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A View From My Bay

Vincent Green is a man that struggles to be heard due to injuries related to 9/11. A View From My Bay is his way of letting his voice be heard. There is often a mystery to men of greatness. A person can be considered great for the battles they win, the lives they save or the life they live. Vincent Green has done all these things in his lifetime. In his intimate memoir A View from My Bay we are exposed to Vincent, or Vinny, the man. Readers experience his humble origins and his journey to the heights of his career and personal life. This book is both inspiring and personal. Part autobiography part memoir, Vinny shares parts of his soul that made him into the man he is today.

Green has climbed from what many would describe as the bottom of the socio-economic ladder to impressive heights. Well respected and regarded through his law enforcement career he has shared his skills and knowledge with leaders from across the world. This illuminating biography shares his skills and his talents in fighting corruption like those heroes we all watched on television when we were young. He is more than an impressive male role model for young men and women. He is a human being with thoughts and feelings. He has granted us his grace in sharing those pieces of himself through this book.

A collection of styles are used by Green to share his emotions, thoughts, and ideals. These are pieces of his past and the incredible experiences he has lived. The first book in a planned trilogy, readers will get to experience the specific moments in time that helped shape Green into the person he became. The praises he attributes to his parents, the respect he gives to his dearly departed sister and the specks of his own soul.

A View from My Bay by Vincent Green is a humble and awe-inspiring glimpse into the world that shaped Vinny into the amazing person he became. These snippets and pieces are not inflated with hot air or selfish praises. These are beautiful portraits of a singular man who has risen from what others would call the depths. He does not deny his humble origins, yet he doesn’t attempt to make a ‘success’ story for himself out of them. He simply exists and shares his soul with his readers. And readers are better for it.

Pages: 278 | ASIN: B074R5FKTX

Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in plain sight by Thomas LeBrun, is the action-filled true story detailing a famous executive protection specialist’s life. It takes readers through his childhood, to his approach to weightlifting and martial arts all the way to providing security for entertainers.

LeBrun writes in an engaging way and explains his job in detail, underlining the difference between himself and a bodyguard, as he is an executive protection specialist. His life is intriguing, and the narration provides provocative details, but while there are some specifics about his family that are shared with the reader, the focus remains on sharing experiences of events in his storied life rather than taking a deep emotional dive into them.

I appreciated all the references to pop culture of the time. This does an excellent job of setting the backdrop of the story, making it feel grounded and immersing readers in that time. And these cultural references also serve to focus the story, and the reader, on deeper themes such as the attack on the twin towers or Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

I enjoyed the photos that are included in the book. It made the book feel familiar and personal, so they were deeply appreciated. I enjoyed the book and felt it was an illuminating memoir. It provides an intriguing examination of ‘toxic masculinity’ and shows how persistence and hard work pays off.

Hiding in Plain Sight is a thought-provoking memoir that takes readers through the various personal moments in Thomas Lebrun’s life. The author also includes personal items that help the reader connect with his life; like his reference letters, photos and quotes from real people. This helps the story feel authentic and I think will it appeal to most readers. I would like to end this review with the author’s quote: “Further, I explained that Executive Protection Specialists operate as low-profile chameleon. With me, I called it “hiding in plain sight”.”

Pages: 361 | ASIN: B08YNX6KC5

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Dear Barack

Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel by [Claudia Clark]

Human beings can always find common ground if they try hard enough. Being on two sides of disagreeing continents does not necessitate an enmity. Barack Obama and Angela Merkel understood this. It did not start with an obvious affinity for each other. Angela Merkel was adamant to warm up to the incumbent president of the U.S. Barack Obama was desperate to repair the strained relationship between America and Europe as well as get the country through the recession. He had his work cut out for him. It took a while but they finally developed a relationship based on mutual respect and genuine friendship as well as a harmonious effort to serve their people. Author Claudia Clark does a fantastic job of bringing this all together in her illuminating book, Dear Barack.

