Ed and Janet Howle
  • Thrillers
  • Historical Fiction

Ed and Janet Howle

A Brief Autobiography

We write fiction, but what you will read here is fact. Seriously.

When I met Ed it was almost immediately clear we lived a shared philosophy; make your life the adventure you want it to be. He was teaching at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I was a graduate student (in another department). He had already crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat and was planning to sail around the world with his three children. Since I had neither of these experiences, this seemed as good a reason as  ...See more >

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"Fast cars, fast women, and fast thinking comprise this solid, utterly entertaining thriller."

Kirkus Reviews


Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Award, 2012: THE LONG ROAD TO PARIS

Best of 2011, Kirkus Reviews, 2011: THE LONG ROAD TO PARIS

Hometown Chapel Hill, NC

Passion in life new experiences and adventure


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1456818593
Page count: 332pp

Driving a Volkswagen Beetle with an alternative engine-technology, an engineer races from New York to Paris and tries to outwit those bent on stealing the car.

Ed Talbot, engineer and owner of a fledgling alternative automotive testing company, has just been offered an intriguing opportunity. German scientist Dietrich Otto has developed a revolutionary engine-technology that could severely impact the world’s oil dependency. To gauge its effectiveness, Dietrich puts the invention into a 1967 VW Beetle and asks Ed to drive it in a car rally from New York to Paris. Ed agrees, though he’s uneasy about Dietrich’s almost pathological secrecy. Unease turns to full-fledged dread when Ed’s business partner is murdered and the FBI starts getting nosy. Someone has a huge interest in Dietrich’s invention, but who is it? Ed wants to back out, but breach of contract carries a heavy price, so he takes the wheel. He’s paired with expert navigator Marie-Claire Levieux, a gorgeous, mysterious Frenchwoman who carries a potentially devastating secret. Soon, Ed’s feelings for Marie-Claire aren’t in keeping with those of a married man, but once they’re traveling on the great Trans-Siberian highway in Russia, romance is the last thing on his mind. Another murder, a nearly fatal attack and sabotage make the rally a race to survive. More than one country wants Dietrich’s technology either to develop or destroy, and Ed is smack in the middle with only Marie-Claire to trust. The Howles, themselves experienced ralliers, have done a remarkable job recreating the day-to-day challenges of an around-the-world race, and their intriguing, behind-the-scenes details add a rich, delightful layer to the story. In a time of record-high gasoline prices, the plot raises intriguing questions about the world’s love affair with oil, but, thankfully, the message isn’t heavy-handed. It’s Ed and Marie-Claire’s witty banter, quick thinking and dedication to the race—and to each other—that makes the read so enjoyable. Though some plot resolutions are too convenient, it doesn’t detract from the fun-filled ride.

Fast cars, fast women and fast thinking comprise this solid, utterly entertaining thriller.



NIGHT WATCH (Unpublished)

Carter McDowell is at the point of giving up. On life. On people. His wife and daughter are dead and even though he had been cleared of any criminal charges, guilt still follows him everywhere. Carter has been sailing the Bahamas on Sable for fourteen years. His charter sailboat is his livelihood and the only love he has left. His life takes a turn when he rescues Kat Miller from an almost certain death by drowning. Kat is aninvestigative reporter who is in the islands to probe a personal tragedy; the mysterious disappearance of her brother, a reputable geologist, after he had been hired to verify the presence of a potentially lucrative rare earth mineralon Andros. After two attempts on Kat’s own life, this unlikelyduo links with the Prime Minister and discover layers of deception covering up an ingeniously designed hoax. Their investigation ultimately leads them to a secret rendezvous with members of a drug cartel and to the caves in the wild interior of Andros. The attempts to silence Kat and her brother are only a small part of a much more sinisterplotfronted by the North Koreans designed to divert attention from members of the Medellín drug cartel that operated in the Bahamasin the 1970s.Manny Lightbourne, head of the Bahamian police force, appears to be Kat and Carter’s ally, but Manny is being blackmailed because he hides a secret from his past; his connection with this same Colombian cocaine operationfrom thirty years ago. He is forced to decide between protecting his family or betraying Kat and Carter. Kat and Carterdiscover an isolated harbor on Andros that conceals boats loaded with explosives that target U.S. east coast ports.But Kat’s investigation also uncovers the names of illusive cocaine smugglers that the U.S.wants and the DEA attempts to subpoena Kat to testify. If she does, she would then have to go into witness protection and could not continue as an investigative reporter. Meanwhile, the Bahamian PM is days away from a hotly contested election and Kat and Carter strike a deal, giving the Bahamian government full credit for uncovering the plot and insuring that the PM wins the election. In exchange, Kat gets Bahamian citizenship and a government position that prevents extradition to the U.S. This is her safe haven, but it is a painful one for both Kat and Carter because she must live in Nassau and cannot continue to cruise with Carter on Sable.

