25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle

25 books for Christmas, The List

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

find crime, contemporary fiction, psychological horror books Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Father Figure by James J. Cudney

Father Figure JamesJ. Cudney  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindleBetween 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.

Buy Bather Figure from Amazon US, Amazon UK.

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

Hunter's Force Valerie 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!

Buy Hunter’s Force from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Valerie Penny writes Edinburgh Crime Mysteries and her books can be found on Amazon US or Amazon UK. She blogs and is on Twitter too.

Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for by Patricia Furstenberg

Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for Patricia Furstenberg  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.”

Buy Silent Heroes on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

Nightmareland

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!

Buy Nightmareland on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Discover the writers behind Nightmareland and their work through Amazon: Dan Alatorre, Robbie Cheadle, Ellen Best, Betty Valentine, Alana Turner, Christine Valentor, Nick Vossen, Victoria Clapton, Anne Marie Andrus, Adele Marie Park, Barbara Anne Helberg, MD Walker, Dabney Farmer, M J Mallon.

Humorous fiction in 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle

humorous fiction for Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

The Magic Vodka Wardrobe by Sheila Patel

vodka wardrobe - Sheila Patel

There are four books in The Magic Vodka Wardrobe series.
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.

Buy The Magic Vodka Wardrobe from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

You can discover Sheila Patel’s books on Amazon UKAmazon US, and you can always chat with her on Twitter.

The Golden Age of Charli: Gps by Jena C. Henry

The Golden Age of Charli Gps Jena C. Henry.

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

dennis bisskit by  Stephen Ainley  Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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!”

Buy The Dennis Bisskit Adventures from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Stephen Ainley’s books can be found on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Discover Stephen’s blog here or connect with him on Twitter.

Unexpected Wetness by Brian Lageose

Unexpected Wetness Brian Lageose

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!

Buy Unexpected Wetness on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

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

Find women's romance, saga, rom com books here. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin

You Can't Go It Alone Jessie Cahalin. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.

Buy You Can’t Go It Alone from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Jessie Cahlin is an amazing blogger and a great supporter of authors. Find her on Twitter @BooksInHandbag, on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Georgina Cronin

Just an Odd Job Girl, Sally Cronin. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.

Buy Just an Odd Job Girl from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Sally Cronin is the heart behind the comprehensive Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Find her books on Amazon UK, Amazon US or connect with Sally on Twitter.

Take Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Lamb

Take Me, I'm Yours Lizzie Lamb. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.

Buy Take Me,I’m Yours on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Discover all of Lizzie Lamb’s books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. You can also visit her author website or connect with her on Twitter.

Books for Children in 25 Books for Christmas, gift ideas to feed your kindle, The List

shop for children's books this Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens

Amazing Matilda 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!

Buy Amazing Matilda on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

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

Meditation for Children Shelley Wilson. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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!”

Buy Meditation for Children from here.

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

Trails and Trials Maretha Botha. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindleBook 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.”

Buy Trails and Trials on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

Buy young adult, YA, science-fiction, fantasy books at Christmas. gift ideas, feed your kindle. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn’s Horn by Kevin Cooper

The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn's Horn: The Chronicles of Geo Book One Kevin Cooper. Books for Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

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!

But The Wizard, The Girl, and The Unicorn’s Horn on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

Sunwielder D. Wallace Peach. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.”

Buy Sunwielder on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Diana Wallace Peach in author of fantasy/Sci-fi author, dystopian, dragons, epic adventures. Discover her books on Amazon US, Amazon UK. Find out more on her author website of through Twitter.

Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken

Blood Red Dust Stuart Aken. Books for Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

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!

Buy Blood Red Dust on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

Promised Soul Sandra Jackon. Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

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!”

Buy Promised Soul from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

Spiritual, poetry, memoir, short story books. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow by Brigid P. Gallagher

Watching the Daisies Brigid P. Gallagher. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.

Buy Watching the Daisies from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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

The Storyteller Speaks Annika Perry. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.”

Buy The Storyteller Speaks from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Find more about Annika Perry on her website, on Twitter or on Amazon US, Amazon UK 

Twenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging by D. G. Kaye

Twenty Years After I Do D. G. Kaye. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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 not always Sweet by Dorinda Duclos

Short and Not Always Sweet Dorinda Duclos. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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

Planting Onions by G. J.  Liggett, illustrations by Kim Tillyer. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.

Order this lovey book from the author himself.

