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The Anti-Vaxxer

In the year 2032, nothing much changes as the media still control the masses with their lies, corruption, and greed deceive the governments, and soldiers still come home from war. Marty Coleman, a soldier fighting in the Middle East, is sent home after suffering from PTSD to rest and return to war. When he returns home, he realizes he wants to settle down, maybe get a dog, and mow a few yards, but he has just come home to something far worse than his two tours in The Middle East. Covid is eradicated, or is it? 

The Vaccine has become the hero, and the world is carrying on as if no one died, no one lost, and no one suffered. However, the government is controlled by a group so insidious that they call themselves The Committee.  Unseen, unheard, no one knows who they are, but they are killing anyone who refuses the vaccine and anyone who disagrees with their approved plan for humanity.  Martin finds himself in a cat and mouse game as he runs from an unseen foe with eyes everywhere. 

The Anti-Vaxxer, by Andrew Toth, gives us a poignant look through the eyes of an Army Vet on the freedom of choice and what can happen when those freedoms are taken away. Martin invites us into his troubled mind as he tries to rectify that he survived two tours, only to come home to dangers he had already survived. 

With help from Army Nurse Kim, Martin finds himself on a journey of survival, unlocking and exposing an evil bent on control. Andrew Toth takes us on a controversial, real-time look at how people view vaccinations, but more importantly, the corruption when mankind tries to clean the Earth. 

There are many opinions about the vaccine. This story shows those who feel their freedom has been removed through mandates from our government.  This book would be suitable for High School students to Adult Readers. However, some hard-hitting storylines may be too shocking for younger readers. The story contains war-like images, riffles, grenades, and machine guns. 

The Anti-Vaxxer is a remarkable action-adventure novel filled with conspiracy, suspense, and thrills. This is an enjoyable and entertaining book while, at the same time, causing readers to think about the controversy of Government mandates and the powers behind the decisions to enforce them. 

Pages: 148 | ASIN : B09KZ7JP5S

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The Post-War Dream – Book Trailer

War broke his spirit. Can he save his tormented soul from hungry inner demons?

The South Atlantic Coast, 1982. Royal Marine Fletcher Layne never expected to see combat. Enlisting despite his father’s vehement protests, he figures Argentina wouldn’t dare challenge the Falkland Islands’ mighty British sovereignty. But as all hell breaks loose over the territorial dispute, he’s devastated when a bullet misses him and kills a young comrade.

Returning home with a heavy heart plagued by guilt, Fletcher resents any celebration of his heroism and his parent’s disapproval. And as the traumatized survivor wrestles with two imagined voices of nagging conscience, he fears not even the gentle touch of a kind nurse will get him through to a peaceful tomorrow.

Can he gain ground over his anguish before the darkness drags him down forever?

The Post-War Dream is a gut-wrenching tale of historical wartime fiction. If you like insights into mental illness, vivid depictions of a bygone era, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Brian Paone’s poignant story.

Buy The Post-War Dream to face the fiends of battle today!

www.brianpaone.com

Fit For Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters

I love how Dr. Peter Salerno has tackled the subject of mental health in his book Fit for Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters: Healing from Work-Related Trauma, Restoring Personal Relationships, and Thriving at Home. The author goes above and beyond to discuss the various kinds of trauma, dealing with someone who has undergone traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder, how mental health affects our physical health, and much more. The author uses firefighting as an example to discuss the many traumas we face without knowing. While written as a book for firefighters and their families, this book can also help others who deal with trauma.

I like the statement that “Every firefighter is a trauma survivor.” Firefighters save lives every day while simultaneously battling other issues. The matters could be personal or work-related, yet they offer their services nobly. Dr. Peter Salerno digs deeper into the lives of firefighters, talking about their day-to-day life in the profession and appreciating the work they do. As a trauma specialist, Dr. Peter Salerno takes the reader through the definition of trauma, the different stages of trauma, and how we unknowingly enable trauma amongst ourselves. I like that the author uses real-life situations to expound on the topics he is talking about. Dr. Peter Salerno makes the reader understand that firefighting takes more than just physical strength. In his book, he extensively covers all the elements that good firefighters have and even extends grace to them as the selfless work they do is more than honorable.

