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, November 24, 2014

An Unbiased Opinion

The final proof for A Rose for Sergei arrived last week.  I am thisclose to completion.  I had made a change to the book cover, adjusting the size of the rose to be more prominent, which necessitated making the font smaller on the lower section.  I had a cover already for the eBook but the paperback cover had to be sized differently.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the changes though.  After all this time I wanted it to be right.

When I designed the cover I wanted it to be in direct contrast to Sergei’s book, The Persecutor.  I kept it simple, using the same colors—red, black and white.  But in reverse.  I even ended up using the photo I took with my cell phone.  For some reason it captured the features I wanted better than my pricier digital camera.

Now I needed an unbiased opinion about which cover to choose and the perfect opportunity presented itself in a most unique manner.  I actually asked the furnace serviceman, who had just finished cleaning our house heating system, for his thoughts on the two different covers.  It turned out his wife was a photographer so I was confident he had experience in selecting photos.  I was relieved when he chose the book cover I was leaning towards.

The service technician was not familiar with Sergei Kourdakov’s story and I ended up giving him a quick synopsis.  I was surprised by his thoughtful comments and questions.  Yes, I agreed with him, Sergei was very smart.  Something I think many people were not aware of.  Yet, this man picked up on that in seconds.  He asked the age I recommended for children to read the book.  I told him the content was serious, “At least age thirteen,” I suggested.  We talked a little more about Sergei and then the final question, “Was Sergei happy?”  A good question and an important one.  “Yes . . . Sergei was happy in this country.”  It was obvious to anyone who had the chance to meet Sergei that he was excited to be here.

I ended up giving the technician a proof of the paperback book.

The paperback version of
  A Rose for Sergei will be available December 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Seriously Need to . . .

I am waiting for the final proof of the paperback version of A Rose for Sergei to be printed.  If all goes well, the paperback copy should be available on Amazon after Thanksgiving, just in time for the winter holidays.  I am so anxious for this final stage of publication . . . but not for me.  I’m anxious for others to be able to read and know another side of Sergei Kourdakov.  And at the same time, I hate waiting these last few weeks.  I’m terrible at waiting.

The best way to stave off impatience is to keep busy, and I seriously need to clean out my closets.  My simple plan is to clean out a few closets in my house while I wait.  Simple?  Maybe, but not for this procrastinator.  I think I might be like a lot of people who keep favorite items of clothing around that should have been discarded a long time ago.  It’s hard to say goodbye to memories.

And so I began the tedious process of sorting out items in a very crammed closet.  As I worked, I easily filled one bag with gently used clothes to give away.  I actually even managed to throw out a few things.  All was going great until I reached for an old coat and discovered a black silk scarf hidden underneath it.  And then everything came to an abrupt stop.  How can one plain scarf bring up so many memories?

I wrote about this very scarf in my book.  What I didn’t realize was that I still had it in my possession.  This was the scarf I wore to the visitation service for Sergei in Washington DC.  I had to go out and specifically buy it because I didn’t usually wear black.  I gently wrapped the silky scarf around my neck and shoulders.  In that moment, time stood still as the memories flooded back.  I recalled the very day I bought the scarf.  The older saleswoman surprised me when she told me I should not wear black.  Somehow, I felt she was telling me not to grieve.  I folded the scarf up and decided to keep it.

Forty-one years is a long time to keep a scarf.  But some parts of our lives are worth holding on to.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The People Who Come Into Our Lives

The eBook version of A Rose for Sergei is still on sale for $1.99 (half-price) today!  This book promotion sale ends Tuesday, November 11 at midnight (PST).

I always appreciate when readers take the time to leave a book review.  Reviews help potential readers find a book they are interested in reading.  The following reviews are from the Amazon website:

“A beautiful memoir about young love, the people who come into our lives, and how they can forever change us.  I was drawn in from the very first chapter.”

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“A story of love, joy, loss, hope, and redemption.  K. Kidd has written a wonderful story of the power of love in a person's life, how we deal with loss and tragedy, and how we can see the miraculous hand of God weaving the tapestry of our lives into something beautiful.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An Imperfect Heart

When I see heart-shaped necklaces that are perfectly symmetrical, I think the jeweler got it wrong.  It wouldn’t make any difference to me if the necklace was covered with huge, sparkly diamonds.  It still would have no appeal to me.  Those perfect heart-shaped necklaces are unrealistic because life isn’t perfect.

I was fifteen when I had my first high school crush.  He was cute, fun, and interesting.  I think I actually floated on air after his first kiss.  Things were going great, until he showed up at school one day holding hands with another girl.  A piece of my heart broke that day but I held my head up high and moved on.  There never was an explanation.  We avoided each other for the next two years.  And it wasn’t until our high school’s 25th reunion that he apologized for his rude treatment.

When I was eighteen I was the one who broke a boy’s heart.  We dated our Senior year of high school and into his first year of college.  I felt that I was too young to tie myself down.  I was working for the Federal Government and there was a lot going on in my life.  It wasn’t him, it really was me.  A piece of my heart broke because I knew the pain I caused him.

When I was nineteen and working at the Pentagon I thought I met “the one.”  The young Army officer seemed to have it all.  Until I found out that I was the one who made him question if his on/off girlfriend was the right one for him.  After a short time he proposed…to the other girl.  He was the right one, just not my right one.  Another piece of my heart chipped away once more.

When I was twenty-one I met Sergei Kourdakov at my office.  He was unlike anyone I had ever met.  The attraction between us was immediate, we both felt it.  Dating a Russian defector was definitely adventurous.  We laughed all of the time and enjoyed every minute we spent together.  When he died it felt like my heart had broken into a million pieces.

Hearts break…pieces are chipped away, and hearts fall apart every day.  Over the years, I learned to pick up the pieces of my heart and gather them together.  Those pieces are life lessons.  We heal; we move on and learn to love again.

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Kindle Countdown Deal

An Amazon promotional deal for the eBook version of
A Rose for Sergei will be held on the following dates.

Take advantage of this $1.99 (half-price) offer!

Start date:  November 8, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.
End date:  November 11, 2014 at midnight

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Paperback Version Coming Soon!