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

great historical fiction books. gift ideas, feed your kindle  Books Christmas gift ideas feed your kindle

To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

To Be a Queen 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.”

Buy To Be a Queen from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Annie Whitehead is a writer and a historian. Find all her books on Amazon UK, Amazon US and do visit her author website. She always posts unique Tweets.

Shadow of the Raven by Millie Thom

Shadow of the Raven Millie Thom. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.”

Buy Shadow of the Raven from Amazon UK, Amazon US.

Find Millie Thom’s books on Amazon UK, Amazon US. Millie blogs and she is can be reached on Twitter as well.

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley by Nina Romano

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley Nina Romano.

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!

Buy The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley on Amazon US, Amazon UK.

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

Survival of the Fittest Jacqui Murray. Books for Christmas gift ideas, feed your kindle

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.”


Buy Survival of the Fittest  on Amazon UK, Amazon US.

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
25 Books for Christmas #GiftIdeas to #FeedYourKindle - 'Tis the Season by @PatFurstenberg. Books for Christmas list gift ideas to feed your kindle
Books for Christmas Gift Ideas to #FeedYourKindle – ‘Tis the Season by @PatFurstenberg

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

Follow this blog:

Military Working Dogs of Gulf War, Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan

Silent Heroes of war

Saving human lives during military conflicts takes first stage. Welcome to some amazing stories about Military Working Dogs involved in the Gulf, Iraq & Afghanistan War.

I watch my dogs basking in the sun, the tip of their tail swishing just as I think of them, standing against the door frame. Can they read my mind? I know they will shake off their dreams and follow me as I stroll around the yard.
Their heart chooses to follow mine.
That’s how dogs are.

118 Military Working Dog Teams were deployed to the Gulf region for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. In the War on Terrorism a big threat are explosives hidden on a person, in a vehicle, or a roadside location. Therefore, Explosives Detection Dogs were, and still are, specially trained to alert when they sense the specific chemicals used in explosives, either packed, hidden or even as powder remains on the humans that handled them or on their clothes . Explosive Dogs are deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and in many other US locations for this purpose alone.

Military Working  Dogs Gulf Iraq Afghanistan

2000, Robby’s Law, one reason to cheer for former President Clinton

Before President Clinton passed “Robby’s Law” in 2000, military working dogs were considered “military surplus equipment” and deemed unfit to adjust to civilian life. This meant that once the military could no longer use, need or afford a canine, the once treasure four-legged was either released or euthanized instead of honored. After “Robby’s Law” was passed, handlers (who had already formed a strong bond with their canine mate) and their families were first to be offered the opportunity at adopting these military animals at the completion of their service.

Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

Some soldiers even used their military operational bonus to buy the dog that served with them.

MWD watching and soldier sleeping, Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
MWD watching and soldier sleeping – Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

“Fluffy was my Comrade in arms first, then he walked into my heart as my friend and became my buddy then he became part of my family.
He was not a pet! He was a soldier first. During our time in Iraq he checked on me and I checked on him. He was one of the team, he was my battle buddy! If I sat down he would sit no farther than five feet away. If I got up and moved ten feet he would get up and move ten feet. “

Russel, on K920Fluffy (Iraq War vet) – USAWarDogs.org
Photo of U.S. Army veteran Joe Steenbeke with military dog Tess in Afghanistan Credit Reunite Joe and Tess, Facebook
Photo of U.S. Army veteran Joe Steenbeke with military dog Tess in Afghanistan Credit Reunite Joe and Tess, Facebook

For the dog training program, Iraq came too late after Vietnam

The first 30 dog teams sent into Iraq in 2004 were the “guinea pigs”, all tactical lessons and experience gained during the Vietnam war lost. What made it worthwhile for the dog teams were the canines, with their honest, open and loving personalities.

Iraq  Afghanistan - buddies, militry dog and soldier, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

The Paradogs: the parachuting dogs of war

By 2008 German Shepherd dogs already jumped from aircrafts at 25,000ft, strapped to a member of the special forces assault teams. Later, Belgian Malinois dogs, lighter and stubbier, were considered better for the tandem parachute jumping and rappelling operations often undertaken by SEAL teams. The tandem jumping was done to protect the canines on landing.

Ready for tandem jumping. Source Foreign Policy
Ready for tandem jumping. Source Foreign Policy

A military dog would only be allowed to jump solo form a helicopter if he lands in water and only if properly outfitted with a flotation vest. Such dogs were trained to accompany soldiers on ‘High Altitude High Opening’ (HAHO) parachute jumps. After landing, men and MWDs would still have to travel 20 miles to their targets.

