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Enjoy a Free Excerpt From KND Romance of The Week & NYT Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones

Last week we announced that Lisa Renee Jones’ NYT and USA Today Bestselling Series Tall, Dark, and Deadly 3 Book Box Set is our Romance of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the Romance category: over 200 free titles, over 600 quality 99-centers, and thousands more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

This week we’re offering something a little different, featuring the work of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones. We’re sharing a generous excerpt from her brand new release IF I WERE YOU, which has been optioned for a STARZ original film with Suzanne Todd, but along the way we can’t resist telling you about a new chance to grab three of Lisa’s novels for the price of one in this TALL, DARK AND DEADLY Boxed Set!

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling series
4.3 stars – 203 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
SALE! 

This set includes 3 full sized novels

Also don’t miss ‘IF I WERE YOU’ by Lisa Renee Jones optioned to STARZ for a television series!

About the series…

The Walker Brothers…
Tall, dark, and deadly, these three brothers run Walker security. Each brother is unique in his methods and skills, but all share key similarities. They are passionate about those they love, relentless when fighting for a cause they believe in, and all believe that no case is too hard, no danger too dark. Dedication is what they deliver, results are their reward.

Book 1 HOT SECRETS:
55,000 words
Royce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

***
Book 2 Dangerous Secrets
72,000 words

Being a divorce attorney for the rich and famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Julie Harrison has learned that love doesn’t last, and she’s sworn never to make the same mistakes as her mother, or her clients. She uses the games men play to keep them at a distance. The only man who managed to break down her walls was Luke Walker, a Navy SEAL who loved her and left her, and changed her forever.

When Luke arrives back in New York, running Walker Security with his brothers and having left his Navy SEAL days behind, he sets his sights on Julie, the woman he’s always wanted and couldn’t have. Except, she runs from him every time he gets close.

But now, one of Julie’s clients, a powerful judge, gets involved with a dangerous cartel, and his soon-to-be-ex wife ends up dead. Julie’s next on the list, and she finds herself on the run from those who believe she knows too much, and counting on Luke to keep her alive. In the deepest, darkest moments of the night, passion will bring them together while danger threatens to tear them apart. Can Julie and Luke trust each other and find their happy ending before they find … the end?

***
The Prelude– a full sized bonus novel! A small connection to the other books

About Secrets Exposed: Her enemy is her passion, her passion is her enemy…
Lindsey Paxton was once the number one defense attorney in New York. She fought for those who were innocent, but charged. Her instincts were her lifeline, never failing her, as they guided her in her choices of who to defend. Or so she thought. Until she won a case she would forever wish to have lost. Her client, an accused rapist, kills and rapes a woman only a day after being set free. Destroyed by her role in the woman’s death, Lindsey blames her father’s controlling ways for what she has become, and runs from her career and life. Years later – the past becomes the present, and one man, her enemy, the only one she can turn to.

An excerpt from If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones:

When the gallery comes into view, I pause to watch a group of elegantly dressed visitors pour through its double glass doors, which are lined in shiny silver for the black-tie affair. Artsy swirls of red letters, displayed above the entry, spell allure.

Nerves flutter in my stomach, though I can’t say why. I love the contemporary art Allure specializes in, love their mix of local new artists who I can discover, as well as the established names whose work I already appreciate. My nerves are ridiculous. I’m uncomfortable in this world, but then, this isn’t my world. It’s Rebecca’s, and Rebecca is the real reason I’m here.

 

A glance at my dainty, handmade, gold wristwatch, also bought at the pier, confirms I have plenty of time to spare. It is seven forty-five, fifteen minutes until Alvarez will be unveiling a new painting that will be displayed in the gallery and up for silent auction through the end of the week. Oh, how I’d love to have an Alvarez original, but they don’t come cheap. Still, a girl can dream.

 

Excitement filters in with nerves as I rush toward the door. A young brunette woman in a simple black dress holds it open for me and offers me a smile.”Welcome.”

 

I return the smile and enter the gallery, noting the nervous energy bouncing off the twentysomething girl as I pass, an energy that seems to what I am doing.” This isn’t Rebecca, who I know will be daringly bold and confident. In fact, the hostess brings out the schoolteacher in me, and I fight the urge to give her a hug and tell her she’s doing fine. I’m a hugger. I got it from my mother, just like I did my love of art, only I wasn’t talented with a brush as she had been.

The girl is saved from my mothering when the sound of a piano playing from a distant corner filters through the air and draws my attention to the main showroom. I am in awe. This isn’t my first time visiting the four-thousand-square-foot wonder that is the Allure gallery, but it doesn’t diminish my excitement at seeing it again.

 

The entryway opens to the main showroom of glistening white wonder. The walls are snow-white; the floor glistens like white diamonds. The shiny divider walls curve like abstract waves, and each of them is adorned with contrasting, eye- popping, colorful artwork.

 

I turn away from the showroom, attending to business before pleasure, and present my ticket to a hostess behind a podium. She is tall and elegant with long raven hair.”Rebecca?” I ask hopefully.

 

“No, sorry,” she says. “I’m Tesse.” She holds up a finger as she glances through the glass doors at an approaching customer she needs to attend. I wait patiently, hoping this young woman can connect me with Rebecca. I listen attentively while she directs the new guest to a short stairway that leads toward the music and, apparently, the location where Ricco Alvarez will be unveiling his masterpiece.

 

“Sorry for the interruption,”Tesse finally says, giving me her full attention. “You were looking for Rebecca. Unfortunately, she isn’t attending tonight’s event. Is

there something I can help you with?”

 

Disappointment fills me. To miss an Alvarez event is not something someone in Rebecca’s role is likely to do. I just want to know, for certain, that Rebecca is safe. Painting myself as a stranger doesn’t seem the way to do that. “My sister’s an old friend of Rebecca’s. She told me to be sure and say hello to her and pass along her new phone number. She seemed to think Rebecca worked big events like this one. She’ll be disappointed I missed her.”

 

“Oh, I hate that you missed her,” Tesse says, looking genuinely concerned. “I’m not only new, but I also only work part-time, on an as-needed basis, so I don’t hear much of what’s going on internally, but I think Rebecca took some personal time off. Mr. Compton would know for certain.”

 

“Mr. Compton?”

 

“The manager here,” she says. “He’ll be tied up with the presentation soon, but I can introduce you to him afterward if you like?”

 

I nod.”Yes. Please.That would be perfect.”

 

The piano stops abruptly. “They’re about to start,” Tesse informs me. “You should grab a seat while you still can. I’ll be sure to help you connect with Mark after the presentation.”

 

A thrill shoots through me. “Thank you so much,” I say, before I head toward the seating area. I can’t believe that I am about to see an Alvarez original presented by Alvarez himself.

 

A tuxedo-clad usher greets me at the bottom of the stairs and offers me some help finding a seat.And boy did I need help. There were at least two hundred chairs lined up in front of a ministage, set in front of a bay window that was essentially the entire wall, and almost every single chair was taken.

 

I squeeze into a center row, between a man that has artsy rebel written all over him from longish light blond hair to his jeans and a blazer, and a fifty-something woman who is more than a little irritated to have to let me pass. I can’t help but notice the man is incredibly good-looking, and I’ve never been one to be easily impressed. I know too well that beauty is often only skin deep.

