When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard – #BookReview – Military Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

“Freedom is not free” is credited to retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Hitchcock.

Book Blurb:

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La RaidersInspired by the true story of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan in 1942, The Shangri-La Raiders is the next stunning installment of the When Heroes Flew WWII historical fiction series.

This gripping novel follows an American bomber crew through their secretive training, a harrowing raid on Japan, and on their desperate journey through occupied China to Chungking, the seat of the country’s wartime government.

The crew, along with an American missionaries’ daughter whom they’ve rescued, must evade the Japanese occupiers every step of the way. And amidst all the horror and turmoil of war, a romance blossoms between the rescued woman and the crew’s pilot.

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders is a captivating tale of bravery, determination and an unlikely love that will leave you hooked until the very end.

His Review:

A tale of love during a time of war mixed with historical fact! Lt. Colonel Jimmie Doolittle and a squadron of sixteen, B25 Mitchell bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet to bomb the Japanese mainland in WW II. The takeoff of a heavy bomb-loaded aircraft from the carrier deck was unheard of! They usually needed well over a thousand feet of runway to get airborne. These planes only had 360 feet. The first plane off the flight deck was Doolittle himself!

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W BernardThe training and heroics of the young crews cannot be overstated. Training was done at numerous bases in the United States and then actual carrier training was done at Pensacola, Florida. The crews were selected from among the best B25 bomber crews in the Army Air Force.  Colonel Doolittle did not ask them to do anything that he didn’t do. He also led the attack on the Japanese islands. The United States needed a victory after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, HI.

After the bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, the planes flew to mainland China, as they had no way of getting back to the USS Hornet. The flight took off nearly 600 miles from the Japanese coastline. The worry was that the planes would not be able to get to China after the bombing run. All of the crews were volunteers who knew that they may need to ditch in the ocean! Some of the flight crew were unable to swim and the planes carried only one life raft!

After bailing out over mainland China, the crews were frantically searched for by the Japanese. They were considered war criminals and would surely be executed upon capture. The narrative spells out some of the heroic efforts made to evade capture and return to the U.S. for further military deployment. A fictional officer named Lieutenant Raymond “Boss” Howser was the flight leader of one of these planes. His was the seventh bomber that took off from the deck of the Hornet. As his plane was running out of fuel he had his flight crew bail out of the coughing plane.

CE WilliamsThe assistance of the Chinese people who were being brutalized by the Japanese military was at great personal risk. Thousands of Chinese men, women and children were brutally murdered if suspected of assisting the American devils. Lt. Howser and his crew are aided by a missionary, his wife and daughter. The assistance was found out and the parents were savagely tortured and executed. The crews escape back to U.S. held lines included hiding in the jungles of central China and getting aide along the way from the Chinese people who hated the Japanese. The story is a compelling read and heartwarming in the execution of the tale. 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. Now on pre-order.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Military Thrillers
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B08GKX9SVK
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads

Harold W Bernard - authorThe Author: H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

PLAGUE (“One of the best thrillers of 2012″–novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

SUPERCELL (“Races along with the speed of a twister”–novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

Buzz’s fourth novel and third in his “weather trilogy,” BLIZZARD (“A terrific book”–novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015. It led to his nomination for a 2016 Georgia Author of the Year award.

CASCADIA (“heart pounding”–Reed Farrel Coleman, NYT best-selling author WHERE IT HURTS) hit the market in July 2016 and went on to garner the 2018 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category, making Buzz a three-time “Eppie” winner.

Buzz’s newest novel, WHEN HEROES FLEW (“vivid, unforgettable”–P. T. Deutermann, author of award-winning PACIFIC GLORY), was released in April 2020.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.

His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.

Buzz is a past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club, Willamette Writers, and Military Writers Society of America.

He and his special needs adult grandson live in Roswell, Georgia, along with a fuzzy and strangely docile Shih-Tzu, Stormy . . . probably misnamed.

Buzz’s Website can be found at www.buzzbernard.com.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams – V Williams

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard – #BookReview – Historical World War II Fiction

Spotlight-Review to Follow

Currently on pre-order.

