A magnificent epic, AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century.
The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chaos caused by the violent dissolution of Poland. Anna is soon reunited with her longtime love, Lord Jan Stelnicki, and the two lovers marry even as their beloved country is ripped apart. As the couple struggles to raise a family in the face of an uncertain future, Anna's capricious cousin Zofia returns with a surprise of her own. Although Zofia's past schemes still resonate, Anna's doubts turn to fear as Jan's patriotism draws him to the battlefield.
Offering new hope for a conquered Poland, Napoléon Bonaparte arrives in all of his pomp and glory. With the aid of new Polish legions~Anna's friends and family among them~Napoléon battles his way across Europe an effort that culminates in the march into Moscow and the subsequent doomed winter retreat.
Against this backdrop, Anna and Jan valiantly fight to hold on to a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives.
Ah, Fate~ The seed for "Fortune's Child" started some years ago when I was taking an Art Appreciation course at a community college in Los Angeles. One day we were studying the exquisite mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora from the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, and the professor pointed to Theodora and said, “I’m not a writer, but if I were, that is the woman I would write about.” Little did he know what he had unloosed.
What a fascinating woman, frailties and all! She could have been the prototype for Eva Peron. I started the novel right then and there; however, life and other books got in the way.
But Fortune's Child has finally found her way. Fate goes ever as it must.
I am also the author of THE POLAND TRILOGY, beginning with "Push Not the River," a novel based on the diary of Anna Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the Third of May Constitution. After working on the project for some years without raising interest within the publishing community, I self-published in 2001. Just one year later, St. Martin’s Press purchased the book and released a hard cover edition in September 2003. Polish and German rights sold almost immediately.
The Polish edition, "Nie ponaglaj rzeki," was released in May of 2005, became a bestseller and sold out in a matter of months. Anna's story had come full circle: Polish to English to Polish! "Pod purpurowym niebem," the translation of "Against a Crimson Sky," also became a bestseller when published in December of 2007.
"The Warsaw Conspiracy" followed, as did "The Boy Who Wanted Wings."
Martin, who holds degrees from St. Ambrose and DePaul Universities, is a retired English and Creative Writing teacher now living and writing in Portland, Oregon.