It is my honor to host the blog tour for ARMY OF WORN SOLES by Scott Bury.
About the book:
1941: Their retreat across Ukraine wore their boots out—and they kept going.
Three months after drafting him, the Soviet Red Army throws Maurice Bury, along with millions of other under-trained men, against the juggernaut of Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa, the assault on the USSR.
Army of Worn Soles tells the true story of a Canadian who had to find in himself a way to keep himself alive—and the men who followed him.
Excerpt seven from Army of Worn Soles
The Army of Worn Soles launch blog tour continues! Read to the end for the clue that will help you win the Grand Prize of a signed paperback copy of Army of Worn Soles plus a $50 Amazon gift card. If you collect all the clues and put them in the right order, they’ll make a sentence. Send the sentence to the author for a chance to win and autographed paperback copy of Army of Worn Soles plus a gift certificate from Amazon.
For a chance to enter the early-bird draw, enter the clue at the bottom of the post in the Comments section.
To see where the blog tour stops next, and to find the next clue, visit the author’s blog, Written Words.
Ternopyl, Ukraine, 1941
A damp wind chilled Maurice under his coat as he walked through the slush to the armoury in Ternopyl. A few young men, dressed in their warmest cloths and carrying suitcases or bags, waited nervously at the gate. No one spoke.
One by one, they gave their draft notices to a man in the greenish-brown uniform of the Red Army, sitting behind a table. The officer, a young Russian with a broad face and deep brown eyes, asked each inductee’s name, checked it off a list, examined the draft letter and gave the man another piece of paper. Then he sent him to wait in another room, where each inductee would be loaded onto a train and sent to a training camp.
Some of the men tried to tell the officer why they shouldn’t be inducted: they were needed at their jobs, at home, they were essential workers, they weren’t healthy. The officer first told each who addressed him in his native Ukrainian to speak Russian. Then he dismissed each argument with, “The Motherland needs you, tovarisch. Report back here tomorrow ready to ship out or you’ll be arrested.”
Maurice felt sure he had a better argument than the man in front of him, who said his employer, a machine shop, absolutely could not do without him. “Wonderful, comrade,” the officer said. “The army needs skilled machinists like you. You will ship out today.” The shocked machinist sputtered incoherently as a soldier took his arm and led him to join the other recruits at the train station.
Maurice stepped to the table. “Good morning, sir. I know you’re busy, so I would like to quickly help you resolve an error—my draft letter is a mistake.” He put it on the table in front of the officer.
The officer looked up, arching one eyebrow. “That’s a new one. What kind of mistake?”
“I am not eligible for service, as I am not a citizen of the Soviet Union. I’m a Canadian.” He showed his birth certificate.
The officer struggled to sound out the Roman lettering. “Doh-meen-i-yon off Kanada,” he read. He frowned, then shook his head and looked Maurice straight in the eyes. “You are still required to report for duty, comrade.”
“But I’m a Canadian citizen.”
“It doesn’t matter, tovarisch. You live here now and you must help defend the Motherland.” He was already looking at the next man in line. “Report to the train station by seven tomorrow morning or you’ll be arrested. Next.”
About the author:
Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and novelist based in Ottawa, Canada. He has written for magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.
a children’s short story, Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds of which are donated to an autism charity), and other stories.
Scott Bury lives in Ottawa with his lovely, supportive and long-suffering wife, two mighty sons and two pesky cats.
Today’s clue: the