[Book Tour. Excerpt]: Poopie Suits & Cowboy Boots by Frank Hood and Charles Hood

I hosted the release of this book on my blog in November last year. Here’s an excerpt which I hope shades some light on the Navy’s most secret service…

About the Book

6 book Poopie Suits Series

Genre: Cold War Biography, Non-Fiction

Date Published: 17th January 2018

Poopie Suits and Cowboy Boots is a story of a young man volunteering to serve aboard a US submarine, and the life changing journey he had to take to even get on a submarine. Then, once aboard, you go through the day-to-day life while on the front lines of the Cold War at sea. The scary incidents, the wild times in ports of call, the ongoing testing the men were subjected to by the crew. Historical touch points anchor the story in the mid to late ’60s, a time of the nascent space program and the Vietnam War.

Frank’s story serves as a frame work to explain how submarine systems operate, in simple easy to understand terms. There is a lot packed into this true story, and we hope that those who read it will come away with an enhanced understanding of what these men went through, the sacrifices that had to made, the unrelenting pressure of zero mistakes in an always potential deadly environment. An deep insight into the Silent Service.

After introduction, Poopie Suits for 4 years was selected among the 100 All-Time Best Books about Submarines by The Book Authority. For the same time frame, it was also listed in Amazon’s top 100 books about the Cold War. An entertaining and informative true story that takes you through the intensive training from the day a person volunteers to serve on a submarine to the day they walk aboard. The scene then shifts to a hot running, brand new, fast attack nuclear submarine during the height of the Cold War and gives you a front row seat to how day-to-day life unfolded. Funny stories are told side-by-side with clear and accurate explanations of submarine systems. A fact-filled book with a heart-warming edge, you will learn a lot about the Silent Service by reading this book.

About the Authors

Frank Hood received a NROTC Scholarship to Purdue and started his formation to being commissioned as a Naval Officer. For his Senior Cruise, he was assigned to a WWII era submarine and he saw, first hand, the loose rules coupled with the cool and professional execution of duties, along with the great fun they crew had when the pressure was off. He greatly appreciated the tight camaraderie they had, and he knew that is what he wanted when he graduated.

This is the genesis of this book. For over 1 year of Nuclear Power and Submarine Officer training, to 3 years of keeping the Soviet Submarine Force at bay, this experience was one of the most impacting of his life. Post Navy, he worked as an Engineer, Sales Person, and Business Owner. Retired to New Hampshire and enjoying life. Active in the submarine veteran community, the deep bond formed 50 years before is even stronger and more appreciated.

Charles Hood is a physician practicing in South Carolina. For years he was intrigued by his older brother Frank’s service on a hot running, fast attack submarine, but could not get Frank to ever talk about it. Finally, he convinced Frank by saying, “Even without the secret mission details, your day-to-day life is a unique story, and if you don’t tell it so others can appreciate what you went through, who will?” With that Frank dictated his story and Charles word smithed it and add additional research. Vetting by many other sub vets helped reduce the errors caused by 50 year old memories. The resulting story has been acclaimed by submarine veterans and civilians alike. It is in its 5th Edition, have had other details and stories added to the original content.

Contact Links

Website: http://www.subtales.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/2hoodssubbook

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37880967-poopie-suits-cowboy-boots

Excerpt


From Chapter 11:


We were always aware that Soviet submarines—both fast-attacks and boomers—were never too far away, even during these drills. The Soviet equivalent of our boomers functioned similarly—staying submerged for prolonged periods, tracing the same circular paths underwater, standing at the ready for a nuclear strike on the US mainland. Of course, we had our boomers in place similarly along the Soviet coast. These tactics were highly volatile, as one wrong move could have resulted in global annihilation, but the knowledge that any missile strike by one side in the US/USSR Cold War would result in an immediate and blistering counteroffensive by the other side (the so-called Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD Doctrine) did serve its purpose as an effective deterrent to nuclear war.

Back in those days, our submarines were superior to the Soviets’ regarding effective sound-dampening technologies. We ran very quietly, and we could approach their submarines fairly closely without detection. The converse wasn’t generally true, however; we seldom experienced difficulty in determining that we had some Soviet company nearby.

