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Midnight Flight to Nuremberg

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, by Marcus A. Nannini, is the riveting story of Harry Watson Jr’s time as an aviation pilot during World War II. Harry Watson recounts his time enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, as well as his home life, in this stirring and dramatic memoir.

Harry Watson Jr. dreamed of being a pilot. He knew his only chance to get out of a life in the coal mines was to enlist in the military. He went through the necessary training to become a C-47 Pilot/Instructor and earned many awards throughout his time in the Air Corps. One of the most important flights during his career was to bring Franz Von Papen back to base from Nuremberg, Germany. Von Papen was held high in German society and a key contributor to Hitler’s rise in power.

Author Marcus Nannini tells Harry’s time in the Air Corps with precision and a keen eye on the key aspects of a gripping story. As a reader, you feel as if Harry is telling you about his experiences himself. Nannini does Harry justice in the way he tells this story. The reader is able to see what is behind the scenes for a soldier during World War II, the path to becoming an aviation pilot during those times, and who Harry was as a person. Nannini was also able to give the reader a glimpse into the lives of Harry’s fellow crewman and friends. The friendship between Lang and Watson was one I adored reading about. This book not only tells Harry’s military story, but offers further insight into tactics and important figures during Hitler’s reign of terror, making this perfect for military history enthusiasts.

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg is a wonderful retelling of Harry Watson Jr’s experiences as a pilot and instructor during World War II. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys history, listening to real-life experiences from World War II, and to those who want to follow a compelling person through one of the most dramatic times in history.

Pages: 224 | ISBN:1526792737

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Out of Poland: Novella

Out of Poland: Novella by [Charles Breakfield, Rox Burkey]

Out of Poland, by Charles Breakfield and Roxanne Burkey, is the action-packed story of a group of Polish citizens who band together to fight against Hitler and the German army. In this historical thriller an ambassador, soldiers, and a family of Gypsies all come together to save Poland.

Ferdek Watcowski is the Polish ambassador and father of the main character, Ferdek. Younger Ferdek, a former lieutenant in the Polish military, devises a plan to undermine the German forces. Two of his comrades, along with a family of gypsies, travel to Gdansk to obtain a device known as “Baby”. I feel giving this device such a soft name allows for the authors to put the reader at ease, as well as introduces humor in calling a dangerous device “baby”. The plot of the story propels forward as these characters risk their lives to obtain a device that could change the war rising in Poland, and possibly save their country from the grasp of the Germans.

Breakfield and Burkey have a writing style that is simple yet intriguing. They move the plot along quickly and engage the reader throughout the entire story. The action throughout the story, as well as the suspense, leaves the reader at the edge of their seat. Throughout the entire story, you are wondering if these characters will make it out alive and achieve their goal of saving Poland.

This story is short but still captivating, but I would have loved to delve deeper into the characters and their backstories as they were so compelling, and what’s given leaves me wanting more. The heart the characters have for their country, along with their fighting spirit leaves you rooting for them, and relating to them, throughout their suspenseful journey.

Out of Poland is a fast paced historical thriller that is relentlessly moving forward and accurately portrays a perilous time in history. The authors skill with words is on full display. Any reader who enjoys historical fiction that gets the details right, and a story that knows how to setup compelling characters, will have plenty to enjoy in this gripping novel by Breakfield and Burkey.

Pages: 102 | ASIN: B096WQ77C8

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A Crime Against Humanity

Lucia Mann
Lucia Mann Author Interview

Weeping Goes Unheard provides a detailed account of the atrocities Canada has inflicted on indigenous people. What inspired you to write a book on this topic?

I was inspired to write Weeping Goes Unheard after I came across one of the numerous old journalism notebooks, marked ‘Racial profiling in Canada that was gathering dust in my basement cellar. I had a bad time trying to decipher my notes that were shorthand scribbled. I have long forgotten this technique and had to take a refresher course! But I’m so glad I did because nothing justifies the racial genocide of Canadian Indigenous Peoples.

