Author Archives: Don Kesterson

Journalist Neil Sheehan Passed Away

Pulitzer Price winning journalist Neil Sheehan passed away on January 7, 2021 at the age of eighty-four. He was a complicated individual but someone I could relate to. One of the reasons was his attention to detail on his research, almost to a fault. In my historically accurate Vietnam novel series, titled Pawns, particularly in the third installment, I detailed Sheehan and his relationship with those he interacted with in Vietnam and upon returning to the United States.

 

 

 

 

In 1962, Sheehan was working as a reporter for United Press International (UPI) assigned to Vietnam and supported the U.S. role in the conflict. He interacted with the likes of New York Times reporter David Halberstam and the Associated Press (AP) reporter Malcolm Brown and Time Magazine reporter Pham Xuan An. On his second assignment to Vietnam, in 1964, Sheehan began to change his prospective on the conflict. It was then that he met Department of Defense civilian employee, Daniel Ellsberg, who also had just returned to Vietnam. By the time, Sheehan was recalled to the U.S. for a new assignment for Time Magazine, reporting from the Pentagon his mind had completely changed regarding the U.S. role in Vietnam.

Sheehan is probably most famous for his role in publishing, The Pentagon Papers, the 7,000 pages of stolen documents given to him by Daniel Ellsberg, who had been reassigned to the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. This book was filled with details that the U. S. government didn’t want made public regarding the Vietnam Conflict.

For those of you too young to remember, The Pentagon Papers was maybe the most controversial book of the era. President Nixon did everything he could to block its release. Both Sheehan and Ellsberg were held as heroes or villains depending on one’s prospective of the Vietnam Conflict.

When I was a freshman in college a dorm mate recommended the book and it really was the first step of opening my eyes on how the world really works. Today, the pages of my copy are brown and tattered from use and review while writing my three Pawns novels. To those who have not read my series the novels are not against the Vietnam Conflict nor for it. Throughout the writing my characters where used to present both sides of the conflict, all the while focusing on the U.S. soldiers being used as pawns by the top government officials.

Likewise, I also read Sheehan’s book, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. This book was a detailed biography on Army Colonel John Paul Vann. Again, a very detailed writing that Sheehan took years to research. As an aside, he was in trouble with the publisher because he was taking so long to present the manuscript.  The bulk of the biography dealt with the Vietnam Conflict through the eyes of John Paul Vann. His attention to detail was so impressive. John Paul Vann had a different idea who the Vietnam Conflict should have been executed by the U.S. but his ideas were never implemented. Colonel John Paul Vann died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam.

In conclusion, regardless of your opinion of Neil Sheehan he was an outstanding journalist, who did real research into his topic, for that reason I hold the man in high regard.

 

Beyond Oak Island Series

On January 8, 2020, the Prometheus Studios, Inc. flew me to Los Angeles to film a segment for their new series, Beyond Oak Island. The series will feature the two brothers who have led the Oak Island dig, it will feature other treasure and gold stories from around the world. On Tuesday of this past week, the episode three of this new series ran on the History Channel, it featured several different topics including a segment I was interviewed for, Yamashita’s Gold with a focus on the Golden Buddha recovered by Rogelio Roxas. This episode will re-air on Tuesday at 5PM but will continue to run for several weeks.

I had planned to write a blog about my experience of going to Los Angeles for this filming but the Covid 19 virus hit and the editing and developing of the new series was put on hold. I feared it was going to be canceled altogether. Then one evening several weeks ago, one of my best friend’s sent me a text that they had been watching the History Channel and heard my voice on a commercial then looked up and saw me on the screen. I texted him what it was about, as I had stopped making contact with the producer of the show. He said he wasn’t certain. So I sent the producer an email and she advised me that the segment was produced and ready but she didn’t have a schedule.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday night, December 1. The local high school team that I am a volunteer assistant coach, Chapin High School, won a big game by the time I got home I was wired and couldn’t go to sleep. My wife was watching the History Channel, episode three of this new series. It was very interesting about shipwrecks and lost treasure and gold at sea. So at about 10:45 PM, I said “I’m finally tired enough to go to bed but I am enjoying this show about shipwrecks. The next segment of the episode started with the lead with something about Japanese raided gold and treasure and there I was, popping in and out of this segment about Yamashita’s Gold, the Golden Buddha and the lawsuit of Rogelio Roxas versus Ferdinand Marcos.