Military dogs trained to accompany soldiers on 'High Altitude High Opening' (HAHO) parachute jumps. Source Foreign Policy
Military dogs trained to accompany soldiers on ‘High Altitude High Opening’ (HAHO) parachute jumps. Source Foreign Policy

These MWDs had small cameras fixed to their heads and, trained to penetrate the enemy lines before their human partners, would hunt for Taliban or insurgent hideouts. The cameras will sent live images back to the troops while the dogs warn of possible ambushes.

MWD dogs equipped with Canine Tactical Assault Vests
MWD dogs equipped with Canine Tactical Assault Vests

The elite American unit, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, commonly known as Delta Force, has pioneered the parachute technique from heights over 20,000ft.

U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico:

U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force.
Training over the Gulf of Mexico. MWDs show no fear. A military dog would only be allowed to jump solo form a helicopter if he lands in water

2009: U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and a MWD wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009:

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009
Soldiers and Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

Navy Seal teams are trained to parachute from great heights and deploy out of helicopters with dogs. In 2010 the Seals bought four waterproof tactical vests for their dogs that featured infrared and night-vision cameras and an ‘intruder communication system’ able to penetrate concrete walls. The MWD’s handlers — using a three-inch monitor from as far as 1,000 yards away — could immediately see what the dogs were seeing. The vests, which come in coyote tan and camouflage, let handlers communicate with the dogs through a speaker and were strong enough to protect the dogs from harm due to everything, from bullets to ice picks. The four vests together cost over $86,000 at the time, says a 2011 NY Times article.

MWD K9 gear - best body Armor available for military dogs. Source K9 Storm
MWD K9 gear – the best body Armor for military dogs. Source K9 Storm

The world record for highest man-dog parachute jump

In 2011 U.S. Military Handler Mike Forsythe, a former US Navy SEAL turned canine parachute instructor for military and search & rescue units and his dog Cara, strapped on a K9 Storm Vest tactical body armor and fitted an oxygen mask, jumped in tandem from over 30,100 feet, the altitude at which transoceanic passenger jets fly. Cara is a Belgian Malinois.

Highest man-dog parachute jump. Mike Forsythe and Cara. Photo source: K9 Storm Inc Handout Reuters
Highest man-dog parachute jump. Mike Forsythe and Cara. Photo source: K9 Storm Inc Handout Reuters

In October 2010 the Pentagon announced that after six years and $19 billion spent in the attempt to build the ultimate bomb detector technology, dogs were still the most accurate sniffers around. The rate of detection with the Pentagon’s fanciest equipment — drones and aerial detectors — was a 50 percent success rate, but when a dog was involved it rose an extra 30 percent.

War dog canine military service SEAL team repelling from a helicopter
War dog canine military service SEAL team repelling from a helicopter. Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

Marines began a pilot program in Afghanistan with nine bomb-sniffing dogs, a number that reached approximately 650 at the end of 2011 and 2,800 active-duty dogs in 2013, making it the largest canine contingent in the world.

The MWD who took Osama bin Laden down

Not many know, but the 81 members of the American commando team who blitzed into Abbottabad, Pakistan, to capture and kill Osama bin Laden had a MWD with them. Some say he was the U.S.’s most courageous dog, yet little was known about him until recently. his name is Cairo and he is a Belgian Malinois.

MWD Cairo, the war dog who helped take Osama bin Laden down, the 81st member of SEAL team who blitzed into Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011
MWD Cairo, the war dog who helped take Osama bin Laden down, the 81st member of SEAL team who blitzed into Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011

MWDs in the War in Afghanistan

NATO soldier carries sniffing dog after gun battle in Kabul on April 16 2012. Source: Boston archive
A NATO soldier carries sniffing dog after gun battle in Kabul on April 16 2012. A brazen 18hrs Taliban attack on the capital ended when insurgents overcome heavy gunfire from Afghan led forces and pre-dawn air assaults from coalition helicopter. Source: Boston Archive

How MWDs contribute to the local Afghan economy

Maintaining a Military Base, building roads and maintaining them requires constant effort. Often local contractors are used, in an attempt to support the local (Afghan) economy. But to keep the soldiers safe, each local truck or worker has to be checked for possible hidden explosives (they are aware of or not). Here is where Vehicle Search dogs play an important role.

