His website can be found here: Gary Alexander
I'm sure some of you saw him at Over Coffee with Sia McKye last week where he gave an awesomely entertaining and humorous interview.
I was so impressed by what I read, I wanted to share with you his stories. They're not romance but they are fabulously written and a story worth reading.
In 1965 Saigon, Joe, a young draftee, becomes obsessed with a Vietnam girl named Mai, his own "Dragon Lady" from his beloved Terry and the Pirates cartoon strips that his mother still sends him. As he pursues a relationship with her, Saigon churns with intrigue and rumors--will the U.S. become more involved with the Vietnamese struggle? What's going on with a special unit that's bringing in all sorts of (for the time) high tech equipment? Will the U.S. make Vietnam the 51st state and bomb aggressors to oblivion? But for Joe, the big question is--does Mai love him or will she betray more than just his heart?
By; Crystal Fulcher, My Reading Room blog
• “…a refreshing book… Dragon Lady is a highly entertaining book that I heartily recommend…It’s one of those books that grabs you and doesn't let you go and leaves you thinking about it even when you are finished. So run, don't walk, and try this author out, see if Dragon Lady grabs you like it grabbed me.”
By; Bill Furlow, Great Books Under $5 blog - www.greatbooksunder5.blogspot.com
• “Positioning the narrator in the afterlife gives Dragon Lady a third dimension that elevates it above a simple boy-meets-girl story... But his love-sick pursuit of his impossible dream is entertaining.”
About the Author: Gary R. Alexander enlisted in the Army in 1964 and served in Saigon. When he arrived in country, there were 17,000 GIs. When he left, 75,000. Dragon Lady is Gary’s first literary novel. He is the author of several mysteries featuring stand-up comic Buster Hightower--Disappeared, Zillionaire and Interlock--published in hardcover by Five Star/Cengage. He has had short stories published in several mystery publications, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. He resides in Seattle.
Read an interview with Gary about his Vietnam experiences at the
Istoria Books blog
EXCERPTS FROM DRAGON LADY ARE AVAILABLE HERE:
Books You Want to Read at Prices You Want to Pay ™
Or read an excerpts from Gary Alexander's Dragon Lady here:
All anyone could talk about was what they hoped was wrong with them. No one was anxious for syphilis or cancer, mind you, but we were yearning for nearsightedness or farsightedness, trick knees, high or low blood pressure, flat feet, slipped disks, neuritis, neuralgia, post nasal drip, the heartbreak of psoriasis. We were praying for a backassward Lourdes, where 4-F was the miracle. I had no illusions. If you could fog a mirror, you were probably in.
My reality was the twelve months I was spending in Vietnam. That was the standard tour. Then it was Back to the World, the Land of the Big PX, the U.S. of A. You didn’t have to extend unless you wanted to. I had four months left. When you hit one hundred days to go, you were entitled to ownership of a short-timer’s calendar. Everyone counted the days before boarding a Boeing 707. Ziggy, as of now, had eighty-five and a wake-up, but he couldn’t care less. I’d had to buy his calendar and maintain it for him, for Chrissake.
We got back to the 803rd, gone a mere three hours. When the captain saw what we’d parked at the curb, he looked at us as if we walked on water. “Men, I’m putting in papers to immediately elevate you to private first class.”
I thanked him as humbly as I could manage. As happy as I would’ve been to be promoted, the clerk-typist slot was foremost on my mind. As PFCs, we’d be booted out of the 803rd sooner or later. It was inevitable. I did not wish to be helicoptered into the godforsaken to hunt Victor Charles and for Victor Charles to surely reciprocate.
I wanted a clerk-typist MOS on my resume. I wanted to be where Charlie would have to barge into my clean, dry office and fire a round through my Underwood to get me.
“Thank you, sir. I request that you send Private Zbitgysz and me to typing school so we can improve our skills on the job and become improved soldiers and lighten PFC Bierce’s burden.”
Bierce didn’t look up, but his clickety-clack-clack ceased.
The captain handed us each $6.25. We knew what to do. Each GI in Vietnam was entitled to five cartons of American cigarettes per month at a commissary or PX. They sold for $1.25 per. They went for $5 on the black market and wound up on the street in individual packs for somewhat more, which was why they were rationed. American smokes were like gold. Ruby Queens, the domestic brand, tasted like asphalt and stunk like a car fire.
Ziggy, the captain, and I bought our allotted five cartons of Salems. I decided to hold onto a carton for Charlie, Ziggy’s and my Vietnamese buddy. The captain bought all the Tide detergent we could carry (Tide and Salems were the nylons and chocolate bars of the Vietnam War). He also bought Royal Crown whiskey, frozen chicken parts, canned peaches, toilet paper, Louisiana hot sauce, and Tampax.
He steered us toward Cholon, Saigon’s Chinese district. Ziggy winked, letting me know he knew what was going on in case I didn’t. The Dragon Lady!
It was a routinely formal letter. We never were an intimate family. Our communication could have been notes from an insurance agent to a client. However, that colon after “Dear Joe” was a dagger through my heart. We’d been distantly polite for the longest time, but the affectionless salutations were always punctuated with commas. The colon meant movement. It meant increased coolness. It was businesslike, verging on iciness. The Pentagon would term it escalation.
We're going to have three winners; All commenters will have their names put into a hat and the first three names drawn out will be our winners. Announced next Friday.
The first winner will get a free e-book download to Dragon Lady, the second and third place winners will be getting an ARC copy of ZILLIONAIRE
And for all who aren't winning here today I hope you will go out and buy DRAGON LADY and enjoy it...if you think it might not be your cup of tea check out his other book - a mystery!!!
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