Award Winning Author Gives Serpents Underfoot Five Stars!

Award winning Author, Lee Boyland, says Serpents Underfoot is a good first novel.

Yesterday, I noticed that Serpents Underfoot had received another review, so naturally I went to check it out and discovered I had gotten another 5 Star review. This time from an award-winning author, Lee Boyland,  Lee has several books out on Amazon.com. Check some of his titles out here!

Award

Lee Boyland’s Review

I posted Lee Boyland’s review here in its entirety. It really made me feel good to get this review and I am certainly working hard to improve my style in future works. Thank you, Lee, for your honest review. It is certainly appreciated.

Award

The story begins in 1966 in Vietnam and fills the first six chapters, then moves back to the US. A young US Army lieutenant is thrown from a helicopter inserting a patrol, injured, and then rescued by a Vietnamese girl who returns to the US as his bride. At this point the story transitions to their son, a US Navy SEAL. The author does a good job of describing the real Vietnam war on the ground, the inhuman crimes committed, not by the US but by the Vietcong and North Vietnam army. Hope some of the flower children now running the country read these chapters.

Other reviewers have discussed the plot and in a couple of instances the books grammar and style. Monday morning quarterbacks who should attempt to write a novel. I am sure the author’s style will improve with future works. For me, the story is the important thing. Is the plot feasible? Are the characters believable? Is the action realistic? In this novel they all are.

Smuggling ten small nuclear devices across our border is possible, however, the “suite case nukes” in the story would not be 2 KT. Considering their source, a yield of .3 to .5 KT would realistic. This said, a .4 KT nuclear detonation in a city would be catastrophic. Such small devices exist and in the US are referred to as SADMs, small atomic demolition munitions for use by Special Forces behind enemy lines.

Isn’t that an awesome review?

You can get your copy of Serpents Underfoot (Kindle) here, or paperback here. I would love to hear what you think of the book!

It is also available online from Barnes and Noble as well as Books-A-Million

Water: How Important is it to You?

1 in 10 people lack access to clean water!

I was stunned by this discovery.

Last week I was attending the 2019 Symmetry Financial Group conference in Washington, DC.  A keynote speaker was Scott Harrison, a man I’d never heard of.  He turned out to be a man with an amazing story!

water

Scott was a young man with a gift. People loved him, loved to be around him, and loved to party with him. He made a living as a club promoter, hired by night clubs in New York City to promote their events … parties, concerts, gatherings, celebrity appearances, etc.

Let’s say there was a lot of wine, women, and song in his life. He got lost. One day he woke up and did not recognize himself. Scott decided he needed to change. He decided he would need to do something pretty drastic to get his life turned around. Applying for work at many charities, he was repeatedly turned down. Finally, he paid Mercy Ships $500 a month to let him work as a photo journalist on one of their hospital ships for one year. He ended up staying for two.

People dying from water?

During his two years with Mercy Ships, Harrison was exposed to the conditions of the impoverished people in Liberia. He saw people drinking water from murky swamps and rancid mud holes. He talked to women who made a 7-mile trek to crocodile-infested rivers for water for their families. These women recounted the many friends they’d lost to crocodiles.  Scott saw a little girl drinking dirty water from a plastic bottle. She would take a sip and promptly throw-up. Scott took the water bottle and had the water tested. The lab technician told Scott that water was literally alive with disease and bacteria! He decided right then and there to do something.

Charity: Water

Scott Harrison founded Charity: Water in 2006. The charity is a non-profit organization that works to bring clean water to people in developing nations by raising money through donations, which directly fund water projects such as digging wells and building water filtration and treatment facilities. Scott uses 100% of all donations to provide this clean water and hires local labor to do the work. This gives each village a sense of pride and ownership in their new clean water sources; some of which have been in operation for 12 years and are still pumping clean water.

water

$12,000 buys a well or filtration system including materials, equipment, and labor.

At the Symmetry conference,  there was not a dry eye in the place after his presentation, and I know several wells were pledged by agencies and these pledges were going to be matched by the corporate office. Symmetry is a big-hearted organization and one of its core values is to always do the right thing … even when no one is looking! And, this is one charity that I, personally, plan to become very involved with.

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

water

While I have not read this book yet, I plan to. I am sure it is an amazing read after hearing Scott Harrison speak. I will post a review of this book here once I have read it. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go toward funding Charity: Water projects around the world.

