R.K. Price, Author of Fine Historical Novels

Welcome to the official website of R.K. Price

Latest News

10/18/13 RK Launched a Blog Tour
Just in time for the 50th Anniversary of JFK's Assassination
Reviews, Book Excerpts and Interviews with R.K. Price, Author himself
visit the following sites....



So Many Precious Books
Oct 18 Review & Giveaway
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 21 Review
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 22 Interview
Ordinary Girls Oct 24 Review
Rainy Days & Mondays Oct 25 Review
Fundimental Oct 28 Review
Fundimental Oct 29 Guest Post & Giveaway
Joystory Oct 30 Review
Rose & Beps Blog Nov 1 Excerpt
Library of Clean Reads Nov 5 Review
Romance & Inspiration Nov 7 Review & Interview
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 8 Review
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 12 Guest Post
Tales of a Book Addict Nov 13 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 22 Review
Indies Reviews Behind the Scenes Dec 7 Live Interview



So Many Precious Books Oct 18 Review & Giveaway

My Thoughts:
The Thunderbird Conspiracy weaves fact and fiction about the JFK Assassination. Years ago Bud Carlson, R.K's uncle, told him about an employee of his that may have been involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK. R.K. sat on what Bud told him because there was no hard proof. However, about 20 years ago, more information was becoming opened up to the public. Since then, every so many years more information has been released. Using what Bud told him, the release information, and his imagination, R.K. Price has pieced together a compelling story.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone or as there a conspiracy? We may never know for sure. However, that fateful day has captured our imagination and theories still, 50 years later.

Brimming with believable characters, exciting twists and turns, and a well developed plot, R.K. Price weaves together a possible theory. I only have one slight complaint, that I think it could have been edited down just a bit. Some of the dream sequences seemed a bit repetitive. However, I highly recommend The Thunderbird Conspiracy! It is a highly charged exciting read!

4.5/5

I received an e-book copy for my honest review.

Giveaway Winner: Entry #29 Rhonda L.

 



Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar
Oct 21 Review

My review:
"I was surprised, and perhaps a bit shocked, by the extended detail of the background of Robert Kaye in this book. However, it is probably that detail that makes the story so compelling and makes you want to keep reading to see what can possibly come next."

These were the first words that I wrote for this review, perhaps 20% through my read of this truly outstanding book. I was put off by the extreme amount of "dreams scenes" to set up Robert Kaye's mental state. Thankfully, I kept reading beyond about the 30% mark where I really wanted to put it away, and give it up - but, I had a review to write. Thank goodness!

When Robert finally arrived to work for Bud in Denver, and they started to talk politics, I felt a reprieve and from that point on, I could hardly put it down, in spite of some family obligations that had to be met.

This was a very plausible story, and I think you would enjoy reading it. I'm a student of presidential politics, having read dozens of presidential biographies and related material. In my youth, I was a personal staffer to a small state governor touted as a presidential candidate - thankfully, he never chose to run. But, my fixation on everything Presidential was born. I did not vote for Kennedy, but served him faithful as an Air Force Lt. during the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his assasination. I'll admit to a continuing fascination with "the Oswald story."

I did not read the epilogue until the end. I'm glad I didn't. I really needed to read the full story to appreciate the information the author provided there. He did a really fine job of filling in the gaps in the documents he had discovered, creating complimenting characters, and creating a plausible story. As he said, none of us will never know "the truth," as is so often the case in historical events. Thank you, R.K., for sharing this story!

I hardily recommend this book to your reading pleasure. * * * * *

I was provided a pdf of the manuscript for an honest review. However, it did not read well on my several readers, so I bought the Kindle edition, and am glad I did. What fun!  ;-)

Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)




Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar
Oct 22 Interview

Let's learn a little more about R.K. Price:

R.K. Price is a Colorado native. He lived in Pueblo for a number of years, earning his way through college as a radio/television and newspaper reporter. He moved north to Denver in the mid 70s, joining a major advertising/public relations firm as a writer, producer and press agent. Later, he formed his own media relations and political consulting firm. He spent the early 1980s in Washington D.C. actively involved in national politics, and returned to Denver in the mid 80s to become an investment and mortgage banker — a profession he remains in today. He now lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife Janet and daughter Sara in Alexandria, Va.

R.K. Price Website: 
http://rkprice.com/
R.K. Price Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rkpriceauthor
R.K. Price Twitter: https://twitter.com/RK_Price



Ordinary Girls
Oct 24 Review

The Thunder Bird Conspiracy is a historical fiction book, a tale of a Hungarian immigrant named Roman Sokolowsi who becomes an American with multiple aliases such as Robert Klonowski and Robert Kaye and ultimately ends up involved in the J.F.K assignation. 

A good portion of the book sets the story of Roman’s Hungarian upbringing and the deep seeded roots he brings with him to America. Roman is a brilliant electrician with all of the aptitude it takes to be a successful businessman and leader in his community. His drive to learn and succeed is second to none. He is actually the idyllic person who makes up the American Dream....until....he falls into a group of radicals who play him and feed into all of Roberts insecurities, intellectual ideals and to his abusive background. At this point Robert’s all American Dream persona starts to crack and peel away. We see the intelligence wither away and take a second seat to the all encompassing need to belong to a cause, to do something great and just be accepted.