 

“You’re late,” the man says as if he knows me, a friendly smile touching his lips, his green eyes crinkling at the edges, mischief in their depths.

 

I figure him to be about thirty-five. No. Thirty-three. I am good with ages and good at reading people. My kids at school often found that out when they were up to mischief. I smile back at the man, feeling instantly comfortable with him when, aside from my students, I’m normally quite reserved with strangers. “And you forgot to pick up your tux, I see,” I tease. In fact, I wonder how he pulled off getting in here dressed as he is.

 

He runs his hand over his sandy blond, one-day stubble that borders on two days.”At least I shaved.”

 

My smile widens, and I intend to reply but a screech from a microphone fills the air. A man I recognize from photos as Ricco Alvarez claims the stage and stands next to the sheet covering a display, no doubt his newest masterpiece. Suave and James Bond-esque in his tuxedo, he is the polar opposite of the man next to me.

 

“Welcome one and all,” he says in a voice richly accented with Hispanic heritage, as is his work. “I am Ricco Alvarez, and I thank you for sharing my love of art and children, on this grand evening. And so I give you what I call Chiquitos, or in English, Little Ones.”

 

He tears away the sheet, and everyone gasps at the unexpected piece of art that is nothing like anything he’s done before. Rather than a landscape, it is a portrait of three children, all of different nationalities, holding hands. It is a well-executed work appropriate for the occasion, though secretly, I had wished for a landscape where his brilliance shone.

 

The man next to me leans an elbow on his knee and lowers his voice.”What do you think?”

 

“It’s perfect for the evening,” I say cautiously.

 

“Oh, so diplomatic,” he says with a low chuckle. “You wanted a landscape.”

 

“He does beautiful landscapes,” I say defensively.

 

He grins.”He should have done a landscape.”

“And now,” Ricco announces, “while the bidding begins, I’ll be circulating the room, answering questions about my many works displayed tonight and hoping to have the pleasure of meeting as many of you as possible. Please feel free to walk to the stage for a closer look at Chiquitos.”

 

Almost instantly, the crowd is standing.

 

“Are you going for a close-up?” I ask the man next to me.

 

“Not much on crowds,” he said. “Nor Ricco’s attempt at portraiture.” He winks at me. “Don’t stroke his ego when you meet him. It’s big enough as it is.” He starts moving down the row toward the exit. I stare after him, feeling this odd flutter in my stomach at his departure, curious about who he is.

 

I frown as I repeat part of our conversation in my mind. Ricco. He’d called Ricco Alvarez Ricco and spoken of his ego as if he knew him. It’s too late now to find out how he knows Ricco, and portrait or not, I am eager for an up-close look at the featured painting. I have not met Ricco yet and it is disappointing, but I am still thrilled at the opportunity to see his work.

 

Sometime later, I am enjoying a lingering walk through the gallery, exploring the full Alvarez collection on display, when I spot a display for Chris Merit, whose work I studied in college. He, too, had once been a local, but I seem to remember his moving to Paris. Excitedly, I head toward his work. His specialties are urban landscapes-mostly of San Francisco, both past and present-and portraits of real subjects with such depth and soul they steal my breath away.

 

I join an elderly couple inside the small room, where they debate over which of several landscapes to purchase. Unable to stop myself, I join in.”I think you should take them all.”

 

The man scoffs.”Don’t go giving her ideas or you’ll both put me in the poorhouse. She gets one for above the fireplace.” “Stingy man,” the gray-haired woman says, shoving his arm playfully and then eying me. “So tell me, honey.” She motions between two pictures.”Which do you think is a better conversation piece, of these two?”

 

I study the two choices, both black-and-white, though Merit often uses color. One is a downtown shot of San Francisco in the midst of hurricane-like weather.The other is of the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in clouds, the skyline of the city peeking out from behind it. “A tough choice,” I say thoughtfully. “Both have a bit of a dark edgy feel to them, and both have the ‘wow’ factor.” I indicate the stormy downtown scene.”I happen to know that one depicts the impact Hurricane Nora had on the city back in 1997.To me, that makes for a conversation piece, and a little bit of history to boot, right there in your living room.”

 

“You are so right, dear,” the woman says, her eyes lighting up. “This is the one.” She casts her husband an expectant look. “It’s perfect. I have to have it.”

 

“Then have it you shall,” her husband declares.

 

I smile at the woman’s joy, but not without a bit of art envy. I would love to be going home with the piece, as she will be, tonight.

 

“I understand you had a question for me,” a male voice says, pulling my attention toward the display entryway where a man with neatly trimmed blond hair stands. He is tall and confident, an air of ownership about him.And his eyes-they are the most unique silvery gray I’ve ever seen.

 

“I’m Mark Compton,” he says, “the gallery manager. And it looks like I owe you more than an answer to whatever your question is. It appears I need to thank you for assisting my customers.” He glances at the couple. “I take it you’ve made a selection?”

 

“Indeed we have,” the husband says, clearly pleased to have his wife make a decision. “We’d like to take it home with us tonight if possible.”

 

“Excellent,”he says.”If you’ll give me a moment,I’ll have it packaged for you.” He motions for me to walk with him, and I shake my head.

 

“I’m in no rush. Help them with their purchase, and you can find me later.”

 

He studies me a bit too intently, those silvery eyes of his rich with interest, and I am suddenly self-conscious. He is, without a doubt, classically handsome by anyone’s standards, but there is also something raw and sexual about this man, something almost predatory about him.

 

“All right then,” he says softly, “I’ll find you soon.” It isn’t a statement that alludes to a double meaning, but yet, I feel one there. His gaze shifts to the couple.”Let’s go ring you up.”

 

The couple thanks me for my help and hurry after Mark. The minute they are gone, the minute Mark Compton is out of sight, I let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding and shake myself inwardly. And not just because of the way his eyes had assessed me so . . . so what? Intimately? Surely not. I still have this overactive-imagination thing going on from reading the journals. I do wonder if he is the he from the journals. He certainly has the animal magnetism Rebecca’s words painted him with. But then, so does Ricco Alvarez. Good grief, I’m making myself crazy.

 

A staff member interrupts me before I can go on another “crazy” thinking spree, and removes the couple’s purchase from the display. I force myself to stop overanalyzing and relax, basking in the solitude as I discover Chris Merit’s newest work.

 

“You like Merit?” comes another male voice, this one familiar.

 

I turn to find the man who’d sat next to me during the presentation standing in the doorway. I give a quick, eager nod. “Very much. I wish they had some of his portraits, but his urban landscapes are magnificent.You?”

 

He leans against the wall. “I hear he doesn’t have an over- inflated ego.That scores points with me.”

 

I tilt my head and study him, relaxing into the easy conversation.”Why are you here if you don’t like Ricco?”

 

Mark Compton appears in the doorway. “I see you didn’t venture far,” he says to me and then eyes the other man. “Don’t tell me you’re pimping your own work at Ricco’s event?” He glances at me.”Was he pimping his own work?”

 

I gape. “Wait. His own work?” I shift my gaze to my nameless new friend, who looks nothing like the Chris Merit I’ve seen photos of.”Who are you exactly?”

His mouth quirks at the edges. “The man with one red shoe.” And with that, he turns and walks away.