It is available at the Charity: Water website as well as on Amazon.com

 

As we walk around carrying our bottled water, perhaps we should take a moment and think about the little girl in Liberia or Rwanda, or Honduras … drinking the poisonous water from her plastic water bottle.  Many of us have already dug in to help.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have bought wells and even went over to see them put in.

water

Rachel Beckwith was  a young girl who, on her 9th birthday, pledged to raise $300 to bring clean water to kids on the other side of the world. She raised a little over $200. Dismayed, she pledged to work even harder next year.

Sadly, a few weeks later Rachel was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Word of her pledge and what happened hit the news, and people began to donate in Rachel’s name.  $1.2 million was raised and in Rachel’s name … provided water for 37,770 people. Rachel’s story is one that will bring a tear to your eye and a swell of pride and admiration to your chest.  Take a look at this video! You will not be the same after watching. I promise!

Rachel’s Gift

Matthew 25:40  King James Version

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

For more great blog post, read on!

Honey, That Sweet Golden Liquid

A book by beekeeper Rado Tashkov and the Natural Honey Shop.

I came across the wonderful little children’s book about honey bees and just needed to pass it along. It is such a wonderfully educational little children’s book and fun to read as well. The illustrations are amazing. You really should check it out!

honey

Who doesn’t like honey?

Do you like honey? It is an amazing sweet that many people love! Did you know that honey comes from Bees? They are quite amazing as well.

Wouldn’t it be fun to learn more about Honey Bees? With this great little book written by beekeeper Rado Tashkov, you can.

With this beautifully illustrated children’s book, you will read and learn all about the fascinating lives of the hard-working little Honey Bees. Read about where they live. Learn about the different kinds of Honey Bees and what their different jobs are. You will learn how Bees collect nectar from flowers and use it to make honey. You will come to understand how important Honey Bees are to our planet’s ecosystem.

Best of all, you will learn about all the excellent health benefits of honey. Not only is it delicious! It is also good for us. Honey is a sweet treat parent won’t mind that you eat. There are so many good reasons you should eat honey! Now you can learn what they are.

Both children and parents will enjoy this educational book about industrious little Honey Bees from the Natural Honey Shop. Get your copy now and see just how amazing they are.

Did you know how healthy honey is?

I thought I did. But there are many more health benefits to eating honey than I was ever aware of. So, I learned a great deal from the great little children’s book. If you have children, you should definitely read this book with them. You will both have a great time!

For other great blog posts and book reviews, click here!

Book Descriptions: Can you write your own?

I have written book descriptions for over 85 different clients on Fiverr.com. Furthermore, while doing this, I maintained a 5 Star rating and a 73% repeat customer rate. I think that is pretty darn good! Therefore, in this post I will share some of the tricks I have learned about writing book descriptions with my readers.

Tips for writing good book descriptions

The purpose of a book description is to get the reader to buy the book. You want to “set the hook” and reel the reader in. And, I mean this in the nicest sort of way possible. Because, that is what you are really trying to do.

In addition, as a bonus, the same process you use to write your book description should also leave you with some good ad copy for Amazon ads or for use on Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest.

Finally, again, remember that a book description does not just describe what the story is about. It should “hook” your readers and make them want to buy your book. Consequently, this thought needs to be foremost in your mind.

Writing a good book description is a different skill set than writing the book itself. Therefore, many authors do pay someone else to write their book descriptions. However, if you would like to give it a try …

Step 1: Identify your book’s primary conflict

book desctiption

In this post, I am dealing primarily with fiction. Non-fiction is a little different. In contrast, for non-fiction, this “primary conflict” would be replaced with the “primary takeaway” you want your readers to get from reading the book. Hence, I will write about non-fiction book descriptions in another post.

For now, let’s focus on fiction. What is your story about? For example, in Serpents Underfoot:

The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife grows up to become a Navy SEAL. On a mission, his SEAL team uncovers a terrorist plot against the United States involving nuclear weapons. Now a SEAL K9 handler, he and his dog, Ajax, race to stop the terrorists from succeeding in their evil scheme.

Develop 15 to 20 different versions of this conflict:

This will become your “hook” and is perhaps the most important part because it is what grabs the readers attention. I have included a few examples below to illustrate what what I mean.

  1. Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.  
  2. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.
  3. When a Navy SEAL K9 handler uncovers a deadly terrorist plot to annihilate the US, he’ll need every bit of his fighting skill to protect what he holds dear.
  4. A top Navy SEAL. A deadly terrorist plot. Can one man overcome a network of fanatical terrorists to stop America’s annihilation?
  5. When the US becomes the target of an inhuman conspiracy, one dedicated Navy SEAL will need more than loyalty to prevent mass murder.

You get the idea? Each of these is a different restating of the primary conflict in the story. Similarly, this can also provide good copy for a Facebook ad.

Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense. Click the link to buy the book today!