What is the biggest obstacle indigenous people face in seeking recognition of these atrocities from the Canadian government?

Genuine acknowledgment of wrongdoing (past and present) because “sorry” is as hollow as a drum coming from the Canadian government and religious officials who hide in foxholes of protection and denial.

What can people do to support indigenous people today?

Write to their First Nations Chiefs and tell them that you hear them, feel their anguish and what can you do to help. I did by telling their story that will keep echoing in my heart forever and hopefully many more caring humans will after they have read Weeping Goes Unheard. Let politicians know that it is unacceptable, a crime against humanity, to treat their citizens so shamefully.

I appreciate the fantastic research that went into this book. Was there anything that surprised you while researching this book?

As a seasoned journalist, nothing normally surprises me, but the overwhelming vast numbers of dead and missing Indigenous women who didn’t get the same intense criminal investigation as a non-Indigenous person was indeed eyebrow-raising not to mention the small-pox-infected blankets intended to wipe off the original owners of Canada.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn

A Historical Record Attesting to the Heartless and Brutal Atrocities of Canada’s Indigenous People
Weeping Goes Unheard educates and highlights those unfamiliar with Canada’s shady history in its treatment of native people. This comprehensive narrative presents their heartbreak and how they endeavored, failed, tried again and again to live together peacefully and equally with the non-Indigenous population. These accounts demonstrate that there can be no peace and harmony unless there’s equal justice for all.
Lucia Mann records the harrowing personal stories of racial genocide on the part of European settlers, which ultimately led to creating the abhorrent “Indian Act”—now 144 years old. This law paved the way for other subsequent immoral treatment of Canada’s indigenous people. Weeping Goes Unheard represents a long overdue look at tragic circumstances that have been existing in the shadows for far too long.

Great Britons of Stage and Screen: In Conversation

Great Britons of Stage and Screen: In Conversation shares the intriguing and profound interviews author Barbara Roisman Cooper has had with a long list of film and theater stars. The interviews are often candid and provide deep insight into overlooked aspects of being an actor, and what is really required of a professional actor, which will appeal to anyone interested in the dramatic world of film and theater.

Author Barbara Cooper has interviewed a great many actors and provides readers with a long list of interviews to dive into. Some of the actors I recognized, while others I did not. Which is why it was helpful to have the introduction to each actor as this helps readers appreciate their accomplishment and get to know them before reading the in depth interview.

Each interview has a candid and casual feel and Barbara asks interesting questions that really brings life to the interview and gets the most out of the interviewees. My favorite interview was with Simon Callow, CBE, possibly because I’m more familiar with his work, but also because I just found the interview, and him, to be fascinating.

I really enjoyed the images that are included throughout the book, because when I didn’t recognize a name I would often recognize a face, and it helped put a face to the words when reading the interview.

Great Britons of Stage and Screen: In Conversation provides a rich and detailed look into the different lives of revered and celebrated British actors. Barbara has a way of turning an interview into a penetrating conversation that will delight both film and theater enthusiasts and anyone that wants to learn more about their favorite actors. This is an illuminating book that captures a magnificent history and provides an enlightening reference to anyone interested in film and theater arts.

Pages: 424 | ASIN: B014ZT5SPI

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Weeping Goes Unheard

Weeping Goes Unheard: Sacred Tears for Indigenous Victims of Racial Genocide by [Lucia Mann]

Weeping Goes Unheard by Lucia Mann is a heartbreakingly beautiful tribute to the lives of Canadian Indigenous Peoples. This book highlights racial disparities and brings to light the horrors of colonization while celebrating the perseverance and strength of Indigenous communities. Mann’s journalistic approach to centuries of wrongdoings presents the information in a clear manner without insensitivity to the disrupted and destroyed lives splayed out within the story.

Weeping Goes Unheard presents the brutal truth: from the beginnings of colonization, Canadian settlers actively tried to erase Canada’s Indigenous Peoples from their land and their homes. But this is not a problem of the past—to this day the government still mistreats Indigenous communities, promising them relief that never comes and ignoring the harsh realities of their suffering. Over hundreds of years, atrocities such as murder and torture plagued the lives of Indigenous people at the hands of white settlers. While this information is difficult to read, it’s important to teach to everyone, not just Canadians.

