Hedi Harrington (pen-name: Alba Moon) was born and raised in Hungary, where she earned a B.A. in Language and Literature. After travelling around the world as a Peace Corps language trainer, she chose to settle in the USA. She completed her formal schooling by getting a Master’s Degree in Education. She lives in North Florida with her husband, a stray cat, and a rescued dog.
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by Alba Moon
A Hungarian-born New York artist’s fictional experiences that include murder, an irresistible love affair, and life-threatening adventures. The setting spans from New York City through snowy upstate NY to the tropical islands of the Caribbean.
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The Mogadishu Diaries Bloodlines 1992-1993
on April 13, 2013
Eddie Clay III’s book The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines is a culturally sensitive and historically accurate account of one of the greatest humanitarian efforts in the 20th century: Operation Restore Hope. The memoir-based novel’s main character and first person narrator, Sergeant Thompson, gives the reader a succinct and insightful summary of the Somali situation before, during, and after his voluntary deployment to Somalia at the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993. His story culminates in the 40-minute firefight during the US attack on the safe house of controversial warlord, Mohammed Farah Hassan Aidid on January 7, 1993. The incident was broadcasted around the world in form of pictures, videos, and news reports, which makes hearing the details from a first-hand source a real treat.
With an engaging style and suspenseful storyline, the author provides much more than faithfully recounting the events that unfolded in the January 7, 1993 night attack in Mogadishu, Somalia; he describes the emotions, thoughts, and doubts of a Marine caught in the crossfire of international political and military forces, including the fear, anger, the surge of adrenaline, and repeated self-evaluation only a warrior with crystal clear integrity would face. Whether familiar or unfamiliar with the events that resulted in the intervention of US-led Coalition Forces in Somalia, the reader will be thrilled to get the insider’s account about the beginning of a major political and military feat which started as a peace-keeping mission and ended up as a full-blown US military involvement for over four years, resulting in bloody battles that some sources compare to the Vietnam War.
Initially, the author’s use of military jargon and frequent abbreviations might be intimidating for civilian readers, but it enhances the authenticity of the account, and might offer more connections to readers with military background. Eddie Clay III portrays the life of Marines deployed on foreign land with vivid images and dramatic details. Beyond spine-tingling descriptions of life and death situations during patrols and battles, the reader also gets a comprehensive report about a Marine’s life in general, including hot issues such as gays in the military, marriage troubles exaggerated by deployment, internal conflicts of following orders, sex in camp, or latrine challenges of female Marines. A master of foreshadowing, the author provides suspense whether he writes about garrison life or imminent engagement in a firefight.
The only question mark that remains at the end of the story is related to the budding love affair of the narrator and a charming Somali interpreter. No complaints, though; it’s just one more reason to read the sequel.
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers
April 8, 2013
The Seduction of Monet Dawson: Confessions of a Military Wife
on Aug. 19, 2013
Eddie Clay III’s new novel is a surprise in every sense of the word. The ex-marine is trying his luck with an unexpected genre: romance. Who would have thought? The Seduction of Monet Dawson is a love story based on true events, set in California in the early 1990’s, and narrated by the author’s alter ego Gunnery Sergeant Thompson in a first person point of view.
After returning from a year-long assignment in Okinawa, Japan, Gunny Thompson, who has full custody of his six year old son, settles in his condo near Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. He embraces life in the US. He is determined to make a home for his son and move on from a dead-end relationship he is in with a woman named Kay. The first five chapters lead up to and ultimately describe the most bizarre break-up story I have ever heard. Readers, brace yourselves. The author might have had doubts about the credibility of this incident also, because he provided official documents to prove the old truth: real life events can be much more far-fetched than the most intricate fiction. During this introductory interlude, Gunny Thompson meets the girl of his dreams. This is where the main story-line begins. It’s hard to summarize the plot without spoiling the story, so let me just say that it involves hypnosis, fire-eating, deep-core ethical decisions, mild sex, a benevolent neighbor (who would want to live without that?), and an astonishing twist at the end.
Eddie Clay III wrote this novel in eight weeks, which is a great accomplishment. However, I think the book would benefit from further structural editing. The title is a bit misleading: the story is not relayed through the confessions of a military wife, and the plot is not exclusively about the seduction of anybody. The three distinct sections of the novel (first five chapters, main plot, and last four chapters) are only loosely related, and although the dialogue flows naturally, some of it is redundant (see conversation about coupons at the check-out counter on page 36). The tone is somewhat uneven, also. Occasionally, it is hard to decide if this is a drama or comedy, even though towards the second half of the novel the author’s voice seems to mature, especially during the last segment.
Nevertheless, the book is an entertaining, easy read, and it provides plenty of issues and topics to ponder or laugh about. It is a “must read” for those of us who became Eddie Clay fans after reading his Mogadishu Diaries.
For The Harrington Review
August 9, 2013
on July 10, 2014
Eddie Clay III is honing in on his own brand: reality based fiction spiced with unique, recurring topics, well-established returning characters, and a maturing writer’s voice. All these ingredients embody a great strategy for retaining existing fans and attract new readers.
The plot is simple. Retired Marine Eddie Thompson, who lives in England, reunites with the love of his life, Monet Dawson (The Seduction of Monet Dawson, 2013) after twenty years, and they begin a new chapter in their love affair. They have a son together, and their long-distance relationship is dotted with transatlantic journeys. If you think Gunnery Thompson was romantic during his first encounter with Monet, get this: his first date with old love Monet includes a dozen roses, a personalized, passionate card, dinner for two at the Olive Garden, and two guest passes to Maxine’s Spa and Massage.
Eddie Thompson established and maintains pleasant, long term relationships with his U.K. neighbors who provide all kinds of excitement in his life. The kaleidoscope of minor characters include a cancer stricken American writer and a chain-smoking, serious family man who works for Scotland Yard and who eventually involves Clay Thompson in a high profile local case.
Hypnosis is still one of Clay III’s main interests, but he takes a step further and leads the reader into the world of occult, bringing ghosts into the circle of interesting characters.
True to his artistic tradition, the author often derails from the central storyline to chronicle everyday episodes of the main character’s personal life, such as buying a mobile phone in the U.K., staging a makeover of his neighbor/friend, helping another friend quit smoking by hypnotizing him, and even participating in the hunt for and capture of a lurking serial killer rapist. These seemingly unrelated accounts may slow down the action, but at the end most will make sense and contribute to the resolution. Also in accordance with his creative past, Clay touches on several topical issues, such as gay marriage, PTSD, the Facebook invasion, and old favorites like domestic violence, infidelity, and personal sex-tapes.
The author’s voice have matured notably since the beginning of his publishing career, and his efforts of creating a brand by connecting to past novels and infusing new topics into his craft will undoubtedly expand his fan base.
The bottom line is that Eddie Clay’s newest book is hypnotic, this time pun intended.
The Harrington Review, 2014