Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

The Berlin Tunnel – A Cold War Thriller – Reveal

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Thriller / Historical Fiction
Date Published: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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During the Cold War, a tunnel was built by British MI-6 and the CIA to tap into a message cable in East Berlin with the hopes of intercepting and exploiting communications with Russia. The Berlin Tunnel is based on this historic event.
***
 In the height of the Cold War, American Air Force Captain Robert Kerr finds himself in a divided Berlin awash with spies who move freely between the East and West. His task—build a TOP SECRET tunnel under the River Spree into East Berlin—tap into highly classified communications links between civilian and military leaders in Russia and the Warsaw Pact countries.
Love couldn’t have found him at a worse time.
Soon after he arrives, Robert falls for a German girl, Anna Fischer. Nasty East German Secret Police harass them both constantly, intent on determining what Robert and his work crew are doing in Berlin, but it’s Anna who gets caught in the crossfire.
 The wall is closed, trapping 19 million East Germans including Anna’s entire family behind the Iron Curtain. As the world holds its collective breath over the Berlin Crisis, Robert and Anna fight for their lives as they attempt to free her family.
 
Advance Praise
“Exceptional!  The settings and descriptions are vivid and real.  The author is a master of making the reader want to know what happens next.”
 Karen Black, Author of Code of Conduct
“This story was captivating.  A good history lesson as well as a good read.  You get out of one tension-filled event only to have another start almost immediately.”
USN Captain Terry Badger, Author of The Saga of HS-8
“The characters, scenes and dialogue were absolutely believable.  I felt like I was reading an autobiography, believed everything the writer said happened and was surprised when I found it was work of fiction. I enjoyed meeting Anna and Robert and loved seeing the East and West through their experiences—1960s Berlin was as much a character as they are.”
Ingrid Hoffmeister, English Artist and Writer
“I volunteered to be the Beta Readers of a historical novel; what I got was a page turning mystery, love story and spy thriller. The technical details of the building of the tunnel were easy to understand and the tension of the many problems they encounter was believable.  Pat yourself on the back.  You’ve done a great job.  I expected that I wouldn’t really be into the book, but intrigue grabbed me right after the prologue.”
Sarah Vosburgh, Award Winning Short Story Author




About the Author

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Roger L. Liles is an admitted over educated bibliophile who decided he had to earn a living after BA and graduate studies in Modern European History; he went back to school and eventually earned an MS in Engineering from USC in 1970. In the 1960s, he was stationed in Turkey and German for five years as a US Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer. He issued reports which got President Johnson out of bed at least five times. He eventually lived in Europe for almost 8 years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable English and communicate it to senior decision makers in the US government. He took novel writing classes at UCLA for three years including the Master Novel Writers Class. Now retired, he spends most of his time writing novels, but also dotes over his collectables. He is a member of the Scribblers of North San Diego Country. This is his first published novel.
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The Obsession of Doctor Pendergrass – Blitz

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Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 2018
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Pendergrass loved the city of London. But the economic success of the late 1800s had a dark side. London attracted criminals like a magnet. They immigrated to England from everywhere on earth to feed on the innocent, the naïve, and the desperate. Doctor Pendergrass knew their handiwork – stabbings, beatings, and maimings – they filled as many hospital beds as cholera and dysentery.
World commerce had set upon England like a stiff wind from the sea that utterly refused to cease. It brought wealth, prosperity, business, banking, and, to some of its citizens, all the accoutrements of success. But, all was not good, and Pendergrass was all too aware of the city’s underbelly. London herself was blessed beyond measure. Like the finest lady in waiting, she attended the needs of a great nation. Yet, she was cursed by the very blessings that made her mistress great.
That played hard in the minds of those who struggled to make ends meet, during what they were told were the best times in England’s history. Those on the fringes of wealth and success, just beyond its welcome grasp, pressed on, hoping for the best, as the best played out all around them, and without them.
It was on the fringes of the hard-working classes that another element carved its niche in London’s great financial success. An element that was drawn to the great boom in industry, the rise in population, and the raging influx of money. Like moths to a flame they crawled out of their hiding places in England, on the continent, and from all other parts of the world, to see how they might profit from the furious growth and commerce that beset the businesses of London.
But these elements had no aristocratic connections, and regarded hard work, any real work, with contempt. Their mantra was, “let the mindless fools play out their lives in stress and backbreaking labor.”They thought they had a more clever way to riches. Their devices were thievery and robbery, mischief and mayhem, deceit, larceny, blackmail and murder.
Pendergrass was not happy about the decay of law and order. He was not happy about it in the least. He and his associates at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital were working grueling days, and it seemed no matter how hard they worked, or how innovative they were, the flow of brutalized Londoners through their front doors was endless. Pendergrass mulled over the city’s plight.
“There is a mean element at work in our beloved London. An element that knows no bounds and is unfettered by decency. Left unchecked, it will be the ruin of us all.” He pondered the problem often, almost daily, as he read his morning paper.
The situation seemed to be getting worse, in spite of Howard Vincent’s appointment as Scotland Yard’s Director of Criminal Investigations. If 10,000 bobbies couldn’t stop the crime wave, what could be done? What could the individual citizens of London do to make a difference?
Pendergrass was seething mad. He had no idea what others might do, but he knew exactly what he intended to do.
About the Author

