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My Walk Among the Stars: Rubbing Shoulders With Country Giants by Dick Flood


Do you love country music, are you fans of the legends in the industry? Well, if so, then now is the opportunity you’ve been looking for, a chance to take a trip down memory lane with Dick Flood, one of its stars, as he shares with you in words and pictures his experiences in the Nashville music scene.

This epic adventure starts with the author in the US army, stepping out of a C-47 at the Clark Air Force Base in the Philippine Islands, in early winter 1954. Fresh from South Korea, he fell in love with the beautiful islands and their people, despite the secret dangers lurking in its jungles.

However, his ‘My Walk Among the Stars’ began when he was discharged and returned to the United States two years later in 1956. He arrived back to an exciting time when television was coming into people’s homes, overnight, so it seemed, the world shrank as the stars of radio could now be seen on television programs, and become even more real to their fans.

Teaming up with his friend Billy Graves, the pair became “The Country Lads.” Their manager Mr. Connie B. Gay signed then up with CBS Television and they became known around the world for the next two years as they appeared on the Jimmy Dean morning show on Network TV.

Over the following years the author travelled with his music extensively throughout the United States, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean Islands, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Puerto Rico. Throughout the book he recounts his adventures in exotic destinations, and experiences rubbing shoulders with legends like Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison, when he performed with them in many shows, and the music they made proved immortal. Even now his songs are being used in movies and as backing, and of course enjoyed by country music fans worldwide in formats which the artists could not have imagined in their wildest dreams, at the time.

The interesting thing about this book is that, as the author chronicles the ups and down of his life, the reader is also treated to rare glimpses behind the scenes of the music industry, and the big film corporations of the day. Playing live in shows, and on TV, in prisons and military bases, including a three-months tour of the US military bases in the Far East, where the Dick Flood Show visited Guam, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines and hostile South Vietnam, his music captured the heart of his audiences. His story brings the superstar singers, musicians and performers of that time back to life, and his personal recollections of these people as friends and work colleagues, show the fans a side they don’t usually get to see.

The twists, turns, and leaps of faith which happen to us all (and to the music industry) led Dick Flood to a complete change of career in midlife. He became an eco-warrior living amongst the wildlife in the Okefenokee Swamp, a 438,000-acre, peat-filled wetland which bestrides the Georgia–Florida line of the United States. He recounted that period of his life in his first book “Swampwise,” (which was reviewed here favourably) where he writes under the pen name of ‘Okefenokee Joe.’

In Summary: The country music scene, career opportunities seized, and lost, and a family life well lived, are all revealed in this astonishing and highly compelling biography of this talented musician, singer, and songwriter. Highly recommended! 

Available from the Author’s website: https://dickflood.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/My-Walk-Among-Stars-Shoulders/dp/0997337184/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1580127631&refinements=p_27%3ADick+Flood&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Dick+Flood

and

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-walk-among-the-stars-dick-flood/1135678015?ean=9780997337181

Surgeon’s Story: Inside OR-1 with One of America’s Top Pediatric Heart Surgeons by Mark Oristano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Kristine Guleserian is a paediatric heart surgeon, and this fascinating book gives the reader a glimpse into her life, career, cases, and what has made her the incredible person she is today.

Congenital heart disease affects approximately 35,000 new born babies in the US alone each year, although it may not reveal itself straight away, sometimes never.

The problem may be discovered at, or just after birth, however, as medical techniques advance problems can be detected whilst the baby is still in the womb, and, if necessary a medical team can be in place to perform surgery straight away.

Like many remarkable people, Dr G, as she is known throughout the book, is humble and does not seek fame, ‘she’s a surgeon, not a writer,’ the author quotes (despite her numerous medical articles), and so he has the honour of shadowing this amazing lady, and telling her story.

I can promise the reader that they will find this book absolutely fascinating and heart-wrenching, as they follow the medical journeys of some of her young patients, discover the problems they faced, and how they were overcome, by Dr G and her amazing team.