The timing of this episode and that segment could not have been any better as I had just published my last novel in my Gold series, Tarnished Gold, which deals with what happened to Yamashita’s Gold and more particularly, the Golden Buddha.

Hopefully, you all will catch it on the History Channel on either rerun, on demand or stream it over your computer and purchase my novel related to this very subject. Here is the hyperlink

Tarnished Gold – is now Published

I finally got around to writing and publishing Tarnished Gold, (Amazon paperback, kindle and Barnes and Noble kindle) the sequel, to The President’s Gold, and boy is it good. Just like The President’s Gold and Gold of the Spirits (the prequel), Tarnished Gold is a historically accurate novel which follows the timeline of the Marcos family after they exiled to Hawai’i. Click here for a more detailed synopsis of the novel. To make the history more readable, I drop several fictional characters into this historically accurate timeline so that the reader is not just reading history but experiencing it, sucked into the middle of the unfolding events. The accuracy and the detail of my historical research has been noticed by various producers regarding Japanese gold buried in the Philippines during World War II and what happened to the gold and treasures, since that time.

For seven years, this story, Tarnished Gold, has been rolling around in the back of my mind, outlined and scenes drafted but I had to do some additional character development so that I could finish it. What’s funny, this character that needed additional development was accomplished in a different novel series of mine, Pawns, but that is how writer’s minds work. So for those of you who read The President’s Gold, maybe even read the prequel, Gold of the Spirits, here is the conclusion to the series regarding gold buried in the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II. More specifically, those who went in to recover the buried gold and treasures, Ferdinand Marcos, the US CIA via Santa Romana, the Japanese Yakuza and the US Military.

And for those of you involved in the interwoven story of The President’s Gold, Frank Young returns as the protagonist, as does Rosalita Laurel, who really isn’t the antagonist, but she isn’t “Snow White” either. There are several real antagonists in the story, but they are the real life people, Ferdinand Marcos, and Fabian Ver, among a few others.

Hope you enjoy reading my new novel, Tarnished Gold, or all the novels in the Gold series. Also, look for me in the History Channels production, Beyond Oak Island series episode.

 

 

 

Pawns: Stalemate, my new Vietnam novel

My third installment of my Vietnam Conflict series, Pawns: Stalemate, was released in paperback this week on Amazon. It is a behind the scenes story from one of the most volatile times in US history, the Vietnam Conflict. The Pawns series was started from seeing the bumper sticker: When I Left Vietnam, We Were Winning”. Growing up in the Vietnam era, I do not remember anyone ever discussing with me that the United States was ever winning in Vietnam. Therefore, I was seeking the truth, was the bumper sticker correct? This novel represents the final answer to my own personal question of the bumper sticker. It took two years of deep research and writing, seeking out only the facts regarding the Vietnam Conflict. I interviewed and discussed strategy and application with several of my friends and contacts who had honorably served in the United States military. Likewise, since growing up in that era, I knew and went to college with numerous anti-war protestors.

The novel picks up several months after the final scene of Pawns: Kings in Check, it begins in the middle of 1965, just as President Johnson orders a substantial increase of ground troops into Vietnam and ends after the TET Offensive at the beginning of 1968. It features the same fictional characters from previous novels in this series, Marine Major Steven Hebert and newspaper reporter Rita Sullivan inserted into the historically accurate timeline. The intent is to give the reader a feel for actually experiencing the events, while shining a light on the true history. Hebert and Sullivan serve their fictional roles juxtaposed in historical events in Vietnam and in the United States.