The second major character and hero of the story is Bud Carlson.  Bud is an all American Dream man. He is hard working, driven and self made successful businessman. Bud in some ways is intellectual equal to Robert without the messy abusive background that is significant to Roberts’ core being.  We meet Bud as a young man and follow his journey through his successes and failures and ultimately his meeting and ensuing relationship with Mr. Robert Kaye.  Bud gives Robert a job, helps him in an hour of need. They become friends. Then, one day Robert leaves his friend and job with no reason as to why or what he is doing.

The final journey through the story takes us through Robert’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald and the ensuing assignation of JFK. The story continues to follow Robert up to his release from custody and resulting death afterward. Bud’s story also continues with his involvement and the FBI investigations.

The story was captivating from a historical point of view.  In the author’s notes it gives a detailed account of where the information was collected and found over the years, to bring credit to the story.  The story did not have a “gangster” like quality to it that one might expect, yet it was engaging enough to keep a reader going to find out what made up the character and what drove their decisions. 

I give this book a 4 of 5 star rating.

I was gifted a reviewers copy of The Thunderbird Conspiracy in exchange for an unbiased review as part of the The Thunderbird Conspiracy virtual book tour

~Di~



Rainy Days & Mondays
Oct 25 Review

In a fictionalized tale based on facts, the reader follows the characters on a journey that leads to the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

The Thunderbird Conspiracy: 50th Anniversary of JFK murder begins in 1940, with the story of Bud Carlson, injured in a reckless driving accident in Nebraska, where he lived with his farming parents. The injuries never fully heal, but the recovery process changes his life in many ways, including his attitudes about people.

The author has based the story of Robert Kaye, friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, on a tale told to him by Bud Carlson, only weeks before he died. Carlson admitted in his confession that he needed to unburden himself.

Who was Robert Kaye? How did his life intersect with Bud Carlson's? His story picks up for the reader in 1958, after his immigration from Hungary, where many disturbing events transpired, leaving him physically and possibly emotionally injured. The reader discovers his efforts to immerse himself in the American world, learning to speak the language fluently, and practicing his skills as an electrician by working in a TV and radio repair shop. He lives in a boarding house in New Orleans, where he meets a young woman named Deborah, who would be instrumental in introducing him to a group of radicals.

His journey continues into the sixties, and especially focuses on the group of radicals who become conspirators in plotting a life-changing event to take place in Dallas. Robert Kaye later claimed to have no knowledge of what exactly would happen, but pieced it together afterwards. However, none of the officials with whom he shared his story, in hopes of protection from his co-conspirators, believed him. Except for one police detective in Colorado...and Bud Carlson.

I was interested to learn more about the assassination and a possible conspiracy, and to peek behind the scenes with the characters involved. However, the story left me with more doubts than answers. And while the author has labeled it "historical fiction," he also maintains that it is based on a "true story." Based on fact.

While the story is not lengthy (327 pages), the print was small and the pages were densely constructed, making the read strenuous and challenging, and the details were disseminated as if from a textbook; this style made it difficult for me to connect with the characters. Occasionally I engaged with them during isolated moments, and also felt some empathy for Bud Carlson...and even for Robert Kaye, whose naivete seemed to lead him astray.

The 1963 black Thunderbird that Robert Kaye bought just before the assassination was like another character. Its journey was interesting, especially when we discover where it ends up.

The author's epilogue was enlightening in its revelations about facts and the fictionalized elements, along with what eventually showed up in released government documents. An interesting story, overall, but a long and plodding journey to the finish. I am giving it 3 stars for the writing style, and 4 stars for the content. (3.5 overall).

***



Fundimental
 Oct 28 Review

MY REVIEW
I saw the cover and read the title. I am a car nut, so this made me pause, thinking, what is this about?

Thunderbird by R K Price is a historical fiction novel that tells of two men’s “involvement” in the JFK assassination.

How much is true? How much is false? You decide.

I am not sure what I expected from the book, but I am a conspiracy buff and have never been satisfied with the results of the investigation into the JFK assassination. I knew I wanted to read on.

I found it very interesting and it created as many or more questions I had after reading it as I did before.

Thunderbird touches on many of the current events that went on during that era – immigration and segregation.

The rise and fall of money – the cost of a car or a gallon of milk.

It brought back memories of the times, like the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

R K Price writes about an immigrant’s life and the adjustments he has to make to assimilate into the US culture.

I feel it could be titled The Making of a Radical.

Two men trying to live their lives, but outside influences play a disastrous part, changing them forever.

I guess you could say Robert Kay, who is really Roman Sokolowski from Hungary, was doomed as soon as he came to the United States.

“you aren’t never gonna get along…..in this US of A with a name like….”
Thus, he became Robert Kaye.

I thought the women in this book were slightly nuts.

The book did what a book should do. It got my wheels turning.

Thunderbird brought to mind ideas I had never thought of.

Did the Warren Commission write it up and drop the ball to keep the country intact?

Or to cover up the government’s part in it?

What do you think?

4 STARS – Would Highly Recommend To Others




Fundimental Oct 29 Guest Post & Giveaway

I would like to take this time to welcome R K Price.

I am curious as to what he has to say and I hope you will be too.

GUEST POST

A Good Story
The fiftieth anniversary of the tragic death of John F. Kennedy quickly approaches. The nation will once more honor one of its finest of fallen heroes.  There will be no celebration.  It will be a somber affair, and a new generation of Americans will join their parents and grandparents in reliving those horrifying days and tearful nights of November, 1963 to mourn the youthful President. His image is frozen in time. Besides the sorrowful reminiscing the most notorious crime of the twentieth century will again be examined as the greatest mystery of that millennium. Perhaps the greatest mystery ever. The airwaves, internet and print media will overflow with the full spectrum of opinion on topic.  Accomplished scholars will weigh in; crime writers will have a field day; bloggers will pontificate, and broadcasters will bloviate.  The story will never go away.  It is engrained in the American psyche.

