Amazing Arial Combat and Chivalry

Read an incredible story of courage, combat and chivalry during World War II that will quicken your pulse, give you a strong sense of American pride, make you chuckle, and then bring a tear to your eye!

Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies”* emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times and international bestseller. 

combat and Chivalry

December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler – and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger…

What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”

The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

Simply an amazing read!

It is almost impossible to describe the range of emotional responses reading this story invoked within me. As a patriotic American and the great-grandson of German immigrants to America, this story touched me on many levels. 

This is the story of two men, pilots in their respective country’s air forces, meeting in a chance encounter in the skies over Germany.  This meeting would eventually go down in history as one of the most amazing tales of World War II. 

I stayed on the edge of my seat reading this story. It was very hard to put down even when I needed to. It was like I became Lieutenant Charlie Brown and the fate of  ‘Ye Olde Pub” and the B-17’s crew was in my hands.  I also became the pilot of the ME-109, torn between my humanity and the orders of the Nazis government that I secretly despised. We do not hear the words combat and chivalry used in the same sentence these days.

I became totally engrossed in the characters on both sides! This book made me wince. At times it made me chuckle. In addition, this story tugged at my heart and there were several times it even brought a tear to my eye.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars ( maybe even 6 out of 5!)

If you enjoy military history, this book is an absolutely must read. It is rare that we get to glimpse such an amazing spark of real humanity in the awful chaos that is war. It truly is a story of combat and chivalry!


Check out my novel, Serpents Underfoot!

How to Survive a Forest Fire While Hiking

Saw this great post on surviving a forest fire by The Wandering Itinerant. If you spend time hiking in the woods, especially during dry summer seasons, this might be a really good post to take a look at!

via How to Survive a Forest Fire While Hiking

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Read other great posts and book reviews here!

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: A Review

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought 

by Johnny F. Pugh


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Through Smoke-Teared Eyes certainly brought a tear to my eye, and once I started reading, it was tough to put down. At the same time, it was sometimes hard to continue because of the emotional responses reading this book invoked.  I have always enjoyed military history, especially WWII and the Vietnam War. And, I have read many books on these two topics, both non-fiction and fiction. This book is undoubtedly one of the best works I have read on the war in Vietnam because of the painfully brutal honesty contained within its pages.

Written by Johnny Pugh as a catharsis to deal with the demons of his past war experiences, Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought, is a must-read, for anyone who wants to try and understand the enlisted army infantryman’s experience during the war in Vietnam. It crossed my mind that this might be a difficult read for Vietnam veterans who shared similar experiences. But despite that, I think it is a book from which they too, would get a great deal.

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes is authentic and accurate …

Before purchasing this book, I read the review of Through Smoke-Teared Eyes by another Vietnam Veteran who served in the same unit (A Co, 2 Bn, 27th Infantry Regiment) as the author. He stated that while he did not remember Johnny Pugh, the book is factually accurate. This reviewer went on to say that Johnny Pugh even details the conflict where one of his best friends was killed in action. It is clear from that fellow Vietnam veteran’s review this book portrays its story accurately and honestly, and I have read enough Vietnamese war history also to know that this is the case.

While the vast majority of American servicemen served with honor during their time in Vietnam, we all know atrocities were committed on both sides. And, while good officers served in Vietnam, history has shown us that the Vietnam War was grossly mismanaged by too many poorly trained officers, often more concerned with political influence than the welfare of their men.  The effect this had on the enlisted soldier serving during this war is demonstrated in this moving narrative.

Author and Vietnam Veteran, Johnny F. Pugh

smoke-teared eyes
Johnny F. Pugh, Vietnam Veteran
and Author

Johnny Pugh writes with heartfelt honesty, and his prose and poems will keep you riveted throughout the book. His work was published posthumously by his wife, Cristina after Johnny succumbed to cancer linked to his time in Vietnam and Agent Orange. Cristina’s feelings and comments about her husband’s experience are indeed heartfelt and understandable. We owe her a debt of gratitude for making sure that his story became available for us to share. If you have any interest in military history, this book should be in your library. I gave this book a 5 Star review, and it now holds a special place in my library.

While I served in the U.S. Army, I was a little too young for Vietnam. However, I have several great friends who served in Vietnam. One recently passed away due to cancer … probably associated with his multiple tours in Vietnam. That made this book even more emotionally relevant to me as a reader.