This is basically a buddy story. Only it is not fiction and the main characters are two of the most powerful people in the world. It is an eye-opening story about the human capacity to overcome the urge to become enemies in the pursuit of the interests that suit their cause. It may have been a difficult time in more ways than one but these two leaders were guiding lights not just for the people in their countries but for the world. It also renews hope that good leaders do exist, especially after the administration that succeeded Obama’s. The story is especially interesting that both of them were outliers – Barack, the first black president, and Angela, a female leader in the free world.

Claudia Clark has narrated history in a way that is engaging and uplifting. You do not need to be a history fanatic to enjoy this book. The author conveys history in a way that is compelling and captivating. She pulls in the reader and puts them in the meetings and private conversations between the two. This is a well-researched account of the inspiring relationship between these two highly admired leaders. Her regard for both of them shines through her words and her tone.

The author even adds a little bit of Obama’s wit and charm to the story. Her narration is nothing short of gripping. It is the kind of book you discuss with your friends and family because there is so much intellectually invigorating content.

You cannot help but shed a tear when Angela does as she watched her friend and fellow leader leave office. You will definitely chuckle when you read about Obama’s sign-off to his friend. Dear Barack is a beautifully written book about a wonderful partnership.

Pages: 336 | ASIN: B09HL8VQB1

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Past Experiences a Life Learning Lesson

Author Interview
Luan Vu Nguyen Author Interview

My Hidden Fear retells your story as a refugee and immigrant to the U.S. and all the obstacles you faced. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Writing this memoir was important to me because I want readers to know no matter how hard life is sometimes, we can certainly change its course. We can make our past experiences a life learning lesson.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The hardest thing for me throughout this whole experience is when I had to relive the events in my life where my physical violence hurt the ones I love. I never realized the extent of my anger and violence. I wish I would’ve acted in a different way, approach it differently.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you left Vietnam?

I wish someone had warned me the different experiences, feelings and outlook of entering a different country. Experience a new life as an adolescent without the support of family and friends is very lonely and scary.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

From my story, I hope the readers would see the peace and freedom that I’ve finally acquired was always within me. Like anything in life, you have to make it yours—- no one can give it to you.

View Book Review

The Epiphany Moment

Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr.
Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr. Author Interview

The Awakening is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor. What inspired you to write and publish this book?

The epiphany moment for me to write an account about the family was upon the passing of my cousin, Otis Corbitt, on September 6, 2009. Otis was known to everyone in the family, as well as to other African American families in the Wagener-Salley area of South Carolina, for being astute in family history. Before his passing, he instructed me to begin writing a family history book. He said he did not have much time to live and the future of our efforts rested on my shoulders. I agreed. Secondly, I wanted to contextualize the stories of relatives that have been fragmented and forgotten in the past. Many of the relatives featured in the book were well respected in their professions publicly.

I appreciated the amount of history included in this book. What type of research did you undertake to ensure you got as complete a picture as possible?

I conducted several oral interviews with relatives and associates of our family. I also researched primary sources such as newspaper articles and genealogical records. Secondary sources (i.e., history books) were consulted as well.

What was one surprising thing you learned about the family during your research?

I learned that my mother family, The Seawrights, were the first families of both Orangeburg & Aiken County, South Carolina. They lived in the Tabernacle Township in the Orangeburg District during the time Orangeburg County was founded in 1870. Then on March 10th, 1871, the Tabernacle Township in Orangeburg County became a part of the newly formed Aiken County, which was founded by a racially diverse group of men. Out of the group, three African American men who were Civil War veterans and legislators signed the legal document that officially established Aiken County.

What can readers expect in volume two of this family saga?

Volume 2, will be a pictorial history which will have pictures, source images, and captions. It will be an extension of the work in Volume 1, but will include new stories.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Familiy Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History, is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor, Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison. The book documents the family saga of Martha’s family of sharecroppers who lived near Williston, South Carolina during the Reconstruction Era and the circumstances that involved her marriages to Dave Seawright, Sr. and Joseph Ellison, Sr. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives that were forgotten and fragmented over the years who lived in Aiken, Orangeburg, and Richland Counties, South Carolina.

