Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New Release: Red Romeo - by Peter Bernhardt


Find it on Amazon  HERE

The summer of 1977 finds divided Germany locked in a fierce espionage battle. West Germany’s premier spy hunter, ambitious SABINE MAIER, faces off against ruthless Stasi General WERNER HEINRICH. Sabine has filled half a prison with her prodigious arrests of communist spies. Heinrich is the mastermind behind a small army of spy gigolos who prey on lonely women working in the West German government’s most secret divisions. Caught in the middle is ladies’ man STEFAN MALIK, a reluctant Romeo, forced to do the general’s bidding or rot in a Stasi prison.

Just as she thinks she’s gaining the upper hand, Sabine’s worst fears are realized. The Stasi has infiltrated the highest ranks of West German intelligence and Heinrich’s well-placed mole is watching her every move. With the number of women spying for love growing by the day, Sabine risks everything on a cutting-edge technology that promises to identify traitors.

The ingenious system soon picks up the scent of Stefan, who is targeting the Chief of the Chancellery’s secretary. But when Sabine discovers that Stefan has an agenda of his own, she lays a risky trap. With the security of the West at stake and Stefan’s life hanging by a thread, she gives her all to unmask the mole and outwit the Stasi spymaster.

German Edition: Roter Romeo – Stasi Gigolos und die Spionjägerin von Deutschland (Inspiriert durch tatsächlich zugetragene Ereignisse)

What Bernie Silver, author of Nathan in Spite of Himself, says about Red Romeo:

You’ve heard it all before but in Red Romeo’s case it’s true. The novel is fast-paced, suspenseful and features plenty of intrigue, to say nothing of intriguing characters. Plus it offers copious romance (though of a somewhat duplicitous nature). Suggestion: wear gloves so you don’t bite your nails off.

Monday, June 20, 2022

New Release: OSS TOP SECRET OPERATIONS. Volume 1: COVERT MISSIONS WW 2 - by Mike Rothmiller


Find this book on Amazon HERE

These are the true stories of OSS covert operations during World War 2.

There are three volumes.

They were written at the end of WW 2 and cut to the chase. There is no flowery narration, just hard-hitting facts of their successes, difficulties, and failures. This is the most accurate assessment of intelligence operations from the war.
Before World War II, intelligence activities in the United States were mostly carried out by the Department of State, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the War Department's Military Intelligence Division (MID). Hoping for greater coordination of intelligence activities and a more strategic approach to intelligence gathering and operations, on July 11, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed William J. Donovan to head a new civilian office attached to the White House, the Coordinator of Information (COI). The COI was charged with collecting and analyzing information that may have had bearing upon national security, correlating such information and data, and making this information available to the President, authorized departments, and government officials. The COI operations duplicated but did not necessarily replace functions carried out by the State Department, ONI, and MID.

When World War II started, Donovan worked with the newly created Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to place the COI under JCS control; while preserving COI autonomy and gaining access to military support and resources. On June 13, 1942, the COI became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS gathered intelligence information about practically every country in existence but was not allowed to conduct operations in the Pacific Theater, which General Douglas MacArthur claimed as his own. J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Nelson Rockefeller, the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, insisted that the OSS should not operate in the Western hemisphere. For these reasons, the records of OSS covert operations were primarily confined to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The OSS established more than 40 overseas offices during World War II, extending from Casablanca to Shanghai and Stockholm to Pretoria.

Most records were transferred to two federal agencies after the OSS was eliminated on September 20, 1945. Approximately 1,700 cubic feet of Research and Analysis Branch records ended up at the Department of State. In comparison, more than 6,000 cubic feet of operational records were transferred to what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Note that the CIA was not created until July 26, 1947.

After World War II, OSS veterans in the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) arranged most OSS operational records according to OSS locations, offices, and file categories. For a list of these categories, see the Arrangement of OSS Records.
In 1946, the State Department began releasing records to the National Archives, which had taken over the bulk of Research and Analysis Branch files after the war. The most extensive series consists of intelligence reports relating to political, economic, military, and morale. The information covers nearly all nations. Each series is arranged by document number. The office would assign the next consecutive number to the accounts and correspondence sent to the R & A Branch.

As a historian and bestselling author, I edited various passages for clarity, punctuation, and ease of reading. However, it did not change the information or story in any fashion.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Where do science fiction authors find their inspiration? - from mythology, of course - Part 2 - by Vijaya Schartz


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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke

Last month, we covered the mythology of Asia as a source of inspiration, and Indian mythology that could be interpreted as advanced technology. But this is not unique to that part of the world.

