Tag Archives: Escrire

When the Heart Cries but Never Breaks

When the Heart Cries but Never Breaks

“When the evacuation is ordered, the signal will be read on Armed Forces Radio. That signal is: ‘The temperature in Saigon is 105 degrees and rising.’ This will be followed by the playing of, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

That announcement triggered Operation Frequent Wind, the almost unbelievable evacuation plan executed by United States forces on the 29th and 30th of April, 1975 when more than 7,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from various points in Saigon. The total number of Vietnamese evacuated or self-evacuated, ending up in the custody of the United States for processing as refugees to enter the country, totaled 138,869. But hundreds of thousands were left behind that then faced ‘re-education’ by the victors. The re-education camps, modeled on Soviet Gulags (and in some cases operated similarly as a Nazi concentration camp) soon became full. The New Economic Zone programs announced were thinly veiled justification for the confiscation of all assets held by the South Vietnamese people.

The smoke had cleared over Vietnam, but the country still ran with blood.

This is the continuing saga, started in Behind the Smoke Curtain, of American journalist Scott Reynolds, wounded and left behind as Saigon fell. Imprisoned–tortured and held secretly in solitary confinement–he and another prisoner, Tuan, a young former South Vietnamese army officer, escape during a camp uprising. A female guard at the camp who has fallen in love with Tuan reluctantly helps them. Traveling at night and hiding during the day not long after their escape they find Lan, a teenage girl who is escaping her own Hell having killed the New Economic Zone Commander that had tried to rape her. Together they evade patrols and informers and try to make their way to the coast to find a boat to escape Vietnam.

This is their story.

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Behind the Smoke Curtain | A Novel of Vietnam 1967-1975

Mai was a beautiful young Vietnamese girl and a student at Saigon University. Scott was a young American reporter trying to establish himself as a freelance writer and journalist. Where better to seek that chance than in a war-torn country full of stories every day. They meet and fall in love just before the Tet offensive of 1968… when it became shockingly clear to the United States that the conflict in Vietnam was far from over. Caught up in the lies, intrigue, betrayals and violence of the war they suffer the impact of when Cold War opponents, behind their not so benign or altruistic curtain of diplomacy, pull the strings of a nation in turmoil. It is a sad and tragic truth that older men start the wars that the youth must fight and die in. Told as only a person who lived in Vietnam during that time can tell it; this is the story of Mai and Scott as they try to live and love while their world disintegrates around them.

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CHIEF | The Story of a Pit Bull


The story of a very brave dog that saved the life of a young, combat wounded, veteran and how she saved his.

Both are scarred and damaged… but together—woman and dog—find love, trust and peace. The very things they dreamed and wished for but thought they’d never have. Hannah is a combat wounded veteran; the left side of her face is disfigured and she lost her left leg in Iraq. Chief is a dog that escaped from a dog-fighting ring that she adopted (against others advice because of his breed) as part of Wounded Warrior project to help veterans. While traveling in Colorado, at a rest area, Hannah is attacked by a serial killer and rapist. Chief defends her. But the police take Chief from her (permissible under Denver/Colorado law) and plan to put him down. Hannah fights to save his life. Within this entertaining, sometimes heart-wrenching, tale, is a message that hopes to raise empathy, compassion and awareness about animal cruelty. And how dogs that have experienced it can be saved and rehabilitated become a benefit to a human… sometimes even saving them with their love.

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Ask Any Aardvark

Ask Any Aardvark

Fusion Team special agents JT Dunkirk and Juanita Singletary are assigned to investigate the suspicious death of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program manager working on mind enhancement programs. The more information they uncover, the more they are drawn into a web of classified programs, bureaucratic blockades, secret societies, and paranormal activities involving the CIA, the FBI, and the White House, all the while dealing with a new kind of criminal.

About the Author

Bud Durand has a doctorate in public administration and over thirty years experience in advanced research, communications, security, and counterintelligence agencies. He lives in the Northern Virginia area and currently works with the Fairfax County Police Department. His first book, Traces of Mammon, features the debut of agents Dunkirk and Singletary.

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Haunting Stories of Love, Revenge and Retribution – Volume 1

Haunting Stories of Love, Revenge and Retribution - Volume 1 by Dennis Lowery

Three powerful short stories (rated M17+) that touch on love and how it can sustain you, yet also may drive you to revenge and retribution. Love gives you courage to live, to stand up and fight back and to redeem yourself. When you have it, love may be the one  thing you can count on.

The Candle:

What if you could give someone you love one more hour of life? The passion of love bursting into flame is more powerful than death, stronger than the grave.