I felt that Weeping Goes Unheard was a powerful story that carried truth and care within. I loved Mann’s approach, providing tender narratives that were shattered by the impact of white colonizers. The topics discussed within this book highlighted my own ignorance and taught me about the awful impact of settling and residential schools across Canada. I was appalled to learn of the history erased by colonists, and how generations of treasured knowledge and understanding was lost between Indigenous Peoples after the destruction of their livelihoods.

I found the information presented in Weeping Goes Unheard poignant and thought-provoking. I think even more narrative stories would make this book a treasured text—I loved the inclusion of personal accounts and found myself wanting to read more. Though I think this book is immensely powerful as it is and that its educational strength is invaluable. I loved the way Mann honored lost lives and histories throughout the text, and it left me emotional.

The facts laid out in this book are horrifying but necessary, and it is a fantastic book for teaching everyone about the atrocities committed against Canadian Indigenous Peoples. Now more than ever, this book feels timely and important, and I think it’s one that everyone should read in their lifetime.

Pages: 268 | ASIN: B097S1W6MS

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History Teaches Valuable Lessons

S. Lee Fisher
S. Lee Fisher Author Interview

Becoming Olive W follows a strong young woman set on defining her own path in early 1900’s Pennsylvania against the wishes of her father. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I often ponder the life of the brave women who came before me. The inspiration for Becoming Olive W. was, the life of all four of my Grandparents, all of whom were born between 1890 and 1902, the profound changes they witnessed during their lifetimes, such as the industrial revolution, electricity, telephone, phonograph, automobiles, and how they responded to ‘progress’.
I decided to explore their world, invest time studying their lifestyle more deeply.

In doing so, I was inspired to remind today’s women, young and old, that it wasn’t too far in the past that women were refused most things taken for granted today, like the right to vote, own property, choose your own mate, pursue a career, or obtain an education. I am a history buff, and I strongly believe that history teaches valuable lessons. This novel was my way of teaching.

Olive is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her characters development?

So many of today’s ‘coming of age’ stories portray positive character development. Olive, a prominent character in this saga, has few redeeming attributes. Becoming Olive W. demonstrates that not every ending is ‘happily ever after’. The lack of love and nurturing may sometimes present obstacles too great to overcome, even for the strongest, brightest personalities.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

My stories portray ‘real life.’ I cannot create a fantasized escape; a life how we wish life to be. It is important that my characters are realistic, with human flaws and that their relationships are equally flawed and equally intense. Even love is not perfect, rather love shows it face in many forms.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Under the Grapevine, book 2 in the Women of Campbell Country Family Saga, is currently on pre-order (the eBook) with Amazon. The paperback and launch are scheduled for August 22, 2021; however, it may be a week earlier. This book follows Olive, husband, and offspring through the great depression, WWII, ending in 1950 with the beginning of the Korean war.

I am currently working on The House on the Hill, book 3 in the Women of Campbell County Family Saga. I’m hoping for a November 2021, release, although probably Jan 2022 is more realistic.

Book 4, the conclusion to this saga is still untitled. It will be released late spring 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

She’s beautiful and brilliant. But the world is not ready for her to shine…
Western Pennsylvania, 1905. Olive Westchester dreams of being valued. Misunderstood, resented, and ignored by her large family after her mother’s death, her only ally is an older brother who loves her unconditionally. And the hard-headed girl’s visions of making her mark are threatened by a close-minded society resentful of her superior intellect.
Stunned after a jealous teacher expels her from the eighth grade, Olive’s anger swells when her dismissive father does nothing to get her readmitted… instead pushing her to learn to be a wealthy man’s wife. But as tragedy strikes, she turns to a local laborer enamored with her beauty and makes a decision that may change her destiny forever.
Can the bold young woman shatter the chains holding her back from realizing her ambitions?
Becoming Olive W. is the emotionally intense first book in The Women of Campbell County: Family Saga women’s fiction series. If you like determined characters, complex relationships, and realistic historical settings, then you’ll adore S. Lee Fisher’s dark coming-of-age tale.
Buy Becoming Olive W. to defy male dominance today!

