A year, a number, a piece of time,
A distance in living, a state of mind,
Begins as a woman awaiting her lover . . .
Torn apart by his recent divorce, guitar-strumming everyman Jonathan Chase abandons his home, career, and life in Denver to return to Saginaw, Michigan, and start anew in his place of birth. But much more than childhood memories await. While managing a used bookstore, with no one but his cat Pluto by his side, he discovers an old photograph album, bound in dark leather and brittle and faded. It is filled with sepia-toned images of somebody’s relatives. The names of each unfamiliar face are written beautifully in pencil underneath the uncomfortable and solemn visages. The heavy paper, the hairstyles, and the clothing suggest a nineteenth-century provenance.
Although not the usual inventory The Red Raven sells to the bibliophiles of Saginaw, Jonathan can’t seem to part with the family album. All once vital, thinking, loving, hating, hoping, dreaming—living—beings, there is now probably little more than these slabs of fading paper to testify to their lives. It saddens him to think what an awesome, terrible power time reveals itself to be.
Until he turns the page and sees her for the first time.
It was and would always remain impossible to say how it all happened. In the gloaming of a wild October night, his fall into the past began. And as the Michigan autumn transmuted with the first snows of winter, Jonathan Chase awoke to the chime of a bell, distant but clear, in a wide field—and in the midst of the Civil War—in 1864.
Although his journey of romance, war, intrigue, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural would lengthen and deepen far beyond what he ever would have imagined or even thought possible, the why was the easiest question of all.
Apollonia was the why.
“Apollonia starts with a bang and never lets up. This story has it all: time travel, a vividly drawn Civil War setting, a sweeping romance, and an action-packed plot that delivers on every page. You won’t put this down until the final sentence.” —Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News and co-founder of BlueInk Review
“Leppek weaves real Civil War history into a tale that crosses multiple genres and takes on multiple perspectives. Jonathan is not only a witness to but a participant in the action, often caught in a moral dilemma and saddled with the knowledge of time. You don’t have to be a history buff or a romantic to appreciate Jonathan’s journey, Apollonia’s take-charge heroism, and this love story that blooms on the battlegrounds. Apollonia will turn you into both.”
About the Author
Since before he could grow a mustache, Christopher Leppek has made his living as a writer. He is a professional journalist, long associated with Denver’s Intermountain Jewish News as a reporter and editor. His freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, the Rocky Mountain News, the Navy Times, The Pueblo Chieftain, and many other publications.
In addition to Apollonia (Palaver 2015), he is the author of the mystery novel The Surrogate Assassin (Write Way Publishing, 1998), a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and the co-author, with Emanuel Isler, of the horror novels Chaosicon (Write Way Publishing, 2001) and Abattoir (Dark Moon Books, 2012). The latter work is currently in development as a motion picture.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Leppek lives in Denver with his wife, Lisa, and sons, Noah and Adam.