Montagnard: The Philippine Connection

Sometimes the strangest things happen.

I am hard at work on the third installment in the JD Cordell Action series, called Reciprocity, which will take on human trafficking. And in this story, some of the action occurs in the Philippine Islands. While still in the development stages, JD Cordell will travel to the Philippines, where he and a few associates will mete out some well-deserved justice to a gangland cartel trafficking girls between Asia, Mexico, and the US. But enough of that, I don’t want to give too much away.

My new Filipino fan base …

The interesting thing is that I just received a 5-Star review for Montagnard from a writer, blogger, and editor, based, you guessed it … in the Philippines. I think that is pretty cool!

Herzie Santos, a.k.a. SheySaints, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and has worked for Coca Cola Bottlers, Goldprint Publishing House, AXA Financial, and Sutherland Global Services. Her professional experiences in several different work industries have provided her with a great deal of expertise, including professional writing skills. She has written and published poems, short stories, book and movie reviews, essays, and several articles. She’s also a content writer, book reviewer, proofreader, and fiction writer.

Here are a few comments from her review …

I miss stories like this. It gives me this unexplainable nostalgic feeling. I rarely read anything like this anymore and I’m glad I stumbled upon this great book.

It was a well-written action-packed thriller … I highly recommend this book to readers who love heroic military and dog stories.

Herzie Santos

You can read the rest of her review here if you like: https://sheysaints18.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/book-review-montagnard/

It makes me smile! I may not yet be a renowned author, but I am definitely international. Montagnard has been read and/or reviewed in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, and now … the Philippines!

Click the button below to order your copy of this award-wing action-thriller.

Tunes for Tuesday: It’s all fun and games …

What do you get when you mix L.A. Guns with Hollywood Rose?

Guns N’ Roses, often abbreviated as GNR, is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.

Guns N’ Roses’ released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, in1987. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release based on the performance of three top 10 singles, “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” GNR’s only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Appetite for Destruction sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the country’s bestselling debut album and the eleventh-bestselling album overall.

Welcome to the Jungle

Comprised of members from two other area bands, the L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, the newly formed band soon added Slash, a former Hollywood Rose guitarist playing with a band called Road Crew. From the beginning, the band’s wildly hedonistic ways and rebellious attitude soon earned them the nickname “the most dangerous band in the world.”

Patience (Live in Tokyo)

The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, GNR’s first year of eligibility. Guns N’ Roses sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 45 million in the United States, making them one of the best-selling acts in rock history.

Mr. Brownstone

Group guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin wrote Mr. Brownstone while sitting around Izzy’s apartment commiserating over their addictions to heroin, for which “Brownstone” is a slang term.

The song’s lyrics make a clear reference to the “tolerance” that users build-up to the drug: “I used to do a little, but a little wouldn’t do, so the little got more and more.” The two wrote the lyrics to the song on the back of a grocery bag and later showed it to Axl Rose. Slash later stated the lyrics described a typical day in either his or Stradlin’s lives.

November Rain

As is so often the case, when amazing musical talent and egos get involved, success can be short-lived. Guns N’ Roses is no exception. Arguments begin, tempers explode, and bands fall apart. While GNR is still around, it is just not the same as during their amazing run during the 1980s. Too many line-up changes and bad feelings make things hard even when the original members come back together.

The real difference for me is that Guns n’ Roses were simply more genuine than most of their heavy-metal peers (kind of like Janis Joplin in that regard).

Rolling Stone contributor Rob Tannenbaum calls the GNR “the world’s most exciting hard-rock band … young, foolhardy, stubborn, cynical, proud, uncompromising, insolent, conflicted and very candid about their faults.”

Yes, they were reckless kids who somehow fell into a rock and roll career. And yes, they were often so out of control that you can’t help but believe the most scandalous stories. They were crazy enough to try and live out every rock-and-roll cliche under the sun.

But despite all that, they were also talented enough to turn out amazing music filled with that same 110-proof energy they powered their lives with.

Guns N’ Roses with a very special guest!

Every member of this band brought amazing musical talent to their efforts. Axl Rose is said by many to be one of the greatest rock and roll band front-men of all time. Personally, I was always amazed by the versatility and range of his voice. And let’s not forget his piano and whistling skills!

Slash is simply a phenomenal guitar player and sits at the top of the pile with Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Joe Bonamassa. And, according to an interview I watched, he has been clean and sober for some time now.

