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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

There Are No Accidents

I was reading a friend’s blog recently and four words jumped out at me, “There are no accidents.”  I, too, believe there is a purpose for everything.  And yes, luck sometimes plays a hand.

I remembered a chapter from Sergei Kourdakov's book where he got involved in some bad business dealings with his friends.  The situation turned serious after the meeting was over and Sergei stepped outside the building:

I [Sergei] figured the meeting was over . . . “I’m going to go down and get some fresh air.  I’ll meet you outside.”  I walked down the corridor, the two flights of stairs, and out the door to the street.  The moment I stepped outside, an explosion ripped the air and blew up right in my face.  I felt a hot, burning sensation beneath my ribs and a fierce impact that knocked the wind out of me.  In a daze I looked down and discovered I was bleeding profusely; my shirt was already covered with blood and my military jacket was starting to get soaked.

I’m shot!  I’m shot!  I dropped to my knees.

“You’ve got to be the luckiest guy around, Sergei,” [his friend exclaimed] while he emptied my raincoat pocket, just over my left breast.  The bullet had gone through my thick address book, all my identification papers, plus all my clothes—raincoat, jacket, shirt, undershirt—to hit me.  It was imbedded in my skin.

-Sergei Kourdakov, The Persecutor (Chapter 9, pgs. 100-101)

Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand why.  Sergei would have been killed if he hadn’t had his pocket full of thick papers that absorbed the impact from the bullet.  It wasn’t his time.  He would live to come to America.  While writing A Rose for Sergei, I had to keep reminding myself . . . there are no accidents.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Finding Common Ground

I usually read people’s comments in the product review sections when I’m deciding to purchase an item online.  Comments, both positive and negative, are helpful when I have to make a decision.  Sometimes, when something is particularly negative, I cringe and think to myself, “Ouch, that’s harsh.”  I also realize reviews are one of the valuable tools of social media—everyone is free to express their opinion.

Now I find I am on the receiving end of reviews and comments regarding A Rose for Sergei.  I hope that anyone who reads my book will enjoy it, but realistically I know that isn’t always the case.

One reviewer posted an interesting summary on Amazon this past weekend for A Rose for Sergei.  Part of that review is below.

“The author tells her story of falling in love with a former KGB officer, Sergei Kourdakov.  This unusual romance, between an Air Force Colonel’s daughter and a Russian defector, leads to finding common ground and learning to understand that love makes its own choices.”

I really liked the writer’s take on my book.  Sergei and I did find common ground even though our lives were so very different.


The entire first two chapters of A Rose for Sergei can be read for free at the Amazon website by clicking on the “Look inside” icon when you are on their website.  It is not necessary to own a Kindle device if you would like to read this book—you can download the Free Kindle app for Smartphones, tablets, and computers—and then purchase/download the book to whichever location you prefer.

 Look inside

Monday, July 14, 2014

One Adventure Ends . . .

Thank you to everyone who followed my writing journey on my blog.  Knowing you checked in week-after-week was the best support I could have ever asked for.

I posted part of Chapter 1 on my blog over the past three weeks.  If you have been following along, I last left off where Sergei was sneaking up behind me in the restaurant to surprise me.  I was sitting at the table waiting for him, and I jumped when he grabbed my shoulders.  He then leaned over and whispered in my ear, “No, wait.” 

I’m happy to say you won’t have to wait any longer to find out what happens next.  A Rose for Sergei is now available as an e-book from Amazon.

This has truly been an amazing journey.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chapter 1 (Part 3)

A Rose for Sergei

Chapter 1
(Part 3)

Fall 1972

It was hard to believe that Sergei was my date for the evening.  When I was a child I was afraid of Russians.  I never forgot the air raid drills we had in elementary school.  My father was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and my family lived on military bases.  When the air raid siren blasted we practiced hiding under our desks at school, using them for protection from shattered windows, as we prepared for an attack that might one day come from the Soviet Union.  And yet, here I was now, having dinner with…the “enemy.”

In fact the whole scenario did not seem real, meeting like we did.  We were attracted to each other right from the first introduction.  That surprised me, not me being attracted to him, but him being attracted to me.  Next to Sergei, I thought I seemed rather ordinary—petite, five feet tall, slender, blue-green eyes and long, straight sandy blonde hair that flipped up at the ends.  “Cute,” is how most people would describe me.  Although just recently a DC taxi cab driver told me, “A pretty girl like you should not have to pay for anything!”  That taxi ride was definitely one of those scary parts of the city moments.

I jumped as I set my wine glass back down on the table.  Sergei had quietly returned by way of sneaking up behind me and grabbing my shoulders with both of his hands.  His enormous hands seemed to totally engulf my shoulders and upper arms.  He had startled me, and he found that rather funny.  I looked over my left shoulder and I could see him leaning over me with a huge grin on his face.  I had to laugh at myself for being so jumpy.  I turned my head back towards the table.

He bent down lower and whispered in my ear, “No, wait.”

Coming Soon!