We stayed in the passive mode with sonar— listening only—and couldn’t believe just how noisy the Soviets were. On their boomers, we could hear all sorts of sounds: a dropped wrench, a flushed toilet, even the soundtracks of their movies or loud conversations. The lack of sound insulation compared to our boats was stunning, but it gave us a big advantage in the cat-and-mouse “games” (for lack of a better word) played underwater.

Our sound equipment was incredibly sensitive. To gain the best understanding of the sheer collecting power of our equipment, familiarity with the amazing tech inside the sonar dome was essential. This was an 18-foot diameter orb-shaped unmanned room positioned immediately inside the ship’s bow. Here, an array of more than 100 sound sensors was deployed on the exterior of a big sphere; think of it as a round studio with a bank of microphones (hydrophones) pointed outward in all directions, with each microphone connected to its own speaker in the Sonar Shack in Ops.

Each hydrophone yielded unique auditory information that was subjected to sophisticated sound processing and then displayed on a circular screen inside the Sonar Shack. Inside that room, which was always kept very dark, there were usually two highly trained men on watch who monitored all of the displays surrounding them as they intently listened to the sounds of the sea through earphones. Like air traffic controllers, these guys had to remain hypervigilant for any noises considered out of the ordinary. These sonar operators were called sonar men, and they played an extremely important role in our survival and success at sea. To the untrained ear, listening to the cacophony of sounds funnelled into their earphones and displayed in wave format on the monitors around them was a bewildering experience. The sea was a relatively noisy place at times, with multiple sound sources superimposed upon one another.

For example, the sounds of sea mammals like whales and dolphins were easily detected by our hydrophone system. The whale songs could last for minutes if not hours, and they never repeated themselves. In addition to these biologics, the sonarmen had to tune out the pounding sounds of the ocean itself especially during periods of heavy wave action and storms. Add to the list of interfering noises the turbulence created by our own boat slicing through the water. We could often hear these background sounds of the sea in the Control Room as a live audio feed from the Sonar Shack, and I can recall my difficulty in trying to discern what I was hearing at any particular moment. T

he job of the sonarmen was to eliminate or ignore the irrelevant background noise and to instead discriminate those sounds that might signal the proximity of an enemy ship. Let me tell you, these guys were really, really good at their jobs. With their experience in detecting even the slightest hint of a manmade sound originating anywhere outside our boat, they could detect a Soviet sub or surface ship from many miles away.

Once while we were in the Mediterranean Sea, the sonarman standing watch pickedup on a Soviet cruiser that we subsequently learned was more than 250 miles away at the time. It was an amazing feat, but when the sea conditions were just right (“good thermals”), the sound of the enemy could propagate through the water for many miles. Remember that while we were busy trying to detect the enemy by passive sonar, they were doing the same thing, by both submerged (submarine) and surface (destroyer) sonar. Our goal was to keep tabs on them without revealing our position. Since we had superior sound detection equipment and analysis, and because our subs ran quieter, we were able to meet this compound objective under most circumstances. T

wo important keys to our success were (1) going deep and (2) staying in passive (listening-only) sonar mode. The importance of proper depth, while not necessarily immediately obvious to a novice, was absolutely crucial in helping us maintain our cover. Although sound waves do travel a long way in shallow water, there is a certain depth below which sound wave transmission is significantly degraded. By finding that depth, we could become nearly completely inaudible to an enemy. On the other hand, that same principle which facilitating our concealment also meant that our own passive sonar capability for detecting a nearby enemy was compromised.

Every move, I learned, had trade offs. The odds of a surface enemy ship “seeing” us diminished greatly below a depth of 400 feet and became almost nil (even with the best Soviet destroyer sonar equipment) at 600 feet. Thus, we walked a tightrope at all times in finding just the right depth to continue monitoring our enemies while minimizing their capacity to detect us. If you stop to think about it, it was for this precise reason that the US Navy placed such a premium on constructing submarines that could withstand very deep dives.

By staying below the effective zone of sonar detection, our travels could not be easily ascertained by the enemy. This strategy also helped to explain why the Soviets placed such a premium on maintaining their sonobuoy network on the seabed of important shipping routes in the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. The general upshot of this paradigm was that we routinely varied our operating depth: deeper for better cover but less ability for surveillance; shallower for better sonar capability but poorer cover. Those vessels around us that relied on active sonar—whether submerged or surfaced—were very easy to detect. (Pinging is extremely loud. At the source, the sound of a single ping may exceed 200 decibels.) As a result, such intermittent pinging could be readily heard from just about any compartment aboard the Seahorse.

