Books that reveal stories shared in a whisper, confidential political decisions with a major global impact, or secrets in the military chain of command always excite me. As a reader, I tend to pick them from the shelf; as a writer, I create them. My first novel including such hush-hushed military secrecy is Silent Heroes.
The rules of engagement and why they are a hush-hushed secret
Few civilians are aware of what a chain in command entails in a war situation. While researching various details of the War in Afghanistan, from its history to the various political fractions involved, from the origins of nation-building to real-life scenarios, I learned about the rules of engagement. These are “the internal rules or directives among military forces that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied” (Wikipedia).
The War in Afghanistan enters its 18th year. Those who were born when it started can now legally fight in it, as soldiers. During these near two decades, just as the means of fighting a war have changed, so have the rule of engagement.
Did you know that what sets aside a Taliban soldier from an Afghan civilian is only the weapon a Taliban carries? Once he sets the weapon down he instantly becomes a civilian and no allied soldier can shoot him, such are the rules of engagement nowadays.
The secret holes of the military chain of command
The second piece of secret information I discovered was the hols in the military chain of command that has to be followed in certain war situations.
As collateral damage is a big concern for U.S. Military and U.S. politicians (and with understandable reasons). For this reason, if Taliban fighters shoot from mosques, ignoring their holy ground symbolism, the U.S. soldiers and their allies have to pass an entire chain in command, ask for permission to shoot back and even wait for clearance before they can defend themselves and answer to fire with fire.
‘Marcos remembered the time a huge wave caught him by surprise and it took him with, rolling him over and over until he felt each bone in his body crushed while the roaring of an express train resonated through his ears. Then all was dead quiet. When he opened his eyes he was lying down at the feet of a minaret. He was sure he’d seen a Taliban fighter at its top, yet he knew he can’t just open fire; he had to call up the chain of command and request authorization to fire back, since that was a mosque. The Taliban fighter was looking down at him laughing, and Marcos couldn’t do anything about it, he had to wait for the chain of command to clear him. He knew he will probably become another casualty while lying there, waiting for permission to shoot, so he tried to get up and run for cover. But he couldn’t, his shoulders were glued to the ground and the forest was growing all around him while he was still waiting for clearance to shoot.’
Silent Heroes (Quote on secrets of the military chain of command)
Waiting for clearance from the chain of command, no matter how it endangers the life of a U.S. or allied soldier, is the real-life situation of the War in Afghanistan, yet how many of us are aware of these secret holes in the military chain of command?
In Silent Heroes I piled such real-life situations on top of my U.S. Marines and their British allies too. They will have to improvise to save their skin. How? And will they make it out unharmed?
Lately, the US involvement in Afghanistan made the news’ headlines. First was the publishing of the Afghanistan Papers, both “a revelation and a confirmation” – for “many who served in the Afghanistan war” revealing “years of deception by senior U.S. officials, who assured the public that progress was being made — when it wasn’t.” I admit, I was not surprised by this as, during my research, I came across such information – and revealed it in my book, Silent Heroes.
‘Our friends didn’t have to die’ (said a US soldier who served in Helmans province in 2010)
as quoted by The Washington Post
Then there was an opinion piece in The Guardian, The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake, by Ben Armbruster, underlining what the Afghanistan Papers already revealed, that “a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn’t want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along.”
A tragic aspect of the war in Afghanistan, emotionally and respectfully detailed in Silent Heroes.
And then there was the opinion piece in Al Jazeera, The Afghan war: A failure made in the USAwritten by Ahsan I Butt, Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University: “the US-made mess in Afghanistan has much to do with its failed policies and shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude.” This is incredible to read, as it is exactly the result of my research on the war in Afghanistan, and you can read all about it in my contemporary fiction book Silent Heroes.
Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for
“Excellent book. Very engaging read, especially for those of us who have been to Afghanistan.”