There is always peace between a MWD, a Marine and local Afghan children caught in the war.
There is always peace between a MWD, a Marine and local Afghan children caught in the war.

Surviving the harsh climate in Afghanistan

If you wondered how the MWDs survive the harsh climate of Afghanistan, know that (some) of their kennels are equipped with air conditioning and, often, if an army base has a swimming pool – that definitely is not for the benefit of the humans.

LCpl Natasha Mooney on patrol with Panchio in Helmand Province - Source British Army blog
LCpl Natasha Mooney on patrol with Panchio in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Dog Breeds preferred as MWDs by U.S. Military

U.S. military prefers mostly German and Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois, breeds because they are aggressive, smart, loyal and athletic.

Training together: Staff Sgt. Erick Martinez, a military dog handler uses an over-the-shoulder carry to hold his dog, Argo II, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise helps build trust, loyalty, and teamwork. Source Foriegn Policy.
Staff Sgt. Erick Martinez, a military dog handler, uses an over-the-shoulder carry with Argo II during an exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise helps build trust, loyalty and teamwork for Sergeant Martinez and Argo II, who have been working together for only two months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes)

German Shepherd dogs are the standard breed because they are considered to be intelligent, dependable, predictable, easily trained, usually moderately aggressive, and can adapt quickly to almost any climatic conditions.

Buddies training together. Having each-other's  back. Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Buddies training together. Having each-other’s back.

Single-purpose dogs are used for one purpose only: sniffing out explosives or narcotics. Retrievers (Labrador, Golden or Chesapeake Bay) are preferred, also Viszlas, various short-and wire-haired pointers, Jack Russell terriers and even small poodles. These are all nose, no bite dogs. These dogs are trained to locate either drugs or explosives – never both. “When your dog makes an alert you need to know whether to run away and call the explosives people or whether to go arrest someone.”

Praying together. A military dog and his human handler, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Praying together

It is empowering, yet worrisome to find out that military working dogs today train for such a diverse range of tasks: EDD (Explosive Detector Dog), NDD (Narcotics Detector Dog), SSD (Specialized Search Dog) – trained to work off leash, at long distances from their handler, in order to find explosives. SDD dogs work by hand signals, and can even receive commands via radio receivers they wear on their backs, attached to their bulletproof doggy vest, and TEDD (Tactical Explosive Detector Dog).

A dog can have up to 225 million olfactory receptors in his nose and the part of their brain devoted to scent is 40 times greater than that of a human.

“A dog can see through his nose.”

Mike Dowling, former Marine Corps dog handler, Iraq
MWD and his handler keeping watch together, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Keeping watch together

More single purpose dogs, like the dogs I depicted in my latest novel Silent Heroes: CTD (Combat Tracker Dog) trained to detect where IEDs and weapons caches are located; MDD (Mine Detection Dog): these dogs do slow off-leash searches for buried mines and artillery; IDD (IED Detector Dog), this is a temporary program created to fulfill the urgent need for bomb dogs, especially in Afghanistan.

Never Give Up - A MWD hurt by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Never Give Up – A MWD hurt by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device)

Of course, there are dual-purpose dogs, multi-purpose canines, the special K-9 Corps of CIA.

What are vapor-wake dogs?

Scientists at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have genetically bred and specially trained canines that are able do more than just detect stationary bombs or bomb-making materials. These MWDs can identify and alert their handler to the moving scent of explosive devices and materials left behind in the air.
If a suicide bomber walks through a crowd, these dogs would be able to tell him apart without ever tipping off the perpetrator.
The cost of breeding and training vapor-wake dogs is around $20,000 each, still less than the cost of training most MWDs.

U.S. sergeant Matthew Templet and his bomb-sniffing dog Basco search for the explosives in an abandoned house in Haji, Ghaffar village, during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Dec. 27, 2010.Source Foreign Policy
U.S. sergeant Matthew Templet and his bomb-sniffing dog Basco search for the explosives in an abandoned house in Haji, Ghaffar village, during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Dec. 27, 2010. Source Foreign Policy

The Difference between a German Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois dog

But training is much more than teaching a dog commands. It is bonding, above anything else.

Dereck Stevens bonds with his military working dog before a practice drill at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Credit Bryce Harper for The New York Times.jpg
Dereck Stevens bonds with his military working dog before a practice drill at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Credit Bryce Harper for The New York Times

There is no count to the number of hidden bombs detected and the human lives saved by the MWDs today, yet it is certain that the use of these dogs marked a pivotal moment for the coalition forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially when it comes to the moral of the troops and the freedom of movement for the ground patrols operating in combat areas.