Also, I should point out that the classic Hollywood version of the “ping” sound is nothing like the real thing. An actual ping is not a single note, but a series of different frequencies in crescendo, and the sound is a lot shriller.

Purchase Links

Audible:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Poopie-Suits-Cowboy-Boots-Audiobook/B09M975FH6

[Release Blitz]: Dark River Rising by Susan Clayton Goldner

Winston Radhauser Mystery, Book 13

Genre: Mystery

Date Published: 24th January 2023

Publisher: Tirgearr

When Detective Winston Radhauser’s phone rings in the middle of the night, he knows something terrible has happened. On this night, a homeless man, rummaging for food in a local dumpster, finds the body of a severely beaten young woman. On scene, Radhauser estimates the victim to be in her early twenties. He’s overcome when he learns the forensics reveal she is the girl whose disappearance has haunted him for three years–Ava Cartwright.

In broad daylight, Ava’s bicycle had been found parked with the kickstand down near a wooded area. Search parties inched their way through every portion of those woods, the neighborhood, nearby Lithia Park, and along miles of railroad tracks, but there was no sign of the little girl.

Where has she been all this time? And why was she dumped on the eve of her thirteenth birthday? There must be something, some tiny detail, he missed that will give him a lead. This time, Radhauser won’t quit until he finds it.

About the Author

Susan Clayton Goldner became fascinated with books and writing as a young child. Her first publication came when she was ten. It was a poem on the back of a church bulletin. Perhaps seeing her name in print prompted her to pursue that love and become a novelist. Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona with her partner, John Carter, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. When she isn’t writing—which isn’t often—Susan likes to make stained glass windows and quilts. She says it’s a little bit like writing—telling stories with fabric and glass.

Contact Links

Website: http://susanclaytongoldner.com/index.html

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66094700-dark-river-rising

Purchase Links

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-river-rising-susan-clayton-goldner/1142836769?ean=2940165983047

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-river-rising-2

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1283894

Giveaway

eBook copy

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264011668

[Book Review]: The Honey Talker by Malcolm Havard

About the Book

Genre: True Crime, Historical thriller

Publisher: Northodox Press

Release Date: 3rd August 2022

May 1997. Election night. Blair’s New Labour is predicted to win with a landslide. It feels like a new start for everyone, the grey days of sleaze are over. There’s a new hope that things really are about to get better.

But not for Aidan. He’s a reporter whose life and career are going nowhere, relegated to a backwater job within the paper, existing on a diet of fast food and with virtually every day starting with a stinking hangover. He’s clinging on to his job by his fingernails.

Then, after a terrifying road-rage incident, the story of his life drops in his lap. It looks like the chance to make his name
and salvage his career.

But within 24 hours his best friend is dead, he’s forced to work with Suzie, a combative, abrasive, ambitious younger colleague whilst the most powerful gangster in Manchester hunts Aidan armed with a weapon
no one can resist.

About the Author

Malcolm grew up in Sheffield, has lived and worked in Australia and the Middle-East but now lives in Cheshire, England. He is a prolific and award-winning author who writes both novels and short fiction. He has, in the past, worked in a variety of genres.

Despite the variety, all have a similar DNA containing strong, often flawed but believable characters and telling great stories. His current body of work include the mountaineering thriller, The Last Mountain, a 1950s Spy novel, Contrail and Touched, a haunting novel about love and loneliness.

He has now found a niche writing historical fiction usually with an aviation background but also writes historical crime fiction.

Social media links: https://www.malcolmhavard.com

My review

4* stars

The book starts with a bang, both literally and metaphorically speaking. The main character, Aidan Hughes, a journalist whose career is going nowhere as well as his private life, gets into a car accident and only a miracle saves him from a crash. Another driver is not as lucky, though. He dies, and the passenger is seriously injured, but the driver of the third car which has caused all the chaos walks off, released by the police on the spot.

