Christopher Leppek

“ ‘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

Apollonia’ “is a story of time travel, love, war, and a little bit of the supernatural. It’s the tale of an odyssey that traverses geography and time, with surprising twists and turns along the way.”

— Larry Hankin, associate editor, ‘Intermountain Jewish News’

“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.”

“How far would you go for the person you love? What would you suffer, risk, threaten to find your soulmate? Jonathan Chase runs from one life and awakens to a new reality of love, espionage, and history. Author Christopher Leppek pulls you into the world of the War Between the States, the terror of battle, and the aching pain of loss. Page after page, you want to know more. Enjoyable read with a fresh story and characters worth your attention. Makes you wonder if there really is destiny.”

“Readers of many genres will be captivated, as was I, by this sweeping tale of love and mystery set against the backdrop of the Civil War. Apollonia has all the elements of great storytelling, and I won’t soon forget the central characters brought to life from this author’s rich imagination. Neglecting my responsibilities on more than one occasion, I found myself reading for hours in the middle of the day — driven to find out what would happen next.”

“From the first page and right up to the last, Apollonia bursts with illustrious storytelling, carrying the reader on a journey that not only spans the country but time itself. It’s hard to think of a writer who more purposefully and ably captures the experience of his characters; from the highest peaks of Colorado to the sylvan forests of Virginia, the reader can’t help but feel immersed in Leppek’s graphic narrative. . . . Our hero, Jonathan, is deep and reflective, struggling with the loss of his wife, reeling from self-doubt, unmoored and directionless. We share his journey and engage with his trials. Leppek creates a character that we can deeply relate to, and amidst the rapidly unfolding events through time and space, this story is supremely human at its core.”

— Gerard Walker

“On a foggy Sunday afternoon in spring in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I have just returned from the American Civil War. Christopher Leppek’s latest novel, Apollonia, is an intoxicating mix of historical drama, epic romance, time travel, mystery/thriller, and action/adventure. Leppek, an award-winning journalist, evinces the immaculate attention to detail and historical research that are indicative of that profession and mixes it with a narrative gift that packs a terrific one-two punch. For those looking for an ‘all-of-the-above’ multiple-genre experience, you can’t miss with this one. . . . At its heart Apollonia is a love story plain and simple yet wrapped in the delicious kaleidoscope of the Civil War seen at eye level. As sprawling a vision as Leppek tackles, he pulls it off with aplomb and leaves the reader questioning (along with modern philosophers and scientists) the nature of time and the qualities of love and belief. In the end, I can say, I want to believe.”

— Brian Lewis

About the Book

A year, a number, a piece of time,
A distance in living, a state of mind,
Begins as a woman awaiting her lover . . .

It was and would always remain impossible to say how it all happened.

Torn apart by his recent divorce, guitar-strumming everyman Jonathan Chase abandons his 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, he discovers an old family album, bound in dark leather and brittle and faded. It is filled with sepia-toned images, the names of each person penciled in cursive underneath.

Although not the usual inventory he stocks on the shelves, Jonathan can’t seem to part with it. The heavy paper, hairstyles, and clothing speak of an earlier era, yet the portraits and their provenance are mute on the page. All once vital, thinking, loving, hating, hoping, dreaming — living — beings, there is now little more than slabs of fading paper to testify to their lives. It saddens him to think what an awesome and terrible power time reveals itself to be.

Until he turns the page and sees her for the first time.

In the gloaming of a snowy December night, Jonathan falls asleep with the album and his cat Pluto by his side . . . and awakens to the chime of a bell, distant but clear, in 1864 and the middle of the Civil War.

Although his journey of romance, war, intrigue, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural will 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.


Christopher Leppek talks about "Apollonia" on WNEM

Colette Boyd, “Saginaw native releases a Civil War book,” WNEM, Oct. 3. 2023

Meet Chris Leppek and 'Apollonia' at the Grove Park Market on Oct. 14, 2023

Max Milne, “Saginaw native brings Civil War adventure to bookstores,” Midland Daily News, Sept. 24, 2023

About the Author

 Author and journalist Christopher Leppek, with The Stanley Hotel reflected in his sunglasses. ©Shari Valenta

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 an editor and reporter. 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, he is the author of the mystery novel The Surrogate Assassin, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and the coauthor (with Emanuel Isler) of the horror novels Chaosicon and Abattoir. The latter work was adapted into the feature film The Charnel House.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Leppek lives in Denver with his wife, Lisa, and sons, Noah and Adam.

Photo © Shari Valenta. Author and journalist Christopher Leppek, with the Stanley Hotel reflected in his sunglasses.

Books by Christopher Leppek

Film Adaptations