Skip In Thailand About The Author

John “Skip” McKoy has spent most of his life leading major public, private and non-profit organizations. In 2014, he retired as Director of Programs for Fight For Children, an organization based in Washington, DC which works to improve the quality of education for underserved children and youth. Previously, McKoy was an executive with the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (a group dedicated to revitalizing riverfront communities), CEO of DC Agenda (a city-wide nonprofit think tank), Director of the District’s City Planning Agency, Planning Director of the Council of Governments in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Corporation, and a private management consultant.

International volunteer work and private travel have provided McKoy with his background in and appreciation of Asia, Africa, Latin America, as well as Europe. While in high school, he was able to travel to England and France as a ‘work camp volunteer,’ and to Britain, France, Belgium and Germany as a choir member. For two years after college, he worked as a community organizer in Guatemala, and has subsequently been a translator on business trips to Mexico and Puerto Rico. He has lectured at Shanghai’s Eastern Normal University and helped his wife establish a scholarship fund for visiting Chinese graduate students during the 1980’s. During that decade, they were active members of the China-American Friendship Association and also participated in “cross-cultural” training at DC’s Meridian House. Most recently, he accompanied his wife on measles prevention campaigns in Ethiopia and Mali, while she was Children’s Health Director for The United Nations Foundation.

McKoy’s other volunteer activity has included board membership with a wide range of causes: Humanities Council of Washington; Leadership Greater Washington, DC; Mentors Inc.; Communities and Schools of the Nation’s Capital; the Corporation of Haverford College; the DC Chamber of Commerce; and Mayor’s appointments to chair a Commission on City Planning, a State Council on Early Childhood Education and the DC Public Charter School Board.

He earned his Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and his Master’s Degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, McKoy has lived in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife, Andrea Gay.

                   Reunion in Paradise "Reunion in Paradise"

 

Writing as L.W. Harris, John H. McKoy has produced another international thriller.

America, 2028-29. A young African American investment banker joins with his estranged father, and a tech-savvy half-brother he never knew he had, to track down a cell of domestic terrorists threatening to wreak havoc on the country prior to the upcoming presidential election.

Mark Morton suspects that a pair of community activists are secretly responsible for a growing number of terrorist acts targeting random citizens and high-profile political leaders in Washington, D.C. Putting aside his differences for the sake of democracy’s future, he enlists the help of his estranged father, Harry Morton, a former Philadelphia city councilman who went on to a business career with secretive contacts to Washington’s intelligence community. Together with his newly revealed brother Alaka’i Liu—a brilliant, Hawaiian-born, polyracial, Cal Tech-educated climate scientist—the three join together to hunt down and stop the radicals, led by an unlikely pair, one a former Black nationalist and the other a White supremacist.

Reunion in Paradise is both an international thriller and a family drama, taking readers from the depths of one family’s complicated history to the far corners of the world.


Praise for "Reunion in Paradise"

 

Barry for Good Government
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie Rights will promise A Contemporaneous Box-Office Winner
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2022
Verified Purchase
L.W. Harris knows America and Americans—of all stripes—and he has placed them in our time and beyond. This captivating novel gets off slowly but then action is so thrilling that the reader can hardly wait to find out what is about to happen to us all. This is contemporary action made believable by the author’s amazing creation of an alternative detailed reality.

Peter Kleinbard
5.0 out of 5 stars Harris, pseudonym, writes exciting, intricate tales, full of cool characters and exotic locations
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2022
Verified Purchase
I've read his other two novels, one of them in this same series, and been engaged from the first to the last page. They are always exciting, and yet he does not veer away from social comments. Readers will feel rewarded, and want to share the treasure.

U.D.F. Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Too well written to be classified under "a political thriller."
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2022
Verified Purchase
L.W. Harris is a gripping storyteller. He draws and holds your attention with insightful, descriptive passages with fine attention to detail. I could smell the flowers in Honolulu without looking up. The dialog carries and stays true to the development of the complex characters and surprising family relationships. Ethnic diversity is woven naturally throughout the range of international circumstances. While "Reunion in Paradise" may become a cinematic success, it stands on its own as literature worth reading.