“Brilliant, Dennis Lowery. Your writing always leaves me wanting more! I too saved it to re-read later. Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)” –Rebecca Harden-Heick

“It was wonderful. Chilling and hauntingly beautiful… very Stephen King-esque. Right up my alley, being a huge Stephen King fan. I have goosebumps.
Absolutely loved it.” –Bobbie Today

“Oh, wow… Very powerful… I felt so much compassion for the couple. And the intrigue of the supernatural really gets you thinking. It really is an excellent story you wrote, Dennis.” –Margie Casados

“Poetic Justice. Love it! :-)” –Vicki Tyley, Best Selling author

“Wow, Dennis Lowery – I enjoyed reading very much.” –Irene Kimmel

“Wonderful, Dennis Lowery 🙂 Very well written!!” –Sylvia Sotuyo

“Wow, Dennis Lowery, I adore your writing! You pulled me in very quickly, and had me wanting more and more! Excellent story, I thank you for that amazing read. You are a very talented writer.” –Cristie Brewer

Night Noises:

The house creaked and then settled with a sigh. Night noises her grandma called them. “This old house is full of them so pay them no mind,” she’d say. One piece of advice her grandma gave her she shouldn’t have listened to.

“This is cool and a bit spooky Dennis Lowery 🙂 I shared this!” –Sylvia Sotuyo

“Great yarn, Dennis Lowery. Thanks!” –Chris Lord

“Good and Scary… Dennis Lowery. You sure know how to build up the suspense. Whew.” –Margie Casados

“I love it! Suspense and of course the bit with the… DELETED SPOILER PART OF HER COMMENT.” –Sarah Odendahl

“Love it. It’s really good!” –D. Denman

“I enjoy your writing… you’re great, Dennis!” –Lory Case

The Ladies of the Pain:

A land of ancient city-states, Città morte… dead cities sprinkle the countryside. Once thriving and vital, now no one lives in them and the keening of the winds through the ruins are their only sounds. Even for towns and cities that live, in almost every one, there is a legend, sometimes distorted far from its origin, of a casa stregata… a haunted house. Some are deathly still, lonely cenotaphs, mere empty markers of some immoral past. Others contain souls that sleep a while and awake… hungry.

“Yes, this definitely was felt in Colorado, too. Intriguing and intense.” –Margie Casados

“Fantastic!!!! Love it. It is really good and the chills went all the way to me in Norway.” –Sylvia Sotuyo

“Like an unpardonable sin your words read so sweet. 🙂 I like this very much, Dennis. Very nicely written.” –Michael Koontz

“Fantastic story, Dennis. Kind of in the O. Henry vein.” –Jim Zumwalt

“I love it.” –Sarah Odendahl

“Awesome story. From the capped peaks of coldness to the warmth within, from passion in pleasure to pain in equal measure you awake a dream to dream.” –Pastiche Able

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Coming Soon | Crisis in the Congo

Coming in September

A new CIA operative, Tom Russell, continues his adventures in Africa!

First introduced in The New Casablanca | Madness in Liberia… when the United States needs a tough man, to count on in Africa, they send in a Marine—Russell.

One of the most tragic stories in the history of Africa unfolded in the dark abyss of the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could not escape widespread and unprecedented violence from rogue rebel forces, mercenaries, and criminal enterprises. Corruption, illegal smuggling, and ungoverned regions in the deep jungle helped ruthless thugs exploit the Congo’s vast, untapped mineral wealth. One of the world’s most remote locations, the  Belgian Congo, could not move beyond the epic inhumanity inflicted by its former colonial ruler. Under Belgian rule the practice of cutting off arms to maintain order was a common occurrence; just one example of brutality beyond conception inflicted on the Congolese. Even after emerging from colonial rule in 1960, a despot, Joseph Mobutu, forced his way to power after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Under Mobutu’s rule, death became commonplace and widespread violence blanketed the Congo and spilled over into neighboring peaceful countries. Western countries stood idly by as Africa’s first large-scale war claimed nearly five million lives over its nine year period.

* * *

Crisis in the Congo by Anthony C. FabianoIn 2006, American Marine Corps officer, Tom Russell, on loan to the Central Intelligence Agency, arrives in the Congo. His mission: to help keep the peace in preparation for the upcoming DRC Presidential election. In Kinshasa he finds a nation on the brink of destruction. As the country and region spiral out of control, many factions transform the Congo into a blood-drenched powder keg: Belgians still play a vital economic role in their former colony; former Soviet Union KGB funnel blood diamonds out of the country; North Koreans and Iranians search for black market uranium; al-Qaeda wants a foothold in Africa; Hezbollah operatives smuggle weapons, and corrupt government officials seek personal gain. Greed governs everyday life and fuels the obliteration of hope for the Congolese.

Russell faces those determined to keep the Congo in utter chaos and he is not about to let that happen. He encounters an old lover, an Israeli Mossad agent, who arrives in the Congo  searching for a missing atomic bomb sold in the early 1970s to South Africa; believed to have been  traded to the former Congo President Mobutu for blood diamonds. Raw emotions from their torrid and never fully forgotten love affair further complicate a mission whose stakes have grown exponentially higher. His mentor, a British Colonel who works for MI6, arrives in Kinshasa to provide much needed assistance and Russell comes into contact with two retired CIA agents who served in the Congo during the 1960s—they teach him more about Africa than he would ever find out and learn on his own.

