Black Flag Journals: One Soldier’s Experience in America’s Longest War

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Dennis Woods and his memoir Black Flag Journals: One Soldier’s Experience in America’s Longest War.

Author’s description

The story of America’s longest war is complicated and difficult to convey, unless you were there. Dennis Woods was there. By following his stories in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can sense the enormity of his combat experiences. Originally written for his daughter, Black Flag Journals is taken from the author’s nine battle book journals. It covers his time from the fall of the Twin Towers through his last combat tour.

Black Flag Journals contains not just stories from the first war of the new century, but a day-by-day record of events that other veterans may use to relate their own experiences. All who enjoy real life stories, and followers of history will connect with this first person account of America’s longest war.

About the Author

CSM Woods combat tours include;
Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada, 82d Airborne Division.
Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia – Iraq, 82d Airborne Division.
Operation Desert Fox 1998, Qatar, 5th Group Special Forces.
OEF 2 Afghanistan, 82d Airborne Division.
OIF 1 Iraq, First Armored Division.
OIF 6 Iraq, First Armored Division.
OEF X Afghanistan, 173D Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
OEF XIII Afghanistan, 191st Infantry Brigade

CSM Woods civilian education includes a Master of Education, (training & leadership) from North Central University, Prescott AZ, and a Bachelor of Science from Excelsior, Albany, New York.
Military education includes the United States Sergeants Majors Academy class # 58, Army force management course, Jump Master, Drill Sergeant, US Army Recruiter, Infantry Small Arms Master Gunner, Artillery Master Gunner, Amphibious Warfare leaders’ course (USMC), Anti-Armor Leaders course, Machine Gun Leaders course, Artillery Mechanics repair course, Small Arms repair course, Nuclear Biological Chemical defense, and all levels of air load planning and hazmat certification USAF.

CSM Woods awards include; one Distinguished Service medal, one Legion Of Merit,( 5) Bronze Star Medals, 5 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 ARCOM, 4 AAM, 1 Humanitarian service medal, 2 Armed Forces Expeditionary medals,  Afghanistan and Iraq service medals. German Jump Master Wings, Qatar Jump wings as part of 5th Group, Netherlands Jumpmaster wings.  Other awards include; Department of Defense “Inventor of the year” (2003) with 45 separate inventions. CSM Woods saved the United States Government over one Billion Dollars through cost avoidance.  He is also the first recipient of the GRUBER award for an outstanding field artillery professional.

CSM Woods is credited by the US Army Smart Ideas program as the inventor of;

  • The 105mm Howitzer night direct fire sight system M913 GELON.
  • The 155mm towed Howitzer night sight system.
  • The dual use day/ night direct fire sight reticule.
  • The Dual optic MILES Laser trainer.
  • The Urban Assault kit (PALADIN) improved crew protection, 155mm system.

On his most recent tour to Afghanistan, CSM Woods pioneered the first use of artillery training rounds in combat as a form of scalable fire support designed to limit civilian death and collateral damage.  He is the author of, ‘Black Flag Journals One Soldiers Experience in America’s Longest War’, and numerous magazine, newspaper articles, including training pamphlets concerning Artillery, night vision, and combat operations.

Find the Author

Twitter: @djwoodswrites
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dennis-John-Woods/e/B01KU91GFI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15660793.Dennis_John_Woods

Buy the Book

Amazon Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Black-Flag-Journals-Soldiers-Experience-ebook/dp/B01L0LW7US/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-flag-journals-dennis-john-woods/1124419537
Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Black-Flag-Journals-Audiobook/B08MBHSQQ9
Koehler Book: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/book/black-flag-journals/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The flight we were on this morning was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill resupply operation. Its purpose was to service Afghanistan’s numerous small camps and bases. What it carried, though, was not ordinary or run-of-the-mill. What we were delivering was an unusual allotment of artillery ammunition and GELON mounts. Part of my mission on this trip was about to be completed. However, once in the air, I was given a new defensive challenge to solve.

Thank you!

Dennis Woods — we appreciate your sharing Black Flag Journals: One Soldier’s Experience in America’s Longest War with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future endeavors.

Antithesis

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Svet Rouskov and his book  Antithesis: A Collection of Science Fiction and Other Short Stories.

 

 Author’s description

Antithesis is a collection of vivid and exhilarating science fiction stories, tied together by characters whose moral challenges offer windows into humanity and the human condition. These stories are cautionary tales, flights of fancy, terrifying psychological journeys, humorous romps, and even a space opera.

