Happy New Year!

2019 will be a busy and exciting literary year for me.

9ab95-lonestarbookblogtours2bsmIt begins with my continuing association with Lone Star Literary Life and the periodic use of this forum to assist them in promoting Texas authors and their work. Currently featured on the Lone Star Blog Tour is the YA Action-Adventure book Einstein’s Compass by Grace Blair and Laren Bright. Targeted at readers age 12-18, it imaginatively takes a look at a young Albert Einstein, time travel and spiritual exploration to explain how he arrived at his groundbreaking theory of relativity. Look for an excerpt from the book January 7th.

Also arriving the early part of 2019 is my own book release! Tarnished Brass looks at America’s involvement in El Salvador throughout its civil war (1980-1992) and the aftermath of that bloody conflict. Twenty-six years later gang violence has replaced and even surpassed the brutality of both the Salvadoran military and the guerrilla factions during their prolonged struggle.

Loosely based on my own experiences in country, the story is told through the perspectives of a U.S. Army officer, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee turned gang member. By giving voice to all three, the novella looks not only at history but at the current crises. Today, El Salvador has one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the world, and the influence of MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) has spread beyond its borders to many cities in the United States.

Page Publishing LogoI do not have a release date yet, but I’m working closely with Page Publishing on both page and cover design and will post publication information to my blog as soon as it is available.

I wish everyone of my readers a very Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Presidential Libraries

 

Recently the nation watched as our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, was laid to rest in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University. As a graduate and former cadet I was especially proud to see the student body and citizens turn out along the route and witness the Corps of Cadets render honors as the hearse carrying the flag-draped coffin passed by.

The news coverage had me wondering which of our Presidents also located their libraries on college campuses. Surprisingly, there were only three; Lyndon B. Johnson (The University of Texas in Austin, Texas), Gerald R. Ford (The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan), and George W. Bush (Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas). *While the Gerald R. Ford library is located in Ann Arbor, the museum is a separate facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

These four are among the fourteen Presidential Libraries federally maintained and administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The facilities not only provide a broader understanding of the Office of the Presidency but information specific to the individuals who aspired to and achieved the highest office in America. They house their memos, letters, policy decisions and ceremonial/personal artifacts.

This formal Presidential Library System didn’t exist until 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated his belief that the historical records and artifacts associated with his presidency were a part of our national heritage and needed to be preserved for future generations of Americans. Prior to that time these items might have been sold, lost, deliberately destroyed, or subject to ruin because of poor storage conditions by other libraries or private collectors.

FDR was the first to raise private funding for the construction of a library and museum and ask the National Archives to be responsible for its administration upon completion. In 1950 President Truman followed suit, and in 1955 Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act establishing privately funded and federally maintained libraries.

Because the facilities are built with private funding each President is allowed to choose the location. Additionally, up until President Reagan’s administration, access to and inclusion of personal property was at the discretion of the former President. Since then any records created or received in conjunction with constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties are considered property of the United States government.

For further information on all fourteen Presidential Libraries I recommend visiting the official website at:     https://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries

Finally, this post comes just before the holidays so I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!