Puzzled, Aidan wants to investigate the identity of the third driver, teaming up with his best friend and colleague, Richard. When Richard is killed, Aidan’s phone is bugged, and his flat is under surveillance, Aidan realises he has started a dangerous game with the most powerful gangster in Manchester.

The author creates a dark atmosphere of Manchester in the late ‘90s, where gangs, not the law rule the streets, and Mickey Smith is the most powerful of them all. Why? Because he’s got a secret weapon—the Mule, the Honey Talker. It seems like Mickey is invincible. Nobody can oppose him, definitely not a shy and indecisive Aidan.

I like the historical references to the GDR and the Cold War time.  Havard cleverly interweaves history into the fast-paced plot. As Aidan’s investigation progresses, so does his character. He realises that if he wants to beat Mickey Smith and save his life, he needs to use the same tough methods: deceit, threat, and violence if needed. As for the antagonists, Havard creates morally grey characters like the Mule, who turns out to be a victim of Mickey’s dirty business rather than a villain.

I gave this book 4* stars and not 5*, because of the pace. It slows down in the middle, but the end seems a bit too rushed. I’d like to see the climax of the story developing slower. Overall, The Honey Talker is a great book for fans of hard-boiled noir thrillers.

Purchase Links:

Northodox Press:

https://www.northodox.co.uk/product-page/the-honey-talker-ebook

[Guest Post]: A Day in the Life of a Writer by Nancy Kress, the author of Observer

My today’s guest is one of the authors of “Observer”, a science fiction about time, space, reality, and an attempts to alter it.

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER
By Nancy Kress


The first and most important thing to establish is that there is no typical day for writers. Every author is different. Some are night owls; some are larks. Some approach a writing session eagerly; some have to drag themselves to the desk after running out of all possible other tasks, including washing the cat. Some think six pages is a good day’s work; some are thrilled with two good paragraphs. Some fuel their writing with coffee, Coke, Red Bull, or whiskey; some keep those as rewards when they’ve finished a session. So what I am describing here is my day as a writer.


I am a reluctant lark. The older I get, the earlier I wake up. No behavioral or chemical intervention seems to help with this. So at 4:30 a.m., I brew coffee, make a few on-line chess moves in the games I have going at chess-com, and check my professional email: Lovely blurb for my forthcoming novel, from a writer friend. It is understood that I will now blurb his.


Galleys for the forthcoming novel. This is not so good; when I finish a novel, I move onto the next project and the last thing I want to do is go over something I wrote a year ago. But since I have to, I will.


Two enthusiastic notices of science-fiction conventions for next year. One I know I won’t be going to, the other I save to discuss with my husband when he wakes. An email. Routed through my website, from someone who hated my last book and feels compelled to tell me exactly why. I delete it (never answer reviewers or negative fan mail). A reminder that the dog needs a leptospirosis vaccine. This doesn’t even belong in this batch of communications. I move it and make a note to call the vet. More coffee.


Finally I write. When I was younger, I made 1500 words a day my goal (roughly six pages). Now it’s 1,000 words. Some days they come easily, some days not. Today is easy because yesterday I stopped in the middle of a scene and I know what comes next.


In the afternoon, I tackle the galleys, which fortunately are pretty clean. This task is interrupted by an email from my West Coast agent, in answer to an email I sent last week. He says that there “has been no movement yet” to renew the option held by a movie company on my novel Beggars in Spain. Since that book has been continually under option by a revolving cast of optioners for thirty years, this does not surprise me. In Hollywood, initial enthusiasm does not correlate with outcome.


The galleys have dropped a line on page 48.


The snail mail brings royalty checks. This is welcome. However, since this royalty period ran from December to June and it is now October, Jack and I discuss, for the umpteenth time, why it takes publishers’ computers so long to figure out royalties.


Amazon delivers the ream of printer paper I ordered. I make note in my ledger of the purchase, date, and amount. Printer paper is a deductible expense. Back to the galleys.


By evening, my brain is dead. Tomorrow I’m having lunch with women friends and seeing a movie, so the day will be different. They all are.

About the Book

Genre: Science Fiction

Date Published: 10th January 2023

Publisher: Story Plant

If we can alter the structure of reality, should we?

Caro Soames-Watkins, a talented neurosurgeon whose career has been upended by controversy, is jobless, broke, and the sole supporter of her sister, a single mother with a severely disabled child.

