Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Eugenia: Destiny and Choice

We're happy to be hosting Georgeos C. Awgerinos on his EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE Virtual Book Tour today!

Title: Eugenia: Destiny and Choice

Author: Georgeos C. Awgerinos

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 280

Genre: Romantic Thriller

Debut novelist Georgeos Constantin Awgerinøs paints an epic love story and political
thriller in EUGENIA:
The title character,
Eugenia “Jenny” Corais, a
Columbia University graduate, is an
idealistic young feminist and intellectual who charts her destiny against such
volatile backdrops
as cabaret-era Berlin,
America during the
Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, and the violent final days of colonial

With its potent combination of
politics and romance, EUGENIA: DESTINY
resembles  Erich Segal’s LOVE STORY, coupled with a tale of
political intrigue that would fit comfortably in the novels of Graham Greene,
John Le Carre
Stieg Larsson, and historical developments
reminiscent of James A. Michener.

Awgerinøs’s title character, Eugenia, is complicated. Her idealism
and social consciousness, the author notes, is tempered with “a compulsive
curiosity for the weird, unusual, or forbidden. She aims at the light but she
cannot resist the temptation of the darkness.”
Jenny’s co-protagonists include
Dietrich Neuendorf, a charismatic and unyielding German human rights attorney
haunted by his family’s past and his country’s history. He and Jenny quickly
fall in love.

A third character, Desmond
Henderson, attracts Jenny’s darker side. Despite his humble origins and
abundant charm,
Henderson has a deeply
dark core. A former British colonial officer, he is the head of
South Africa’s military
industrial apparatus, linked to the high echelons of international corporate
elite and secret intelligence. He is an immense figure who designs mass murder and
forced relocations on spreadsheets and is involved in some of the most defining
political acts of the 20th century.

But in this novel, even the most
invincible have an Achilles heel. As Awgerinos puts it, “EUGENIA doesn’t romanticize power; rather, the book demystifies the
powerful by exposing the intimate, vulnerable and disowned aspects of human

Jenny, Dietrich, and Desmond
cross paths and embark on a perilous journey together in an exotic African
country, a wonder of nature that faces massive winds of historical tide and a
catastrophic revolution.

my characters and their interaction, I try to convey another view on love and
sexual conflict, society, human nature and beyond-natural, democracy and
collective mind control,” says Awgerinøs. “I also try to offer a historical
account about a very volatile era in a turbulent region,
Southern Africa.”

Awgerinøs hints that he is working on a sequel to EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE. Meanwhile, EUGENIA shows great potential to be adapted as an exciting and
thought-provoking feature motion picture or TV movie.

For More

Book Excerpt:

“Mr. Prime Minister, I urge you to reconsider your decision.”
The South African prime minister, a tall and imposing man with silver
hair and a wide smile, dismissed the warning of his national security advisor.
“Dr. Duplessis, our republic is under imminent threat from within. I
will never allow this country to be hijacked by a shadow government. In one
hour, I will reveal to the parliamentary caucus what has been going on behind
closed doors.”
“Never before has a public exposure of such marquee names come before
the legislative assembly. This unorthodox approach is unheard of in the history
of political affairs,” Dr. Duplessis commented, in his distinctive Wallonian
inflection. He was a long-skulled, pale-skinned man of average build, no taller
than five foot seven, with close-cropped gray hair, an icy stare, and robotic
mannerisms. He listened as the prime minister went on with his rant.
“South Africa didn’t gain its independence from the British crown in
order to subordinate itself to its military industrial complex. Apartheid was
meant to protect the racial order in this country, not to become a
self-destructive debt-spiral ploy.”
“Independence means the freedom to choose your own masters, Mr. Prime
Minister, and racial order is a costly agenda.”
“This is the South African Republic, not South Africa, Inc.”
“It is the South African Republic, Inc. All states are corporate
entities, monsieur, one way or another; this country is not an
exception. With all due respect, presidents, prime ministers, even absolute
rulers are the stage protagonists in the theater called politics; they are
neither the writers, nor the producers of the show. This is a friendly
The premier was aware that South Africa had become a “republic” because
of Dr. Duplessis’s gerrymandering and intricate offstage diplomacy. He owed his
prime ministerial chair to Dr. Duplessis’s byzantine machinations, but he would
not yield to his trusted policymaker’s insolent innuendo and skillful pressure.
When he spoke again, it was apparent that he had removed from his mind the last
shadows of hesitation. The tone of his voice was conclusive.
“Dr. Duplessis, alea jacta est-the die is cast. The security
operations units are on alert. The disarming of the Armée-Gendarmerie and the
arrests of the Concession’s board members will begin once I commence my
“As you wish, monsieur.
The PM relaxed his tone with his advisor; he became genial as usual.
“On Thursday, I will turn sixty-five years young. I have a family
gathering at home. You will be there, Fabien, you promise?”
“Of course Hendrik, I will,” Dr. Duplessis responded.
The prime minister watched his advisor retreat. As he sat alone he
stared at the antique clock across from his oak-paneled desk. He checked once
more the printed page of his speech, which he had placed on the desk. Today he
would make an announcement signaling a shake-up in modern history, and in the
process he would settle some old scores. For a few seconds he visualized the
reaction of the caucus: a standing ovation for his daring initiative. Pleased
with this thought, he approached the window and watched the midday bustle of
Cape Town, his beloved city.

