Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Black Flag Journals: One Soldier's Experience in America's Longest War by Dennis Woods

 

Black Flag Journals: One Soldier's Experience in America's Longest War

by Dennis Woods

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GENRE: Memoir



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BLURB:

The story of America’s longest war is complicated and difficult to convey, unless you were there. Dennis Woods was there. By following his stories in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can sense the enormity of his combat experiences. Originally written for his daughter, Black Flag Journals is taken from the author’s nine battle book journals. It covers his time from the fall of the Twin Towers through his last combat tour.

Black Flag Journals contains not just stories from the first war of the new century, but a day-by-day record of events that other veterans may use to relate their own experiences. All who enjoy real life stories, and followers of history will connect with this first person account of America’s longest war.

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Excerpt :


The flight we were on this morning was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill resupply operation. Its purpose was to service Afghanistan’s numerous small camps and bases. What it carried, though, was not ordinary or run-of-the-mill. What we were delivering was an unusual allotment of artillery ammunition and GELON mounts. Part of my mission on this trip was about to be completed. However, once in the air, I was given a new defensive challenge to solve.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


CSM Woods combat tours include;

Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada, 82d Airborne Division.

Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia – Iraq, 82d Airborne Division.

Operation Desert Fox 1998, Qatar, 5th Group Special Forces.

OEF 2 Afghanistan, 82d Airborne Division.

OIF 1 Iraq, First Armored Division.

OIF 6 Iraq, First Armored Division.

OEF X Afghanistan, 173D Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

OEF XIII Afghanistan, 191st Infantry Brigade



CSM Woods civilian education includes a Master of Education, (training & leadership) from North Central University, Prescott AZ, and a Bachelor of Science from Excelsior, Albany, New York.

Military education includes the United States Sergeants Majors Academy class # 58, Army force management course, Jump Master, Drill Sergeant, US Army Recruiter, Infantry Small Arms Master Gunner, Artillery Master Gunner, Amphibious Warfare leaders’ course (USMC), Anti-Armor Leaders course, Machine Gun Leaders course, Artillery Mechanics repair course, Small Arms repair course, Nuclear Biological Chemical defense, and all levels of air load planning and hazmat certification USAF.

CSM Woods awards include; one Distinguished Service medal, one Legion Of Merit,( 5) Bronze Star Medals, 5 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 ARCOM, 4 AAM, 1 Humanitarian service medal, 2 Armed Forces Expeditionary medals, Afghanistan and Iraq service medals. German Jump Master Wings, Qatar Jump wings as part of 5th Group, Netherlands Jumpmaster wings. Other awards include; Department of Defense “Inventor of the year” (2003) with 45 separate inventions. CSM Woods saved the United States Government over one Billion Dollars through cost avoidance. He is also the first recipient of the GRUBER award for an outstanding field artillery professional.


CSM Woods is credited by the US Army Smart Ideas program as the inventor of;

The 105mm Howitzer night direct fire sight system M913 GELON.

The 155mm towed Howitzer night sight system.

The dual use day/ night direct fire sight reticule.

The Dual optic MILES Laser trainer.

The Urban Assault kit (PALADIN) improved crew protection, 155mm system.


On his most recent tour to Afghanistan, CSM Woods pioneered the first use of artillery training rounds in combat as a form of scalable fire support designed to limit civilian death and collateral damage. He is the author of, ‘Black Flag Journals One Soldiers Experience in America’s Longest War’, and numerous magazine, newspaper articles, including training pamphlets concerning Artillery, night vision, and combat operations.

Twitter: @djwoodswrites

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dennis-John-Woods/e/B01KU91GFI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15660793.Dennis_John_Woods

Koehler Book: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/book/black-flag-journals/

Amazon Buy Link: BOOK IS ON SALE FOR $2.99 DURING THE TOUR

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Flag-Journals-Soldiers-Experience-ebook/dp/B01L0LW7US/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-flag-journals-dennis-john-woods/1124419537

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Black-Flag-Journals-Audiobook/B08MBHSQQ9

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 9, 2021

SONG OF THE KING'S HEART TRILOGY Blood and Chaos – Book 2 by Nicole Sallak Anderson

 

SONG OF THE KING'S HEART TRILOGY

Blood and Chaos – Book 2

by Nicole Sallak Anderson



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GENRE: Historical Fantasy

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BLURB:

The second chapter of Lord Ankhwenefer’s story is one of love, betrayal, and death. The world needs to know this forgotten king’s tale so that the ghosts of the past may finally rest.