And inevitably during this examination many will ponder the “what if’s.”  What if JFK had lived? What if Lee Harvey Oswald had changed his mind?  What if during that morning in Dallas someone had spotted him with his rifle and called police?  What if his shots were just slightly off target?  Or what if one of his accomplices had turned against him?  Besides Jack Ruby. Before it was too late.

Accomplices, you say.  Why?  What makes you think so?

Thunderbird
does not attempt to solve Kennedy’s murder. Far from it. It is neither a scholarly recitation nor another chronicle leading up to and moving beyond the sights and sounds of those fatal gunshots.  Thunderbird does, however, present intriguing elements to this endless Shakespearean-like drama too big to ignore.  It introduces two new, honest-to-God, bigger than life characters .  Men never heard of or written about before.  They were men of such divergent backgrounds that even their chance meeting shattered all odds. They were fascinating men, each in their own right, and the people around them, some who actually were there, others who are found in my imagination, bring color and perspective to those times and to the events that shaped the nation.

Thunderbird
is a book of fiction, but it contains more truth than many would like to admit.

Until the Kennedy Assassination section of the National Archives finally released secret FBI and Secret Service files on Robert Kaye his story laid dormant.  It was then, in 2008, and the unexpected revelation of the Robert Kaye dossier that I began to write.  To tell it all beginning on the day my mother’s beloved brother, Bud Carlson, sat, near death from chronic heart disease, spinning a yarn too hard for many to believe.

I truly believed my uncle’s telling on that dreary winter day in Colorado, but I was a journalist and a pretty darn good one at that.  I needed collaboration so I waited and searched for it for thirty-seven years.  I waited to describe the Hungarian freedom fighter, wounded in the bloody 1956 uprising against the Soviets, who came to New Orleans seeking solace and asylum only to find wickedness among those who conspired to kill a President.  A gullible, selfish, confused man easily manipulated by the allure of sex, money, power and standing among the group hell-bent on their murderous mission.  He made his way to Denver where he met Bud Carlson and later a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.

I waited to tell how this man shattered the innocent, yet sorrowful life of my uncle who longed for peace and tranquility after years of heartbreak and personal loss.  Their paths crossed when Bud Carlson hired Robert Kaye and a bond was forged between them. I write that Bud, too, was duped by the conniving Kaye, one of many aliases as the Kennedy investigators soon found out.  Bud trusted the talented tradesman but soon grew tired and wary of his radical views and expressed hatred for America’s leaders at the time.  Bud became suspicious but never thought for a moment his employee ever harbored such ominous motives.

Then Kaye vanished mere weeks before the Assassination leaving a wife and child behind. Like the good man he was Bud stepped in to help, giving the abandoned pair hope and financial support to await his return. Kaye has never been seen since.

I tell how days after the President’s death Bud was arrested for questioning and spent days under intense interrogation. What linked the two and forced Bud to his knees in handcuffs was a piece of evidence somehow lost or possibly ignored in America’s rush to judgment.  That evidence, I reveal, was a pair of binoculars given to Kaye by Bud Carlson as a birthday gift.  This same pair was found in Oswald’s apartment on the day of the Assassination. To his knowledge I write not once in all the millions of documents collected on Kennedy’s killing have binoculars in Oswald’s possession ever been disclosed.  But my uncle said they were his gift to Kaye, and years later, a friendly G-man confirmed to him the shocking truth. For Bud that inadvertent connection led to terrifying days that turned into years of unwarranted suspicion and harassment at the hands of a government he respected and loved.  Bud was betrayed by Robert Kaye but more hurtful was the betrayal by his nation which, through its protectors, victimized Bud Carlson as an unwitting participant in the whole sordid affair.

Bud Carlson is dead.  Robert Kaye may not be.  If he is alive let him come forward to confess and finally free Bud Carlson to rest in peace. The captivating tale of Robert Kaye and Bud Carlson and the parts they played in the Kennedy saga will assume a prominent position on the bookshelves and in the virtual libraries of America’s readers for many years to come.

A good story is right. I think I ended up with even more questions that I had before. I would say that qualifies this guest post as a huge success.

Thanks again R K Price for stopping in. I hope you enjoyed your stay.




Joystory Oct 30 Review

I have followed the Kennedy family story since I was ten days past six years old.  It was, I believe the first memory series connected by topic and timeline that stayed with me long term so that to this day I can play it back like a mini movie--a story and a puzzle still missing pieces.  I think it was sometime in the next year or two that I became conscious of that lesson--that memories can form stories and if you purposely store them as stories they stick with you longer and with more details.

The trigger for creating this memory story may have been the initiating scene in which I was standing by Mama's knee at the sewing machine watching her put finishing touches on the outfit I was going to wear to kindergarten after lunch.  The radio had not switched from news to music after breakfast and then gone off.  It was still on hours after Daddy left for work and she had moved it from the kitchen to her sewing corner in their bedroom.

I was babbling on about silly six year old stuff and she was responding appropriately in short cheery phrases that encouraged me to continue.  Then she gently shushed me, turning up the radio as it came back from commercial.  And as I watched her listening the tears started flowing and dripping off her chin onto my dress.  I was alarmed.  'Why are you crying Mama?'  and she said 'Someone shot our president.'

