Biographies & Memoirs
The following represents all books currently listed within the genre, Biographies & Memoirs:
It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school, a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her—but when they married, his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they’ve married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions—to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave.
Part memoir, part warm-hearted look at the ’70s, and part therapeutic journey, Not Exactly Love: A Memoir is an intense and inspirational story of a woman who grew from her experience.
England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.
Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.
John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.
Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.
Based on a true story, "The Beauty Shop" is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.
In seventeenth-century London, thirteen years after the plague and twelve years after the Great Fire, the restoration of King Charles II has dulled the memory of Cromwell's puritan rule, yet fear and suspicion are rife. Religious turmoil is rarely far from tipping the scales into hysteria.
Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and outspoken midwife, regularly visits Newgate Prison to distribute alms to victims of religious persecution. There she falls in with the charming Captain Willoughby, a debtor, whom she enlists to gather information about crimes against prisoners, so she might involve herself in petitioning the king in their name.
"Tis a plot, Madam, of the direst sort.'
With these whispered words Willoughby draws Elizabeth unwittingly into the infamous Popish Plot and soon not even the fearful warnings of her husband, Pierre, can loosen her bond with it.
This is the incredible true story of one woman ahead of her time and her fight against prejudice and injustice.
2016 Winner of three Gold Medals: IBPA Ben Franklin, Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book by a Publisher, the IPPY Award for Best Historical Fiction, and Reader's Favorite for Best Historical Fiction. Also named a Finalist in the Historical Fiction category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and second place winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award for best Fiction. Recently named the winner of Best New Fiction in the International Book Awards for 2016, IndieReader Best Books of 2016, and three other notable Indie Book Awards.
Historical fictionalized account of Victoria Woodhull's rise to presidential candidate and wealth, coming from poverty and abuse.
What compels a woman and her youngest sister to overcome abject poverty and violent abuse to grow up to defy convention and obliterate every barrier to become the first women to own and operate a Wall Street brokerage firm and publish their own newspaper?
How did Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838 - 1927) become the first woman invited to speak to the United State Congress, and then the first female to run for president. What made Tennessee Celeste Claflin (1845 - 1923) so beguiling that the richest man in America, Cornelius Vanderbilt, fell completely in love with her?
What caused the sisters to live out their long lives as royalty and peerage in Europe. Victoria living as landed gentry outside of London, and Tennessee in a huge castle like a queen? Why aren't these empowered and independent women iconic in our culture?
Volume One of The Victoria Woodhull Saga tells the poignant, lascivious, and compelling inside story of how the sisters worked closely with Cornelius Vanderbilt, who at age 74 fell in love with the beguiling 24-year old Tennessee. Victoria provided the titan of industry "Inside Her Information" gathered through the soiled sisterhood, the ladies of the evening working at the top seven brothels servicing the rich and famous of New York City.
This relationship resulted in the great lion of industry having his last public roar as together they manipulated the financial markets and created the impending collapse of the U.S. economy in the gold scandal of 1869. To avert the crash, President Ulysses S. Grant provides the richest man in America insider information on the gold market and telegrams Vanderbilt that his railroad company is "Too Big To Fail!" Vanderbilt was proclaimed "The Savior of the American Economy" for intervening in a crisis he helped create.
View Victorian America through the eyes and thoughts of one of its leading heroines., Victoria Woodhull. Watch as the infighting and elitism of the earliest suffrage women denigrating, castigating, and denouncing other passionate suffrage rights women delayed woman suffrage and equal legal standing for five decades. Learn wonderful anecdotes of the origins of products and phrases used today. Learn the story of Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the most popular man in America, who transformed Christianity from his father's "fire and brimstone" theology to one of a compassionate and loving Jesus, who will redeem all who turn to salvation with complete confession of their sins. The reverend's personal life did not imitate his lofty and popular theology of his weekly sermons at Plymouth Church. He was a notorious womanizer, often bedding, and sometimes impregnating the wives, sisters, and daughters of his most ardent trackers and deacons of the church.
Written in the first person from Victoria's viewpoint, Neal Katz weaves a compelling page-turning story that cleverly unfolds history while providing a wonderfully entertaining ride. Katz has pledged one half of book sale proceeds to charities dedicating to the empowerment and sustainable economic improvement of women, especially single mothers.
"An extraordinary narrative"
"Beautifully told - stays with you long after the last page is sadly turned."