U.S. Marines attached to 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie Company relax with their bomb-sniffing dogs Books and Good one in Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand, Afgganistan, on Jan. 25, 2010. Source Foreign Policy
U.S. Marines attached to 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie Company relax with their bomb-sniffing dogs Books and Good one in Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand, Afgganistan, on Jan. 25, 2010. Source Foreign Policy

The bond formed between military dogs and their human handlers is stronger than an outsider can imagine, helping the soldiers cope with a ghastly war.

Always by your side.
The bond between the human handler and the military dog goes very deep. Always by your side.

In crucial moments, when humans naturally tend to doubt themselves, a dog will sense the tension and still trust his handler, and this tips the situation in the favor of the human-dog team.

A dog sits at the grave of his owner, who died in conflict. Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
A dog sits at the grave of his owner, who died in conflict.

All dogs trained and used by the U.S. military are procured and trained by the 341st Military Working Dog Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, TX.

Marine war dogs memorial, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Marine war dogs memorial
2012 army photo competition.Amateur Portrait category runner-up Cpl Dawson and his dog Lightning rest up in TCP West.Picture Captain Richard Willing MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Images
Army Photographic Competition 2012…(STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL OCTOBER 10, 2012 00:01HRS BST) In this handout image supplied by the Ministry of Defence Crown Copyright, photo entitled ‘LIGHTNING AND HIS HANDLER’, depicting Cpl Dawson and his dog Lightning rest up in TCP West. (Army Amateur Portrait category runner up; Photo by Captain Richard Willing/MoD/Mandatory Credit Crown Copyright via Getty Images)

Doggles – goggles for dogs!

MWD with doggles, goggles for dogs, in an army helicopter, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Doggles – it is all about protection

Dogs, the Silent Heroes of any war

Some might argue that the use of animals, and lately dogs, in war borders an ethical dilemma. Yet during conflicts, saving human lives (be it military or civilians, always dragged in combat) always takes first stage and it is certain that hundreds, if not thousands of men, women and children owe their life, in one way or another, to the military working dogs, MWDs, who served beside them.

Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.

My latest novel, Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, was written with respect for the military life and the local traditions and beliefs of all of those caught in the War in Afghanistan.

Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, Military Working Dogs in Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan War.
Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for – New Contemporary Fiction by Patricia Furstenberg

Silent War Heroes page on my website contains part of the extensive knowledge I absorbed while researching for Silent Heroes as well as links to all my articles about the history of human-canine relationship and that of the military dogs. I hope you will stop by.

Follow this blog:

Women Writing About War via @PatFurstenberg #war #women #writerslife #literature #books

Women writing about war

The question I was asked most often after publishing “Silent Heroes” was: why I wrote a book about war?

To me, “Silent Heroes” is a book that asked to be written. The idea behind it began to germinate in my mind long ago. It took over two years of research and assiduous work for this book to see the printing press.

Having lived through a Revolution and the fall of the Eastern Bloc, I can see that the power of historical knowledge and historical locations is often overlooked. From my point of view, the situation in Afghanistan is of global interest. There are many similar historical hot spots throughout the world. My interest in the War in Afghanistan was stirred on understanding what a major influence the use of military dogs has on the lives of civilians. Most books written on this subject are from a military or political perspective. A retelling of true facts. I wanted to create a work of fiction that will appeal as well as stir emotions, something plausible, yet appealing to a wider category of readers.

We tend to read a book from the perspective of our own experiences. Some books, after reading them, manage to change the way we see our own life – and this is what I tried to achieve with “Silent Heroes”. Find out more about the symbolism behind its pages here.

I would rather have you ask me “why I wrote ‘Silent Heroes’, rather than “why I wrote a book on war”.

Women writers wrote about war many times over. But how many are know?

War is a part of life. As in life, there is fear in war, but there is also resilience and a raw lucidity in it.

War draws in all kinds of people, men and women, children and elderly, rich and poor. War stamps its tattoo on their lives, no questions asked, by killing their loved ones, by forcing them to relocate, to give up the mere life necessities in order to survive. To give up life, as they knew it, in order to stay alive.