 

I shake my head. “What? What does that mean?” I turn to Mark.”What does that mean?The man with one red shoe?”

 

“Who knows,” Mark says, his lips thinning in disapproval. “Chris has a twisted sense of humor.Thankfully, it doesn’t show up on the canvas.”

 

My jaw goes slack.”Wait.Are you telling me that was Chris Merit?” I rack my brain over the pictures of him I’ve seen and I remember him differently. Do I have his image confused with another?

 

“That’s Chris,” he confirms. “And as you can see, he has an odd way about him. He was standing in his own display room and didn’t even tell you who he was.” His hands settle on his hips. “Listen, Tesse tells me you . . . I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name?”

 

“Sara,” I supply.”Sara McMillan.”

 

“Sara,” he repeats, his tone low, as if he was trying it out on his tongue, trying me out on his tongue. Seconds pass, and the small display area seems to get smaller before he adds,”Tesse was right. Rebecca is on a leave of absence.”

 

His tone shifts back to all business now, and I wonder if I imagine the raspier tone. I am, after all, excelling at making myself crazy.”I see,” I say.”Is there a way to reach her?”

 

“If you figure out a way, let me know,” he says. “She took a two-week cruise with some rich guy she was dating and that turned into the entire summer. I agreed because she’s good at her job and the clients love her. But depending on interns who don’t know what they’re doing is killing me. I’m going to have to get someone in here to cover for her who actually knows what she is doing.”

 

“The entire summer,” I repeat uncomfortably, focusing on the oddity that

represents. All summer is a long time for a working girl to leave her job behind. And Mark’s comment about the “rich guy” hit me just as wrong for some reason, though it could have been merely his frustration over Rebecca’s extended leave.

 

Or maybe . . . could he be jealous over this rich man? My brows dip.”Leaving you high and dry like this-that doesn’t sound like the responsible Rebecca my sister described.”

 

“People aren’t always what they seem,” he says and motions toward Chris Merit’s displayed art. “The art does not always mimic the artist.You never know the real person until you slide beneath their surface.”

 

Or look in their dresser drawer, I think guiltily. But Rebecca didn’t seem like someone to run out on her job to me. She loved her job. Then again, I might be wrong. As seduced as Rebecca had been by this world she’d created, she’d been scared, too. And I want to know why more than ever. What created such obsession, such fear?

 

A sudden burn for answers, a need to leave here tonight with something more than I came with overcomes me, and before I can stop myself, I blurt, “I can cover Rebecca for the rest of the summer. I’m a teacher, so I’m on break. I have a masters of arts from the Art Institute and a bachelors in business. I interned for three years at the Museum of Modern Art, and I know art.All art.Test me if you like.”

 

His eyes narrow a fraction, the silence crackling between us for several long seconds. “You’re hired, Sara McMillan.You can start on Monday. I’ll let you enjoy the rest of your evening.” He lowers his voice. “Then you’ll be all mine.” He turns and walks away.

 

I blink, stunned. He’d just hired me, but he hadn’t even asked me one single question. I hadn’t asked about hours or pay. I inhale a sharp breath. I’d come here to find Rebecca, to make sure she is alive and well. Instead, I am about to be Rebecca, or rather, be the marketing director for the gallery. So I can find Rebecca, I tell myself. Something has happened to Rebecca, and I have to prove it.That’s why I’m here. No other reason.

 

Click Here to Download

Tall, Dark, and Deadly: 3-in-1 Boxed Set

 

Bargain Book Alert! Just 99 Cents For Award Winning Author Andrew Seaward’s Dark, Gritty & Compelling Look at Substance Abuse – Some Are Sicker Than Others … 4.3 Stars on 80 Reviews

Some Are Sicker Than Others

by Andrew Seaward

4.3 stars – 80 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Or check out the Audible.com version of Some Are Sicker Than Others
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!
Here’s the set-up:

ADDICTION: CUNNING, BAFFLING, & POWERFUL  

In this gripping debut novel by Andrew Seaward, the lives of three addicts converge following an accidental and horrific death.

Monty Miller, a self-destructive, codependent alcoholic, is wracked by an obsession to drink himself to death as punishment for a fatal car accident he didn’t cause.

Dave Bell, a former all-American track star turned washed-up high school volleyball coach, routinely chauffeurs his bus full of teens on a belly full of liquor and head full of crack.

Angie Mallard, a recently divorced housewife with three estranged children, will go to any lengths to restore the family she lost to crystal meth.

All three are court-mandated to a secluded drug rehab high in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. There, they learn the universal truth among alcoholics and addicts:

Though they may all be sick…SOME ARE SICKER THAN OTHERS.

Based on the author’s own personal experience with substance abuse and twelve-step programs, Some Are Sicker Than Others, transcends the clichés of the typical recovery story by exploring the insidiousness of addiction and the harrowing effect it has on not just the afflicted, but everyone it touches.

With the harsh realism of Brett Easton Ellis and the dark, confrontational humor of Chuck Palahniuk, Mr. Seaward takes the reader deep inside the psyche of the addict and portrays, in very explicit details, the psychological and physiological effects of withdrawal and the various stages of recovery.

As Top 10 Amazon Reviewer, Grady Harp, put it: “What sets Andrew’s novel apart from other recovery stories is his deep understanding of the physiochemical aspects of substance abuse and addiction. Seaward not only understands the socioeconomic, psychological and, yes, criminal impact these people create, he also displays such a profound understanding of the physiological/medical aspects of addiction that we are left to wonder if he hasn’t been down the path of his characters himself.”

Reviews

“THIS BOOK NAILS IT…down to the gritty core. Not only are the characters rich and compelling, they are honest, truthful, and written from a place of utter compassion. The author has done something that not many writers before him were able to do. He has presented the topic of addiction & recovery as it truly is; maddening, ambivalent and utterly relentless.” -Alexander Ruzumican

Reservation Road meets A Million Little Pieces in this harrowing story of loss, grief, atonement, and redemption.”  -Scott Lorenz, West Wind Book Marketing

“Dark, gritty, compelling…a harrowingly emotional experience that rings true to the very last word.”  Doug Kurtz, acclaimed author of Mosquito

“Honest, direct, and confrontational. This book will lead you on a serious rollercoaster ride of emotions. Mr. Seaward discusses in very explicit details the mental, psychological and physical effects of withdrawal and the various stages of recovery.”  -Ashley LaMar, Closed the Cover Book Reviews

“The thoroughly cultivated iced-over setting provides the perfect backdrop for the story. One can easily concoct in one’s mind the snowy, mountainous landscape Seaward paints with his words.” -Aimee Jodoin, Author of Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman

From The Author

“Name a hospital in Pennsylvania, I’ve been there. A rehab in Texas, I’ve stayed there. I’ve been strapped down to hospital beds, thrown into drunk tanks, and locked in padded rooms no bigger than a broom closet. I’ve woken up on railroad tracks, passed out on park benches, I even drank a bottle of cologne once because I couldn’t make it to the liquor store before closing time. And for what? A moment of numbness, a flicker of tranquility? No. I realize now, that the reason I drank was because I was too afraid to admit who I really was. I’m an artist. A storyteller. A writer. An author. It took me a long time to finally admit this, and now that I have, I won’t stop.”

