A New Year Has Begun

With the holidays and our having suffered a bug, we fell behind on the saga of Hot Stuff. However, for the last couple of days we’re back on track working on the manuscript.
We have over 80 K words at the moment and we’re reviewing the whole manuscript as it stands today. As we go along we’re making small adjustments in the writing and adding needed details. In addition we’ve begun selecting photos and maps to be included in the finished product.
The writing is being characterized as a historical narrative and is not a pure documentary. By this we mean the characters, places, dates and events are actual based on research. Only the dialogue is the product of our imagination. We feel by adding actual conversation with the slang of the era, we give the reader a glimpse into the 1942-43 world of seven decades ago.
We chose a human approach using dialogue. In this way we hope to bring the characters to life, each with his own personality.
The chapters are now titled and we took care to describe each of Hot Stuff’s individual 31 combat missions.
At the end of the narrative we discuss what could have been if circumstances had been different.
The game’s afoot in search of a publisher.

New Novel in the Works

It’s been a while since we last updated our blog. The reason is we’ve been consumed with writing the true story of Hot Stuff, a B-24 bomber in WW II that completed 31 combat missions months before Memphis Belle, the B-17 that is so well known.
We want to tell the true story of the first heavy bomber in the Eighth Air Force to complete more than 25 combat missions, the magic number required to allow the crew to rotate back to the United States and gain some fame as well.
Our background information comes from extensive research conducted by Jim Lux, an Austin, TX retiree. He spent years working with the Commemorative Air Force, an organization that rebuilds and flies vintage WW II aircraft. One of his friends, the bombardier on Hot Stuff told him about the exploits of the brave crew members. The old veteran related that Memphis Belle may have been the first B-17 to have completed 25 combat missions in the Eighth Air Force, but Hot Stuff was the first.
Our compelling story follows the bombardier’s log and key events of every completed combat mission. It relates what the bomber crew went through to survive enemy antiaircraft fire and fighters over hostile territory.
It was the breaking up of the crew just before returning to the United States that led to a tragic ending.
In addition to the research material we used, we enjoyed conversing with Jim Lux and a living member of a B-24 crew.
As our manuscript approaches closure, it will require some time before the novel is published complete with myriad photos.
Although we haven’t come up with a title as yet, watch for Hot Stuff in the coming year.

The Iris Covenant’s Puppet Master

Envirotech HQEnvirotech HQJapanese-American Abraham Itahara, self-made billionaire and CEO of Envirotech, has a lifelong hatred and mistrust of Japanese. When invited to a meeting of international industrial moguls in Kyoto, Japan, he encourages our protagonist, Buck to attend in his stead.
Itahara’s shadow life, that of heading up a covert agency in Homeland Security, allows him to use the resources of the Federal Government to protect intellectual property of the United States from theft by foreign agents. As a result he is able to provide Buck with the necessary means to conduct intelligence gathering at the meeting in Kyoto.
Much to his surprise, Buck finds love in the last place he would look for it and informs Itahara of his new found relationship. Itahara sees a way to gain information by having Buck entice the woman to spy for him.
When Itahara is informed of a terrorist incursion on American soil, he uses his authority to have Buck recalled to active duty.

Bushido in The Iris Covenant

Our antagonist sees himself as an ancient shogun

Our antagonist sees himself as an ancient shogun

We saw the movie 47 Ronin. It was based on a true story about ancient Japanese warrior culture. A ronin is a samurai with no shogun to lead him and is considered an outcast in Bushido culture (warrior code). A ronin is honor-bound to avenge the death of his shogun by killing his avowed enemy and then die by his own hand.
This ancient culture is modernized in our novel The Iris Covenant. The antagonist in our novel is a self-appointed shogun who is actually a 21st century Japanese industrial mogul. He conspires with other international corporate heads to steal high technology any way they can via industrial espionage. Our antagonist seeks to punish Americans for what he considers a wrongful hanging of his grandfather for war crimes in WW II. While leading terrorists he loses his life and his close friend and self-appointed samurai seeks to kill the man who betrayed his shogun.

The Iris Covenant’s Hero, son of a WWII hero

Buck is wounded in Vietnam and evacuated by helicopter.

Buck is wounded in Vietnam and evacuated by helicopter.

Colt .45 given to Buck by his father.

Colt .45 given to Buck by his father.

Buck's townhouse overlooks Lake Travis on the edge of Austin, TX.

Buck’s townhouse overlooks Lake Travis on the edge of Austin, TX.

The protagonist for The Iris Covenant is Buck Whithers, a retired army officer, a Vietnam veteran and widower. He lives alone in a large townhouse that overlooks Lake Travis on the edge of Austin, Texas. A phone call in the middle of the night launches him into a perilous world of international industrial espionage as an agent of the U.S. Government. The path leads him to a culture he has hated as a result of his father being a survivor of the Bataan Death March in WWII. While gathering evidence on industrial theft, Buck manages to escape attempts on his life. After returning to the U.S., he is recalled to active duty to deal with terrorists who threaten a high technology nuclear facility on the Texas Gulf Coast.