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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Military, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Spotlight and Giveaway –Seals of Summer Superbundle


Military Romance Superbundle

Print Length: 1300 pages

Publisher: SOS Ladies

Publication Date: April 21, 2014

ASIN: B00J436CN8

Military Super-bundle of ten novellas and novels by New York Times, USA Today and award-winning bestselling authors: Delilah Devlin, Sharon Hamilton, Anne Marsh, Cora Seton, Zoe York, Roxie Riviera, S.M. Butler, Kimberley Troutte, Jennifer Lowery, Elle James.

IT TAKES A SEAL by USA Today Bestselling author Delilah Devlin:

When Susan heads to the Bahamas, she thinks the sexiest part of the trip is that she can count it as a tax deduction. After all, her agency has new offices in the Bahamas, and she needs face-time with her employees, who also just happen to be her best friends. However, things go quickly awry when their island benefactor comes under threat. After a night of partying on his yacht, she awakens to discover she’s stumbled into a sting operation to lure the bad guys into the open. She’s got to pretend she’s the billionaire’s trophy girlfriend, which isn’t hard when the man taking his place is a sexy ex-SEAL. When the bad guys kidnap the couple and imprison them on a deserted island, it’s up to ex-SEAL Justin to orchestrate an escape.

SEAL MY HEART by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Hamilton:

Kate Livingstone’s engagement is at risk the instant she sets eyes on the handsome elite warrior sitting next to her on a plane trip to visit her sister. Navy SEAL Tyler Gray had thought he knew what he wanted in life, until he meets Kate and their obvious attraction for each other sparks something deep in his soul. What starts out as innocent letters between friends turns out to be much more. Can someone fall in love deeply just with words and letters exchanged, or is this just a pleasant fantasy that will ruin their lives forever?

SMOKING HOT by National Bestselling author Anne Marsh:

When an ambush kills his teammate, Navy SEAL Tye Callahan steps in to fulfill the fallen man’s obligations. He vows to spend the summer in Strong, California, fighting fires with the smoke jumper team and looking out for Katie Lawson, his teammate’s fiancée. Now, as the summer heats up, they must decide if the chemistry burning between them might just be their second chance at living their own lives… together.

THE NAVY SEAL’s E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE by National Bestselling author Cora Seton:

Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, has fought insurgents, drug lords and terrorists, but his current mission is one for the records. Not only must he find a wife—and get her pregnant—or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for over a hundred years, he also must convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up.  Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight? 

FALL OUT by Zoe York:

Drew Castle is a Navy SEAL with a bad case of indifference. Until Annie Martin shows up on his doorstep, scared out of her mind, and all of a sudden, keeping her safe becomes the most important mission of his life. And this time, he’s on his own. Annie knows that letting Drew whisk her away under the guise of protection is a recipe for disaster, but he’s the only person she can trust. Drew’s strange mix of laid-back bossiness takes some getting used to, but as they escape to a Caribbean hideaway, she finds herself wondering what it would be like if they came together at a different time. As the threat is resolved, a new danger arises: one of passion, heat and desire so overwhelming neither can resist, no matter the cost.

CLOSE QUARTERS by Bestselling author Roxie Rivera:

When Navy SEAL Leland Gates runs off to his family’s secluded cabin to lick his wounds, he never expects to find makeup heiress Jamie Pearson hiding out there. His sister’s best friend swears she’s only there for a weekend of relaxation, but his well-honed instincts tell him that she’s in big trouble. Getting tangled up in Jamie’s latest hot mess—or her sheets—is the very last thing he needs, but in close quarters like these, there’s no denying the white-hot passion blazing between them.

KILLING HONOR by International Bestselling author S.M. Butler:

Returning home after a disastrous extended deployment, Navy SEAL Brody Battles struggles with nightmares and government secrets building a wall between him and his wife, Devyn, especially when a security breach compromises his identity. While they’re adjusting to being a family again, an old enemy waits in the shadows, salivating for the sweet taste of revenge.

COMING IN HOT by Award-winning author Kimberley Troutte:

For Navy SEAL Mack Riley, rescuing a family in Colombia is not as hard as seeing the admiral’s daughter again. He’d sworn a vow to steer clear of that heartbreaker. But since the family was taken hostage on Jenna’s watch, she’s determined to join the rescue team. When the admiral orders him to protect Jenna, Mack is forced to keep her as close as body armor. In the heat of battle, love Mack and Jenna deny breaches their defenses. With missiles locked onto their coordinates…can they save the family and get out alive?

A SEAL’s SONG by Golden Heart Finalist Jennifer Lowery:

Navy SEAL Jack Taggart’s plans to catch some much-needed downtime between deployments are demolished when he risks everything to rescue beautiful wedding singer, Darci O’Shea, from a band of thieves. Will the battle between their inner demons be the hardest one to fight, or will they find rescue in each other’s arms?

SEALS’s EMBRACE by USA Today Bestseller Elle James:

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man. Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers. Transferred to the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar undergoes surgery, restoring movement to his legs in time to stop a hostage takeover of the ICU where Erin is in charge of the Taliban leader’s care. Together they fight to save lives and halt a Terrorist attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.

Available April 21 – Preorder Now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1eAQNsy



by Elle James


Injured Navy SEAL and the critical care nurse he’s attempting to woo join forces to stop a terrorist attack at a military hospital

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man.

Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers.

In the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar and Erin fight their attraction for each other while a terrorist plot is underfoot to rescue the Taliban leader. Together they struggle to save lives and halt the an attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.


“Sanchez,” a firm voice called out.

Caesar spun, his pulse ratcheting up as he faced the woman he couldn’t get out of his system.

Irish backhanded him in the chest. “I think you’ve met your match in that one.”

By the way Lt. McGee was shaking her pretty red head, Irish might have it right. What Irish didn’t realize was just how much Caesar had been working to break down the lady’s defenses. “Trust me, at this very moment, she’s on the brink of raising the white flag.”

“And her skirt?” Irish snorted. “I seriously doubt it. Wanna lay down another bet?”

“Sorry, I have to go. My future awaits.” Caesar took off across the floor, his focus on the petite nurse with deep auburn hair and emerald green eyes.

With her full, luscious lips pressed into a thin line, she led him deeper into the clinic to an examination room. All the way down the aisle, Caesar couldn’t help but notice the way her hips swayed beneath the flight suit that hugged her body like a tailored glove.

His groin tightened along with his resolve to have this beauty.

“Sit,” she ordered, pointing to the examination table.

Caesar hopped up on the table and spread his knees wide. The only way she was getting to that cut finger was to step between them. Still wearing his PT shorts, he realized the mistake that was. With nothing much to hold him back, he tented the shorts in an instant when the door closed to the room and they were alone.

“You really have to stop cutting yourself. This camp is full of all kinds of germs. Keep this up and you might lose that finger altogether.” She pulled a gauze pad out of a drawer, alcohol pads and a bandage before she turned and met his gaze, her own green eyes dancing with humor. “And the answer is no.” She pressed her lips together.

“How did you know I was about to ask a question? I might really be here to seek aid for my cut finger.”

“Uh huh.” She shook her head and stepped between his knees. “Two times in the same week is suspicious. Three times cutting the same finger, and that the injuries just happen to be on the same days as I’m volunteering at the clinic, is proof. You’re stalking me.” She bumped the inside of his thighs with her hips and sucked in a sharp breath, moving back quickly, her cheeks turning a rosy shade of pink.

So, she wasn’t immune to his presence. She just needed a little persuasion.

“Lt. McGee, mi amor, I’m crushed.” He pressed his uninjured hand to his chest. “Can I help the fact that I’m clumsy and deeply in love? Have coffee with me just once, and I won’t bother you again.”

“What do you know about love?” She pushed a loose strand of red hair behind her ear, twin flags of pink flying high on her cheekbones. “And I only have two words for you: fraternization and sexual harassment.”

Crooking an eyebrow, he grinned. “That’s four.”

“Yeah, I know, but with you, they all go together.” She swiped the alcohol pad across his finger, careful not to sway sideways and touch his thighs.

At the sting, Caesar bit down on his tongue to keep from hissing.

Two seconds later, she had the wound cleaned, and a bandage plastered over it. “There. Your booboo is all better.”

Before she could move away, Caesar hopped off the table and captured her wrist. “What do I have to do for you to look at me as other than a patient?” They stood so close, he could feel the heat of her body through the flight suit.

Her free hand rose to his chest, her eyes widened and her breathing grew more ragged. “An act of God?” She wet her lips.

That simple act sent Caesar over the edge of reason and he swooped in to steal a kiss. “Rules be damned.” He captured the back of her head, and bent to crush his lips against hers.

For a moment her hand pressed against his chest, then her fingers curled into his T-shirt and her mouth opened on a gasp.

Caesar thrust his tongue through, sliding it along hers in a long, wet caress. She tasted even sweeter than he’d imagined. When he lifted his head, he whispered against her mouth, “Muy precioso.

The lieutenant gazed up into his face, her eyes glazed, her lips parted. Then she blinked and the spell was broken. She glanced down at his hand on her wrist, and her gaze narrowed. “Do you know how wrong this is? Let go.”

Immediately, he released her. “For now. I still want to have coffee with you.”

“No. It’s a bad idea.” She eased back a step.

“Are you afraid of me?”

“No. I’m not afraid of you.” She turned back to the cabinet, fished something out of a drawer and a bottle out of the cabinet above. “Drop your drawers.”

“What?” He frowned. Had he read her wrong? Surely she wasn’t going to…not here…anyone could walk in. His heartbeat quickened.

“You heard me.” She turned toward him, syringe in hand and fire in her eyes. “Drop ‘em.”

He held up his hand. “Seriously? You’re giving me a shot for a little cut on my finger?”

