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S is for Spy Accusations #AtoZChallenge Historical Treasure

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.53.24 AMGrowing up in the 80’s, the Berlin Wall was to me a structure seemingly as permanent as the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China. I knew it separated The East from the The West, keeping those who lived under enforced communism away from freedom and choice.

What I didn’t know and somehow missed in my history classes was that The Wall was a quite recent edifice. Prior to its erection in August of 1961 (and excepting Soviet blockade times), people traveled back and forth between the Berlins for work and pleasure (see Iron Curtain Memoirs Book 3).

At first there was no sanctuary in West Berlin for those with identity cards from the east. Many who tried to stay in the west were returned or kidnapped and brought back. Guards were only posted on the eastern side, and some trams continued to run their route across the border and back.

Such was the time in which Irene Kucholick, my A to Z Historical Treasure writer, lived.

I began riding the electric U-Bahn. Although controlled entirely by East Germany, the U-Bahn traveled from Potsdam, through West Berlin, and into East Berlin again. Each time I rode the U-Bahn I watched and learned.

Many people got off the U-Bahn in West Berlin. At all train stops on the East side, people were spot checked by armed Russian border guards….After Russian guard separated out suspected persons for further checking, the German police mustered them into a large room….

Persons in possession of forbidden Western items were transferred to another police station in the city. Each case was punished according to the degree of the offense. Even foodstuff and soaps were forbidden. We had such bad soap powder that it could only be called sand. Western soaps of any kind were welcomed articles for the black market.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.04.07 PMConfiscated items were sold in a store run by the government in Potsdam….Few people could afford them. The exchange rate was still five East Mark to one West Mark and four West Mark to one American dollar. That gives one an idea of how little East German marks were worth. Next to nothing.

Persons caught trying to escape…were usually sentenced for ten to twenty years at hard labor.

….This time I was stopped….Suddenly I remembered the Western literature. Ice cold fear gripped my body. There was no place to discard my borrowed material.

…[A scuffle broke out], I threw my magazines to the floor hoping no one would see where they came from.

Too many police and Russians were watching. Everyone saw me!

….I was immediately labeled a dangerous spy, as the papers were considered propaganda material from the West. [Excerpts from Survive Little Buddy. Copyright Irene Kucholick 1996. All rights reserved.]

One of many great images collected on Stacy Andersen's "Berlin Wall" Pinterest page

One of many great images collected on Stacy Andersen’s “Berlin Wall” Pinterest page

Can you imagine being able to cross the border, see the relative prosperity, soak in freedom for a couple hours before having to return? It’s no wonder Irene’s longing to break free from the Soviet communism strangling her homeland was so strong.

I have a short but powerful video of Irene talking about this incident that I hope to have ready for V is for Videos You Requested.

Coming next…T is for Temptation

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Kristin King is an indie author and sole-proprietor of Three Kings Publishing, which released Irene Kucholick’s Iron Curtain Memoirs in 2013, and released the digital edition as Survive Little Buddy in 2015. Irene reminds Kristin of her own grandmother whose strength and convictions have endured from harder times.

 

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Memoirs & History

 

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K is for King – “Are you related to Stephen King?”

Updated Branding at Three Kings Publishing

Updated Branding at Three Kings Publishing

 

 

 

 

Publishing

As often as I am asked who the 3 Kings are here at Three Kings Publishing, I am asked if we are related to Stephen King.  I guess our branding added to this. I might quip about “Uncle Stephen” however we are not related to the famous author of such classics as The Stand, The Dark Tower Series, Fire Starter, Cujo, Carrie, and The Shining. We are big fans though and enjoy his writings the way most folks do, from afar.

I have hopes that my husband and I will one day be joined by another writer in the family. For now, the 3 Kings are Kristin King, Charles Ryan King, and Jesus, our King of Kings. And just so we’re clear, Jesus Christ has not submitted any manuscripts to us or had anything published by our small press 😉

Any other questions?