Seems like it’s not too hard. As a result, it is easy to rush through this process. Therefore, be careful not to be fooled. It can take some time and lots of trial and error to come up with 15 to 20 good versions of your story’s main conflict. As a result, you should not rush through this! Give your ideas time to simmer.

Now ask your readers!

Finally, when you have your hook ideas ready, run these 15 to 20 ideas by your target readers, and put it to a vote. It is as simple as that. The #1 choices by your target readers is your hook! Then #2 thru #5 (or maybe a few more) can be ad copy.

Now, a bit more on book descriptions!

Remember, in writing the book description, you are acting as a publisher or marketer, not as the author.

  • Therefore, try to make the rest of your book description about your main character’s emotional journey. Help your readers identify quickly with the main character.
  • Also, use transitional phrases at the beginning of sentences to maintain good momentum. Transitional phrases include words like before, when, after, however, rather, while, or despite.
  • Another key is to include a cliffhanger at the end of each paragraph.
  • Above all, remember to place a call to action at the end!

Sample book description from Serpents Underfoot.

Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.

JD Cordell believes in freedom, honor, and hard work. The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife, the Navy SEAL is proud to serve as SEAL Team 5’s K9 handler with his dog Ajax. But when his team uncovers a deadly terrorist plot in Afghanistan, he never expected a cover-up that could reach as high as the White House itself.

As JD gets drawn in deeper, he unmasks a mastermind hell bent on detonating nukes on U.S. soil. When an assassin working for the terrorist strikes close to home, JD’s fight to save America gets personal.

Can JD protect the American way of life, or will sadistic terrorists turn America into a nuclear wasteland?

Serpents Underfoot is the first novel in a nail-biting military thriller series. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.

Buy Your copy of Serpents Underfoot today!

Can you identify the parts as described?

If you can, you are off to a good start. Following the guidelines provided in this post can help you turn out good book description if you choose to. I hope this helps with any book description projects you have in your future. Of course, if you want help, I can be reached through Fiverr.com

Also. for more interesting post and book reviews, click here!

Forex: Trading on the Foreign Exchange

Milan Marko contacted me through Fiverr.com to write a book description for the new English version of his book, FOREX: Proven Trading Strategies For Financial Freedom. Marko published the original in German in 2016. Until I read his book, I had no idea what Forex trading is. His book is very informative and quite interesting. Therefore I decided to share it on my blog. It is available on Amazon.com. Here is the link.

Can you make money as a Forex trader? What is Forex? How do you trade Forex?

Marko answers these and many other questions in his remarkable guide.

forex

This book is a compilation of his personal experiences as a foreign exchange trader. He also combines with his personal experience the information gleaned from working with other successful traders over the last several years. It is a complete guide to the process of foreign exchange trading for beginners. However, seasoned traders can also benefit. This is a book that should be on any foreign exchange traders bookshelf.

What is most important?

First of all, and perhaps most the important question, are you passionate and enthusiastic about your financial goals? According to Marko, these are two critical ingredients for success. That is because, real passion and enthusiasm will keep you on track and motivated to succeed.

What are your Forex goals?

Do you want to become a skilled and profitable foreign exchange trader? Would you like to avoid the mistakes often made by beginning traders? Finally, how about trading foreign exchange for a living? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, this may well be just the book for you.

This book contains a lot of great information!

Everything from the basic vocabulary, analysis, and several proven trading strategies. It contains everything you need to be successful in foreign exchange trading. We know there no surefire guarantees in any investing. However, by learning the processes and techniques outlined this book you are following the paths blazed by many highly successful foreign exchange traders.

Furthermore, you also can learn the methods used by many foreign exchange traders to preserve their capital while they do generate real returns. As a result of becoming a knowledgeable and confident foreign exchange trader, you could increase your chances of achieving true financial independence.

If you are interested in Forex trading, this is a book you should certainly check out. To order your copy now, just click the button below.

In addition, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out other post on my blog by clicking here!

Likewise be sure to check out my books, Serpents Underfoot and Adirondack Bear Tales, available on Amazon.com.

Wonderful! Another 5 Stars for Serpents Underfoot!

First, a short preamble!

wonderful

I first became acquainted with Cristina Pugh a few months ago. Cristina’s late husband, Johnny F. Pugh, is the author of Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought. Cristina contacted me through Authors.com. She asked if I’d read her late husband’s book and perhaps post a short review of it online.

I did so and a few weeks later, posted my review of her late husband’s book on Amazon.com. This is a wonderful and amazing book. In addition, it is a winner of several awards! I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the infantryman’s experience during the Vietnam War. You can read my review here if you would like to.

