Saturday, February 8, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Metropolis Excerpt & Giveaway

Metropolis by Ellie Midwood

Publication Date: January 31, 2020 
Paperback & eBook; 238 Pages 
 Genre: Historical Fiction


 Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of "Metropolis" - the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, "The Holy Mountain," which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, "Metropolis" is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:

Lang had already hoisted Brigitte onto the tremendous pyre and was busy giving the instructions to the extras at the foot of it simultaneously tying the actress’s hands together with his own leather belt.
“Fritz, what are you doing?” Margot shouted at him. They were long past the ceremonious Herr Regisseur/Gräfin nonsense and were long saying du to each other – familiarity, initiated by Lang himself, which still amazed the crew members. Hardly anyone, besides Lang’s wife, could afford it on the despot’s set.
“Just let her hold the ties in her hands. Don’t actually tie her up!”
Lang ignored her remark and instead secured the belt even tighter, ensuring that it was holding its hostage firmly in place.
“What I’m doing, my dear Margot,” he drawled, his voice amplified by the echo of a tremendous set even without his using his megaphone, “is creating authenticity. Look at her face. Now, she looks scared.”
“Of course, she does! You tied her to a stake and are planning to set the pyre on fire!”
“Just the very bottom of it,” Lang countered at once and turned to the members of the on-set fire department. “Do we have the hoses ready?”
“Fritz, drop it.” Margot liked the idea less and less. “It’s not safe.”
“It’s authentic, that’s what’s important.”
“Thea!” Getting desperate, Margot turned to Lang’s wife. “Tell him to quit it! Pommer would have never approved of it if he were here!”
“But he’s not, so I’ll do as I please!” Lang raised his voice, growing irritated.
Thea von Harbou conveniently hid behind her secretary, to whom she was dictating a piece of reportage from the set – for publicity purposes. The following day, Margot would bring the notes to the Tageblatt along with her own photos of the set. The novelist’s face was quite telling – contradicting her despotic husband was utterly beyond her desire.
Lang’s megaphone was once again aimed at the two cinematographers.
“Freund, Margot, are you ready?”
“Ready,” Margot replied, though with great reluctance.
Freund just waved his hand in the air.
Lang’s familiar shout rang out. “Silence on the set! All ready? Light it up!
And… action!”
The cameras buzzed. Inside Margot’s chest, each turn of the crank echoed the beating of her own heart – faster, much faster than usual. The previously- languid, exhausted crowd of extras hurled itself forward, bellowing and pointing fingers at the tied-up robot-Maria. Margot watched her carefully through the lens and inwardly applauded Brigitte’s professionalism. Despite the fire that was taking on much faster than anticipated, she kept laughing carelessly in the faces of the wild crowd, as though she was indeed made of steel and not mortal flesh. Her heavily made-up eyes were smarting with smoke and still, she laughed and twisted her neck sharply from one side to another – a machine, not a human, who cared not that the hem of her dress was already burning. The dress!
“Fritz!” Margot shouted. “Brigitte’s dress!”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, "The Girl from Berlin." Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

 In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, January 31
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, February 
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, February 4
Feature at Comet Readings

Wednesday, February 5
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, February 8
Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Wednesday, February 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, February 13
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon

Friday, February 14
Feature at I’m All About Books

Sunday, February 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 17
Review at Nurse Bookie

Wednesday, February 19
Review at Historical Graffiti

Thursday, February 20
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, February 21


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Metropolis! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Metropolis



  1. First time I have noticed this one - I entered the contest. Thanx for sharing the info

  2. Thanks for sharing this book.

  3. Amazing post Robin this book looks and sounds very intriguing as well. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.