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in FAQ, Indie Business

 

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Thanks for the Memories – Ode to Family Businesses & Tidbit

UKMaybe you’ve driven by the marquis and seen those words “THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.” They make me think of small businesses, Mom and Pop stores, restaurants, services. Whether it’s recession or retirement, they are bittersweet farewells to places like the old country store my great-grandmother ran in Sulfur Well, Kentucky, the insurance agency my folks had where I was first paid by the hour, the restaurant where every kid in the family, sometimes even cousins too, got their first chance to work, and to support the the family operated enterprise.

This week I want to say a few words about these places that have given us such great memories and thank the Moms and Pops who started it all. Maybe my own children will look back nostalgically on Three Kings Publishing, where I became the founder and boss in 2012. Please comment with businesses you’d like to thank and read a tidbit from a short story from my Begotten Bloods Series entitled FATEFUL NIGHT, a bite of fiction written to honor the closing of Tabby’s American Grille & Bar, serving two locations near Cincinnati, OH for so many years. Thanks Mom & Pop.

EXCERPT:

Tabby’s American Grill & Bar was a landmark not far from King’s Island Cincinnati. The local hangout was frequented by a loyal compadre of regulars, light traffic off I-75, and all manner of revelers in between. Kellee might have made better tips elsewhere, one of the bars closer to campus for instance, but Tabby’s was family owned, friendly and neither the owner nor the cooks allowed anyone to get overly frisky with the girls behind the counter. Three of those girls were daughters of the owners who took Kellee under their wings and turned her into one of the best bar keeps around. A fact that irritated Kellee’s mother no end and made the daughter of that cheating ho smile every time she thought of it.

The crowd during the holidays swelled and Kellee took on as many hours as she could including some time now serving as night manager. Truth was the bad economy hit Tabby’s pretty hard, the place was on the market, and if it didn’t sell early next year the family would probably have to shut the business down. Management experience and a stellar recommendation were all Kellee would take with her. Maybe the distraction of these thoughts was why she didn’t initially notice the loner.

He usually sat about as far from the bar as you could without getting in the way of the pool players at the back of the room. Tabby’s only accommodated two pool tables set end to end with an aisle on the far right for foot traffic, mostly smokers in the winter, who went to the narrow deck beyond. He picked up a game occasionally, drank Coors Light religiously regardless of the specials, and ate chicken tenders with mayonnaise like they were going out of style. Thus he was dubbed Mayo Man after only a handful of twice a week visits. Thursday, Kellee’s regular closing night, was always one of his visits.

If he stared over long at the girls behind the bar, it was hard to tell what with the two big screens on the wall behind them. Did his gaze follow them to the kitchen or was he checking out the Keno display to the left of that swinging door with its round port hole window? Mayo Man was a smoker, wore Dickie jeans, a doe skin colored Carhartt jacket and scuffed up work boots, a duplicate of half the men who hit Tabby’s for their great food and to catch whatever sports they followed on the big screens in an atmosphere of down home camaraderie.

Football season was winding down with the Redskins going to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, but college basketball provided the back drop for the tall man who did catch Kellee’s eye that fateful Thursday.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint.  Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Story Bites

 

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Pantser or Planner?

My short blog history is proof positive that as a writer I am a pantser, I fly by the seat of my inspired pants. I don’t do a work-up before I write with an outline or plot plan.  I do make a kind of chapter outline, but only after I have 50K words and can no longer see where the holes are in my non-chronological collection of scribbles. All this is to say that right now I am sitting on the starts of four blog entries and one almost complete entry.

My plea is “this is my process.” Just an excuse really for what I know I need to be doing. It’s not process, it’s struggle. I have too many ideas, too few words, and a grand lack of time. They say you find time for the things you really want to do. So I know I’ll be with this for the long haul.  For right now, I apologize to those anxiously awaiting Begotten Bloods Two, because, honestly, God & family come first.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that my author husband is a planner, motivator, and my hero. He’s got my back and is always pushing it into gear. Gotta love that man o’mine. There is so much more to come from Three Kings Publishing. Stick around, and enjoy the journey into reading with us.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in On Writing

 

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