Tag Archives: Military

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!

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!

battlefield

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!

Book Review: Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter

Welcome to Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter by Author Kent Wayne!

Author Kent Wayne does a good job with this first book in his Echo series titled  Echo 1: Approaching Shatter. His writing style is lively and at times humorous. The characters are well developed, and it is truly a compelling story.

Shatter

His book is an interesting look at a futuristic version of humanity. Global warming has made Earth uninhabitable, and now humans live on similar planet called Echo. Governments and corporations have merged and created the Department of Enforcement to crush the Dissident rebels who are fighting to make their lives better. Much of Echo is in a rapidly deteriorating state, but the elite live up in the sky where they can ignore the chaos below … that is threatening to destroy Echo.

In Approaching Shatter, the main character, Atriya, is one of the Department of Enforcement’s highly-trained Enforcers. As a good soldier, he follows orders. However lately, he has been having second thoughts and strange ideas. He wonders about things that he shouldn’t and wants to do something, but is unsure of what path to take. This is the source of the story’s conflict and the narrative unfolds from there.

I do not usually read a lot of science fiction, but I do like military fiction, so I took a chance on it. This book was pretty darn good because it is not just about the action. It also explores the ideas of humanity, courage, strength, bureaucracy run amuck, war, and even religion.

I have one minor comment/complaint. I’ve always loved westerns, especially Louis L’Amour. But I could never get into Zane Gray. That was because Zane Gray included way to much detail. I have an imagination. Let me use it. Echo 1 is kind of that way. Maybe not as bad as Zane Gray!

But I must admit, whether or not there is too much detail, often depends on the reader. Many readers loved Zane Gray westerns. In my novel, Serpents Underfoot, a couple reviews complained I gave too much detail on things like military weapons or tactics. Then again, some readers eat that stuff up.  I guess the point is that a lot of this is subjective and depends on the readers personal preferences.

I haggled over 4 or 5 stars for this book for a few days, and settled in on 4.5 … which rounds off to 5 anyway. Military science fiction readers will love it!

Don’t forget to check out my novel as well!

Freedom … And Three Simple Steps to Something Free!

Freedom  And Sacrifice … And Thanks!

giveaway

Memorial Day Weekend Giveaway

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it is certainly not free. Memorial Day is not a day to honor Veterans who are still here although we certainly appreciate it. Instead, Memorial Day is a day to honor those who give the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Freedom. In honor of those who have made this sacrifice, I am giving away free Kindle versions of my book, Serpents Underfoot, over Memorial Day weekend. Starting at midnight tonight and ending midnight on Monday the 28th, the Kindle version of my book will be available to download for free.

A Great Read!

Serpents Underfoot floored me!

Serpents Underfoot is a thrilling, compelling, exciting mystery that will keep its readers hooked from the very beginning. The plot of Serpents Underfoot is thrilling and incredibly clever. Serpents Underfoot is different because at the heart of its story is genuine proudness and respect for the military.

~Red Headed Book Lover Blog

4.5 Out of Five Stars

This novel starts with the deep background story of Cordell’s father when he was serving in Viet Nam. It carries forward to JD Cordell’s SEAL Team and other major characters in the plot. Far more background is developed in this novel than you would normally find. I also liked that the characters are down to earth with no “over the top” scenes of heroic combat.

~ John’s Notes

You can read other reviews (10 Five Star) on Amazon.com or here on my website. There are no strings attached or gimmicks involved. However, if you download a free Kindle version of Serpents Underfoot, enjoy it,  and feel compelled to give me a review on Amazon, I will not complain!

So here are the three steps:

  1. Click on the Serpents Underfoot Link!
  2. Download the Kindle book!
  3. Enjoy!

Voices from the Second World War

Voices from the past for today’s children

Voices from the past … from World War III … telling tales for today’s children.

It looks like John Purvis over at John’s Notes came up with another little gem on his blog! I certainly would have enjoyed something like this when I was in school. I like the fact that this work of non-fiction shares stories from soldiers and civilians from both sides … Allies and Axis.

John gave it a 3.8 out of 5! I think this was mostly because, according to his review, some of the stories began to get repetitive toward the end. I bet a great many of the stories are very moving. The cover is vintage WWII recruitment poster-type artwork. I have a feeling I will be checking this book out … maybe on Audible.

via Review of “Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today”

If you like military fiction, political thrillers,and  romance, check out my book on Amazon and here on my website.