“Based on my own personal adventures in addiction and recovery, my debut novel, Some Are Sicker Than Others, takes you on a hellish journey inside the diseased mind of the addict. From a codependent alcoholic wracked by an obsession to drink himself to death…to a delusional high school volleyball coach with a dependency on crack…the characters in my novel are not just fiction, they are amalgamations of the people I met on my journey. Tragically flawed yet desperately hopeful, this cast of unlikely heroes will challenge your preconceived notions of what it means to be an addict. Some of you will laugh, some of you will cry, others may see themselves in the characters’ lives. Either way, I think you’re going to enjoy the story, because, if there’s one thing an addict isn’t…it’s boring.”  –From Andrew’s Interview at the American Chronicle

About The Author
Andrew Seaward is an award-winning author, actor, and screenwriter. He has written and acted in several independent productions including the critically-acclaimed short film, “Drowning”, which earned the prestigious Award of Merit at the 2010 Indie Fest.

Though a chemical engineer by trade, Andrew’s true passion in life is helping other addicts and alcoholics on their individual paths of recovery. A recovering addict himself, Andrew understands the viciousness of addiction and the harrowing effect it has on not just the afflicted, but everyone it touches. As a result, he has dedicated his life to removing the unfair stigma associated with addiction by encouraging addicts to embrace their recovery, rather than hiding from it. His brand new blog, Portraits of Addiction, has been creating a lot of buzz within blogging community and was even featured on Word Press’ Top 10 Daily Picks.

Andrew currently resides in Denver, CO, where he is busy at work on his next novel. For more information about Andrew and his projects please visit www.andrewseaward.com.

(This is a sponsored post.)

Kindle Free Book Alert for April 2: Nine Freebies! That’s Right, Nine Free Kindle Titles, plus the best Kindle Deals anywhere … sponsored by CSP McNulty’s THE PARACHUTIST’S DAUGHTER (Today’s Sponsor – 99 Cents)

But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
A fast-paced and deeply enjoyable debut novel...
THE PARACHUTIST'S DAUGHTER
by CSP McNulty
4.2 stars - 24 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Gabriella, a striking, thirty year old Austrian Holocaust survivor is the driving force behind a secret Jewish organization (Nokmim) that hunts down Nazi criminals for the singular purpose of retribution. But her group, and much of the purpose of her life, is dying out. Flush with the success of capturing Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, Gabriella's compatriots are turning away from the unsavory, back alley justice that is her specialty. Resistant to the changing tides, Gabriella heads to Central America on what could be her final assignment; tracking down Friedrich Guderian, an SS Major renowned for brutality in Chelmno and Treblinka concentration camps. Her search leads her to the Central Highlands of Nicaragua, where she crosses paths with Christian Logansfriar, a German missionary. Gabriella is forced to take up residence in a remote village while she tries to determine if Christian, a seemingly good and devout Catholic priest, is in fact the Nazi butcher, Friedrich Guderian.
One Reviewer Notes:
The Parachutist's Daughter is Angelina Jolie meets Inglourious Basterds: a sexy thriller, superbly written, filled with divine and profane vengeance.
Susan Isaacs, Angry Coversations With God
About the Author
CSP McNulty was born in Greensboro, NC, but spent his teen years in San Marino, CA. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he wrote an honors thesis on the fascist movement in the United States during the Great Depression. Currently, he is a real estate professional specializing in corporate transactions. He lives in Southern California with his wife, son and identical triplet daughters.

The Parachutist CSP McNulty was born in Greensboro, NC, but spent his teen years in San Marino, CA. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he wrote an honors thesis on the fascist movement in the United States during the Great Depression. Currently, he is a real estate professional specializing in corporate transactions. He lives in Southern California with his wife, son and identical triplet daughters. The Parachutist's Daughter is his first novel.
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
THE PARACHUTIST'S DAUGHTER

 And Here Are Our Nine Free Kindle Titles – Just For Today!

Prices may change at any moment, so always check the price before you buy! This post is dated Tuesday, April 2, 2013, and the titles mentioned here may remain free only until midnight PST tonight.

Please note: References to prices on this website refer to prices on the main Amazon.com website for US customers. Prices will vary for readers located outside the US, and even for US customers, prices may change at any time. Always check the price on Amazon before making a purchase.

*  *  *

4.1 stars – 47 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Every so often, an epic adventure emerges that makes the blood surge, the spine tingle, and the heart smile page after exhilarating page. Such is Whill of Agora, Michael James Ploof’s action-packed fantasy that visits strange new lands as it unveils how one exceptional young man named Whill makes full use of fierce wits, superior skills, and relentless will to help defend the land of Agora from the monstrous Draggard. With plenty of drama and action packed battle scenes, Whill of Agora will enthrall anyone on the quest for great adventure, good times, and an infectiously optimistic outlook on even the darkest and most dangerous of days.

*  *  *

3.7 stars – 58 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Ethan Hale is a vampire with a mission. Together with his three brothers and a few other unmated members, he fights with The Vampire Coalition to protect humans from fallen vampires. His life is fairly simple. If he has a problem…he solves it. If it’s an evil problem…he kills it. But his uncomplicated life is about to end when his mate unexpectedly calls him to her.

*  *  *

Pike Place

by Marilyn Tschudi

4.2 stars – 24 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Set in 1971 Seattle, Pike Place tells the story of a young family whose teenage daughter goes missing. Told through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, Pike Place takes the reader back to a simpler place and time in America.

*  *  *

5.0 stars – 2 Reviews
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What happens when the one you desire is minutes away from marrying someone else? She’s torn… Hannah Steeles is moments away from marrying a man she does not love. The chapel is filled with 100 guests and she’s ready to walk down the aisle but her heart is with hot Blake Romano, the man who makes her pulse race and dominates her fantasy. The man who is giving her away in place of her father. It’s too late to turn back now.

*  *  *

Deadlocked

by A.R. Wise

4.4 stars – 370 Reviews
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David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they’re safe?

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4.5 stars – 2 Reviews
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A Collection of Fantasy Short Stories.

*  *  *

3.8 stars – 24 Reviews
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Lilly Thompson just wanted to get her ride along time with Sergeant Jake Simmons over and done. She needed to complete three shifts with the Sheriff’s Department to complete her internship for school. Just when she thought she was finished, she makes a stupid mistake in the last moments of her time spent with Jake. If he doesn’t give her a good report, she fails her internship. When he tells her he can’t give her the report she wants because of her mistake she begs, pleads and is willing to do anything to correct the mistake. But there’s only one way Jake will relent and give her a good report, and it involves handcuffs and naked bodies. Lilly wonders how far Jake will go with his punishment. Little does she know that Jake plans to take it all the way and then some! How long can Lilly resist his dark passion? Will she turn and run…or will she submit to the deepest pleasure she has ever known?

*  *  *

Deadneck (Biters)

by Donna Burgess

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When Morgan and Savannah’s tire blows, they’re positive they’re going to be stuck forever in Shitkicker, Alabama. But along comes hunky Johnny, their knight-in-not-so-shining-primer, and their bad day takes a turn for the better. Or so they think. The thing is, Johnny has a twin brother named Mikey, who’s starving for some fresh college chick flesh, and an inbred family set on making sure Mikey gets his dinner.

