‘This book deserves a second read! (And maybe more).’

Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews has given Distant Early Warning, my novel of the Cold War, a five-star review:

It’s an amazing plot that has multiple subplots that help the reader get to know the Andersens and the incomprehensible events that have affected their lives. The characters had a lot of depth and were very realistic. This book deserves a second read! (And maybe more). It’s definitely un-put-downable!

You can read the full text on the review site or on Goodreads. And, if you’d like to explore the effects of natural and human disasters on a family already facing the fear and paranoia of the 1950s, you can read a sample and buy the book on Amazon.

Meeting friends, old and new

I recently had the honor of discussing fiction and publishing with the Kanaya Book Club in Sarasota, Fl. The event also gave me the opportunity to catch up with a friend from our days in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania—B. Aline Blanchard, who founded Pocono Writers circa 1981. Aline, who organized the event, is a writer, sculptor, and visual artist now living in Sarasota. She has a pair of novels, several chapbooks, and a book of poetry to her credit.

We had a lively discussion of Peak Season, my first novel and the first book (of five) in the CW McCoy series of crime novels. Given that our adopted home of Sarasota just suffered a swipe from Hurricane Ian, the conversation migrated to storms and a reading from my latest work, Distant Early Warning, a Cold War novel set in a fictionalized version of my former hometown (Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg, Pa.) during the devastating Flood of ’55.

Despite the grim complications of crime novels, the conversation turned lively, and a good time was had by all. The wine helped.

Thank you, Aline, for your generosity, and everyone who attended.

From left: Ginny Reck of the Kanaya Book Club, myself, and B. Aline Blanchard

On top of the world

The Distant Early Warning Line was a system of 63 radar stations built across the Arctic Circle to detect Soviet bombers. Constructed by Western Electric, it extended 3,000 miles along the 69th parallel from Alaska to Baffin Island. The Arctic Institute of North America estimated it took 25,000 workers and $300 million to build the stations.

The U.S Air Force took operational control of the DEW Line on July 31, 1957, two months before the Soviet Union launched earth’s first man-made satellite, Sputnik.

This magazine ad appeared shortly after completion of the system.

Jeff Widmer’s latest book is Distant Early Warning, a novel of the Cold War.