“This is a very exciting, moving and well written book about war in Afghanistan. Although I didn’t serve there, as an ex Airborne Engineer and veteran of many IED search teams, I especially appreciated the amount of research that went into making the story as true to life as possible. Would highly recommend this excellent book.“
I love books with secrets. Especially enigmatic locations kept hidden from the general public. While researching for my latest contemporary novel Silent Heroes, I uncovered five secrets and revealed them: one mysterious fortress buried underground, one hush-hushed by politicians, one too dangerous to be researched and shared with the world, one inconceivable in the 21st century, and one heartbreaking in its humanity.
Qala-e-Bost, Afghanistan’s secret fortress now featured in Silent Heroes
Unbeknown to many, near Lashkar Gah, in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, rises the great fortress of Qala-e-Bost, an 11th-century castle that overlooks the life-giving Afghan River of Helmand. This is the mysterious fortress whose secrets are ready to bury the Silent Heroes. But will they give in?
“The stones of Qala-e-Boost have seen wars as well as the joys of celebrations. They have known wealth and ruin. Early hymns of the Zoroastrian religion, one of the oldest religions in the world, were once performed here. One of them was the Nowruz, the famous ceremony dedicated to the Sun and marking the Iranian New Year and the Spring Equinox. Along the years Bost fortress has been used as a guard post for the traditional caravan trade from Iran to India. The Mongols, then the Persians have been here too; the Arabs, even the Russians. Leaders and warriors came here as attested by the terracotta figurines, the inscribed seals, and the many coins discovered here, and then they left. Still, Bost remained.”
Qala-e-Bost, a mysterious fortress hidden underground
The fascinating and less known detail about Qala-e-Bost fortress is that its five levels are underground and few visual images are available, let alone descriptions of its deep buried secret chambers: “the heart of the fortress, its well, going five levels underground. The well is a maze of corridors, stairs, secret rooms, and side entrances” (Silent Heroes).
So I threw my soldiers in a fight in the dark belly of Qala-e-Bost fortress. The idea that there are concealed, less-known meanings behind things in plain sight always fires my imagination.
Who dares enter the belly of the beast?
Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for is a work of contemporary fiction inspired by the War in Afghanistan.
Amazon 5 Stars Review: “It is clear that the author did an amazing amount of research for this book. Over the last few years I have read many, many book written by our soldiers. All of these books were based on each soldier’s experiences. The author of “Silent Heroes” has captured the experiences of our military men and women. I highly recommend this book and I plan to read more book by this author.“
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 an impressive background in education. 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
As an author, I am the resultant force of the books I read, of the places I visit. As a woman, I am the resultant force of the women who influenced my life – my mother, my grandmothers, my daughter, my girl friends, my female role models. As a human being, I am one of the forces shaping my children’s future; albeit a tiny one, I can point forward and upwards. Scientia potetia est.
It was an honor to have my article on Why We Need Contemporary War Fiction Written by Women published on Books By Women:
At some stage during my adult life, and this will astound my history teacher if she’d discover, I found myself fascinated by the thought of writing fiction inspired by contemporary events.
A thread that brought me here might have been reading Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” in my teens; another one, witnessing the terrorist attack on World Trade Center on Live TV while pregnant with my daughter. A definite thread, silky and alluring, came from enjoying historical fiction by Philippa Gregory and Diana Gabaldon. While the most recent one, still carding itself, draws from my son’s keen interest in war computer games and my own, in military working dogs.
Contemporary war fiction penned by
women pales in comparison to the amount of books written by men. Be it
in poetry or prose, throughout the centuries an author, not an
authoress, depicted more often the combat male protagonist. As Homer put
it in his Iliad, “war will be men’s business”.
Why so, since countless notable women
were not afraid of fighting battles? The Greek goddess Athena is shown
as a warrior, the patron of justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, and
arts. The Celtic goddess Brigid is the patron of poetry and smithcraft.
