Tag Archives: War

Scrapbook Page & Giveaway: Tarnished Brass by Max L. Knight

BNR Tarnished Brass
TARNISHED BRASS
by
MAX L. KNIGHT
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Novella / War 
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 114

Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

 

The war in El Salvador as seen through the eyes of a U.S. Army officer, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee turned gang member


Patrick Michael Moynihan finds himself returning to the small Central American country where, as a young impressionistic junior officer, he was thrust into the middle of a brutal civil war.
Miguel Alejandro Xenias, once a member of the ruling elite in El Salvador, recalls his change of heart, advancement within the guerrilla movement, and his new-found hope for the country now that the FMLN is in power.Antonio Cruz, seeking a new life in America, finds only a different kind of hatred and conflict, joins the street gang MS-13, and returns home bringing with him a new kind of warfare.These perspectives spotlight an ongoing struggle in El Salvador that continues to impact the immigration crisis on our southern border and the spread of gang violence throughout the United States.
 
More than just a history of the war in El Salvador, a conflict that ended almost thirty years ago, Tarnished Brass gives voice to those who fought and those who only wanted to escape the violence.
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Max Knight was born in Panama and grew up in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English. A Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and served twenty-four years in the Air Defense Artillery retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In addition to assignments within his basic branch, Max also specialized as a Foreign Area Officer in both the European Theatre of Operations (Germany and Greece) and within USSOUTHCOM (Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador). He received the Defense Superior Service Medal for his service in El Salvador during that country’s civil war. Max earned his master’s degree in government from Campbell University, and retired from the Army in 1997.

Upon retirement Max was hired by RCI Technologies in San Antonio and became its Director of Internal Operations. He also was the first volunteer docent at the Alamo working within its Education Department. However, following the tragic events of 9/11, he became an Independent Contractor and spent the next ten years as a Counterintelligence Specialist in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America before cancer forced him to quit.

Max has since published a memoir, Silver Taps, and a novel of westward expansion, Palo Duro. He resides in San Antonio with his wife, Janet “Gray.” They have three surviving children; Lisa, Brian, and Sean, and three grandchildren; Tony, Nicholas, and Cecilia Marie.

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One Winner: Signed copy of Tarnished Brass + $25 Amazon Gift Card
OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 8, 2019
(U.S. Only)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/29/19
Promo
10/29/19
Excerpt
10/30/19
Author Interview
10/30/19
Review
10/31/19
Scrapbook page
10/31/19
Review
11/1/19
Playlist
11/1/19
Review
11/2/19
Review
11/2/19
Review
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Review: The Memory of Us by Camille DiMaio

THE MEMORY OF US
by 
Camille DiMaio

Genre: Historical Romantic Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.
While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.
But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

ADVANCED REVIEWER PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
“Powerful, emotional, and amazing read.”
“A smashing debut!”
“Brilliantly told and executed.”

“Will make you cry in the best way possible.”
“This is a beautiful story of redemption, love, and honor.”
“I fell in love with the characters.”
“I’m not sure if I have ever had such a range of emotions with a book.”

“This is one of the best books that I have read!”
“Touching and funny and tragic and beautiful.”
“Packs a powerful, emotional punch.”

PURCHASE FROM
AMAZON      BARNES & NOBLE     BOOKS-A-MILLION
Review
With a title like “The Memory of Us,” you brace yourself for the most tragic love story ever. The bleak opening which features a scarred woman attempting suicide by pills lets you know that your hunch is probably right. But before she gives too much away, DiMaio cuts to the past where we meet the woman, still vibrant and young, with her whole life in front of her.
Julianne is the beautiful daughter of rich socialites. And before you get a chance to assume she’s a snob and start to hate her, you realize that she is working toward making her own way in the world. Instead of accepting the reins to the family’s lucrative business, she is set to attend nursing school in London. And with a world on the verge of war, nursing is not a romantic or pretty business to get into.
Just when you think you can’t like Julianne even more, you find out that she steals away to visit the twin brother she shouldn’t even know exists. It is there at the lush institution that Charles is hidden, that she encounters the love of her life. As if his Irish and lowly upbringing weren’t an obstacle enough, Kyle is a seminary student on his way to becoming a priest.
Trying their best to just be friends, Julianne and Kyle experience a whirlwind romance befitting a Nicholas Sparks novel. But DiMaio’s romance is not cheap and certainly not as predictable as Sparks. I went to bed around 4:30 a.m. one night because I could not put this book down. I planned to read until I found a good place to stop, but DiMaio kept urging me forward with chapters ending on the cusp of a new secret or development. I laid in bed for a long time trying to get the wonderful story out of my head so that I could sleep.
I think I should end my review here lest I should spoil anything. Be prepared for your heart to break. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! And comment below once you’ve read it. I would love to talk about this one!
Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, “Before the Rain Falls” will be released in the spring of 2017.
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GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! 
THREE WINNERS EACH GET
A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK!
  June 21 – July 5, 2016
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/21 Missus Gonzo  — Review
6/22 Books and Broomsticks– Promo
6/23 The Page Unbound  – Author Interview #1
6/24 Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post
6/25 The Librarian Talks – Review
6/26 Country Girl Bookaholic  – Excerpt
6/27 It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #2
6/28 Byers Editing Reviews & Blog  — Review
6/29 Forgotten Winds – Book Trailer
6/30 Margie’s Must Reads – Review
7/1   Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo
7/2  The Crazy Booksellers – Author Interview #3
7/3   My Book Fix Blog — Review
7/4   StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #4
7/5   Hall Ways Blog – Review