What every reader will take from Fit For Off Duty is that we all need to be kind to each other. Dr. Salerno preaches kindness throughout the book. I appreciate the stories he shares in the book and his knowledge and advice about trauma, including things to look for in off-duty behavior that may be signs of trauma. As a trained trauma therapist, Dr. Salerno has pointers on handling individuals haunted by past trauma.

Fit for Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters: Healing from Work-Related Trauma, Restoring Personal Relationships, and Thriving at Home is a book for everyone concerned about their mental well-being, learning when to ask for help and how to improve personal relations. The author’s step-by-step approach when writing about a particular topic and how he gives practical solutions are invaluable.

Pages: 61 | ASIN : B09NCCD8VM

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Keep Forever – Trailer

Now that Paul O’Brien has returned from serving in Vietnam, he wants nothing more than to piece together a meaningful life. But the war-spawned, guilt-driven nightmares won’t stop haunting him. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, Paul is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his family amidst his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As his life unravels from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth is committed to helping him overcome the obstacles in their path. Determined to live in love, they struggle a lifetime with the burden that Paul brought home. However, in spite of the darkness he carries, he still manages to create a legacy of light, compassion, and understanding that Elizabeth and their children will keep forever.

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An Amalgam of Memories

Alexa Kingaard
Alexa Kingaard Author Interview

Keep Forever follows a Vietnam veteran who struggles with PTSD as he tries to piece together a meaningful life. This is a novel based on a true story. What is the origins of the story?

Anyone who was a teenager in the 60s’ and 70s’ has Vietnam firmly embedded in their history. It’s the story of my generation, and many of my girlfriends married veterans either right out of high school or when the men returned. Women played a part in-country, mostly as nurses and unsung heroines, but overall, it was a war fought by middle and lower class males, those who were not college bound or who were unable to get a deferment. As with every conflict, combat veterans are plagued with mental and physical burdens upon their return home, but none were vilified like the young men and women who fought in Vietnam. It stained their psyches, and many passed it down to their children – the second generation to suffer the effects of the most unpopular war in our country’s history. Wives were kept in the dark, the VA was not established until the late 80s’, and PTSD didn’t have a name. Aftercare was minimal, and many kept their unseen wounds bottled up for decades.

I fell in love with a Vietnam veteran in 1969, nine months after he came home. This guy, and many like him, were just kids. Surfing and attending community college one day, picking up a machine gun and participating in a bloody fight for their lives the next. We married almost a decade later, had two children, and divorced after eleven years. But there was always that link that never faded and a lot of guilt that I carried because I didn’t have the insight to deal with or understand PTSD at the time.

September 27, 2011 – My veteran and I had become close again and spent almost all our free time together. His health was failing, he suffered from depression, but it had become less intense and on this day he was at the top of his game. We were returning from a coffee date in the Village about a mile away from his home. As I waited at the bottom of the hill to make a left turn a half a block away from our destination, we were rear-ended by a vehicle twice as heavy as mine, going 45 miles an hour. Physically, we were not hurt. My car sustained $6,000 worth of damage. The impact of the collision triggered a PTSD episode in my veteran. Seventeen days later, on October 13th, he committed suicide.

The only way I found to cope with mine and our children’s grief was to write about the oppressive, lifelong burden he brought home and the collateral damage he left in his wake. At sixty-eight years old, I became a writer, but it was not a vanity project. Rather, it was an inspiration to share my story and honor all Vietnam veterans with a love story based on fact. I am not the only wife, and our children are not the only youngsters that live daily with the unseen wounds of a family member who suffers a lifetime with the memories and guilt of their participation in war. The other day, I saw a very potent cartoon on Facebook, posted by a Vietnam veteran. A soldier, rifle slung over his shoulder, head down and staring at the Vietnam Wall. At the top of the page, the caption read, “When was the last time you were in Vietnam?” At the bottom of the page, the caption read “Last night……”

What were some aspects of the novel that you fictionalized and what were some aspects you stuck close to the facts?

