Dangerous Legacy, the Second Son

C. S. Arnold

Book Cover

GENRE

MYSTERY HISTORICAL FICTION ROMANCE

    Core Theme

    HISTORICAL DRAMA

    TIME PERIOD

    1940s & '50s,1920s & '30s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    UNCLE VANYA, MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • STEPHAN: 25. INTELLIGENT, KIND, CHIVALROUS.

    • JOZEF: STEPHAN'S UNCLE, 60S, CUNNING, WEALTHY, WARM

    • SOPHIA: STEPHAN'S WIFE, 19, COY, SHARP, RESPONSIBLE

    • MAURIE: SOPHIA'S COUSIN, 20S, TORMENTOR, SELFISH, STYLISH, ANTAGONISTIC

    • MONICA: MAURICE'S SISTER, 20S, CONFRONTATIONAL, JEALOUS, CUNNING

    Logline

    A young Polish aristocrat escapes his war-torn home to relatives in America. As danger follows him to his new country, Stefan realizes that he has desperate enemies who will stop at nothing to obtain the priceless treasure he now possesses.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    1939 Poland, Minnesota, USA

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: iUniverse

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    1939 as war ravages Poland, Stefan Zurowski discovers the mass murder of his family. His dying father commands him to pursue his dangerous legacy, leading him to America, his new family and ruthless enemies intent on stealing the Zurowski Family's priceless, jeweled crucifix.

    Ending Description

    In America his ruthless pursuers are brought to justice; he finds his American family, gains a new wife and is able to use Zurowski wealth to lessen suffering in war-torn Poland.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1-5320-7009-9

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Stefan Zurowski

    Age: 25

    Gender: Male

    Role: Logical

    Key Traits: Masculine,Faithful,Honorable,Obedient,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sophia Milewski

    Age: 19

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Naive,Insecure,Desperate,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Josef Zurowski

    Age: 60

    Gender: Male

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Confident,Decisive,Honorable,Patriotic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Bruno Krump

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Power Hungry,Villainous,Criminal,Leader

    Development Pitch

    Adventurous sexy young Stefan Zuroswki is traveling on a dangerous mission for his family at the beginning of WWII in Poland to an estranged uncle in America. Early on, he is tracked by members of Hilter's Art Committee to steal a priceless jeweled crucifix belonging to the Zurowski family given to them in payment for harm done by the Teutonic Knights. To stay in America he has been married by proxy to a young woman supplied by his American Family. As he is introduced to the business holdings of his new family, he becomes an intricate part of the American dynasty. In an exciting chase, his enemies are brought to justice.

    Brief

    It is 1939 as war ravages Poland, Stefan Zurowski discovers the mass murder of his family. His dying father commands him to pursue his dangerous legacy, leading him to America, his new family and the relentless intent on stealing the Zurowski Family's priceless, jeweled crucifix.

    What We Liked

    - Story has strong bones, characters are three dimensional, attention to detail and narrative arcs that come to satisfying conclusions. There is a lot to like about this story from its only slightly elevated diction to its character awareness. It is a well-ironed plot with room for potential expansion.
    - The story has a scope ranging from Warsaw to Minnesota which will play well for a sense of the impending war. Business and family relations collide in a love-stricken narrative that solves dramatic tension in a religious setting without becoming overzealous. There is room for directorial intent to guide this story as its solid foundation and rounded characters are the biggest takeaway.
    - Strong sense of character development in a period piece will play well with streaming services as well as potential competitors (cable/network). A strong sense of Polish identity could add a new take to the burgeoning WWII backdrop and give it an edge above more basic Hitler-baiting narratives. There is internal and external conflict that will play well to drawn out romantic struggles.
    - Key points: International characters, Romantic tension, Imminent danger, Unsolved violence, Nazi thwarting, precious artifacts.

    Synopsis

    It is 1939. Stephan, the second son of a Polish Count, returns home to find his family has been murdered by the Red Army. The Germans have invaded Warsaw and his father’s dying words are to find his uncle in America. He travels via boat to Minnesota and finds he has been married to a beautiful young woman named Sophia, his uncle stepdaughter, so that he can remain legally in America. Before he leaves he is given the family’s priceless heirloom, a jeweled crucifix and a bag of jewels, to take with him. After an initial accident that leaves Stephan shot and incapacitated, the couple begin to meet each other. Stephan is honorable to Sophia’s wishes to remain platonic as she has been sexually traumatized by her cousin Maurice who lives with his sister in the big house owned by Stephan’s uncle.

    Stephan’s uncle explains why he has sent for Stephan. He needs an heir to his vast milling and mining fortune and help with efforts to run the business during the stress of wartime. A trip is scheduled for the new couple and uncle Jozef to visit a lumber mill so Stephan can familiarize himself with the operations. A string of accidents plagues Sophia who lives in fear of her cousin Maurice. His pedophilic tendencies have haunted her since she was a girl and presently put stress on the new couple’s relationship. Stephan remains stoic and heartfelt, threatening anyone who has done so much damage to his new bride.

    The story reaches a climax just before Christmas as a party is held in honor of the new couple. Among the guests is a German spy disguised as a Polish priest, who has come to steal the crucifix from Stephan. The end of the party sees Sophia’s mentor Maurice flee from being persecuted by the family for his pedophilia and the theft of the crucifix. Stephan and his uncle are caught in a blizzard and return home on Christmas Eve with a plan and CIA backup. They successfully capture the spy, recover the crucifix and the newlywed couple enjoys a peaceful Christmas Eve. The next morning they have sex for the first time and get news later that day that Sophia’s tormentor, her cousin Maurice, has died in a car accident. The couple find solace and sadness in his death, and then travel the world to help strengthen Jozef’s business. A year later they have a son, and heir to Stephan’s lineage.

    About The Author

    C. S. Arnold lives with her husband in Tennessee. She writes fiction and has published three children’s books in 2018 and 2019.