 

 
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The Burning by D.E.L. Connor

The Burning
Spirit Warriors Book 3 
by D.E.L. Connor
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Coming of Age
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Date of Publication: September 21, 2015
# of pages: 357

In the third book of D.E.L. Connor’s magical coming of age Spirit Warriors series, Emmeline and her friends find themselves still reeling from the loss and pain caused by the evil spirit, machayiwiw- but the danger is far from over. As Emme, Charlie, Bets, Ollie, Jack and their beloved Spirit Animals prepare for the final battle against the machayiwiw, Emme struggles with a battle within her own heart. She longs for the beauty and softness she feels around Charlie, but she can’t deny the burning passion that consumes her with Jack. Will she finally let Charlie go and give her heart to Jack? Enthralling and passionate, Spirit Warriors brings the vibrant American West to life once again and whispers its ancient secrets of love and friendship.

BUY LINKS
Praise for the books:

“There is something special about a book/series when you feel like you’ve come home to family/friends in the first chapter. That is how I feel when I begin each new book in this series. I find I care more about each character as the series progresses.” – Amazon Reviewer

“I have been a huge fan of this series. After the second book I wasn’t exactly sure how this one would develop. Hands down it is the best book of the series so far.” – Goodreads Reviewer

“The Concealing is one of the best books that I have read in a long time…You will fall head over heels in love with all of the characters and the plot as well in The Concealing.” – The Avid Reader

“I was glued to the book from the moment I began reading it and was sad when it ended, because it ended. I can very easily visualise this book as a film, the descriptions are detailed enough to make it a great opportunity for a film. Amazing.” — Cookie Book Reviews 

“A great young adult series along the formulaic values of the “Twilight” series. Also a wonderful book for adults who want to immerse themselves in a world full of youth and American Indian heritage.” — Respect the Books

Enter to win: a signed copy of 
The Concealing, Book 1 of the Spirit Warriors Series, 
a $25 Amazon Gift Card, and some Swag!

Della Connor (D.E.L. Connor) was born in South Dakota and raised in Southeastern Montana where she acquired a keen appreciation for Western and Native American culture. She moved to Texas as a young adult and acquired her honorary Texan status. She became a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner and eventually earned her PhD in nursing. She still works as a nurse educator and as a nurse practitioner. Her nights and weekends, however, are filled with her stories and books. Her first book, Spirit Warriors:The Concealing, was published by Booktrope Publishing in November of 2014. The second book in the series Spirit Warriors: The Scarring published on July 21, 2014 and Spirit Warriors: The Burning rolled out on September 21, 2015.The Spirit Warriors story evolved from a short story she wrote for a college English class in the early 1990s. The professor read it, loved it and asked her to stay after class and discuss it. During this discussion, he told her that a “dark” story like hers, which was written for older children, would be unmarketable and unsaleable. The story kept floating around in her mind. Finally, J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyers and others stepped forward with amazing “dark” stories to create a new genre called Young Adult. The time was finally right for her book. She wrote book 1 in two weeks. It took another year and a half and about a 150 queries all with a “not interested” for her to find a publisher.

Review

If I’m to be brutally honest, it took me several chapters to find a comfortable reading rhythm with this book. That’s not to say that Connor’s writing is lacking in some way, but rather a testament to just how intricate the storyline is. I can only imagine just how much happened in the first two books. There are historic flashbacks, premonitions, and soul flinging amidst the already riveting plot lines. Embarrassingly, it took me a few re-reads to realize that a character was an animal instead of a human. And trying to figure out which animal went to who made me slow down for a few chapters. You would think that a girl who watched shows like Voltron and Pokemon as a kid would have a better handle on this.