That was the beginning of my consciousness of  the concept of 'President'.  Over the next weeks a jumble of memories sorted themselves out into a story with very personal emotional charge:

  • The pictures of the handsome man hanging about my school were covered with black cloth and later replaced by a different man who looked like a grandpa.  
  • The newspaper images (we didn't have a TV) of John John saluting and Caroline clutching her Mother's hand
  • The black cloth draped train
  • The horse drawn casket
  • The gun salute
  • The oval office in many manifestations--empty. crowded, and JFK sitting alone at the desk that looked bigger than our kitchen table with both leaves in.  
  • Being told the Kennedy kids were about the same ages as me and my brother.
  • Noticing how much Jackie resembled my Mama and how much some of the outfits Mama made for herself resembled Jackie's.

Holding hands in prayer at the kitchen table as Daddy (or Mama at lunch) prayed with compassion, love and assurance for comfort for the Kennedy family and wisdom for America's leaders and the direction of Our Heavenly Father.  Which calmed my alarm over the 'very bad thing that happened' and gave me a strong sense of the comfort of Jesus and the control of his Father.

That was also the beginning of my obsession with everything Kennedy, reading everything I could get my hands on even sneaking into the adult stacks at the library and reading them sitting on the floor by the shelf before I was 13 and allowed to check them out.  By the time I was 14 I was certain that one bullet theory was silly.  I didn't know much about the science of ballistics but I'd seen ricochet in action in ping pong and pool and that convoluted path for a single bullet accounting for every injury was just too hard to swallow.  And by the time the Watergate scandal played out over my 8th and 9th grade years I understood that there was always something being withheld from the general public.

That, I know, was a very long preamble to a review.  But for this one I simply had to put it in that context to illustrate how deeply rooted in me the Kennedy assassination story is, how primed I was to be riveted by a new story promising to pull back the curtain on secrets never before revealed to the public.  And riveted I was.

Price managed to create characters I could care about with clear motives who acted consistently in character and that came alive for me. Even the supporting cast which were all uniquely delineated and most every one an eccentric of some stripe which are my favorite type of character.  At times the suspense was intense and well handled.  The secrets are startling to say the least.

It was an enjoyable read that I would recommend in spite of a few quibbles I'm about to list

  • It needs a good line edit from someone with fresh eyes to round up those pesky dismembered corpses of previous versions of edited paragraphs. To bring phrases in agreement in tense, plural and pronoun, fix punctuation, delete orphaned words and add missing ones.
  • The swathes of text that interrupt story flow with info dump, reading more like a reporter's notebook than a novel.  Now I realize this is fiction based on historical fact and I have read novels that weren't and yet were designed to read like a documentary but to mix the formats inside scenes is a jarring disruption of story flow.  And I see evidence Price prefers for this to read like a suspense/thriller and witnessing his fine character studies possibly a psychological/thriller.
  • Sometimes point-of-view is a mystery and that can't be. But that was rare and probably related to the point above.

And having said all of that I need to post this without that careful line edit as it is past time to get Mom's lunch.



Rose & Beps Blog Nov 1 Excerpt

Robert was startled awake by a car horn blaring nearby. He quickly realized he had dozed off. His watch read twelve-thirty. Damn it, I can’t do that. Christ, I was out for almost nearly a half hour! He rolled down the window of the Dodge and gulped in fresh air to clear his head. A cool breeze brought relief. The sun was shining brightly and had heated up the inside of the car creating a compelling atmosphere for unwanted sleep.

Suddenly a disquieting notion struck him. I wonder if… No it can’t be…I wonder…What if he’s gonna do something. What if Lee’s… No, he’s crazy but he’s not that crazy…But he thinks like me, or at least he says he does…Kennedy’s like all the rest of them, out to steal our rights and give them to the blacks. He wants to create a new world order, bargain away our liberties and power, cave into the Soviet devils; allow Cuba to rot...

More than once I thought we’d all be better off if he was dead… No, Lee might protest or something… Sure I’m here to pick him up and split down to Mexico… But all that because he’s gonna protest against the guy? Are there others involved? Are they all gonna protest too? Maybe try to disrupt the big party today. Why the guns? Why the binoculars? Why Deborah? What’s Deborah really doing here? Coming all the way from New Orleans just to see me? Was she told to come? How did she know I would be here?

Nervously he checked his watch again. Twelve-forty-five. His thoughts ricocheting like a steel pinball. Goddamn, I wonder. Where did Lee say he worked? Some book storage warehouse. I saw a place that looked like that down there in Dealey Plaza. Where Kennedy’s gonna pass through. I’m not stupid. I knew all along they weren’t ordering me around and giving me money and telling me to go here and there for my health. I knew I was part of something big. Something important that would make things better. Deborah and I talked a lot about that. Even this week. Is this it? I thought maybe some kind of military operation somewhere. But this? Are these guys; Lee and those goons, Jack and Joe, gonna do something to Kennedy? Today? Am I a part of that? Driving the get away car?

If I were, would that be so bad? As long as we could get away with it. No, that would be okay if they killed him. Is that what Fodor meant? Wait until Friday?

Robert looked down at his hand resting on the seat beside him. It shook uncontrollably. He lifted it and grasped the steering wheel of the Dodge, squeezing it hard until the shaking stopped.

One o'clock... Not many people were left in the streets in front or on either side of him. He could see all the way to Main Street. A motorcycle patrolman cruised past not noticing his too-close proximity to the hydrant. Robert's window was down. A man and two children walked by.

"Aren't you going to see the President?" one of the little boys asked with a quizzical look.

