About the Author
Kathryn Gauci is a critically acclaimed international, bestselling, author who produces strong, colourful, characters and riveting storylines. She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction.
Kathryn was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later at Kidderminster College of Art and Design where she specialised in carpet design and technology. After graduating, she spent a year in Vienna, Austria, before moving to Greece to work as carpet designer in Athens for six years. There followed another brief period in New Zealand before eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia.
Before turning to writing full-time, Kathryn ran her own textile design studio in Melbourne for over fifteen years, work which she enjoyed tremendously as it allowed her the luxury of travelling worldwide, often taking her off the beaten track and exploring other cultures. The Embroiderer is her first novel; a culmination of those wonderful years of design and travel, and especially of those glorious years in her youth living and working in Greece. It has since been followed by more novels, set in both Greece and Turkey. Seraphina’s Song, The Carpet Weaver of Uşak, The Poseidon Network, and The Blue Dolphin: A WWII Novel.
Code Name Camille, written as part of The Darkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales of Resistance, became a USA TODAY Bestseller in the first week of publication.
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac became an Amazon Best Seller in both German Literature and French Literature.
The Poseidon Network received The Hemingway Award 2020 – 1st Place Best in Category 20th Century Wartime Fiction – Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBA)
The Viennese Dressmaker received The Hemingway Award 2022 – 1st Place Best in Category 2oth Century Wartime Fiction – Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBA)
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac, The Blue Dolphin, and The Song of the Partisans received The Hemingway Semi-Finalist Award 2021
The seeds of The Embroiderer, Seraphina’s Song, and The Carpet Weaver of Usak, were sown during my years working as a carpet designer in Greece, 1972-78. The company was situated in a suburb of Athens populated by refugees from The Asia Minor Catastrophe, 1922-23. Working amongst these people, many of the older generation of whom still conversed in Turkish, I grew to understand the impact of the disaster and the intense yearning these people still held for Turkey, the land of their forefathers and a land in which they are still unable to reside. Significantly they shared a separate sense of identity, so much so that fifty years after the Catastrophe, many of them still referred to themselves as Mikrasiates (Asia Minor people) and still chose to intermarry.
The Asia Minor Catastrophe was a pivotal turning point in Greek/ Turkish relations which began a century earlier with the Greek War of Independence. The Ottoman Empire was at a turning point and for both Greeks and Turks, ultimately resulting in a war of attrition on both sides. Millions lost their lives and out of the ashes emerged two new nations – the Turkish Republic under the soldier statesman, Ataturk, and the Hellenic Republic – modern Greece.
Today, most of the white-washed prefabricated homes in the refugee neighborhoods in Athens have been replaced by apartment blocks but the street names still bear testament to their origins: Byzantium Street, Pergamum St, Anatolia St, Bouboulina St, and Misolonghi St. to name just a few. And whilst women no longer spill out of their doorways sitting on rush-bottomed chairs chatting to their neighbours whilst embroidering cloth for their daughter’s dowry, and basement shops selling bric-a-brac and musical instruments from the ‘old world’ are few and far between, if we look closer, the history and the spirit of these people still resonates in their everyday lives; in their music, their food, the plethora of Turkish words and phrases that punctuate the Greek language, and the ancient belief in the evil eye. Most important of all, it is through the time-honoured tradition of storytelling that their memories are kept alive.
Conspiracy of Lies, is set in France during WWII. It is based on the stories of real life agents in the service of the Special Operations Executive and The Resistance under Nazi occupied Europe. To put one’s life on the line for your country in the pursuit of freedom took immense courage and many never survived. Kathryn’s interest in WWII started when she lived in Vienna and has continued ever since. She is a regular visitor to France and has spent time in several of the areas in which this novel is set.
The Darkest Hour Antholgy: WWII Tales of Resistance **** A USA Today Bestseller ****
This collection includes ten never before published novellas by ten of today’s bestselling WWII historical fiction authors. Foreword by Terry Lynn Thomas, author of The Silent Woman, the USA Today Bestseller.
Code Name Camille -The Darkest Hour Anthology. Now a standalone novella
When the Germans invade France, twenty-one-year-old Nathalie Fontaine is living a quiet life in rural South-West France. She heads to Paris and joins the Resistance, but a chance encounter with a stranger exposes a traitor in their midst who threatens to bring down the entire network.
The Poseidon Network In 1943. SOE agent Larry Hadley leaves Cairo for German and Italian occupied Greece. His mission is to liaise with the Poseidon Network under the leadership of the White Rose. The story is woven around real-life incidents of Greece under German Occupation.
The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac Inspired by true events, The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac is a gripping and emotional portrait of wartime France… a true-page-turner. February 1944. Preparations for the D-Day invasion are well advanced when contact with Belvedere, one of the Resistance networks in the Jura region of Eastern France, is lost. SOE agent, Elizabeth Maxwell, is parachuted into France, and surrounded on all sides by the brutal Gestapo and the French Milice, and under constant danger of betrayal, she must unmask the traitor in their midst, find her husband, and help him to rebuild Belvedere in time for SOE operations in support of D-Day.
The Blue Dolphin: A World War II Novel Set on a Greek island in the Aegean during the German Occupation of Greece, The Blue Dolphin reads like a Greek tragedy. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, it is a harrowing, yet ultimately uplifting story of endurance and love.
The Viennese Dressmaker: A Haunting Story of Wartime Vienna Vienna 1938: Austria’s leading couturier, Christina Lehmann, sits at the pinnacle of Viennese society. Her lover, the renowned painter, Max Hauser, is at the height of his career. But Max harbours a secret, and it is only a matter of time before the Gestapo finds out. The situation takes a dramatic turn on Kristallnacht, when the pogrom against the Austrian Jews escalates and one of Christina’s Jewish seamstresses is brutally murdered. In order to protect both Max and her couture house, Christina begins a double life, plunging her into the shadowy world of Nazi oppression, fear, and mistrust fuelled by ancient hatreds.
The Song of the Partisans A gripping and emotional WWII story, set in the Champagne region of France
“When she closed her eyes, the faces of those she had killed, surfaced like a grotesque scene from a Gothic novel. She had blood on her hands, and it could never be washed away.”