“No, for three little cuts on your finger.” She tilted her head, her brows rising in challenge. “Are you afraid of me?”

He stared at the syringe she wielded like a weapon. “Frankly, yes.”

About the Author

Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

You can reach Elle James at www.ellejames.com or email her at

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


The post Spotlight and Giveaway –Seals of Summer Superbundle appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Interview with Tawny Weber, Author of A SEAL’s Kiss


[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Tawny!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Tawny Weber] Creative, loving, focused, intuitive, neurotic.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A SEAL’s Kiss?

[Tawny Weber] A SEAL’s Kiss is an Engagement of Convenience story between two complete opposites.  Sage and Aiden have known each other all their lives, but now a mission of mercy puts them in much closer contact than ever before.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Tawny Weber] I loved writing this story because I started with the concept of ‘how does a girl get engaged to a guy without him having clue’ and it sort of blossomed from there. Since I knew I the story would be an Engagement of Convenience, I wanted to start with weddings to show Sage’s feelings about the institution—which I didn’t actually know the depths of until I wrote the scene LOL.  Sage is such a free spirit and Aiden is so regimented, both of them think they want different things; Sage to follow her bliss and Aiden to do the right thing. But really, they both just want to be happy.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Tawny Weber] The devotion both of the characters had to Sage’s father and to doing whatever they could to make his life happy.  I know they are fictional, but feeling that kind of unconditional love, even in a book, gives me such hope.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Tawny Weber] The ending – Sage and Aiden are both pretty mellow, so a realistic and logical dark moment was a challenge for sure.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Tawny Weber] My cell phone

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Tawny Weber] Iced tea, a bouquet of flowers and my dog Daisy Mae.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you were stranded in a secluded cabin during a blizzard, who would you most like to be stranded with?

[Tawny Weber] Hmm, if the blizzard is in fantasy-land I’d love to be trapped with Johnny Depp (and his guitar).  If it’s in the real word, I’d like my husband there. I know he can keep the fire going ;-)  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Tawny Weber] I garden and scrapbook, knit and, of course, read.  A lot :-) 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Tawny Weber] Websitetawnyweber.com



Subject: Navy SEAL Petty Officer Aiden Masters 

Current Status: On leave 

Obstacle: Deploy “Mission: (Fake) Engagement”…without actually falling for his fiancée! 

The goal of Mission: Engagement is simple—a fake engagement concocted to bring happiness to Sage Taylor’s ailing father. 

The Rules: 

1) Treat it like a military mission 

2) Keep the truth undercover 

3) The “engagement” lasts as long as the professor’s health depends on it; and 

4) No sex…especially with each other! 

But the incredibly spirited (and a touch quirky) Sage has never been one for rules. Especially when they involve Aiden’s rock-hard navy bod and a ton of smokin’-hot sexual attraction. Which means in order to seduce this sexy SEAL, she’ll have to completely outmaneuver him….

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3. Spotlight and Giveaway-It’s Always Been You by Jessica Scott



IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU by Jessica Scott (March 4, 2014; Forever E-Book; $2.99)

She plays by the rules . . .
Captain Ben Teague is many things: a tough soldier, a loyal friend, and a bona fide smart-ass. He doesn’t have much tolerance for BS, which is why he’s mad as hell when a trusted colleague and mentor is brought up on charges that can’t possibly be true. He’s even more frustrated with by-the-book lawyer Major Olivia Hale. But there’s something simmering beneath her icy reserve-and Ben just can’t resist turning up the heat . . .

. . . and he’s determined to break them
The only thing riskier than mixing business with pleasure is enjoying it . . . and Olivia can’t resist locking horns-and lips-with Ben. He’s got more compassion in his little finger than any commander she’s ever met, a fact that makes him a better leader than he realizes. But when the case that brought them together awakens demons from Olivia’s past, she will have to choose between following orders-or her heart . . .

About Jessica Scott:

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one ofEsquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Social Media Links:





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Olivia looked away. The first packet was heavy in her hand. “The quick summary is that you have five drinking and driving, two assaults, three hot urinalysis tests and five soldiers caught with other intoxicating substances.”

“Define ‘other intoxicating substances’? What the hell does that mean?”

“Huffing, spice, bath salts.”

“Bath salts? What the hell are bath salts?”

Olivia pulled out her phone and pulled up a website explaining the drug. “They’re really new but we’re starting to see more of them. They’re meant to be a synthetic drug that mimics cocaine and ecstasy but they’re really bad stuff. Some of it is variants of plant food.”

Ben reached for her phone and angled it so he could see. His hand was big and rough against hers. Hot where their skin met. If he noticed, he didn’t give any indication. “Plant food?”

Olivia tried to ignore how his hand felt against hers. Because, oh yes, she’d noticed. Heat spread across her skin, sliding up her forearm and tingling down her spine. “Soldiers will smoke anything these days,” she said quietly.


“That’s a whole ’nother discussion,” she said, easing her hand out of his. “The short version is that intoxicating substances are prohibited by regulation and I advise you to do two things with these kids: send a strong message that this behavior won’t be tolerated but also enroll them into drug abuse counseling to send a message that you’ll help those who want it.”

Ben studied the paperwork in front of him. Tormented emotions flickered over his face and it was everything she could do not to ask him what was on his mind. She didn’t have time or reason to go crawling around Ben Teague’s head but that didn’t stop the want pulsing warmly over her skin.

“I know this kid,” Ben said quietly. “I served with him downrange last deployment but ever since he’s come home, he’s been nothing but trouble to the old commander. Zittoro has three previous drug charges,” he said.

“Private Zittoro is a different case. I recommend you separate him from the military under a chapter nine, rehab failure.”

She heard his quick intake of breath. Saw the conflict flicker over his sharp features.

He cleared his throat roughly in the awkward silence. “Zittoro… he’s got nowhere to go. He’s got a deadbeat dad and his mom is… well, she’s not winning any parent of the year awards.” His fist clenched on the table in front of her. “If I throw him out of the army, what happens to him? He’s an addict.”

She flinched at the pain in his words. Ben had only been a commander for a couple of hours but the strain was already obvious in his voice.

“You can’t save everyone,” she whispered. She waited until his eyes met hers.

“You know that, right?”

“Yeah. Sure.”

There was no comfort she could offer. This was the burden of command: to balance the needs of the army over the needs of the individual. A tightrope he had to walk alone.

All she could do was give him the facts and her opinion. But in that moment, she had the sudden urge to save him from this. “If you keep him, do you have the manpower to keep going to his room and making sure he hasn’t overdosed every night? Do you trust him enough to give him a weapon and believe he’ll do his job?”

Ben’s throat moved as he swallowed. “Guess not,” he said quietly. He leaned back and it was as if a wall of glass crystallized between them. “What other fun things do you have in there for me?”

Olivia wasn’t convinced by the sudden shift in Ben’s mood but now wasn’t the time or the place for digging any deeper. She reviewed the rest of the drug packets, watching him tense more with each one. She stopped after the last driving under the influence.

“Why is this bothering you so much?”

He offered a half-assed cocky grimace that failed to mimic the smile he was going for. A pretty shitty attempt to cover the darkness twisting beneath the surface. He took a deep breath. “I’m a big boy. I’ll do what has to be done.”

“I didn’t imply that you wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not bothering you.”

He drummed his fingers on the table. “Let’s finish this up. I’ve got to get down to my company and start digging out from the mountain of crap that my predecessor left me.”

He brushed her off. The action was as insignificant as a paper cut.

She leaned back and picked up the next packet and wished it didn’t sting like it did. Then she made the mistake of meeting his gaze. There was such a dark lack of hope in his eyes. A bleak resignation to the things he was forced to confront. She almost reached for his hand. It would have been a simple gesture of support. But he looked at her as though a single touch might have shattered him.

He was not her problem. She didn’t do damaged and introspective.

Because there were people counting on her not to get distracted.

But looking at him now, she wondered about the glimpse of the tired warrior she saw behind those tormented brown eyes.

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4. The familiar face of Winston Churchill

By Christopher M. Bell

The steady flow of new books about Winston Churchill should confirm that the famous wartime prime minister is now the best known and most studied figure in modern British history.

Churchill, a tireless self-promoter in his own time, would undoubtedly have taken a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that the legend he helped to craft would endure well into the twenty-first century. Unlike most politicians, he was deeply concerned with how he would be remembered – and judged – by history. And, although the verdict today is by no means universally positive, there is no doubt that he has achieved a level of fame that few can rival.

Academic historians (like me) spend so much time immersed in the study of the past that we cannot help but see it as a crowded place full of familiar faces. And a figure like Churchill is impossible to ignore: his memory, like the man himself, positively demands our attention. But the full-time historian is generally able to tune Churchill out when necessary: for most of us, he remains just one of the many historical actors we must look at to understand the past.

For the public at large, however, the past is a very different place. Most people approach it as they would a party full of strangers: instinctively scanning the crowd as they enter in hopes of spotting a familiar face. But the more time that passes, the more unfamiliar the past becomes – and the fewer faces we are likely to recognize. Our collective historical memory is subject to a natural sort of attrition process. Most of Britain’s leading politicians, statesmen and warriors of the early twentieth-century, many of them household names in their own time, are now barely remembered at all. Lord Kitchener’s famous recruiting poster from the First World War is still instantly recognizable, but every year there are fewer and fewer people who can put a name to the face of a man who in 1914 was better known – and certainly more widely admired – than Churchill.

The process has distinctly Darwinian overtones, as the most famous figures of yesteryear gradually displace their lesser-known rivals – and eventually each other – in the competition for a place in our collective memory of the past. Only a handful of famous twentieth-century Britons can share the historical stage with Churchill and demand anything like equal billing. And even they do not seem to share his seeming immunity to the passage of time. Neville Chamberlain, for example, remains an iconic figure, although for many he is not an important historical actor in his own right so much as a supporting figure in a better-known, and implicitly more important, story: Churchill’s triumphant rise to power in 1940.

Britain has good reason to look back on the Second World War as the “People’s War”, but the fact remains that only one of “the people” could be reliably identified today in a police line-up. And he is recognizable precisely because of his role in this great conflict. Churchill’s near-mythical status was ensured by his leadership in the critical months between the army’s evacuation from Dunkirk and the Royal Air Force’s victory in the Battle of Britain. At a time when Britain’s defeat seemed not only possible but imminent, Churchill rallied and inspired the people as no other contemporary politician could have. In Britain’s national mythology, he almost single-handedly changed the course of the war by sustaining the morale of the British people at the height of the Nazi onslaught, and in so doing ensured Hitler’s ultimate downfall.

Even in 1940, there was already a tendency to regard Churchill as the personification of Britain’s collective war effort and the embodiment of the nation’s heroic defiance of Nazi Germany. Churchill himself once attempted to put his role into perspective when he declared that “It was a nation and a race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.” How far Churchill really believed this is debatable. In his speeches and memoirs he consistently downplayed the doubts and fears that pervaded Britain after the fall of France. But he knew better than anyone how close Britain may have come to a negotiated peace with Hitler in 1940 – and how important was his role in preventing this.

As more and more of Churchill’s contemporaries have receded and then disappeared from public memory, the popular association of Churchill with this defining moment in Britain’s history has only grown stronger. He may soon be, if he isn’t already, the last (recognizable) man standing in the history ofBritainduring the first half of the twentieth century.

Churchill believed that history was made by “great men”, and it is hard to imagine him being troubled by this trend. Historians might lament the public’s disproportionate interest in any one particular individual, but this is not to suggest we don’t need any more books about Churchill. The central place he enjoys in our memory of the twentieth century makes it all the more important that the record is as full and accurate as possible. The challenge is to populate that history with real people, and recognize that Churchill was also a supporting character in their stories.

Christopher M. Bell is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of The Royal Navy, Seapower and Strategy between the Wars (2000), co-editor of Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective (2003), and author of Churchill and Sea Power (2012).

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The post The familiar face of Winston Churchill appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. How Nazi Germany lost the nuclear plot

By Gordon Fraser

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, neither the Atomic Bomb nor the Holocaust were on anybody’s agenda. Instead, the Nazi’s top aim was to rid German culture of perceived pollution. A priority was science, where paradoxically Germany already led the world. To safeguard this position, loud Nazi voices, such as Nobel laureate Philipp Lenard,  complained about a ‘massive infiltration of the Jews into universities’.

The first enactments of a new regime are highly symbolic. The cynically-named Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service, published in April 1933, targeted those who had non-Aryan, ‘particularly Jewish’, parents or grandparents. Having a single Jewish grandparent was enough to lose one’s job. Thousands of Jewish university teachers, together with doctors, lawyers, and other professionals were sacked. Some found more modest jobs, some retired, some left the country. Germany was throwing away its hard-won scientific supremacy. When warned of this, Hitler retorted ‘If the dismissal of [Jews] means the end of German science, then we will do without science for a few years’.

Why did the Jewish people have such a significant influence on German science? They had a long tradition of religious study, but assimilated Jews had begun to look instead to a radiant new role-model. Albert Einstein was the most famous scientist the world had ever known. As well as an icon for ambitious young students, he was also a prominent political target. Aware of this, he left Germany for the USA in 1932, before the Nazis came to power.

How to win friends and influence nuclear people
The talented nuclear scientist Leo Szilard appeared to be able to foresee the future. He exploited this by carefully cultivating people with influence. In Berlin, he sought out Einstein.

Like Einstein, Szilard anticipated the Civil Service Law. He also saw the need for a scheme to assist the refugee German academics who did not. First in Vienna, then in London, he found influential people who could help.

Just as the Nazis moved into power, nuclear physics was revolutionized by the discovery of a new nuclear component, the neutron. One of the main centres of neutron research was Berlin, where scientists saw a mysterious effect when uranium was irradiated. They asked their former Jewish colleagues, now in exile, for an explanation.

The answer was ‘nuclear fission’. As the Jewish scientists who had fled Germany settled into new jobs, they realized how fission was the key to a new source of energy. It could also be a weapon of unimaginable power, the Atomic Bomb. It was not a great intellectual leap, so the exiled scientists were convinced that their former colleagues in Germany had come to the same conclusion. So, when war looked imminent, they wanted to get to the Atomic Bomb first. One wrote of ‘the fear of the Nazis beating us to it’.

Szilard, by now in the US, saw it was time to act again. He knew that President Roosevelt would not listen to him, but would listen to Einstein, and wrote to Roosevelt over Einstein’s signature.

When a delegation finally managed to see him on 11 October 1939, Roosevelt said “what you’re after is to see that the Nazis don’t blow us up”. But nobody knew exactly what to do. The letter had mentioned bombs ‘too heavy for transportation by air’. Such a vague threat did not appear urgent.

But in 1940, German Jewish exiles in Britain realized that if the small amount of the isotope 235 in natural uranium could be separated, it could produce an explosion equivalent to several thousand tons of dynamite. Only a few kilograms would be needed, and could be carried by air. The logistics of nuclear weapons suddenly changed. Via Einstein, Szilard wrote another Presidential letter. On 19 January 1942, Roosevelt ordered a rapid programme for the development of the Atomic Bomb, the ‘Manhattan Project’.

Across the Atlantic, the Germans indeed had seen the implications of nuclear fission. But its scientific message had been muffled. Key scientists had gone. Germany had no one left with the prescience of Szilard, nor the political clout of Einstein. The Nazis also had another priority. On 20 January, one day after Roosevelt had given the go-ahead for the Atomic Bomb, a top-level meeting in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee outlined a “final solution of the Jewish Problem”. Nazi Germany had its own crash programme.

US crash programme – on 16 July 1945, just over three years after the huge project had been launched, the Atomic Bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert.

Nazi crash programme – what came to be known as the Holocaust rapidly got under way. Here a doomed woman and her children arrive at the specially-built Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination centre.

As such, two huge projects, unknown to each other, emerged simultaneously on opposite sides of the Atlantic. The dreadful schemes forged ahead, and each in turn became reality. On two counts, what had been unimaginable no longer was.

Gordon Fraser was for many years the in-house editor at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva. His books on popular science and scientists include Cosmic Anger, a biography of Abdus Salam, the first Muslim Nobel scientist, Antimatter: The Ultimate Mirror, and The Quantum Exodus. He is also the editor of The New Physics for the 21st Century and The Particle Century.

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Image credits: Atomic Bomb tested in the New Mexico desert. Photograph courtesy of  Los Alamos National Laboratory; Auschwitz-Birkenau, alte Frau und Kinder, Bundesarchiv Bild, Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.

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6. Interview with Anne Elizabeth, Author of SEAL at Heart & Giveaway!

Anne Elizabeth, author of SEAL at Heart, is visiting the virtual offices today.  Please give her a warm welcome! After the interview, enter for your chance to win a copy of SEAL at Heart!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 words or less.

[Anne Elizabeth] I’m a romance writer, comic book creator, monthly columnist, wife, step-mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, daughter, sister, friend, and adventurer. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about SEAL at Heart?

[Anne Elizabeth] Being a SEAL means everything to Petty Officer First Class John Roaker. So when a head injury coupled with a bout of amnesia takes him out of the action, he has to find a way to heal his wounds and recover his lost memories. Enlisting the help of beautiful physical therapist Laurie Smith, he heals his body and discovers that his unlocked memories hold a dangerous secret about his last mission that threatens his life, his country, and the woman he’s starting to fall in love with.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Anne Elizabeth] One night, my husband and I were sitting around the dinner table with a friend talking about SEALS and romance. The idea popped out of my mouth and I knew it was the one. BTW, my husband is retired from the Teams.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Laurie?

[Anne Elizabeth] Courageous, passionate, and determined.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jack had a theme song, what would it be?

[Anne Elizabeth] Queen, WE WILL ROCK YOU

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Laurie won’t leave the house without.

[Anne Elizabeth] Laurie would never leave the house without her purse. It holds all the magical things she cannot live without during the day–from lipstick to a small first aid kit. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jack’s bedroom?

[Anne Elizabeth] Collectible figurines, framed photographs, and large pieces of furniture—Jack doesn’t have any of those things.  Instead, he can pack and be out the door in under an hour with everything he owns packed in duffel bags. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Anne Elizabeth] I have a lot of creative influences. From my husband’s presence to the nature surrounding us, I draw it all in and it ends up in my stories.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Anne Elizabeth] In order to craft, I need a strong connection with my story and characters, support from my family and friends, and my laptop. I also need time–an opportunity to research, think, and type.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Anne Elizabeth] I read a lot of books. I am huge fan of Cathy Maxwell, Suzanne Brockmann, and Anne Rice. I’ve loved all of their latest books!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Anne Elizabeth] Dante’s THE DIVINE COMEDY—I’ve read that book at least a hundred times.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Anne Elizabeth] I love adventures! Kayaking on the ocean, biking or hiking in the mountains with my husband and our dog, cooking for family and friends, flying, or reading a book—these are some of my favorite activities.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Anne Elizabeth] Fans can contact me through my website and I’m on facebook and twitter, too.

Link to website: www.AnneElizabeth.net

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aeanneelizabeth

Link to personal Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Elizabeth/e/B002BX3M7C/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Link to book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SEAL-at-Heart-Anne-Elizabeth/dp/1402268904/ref=la_B002BX3M7C_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353888262&sr=1-1

I have a monthly column in RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine on comics, manga, and graphic novels. I also attend the Comic Cons in New York and San Diego as well as the RT BOOK LOVERS CONVENTION.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


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About the book:

Being a SEAL means everything to Petty Officer First Class John Roaker. So when a head injury coupled with a bout of amnesia makes him undeployable, he has to find a way to heal from his wounds and recover his lost memories. Enlisting the help of beautiful psychoanalyst Laurie Smith, he discovers his unlocked memories hold a dangerous secret about his last mission that threatens his life, his country, and the woman he’s starting to fall in love with.