The Vietnam side of my research didn’t focus on specific battles, rather, the military strategy of the Conflict and the very difficult situation the US military was placed in while serving in that theater. The US side of my research dealt with the Johnson administration and the American public, mostly the growing anti-war position, first with the students then expanding into the general public.

Lastly, one of the equally delicate subjects of Vietnam, I wove the role of illegal drugs coming out of the Golden Triangle, focusing exclusively on Laos,  due to the close proximity of the Ho Chi Minh trail and its very critical role in the Conflict itself.

In 1965, as a rule, the American public was behind and supported the US effort in Vietnam. However, by the TET Offensive, a vast majority of the public was questioning why we were there. They had become tired of watching the six o’clock news showing battles and death on ABC, CBS and NBC. The role of the embedded reporter and cameraman in this conflict cannot be understated. Why was the televised conflict different than Korea or World War II? It was the actual role of the reporters. During both World War II and Korea, “short clips” were presented before movies at theaters showing only the good being accomplished by the US military, and more importantly produced and approved by the military and the administration. With Vietnam, the news programs could put out a story every night focused on the negative side of the conflict. And, of course, there was the unpopular draft, which had become a story unto itself. Standing back and looking at it, it was a chicken or the egg situation, did the public turn against the conflict before the news presented a more negative view?

Another anomaly of this conflict, it is often stated that the winner gets to write the history books. Vietnam was different. The North Vietnamese had no interest in writing history books while the American population wanted to know why they supposedly lost? Their first loss in any conflict.

While almost every war in history has the conflicting country’s leaders serving a role in fighting strategy, Vietnam seemed to have more interference than previous conflicts. While many country’s fight wars with rules, that is certainly not always the case. After completing my research and writing, it is my opinion, the United States strategy had many more rules of engagement while the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had none. The United States viewed this as a conflict between a democratic government versus a communist take over, while the North viewed it as a civil war and a fight for reunification. It was that philosophical difference that played a dynamic role in those engaged in the fight.

I will say that one of my goals of this series was to honor those who served in this Conflict honorably, or the “Pawns” of war, since they were never given their just congratulations for their service. Finally, the goal of my novel and the series as a whole was to present the historical facts, without presenting only one side of the growing differing philosophy of the Conflict itself. I attempted to stay true to the theme of my website, with this novel, Pawns: Stalemate, “We are about to embark on a course in education. We will be opening those eyes of any reader who dares to read some of the real truths in history, The real history of the world.”  Or the real history of the Vietnam Conflict.

I am curious what the readers of this novel will think. My approach to writing about this volatile time is different and I hope in the end I have left the conclusions up to the readers, who have the facts.

Pawns: Stalemate

Anniversary of the Surrender of the Philippines – May 6, 1942

Last night, the History Channel showed the second episode of “Lost Gold of World War II” and today is the anniversary of the fall of the Philippine Island, the United States territory, to the Japanese. It set up the brutal Bataan Death March but more importantly it set in motion the Japanese plan to bury gold and other treasures in that territory.

General Douglas MacArthur had been recalled to active duty earlier in the year to command the United States Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific region. He believed he was under explicit orders not to initiate hostilities against the Japanese. Thus, giving the Japanese the upper hand in taking the territory. On February 22, 1942, President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to move his headquarters to Australia.

As the first troops defending the Philippines began to surrender on the Bataan Peninsula in April, others resisted until May 6. The Japanese army decided to teach the U. S. soldiers and the loyal Filipinos a lesson for their resistance. This decision was made because of the influence of Colonel Tsuji. Most of the 80,000 prisoners of war, including 15,000 Americans, captured by the Japanese at Bataan were forced to undertake the infamous “Death March” to a prison camp 105 kilometers (65 miles) to the north. The Japanese had only made provisions for capturing 25,000 soldiers, they were unprepared for the significantly larger numbers.

