Sergei Kourdakov, a former KGB agent and Soviet naval intelligence officer, defected from the USSR at the age of twenty. A year later we met at my Federal Government office in Washington DC. We were watched and followed. “Even you could be spy,” Sergei whispered. My book, A Rose for Sergei, is the true story of our time together.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sergei Kourdakov | Mystery and Contradictions

One question I’m often asked by readers is, “Was Sergei Kourdakov really a spy?”  My answer has always been to respond, “As far as I know he wasn’t.”  However, it’s a known fact that the Russian trawler Sergei was aboard, at the time of his defection, was skirting along the U.S. coast “eavesdropping” on us.  In that regard, Sergei was technically spying on us.  For more clarification, I decided to check in with a retired Soviet Analyst.

“FYI, a spy is someone who betrays, i.e., spies on their native country, or who passes himself off as something he's not to get information.  The ship Sergei was on was a "spy ship" because it pretended to be a fishing trawler when it was actually collecting intelligence.  Agents are people who work with spies or spying systems like the trawler to get the information out.  I know that concept gets twisted in popular literature and the movies.  Technically, Sergei was an agent on a spy ship, a defector, and an informant.  He was not actively spying on the Soviets while he was working for them.

Sergei worked on his military duties as an intelligence agent on a spy ship and with people involved in the same kind of work.  Someone like myself could never be hired to work on a Soviet trawler (intelligence signal collector) off the coast of Canada and the US.  Sergei was hired because he was trusted by that system and had acquired the necessary skills.  He had been born there, went to school and the military there, knew people from childhood, and had a long record and connections within the system.  He probably knew people in his job who he knew from previous jobs or school.  How could I or anyone not in that system fake it?

Some people might say that since Sergei was not actively employed by the Soviets at the time he was talking with us that he was not a spy.  Many defectors don't provide information.  It’s probably more correct to say informer and former KGB.” Keith Kenny

Mystery and contradictions surround Sergei Kourdakov’s life and death.  There is still a lot to unravel.  But Keith’s answer is very telling—Sergei could not “fake” his background.
"Even you could be spy," Sergei whispered.

 A Rose for Sergei (eBook)
is on sale
 April 18-23, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sergei Kourdakov … He Promised Me

It happened a lifetime ago, forty-five years to be exact.  January 1, 1973 is the date that Sergei Kourdakov’s life tragically slipped away from a single gunshot to his head.  It is also the date that strange stories began to circulate about what really happened that night.  Some of those stories contradict what I personally know about Sergei, and they don’t add up.  Apparently I’m not alone in my thinking.

Journalist Emma Best recently published a fascinating and informative report about Sergei Kourdakov.  Part Two of her report discusses Sergei’s death: FBI file reveals numerous contradictions in the curious case of Sergei Kourdakov.  At the end of the report you can read the actual FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

After reading all of the released documents and newspaper articles, a few things jumped out at me. The female skiing companion in Sergei’s room the night he died is referred to as Sergei’s “fiancée.”  If you follow my blog, you’ll know that Sergei and I openly dated while he was in Washington, DC.  We planned to spend Christmas together with my parents, but they were living on a secure Air Force Base in Massachusetts, and access for Sergei was impossible.  As a result, Sergei planned a ski trip in California with friends.  Before Sergei left he gave me the telephone number of the family he was staying with so we could talk on Christmas day.  It would be highly unlikely for Sergei to give me the phone number of his “fiancée.”

Another part mentioned in the article is the Russian roulette theory.  I don’t know what really happened the night Sergei died, but I do know he would never have taken his own life.  He would not have foolishly waved a gun around.

Excerpt from A Rose for Sergei

Chapter 18 – Home for the Holidays

December 1972

We spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on the sofa talking and trading stories about our lives.  Sergei always loved to talk about his life in the United States; everything was new to him.  He avoided discussing his life in the Soviet Union.  We were comfortable, holding hands and kissing, trying to enjoy every single minute we had.  It seemed like no topics were off limits.  I asked him something that I was wondering about.

“Sergei, do they really play Russian Roulette in the Soviet Union?”

“Yes, they do,” he replied as he looked at me curiously.  “It is very dangerous game.”

“Have you ever played Russian Roulette?”

“Yes.  Why are you asking me this question?”

“Because I don’t want you to ever do that again, that’s why.”  He looked perplexed and was non-fazed by my comment.

“It is okay, I played Russian Roulette in the USSR when we had a lot of vodka to drink.  I was very stupid then.  I am not stupid now,” he casually replied as he seemingly brushed aside my concern.

I was not satisfied with his answer because he didn’t seem to be taking me very seriously.  “Sergei, please listen to me, I’m serious.  Please don’t play that game again.”