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2.3 stars – 3 Reviews
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He needs a temporary wife… The most sought after bachelor, Carlos Kincade is young, rich and devilishly handsome. He has everything he thought he could possibly want until his grandfather’s will stipulates he must be married by his 30th birthday to keep his inheritance. He’s suddenly in need of a wife who can fulfill his every hot desire.

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New Bestseller to Sponsor Free & Bargain Politics & Current Events Titles: Iraq War 2003: What Really Happened Behind The Political Scenes … Now Just 99 Cents For a Limited Time

We’re excited to share a new Politics & Current Events Book of the Month here at Kindle Nation, to sponsor all the great bargains on our Politics & Current Events search pages.

Thousands of Kindle Nation citizens are using our magical search tools to find great reading in the Free, Quality 99-Centers, and Kindle Lending Library categories. Just use these links to search for great Politics & Current Events titles at great prices:

And while you’re looking for your next great read, please don’t overlook our new Politics & Current Events Book of the Month!

4.7 stars – 7 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
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Newly Released BESTSELLER

With more than 600 citations, ranging from insider memoirs to the accounts of journalists, former government officials, policy wonks, military leaders, and news broadcasters, the ‘Iraq War 2003: What Really Happened Behind The Political Scenes’ develops a thorough analysis of what led the Bush administration use the ‘War on Terror’ to attack Iraq.

    • Both the Afghan and Iraq wars continue even now to haunt the economical undercurrents of American life like a hungry ghost contributing to our country’s recession. What are the real costs of both wars and why were we led to believe otherwise? “If we fail to learn from history we are doomed to repeat it”.

 

    • Sun Tzu, the ancient philosopher of war, stressed the importance of “Knowing Your Enemy”. This being critical to victory in the War on Terror, the book examines why al-Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11.

 

    • Could those attacks have been prevented? What warnings from CIA and America’s friends around the world preceded the terrorist attacks of 9/11 but ignored by the Bush administration, which then used them to support its agenda of taking out Osama bin Laden’s natural enemy, Saddam Hussein, much to the chagrin of most of America’s traditional allies around the world and to the benefit of both al-Qaeda and the government of Iran?

 

    • Why were Mullah Omar,Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri allowed to escape? Most know Mark Owen’s “No Easy Day” and how Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in 2011, but only a few are familiar with the details of how the military bureaucracy under the Bush administration interfered with CIA doing its job.

 

    • Why was al-Qaeda happy that the Bush Administration planned to invade Iraq? What was Osama bin Laden’s strategic long-term plan for harming the USA and what role did George W. Bush play in helping it succeed? How did the Iraq war of 2003 unwound principally to the benefit of al-Qaeda and the Shia fundamentalists of Iran?

 

    • How did the War in Afghanistan, so successful in its opening weeks, become ‘The Long War’? What are the most effective methods for fighting terrorism?

 

    • How did Saddam Hussein acquire his WMDs and how long, in the face of serious consequences for doing so, did he hold on to them?

 

    • America was prosperous working toward paying off its debts during the 1990’s. What exactly would take now to undo the initial mistakes on the “War on Terror”?

 

  • Based on the theory of conservatism, were the neo-conservatives of the Bush administration real conservatives? This analysis alone is a must-read for those Republicans at-heart concerned over how their once party has strayed from its main-street principles with which it once resonated.

Its first few chapters focus on the opening months of the Afghanistan War and Osama bin Laden’s escape in Tora Bora, then segue into the invasion of Iraq, telling how the Iraq War of 2003 unwound largely to the benefit of al-Qaeda and the fundamentalist government of Iran. The compelling narrative of ‘Iraq War 2003: What Really Happened Behind The Political Scenes’ is written almost in the manner of a novel that unpacks in an engaging and logical sequence detailed and documented information about a difficult time in modern American history.

The book ties together a considerable amount of information and provides a hopeful analysis by reminding us of where we have been. Patriotic concern – like the imprisoned lightning to which it subtly alludes – threads its way through the pages of this book, reminding its readers of the people, ideas, and inspirations that called for America to be its best.

From The Author

After 4 years of research, I wanted to get this edition out, as it outlines a great deal of information the American people ought to be aware of if we are to have much chance of preventing similar disasters in the future. I intend to continue its development, however, along the lines of perspectives drawn from the philosophers of War (from Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, to America’s own Colonel John Boyd) in order to provide sharper relief to the critical lessons that need to be drawn from the Bush administration’s unfortunate choices.

I love this country, our constitution, and the rule of law under which we were founded. But I also understand that no nation can remain great without a great middle class and I fear these things are being rapidly eroded away with good jobs being sent overseas, misguided militarism, and a governing class more focused on self-advancement than their responsibilities to the citizens.

That we can be a great and good people was demonstrated by our response as a nation in the first days and months following September 11, but we are allowing ourselves to be mislead by a culture of greed and conformity and a poverty of understanding that wastes away our common ability to observe and make effective decisions.

People are choosing to see the world as they want it to be instead of as it is and so, as others have noted, our leaders become more extreme and ineffective while much of the country flounders.
This is not what America is about.

We are a young culture and in our short history, at times of crises, we have generally chosen the better path. Will we do that this time or persist in a self-destruction that comes under the guise of strength?

Charles Edmund Coyote

Kindle Daily Deals For Tuesday, Apr. 2 – New Bestsellers All Priced at $1.99 or Less! plus R.R. Smythe’s 5-Star Romance Heart Murmurs

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Heart Murmurs

by R.R. Smythe

5.0 stars – 1 Reviews
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Mia Templeton is dying. Or was dying. After receiving a heart transplant, her world is forever altered. Before her eyes open, she overhears her donor was a murdered girl of the same age. Whispers invade Mia’s head before she’s even left the recovery room. She develops tastes for foods she once hated, and dreams so vivid, she feels they’re someone else’s memories. Her personality is altered—once a quiet doormat, she’s now inexplicably flippant, and confident. And her unexplained longing for the new boy at school is borderline obsessive.

Morgan Kelley is new. Adopted by his aunt, a descendant of Louisa May Alcott (Little Women), he’s thrown into life at a new high school, and as a historical guide for his aunt’s store—a homage to all things Alcott. Conspiracy theories abound about his mangled lower leg—but no-one has been brave enough to ask. Till Mia.

Something is awry with the Underground Railroad tunnels beneath his aunt’s home. Mia and Morgan enter the world of a secret Literary Society–and are drafted to help bring a rogue Literary giant to justice, solve the mystery of her heart donor, the the real fate of Beth from Little Women.

5-Star Amazon Review
“I love this book. I’d have bought it just because of the gorgeous cover but the story was so unique. R.R. Smythe has an original style that will keep you reading to the end. Very well written.”