RLE
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, wide-ranging thriller
Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2022
Verified Purchase
This action-packed novel combines drama, intrigue, and adventure, and its vivid characters reflect and grapple with contemporary American and world issues. Very entertaining and highly recommended.

                   Son of the Maya 2nd Edition "Son of the Maya"

 

Son of the Maya (2nd Edition - redesigned format and new pricing) is an international adventure set in Washington, Miami, and the jungles of Guatemala between 2006 and 2009. The drama involves an international kidnapping and daring rescue that pits a wealthy US immigrant foundation executive against a dynamic Guatemalan revolutionary. Roberto Prettyman was born in Guatemala City but raised in Washington during the 1960s. He built an enormously successful suburban real estate practice before turning to philanthropy. A brilliant university political student, Felix Gigante (the Jaguar Paw), was radicalized and then built a powerful revolutionary force after his father was murdered by Guatemalan authorities. Tension between these native Guatemalans with divergent approaches to social change, yet similar perspectives on injustice, reaches explosive crescendo after unpredicted twists and turns.
Live Interview  on This Week in America - This Week in America

"Son of the Maya"

 

Son of the Maya (1st Edition) is an international adventure set in Washington, Miami, and the jungles of Guatemala between 2006 and 2009. This thriller involves a dramatic kidnapping and daring rescue that pits a wealthy US immigrant foundation executive against a dynamic Guatemalan revolutionary. Roberto Prettyman was born in Guatemala City but raised in Washington during the 1960s. He built an enormously successful suburban real estate practice before turning to philanthropy. A brilliant university political student, Felix Gigante (the Jaguar Paw), was radicalized and then built a powerful revolutionary force after his father was murdered by Guatemalan authorities. Tension between these native Guatemalans with divergent approaches to social change, yet similar perspectives on injustice, reaches explosive crescendo after unpredicted twists and turns.

Praise for "Son of the Maya"

 

“The haves and the have-nots, the upwardly mobile and the mean street toughs, the immigrants and the natives, the guardians of the status quo and the unabashed revolutionaries—they all struggle, skirmish, and intertwine in this geopolitical thriller that is as much about social change as it is about kidnap survival. McKoy has penned a tale that may appeal equally to both admirers of adventure and addicts of international studies.” The US Review of Books - reviewed by Joe Kilgore

“There’s plenty of political discourse in McKoy’s novel, and the rich dialogue smartly examines issues of social change--- A methodically paced thriller, strengthened by resourceful characters.” ---Kirkus Reviews

“Son of the Maya is a fascinating tale of identity, migration, taking sides and striving to understand the full picture. Mr. McKoy brings his personal experience living in Guatemala and working with minority youth in Washington, DC…I greatly enjoyed this book,” Jane Rubin-Kurtzman, Sociologist and Latin Americanist.

“The Spanish wasn’t critical to understanding the action… I didn’t want to put it down,” Peter D. Livingston, Global Credit Union Expert.

“Son of the Maya is a fascinating read. Set partly in Washington, DC and partly in Guatemala, it is both a gripping adventure story and a profound inquiry into the best means to achieve social justice in both the US and in Latin America,” Louisa Newlin, English Teacher and Education Consultant.

“John McKoy knows intimately the territories he writes about and the characters that inhabit them. In Son of the Maya, he brings life vividly to them both,” John R. Nolon, Professor of Law and International Environmental Consultant.

“Very exciting!!! I can’t wait to see your interview on the TODAY Show,” Betsy Reveal, Financial and Management Consultant.

Son of the Maya was featured in a New York Times Book Review ad on December 4, 2016 promoting new books under the heading: Discover New TitlesGreat Stories. Unique Perspectives.”

 

                      "Paying to Play in Hong Kong"

 

In the turbulent and anxious days prior to Hong Kong’s return to China, many businessmen worried about the future of profits after the end of British rule. Some new capitalists, intoxicated by a ‘now or never’ vision engaged in high risk, ‘no holds barred’ tactics in an attempt to secure extraordinary financial returns.