He still hadn’t convinced me so I punched him lightly on his arm with my fist so he would look right at me, see my concern, and know I was serious.  “I really mean it, don’t play Russian Roulette again,” I managed to say as firmly as I could.  He grabbed his arm and rubbed it dramatically, pretending I had mortally wounded him.

“Why is this concern?” he asked as he tried to hold back a smile.

“Because I love you, and I don’t want anything to happen to you.  That’s why.”

“Okay, I promise.  I will never do that again.”

* * *

 A Rose for Sergei (eBook only)

will be FREE

 on Amazon from January 4-6, 2018 

Click Here to Link to Amazon US

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Do You Hear Them?

The text message that popped up on my cell phone surprised me.  It was from my middle brother.  We often don’t touch base for several months…time, distance, and different interests all factor into that.  In part, his message said, “For some reason I was having trouble getting in the holiday spirit…so on comes The Polar Express...”

Heartfelt words from my brother.  I reflected on his message before texting back, “The Polar Express will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!  Sing some Christmas carols, too.”  (He has a great singing voice.)

Over the next few days he texted me short phrases from Charles Dickens’ book, A Christmas Carol.  Conversations from Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge filled my message box.

Marley:  “I wear the chain I forged in life.”

Scrooge:  “Speak a word of comfort to me.”

Marley:  “I have none to give, I can’t rest, I can’t stay, can’t linger ever!”

A Christmas Carol is one of our favorite stories and I enjoyed this holiday exchange between us.  I also understood his touch of melancholy.  We’re adults now…the special excitement of past Christmases when we were young children is gone.

His next text flooded me with happy memories—when he was a little boy who still believed in Santa Claus he heard the sleigh bells that night when no one else did.

“Ya’ know, Sis…I can still hear the bells on Santa’s Sleigh!”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sergei Kourdakov - Truth in Documentaries

It's always nice when a reader picks up on what the author is striving to convey. A comment left on my last blog post really hit home with me, and brought up some interesting questions. For that reason, I’m re-posting those comments along with my response so readers can find them more readily.

“I have read your book and am completely bowled over by it! I think we all fell in love with Sergei the first time round, when "Forgive Me, Natasha" came out, then I fell in love with him all over again when I read your book. I watched the Caroline Walker documentary, and was appalled by how poorly researched it was - anyone could see that the childhood friends of Sergei were not telling the truth, and, more significantly, neither was L Joe Bass. Sergei was a real, genuine, loving and lovable person, but I think he was exploited by the evangelical church, who saw the potential to make money out of his story. When I googled L Joe Bass, I found compromising stories, lawsuits, misappropriation of monies entrusted to him and the church. Why did Caroline Walker, in the interests of fairness, not investigate him as well? Or perhaps she, as an evangelical Christian, could not bear to accept her faith in the established church was a sham?

I loved the book, particularly your journey to independence, being able to buy a car, have your own apartment and career, and find that as a social history, to be very valuable. I admire you for that, as well as for clearing Sergei's name. I think Sergei must have had deep misgivings about the church, too, as he chose to confide in Mr. [Logie], rather than the people at the Christian centre. Love the book!

Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, Posyzadok, about my book, A Rose for Sergei. I’m always glad to hear from readers! Writing this book was something I never thought I’d do. After watching the documentary film Forgive Me, Sergei I felt it was important to stand up for Sergei Kourdakov…even after keeping everything a secret for all these years. Thank you for recognizing that fact.

I’ve heard from other readers concerning the research for the film. My response is that it wasn’t completely researched. There is no question in my mind that additional fact-finding would have changed the outcome of the film. The term “truth in documentaries” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. We should all look at documentary films skeptically—partial information can easily slant the work in any direction. In Sergei’s case, I learned first-hand that the results can be damaging if producers don’t cover the complete story.

Surprisingly, I didn’t know that L. Joe Bass had been investigated for misappropriation of monies until another author brought it to my attention a few months ago. I was shocked, but maybe not completely surprised. I’ve heard more than once that “someone made a lot of money from Sergei’s book.” I’m not sure why the producers didn’t investigate him further.

I do know that more in-depth research is being done regarding Sergei Kourdakov’s life, but I’m not at liberty to say anything more at this time. Will this new information be a game changer? When I have the details, I’ll post them here on my blog.

A Rose for Sergei

Available Online from Amazon 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sergei Kourdakov - A Side that Few People Ever Saw

A Rose for Sergei
Summer Ebook Special
$0.99 for a Limited Time

Amazon Book Description:

“Do we really know what we are getting ourselves into…”

Sergei Kourdakov jumped from a Russian trawler in 1971 and barely survived the treacherous swim to the rocky shores of Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada. The handsome, twenty-year-old ex-KGB naval intelligence officer had defected—leaving behind a horrific life he could no longer face.