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John David Buchanan grew up in San Antonio, Texas in a military family, went to Southwest Texas University, and upon graduating with a Masters Degree in Science, worked as an environmental specialist for 26 years. He started and ran his own firm, Buchanan Environmental Associates, for 18 years. Now, he’s a writer and musician, and also the chef, yard boy, pool boy and handyman at his home in Humble, Texas.
Buchanan published three science fiction books as part of his Jump Starting the Universe Series, and while working on book three of that series, got the idea for his new book, The Obsession of Dr. Pendergrass.  He never enjoyed history in school, but then, he made a trip to England with his wife and visited Hastings. He’s been interested in history ever since. He’s traveled to London several times, and loved it every time he went.  So, using it as the location of this story seemed perfect.
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Flygril – Reveal

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Commercial Fiction/Historical Fiction/Womens Fiction

 

Date Published: January 15, 2019
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It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake.
To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.
As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill.
When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead. With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving? And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?
Advance Praise
Tris Miles is a heroine for our times. Set in the late 1990s, “Flygirl” by R.D. Kardon examines one tenacious woman’s struggle to survive in a vocation dominated by men who want nothing more than to see her fail. Readers will fall in love with Tris who is a force to be reckoned with. Based on Kardon’s own experiences as a female pilot, “Flygirl” is written with both authenticity and heart.
 
— T. Greenwood, author of “Rust & Stardust,” “Where I Lost Her,” and “Two Rivers”
 
In R.D. Kardon’s debut novel, she has created an inspirational character in Tris Miles. “Flygirl” is vivid, energetic and fast-paced. It is a story about striving to reach for your goals despite astronomical odds.
 
— Jill G. Hall, author of “The Black Velvet Coat” and “The Silver Shoes”
 
 
 
“Flygirl” is an astounding peek behind the scenes of pilot life. You’ll have to fasten your seat belt when you read this riveting story as Tris Miles captivates and lifts you high above ground.
 
— E.P. Sery, author of “The Scent of Heat”
About the Author
Robin “R.D.” Kardon is a native New Yorker, educated in the New York City public school system.  She attended New York University where she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology, magna cum laude, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
After college, Robin went to law school at The American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.  There, she was a Moot Court champion and earned her J.D. Thus began her ten-year career as a commercial litigator.
Disillusioned with the law, Robin sought out another career and started training to become a pilot in 1991.  She eventually earned her Certified Flight Instructor ratings, quit practicing, and started teaching to build flight time.  Eventually, she worked as both a corporate and airline pilot, and has flown all kinds of aircraft from single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737 all over the US and the world.  Robin has an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate with three Captain qualifications (type-ratings) and is also a Commercial/Instrument-rated helicopter pilot.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 decimated the aviation industry.  Unfortunately, Robin was furloughed from the airline job she held on that date, and her career never recovered from the blow.  She left aviation voluntarily in 2004, and began a career as an executive search consultant specializing in helping companies hire in-house attorneys. 
Flygirl existed for twenty years as 83 pages printed in WordPerfect on blue notepaper until Robin decided to finish the novel in 2015.  After so many drafts and revisions she’s lost count, Flygirl enters the world on January 15, 2019 via Acorn Publishing, a hybrid imprint.
 
