The Devil’s Breath

Auschwitz prisoners Perla and Shimon Divko—she an investigative reporter, he a former lead detective in the Warsaw ghetto—are forced by Kommandant Rudolf Höss to solve the murder of his chief accountant and find millions in missing gold taken from the bodies of Jewish corpses. With Reichsführer Himmler due for his annual audit, they have a week to solve the crime or watch hundreds of their peers executed as the penalty for their failure. Overseen by Nazi Lieutenant Helmut Graf, the three investigators dive deep inside Auschwitz—the Kanada harvesting operation, the killing process and the perils of daily life. The investigation is plagued by multiple red herrings, the murder of prime suspects and witnesses, and the complicated relationship between Höss and his mistress, Gisela Brandt, an SS officer.

Meet Tom Hogan

Tom Hogan is an author and screenwriter based in Austin, TX. Left for Alive is his first novel. He is also the screenwriter for The Devil’s Breath, a noir thriller set in Auschwitz. It was a finalist at the Napa Valley Film Festival and semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival.

Tom’s past writing experience has been on the non-fiction side. He is the co-author (with Carol Broadbent) of The Ultimate Startup Guide: Marketing Lessons, War Stories, and Hard-Won Advice from Leading Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. The book highlights the lessons Tom and Carol learned as principals at Crowded Ocean, a marketing firm that has launched over 50 Silicon Valley startups. He has also written extensively for travel books, political journals, and Newsweek.

Professionally, Tom has split his career between academia and technology marketing. He was a lecturer in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Santa Clara University and UC Santa Cruz. He joined Silicon Valley in its infancy, where he was the original creative director at Oracle. Moving into the VC (Venture Capital) world, he was a co-founder of Crowded Ocean and now advises startups in Silicon Valley and Austin.

Picasso’s Motorcycle

France, 1940.
An unexpected gift of an old motorcycle with a tragically romantic past hurls a young orphan into the thick of things as war breaks out and his life changes forever. Half-French/half-German Daniel must find a way to survive in a world that mercy seems to have abandoned. This book transports the reader to Nazi-occupied France, where Daniel unwittingly and unexpectedly finds himself working for the Resistance, and ultimately to the Russian Front in a twist of fate so startling that no one can see it coming. In turn quirky, heartwarming, beguiling and uncompromising, author Marc Sercomb weaves together many moods and colors to tell young Daniel’s story. Beyond engaging, Picasso’s Motorcycle has been hailed as a genuine “page-turner” by those who have so far encountered it.

If you like “The Book Thief” and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” you’ll love this book!


Meet Marc Sercomb

Marc Sercomb was born in Salinas, California. He grew up in Southern California and attended California State University, Northridge, where he studied Journalism and English Literature. He currently resides in the foothills of Los Angeles with his wife, Robin. He has been a teacher for 23 years.

He wanted to write a book about the miraculous resilience of the human spirit and the unexpected kindness of strangers and enemies during dark and dangerous times. Of “Picasso’s Motorcycle” he says, “This story kind of haunted me for a while. That’s how I knew I had to write it.

I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust

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A broad picture of the Holocaust from the point of view of a child

This book is a memoir of a child who is swept into the whirlwind of the Holocaust. The epic history is narrowed down to the struggle of a single boy nicknamed Leosz to survive the war. From age 7 to age 13, he endures all the horrors that the Holocaust brings upon the Jewish people. Life hangs on split-second timing, decision-making in impossibly cruel circumstances, incredible resourcefulness, luck and the help of others, even Germans.

In the Krakow Ghetto, Leosz is saved from three mass deportations to the death camps. He escapes the ghetto, survives for several weeks pretending to be a

Polish street child, and then goes into hiding. Although sentenced to die after being caught, he is instead miraculously reunited with his family in the Plaszow labor camp. A year later, father and son become slave laborers in the Gozen 2 camp in Austria, where his father perishes. Close to death himself, Leosz is finally liberated by the American army on May 5th, 1945.

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