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Posts Tagged ‘Leigh Verrill-Rhys’

While watching a retrospective on the American film maker, Ken Burns, the commentator announced that Burns was soon to release a new documentary about the Vietnam War. After seeing a short heartbreaking clip, I thought about the 50,000+ American soldiers (many of them drafted) who lost their lives in a foreign war the U.S. inherited from the French who originally colonized this southeast Asian country.

Ken Burns’s, The Vietnam War, recently shown on PBS, brought back the images that were so much a part of my childhood, many of them indelible—the sort of images that you can never erase but you wish you had never seen.

I admit I don’t know much of the history and have not researched the politics surrounding the decision to send our troops into this small country. I have read only a few books about this war and seen even fewer films. The experience of the war for me, as a girl who had just lost her own father, is still raw and painful.

My Vietnamese and Cambodian friends are too young to have experienced the war itself. Of course, its aftermath affected their futures in many ways, most are now American citizens, arriving as children with their parents as refugees, establishing new lives and professions, raising families.

Today, my featured book is the book I most often recommend about this seemingly endless war written by John Podlaski—a drafted Vietnam War Veteran, a “cherry”—from his own experiences. Below is the full description of the book:

“When a soldier leaves for war, those left behind often wonder what their loved ones are experiencing. Letters home are always cheerful and vague – no sense in worrying the family. Then upon returning home, these young soldiers do not want to talk about their experiences. Family and friends allege they are now distant, changed, and not the same person they remember from several months earlier. What causes this?

“Although the backdrop for this novel is the Vietnam War, ‘Cherries’ exist in every war. They are the young ‘Newbie’ soldiers, who are trained for war. However, most are not ready to absorb the harsh physical, mental and emotional stress of war. Once they come under fire and witness death firsthand, a life-changing transition begins. This eye-opening account offers readers an in-depth look into the everyday struggles of these young infantry soldiers. You’ll feel their fear, awe, drama, and sorrow, witness the bravery and sometimes laugh at their humor.

“No two war experiences are the same, but after finishing Cherries – A Vietnam War Novel, readers will have a much better understanding as to why these changes occur and why our military heroes are different upon their return home. Veterans will relate!

“Parental Rating: This book contains content that may not be suitable for young readers 17 and under.

“Author’s statement: While Cherries is largely a work of fiction, many of the events and anecdotes described in the novel were based on the actual experiences of the author. The places and units mentioned were real and did exist. All characters portrayed are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events, and locales, are entirely coincidental.

“Award: Finalist in Sixth International Literary Awards at Washington State College, 1986 (titled The Ingenuous Soldier).”

Another of John Podlaski’s novels is When Can I Stop Running, reviewed on VVA Books. John is a Goodreads author.

When you see a Vietnam veteran, please say “Welcome Home, thank you for your service.” These “Cherries” deserved better than they received.

Welcome home, John! Thank you for your service and your willingness to write about your experience.

— Leigh Verrill-Rhys

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In case this is news, we had a power outage in San Francisco today. The first I heard of it was a phone call to my office on the south side of Market Street. I heard the police and news helicopters most of the morning but that is not unusual in this city. Our building security kept an eye on the streets and from what I’ve since heard on the national news, fourteen neighborhoods—from the Financial District to the Marina—were affected.

I left my office shortly after noon, walking along Montgomery Street to Sutter, back along Kearny and up the north side of Market. All shops, building and restaurants were closed. All traffic lights were out.

Happily, I am able to report that San Franciscans behave well in a crisis. Drivers followed the basic rules of stopping at every intersection, moving forward when the box was clear. Pedestrians crossed in crosswalks without risk—pedestrians have the right of way in CA and today that law was actually followed.

I heard laughter, saw kindness and courtesy, patience was the operative word. BART engineers set up generators, the Municipal Transit Agency directed traffic and our wonderful Police Department kept everyone safe.

Even late in the afternoon, most of the business sections of the city were still shut down. And yet, civility reigned.

Thank you, San Franciscans, tourists, shoppers and commuters!

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Humor-Social Commentary/Contemporary

As you’ve probably guessed, Linton Robinson is one of my favorite go-to authors for humor, particularly male humor. Call me whatever you like but Lin’s humor makes me laugh. It’s ironic, twisted, often self-deprecating and always ROFL funny. My favorite line is “Have they ruled out suicide?” (You’ll have to read Sweet Spot to get that one.)