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7. The legacy of the Napoleonic Wars

By Mike Rapport

The Duke of Wellington always has a traffic cone on his head. At least, he does when he is in Glasgow. Let me explain: outside the city’s Gallery of Modern Art on Queen Street, there is an equestrian statue of the celebrated general of the Napoleonic Wars. It was sculpted in 1840-4 by the Franco-Italian artist, Carlo Marochetti (1805-1867), who in his day was a dominant figure in the world of commemorative sculpture. Amongst his works is the statue of Richard the Lionheart, who has sat on his mount and held aloft his sword outside the Houses of Parliament since 1860.

Yet Glasgow’s lofty monument has been a magnet for pranksters –  ever since the 1980s, according to the BBC – who regularly scale the pedestal, Copenhagen’s (the horse’s) flanks and then, clinging onto the Iron Duke himself, crown him with an orange traffic cone. This has caused some controversy: the police warn that the acts of intrepid, late-night climbers (who, to be frank, may also have enjoyed the hospitality of the local hostelries) is an act of vandalism and is downright dangerous. The government-funded agency that oversees the care of the country’s historic buildings, Historic Scotland, acknowledges that embellishing Wellington with a modern piece of traffic paraphernalia is now a ‘longstanding tradition’, but emphasises that the statue is A-listed and so needs to be protected from damage – and there has indeed been damage: on different occasions, the general has lost a spur and his sword. Others argue that the ‘coning’ of Wellington is a worthy expression of the people’s sense of humour and that it is as much a part of the cityscape as its historic buildings and monuments. And indeed the statue has become iconic – not because it is a likeness of the Duke of Wellington, but because the general has a cone on his head: postcards proudly depicting this symbol of Glaswegian humour are easy to find.

This controversy sprang to mind when I was first putting together a proposal for writing a Very Short Introduction on the Napoleonic Wars. One of the reviewers very helpfully suggested that the book might consider a chapter on the conflict in historical memory and commemoration. When I came to write this, the final chapter, I considered opening it with an account of the ‘coning’ of the Duke of Wellington, but in the end I felt that such irreverence and jocularity sat rather uneasily with the content of the rest of the book, which tells a tale of aggression, international collapse, and human suffering. Yet the fact that the Duke still sits, as ever, with a garish point on his head – gravity making it lean at a jaunty angle – did make me wonder about how far the Napoleonic Wars (including, by extension, the French Revolutionary Wars from which they emerged – collectively the wars lasted from 1792 to 1815) have left a legacy that is embedded, visibly or otherwise, in our European cityscapes.

This might well be more obvious on the continent than in the British Isles, since there was a direct impact as armies rampaged across Europe – and there were therefore more sites clearly associated with Napoleonic conquest, European resistance to it, and later commemoration of the conflict. In Paris, the very same Marochetti was responsible for one of the reliefs on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the one depicting the Battle of Jemappes (one of the French Revolution’s early victories over the Austrians in 1792). The Arc was completed under the July Monarchy (1830-48), which worked hard to appropriate the Napoleonic legacy for its own political purposes. The same regime nearly awarded Marochetti the commission to create Napoleon’s tomb in the Church of the Invalides when his body was repatriated from Saint Helena. The sculptor, in fact, was producing models for this work as he was busy on Glasgow’s Wellington statue (giving the latter a pedigree that surely reinforces Historic Scotland’s mild-mannered point). Yet British towns and cities are also embedded with places that are connected with the French Wars – as barracks, as headquarters, as places of exile and refuge, as naval dockyards, as depots for PoWs, as sites of popular mobilization. Sometimes the associations are long-forgotten, sometimes they are commemorated.  The conflict is remembered in the monuments that ask us not to forget the carnage and in the individuals who are commemorated in stone and bronze. These may, like Glasgow’s Iron Duke, have become so much part of our urban environment that they are almost unnoticed unless they have a cone on their head, but the traces and memory of the French Wars in Britain’s towns and cities… now there’s a project!

Dr Mike Rapport is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling. He is the author of Nationality and Citizenship in Revolutionary France: The Treatment of Foreigners 1789-1799 (OUP, 2000), The Shape of the World: Britain, France and the Struggle for Empire (Atlantic, 2006), 1848, Year of Revolution (Little, Brown, 2008), and The Napoleonic Wars: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2013).

The Very Short Introductions (VSI) series combines a small format with authoritative analysis and big ideas for hundreds of topic areas. Written by our expert authors, these books can change the way you think about the things that interest you and are the perfect introduction to subjects you previously knew nothing about. Grow your knowledge with OUPblog and the VSI series every Friday!

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Image credit: Statue of Wellington, mounted. Outside the Gallery of Modern Art, Queen Street, Glasgow, Scotland [Author: Green Lane, Creative Commons Licence via Wikimedia Commons]

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8. The bombing of Monte Cassino

On the 15th of February 1944, Allied planes bombed the abbey at Monte Cassino as part of an extended campaign against the Italians. St. Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery, the source of the Benedictine Order, here around 529. Over four months, the Battle of Monte Cassino would inflict some 200,000 causalities and rank as one of the most horrific battles of World War Two. This excerpt from Peter Caddick-Adams’s Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell, recounts the bombing.

On the afternoon of 14 February, Allied artillery shells scattered leaflets containing a printed warning in Italian and English of the abbey’s impending destruction. These were produced by the same US Fifth Army propaganda unit that normally peddled surrender leaflets and devised psychological warfare messages. The monks negotiated a safe passage through the German lines for 16 February — too late, as it turned out. American Harold Bond, of the 36th Texan Division, remembered  the texture of the ‘honey-coloured Travertine stone’ of the abbey that fine Tuesday morning, and how ‘the Germans seemed to sense that something important was about to happen for they were strangely quiet’. Journalist Christopher Buckley wrote of ‘the cold blue on that late winter morning’ as formations of Flying Fortresses ‘flew in perfect formation with that arrogant dignity which distinguishes bomber aircraft as they set out upon a sortie’. John Buckeridge of 1/Royal Sussex, up on Snakeshead, recalled his surprise as the air filled with the drone of engines and waves of silver bombers, the sun glinting off their bellies, hove into view. His surprise turned to concern when he saw their bomb doors open — as far as his battalion was concerned the raid was not due for at least another day.

Brigadier Lovett of 7th Indian Brigade was furious at the lack of warning: ‘I was called on the blower and told that the bombers would be  over in fifteen minutes… even as I spoke the  roar  [of  aircraft] drowned my voice as the first shower of eggs [bombs]  came down.’ At the HQ of the 4/16th Punjabis, the adjutant wrote: ‘We went to the door of the command post and gazed up… There we saw the white trails of many high-level bombers. Our first thought was that they were the enemy. Then somebody said, “Flying Fortresses.” There followed the whistle, swish and blast as the first flights struck at the monastery.’ The first formation released their cargo over the abbey. ‘We could see them fall, looking at this distance like little black stones, and then the ground  all around  us shook with gigantic shocks as they exploded,’ wrote Harold  Bond. ‘Where the abbey had been there was only a huge cloud of smoke and dust which concealed the entire hilltop.’

The aircraft which committed the deed came from the massive resources of the US Fifteenth and Twelfth Air Forces (3,876 planes, including transports and those of the RAF in theatre), whose heavy and medium bombardment wings were based predominantly on two dozen temporary airstrips around Foggia in southern Italy (by comparison, a Luftwaffe return of aircraft numbers in Italy on 31 January revealed 474 fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft in theatre, of which 224 were serviceable). Less than an hour’s flying time from Cassino, the Foggia airfields were primitive, mostly grass affairs, covered with Pierced Steel Planking runways, with all offices, accommodation and other facilities under canvas, or quickly constructed out of wood. In mid-winter the buildings and tents were wet and freezing, and often the runways were swamped with oceans of mud which inhibited  flying. Among the personnel stationed there was Joseph Heller, whose famous novel Catch-22 was based on the surreal no-win-situation chaos of Heller’s 488th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bomb Group, Twelfth Air Force, with whom he flew sixty combat missions as a bombardier (bomb-aimer) in B-25 Mitchells.

After the first wave of  aircraft struck Cassino monastery, a Sikh company of 4/16th Punjabis fell back, understandably, and a German wireless message was heard to announce: ‘Indian troops  with turbans are retiring’. Bond and his friends were astonished when, ‘now and again, between the waves of bombers, a wind would blow the smoke away, and to our surprise we saw the gigantic walls of the abbey still stood’. Captain Rupert Clarke, Alexander’s ADC, was watching with his boss. ‘Alex and I were lying out on the ground about 3,000 yards from Cassino. As I watched the bombers, I saw bomb doors open and bombs began to fall well short of the target.’ Back at the 4/16th Punjabis, ‘almost before the ground ceased to shake the telephones were ringing. One of our companies was within 300 yards of the target and the others within 800 yards; all had received a plastering and were asking questions with some asperity.’ Later, when a formation of B-25 medium bombers passed over, Buckley noticed, ‘a  bright  flame, such  as a  giant  might have produced by striking titanic matches on the mountain-side, spurted swiftly upwards at half a dozen points. Then a pillar of smoke 500 feet high broke upwards into the blue. For nearly five minutes it hung around the building, thinning gradually upwards.’

