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!

Who Are Your Heroes?

 

Fallen Heroes

A confluence of events has caused me to reflect on this question. The first is the posting on social media by a very dear friend of photos of soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, policemen, and firefighters who have died in the performance of their duties. The second was a speech given this past Monday at the weekly luncheon at Aggie Park in San Antonio by the Fifth Army North Commander, LTG Jeffrey S. Buchanan, where he addressed this very question. Third is the upcoming gathering of Texas A&M University alumni to honor those Aggies who have died this past year. And last, though I don’t have an exact release date, is the publication of my most recent book, Tarnished Brass, and my inclusion of a section entitled “In Memoriam.”

The social media postings honor individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Their photos are poignant reminders that service to country, whether in the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, or as Firefighters often comes at a very high cost. These men and women are the very embodiment of heroism. Their conduct reflects great courage, superior character and integrity in a noble cause greater than self, and it cost them their lives.

In his own way General Buchanan echoed these sentiments by relating the story of a subordinate officer who served with the general in various assignments throughout his career including multiple deployments in Iraq where he was severely injured by an IED, and in Afghanistan where he lost his life. The general wears a wrist band in his memory.

The Muster tradition, an annual gathering of fellow Texas Aggies that dates back to 1883, has evolved over the years from just celebrating college memories to honoring those Aggies no longer able to attend the ceremony due to their passing. Normally held on April 21st in remembrance of Texas Independence and San Jacinto Day, this year’s event at the San Antonio A&M Club will take place April 22nd. April 21st is Easter Sunday.

National recognition of Muster hearkens back to April 21, 1942 and the Second World War when a roll call of the twenty-seven Aggies serving in the Philippines on the small island of Corregidor was held. All would either be killed or captured by Japanese forces, but their solidarity in the face of overwhelming odds heartened the nation’s will to persevere.

On April 21, 1946 the memory of those twenty-seven Aggies was honored in a ceremony on Corregador at the Malinta Tunnel, and the tradition of remembrance has continued ever since. Aggies gather together wherever they are in the world, read aloud the names of the departed, and answer on their behalf… “Here.”

It is the solemnity of making that declaration that leads to me to my final thought before my book comes out. Tarnished Brass is a work of fiction but the war and many of the characters included in the novella are real. At the end I pay tribute to two of those individuals:

Lieutenant Colonel, James M. Basile, U.S. Air Force, served as the Deputy Commander, U.S. MilGroup, San Salvador during the years covered in the book. More importantly, he was my friend who I both admired and loved as a brother-in-arms. He was killed in a helicopter crash July 16, 1987 at age 43.

I also had the honor of serving under General John R. Galvin, who was the Commander, USSOUTHCOM during the three years that I was assigned to the J3. He passed away after a distinguished career September 25, 2015 at age 86.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency within our society to equate heroes with sports figures, celebrities, wealth and power. When asked, the average person will name their favorite football, baseball or basketball player as their hero. Those not into sports might name a famous pop icon, television or movie star. However, though fame and fortune may keep these individuals in the public spotlight, their notoriety does not constitute heroism and their designation as heroes does a disservice to those who have given their all in service to others.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re asked the question, “Who Are Your Heroes?”