Paying to Play in Hong Kong is a multicultural adventure staged between Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. in 1995-96. It concerns the contentious merger of two companies-- one on mainland China and the other on Hong Kong. Wong Xi, a beautiful Eurasian head of Hong Kong’s major silk company, is seeking to pull off a merger impressive enough to make her one of Asia’s most powerful taipans. Harry Morton, an affluent and charismatic African American consultant hopes for one more spectacular international business success before retirement.

Wong recognizes the need for world-class advice and asks for Morton’s help. Harry takes the job and soon finds himself caught in a twisted buy-out scheme of blackmail and murder involving Xi and a former general in Mao’s army (Xaobin Li). A passionate affair with his client further complicates Harry’s assignment. Nevertheless, he is able to skillfully negotiate the treacherous cultural and ethnic currents running through the business deal. In the end, everyone gains, but the personal costs and sacrifices are higher than anyone had ever imagined.

 

                    Praise for "Paying to Play in Hong Kong"

 

“What an achievement. You are a keen observer and patient story-teller. The characters are real and flawed and thoughtful. The human and cultural insights are illuminating. I also appreciate the pace—always moving, never speeding.”
Peter Richardson, National Housing Consultant

“I really loved your book, which really warranted 3 or 4 separate books. The story is captivating and the little insertions of childhood, youth or thematic issues were spot on. Could relate to many things and discussions in our own lives. Truly a very ‘real’ and relevant book…”
Charlotte Obidairo, International Development Consultant 

“…I think there are three movie scripts: a coming of age story about an African American boy growing up in Philadelphia; the story of the marriage of two ambitious professionals; and, the Harry Morton adventure story… The last can be the start of a series of movies about the adventures of Harry Morton. Find a script writer, Skip, and go for it…”
Linda Neibanck, Real Estate Developer

“The book was a page turner. Once I started, I could not put it down. For a few moments, it was more interesting than my grandchildren…I liked the author’s level of detail. If he has not traveled to the places described, he did a great job of ‘painting great pictures…’ The book made me think…I like the multiple story lines… Great beginning to a sequel.”
John Fleming, Workforce Executive and Consultant

“You had me in the story all the way through and surprised me at the end. The surprise generated thinking and exploration [that] I did not expect as I made my way through the great plot.”
Garry Curtis, Communications Executive

“I loved the story, the characters, character development, Asia (fabulous Hong Kong), the rhythm, the African America/Western contrasts versus the East…just a great read.”
Anthony Coleman, Retired Hewlett-Packard Executive

“I carried a copy of your novel to the beach with me this week. I’m glad I did. What an interesting and delightful well-told story. Lots of suspense and intrigue, and an interesting exploration of how many [can] move from a provincial neighborhood to a global and cosmopolitan world, whether we are in China or in Pennsylvania…We’re provided with an interesting perspective on the values and processes that got us into this new world and into the challenges and traps that await us…”
Jerome Paige, Economics Consultant

“Harry Morton is a terrific character. I was very impressed by the way you laced together his various moral dilemmas. The book is a page-turner in the best sense, very suspenseful, but with an ethical foundation that is all-but defunct in our culture…”
David James, Professor of Cinematography, University of Southern California

“I am really impressed by the detailed knowledge of different places in Hong Kong described in the book. I am also impressed by your understanding of Chinese culture…Have you thought about selling the book to a movie maker in Hong Kong?”
Niu Shin, Pharmaceutical Researcher

“After ten minutes, I was gripped!!!”
Karen Hardwick, City Attorney, Annapolis, Maryland

“Paying to Play is a real page-turner. [My son] is just back from an Apple trip through Asia; I’ll pass it along.”
Maggie Kane, Retired

Purchasing books by John H. McKoy and L.W. Harris

 

For purchasing information, please use the links indicated:

    1. Reunion in Paradise, L.W. Harris
    Amazon

    The Sager Group

    2. Son of The Maya, John H. McKoy
    Amazon

    The Son of the Maya on Amazon (2nd Edition)

    The Son of the Maya on Amazon (1st Edition)

    Barnes& Noble

    The Son of the Maya on Barnes & Noble

    3. Paying to Play in Hong Kong, John H. McKoy
    Amazon