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Don’t miss today’s Kindle Nation eBook of the Day:

16 out of 17 rave reviews for a disturbing book about family secrets, taking the reader from WWll Poland, post war Norway, and landing in Hollywood.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

by Marta Tandori
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4.6 stars – 17 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

 

Here’s the set-up:

A young runaway takes refuge in a makeshift shack under the Hollywood Freeway, forcing the autistic woman in it to find milk for her sickly newborn – a search that ultimately ends in tragedy when the woman is run down by a hit-and-run driver after a violent confrontation with several teenagers. When one of those teenagers, seventeen-year-old Karen Devane, is implicated in the woman’s homicide, the tabloids are quick to exploit the tragedy, thanks to Karen’s recent antics as a spoiled Tinseltown “celebrat” riding on the coattails of her famous grandmother, the legendary Kate Stanton. Complicating matters is the dead woman’s daughter, who’s determined that Karen be held accountable for her mother’s death, even after the charges against Karen are dropped. With tensions between Karen and her family near breaking point and the paparazzi relentlessly hounding her every move, Karen makes a startling discovery which finally puts her on the road to redemption – and links the dead woman to her beloved grandmother.

Karen’s discovery raises a host of troubling questions for Kate, forcing her to revisit the horrors of her past in search of answers. But Kate soon realizes that some questions are better left unasked after a seemingly random shooting leaves her granddaughter fighting for her life and Kate scrambling to stay one step ahead of a killer who’s determined to end her life in order to save his own.

About the Author

Marta Tandori

Marta Tandori was born in the former Yugoslavia, but moved to Canada at a young age. By the time she reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed but it wasn’t until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn’t really her passion – writing fiction was.

At some point after getting married, having two children and working in a busy, downtown Toronto law firm, Marta found the time to take several writing workshops as well as correspondence courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta’s first work of juvenile fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to “women’s suspense”, a genre she fondly describes as stories having “strong female protagonists with lots of skeletons hidden in their closets and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives”.

Marta lives in a suburb of Toronto, Canada with her husband, one grown child and a menagerie of faithful family pets where she is currently at work on a new book.

 

 

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of the TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE by Maria Tandori:


KND Free Thriller Excerpt of The Week Featuring Truman’s Spy: A Cold War Spy Story by 5-Star Suspense Novelist Noel Hynd

On Friday we announced that Truman’s Spy: A Cold War Spy Story by Noel Hynd is our Thriller of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the thriller, mystery, and suspense categories: over 200 free titles, over 600 quality 99-centers, and thousands more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

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It is early 1950, the midpoint of the Twentieth Century.

Joe McCarthy is cranking up his demagoguery and Joseph Stalin had intensified the cold war. In Washington, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI is fighting a turf war with the newly founded Central Intelligence Agency. Harry Truman is in the White House, trying to keep a lid on domestic and foreign politics, but the crises never stop. It should be a time of peace and prosperity in America, but it is anything but.

FBI agent Thomas Buchanan is assigned to investigate the father of a former fiancée, Ann Garrett, who dumped Buchanan while he was away to World War Two. And suddenly Buchanan finds himself on a worldwide search for both an active Soviet spy and the only woman he ever loved. In the process, he crosses paths with Hoover, Truman, Soviet moles and assassins, an opium kingpin from China, and a brigade of lowlife from the American film community.

Truman’s Spy is a classic cold war story of espionage and betrayal, love and regret, patriots and traitors. This is the revised and updated 2013 edition of Noel Hynd’s follow-up to Flowers From Berlin. The story is big, a sprawling intricate tale of espionage, from post-war Rome and Moscow to New York, Philadelphia and Hollywood, filled with the characters, mores and attitudes of the day. And at its heart: the most crucial military secret of the decade.

 

And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

CHAPTER 2

 

In the third week of December 1949, Washington, D.C. was shivering through its coldest winter in a dozen years. Ice hung from the cherry trees along the Potomac. A mantle of snow adorned both Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. Even Pennsylvania Avenue, where traffic crawled in both directions, seemed more like New Hampshire than the center of the American government.

In the White House in the waning days of the old decade, things were warmer. Sixty-three-year-old President Harry S. Truman dug in for an increasingly acrimonious battle with the Eighty-first Congress. He fought with the nation’s legislators over everything from increased social security benefits to public housing to his scaling back of military expenses in the post-war era.

If Truman looked for solace in the tide of world events, he found none there. In 1949 the President had succeeded in breaking the eighteen-month Soviet blockade of West Berlin with massive American airlifts of food and medical supplies. But Joseph Stalin was freshly invigorated at home. He had so thoroughly terrified the heads of his puppet governments throughout Eastern Europe that he merrily launched a new generation of purge trials in Russia.

In Asia, the North Korean government made ominous noises about reuniting their country in a manner they saw fit, and using their huge army to do it. Nearby, General Chiang Kai-Shek and his pro-American Kuomintang Army had been driven from the mainland of China to Formosa. The U.S. consular staff would soon follow. In Europe, the Fourth French Republic teetered on the brink of ruin. Even in England, Truman’s final and most loyal wartime ally, Winston Churchill was out of office.

From the perspective of the American capital, enemies were ascendant and friends were halfway into their graves. It was a time when the support of public opinion deserted the President and galvanized around the conservative senator Robert Taft, grandson of the three-hundred-pound former president, as well as the increasingly vocal, hard-drinking, and mean-spirited Joseph McCarthy. There was even talk that if the lid could be kept on the little guy from Missouri for two more years, a possible presidential candidacy by Dwight Eisenhower, the former supreme allied commander, might rescue the country.

Ike was the president of Columbia University. If only he would announce whether he was a Democrat or a Republican, matters would be clarified. I was just five years after a war that compromised all humanity, and already the world was again on its way to hell in a hand basket.

As a final response to Pearl Harbor, the United States had sought to reorganize its intelligence community in 1946. The Japanese attack on Hawaii had taught a lesson. Inquiries during the world war had revealed that there had been significant indications before December 7, 1941, that Imperial Japan was up to something. Crates of documents, retrieved after the fact, had lain around unused and unnoted by American military and naval commanders in the years 1939 through 1941. Information that could have saved thousands of lives had been ignored.

Why? No single effective unit of the government had been equipped to assemble and analyze foreign intelligence. Thus, in the early months of World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Office of Strategic Services, the nation’s first official espionage and counterespionage agency. But after the war the OSS ran afoul of special-interest lobbyists. The military intelligence services and the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover insisted that in peacetime the OSS would only duplicate the efforts of existing agencies. Eventually President Truman came to agree and abolished the OSS

Within a few months, however, the President acknowledged his mistake. Whatever the faults of the 0.S.S., it had been a single agency collecting and evaluating foreign intelligence and sending the information into the Oval Office. Without a central agency Truman received an avalanche of contradictory, superficial reports.

One day, confused, irritated, and ill informed, he exploded to his Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes. “As soon as possible,” raged the President, “we’ve got to get somebody or some outfit that can make sense out of all this stuff!”

Truman expressed the same wish in identical letters sent on January 22, 1946, to his military adviser, Admiral William Leahy, Secretary of War Robert Patterson, Secretary of the Navy John Forrestal, and Secretary of State Byrnes. These four men were asked to consider themselves as the National Intelligence Authority. They were to plan, develop, and coordinate all foreign espionage and counterespionage activities.

Within a few weeks the four had assigned funds and personnel from their own departments to the authority. They formed what they called the Central Intelligence Group. To head the new C.I.G., Truman appointed Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers as the Director of Central Intelligence.

The appointment caused grumbling in official Washington. Souers was an admiral in the naval reserve and his civilian employment was currently as an executive in the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain in Truman’s native Missouri. He had no experience in intelligence matters. Or, as some Capitol wags put it: “He wouldn’t recognize a spy, but he sure knows fruits and vegetables.”