Happy 4th!

Book Blurb:

Inspired by the true story of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan in 1942, The Shangri-La Raiders is the next stunning installment of the When Heroes Flew WWII historical fiction series.

This gripping novel follows an American bomber crew through their secretive training, a harrowing raid on Japan, and on their desperate journey through occupied China to Chungking, the seat of the country’s wartime government.

The crew, along with an American missionaries’ daughter whom they’ve rescued, must evade the Japanese occupiers every step of the way. And amidst all the horror and turmoil of war, a romance blossoms between the rescued woman and the crew’s pilot.

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders is a captivating tale of bravery, determination and an unlikely love that will leave you hooked until the very end. 

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Military Thrillers
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B08GKX9SVK
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads

Harold W Bernard - authorThe Author: H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

PLAGUE (“One of the best thrillers of 2012″–novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

SUPERCELL (“Races along with the speed of a twister”–novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

Buzz’s fourth novel and third in his “weather trilogy,” BLIZZARD (“A terrific book”–novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015. It led to his nomination for a 2016 Georgia Author of the Year award.

CASCADIA (“heart pounding”–Reed Farrel Coleman, NYT best-selling author WHERE IT HURTS) hit the market in July 2016 and went on to garner the 2018 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category, making Buzz a three-time “Eppie” winner.

Buzz’s newest novel, WHEN HEROES FLEW (“vivid, unforgettable”–P. T. Deutermann, author of award-winning PACIFIC GLORY), was released in April 2020.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.

His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.

Buzz is a past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club, Willamette Writers, and Military Writers Society of America.

He and his special needs adult grandson live in Roswell, Georgia, along with a fuzzy and strangely docile Shih-Tzu, Stormy . . . probably misnamed.

Buzz’s Website can be found at www.buzzbernard.com.

©2021 V Williams

Spotlight photo attribution: Shutterstock

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan – a #BookReview

A Review by the CE of this gripping and powerfully written historical novel.

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A McLellanBook Blurb:

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history.

His Review:

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A McLellanBeing awarded your freedom papers did not make you free!  Marauders often caught young freed slaves, destroyed their papers and sold them back into slavery. The culprits were depraved and vicious in the treatment of the liberated.

Henry is born into slavery but given his freedom by his former master. He is not illiterate and some of his crimes include being able to read and write. His childhood sweetheart is attempting to escape with him but is caught and ultimately killed by the marauders. Heartbroken, Henry continues to head north in an attempt to escape their net.

The Native Americans of the Dakota territories are portrayed much more humane and sympathetic than the post Civil War population of middle America. Henry’s life is saved by these people and ultimately learns their language and ways of life. He becomes a scout for the US Army because of his ability to liaison and speak many languages.

Clara Hanfield and John Elliot, are a young couple in love trying to create a life together in the wild west. He has been shipped off, however, by Clara’s father from the military academy at West Point to Fort Laramie. Money and power have always separated lovers as well as the classes. Clara’s father is despotic and determined that his daughter not continue a relationship with John and seeks to destroy the relationship. Her father tries to send her to Pennsylvania. She convinces her escort instead to take her to out west to find John.

Eventually, all paths cross and John takes a sympathetic tack for the Indians he has comes to respect. Henry is intelligent and educated and is immensely empathetic. The storyline is immersive, capturing the emotions and ramping up the tension to the heartrending and poignant conclusion. CE Williams

We received this beautiful book from the author with the expectation of a review and these are my own opinions. I would read another by this author and this one is highly recommended. 5/5 Stars CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, African Historical Fiction, War and Military Action Historical  Fiction

  • ISBN-10:1096423510
  • ISBN-13:978-1096423515
  • ASIN: B07RB7RHJW

Print Length: 269 pages
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Source: Direct Author Request
Title Link: In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree
+Add to Goodreads 

Rosepoint Publishing: Five of Five Stars 5-stars

Michael A McLellan - authorThe Author: Michael‘s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams