Perhaps it was my medical training, but I enjoyed learning about Camp Bastion (later Camp Shorabak), British Army Base and state of the art medical facility and the largest military camp built overseas after World War II. The camp started in 2005 with just a few tents as a Tactical Landing Zone set up by two Royal Air Force Traffic Controllers. They were looking for a safe place to fly supplies for the troops who were to be sent to the southern province of Helmand, Afghanistan.
The camp’s first runway, operational in 2007, was capable of landing C-17’s direct from the United Kingdom. In 2011, the camp’s airfield and heliport handled up to 600 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft movements every day for combat, medical and logistics flights. A helicopter from Bastion could reach an injured soldier in less than 19 minutes. The most serious cases could be sent to the UK in less than 24 hours.
‘By the MEDEVAC helicopter, two figures in commando uniform strode towards the four Marines clustered around Tommy, carrying a collapsible stretcher. The MEDEVAC medic introduces herself as Corporal Bethany Welsh with the Camp Bastion’s Joint Forces Medical Group.’
Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
Camp Bastion housed 30 000 people and it even had its own Pizza Hut. The US Marines were housed in the area called Camp Leatherneck. Afghan security forces had their own compound, Camp Shorabak.
True to the historical facts, even Prince Harry makes a blitz apparition in Silent Heroes.
Camp Bastion’s Hospital (operational until 22 September 2014) was operated by (are you ready?) personnel of the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force of the Joint Force Medical Group and medical assets from the US Army. Their medical staff included Orthopaedic Surgeons, General Surgeons, Anaesthetists, Nurses and Medics. At Camp Bation’s Hospital were brought all the wounded military personnel from the British, US and other Nato-led security missions, ISAF, fighting in Helmand Province. This was the main place for treatment; from here they were further evacuated to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Of course, Afghan nationals were also treated at Camp Bastion’s Hospital, including the victims of accidental injuries and road traffic collisions – simply because Afghan state hospital had very little (if any) supplies and medics.
It is here that Rafik arrives in his journey through Silent Heroes, at Camp Bastion. Was he scared? Was he hurt? Will he make it further?
‘It was during this time that the British Army, part of IASF, built the first tents of what was to become Camp Bastion, Field Hospital, and MTF, Medical Treatment Facility, Helmand Territory, Southern Afghanistan. The first medical outpost was a tented construction, much like a scene out of M.A.S.H., minus Captain Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce mixing his very, very dry martinis, plus plenty of military and civilian casualties. It soon morphed into the most famous and busiest trauma hospital in the world. Nearly thirty thousand people, Marines, British soldiers, medical personnel and contractors were confined to an eight square miles area, a world completely separated from the country around them.’
Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
‘The room went on and on as the boy began to glide. His entire village could fit inside this colossal building, Rafik thought, his eyes darting around, his ears pounding with the beats of his own heart. The air had an acidic undertone and it soon made his nose dry, his tongue sticking to his cheeks. Along the walls, he noticed pictures with signs and lots of words. The largest one, green like the grass with four big bold white letters and the picture of a man running, he could read that one. His stomach fluttered. It said “exit”. That was the only sign he could read. Here and there paper pictures of smiling people and beautiful gardens. And light, lots of light inside, pouring through long rectangle-shaped windows in the ceiling.’
Rafik will journey further through Silent Heroes, past Camp Bastion. Where will the war carry him next, a child of only eight years old, like a leaf caught in a desert sandstorm? Come back to find out. Soon…
Are you in need of a gift idea for a child, a captivating YA or Sci-Fi for your teen, a romance or a Rom-com, a humorous book, poetry or memoir, a captivating historical novel, crime, contemporary fiction or maybe psychological horror? I hope you will find it in this hand-picked 25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas or Feed Your Kindle – celebrating engaging stories by talented authors. Christmas stocking fillers or a last-minute e-Book to feed your kindle are right here. The books on this list are written by gifted authors with vibrant personalities and talents that extend beyond these publications. Happy browsing and a happy holiday! Thank you for visiting.