Nestled in the southwest corner of the African continent, overlooking
the Atlantic Ocean, with glistening coastlines and breathtaking views of Table
Mountain, Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa, is a thriving
metropolis with Dutch architecture, wide boulevards, colorful parks, and a
flourishing business district. The city’s rich history contains an intriguing
mix of European sophistication and Cape Malay exoticism that dates back to the
seventeenth century, blended with subtropical African beauty.
Picturesque and prosperous though it might have been, Cape Town was not
a paradise for all. The eye of the conscientious traveler in 1966 would
observe, from stores to parks to the sandy beaches, two signs, in Afrikaans and
English: “Slegs blankes/whites only” and “Slegs nie-blankes/non-whites only.”
Seven miles into the sea across the panoramic Table Bay was Robben
Island. It appeared a tiny idyllic islet, which one might have guessed was a
fisherman’s retreat; but such was not the case. Once a leper colony, Robben
Island was one of the most infamous penitentiaries on earth. And yet, it hosted
no penal convicts but instead, civil rights activists, some of them with
world-renowned names: Govan Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma.
Just ten miles to the east of the majestic capital there was another world that most
Capetowneans did not know existed: a district for natives only, which no whites
except the police could enter. There, the neighborhoods of Langa, Nyanga, and Guguletu resembled more a massive dumpster than a
sprawling suburbia. Newly
built project buildings that reminded one of
barracks sat beside wooden shacks with tin roofs. African women washed their
clothes in rusty bins with boiled water outside their slum dwellings. Their
children, most barefoot, played soccer with tin cans in dirt alleys with
numbers for names, such as NY1 or NY4, which stood for native yards, as the
city called these dusty, unpaved lanes.