Multi-award winner.
Winner- Best Book- women’s interest- NABE Pinnacle Achievement Book Award. Winter 2021
Finalist- women’s literature- NIEA Indie Excellence 15th annual Book Award

The King of Beasts

Michael A Bortner
Michael A Bortner Author Interview

Battle Carried examines the history and meaning of tiger imagery of good luck flags in Japanese culture. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Battle Carried was important for me to write because it took into consideration two primary subjects that I had been passionate about since childhood: Japanese good luck flags and the tiger. Growing up, I had a fascination for flags; I drew and colored them and hung them on my bedroom walls. The more colorful the banner, the more I wanted to learn about it. At the time, the young student in me enjoyed learning about the histories of the nations that each flag represented. Flags and military history go hand-in-hand. I often thought how those colorful pieces of cloth could inspire ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary acts of courage in battle.

My interest in tigers was a little more straightforward. As a youngster I thought about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. My home was an animal menagerie. I was always bringing some kind of pet home, or nursing an injured animal back to health. Based on that interest, I spent quite a lot of time reading about different animals, visiting zoos, etc. The reality for me was that while many people think of the lion as the king of beasts, I was more captivated by the beauty of the orange and black striped tiger. I did not know it at the time, but Asian culture actually celebrates the tiger as the king of the beasts. Years later, when I first heard that there were good luck flags with tigers painted on them, I knew that I wanted to eventually study them. It ended up being a match made in heaven. Battle Carried was a long-awaited outgrowth following the 2008 release of my introductory volume on Japanese good luck flags.

What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book?

I was familiar with doing research in history and anthropology at both an undergraduate and graduate school level. I began my research for Battle Carried by reading whatever I could find on the evolution, migration patterns and demographics of the tiger in Asia. As a student of anthropology, I had also studied Asian religious and philosophical worldviews. I wanted to better understand how and why those relationships came to be encapsulated into the Japanese tiger art good luck flags. Later, I thought that perhaps there was a connection between the animal that I saw in rare wood block prints (ukiyo-e) and those that illustrated the flags. It was fascinating to observe that the styles and poses of tiger art painted on flags during the World War Two era, often appeared to be near exact copies of those created, sometimes a few hundred years earlier. That realization led me to research the early Chinese influences that so heavily affected later Japanese art.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about Imperial Japanese Tiger Art in your research?

In Asian cosmology, the tiger was seen as a divine creature that played a significant role in how those cultures understood the origin, and evolution of the universe. In Taoist art, the tiger was frequently observed representing the “Yin” to the dragon’s “Yang”. When the tiger (tora) was complimented visually with the dragon (ryu), one of the most prolific pairings to illustrate the Japanese Zen Buddhist struggle for enlightenment emerged. With some exceptions, the Japanese embraced the zodiac system of the Chinese. The Tao constructs the world around two forces; They operate within a Yin-Yang relationship. Yin characteristics are composed of water, wind, earth, and are murky in nature. Furthermore, their essence is female, and static. The aspects of Yang incorporate fire, rain, the heavens, and brightness. Their essence is male, and energetic. The elements described may be manifested in the combined Yin-tiger, and the Yang-dragon; the pairing is known to the Japanese as uchu no tora, or “tiger in rain”. Zen Buddhism acknowledges an interplay between these two natures, one that exists throughout the entire universe. The tiger, with its courageous character, is accepted throughout Asia as the most esteemed of all the large wild animals. In pictures it is frequently positioned focused, ready to pounce upon its prey. Similarly, it is often portrayed descending along rocky outcropping, its belly stretched out low, hugging the ground. As a common theme, wind-strained bamboo thickets typically occupy the same image as the growling orange, and black striped beast. The late orientalist, Robert van Gulik wrote that, “In Japan, the tiger portrayed among bamboo stalks in the wind is known as take ni tora, ‘tiger in bamboo’. This representation is generally taken to symbolize that even the most powerful of terrestrial forces, namely the king of all animals, had to yield to the forces of nature. As such, the tiger in the take ni tora representation is also said to be identified with the wind itself, symbolizing as it were, the rustling wind in the bamboo grove.” The English born barrister, and art collector, Marcus Bourne Huish expounded upon this relationship further when he wrote in his 1889 book, Japan and Its Art that the tiger, “…is very often depicted in a storm cowering beneath bamboos, signifying the insignificant power of the mightiest of beasts as compared to that of the elements.” The powerful cat has a tempered force that is evident in its rigid muscles; allowing it comfort in its Yin/earth realm.