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out all my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

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Happy Thanksgiving

To all my family, friends, readers, fellow-bloggers, service members, police, first responders, and fellow veterans everywhere, I wish you a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving.

I thought I would share a few interesting Thanksgiving quotes I discovered …

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.

Willie Nelson

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.

John Ortberg

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.

Oscar Wilde

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

President John F. Kennedy

You oughta be thankful, a whole heaping lot, For the places and people you’re lucky you’re not!

Dr. Seuss

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness

William Shakespeare

Gratitude is a gift we all should share more of. And, I’d be very grateful for another piece of that pumpkin pie!

D.C. Gilbert

Tunes for Tuesday: Piece of My Heart!

Janis Lyn Joplin (Born: January 19, 1943, Died: October 4, 1970) was an American singer-songwriter who belted out rock, soul, and the blues. Joplin was one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era; she was noted for her powerful and raspy vocals and her “electric” stage presence.

Ball and Chain (Monterey, 1967)

Momma Cass Elliot was wowed!

In 1967, Joplin rose to fame following an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of a little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band called Big Brother and the Holding Company.

After releasing two albums with Big Brother, Janis Joplin left to continue as a solo artist with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She performed at Woodstock and with the Festival Express train tour. Five singles by Joplin reached the Billboard Hot 100, including a cover of the Kris Kristofferson song “Me and Bobby McGee,” which hit #1 in March of 1971

This next video was produced by a fan named Jeffrey A as a tribute to 1960s rock legend Janis Joplin. Along with the audio are some great historical images of her. It’s an amazingly beautiful homage.

Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster wrote “Me and Bobby McGee,” which Roger Miller originally sang. Janis Joplin killed it with her great cover of this song.

Bobby McGee (Best HD Quality)

Her most popular songs include her covers of “Piece of My Heart,” “Summertime,” “Cry Baby,” and “Down on Me,” and her original song “Mercedes Benz,” which became her final recording.

Sometime you just have to let the artist speak for themselves …

Piece of My Heart (Live in Germany, 1968)

Summertime (Recorded live at Winterland, 1968)

Cry Baby

Down On Me (Newport Folk Festival, 68)

Janis Joplin … a little bit of rock, a good bit of soul, and a mega-dose of blues. Sadly, she lived her music. In 2005 the Grammys gave Janis Joplin a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for being one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

Mercedes Benz (Original)

Janis recorded this on October 1, 1970. She died on October 4th. Rest in Peace. Janis Joplin will always have a little piece of my heart.


Janis Joplin died in 1960 of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27-years-old. She had released three albums.

Her fourth album, Pearl, was released in January 1971, three months after her death. It quickly climbed to number one on the Billboard charts.

Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 18.5 million albums sold.

The not so secret “Secret Scrolls.”

I hadn’t gotten too far along on my Isshin-ryu Karate journey when I heard rumors of something called Master Tatsuo Shimabuku’s “Secret Scrolls of Kumite.” I envisioned Master Shimabuku walking over to a dusty intricately carved old chest in the corner of the dojo and opening it. After the dust had settled, he’d reach in and take out a dusty old cloth wrap containing a traditional scroll. With much reverence, he’d remove the cover, unwrap the scroll and share some of its ancient and mysterious knowledge with a chosen few.

Imagine my disappointment when someone told me they were just listed on the dojo wall in plain sight. The reason they were so secret is that they were very cryptic. Most Marines were not stationed on Okinawa long enough to get to a point where they would learn these techniques. A typical tour for a Marine on Okinawa might be 14 to 18 months. That is barely enough time to get a thorough grounding in a system’s basic techniques, never mind lessons from the “Secret Scrolls.”

From discussions I’ve had with my Sensei, Sherman Harrill, and others, It has become clear that these techniques were mostly taught to his Okinawan students. This was simply because they lived there and therefore trained long enough to have a base of knowledge sufficient to make practical use of them.

But we got lucky …

First, Sensei Sherman Harrill was lucky enough to be in Tatsuo Shimabuku’s dojo when he was teaching his Kumite techniques to a group of his Okinawan students. Sensei was drafted to be “uki,” meaning Shimabuku’s students practiced these techniques on him. I guess Master Shimabuku figured if they could make them work on a big, strong U.S. Marine, they understood them properly.