The Bataan Death March evolved into a conflict between the Japanese soldiers and officers. Those officers who had served under General Honma were civil to the prisoners of war. Not so for the soldiers who served with Tsuji’s men. They were ruthless, from stealing wedding bands and watches to bayoneting or shooting prisoners. Tsuji even went so far as to threaten his own officers, warning them that he had orders from Tôkyô to treat these prisoners of war this way, and if they did not comply, their careers may be at risk. American and Filipino prisoners of war were bound, beaten, or killed by their Japanese captors. When they fell from exhaustion, some were bayoneted on the spot. Some were forced to dig their own graves and were buried alive. It is estimated as many as 10,000 men, weakened by disease and malnutrition and treated harshly by their captors, died before reaching their destination. Only 54,000 prisoners reached camp alive. Thousands later died from malnutrition and disease.

During the early phases of the Pacific War, most of the Gold, currency and treasures extracted from Southeast Asia by the imperial Golden Lily Group was sent to Japan to the Nagona Bullion bunker to finance the war effort. By mid-1942, when U. S. Navy ships and submarines made the shipping lanes too risky to move Gold and treasures to Japan, another shipping point had to be determined. Chichibu met with Hirohito, and they decided it would be best to ship the Gold to the Philippines. On July 7, 1942, Tojo met with camp commandants from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He told them short of becoming inhuman; they were not to permit idleness among the prison work detail in the Philippines. This specifically included those digging caves that were ultimately used by the Golden Lily Group to bury Gold. To circumvent Allied air and naval attacks, Prince Chichibu had a fleet of four ships painted as Red Cross ships, which could move without incident throughout the Japanese territories with Gold and treasures.

Hirohito believed even in defeat, he could negotiate a reasonable peace with Roosevelt. His worse case scenario was the United States would let them remove their captured Gold and treasures. The resulting peace would allow Japan to keep Manchuria, Foremosa and the Philippines.

In March 1944, MacArthur’s forces landed in the Philippines to begin their liberation, the Japanese still had a tremendous amount of Gold and treasures to be buried or moved. On March 7, Manila was liberated. Therefore, the Golden Lily team had to take the Gold and treasures with them into the mountains of northern Philippines and other areas during their retreat, where it was buried at many different locations. This required a huge labor operation.

"The President's Gold" and "Gold of the Spirits"

The President’s Gold and Gold of the Spirits, books by Don Kesterson

Prince Chichibu realized they were going to lose.  Unlike Hirohito, he did not believe they could defend the Philippines. Moreover, he did not share the opinion that they could negotiate to keep the Philippines in defeat. Thus, keep the stored Gold. Chichibu ordered the construction of deep underground storage areas, so deep the Gold, currency and other treasures could not be accidentally detected.

Hirohito decided to recall Yamashita Tomoyuki from Manchuria, where he had been sidelined since conquering Singapore. After a week of briefings, he was promoted to full general and sent to the Philippines to oversee the 250,000 men defending that territory. When Yamashita left, he told his chief of staff that it was his turn to die. On October 6, 1944 Yamashita arrived in the Philippines and established his headquarters in Manila. His original army, so successful just thirty months earlier in Malaysia and Singapore, no longer existed as a cohesive unit. Yamashita knew the “beginning of the end” would occur in the Philippines, and it was up to him and his commanders to stop or at least slow down the U.S. troops.

United States Marines continued to advance in the south on Luzon. There were small pockets of resistance, while the Japanese under Yamashita continued to elude the U.S. forces. In April, he moved 50 miles farther inland to the area of Bangbang. As Yamashita continued to retreat over the balance of the Luzon Campaign, he continued to use Guerrilla tactics such as “hit and run” into the Cordillera Mountains. In a rather ironic twist of fate, Gold had been moving to the Philippines for some time before Yamashita’s arrival, yet the Gold found there would ultimately be called Yamashita’s Gold. Yamashita had nothing to do with the Golden Lily Group, although he was aware of their presence. At the last burial site before surrendering his army, he gathered enough gold and silver to pay his own men.