Most war literature I came across during my lifetime and while researching for “Silent Heroes” and for “Joyful Trouble” before it was written by men. True accounts of battle and hardship. “War and Peace” by Russian author Leo Tolstoy must be the best known war novel. I have enjoyed Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and loved, for its epic descriptions and sensitivity in portraying human beings and raw emotions, Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” in which an entire generation was wiped out by the Civil War.

The question that inevitably rose was:

what is the major difference between a war story written by a woman and one written by a man?

And I don’t mean linguistic differences.

When reading a book written by a woman, I tend to feel closer to the author than when to a male author. I find their writing style more interactive. This aspect does not involve characters, but the overall feeling I get when reading -reading for pleasure.

Male authors tend to focus on conveying information, on the courage of the soldiers, on their super-human acts and vigor and less on the emotions that trigger or haunt them. On the intensity of their pain, the taste of their passion, the gut feeling.

From a sociology-cultural point of view we are a product of our upbringing and of the society we live in. Considering ideological factors and forces, we are a product of our interactions with and of our reactions to society. It is only normal that this will reflect in a writer’s work.

What about the communications style?

Will the fact that men and women have a different communication style reflect in their writing? Much like a piece of art or a music sheet reflect the author’s core structure.

On the other hand, writing is very much a products of our biographical reading. Which brings us back to our upbringing, influencing us in everything we do.

But since we only speak of the war theme here, I think that this difference shows in the type of relationships the characters tend to built with one another.

If you look at a novel as it would be a river, I tend to see a woman’s writing running smoothly, in a fluid movement, while a man’s is almost bubbling in it’s banks. But this is only my own imaginary.

War stories are a two way narrative.

War involves those who actively take part in it and those who are sucked in it, no choice given. Soldiers and civilians. And civilians, too, deserve to be heard. Their emotions should be given a voice, too.

But what if we don’t know if a book was written by a man or a woman? Would we still be able to spot the difference? And how will that knowledge influence our perception of the book?

Again, we only look at war books here.

We are past the women’s rise to prominence during the mid-nineteenth century and past the women’s rights movements.

Do women still need to prove themselves by writing about war?

War is a topic monopolized by men authors throughout the centuries.

Four years ago The Guardian published an interesting article, “Male writers continue to dominate literary criticism, Vida study finds“, VIDA being a group of volunteers interested in drawing attention to gender inequality in the field of book reviewing. The results of the study shows that men appeared 66 percent more often in The New York Times Book Review; three times more often in the London Review of Books; The Times Literary Supplement and others had worse numbers.

If reputable publications involved in book reviewing choose less books by women, will this influence the reader’s / buyer’s choice and view of books written by women?

My view on this subject may be biased as I am both a woman and a woman writer penning stories about war. Yet I feel that little is known about war stories written by women.

Amazing fiction books on war written by women

  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (for the vivid image of how much the American Civil War changed people’s lives and characters)
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (an entire generation changed by WW1)
  • The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam (for its hypnotic details of the Sri Lankan Civil War)
  • The Gold Lieutenant by Whitney Terrell (for depicting so truthfully the surviving nature of women during the Iraq War)
  • Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (filled with the human sensitivity that often escapes WW2 written by an author who, sadly, died in the concentration camp at Auschwitz)
  • Nella Last’s war by Nella Last, an inside view of WW2 from a civilian’s point of view.
  • The People of Forever are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu (a touching tale of teenagers’ experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces)
  • The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli (an amazing novel about the Vietnam War).
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (although an autobiography, is a must-read portrayal of the Holocaust)
  • Transcription by Kate Atkinson (a great spy novel of WW2)
  • The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (a great historical fiction set during WW2 London)
  • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian (an amazing WW2 read for children over the age of 10, especially boys)
  • A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert (set during the WW2 occupation of Ukraine and Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018)
  • Good Evening, Mrs Craven: Wartime Stories by Mollie Panter-Donnes (short stories written during WW2)
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht (set during in an unnamed Balkan country experiencing a rebirth after the collapse of communism).
  • Can you Hear the Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami how three women survive the rise of the Sikh separatists in India).
  • Sparta by Roxana Robinson (about a war veteran’s battle with PTSD after the Iraq War).
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (for the humanity shared by different cultures when held hostage by terrorists)
  • Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg (on the strong connections between US Marines and the Afghan civilians during the Afghanistan War).
Follow this blog:

Silent Heroes, Free Preview, #contemporary, #Fiction, #war #Dogs, #values, #Action via @patfurstenberg

Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

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, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting For book links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Japan, Amazon United Arab Emirates

Follow this blog: