Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassToday has been a quiet day following the conclusion of my recent book blog tour with Lone Star Literary Life. However, though the tour has ended, the Giveaway continues. If you have not already done so, register at Rafflecopter.com for a chance at winning. Unlike most raffles, there is no ticket to buy or donation required. Just sign up. You might be the lucky winner!

The Giveaway will run today through November 7th, but don’t delay. Sign up now!

Each day to its conclusion, I’m re-posting the book reviews in their entirety. Here is the review from Kristine Hall that kicked off the tour:

Four Stars

Tarnished Brass is a novella that comes in at around a hundred pages of story, but author Max L. Knight fits in an incredible amount of information. The book not only informs readers about events of the past, it also reminds readers of the far-reaching effects of war, even decades later, even across oceans.

While I was happily navigating high school and college through the eighties, like most kids in that stage of life, I was oblivious to what was happening in El Salvador (and most of the world outside my bubble). I lived a safe and privileged life while El Salvador lost the decade as a war-torn country plagued by fighting factions – one of them aided by funding, training, and weapons courtesy of the United States.

The archbishop urgently petitioned those in power to alter course.

“In the name of God and this suffering population, whose cries reach to the heavens more tumultuous each day…cease the repression.”

His words were met by a sniper’s bullet to the heart.

Many of the chapters in Tarnished Brass are filled primarily with historical information that gives readers facts about the political and military climate and the war’s ever-worsening impact on the Salvadorans. The only pause in El Salvador’s war was when an earthquake interrupted it and displaced hundreds of thousands of people who were already suffering. Knight does a good job of keeping the plight of the poor as a constant thread running through all the chapters. The poor never win in war — or in times of peace. The strength of the book is in Knight’s world-building: the poverty, the destruction, the darkness of El Salvador.

Tarnished Brass is well-written and cleanly edited, and its contents are engaging. The structure of the book is unique, vacillating between storytelling and fact-telling. There are chapters that give readers insight into the lives of the three main characters, but none of the characters are ever fully fleshed-out or given much depth. (The exception was a chapter dedicated to the psychological profile of a side-character, Diana, which was profoundly sad and fascinating.) There are other chapters in which the purpose is solely to inform, and only a few sentences, either at the beginning or the end, tie in one of the story’s characters to the scene. The story of Tarnished Brass is the war; the characters within are somewhat peripheral but do serve to soften the edges of what could easily convert to a nonfiction piece.

I was most appreciative that the author not only included a glossary of military terminology, but he tells readers first thing that it’s at the back of the book. (I never think to look first.) While it is most helpful for those of us not in-the-know, the book is still full of military acronyms and jargon that are defined once and used often – and I found myself flipping back to figure out what was what and who was who. Those who are students of history and politics and military ops won’t have any issues and will probably enjoy that the book has a more factual, less fictional slant.

As a more informed, but still ridiculously under-informed adult, reading Tarnished Brass helped me tie current headlines to the past. It was particularly interesting to learn the origins of MS-13, the now international criminal gang that started as a group to protect Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles. Following character Antonio’s grim but realistic story was eye-opening and the most powerful of the stories in Tarnished Brass. It was in Antonio’s story that I saw glimpses of Knight’s storytelling and characterization prowess that he showed in Palo Duro.

Tarnished Brass educates readers of not only an important piece of world history, but also the impact of the United States’s foreign policy, then and now. Intelligently written, Tarnished Brass is a quick way to get informed while also fulfilling a reader’s need to escape into fiction.

Day Five: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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Today’s two tour stops offer additional reviews of Tarnished Brass that highlight its forgotten history and continuing relevance today.

Storeybook Reviews writes “this book shines a light on an event most of us probably weren’t even aware of,” while Reading by Moonlight comments on its connection to current events. “Even though these events are delegated to the past, this story is timely in the current political and societal landscape in both Central America and the United States. 

Both reviews highlight the mantra under which I write, Our Past is Prologue. 

This is the last featured post on the tour, though the Giveaway will continue for another five days. Be sure to sign up with Rafflecopter.com for your chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

My thanks to all of you who have followed my posts these past five days, and my sincere appreciation to the professionals at Lone Star Literary Life who participated in the tour.

 

Day Four: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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The tour continues today with a Playlist of songs that were popular during the period represented in the book and another blogger review.

The Clueless Gent showcases the Spotify Playlist. These songs and artists were taken from Billboard’s Top 100 lists for 1984-1986. All are characteristic of the era, and two of the songs are actually featured in the novella; Sade’s He’s a Smooth Operator, and Glen Frey’s The Heat is On from the hit movie Beverly Hills Cop

Today’s book review is from Forgotten Winds  who writes “Tarnished Brass is a good reminder that even the smallest of wars have their long-lasting impacts and should be remembered, written about, and most importantly read about to remind us of our collective history.”

My thanks go out to both of these bloggers for their contributions to the tour. Be sure to not only click on these links to read their full posts, but also consider following them for future comments on books and other topics.

Day Three: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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I apologize for the delay in posting to my blog today. It must be Halloween because the ghouls and goblins have definitely wreaked havoc with my site. There are still a few glitches that aren’t fixed but the spirits aren’t cooperating on All Hallows’ Eve, so bear with me!

Today is day three of the five-day book blog tour and features a Scrapbook Page and a second review of Tarnished Brass.

Missus Gonzo hosts the Scrapbook Page, a compilation of photos taken in El Salvador during my last trip in-country in 2013. These photos with captions relate to the various themes in my book; the influence of Catholicism and Liberation Theology, the predominant landscape in this Central American country, the former guerrilla faction and current political party – the FMLN, and the impoverished conditions that sparked this ten-year civil war.

NOTE: Oops… the captions on the first two photos somehow got reversed, but I’m working to get that corrected. Nothing you can’t transpose for yourselves in the meantime!

Librariel Book Adventures provides another take on Tarnished Brass pointing out that it should definitely resonate with anyone who appreciates historical fiction, especially a novella that can be read and enjoyed quickly.

I certainly appreciate the time spent reading and commenting on my book. Hopefully it will encourage readers to pick up a copy and find out for themselves what transpired over thirty years ago in a war few remember.

NOTE: The spelling error on the banner did get fixed. Did anyone catch that besides my fellow bloggers? Sometimes your mind lets you read what you think you wrote. Guess that’s why there are editors!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Day Two: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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Today That’s What She’s Reading is host to my author interview. Subjects covered in the interview include why I chose to write the book, the significance of the title, why I thought that a glossary was needed, the character that is most like me, why I  gave voice to all factions involved in the war, the hardest part of writing the book, and why I selected the Short Fiction format to tell the story.

Today also marks the first of several reviews during the five-day tour. Hall Ways Blog offers a very thorough and comprehensive analysis of the book that readers will find both informative and helpful in deciding whether to add Tarnished Brass to their reading list.

Be sure to click on the links to each of these bloggers and don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway. Oh, and should you decide to pick up a copy of the book, there are also purchase links to several online retail sites.

I certainly hope that you do!

 

Day One: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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It’s happening! Today begins the five-day run by Lone Star Literary Life featuring my latest book, Tarnished Brass.

All the Ups and Downs hosts the Promo featuring a synopsis of the novella and links to the Giveaway – a $25.00 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book. In the days ahead look for blogger reviews, music associated with the historical period, photos from El Salvador representing the book’s three story lines (war, the desperation that lay behind the flight of families looking for a better life, and the rise of gang violence), and an author interview with insights into the book’s genesis.

Chapter Break Book Blog offers an excerpt from the book that deals with a mother’s plea for her son to avoid allegiance to the violent street gang MS-13, and his anguished rationale for rejecting her appeal.

Join the tour. Follow these great bloggers, be sure to provide your feedback, and don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!

 

Sunday Newsletter

For those of you who perhaps looked for my usual weekly post earlier this weekend, I’ve just returned from a much needed vacation with my wife to Ogunquit, Maine. What a glorious time to see the Fall colors which are noticeably absent here in Texas. If you’ve never been to New England this time of year, I highly recommend you make the trip. Beautiful scenery, lighthouses, and the nation’s early history await you.

The other reason I delayed my blog post until today is the release of Lone Star Literary Life’s Sunday newsletter which features my book Tarnished Brass. The book blog tour kicks off Tuesday, October 29th, and will include multiple reviews, an author interview, an excerpt from the book, as well as photos and music related to the story. I encourage readers to follow the tour at LSLL, on individual blogger platforms, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Pinterest, and to provide feedback as the tour progresses.

I look forward to your comments and hope to interact with you to make this tour a success. I also encourage you to sign up for the giveaway. The winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of my book.

Good luck!