Monday, March 4, 2013

Read an Ebook Week

This is Read an Ebook Week, and I have plenty to recommend for you. My two Post Cold War political thrillers started out at $3.99, but they've been reduced to $2.99. So break out your Kindle and order BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK and THE POKSU CONSPIRACY.

Poksu takes place in a part of the world that has always seemed mysterious, the Far East. I got my first taste of the area as a young first lieutenant in the Air Force. That was early 1952 and Japan was still digging its way out of the mire of World War II. I arrived at Yokohama on a troop ship and was transferred to a processing station. I had little chance to see the area with only a brief visit to the adjacent town. It had lots of broken English signs luring GI's into businesses.

After a few days and getting my assignment to the Directorate of Intelligence at Fifth Air Force Headquarters in Seoul, I lugged my B-4 bag and my portable typewriter onto the train and we headed southwest. One of the last stops before we crossed over to the island of Kyushu was the most memorable. I'll never forget hearing the conductor calling out, "Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima!" This was a little more than six years after the A-bomb drop. We were in the city for only about fifteen minutes, but I got off and looked around the area. There was little visible of more than one story.

Our destination was the town of Fukuoka, home of an Air Force base from which I was flown to South Korea. My first view of Seoul was of a city with many buildings destroyed, streets in disrepair, other structures bearing holes left by bullets as well as artillery shells. Fifth Air Force was located in the former medical school of Seoul University. The main building housed offices. The DI was on the second floor, down the hall from the Joint Operations Center, which worked in cooperation with the Army, and the Tactical Air Control Center. I spent many off-duty hours in the TACC watching airmen move tokens representing aircraft, enemy and friendly, over a flat map of North Korea that covered most of the room. Using earphones scattered about the perimeter, I listened to radio transmissions from the pilots.

One of my Korean War mementos that sits on my desk is a brass plate with my name in embossed letters. It has a Korean scene on the back. The ingenious Koreans who made them used brass from artillery shells left by troops sweeping through the area. Djuring an R&R (Rest and Recuperation) visit to Japan, I brought back solid silver candelabra, beautiful cloisonne vases, and a set of Noritake china.

The Seoul that appears in The Poksu Conspiracy is the one I visited in 1987, a burgeoning metropolis that hardly resembled the town I knew in 1952-3. My protagonist, Burke Hill, also visits Chiangmai, Thailand, a unique city I toured during that Far East trip in 1987.

Scenes in  Beware the Jabberwock that take place in Hong Kong involve locations I also visited during my month-long Far Eastern tour of 1987.

Click these links to read about Beware the Jabberwock or The Poksu Conspiracy.

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