BLOG TOUR: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke 
by Anne Blankman

416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21st 2015

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content. 
But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.
Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Chloe Grace Moretz as Gretchen Müller, an eighteen-year-old student who used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. After living in England for over a year, she’s certain that she’s left her old life in Munich behind her forever. But when her love, Daniel, has to return to Germany and then vanishes without a trace, she decides to go after him—even if it means plunging into the nightmares of her past…

Luke Grimes as Daniel Cohen, Gretchen’s nineteen-year-old Jewish beau. When a family tragedy forces him to go to Germany, Daniel is convinced that he can keep himself safe. He’s about to discover that the dangers confronting him are far worse than he had dreamed—and that his past has ensnared him in a deadly conspiracy.

Scarlett Johansson as Monika Junge, a young Berlin prostitute who is shot dead in the street. After Daniel is publicly accused of her murder, he realizes that her death is no random crime. What secrets have been hidden by her assassination? 


Liam Neeson as Iron Fist Friedrich, Monika’s former boss and the head of a Ringverein, a gang in Berlin’s organized criminal underworld. Friedrich may be tough and brutal, but he’s also an avowed anti-Nazi and is willing to help Gretchen and Daniel. But what terrible price might they have to pay for his protection? 

Val Kilmer as Hermann Göring, the Minister of the Prussian Interior and a member of Hitler’s Cabinet. Now that all of Berlin’s police forces fall under his jurisdiction, Göring has become one of the most powerful Nazis in the capital. Not even he, though, can eradicate the rumors swirling about him and Monika Junge.

Kevin Spacey as Adolf Hitler, the newly installed Chancellor of Germany. He’s only been in office for a few weeks, and his grip on power is tenuous—at any point, President Hindenburg can have him fired from his post. Ever since their relationship imploded over a year ago, Gretchen has lived in constant fear of him. Now she must decide how far she’s willing to go in order to clear Daniel’s name—and if she can solve the secrets behind the conspiracy that is slowly gathering all of Berlin in a stranglehold.

"We must get out of here immediately," Daniel interrupted, seizing Gretchen's hand. He pulled her out of the office. Somewhere she heard the creaking sound again, but close enough this time that she recognized it--a floorboard whining under someone's weight. They raced into the parlor just as the unmistakable pop and fizzle of gas lights flaring into life sounded from the front hall. As a yellow glow flickered and grew, a black shape dashed through the entryway straight toward them. Gretchen stumbled backward, her heart surging into her hart. Nearby, she heard Daniel cursing and wrenching the pick free from the lock. The shape flew at them, sharpening into the bone-thin, black-dressed figure of Frau Fleischer. She carried an ancient-looking shotgun. Gretchen let out a harsh cry as the landlady swung the weapon up and jammed it against her forehead. "Don't move," Frau Fleischer snapped. "The men will deal with you as soon as they arrive. Now if you so much as breathe, I'll blast your head off."

Then he kissed her. His lips on hers were as light as a breath. And she couldn't stop the horrible thought that his touch felt like a farewell.

And I got permission for an official excerpt, too! It starts in the middle of a scene, so bloggers might want to include the following lead-in/explanation instead of just including the excerpt, okay? Here's the lead-in:

After Daniel finds out he's been framed for a murder in Berlin, he and Gretchen journey to the capital to clear his name. Once they find the boarding house where the victim used to live, they decide to snoop around the office of Frau Fleischer, the landlady. But they're about to discover that the victim was mixed up in something far more dangerous than anything they could have imagined...

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Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

US Only | Giveaway ends: April 22nd, 2015