Member Books for January 2014

Fiction  

Conner Meets Dark Cloud. By Col. Charles E. Shields, USA (Ret). Xlibris, (888) 795-4274, www.xlibris.comorders@xlibris.com. ISBN 978-1-4797-4820-4. 66 pp. $15.99. 

After the Civil War, countless arrivals from around the world pushed into the West; some seeking treasure, but most were hoping for the chance for a new life in the New World. But a dark cloud hung over the area: the Indians who were already living here. The new United States government helped the new settlers by placing Indians on reservations, providing US troops to maintain order. One of these was Sgt. Conner, who had just guided four new settlers into a lovely mountain glade. Upon his return, he learned sadly that a band of young braves had attacked a wagon train killing all but two, a boy in his early teens, and his older sister who had been taken alive by the leader of the band, Dark Cloud. The next day, Conner and his troops recovered the bodies and belongings of the settlers. But to Conner’s dismay, there were tracks of the attackers heading toward the very mountain glade he had just visited. Dreading the outcome he led some troops back to that glade and found the four new settlers killed by the attacking Indians. While there, the site was visited by Chief Three Eagles who accepted his braves as responsible but added white men were involved. Conner returned to the fort to learn what he could from the two survivors. Would the Indians and white men be brought to justice? What would become of the two orphaned survivors? 

Ghosts of Bungo Suido. By Capt. P.T. Deutermann, USN (Ret), Life Member. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 978-1-2500-1802-1. 352 pp. $25.99. 

In late 1944, America’s naval forces face what seems an insurmountable threat from Japan: immense Yamato-class battleships, which dwarf every other ship at sea.  Built in secrecy, these ships seem invincible, and lay waste to any challengers. American military intelligence knows of two such ships, but there is rumored to be a third, a newly-built aircraft carrier, ready to launch from Japan’s heavily-defended and mined Inland Sea. Such a ship would threaten U.S. Pacific forces, allow Japan to launch air attacks against the U.S. mainland, and change the course of the war. 

No American submarine has penetrated the Inland Sea; five boats and their crews have perished in the Bungo Suido strait. Lieutenant Commander Gar Hammond—an aggressive, attacking leader with a reckless streak—is now captain of a new submarine. Hammond may be the navy’s only hope to locate and stop the Japanese super-ship before it launches . . . if it even exists.
P.T. Deutermann’s previous World War II adventure, Pacific Glory,won acclaim from readers and reviewers, and was honored with the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction, administered by the American Library Association. In Ghosts of Bungo Suido, Deutermann presents another sweeping, action-filled WWII novel, based on a true event from the Pacific theater.

Good Night Captain Mama/Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá. By former Air Force Capt. Graciela Tiscareño-Sato. Gracefully Global Group LLC, 22568 Mission Blvd. No. 427, Hayward, CA 94541, (510) 542-9449, www.captainmama.com. ISBN 978-0-9834760-3-0. 40 pp. $16.99, plus $2.99 shipping. Signed copies with embroidered patch available from the publisher. Available at www.amazon.com. 

A little boy named Marco is walking to his bedroom in pajamas carrying his stuffed puppy dog when he notices his mommy in an olive-green military flight suit. His curiosity about the colorful patches on her uniform evolves into a sweet, reassuring bedtime conversation between a military mother and her child about why she serves and what she does in the unusual KC-135R aerial refueling airplane. He drifts off to sleep with thoughts of his mommy in the airplane and the special surprise she gave him stuck to his fleece pajamas 

This unique book was written by a Latina military officer and former aviator. It's the first bilingual children's book, in English and Spanish, about why mommies wear military uniforms.  

Naturally Aged Nostalgia: Fun Stories for Spirited Seniors. By Col. John C. Liburdi, USAF (Ret), Life Member, Catawba Valley (N.C.) Chapter. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-3009-9732-0. 104 pp. $9.75, plus postage or $3.99 Kindle. 

Naturally Aged Nostalgia is a collection of witty stories that depict our upside down world as seen through the eyes of mildly disgruntled senior citizens. Each of these short stories is unique, portraying a different facet of our rapidly evolving and often frustrating world. You'll certainly empathize with the book's many characters as you get to know them. 

As the title implies, the book is packed with warm nostalgia-wonderful images parked in the back of your mind will suddenly come to light. Plus, the stories are sprinkled with wry humor and most have surprise endings, some of which are "payback" scenarios that you'll surely savor. You're struggling to keep pace with a world that's spinning out of control, and you're trying to contend with continuous change. Lower your stress level by taking an occasional timeout to read one of the amusing stories contained in this book. You'll find this crazy world to be much more tolerable while you're enjoying these fun stories. 