"Carefully pieced together from personal and official documents, oral testimony and material objects"
A true story of love and reconciliation in the aftermath of the Second World War
Minny leaves Germany on a bitterly cold morning in December 1946 and travels to England to marry Jim, a British Intelligence Corps soldier in the Allied armies that defeated the Nazi regime in 1945 and occupied the devastated nation. She has survived British and American bombs and witnessed the destruction of Aachen, her ancient and beautiful city. How will a German woman cope in austere post-war Britain, where she is still regarded as the enemy? Illustrated with almost 100 images and original documents, The Bride's Trunk describes the adventures of an unremarkable piece of luggage and three generations of its owners, whose journeys across Europe are determined by the turbulent events of twentieth century history.
Some comments on 'The Bride's Trunk'
“An extraordinary narrative, pieced together from original documents, about a couple who were determined not to let war defeat them. 70 years ago the British government passed a law allowing British men to marry German women, but little thought was given to the life that those German women would find, in the aftermath of the second world war. This heart-warming tale brings alive childhood and adolescence in pre-war Germany, followed by a new life in the old enemy country."
Jackie Ashley, President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, and journalist
“Scant attention has been paid to the 10,000 or so German women who married British soldiers at the end of the Second World War. In this often moving account, Ingrid Dixon traces the story of her own parents, one a former secretary for the German police, the other a British soldier from the Intelligence Corps, both of whom were caught up in the chaotic last months of the Third Reich and its immediate aftermath. Their story is carefully pieced together from personal and official documents, oral testimony and material objects, including the old trunk which survived the vicissitudes of war to carry the bride’s worldly possessions to her new home in Liverpool.”
Professor Peter Wilson, Chichele Professor of the History of War, University of Oxford
“A gripping and moving story, with excellent illustrations, which really evokes time and place and is a sensitive treatment of the conflicting feelings associated with war.”
Dr Philip Towle, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
Imagine a future where you live the life you want, you are bold and stand up for yourself; you are comfortable saying no, you do what YOU want to do!
In this book you will discover where your fears come from, how they sabotage your success, and learn practical and effective techniques that you can start using immediately to let them go.
Includes detailed techniques including Emotional Freedom Techniques, Visualization and NLP.
Top #20 Amazon Bestseller In Biograpy&Memoirs>Collections
Get Your Copy of This Fantastic Short Story Collection
In this short story collection, Gary Troia shares his adventures, travels and memoirs from his life.
"Excellent! A collection of short stories about: depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go." (Maria, Goodreads.)
"Gary manages to take the mundanities of life and elevate them to brilliance. in this short story collection" (Sara Fell)
"Author, Gary cements growing reputation...A Bricklayer's Tales touches on real-life experiences in the building trade." ( Salina Patel, Hounslow Cronicle)
Anyone who has ever done building work for brutal wage slavery and wondered if they were going mad, will recognise the life of Ray Dennis, (Troia's alter ego) which evokes a vision of mind-numbing, soul-destroying workplaces and workmates. His is the voice of discord for the marginally employed, the creatively frustrated working Joe, who turns to a life of drink and drugs to elevate the monotony of life.Few have brought this world to life with such despair, black humour and indifference as Gary Troia. He paints a beautifully sad portrait of a truly messed up person with potential, struggling to keep his messed up mind from drowning in cheap wine and self-loathing. Ray's spirit is trapped in a world of endless grey mundanity.
A Bricklayer's Tales is the ultimate "I hate this job" story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one containing a snapshot of the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade. A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:
Angel Dust, the peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
Advert In The Art Shop Window, will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
Return Ticket, handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
Peyote, hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
A Bricklayer's Tale, the story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer
˃˃˃ A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour.
Scroll up and grab a copy today.
#1 AMAZON KINDLE BESTSELLER IN "U.K. Short Stories"The short story ''Stars'' features in Paulo Coelho's blog.''Emotional Moments'' features 23 short stories. Each of them represents its unique shape of emotion. Each of them tries to reach your soul.Stories reflect life in different shades of colors. All of them evoke feelings or provoke thoughts. Some even do both at the same time.Scroll up and grab a copy today.
Strange though it may sound, cancer can lead us to a deeper experience of joy and inner peace, this book asserts. Praised by Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 reviewer Grady Harp as "a brief, exceptionally rewarding book," The Upside of Cancer offers hope and courage to cancer patients and their families and anyone facing a major trauma.
The author was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer in 2013 at age 81. With insights and stories from his own life, he shows you how to turn anxiety into joy as you tap into your inner courage, find peace and solace in stillness, and listen to the wisdom of your own heart.