When Hitler surrendered Germany, Hirohito finally realized for the first time his surrender would be unconditional. His only real remaining hope lay it drawing out the war long enough to have the fragile alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union crumble, which might cause either to ask for Japanese help. With the dropping of the two atomic bombs that request never came.

Lost Gold of World War II- Season Two Premier

Tonight at ten o’clock Eastern Daylight Time, the new season of Lost Gold of World War II begins. Those of you, who followed the show know that at the end of last season, they appeared to find an old tunnel system. Likewise, in several previous episodes to the season finale, they brought out some of the involvement of the United States government and the deviousness of Ferdinand Marcos.

"The President's Gold" and "Gold of the Spirits"

The President’s Gold and Gold of the Spirits, books by Don Kesterson

One of the biggest issues I have with the buried treasure starts with the reference name, Yamashita’s gold. When I was interviewed to be a part of this documentary series, I attempted to correct the producers, telling them that I was able to document that Yamashita was present only at the last burial site. Why, because he had no more money and he went into the burial site to take enough gold and silver to pay his men. Then he sat down with the engineers and drank saké with workers. When they were sufficiently drunk, Yamashita and a couple of the engineers from the Golden Lily team escaped. The bunker was blown up such that those individuals remaining behind were buried alive. I told this story to the producers saying the buried treasure should be properly named either the Golden Lily’s Treasure or Chichibu’s Treasure. Chichibu was Emperor Hirohito’s brother, who was put in charge of the Golden Lily team.

So where did the name Yamashita’s Gold come from? After his surrender in September 1945, he was interrogated by members of General MacArthur’s staff. Then later Ferdinand Marcos used the term to explain his personal wealth. The documented facts are the Japanese were systemically burying gold in the Philippines for several years before Yamashita was stationed there. He was transferred from Manchukuo, the Japanese captured territory or Manchuria in late 1944, therefore, he was there for less than a year. Most of Yamashita’s time, particularly after MacArthur’s arrival to liberate the Philippines, was dedicated to guerilla warfare tactics in the jungle away from the gold and treasure.

I will attempt again this season to critic each series episode again focusing on the involvement with the government and Marcos side. I have spent years researching these two related elements of the buried gold. My assumptions are the season will start out focusing on the newly discovered cave, which as it should be. This site appears to have the potential of being an actual burial site. But remember there were mining operations and natural caves throughout this island before the Japanese arrived in 1942. So who knows, that is why they are doing this show.

Anyway, I suspect my interview for this series ended up on the cutting room floor, as they decided to go in a different direction when it came to the background and intrigue side of the buried gold. I am okay with that. Oh well. Ironically, in January 2020, I was flown to Los Angeles to appear in a new documentary about Yamashita’s gold and the Golden Buddha but due to the Corona Virus outbreak that documentary got suspended or cancelled altogether.

During each of my interviews, I warn the producers about the booby traps and the dangers of these burial sites. Next, I advised they would need a lot of security should they find buried treasure. Lastly, my most important warning was about the involvement of the governments. There are secrets that they cannot allow to be documented. They will do anything to destroy the credibility of anyone who dares tell the truth. I just continue my writing on the subject unveiling the truth about the buried gold in the Philippines along with other untold truths. The real truths in history, history unlike anything you have been taught in school. The real history of the world.

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic – Spanish Flu

A little over one hundred years ago, during World War I, the world was thrust into a flu pandemic. It was named the Spanish Flu yet it didn’t originate there. Spain did have a massive outbreak including their King Alfonso XII. It got its name sake because Spain, was not blacked out for news, due to World War I, like other European countries.