Reflections of a Partly Cloudy Mind. By CWO5 J.W. Gee, USA (Ret). Xlibris, (888) 795-4274, www.xlibris.comorders@xlibris.com. ISBN 978-1-4797-8284-0. 234 pp. $29.99. 

The author takes the reader on an entertaining journey through military life from the generational perspective of a baby boomer. From dealing with losing his military draft student deferment during the Vietnam War to serving as a bodyguard for the Secretary of Defense, the author provides the reader with a unique, informative and often outrageously hilarious glimpse of military life in the United States Army intelligence and law enforcement communities as illustrated by the following excerpt from the chapter titled “A Pointed Boot:” 

"Yes sir, one of those gentlemen had a bad case of sanpaku. Have you ever had the out-of-body experience where you hear your voice but wonder why you are saying what you are saying? That is what happened to me here. As soon as those words left my lips, I regretted them. I was so desperate to have a conversation with this legendary Texas Ranger that I manufactured an opportunity to speak to him and then said something really stupid. I knew as soon as I said it that his response was not going to stimulate a collegial discussion among professionals of the same ilk. His face became quizzical and he asked without looking at me, "Sam-pack who" With great trepidation, I began explaining sanpaku..." 

Learn about sanpaku, snafu, the Asoh Defense, modern day cattle rustlers, and obscure forms of military jargon and acronyms. Get introduced to an ornery barnyard cat, clever investigative techniques and the perils of using foreign language translators to determine case facts. Laugh in wonderment at the murky world of lie detection using a polygraph instrument. The colorful and memorable characters described in each chapter, to include the author, are alternatingly frail and courageous, naïve and crafty, cynical and patriotic, but always captivatingly authentic. 

 

Nonfiction

 

Golden Circle Secrets: How to Achieve Consistent Sales Success Through Customer Values& Expectations. By Ben Midgley and Capt. Dale Midgley, USA (Ret), Southern Maine Chapter. John Wiley & Sons, www.wiley.com. ISBN 978-0-4717-1857-4. 192 pp. $19.95. Available as an e-book. 

Golden Circle Secrets reveals a new way of doing business today. Much like the "golden rule" we're already familiar with, the Golden Circle is based on the idea that what goes around comes around, not just in our everyday lives, but in business as well. 

According to the Golden Circle principle, businesses do best when they embrace a core set of values that their customers, employees, and shareholders can relate to. Simply put, making decisions based solely on the bottom line isn't enough. In fact, when businesses base their decisions on real values—such as integrity, honesty, respect, genuine concern, and loyalty—they build trust in their customers who reward them with more business. 

The first step to success as a Golden Circle business is to reform the sales process, since sales is the first and primary means of communication between your customers and your company. In step-by-step fashion, authors Ben and Dale Midgley show business leaders, sales managers, and salespeople how to find those values that customers care most about and deliver products and customer services in accordance with them, leading to consistent sales success. 

Most companies pay lip service to the issue of customer values, but they don't do much else, resulting in an erosion of trust among customers. Customers, however, have real values they want companies to address. Any business that sincerely takes those values to heart will earn repeat business and increased sales. But the Golden Circle is about more than making customers happy. By embracing and acting on real values, companies create goodwill and enthusiasm not only among customers, but also among employees and shareholders—enriching the company as a whole. 

Just as we base our personal relationships on universal values like honesty, respect, and ethics, customers want to base their business relationships on the same values. In a highly competitive economy, companies that address these customer values sincerely and effectively will be richly rewarded. Packed with proven advice and practical guidance, Golden Circle Secrets will put your business—and you—on the path to a bright and profitable future. 

Memoir

Fair Winds and Following Seas: Reflections on the Navy Career of a Teenage Ensign. By Cmdr. Ronald Vail, USN (Ret), Life Member. AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403, (800) 839-8640, www.authorhouse.com. ISBN 978-1-4817-3487-5. 164 pp. $27.99.