The characters are beautifully written, but I wish there was more explanation about the Charlie and Emme issue. (And how Jack falls into the equation, while we’re at it.) I know that this is book three, but I feel like things should be clearer in case someone didn’t read the other two. Connor does a fantastic job of filling in the backstory of Emme’s brother and mother, and especially Lilly. At the expense of sounding all Team Edward, Team Jacob, I wish I knew more about the love triangle.
Unless the other two books are pretty vague too, I would have liked to know more about the prophecies as well. What were the previous prophecies and were they fulfilled exactly as they imagined? Why does everyone seem to have a different version of this latest one? And are Emme’s nightmares explained in the other books?
Because I don’t know the Jack backstory much, the engagement while still in high school feels a bit meh to me. But I get it. Bella wanted to hurry up and marry Edward so he would turn her into a vampire already. Jack wants to marry Emme because they all think they’re going to die soon. I know that’s the literal case here, but I have to wonder if it can also be a metaphor for young adult emotions. Like, “I’m going to die if Brad doesn’t ask me to the prom” and “My life is so over because I didn’t get into Yale.”
Overall, this was definitely a fun read and unlike any Young Adult fantasy that I’ve read. (And I’ve read many!) I hope that you’ll pick up the rest of the books in the series too.
Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!
 

1/31       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books– Promo
2/1         My Book Fix Blog  – Promo

 

2/2         All for the Love of the Word – Guest Post

 

2/3         A Novel Reality – Promo
2/4         Missus Gonzo – Review
2/5         Books and Broomsticks – Promo
2/6         bookishjessp – Review
2/7         The Page Unbound – Author Interview
2/8         Because This is My Life Y’all – Review
2/9         Texas Book-aholic – Promo

 

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House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
 
presents
 
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
a novel
by
James Lee Burke
 
 
 
Title: HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
Author: James Lee Burke
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
# of pages: 448
 
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New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke returns with his latest masterpiece, the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance—and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.
 
From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance, and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.
 
After a violent encounter that leaves four Mexican soldiers dead, Hackberry escapes the country in possession of a stolen artifact, earning the ire of a bloodthirsty Austrian arms dealer who then places Hack’s son Ishmael squarely in the cross hairs of a plot to recapture his prize, believed to be the mythic cup of Christ.
 
Along the way, we meet three extraordinary women: Ruby Dansen, the Danish immigrant who is Ishmael’s mother and Hackberry’s one true love; Beatrice DeMolay, a brothel madam descended from the crusader knight who brought the shroud of Turin back from the Holy Land; and Maggie Bassett, one-time lover of the Sundance Kid, whose wiles rival those of Lady Macbeth. In her own way, each woman will aid Hackberry in his quest to reconcile with Ishmael, to vanquish their enemies, and to return the Grail to its rightful place.
 
House of the Rising Sun is James Lee Burke’s finest novel to date, and a thrilling entry into the Holland family saga that continued most recently with Wayfaring Stranger, which The New York Times Book Review described as “saturated with the romance of the past while mournfully attuned to the unholy menace of the present.”
 
Praise for the author
 
“The heavyweight champ, a great American novelist.” Michael Connelly
A classic saga of the American West from James Lee Burke
House of the Rising Sun
 
One of America’s most acclaimed and versatile novelists returns with a harrowing, historical epic featuring Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland. Starting in revolutionary Mexico circa 1918 and winding through seedy, gang-controlled San Antonio, Holland fights his way back to his Army captain son while protecting one of history’s most fabled artifacts.
“A gorgeous prose stylist.” —Stephen King
“The reigning champ of nostalgia noir.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
Review
With my busy schedule, I’m embarrassed to admit that I prefer books that jump right to the meat and potatoes. James Lee Burke serves you a fancy multi-course meal. He is truly an artist that wraps you up in his beautiful descriptions and realistic characters. After dragging my heels through the first few courses, Burke grabbed me by the eyeballs and wouldn’t let go. Even as I tried to rest my eyes for the night, my mind spun with questions that wouldn’t be answered until I finished the book. What did Hack do to his son that was so unforgivable? What does the Cup of Christ have anything to do with all of this?
While the supporting characters are irritated by Hack, I actually loved the guy. I liked his understated sarcasm and wit. I liked even more that Ruby, who you would think would be a simple woman, calls him out on his encyclopedic knowledge used to abuse people. Burke is very Tarentino-esque with his strong and crafty female characters. As interesting as the Hack, Arnold, and Andre characters were, I was more interested in what made Ruby, Maggie, and Beatrice tick. As intelligent and strong as the men were, they were often bested by the women.
I haven’t said this about any other book on tour, but I could see this one as a movie *ahem, Tarantino*.
 

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

 
 
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