In the Norse legends, Odin possessed two magical raven who flew over the world and showed him everything that happened in real time. These black birds often represented inside a clear globe would now be called “camera drones.” There is mention of a rainbow bridge, which, according to Albert Einstein, could have been a wormhole (or Rosen bridge). Also, Thor, God of Thunder, did have the power to harness lightning and thunder and used them as a weapon.

Similarly, in Greece, Zeus wielded weapons of lightning and thunder capable of great destruction… not unlike our war missiles.

The god Apollo flew north each year in a golden chariot… in other words a shiny metal craft.

The Anunnaki (meaning: they who from the heavens came) claimed to have come to Earth to harvest gold, a commodity they needed to save their own planet. In the process, they genetically improved, educated, and enslaved humans to provide a labor force to work and mine the gold for them. In doing so, they may have started the Sumerian civilization.

The Egyptian pharaohs claimed to be descended from the gods who came from Orion in barges. They were embalmed to make the trip back. The pyramids are aligned on Orion’s belt.

Ezekiel - St. Augustine Church - Paris France

The Old Testament says Ezekiel saw a chariot coming down to Earth with wheels turning inside wheels… not unlike the modern representations of UFOs.

Jacob witnessed angels climbing a ladder into a luminous craft.

And the Book of Enoch, one of the oldest manuscripts banned from the bible, describes in simple words his trip into space with angels, aboard a spacecraft, where he saw the Earth from space, then went to another planet and studied in their company. The elaborate details of his trip make a lot of sense to a modern mind familiar with space travel, but couldn’t have been fabricated by someone who didn’t understand advanced technology. Yet, this witness account was penned millennia ago.

This happened all over the world. In the Americas, many Native American tribes relate that sky people came as teachers (Kachinas) to educate their ancestors. The Thunderbird can also be interpreted as a vehicle transporting sky people.

The Incas, the Mayas, the Aztec, all had similar stories, about beings coming down in crafts from the Pleiades, sometimes demanding blood sacrifices, and strongly influencing their culture.

Several African tribes also spoke for centuries about being visited by space travelers from the Sirius II system. No one knew Sirius II existed until quite recently, as it is hidden by Sirius I.

So, you see, one doesn’t have to go far to find inspiration about science fiction stories. Space travel and alien visitation are old recurring themes even on our little planet.

This month, Congress reviewed undeniable footage of UAP (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) taken by the US military, to discuss the implications for National Security.

Soon we will explore space on our own, search for new planets and encounter new civilizations, some more advanced, and others in infancy, and we, too, will become the powerful beings who encourage the pursuit of knowledge and accidentally start new myths and new religions… like in the Star Trek movie, where Captain Kirk inadvertently starts a new cult when the natives witness the Enterprise rising from the depths of the ocean and taking flight.

In the meantime, you can dream and imagine other worlds by reading science fiction, my favorite genre.

amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

 Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats

Monday, June 6, 2022

New Release: Kiss Of The Shaman’s Daughter - by Peter Bernhardt


Find this book on Amazon  HERE

Against the backdrop of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains, aspiring diva SYLVIA MAZZONI hopes to combine her Santa Fe Opera debut and a romantic reunion with her lover, Washington attorney ROLF KELLER. But Rolf’s old nemesis from law school, CHARLES SLATER, now an archaeologist, intrudes on their tryst. He is on the run from ruthless antiquities traffickers, who are after his recent find of prehistoric Indian artifacts.

After Slater vanishes under suspicious circumstances, Rolf plunges into the New Mexico wilderness to search for him and his priceless cache. Soon, he finds himself in desperate flight not only from the guns of the murderous smugglers, but from the FBI as well.

When the soprano slated to sing Tosca develops vocal problems, opera management drafts Sylvia as a last-minute replacement. While struggling to convert the daunting challenge into the career triumph she has pursued all her life, she and Rolf are threatened by the smugglers who will stop at nothing to get their hands on Slater’s hoard.

As they unravel the twisted clues Slater left behind, Sylvia and Rolf stumble upon the intriguing legend of a shaman’s young daughter, TEYA, who played a crucial role in the Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1680 against the Spanish oppressors and perhaps concealed the treasure of a lost pueblo.

Now, three centuries later, the paths of Teya, Sylvia and Rolf are about to cross in this riveting historical thriller involving archaeological crime, southwestern history and grand opera.

German Edition: Kuss der Schamanentochter – Revolte, Verlorener Schatz und Schmuggler (Diva Unverzagt Buch 2)