When she receives a strange job offer from Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sam Watkins, a great uncle she barely knows, desperation forces her to take it in spite of serious suspicions.

Watkins has built a mysterious medical facility in the Caribbean to conduct research into the nature of consciousness, reality, and life after death. Helped in his mission by his old friend, eminent physicist George Weigert, and young tech entrepreneur Julian Dey, Sam has gone far beyond curing the body to develop a technology that could solve the riddle of mortality.

Two obstacles stand in their way: someone on the inside is leaking intel and Watkins’ failing body must last long enough for the technology to be ready.

As danger mounts, Caro finds more than she bargained for, including murder, love, and a deeper understanding into the nature of reality.

A mind-expanding journey to the very edges of science, Observer will thrill you, inspire you, and lead you to think about life and the power of the imagination in startling new ways.

About the Guest Author

Nancy Kress hailed by bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson as “one of the greatest science fiction writers working today,” Nancy Kress has won six Nebula and two Hugo Awards for her fiction. She often writes about developments in science, particularly genetic engineering, as in her bestselling novel, Beggars in Spain. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages, including Klingon. She teaches writing and was “Fiction” columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine for sixteen years. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jack Skillingstead.

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/observer-robert-lanza/1140970430?ean=9781945839658

iBooks:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/observer-enhanced-edition/id1619033727

[Release Blitz]: Observer by Robert Lanza and Nancy Kress

Genre: Science Fiction

Date Published: 10th January 2023

Publisher: Story Plant

If we can alter the structure of reality, should we?

Caro Soames-Watkins, a talented neurosurgeon whose career has been upended by controversy, is jobless, broke, and the sole supporter of her sister, a single mother with a severely disabled child.

When she receives a strange job offer from Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sam Watkins, a great uncle she barely knows, desperation forces her to take it in spite of serious suspicions.

Watkins has built a mysterious medical facility in the Caribbean to conduct research into the nature of consciousness, reality, and life after death. Helped in his mission by his old friend, eminent physicist George Weigert, and young tech entrepreneur Julian Dey, Sam has gone far beyond curing the body to develop a technology that could solve the riddle of mortality.

Two obstacles stand in their way: someone on the inside is leaking intel and Watkins’ failing body must last long enough for the technology to be ready.

As danger mounts, Caro finds more than she bargained for, including murder, love, and a deeper understanding into the nature of reality.

A mind-expanding journey to the very edges of science, Observer will thrill you, inspire you, and lead you to think about life and the power of the imagination in startling new ways.

Editorial Reviews

“Nancy Kress is one of the greatest living science fiction writers, and her particular talent for telling stories about people on the cutting edge of science tipping into something new and marvelous is perfectly suited to the ideas that have come to Robert Lanza in the course of his groundbreaking scientific research. Together they’ve written a startling, fascinating novel.”

―Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author

“Robert Lanza has taken the gigantic step of incorporating his ideas into a science fiction novel with Nancy Kress. This brilliant book will take you deep into quantum physics, where these often-complex concepts are illuminated through a riveting and moving story.”

―Rhonda Byrne, #1 New York Times bestselling author, The Secret

“Real science and limitless imagination combine in a thrilling story you won’t soon forget.”

―Robin Cook, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Nancy Kress is a master storyteller, and her trademark empathy is on every page. Even as we venture into the heady territory of quantum physics and the nature of reality that Robert Lanza is known for, we never lose track of Caro, the brilliant surgeon who’ll do anything to save the people she loves. Observer is the best of science and fiction—an intellectual adventure with real heart.”

―Daryl Gregory, award-winning author of Spoonbenders

“Observer is an impressive story! … Lanza and Kress give us characters with science and spirit”

―David Brin, New York Times bestselling author, The Postman

“Lanza, a pioneer in the fields of stem-cell and cloning science, makes his mind-blowing theory of biocentrism the focus of this brilliant Crichtonesque thriller, coauthored with SF veteran Kress … The authors imagine what the implications of that would be, integrating them into a page-turning plot complete with betrayals, violent deaths, and difficult moral choices.”

―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Authors

Robert Lanza, M.D.

Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” Robert Lanza is a renowned scientist and author whose groundbreaking research spans many fields, from biology to theoretical physics. He has worked with some of the greatest minds of our time, including Jonas Salk and B.F. Skinner. A U.S. News and World Report cover story called him “the living embodiment of the character played by Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting” and described him as a “genius,” a “renegade thinker,” and likened him to Einstein. He is the father of Biocentrism, the basis of Observer, his first novel. He has been pondering the larger existential questions since he was a young boy, when for play he took excursions deep into the forests of eastern Massachusetts observing nature (like Emerson and Thoreau, who grew up just a few miles from him). This fascination with the nature of life infused his entire career, leading him to the very frontiers of biology and science.

Nancy Kress

Hailed by bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson as “one of the greatest science fiction writers working today,” Nancy Kress has won six Nebula and two Hugo Awards for her fiction. She often writes about developments in science, particularly genetic engineering, as in her bestselling novel, Beggars in Spain. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages, including Klingon. She teaches writing and was “Fiction” columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine for sixteen years. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jack Skillingstead.

Contact Links

Website: https://www.robertlanza.com/

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

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/observer-robert-lanza/1140970430?ean=9781945839658

iBooks:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/observer-enhanced-edition/id1619033727

Giveaway

Signed Copy

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264011663

[Book Blitz]: The Antiquarian by Alfred Balm

Genre: Thrillers, Suspense

Date Published: 9th September 2021

As the son of a crofter family young Berend Bouters natural talent finds him in the prestigious Art Academy of Amsterdam.

It is early 1900. Everything points to a successful career as an artist, he works along Mondrian, becomes part of the Barbizon movement, until life throws him a curve ball.

During the First World War, Holland remains neutral, Berend becomes the owner of a barge and during heart-stopping escapades, smuggles goods to occupied Belgium for which he is richly rewarded. When the war is over, authorities confiscate all his belongings. To rebuild his fortune, he ingeniously schemes to adopt a new identity though Switzerland, he becomes Baron Fernando Del Muntanyes, the famous Antiquarian. But when he becomes involved in the greatest art heist of the century, the theft of a 15th century panel of The Adoration of the Lamb from the St. Bavo cathedral in Ghent, he is relentlessly pursued by the police.

Ultimately with the Sicilian mafia and the Belgian police on his tail he spectacularly escapes on board of the Hindenburg Zeppelin to America. It seems to give him a new start, will it?

About the Author

As an adventurer, business man and art-historian, Alfred Balm is a man of many talents. After building a multinational business conglomerate he decided to follow his passion and obtained a degree in Art History. His passion for art and his experience of growing up in Nazi occupied Holland resulted in captivating accounts of what might have happened to one of Holland’s national treasures. His personal experience and his knowledge of art history add additional depth and facts to an excellent work of fiction.

Contact Link

Website: https://www.alfredbalm.com/

Purchase Links

B&N:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-antiquarian-alfred-balm/1140152543?ean=9781665536202

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-antiquarian-6

iBooks:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-antiquarian/id1586111472

Happy New 2023!

Happy New Year to all my subscribers! I wish you to have an abundant, creative, and peaceful 2023.

Looking back, I realised that 2022 wasn’t bad at all. I travelled abroad, signed a book deal for my sci-fi thriller Dive Beyond Eternity, published a few pieces in magazines, progressed as a writer. In fact, my 2022 was much better than the last 3 years. I hope new year will bring even more exciting changes.

So, what can you expect from my blog in 2023?

  1. Cover reveal and excerpts from my novel Dive Beyond Eternity which comes out in March
  2. Book reviews
  3. Guests’ posts and new releases by my fellow authors
  4. More free stories and non-fiction in “Free fiction and non-fiction” section
  5. My articles about writing

Thank you for being with me all these years (or joining me in 2022). I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my blog.

[Book Blitz]: Poopie Suits & Cowboy Boots by Frank Hood and Charles Hood

In light of my own new release next spring, I’ve been looking to post something about naval history and underwater warfare. This book suits my idea perfectly.

Genre: Cold War Biography, Non-Fiction

Date Published: 17th January 2018

Poopie Suits and Cowboy Boots is a story of a young man volunteering to serve aboard a US submarine, and the life changing journey he had to take to even get on a submarine. Then, once aboard, you go through the day-to-day life while on the front lines of the Cold War at sea. The scary incidents, the wild times in ports of call, the ongoing testing the men were subjected to by the crew. Historical touch points anchor the story in the mid to late ’60s, a time of the nascent space program and the Vietnam War.

