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.

The Cord in The Iris Covenant – A car made for an Industrial Espionage Novel

37 Cord3At our book signings we often have a large display board on an easel depicting various aspects of each of our novels. During a recent signing for The Iris Covenant, our Industrial Espionage Novel, a young man pointed to a photo of a 1937 blue Cord automobile. Betty asked what he thought of the photo. He looked closer and read the caption “1937 Cord Driven by Buck.” “Oh, he said, that’s a Honda Accord.” We explained that the automobile wasn’t an Accord, but an American luxury car that was last built in 1937. In our novel the Cord is driven by our hero, Buck Whithers, as he toured the San Francisco area with his new love interest. The woman, Obeiji, is a Japanese businesswoman and cousin of the suspected leader of an international industrial espionage ring operating out of Kyoto, Japan. Buck met Obeiji in Kyoto while on assignment to investigate the theft of high technology worldwide.

Buck rented the car from a unique vintage automobile agency in San Francisco. He drove Obeiji along Route 101 along the California coast to Half Moon Bay. As he drove, he explained to her as a boy growing up in rural Kentucky, a well-to-do neighbor drove past his family’s property every day in a Cord not unlike the one he was driving. His driving the Cord was the fulfillment of his boyhood dream. Later in the novel, Obeiji buys him the car as a gift. Buck is overwhelmed by the gift.

The Cord automobile was manufactured in Connersville, Indiana, by the Auburn Automobile Company from 1929 thru 1932 and again in 1936 and 1937. E. L. Cord founded the Cord Corporation including the Auburn. He was known for his innovative technology and streamlined design. The Cord was the first front wheel drive car to be offered to the public. The design was much lower than competing cars of the time and the body design won prizes in contests worldwide.