Day Four: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

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

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

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

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

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

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

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!

Broken Treaties

National Historic Trail

History records countless instances of broken treaties and forced relocation of Native Americans as the result of westward expansion. My novel of the Southern Plains Indian Wars, Palo Duro, begins with the negotiations at Medicine Lodge Creek whereat the U.S. government altered the terms of the Little Arkansas Treaty signed just two years prior.

Under the provisions of the new treaties (there would be three in all) the Kiowa, the Apache and the Comanche were required to give up more than 60,000 square miles of their land in the Texas Panhandle in exchange for a reservation in Indian Territory, and the parts of Kansas and Indian Territory previously set aside for the Southern Cheyenne and the Arapahoe were also cut in half. 

Earlier in the 1830s the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek, and Cherokee (known collectively as the Five Civilized Tribes) had also been forced from their ancestral lands in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida, and relocated west of the Mississippi to Indian Territory. Thousands died along the way, and the journey became known as the Trail of Tears.

Although the sovereignty of the Indian nations would be affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Worcester vs. Georgia (1832), the demand for more land by white settlers led to the “Indian Removal Act” of 1830. The Act required the U.S. government to negotiate with the tribes in good faith. However the spirit of the law was frequently ignored, and by the 1840s thousands of Native Americans had been driven off their land in the Southeastern United States and force marched to present-day Oklahoma. The Choctaw became the first nation to be forcibly expelled. This tribe was followed by the Creeks. The last to go were the Cherokee.

By 1838 only about 2,000 of the estimated 16,000 Cherokee had “voluntarily” left their homeland. The U.S. Army under General Winfield Scott was authorized to expedite the removal of the holdouts. It is estimated that somewhere between 5,000-8,000  perished from disease and starvation as they made their way westward.

The promises of an unmolested new home for those that survived also failed to materialize. Indian Territory shrank as more and more white settlers encroached on these lands, and when Oklahoma became a state in 1907 the guarantee of this new homeland was gone for good.

Over a hundred years later, on August 23rd 2019, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation announced that the tribe would appoint its first delegate to the House of Representatives. The prospect of a sitting congressional representative is historic. While the tribe’s delegate will lack a chamber vote, for the very first time a Cherokee will sit on House committees (e.g., Appropriations, Ways and Means, etc.) which will provide the Cherokee Nation with direct access to members of Congress who do possess voting power.

What remains uncertain is whether the United States government will honor long standing treaty rights. The provision authorizing representation is contained in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota. Only now has the Cherokee Nation obtained sufficient economic and political clout to move forward, but it remains to be seen whether the treaty will be contested. Treaties negotiated with sovereign nations do not expire, but if history is any indication, those applying to Native Americans can certainly be ignored.

The last chapter in the Southern Plains Indians’ struggle ended much as the first chapter began – in broken promises.

Hopefully the Cherokee Nation and its new delegate to the House of Representatives will write not just a new chapter in Native American history, but one that expresses hope for their future.

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Blog

2019 marks the 125th anniversary of Labor Day as a national holiday. Although Oregon was the first state to recognize it as an official public holiday in 1887, it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1894.

Dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker, two men have been credited with proposing the observance – Matthew Maguire, the Secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York, and Peter J. McGuire, Vice President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio. Both organizations would later merge to become the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States.

The manner of observance has changed over the years. The initial proposal did specify that the first Monday in September be set aside for the celebration, and recommended that it begin with a street parade to show the public “the strength and espirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.” The parade was to be followed by a festival “for the recreation and amusement of workers and their families.”

Today, mass displays and parades have given way to emphasis on individual leisure time. The holiday marks the “unofficial end of summer.” School and sports activities begin at this time. Labor Day Weekend is the first three-day holiday of the school calendar year, and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) typically plays their first games throughout the three-day weekend. In the world of fashion, Labor Day has long been considered the last acceptable day to wear white, beaches and barbecues are synonymous with the holiday, and shoppers flock to department stores or shop online for items (especially back-to-school supplies, clothing, and shoes for school age children) at discounted prices.

What we tend to forget or take for granted, however, are the advances in workers’ rights… eight hour workdays, two-day weekends, paid holidays, minimum wages, the elimination of child labor, and the duty of the state to regulate labor conditions.

None of these advances would have been possible without the efforts of those who organized and championed better working conditions beginning in the latter part of the 19th century and continuing into the present time.