Second. Sensei Arcenio Advincula made repeated trips back to Okinawa. This was for several reasons. He remained in contact with Master Shimabuku’s wife and his second son, Shinso. He also visits his in-laws, having married Michi Nakamashi in 1961. And he continued to train and research Okinawan Karate and Kobudo. Because of his additional time on the island of Okinawa, Sensei Advincula did learn Tatsuo Shimabuku’s Kumite.

Sensei Harrill would often incorporate these Kumite techniques into his classes in the dojo, depending on what he was teaching at the time, and did not “separate” them out for special classes. At one point, he did compare notes with Sensei Advincula to ensure what he remembered from being on the receiving end of these techniques jived with what Sensei Advincula was taught. Once satisfied, they were both on the same page, he began teaching them more openly as Tatsuo Shimabuku’s Kumite.

Sensei John Kerker demonstrating one of the kumite on me.

One of the early seminars Sensei John Kerker did for us in Clinton, Tennessee, covered Tatsuo Shimabuku’s Kumite. John was Sensei Harrill’s Sempai and inherited the Carson Dojo when Sensei Harrill passed away in 2002. This seminar, held in March of 2005, was a real eye-opener for many Isshin-ryu folks who attended because they had not seen these “secret techniques” before.

So, what are these Kumite all about?

Essentially, they are keys to understanding Tatsuo Shimabuku’s karate. From my experience, they are multi-faceted in that they are solid techniques on their own. They also give examples of how Tatsuo Shimabuku viewed the techniques in the kata he taught, and perhaps why he modified them as he did when incorporating them into his system.

There are fifteen Kumite Techniques. The last five are knife defense techniques. I will list these below. When you look at the list, I think you will understand why they were “secret.” If someone did not actually show you what each technique was, you would be hard-pressed to figure it out on your own.

Also, several have multiple variations, so the fifteen expand to about forty-five if you look at the “official” variations. Personal variations are really only limited by your level of knowledge, your imagination, and, of course, the rules of body mechanics.

Tatsuo Shimabuku’s Kumite

  1. The left hand hold the right wrist
  2. Outside block, punch inside
  3. Punch back of the hand
  4. Knuckle block for kick, counter kick
  5. Hold arm, use against a punch
  6. One handhold gi, grab, twist, kick
  7. Full nelson, karate cut groin
  8. Bear hug waist, hands-free, grab one finger, break, or hit back of the hand
  9. Devil’s handshake, grab your fist, pull, kick.
  10. Two-hand straight choke, break, grab adam’s apple
  11. Straight stab, grab hand and writs, twist kick, trip kick.
  12. Ice pick stab, block across, kick.
  13. Straight stab, both hands up, karate cut block, kick.
  14. Straight stab leaning forward, grab the hand with both of yours, pull. trap at elbow
  15. Two knife straight stab, squat kick

Well, there you have them, or at least the primary fifteen. The Secret Scrolls of Kumite is not so secret anymore. I do think, however, you can see why a new Marine standing in Master Tatsuo Shimbuku’s dojo might look at this list and say to themselves, “what the heck is this?”

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out all my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

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Helping those who served to protect us all.

Today, a Veterans Referring Veterans social is being held at Four Brothers Mead in Festus, Missouri. Sadly, I was unable to attend due to a previous engagement. These are a great bunch of people.

A Silent Auction for a Great Cause

At this social, a silent auction is being held to raise money for Lukas, the young son of a Marine Corp veteran and the owner of True Allegiance Flag Co, who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.

Rob, the owner of this amazing veteran-owned company, makes rustic wooden American flags you can proudly display in your home or office.

A signed set of my JD Cordell Action Series books was donated for this auction, as well as many other amazing products from veteran-owned businesses across the nation.

Meet Lukas

#FightLikeLukas

Lukas was taken to the local emergency room on Friday, October 16, 2020 for fever, bruising, and soreness. After blood work, it was discovered that Lukas’s platelets were extremely low and his white blood cell count was extremely high. The doctors decided to transport Lukas via ambulance to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis (2 hours away from home). 

It was there, around 1:30am, October 17, 2020, that the doctors delivered the news to Lukas’s parents that he has Leukemia. It was determined they would immediately start a blood transfusion to get his platelet count up (which had dropped even lower since the previous test), then later on in the day decide which type of Leukemia he has and start chemotherapy Monday, October 19, 2020. 