Prince Ankhmakis has left his beloved Natasa for war and treacherous obstacles block his path to becoming Egypt’s last native king. He is the warrior that the men revere, and his orders are followed without question. He is strong and powerful with Natasa on his side, and the fear that breeds in those around him is more dangerous to Ankhmakis than the swords of the Greeks.

Natasa has risen higher in the mystic arts than any priestess before her—and she is in more peril because of it. All she desires is to assist her lover, Ankhmakis, in his quest to take back Egypt from the Macedonians once and for all, but his jealous queen, his plotting brother, and the truest evil in the world want nothing more than to be rid of her.

Natasa and Ankhmakis fight not only against the Greeks but also those at court who will do anything to see them both dead. Together, Ankhmakis would become a great general and Natasa the mystic healer who saves him. Apart, they may not survive.

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EXCERPT:


The prince of Behdet gazed across the Nile River at the city of Panopolis, its bonfires flickering like beacons in the dark night. A hot wind caressed his sunburnt face. He turned to see his enemy’s army spread out before him, torchlights zigzagging across an island downriver like ants on honey, protecting their city with their mighty arsenal of archers ships. He wanted control of the island, needed it, if he were ever to return home to his lover’s arms.

This war is taking too long,” he hissed under his breath.

My lord,” Min, his personal guard, answered. “It has been a year. It took our greatest ancestor, Pharaoh Amhose I, nineteen years to banish the Hyksos filth from our lands. Prior to his victory, his father and grandfather also battled for independence. Their line of kings fought for over thirty years to take Egypt unto back unto native hands. Our war is young. Be patient.”

Ankhmakis turned to his friend and captain, his lips curled. “I don’t want this to take three generations, Min. I will not leave this task to my heirs. I will march upon Alexandria and kill Ptolemy IV with my own hands. We should at least be to Memphis by now. Instead we’re in Panopolis, held back by their army. For the second time, the Inundation is at our backs. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be trapped here when the river floods. Such a failure can’t happen again.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Nicole Sallak Anderson is Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger, focusing on the intersection of technology and consciousness. Her essays range from AI and Zen to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting (
https://medium.com/@NSallakAnderson/pretty-birds-in-pretty-cages-could-the-nuclear-family-be-the-reason-were-all-miserable-46126d573263) — featured as a top twenty story on Medium. In addition, her work on Universal Basic Income has been included on 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang’s, website: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/.

Her latest project, The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire. The first two installments, Origins and Blood and Chaos, are available on Amazon. The last novel in the series, Civilization’s End, will be released October 2021. You can keep up with all her latest writing on her website nicolesallakanderson.com or by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NSallakAnderson/) , Twitter (https://twitter.com/NSallakAnderson), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nsallakanderson/) and Medium (https://nsallakanderson.medium.com/). Feel free to contact her, she almost always answers to any query or comment!

The books will be on sale for $0.99

Amazon Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Nicole+Sallak+Anderson&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

A randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Monday, September 6, 2021

If The Light Escapes by Brenda Marie Smith

 

If The Light Escapes

by Brenda Marie Smith



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GENRE: Sci-fi (post-apocalyptic)

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BLURB:


A standalone sequel to IF DARKNESS TAKES US


A solar electromagnetic pulse fried the U.S. grid fourteen months ago. Everything’s gone: power, cars, running water, communications, all governing control and help—gone. Now northern lights have started in Texas—3,000 miles farther south than where they belong. The universe won’t stop screwing with eighteen-year-old Keno Simms.


All that’s left for Keno, his family and neighbors is farming their Austin subdivision, trying to eke out a living on poor soil in the scorching heat. Keno’s still reeling from the the death of his pregnant sister. His beloved Nana is ill, Grandpa’s always brandishing weapons, and water is far too scarce. Desperate thieves are hemming them in, yet he can’t convince his uncle and other adults to take action against the threat.