Blue Gemini – An Amazing Cold War Technothriller!

Blue Gemini – An Amazing Technothriller!

Blue Gemini is probably the first technothriller I have read, and I will be honest, it took a bit for this book to hook me. But, once it did … it was tough to put down. This book contains all the elements needed for a good read; multiple intersecting plot lines, characters that are easy to identify with,  believable dialogue, believable scenarios, and a compelling topic. Author, Mike Jenne does an excellent job of blending the space program and cold war intrigue with just the right amount of romance.

It is 1968. A young Scott Ourecky joins the U.S. Air Force. He wants to be an astronaut. But for some reason, he keeps failing the aptitude test to become a pilot. He can’t seem to “make the cut.” However, as a brilliant engineer, he suddenly finds himself chosen to work for the Aerospace Support Project, an innocuously titled program whose real purpose is to train astronauts to fly missions designed to intercept and destroy Soviet nuclear missile satellites.

When one of the astronauts drops out of the program, Ourecky is asked to step up and fill the slot until a replacement can be found. He is assigned to work with Major Drew Carson, a full-of-himself, headstrong, and abrasive test pilot. Ourecky soon finds himself much more involved than he ever thought he would be … and in some grave danger!

Historically Relevant

Our Country is entering into a new era of space travel with NASA and private corporations competing to be the next to achieve a significant milestone in space exploration. We are planning missions to Mars! This book is a fascinating look back a the beginnings of this same Space Program, at a time when astronauts still made calculations and worried about things like fuses and circuit breakers. Scott Ourecky personifies the innocent American hero who fights because he has no choice; because not fighting is a real threat to his country, his family, his friends, and his team members.

Highly Recommended

Based on a real secret space program, Blue Gemini combines thrilling space action with excellent storytelling to create an exciting modern Cold War thriller. Blue Gemini is a must-read for fans of manned spaceflight and James Bond.

Survived my first official Book Signing!

And … a great time was had at the book signing!

Book Signing

My first Official Book Signing!

Tuesday, February 27th, I arrived at McKay’s Used Books and CD’s in Knoxville, Tennessee to set up for my first “commercial” book signing for Serpents Underfoot. The book signing was scheduled from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It was a bit intimidating.  I mean, what if nobody buys a book? How silly would I feel then? Anyway, I got set up and waited. My daughter-in-law Leah, a great photographer, came by to take s few pictures for me. That was very kind of her, and she also did a great job!

The First Hour

The first hour went pretty slow. A few people looked as they passed by, but nobody stopped. I started to wonder if my initial worries might come true. Leah and I chatted about odds and ends, but book sales-wise, it was looking pretty grim. We noticed a military service member come in. He did stop by, and we chatted a bit. He was a Captain in the U.S. Army. I had served in the Army from ’79 to ’83, so we discussed Army life for a bit. I ended up giving him a book and signing it for him to thank him for his service. I figured, at least I could give one book away!

The Second Two Hours

Book SigningHowever, I think giving the book away started something!  A few minutes later I had sold a few books. People were stopping by and asking questions about the book, me, how long I’d been writing, etc. It was fun at that point. Then Brad Walker stopped by and chatted a few minutes. Brad is an Isshin-ryu colleague of mine and also sells real estate in Knoxville with Keller Williams. As time went on, I sold more books. All-in-all it was a great experience and a lot of fun. I am looking forward to doing more. I guess I will start in the Cary area, then maybe Charlotte and Asheville!

If I Missed You at the Book signing

Serpents Underfoot is available at several online booksellers: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. Anyone interested in acquiring a signed copy can always reach me through my website. I am willing to ship the book about anywhere. I have shipped one copy to the UK so far.

I am also working on the sequel, Montagnard, and will be posting excerpts in the not too distant future.

Onwards and upwards!

Book Signing

One More Thought!

If you have purchased a copy of my book, Serpents Underfoot, I want to express my sincere appreciation for your support!  If you read my book and you enjoyed it, please take the time to give it a review on whichever website you happened to purchase it from. Reviews are a big help to authors … especially good ones!