When I started stringing the beginning, middle and end together in my head, I knew I had to place the two main characters, Paul and Elizabeth, in a position that would make their love story believable. I had never written or published anything prior to this endeavor, so I drafted it in my head before I ever put pen to paper. While the story was inspired by the life I shared with my veteran and our children, it became my mea culpa, my deepest apology for not understanding the gravity of PTSD and making choices that were unwise over the course of our history. The childhood years of Paul and Elizabeth are pure fiction compared to mine and my Veteran, but I felt the need to structure their early losses, weave them into the storyline and create a common thread for making their attraction to one another a natural evolution of their friendship.

I did create the character and personality of Paul in the image of my Veteran, but Elizabeth, I have to admit, was created from the perspective of what I learned and dealt with after my veteran took his life. She was a better version of me, but also a reflection of most wives who live with and love Vietnam veterans.

The anguish depicted in difficult, heartbreaking scenes was real, even though some were embellished for better or worse. My veteran was kind and funny, never a harsh word for anyone, but was also a hoarder. He truly did resemble Santa Claus at the end of his life, with an extra fifty pounds that added a cumbersome gait to his 5’8″ frame, thick white hair grown to shoulder length, and a long beard he rarely trimmed. He carried a duffle bag with him just to get coffee or go to a movie, adored our children, and had a host of idiosyncrasies that were as endearing as they were frustrating. Both my Veteran and the character, Paul, received purple hearts and suffered from PTSD. The suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization were factual, along with many other descriptions of their home, and surroundings. Truth and fiction were interwoven throughout the second half of the novel, although out of context in some instances. The most important reality to me was the ice cream cone with Elizabeth’s name…yes, there really was an ice cream cone with my name on it, which I still have in a Tupperware container after thirty years. My veteran, I discovered when I sifted through his accumulation of inanimate objects, had never thrown it out. That one item was the inspiration for the title, KEEP FOREVER, as we are an amalgam of memories, good and bad, that linger, remind, soothe and terrify all of us throughout our lives. As in the book, my Veteran scrawled the words, “Keep 4Ever” on everything from taxes and bank statements, to Christmas cards and shopping lists. Nothing was ever thrown out…certainly not his memories.

Paul’s death was the most important chapter that I wrote. It was difficult to re-live, but it purged my soul because I got to change history. It was my novel, my story, and I could make any ending I wanted, so I strayed from the truth in the manner in which he died; however, I drew on the experience of my Veteran’s funeral to describe the pomp and circumstance and the emotional good-bye to a member of a military family that is laid to rest in a National cemetery. I hope this bittersweet story helps to convey the sacrifices of all our veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam, and reminds readers that not all wounds are visible.

I thought this book was an emotional story. What were some themes that were important for you to focus on?

In my mind, and in speaking with many Vietnam veterans that I know personally, collateral damage to wives and children was a topic that had not been explored in a historical, Vietnam-era story. Most are memoirs of service members in battle, and written from the point of view of one person. I tried to capture the roller-coaster that exists with all family members, from birth through adulthood, in an effort to highlight how the internal battle of a veteran affects the entire family unit. I also wanted to make the point that most veterans refuse to speak of their pain, and what they keep bottled up inside is the most damaging to themselves and their loved ones.

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

This is the 2nd edition of KEEP FOREVER, and a deeper version than my first that was self-published in Feburuary, 2018. In between then and the re-release in March, 2020, I wrote and published MY NAME IS ROSE, another nostalgic story, about a young girl raised in a commune during the 1970s’. It has become an Amazon #1 Best Seller, as well as a first-place winner in an International Book Competition in 2019. KEEP FOREVER also topped the Amazon Charts soon after the second release, with #1 spots in New Releases, Vietnam War History, 1960s’ History of the US, and 1960s’ American History.