“No, I have to work,” Robert replied.

"Too bad," the child said and ran quickly to catch up with the man and the other boy.

One-ten. In every direction Robert looked, the streets were empty of people. Only cars were parked along each side of the neighborhood thoroughfare jammed bumper to bumper.

It was eerily quiet. A squirrel scampered after another up a tall oak tree in the yard next to the Dodge. Then Robert heard the faint sound of sirens of into the distance.

One more time, Robert reminded himself. If Lee comes by and doesn’t come to the car I am to move to the second stop at Harwood Street and Commerce. I am to wait 10 minutes and if he doesn’t show up I am to move again, this time to, Elm and… and… oh, yea, Elm and Murphy. Then if we still don’t make connections I’m to go to the bus depot and wait. Surely by then we will be together and on our way to Mexico.

One twenty. The sirens grew louder. Robert opened the driver’s side door, got out of the car and looked ahead toward Main Street. People were standing along the street, three, four, maybe ten deep. He couldn’t see a thing except for the long line of their heads and backs.

One twenty-five. The sirens were getting even louder. He heard cheering in the distance.

One twenty-eight. The cheering intensified. Hand-held flags were waving above their heads.

One twenty-nine. He heard the roar of motorcycle engines passing down Main Street through the intersection with Elm. Robert was a short block away. The mob was hollering and clapping.

One thirty. The crowd already began dispersing. Some turning to walk back in Robert’s direction. They were quiet now. The thrill was gone. The outpouring of adulation was over. Robert would have liked to have seen him in his limousine. He noticed the little boy, now being carried on the shoulders of the man. Certainly his father. The other little boy was walking alongside, holding tightly to the man’s hand. They all carried tiny American flags clinched in their fists.

Then he heard the sirens again. That’s strange, Robert thought as he got back into the Dodge to wait. One, then two, then four motorcycles sped past him, sirens at a pitch. Then a police cruiser. Lights flashing, tires squealing.

One thirty-three. Robert looked closely through the strolling pedestrians for Lee. He didn’t spot him. He would be patient. He felt calm by then. His hand no longer shook.

One-forty three. Robert spotted Lee walking briskly on the sidewalk toward him. His head was down. At the intersection was a taxi. Lee lifted is hand to signal the driver. What the hell? Lee climbed into the cab. They drove away. What the hell?

Okay, not a problem. I’ll move on to Harwood and Commerce. Surely he’ll jump out of the cab and we’ll get going. Must be a reason for him taking the cab.
Robert steered the Dodge down Commerce Street, driving slowly. He reached the intersection in four minutes and easily found a parking place. He scanned the area looking for Lee. No sign of him. Ten minutes passed. Okay not a problem. Onto the bus depot. That’s it. He took the cab all the way to the depot. That’s probably smart. Maybe somebody other than me is looking for him.

One-fifty seven. On the street corner close to where Robert had parked he saw two women crying. One nearly hysterically. That’s strange. He put the Dodge back in gear and inched along slowly, pulling up closer to where they were standing. A man was next to them with a transistor radio in his hand held up to his ear. Robert heard him say to no one in particular….”Kennedy’s been shot.”

Good Christ, he did it!

This time Robert drove a little faster toward the bus depot, hoping he wasn’t late and Lee would be waiting. He arrived in about seven minutes. As he approached the building Robert saw Lee enter another taxi and drive off. This is crazy. Robert began following the cab at a safe distance since it appeared to be traveling in the same direction he was supposed to be going.

The Oak Cliff area of Dallas was a plain, somewhat barren patch of landscape dotted by tiny frame houses, few with garages and fewer still with well-kept lawns. Lee told Robert that he lived in a boardinghouse in the neighborhood near North Beckley and Neely streets and that in the event they were unable to join up by then, Robert was to park at that intersection and wait for him indefinitely.

Robert slammed his fist on the Dodge’s dashboard. He had lost the taxi in traffic mostly because there were more cops swarming all around him than he could count, running red lights and stop signs and adding immeasurably to the turmoil. Robert decided to break off from his pursuit of the taxi and instead head toward Lee’s neighborhood to wait for his friend. It only took him five or six minutes to motor into the vicinity, fully expecting to easily find Lee’s home since he visualized a place like Mrs. Dionne’s palatial dwelling. He smiled at the thought of Dallas’s own version of Clarence, Boudreaux and Miss Hattie offering unfriendly greetings to prospective residents from their front porch sentry posts. Instead, all Robert found was row after row of decrepit quarters accented by an abundance of unruly knee-high weeds and scattered sunflowers. He stopped and parked at the intersection of Beckley and Neely. He sensed he was less nervous, rather agitated, not really fearful, just on-edge. He found he couldn’t just sit there. I’ll drive around a bit; maybe I’ll spot him. Ten minutes later he did. Near the intersection of East Tenth Street and Patton Avenue. He pulled to the curb and stopped. I’ll wait here to make sure he’s not being followed.

Shutting off the engine Robert noticed a man down the street laboring in an overgrown yard in an effort to mow an enormous patch of weeds with an old push mower. And Robert concluded he wasn’t having much luck. Otherwise, Robert realized the area was deserted much like an Old West ghost town. Up the block from the man hard at work Robert spotted Lee in mid-block, heading toward him. He hasn’t seen me yet. His head’s still down, shoulders hunched. At that moment a black and white police cruiser pulled to the curb beside him. Lee froze. Momentarily, so did Robert.

