HARMON GENERAL: Misfits and Millionaires #2 by KIMBERLY FISH
Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies
Exp Date of Publication: June 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 330
Harmon General is book two in the WWII historical fiction series entitled Misfits and Millionaires—set in Longview, Texas. The novel picks up about two months after the story line in The Big Inch ended.
Familiar characters and locations get a shot of adrenaline from the biological hazard espionage going on at the U.S. Army’s new medical hospital treating diseased and wounded soldiers—a 156-acre pop campus created as part of a master plan to place U.S. Army hospitals around Texas specializing in long-term wound care for WWII soldiers. The Office of Strategic Services has one of its best agents in place as a nurse at Harmon General—Sgt. Emmie Tesco—and she’s soon up to her blood pressure cuff in intrigues at the hospital campus, particularly the mission to stop a culprit code-named “Dr. Death” who is accused of skewing the malaria test protocols being established at Harmon so that no one will notice him preparing to sell the malaria research to the enemies of the Allies. Heroes and villains circulate in Longview from the post at Harmon General, and Emmie ropes Lane Mercer into helping manage the overload of responsibilities. Readers of The Big Inch will better understand what drives Emmie Tesco and why poking at old wounds can be a messy affair. The backstory of Lane Mercer and her first husband gets a brutal airing too, and stakes grow dangerous for Lane and Zeke Hayes as the plans they’d wanted for their wedding are upended by well-meaning, Aunt Edith.
PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL
"The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview. In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war." -- Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University
Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting.
She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year. She lives with her family in East Texas.
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What’s real in the WWII historical fiction novel, Harmon General?
GUEST POST BY KIMBERLY FISH
Much like in the novel, The Big Inch, I researched the very real history of the U.S. Army’s hospital built south of Longview, Texas known as Harmon General. Not only was I stunned by the level of medical procedures invented and established into modern medical practices by the research done at Harmon General (like malaria treatment, prosthetics, and physical therapy) but also by the astounding number of 25,000 patients treated during the short tenure of this hospital (1942-47.) I was particularly impressed by how well received this hospital and its incoming 5000-member personnel were treated by the local Longview community. The local volunteer wing, known as The Gray Ladies, was serious business in Longview. I spent many hours at the Longview Public Library, reading old issues of Longview News Journal, researching old files in San Antonio at the U.S. Army’s Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston, but also in going through the archives at Gregg County Historical Museum listening to old audio tapes of interviews with those who were stationed at Harmon. All the context of the novel is real, the speaking characters in the novel are imaginary—some are compilations of actual historical figures, but as with TBI, I changed the names to protect their privacy.
To be fair, I’m not aware of actual intellectual property theft at Harmon General, nor is there any official documentation that the OSS or the FBI were ever called in to resolve issues on the campus. But then, there never is—is there?
A conversation between Lane Mercer and Molly Kennedy
EXCERPT FROM HARMON GENERAL By Kimberly Fish
Molly looked at her with skepticism then settled on the bench, arranging her skirt to cover her knees. “That’s crazy talk,” Molly huffed. “Thinking you don’t need anyone, that you’re the new American miss and can do it all.”
“I’m not that foolish. I know I can’t do a lot of things.” Lane glanced over the crowd milling on the courthouse steps, taking one last study for suspicious characters before she sat next to Molly. “But I’ve learned I can do some things, just like Emmie has. We had to learn to depend on ourselves. I mean—”
“The sooner you admit you need someone, the sooner you remember that underneath all that linen armor, you’re a human being just like the rest of us.”
Lane glanced down at her beige skirt, buttoned so tightly that there wasn’t even room for her stiletto, but that was due more to her aunt’s cooking than a matter of self-sufficiency. “I know my faults.”
“Do you?” Molly’s brow quirked. “Your shell is getting flinty, Lane. Something about this business has turned you.”
Her mind spun with images from Washington to France that might justify Molly’s position.
“Granted, I didn’t know you before you moved here last summer,” Molly added. “But nicely raised young girls from the South come with a less jadeddisposition. It takes years to grow steel in our stems.”
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