Nila Kantan of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps was no longer driving trucks, as no vehicles could get up to the 4th Indian Division’s positions overlooking the abbey, so he found himself portering instead. ‘On our shoulders we carried all the things up the hill; the gradient was one in three, and we had to go almost on all fours. I was watching from our hill as all the bombers went in and unloaded their bombs; soon after, our guns blasted the hill, and ruined the monastery.’ For Harold Bond, the end was the strangest, ‘then nothing happened. The smoke and dust slowly drifted away, showing the crumbled masonry with fragments of walls still standing, and men in their foxholes talked with each other about the show they had just seen, but the battlefield remained relatively quiet.’

The abbey had been literally ruined, not obliterated as Freyberg had required, and was now one vast mountain of rubble with many walls still remaining up to a height of forty or more feet, resembling the ‘dead teeth’ General John K. Cannon of the USAAF wanted to remove; ironically those of the north-west corner (the future target of all ground assaults through the hills) remained intact. These the Germans, sheltering from the smaller bombs, immediately occupied and turned into excellent defensive positions, ready to slaughter the 4th Indian Division when they belatedly attacked. As Brigadier Kippenberger observed: ‘Whatever had been the position before, there was no doubt  that the enemy was now entitled to garrison the ruins, the breaches in the fifteen-foot-thick walls were nowhere complete, and we wondered whether we had gained anything.’

Peter Caddick-Adams is a Lecturer in Military and Security Studies at the United Kingdom’s Defence Academy, and author of Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives. He holds the rank of major in the British Territorial Army and has served with U.S. forces in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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Image credits: (1) Source: U.S. Air Force; (2) Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-2005-0004 / Wittke / CC-BY-SA; (3) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J26131 / Enz / CC-BY-SA

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9. From the Backlist -- Dogs on Duty by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Dogs on Duty : Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond By Dorothy Hinshaw Patent Walker & Company. 2012 ISBN: 9780802728456 Grades 2 – 5 To write this review, I checked a copy of the book out of my local public library. Dogs are man’s best friend. We’ve reached for the tissues when reading Finding Zasha (Barrow), Cracker! : The best dog in Vietnam (Kadohata), Letters from

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10. Ian Fleming and American intelligence (Part 2)

By Nicholas Rankin

In May 1941, Ian Fleming and his boss, the Director of Naval Intelligence, Admiral John Godfrey, were touching base in New York City with William Stephenson, the British Secret Service’s representative in North America as head of British Security Co-Ordination, whose headquarters occupied the 34th and 35th floors of the Rockefeller Center. The place later went into Fleming’s fiction. In chapter 20 of the very first Bond book, Casino Royale, James Bond confesses to the assassination of a Japanese cipher expert cracking British codes on the 36th floor of that building – it was the first of the two wartime cold-blooded killings that led to Bond’s Double O number.

On 28 May 1941, Ian Fleming celebrated his 32nd birthday in New York City with the good news that the Royal Navy had sunk Germany’s greatest battleship, the 42,000-ton Bismarck. Then he and Godfrey travelled by train to Washington DC on their mission to persuade the American authorities that they needed to create a unified American secret service. Intelligent combination in the USA would be an improvement on the system in the UK, which had evolved four different bodies with overlapping functions and competing masters: the blockaders of the Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW), the propagandists in the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), the saboteurs in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the spies of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6).

Before WW2, the United States of America had similarly left foreign intelligence variously to the diplomats of the State Department, the Military Intelligence Division (or G-2) of the War Department and the Office of Naval Intelligence. No-one below the White House was collating intelligence and no-one was taking the big strategic view. Although Admiral Godfrey found all three US departments polite and friendly towards him, he was surprised to discover how much the US Army and US Navy loathed and detested each other and what a snakepit bureaucratic Washington could be, like Whitehall at its very worst.

The only man who could knock heads together was the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States. Admiral Godfrey was invited to dine at the White House on 10th June 1941, and given an hour with the President afterwards in the Oval Office. According to Godfrey, after watching ‘a rather creepy crawly film of snake worship’, FDR drawlingly recounted his reminiscences of British Admiral Reginald Hall’s brilliance as Director of Naval Intelligence in the Great War, while Godfrey himself reiterated three times the need for the Americans to have ‘one intelligence security boss, not three or four.’

That very same day, 10th June 1941, William J. Donovan, (the American ‘Bill’ of the previous blog), had submitted a memorandum to the President recommending the establishment of ‘a central enemy intelligence organization’ to analyze and appraise all information on enemy intentions and resources, both military and economic, and to determine the best methods of waging economic and psychological warfare.

A week later, on 18th June 1941, President Roosevelt accepted Donovan’s proposal and appointed Donovan himself as Coordinator of Information (COI). His job was to ‘collect and analyze all information and data which may bear upon national security: to correlate such information and data, and to make such information and data available to the President…’ Roosevelt scrawled a note on the memo’s coversheet, ‘Please set this up confidentially … Military – not O.E.M. [Office of Emergency Management].’ The CIA historian Thomas F. Troy glosses ‘confidentially’ to mean there would be access to the President’s secret funds and ‘Military’ to denote ‘by virtue of the President’s authority as commander in chief’. William Stephenson, the Canadian ‘Bill’ was jubilant. He cable

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11. Ian Fleming and American intelligence (Part 3)

By Nicholas Rankin

On 27th June 1941, in Washington D.C., Lt-Commander Ian Fleming RNVR drafted a short ‘Memorandum to Colonel Donovan’ on how to structure and staff the headquarters of his new American intelligence agency, COI, to be set up by Christmas 1941. Fleming suggested taking over a section of the FBI building and liaising closely with the Attorney-General and J. Edgar Hoover; Donovan would need to make friends with both the State Department and the FBI and enlist their full help ‘by cajolery and other means’. As Co-ordinator of Information, Donovan would have to ‘dragoon’ the War and Navy Departments into co-operation and be ‘prepared to take action quickly if they don’t help.’ Fleming recommended that Henry Luce of TIME magazine be asked to run Foreign Intelligence, a good “sapper” or military engineer should run Sabotage (a practical problem where romantics should not be encouraged), and Edgar Hoover should nominate someone to run Counter-espionage.  Ian Fleming, who had a background as a Reuters news agency correspondent, thought Donovan would need a ‘Managing Editor with staff from a news agency foreign desk to receive and disseminate intelligence from a central office at GHQ’. He suggested consulting the head of Associated Press and getting staff from only one news agency to avoid jealousies and friction. There would have to be heads of country sections, liaison officers with other government departments, someone in charge of communications (‘A good Fleet Signals Officer’), someone to run matériel and transport (‘Consult American Express’) and many Field Officers (‘Pool the files of the State Department, Navy and Army, and pick the best. Appoint talent scouts to find more if necessary.’) Whoever recruited personnel should be a ‘thoroughly critical and sceptical man’.  To liaise with the British Secret Service in London, Ian Fleming with his naval background naturally suggested people he knew through the Naval Intelligence Division: Commander Christopher Arnold-Foster and Captain Eddie Hastings. He wanted the closest cooperation between Britain and America: ‘Request CSS [the head of MI6] to allow your men in the field to work closely with ours’, and he advised judicious punishment pour encourager les autres: ‘Make an example of someone at an early date for indiscretion and continue to act ruthlessly where lack of security is concerned.’

Three weeks later, Fleming sent his boss Admiral John Godfrey, now back in London, a MOST SECRET cable about Donovan’s progress to date as Coordinator of Information.

1) Initial grant of ten million dollars placed at his disposal.

2) Washington personnel will be housed in Library of Congress and New York office will be at No. 2, Wall Street.

3) Skeleton staff should be at work by August 15th.

4) Information from Colonel Donovan will go direct to the President.

5) Emphasis has shifted towards strategical, economic and psychological research work and planning.

6) Propaganda in enemy countries will have a considerable role under ROBERT SHERWOOD, dramatist, working with radio corporations and Federal Communications Committee.

7) Geographical sections containing one naval, one military, one flying officer with civilian experts will be created. They will report to a Joint Intelligence Committee which will include Director of Naval Intelligence, Director of Military Intelligence, State Department. Their sources of information will be Service Intelligence departments supplemented by any fields they may be able to develop. These sections will also nominally repeat nominally be charged with Secret Intelligence Service, Special Operations 1  [propaganda] and Special Operations 2 [active operations] work

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12. Commemorating Tippecanoe: The start of an American holy war

By Adam Jortner

Early in November was the 200th anniversary of a disaster.

The weather in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, played along and delivered a dreary, wet morning—just as it had on November 7, 1811, when a hodgepodge collection of frontier whites exchanged fire with Native American forces. The Americans “won” the Battle of Tippecanoe when the Indian soldiers retreated, but U.S. forces under William Henry Harrison had to evacuate their position the next day. What’s worse, they were only in the area to enforce the Treaty of Fort Wayne—a land seizure of questionable legality that Harrison himself had crafted by haranguing reluctant Native American leaders and, when necessary, plying them with alcohol. In addition, Tippecanoe touched off a long campaign of guerilla warfare between Native Americans and whites on the frontier that literally bled into the War of 1812.

An unnecessary war based on questionable treaties with an ambiguous result: not the finest hour for America.

The organizers of the 200th were well aware of Tippecanoe’s dubious history, and were adamant that this year’s gathering was a commemoration, not a celebration. The service included prayers from both a Christian clergyman and a Wea chief. The featured speaker was Governor George Blanchard of the Absentee Shawnee, the same tribe who provided the Indian leadership (Tecumseh and his brother, the Shawnee Prophet) that frustrated Harrison two hundred years ago. Reenactors portrayed both white militiamen and Indian soldiers.

Not everyone wanted such a dour memorial, however. One reenactor whipped up an enthusiastic crowd by praising the patriotism of white forces who had fought at Tippecanoe for “liberty.” A sharp-eyed gentleman told me (politely) that people who didn’t like Harrison’s little war of 1811 might as well leave Indiana of 2011. One invited speaker solemnly requested listeners to remember the blood of “two nations” that had watered the battlefield—and then proceeded to give a triumphal account of his own (white) ancestors who patriotically settled the land after the Indians had been forcibly removed.

