Baker University Alumnus Wins Two Gold Medals for Novel in New York City

Department Thirteen, the action thriller of Baker University alumnus, JAMES HOUSTON TURNER, scooped gold medals in two international book competitions in New York City earlier this month. Based on an actual KGB agent who leaked word out of Moscow back in the 1980s that Turner was on a KGB watchlist for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain, Department Thirteen was voted the USA Book News "Best Thriller of 2011" before collecting gold medals in the 2012 Independent Publisher "IPPY" Book Awards (thriller/suspense) and the Indie Book Awards (action/adventure), with one of the awards ceremonies held at the famed Plaza Hotel. Turner flew Qantas all the way to New York from Adelaide, Australia, where he currently resides, especially for the awards.

Says Turner, "That KGB agent, whoever he was, gave me the idea of a good-guy Russian agent who worked for America during the Cold War. In Department Thirteen, which is the debut thriller for my Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, our hero is wealthy, retired and living in Australia, where his past comes back to kill him in the form of a mysterious group of assassins from Department Thirteen, the actual assassination and sabotage unit of the KGB. The real Department Thirteen was so dark and secret they were never officially acknowledged to exist."

Turner recently drove 4500 miles across America promoting Department Thirteen while speaking to school students about not letting the hard knocks of life defeat you, which in his case included surviving cancer and years of rejection.

Greco's Game, sequel to the bestselling Department Thirteen, will be released by US publisher, Comfort Publishing, on September 1, 2012. Additional information about Turner may be found at

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