In 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle. You can choose from:
Crime, contemporary fiction and psychological horror in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
Father Figure by James J. Cudney
Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, yearns to find her life’s true purpose. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed.
“I couldn’t put this book down It is such an enthralling read. The author, James J Cudney can certainly keep his readers on the edge of their seats.“
James John Cudney IV writes contemporary & mystery fiction: where family drama meets suspense. Find his books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Discover more on his author website. He is a great supporter of authors and can be reached on Twitter too.
Hunter’s Force by Val Penny
The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #3 Hunter by name – Hunter by nature. Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted? Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city? Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks? Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taut crime thriller.
“I truly enjoyed this suspense filled read. As a lover of mystery series, I am so looking forward to reading the first two books in the series; Hunter’s Chase #1, and Hunter’s Revenge #2. A great mystery with engaging characters, highly recommended!“
Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for by Patricia Furstenberg
Military Dogs would risk their lives for their humans in a heartbeat, but can soldiers do the same when personal struggles and global affairs defy humanity? An educated woman is prepared for the ultimate sacrifice in order to teach reading to the girls in her community. She leaves behind a daughter and a son whose lives become intertwined with those of the U.S. Marines serving at Military Base nearby A highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a book extremely well researched, with authentic details and an epic sense of the place. The war and the military involved, Marine and dogs, are described with reverence, as are the civilians caught in the middle of the fire.
“Although this is a work of fiction there are truths to it that will tug at your heart. For anyone who has not read one of Patricia’s books then I would recommend this one.”
Patricia Furstenberg writes historical and contemporary fiction, children’s books, and poetry. Discover her world of book on Amazon UK and Amazon US. Patricia blogs extensivey right here, where you find yourself now, and she can be reached on Twitter too.
Nightmareland: A horror anthology with 23 stories from 14 authors
In a rundown shack deep in the woods, a high school girl dares herself to try the strange new drug all the kids are talking about. One injection of “Nightmareland” is all it takes to unleash a person’s biggest fears to them – and then they are on their own! But rebellious Jessica thinks she will prove herself to her peers and parents. Tremble along as she is strapped into the chair and becomes a lost child on a Florida party island, an investigator looking into a circus’ bizarre side shows, an abused prisoner locked away in a desolate concrete cell, and much more as Jessica faces the most terrifying ride of her young life. Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and pens of more than a dozen amazing authors.
“Dan offers three of own stories to the collection and, as editor, welcomes Robbie Cheadle, Ellen Best, Kaye Booth, Betty Valentine, Alana Turner, Christine Valentor, Nick Vossen, Victoria Clapton, AM Andrus, Adele Marie Park, Barbara Anne Helberg, MD Walker, Dabney Farmer, and MJ Mallon. Each offers a fine story guaranteed to satisfy those horror story lovers!“
Humorous fiction in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
The Magic Vodka Wardrobe by Sheila Patel
There are four books in The Magic Vodka Wardrobeseries. Rajeev’s caravan remains parked on the roundabout, and the Easter Fair is in full swing. Bruno Mars is still playing on full volume, and the vodka continues to flow through the gals’ veins. Yes, we are back in the crazy world of Sheila Patel. And all is good. Well, nearly. The usual suspects are up to their usual reprehensible tricks. Flying chuppels and flip-flops make way for happy times at the Leeds Road police station. Letters to James Bond segue seamlessly into cricket, Shaz’s birthday celebrations, Diwali fireworks, bobble hats and ghee. further generous helpings of Indian diaspora insanity, in other words, and … oh, did I mention a wedding? I’m sure there was one in there somewhere. “I have now consumed (in large glasses, and with no ice) all three ‘Vodka’ offerings, and there is as yet no sign of the author’s invention flagging. These are truly ‘feel good’ books for the comatose generation.“
The Charli series Empty nesters Charli McAntic and her husband, Pud, have settled into their golden years. Although their early days of retirement were filled with disillusion and despair, they are now ready to relax and swing upon a star. Pud continues to golf most days and Charli still organizes her closets and rearranges her collectibles, but now they are a solid team. Or are they? In the third book of this delightful series, an empty nester is left to recalculate her path to happiness after she and her husband both discover that their golden years are full of more surprises.