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Red Clay, Yellow Grass – Blitz

Red Clay, Yellow Grass Bnner

Red Clay, Yellow Grass cover

 

A Novel of the 1960s
Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 4, 2018
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Evolved Publishing presents a startlingly vivid portrayal of the 1960s, as seen through the eyes of two ill-fated college lovers. The story of their generation spills across some of the era’s most iconic settings: the legendary battleground of Khe Sanh; a Midwestern campus riven by dissent; and Altamont Speedway, scene of the notorious rock festival that ended the Sixties.
Red clay and yellow grass, a battleground and a rock festival… the senseless slaughter of Vietnam and the folly of utopian fantasy.
David Noble is an orphan with a fondness for the novels of Walter Scott; Jackie Lundquist is a child of privilege, partial to J. D. Salinger and the importance of getting real. Their ill-fated college love affair implodes when David enlists to fight a war she opposes.
Angered by his choice—the marines instead of her—Jackie refuses to acknowledge his letters from Vietnam, where David is burrowed into the blood-red clay of Khe Sanh, one of six thousand marines entrapped by an army of North Vietnamese regulars. David survives the brutal siege, but returns home to find Jackie immersed in a counterculture world of drugs and militancy.
The two lovers find themselves fighting on opposite sides of the defining issue of their time, as the New Left and the New Right battle for a generation’s political soul. To Jackie, the faltering war in Vietnam is a failure of national conscience; to David, it’s a failure of national honor. But neither her rise to fame as the antiwar movement’s alluring Radical Queen, nor David’s defiant counter-protest activities in support of the war, can extinguish their passion for one another.
Their conflicted affair—and the Age of Aquarius itself—careen toward the mellow-yellow grass of Altamont Speedway, site of the decade’s last great rock festival: Altamont, the metaphoric Death of the Sixties, where honor and shame collide and tragedy awaits redemption.
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Praise for Red Clay, Yellow Grass:
“Richard Barager has written the novel of the Sixties—a passion-filled, pitch-perfect, roller coaster of a tale about the decade that divides us all.” ~ David Horowitz, Bestselling Author and Former New Left Radical
 
“…Barager’s dynamic, passionate, often moving exploration of the turbulent and politically divided 1960s…is striking…The cast of complicated characters, who are often as irritating and petty as they are tender and intelligent, adds arresting human dimensions.”—Booklist
 
“Barager spins a compelling tale of youthful passion, both personal and political…a rich, satisfying experience. A well-written, gripping novel that expertly blends fact and fiction, love and conviction.”—Kirkus Indie
 
“Richard Barager’s characters are phenomenal…this author knows how to use conflict to enhance and drive the plot forward. The writing is strong and the descriptions capture vivid images, bringing out deep emotions, and allowing readers a great feel for the characters and the setting. Red Clay, Yellow Grass is skillfully plotted, fast-paced, and deftly handled. A very satisfying read!”—Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
About the Author

 

By day I’m a nephrologist, treating dialysis patients and kidney transplant recipients. By night I write fiction. I believe the two finest callings in life are doctor and writer, one ministering to the human condition, the other illuminating it, each capable of transforming it.
I earned BA and MD degrees at the University of Minnesota and did my postgraduate training at Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California in San Diego. I live now in Orange County, CA.
I am a champion of the healing power of literature and sometimes prescribe novels or short stories to patients to help them cope with illness. Fiction explores meaning in a way science cannot. Sometimes only fiction tells the truth.
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Radio Underground – Cover Reveal