It’s an understandable urge to want all American military exploits to be the story of a successful quest for liberty. And there is a lot to admire about the American past. But to assume that Americans always fought for good causes—to assume every war is just and every commander selfless—is bad history. It’s true that the American forces fought hard at Tippecanoe, and that there was bravery on both sides. It’s also true that the battle was probably a huge mistake. Harrison’s bungling at the battle, the subsequent success of Native American forces, and the near-destruction of the United States in the War of 1812 should make any patriot pause before celebrating the events at Tippecanoe—leaving aside the question of whether Americans should take pride in the duplicitous nineteenth-century land treaties with Native Americans. And whatever else the battle was, it was not about liberty: no American freedoms (such as they were in 1811) were at stake at Tippecanoe—only the refusal of a collection of Indians to recognize a treaty brokered under bad faith. In fact, the Indians who fought under the Shawnee Prophet had a better claim to be fighting for liberty—many of the warriors who battled Harrison’s men had left their own families to join the Prophet’s struggle to prevent white expansion at Indian expense.

Telling the story of Tippecanoe as a battle of American liberty against Native American tyranny is an imagined past. This imagined past yields an imaginary present—one where “patriotism” solves everything. Our ancestors, we are told, loved liberty, and had patriotism, and they won. Presumably, if we had patriotism and loved liberty, we too would easily

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13. From your loving boy: a son's wartime letter to his mother

During last night's latest organizing/cleaning mission, I rediscovered some old letters that my Mom let me keep while she was going through her own organizing/cleaning mission last year. They are from my great-great-uncle Bob, to his sister and his mother. 

Bob was in the US Navy in World War One (we think the photo, below, is him in uniform). I was so touched by one of the letters that I am including it in this post. It reminds me of how when soldiers go to war, they worry very much about the people they are leaving behind at home. It's not just their loved ones worrying about them. War and worry is a two-way street for military families.

I will admit I've cleaned up Bob's spelling and typos, but I kept the sentence construction the same.

Here it is:


I sent you a letter Thursday and suppose you have it by this time. Mother, did you say that you sent me a box of eats? Well I hope I get it Sunday or before we leave. The cake that Florence sent me and the cake that Mrs. Berdick sent in the box will be good while I am at sea and I will enjoy it. Hope this trip is as nice as the last one and the sea is calm and I will enjoy it very much. 

Mother, I am feeling fine and getting fat. You know that. And it is fine out in the air and I want you to go out as often as you can and go to the show and get the girls to go out with you.

Mother, after you receive the money from Washington on the 5th of July, why don't you go down in the country for a week or a few days, for I will not be back til around the 15th of July and then you will be home. Go down to Kinderhook, NY for a visit, go somewhere and don't stay in the house all the time. 

Mother, tell Pa-Pa that I am going to leave on another trip across the Atlantic and that I am feeling OK. Mother, write to me once a week, say on each Sunday and when I come back I will receive all your letters and you tell me each week how you are and all the rest. You be sure and tell me how you are for I want to know. 

Mother, tell me all the news if any thing happens around Rensselaer, NY.

Mother, this will be all and will say "Good Afternoon" and also a "Goodnight, Mother," and don't worry over me and I will sail the seas safe and the USS Columbia will bring me and my shipmates back to the US OK.

From your loving boy, 

With the best of love and kisses,

With love,

Son Robert

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14. Rachel Maddow: The Powells.com Interview

Rachel Maddow's first book, Drift, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This isn't terribly surprising. Not only is Maddow the host of the top-rated liberal television show in the country, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, but also in our current, highly polarized political climate, books by partisan pundits are invariably reliable [...]

0 Comments on Rachel Maddow: The Powells.com Interview as of 4/6/2012 3:27:00 PM
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15. Cover Shot! I Own the Dawn by M L Buchman

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

Yum!  I love this cover for I Own the Dawn by M L Buchman!  I hope none of those guns are loaded!


Kee Smith battled through a difficult childhood to work her way up the ranks of the U.S. Army. When she finally makes it into the elite Night Stalkers, she feels thrilled, honored, and vindicated…until she finds out she’s been assigned to the “girlie-chopper” piloted by the only other woman in the regiment.

Kee is determined to show Lt. Archie Stevenson, one of the male co-pilots, that she is just as tough as the guys. Throughout their special mission, Archie doesn’t know whether to make love to her or plant her face-first into the dirt. But he’ll do whatever it takes to break through that shield Kee wears around her heart.

In stores August 2012

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16. Interview with Jeanette Murray, Author of The Officer Says “I Do”

Jeanette Murray is the author of The Officer Says “I Do.”  She dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and chat about her new book.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jeanette Murray] Mother, military wife, Goldendoodle owner, romance writer, hopeless romantic against all odds.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about The Officer Says “I Do?”

[Jeanette Murray] Tim and Skye are two opposites who didn’t just attract, they caused a flash fire. They end up in a quickie Vegas wedding, though Tim can’t remember a thing the next morning. Whoops! He’s ready to admit fault and quietly annul the whole thing, but Sky isn’t ready to give up their marriage so fast. She believes in fate, you see, and thinks this marriage was meant to be. So she’s ready to fight for their relationship.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Jeanette Murray] The concept was simple enough. As a military wife, it wasn’t a huge stretch to come up with three Marines and the women who fall in love with them. The characters took a bit more work, but in the end each of them came to me with their flaws and high points, fully developed, and just in need of a little polishing.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Skye?

[Jeanette Murray] Independent, free-spirited, loyal

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Tim would never have in his pocket?

[Jeanette Murray] Cigarettes, parking ticket, cocktail napkin with another woman’s phone number on it

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Tim’s single most prized possession?

[Jeanette Murray] I would say his photos. He’s a total family guy, and so if he could only save one “thing” from a fire he’d take the photos with him.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jeanette Murray] Other great authors. There are so many I couldn’t begin to list them all. But other authors are always great encouragements for me.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jeanette Murray] Need? My laptop, quiet, and a locked door. Want? Route 44 Sonic diet vanilla Coke.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jeanette Murray] Catherine Mann’s Under Fire. Read the whole thing in two days. I’d been waiting for this couple through the first two books of her pararescuejumper series and we finally got to Liam McCabe’s story. Highly recommend it.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, what would it be?

[Jeanette Murray] The Boxcar Children series. All of them. I LOOOOOVED those books as a child. They were truly the opening for me to start in on chapter books.

[Manga Maniac Café] . What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jeanette Murray] Craft, repurpose old things I pick up from different places, read (of course!), watch good/bad TV, spend time with my family.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Jeanette Murray] www.jeanettemurray.com




[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can order The Officer Says “I Do” from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

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17. Interview with M L Buchman, Author of I Own the Dawn and Giveaway!

M L Buchman is the author of I Own the Dawn.  This is the second book in his Night Stalkers series.  I love the covers for both books; they are so intense! I was thrilled when ML dropped by the virtual offices for a chat.  After the interview, stick around for your chance to win a copy of I Own The Dawn!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[ML Buchman] Introvert Type A+, pedaled a bicycle around world, built houses, designed IT systems, crazy in love with wife, oh, and writes romance novels.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about I Own the Dawn?

[ML Buchman]  Real-life Army secret helicopters. Pig-headed, kick-butt sniper—she’s from wrong side of tracks. Refined copilot from the right side. They help start a war and now must end it. But first they have to survive each other.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[ML Buchman]  A crazy bit of serendipitous research while writing a foodie thriller, Swap Out! (the U.S. Army 160th is a really cool, secret helicopter regiment). A what if question (“What if the first women showed up and were assigned to the nastiest helicopter ever put in the night sky because they were just that good?”) And a goal (to write a romance that would be hard for anyone to put down, especially my wife). And Dilya, a Uzbekistani orphan, just showed up on the page one day and refused to go away. She stole Kee’s heart and mine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kee?

[ML Buchman]  Kick-ass, stubborn, loyal

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Archie would never have in his bedroom?

[ML Buchman]  Kee’s rifle, cracker crumbs, a TV

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Kee’s single most prized possession?

[ML Buchman]  Her Heckler & Koch MSG-90A1 sniper rifle.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[ML Buchman]  My wife (so much of what I write is to make her laugh or smile), my travels (I’ve met amazing people in wonderful places), and the written words of others that have shaped my life, my thinking, and my heart most of all.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[ML Buchman]  Rock n’ roll (except opera on Sundays), a “What if?” or “What’s next?” question, any stretch of time over about 10 minutes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[ML Buchman] Karen L. McKee’s romances. I just can’t get enough of them. Nor her science fiction as Karen L. Abrahamson.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[ML Buchman]  Arthur C Clarke’s The City and the Stars. At 8 years old it took me from rereading Winnie the Pooh to devouring novels and I never looked back.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[ML Buchman]  walking in new places with my wife (we hold hands a lot), watching movies (romances and B-grade science fiction mostly), teasing my step-kid

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[ML Buchman] http://www.mlbuchman.com. And please check out the contest page on my website: by following along my blog tour for

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18. Excerpt: Until There Was You by Jessica Scott

Thanks to Random House, here is an excerpt from Jessica Scott’s Until There Was You.  If you enjoy military romances, this one is right up your alley.  You can order the book from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking here:  Until There Was You: A Loveswept Contemporary Military Romance

There is a plot description:

From the author of Because of You comes an all-new contemporary eBook romance. He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed Army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure–except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else–including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Blaze of Winter, The Devil’s Thief, and Santerra’s Sin.


UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott, Excerpt

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19. New and Notable Releases: Week of September 3 Part One

Here are new adult releases for the week. It’s a monster list, with quite a few titles from my wish list.  I think I am most excited for Her Amish Man because it looks wonderfully cheesy, and  Not Proper Enough.  Are there any must haves from your list? Check back tomorrow for new and notable Young Adult releases.

Click the titles for the Amazon product page.


Alone Time: Visits to Petal, Part 1  by Lauren Dane (Sep 4, 2012)

Guardian (Berkley Sensation) by Catherine Mann (Sep 4, 2012)

Her Amish Man by Erin Bates (Sep 4, 2012)


In Rides Trouble: Black Knights Inc. . by Julie Ann Walker (Sep 4, 2012)

The Reluctant Amazon by Sandy James (Sep 3, 2012) 

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (Sep 1, 2012)


A Lady and Her Magic by Tammy Falkner (Sep 1, 2012)

The Last Renegade (Berkley Sensation) by Jo Goodman (Sep 4, 2012)

Not Proper Enough (A Reforming the Scoundrels Romance) (Berkley Sensation) by Carolyn Jewel (Sep 4, 2012)

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton (Sep 4, 2012)

Ruined By Moonlight: A Whispers of Scandal Novel by Emma Wildes (Sep 4, 2012)

A Season for Sin by Vicky Dreiling (Sep 4, 2012)

When You Give a Duke a Diamond (The Fallen Ladies) by Shana Galen (Sep 1, 2012)  

Witch Born by Amber Argyle (Sep 5, 2012)

Dragon’s Moon (A Children of the Moon Novel) by Lucy Monroe (Sep 4, 2012)


How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin) by G.A. Aiken (Sep 4, 2012)

In a Fix by Linda Grimes (Sep 4, 2012)

The Kingmakers (Vampire Empire, Book 3) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith (Sep 4, 2012)

The Lost Night (A Rainshadow Novel) ) by Jayne Castle (Sep 4, 2012)

The Map of the Sky: A Novel by Felix J Palma (Sep 4, 2012)

Primal Possession: A Moon Shifter Novel by Katie Reus (Sep 4, 2012)

Ravenous (Clare Point Vampires) by V. K. Forrest (Sep 4, 2012)

Riveted (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook (Sep 4, 2012)

The Skybound Sea (The Aeons’ Gate Book Three)) by Sam Sykes (Sep 4, 2012)

A Tale of Two Vampires: A Dark Ones Novel by Katie MacAlister (Sep 4, 2012)

This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova (Sep 4, 2012)

Two Ravens and One Crow: An Iron Druid Chronicles Novella  by Kevin Hearne (Sep 4, 2012) (Novella)

The Wild Road: Book Three of Karavans by Jennifer Roberson (Sep 4, 2012)

Are any of these on your must have list?

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20. Interview with Jessica Scott, Author of Until There Was You

Jessica Scott is the author of Until There Was You, which is the follow-up to her debut title Because of You.  Both books are published under one of my favorite imprints, Random House’s Loveswept line.  I was delighted when Jessica recently dropped by the virtual offices to chat.  She even brought along a present for one of you  to win– a digital copy of Until There Was You! 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jessica Scott] Slightly neurotic, hyperactive mom, writer, solider, wife. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Until There Was You?

[Jessica Scott] Until There Was You is the story of two army captains who must overcome their differences to save a mutual friend from self destruction. I love that it not only features a man in uniform but a woman in uniform, too. Both are seasoned combat veterans with a whole lot of emotional scars.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Jessica Scott] I wanted to write a story where the hero had to overcome the heroine’s tough exterior. Strong heroines are tough to write and still make them sympathetic but in Claire, I wanted to find a way to heal the damage from her past.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Claire?

[Jessica Scott] tough, damaged and deeply loyal  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Evan would never have in his rucksack?

[Jessica Scott] panties. No just kidding (there’s more to that story in the book). Wow, tough question. He’d never have pain medication because he’s so stubborn, he’d never have something not on the packing list. So if the list said no pogey bait, you better believe he would not have any pogey bait.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Claire had a theme song, what would it be?

[Jessica Scott] Rescue Me by Digital Summer. It’s 100% Claire’s song. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Evan started a campfire, what would he cook over the flames?

[Jessica Scott] He’d probably have some rations, properly packed and sealed. An MRE. He’d cook an MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jessica Scott] Music, honestly. I get some really crazy ideas from music. Otherwise, while it may seem like I’m wrapping myself in the flag, the soldiers around me. There’s so many stories to tell. I only help I tell them in a way that’s respectful and meaningful.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jessica Scott]  my MacBook (with scrivener), a song stuck in my head and a character that will not leave me alone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jessica Scott] it’s a toss up between Amber Lin’s Giving It Up and Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Blade. Such incredibly damaged characters. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Jessica Scott] You know, I don’t ever remember not reading. I’ve always loved reading. I can tell you that authors like Anne McCaffrey are a big part of my inspiration and why I write but I can’t pick just one book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jessica Scott] um, that would imply that I have a life outside of the army and my family, which I don’t. Writing is my me time, you know?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jessica Scott] Twitter is probably the easiest. I’m @jessicascott09. I check Facebook pretty regularly (facebook.com/jessicascottauthor and I’m on goodreads though sometimes not every day. Email is the best way to reach me.

Thanks so much for having me here! I’d love to give away a copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to one lucky commenter!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can preorder Until There Was You from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

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21. Review: Until There Was You by Jessica Scott


Title: Until There Was You

Author: Jessica Scott

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

From the author of Because of You comes an all-new contemporary eBook romance. He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed Army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure–except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else–including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Blaze of Winter, The Devil’s Thief, and Santerra’s Sin.


I read Until There Was You because it is an original Loveswept release. Loveswept has been a favorite series of mine for years, and I am delighted that Random House is releasing older titles in digital, as well as new titles. Jessica Scott’s first release, Because of You, looked intriguing, but I was swamped when it came out, so it kept getting shuffled to the bottom of the review pile. When I had the opportunity to hop onto a blog tour for Until There Was You, Jessica’s follow up, I eagerly hopped on. I haven’t read many military romances, so I wanted to give myself a little more exposure to them, and after learning that the author is in the Arm has Army experience, it became that much more interesting.

Claire Montoya is a career soldier, and after years of dedicating herself to the military and the war efforts in the Middle East, she was promoted in rank. Now an officer, her current assignment is to prep a newbie unit for the rigors of warfare. They will be deployed in five weeks, and Claire’s good friend, Sarah, is in charge of the unit. With her best friend, Reza, an enlisted man, Claire must get these young soldiers ready for their convoy duties. The task seems impossible; Claire’s superior officers are focused on skills that Claire and Reza deem unimportant to the survival of the troops. With great despair and trepidation, Claire must set aside her personal views about the training and stick to the program, or risk being disciplined and tossed out of the Army.

I found this an fascinating read because I know so little about military life. The story is set after the Surge, when US troops were supposed to provide more of a support function to the fledgling Iraqi government. Life for the deployed soldiers was still frighteningly dangerous, and Claire had been faced with many decisions early in her career that left soldiers injured or dead. She doesn’t want to see any more lives lost, so she is frantic to prepare Sarah’s troops for the dangers they are about to face. She is constantly clashing with Evan, a West Point officer she has been sparring with for years, about the appropriateness of the training schedule. She calls Evan Captain America because of his unwavering dedication to rules and his job duties. Claire is a bit of a rebel, and she’s paid a price for her outspokenness. She has not been promoted as quickly as she might have been otherwise, but she won’t back down when she thinks she’s in the right and that soldiers will be needlessly killed. The conflict between Evan and Claire seemed insurmountable to me. How could either one of them ever compromise on this very basic but personality defining stance? Follow the rules to the letter, or bend them in order save lives.

Until There Was You is a book about conflict and conflict resolution. When we meet Claire and Evan, neither of them is able to adequately work through the conflicts in their life. Claire is driven to train Sarah’s troops as best she can with Reza’s help, but Reza, having seen several deployments, is suffering from PSTD. To keep his demons at bay, he has taken to drinking excessively, partying and hooking up with women indiscriminately. He’s two steps away from being court-martialed, but Claire is skilled at running interference for him. This adds to the tension between Evan and Claire. He doesn’t see how she can, in good conscience, keep covering up for him. Reza is going to get people killed one day, if he doesn’t kill himself first. Claire already tried to save her father from the demons lurking in the bottom of a liquor bottle. Her failure haunts her, and she isn’t ready for a repeat of that.

Evan hasn’t had an easy life either. He feels responsible for his sister’s death, and his guilt has driven him away from his family and away from close relationships. He and Claire make for a sympatric couple because both of them are so damaged. Neither of them can trust themselves to care for someone else for fear of being hurt again, so it’s easy to get behind their relationship and hope that they will somehow find a way to be together, even as messed up as they both are. It is Evan who takes that first, frightening step of accepting his feelings, and of having to face his fear of Claire’s rejection.

One thing that frustrated me about this story was my lack of understanding  of military protocol. I was confused by the chain of command, and about why some of the events would have such disastrous outcomes for the characters. The pacing of the story was also uneven in parts; I found the training sequences fascinating, but found some of Evan and Claire’s missteps irritating in their frequency. Overall, this is an emotional, satisfying read, and I will have to dust off my copy of Because of You for another military romance fix.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

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22. Soon facing Iranian nuclear missiles

The United States, preemption, and international law

By Professor Louis René Beres
Admiral Leon “Bud” Edney
General Thomas G. McInerney

For now,  the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath still occupy center-stage in the Middle East and North Africa. Nonetheless, from a regional and perhaps even global security perspective, the genuinely core threat to peace and stability remains Iran. Whatever else might determinably shape ongoing transformations of power and authority in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia, it is apt to pale in urgency beside the steadily expanding prospect of a nuclear Iran.