“Jena C. Henry has a knack or rather a gift of making her readers come along on the adventure and each page turn made me smile.” Buy The Golden Age of Charli: Gps from Amazon US, Amazon UK.
Jena C. Henry writes humorous, family life fiction books. Find her work on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Jena blogs, is a great supporter of authors and a lovely presence on Twitter.
The Dennis Bisskit Adventures by Stephen Ainley
Book 1 in Dennis series. The hilarious story of a young boy’s growing up years. Meet Dennis Bisskit, short; ginger-haired; kindhearted; game for anything. Born in 1945 on the day the war ended; it should have been a good omen. Instead it’s been one disaster after another. Luckily fate normally steps in to save the day. Gasp at the great holiday camp knobbly-knees scandal of 1955! Shed a tear as Dennis visits the battlefields of France with his granddad. And meet the memorable Colour Sergeant Plunkett who teaches Dennis everything he needs to know about the army and finally makes a young man of him.
“A hilarious entertaining story of a young man coming of age and his adventures along the way. Two thumbs up!”
We tag along with a less-perky family as they navigate the startling minefields of a modern amusement park, a questionable lark that someone in authority should have nipped in the bud but, due to budget cuts, there was no one around with any sense. Wild-eyed and filter-free, they tromped naively through the gates of Six Flags, unaware that they would soon be dealing with vehicular malfunctions, copious tears, regrettable language, the tragic loss of a halter top, and very little singing. (Unless you count the dancing pig.) Life is too short to make poor entertainment decisions. Or wear ugly shoes.
“Both a witty observation of family dynamics and a sharp-eyed commentary on the microcosm of America that is an amusement park, this book is sure to have you nodding in recognition and laughing out loud!“
Brian Lageose writes books filled with peace, tranquility, insanity. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Brian blogs extensively and can be found on Twitter too.
Women’s romance, saga and rom com in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin
Sunflower Book 1 – Love, music and secrets are woven together in this poignant, heart-warming narrative.Set in a Welsh village, the story explores the contrast in attitudes and opportunities between different generations of women. As the characters confront their secrets and fears, they discover truths about themselves and their relationships. The reader is invited to laugh and cry, with the characters, and find joy in the simple things in life. Listen to the music and enjoy the food, as you peek inside the world of the inhabitants of Delfryn. Let Sophie show you that no one can go it alone. Who knows, you may find some friends with big hearts…
‘Fascinating read about many of life’s challenges. Recommended to men and women alike.’ John Broughton, novelist.
At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker. Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.
“In addition to laughs, Just an Odd Job Girl has a lovely message for young adults as well as those of us getting on in age: that life is full of opportunities, that wonderful people are everywhere, and that you are never to old to grow.“
A Wisconsin love story: ‘A beautifully told tale, full of romance’ (Lizzie’s rom coms #2) India Buchanan plans to set up an English-Style bed and breakfast establishment in her great-aunt’s home, MacFarlane’s Landing, Wisconsin. But she’s reckoned without opposition from Logan MacFarlane whose family once owned her aunt’s house and now want it back. India’s great-aunt has other ideas and has threatened to burn the house to the ground before she lets a MacFarlane set foot in it. When India finds herself in Logan’s debt, her feelings towards him change. However, the past casts a long shadow and events conspire to deny them the love and happiness they both deserve. Can India and Logan’s love overcome all odds? Or is history about to repeat itself?
“For anyone who loves the contemporary romance genre, or like me, anyone that is trying to broaden their horizons, I definitely recommend Take Me, I’m Yours.“
Books for Children in 25 Books for Christmas, gift ideas to feed your kindle, The List
Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens
A timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn while teaching kids that patience and hard work really do pay off. Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.