Two ten. Never knowing why, Robert reached into the Dodge’s glove compartment to retrieve the revolver. Five live rounds. He switched on the car’s big motor. It rumbled to life. The Dodge rolled forward toward the patrol car. Lee had not moved. The patrolman swung open the driver side door and stepped out onto the sidewalk. He was at least a head taller than Lee and must have out-weighed him by fifty pounds. He’ll take Lee down easily, Robert concluded. He moved the Dodge closer. Robert cut the engine. The Dodge coasted. Robert swung the wheel to the right, to the wrong side of the street. He stopped the car nose to nose with the cruiser. The policeman still had his back to Robert. He must not have heard me approach. The police radio was squawking out nonstop messages at a fever pitch obscuring all other sound. The patrolman was saying something to Lee. Lee was nodding his head. Robert opened his car door and stepped out. Revolver in hand. He went around to the rear of the Dodge and took a short step onto the sidewalk. His right leg nearly buckled. Lee noticed Robert approaching. Curious, the patrolman turned to look. Robert raised the revolver, pointing at the officer’s chest.

Two fifteen. “Shoot him!” Lee yelled.

The policeman fought to retrieve his holstered pistol. It was too late.

Robert fired. Never knowing why. Officer J.D. Tippit clutched his chest and fell, already dying. Four rounds had pierced his heart.

Lee stepped around the mortally wounded officer’s body now lying face down on the sidewalk. He heard him moan. A gurgling sound came from his throat. Lee’s stride caught the edge of a rapidly expanding pool of blood. His partial footprint stained the concrete. Surprisingly calm, Lee came face to face with Robert.

“You did good,” Lee said with little emotion. “Now let’s get out of here.”

Lee grabbed Robert’s shirt and spun him around. Robert’s leg gave way to a staggering bolt of pain. He went to his knees as if beginning to pray. Already at the driver’s side door, Lee turned and barked. “Get up, you bastard!” Lee’s eyes scanned the area. The man with the push mower had abandoned his task. The mowing machine had been left standing idle in the middle of the weed patch. No one was in sight.

“I’ll drive,” Lee shouted as Robert finally climbed into the car. He remained in a daze, not thinking, only reacting. Lee slammed the Dodge in reverse and when clear of the dying patrolman’s cruiser, sped forward, spraying loose gravel and dust into a high cloud. The car’s rear end fishtailed to the right as Lee steered around the corner and sped away. The man who had abandoned his impossible chore emerged from his house and stood on his front stoop. He squinted at the blurry scene down his block. Moments before he thought he had heard a car backfire. That’s what had caught his attention. It was odd. Four times? Four bangs? All he could make out was a single car parked midway down the block. And something obstructed the sidewalk. He decided to investigate. Where the hell are my glasses? Unknowingly he walked slowly toward the fallen patrolman. By the time he came upon the body the getaway car and the killers had vanished.

Lee hit the brakes of the Dodge hard and slid to a stop in front of one of the dilapidated row houses which Robert, still somewhat in a stupor, thought may have been less than a mile away from his killing. My killing. I did it. God in heaven I murdered him!

“I forgot something,” Robert heard Lee declare as Lee leaped from the vehicle, leaving the engine idling. Robert watched as Lee ran up the short cracked and crumbling walk to # 1026 North Beckley.

Instinctively Robert slunk down in the passenger seat. No, the old man mowing his lawn didn’t see anything. He didn’t even look up when I first parked. We’re okay. Nobody saw anything. We’re clear. Come on Lee; let’s move.

Minutes passed. Again the sirens. Threatening, close by.

Ten, then fifteen, then twenty minutes elapsed. Past two thirty. The engine was still running. Robert’s head was clear by now. What is he doing for God’s sake?

Robert slid across the seat to the driver’s side. At the instant he placed his hand on the gearshift knob; a police cruiser with lights flashing turned the corner and slowly came toward the Dodge. Robert gasped. Robert remembered his revolver was on the floor on the passenger side where he had dropped it after leaping inside. He started to reach for it but the pistol had slid under the seat during the wild ride from the murder scene and was out of sight.

One bullet left anyway. Wouldn’t do much good.

Two officers were in the cruiser when it pulled up alongside the Dodge. The uniformed men clearly looked troubled.

“Is there a problem, officer?” Robert asked, surprising himself at the control in his voice.

“Where have you been, mister?” The officer riding as passenger responded. “We got a President who’s probably dead by now and a murdered police officer several blocks away, and you ask if we’ve got a problem. Damn right we got a problem. Many problems. What are you up to? You live in this neighborhood? We’re lookin’ for a car, probably two men inside. Don’t know the make or model or even the color, just a car. Big help that old man was; blind as a bat. What about it?” The officer was gruff; his rapid fire questions too numerous to answer so Robert had waited.

“I’m here to pick up a friend for work. I did hear about the shooting. Jesus, that’s awful. Any news about his condition? What about the officer? My God, what’s going on? No, I haven’t seen anything. I don’t live around here. My friend is inside. He’s sick and won’t be going to work so I was just leaving. I’ll probably be late now.” Robert smiled inwardly at his spontaneous performance, but kept a solemn face.

“They say it’s probably fatal. The President that is. We’re lookin’ for his killer and now some other son-of-a-bitch that’s murdered Tippit. Probably turn out both of ‘em is colored. Let me see your driver’s license,” the officer commanded.

Robert did as he was told, retrieving the laminated card from his wallet and handing it over.

“From Colorado, hey? You better get a Texas license if you plan on stayin’ here. We need the tax money. Costs ten dollars. Get on your way,” he ordered.