This book will help you:
Face the fear of death
Find inner peace
On the planet Ankor, Klubbe the turkle lives as a hermit. A marine mishap inspires him to be an inventor. His inventions and explorations change his life, his entire planet.
Turkles are close cousins of turtles. Unlike them, they have yellow golden skin and back shells, walk on their hind legs, have the gift of language, and the ability to create their own culture.
The life of Klubbe may read like a light-hearted science fiction story, but it actually happened to him. Princess Corka thinks his invention is sublime. Ubbtosh, the pyramid priest, promises to guide him to the core of the cosmos. In space, there are no sign posts, he finds, but there are other beings. And on Ankor, there are mysteries to be solved. Is the Great Glom more than a myth? And what about the Great Archy Eopta?
How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience?
Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave.
Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.
This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse.
Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse.
Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom.
So can you.
This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement to break the silence of abuse and finally end its vicious cycle. With strength and resiliency, Coons provides a voice for the silent abused, letting them know they’re not alone. Justice and hope can prevail. The abused can become victorious.
Read the heartbreaking true story of her journey to triumph above overwhelming obstacles.
FALLEN HERO is about a man who seems to spend his life building bridges. Bridges between his unknown origins and his aspirations in life. Once he finds a tenuous link to his biological father Chris Squires cannot help but follow its path. Despite his misgivings he seeks out his roots.
FALLEN HERO is also about a man who is trying to reconcile the realities of war, and life, with his disappointment over his lost inner hopes for the dad he needed to find.
Two boys about to become teenagers: Christopher, born just after the end of World War Two, grows up in the UK; Fritz, orphaned by a bomb dropped on his German home in that same terrible war, befriended by a US marine. When Christopher discovers he was adopted he seeks to find his biological father. Fritz never gets the chance to grow much older and is found dead in the back of General George Patton's Cadillac at the end of the war.
Chris Squires is a confused man, constantly seeking his hero father-figure. The British baby boomer is surprised to find he has a connection with Fritz. Chris discovers the link through Jimmy Lucas, a GI veteran, who he believes could be his father. But his surprise turns to horror when he learns that Jimmy was involved in the death of both Patton and the boy.
Did he kill General George Patton, one of the greatest Generals of the twentieth century? Did he kill an orphaned German boy at the end of World War Two? If the answer to any or all of these questions is Yes! how will Chris cope with the rest of his life?
A confrontation creates further tragedy for Chris, for Jimmy, and for Walt - the man who had saved Jimmy’s life! Chris panics and retreats back to Britain, trying to forget the incident he caused in San Francisco. Although appearing to lead a mundane and respectable life, for years he is tormented by guilt. He still hopes to find his hero, a guide to some kind of inner peace. And then Walt re-enters his life bringing with him a new bridge!
Life under communism is cruel and inhumane. Commit the smallest political infraction, and the secret police will arrest you. The only ray of hope is the West, but getting out from communism is difficult. Communist countries have a “Berlin Wall” around them. It is a crime to escape by crossing the border illegally, and anyone caught is beaten and imprisoned, sometimes even shot. I was eighteen, and I was living in hell. However, I would rather have died than keep living as a communist slave. This is my story of what happened and how I reached freedom.
"Mr. Sandru has the ability to translate the complex into simple one simple truth ... liberty is the most valuable asset any individual has, hold on to it with your life!" By Kathi Herman Photography
"A dream for freedom, a daring escape, and lessons to learn...
This is the fourth excellent book I've read by Mr. Sandru. I loved this book as it painted a very clear picture of what life is like under communism. While he writes in a style that keeps you wanting to read more, he also has you stopping to think..." by Julie Blaskie
A ten day cruise aboard Cunard’s Queen Victoria.
Docking at La Coruña, Cádiz, Malaga, Tangier and Lisbon.
"Author, Gary cements growing reputation." ( Salina Patel, Hounslow Cronicle)
"Enjoyable and descriptive...very interesting." (J.Collins)
"A rollicking good read." (Amazon Customer)
AN EXTRACT FROM THROUGH THE PORTHOLE:
I want to go back to a time when travelling itself was the main focus. I don't need to get anywhere too fast. I point a finger of blame at the budget airlines. Flight should have remained a luxury - something special that you could look forward to and appreciate. Flying, in my opinion, has become the lowest form of travel. Getting a budget flight feels to me like getting a bus from a provisional town after the pubs and only club have all kicked out. It's either going to be a loud but good-humoured case of singing and banter on the way home, or it's all going to kick off after a drunken remark. "You looking at my bird, mate?"