Yet President Truman wanted a reliable method of being kept informed. So this, for a while, satisfied him. But the setup was unsatisfying to many others, including the directors of military intelligence and J. Edgar Hoover, all of whom continued to fear the erosion of their own powers.

There was also another man who found the arrangement unsatisfactory: Allen Dulles. Dulles had been one of America’s most successful spies during the two world wars. Princeton-educated, from a staunch Republican family, Dulles nonetheless had the President’s ear and friendship.

Dulles agitated for a change in the intelligence system. Dulles had spent World War Two in Switzerland where, as the Swiss Director of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, he had worked on intelligence regarding German plans and activities. He had wide contacts with German émigrés, resistance figures, and anti-Nazi intelligence officers, many of them staunchly anti-Communist.

Simultaneously, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg of the Army Air Corps succeeded Admiral Souers in June 1946. Vandenberg was named chiefly because he was the nephew of the powerful Senator Arthur Vandenberg, and managed to last only about as long as his predecessor, slightly less than a year. He in turn was succeeded by Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, whom Truman personally didn’t like and whom he privately referred to as “a third-rate navy guy.” America’s new spy establishment, in other words, was off to a staggering start.

Yet, during Hillenkoetter’s tenure, Congress passed the National Security Act, unifying much of the American defense establishment. The act also replaced the National Intelligence Authority with a new structure called the National Security Council. Similarly, the Central Intelligence Group was abolished and replaced by a stronger and more independent unit.

It was called the Central Intelligence Agency.

Its purpose was to gather and coordinate information from outside the forty-eight states. The agency would have no official police or law enforcement powers. And, in turn, the new CIA was to be responsible, in theory, at least, to the National Security Council. President Truman then appointed Allen Dulles, as the agency’s first director.

Thus the embryonic CIA moved into the battered old complex that formerly housed the United States Public Health Service at 2430 E Street in the gashouse section of Washington known as Foggy Bottom.

The complex bordered on an abandoned brewery and sat amidst a squalid jungle of underbrush, enclosed by a wire fence and topped with barbed wire. From this location, and for many years thereafter, little green government buses ferried passengers, frequently mysterious men bearing secret messages or documents, to and from the Pentagon and the White House. And at this humble inception, the one-hundred forty-acre spread that would eventually house the CIA in bucolic Langley, Virginia, was merely a gleam in Allen Dulles’s eye.

But it was a beginning. And like most beginnings, it had its awkward moments.

 

CHAPTER 3

Unlike the relatively new Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in was housed in baronial splendor toward the end of 1949. The headquarters were at Constitution Avenue and 10th Street, in a suite of fifth and sixth floor offices at the Department of Justice.  J. Edgar Hoover presided from a corner throne room, surrounded by his ablest assistants in adjoining chambers. This was a straight-arrow squeaky-clean place with light green walls, deep pile carpets, mahogany paneling, and countless American flags. A visitor to the Director’s office,  if he were kept waiting in the anteroom, would be faced with an armada of plaques—given by various religious, fraternal, school, and state police organizations—that heaped praise upon the Bureau and its Director. A revolving rack carried scores of pro-FBI editorial cartoons, mounted individually on hard cardboard backing. If these displays left the observer ready for more, there were also some of the more macabre relics of earlier Bureau adventures.

John Dillinger’s death mask, for example, was in a glass case in the same anteroom, along with the straw boater Dillinger wore when gunned outside a Chicago movie theater. Completing the display was the Corona- Belvedere cigar from the pocket of Dillinger’s bloodstained, bullet-ridden shirt.

Yet behind the scenes, the Bureau increasingly reflected the disparity between the public image and the gritty, sweaty, day-to-day operation of American law enforcement. Though the Director was an American folk hero, Hoover had never led an investigation and had never personally made an arrest. Despite being photographed weekly with an array of weapons, he had never learned to use a handgun. Yet the image of the Bureau before the public had never been more immaculate.

Hoover flitted about the country at his own whim, stayed in the finest hotels as a guest of management, and had his picture snapped hobnobbing with celebrities such as Milton Berle, Shirley Temple, Toots Shor, Bing Crosby, and Jimmy Cagney. Hoover always loved Cagney for his performance as an FBI agent in the 1935 Warner Brothers production, G- Men, a film that molded public perception of the Bureau. And the weekly radio serial, This Is Your FBI, remained a hit in its sixth year on the air.

The Bureau reflected Hoover’s personal biases: he loved capital punishment in all forms, he hated the fact that women could now vote, and didn’t care for people of color. He threw around insults with great freedom: “pinhead,” was a favorite for an agent who was falling into disfavor or soon to be sacked.

There were few far right causes he couldn’t champion.  Almost daily the FBI was preoccupied with cases of a political slant or which emanated from a political favor.  Hoover, completely ignoring the FBI’s charter, personally assigned FBI agents to gather domestic intelligence on people he didn’t like or whom he suspected of un-American activities.

In October 1949, for example, eleven members of the Communist Party of the United States had drawn prison sentences of three to five years apiece for advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government. They hadn’t done anything other than express their opinion. But in the climate of the day, that was enough to land them in prison.

The second perjury trial of Alger Hiss was concluding in Manhattan, also. All indications were that Hiss would go to prison too. The best was yet to come, however, as a section of Bureau spear carriers on the fifth floor inquired into the affairs of one suspected Soviet spy, a disloyal American named Martin Sobell. The investigation of Sobell had also suggested some other American accomplices named Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

After the war, the U.S. had tried to protect its nuclear secrets. But American had been stunned by the speed with which the Soviets had initiated their first nuclear atomic test, “Joe 1”, on August 29, 1949. The consensus: atomic secrets had been leaked from the American research labs. Whoever had done it was going to pay a big price. That much was a “given.”

On these same premises, in a small, stuffy office in a far corner of the sixth floor, Special Agent Thomas C. Buchanan sat at a black Royal typewriter. He typed out his final account of an investigation involving a securities swindle. Recently put out of business were a pair of Miami-based land developers who had raised money and sold home sites from the Catskills to Sarasota. It was the kind of a case—hundreds of small investors burned by a pair of slick carpetbaggers —that provoked Buchanan’s righteous indignation. The case had ended with indictments, convictions, tons of favorable publicity for the FBI, and the recovery of almost sixty percent of the loot. Within the next month, checks would go out to most of the investors. Buchanan was proud of his work.

He stopped typing for a moment. Buchanan reread his report. One could never be too careful in choosing one’s words. Not only did Buchanan’s immediate superior, Francis W. Lerrick, Assistant Director for the mid-Atlantic region, read all completed files, but Hoover also liked to read reports at random. Here trouble could materialize from nowhere. Hoover’s attention might settle upon anything. One ten-year veteran of the New York office was abruptly transferred to Topeka when his report contained a quote from a Canadian ballistics expert who’d been used as a witness during a trial.

“We keep all foreigners out of Bureau business!” Hoover had said in an aggressive memo.

On another occasion a Special Agent in Atlanta found himself ordered to lose fifteen pounds in three weeks. A final case report had included his medical records, revealing his six-foot one-hundred-ninety-five-pound stature. Hoover had been placed on a diet by his own physician the previous Monday.