“If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!“
Bette A. Stevens is an author and illustrator. She writes historical fiction for MG and adults, poetry and is an advocate for the monarch butterflies. Find her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find more about Bette and her work through her author website or on Twitter.
Meditation for Children by Shelley Wilson
A book to take you on a magical journey to a calm and happy place that you and your child will love. Children of all ages can learn and enjoy the benefits of meditation. Designed to help access creative abilities through relaxation and imagination, these stories help develop the necessary tools needed at a young age for lifelong healthy habits of managing stress and anxiety while also improving learning skills.
“A wonderful how-to guide for parents and teachers. These techniques will help to bring balance and tranquility in an over-stimulated world. I highly recommend!”
Shelley Wilson writes YA fiction and adult self-help. You can find her books here. Shelley blogs, coaches and supports authors and can be reached on Twitter too. ooks for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle
Trails and Trials: An African Adventure by Maretha Botha
Book 4 in Fauna Park Tales Series. Four trails one destination, “Trails and Trials: An African Adventure”, “Fauna Park Tales” 4, is written from four different viewpoints, combining four smaller books into a complete book of 148 pages – each with its own title and subtitles, illustrations, descriptions and footnotes of foreign words – based on “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends” Life continues to take strange turns for Flame, a working dog on a free-range cattle farm. He and three of his furry friends follow the trail of Tall Leader and his gang of poachers into the desert, after they kidnapped their beloved orphans and stole all the villagers’ cattle. To follow their enemies’ trail, the brave friends jump on and off trains, sleep under the stars, and find friends and foes while on their dangerous mission.
“Author Maretha Botha beautifully and compellingly captures the voice of Africa’s animals. The principal character, Flame, is endearing. Through him, we experience a breadth of humanlike emotions from fear to comfort. The book is fast moving and engaging, and the illustrations are perfect.”
Maretha Botha is an author & illustrator writing Middle Grade books. Discover them on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Maretha’s work through her author website or connect with her on Twitter.
YA, science fiction and fantasy in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn’s Horn by Kevin Cooper
The Chronicles of Geo Book One This epic fantasy tale of magic, mystery and adventure takes us to the land of Geo, where, the wizard’s most challenging quest is to free the people of Geo and defeat the evil shadow. But, he is not powerful enough to face the shadow alone… Surrounded by hordes of demon wargs and the might of the shadow, the fate of the land of Geo and its people is left in the hands of an old wizard, a ragtag bunch of goblins, a small band of trolls and a little girl who is the bearer of The Unicorn’s Horn.
“I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read a fantasy story and wants to go on a magical journey!“
Kevin Cooper is an eclectic author of fantasy, sci-fi, memoirs and drama as well as a songwriter. Discover his books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Find out more about Kevin’s writing and music on his website or Twitter.
Sunwielder: An Epic Time Travel Adventure by D. Wallace Peach
In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin. Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.
“As well as a wonderful story, the concept behind it struck a chord with me because I happen to be a fan of the Total War series of computer games.”
Generation Mars Book 1 As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonise the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, they want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?
“Aken’s writing is smart and surprising. The psychological insight into his cast of characters is pin-sharp, vivid and convincing. BLOOD RED DUST comes with sizeable heft and for entertainment value has the gravitational pull and attraction of not a small planet like Mars, but a far more sizeable one, like Jupiter… by Jupiter!“
Stuart Aken writes romance, science fiction, short stories, fantasy, horror, erotica, and memoir. You can sample his books through Amazon UK, Amazon US. Stuart blogs extensively and can be found on Twitter too.
Promised Soul by Sandra J. Jackson
Just as Krista’s summer plans are almost ready, she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams and intense feelings of déjà vu. Feeling like she’s losing her mind, Krista visits a psychic, only to feel more confused. When she arrives in England, her dreams persist, and she finds herself at the doorstep of another psychic. She needs clarity. Promised Soul is a story of the past, present and future of two souls, bound together by eternal and transcending love.