When we took a coach to Lake Como, I enjoyed looking out the window along the way, seeing villages and sights that you miss when you fly. From the hotel base we visited Milan and St. Moritz. We went across to St. Moritz on the Bernina Express railway. The memories I have of the snowcapped mountains and deep valleys is something I will never forget. I enjoyed going to Milan, as it has always been a city I have wanted to visit. But sitting on a coach for twenty-four hours to get to Lake Como was draining. I couldn't stretch my legs, and the drivers asked that we all refrain from defecating in the coach toilet, or, as he put it, "What goes in there, stays in there until we get back to England." Once we got to Lake Como and based in the hotel, it was great. But the thought of returning home on a coach for twenty-four hours when the holiday was over was a very sobering thought. It was impossible for me to sleep. How others managed it, I'll never know. So Marina, opting for the third mode of travel (sea), has booked us on Cunard's Queen Victoria...
Shortlisted for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2016.
She was present at the birth of a nation.
Her descendants sit on the British throne to this day.
But history does not even record her name…
In ninth century Britain, the Picts and the Gaels fight for supremacy over the North. In one of their rare truces, a young Pict woman is reluctantly married to a Gael warrior, son of one of the great Chiefs of Dal Riata.
Leaving behind her family and the Pict lord she had hoped to marry, she travels west to the household of Alpin, where she is viewed with suspicion by many of her new kin. But it is the collapse of the truce and the indifference of her husband that leaves her position in her new land increasingly vulnerable, as war breaks out once again. Forced to forget her Pict heritage, she fears that one day she will be faced with an agonising choice between the victory of her husband or her father.
Spanning over a decade of turbulent Scottish history, her journey takes her from the splendours of the Fortress of Dunadd to the tranquillity of the sacred Isle of Iona, where even greater danger lurks as the terrifying Norsemen plan their own attacks. However, it seems that her hardest battle will be to win the heart of her husband, the brave, cunning and often ruthless Cinaed as he fights his way towards a destiny that could be greater than anyone imagines…
The man known to history as Kenneth Mac Alpin.
We’ve all declared, “I’m never drinking again,” while our heads pound and our stomachs churn from last night’s good time. The guilt of mistakes, harsh words, lost time, etc. eats at your gut, but a day or two later you’re back at it.
You worry that drinking may be affecting your health, finances, relationships, and/or career, but you feel like AA is not for you. You don’t want to be labeled an alcoholic for being a social drinker; it’s not that bad. If this is you, then check out Trish Taylor’s latest book, I’m Never Drinking Again: Maybe It’s Time to Think about Your Drinking.
Trish grew up in Britain where you’re basically born with a drink in your hand. She happily drank for decades without question. Just like the rest of us, she justified and avoided her habit. It wasn’t a serious problem, and she knew she didn’t belong in a 12-step program. However, when she got real with her drinking, she discovered ways to quit without a formal program. In her book, she shares her methods to help others do the same.
We all know that drinking is bad for us, but it’s easy to forget once the hangover subsides. Although we have this in common, the solution does not come in one size fits all. Trish combines humor, stories, and resources to help you explore your relationship with alcohol and discover alternative ways to make positive changes that fit you.
In this short story collection, Gary Troia shares his adventures, travels and memoirs from his life.
Anyone who has ever done building work for brutal wage slavery and wondered if they were going mad, will recognise the life of Ray Dennis, (Troia's alter ego) which evokes a vision of mind-numbing, soul-destroying workplaces and workmates. His is the voice of discord for the marginally employed, the creatively frustrated working Joe, who turns to a life of drink and drugs to elevate the monotony of life.
Few have brought this world to life with such despair, black humour and indifference as Gary Troia. He paints a beautifully sad portrait of a truly messed up person with potential, struggling to keep his messed up mind from drowning in cheap wine and self-loathing. Ray's spirit is trapped in a world of endless grey mundanity.
English Yarns and Beyond is the ultimate "I hate this job" story, written in short stories and memoirs, each one containing a snapshot of the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This short story book is book is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book of short stories and memoirs achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
A collection of short stories that include:
The Cuckoo's Egg- Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.No Comb on the Cock- Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
My Best Mates Head- Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles- A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington- Too much alcohol and cocaine don't mix well on building sites!
