The Devil’s Breath

Auschwitz prisoners Perla and Shimon Divko—she an investigative reporter, he a former lead detective in the Warsaw ghetto—are forced by Kommandant Rudolf Höss to solve the murder of his chief accountant and find millions in missing gold taken from the bodies of Jewish corpses. With Reichsführer Himmler due for his annual audit, they have a week to solve the crime or watch hundreds of their peers executed as the penalty for their failure. Overseen by Nazi Lieutenant Helmut Graf, the three investigators dive deep inside Auschwitz—the Kanada harvesting operation, the killing process and the perils of daily life. The investigation is plagued by multiple red herrings, the murder of prime suspects and witnesses, and the complicated relationship between Höss and his mistress, Gisela Brandt, an SS officer.

Meet Tom Hogan

Tom Hogan is an author and screenwriter based in Austin, TX. Left for Alive is his first novel. He is also the screenwriter for The Devil’s Breath, a noir thriller set in Auschwitz. It was a finalist at the Napa Valley Film Festival and semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival.

Tom’s past writing experience has been on the non-fiction side. He is the co-author (with Carol Broadbent) of The Ultimate Startup Guide: Marketing Lessons, War Stories, and Hard-Won Advice from Leading Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. The book highlights the lessons Tom and Carol learned as principals at Crowded Ocean, a marketing firm that has launched over 50 Silicon Valley startups. He has also written extensively for travel books, political journals, and Newsweek.

Professionally, Tom has split his career between academia and technology marketing. He was a lecturer in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Santa Clara University and UC Santa Cruz. He joined Silicon Valley in its infancy, where he was the original creative director at Oracle. Moving into the VC (Venture Capital) world, he was a co-founder of Crowded Ocean and now advises startups in Silicon Valley and Austin.

Left Behind

What would you give someone who saved your life? Amsterdam 1945: During the last few months of WW2, Louise, a young mother living in Amsterdam, is hiding a Jewish girl with a baby in her attic. Her husband is on the run from the Nazis. Louise is cold, hungry, scared and has no way of knowing who to trust. Will she be able to keep herself and her baby safe? Fast-forward to 2018 and Sarah, Louise’s granddaughter, has just lost her mum. When she travels back home to sort out her mother’s estate, she finds her grandmother’s wartime diary among her mum’s belongings. A past she knew nothing about begins to unfold. Will she discover the secret that has been kept from her all her life?

Meet Elske Höweler

Elske is a single mum, Test Lead for a small software house in Suffolk and author of Left Behind set in Amsterdam during the last few months of WW2. Being form Amsterdam herself, the setting of her debut novel is a personal one. And so is the story, which was inspired by her grandmother who, during the Second World War, saved the life of a Jewish girl by hiding her in her attic. When she isn’t writing or reading, Elske likes to run, go for walks with her kids and play her guitar (badly) while singing along (even more badly).

When We Were Brave

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In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller and his family, are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.

I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust

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A broad picture of the Holocaust from the point of view of a child

This book is a memoir of a child who is swept into the whirlwind of the Holocaust. The epic history is narrowed down to the struggle of a single boy nicknamed Leosz to survive the war. From age 7 to age 13, he endures all the horrors that the Holocaust brings upon the Jewish people. Life hangs on split-second timing, decision-making in impossibly cruel circumstances, incredible resourcefulness, luck and the help of others, even Germans.

In the Krakow Ghetto, Leosz is saved from three mass deportations to the death camps. He escapes the ghetto, survives for several weeks pretending to be a

Polish street child, and then goes into hiding. Although sentenced to die after being caught, he is instead miraculously reunited with his family in the Plaszow labor camp. A year later, father and son become slave laborers in the Gozen 2 camp in Austria, where his father perishes. Close to death himself, Leosz is finally liberated by the American army on May 5th, 1945.

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