Again, Robert did as he was told; driving slowly, checking his rear view mirror every few seconds in case the officers changed their minds. They didn’t.

The man mowing his lawn didn’t see a thing. I am free.

Robert drove a few blocks before determining the best route back to his temporary home and his lovely Deborah. He headed in that direction. He drove past a movie theatre but couldn’t catch the feature displayed on the marquee. He’d persuade her to go with him when things quieted down.

Same plan but better, this one without Lee.

She’ll do it. Why not? She’s undoubtedly in love with me. Probably always has been.

As he drove along, the radio broadcast broke his daydream. The President is dead. A white male suspect is being sought. Police are investigating the shooting of a patrolman. The two incidents are not related.


“The hell they’re not related. I’m one of only two people in the whole world right who knows who did it.” Robert said out loud to no one but himself.

Twenty minutes later he was in front of his love nest. He locked the doors on the Dodge before bounding up the walk for her embrace. Can’t be too careful. Car’s full of valuable merchandise. There’s a crime spree underway, you know, Robert chuckled to himself.

He stood in the middle of the living room. His calls to her unanswered. Echoing now. The house was empty. Deborah was gone. All her clothes. Everything. Robert collapsed and wept on the same couch used the night before for their lovemaking. She was all that mattered.



Library of Clean Reads
 Nov 5 Review


Reviewed by Sandra

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald is November 22, 2013. Most of those alive on that fateful day remember exactly what they were doing then. They recall CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite valiantly holding back tears as he appeared on national television to announce the death of the 35th president of the United States. And like many people, I always believed that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. That being said, I was excited to receive this book that the author claims is historical fiction based on actual events.


I suppose that the conspiracy theory talked about in the book is plausible, but I felt in reading it that there is more fiction than actual fact. The story is seen both through the eyes of the author’s uncle, Bud Carlson, who claimed to know Robert Kaye, Oswald’s purported friend and conspirator, as well as through Robert Kaye’s eyes. The author admits filling in the gaps in Kaye’s life, making up his relatives in Hungary and speculating on both how and why he became a player in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Robert Kaye’s dream sequences of his life in Hungary were too repetitive. It took 200 pages of speculation on Kaye’s background and details about Uncle Bud’s life before the story began to deal with the actual details leading up to the murder of JFK.

R.K. Price raises some interesting questions in his book, probably the most intriguing being why does the name Robert Kaye appear many times in FBI case files but never came up in the investigation of Kennedy’s death? And why were Bud and his family subjected to 24-hour FBI surveillance for months? And Bud to endless FBI interrogation because of knowing Robert Kaye?

While the author spins an interesting tale, a lot of the story is couched in crude, unsavory language, including plenty of f-bombs and religious expletives.

I found it difficult to really connect with any of the characters, although I did feel a certain sympathy for Bud.

Fans of JFK conspiracy theories have another book to add to their libraries. Who knows? Perhaps this one is true.

Note: This book is rated P = profanity


Disclosure: Thanks to R.K. Price and Virtual Author Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


Romance & Inspiration
Nov 7 Review & Interview
http://lynelleclarkaspiredwriter.blogspot.ca/2013/11/5-star-review-for-thunderbird.html

My 5 Star review

To put it in the author's words, it is a fact-based historical fiction. That sums it up in a nutshell. Brilliantly written the author capture your imagination with facts and fiction to bring you this captivating story, about the most spoke about person in the history of the USA.
Well layered to bring you another look into the life of Lee H. Oswald, and what led up to the assassination of President J.K. Kennedy.

The author introduces us to two main characters Bud Carlson and Robert/Roman Kaye. The one a true American boy, growing up on the farm in the early forties. To find his way to Denver where they met for the first time as boss and employee.

Roman Sokolowski aka Robert Kaye was a Hungarian immigrant finding his way in America. Fleeing from a corrupt system in Hungry, an unforgiving father and a wound that almost cost him his life.
We are taken into their lives from an early age. We learn that have influence and motivated them and be the men that they become. Bud started out fending for himself, making it big, but at the hands of a greedy wife and bad economics lost it all. Business man, salesman, and father his character is charming, believable, sincere but at the end those qualities did bring him under the radar of the FBI during the investigation into Oswald, never believing that he did it all by himself. A gift, that he gave to Robert once was the thread that linked him to Oswald. That haunted him and his family and almost ruined his second marriage. 
With compassion and understanding the author draws you into his life so that you could connect with Bud in many areas of his life.
The same is true with the character Robert. We learn about his struggles as a cripple, his dreams that haunts him, leaving him restless and weary at times. His father playing a big part during his early years while in the States. Making a name for himself as he worked as an electrician, diligently building the repair shop in an agency for many appliances. Training staff and supporting the local community while he fell in love, lived and made mistakes. 
Meeting people that draw him into their shady underground world he found himself fleeing in the night with his pregnant girlfriend. Ending up in Denver his story became conspiratorial and shady. After two years, he was moving again, this time without his wife, but in the company of Lee, only Lee. He was paid handsomely for studying maps, being on the roads that led to Mexico and back over a long time period. Never settling. Out of all this trip he bought himself a black Thunderbird, the envy of every man in the sixties. 
The characters he meets are eerie and secretive leading him on a wild chase with no clear objectives. Until that fateful day in the history of America. The day still speculated and talked about without any clear answers. The assassination of the President. From there matters followed quickly, and as we know Oswald was also killed shortly after. Who would be the escape goat?
Bud, the all American boy or Robert, the immigrant with so many aliases that no one knew for certain who he was?
A gripping tale of two men trying to find their own feet in this world and a world that did not want to believe or trust them. At the end, they both paid the price. Well developed and eloquently told as you learn more about that period.
A book I recommend to all historical fiction lovers. Even those that wants to learn more about JFK and the build up to that fateful day in November 1963.

