Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 10: Peace Pays What War Wins, YA Historical

Title: This Is No Courtyard

Entry Nickname: Peace Pays What War Wins

Word count: 76K

Genre: YA Historical


Vuk is fourteen when the Nazis invade Yugoslavia. Unwilling to see his homeland turn into a fascist state, Vuk joins the local Partisan group along with his older brother, Pedja. While hiding out in a hay barn, their unit is betrayed, and the brothers are arrested and sent to Banjica concentration camp.

After weeks of brutal interrogations, Vuk and Pedja are transferred to the north of Norway to build railways and roads for the German occupiers. When they learn they will be shipped to different work camps, the brothers vow to escape and meet up in neutral Sweden.

Before Vuk can make good on his last promise to his brother, two other prisoners flee his camp, and the Nazis’ reprisals are swift and brutal: thirty-nine men are picked at random and mowed down with machine guns, while Vuk and the other prisoners are forced to watch.

As the Norwegian winter sets in, the conditions in camp worsen. Work on the road is hard, food is scarce, and the prisoners only have the clothes they came in. Emaciated and scared out of his mind, Vuk realizes if he’s to survive and ever meet his brother again, he has to escape. But running means sending dozens of his comrades to certain death.

THIS IS NO COURTYARD is a 76,000-word YA historical based on narrations from Yugoslavian Partisans who managed to escape the Norwegian death camps and some of the people who helped them.

I was born and raised in Norway and have a master's degree in Social anthropology. My family was involved in smuggling refugees across the Swedish border during WW2, so this has always been an area of interest for me.

First Page

Northern Norway, summer 1946

The man strolls down the dirt road in no particular hurry, and I wonder who died to put that smile on his face. It is chilly tonight, but the sky is clear. The midnight sun sets the fjord on fire and highlights the gold in the bastard’s hair. He’s casually dressed in a brown airman jacket and loose-fitted trousers that billow in the breeze. One of his hands clutches a sixpence-hat, swinging gaily in cadence with his steps. The other is tucked into his trouser pocket. I don’t know if he’s armed, but who cares? He’s been drinking, and that will work in my favor.

I’m well-hidden among the trees lining the road. Their mid-summer foliage tangles together, creating a dense wall of green. When he passes, I follow. The rustle of the wind masks the sound of my steps. Still he senses me and turns.

Peering into the thicket, he sways ever so slightly, but he keeps both feet on the ground. My heart speeds up. This is it. I would recognize him anywhere. The slim nose, the smug mouth, and those eyes like the northern fjords. He’s handsome in that Scandinavian way. Fair, lean, tall. Clean cut features that would make a woman look pretty as well. A cliché of a man, if ever there was one, but what’s not to like?

Fucking Nazi.


  1. I'd love to see pages! Please feel free to send them along to, with "Query Kombat" in the subject line.

  2. I’d like to see more, please! Email to

  3. I'm intrigued! I'd love to see the first 3 chapters. Please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/1067. Thank you!