Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visit Blogs Of "WOTWSOTR" Authors For Chance To Win Prizes

The contributing authors of the Alternative Read anthology, "Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road," are offering a chance to win prizes for visiting their blog sites and leaving comments...thru Dec. 22. Look for the holiday hat logos on the book covers on each author's site (note: you'll have to click on my November 2011 archive button to the right to find my holiday hat logo and blog). The grand prize is a Free Kindle. Instructions on how to win that are at the bottom of this post. Here is a list of the writers and what you can win:

Holiday Hat Book Cover #1
28th Nov -- Sassy Brit - opens the tour
This is where it starts!
The Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road
Book Tour and Treasure Hunt #1
Leave a comment on the AR blog for a chance to win
the book prize

Holiday Hat Book Cover #2
29th Nov -- Visit Editor Clayton Bye for day 2 of the tour
Leave a comment on Clayton's blog
for a chance to win the book prizes.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #3
30th Nov -- Megan Johns Invites
you to meet the editors:
Leave a comment on Megan's blog
for a chance to win the prize!

Holiday Hat Book Cover #4
1st Dec --Megan Johns Invites
you to meet the authors:
Leave a comment on Megan's blog
for a chance to win the prize!

Holiday Hat Book Cover #5
2nd Dec -- Find the 5th Holiday Hat with John B. Rosenman
and win his book Dax Rigby War Correspondent while you are there
Leave a comment on John's blog
for a chance to win the book prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #6
5th Dec -- Angelika Devlyn is featured on Blossom and Thorn's blog -
To find out more about winning a copy of Black Ice
Go here and continue the hunt:
Leave a comment on Blossom and Thorn's blog
for a chance to win the book prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #7
6th Dec -- Find the 7th Holiday Hat Book cover and win
an angelic fantasy with Marion Web-De Sisto
Leave a comment on Marion's blog for a chance to win the book prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #8
7th Dec -- Win an Erotic Deception with Karen Cote'
Leave a comment on Karen's blog for a chance to win the book prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #9
8th Dec -- Win 2 copies of Kit St. Germain's Escape clause here: (leave comments of the AR blog for a chance to win books).

Holiday Hat Book Cover #10
9th - Dec -- Win $25 or equivalent with Tonya R. Moore
Leave a comment on Tonya's blog for a chance to win the $25 Amazon gift voucher prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #11
12th Dec -- Win a copy of Murder of an American Nazi with Tim Fleming
Leave a comment on Tim's blog for a chance to win the book prize.

Holiday Hat Book Cover #12
13th Dec -- Win a copy of erotic dark fantasy Black Ice with Angelika Devlyn
Leave a comment on Angelika's blog for a chance to win the book prize

Holiday Hat Book Cover #13
14th Dec -- Win a copy of Mike Brecon's book A Dangerous Remedy
Leave a comment on Mike's blog for a chance to win the book prize.

You have until 22nd Dec to leave a comment on each of these authors blogs to win their individual prizes.

For the KINDLE CONTEST- you have until 25th Dec to send all your answers - the urls to all the places
you've found the 'Holiday Hat book covers' to Sassy Brit here:

Full details of both contests are here:

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Meeting With The History Professor Who Doesn't Know His History--The Inspiration For My Short Story "The Barefoot Hero"

A few months back my wife retired from her position as a music professor at a local college. At her retirement party I struck up a conversation with a young history professor. Turns out he specializes in the history of southeast Asia. This was of particular interest to me because I consider myself something of an expert on the origins, purposes, and consequences of American involvement in the Vietnam War. I was excited to find a knowledgeable historian with whom I could share my views on the topic, and I looked forward to a stimulating discussion. The professor, however, soon blunted my enthusiasm. The more we talked, the more I realized he was the worst of all academicians--the history teacher who does not know his history.

When I mentioned that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which LBJ used as his excuse for an all-out troop commitment and irreversible escalation, was a hoax, the professor looked befuddled. When I named all the defense contractors (including Halliburton/KBR...yes, even back then Halliburton was making billions in blood money) that got obscenely rich off the war, his eyes narrowed and his expression told me, "So what?" And when I tried to explain to him that the point of the war was not to win it but to make it last as long as possible for American war profiteers to suck every last penny they could from it, the professor got indignant. He stammered and sputtered, "What gives you...on what basis...why..."

Before he could form a coherent sentence, I made a pre-emptive strike. "Take for instance the Battle for Hill 875. Certainly you're familiar with that," I gently goaded.

"The what...875th Hill...huh?" mumbled the professor.

"It took place in the Central Highlands near Dak To in November 1967. One of the bloodiest battles of the entire war. I've talked to survivors of it, and they have never shaken its horrors. To this day they have nightmares about it. The VC were entrenched on a large hill, called 875 by the American high command. The order came down to take the hill, but this was the VC's home turf and they would not be easily defeated. They knew jungle warfare and how to survive in it. The carnage went on for four days. The casualties were great. One suvivor remembered the hill running red with blood. It finally ended on Thanksgiving Day. The VC retreated and the hill belonged to the 173rd airborne brigade. What did American forces do with this hard-won hill? They abandoned it within a week. It held no strategic advantage. In other words, there had been no point to the entire battle. This sort of thing happened over and over in Vietnam. Battle after battle, won and lost, to no apparent end. The objective observer can only conclude that the war had no ultimate purpose other than to line the pockets of weapons makers and other defense contractors."

The professor was stunned for a moment, but he managed to recover and recite the refrain of the hopelessly misinformed, "We stopped communist aggression. If Vietnam had fallen who knows...the communists might have come to our shores. Better there than here."

"Ah...the old domino theory. Tell me you're not clinging to that; it's been discredited long ago...even by the most hawkish historians," I condescended. My patience with this neophyte had run out. "The fact is South Vietnam did fall, yet the communists did not take over the world. They got not closer than China. Not one nation in the western hemisphere fell after Vietnam."

The professor took a hearty swig of beer and looked away in resignation. I almost felt sorry for him. "Look," I offered, "It's okay not to know something, but you should at least be inquisitive...where's the curiosity to find out more? And please tell me you're not polluting those young, malleable minds in your history class. They deserve better than that. All of us deserve to know our real history."

With that, the young professor skulked away and made a point of avoiding me for the rest of the night.

In subsequent days, the remembrance of that encounter gnawed at me. The history professor's lack of intellectual curiosity appalled me. Rather than sit me down and grill me to find out more, he simply dismissed me as a crackpot. Were all American professors this way? Were they feeding their students disinformation? What the hell was really going on in collegiate classrooms? The study of history should be a diligent search for the truth about our past, not a lazy recitation of textbook prevarications.

I decided to do something about it--write a story that makes the causes and effects of the war more personal, more meaningful. "The Barefoot Hero" is my small way of setting the record straight.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Short Story Will Be Published In New Anthology

Publisher, editor and writer C.C. Bye came to me with an offer I could not resist. He told me, "I want to publish a book that's off-beat, wild, maybe a little dangerous. Give me a short story that fits this description." So I did. "The Barefoot Hero" is my take on what Vietnam did to my generation, the lost generation of the '60s, if you will. The publishers loved it, and have readied it and the other stories for a November release. The front and back cover design is posted here.

"Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road" will feature edgy, unconventional offerings of sci-fi, erotica, historical fiction, and more. More details to follow