Later that day, it was determined that Lukas has Type B Leukemia (which apparently is the better of the two types). The plan to start chemotherapy Monday is still in place, and no surgery or radiation will be needed. He will also have a bone marrow biopsy and spinal type very soon. Lukas will be in the hospital for 2-3 weeks as of right now.

Jessie and Rob have 4 other children between the two of them that will be at home during this time. Jessie has two full time jobs, and Rob owns his own business making fantastic works of art out of wood. However, with them being two hour away from home and family, neither of them will be able to work during this time to provide for their family. 

It is our hope to be able to raise enough money for lodging, gas money, food, and ALL bills while their little family undergoes this hardship. We know that our God is a mighty God and He will provide!! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to support this magnificent family!

I know a lot of people are having a tough time right now, but …

If you can and would like to help, donations are also welcomed on their GoFundMe account, https://www.gofundme.com/f/fightlikeLukas. No donation amount is too small.

Two new reviews for Montagnard

“You feel as if you are one of the action-thriller characters …”

Authors love 5-Star reviews, and I am no exception. Montagnard recently received a very nice 5-star review from a lady named Vicki Goforth. Thank you, Vickie, for taking the time to leave a thoughtful review. I am so glad you enjoyed the book!

Timely Information With Explosive Action

I also received a very thoughtful 4-star review from another author named Schuyler T Wallace. While all reviews matter, getting a 4 or 5-star review from a fellow author means a great deal to me. It is like being accepted or validated by your professional peers.

Here are a few of Schuyler’s comments that stuck out to me.

I really liked this book. D.C. Gilbert is a talented writer with a lot to say, and he says it well.

It’s not a new plot but done in Gilbert’s refreshing manner that’s heavy on local detail, essential to the story.

The author uses appropriate dialogue that is timely and closely mirrors the life and times he is writing about.

Schuyler T Wallace, Author of Tin Lizard Tales

Also from this author …

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out all my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

Sign up for my monthly author’s newsletter …

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Essential Oils Can Kill Your Dog!

Dog Poisoned by the Diffuser

This morning I am forgoing my typical Tunes for Tuesday post for a public service announcement. Tunes for Tuesday will be back next week,

Anyone who has followed my blog or Instagram knows I am a dog lover. While I lived in Cary, NC, I joined a very nice dog park and its Facebook group. While I sometimes get very angry with Facebook over their censorship, I must admit that not everything about Facebook is evil. Here is a case in point … and a good reminder. This was posted by a fellow member of the dog park Facebook page, and it is good information. It can save your best friend’s life.

Posted by Marianne White

Saturday night, I got home late, and my dog didn’t recognize me. Being a nanny, I thought I woke him up, and he was having a night terror. Sunday, he was still acting weird. I realized that I had been running my new diffuser and decided to turn it off. Sunday afternoon, he was feeling better.

Today at work, my dog sitter said that he wouldn’t come out from under the bed. It was very odd as he is a happy dog.

I came from work early and again, he was very confused about who I was.

So I took him to emergency vet.

It turns out that the tea tree oil I was using in the diffuser is toxic for dogs. Thankfully the test showed that his liver was ok, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. He was given fluids under his skin to get the toxins out.

The vet and the poison control are saying that they see these cases often now that the popularity of essential oil is growing

Please make sure that the essential oils you are burning are not toxic to your pets.

Here is a list of essential oils not to use if you have a dog at home:

Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Birch (Betula)
Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
Boldo (Peumus boldus)
Calamus (Acorus calamus)
Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
Cassia (Cassia fistula)
Chenopodium (Chenopodium album)
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale)
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens)
Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Mustard (Brassica juncea)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Red or White Thyme
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
Savory (Satureja)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina)
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Sophie says, “please share this story as it may save someone’s precious furry family member!”

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

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Knock Em Out John

Jerry Clower: The Mouth of the Mississippi

As a youngster, I had several Jerry Clower records, then later, cassette tapes. A story-teller extraordinaire! His tales would have you laughing until your stomach hurt. I had just about forgotten about old Jerry until a friend sent me a clip he’d stumbled onto on the internet. I got such a kick out of listening to it again, I decided I needed to spread the love. I posted a few of my favorites here.

Knock Em Out John

Howard Gerald “Jerry” Clower was born on September 28, 1926. He passed away on August 24, 1998. An American stand-up comedian from the Southern United States, Clower was best known for his tales of the rural South. He became affectionately known as “The Mouth of Mississippi.”