Kate Eileen Shannon
Nov 8 Review
http://kateeileenshannon.com/2013/11/08/review-of-the-thunderbird-conspiracy/
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 12 Guest Post
http://kateeileenshannon.com/2013/11/12/meet-guest-blogger-r-k-price-author-of-the-thunderbird-conspiracy/

MY REVIEW

I have never been one of those conspiracy theorists. In truth, I signed on for this particular tour because I thought it was a book my husband and I could both read and discuss – he has no interest in my mysteries and I have no interest in all the political biographies he reads, so I thought this was a kind of compromise. I never expected to be so fascinated. I’m not saying I trust or believe the Warren Commission, but I do believe one crazy man with a gun can get by the best security in the world – we have seen it time and time again. But this book gives us a very plausible alternative. And it makes for a very good read. I expected a lot of politics and conspiracies but what this book is, is the story of two men. The author is a very good writer. On page one I said to myself that I liked his writing. Mr. Price brings us through the lives of the two men, from their young years, through romance, good times, hardships, their ultimate meeting, and only then the meeting of Lee Harvey Oswald by one of the men that changed both their lives and history. It is well written and it is believable. The book is classified as Historical Fiction but one of the men is the author’s uncle and the other, a man who worked for him. The uncle told his story to his journalist nephew on his deathbed. Is it true? I would suggest you read this book if only to read a well written tale. If it opens your mind to other possibilities, well so much the better. ♥♥♥♥♥

Tales of a Book Addict Nov 13 Review

Review: If you are a loyal reader here you have probably figured out by now that I am a total JFK junkie. I seriously cannot get enough! So of course I jumped on the opportunity to read this book!!

Mr. Price definitely has a way with words! I was immediately swept up in the flow of this book and was more than happy to let it carry me to the end. The characters were so well-developed and I enjoyed getting to know them, even the secondary characters were fleshed out so well they didn’t feel secondary at all.

I’m going to be completely honest here, I’ve never been 100% convinced about the lone bullet theory. It just seems to much for me to comprehend. It is my personal belief that Oswald was a patsy (but this is where I have to say that I’m not entirely sure who he was a patsy for; I just don’t feel as if he did it all himself). So you can imagine that I gobble up everything about the Kennedy assassination just in an attempt to see if I can make sense of my feelings on the assassination itself.

I think what I liked about this book so much was that it was really fiction wrapped around fact. The whole idea that the author’s uncle’s story is what really brought this book about. Just, wow. It makes me wish I had a story like that to tell! And I think this personal connection with the author is what makes the book that much better.

Definitely a book that I would highly recommend. You don’t even have to be a conspiracy theorist to enjoy this book, you just need to enjoy a good mystery ;)

 



Deal Sharing Aunt
Nov 22 Review

My Review: 
I have been told stories from my dad about JFK and his assassination. My parents have not forgotten where they were when they heard what had happened. Mr Price does a brilliant job of relating what the times were like then. As I read I thought about how my parents lived back then and how truly different times really were. My dad was a history buff, and would have loved to see this book as a documentary on television. This book was based on actual events. I felt like I was transferred back in time. The author did so much research for this book. There are actual case files and agent reports. By the end of the book I felt as though I learned enough to go on Jeopardy. I was not sure what to believe. Mr Price outdid himself and told us what parts he made up. I really enjoyed this book, and I can not wait to read more books from the author. I also liked that the author had knowledge that was in the book because it was told to him. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.


Giveaway Winner : Entry #1 Robin G.



Indies Reviews Behind the Scenes
 Dec 7 Live Interview



10/1/12 RK Price will be Featured Author on World Literary Cafe for his latest works...
The Thunderbird Conspiracy -- Oswald's Friend Robert Kaye

9/20/12 Interview and Excerpt
The Thunderbird Conspiracy -- Oswald's Friend Robert Kaye
Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews "Non-Paranormal Features"

6/29/12, R.K. Price launched
The Thunderbird Conspiracy -- Oswald's Friend Robert Kaye
published by 
Quiet Owl Publishing and distributed by CreateSpace on Amazon.

Buy the Book

4.0 out of 5 stars
Really Makes You Re-Think the JFK Assassination, July 6, 2012

The Thunderbird Conspiracy: Oswald's Friend Robert Kaye

This isn't the first book that I'd put on my reading list but wow was I surprised. Not only was it a page turner, but it really did make me re-think all that I'd heard about the JFK assassination. At the end I had to go back and reread the preface to be sure that was true. Then I sat with that for a good long while with a big WOW. The stories that went untold... What I also liked about it was that it is an historical fiction so it's not a text book on all the case facts, it's more of a novel that leaves you really pondering the possibility of a group working with Oswald. This would make a great movie.

Biography

R.K. Price is a Colorado native. He lived in Pueblo for a number of years, earning his way through college as a radio/television and newspaper reporter. He moved north to Denver in the mid 70s, joining a major advertising/public relations firm as a writer, producer and press agent. Later, he formed his own media relations and political consulting firm. He spent the early 1980s in Washington D.C. actively involved in national politics, and returned to Denver in the mid 80s to become an investment and mortgage banker — a profession he remains in today. He now lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife Janet and daughter Sara in Alexandria, Va.

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