Mark Myers Books2021-04-02T04:14:17+00:00

Life stories make us uniquely different, but common pursuits and aspirations bind us together.

Meet the man the Romanian boy grew to be (watch video)
A journey you’ll never forget (watch video)

Narrative warms your heart … and pains your soul

His father waged war without bullets, triumphing over communist oppression during Dictator Ceauşescu’s final decade in rural Romania. Communism robbed freedom, so Nicolae’s father led the family to subtle and overt resistance to retain their dignity. The Cismigiu family built a thriving tomato business and smuggled tomatoes to market to survive. Creatively defying tyranny brought harassment and intimidation directed at what was most valued: family, a prized workhorse, and their tomato farm.

Zeal to keep the spirit of freedom alive came at a cost many could not pay, even the death of a friend during one of their harrowing, midnight tomato smugglings. Joy and sorrow were interwoven into the fabric of the family’s life story, but they focused on happiness and contentment. Grandpa always believed the Americans would come and liberate Romania after WWII but never lived to see the day. Ironically, his dream did come true. It skipped a generation and impacted Nicolae.

About Author

I’m at home with a poor man,

At ease with a king,

And I fit right in with all those in-between.

Mark Lee Myers, 1981

Meet The Storyteller

Photo Gallery

Go back in time for a glimpse of the “The Tomato Smuggler’s” story

Places of InterestThe Tomato Smuggler

(c. 1981-1985)

Romanian towns and neighboring countries during The Tomato Smuggler era.

(click map to enlarge)


Academia and readers praise The Tomato Smuggler

I loved reading about the creative ways Nicolae’s father coped with communist oppression. Mark Lee Myers does an excellent job of portraying life under a communist dictatorship, where many freedoms we take for granted are denied.

Sharon Marchisello, author of Going Home and Secrets of the Galapagos,

A natural storyteller. Mark draws the reader into the storyline, exposing the forces of an oppressive regime that many in the free world have never known nor lived under its heavy hand. There is much to learn that will inspire readers currently at a crossroads politically.

Paul Lentz, author of “The Stuff of Life” trilogy,

A remarkable, tensely exciting, moving true account. The energy of the narrative will stimulate any reader.

Dr. Mark Stock, former Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming

Buy the book
and tell a friend

How one man stood up to communism and the harassment and intimidation that ensued.

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The Tomato Smuggler by Mark Lee Myers


“Mark uncovered feelings I didn’t know I had.” —Nicolae Cismigiu, protagonist and first-person voice of The Tomato Smuggler

*Hover or tap each box for more info

Grandpa Neculai with his two sisters (prior to his death in 1971)

Chapter One - TORTURED

Why Nicolae’s father would NEVER sign allegiance to communism.

Chapter One - TORTURED

Download Chapter


Why the Author preserved and shared the true story - THE TOMATO SMUGGLER



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