When I Joined a Cult- Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis- With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Teaching Other People- The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care- A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
In July 1940, a desperately weakened Britain licks her wounds after the humiliating retreat from Dunkirk. How can the fight be taken to the enemy? New Prime Minister Winston Churchill orders the creation of the Special Operations Executive, to 'set Europe ablaze' through subversion and sabotage. But this most secret of agencies must be kept secure.Guardians of Churchill's Secret Army tells the mostly unknown human stories of the men who were brought into SOE, straight from Intelligence Corps training, to do just that. They were junior in rank, but far from ordinary people. They were Australian, Anglo-French, Canadian, Scandinavian, East European and British. They had been schoolteachers, journalists, artists, ship brokers, racehorse trainers and international businessmen. Each spoke several languages.These men stood alongside courageous agents in training: encouraged them, assessed their character, and tried to teach them the caution and suspicion that might just keep them alive, deep in enemy territory. But they did much more. Many became agents themselves and displayed great bravery. All played a crucial role in the global effort to undermine the enemy. We find them not only in the Baker Street Headquarters of SOE, but also in night parachute drops, in paramilitary training in the remotest depths of Scotland and in undercover agent training in isolated English country houses. We follow them to occupied France, to Malaya and Thailand under threat of Japanese invasion, to Italy and Germany as they play their part in the collapse of the Axis regimes. As we do so, we find a world of heroism and commitment so different from our own experience that it is scarcely believable. "A terrific and moving read", Dr Philip Towle, University of Cambridge
This first loosely autobiographical book in The Mug Trilogy tells the story of Jersey-born Mug, a troubled girl from a recently broken home. It covers her experiences as a sixteen-year-old girl at the Isle of Wight Music Festival in 1970, the same year that she follows a guru. It describes her tumultuous years as an art student in Coventry, where vegetarian Mug finds herself living next door to an abattoir and railway shunting yard with David, a fellow art student. Dramatic events follow on from the evening they meet at a student party, when Mug attempts to save David from attempting a very public drunken suicide attempt.
A young man coming of age as he undergoes basic military training. Stories drawn from real-world experience, with the anti-hero transforming from awkward teenager to young adult as he tries to outwit those in authority. These eight short stories are hilarious, serious, whimsical, and entertaining, providing insights into a young man's search for identity and independence within a military system designed for conformity and control.
Top #10 Amazon Bestseller In Books>Spain>Basque
"Author, Gary cements growing reputation...A collection of short stories that give a humorous account of life in a new country." (Salina Patel, The Hounslow Chronicle)
"I liked the fact that some of the short stories in this collection were connected and followed on from each other, but at the same time they are stand alone. Great for people like me who are slow readers, I can read a whole story on the train to work and not have to wait all day for the ending." (Carol Wiggins)"
I really enjoyed reading these short stories, they are easy to read. I would have liked it if there were more stories!" (Maria, Goodreads)
In this short story collection, Gary Troia shares his adventures and memoirs from his travels in Spain. A Total of 9 Stories Including:
How Not To Travel To The Alhambra, hung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
Poking A Carob Tree, a new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
The Road To Ronda, a terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
Gaudi, a flight to Barcelona for a kebab and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
Spain Reborn, no more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
Official Review: Chameleons by Marcus A. Nannini
4 out of 4 stars
At the depths of Pearl Harbor, on the morning of December 7th, 1941, Imperial Japanese Naval Lieutenant Masaharu Yokoyama and his engineer Sadamu Kamita await with bated breath aboard their midget submarine. In present day Kailua, Oahu, a skeleton is dug up in Auntie Lee’s backyard, launching not only a full blown naval investigation, but also a race against the clock to beat the media to the punch. Thus begins Chameleons by Marcus A. Nannini, a breathtaking historical fiction novel that has one foot planted firmly in the actions surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor and the other around a present day investigation that could shed new light on those very events.
One stream in the novel follows Lt. Yokoyama, an elite Japanese naval officer hand-picked to be one of the Japanese empire’s secret midget submarine commanders who will attack the United States in 1941. Upon successfully delivering a crippling blow to the USS Oklahoma, he and his engineer are unable to make it back to their rendezvous point on the submarine from which they launched. They must put into action their contingency plan: slip ashore, meet up with Japanese/American sympathisers, and blend in with the surrounding population as would a chameleon. Lt. Yokoyama is given a new identity, a new job on the island, and a new family history. When the Japanese are gathered up and placed in internment camps, he is sure that he will have the power to motivate his fellow internees to rebel against the American guards and eventually make it back to his Emperor’s navy. However, Lt. Yokoyama quickly realises that there may not be as much animosity towards their incarcerators as he would hope. In fact, he soon finds himself at a crossroads that will challenge the balance between his previous loyalties and his adopted persona.