This book relates the military experiences compiled from a twenty-five year naval career of a small town boy whose elementary and high school endeavors were somewhat less than satisfactory, but who was given the opportunity, provided by that inconceivably destructive event, known as World War II, to redeem his poor educational activity and serve in the Navy reasonably successfully. The book follows his career as he rose from a very young and inexperienced Ensign to the rank of Commander. Early on, he acquired a specialty designation as cryptologist, dealing with codes and ciphers in the Naval Communications system. This book depicts the good times, the hard times, and the difficult times of the voyage to the top of the military organization in which he spent the biggest part of his Navy career. He spent many years in the field spreading the communication security gospel directly to the communication officers of various ships and stations. Finally, after 20 years of total service, he was assigned to the Naval Security Group Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as deputy to the head of the Communication Security Organization with oversight and management responsibilities over the field activities. Later, when his boss was assigned to duty at a field activity, he was elevated to the head of the organization. After about a year as head of the Communication Security Organization, he was given a very promising assignment as Commanding Officer of a newly established Naval Security Group command in California. As expressed in the book, this was a "Camelot" assignment. 

Shortly after World War II ended and very early in his career, he met and married his lifetime companion. This relationship produced six children, five daughters and a son, who survived a change of venue every two to three years and all became college graduates, including one daughter who was born with a physical disability denying her the ability to get around without assistance. All achieved exceptional success in their chosen occupational pursuits. He and his bride’s commandment that all the children must expect to stay in school at least sixteen years, was really very rewarding for them in their later lives. 

Heretic Son: He Left Home and Church and Found God in a U.S. Navy Destroyer. By Cmdr. Donald A. Weir, USN (Ret). AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403, (800) 839-8640, www.authorhouse.com. ISBN 978-1-4817-5037-0. 182 pp. $25.19. Available at www.amazon.com. 

Psychologists, socialists, and theologians have written about the dramatic changes in American culture during the last half of the twentieth century. Chaplain Weir lived through those changes, Viet Nam, Woodstock, Rock & Roll, Montgomery and Dallas. Up close and personal Weir relates his own inner struggle to create a new model of Christianity for himself and the Navy men and at last make peace with his own parents. 

The Life of an Iowa Farm Boy. By Capt. Gerald D. Love, USN (Ret), Life Member, Central Florida Chapter. Colorwise Inc, 1125 Northmeadow Pkwy, Suite 130, Roswell, GA 30076. ISBN 978-1-4675-8421-0. 377 pp. $30, plus postage. 

This narrative describes the experiences, adventures, work, and life of an Iowa boy who grew up on a farm in southeastern Iowa during the era of the great depression. After attending a one room country school, high school, and one year of college, he volunteered for active duty in the U.S. Navy during WWII and after completing boot camp served aboard amphibious ships in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations. After receiving his WWII discharge he returned to college and received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a reserve commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. His first engineering assignment was aboard the USS Tanner, a Navy Hydrographic Ship and at the outbreak of the Korean War, he again volunteered and was assigned to a Navy Construction Battalion providing construction and engineering support for the construction of airfields and shore facilities in Korea and a number of Pacific Islands. After returning to civilian life he continued a challenging career as a professional civil engineer spanning a period of 63 years that included engineering assignments in five continents ranging from snake infested jungles in Venezuela to the mountainous rain forests of Cambodia. His successful career was due in part to his adventurous wife and five children who always looked forward to moving to a new location, as evidenced by the fact that during his career, the family lived in thirty-one houses in various locations from the east coast to the west coast and overseas. Throughout his career he recognized the importance of graduate engineering studies to keep abreast of current technologies and in so doing, received graduate degrees from Iowa State University, Yale University, and a Doctorate in Engineering degree from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI). 

Sea Stories and Fairy Tales: Memoirs of an Old Sailor. By Capt. Jerold J. Larson, USN (Ret), Life Member, Hampton Roads (Va.) Chapter. Professional Press. ISBN 978-1-5708-7808-4. 143 pp. Contact the author: 3300 Ocean Shore Ave., Apt. 408, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, (757) 460-9037. 

True stories witnessed by the author or verified by two other parties and related to the author. Names of most of the personnel and ships involved have been withheld, but can be provided up on request. This was done to protect the families of the personnel involved, and in some cases to avoid embarrassment. The targeted readers are current or retired Navy people, or at least active or retired servicemembers. 

The Sky Is the Limit: From Clod Buster toCloud Chaser. By Brig. Gen. Oscar A. Hurt, USAF (Ret), Life Member, Southern Nevada Chapter. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4811-8124-2. Available on www.amazon.com. 164 pp. $8.99. 

The Sky Is the Limit is the story of a young farm boy who grew up during the Great Depression and demonstrates these essentials as he pursues a dream in aviation to become a brigadier general in the Air Force and a commercial pilot as well. His path to success was punctuated with detours and many forks in the road but it demonstrates that, in America, you can live your dream.