“I so did not want this story to end! What a conflict I went through while reading this, I was a mad woman obsessed with finding it what happened next and at the same time I didn’t want it to be over. Ever!”
Sandra J.Jackson writes teen, YA fantasy, post apocalyptic, suspense books. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find more about Sandra on her website or through Twitter.
Spiritual, poetry, memoir, short stories in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow by Brigid P. Gallagher
Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure. In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on: the busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease; stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms; entering a new life of SLOW. Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing, and integrates a variety of self-help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Bali.
“This book is highly recommended for anyone with any chronic disease as a real-life example of how to live through it with grace and a positive attitude.“
Brigid P. Gallagher writes books chronic fatigue syndrome, spiritual healing and new-age self-help. Find her work on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Brigid’s lovely blog and connect with her on Twitter.
The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart by Annika Perry
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever? In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.
“A wonderful collection of short stories, flash fiction and poems. At the centre of each is human relationships and the effect that a single event can often have on the course of a life.”
Twenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging by D. G. Kaye
In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.
“This is a poignant read to be sure, but full of practical advice too about laughter, travel, sex, communication, and preparation for the end of life. Most of all, it’s a memoir about love. An evening’s read and highly recommended.“ Buy Twenty Years: After “I Do” from Amazon US, Amazon UK.
Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find out more on her author blog. Debby is a great author supporter and she can be found on Twitter too.
Short and notalways Sweet by Dorinda Duclos
Imagine yourself being lost in a faraway land, or sailing on a pirate ship. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a predicament, or a romantic rendezvous. From passages to longer, more detailed stories, these are writings that are sure to capture your imagination and evoke emotions, from sadness, to madness, to happiness and beyond.
“Duclos offers a generous selection of over 60 short stories, pieces of poetic prose, and flash fiction in a compilation that kept me enthralled for an entire afternoon. The writing is lovely, evocative, and in many cases emotional. Some pieces are lyrical and heartfelt reflections with themes centered on nature, serenity, and empowerment. Others are dark forays into ghostly hauntings and the realms of murder and revenge. Some of my favorites are Patience, Dusk, Wilted, and I Am. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or to savor over a week, one page at a time.”
Buy Short and not always Sweet on Amazon UK, Amazon US.
Dorinda Duclos is a poet and member of the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets. She is also involved in “Poets for Peace”. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK or through her author website. You can also connect with Dorinda on Twitter.
Planting Onions by G. J. Liggett, a hand bound book
A collection of 50 poems by G. J. Liggett and illustrated by Kim Tillyer. This is a limited edition of 100 copies. Each book, autographed, is individually bound. The paper is high white woven stock, easy on the eye. The front cover is gold embossed. The illustrations were made exclusively for the book; there are also a number of author’s photographs, each shot on film, and the subsequent print, (made using traditional darkroom techniques), was either hand coloured or toned using chemicals.
G.J. Liggett is an English film-maker, author and poet – you can contact him through Twitter. Discover Kim Tillyer’s work through her website or Twitter.
Historical fiction in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle
To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead
One family, two kingdoms, one common enemy … This is the true story of Aethelflaed, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’, daughter of Alfred the Great. She was the only female leader of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Born into the royal house of Wessex at the height of the Viking wars, she is sent to her aunt in Mercia as a foster-child, only to return home when the Vikings overrun Mercia. In Wessex, she witnesses another Viking attack and this compounds her fear of the enemy. She falls in love with a Mercian lord but is heartbroken to be given as bride to the ruler of Mercia to seal the alliance between the two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. She must learn to subjugate her feelings for her first love, overcome her indifference to her husband and win the hearts of the Mercians who despise her as a foreigner and twice make an attempt on her life.
“The heart of the story is in its details – the accounts of day-to-day activities. A rousing story, well researched and expertly told, of a woman who served and ruled in a perilous time.”
Sons of Kings Book 1. By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other. Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things – and shape the characters of the men they will become.