During my first nine weeks of quarantine, I completed the first draft of my third novel, MIRACLE. And yes, another piece of nostalgia, which seems to be what I am drawn to. The story revolves around two young women in the 1950s’. One lives in Southern California and must come to terms with the fact that four unsuccessful pregnancies leaves adoption as the only option for herself and her husband. The inability to qualify with the adoption agency due to their advancing age – almost thirty was old in the 50s’ – steers them towards an alternative solution of adopting a child outside the United States. During this time, the Canadian government created maternity homes for young women who were without a spouse or family assistance. After giving birth, it was understood that they would leave their baby behind for adoption by a suitable couple. The second young lady finds herself in a position that demands she reside in one of these homes for the last part of her pregnancy as she agonizes about the ultimate sacrifice she is being forced to make. Ultimately, these two women are destined to connect, but the ending is not as one might suspect. I hope to have MIRACLE ready for publication by mid-2021.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Now that Paul O’Brien has returned from serving in Vietnam, he wants nothing more than to piece together a meaningful life. But the war-spawned, guilt-driven nightmares won’t stop haunting him. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, Paul is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his family amidst his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As his life unravels from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth is committed to helping him overcome the obstacles in their path. Determined to live in love, they struggle a lifetime with the burden that Paul brought home. However, in spite of the darkness he carries, he still manages to create a legacy of light, compassion, and understanding that Elizabeth and their children will keep forever.

Keep Forever

KEEP FOREVER by [Alexa Kingaard]

Keep Forever is a book that will sit with you for a long time and bring to light subjects you hadn’t thought of. The book focuses on two men during the Vietnam War. Paul and Sam. Both wounded in the war and sent home; they have to relearn how to be who they are in a society that didn’t believe in the war. While Paul’s scars are internal and Sam’s are in your face, both men realize that moving on from the war isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. The book also focuses on Sam’s sister and the journey she takes from being a young woman to a woman who has grown and matured while trying to help her family.

As a military veteran’s wife, this hit home, and I cried at some parts, wondering what would have happened if my spouse had been alive during the Vietnam War. I could relate to the characters personally as my husband has PTSD and found myself crying for Sam, Paul, and Sam’s sister Elizabeth when reading everything they had to endure. It seemed like they faced so much adversity and struggle, but life is like that, and it reflected what we all go through.

I liked Sam’s character but felt he didn’t get enough time to fully develop. We can assume he lived a peaceful life and had children who had children, but we never hear what happens to him. We stop hearing about Sam about halfway through, and I did find myself wanting to know more about his life and journey. The only other small issue I had was with the ending which didn’t bring the conclusion I wanted… but I suppose this is a good reflection of life in a way. I could guess the ending before it happened, and had braced myself for it, (though I still burst into tears having felt a connection to the characters and their story), but the last two pages were not a good ending for me.

I do think this book is beautifully written and sheds light on a crucial issue and issues that affect the military. I honestly respect anyone who has ever put on a uniform and feel that the author did the book justice, by how it was written. I just wanted a different ending for the characters, but this was because I genuinely fell in love with them.

Pages: 282 | ASIN: B0863F1WCV

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Murder/Mystery

Dave Frolick Author Interview

Dave Frolick Author Interview

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery is a twisting murder mystery that follows a homicide detective trying to solve a case in his hometown. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?

Buck Woods was a character I originally created as a back woods trapper when I attempted to write a story when I was 14 years old. I liked the name so I made Buck an NYPD Homicide Detective. Since I’m a fan of James Patterson and Stuart Woods, I decided to attempt a murder/mystery novel as my first book. I choose Orono, Maine for Buck’s home town just from looking at a map of the United States.

Before publishing the book, my wife and I took a trip to Orono to check out the location. By personally checking out the setting it helped me get the facts straight, and make the story more authentic.

Buck is an interesting character that I thought was well developed. What were some driving ideals behind his character?