Unlike what the world is experiencing today, where we know that Wuhan, China is where the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak started, in 1918, there is questions where? Some suggest it started in the United States, some in Europe, while others still say Asia. But one thing was for sure, within six months it was world-wide. It was believed to have spread from the seaports, loading docks into the inner cities.

While exact figures are still unknown, an estimated five hundred million (500,000,000)  humans contracted the flu, including six hundred-seventy-five thousand (675,000) in the United States. Over the course of the pandemic, deaths from the flu world-wide ranged from twenty million (20,000,000)  to one hundred million (100,000,000). If it was the later, then that would represent three percent (3%) of the world’s population died due to the flu and complications.  Much of the spread was attributed to the war due to the fact so many military personnel were shoulder to shoulder traveling and fighting.

In the United States, just a little more than a year after Woodrow Wilson, agreed to send troops to Europe in World War I, there was a major outbreak at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas, with one hundred coming down with the flu. Within a week that number increased four-fold. In May 1918, U.S. soldiers were crammed together on boats going to Europe to fight. In September 1918, there was another outbreak at two military installations in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The flu was so contagious that six days after the first case there were six thousand, six hundred-seventy-four (6,674) diagnosis. At one camp alone there were fourteen thousand (14,000) cases, with seven hundred-fifty-seven (757) deaths. Some historians claimed that the participation in World War I created a shortage of physicians and professional nurses back in the United States. Additionally, some historians claimed, while the flu virus was spreading on these military bases, they failed to use trained African American nurses. Why? In 1913, the progressive President Wilson re-segregated the military. More people died from the flu in 1918, than American soldiers were killed on the battlefield.

Starting in September through November 1918, the influenza outbreak became more deadly. First, beginning in large, densely packed population areas. When hospitals were overrun with flu patients, schools, and other large buildings were converted to make shift hospitals staffed with medical students. New York City required all flu patients to be isolated at home or in the city hospitals. Other hard hit cities were Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. As the situation deteriorated in Chicago, they closed schools, movie houses and prohibited public gatherings, plus, called for volunteers to assist nurses with the growing number of ill. In Philadelphia, temporary morgues were set up to handle the corpses waiting to be buried. In some rural areas of the country, families were forced to bury their own family members. San Francisco required everyone to wear masks when going out in public. In October alone in the United States, an estimated one hundred ninety-five thousand (195,000) died.

 

Finally, the American Public Health requested the following: stores and factories stagger opening and closing hours; and, Walk to work rather than use public transportation. Some larger metropolitan areas asked their citizens to confine themselves. The illness was so devastating to the work force that businesses were shut down and crops weren’t harvested.

When World War I was over in November 1918, the demobilizing again increased the influenza, as military were again packed in like sardines on ships and sent home.

Unlike today, it took until December 1918 (more than nine months after the outbreak) before the Public Health started education programs speaking of coughing, sneezing and “nasal discharges”. Yuk.

In January 1919, there was another surge of influenza throughout the country. The case was so severe, (Please don’t laugh at what I am about to type) that the Trustees of the Boston City Hospital asked their mayor for a special funds appropriation of $3,000.00 to study the treatment of this influenza. (Honestly, this is not funny just unbelievable on so many levels.) Up until that time, no doctors or scientists had studied it or had an idea of how to treat the virus.

By late winter of 1919, the United States was starting to get this flu under control but the rest of the world was still struggling. As a matter of fact, in April 1919, President Wilson contracted the flu and collapsed, while at the Versailles Peace Conference, where the flu was still out of control in Paris.

By the summer of 1919, the Spanish flu epidemic supposedly came to a declared end. Why? Because the sick had died off, while the remaining population developed an immunity to this strand of influenza.

God Speed to the United States and the world, we are blessed that our capabilities today are so much better than one hundred years ago.

What do Michelle Obama and I have in common?

We are both releasing our books on the same day November 19. I can’t tell you a thing about her book on the other hand I can tell you a lot about mine:

Ring of Freedom is about a Vietnamese family, the Vuongs, risking everything they had to seek the freedom only offered in the United States of America.