“The book is an intricately detailed and fascinating read that brings history to life in a way that the reader can touch, smell and see clearly.”
When Darby McPhee falls in love with Cayo Bradley, a wild cowboy from a nearby ranch, her world is ripped apart. Caught in a lifeless existence of caring for her father and brothers since her mother’s death, Darby does little else but work. But a death-bed promise to her mother to get her education now stands in the way of her heart’s desire to belong to the rough-and-tumble Cayo Bradley. Romano’s story sizzles with the tension of lovers—one struggling to blend Apache ways and white, the other torn between East and West—searching for a way to join two lives going in opposite directions.
“It grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go, tempting me and worrying me in equal measure as these characters came to life in my mind’s eye. An absolute delight—a book that will stay in my heart forever!“
Nina Romano writes women’s fiction, historical fiction and romance, and poetry books. Find them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Discover more about Nina’s interesting world on her blog or follow her on Twitter.
Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray
The Crossroads Trilogy Book 1 Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where ‘survival of the fittest’ was not a slogan. It was a destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before. “Set in a prehistoric world that we can only imagine, Murry manages to make the environment and the people struggling to survive in it come to life. You become invested in Xhosa’s success.”
Jacqui Murray writes historical fiction, action, suspense and techno thriller books. Discover them on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Jacqui is a great supporter of authors with a lovely blog. You can connect with her on Twitter.
Books for Christmas gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle books
‘Tis the Season to be giving, joyful and forgiving. ‘Tis the time to get together, kindle some candles, listen to carols. Keep out of snowy weather, indulge in a book, share smiles, laugh together. Toast with eggnog, gluehwein or hot chocolate, Wrap that last minute gift, wondering if you’re on Santa’s ‘Good List.’ The future is as alluring as a fantasy, the past but a story, The present’s the moment where romance, adventure and mystery are the giveaway – So grab it with both hands. Enjoy it! ‘Tis the best gift to be unwrapped underneath the Christmas tree. PS Except for books, of course!
Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle
Thank you for visiting 25 Books for Christmas, The List, #GiftIdeas to #FeedYourKindle. I hope you found what you were looking for. Happy Holidays, everyone! Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to Feed Your Kindle books
What happened across the Pond, in the United States?
Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor the US citizens were not interested in joining the war in Europe, but the US Marines knew that one day soon they will have to fight the Japanese (remember the “island-hopping” in the Pacific) and so they began training military dogs.
“Dogs for Defense” – the US Military Dogs
After the December 7 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the US declaring war on Japan on 8 December 1941, followed closely by Germany and Italy declaring war on the United States, “Dogs for Defense” was formed and dogs were formally trained for the military for the first time in the US history.
Dogs For Defense was the appointed agency for canine recruitment and training. They started with 200 dogs… and soon became the nick-name of the military dog training operation in the US became K-9 Corps.
In July 1942 the Secretary of War specifically asked Digs for Defense to include training of dogs in the following categories: sentry dogs, patrol dogs, messengers, and mine detection dogs. But very soon the Navy, the Coast Guard and Marine Corp became training their own military canines…
The US Marines were some of the first to show interest in training war dogs
as they had experienced losing ground against enemy using sentry dogs in Haiti
and other “Banana Wars” in Central America during 1914 – 1934.
The Devildogs – the US Marines’ dogs
The dogs trained by the US Marines were soon nicknamed “Devil Dogs” a nick name the Marines earned during WWI while fighting against the Germans. However, Dobermans weren’t the only breed that the US Marines used, but since the DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club of America) was the one organization recruiting canines for the Marines, the initial emphasis was placed on this breed…
The first US K-9 Corps unit assigned to a tactical operation went to the Pacific
So a few War Dog Platoons soon appeared. Eight war dogs, six scouts and two messenger dogs were part of the first K-9 Corps unit. A report on their activities read:
“Patrol led by the dogs were never ambushed and suffered no casualties.”
