Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman – #BookReview – Historical World War II Fiction

Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dark Seas by Jerry BorrowmanAs captain of a destroyer in the US Navy, Merrill Kendrick plays a crucial and dangerous role in protecting the convoys that are essential to Britain’s survival in the Second World War. Despite pressure from his father to join the family company, a supplier of military radios, Kendrick chose to fight on the front lines of the war, a decision he’s never regretted. But when technical issues with his family’s Gatekeeper radios lead to devastating consequences in combat in the Atlantic, Kendrick needs answers. 

Joe Horiuchi, a second-generation Japanese American, gave up a prestigious future to fight in the merchant marine on behalf of the United States. Though he is faced with harsh discrimination, his brilliance with electronics proves invaluable. When his expertise is most needed, Horiuchi does not flinch in the face of danger—and he suffers the devastating consequences.

Kendrick is a seasoned veteran when it comes to battle—but facing off with U-boats is nothing like facing off with his own father, who may be guilty of treachery. With the help of Horiuchi and his radio communications expertise, Kendrick must uncover the truth of his family business before more lives are lost. 

His Review:

Germany’s U-boats and E-boats were a constant harassment in the North Atlantic Ocean. The German submarines were everywhere in the waters off the eastern coast of the United States all the way to England and France. If a ship is not sunk immediately, an SOS and ship’s position is sent along with the coordinates where the torpedo struck the ship. This would give the rest of the convoy the chance to avoid the area.

Dark Seas by Jerry BorrowmanJoe Horiuchi is the radioman. His orders are to send the final message in hopes that rescue would come for the stranded sailors. Being a Japanese serving in the merchant marines was extremely difficult at that time. Although a Nissei or second-generation Japanese American, Joe had gone to Tufts University and then Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York getting a degree in electronics.

A major defense contractor was cutting corners on preparing vital radio equipment for the military and many of the communications equipment was poorly manufactured. Joe was busy trying to prepare a satisfactory radio from three “junk radios” purchased prior to the voyage. Captain Birdsall had also attended Rensselaer and had a fondness for his Seaman Radioman. They were able to get the distress signal out before abandoning ship.

Running defense and interference for the merchant marine ships delivering defense weapons to England and the North African coast was always a very dangerous endeavor. Throughout the war, many tons of shipping were sunk in transit in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres of operation. In June of 1944 Captain Birdsall and his ship and crew were an integral part of the landing of troops and supplies to the Normandy Coast.

CE WilliamsThis book is an excellent memorial to the many men who fought and died freeing Europe from the Third Reich. The description of weapons used and tactics employed were quite illuminating. Catching companies who were cutting corners and seeking profits while endangering our troops was fascinating. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys history and the saga of WWII. 5 stars – C. E. Williams

Much appreciation to the publisher and NetGalley for the complimentary review copy of this book that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions. 

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Covenant Communications
ASIN: B09K38GLWN
Print Length: 170 pages
Publication Date: April 4, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Dark Seas [Amazon]
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Dark Seas by Jerry BorrowmanThe Author: Jerry Borrowman is a best-selling and award-winning author of historical fiction, historical non-fiction, and co-authored biographies.

Compassionate Soldier won the 2018 Indies Gold (First Place) Award from Foreword Reviews in War and Military. Compassionate Soldier and Three Against Hitler (with Rudi Wobbe) are George Washington National Award Winners from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

Jerry has given voice to true heroes — Rudi Wobbe, a German boy who stood up against the Third Reich, Joe Banks in A Distant Prayer who served on 49 combat missions deep into German territory in a B-17 bomber, only to be shot down and taken prisoner of war, and Colonel Bernard Fisher, USAF, a career Air Force pilot who was awarded the Medal of Honor for Valor Above and Beyond the Call of Duty in Vietnam, (also known as the Congressional Medal of Honor).

But for those who enjoy historical fiction, his World War I and World War II series provides insight into the great European wars of the 20th Century in a unique and exciting way.

Here’s what Jennie Hansen, reviewer for Meridian magazine has to say: “Borrowman does a superb job of portraying life, including the values and prejudices of the early twentieth century. He brings a realism to that period that is slower and more innocent than teens experience today, yet the reader is led to an awareness of and learns to care about the hopes and dreams of these soon-to-be-men, who live in a time when automobiles are still new and airplanes are little more than toys…”

Jerry’s books are for readers of all ages, men and women. They will inspire you by the great sacrifices made by those who have fought for American freedom.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

Red Burning Sky: A WWIINovel Inspired by the Greatest Aviation Rescue in History by Tom Young – #BookReview – #HistoricalFiction

Book Blurb:

From the author of Silver Wings, Iron Cross comes a suspenseful and thrilling saga based on the true story of one of World War II’s most daring and successful rescue missions.