The second, concurrent stream in the novel follows Lieutenant Commander Christopher Pastwa and his team who are investigating a skeleton that was unearthed during a routine swimming pool construction. Alarm bells immediately ring in everyone’s head when the artifacts found with the skeleton appear to be of Japanese descent and tentatively date back to the Second World War. A notebook found with the artifacts is recovered, translated, and revealed to be that of a midget submarine commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy. The logbook describes his attack on Pearl Harbor and how he and his engineer slipped ashore. Although often hypothesized, the actions of midget submarine commanders during and after the December 7th attacks never had hard evidence to back them up. To make things worse, Lieutenant Commander Pastwa’s team is on a race against the clock to verify the authenticity of these documents and their potential implications, as the local media has caught wind of the investigation. Between the media’s pilfering of Top Secret documents from the investigation and the realisation that Lt. Yokoyama may still be alive, the team rushes to tie up all the loose ends. Admiral Reardon hates loose ends.
The cornerstone of an excellent historical fiction novel is research and it is extremely evident that Marcus A. Nannini has spent countless hours researching his subject. He has gone to painstaking depths to make as many elements of his story as real as possible and has done an amazing job. His descriptions of the training undergone by the submarine commanders, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the landscapes of Hawaii, and the conflicts later on in the book are nothing short of exemplary. I loved how this book mixed elements from both the past and the present. Either of the storylines could have made an excellent book on their own, but together they add another dimension entirely. The mix of different characters in the present day timeline is also fantastic. There is a refreshing mix of hard-working naval officers, sleazy reporters, traitorous informants, and even a pudgy Petty Officer who lends a smidge of humor (not to mention a few donuts) to the plot. The thing I enjoyed the most about this book is how the concept of loyalty is addressed. In Lt. Yokoyama’s timeline, he has some tough decisions to make on where his loyalties lie. He needs to determine how to live his life during and after his time in the Japanese internment camps. In the modern timeline, the naval investigation team needs to decide whether their loyalty lies in doing the right thing or doing their job regardless of the consequences.
The only part of this book that I had issues with was the ending. There was a lot of build up toward the end of the book and I feel that some of the major conflicts which persisted throughout the novel were resolved a bit too quickly. To be clear, I liked how it ended, but I feel that it could have contained a bit more detail and depth for it to be realistic. As well, I felt that in the last couple of chapters Mr. Nannini was introducing new and irrelevant information to the story (new characters, conflict, etc.) I realise now that this is likely as a build up for future books with the same characters, but I found myself wondering how this fit into our current storyline.
I thoroughly enjoyed Chameleons by Marcus A. Nannini and therefore have no problem giving it 4 out of 4 stars. The quality and complexity of this book, along with how much I enjoyed the subject matter, swayed me from giving it a lower score. I would particularly recommend this book to anyone that has a soft-side for historical fiction, those that enjoy military history, or those that are interested in WWII/Pearl Harbour. If historical fiction really isn’t your cup-of-tea and you have no interest in books focused around military campaigns or investigations, this book won’t be for you. Mr. Nannini’s blend of real life events, a compelling modern day mystery, and vibrant characters has resulted in a first-class novel which could easily become a lasting gem in its genre.
For the first time ever, this collection of short stories by Gary Troia brings together, in chronological order stories and memoirs from Spanish Yarns and Beyond, English Yarns and Beyond and A Bricklayer’s Tales into one complete volume.
"Excellent! A collection of short stories about depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go." (Maria, Goodreads.)A Bricklayer's Tales is the ultimate "I hate this job" story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one revealing a snapshot in the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:
The Cuckoo's Egg. Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.
My Grandfather's Shed. The making of an English key
No Comb on the Cock. Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
What I Did In My Summer Holidays In 1000 Words. Could having an idea ever be considered a criminal act?
My Best Mate’s Head. Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles. A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington. Too much alcohol and cocaine don't mix well on building sites!
Angel Dust. The peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
Peyote. Hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
Return Ticket. Handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
When I Joined a Cult. Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
Bilbao. How very, very English!
Teaching Other People. The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis. With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Catania. A meeting with a Sicilian fox, some Neapolitans, and a man with a camel haired coat.