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought received the top prize at the 2018 San Francisco Book Festival.


If you also enjoy military action/thrillers, check out my novel, Serpents Underfoot! It is getting great reviews!  Also, check other great posts and book reviews here!

A guide to positive life transformation!

Habits: Your life-changing guide. How to transform your mind, body & life. The 21 Day Plan

transformation

Wouldn’t it be great to see a positive transformation in your mind, body, and life in just 21 days?
Can you succeed in 21 days? While it certainly can take longer, depending on circumstances and personality, to form lasting habits, studies show that 21 days is a reasonable minimum to begin establishing your new healthier lifestyle. Just view these 21 days as the first in a series of small consistent steps toward a new, happier, and healthier you.

At its core, transforming your life is about taking responsibility for the areas of your life over which you have control. However, this book is not about quick fixes. Real transformation is about working through your “storms” to become stronger. It is about developing an attitude of mastery over yourself.

Dr. Vidhya Kumaranayakam has developed a robust program designed to kick start your personal transformation!

In Habits: Your life-changing guide, How to transform your mind, body & life, Dr. Kumaranayakam shares her professional perspective as an experienced Doctor and Clinical Director for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities on creating positive habits in your life. As a Board Member and Lecturer for the esteemed Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr. Kumaranayakam brings real expertise to her 21-day kick start program.
In this fantastic book, Dr. Kumaranayakam outlines her remarkable program. This program is designed to help the reader develop new positive daily routines, better self-discipline, and healthier eating habits. It is a program she developed, tested, and succeeded with herself

In Habits: Your life-changing guide, you will learn:

• How to achieve a transformational mindset.

• Secrets to reducing stress.

• Training habits designed to awaken your inner warrior.

• Guidelines and recipes for deliciously healthy eating.

• Keys to creating new and healthier life habits.

• How to leverage your new habits to maintain your transformational process.

My thoughts …

While I have not actually tried the author’s program, it does seem to be practical, and based in real medical science blended with a holistic approach to healthier living. I may give this program a try and see what happens!


About the author

transformation

Dr Vidhya Kumaranayakam is a Medical Doctor in the UK with over 10 years of clinical experience. Vidhya trained at Barts and The London Medical School. She has a background in Academic Medical Education, and has served as an Examiner and Lecturer for several London Medical Schools.

Currently, Dr. Kumaranayakam is a practicing GP and works in the National Health Service (NHS) based in London, previously having been a Partner for 5 years. Vidhya sits on the board and is a Lecturer for a Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Dr. Kumaranayakam also serves as the Clinical Director for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Audit, London Hospital contracts, Medicines and Research and other disciplines, for a North West London NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

She is passionate about promoting mental health, a healthy lifestyle, functional and integrative medicine, and practices mindfulness regularly.

In addition, Vidhya enjoys spending time with her family, cooking healthy food, dancing, singing, and travelling.  When not researching resilience and positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and lifestyle medicine, she enjoys watching re-runs of the Fresh Prince of Bel-air.

Coming soon! A link to buy will be posted as soon as available!

ON THE BATTLEFIELD: A Book Review

ON THE BATTLEFIELD: A Memoir of an Ethiopian Airborne Soldier

On the Battlefield: A Memoir of an Ethiopian Airborne Soldier tells the incredible story of one of Ethiopia’s most celebrated combat generals.  

battlefield

Brigadier General Tesfaye Habtemariam is one of Ethiopia’s greatest military leaders. General Habtemariam’s career spanned three decades and survived three different Ethiopian governments. From 1964 to 1991, he commanded troops on the battlefield in nearly every engagement in which the Ethiopian military saw action.

Drawing on his wartime journals, notes, letters and memories, Habtemariam discusses his childhood and military career. From working with Israeli commandos to form a new “Special Forces” unit to establishing the Anti-hijacking Office.  From training several Ethiopian Airborne Battalions to commanding several large units, Habtemariam served his country as only a true patriot would.

This fascinating memoir details military actions on the battlefield as well as covert operations behind enemy lines and includes detailed diagrams, battle plans, and photographs. General Habtemariam shares details of the heroic escape in which he and his few remaining men, half-starved and out of ammunition, prepared to fight to the death. Charging the enemy position with fixed bayonets, they discover it suddenly abandoned. The enemy just pulled out! Now, instead of dying in battle, they find themselves struggling to cross a dangerous desert wasteland to rejoin their forces … hopefully living to fight another day.