One case in particular, I read with a mixture of dread, fear, anticipation and joy, the life journey of little Rylynn, which started pre-birth in the womb of her mother Andrea. Bonding through the story with her parents, having been the mother of a 13 week premature daughter who was born only weighing .635 of a gram, and is now 29 years old. I found it incredibly easy to slip back through the years to the time when I slept on a bed next to hers, and life echoed to the beeps of various monitors…

However Dr G doesn’t just make the dreams and prayers of her patients and their families come true, she also has that amazing capacity, which people in her profession have, of going the extra mile. A shining example of this is in the story of 13 year old Andrew Madden a patient who has a special none medical bond with her, and who attracts the attention of the media by being the 100th heart transplant at the Children’s Medical Center.

Getting personal, she recalls her childhood for the author, and we learn that her calling came at a very early age and was influenced by family and childhood incidents. With a passion for learning, and a loved Greek classics, sports, languages and music, this enquiring and knowledge hungry mind meant that she naturally enjoyed studying. This would prove an essential quality in the years to come, as she graduates from Harvard, and spends many years perfecting her knowledge in her chosen profession. To this day she maintains that you can never afford to stop learning.

Indeed as we look at her work, it is enlightening to see her life through the eyes of the patients, their relatives, her teams, and the students who are lucky enough to learn from her.

Whether you have an interest in pediatric heart problems, love the opportunity to peek into someone else’s life, or are considering a career in the medical profession, this book makes compelling reading. The volume of information and human interest content will have you riveted to every single page.

 

About the Author: Mark is a 35-year veteran sportscaster whose assignments have included work on the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers radio networks. Mark was one of the broadcasters for Super Bowl XXX between the Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s also worked for NFL Films, the Dallas Cowboys P.R. department, and numerous radio and TV stations.

His first book, A SPORTSCASTER’S GUIDE TO WATCHING FOOTBALL, was published in 2009.

This spring, Mark’s new book, SURGEON’S STORY, will publish. It’s the story of Kristine Guleserian, a pediatric heart surgeon at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, a story filled with drama, and a special kind of caring all too absent from modern medicine.

Mark’s on-air colleagues have included Verne Lundquist, now the CBS voice of college football, who hired Mark at WFAA-TV, Dallas in 1973; Oprah Winfrey, with whom Mark co-anchored in Nashville at WLAC-TV in 1974-75; Ron Franklin, now with ESPN, who shared the Oiler radio booth with Mark from 1978-1981.

Mark was born in New York City in 1952, and moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University, gaining a BFA in Mass Communication in 1974.

He left broadcasting in 2002, and is currently a much sought-after portrait photographer in Dallas, as well as a successful actor. His daughter Stacey lives in L.A., and continues the family football tradition as a cast member on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on NBC-TV.

About the Book: SURGEON’S STORY is your passport into OR-1, the cardiac surgical suite at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. You’ll be there as Dr. Kristine Guleserian, noted pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, fixes the tiny hearts of the tiniest children. Follow the young boy who gets a new heart and then, three weeks later, joins Dr. Guleserian on the mound at Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game. Discover the years of training Dr. G went through to become the highly respected surgeon she is today. See how her warmth, humor, intelligence and dedication provide a shining example of what is good about the American health care system. To get a closer look than this, you’d have to scrub in.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Surgeons-Story-1-Americas-Pediatric-ebook/dp/B06XRDKMFS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490970855&sr=1-1&keywords=Surgeon%27s+Story%3A+Inside+OR-1+with+One+of+America%E2%80%99s+Top+Pediatric+Heart+Surgeons

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=9781935953777

NOOK Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=2940154081280

and Hardcover http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=9781935953784

 

Wishing for the Better: The life story of a dreamer by John Needham

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Well… the fact that this book is written by someone who is not a celebrity makes it so much the better. In it, John Needham lets the reader into his life, sharing with them what it was like growing up in the 40’s and 50’s with his siblings.