 

A speculative tale about humankind becoming obsolete from the perspective of the machines we created. The story of an airline pilot who loses his faith in the physics of flying as his rational and irrational mind fight for dominance. An ancient being born of human evolution that strips us of our memories, feeding on one precious reminiscence at a time. An audacious fable that explores a new galaxy, one where humans are irrelevant, but the conflicts of a class-based society are not. A novella-length saga about a mission to Mars, the origins of humanity, and an atrocity that stretches across time and space. And finally, a story that asks the question whether an unstoppable artificial intelligence would indeed be happier traveling the vast reaches of space, or back amongst the flawed beings who created it.

 

Escape into worlds unlike anything you have seen before, but some eerily similar to our own. Antithesis – where the opposite is to be expected.

My Review

There is no doubt that author Svet Rouskoy has a deft command of the language and flair for telling a story. Start any of the tales in his book Antithesis and you will know you are in good hands, going places that will surprise you and get you to think.

My favorite story was MCDU, a slightly eerie but fascinating look at a pilot taking his first flight after surviving a crash. The reader isn’t sure what exactly is off in this tale, but something is not right …

My least favorite happened to be Antonella, Galactic Space Pirate. I don’t enjoy unlikable protagonists and have limited tolerance for gore and mistreatment, although I did appreciate the occasional wry humor. (When a mother tells her daughter her hairstyle is unflattering while they are in the middle of a space battle, even I have to laugh.)

My biggest quarrel with the entire book is that the cover and title led me to believe I was about to enjoy several short stories. I love short stories.

But this book offers only two and then serves up several multi-part novelette/novella length works broken into various chapters and interspersed. The format is confusing and, worse yet, several of the stories are continued in another book!

However, a reader going into this work understanding this situation, or one willing to just enjoy whatever show up on the page, is in for a treat because there is a lot of good stuff in here.

About the Author

Svet Rouskov started his career as a graduate from the University of Toronto Mechanical Engineering program and became a successful automotive industry executive. After fifteen years he discovered that his real passion was writing. Once he took an introductory screenwriting class, Svet realized he was hooked and continued his filmmaking education at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre. Since that time, Svet has written, developed, and produced feature films, television shows, video games, and web-based series. His passion for writing has now extended to literature, which offers him another exciting avenue to tell stories. This is Svet’s first work of fiction.

Please check out his IMDb page for details of his work and representative contact information.

Find the Author

WEBSITE: https://svetrouskov.com/
IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3118508/

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228840317
AMAZON.CA https://amazon.ca/dp/0228840317
BOOKSHOP https://bookshop.org/books/antithesis-a-collection-of-science-fiction-and-other-short-stories-9780228840329/9780228840312
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/antithesis-a-collection-of-science/9780228840336-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/antithesis-svet-rouskov/1138748979
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Antithesis-Svet-Rouskov/9780228840312
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1067295
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/antithesis-collection-science-fiction-other-short-stories/id1552933427

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Samantha also knew Kenji was sweet on Ellie, but Ellie wasn’t interested, as she found him dreadfully boring. Sam didn’t know why, but people trusted her. Maybe it was the fact that she was middle-aged and had done enough to know something, but still felt young at heart. Either way, Samantha loved being in the middle of the drama.

“Listen, Kenji, I don’t think she likes you that way,” Samantha replied.

“Has she said so?” “No. But it’s just … you guys are so different,” she said.

“How?”

“She’s an adrenaline junkie, rides a motorcycle, climbs mountains, hang-glides …”

“I’m not exciting enough for her?” Kenji asked, the hurt plainly visible on his face.

“No, that’s not it at all. It’s just—” But she was cut off as Ellie stormed into the room, face flushed, eyes wide, looking like she was going to hyperventilate.

“It’s building!” Ellie blurted out.

“Calm down, Ellie,” said Samantha.

Ellie took a deep breath, then continued, “The line is building something.”

“What did you program it to make?” asked Kenji.

“I didn’t. No one did,” she replied.

Kenji and Samantha exchanged a shocked look, and then both jumped to their feet.

Samantha and Ellie stared out the control room’s observation window. Below them, the assembly line hummed with activity. Kenji was behind them at the stations, madly entering commands on the panels. Sam turned to look at him and could see the look of shock in his eyes.

“No plans were entered into the system,” he said.

“Then what’s being made?” asked Samantha.

The door burst open, and Ross stormed in. He first went to the window—eyes wide, practically frothing at the mouth—but then whipped around and glared at Kenji. “What the fuck is going on?” he barked. “I don’t know,” said Kenji.

“What do you mean you don’t know? What are we building?”

Kenji didn’t answer, just curled his shoulders and lowered his head. Ross whipped around to look at Ellie. “Don’t look at me,” she said.

“You integrated his code, didn’t you? Take some responsibility for once!”

“Take it easy, Ross. Yelling’s not going to help,” said Samantha.

Ross slowly softened; Samantha knew the calming effect she had on him and wasn’t afraid to interrupt one of his outbursts.

Ross turned back to Kenji. “What happened?”

“As far as I can tell, the system chose to make something on its own,” said Kenji.

“I thought we followed the anti-artificial-intelligence laws, you know, so something like this couldn’t happen,” Ross said accusingly.

“We did. I can’t explain it—” Kenji began, but he was cut off by Ellie, who was at the viewing window.

“It’s done!” she cried.

Thank you!

Svet Rouskov  — we appreciate your sharing your book Antithesis: A Collection of Science Fiction and Other Short Stories with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Dragon(e) Baby Gone

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Robert Gainey and his mystery fantasy novel, Dragon(e) Baby Gone (Reports from the Department of Intangible Assets Book 1)

Author’s description

Diane Morris is part of the thin line separating a happy, mundane world from all of the horrors of the anomalous. Her federal agency is underfunded, understaffed, and misunderstood, and she’d rather transfer to the boring safety of Logistics than remain a field agent. When a troupe of international thieves make off with a pair of dragon eggs, Diane has no choice but to ally with a demon against the forces looking to leave her city a smoldering crater. Facing down rogue wizards, fiery elementals, and crazed gunmen, it’s a race against time to get the precious cargo back before the dragon wakes up and unleashes hell.

About the Author

Robert Gainey is a born and raised Floridian, despite his best efforts. While enrolled at Florida State University and studying English (a language spoken on a small island near Europe), Robert began volunteering for the campus medical response team, opening up a great new passion in his life. Following graduation, he pursued further training through paramedic and firefighting programs, going on to become a full time professional firefighter in the State of Florida. He currently lives and works in Northeast Florida with his wife and dogs, who make sure he gets walked regularly. Robert writes near-fetched fantasy novels inspired by the madness and courage found in everyday events.

Find the Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RNGainey
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robertngainey/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.gainey
Blog: https://robertgainey.blogspot.com/
Website: robertgainey.com

Buy the Book

Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Reports-Department-Intangible-Assets-ebook/dp/B095GNZJCN

Barnes & Noble — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-robert-gainey/1139526445

Google — https://books.google.com/books/about/Dragon_e_Baby_Gone.html?id=vY17zgEACAAJ

We were wondering …

The author was nice enough to answer the questions “How did you come up with the title of this book?”

Well, first off it’s got a dragon in it and it’s about dragon eggs going missing. That, coupled with my love for puns, led me to workshop a number of titles until I landed on Dragon(e) Baby Gone, which may or may not have been inspired by a movie I saw around the time I was trying to think of a name.

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

When you think about how the FBI gets around by helicopter, you probably think of Black Hawks or at least heavy, coal-colored aircraft bristling with instruments and/or weapons. Something very spy movie, or at least crime drama. Hell, it’s what I imagine and, actually, what I was used to. So when we landed at a small airstrip a couple miles south of Las Vegas and the only helicopter in sight had a large yellow smiley face painted onto the side with a logo for “Big Bob’s Canyon Tours,” I figured I was in for a wait until my actual transport arrived. The stewardess thanked me for flying and closed up behind me as Tomas and I staggered down the stairs. I was rubbing sleep out of my eyes as two large men in khakis and flowered shirts came over from the chopper.

Now these were some violent men. The way they walked, the way they held themselves, and the way they carried very large pistols under those loose clothes made me immediately think they were professional, but still violent. I paused where I was, and they stood, arms clasped in front of them, easy expressions on their faces and an almost lazy posture. We all waited until the private jet taxied away toward the little fuel shack at the other end of the runway.

“What’s your name?” Oh boy, that’s not a polite first question.

Thank you!

Robert Gainey  — we appreciate your sharing your book Dragon(e) Baby Gone  and your sense of humor with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.