Keno’s one solace is his love for Alma, who has her own secret sorrows. When he gets her pregnant, he vows to keep her alive no matter what. Yet armed marauders and nature itself collude against him at every turn, forcing him to make choices that rip at his conscience. If he can’t protect Alma and their unborn child, it will be the end of Keno’s world.


IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES is post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a near-future reality, a coming-of-age story told in the voice of a heroic teen who’s forced into manhood too soon.

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Excerpt:

OPENING LINES:

Bright green lights stream and pulse across the northern sky all night now, growing from thin and wispy to bold and fat, expanding, contracting, sending out bands of yellow streamers like they’re partying on ecstasy at some cosmic rave. The lights are pretty, and they’re hypnotic, and they creep me out to the core.

Northern lights every night for two solid weeks in Texas. Halfway to the equator from where they belong. They’re supposed to be a phenomenon tied to the magnetic poles—it’s a scientific fact.

Nothing is right about this. The only explanation I can think of is that the north and south poles are shifting. I don’t know what that means for the planet and the future of its creatures. We don’t have TVs or talking-head scientists to tell us...

The universe just won’t stop f**king with us.

Today, I’m hoeing corn in our front yard, sweat stinging my eyes. It’s blistering hot out here—early December in what used to be high-tech Austin, until the … sun zapped us with an electromagnetic pulse and took our power, our cars, the damned running water. It stopped pretty much everything—everything modern, that is.

It’s been fourteen months, and all the front yards in our subdivision are mini-cornfields now. We grow beans and veggies in the backyards. It’s a desperate attempt to keep us alive when our food stockpiles run out. Don’t know if it will work, but I’m doing my damnedest to make sure it does.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Brenda Marie Smith lived off the grid for many years in a farming collective where her sons were delivered by midwives. She’s been a community activist, managed student housing co-ops, produced concerts to raise money for causes, done massive quantities of bookkeeping, and raised a small herd of teenage boys.

Brenda is attracted to stories where everyday characters transcend their own limitations to find their inner heroism. She and her husband reside in a grid-connected, solar-powered home in South Austin, Texas. They have more grown kids and grandkids than they can count.

Her first novel, Something Radiates, is a paranormal romantic thriller; If Darkness Takes Us and its sequel, If the Light Escapes, are post-apocalyptic science fiction.


Social Media:

Website: https://brendamariesmith.com/

Twitter: @bsmithnovelist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMarieSmithAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brenda_marie_smith/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJlLSnORIyoaygvZ1j49ZKw

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52206957-if-darkness-takes-us

Buy links:


BookPeople Austin: https://www.bookpeople.com/book/9781970137835

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview! 

Can you describe your dream home?
I almost live in my dream home, except that it’s two-story with no downstairs bedrooms or showers. I am partly disabled, and the stairs are hard on me, even with the stairlift we have. If I could add a bedroom off the back of the house with a shower in it, I’d be set for life. Our house has room for my husband and I to each have our own offices. We have a nice master-bedroom, two guest bedrooms, and two sets of grid-connected solar panels to keep our power bills down. We’ve upgraded almost everything in the house and made it more energy efficient. The walls are so colorful, they keep us cheered up. We have a big backyard and a lovely covered patio with lots of room for our growing number of offspring to visit. And it’s a great house for parties. Now, if I could only find the money to build that extra room and pay off the mortgage.


If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
First, I would find out what you like to eat. If you like meat, I would feed you Texas barbecue, or enchiladas or tamales with queso and guacamole. If you like fish, I’d feed you something great from the local catfish restaurant. If you’re a vegan, I’d send my vegan son to buy an array of vegan salads and spreads. Since I’m disabled, I can’t cook for you, but I used to be a vegetarian caterer, and I could teach you how to make a few dozen different delicious dishes with tofu. If my husband had time, he could make you some killer-good Cajun-style gumbo. And we make great Thanksgiving feasts for vegans and meat-eaters alike.


Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever received an actual fan letter. But I have received a lot of lovely messages and emails saying things like, “I couldn’t put this book down.” Or, “Best book I’ve read in years.” And then there was this:

The scenario, the complete shutting down of the entire electrical matrix, was written with chilling conviction. It has become a part of my own perceptions of daily reality, kind of a "what if" parallel life to my own. The news that PG&E decided today to shut down for an unpredictable amount of time gives this premise kind of a grim prescience…

Smith's characters are deeply three-dimensional, each with an agenda and a set of issues that are stories in themselves. They enable and carom off each other so effectively as the days pass and the plots thicken that when I had to close the book at the end, I felt like I had to be careful not to squish them. I miss them. They live in my head like the others I miss.


Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Paris and Amsterdam, not that I have any story ideas for those places, but I’ve always wanted to go. If the publisher is a stickler and I have to do book research, I’d go to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, then to Guadalajara, Mexico to travel the route from there to the Texas-Mexico border, then to the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.


Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
Olivia Hammerman (nee Croom), who also did the cover for the first book in this series, If Darkness Takes Us. She is mega-talented and has won awards for her book covers. I’m very fortunate to have her for mine.

Thank you for being on my blog, and best wishes for your book tour!!



Friday, September 3, 2021

Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. C. W. Allen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Like most siblings, Tuesday and Zed don't always get along. Unlike most siblings, their arguments are over things like whether their parents are hiding a life of crime, or are simply the weirdest adults on the planet. When they decide to go on the hunt for some solid evidence, things get weirder than ever: two thugs with shape-shifting swords show up, their dog shows off some tricks she definitely didn't learn in obedience school, and even their treehouse turns out to be more than meets the eye.

Their escape leaves Zed and Tuesday stranded in a land where robots and holograms live alongside quaint medieval villagers and soldiers on horseback. Soldiers who insist their father is a disgraced fugitive, and their dog a legendary monster.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they'll have to learn to work together. After all, they've got a mysterious code to break, secrets to unlock, bandits and soldiers to outwit, and a rowdy dog whose antics are getting more outrageous by the minute. Even if they manage to evade the eerie secret police and uncover enough clues to figure out what's really going on, they're not sure they're going to like the truth.

Zed and Tuesday will have to decide who to trust and what really matters, or they'll never get back to normal (whatever that is.) Because when it comes to normal, everything is relative.

Read an Excerpt

At lunch, her father was the headlining topic of conversation. Perhaps, everyone joked, he was some kind of secret agent—if anyone found out what he really did all day, he'd have to erase their memories or have them deported to Jupiter. Tuesday made a hasty decision: better to ride the wave of laughter, than drown in it. This was ridiculous, of course!

Of course it was.

Tuesday heaved her backpack onto the lunch table and made a production of searching for a missing paper until the cafeteria’s collective attention bounded on to a new distraction. She retrieved last week’s History assignment and tried to look intensely interested in reviewing it, staring through the page with unfocused eyes while zoning out to the satisfying snapping sound her carrot sticks made, the pitch falling rhythmically as her teeth chopped each one shorter and shorter.

The newly-hatched suspicions about her parents’ routines burrowed in with the rest of the doubts nesting in her brain. It wasn’t just the way they sidestepped any mention of their lives before they had children. It wasn’t just their odd taste in names. It was just—oh, everything.

Her last name should have been different, for one thing; Tuesday was sure of it. Her father wouldn’t say what it might have been, but anything else would have been fine with her, really. Anything that wouldn’t make her a walking punchline. If her parents hadn’t been so weird, her mother would have taken her father’s last name when they got married, like normal people. Then Tuesday could have inherited his name, instead of just his face.

About the Author:
C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.

She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)

Relatively Normal Secrets (Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Fall 2021) is her debut novel. She writes fantasy novels for tweens, picture books for children, and short stories and poems for former children. Her work will appear in numerous anthologies in 2021. She is also a frequent guest presenter at writing conferences and club meetings, which helps her procrastinate knuckling down to any actual writing.

https://www.cwallenbooks.com/
https://twitter.com/cwallenbooks
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2983485.C_W_Allen

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Relatively-Normal-Secrets-C-W-Allen-ebook/dp/B098DMNM1N
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/relatively-normal-secrets-cw-allen/1139805820
https://www.google.com/books/edition/Relatively_Normal_Secrets/R_uAzgEACAAJ

C. W. Allen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't Think Straight by Isabel Scheck

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Isabel Scheck will be awarding a $10 or $15 Amazon or B/N G...