Code Name Sonny and Mountains of Fire are entered in the Reader’s Favorite and Paris Book Festival contests
A new author interview for Mountains of Fire!
Who do you model your characters after? Jack and Emily Turner are two of the main characters in my books and are modeled after myself and my wife Kim. Their banter and demeanor are our everyday life. Check them out…
My father, the inspiration for my book Code Name Sonny, passed away this morning at the age of 85. He was my hero, and loved by those who knew him.
I am excited to announce that Mountains of Fire, book 2 in the Code Name Series, will be released in November. Just in time for the holiday season!
CODE NAME SONNY is a movie waiting to be made. It is difficult to believe that this is a first book by K.E. ‘Ken’ Pottie because it so successfully captures the reader’s interest from the first page to the last. It is told in two tracks – the factual events in 1942 – 1944 and the modern day year 2000 fictional events of the aftermath of the lead character of the book. And in a note from the author it is made clear that ‘code name Sonny’ was not the real code name for the author’s father (Joe) but instead Sonny was the nickname the author’s grandfather used for Joe (the true code name remains a secret to this day). It is this mixture of a true story about the author’s father concerning events that happened in WW II brought up to date to the year 2000 in a way that allows the reader to feel involved in the depth of secrecy of the underground forces and offers a resolution of sorts to a life long puzzle. The author basically alters chapters between the war and the present and in doing so he creates fully developed characters with whom we all can relate.
1942: Joe and his friend Raymond live in New England in a town where all of the able men are off in the military. They are close friends but Joe longs for action: his two older brothers are already serving in the military and his mother forbids him to enlist. Because of Joe’s fluency in French (his mother is French Canadian) and his knowledge of radio workings he gains the attention of the National Guard and is offered a secret mission to help the war effort. Joe accepts the opportunity, telling his parents that he is only going to a camp, but soon it is made clear that a larger assignment is in mind. Joe is soon off on a secret mission to England and then France, assigned a code name (Sonny) and with a French girl ‘Marie’ and a Spaniard ‘Sergio’ the triad is trained by Major Smythe to transmit and intercept radio messages to confuse the way in which the Germans make plans for the Allied invasion of France. The three young people are introduced to the French Resistance, trained by Henri, sheltered, and secretly pass radio parts to the French resistance. Of course the ever present Nazis discover the plot, terrible war crimes ensue, Sonny becomes close friends with Charlene, a child left without parents who are murdered by the Nazis in front of her, and the underground operations of Sonny, Marie, and Sergio make strange mutations. Something happens that Sonny will retain as a secret forever – almost.
Meanwhile in the year 2000, Jack, the son of Joe/Sonny, discovers some facts about his father’s war efforts at an Elk’s Club party, facts that are based on the secret his father has always harbored. Some inexplicable murders occur, a traveling woman speaker passes through town and it is from this point that the tension builds to a level that connects all the dots of the secret with the people from the past and the present. It is this transition between fact and fiction that makes the book a fascinating read.
Pottie’s narrative abilities are excellent. He is unafraid to use French phrases when needed without translation, a bow to the dignity of the reader. He keeps the dialog embedded in the narration of the story in a manner that aids the flow of the unraveling sequences, and he successfully creates a contemporary situation based on his own life experiences that serve as the author’s way of explaining the secrets that war tattoos on the minds of veterans. Few writers have described the French underground resistance is so real a manner. This is a strong book and one that hopefully will become a film. Grady Harp, September 12
This book was sent to the reviewer by the author requesting, but not demanding, consideration for a review: no moneys were exchanged for this review.
Rating: 5.0 stars
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite
Author K.E.Pottie continues his fabulous World War II story about the bravery of those in the French Resistance with this episode that sees Henri, Madeline and Charlene escaping Nazi-occupied France even though World War II is drawing to its ending days. OSS’s Lieutenant Robbie Robertson of Texas and his two men, Billy Waldron of Iowa and Tony Rizzo of New Jersey, join forces with these three characters from “Code Name Sonny” to escape to Spain through “Le Chemin de la Liberte”, the escape through high mountains, notably soaring Mount Valier, which begins at the Pyrenees. Henri, Madeline, Charlene and those around them find that their lives are in danger if they linger in France where the Vichy French turn in those who try to escape. Years later, in 2002, Sonny’s child, Jack, now a grown man, finds that he is being drawn back into working for the CIA as Nazis and French traitors still exist. Jack meets Charlene, now an old woman, who has used her inherited Virginia estate as headquarters to hunt down these present day Nazis. But there seems to be a “mole” in their midst. Can Jack, his wife Emily, Charlene, and Jean, whose French Resistance parents were killed long ago, defeat these present-day foes the way Henri, Lt. Robertson, Charlene, and those brave souls did back in those horrific years of World War II?
“Mountains of Fire” is a well-written story that contrasts events of modern times with those of long ago days of World War II. The story of Henri, Charlene, Madeline, and all the World War II characters’ survival and unexpected deaths during war times is a much stronger story than those chapters that tell present times when Jack, Emily, Charlene and the others confront modern day Nazis out to make dirty bombs. However, “Mountains of Fire” is both a good story and a remarkable one at that as it tells of the bravery of those in the French Resistance whose lives were threatened almost on a daily basis and who chose to escape. It is also a testimonial to those brave souls who reached out and offered assistance to the people, young and old alike, who stood up to the cruelty of the Nazis. This is a series that readers everywhere will love to follow.
I am looking for a company like DC Comics or Darkhorse Comics to do a graphic novel adaptation of Code Name Sonny.
CODE NAME SONNY
By K.E. Pottie
A page-turning novel that combines World War II intrigue with a modern-day murder mystery, “Code Name Sonny” is an enjoyable read that will be a particular favorite for veterans and those who love them.
Author K.E. Pottie shows a deft hand for storytelling and dialog in his debut novel. The plot bounces back and forth between occupied France in World War II and the present-day, tracking the adventures of a father (the “Sonny” of the title) and his son, who helps unravel a mystery about his dad’s past.
Joe (Sonny) is a teenager in a small New England town in the early days of WW II. Too young to enlist in the regular service, he becomes a National Guard member. But soon, because he is fluent in French and has deep radio knowledge, he’s selected for a mission deep behind enemy lines in France. He hooks up with the French resistance and helps them broadcast disinformation that will hopefully fool the Germans and help set up the eventual Allied invasion in Normandy.
In the novel’s other track, Sonny’s son, Jack, discovers in 2000 that his dad, always reluctant to talk about the war, has a secret to hide about his combat experiences. And eventually, Jack finds out that someone is out for revenge, killing WW II veterans around the country, with a special yen to take out his father.
Although the killer’s identity is easy to figure out, there’s enough suspenseful storytelling in the tale’s unfolding to still leave room for reader enjoyment. And the merging of the World War II era and the novel’s denouement results in a clever ending that contains two final surprises for readers.
A deep respect for elders and veterans is evident throughout the story, and the vivid descriptions of activities in occupied France makes for riveting reading. It would be easy to see a film adaptation of “Code Name Sonny,” and while the story is neatly wrapped at the end, there is enough back-story hinted at in the novel that has yet to be told. We look forward to more from this promising author.