Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 7/17

Under a False Flag
A historical drama based on declassified CIA files.
Tom Gething

October, 1972. Freshly minted CIA officer Will Porter joins the secret war being waged against Chile’s Marxist government of President Salvador Allende. Working under cover as expatriate businessman Richard Allen in Santiago, Will’s job is to funnel the dirty money to Allende’s opposition.

From the get-go, Will faces challenges on his first assignment. Just getting into the country with a bunch of cash he shouldn’t be carrying poses unanticipated problems. And then there’s his new boss—a hard-nosed veteran named Ed Lipton who has no time or patience for rookies.

Nationwide strikes and paramilitary terrorism are Lipton’s preferred methods to achieve his goal. He sees a coup as the only way to stop Allende. And the sooner the better. At home, the Nixon Administration is under siege for Watergate, and the CIA’s covert directives face increased scrutiny from media and congressmen alike.

Will learns the ropes of his new trade: bribing, blackmailing and gathering useful information to help destabilize the country. But he soon discovers that the rules of espionage governing his life—question everything while preserving the lie—conflict with personal interests. On his first trip outside Santiago, he meets Ernesto Manning, a rebellious university student, and his beautiful sister, Gabriela, a journalist who aspires to have both career and family in a macho society that remains traditional despite its swerve toward socialism.

Will’s friendship with Ernesto and his romantic pursuit of Gabriela soon collide with his secret life. As Chile lurches toward civil war and Lipton ratchets up the pressure, Will must decide if he will be a good soldier or follow his heart. Or is there a way to do both?

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Where Eagles Never Flew
Helena Schrader

This is the novel RAF fighter ace Bob Doe called "the best book" he ever read about the Battle of Britain. According to Doe, Schrader "got it smack on the way it was for us fighter pilots."

No. 606 (Hurricane) Squadron has not recovered from the losses over Dunkirk when it is thrown into the Battle of Britain. As the losses mount, morale plunges. New pilots joining the squadron find a cold reception from the clique of old pilots, who resent them taking the place of their dead friends -- and then the Squadron Leader is shot down. Air Vice Marshal Park has to make a critical decision: pull the squadron out of the front line and risk even higher losses in an untested squadron, or risk appointing a man with a dubious reputation CO.

Robin, formerly and RAF aerobatics pilot and "Debs' Delight" has incurred the displeasure of the Air Ministry by a dangerous breach of the King's Regulations. He is cooling his heels in training command -- and falling in love with a girl from the Salvation Army. But Park decides he might just be what 606 Squadron needs.

Meanwhile, across the channel Klaudia von Richthofen, a naïve recruit to the Luftwaffe Women's Auxilliary, allows herself to be seduced by a dashing Stuka Group Commander -- and then falls under the spell of the irreverent and carefree Baron von Feldburg. But it is his wingman, Leutnant Ernst Geuke, who has fallen desperately in love with her.

This is a story of the Battle of Britain: seen from both sides of the channel and through the eyes of ground crew, controllers, women auxiliaries and fighter pilots. This is the Battle of Britain as it was experienced by men and women in the summer of 1940.

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The Skin of Water
G.S. Johnston

At a Hungarian lakeside resort in the summer of 1943, seventeen year old Zeno Czubula looks through the lens of his beloved Cine Kodak Eight Model 20 and glimpses his future. A woman, Catherine Steiner, unaware she’s observed and recorded, appears disorientated and runs away. Intrigued and concerned, he follows only to find her clothes abandoned and no sign of her in the lake. As the seconds pass, he strips to the waist and dives in.

And so the lovers begin...

Although Zeno believes his lens brings him clarity, Catherine’s beauty and sophistication as the wife of a rich industrialist fog and distort his view beyond his youthful understanding. When the German army rolls in to occupy Budapest, alliances shift with a ferocity and pace that leaves him bewildered.

Years later, when time and experience have cleared the lens, Zeno must make a final choice about Catherine Steiner.

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Jenny's Dream
 Linda Weaver Clarke

Dreams are a part of life and they come straight from the heart. If you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. This was Jenny's philosophy. Follow your dream!

Jenny Roberts has many dreams, but will she be able to fulfill them all? Jenny is home from college and feels restless. She wants to spread her wings and fly away. When her kindred friend, Will, asks her what her outlook on life is, she answers, "Dreams are an important part of life, and without them, life would be dull. If we can envision it, then I believe it can be accomplished." Jenny's dreams include falling in love with the "prince of her dreams."

As the summer passes, Jenny begins to recognize her true feelings for Will. When she realizes that he means more to her than a kindred friend, she must now choose between a career and matters of the heart. The only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory from her past, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can choose which dream to follow. This book is about the miracle of forgiveness.

While Jenny is trying to realize her dreams, her father is concerned about the safety of his family. A ten-foot grizzly bear is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community. There is one man with the courage and determination to protect his family and neighbors: Gilbert Roberts! He attempts to defy this great beast but Melinda will not have her husband be part of it. Gilbert has other ideas. Old Half Paw must be stopped.

"Jenny's Dream" is the story of a young girl's desire to become a writer and how she finds love and forgiveness, with the legend of Old Ephraim as the subplot.

 "Linda Weaver Clarke has captured the essence of reaching for your dreams, no matter what happens to throw you off the path of getting there," wrote Allison King, Rebecca's Reads. "Jenny's Dream is a book for all ages that can wrap you up and make you feel all warm inside with the love and hope that dreams can come true if you believe hard enough."

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