Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassOnly two more days remain to sign up with Rafflecopter to win this Giveaway. Are you a fan of Historical Fiction? Is there someone in your family circle or perhaps a friend who is? Tarnished Brass can definitely fill either need. Enjoy it yourself or gift it to someone else during the upcoming holidays. Oh, and there’s also a $25.00 Amazon gift card… this is a win, win! No entry fee or purchase required. Enter today. What’s the saying? “You can’t win it if you’re not in it.”

The book blog tour may be over, but here is the link to the Lone Star Literary Life tour page with direct links to reviews and other special features.

In conjunction with the Giveaway, I’m also re-posting the reviews in their entirety (one everyday.) Here is the review from Leslie Storey:

This novella packs a punch when it comes to covering the war in El Salvador.

While the story is fiction it is based on real events in the 80s into the early 90s.  From the guerrilla warfare, the corrupt governments, and even some human interest when it comes to refugees, this book shines a light on an event most of us probably weren’t even aware of – assuming you are old enough to remember that time period!

I was enthralled with this story as events unfolded and gave us a picture of what this country looked like in the 80s.  I felt like the author did an outstanding job of sharing facts of this war along with military terminology so that I felt like I might have been there as an observer.  But at the same time, some of these stories were heartbreaking when it came to those escaping to the USA for a chance at a better life, yet not finding one.  Or the young boy that turned to gangs to fill a void that he felt needed to be filled.  Or the priests in the Catholic Church that lose their life because they dare to stand up to the factions.  Patrick, who is in the US military, gets too close to the situation and luckily escapes before his luck runs out.

War is brutal and I cannot imagine living in a country that is torn apart by mercenaries or guerrillas on a daily basis.  When reading a book like this it makes me appreciate what I have and where I live even more.  Thank you to Max for sharing his knowledge and experiences with us in this book.

We give this 5 paws up.

 

 

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished Brass

There are only three days remaining to sign up with Rafflecopter for a chance to win the Giveaway for my latest book Tarnished Brass. Get involved… it doesn’t cost you anything and you just might the one to receive a signed copy of the novella and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. So don’t delay. Time is running out!

In conjunction with the Giveaway I’m re-posting reviews (one everyday in their entirety) from the recent book blog tour at Lone Star Literary Life. Here is the review by Christena Stephens:

 

 

Five-Stars

“No matter the good intentions of the participants, wars were never fought cleanly. Ideals are both noble and peaceful, but in their actual execute, wars are sordid and violent.”

Did you know a civil war occurred in the small country of El Salvador from 1980 to 1992? I came by my knowledge of this civil war while working on a historical research project. I had visited St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Prioress and other nuns had gone on a Pilgrimage Commemoration to El Salvador in 2011.  An archbishop had been assassinated and nuns were raped and murdered. Photos and first-hand accounts are how I came to know about the war from the Prioress. The nuns still consider that war as a war mainly against women.

Max L. Knight’s book, Tarnished Brass, vividly and succinctly explores the twelve-year El Salvador civil war in a fictional novella narrative woven around actual events. Max writes about this civil war from perspectives from both the U.S. military side, El Salvador citizens, and El Salvador military. The war story is encapsulated enough with the variety of character viewpoints that you get what the civil war did to its people during the war and the aftermath of that war. As a reader, you are also reminded about the Iran-Contra scandal surrounding Major Oliver North. Tarnished Brass also brilliantly alludes to the violence against women in select chapters that Max writes about regarding Diana, Nidia, and Maria.

You get the sense through Max’s writing that deep-down, El Salvador at its heart is a beautiful country. It is just torn apart by the corruptness and greed of those who either want power or are in power. Another harsh reality is that no matter how much money the U.S. sank into the small country it did not help El Salvador’s citizens but it helped El Salvador’s military.

Tarnished Brass packs a lot within a small volume that will give readers insights into this war, the political atmosphere, and the aftermath of this war. Now I understand more clearly the courage of the four nuns from Fort Smith to journey to El Salvador. 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.

As a side note… Have you been to a country where armed guards stood outside the doors of buildings as you entered? I have and it was quite disconcerting at first. I soon realized that the guards were there for my and other’s protection. Tarnished Brass brought back intense memories towards the end of this book of my time in a small country. Now I understand in my naivety that there is more than one country that has armed security details at businesses to protect their citizens.

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassThere are only four days remaining to sign up with Rafflecopter to win the Giveaway for my latest book Tarnished Brass. Although I certainly hope that you’ll buy a copy of the book, there is no purchase necessary to enter for a chance at winning a signed copy of the novella and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. So don’t delay. Sign up today!

In conjunction with the Giveaway I’m re-posting reviews (one everyday in their entirety) from the recent book blog tour at Lone Star Literary Life. Here is the review by Ariel Hess:

Five-Stars

This historical novella focuses on El Salvador’s Civil War from 1980 to 1992 due to a disparity of wealth between the ruling oligarchy. The novella begins with Retired US Army Lieutenant Patrick Michael Moynihan thirty years after the end of the Civil War. Patrick is reflecting on his time and involvement in the El Salvador Civil War and the outcomes that arose because of it. He also reflects on the state of the small country currently, noting changes, constants, and the effects of the war that are still prominent. The small country occupants outside the royal family had been subjected to a lifestyle similar to indentured servitude where they did not have necessities such as clean water.

The author dives into the components of this war in a way that allows the reader to be captured from the beginning. He tells the story of the Civil War from the perspective of a retired Army Lieutenant, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee. Of all the perspectives the one that was the most impactful was the one of Antonio Cruz. Who immigrated to the US from El Salvador after the passing of his Father. He and his mother immigrated to the US assuming it would be better but their journey was anything but easy. Antonio’s life changed after moving to the US leading to the beginning of a prominent gang that is still popular today, MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha).

I was completely entranced from the moment I started reading this historical fiction novel. I greatly enjoyed the amount of detail and explanation used. I could tell the author did his research. Knight uses foreshadowing to explain key components of the war throughout this novella. He explains the constant social issues associated with a county in war with itself. I studied History during my undergraduate career and this book was both interesting and informative. The material flows well and the stories transition in a way that allows the reader to be involved. The author connects each character during the development process by continuing to build on the existing story.

I highly recommend this novel for anyone interested in a quick historical novella.

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

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

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

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!