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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sergei Kourdakov - The Myth

I recently found a retraction notice online concerning an article about Sergei Kourdakov and his book, The Persecutor.  The article was retracted after a friend told the author about the movie, Forgive Me, Sergei.  It’s a documentary film, therefore it must be true.  Right?  Well, sometimes things are not always as they seem.  I was disheartened that the author felt a need to retract his article.  I watched the movie, several times in fact, and I was left with more questions than answers.

My number one concern about the movie is that I truly believe Sergei would never have given anyone the real names of people he knew and associated with in the Soviet Union.  And secondly, if you were involved in unsavory activities for your government, would you name names?  And if anyone asked you, let’s say a movie producer, about said activities, would you admit to knowing anything?  In a movie for everyone to see.  For your government to watch.  Think about it for a minute.  I know what my answer would be.

If you’ve followed my blog you understand my reaction to the movie and the retracted article.  This was the movie which encouraged me to write A Rose for Sergei.  This movie convinced me to tell a story I had always planned to keep to myself.  That by itself is pretty revealing because I’ve never been moved to write or blog about anything before I discovered that movie.

Sergei Kourdakov’s book is controversial, there is no doubt about that.  In my book, A Rose for Sergei, I have tried to show you what Sergei was really like.  His actions and his responses to situations when we were together were real and were very telling. Yes, he believed he was being watched and followed.  I saw how cautious he was, always looking over his shoulder.  That is not a story others have made up to perpetuate the myth about him.

I am surprised, after all these years, to discover that people are so eager to discredit Sergei Kourdakov without having known him.

A Rose for Sergei
A true story of courage, love and destiny.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Love Knows No Bounds

I noticed today that Amazon has the paperback version of A Rose for Sergei listed for only $7.99.  I’m not sure how long that price will be in effect, but I think that’s a pretty good deal for a paperback book!  While I was on their website I also came across a new review for my book.  I am pleasantly surprised when readers express what I, as the author, am not always able to convey.  Thank you, Cora, for a lovely review!  Below is a shortened version of her review for A Rose for Sergei:

Love Knows No Bounds

A beautiful love story centered around two young people from vastly different worlds in the early 70’s.  What sets their love story apart from all other?  A few reasons.

One:  Both live a life so out of the norm for most.

You have an ambitious independent young woman from D.C. who dives straight into life after high school into a world most people would be in awe over as they wonder, “Does that really happen outside of movies?”  She is brave and dedicated and remarkable throughout this story.

Then you have a young man from Russia, who since a young age has seen more tragedy and more of the world’s ugliest sides than any one person should.  After being orphaned so young, life turns into a mission of survival for this young man.  He later joins the KGB and was put in the duty of (among other things) breaking up the secret meetings of Christians.  But his life takes a drastic change…and [he] defects from the Soviet Union to America.

Two:  The best part?  This is a TRUE story, these are REAL people.

Two people from different worlds get hurdled into each other’s lives through fate?  Chance?  Though they could not be more different, though the short journey they take together is full of mystery, danger, and secrets, it is also full of wonder, life, and love.

And all I am left with is wow.  Yes, I really enjoyed this story. Yes, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a real life true love story with a bittersweet ending, but a moving lesson…love knows no bounds.  K. A. Kidd writes her story beautifully, sucking you in to her world, telling you her story through her eyes.

—Review by Cora