Enter international law. Designed, inter alia, to ensure the survival of states in a persistently anarchic world – a world originally fashioned after the Thirty Years War and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 – this law includes the “inherent” right of national self-defense. Such right may be exercised not only after an attack has already been suffered, but, sometimes, also, in advance of an expected attack.

What can now be done, lawfully, about relentless Iranian nuclear weapons development?  Do individual states, especially those in greatest prospective danger from any expressions of Iranian nuclear aggression, have a legal right to strike first defensively? In short, could such a preemption ever be permissible under international law?

For the United States, preemption remains a part of codified American military doctrine. But is this national doctrine necessarily consistent with the legal and complex international expectations of anticipatory self-defense?

To begin, international law derives from multiple authoritative sources, including international custom. Although written law of the UN Charter (treaty law) reserves the right of self-defense only to those states that have already suffered an attack (Article 51), equally valid customary law still permits a first use of force if the particular danger posed is “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation.” Stemming from an 1837 event in jurisprudential history known as the Caroline, which concerned the unsuccessful rebellion in Upper Canada against British rule, this doctrine builds purposefully upon a seventeenth-century formulation of Hugo Grotius.

Self-defense, says the classical Dutch scholar in, The Law of War and Peace (1625), may be permitted “not only after an attack has already been suffered, but also in advance, where the deed may be anticipated.”  In his later text of 1758, The Right of Self-Protection and the Effects of Sovereignty and Independence of Nations, Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel affirmed: “A nation has the right to resist the injury another seeks to inflict upon it, and to use force and every other just means of resistance against the aggressor.”

Article 51 of the UN Charter, limiting self-defense to circumstances following an attack, does not override the customary right of anticipatory self-defense.  Interestingly, especially for Americans, the works of Grotius and Vattel were favorite readings of Thomas Jefferson, who relied  heavily upon them for crafting the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

We should also recall Article VI of the US Constitution, and assorted US Supreme Court decisions. These proclaim, straightforwardly, that international law is necessarily part of the law of the United States.

The Caroline notes an implicit distinction between preventive war (which is never legal), and preemptive war. The latter is not permitted merely to protect oneself against an emerging threat, but only when the danger posed is “instant” and

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23. Give a Military Family a Free Children’s Book for Veteran’s Day

In celebration of National Picture Book Month and Veteran’s Day:

Give a Military Family a Free Book

11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph book

In celebration of National Picture Book Month and Veteran’s Day and to honor of our military families, download and give a free children’s picture book to a military family.

THE STORY: “11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph”

When her father goes soldiering for a year, a girl decides that without Dad at home, it’s not a family photo album. Though her beloved Nanny is in charge of the album that year, the girl makes sure that photographs of her never turn out well. Photos are blurred, wind blows hair in her face. April rains bring umbrellas to hide behind. Halloween means a mask. This poignant, yet funny family story, expresses a child’s anger and grief for a Dad whose work takes him away for long periods of time. It’s a tribute to the sacrifices made by military families and to those who care for children when a family needs support.


In conjunction with “The Help” movie (www.thehelpmovie.com), TakePart.com (www.takepart.com/thehelp) recently sponsored three writing contests: a recipe contest, an inspirational story contest and a children’s story contest. TakePart is the digital division of Participant Media which aims to bolster a movie’s audience with a message of social change. THE HELP movie campaign emphasized the role of stories in people’s lives.
Notice: This site and the story are not endorsed by or affiliated with TakePart, LLC or the motion picture “The Help” and or its distributors.


Darcy Pattison’s story, “11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph” is the winning children’s story. It is a free download at www.takepart.com/thehelp, or download it here (pdf download).

You can also order it for your:


Read more at www.11WaystoRuinaPhotograph.
PLEASE pass this along to anyone who might know a military family or to anyone in the military that you know.

24. Our words remember them: the language of the First World War

By Charlotte Buxton

In July 1917, after three years of bloody war, anti-German feeling in Britain was reaching a feverish peak. Xenophobic mutterings about the suitability of having a German on the throne had been heard since 1914. The fact that the Royal family shared part of its name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, with the Gotha bombers responsible for the devastating recent raids on London turned these whispers into open cries.

In response, King George V – resenting any aspersions on his patriotism – changed the name of the British Royal family to the impeccably English-sounding Windsor. This act signalled the power of names in a society heavy with newly coined, derogatory labels for the enemy: from Jerry to Fritz, through the Krauts, the Boche, and the Hun, you needed to know who you were fighting, and why, it was felt.

But jingoism was not the only source of linguistic creativity in the period. The circumstances of the First World War were so horrific, so extraordinary, and involving so many millions of people that a new language was almost essential. Many words which emerged at the time have clear associations with the conflict, such as camouflage, blimp, aerobatics, demob, and shell shock. Others have a more complex history, emerging from soldiers’ slang; itself a product of the increased cosmopolitanism ushered in by the war.

Take me back to dear old Blighty

Before the war, many of the young Tommies (a term deriving from ‘Thomas Atkins’, which was used on specimen army documents from 1815 as the name of a typical private soldier) who were shipped abroad to fight had probably never ventured far beyond the villages in which they were born. Suddenly immersed in exotic, unfamiliar cultures, both their longing for home and their assimilation of their new surroundings are summed up in one word: Blighty.

Meaning Britain or England, but especially ‘home’, Blighty originated in the Indian army, as an anglicization of the Hindustani bilāyatī, wilāyatī meaning ‘foreign, European’. First recorded in print in 1915, Blighty was an ideal place of comfort, love, and security, sharply contrasting with the hideous discomfort, harsh discipline, and constant danger of the front, and remains a popular term amongst Brits for their homeland to this day. Less familiar is the word’s extended use, which popped up on the television programme Downton Abbey recently, when the conniving footman Thomas Barrow deliberately injures his hand in order to escape the trenches. In the programme, this war wound is referred to as a ‘Blighty’ – a popular term at the time for any injury serious enough to get its victim sent back home, hopefully for good.

Less extreme than a Blighty was a cushy wound – one which was not serious enough to get you sent home permanently, but which would usually buy some time away from the trenches. Deriving from the Hindu for ‘pleasure’, ḵushī, the word’s more familiar sense of ‘undemanding, easy, or secure’ developed at the same time. This has stuck in the language to this day, with ‘cushy job’ a particularly popular phrase in the Oxford English Corpus. In North America cushy is now also used to refer to a particularly comfy sofa or other piece of furniture – far removed, one might think, from its starting point in the mud and gore of battle.

From the trenches to the street

British soldiers adopted the language of their enemies just

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25. Ian Fleming and American intelligence (Part 1)

By Nicholas Rankin

On 15 May 1941, two Englishmen flew from London to Lisbon, at the start of a ten-day wartime journey to New York City. Though they wore civilian clothes they were, in fact, the Director of Naval Intelligence, Admiral John Godfrey, and his personal assistant, Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming RNVR, the future author of the James Bond novels. What followed was to change American intelligence forever.

Until December 1941, the United States of America was neutral in the Second World War. In two years of open blitzkrieg, the Nazis had conquered much of Europe; Britain stood alone and broke, summoning aid from its overseas dominions and colonies. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill remembered well that industrial America’s entry into the Great War in 1917 had assured victory. He needed a repeat, but the US President F.D. Roosevelt proceeded cautiously.

The first American aid to the Allied cause was spun as protecting an isolationist nation. In return for 50 old American destroyers for the Royal Navy, the USA obtained from the British Empire 99-year leases on a chain of strategic Atlantic bases: in Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Antigua, St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and British Guiana. Between January and March 1941, there were also secret military and naval staff talks codenamed ABC – the American-British Conversations. Following these, the Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Intelligence Committee in London sent the two men to Washington DC to help ‘set up a combined intelligence organisation on a 100 per cent co-operative basis’.

The relationship of Admiral John Godfrey to Ian Fleming was like that of ‘M’ and James Bond, but also father/son. Fifty-three-year-old Godfrey had three daughters but no son; thirty-three- year- old Fleming had three brothers but no father. (Major Valentine Fleming DSO had been killed in the Great War just before Ian’s ninth birthday.) Admiral Godfrey had a brilliant mind but a volcanic temper; Ian Fleming was imaginative and imperturbable. He was a good fixer and drafted swift, crisp memos.

The two men flew KLM to Lisbon and then took the Pan Am Boeing 314 seaplane via the Azores to the British colony of Bermuda, 600 miles east of North Carolina, where the first American garrisons were building a base to help protect what President Roosevelt called ‘the Western Hemisphere’. Hamilton, Bermuda was where the British had set up the Imperial Censorship and Contraband Control Office to read the world’s mail, taken off transatlantic ships and planes. Fifteen hundred British ‘examiners’, also known as ‘censorettes’ because most were women, worked in the waterfront Princess Hotel, processing 100 bags of mail a day – around 200,000 letters – and testing 15,000 for microdots and secret ink messages, before sending on the bags on the next plane or ship. At first the USA objected to this infringement of liberty, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) soon realised how useful the system was when it began to reveal foreign enemy agents on US soil.

Godfrey and Fleming arrived in New York City on 25 May 1941. They stayed at the St Regis Hotel on 55th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan and soon went to meet ‘Little Bill’, the Canadian businessman William Stephenson, and his American friend and ally ‘Wild Bill’, Colonel William J. Donovan.

The bullish Bill Donovan (a WW1 Medal of Honor winner and New York lawyer) had twice travelled to the war-zone on unofficial inquiry missions for the US president. All doors had been opened for him: Winston Churchill was eager for American help. Donovan had got on well with Admiral Godfrey in London in July 1940 and had met Fleming in Gibraltar in February 1941.

The other Bill, ‘the quiet Canadian’ Bill Stephenson, had been sent to the USA in June 1940 by the British Secret Service with the mission of improving relations with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. President Roosevelt recommended ‘t

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