The focus on stopping the spread of the highest grade of uranium on the world’s black market quickly shifts; as the race is on to track down the loose nuclear weapon first and then control access to the uranium deposits. The fast paced action illustrates the true nature, challenges and complexity of clandestine operations in the Congo and highlights the struggle for stability in modern day Africa.

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Traces of Mammon

Traces of Mammon

Available Now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Book

The last thing the Badger wanted was to make this murder seem like a terrorist incident. Or was it? Interpreted as such, it could assure the funding for that new financial tracking program, which could then be subverted to the cause. But that could also lead to the involvement of the National Counter-terrorist Center, or perhaps worse, that new group formed over at the Department of Homeland Security; The Fusion Team a high level, special focus anti-terrorist group.

The decision is taken out of his hands however, and leads Fusion Team special agents JT Dunkirk and Juanita Singletary into the world of secret high-tech government organizations, terrorist activities funded by common crimes and illicit financial transactions, and the investigation of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency scientist’s murder.

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AVAILABLE | Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe

Mirabella book 1 frontThe first book in this exciting adventure series is available for order now!

 “Mirabella, the 13-year old hero of this exciting series, is a modern day combination of Joan of Arc, Marco Polo and a dash of Harry Potter.”

Comments from early readers (review copies):

“…definitely the next best seller among magical books and myths for children and young adults”

“…the story was quite simply enthralling” (59-year old)

“…an eerie theme that scared me a bit…” (19-year old)

“How his mother treated him made me feel sorry for him” (19-year old)

“Every twist and turn reveals a secret, a lie and a clue to the code that must be cracked…” (writer, creative producer)

“I feel a deep connection with Mirabella. It’s as if I am this character” (16-year old)

“The mysterious princess cries tears of white pearls. I wish I could know more about her story.” (8-year old)

“When I read this book I can feel what Mirabella feels” (12-year old)

“This book gave me goose bumps…” (19-year old)

“The secrets of the past with an equally dangerous present are captivating and very hypnotic.” (21-year old)

“It made me laugh, cry, feel hurt, feel happy and frightened” (24-year old)

“I love books that create magic for the reader…” (25-year old)

Read more about the book or ORDER NOW.

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Snapshots of a Bronx Love Affair

Snapshots of a Bronx Love Affair

Hardcover: 224 pages

ISBN: 978-1937592011


It is a simple story of a generation coming of age in a place and time we will not see the likes of again.

Michael Mazen was a child of the Great Depression and grew up on the streets of the Bronx. Snapshots of a Bronx Love Affair, covering 60 years, is the story of his life before, during and after World War II.

Few things are more painful than an unrequited love and his figured largely over a life of events, both great and mundane. That the love he held for her was captured only in brief moments, snapshots in time, didn’t matter.

That he lived and loved others was something we all aspire to and as a great singer once sang,

“The greatest thing… you’ll ever learn,

is just to love… and be loved in return.”

Michael loved, and in return, was loved.

This is a story of how the love of life (and a life of love) can burn brightly even in the darkest days and nights.

About the Author:

Martin Kroll was a teacher and an author. As an English teacher in the New York City school system for 35 years, guiding both junior high school and high school students in the study of literature and writing. His tenure included being a member of the faculties at both Herman Ritter Junior High School and Evander Childs High School. In his role as faculty advisor at Evander Childs, he nurtured numerous young and budding writers in publishing the school’s literary magazine for many years.

His literary career has included publication in New Voices and as a writing contributor to the screen play for Sweet Love Bitter (1967). Snapshots of a Bronx Love Affair is his first novel and are fictional reflections of one man’s life before, during and after World War II. His life experiences included participating in the liberation of Europe as a member of Patton’s 3rd Army and witnessing the horror of the Holocaust.

In addition, his quest for knowledge led him to be both an art collector and international dealer of primitive art to the American art community. He spent many years of joy introducing Mexican, Portuguese and Yugoslavian artists to American art galleries and collectors.

“Marty” was a great listener but even a better counsel to his friends and family on both life and the difficult decisions one faces throughout. His “moral compass” always pointed the way.

This book is his legacy to both his family and his friends.

 Martin Kroll: An Appreciation

For more than 30 years, thousands entered his classroom as students and emerged as the beneficiaries of his humane, erudite and skillful teaching.

His gifts to his students included an appreciation of language and literature, and an understanding of the essentials of literate writing. A teacher of writing, he was a writing teacher—someone who practiced the craft they sought to teach to others as this novel so eloquently reveals.

 It is most appropriate that after all his years of presenting the works of other writers; his last achievement was to write this novel which he had long planned. As a colleague and friend, I read the novel with admiration as I know others will as well.

Henry Adams wrote, “A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell when his influence stops.”

Marty Kroll was such a teacher. His influence has never stopped.

Arthur Feinberg

September 2011

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UPDATE | On the release of Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe

SORRY FOR THE DELAY IN RELEASING THIS TITLE: We’ve been in discussions with producers interested in optioning the film rights for Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe and that is why we have not ‘officially’ released the book. This will make a difference in a couple of things pertaining to publication and publicity for the book. We will make a decision on this by 9 December.

Mirabella and the Pearl of Chulothe

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