The scout dogs were very good at alerting the Allies of incoming Japanese or spy local warriors and at guarding during the night. The messenger dogs were not disturbed in the bit by the local flora, so different in size and scents from what they knew from home, during training. The messenger dogs proved invaluable at keeping contact especially during heavy rain when electronic communication was cut off.
The dogs were
held in such high regard, that they were allowed to travel in the officer’s
plane, from one island to another. It is said that during a turbulent landing
two dogs started a fight soon followed by the officers’ evacuation of the plane
in a hurry, through the escape hatch.
Indeed, the War Dog Platoons proved invaluable to the US Marines during the Battle of Guam in July of 1944. See landing image below:
Three War Dog Platoons worked alongside US Marines on Guam Island. Here, the war dogs guarded the US camps, rescued wounded Marines, delivered messages, searched through caves for Japanese soldiers in hiding and alerted the Marines to the presence of landmines or booby traps set by Japanese.
A true story: Cappy and his handler, PFC Allen Jacobson
One night Cappy alerted 250 sleeping Marines of a vast force of advancing Japanese, saving their lives. Sadly, both Cappy and his handler, PFC Allen Jacobson, were injured in the battle that followed. True to his partner, Jacobson refused to leave the battle area and receive treatment until Cappy had also been evacuated.
Next, the US K-9 unit fought in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and on the beaches of Cape Gloucester, supporting either the Australian or British Marines against the Japanese forces.
The Doberman War Dogs could eventually outrank their handlers.
While training to become War Dogs, the Dobermans began their training as Privates and were promoted based on the length of service. Thus, after three months the Dobermans became a Private First Class, after one year a Corporal, after two years a Sergeant, after three years a Platoon Sergeant, after four years a Gunner Sergeant, and after five years a Master Gunner Sergeant.
Is it good for a Military Dog to outrank its human handler?
Today, this is often a custom that ensures the handler treats the Military Working Dog with the respect it deserves, while still giving it some freedom to behave like a dog if they ever disobey an order.
The first US K-9 patrol to help in Europe
Again, even through deep snow,, the dogs proved to be of invaluable assistance, and not only military. In March 1945, when communication was cut off, the messenger dogs kept the information going until another canine member carried a telephone on his back to the isolated unit.
True stories: Chip’s independent spirit and Daisy’s loyalty
Chips was a dog with a great personality and an even bigger heart who saved many lives during WW2. Perhaps it was his mixed blood, Chips being part shepherd, part collie, part husky, that gave him a keen sense of smell and hearing. Perhaps it was his love for humans that got him to show great bravery in battle… What is certain is that the more he ventured, the more his nonconformist spirit didn’t go well with his superiors… We need to remember that canine psychology was not so well understood back then.
For example, while his division – exhausted and soaked after pulling ashore on the seemingly deserted beaches of Sicily – retrieved behind an abandoned outpost to regroup, Chips chose to dash over No Man’s Land…
Typical canine behavior, right? Not quite.
Soon after a machine gun was heard, then a crippling silence embraced Chips’ division. Of course, they dashed over to investigate. They discovered Chips holding tight onto the throat of a German gunner, while five other German soldiers had already surrendered to the brave military dog.
Had Chips sniffed the gunpowder? The uniforms? Had he heard whisper or the click of the machine guns? What is sure is that he saved the lives of the men in his division. Yet he did not escaped unharmed; he received a wound to the scalp and burns to his mouth and left eye.
Although he showed his bravery many times, Chips was never decorated because of his tendency to act on his own, thus breaking the rules, and because, sigh, he was “only a dog”. Nevertheless, his comrades presented Chips with a Theater Ribbon. On the ribbon were an arrowhead for the assault landing at Sicily and a star for each of the eight campaigns during which Chips served.
The arrowhead would denote participation in amphibious landing in Chips’ case. It would have looked something like the ribbon above, but with eight stars.
Eventually, Chips received the Silver Star in 1943 for bravery in combat and in 2018 Chips was awarded the Dickin Medal, the highest honor for wartime bravery by an animal.