It was 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 1966, when the prime minister of
the South African Republic made his entry to the House of Assembly to deliver
his speech.
While he took the
podium, a man with Mediterranean features dressed in a messenger’s uniform
entered the building. He crossed unchecked through the heavily guarded lobby
and approached the podium. Within seconds, the messenger pulled a dagger out of
his jacket and stabbed the prime minister four times in the chest.
Parliamentary members rushed to pin the assassin to the ground, while the PM’s
blood gushed from the gaping wounds in his chest. An ambulance rushed him to
the Groote Schuur Hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead on
Later that day, television and radio stations around the world announced
the staggering news. From nations opposed to the apartheid regime came lead stories
declaring: “Demetris Tsafendas, the son of a Greek immigrant and an African
woman from Mozambique, assassinated Dr. Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the prime
architect of apartheid.” Conversely the local media stated: “A mentally
disturbed extremist assassinated the father of white South Africa, motivated by
hatred and rage.” The African underground press was jubilant: “Tsafendas
inyanga yezizwe
—Tsafendas, the healer of the nation!”
That evening witnessed an unusual commute in front of the ministerial
houses below the campus of the University of Cape Town. Cars carrying
government officials and parliamentary members came and went. It was after
midnight when the gates of a palatial mansion opened, and three stretch
limousines with black-tinted glass made their exit. The convoy moved slowly
down Belleview Road, encountering little traffic. Police patrols created a
strong presence that night. In the second car of the motorcade, two men sat in the back of the limousine. One was a
short, plump gentleman in his sixties. After looking nervously at the car
following them, he reached for the limo’s bar and took a bottle.
“Thirty-year-old Glenfiddich, Mr. Henderson? I know it’s your favorite,”
he said and poured some into a shot glass.
“I’ll have tobacco instead, Minister,” his companion replied with a
conspicuous English accent. He was a towering man
with broad shoulders, a wide face with a prominent jawline, and a thick
mustache. He resembled a nineteenth-century British colonial military officer.
Oddly, he wore a safari pith helmet, like a jungle explorer ready to hunt his
prey. He lit up and silently puffed on his cigar. He sat comfortably,
apparently enjoying his smoke. At one point, he too glanced back to face the
limo that was following.
The headlights illuminated his face, showing a
man in his late forties with harsh features and piercing dark eyes.
“What a night, Mr. Henderson.”
“It was a great night, Minister,” the big man with the pith replied,
puffing his fat Havana.
“Now that the obstacles have been removed, the door is open for the
government and the Southern African Development
Concession to sign the
agreement. The armaments production executive
board will be replaced, and within a week the shopping list will be on
your desk, Mr. Henderson.”
The Englishman stared outside the dark window, momentarily in thought.
“Minister, the signing of agreements is not enough. The Concession is
part of South Africa’s apparatus, and we need our territory secured. We cannot
intervene every time some careless bureaucrat in your administration oversteps
or defies our initial arrangements.”
“What do you have in mind, Mr. Henderson?”
“The Southern African Development Concession needs ironclad legislation
that secures our role in this country’s future. You did it with the Oppenheimer gold and diamond cartel; you will
do it with us too.”
“That was the situation five decades ago, when this part of the world
was the Wild South. This is 1966.”
But the Englishman didn’t seem in the mood to brook refusals.
“Rhodesia and South Africa will always be the
Wild South.
Africa is made by monopolies
for monopolies; the Concession would have to refuse anything less. Without the
Southern African Development Concession, apartheid will fall swiftly like a shack in a gale. You know that as
well as I, Minister.”
The driver continued moving on the barren road. His burly build and crew
cut made apparent his role as secret security rather than a mere chauffeur.
Henderson puffed his Havana contemplatively while he rolled past the closed
stores of Belleview Road. The South African minister of defence and national
security refilled his glass.
“Are you sure you don’t want some malt?”
“I never mix liquor and business; and this is business, Minister.”
“I’ll make the arrangements tomorrow morning. Be assured that from tonight
we enter a new period of friendly cooperation for both sides.”
Henderson seemed pleased with the minister’s conclusive reply. He looked
at his watch.
“It’s already one o’ clock. I need to be back in Rhodesia in two hours,
but I enjoy myself every time I am in the Cape, especially tonight.”

About the Author

Geórgeos Constantin Awgerinøs,
author of EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE was born and raised in
Athens Greece. He lives in New York City.

Guest Post

By Georgeos C. Awgerinos author of Eugenia: Destiny and Choice

I have been asked by interviewers and potential readers if EUGENIA has analogies to Erich W. Segal’s “Love Story.” Well, not quite. Both novels, unfold inside the campus of an Ivy League University and are about young students falling in love and dreaming to live happily ever after. Both female characters are witty fast talking intellectuals, the kind of young muse who would inspire their male partner, both dark haired with Mediterranean last names. Both are Jennies; Segal’s protagonist is Jennifer, my novel’s heroine is Eugenia. Both male protagonists study Law and excel in sports. However, the tale of Oliver and Jennifer has a Shakespearean dramatic progress, their love is deep and unwavering.

Jenny’s and Dietrich’s love affair is complicated, has many shadows and it is continuously bumpy despite the intellectual compatibility and the deep passion that bonds the two young students. Eugenia’s parents were Greek refugees who saw their families getting exterminated during the Nazi occupation of Greece and fled their country hastily in order to escape arrest from the Gestapo, the Nazi Secret Police. On Thanksgiving Day 1967, just before the family feast, their daughter walked in their living-room holding hands with a young German student who stubbornly avoided to discuss his family’s war past. Dietrich loves deeply Eugenia, but unlike Oliver, he is phlegmatic and composed. Jenny’s passionate outbursts and impulsive temper doesn’t complement Dietrich’s cold demeanor and the two argue frequently. Jenny comes from a protective family and, unlike Dietrich, she has little real-life exposure; when she will find herself in Africa her idealistic perceptions will be put to the test; soon she will come across an even darker side of herself she never knew existed.

Segal’s romance is focused on the relationship of two young students and the adversities they face as a couple. Eugenia and Dietrich’s love story is a component of a historical saga and political thriller about Rhodesia, South-Africa’s little known northern neighbor; a break-up British colony with a white-supremacist
government, a militarized surveillance apparatus and a white minority, nostalgic of a bygone colonial era, living in deliberate denial of the winds of change in Africa, oblivious to the millions of resentful natives who surrounded them, and the revolution that was fast approaching.

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