It is lovely too that there are so many pictures, bringing the story even more to life. The preschool picture is adorable, and with his brother. This wonderful biography brings back personal memories of times long past, and due to the changing world, and advances in technology, never to be repeated. We walk in his shoes through his childhood adventures, holidays, home life, starting work, getting a car and learning to drive.

Like many of us, life’s natural course finds the author’s spiralling towards love, marriage and children. However, as with many of us, these paths are not always straight and uncomplicated, and can be tinged with sadness. However, John Needham with great courage takes us through the decades sharing selflessly with us one man’s triumphs and struggles.

The author says in his synopsis that he is a dreamer, well, his dreams and leaps of faith have provided him with an interesting life, career choices, and also they have given him a the opportunity to write this interesting book, I look forward to reading part two.

 

About the author:      

I have had a love affair with the written and printed word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print really took off when I was apprenticed as a compositor in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued around print, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books, issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and published part one of an autobiography, Wishing for the Better.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

A third novel, The One of Us, is about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-when-babies, adopted identical twins. My fourth book, Secret Shame, is a companion to The One of Us, telling the later poignant story of the birth mother of the twins.

My fifth novel, The Flautist, about a minor character from Secret Shame, is a gentle, sometimes sad story of music, love, belonging and rescue from despair.

Awakening is a small anthology of short stories: six of them stand-alone and five modified sample chapters from my novels.

I live and write my words in west Wales.

About the book:

This is not the autobiography of a Celebrity. Not a Well Known Person; not a Loved-By-The-Nation Lovie Thespian or Revered Rock Star or Virtually Deified Sportsperson. Or even a Politician.

No; it’s simply the sometimes funny, sometimes sad story of a really very ordinary, poorly educated bloke born in England during the dark days of World War Two to humble working-class parents, who might well have spent his life a tradesman like his dad (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course) but instead always had Ideas Above His Station; who had the sneaking suspicion that life could be full of exciting opportunities if one just dared to Go For It; that the grass just might indeed be greener on the other side of the fence; that one didn’t have to settle for the mundane. That one could Wish For The Better.

That it might be possible for daydreams to come true; that there might be a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So this is it: the story (Part One, anyway) of that famous complete unknown, John Needham, sometime typesetter, graphic designer, house renovator, landscape gardener and now, in retirement, writer with passion. Please, if you’ve a mind to, Look Inside to sample the aperitif; see what you think.

 

Available from Amazon in Kindle fomat:

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wishing-Better-life-story-dreamer-ebook/dp/B01DRDHTCI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463561305&sr=8-2&keywords=john+needham

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Better-life-story-dreamer-ebook/dp/B01DRDHTCI?ie=UTF8&qid=1463561925&ref_=la_B00JNRZDDA_1_7&s=books&sr=1-7

 

 

 

Cowboys, Armageddon, and the Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved from Religion by Scott Terry

51wTA+Kh3eL__AA160_Just by the title I expected this book to be an eye-opener and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

This is not a story for the faint hearted, it is gut wrenchingly frank and tells of a childhood that no child should have to suffer. Yet, it is written from the author’s own harrowing experiences, and this book tells of his childhood under the tyrannical reign of his stepmother “Fluffy.”

Scott and his older sister Sissy’s father is so besotted with his second wife that he turns a blind eye to the inhumane treatment of his children, and so they are afraid to put a foot wrong and suffered terrible abuse whilst growing up.

Rejected and unloved, he turned to religion for his salvation, and as a Jehovah’s Witness he was continually reminded that Armageddon was just around the corner, not allowed to celebrate many of the festivals his friends did and prayed daily for help and understanding as his sexuality bloomed.

This is a compelling read. The content is very sad, and yet the author tells the story of his childhood calmly, and without bitterness. His sexual preferences and coming to terms with them are graphically described in this no holds barred audiobook and he also offers an insight into the world of the Jehovah’s Witness, which those of us who are not one, do not realise.

 

About the Author: In 2007, Scott Terry sent an excerpt from his yet-to-be published book, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, to the San Francisco Chronicle. An hour later, he received a freelance contract and a request for more, leading to many stories for the paper.

In his book, Terry has produced a gritty and poignant autobiography of a young boy escaping an abusive and fanatical childhood. Scott Terry was raised as a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and spent his childhood praying for Armageddon to come and asking God to heal him of his homosexual thoughts. By adulthood, he had escaped the Witness religion and no longer believed in an upcoming apocalypse. Indeed, as a gay man and a real cowboy, he was riding bulls in the rodeo, abandoning all faith in religion.

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth was named one of the Top 20 Must Read Books of 2013 by Advocate Magazine. It was named one of the best LGBT releases of 2012 by Out In Print and Band of Thebes book lists, and was a Bronze Medal winner in the Living Now Book awards, a finalist in the Next Generation Book Awards, and a finalist in the Rainbow Book Awards. Scott’s writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Alternet Magazine, among others.

For more information on Scott Terry’s work, visit his web page at http://www.ScottTerryProjects.com. For information on events or upcoming book signings, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CowboysArmageddonAndTheTruth

Cowboys, Armageddon and The Truth is available from Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Armageddon-Truth-Child-Religion-ebook/dp/B009F2F02C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421072343&sr=8-1&keywords=cowboys%2C+the+truth+and+armageddon

in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Armageddon-The-Truth-Religion/dp/1590213661/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1421072343&sr=8-1

and in Audiobook format from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoirs/Cowboys-Armageddon-and-the-Truth-Audiobook/B00NH3IP90/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1421072549&sr=1-1

 

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James

51pSVeq-yAL__AA160_This is the story of Harley, bought up in a dysfunctional home, with an alcoholic and abusive father, who sends the family on an emotional rollercoasters, a weak mother, and her sister Kat with whom she has a very strong bond.

The day after she graduates from high school she packs her bags into her 1970 Chevelle, Charlene, and takes off, knowing only that she must go.

This is a coming of age novel, and we, the listener follow the strong, independent Harley, as she grows from girl into womanhood. As normal, through rite of passage, the woman she becomes is shaped by the people she meets and jobs she does as she moves around the country. However, Harley finds herself, despite her escape, being drawn back home to help her family with each emergency which arises.

And, waiting in the background is Jeremiah Jones, her childhood neighbour and sweetheart, best friend and lover, who joined the Marines the day she took off. Although they don’t see each other for years, the chemistry between them when they do, is so strong. He loves her unconditionally, and understands, and knows the fears she battles with after growing up in such a dysfunctional family, but will she ever commit?

This was a compelling story packed with brutal truths about such subjects as growing up in an abusive home and alcoholism, yet a fascinating story which I could not fail to recommend.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave/dp/1461054397/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1413383281&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+boots+my+mother+gave+me

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-ebook/dp/B00457XGNM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1-catcorr&qid=1413383281

and from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-Audiobook/B00MV0LQN2

 

I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry by Susie Kelly

Open, honest, and compelling reading.

 

  I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry...

 

Books are escapism, and Susie Kelly’s books about her adventures and life in France have kept me entertained over the years.

I knew this book was going to be different, but nothing prepared me for its content.

When you see an author’s picture, and have followed her escapades, somehow you feel in a way, you know her. This book dispels that illusion. The title is easily understandable, everyone regrets not having the chance to say things, or leaving it too late…

What a story! Written in Susie’s extremely honest way, but unlike her other books, in this one, we learn of her childhood in England and Kenya, her life choices and the decisions she has had to make.

An open, heart-rending insight into her life, which I found a compelling read.

 

Available on Amazon Kindle here http://www.amazon.com/Wish-Could-Say-Sorry-ebook/dp/B00CS8YG34/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369049019&sr=1-1&keywords=i+wish+i+could+say+i+was+sorry