Frank’s story serves as a frame work to explain how submarine systems operate, in simple easy to understand terms. There is a lot packed into this true story, and we hope that those who read it will come away with an enhanced understanding of what these men went through, the sacrifices that had to made, the unrelenting pressure of zero mistakes in an always potential deadly environment. An deep insight into the Silent Service.

About the Authors

Frank Hood received a NROTC Scholarship to Purdue and started his formation to being commissioned as a Naval Officer. For his Senior Cruise, he was assigned to a WWII era submarine and he saw, first hand, the loose rules coupled with the cool and professional execution of duties, along with the great fun they crew had when the pressure was off. He greatly appreciated the tight camaraderie they had, and he knew that is what he wanted when he graduated.

This is the genesis of this book. For over 1 year of Nuclear Power and Submarine Officer training, to 3 years of keeping the Soviet Submarine Force at bay, this experience was one of the most impacting of his life. Post Navy, he worked as an Engineer, Sales Person, and Business Owner. Retired to New Hampshire and enjoying life. Active in the submarine veteran community, the deep bond formed 50 years before is even stronger and more appreciated.

Charles Hood is a physician practicing in South Carolina. For years, he was intrigued by his older brother Frank’s service on a hot running, fast attack submarine, but could not get Frank to ever talk about it. Finally, he convinced Frank by saying, “Even without the secret mission details, your day-to-day life is a unique story, and if you don’t tell it so others can appreciate what you went through, who will?” With that Frank dictated his story and Charles word smithed it and add additional research. Vetting by many other sub vets helped reduce the errors caused by 50 year old memories. The resulting story has been acclaimed by submarine veterans and civilians alike. It is in its 5th Edition, have had other details and stories added to the original content.

Contact Links

Website: http://www.subtales.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/2hoodssubbook

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37880967-poopie-suits-cowboy-boots

Purchase Links

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Poopie-Suits-Cowboy-Boots-Audiobook/B09M975FH6

[Book Blitz]: All That Lingers by Irene Wittig

Genre: Historical Fiction

“A standout among the many novels set in this world-changing era.” KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW

The rise of Nazism in Austria catapults life in Vienna into chaos.

Emma grapples with the harsh new reality of her country’s betrayal, and desperately clings to her humanity by hiding her Jewish friends. In the war’s aftermath, she finds solace in helping those in even greater need than herself.

Friedrich teeters on the edge of what is right and his personal survival. His actions and inaction leave long-lasting repercussions that years later threaten to throw all their lives into turmoil again

A decade after the war, Sophie – Friedrich’s niece, and the daughter of Emma’s friend – returns to Vienna from her American refuge seeking her lost history.

About the Author

Irene Wittig was born in Rome days after its liberation, to a Viennese Jewish mother who’d found a modicum of safety in Italy. Memories of her Viennese family and the fellow refugees and people displaced by war that she grew up with in New York lie at the core of her novel ALL THAT LINGERS. She absorbed their stories of loss, of difficult decisions and survival against the odds, of rebuilding lives, even of triumph. She came to understand how much of the past lingers for everyone who suffers loss and injustice, and how it manifests itself in sorrow, anger, the loss of trust and even faith. Yet, resilience is proof that hope lingers as well for without it the struggle would never be worthwhile.

Contact Links

Website: https://all-that-lingers.com

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

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/irene-wittig

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umAgzmtY–M.

Instagram: https://www.instagram/irenewittig

BookBuzz: https://book-buzz.net/all-that-lingers-by-irene-wittig/

Purchase Links

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-that-lingers-irene-wittig/1138473987?ean=9780578820415

Jewish Book World: https://jewishbookworld.org/2021/04/all-that-lingers-by-irene-wittig/

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/m2MjvO

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Irene_Wittig_All_Tha%20t_Lingers?id=AQAAAECcYk8iwM

Books2Read Audio: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/id1532392810

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/all-that-lingers-1

[Guest Post]: Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction (or other genre) Writers by Michael Manz, the author of “The Glass Tree”

I have a new guest on my blog today. Michael Manz, who has recently published his debut historical thriller “The Glass Tree”, gives a piece of advice to first-time writers.

Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction (or other genre) Writers

I recently heard from a friend who was seriously contemplating quitting his job in order to write creatively full time. Given that he had never published anything before and was not
independently wealthy, I advised against it. But I understood his desire. He wanted to run away to an island somewhere and do nothing but work on his screenplay all day. Normal life in Los Angeles had too many distractions. There was no end to the other obligations clamoring (and in the case of his children, literarily clamoring) for his attention. Quitting work and finding a quiet spot to write for weeks on end was the only way to finish his project, right?


Well, no, not right. The reason I can say this with such confidence is because I felt the exact
same way. I had not written anything in such a long time because, well, I was waiting for the
perfect moment to start when everything else in my life was in order. When my business was self-sufficient, when my apartment was clean, when there were fewer social activities to attend, then I would start writing again.

Those of you who have had similar conditions for beginning to write your novel or screenplay or whatever it is you wanted to create, know that these ideal conditions are simply never reached. They are the carrot on a stick.


Your only real option is to wade into the water, wade into the disorder of your life, find a
rickety raft floating on top of all the other distractions, and pull yourself up for a couple hours a day. This is how I managed to write The Glass Tree. I accepted the fact that my ideal writing world, the island of no distractions, was just an excuse to avoid what I needed to do. So, I made time in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, occasionally in the evenings, to walk down to my favorite coffee shop, or find a table at the library and get to work. Sometimes I made very little progress, sometimes the conversation at the next table was just a little too loud, sometimes the library was just too quiet, and I left with blank pages in my notebook. But after weeks and months, the pages added up and eventually I had the first draft of my novel.


Once you have the first draft it’s easier to motivate yourself to find the time to edit your work and mould it into a final draft. Accomplishment leads to more accomplishment in the realm of writing. But the first step is finishing that first draft and the only way to do that, unless you really can find that peaceful island, is to work at it for a short time every-day, wherever you can.

After all, who’s to say that, even if you found your perfect writing oasis, you wouldn’t just
spend all your time exploring the landscape and forget what you were there for.

About the Book

Genre: Historical/Suspense ; Suspense/Thriller ; Adult Literary

Date Published: 1st September 2022

Publisher: Endicott Street Press

Paris, 1954. Eli Cole, American attaché, wants only one thing: to avenge his wife’s murder. But the trail has gone cold. After two years, drinking to his beloved Liana’s memory is all he has left — until the secrets she took to the grave come back to shatter them all. A hidden photo, a Gestapo file, an unsent letter: these are some of the clues Eli must piece together if he is to understand Liana’s secret life, and her mysterious mission. But the clock is ticking. Powerful new enemies are out to give Eli a one-way ticket back to the United States — in a pinewood box.

With the help of Liana’s father and sister, an old war buddy come abroad, and a cunning teenage girl, Eli unravels the events that led to his wife’s death. But getting justice won’t be easy. The more Eli reveals of Liana’s secret past, the more his devotion to her is tested by her deceit. Can Eli allow himself to recognize the entirety of the woman he married? Will Liana’s last art piece, a spectacular glass tree, give Eli the assurance he needs to continue believing in the sanctity of love?

The Glass Tree is a fast-paced, unpredictable mystery, and it is also the story of one man’s attempt to untangle the complexities of betrayal, love and forgiveness.

About the Author

Michael J. Manz lives in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley and is a rare bookseller by trade. Except for a few years spent in Chicago, he is a lifelong New Englander. The only place he’d rather be, at least some of the time, is Paris, where he has been known to wander the streets in search of old bookshops, great cafes and forgotten bars. He is the past organizer of the Protagonists and Procrastinators writers’ group and has from childhood been scratching away at some kind of story or another. Michael holds a BA in English from Keene State College. The Glass Tree is his first novel.

Contact Links

Website: http://www.michaeljasonmanz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Michael-J-Manz-Author-101082999301619

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61214487-the-glass-tree

Purchase Links

B&N:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-glass-tree-michael-jason-manz/1141670762?ean=9798986256825

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-glass-tree

Giveaway

Signed Copies of the Book

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264011590

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