 2021 and a true must-read for all fans of the genre. It’s not just a story of friendship, but a story of patriotism, heroism, and selfless sacrifice in the name of freedom. Absolutely riveting!’ – Ellie Midwood, USA Today bestselling author of The Violinist of Auschwitz

‘A wild ride of a book, laced with beautifully flawed characters, impeccable research and a story that will make you cry with tears of joy and sorrow. A resounding five-star read!’ – Terry Lynn Thomas, USA Today bestselling author of The Silent Woman

‘What a story! The Girls from the Beach took me on a rollercoaster ride of mystery and suspense. The Girls from the Beach is a testimony to courage, integrity and female friendship. And that ending – wow!’ – Gill Thompson, bestselling author of The Oceans Between Us

‘The Girls from the Beach is a unique and incredibly imaginative story inspired by the nurses who worked on the front line in World War Two. It is action-packed and full of unexpected drama around every turn – I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next! Readers who enjoyed Newton’s earlier books will be sure to love this one’ – Louise Fein, bestselling author of People Like Us

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About the Author

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Vichy and the author of The Girl I Left Behind. Andie holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 19
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Wednesday, July 21
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, July 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 26
Excerpt at Books & Benches

Friday, July 30
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, August 1
Review at Girl Who Reads

Monday, August 2
Review at Novels Alive
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Thursday, August 5
Review at Two Bookish Babes
Review at A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girls from the Beach! The paperback will be shipped to the winner at the end of the year.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girls from The Beach
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