Elmanto (The Mantle)
About the Book
EL MANTO: A Dicey Flight Through Action, Romance and Adventure
In the late Eighties, Thousands of immigrants trampled our Mexican border to illegally enter the United States. Nicaragua under the communist Sandinistas was one of the prominent sources of this emigration to the United States. Franco Porec and Donna Bronsteen, El Manto's two protagonists, are reporters probing a plot by the Nicaraguan Sandinistas to shove their unwanted citizens to the United States. Franco, an Air Force Major in the U.S. Southern Command Intelligence Directorate, poses out of uniform as a reporter for a fictitious news service. Donna really is a rooky correspondent for a New York daily. They meet in Nicaraguas's neighbor, Costa Rica, but after a romantic encounter, they lose touch. Franco has fallen in love, but then, didn't Donna throw her luscious body at him?
Amid flying ordnance, the two chase each other, but also seek the full story on Juana, a pretty green-eyed Nicaraguan teenager with a reputed 'calling' to be the leader of the Descorazonados. The Comandantes, ruling Nicaragua, manipulate Juana, as they create clandestine aid for their unwanted dissidents to flee to the States. Unaware, Juana faithfully leads on. Franco and Donna, in their bullet-flying, peripatetic pursuit of Juana -- and each other -- find their paths crossing but promptly lose contact again. Within the Comandantes, they are plagued with conflict from their female Chief of Police, Dorotea Tijerillas. She is a U.S.-educated sexy communist firebrand who insists that Juana is a menace to be thrown deep in her filthy Tipitapa prison.
Latinos by the thousands -- sans weapons -- fleeing Central America's stumbling economies, continue to assemble on our border, but by design, are held from crossing into the States. Managed by the Comandantes and their Cuban and Soviet sponsors, a massive weaponless invasion is set up. Their objective is to create widespread havoc in the U.S., which will divert our attention from ongoing Communist expansions in Central America. However, Franco's intelligence reports are finally taken seriously by U.S. authorities. Washington belatedly rushes to create plans and scrape together forces. Franco and Donna continue in their efforts to rejoin, but also try to safeguard the beautiful Juana from both the Comandantes and Dorotea.
The Fates, however, have woven a complicated fabric which continues to counter the aims of all participants. Will Franco and the U.S. authorities succeed in frustrating the impending, en masse and unarmed invasion? Can Juana escape the Comandantes and the vengeance of the firey Police Chief Dorotea? How about Franco and Donna's love affair? Will Franco reveal his true USAF status to Donna? Where will it all lead? You'll discover tons of action in the air, plus rollicking romance and high-spirited adventure.
About the Author
Richard Earl Hansen, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force (Retired), a Command Pilot and Navigator, was Acquisitions Editor of the Air Force's air power journal on his retirement. He earned a BA at the University of Minnesota, MA at Syracuse University, NY, and pursued doctoral studies at Auburn University, AL.
Dick was born in St. Paul, MN. During WWII, he enlisted as aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps soon after Pearl Harbor in 1942. Following P-38 fighter combat duties in the Pacific Islands, at the war's end he finished college, married and raised a boy and a girl.
He returned to the Air Force in 1951 to take part in the Korean War flying P-51 fighters when his Minnesota Air National Guard unit was recalled. He stayed in as a career officer and for ten years in the Cold War's stand-off with the Soviet Union, he commanded nuclear armed B-47 and B-52 heavy bombers of the Strategic Air Command.
Between wars, he was a Special Agent in the counter-intelligence field with the USAF Office of Special Investigations, and also commanded an ROTC unit at Syracuse University. In Vietnam from 1969 to 1972, he flew C-130 assault airfreights and commanded a squadron there in combat. In three years, he won the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, several Air Medals and nineteen other decorations.
USAF flying duties kept him in Asia for seven and a half years. Travels took him round the world twice and he had duty in, or visited, all fifty states, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, Micronesia and Australia. In 1989, he and his wife, Nacy, whistle-stopped across the communist USSR from Leningrad to Vladivostok by rail on the Trans-Siberian Express.
Retired in the northern California Sierras, he has written mainly on aerospace and politico-military affairs with more than a dozen articles published in professional journals. He has completed three adventure-romance novels about aviation and space settings and holds a U.S Patent for an auto safety device. His son is a Lockheed test pilot and his daughter is married in Texas. Dick's hobbles are tennis, travel and humor (he invents cliches).