Advert In The Art Shop Window. Will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
Gaudi. A flight to Barcelona for a kebab, and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
The Day My Soul Left Me. "To be or not to be? That is the question"
How Not to Travel to The Alhambra. Hung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
The Road To Ronda. A terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
Poking A Carob Tree. A new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
Spain Reborn.No more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
Home From Home. A parallel world where the Spanish have taken over Weymouth.
Three Common Carp.An epic battle with a whale and marlin it is not.
Mrs. McClintock. An absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care. A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
The Unchangeable Chameleon. Can a leopard change it's spots?
A Bricklayer's Tale. The story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer
A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour.
Longlisted for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2016
The Women of the Dark Ages novels are all stand-alone stories which can be read in any order.
A Frankish princess, a Wessex queen - discover the remarkable true tale of Judith of West Francia!
As a daughter of King Charles of West Francia, Judith has always known that her destiny lies in a nunnery. But Judith longs for a very different life. She dreams of fine clothes, a household of her own, children and a handsome husband.
Athelwulf the ageing, but kindly King of Wessex is far from the romantic figure she has dreamed of. But when he proposes marriage, Judith seizes her chance to escape the religious life. She takes her place at his side as Queen of Wessex, a role she is certain she will fulfil to perfection.
At the Court of Winchester Judith’s life is dominated by her stepsons. She quickly forms a bond with the engaging Prince Alfred but finds very different emotions are stirred by his older brother, the rebellious and cynical Athelbald. She also finds that while marriage to a man nearly four times her age may not be exactly what she wanted, it has its advantages. He proves to be both generous and indulgent. And he leaves her with the prospect of a long and often scandalous widowhood, as the determined young woman battles heartbreak and imprisonment while never giving up hope of finding happiness - no matter how far she has to travel to find it…
Still the Dawn. A book of poems and ballads. Poems written to preserve memories, explore moods, emotions, art, myths, real events and dreams, together with some attempts at light verse, even nonsense. Ballads that tell tales, reflect on the seasons, time and its passing. The poet enters the mead hall, un-lids his word hoard, recites. He shares his gift. Those who attend to his works, he hopes to entertain.
Gary Troia is a writer, he has also been a bricklayer, a teacher, a philosophy student and a sufferer of several disorders, including: manic depression, alcoholism, fear of flying and a dislike of most people.
After Gary announces that he will no longer fly, his wife, Poppo books a coach holiday to Lake Como. One week later, with the newly acquired kittens dropped off at the cattery, Gary and Poppo embark on a twenty-four hour coach journey to Italy.
Gary always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. It spurred him on. For a while, his strategy worked. But soon the energy of raw emotion would dissipate, and he would be back where he started. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving gangsters, the ICF, deportation from the States, Christian cults and the AA - Gary stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: inspirational books. He spent years reading them before having a quiet revolution. Gary’s life was not transformed into a thing of beauty, but he did gain a passion for daily reflection and meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of a journey to Lake Como, The coach to Como is ultimately the story of survival, recovery and evolution. The book is well crafted, with various threads being skilfully interwoven to give a colourful but incredibly honest account of the journey Gary has undertaken since he came to terms with his ego, his internal struggles with life, loneliness, rebelliousness and self-destructive behaviour.
In his late fifties Doctor X realised that he was in the ‘death zone,’ and didn’t want to go out feet up, sitting in front of the TV in the UK – he wanted to continue to live a life. Journey with him on his five-year love and hate affair with China, seeking out a new life, and enjoying strange encounters - boldly going where no English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher has gone before.
Doctor X gives us his unexpurgated insight into an ESL teacher’s life in China. What it’s really like in the high schools of China. He outs the unprofessional, and drunken behaviour of the riff raff that wash up professing to be teachers but are really professional bar flies. He also provides crucial hints, and tips for the new teacher thinking about giving China a go.
He writes frankly about his relationship with some of the women that were just ships that passed in the night. From Little Yellow, and the ladyboys of Bangkok to meeting E - his eventual life partner. This erotilogue will show you a China hidden from the tourist – the bathhouses, and the pink curtained massage parlours. Doctor X does not regret one moment of it - it has been an experience worth living – one moment close to death, the next in the arms of random women.
And to think Doctor X could be back home in Britain stacking shelves in Tesco.
A heartwarming autobiographical memoir told by an Akita- Chow mix dog named Rusty. He tells his story from his early days with his mother, through his hardship times to being adopted into a loving home.
He explains how he was judged because of his breeds and reflects on how the actions of all humans helped shape his behavior. He talks about how the bond between dog and human needs strengthening so that less dogs end up at the shelter and he reminds us why these beautiful animals come into our life.