This week I’m featuring The Way of the Weekend Warrior, a sardonic look at the world of the wayward journalist, gone rogue and a whole lot of other things.

I am enthralled by Lin’s humor, caustic wit, sarcasm, insights and social commentary. He sees the world for what it is, full of people who have no business pretending they are anything other than—well, you be the judge. But remember, we’re in the same boat.

The Way of the Weekend Warrior is available on Amazon, in Kindle or Paperback.

 

 

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Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance
Size Matters, By J. L. Salter
 
Size does matter, when you’re only a foot tall.
  
Concept:
Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin, Emma Hobby shrinks to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those unsettling messages he left). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than her case? 
 
Blurb:
Emma Hobby mistakenly takes a pill from a bottle mailed her by her eccentric/brilliant cousin — and it reduces her to eleven inches tall. Now she’s eye to eye with the Cyndi dolls she lovingly collects and sells in her shop.
Nobody – not even her best friend – believes her, so Emma takes another pill to see if it happens again. It DOES! This time she has a witness (Vickilee), who records things as they happen… and establishes a partial timetable.
Now that she thinks she knows what happens and when, can Emma use these pills somehow to help rescue her cousin, who left those unsettling messages? And will that handsome attorney she’s almost dating help her efforts? Or will Logan Stride just get in her way?
 Size Matters. Novel, $1.99. Size Matters

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Historical Inspirational

Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Cover Image Borrowed LightThis book was among seven nominated for the RWA’s Rita Award in 2012. I’m including Borrowed Light in my featured books because I so often recall characters and scenes from the book.  For instance, Paul Otto, the hero of the story, is the son of a settler’s orphaned daughter and a warrior of the tribe that rescues her. Julia Darling, the heroine, is a graduate of  Fannie Farmer’s Cooking School. Mr. Otto, as he is known throughout the book, is a Wyoming rancher in need of a good cook for his cowboys.

Another character in the book is inanimate and, though I am not a cook, fascinated me as much as the four ranch hands: the Queen Atlantic stove which attracts Julia to the isolated ranch in the first place. Drawing Mr. Otto and Julia together is their shared faith. Kelly does justice to her own faith, the Church of Latter Day Saints, with clarity and simplicity for non-LDS readers.

Borrowed Light is published by Bonneville Books (cedarfort.com).

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Medieval Romance 

JUSTICE: Book 1, Pendyffryn: The Inheritors

Book Cover Image - Justice by Lily DewaruileJustice. Hard won. Easily lost.

To prepare his daughter, Tanglwys, for a future without his protection, Meinor Hedydd contracts with Gwennan Pendyffryn to take her as an apprentice in the Invader’s Gaer household to learn skills that will be of use to others and a source of income for her. The presence of another dependent fostered child affects Gwennan’s stepson, Marshal deFreveille, in a way that is not entirely unwelcome as he begins his own training to become a soldier in his father’s army.

After the death of her father, Tanglwys is forced to leave the Gaer to help her mother but continues her work with the apothecary to cultivate medicinal herbs that will save other soldiers’ lives.

From the beginning of their acquaintance, Tanglwys and Marshal face hatred and intolerance. A fateful encounter at the river sparks more than his protective inclination toward her, but when Marshal disciplines her brother and his friends for tormenting Tanglwys, their budding friendship falters.  Punishes

Her brother’s resentment and loathing for the Invader’s son are fierce. His violence toward his sister for causing the incident leads to his demotion to the lowest ranks of soldiery. In fear of her brother and her mother’s continuing hatred for the Invader, Tanglwys denies her growing admiration for Marshal but he has another future in mind for them.

Justice is available on Kindle, Nook, and on the iBookstore as well as in paperback.

 

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Book Cover Image The WayChristian Fantasy

A boy alone in an ancient forest always forbidden for him to enter or even go near. Now there is no choice as all that lies behind him are the broken dreams and shattered bodies of his people set ablaze in the night all because they refused to bow to tyranny. His nation gone, it’s up to him to survive or perish in the night as the case may be easily enough. Nothing is for sure in a forest where even the trees go to war.

The Way – is a story of High Christian Fantasy that reveals truth. Evil is evil and all that is good is under a never ending assault to be polluted by that which is diametrically opposed to the ways of Eloah, the Most High, the Creator of everything. Expect to be led on a journey that reveals what it’s like to be a warrior cast into the epic struggle of Good vs Evil.

The Way is available for Kindle and Nook as well as at other online book outlets.

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