The New Bull

Jerry Clower studied agriculture at Mississippi State University, where he played college football and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. After finishing school in 1951, Clower worked as a county agent and later as a seed salesman. He became a fertilizer salesman for Mississippi Chemical in 1954. By 1954, Jerry had developed a reputation for telling funny stories to boost his sales. Edwin “Big Ed” Wilkes and Bud Andrews in Lubbock, Texas heard some tapes of Clower’s speaking engagements, and they were quite impressed. They had him make a better-quality recording, which they promoted. The Coon Hunt earned a platinum record for sales above $1 million at the retail level.

Wanna Buy A Possum

Jerry Clower made 27 full-length recordings over his 27-year career as a professional entertainer. This total does not include “best of” compilations. With one exception, all the recordings were released by MCA. The exception was Ain’t God Good, which Clower recorded with MCA’s blessing at a worship service. Word Records promoted and distributed this title in 1977.

The She Coon of Women’s Lib

In 1973, Clower joined the Grand Ole Opry and continued to perform there regularly until his death. He also co-hosted a radio show called Country Crossroads with Bill Mack and Leroy Van Dyke, aired in syndication for 40 years. A television version of the program was also produced beginning in 1993.

The Last Piece of Chicken

Clower died in August 1998 following heart bypass surgery; he was 71 years old. He had been married to Homerline (née Wells) Clower (1926-2018) since August 1947. He was survived by a son, Ray (1953–2011), three daughters, Amy, Sue, Katy, and seven grandchildren.

The Lion In The Yard

Jerry Clower was a comedian from the days when comedians were actually funny, rather than just resorting to using obscenities or political name-calling to embarrass you into laughing. Sometimes, I sure miss the good old days.

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

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Tunes for Tuesday: Rocks!

Meet the Bad Boys of Rock and Roll!

Warning: If you are easily offended or have delicate sensibilities, this music may not be for you!

Aerosmith is an American rock band that formed in Boston in 1970.[ The group members included Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar, vocals), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), and Brad Whitford (guitar). Their style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, later incorporated pop-rock elements,[ heavy metal, and rhythm and blues. Aerosmith inspired many later up-and-coming rock artists. They are sometimes referred to as “the Bad Boys from Boston” or “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The primary songwriting team of Tyler and Perry became known as the “Toxic Twins.”

Same Old Song and Dance (Gotta Move)

They were one of my favorite bands for many years, and I learned to play many of their songs. I loved the early stuff from their self-titled album, Aerosmith, or from Get Your Wings and Rocks!

Mama Kin (Nurburg, 1997)

It is hard to beat good live Rock and Roll. And I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Aerosmith in concert. However, to me, they were one of those bands that, for some reason, their studio albums were always so much better than their live performances. Hey, it happens. Boston was the same way. Maybe it was just that you could make out their music’s intricacies much better on a studio album.

Mother Popcorn (Live, James Brown Tribute)

I also enjoyed some of Aerosmith’s less typical musical workings. When I bought the album, Live Bootleg, their version of James Brown’s Mother Popcorn was just so much fun.

This was always another one of my favorites that didn’t seem to catch on with most listeners. But then, I don’t remember Aerosmith songs getting too much radio time. After all, they were “bad boys.”

Chip Away The Stone (Official Video)

The difference in the live and studio performances of their music is hard to ignore. I’m including two studio cuts here for comparison.

Too Bad – S.O.S. (Get your Wings)

Pandora’s Box (Get Your Wings)

Yep, that is why in the 1970’s, these guys were called the bad boys of Rock and Roll. And you can also see … the live versions just did quite cut the mustard.

Two songs that did get a lot of airtime were Dream On and Train Kept A-Rollin’. Train Kept A-Rollin’ was a great song, but I heard it so much on the radio over the years, it kind of lost its listen-a-bility for me.

Dream On is the Aerosmith classic everyone remembers and you still hear it on the radio today. So I will end this post with it.

Dream On (Official Video)

Now that’s some old-time Rock and Roll. Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out my books by clicking here! They do get great reviews!

Sign up for my monthly author’s newsletter …

Yes, I do in fact have an author’s newsletter! Would you like to keep up with new releases, writing tips, upcoming events, freebies, and bonus content? Then you can sign up by clicking here! And, I promise, no spam!