Scathach is an Irish Goddess who taught the martial arts. The Amazons
were fierce warrior women and there were even gladiator women,
gladiatrices, although Juvenal, the Roman poet of those times, depicted
them as a mere novelty. History is splattered with the blood of
innumerable women warriors: Hatshepsut, Queen Boudicca, Queen Samsi of
Arabia, the Trung Sisters from Vietnam, Empress Theodora of Byzantium,
Olga of Russia, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary I and Elizabeth I of
History also showed us that women who
took to war were willingly followed by an army of men and women and
that they won their battles much to their opponent’s dismay. Is it the
fact that women can stand up for themselves in times of political
upheaval what worries men or the fact that women could, eventually,
With such role models, although nowadays women have changed spear for pen, where has history brought us?
13 unique reads for thriller fans and the enthusiasts of the macabre or sombre comedy. If you like to sleep with your lights on, pick one book from my 13 for Halloween list.
1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
This book will give you the story of a mysterious writer with her own dark, ghastly past that will make your skin crawl. You will want to throw the book across the room to get rid of it, yet you won’t be able to, caught under its spell. Blood-curling. Creepy. Disturbing. Published in 2006.
2. Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
A Halloween classic that will make your hair stand on end, plus you get Ariadne Oliver to torment Hercule Poirot. When a children’s party goes wrong, only looking into the past will help solve it. Ghoulish. Eerie. Witty. First published 1969.
3. Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
One of my favorites by this author, it takes you to excavations conducted on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. It has corpses, tombs, tight spaces, and forensic anthropology. This the Temperance Brennan #8 book, but can be read as a stand alone. Frightening. Bone-chilling. Magical. Published in 2005.
4. Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for by Patricia Furstenberg
Sometimes violence, death, and gore are part of modern day history and we choose to ignore them, while making up our own versions, safer ones, of what Halloween looks like. A brutal read what life and humanity mean to the soldiers, the dogs and the civilians caught in the War in Afghanistan. Petrifying. Real. Deadly. Published in 2019.
5. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
A timeless, international sensation and a classic, this is a petrifying and unnerving read. A hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity. Omnius. Wicked. Haunting. First published 1985.
6. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie
Death, witches, a spooky inn and Ariadne Oliver sleuthing. Published in 1961, The Guardian wrote: “the black magic theme is handled in a masterly and sinister fashion.” Witchful. Superstitious. Spook-takular. First published 1961
7. Dracula by Bram Stocker
Written as a series of diary entries, it has vampires, spooky locations and everyone will mention it, at some stage. And, no, it is not based on Vlad Tepes Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, ruler of Wallachia, Romania. Supernatural. Bloody. Fang-tastic. First published 1897
8. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Not many know, but the latent reasons behind Mary Shelley’s narration of Frankenstein is the death of her first child, Willy, whom she had thoughts to restore to life. A Gothic thriller and a passionate romance, Shelley wrote this book when she was 18 years old. Black. Pagan. Eerie. First published 1823.
9. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
What would Halloween be without a ghost? Both a Gothic horror novel and a romance story, it will capture you and fill you with a terror that the musical could never emulate. Moonlit. Chilling. Unearthly. First published 1909.
10. The Complete Tales And Poems Of Edgar Allan Poe
Pick this collection of ghastly stories for words that will stick to your skin like a cobweb. A classic, must-read from the pioneer of short stories. Unearthly. Fear-inspiring. Strange. First published in 1902.
11. It by Stephen King
A 1138 page horror novel by a haunting author and a book that has been refereed to in mass media more than we care to count to out loud. Read it quietly and with a friend near you or a clown will show up at your door. NOT for people suffering from coulrophobia. Frightening. Nightmarish. Nasty. First published in 1968.
12. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
A dark and funny comic tale for lovers of satire and spine chilling reads. A book written in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1940 during Stalin’s regime and censored by Stalin; first censored edition out 1966, full manuscript published in 1967 in Paris, after the author’s death. Dark. Spine-chilling. Mischievous. First published 1967
13. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
First published in 1886, this Gothic novella can still hold the modern reader’s attention. For the book lovers of split personalities and classic horror. Supernatural. Gothic. Occult. First published 1886.