The book includes the famed stories of Floster L. Ellison, Jr., during the Civil Rights Movement, who became the co-founder of the Palmetto State Barbers Association and the first African American Barber Inspector In the State of South Carolina; and Tommy Ellison, whose experiences as a youth singing on the children choir, inspired him to pursue a legendary career in gospel music, affectionately known by many of his fans as “Mr. Superstar of Gospel”.

The book includes an appendix section which consists of individual pictures, documented history of places and events, and primary sources relative to the family saga.

Paradise Taken

Paradise Taken: The Diary of Eden Flores Part I by [Omar Gonzalez]

In Paradise Taken author Omar Gonzalez tells the story of an American girl born to a naturalized Hispanic father. The author describes him as a physically abusive companion to his wife and his children. When their mother leaves them with their father, he escalates his alcoholism and physical violence. His daughter, whom he prefers, dresses like a boy and becomes the subject to his sexual violence. She does not disclose this to anyone, and it eats at her. When they finally leave their dad to go to their uncle’s, they are reunited with their mother, and some semblance of closure is achieved.

Paradise Taken is an emotionally-charged memoir that progressively escalates the plot by explaining the main protagonist’s life from different points of view. The narrator portrays her abusive father as a rounded character, protective and caring for his family but also a drunk, violent, and a sexual offender. In this way I think the book does a great job of showing the duality of a person.

I like how the author extracts from Eden’s journals in the chapter “Like a Boy,” giving a glimpse into what it was like, living in a constantly oppressive environment—added to the fact that they are also immigrants. A bias that exposes their dad to a racist interaction with a police officer. 

The way the author uses the third person perspective to highlight this family’s development gives readers first-hand experiences of the oppressive environment they were in. The letters by the protagonist make the pain of her abuse along with that of her mother’s are very relatable.

Paradise Taken is a remarkable translation of Eden’s story from her diary. This is a stirring and thought-provoking biography that is relatable across genders and social structures. This is an illuminating and impassioned story that is guaranteed to stick with you long after you have put the book down.

Pages: | ASIN: B09CW9P87B

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Literary Titan Book Awards December 2021

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

The World Between Us by Diane Farrugia

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

 

100 Days in Vietnam

100 Days in Vietnam: A Memoir of Love, War, and Survival by [Lt. Col. Joseph F. Tallon, Matthew A. Tallon, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster]

It’s 1972, and Joe Tallon has just been drafted to fight the war in Vietnam. He’s young, ambitious, newly married, and has no idea what awaits him on the other side of the globe. Near the end of the ground war, he gets shot down by an enemy missile but luckily survives. His technical observer Daniel Richards does not. He heals and gets to go back home, but the sacrifice that Richards gave never leaves his mind. 40 years later, he sets out on a journey to bring Richards the recognition he deserves as well as a Purple Heart for his family.  

For a book about war, reading 100 Days in Vietnam feels like a quiet and serene meditation. Even in scenes that depict violence and chaos, Tallon’s writing remains stoic. Not that he ever needed any evidence to prove this, but this writing style assures the reader that this is not some exploitative pulp filled to the brim with torn-up limbs and grenade explosions. This is the real deal. Just like the subject matter, the history of the book’s writing adds a whole world of depth as well. It becomes all the more meaningful when you find out that his co-writer, Matthew Tallon, is a fellow veteran and the son he almost did not get to see grow up. 

I enjoyed this authentic and compelling memoir and felt that the writing eschews action oriented writing in favor of straightforward storytelling that makes the book easy to follow but sometimes monotonous. The grounded retelling of events is broken up with news clippings that help establish the reader in the time period of the book. 

100 Days in Vietnam is a stirring memoir that will stick with you for days. I would recommend this book to readers looking for an authentic and emotionally-resonant military biography that dictates facts and leaves nothing out. This is an intriguing historical novel with an end result that is nothing short of rewarding.

Pages: 330 | ASIN: B091ZM4YVG

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