True story: Daisy’s loyalty, even in frigid waters
Daisy was a golden retriever and the mascot of a Norwegian merchant ship that in 1944 was accidentally (or not) torpedoed in the North Atlantic. During WW2 the Nortraship (The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission) operated some 1,000 vessels and was the largest shipping company in the world, operating outside German-controlled areas. Nortraship made a major contribution to the Allied war effort.
After the torpedo sank Daisy’s ship, all throughout that night Daisy swam from one survivor to another, licking their faces, warming up their noses with her breath, in a desperate attempt to keep them awake – and alive – in the icy waters of the North Atlantic until help arrived, the following day.
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.
Next time we will look at the Soviet Union, German and Japanese War Dogs of WW2 and then at Para-dogs of WW2, but until then you can browse some of my books – and see if you can identify their common denominator…
Silent Heroes, is a work of fiction about the Military Working Dogs and the amazing Marines and local people caught in the War in Afghanistan.
Take home an unbelievable and humorous true story of an incredible dog and how he found his true, yet unexpected calling, Joyful Trouble.
Celebrating the simple things in life as seen through the eyes of our old time favorite furry friends, “As Good as Gold” is a volume of poetry revealing the talent and humor we always knew our dogs possessed.
Enjoy a free preview of the first chapters from my new book, Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting For.
‘Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
‘Silent Heroes’ is a book about:
military working dogs and their Marine handlers,
love, family, values, memories,
friendship and sacrifice,
surviving the day using humor,
contemporary war, choices,
mountains, architecture, fortresses.
Read the free preview below:
When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate.
The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.
The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally
important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public
worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and
the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your
loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the
trauma of taking a human life.
Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan. Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.
*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*
Silent Heroes, for the fans of The Kite Runner and Dear John!
When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover that girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby.
“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.” (Silent Heroes)
But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or
foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect
the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus
protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with
questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their
platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against
time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.
“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?” (Silent Heroes)
The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes – When When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.
From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble”
comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a
battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of
thousands of innocent civilians.
“When soldiers grieve, time takes a snapshot and a new star rises in the sky.” (Silent Heroes)
Silent Heroes provides a glimpse into Afghanistan’s history through the eyes of those who lived it and of those who fought it.
Silent Heroes -When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for – Cover Reveal
My new book “Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting For”, a work of fiction two years in the making and inspired by the lives of the brave US Marines fighting in Afghanistan, of their faithful Military Working Dogs and the lives of the unbelievable Afghan people, will be released very soon.
COVER REVEAL coming soon. Watch this space!
Here is a very short sample of my thoughts on war, dogs, life and love. The passages below might or might not be included in the book.
“The Marine’s chest was a vacuum, as if no oxygen was left for him. Leaning over the dog’s warm neck he allowed the clouds that loomed all day to seal away any reasoning left and he let it all out, failure, anger, fear, the dog’s body shivering with his own.”
“In a life threatening war situation, a dog handler cannot just stop caring for his dog. He cannot remove his heart from his chest just like the dog cannot stop looking at his human friend without love shining through his eyes. Trust is their bond. “
“War memories linger past the healing of a scar or the mending of a bone. They creep from the depths of your sleep with the roar of a gun or the face of a departed friend. Only his dog understood him, she’d been there too. “
” When a dog watches you, your suit or hairstyle don’t matter, but the smile on your face and the love in your heart. A soldier sharing his food with stray dogs in Afghanistan. “
“Dogs need so little to be happy: food, water, good shelter, love. Humans too.”
“Feeding him was a mess, his eager tail and paws ending just as dirty as his mouth, half his food spilled. But he was worth his weight in gold, the puppy was. For he was a bundle of love and giggles and bedtime bliss that overshadowed the dad lost at war.”
” The great fortress of Bost, Qala-e-Bost, overlooked with pride the Helmand River for centuries. Able to resist a sun spitting yellow venom, it yielded to a war-cursed history.”