The road to becoming a successful inventor is not an easy one. Paved with difficulties, roadblocks and sometimes sheer, back-to-the-drawing-board failure, the challenging journey has meant that plenty of geniuses have been lost to history and never given the credit they deserved for creating some of the most invaluable items of our time. However, over the course of Fifty Clever Bastards these same forgotten inventors and their unbelievable stories are about to be inducted into our illustrious Hall of Fame. Designed to celebrate all those who fell by the wayside, Fifty Clever Bastards comes to understand just what happened to so many of people behind the things we take for granted. Covering their incredible tales, the book details the unlucky inventors that were killed by their own inventions, debased by fraud or those who mysteriously took their ideas to the grave. Including aviators from the first millennium CE, pioneers of medicine and science and individuals who took their zeal to learn just a bit too far, Fifty Clever Bastards promises to shine a light on all of the crazy, wonderful inventors that history forgot. Responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs the world has ever seen (and for appliances we use every single day), thanks to Martin Fone’s new book, Fifty Clever Bastards, some of the greatest geniuses of our time have finally been given their due.
“How could I have been so stupid?”
That was Jen Pattison’s overwhelming thought when reflecting on too many years of living on the edge with overspending and juggling credit payments. It all collapsed when an unexpected crisis happened in her life. This is a familiar story for many people, and she will help to guide you out of the debt problems that have blighted your life with practical solutions and ways to save money. She will help you to think more deeply about what led you into overspending, by casting a critical eye on the insecurities in modern British life and the subtle and insidious forces that seduce customers into spending on things that they don’t need - aspects that are common in other countries too.
This is a call to everyone struggling with debt to break free of this hell – becoming debt-free will liberate you, improve your life and you will never look back. No matter how much you owe, you can do it!
David is very good at persuading people whether it’s as a teenager at a shop checkout, or later as a car salesman. Then there are stocks and shares and financial wheeling dealing as his wealth builds. He can persuade the women in his life but his relationships may not be real. What is persuasion and what is just good fortune? His morals may leave a lot to be desired but when serious illness strikes he has to reconsider his actions. A tale of greed, insider trading, love and misfortune, that spans the globe. His persuasive ability brought him success, but at what cost?
Whether he is in his New York apartment, his French Château, or his St Kitts home, he has to decide what to do with his money and how to say goodbye.
WARNING: This book contains scenes of a sexual nature that some readers may find offensive.
The words in this loosely autobiographical second book in the Mug Trilogy were triggered by the entanglement between Mug, a recently divorced, disinherited, temporarily sex-obsessed woman and Michael. Her Gordian knot was a complex, mendacious, Scottish baggage handler who destiny threw her way late one night in early 2004. She was an honest, too trusting, troubled woman in her late forties. He was an enigma eleven years her junior who was hiding many shocking secrets. Mug's original plan was to write about their unusual story as a present to give to him for Christmas. Little did she know that her gift would almost kill him. She had wanted the opportunity to describe in her book her life prior to their meeting, because it shaped how she felt about him, why she tolerated what others might deem unacceptable. The purpose of Mug's book was to drastically change into a desperate effort to make sense of unfolding bizarre events and to help them both deal with the aftermath.
The aftermath of Mug’s time whirling in The Lying Scotsman’s vortex. This third book in the loosely autobiographical Mug Trilogy documents her epic struggles to achieve a positive outcome in her turbulent relationships with men, family, work and life in general. Who will be Mug's final straw?
Ray Dennis does the secret, a simple law of attraction story is a humorous parody based on The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
When Ray Dennis, an alcoholic English bricklayer, is deported from the US back to the UK on a drug charge, he has no idea that his life and identity are about to change forever. Shattered by his knowledge that he is a failure, Ray dedicates himself to self-improvement and unwittingly puts himself and his family on a path to disaster once he discovers The Secret.With a change of name and new passport, Ray returns to LA. He meets a Guru who introduces him to the teachings of The Secret, and shows Ray how to plant thought seeds. And so begins his quest to completely change his life. His thoughts seeds create a wife, kids, a successful business, and a big house. But his success comes at a price as serious drug traffickers eventually kill his wife and children, and the police won’t help when they find out he was in the country illegally.
* The number of reviews given represents the total number of all Amazon customer reviews summed across all english-speaking markets. For more information click here.
**While we try to ensure all prices are correct and up to date, this is ultimately the responsibility of the publisher. 'Readers in the Know' assumes no liability should the price you find on Amazon differ from that displayed here.