Radio Underground cover
Historical Fiction
Date Published: November 15, 2018
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With swift, bold, and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman captures the epic and devastating uprising against the Soviet regime in Cold War Hungary, illuminating a time in history when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain. Radio Underground tells the story of a family ripped apart by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 as a mother and fanatical underground journalist relentlessly goes to battle against the communist government, putting the lives of her daughter and husband at risk when she commits a calamitous murder. She is banished to a secret, underground prison where she faces madness, torture, and a possible death sentence. Years later, her daughter must decide to save the mother who discarded her, or leave her life to fate. A beautiful, relevant novel that explores the lengths and limits of love, family and the power of expression.
“Radio Underground tells a thrilling story of family and loyalty in the face of oppression. Its richly evoked historical setting took me back to the Cold War era, while its warm-blooded characters stole my heart. A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.” — Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl
“Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956 and its heartbreaking aftermath, this vivid and compelling novel is a story of courage, family and the importance of “breaking the silence.” — Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class.
 Excerpt
A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it.
I tiptoed past the Ministry of Interior, where red geraniums lined the building’s windows. In the secret prisons below, police tortured people with whips, limb crushers, nail presses, and scalding and freezing baths. Or else they just executed them. But the geraniums were always fresh.
I slid my fingers across the building’s dusty exteriors, imagining I could somehow transfer my nerves onto the cold, unfeeling brick. I had snuck through the streets after curfew for years, but tonight was different. I could feel the regime sensing our newfound courage, like a dog pushing its nose high into the air, catching the subtle perfume of a rabbit nearby.
After walking several blocks, I spied smoke unfurling in the path before me, like a languid snake expanding as it digests a fresh kill. Following it, I found Antal, his eyes closed, relishing in a cigarette.
“Antal, it’s me,” I said, coughing on the smoke now choking me.
Antal smiled and opened his eyes, his cataracts reflecting the glow of the street lamps. “Eszter, it’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you too.” I kissed Antal on both cheeks, feeling his dry skin against mine and wondering how long he’d been outside waiting for me in the cold.
“Tell me, what information do you have for me today?”
“It will happen tomorrow,” I said. “Today, technically.”
It was already past midnight.
“So it’s here, isn’t it?” Antal said.
“Yes,” I said. “I went to their meeting. The students decided they’re going to march. I heard them talking about gathering arms.”
“How many people are participating in this … this march?” Antal asked as he stamped his cigarette into the ground and lit another one.
“Hundreds, thousands, maybe. I can’t be certain.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to predict how Gerő will react.”
“Gerő will slaughter them,” I said, feeling dizzy as I said aloud what we both knew. Hungary’s leader, Erno Gerő, was a Soviet puppet with an arsenal at the ready. “Without enough people hearing about it and organizing, it will just be a bloodbath.”
Antal fell back against the brick wall, suddenly losing his breath. He was always so levelheaded, so much so it often drove me to even greater heights of anxiety as I tried to compensate for his indifference. His fingers, still clutching the cigarette, quivered as his eyes searched the space behind me.
“The state radio will probably ignore this and just keep spewing out its propaganda,” he said.
“Exactly. We’re going to print with this too. But Realitás won’t reach enough people in time. An announcement on Radio Free Europe is the students’ only hope.” I held on to Antal’s shoulders to steady him. “It has to happen first thing in the morning, so people will have time to plan.”
The closest Radio Free Europe outpost was in Vienna. If Antal left now, he would get there by four in the morning.
“I already have meetings scheduled in Vienna for today,” he said. “I’ll visit our Radio Free Europe contacts as soon as I get there and cancel my other meetings to get back in time for the march. Gerő will think I cut short a routine visit to be by his side.”
Our lives by day were lies—Antal’s more than most. He served as the regime’s Deputy Interior Minister. After being forced to coordinate the executions of his friends—communists who threatened the power structure when they became too popular—he resolved to undermine the regime in any way possible. He began relaying intelligence to the American-run Radio Free Europe. With the freedom to travel at will and deep knowledge of the government’s inner workings, he also became an asset to Realitás, the underground newspaper I ran.
“It’s already one in the morning,” I said. “What will you do when they ask you why you’re crossing the border so late?”
“This is normal for me. I go to Vienna at all times of the day and night, just to keep them guessing. Just in case I run into a situation like this.”
“Smart. Well, you better leave now before Gerő tries to get in touch.”
We both knew Antal’s phone could have been ringing right then. I wondered what it would cost him—or his children and grandchildren—if he wasn’t there to answer it.
“I’ll be back,” Antal said, coughing into his hands, still shaking from what I knew was the fear we all shared.
“Wait.” I pulled out a tattered piece of paper, wincing as the cuts in my hand protested the sudden movement. “Take this with you. A student gave it to me yesterday. It’s a coded list of meeting points and times for the march. You have to get this on air too.”
Antal nodded as I slid the paper into his coat pocket, making sure to secure the meticulously crafted plans of the brave, hopeful students. They probably didn’t even realize that at this moment, Soviet troops were almost certainly readying their tanks at a base nearby.
About the Author

Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she is a writer by day and standup comedian by night. She has contributed to magazines on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles, writing feature stories on listening to rock ‘n’ roll behind the Iron Curtain and the Cuban Missile Crisis. She produces two comedy shows in San Francisco and performs at clubs, bars and alternative venues throughout the city. This is her first novel.

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