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Charity’s Code can be purchased in e-book format at the following booksellers:
Olivia Kimbrell Press
EBook ISBN: 978-1-939603-47-0
Charity’s Code is available in paperback as part of the Complete Virtues and Valor Series.
You can purchase an autographed paperback of The Complete Virtues and Valor Series directly from Hallee at this link.
You can also purchase the paperback at the following booksellers:
The Back Cover:
DORTHY EWING never met a crossword puzzle that she couldn’t solve with shocking speed. As a loving wife and mother of three children, she had an idyllic life with her home and her puzzles – until she had to see her husband off to war. Then the bombing of the Blitz began.
Now her husband Tom is a POW in Occupied France, her children have been sent to the hopeful safety of her parents’ home in York, and she is working at Bletchley Park as an assistant to cryptanalysts. After cracking the code on an encrypted letter from her husband, she is recruited into a special team called The Virtues.
She works on the home-front, receiving and sending messages to her team in France and coordinating a secret mission with her husband via coded letters. She intercepts the transmission from TEMPERANCE alerting to her blown cover. The clock is ticking in a race to save Temperance’s life. Information has to be sent to and received from the team on the ground. Can Charity help save her, or will the constraints of time and the efficiency of the Third Reich work against them?
CHARITY’S CODE is part three of eight serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.
Seven valorous women — different nationalities, ethnicities, and social backgrounds — come together as a team called the Virtues.In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.
Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.
Continuing the Virtues and Valor series by Hallee Bridgeman. Eight serialized novellas, each inspired by real people and actual events, reveal the incredible story of amazing heroines facing the ultimate test of bravery.
London, England, 1940
DOROTHY stood on the platform at the train station inches from her husband looking like a recruiting poster in his RAF Officer’s uniform. He pulled her easily out of the way to avoid an unintended jostling by a group of soldiers running to board a departing train. His touch, as always, felt astonishingly gentle for a man of his enormous size as he guided her to safety.
Fidgeting, she straightened Tom’s tie and swallowed, trying to disguise her distress and trying very hard not to cry. She determined that his last memory of her before he left would not be of womanly tears. “There you go, Captain Ewing. I believe you’ll be the most handsome pilot in the RAF though I confess I am still a bit astounded they make aircraft large enough to lift you from the earth.”
He cupped her cheek and brushed a thick thumb beneath her eye, capturing the moisture threatening to fall down her cheeks. “Only in your eyes, love. But I shall certainly be the most courageous. That I vow. I will protect you and our children with every shred of courage my heart and body can muster.” He kissed her so softly that the breath hitched in the back of her throat.
Their lips parted and his deep voice echoed in her chest as he said, “You mind after the bairns. Remind Tommy he’s the man of the house, now, and must help you with his sisters.”
“I think the lad understands,” she said with a smile. “Even at eight, he grasps the enormity of our present circumstances.”
“He’s brilliant, that laddie … Just like his màthair.” Tom’s occasional Gaelic brogue never failed to turn her knees to water.
“And stout and clever just like his da’.” She responded.
Suddenly, his arms went around her, strong and tight, comforting her as only he could. “You’ll stay in my heart and in my prayers, bhean chéile. Pray for me, my darling, my bonny Dotty.”
“I never stop, mo ghraigh.” Their lips met as naturally and as comfortably as taking the next step when walking or the next breath when breathing. They came together in a kiss just exactly as they had perhaps tens of thousands of times before over the course of their courtship and marriage. His hands rested on her hips. Her fingers caressed his smoothly shaved cheeks as his waxed mustache tips tickled the backs of her hands.
She kissed him soundly. But despite the triviality of its beginnings, this kiss felt somehow important. It felt bittersweet and frighteningly final. Her heart thundered in her ears and she suddenly wanted to kiss him and kiss him and kiss him and never stop. She wanted all the clocks to stop ticking and all the trains to rust onto the tracks and stop moving and she desperately wanted this wretched war to end in the very next second so that she could just kiss her husband and pour every ounce of love she kept in her heart into him.
A shrieking train whistle startled her back to the present moment in which clocks still ticked and trains still rolled and soldiers still made their way to the front lines. In the present, wives still remained behind minding children, keeping busy, staying useful, and fearing every moment that the last time they had seen their husbands alive would be the last time.
After seconds that passed like hours, her heartbeat became distant thunder in her ears instead of nearby deafening artillery fire. Knowing one of them had to be the first to break away, she stepped back and brushed a gloved hand down her wool coat. “Go on, then. Don’t miss your train. I imagine even kind old King George would frown on tardiness as a result of dallying with your wife on the platform.”
“Well, his majesty has never met my wife. Had he done, I’d wager he might understand.” His eyes looked down into hers, dark with passion and promise. She realized in that heartbeat that this image of him would be the one she carried with her in her mind’s eye throughout the coming days and carried to sleep with her each night.
“Oh, Thomas, you are quite the charmer. Always have done.”
He hopped up onto the step of the train, surprisingly agile as always, and turned to blow her a kiss. “I love you, Mrs. Ewing, with all my heart.”
“And I, you, Captain Ewing.”
A hand slapped Tom’s shoulder from behind, almost knocking him off of the step. “Let’s go, old boy. Off to see the elephant and whatnot,” Sir Percy announced. He glanced over Tom’s shoulder. “Send me some of those wonderful biscuits in the post when little Tommy isn’t looking, Dorothy.”
No one save her Thomas ever called her Dot. She laughed and waved as the train’s whistle blew again. When she knew they could hear her again, she said, “Assuming I can get sugar rations, I’ll send just as many cookies as they’ll allow. But you must promise me to watch out for my husband, Sir Percy.”
“Madam, Captain Ewing just shot to the very tip-top of my priority list,” he promised with a wink.
Dorothy did not chase the train. The platform was far too crowded. Instead, she waved, and Tom waved back until she simply could not see him anymore. Her fingers brushed her swollen lips where she still tasted his kiss. Her lips tingled, still feeling his lingering kiss as if feeling the sensation of an amputated limb. Dejected, she turned and walked slowly, and completely alone, back down the platform, back to their old car, so that she could collect her children from her neighbor’s before time to prepare dinner. She tried very, very hard not to burst into tears.