I tried to develop Buck into a strong caring character that people can identify with. However, I gave him obstacles he had to deal with on a daily basis. PTSD from his Gulf War days, self-blame and feelings of guilt from the death of his teenage girlfriend, Doreen Warren and the murder of his NYPD partner, Cheryl Jenkins were a few of the challenges Buck had to work through.

I enjoyed the mystery that unfolded. Was this planned or did it develop organically while writing?

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery started as a rough idea. Once I determined what the story would be about, I sat down at my computer and began to write the first chapter. I walk every day for almost two hours.

This gives me time to think and plot my story and develop characters. I find this is the best way for me to write. I don’t sit down and plot every scene on paper like other writers do.

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

My next novel is now completed and will be edited this April. The book is called New York City Murders. Homicide Detective Buck Woods returns to New York City and teams up with a new partner, a beautiful woman named Kristie Karlsson. The novel is a stand-alone sequel to The Cabin: A Murder Mystery.

Author Links: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery by [Frolick, W.D.]

Buck Woods, a stressed-out NYPD homicide detective and former Marine Scout sniper on sabbatical, returns home to Orono, Maine.

Upon arriving back in town, Buck meets up with his old high school friend, Detective Jim Barkowsky of the Orono PD. Jim invites Buck to stay with him, his wife, and their two children.

The next morning Buck and Jim go to check out Buck’s new home, an old run-down log cabin he inherited from his grandfather on two acres of land on Punshaw Lake. Upon entering the cabin, they discover the decomposing body of an unidentified man. The victim died from a single gunshot wound. It is obvious that he was murdered.

Buck and Jim set out to solve the murder by putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Unexpected twists, turns, and obstacles abound, leading to a climax that puts Buck’s life on the line.

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A Soldier’s Thoughts: A Collection of Poems

A Soldier’s Thoughts: A Collection of Poems by Duke Sherman is an interesting, decent sized assemblage of poetry. Each poem captures different parts of his life. In doing so, Sherman shares intimate thoughts, feelings, and aspects of his life with the reader. His poems run the gamut of his experiences as a soldier, PTSD, depression, and about his love life and other life experiences. Intertwined through these poems are also spiritual and religious messages and beliefs along with some political beliefs. Sherman is honest in sharing his life with the reader and does not hold back any of his thoughts.

This book is a hefty book of poetry. It deals with feelings and experiences of one man’s life. In the beginning, it offers an introduction where the writer speaks of the many different definitions of what makes a soldier. One can be a person who has fought in the military, while the other is someone who has fought hard in their life. Sherman is depicted as a soldier in both senses of the word.

Reading through Sherman’s poetry, you get a sense for the man himself. Not only do you get deep, intimate thoughts, but the reader also gets the author’s introspection and strong belief systems. A book of poetry in this sense is telling of the person’s character and a sense of who they are. Reading Sherman’s words was like an autobiography given in fragments. The poems are broken up in different formats, which flow nicely. The rhyming of the poems gives each one a nice rhythm as well.

I learned a lot reading the collection. Much of it was thought-provoking. Sherman is a veteran. Because of this, he wrote a series of flashbacks detailing the destruction he saw in war. As a result, there was a lot of patriotism mentioned. It really made you think about how soldiers were and are currently treated and what patriotism means to certain people.

One of the aspects of the book that was interesting was the disjointed way in which the poems were presented. There was no chronological time in which each poem was presented; it jumped around. At one point, there would be flashbacks as a soldier in Vietnam, and then at another point, it would be talking about one of his many loves or children. I felt that it was a good metaphor for how thoughts are often loose and disconnected, especially when recalling memories. The way it was written really made me feel as if I was in Sherman’s head.

I could also tell that the way he wrote was a way of healing, which is what poetry is about. It is an art form that some like to share with others. I could definitely feel the intensity of his feelings through his written word. I would recommend this book for anyone who may be interested in what it is like to be a veteran or to learn more about war as it is a deeply personal account.

Pages: 386 | ASIN: 1477146423

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