The dragon typically shows its force in a more spirited manner. He is often portrayed, surrounded within the heavens by angry rain clouds, and storm energized waters. Projecting himself out of the heavens, the dragon is frequently shown descending toward the earth where his Yang menaces, but does not dominate, the tiger’s Yin. Those two forces, uniformly matched are in balance, as they typify the universe’s harmonious nature.

In writing Battle Carried, I realized that the Yin-Yang relationship is one that all mankind would do better to more fully understand. When we strive to live in balance with the natural environment, the world tends to operate in a more harmonious fashion. Whenever mankind seeks to dominate or control that natural world, harmony is lost and systems break down. In Asian philosophy, the tiger as the king of beasts realizes that fact of life. Hopefully we will use that example to better steer our own destinies as humans.

I loved all the art you used in the book. What is your favorite art piece from this book?

My favorite piece of art is the 1885 woodcut triptych by the artist Koyama Chikusai titled Kato Kiyomasa on the Korean Campaign (p.33). The exploits of the samurai warrior Kato Kiyomasa were legendary among his friends and foe. He was famous, not only for his prowess on the field of battle, but also for his one-on-one fights against the fierce tiger. His fame grew to such an extent that other samurai attempted to elevate their own status by performing similar acts. Apparently enough samurai were being killed by their tiger opponents, that the Japanese leader, Toyotomi Hideyoshi banned his officers from taking part in the “sport”!

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

No other animal served to inspire and motivate the Japanese warrior in World War Two more than the magnificent tiger.
From the author of “Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts,” Michael Bortner’s long awaited “Battle Carried” examines World War Two era Imperial Japanese good luck signed flags, featuring artistic renderings of the tiger.
“Battle Carried” examines the history, meaning and cultural context of tiger imagery as it applied to the decoration of good luck flags. Through hundreds of extensive color images and detailed close-ups, as well as woodblock prints and rare vintage photographs, this book superbly illustrates some of the rarest and most highly sought after specimens of tiger art flags, many of which are identified to their soldier, sailor and airmen owners.
“Battle Carried” is an invaluable resource for artists and scholars of Japanese culture, as well as for historians and collectors of flags and Japanese wartime memorabilia.

Daughter of the Gods – Book Trailer

Summer, 367 A.D. The Celtic tribes of the lands we now know as Scotland and Ireland conspire to assault Hadrian’s Wall and drive the Romans out of Britain forever. But in order for the warriors to achieve victory in the military campaign, the druids must first gain ascendancy over the new Roman god.

Amid clandestine preparations for war, Flora, a young Pictish healer, finds herself embroiled in an epic struggle between gods and men. In order to save her family, her clan, and her people, she is called upon to sacrifice not only her life, but her very identity. Feeling trapped in a web of manipulation and deceit, she struggles to discover the true reality of who she is and who she will become.

Set in the Scottish Highlands, this story brings to life an age and a people that have remained veiled in the mists of time. Based on extensive research into the archaeology, culture, and geography of fourth-century Scotland, Daughter of the Gods explores the mysterious people knowns as the Picts—a collection of tribes so determined to retain their freedom that they dared to defy the mightiest army the ancient world had ever known.

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