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, February 23, 2015

It's Never All About You

I don’t usually watch reality TV shows but I will admit to watching The Bachelor.  In one of the recent episodes I was taken aback by what one woman had to say about the tragedy of losing her husband and the excitement of being on TV.  And then, in the next breath, she smiled and said, “Isn’t my story amazing?”  She was referring to starring on the TV show and hopefully finding a new love.  I do understand the need to move on.  But mixing the two words together, “tragedy and amazing,” did not sit well with me at all.  It made me cringe.  Maybe it was a poor editing choice by the producers of the show, or perhaps it was intentional, what the producers were aiming for.  Whatever the reason, I was disheartened that the story line was at the deceased husband’s expense.

As I listened to the young woman’s story, I thought about Sergei Kourdakov.  How could I not?  I can’t think of anything more tragic than what happened to Sergei.  He lost both parents when he was a young child.  He was raised in Soviet orphanages and molded to fit into a system he did not completely grasp at the time.  When Sergei was so very close to finding his dream in the United States, it was all taken away in an instant.

If I were to use the same words from that TV show, this is what I would say, “Sergei Kourdakov was an amazing young man.  He accomplished more in his few short years than many others would accomplish in their lifetime.  It was a tragedy that he died so young.”

Reality TV or not . . . it’s never all about you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Giveaway for: A Rose for Sergei

I recently joined Goodreads ( is a free web site for book lovers) and created an author's page with them.  I like the fact that readers can submit questions via the "Ask the Author" section.  From the email I receive I know a lot of you have questions about Sergei Kourdakov.  As time allows, I will do my best to answer your questions.  One of the features at Goodreads is their book in free!  At this time, I am happy to announce that I will be giving away 5 signed copies of my book through the "Goodreads Giveaway" program.

Enter now for a chance to win a free signed copy of

A Rose for Sergei

Giveaway dates:  February 15 – February 28, 2015

Five copies available!

Giveaway available for the following countries:  US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia

Click here - Promotional Book Giveaway at
When page opens, scroll down to “Win a copy of this Book” and enter for a chance to win.

Good Luck!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Captivated By Him

The letters I receive from female readers reveal that they either had a crush on Sergei or felt attracted to him.  I can certainly relate to that.  Everyone has such wonderful things to say about Sergei.  It doesn’t surprise me since Sergei had an outgoing personality.  His enthusiasm for his new life in the U.S. was always apparent.  Sergei would often say whatever was on his mind and his honesty was refreshing, something we weren’t used to hearing.

When I met with my former boss this past year, we shared a lot of interesting and tender memories.  Sergei had stayed with the Logie family for a short time and he reminded me that both of his very young daughters had developed crushes for Sergei.  He also told me an amusing anecdote about the time he and Sergei were leaving a meeting in the Pentagon.  “Sergei walked up to a young woman in the hallway and told her that she was very pretty.”  Mr. Logie laughed as he recalled the story, “She was quite surprised by that.  She didn’t know what to say and kept on walking . . . away from us!”

I remember how Sergei asked me to go out with him, only a few hours after we met.  He sat on the edge of my desk at work, leaned over and quietly said, “I would like for you to go out with me on Saturday.”  It wasn’t a question.  I liked Sergei’s outspoken approach.  Captivated!  I like that word.  It’s a good descriptive word, as is enthralled, fascinated, or awestruck.  You could use any or all of those adjectives when talking about Sergei Kourdakov.  He had that effect on everyone.  Whether you met Sergei in person or read his book, people were captivated by him.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mind over Matter

On a bright, Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I suddenly had an impulsive desire to clean up my home office.  It is the room I write in.  It’s a small room, tucked away at the far end of the house, with a large picture window on one side.  The walls are painted a warm, soft yellow.  It’s peaceful, a great place to write and work, most of the time.

Something happened to that room while I was writing A Rose for Sergei.  My neat, tidy room gradually morphed into a catch-all cluttered pile of stuff over this past year.  Stuff to sort through, papers to read, gift wrapping paper and ribbons piled higher and higher.  But I avoided it all as I wrote, focusing only on my book, my eyes glued to the computer monitor.  Given the choice to straighten up the room or write, writing always won.

Back to that Sunday afternoon . . . I started picking up and throwing out papers with a vengeance that day.  Who does this on a Sunday, on a day off?  But for some unknown reason, I kept at it.  After a few hours had passed it hit me like a brick wall.  What I had been trying to avoid brought me to an abrupt stop.  Now I understood the reason I needed to keep busy.  The choice was not one I consciously made.  It was January 11, the anniversary of Sergei Kourdakov’s funeral.