Red Burning Sky by Tom YoungSummer 1944: Yugoslavia is locked in a war within a war. In addition to fighting the German occupation, warring factions battle each other. Hundreds of Allied airmen have been shot down over this volatile region, among them American lieutenant Bill Bogdonavich. Though grateful to the locals who are risking their lives to shelter and protect him from German troops, Bogdonavich dreams of the impossible: escape.

With three failed air missions behind him, Lieutenant Drew Carlton is desperate for redemption. From a Texas airbase he volunteers for a secretive and dangerous assignment, codenamed Operation Halyard, that will bring together American special operations officers, airmen, and local guerilla fighters in Yugoslavia’s green hills. This daring plan—to evacuate hundreds of stranded airmen while avoiding detection by the Germans—faces overwhelming odds. What follows is one of the greatest stories of World War II heroism, an elaborate rescue that required astonishing courage, sacrifice, and resilience.

Red Burning Sky is a riveting and ultimately triumphant military thriller based on true events, all the more remarkable for being so little known—until now.

His Review:

Yugoslavia is between Italy and Romania and Romania is the source of oil for fuel for the Nazi’s. The “Miss Carolina’s” mission is to disrupt the oil field and production of fuel for the Nazi’s. The mission is never easy and the flight path is over Yugoslavia where they are in the midst of a civil war between the Partisans led by Marshal Tito and the Chetniks.

Red Burning Sky by Tom YoungThe B-24 has taken heavy fire and many of the crew are dead. The order must be given to bail out as the plane is no longer able to be controlled. Bogdonavich is the gunner in the nose compartment. He sees nearly eight Messerschmitt BF109’s attacking the plane. The plane shudders and reports of burning wings and engines cause the pilot to order the evacuation of the plane.

Bogdonavich leaves the plane and his parachute opens before he gets whipped by the trees approaching the ground. He wonders how many men were able to exit the aircraft. Cutting his parachute cords he approaches a tree-line and sees three people approaching him; a young boy, an old man, and a pretty young lady. They take him to a farmhouse but make no effort to hide him. The young boy is part of the Chetnik group that is aiding downed allied aircrew. A bullet in the head is their reward if they are caught.

Nearly 500 US and allied airmen are rescued by these freedom fighters! The one rescuing Bogdonavich is a 17-year-old named Vasa the Wolf. The people of Yugoslavia are assisting downed pilots from being captured by the Germans. They supply hiding places, food, and medical assistance to the airmen at the peril of instant death.

This saga is about a mission in WWII that was classified top secret during the war. The final reward for the rescue of the pilots was silence and deniability by the war department. No air medals nor ribbons for bravery were ever awarded. This is the first exposure of this small part of the war. That 500 airmen could have been rescued by the Chetniks and never recognized seems unthinkable particularly because the Partisans under Marshall Tito wound up the ruling faction after the war and the Chetniks were considered the enemy.

CE WilliamsI recommend this book as a means of understanding the sacrifices for anyone who is a war buff. The writing will help to understand some of the unsung heroes of WWII. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Historical Thrillers
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B0964FXLFS
Print Length: 300 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Red Burning Sky [Amazon] 
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Kobo

Add to Goodreads

The Author: Thomas W. Young has logged nearly 5,000 hours as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, and elsewhere, including Latin America, the Horn of Africa, and the Far East. Military honors include three Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He retired from the military as a Senior Master Sergeant.

He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied writing there and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among other places. He is also the author of the oral history The SpeedFour  of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and contributed to the anthology Operation Homecoming, edited by Andrew Carroll.

 More information about Tom Young and his work can be found online at TomYoungBooks.com.

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

 

 

 

A Valiant Deceit (An Olive Bright Mystery Book 2) by Stephanie Graves – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie GravesYoung pigeoneer Olive Bright has been conscripted, with her racing birds, to aid the fight against the Nazis. It’s not the daring role she’d envisioned for herself, but her quiet little English village is not nearly as sheltered as she imagined . . .

Returning to Pipley following her FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) training, Olive is eager to step up her involvement in the war effort. Her pigeons are being conscripted to aid the Belgian resistance, and it’s up to Olive to choose the best birds for the mission. To protect the secrecy of their work, she must also continue the ruse of being romantically involved with her superior, Captain Jameson Aldridge, a task made more challenging by the fact that she really does have feelings for the gruff Irish intelligence officer.

But perhaps the greatest challenge of all comes when an instructor at Station XVII, the top-secret training school housed at Brickendonbury Manor, is found dead in Balls Wood by a troop of Girl Guides. The police quickly rule Lieutenant Jeremy Beckett’s death an accident, but based on clues she finds at the scene, Olive begins to suspect he might have been a spy.  Involving the reluctant Jamie, she is determined to solve the murder and possibly stop a threat to their intelligence efforts which could put the Belgians—not to mention her pigeons—in grave danger.

His Review:

Bullets and bombs were not the only weapons in use during WW II. During war, information is extremely valuable. Troop movements, weapons deployment, and stockpiles are viable targets of value. The distance between the British Isles and the European mainland is very small in some locations.