Yesterday, I received a wonderful surprise!

Cristina wrote a wonderful Five Star review of Serpents Underfoot on Amazon.com calling it

“An intelligent current-day spy novel with a love story that dates back to the Vietnam War.”

You can read the entire review here. I have included an excerpt:

wonderful


In summary, Serpents Underfoot is a very well-written novel that exhibits Gilbert’s passion for and extensive knowledge of military history, martial arts and spy sagas. It quite effectively blends these themes with terrorist threats from well-financed middle-eastern extremists and current-day foreign government meddling into controlling and financing United States presidential campaigns. Any reader who loves spy novels combined with an exotic love story that goes back decades will certainly enjoy this book. D.C. Gilbert is currently working on a sequel to this, his first work of fiction, and I am looking forward to reading more by this very talented and skilled author.

Cristina Pugh

All I can say, Cristina, is thank you for the wonderful review. I am so glad you enjoyed the book.

To read other interesting posts on a variety of topics on this blog, just click here!

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

I recently came across an article in Imprimis, which is a publication of Hillsdale College. The article, titled “Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” was written by journalist Alex Berenson. Berenson has written for the Denver Post as well as the New York Times. He served as an Iraq War correspondent and has written several acclaimed novels and works of non-fiction.

“So, why are you writing a post about marijuana?” you might ask.

That would be a very good question. I am not sure myself except that this article really struck a personal chord with me. And, I have become increasingly concerned about the direction some are trying to take our country in. And besides, it’s my blog, so I will write about whatever the hell I want to! You don’t have to read this post if you don’t want to.

Write about what you know …

First, I do want my readers to understand that I am not coming at this from a “non-experienced,” “puritanical,” or “holier than thou” attitude. Therefore, in the name of full disclosure, I started smoking marijuana in the eighth grade and smoked pretty heavily until my late twenties. It was having a family of my own that had me questioning my lifestyle choices up until that point. I eventually succeeded in walking away from it, but it took a change of scenery and new friends to succeed.

I am not proud of that part of my life and often wonder how different things might have been had I turned down that first joint. Much of my life has been a struggle. And, while there have been some real successes, for example … in martial arts and writing … they have come later in life for me. When I see politicians and “marijuana merchants” praising the miracles of medical marijuana and calling for its legalization, I wanted to remind people that to make an intelligent decision, you have to look at both sides of any story. And, marijuana use does certainly have its “dark side.”

There is a real “Dark Side” to marijuana use!

marijuana

Berenson started his article by describing the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center located about 70 miles northwest of New York City. It is one of the places New York State houses the criminally mentally ill. These are defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity. Berenson’s wife had worked as a senior psychiatrist there.

The article points out that many of the 300 patients housed at this facility are killers and arsonists. At least one, it seems, is a cannibal. Diagnosed with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, they’d committed extreme acts of violence against both family members and strangers.

Berenson highlights in his article that, during a passing comment to him, his wife once stated:

Of course, he’d been smoking pot his whole life.

Of course, I asked?

Yes, they all smoke.

So marijuana causes schizophrenia?

Alex Benson, Imprimis, January 2019

As recently as 2017, the National Academy of Medicine found that “cannabis use does increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.”

In states like Colorado, emergency room physicians are becoming quite expert at dealing with cannabis-induced psychosis!

The really scary thing for me is that the marijuana kids are smoking today is about 10 to 15 times more potent in THC content than the pot I used to smoke.

How come we don’t know more about this?

The truth is that in the United States tracking cases of psychosis and its causes is impossible. Perhaps this is due to a concern for Constitutional rights to privacy. The government does carefully track diseases like cancer with central registries. However, no such registries exist for tracking schizophrenia or other mental illnesses.

In his article, Berenson points out that other countries such as Finland and Denmark do track mental illness comprehensively. And, they show a marked increase in psychosis since 2000, coinciding with a increase in marijuana usage.

Also according to this article, a large Federal survey conducted in September of last years shows a serious rise in mental illness in the United States as well. And, especially among young adults, the heaviest users of marijuana.

Why does this matter to me?

I cannot help but wonder how many of the young kids we see today engaging in violent behavior such as school shootings are heavy marijuana users? How many members of MS 13 are marijuana users? I am not saying I have any answers. But before we go skipping down the path to legalizing marijuana and classifying it as “harmless as Oreo cookies and milk,” maybe we should be sure we have all the facts, and not just the memes you see on the Facebook or Instagram created by those in a position to make oodles of money if “pot” becomes legal.

To read other posts, click here!

Check out Serpents Underfoot and Adirondack Bear Tales on Amazon.com

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