Historical fiction

It's 1952. After the war ended, Colonel Sam Winters elects to remain at the huge army base at Grafenwoehr, Germany, near the Czechoslovakian border. He is assigned to the technical intelligence unit of the CIC due to his linguistic skills in German and Russian. While Germany and the western European countries are rebuilding, the Iron Curtain is in place and the Soviets are determined to prevent people from leaving the Eastern Bloc. Sam’s wife has divorced him and, out of loneliness, he allows himself to be seduced by a young, secretive German woman who makes contact with him posing as a common bar-fly. He soon finds out that the seductive young woman is actually Baroness Renate von Siemens and that Renate’s mother is Ilse Braun, the older sister of Eva Braun. The eleventh-hour marriage of Eva to Hitler makes Renate Hitler’s niece, if only by marriage. Sam learns from Renate that she spent a great deal of time during her teen years at Hitler’s Berghof with her mother and aunt. Renate has never been able to overcome the guilt she feels, because even after she was aware of the atrocities of Hitler’s regime, she “sat on her hands and said nothing”, enjoying the benefits of being part of Hitler’s inner circle. In an attempt to make up for her cowardliness and avenge her guilt, for the past two years she has been using her home as a safe-house, one stop along a clandestine route to smuggle political and anti-communist refugees out of Czechoslovakia. Renate sets up the initial seduction of Sam because a new route out of Czechoslovakia lands refugees on the U.S. Army base in Grafenwoehr and she needs his help in getting them off the base. She didn’t plan to fall in love. Sam adores her and admires her bravery. He agrees to help, going against Army orders. One of the persons that Renate hopes to rescue is her own mother who wound up in Eastern Europe at the end of the war. Ilse is now suffering from dementia. After she is safely in Renate’s house, Renate introduces her to Sam but Ilse confuses him with Hitler, who she claims is Renate’s father. Renate tries to tell her mother that Eva was the one married to Hitler and that they had no children, but Ilse is insistent. Even in her incoherent ramblings, this is one story she constantly repeats. After Ilse’s death, Renate finds her Ilse’s diary. She learns that her mother was Hitler’s lover before he met Eva and that Renate was the product of their relationship; it is true, she is Hitler’s daughter. Renate is particularly devastated by this new reality since she is pregnant with Sam’s child but does not want a child to live with this legacy. Sam convinces Renate that evil is not inherited; her own life attests to that. Sam persuades Renate to marry him and raise their child. They burn the diary which they assume is the only documentation of her parentage. They soon learn that someone else does know her identity when there is an effort to extort money or expose her and the son they now have. Sam and Renate decide that the only safe way to protect William is to assume new identities and leave Germany. But the world is a small place and they are living in a time-bomb. Renate is eventually recognized through an accidental meeting with a journalist who is obsessed with researching stories about Hitler’s inner circle. Their life on the run continues until they reunite with Sam’s commanding officer who, unknown to them, has been on their side all along. In her later years, Renate is invited to be the keynote speaker at a neo-Nazi convention in Waco, Texas by people who are aware of her parentage but are ignorant of her political views. Renate sees this as an opportunity to speak out against Nazism, a final effort to make something good out of her horrible heritage. William appears with her and everyone in the packed auditorium is shocked by her anti-Nazi speech. Before she can finish, both she and William are shot and killed by a radical Nazi sympathizer in the audience. Sam lives out the end of his life alone, in love with this courageous woman, and only now, since no one can be hurt by the truth, does he write her story.