Tesfaye Habtemariam took part in eight major battles. He later commanded a battalion in the Special Forces, the 18th Mountaineer Division, and the Airborne Training School.  Finally, he became the Army Commander of the Tewodros Force. Brigadier General Tesfaye Habtemariam received the “Hero of Ethiopia” medal from a grateful nation after thirty years of selfless sacrifice and service to his country.

If you enjoy military history, this is one book you will definitely want in your collection.

A fascinating read!

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I received an advance release copy of this book and found it to be a fascinating read. It provided a window into a military history I previously knew so little about. This book is not just the memoir of an Ethiopian military general and hero. It is also  the story of Ethiopia’s attempts to rebuild itself. Ethiopia struggled to reshape and regain its independence from European administration after the Italian invasion and occupation during World War II.

In addition it is also a story about sacrifice, honor, victory and yes, even defeat. It is about bureaucratic incompetence, individual heroics, and a people willing to die to defend their brothers-in-arms and their country.

There is an interesting flair to the  narrative. This  makes it a different yet enjoyable read. Originally written by Tesfaye Habtemariam in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, it was later translated into English. Therefore, the prose has a unique character, but is very clear and easy to read.  I give this book 5 Stars and recommend it to anyone interested in military history.

Soon to be released

ON THE BATTLEFIELD is now out in Kindle and paperback. 

Check out other great posts and book reviews here!

Happy Veterans Day Giveaway: Thank our veterans!

Kindle give away for Serpents Underfoot!

Happy Veterans Day! In honor of Veterans Day, the Kindle version of Serpents Underfoot will be available from Amazon.com for free on Sunday, November 11th and Monday, November 12th. There are no gimmicks or requirements! However, if you were to enjoy the book and want to give me a review on Amazon, I would not strenuously object.
happy veterans

A few Happy Veterans Day quotes:

I’m trying to raise the awareness of the troops that, when they deploy and go to war, it’s not just them at war – it’s also their family. Their family is having to go through all the hardships and the stresses. ~ Chis Kyle
The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they’re protecting us. ~ Tom Clancy
The valor and courage of our young women and men in the armed services are a shining example to all of the world, and we owe them and their families our deepest respect. ~ Bill Frist

And, a few Happy Veterans Day cartoons!

happy veterans
Gary Varvel, The Indianopolis Star, garyvarvel.com
happy veterans
Dave Granlund, http://www.davegranlund.com
happy veterans
Dave Granlund, davegranlund.com, politicalcartoons.com

On a more personal note:

We all need to give Veterans Day and our veterans the respect they deserve. Members of my family have served this nation going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Several of my best friends have been Vietnam Vets. This is not unique and I am sure there are many families like mine. People who love this country and are willing to write that blank check to serve and protect it. When you see a veteran … thank him, shake his hand, or even buy his lunch. He has certainly earned it!

Another Five Star Review for Serpents Underfoot

Yep! That’s another five star review!

Thank you, DD Gott, for the fantastic five star review of Serpents Underfoot. 


What did I like? This is the first book that I have read from this author, but I was struck with the realism of the storyline. He truly knew his subject and characters and brought them to life with the stroke of his pen/computer. The reality of the storyline hit me like a ton of bricks. It seems like this was written as an episode of today’s life. Being an animal lover and knowing a little about working dogs, I was very impressed with the information and the use of his K9 partner, it was awesome.


What will you like? Extreme action, passionate characters, powerful storyline, well written, strong and yet touching with many lives put into action and learning curves. Well thought out and shows the intense research in every page from the martial arts to the life of the military. Action and reality make this an explosive action thriller for your next read.

 
~ DD Gott
five star
Have your ordered yours?

How’s that for a great five star review!  You can read the whole review here.


Adirondack Bear Tales

In addition, keep an eye out for my upcoming new release! It is a wonderful collection of Adirondack Bear Tales based on real life encounters with black bears in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York.  These delightful family stories are enjoyable for adults and suitable for all ages. They would even make great bedtime stories for young children. It is not a long book … 11 short stories … but the stories vary between humorous, exciting, and even sad. Above all, they are very entertaining. 

Likewise, if you have the time, I would love to get your help on selecting the cover for this book. I have two versions and like them both.

Please click here to tell me which cover you like better.