Buchanan typed the final two paragraphs. He leaned back in his chair and carefully reviewed the report from start to finish.

Had anyone walked into the office at that time, he or she would have seen a sandy-haired man of thirty-two, a handsome very American looking guy with a square jaw and dark blue eyes. He wore a white shirt and a red and blue striped tie. The jacket of his navy blue suit was draped over the back of his chair and his brimmed fedora, mandatory for all special agents, rested on a coat rack in the corner.

If it had it not been for a turn of fate and the course of history, Buchanan might have been the architect he’d planned on being when young. He had grown up in a comfortable town in the southeastern quarter of Pennsylvania. His mother was the daughter of anti-Fascist immigrants from Italy. From her he learned to speak Italian as a boy. She had come to America as a teenager and now taught the third grade in the local school. His father had been a medical doctor in family practice.

As a teenager Thomas had shown an uncanny aptitude for numbers, sciences and languages. He had set his heart on going to Princeton University, his father’s alma mater.

The turn of fate: A massive heart attack claimed Thomas’s father at age forty-three in August 1932. His mother moved the family closer to Philadelphia, where they took up residence with his mother’s unmarried sister. Thomas was enrolled at a private academy in Chestnut Hill, in accordance with his father’s will. Here he demonstrated again his exceptional aptitude in sciences, math, and language. He took up French and built an impressive academic record.

Princeton accepted him as a full-tuition student.  Lehigh University, however, offered him a full scholarship in engineering. This was 1936, and his father had not died wealthy. He went to Lehigh, graduated with high honors with a minor in Romance Languages. He wished to continue on for his graduate degree in architecture.

Then the course of history interfered. The Second World War began.

Buchanan served as an infantry captain in the United States Army’s North African and Italian campaigns. He was part of the 1st Armored Division which participating in Operation Torch, a combined British-American pincer operation against Rommel in North Africa. The allied operation outflanked and outgunned their German, Vichy French and Italian adversaries. They bypassed the Axis defense on the Mareth Line in late March 1943 and squeezed the Axis forces until Axis forces in Africa surrendered in 13 May of 1943. The invasion of Sicily followed two months later, during which Buchanan won two silver stars and as many purple hearts. It was, by the terminology of the time, a “great” war, for Thomas Buchanan. Privately, he was happy to have survived it. He never expected to.

As an American officer fluent in Italian, he became an interpreter for his unit, as well as an adviser to the command of the American Fifth Army, following a transfer to a unit where he was needed for his language skills.

His unit encountered dogged resistance from retreating German forces as they moved north.  But Buchanan had been among the first American soldiers to reach the center of Rome late night on June 5, 1944, initiating the liberation of the magnificent ancient city. Rome had been the first of the three Axis powers’ capitals to be taken. Its recapture was a significant victory for the Allies and the American commanding officer who led the final offensive, Lieutenant General Mark Clark.

In Rome the next day, more units of English and American troops rolled in. Massive crowds came into the streets, celebrating, cheering, waving and hurling bunches of flowers at the passing army vehicles. Later, Buchanan watched as Pope Pius XI appeared on the balcony of St Peter’s and addressed the thousands of Italians who had gathered in the square. It was a giddy time, marking a turning point in the war. Almost simultaneously, the Allied invasion of Normandy was taking place, also.

Buchanan stayed in Rome for three months. Then, his reputation as an interpreter growing, he was sent to Paris shortly after that city’s liberation. He was assigned to an intelligence unit, working with officers of de Gaulle’s Free French forces, as well as with the American command. He was next and finally sent on to Berlin, where he worked again in intelligence. For four months he worked daily with officers of the Soviet Red Army, mostly tank and artillery commanders who had helped capture the city. At first, he liked his Russian peers. Quickly, however, he grew to distrust them.

Berlin in those days was a crucible for Buchanan, a learning experience he would never forget. The city was devastated. Utilities functioned sporadically. Civilians wandered in sullen crews, dazed and confused, clearing the streets and looking for missing relatives. Piles of rubble made driving hazardous. A few diehard snipers made any movement even more hazardous.

But the similarities between the four parts of the divided city ended with the physical ruin. The different sectors —- American, British, French and Soviet — reflected the languages and cultures of the occupying forces. West Berlin was an island within the larger East German zone of Soviet occupation. It had a free press and cultural and economic links with the outside world. From the beginning, Soviets confiscated the newspapers licensed by Western occupation authorities. Soon thereafter, they declared the western newspapers “contraband” and arrested anyone in possession of one. They quickly began to tell their people that the occupiers were new fascists, which “explained” why most German Army and intelligence people and scientists had tried to surrender to the British and the Americans. Buchanan, in dealing with the Soviets, quickly learned what a big fat lie their entire system was.

In the bargain, he acquired a skill in the Russian language and learned some subtleties about the American’s wartime ally “of convenience,” such as the difference between Red Army intelligence and the secret state police. In the larger bargain, he got a close candid view of how the Soviets set up little spy cells in the west, the espionage tradecraft often following in the larger path of black market activities and bribes.  He had seen the same thing in Rome with the underworld people who had moved in quickly after Mussolini’s soldiers had retreated.

When he left the military with an honorable discharge in early 1946, he was restless, as well as haunted by the war.  His experiences were never far from his thoughts. At a V.F.W. meeting, he ran into a retired colonel who had commanded his unit in Sicily. The colonel told him that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was hiring.

“The work can be interesting and the employer isn’t likely to go out of business,” the colonel had said. “If you decide not to make a career of it, it still won’t look bad on your résumé. I know some people, Tom. I’ll write you a letter of recommendation.”

Buchanan entered the Bureau’s training school, in April 1946. A fourteen-month tour in Chicago was his first assignment where, by chance, he occasionally partnered with an old Army buddy, a fellow officer whom everyone called “The Bear.” The latter, a fellow officer, had also served in Italy and who had also joined the Feds. It was a pleasant and fortuitous reunion.

Aside from that, Buchanan didn’t have the commanding physical presence or bulk that typified many enforcers of American law, nor did he have the traditional gang busting mentality for which the “G-men” had become the heroes of the gullible public and tabloid press. But he did have an outstanding analytical intellect, a persistent nature and a remarkable instinct for analyzing a crime scene.  This he coupled with an easy, calm, honest manner which was his basic nature, though those who knew him best knew he had his flashpoints: He could resort to quick explosive physical force when pushed too far. The overall equation inspired confidence in people and made them willing to talk to him. As a result, for his age, Buchanan was as fine a detective as the Bureau had to offer.

And yet, and yet.

He also felt unsettled, a man in transition, but from where to where? The war had deeply disturbed him. He found few people he could discuss it with other than fellow veterans. There was pain that he felt but couldn’t describe, things that had happened in combat that he chose not to remember, and faces of enemy soldiers, some alive, some in death, that he wished would go away but which he knew never would.  All of this, he battled every day. Socially, he was normal and perfectly presentable. Privately, he felt his psyche was in tatters and the war had turned him into a reclamation project. But if that was the case, so it was the case with most of the world, and almost everyone who had survived the fighting. So he kept it all inside him, as much as he could.

Continued….

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Truman’s Spy: A Cold War Spy Story by Noel Hynd>>>>