"I Have Not Forgotten Thee," the second book from Irish writer Bill Sexton, is an epic life story that transports the reader from the rolling hills of Ireland to sensual Spain where war has erupted.  Martin, the novel's hero, leaves his homeland and travels to Spain to fight for religious, as well as personal, reasons.  There he meets a mysterious nurse, Contessa, with whom he soon falls in love. But is she really who she claims to be?

Smitten with Contessa, Martin is encouraged by her to develop a relationship with a cryptic spy, whose plan for him is much more than he bargained for Martin's life evolves as a series of surprises and disappointments as he serves as a spy, enlists in the German army as a paratrooper, and holds
hopefully to his belief that, despite the distance between them, he and Contessa are meant to be together.

Spanning more than fifty years, this sensitive and thoughtful tale offers readers an objective point of view about the men who comprised the German army during WWII.  Honest and revealing, "I Have Not Forgotten Thee" is a story that leaves the reader wanting more.”

------- Staci Backauskas     Author of the Fifth Goddess

“Author William Sexton skillfully blends a touching war-born love story à la Ernest Hemingway’s
 A Farewell to Arms with suspenseful cloak-and-danger exploits in the modern Tom Clancy  mode. The result is an unbeatable page-turner, gripping and memorable.” 

------ Doug McClelland, author of 12 books including Hollywood on Ronald Reagan

Having read Sexton’s first novel, Liam O’Connor: An Irishman’s Odyssey, I looked forward, with anticipation, to his second offering, I have not Forgotten Thee.  I was not disappointed……. Sexton has captured the Irish character as perhaps only one from the Diaspora can. The novel follows the adventures and misadventures of one Martin Connolly. The civil war in Spain gives him the excuse to get away from an abusive father that he only refers to as “the old fellah”.  From the hills of Connemara in Galway to the battlefields of Spain Martin fights the communists and his own demons. While in Spain he befriends a German military advisor and falls in love with a Spanish nurse neither of who are what they appear to be.  Martin is recruited into the German intelligence service, which takes him back to Ireland then on to Germany and service in the German paratroopers during World War II.  It is in Germany that he meets his Spanish love again. This bittersweet tale keeps the reader entranced as it twists and turns its way through the lifetime of Martin Connolly.  Every chapter holds another surprise to delight our imagination. Ironically, if there is a weakness in the plot it comes from one of its strengths.  With so many twists it is inevitable that some of the events and chance meetings are a little too coincidental, but it is a minor problem in an otherwise excellent story.  This is a must read for those who love fiction in general and Irish tales in particular.
I look forward to Mr. Sexton¹s next excursion into the wonderful world of fiction.

-----Bob Foley, Canadian born Author including three books on Canadian History – Canada Story

A Very Large Canvas
Martin Connolly is a young man from the Connemara Gaeltacht in the West of Ireland. Encouraged by a crusading priest, he joins Eoin O’Duggy’s Irish Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. There, he meets Contessa, a nurse with the Franco Forces, with whom he falls in love. I Have Not Forgotten Thee traces their story from there, through the 1939-45 War to the end of their lives.

Sexton’s canvas is indeed large. The Irishman is spirited away to Germany, where he is recruited into the German Intelligence services for the upcoming war and is faced with some horrendous espionage tasks. He is fed and nurtured by German agents and deputed to acts of violence, which are abhorrent to his Irish Catholic Soul. Through it all, he remains true to his Contessa, a dangerous liaison after she teams up with German espionage rings. The action is rapid and changes ground frequently, sometimes in Germany, sometimes in southern Europe, occasionally back home in Ireland where he is still welcome in the family home. The Irish sections are the most authentic, a deeply felt love of his native place imbuing his feelings for them. With the years, he grows old and mellow, always yearning for his early love.

The espionage methods in these times of advanced technology seem simple and naïve, but the risks of death or injury are more than real – as Contessa’s German spy husband finds to his cost.

This stirring adventure tells the story of a simple young Irishman, a well-known practitioner of the quintessentially Irish game of hurling, who becomes involved in Germany’s war in the Mediterranean, in Stalingrad in Russia and other places far from his native Irish home. His search for Contessa continues throughout. Towards the end, he finds himself in philosophical discussion with a holy man who leads him into the priesthood.

I Have Not Forgotten Thee is the story of one man’s life through two wars in which he fought in the interests of other nations, hoping it would lead him where he most wanted to be – in the arms of his beloved Contessa, well away from it all.

Was there a real “Martin Connolly”? A real “Contessa”?  If so, their real life story would make a gripping tale. In fiction, they prove a daunting pair, full of love and longing but sealed with the fate of failure. One wishes they could have met finally and married – to live happily ever after. But perhaps such things happen only in dreams. And the vast politics of nations have little time for such low, inconsequential lives.

------ Liam O Murchu, prominent Irish born Author, Irish Television producer, playwright and journalist