K. Kidd’s search for independence and a career with the Federal Government led her on a journey that far surpassed any expectations. A year after Sergei defected she was introduced to him at her office in Washington, DC. The moment they met, the immediate attraction surprised them both. “Even you could be spy,” Sergei whispered.

This improbable, unbelievable true story chronicles K. Kidd’s real-life relationship with a man who gave up everything for freedom. In her eye-opening memoir, the author reveals a side of Sergei Kourdakov that few people ever saw.

What Readers are Saying

“Your story is amazing.”—Anna Whiston-Donaldson, New York Times best-selling author of Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love

“Gripping read, gripping Memoir.”

“Fascinating true-life Cold War Romance.”

“This is a must read if you've read the book, The Persecutor.”

**Note: This book has been cleared for open publication by the Department of Defense’s Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DoD/OPSR).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Persecutor by Sergei Kourdakov | Controversy

Controversy is defined as a prolonged, public and heated disagreement.  It is also a powerful motivator.  For those who are new to my blog, here’s a very quick synopsis to catch you up.  For those who know my story, I have some new information about Sergei Kourdakov.

This story begins with Sergei Kourdakov’s book, The Persecutor.  Raised in Soviet orphanages, Sergei was plucked from obscurity to work with the KGB in breaking up Christian meetings of “Believers.”  After reading confiscated religious material, and literally feeling the hand of God hold him back from beating a woman, Sergei had a change of heart.  At age twenty he defected.  His leap to freedom from a Soviet trawler (1971) left him battered and close to death on the rocky shores of Tasu Sound in Canada.  A year later he came to the United States to work with a group called Underground Evangelism.  During that time he wrote his story in a book that was published under three titles:  Sergei, The Persecutor, and Forgive Me, Natasha.  Published in several languages, his book is still a top seller around the world.

The story doesn’t end here.  Sergei’s book about becoming a Christian brought hope to many who read it.  It even inspired the making of the documentary film, Forgive Me, Sergei.  It was not the original intent of the film to discredit Sergei . . . but it did.  In part, interviews done in Russia cast some doubt about Sergei’s story.  For me, it cast some serious doubt about the Russians who were interviewed.  How likely were they to admit on film that Sergei was a KGB defector?

End of story?  Not yet.  This is where I come into the picture.  I met Sergei at my Federal Government office in Washington, DC.  In the Fall of 1972 we were both twenty-one.  I heard Sergei’s story first hand, in the privacy of my apartment.  I would have known if he was lying.  I saw the countermeasures he took when he suspected we were being followed.  That’s why I was perplexed when I watched the documentary film.  The controversy surrounding Sergei and his book motivated me to speak up.  It was at that point that I felt compelled to write A Rose for Sergei—a story that I had essentially kept a secret for forty years.

Now the story takes another turn.  The Russian interviews in the documentary film also caught the attention of Christian blogger Dane Cramer.  Aside from being an author, Mr. Cramer is trained in deception detection.  He states, “From the first time I watched the documentary, my trained senses had caught bits and pieces of information that suggested a conflict in what was being said.”

In his February 8, 2017 blog post, titled Sergei Kourdakov and the Quest for Truth, Mr. Cramer assesses each Russian interview in the documentary film.  He provides a fascinating and detailed report based on each interview.  Mr. Cramer’s quest for the truth is a must-read for everyone who is interested in Sergei Kourdakov’s life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sergei Kourdakov | A Rose for Sergei | Classic Cold War Story

It intrigues me when people read the very same book, yet have a completely different understanding once they reach the end.  I appreciate all views that readers take away from my book.  Some like the romance aspect in my story and have written that they could feel the love, fear, and heartbreak.  Other readers value the historical side—Sergei Kourdakov’s life with the KGB and his defection from the Soviet Union.

When I wrote A Rose for Sergei it was important for me to show a different side of Sergei—one of truthfulness and honesty.  Whereas some newspapers, magazines and films portrayed Sergei Kourdakov as a fraud, I needed to show readers what he was really like.

Forty-four years ago on January 10, 1973, Sergei Kourdakov was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington DC.  On this anniversary, it is the perfect time to share one reader’s take-away from this true story.  The following review, written by “Avid Reader,” captures the unique and courageous side of Sergei Kourdakov.

* * *

Classic Cold War Story!

Wow.  Just - WOW.  What a beautiful book!  I couldn't have guessed that a story of a KGB agent defection would be one of the most uplifting stories I've ever read. But it was.  Those of us who live in middle-class comfort - who have warm homes and food stored in the pantry, who have the freedom to travel, spend time with our loved ones, and choose our own work have much to be grateful for.  The character's humanity, sense of morality, generosity, kindness, and integrity - his ability to find joy in the little treasures in the United States are truly inspiring.  A Rose for Sergei makes me really conscious about using all the good in my own life - and not wasting a single moment of it.

I find it hard to believe that Sergei’s death was an accident.

—Review by Avid Reader