Olive has been using and training pigeons for racing and sport. Small packets of information attached to a pigeon’s legs are usually undetectable. The birds were often dropped into enemy territory with spies. Vital troop movements and concentrations could then be sent back to England via these birds. Olive was very proud of her flock and their accomplishments.

A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie GravesShe became very attached to her aviary friends and gave each of them a name. As they were shuttled into Belgium and France, she would look for them to return to their cages. Attached to their legs were usually a 2 1/2 to 3 inch canister with a coded message inserted. The messages helped to win the war and protect some of the inserted spies and combatants.

Stephanie Graves has added a valuable piece of war history and memorabilia in this entertaining tale. Her character, Olive, is a Nancy Drew want to be who has solved some crimes in her day. Her commanding officer is Jameson Aldridge. He is skeptical of the entire mission and continually questions she and her birds’ abilities to help in the war effort.

CE WilliamsGrudgingly he admits to her accomplishments, but keeps a close rein on her activities, as she tends to get herself into trouble with her constant delving into other people’s affairs. The story is fun and imaginative. I really enjoyed the author and her repartee between the characters. Overall, a very fun and engaging read. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B093XVNDBH
Print Length: 329 pages
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): A Valiant Deceit [Amazon] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Stephanie Graves - authorThe Author: STEPHANIE GRAVES has recently turned from happily-ever-afters to murder. The author of four published novels under the pseudonym Alyssa Goodnight, she transitioned to writing under her real name with her debut historical mystery, OLIVE BRIGHT, PIGEONEER. Her books have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, First for Women and Woman’s World. She lives with her family and two rescue pups in Houston.

Visit her at msstephgraves.com to subscribe to her newsletter or find her on FB, Twitter, Instagram or BookBub.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

New Releases Tuesday – Retailers still call it Super Tuesday! (This one is REALLY super!)

February 22 release dates

Remember back in 2018 that I discovered the phenomenon of so many of my upcoming books with a Tuesday release date?

It’s happened again with my February books, but not just with a Tuesday release date—all scheduled to release February 22, 2022. There is something magical about that date!

2-22-22

I have four and didn’t realize the commonality until I was surveying my upcoming review dates for NetGalley. But I’m not going to wait for February. These are all scheduled for my reviews in January (two are mine, two from the CE). Oh. My. Gosh! I’m thinking you have to check these out—they will be special. (Blurbs are excerpts.) Links on pics.

The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni

The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni(Charles Jenkins Book 3)

International Mystery and Crime
Print Length: 399 pages
ISBN: ‎ 1542008344
ASIN: ‎ B08WLVP716 

In this pulse-racing thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Agent, an American sleeper cell in Russia goes silent—and it’s one man’s duty to find them…

After a harrowing escape from Russian agents on his last mission, Charles Jenkins thinks he’s finally done with the spy game.

An Amazon Charts, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestselling series.

My review, first of the year, on January 2.

Red Burning Sky by Tom Young

Red Burning Sky by Tom YoungA WWII Novel Inspired by the Greatest Aviation Rescue in History

Historical WWII Fiction, Military Thriller
Print Length: 300 pages
ASIN: ‎ B0964FXLFS

From the author of Silver Wings, Iron Cross comes a suspenseful and thrilling saga based on the true story of one of World War II’s most daring and successful rescue missions.

Summer 1944: Yugoslavia is locked in a war within a war. In addition to fighting the German occupation, warring factions battle each other…

Red Burning Sky is a riveting and ultimately triumphant military thriller based on true events, all the more remarkable for being so little known—until now.

His review on January 4.

Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O’Connor

Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O'Connor(An Irish Village Mystery Book 8)

International Mystery and Crime, Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 330 pages
ASIN: ‎ B0964F2G1Y

The wedding of Siobhán O’Sullivan and Macdara Flannery in the village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, comes to an abrupt halt when the skeleton of a groom is unearthed . . .
 
It’s not every day you see two garda marrying each other…

My review on Jan 18.

The Berlin Exchange by Joseph Kanon

The Berlin Exchange by Joseph KanonHistorical Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers
Print Length: 384 pages
ASIN: ‎ B08VJLQFQC

From “master of the genre” (The Washington Post) Joseph Kanon, an espionage thriller set at the height of the Cold War, when a captured American who has spied for the KGB is swapped by the British and returns to East Berlin needing to know who arranged his release and what they want from him.

Berlin. 1963. The height of the Cold War. An early morning spy swap, not at the familiar setting for such exchanges, or at Checkpoint Charlie, where international visitors cross into the East, but at a more discreet border crossing, usually reserved for East German VIPs…

His Review on Jan 30.

clink glassesHow many books will you review that also have a release date of 2-22-22?
I think it calls for a collective raise of glasses—a special toast—how often can that happen? Cheers!!

©2021 V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

 

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