According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees, an estimated 250,000 died attempting to escape the communist/socialist Vietnam. My personal opinion that figure is low.

At the time, the Vuong family started their escape they were an affluent Vietnamese family, lead by the patriarch of the family Doctor Toan Tu Vuong. By their final escape attempt, they had to bury money and gold from their in-laws, turn the gold into rings to better hide and sow both the rings and money into their clothing to escape with only the clothes on their back. By this time, everything else had been stolen from them except their desire to be free. Please pick up their story on November 19.

Ring of Freedom – My latest writing project – a Memoir from a Journal

Last year, I was introduced to a story unlike anything I have ever written or contemplated. A friend of mine in Charlotte, Jack (J. C.) Lightner, told me about the family of his wife’s colleague who escaped from Communist Vietnam. Naturally, I was intrigued. As some of you know, I have been writing a series on the causes and effects of the Vietnam Conflict. This would be the best example I could’ve hoped for of the final cause and effect.

Last fall, J. C. introduced me to a family member, Dao Vuong. She gave me an overview of what her family had persevered to come to the United States. I was hooked on the story. When J.C. first discussed the project with me, the patriarch of the family, Dr. Toan Tu Vuong, had written a journal about his life, but it was in Vietnamese and he and his wife lived in New Orleans. We tabled the project until we could find someone to translate his writings. Then, by the grace of God, the family moved to Charlotte, and he translated his own writings to English. Now the project was back on, full speed. Here is the book cover:

The first of this year, the translated journal was provided to me in a MS Word document. Dr. Vuong’s journal covered his life from a young child in Vietnam until late in his professional career in the United States. After discussing with several of my trusted advisors on how to convert a journal to a memoir, I started. As I do when writing historical fiction, I used actual historical events to build the timeline of the story around. To provide different perspective and to add more detail to the story, I interviewed the five adult children as well as Toan’s wife Nha-Y, her sister, and a close family friend.

I read the first chapter at my writers group and received some tremendous input. They suggested a radical change to hook you, the reader, on the Vuong’s determination to come to the United States.

The memoir begins just before the fall of South Vietnam to the Communists and follows the family—and their personal trials and tribulations—as they arrive in the United States. It continuously shows the sacrifices Toan and Nha-Y made for the betterment of their children.

The end of the book includes biographies of each family members to show that despite the dramatic events they endured (as detailed in the memoir), all of them achieved at the highest levels.

I invite you to pick up this memoir and experience the Vuong family’s journey as they come to the United States to be free. A pre-sale will be available soon, and I will keep everyone posted for a release date.

 

 

Kindle Sales for The President’s Gold – Novel

Just wanted to follow up on my last blog. For those of you who were so kind as to purchase my novel The President’s Gold, thank you, so much. For the record, due to the herculean effort of my PR firm, they drove the kindle sales to “Number 1” for the day in one category, “Number 2” in another category and TOP TEN in a third category. I couldn’t have done it without you, the readers and PR firm.

I have one more request. If you have read it, would you be so kind as to post a review on the Amazon webpage for the novel. It would be greatly appreciated. If we can get those badly needed reviews, Amazon treats novels and books with a higher regard and they will appear in searches, not previously seen. It makes sense, if readers are posting positive reviews then they assume more readers will likely enjoy reading my historical novels, which of course I agree.

Needless to say it will also help drive sales, other’s will get to experience, the “history unlike anything you have been taught in school. The real history of the world”.

Also, if you liked The President’s Gold, I suggest purchasing Gold of the Spirits, it is the prequel to The President’s Gold. I am starting a special deal new week on Gold of the Spirits for $0.99 kindle version.

And for those of you waiting to see what happened to Frank Young and Rosalita Laurel, I am making excellent progress on writing the final in that series, Tarnished Gold. Again, here is the first chapter.