Holiday Reading

The holidays have you stressed out? Curl up with a book and let that stress pass you by!

Holiday Gift GuideObviously we all have our favorite genres and writers that we tend to gravitate towards. But, may I suggest that there are countless new authors and their works worth looking into, many of them to be found at Lone Star Literary Life.

Published Book CoverMy latest book Tarnished Brass is among the many featured titles. Set in El Salvador, it looks at the civil war that was fought in this small Central American country from 1980-1992. Except those that were involved in the conflict, few Americans remember that the United States provided arms and training support to the El Salvador Armed Forces. Some may recall the Iran Contra scandal, but U.S. foreign policy at the time and the reasons behind it are all but forgotten. Tarnished Brass is loosely based on my memories as a young Army officer thrust into the midst of this brutal war, but the story has been fictionalized to also give voice to the guerrilla movement, the refugees who fled the fighting, and the rise of MS-13. If you enjoy historical fiction or there’s someone on your Christmas list who does, this book might just be for you!

Tarnished Brass and all my books can be found at many online retail bookstores. At  Amazon.com you can peruse the reviews, decide whether to purchase, and perhaps (after you’ve read it) add one of your own.

Merry Christmas!

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassToday is the final day of the Giveaway. If you haven’t yet registered at Rafflecopter for a signed copy of Tarnished Brass and a $25.00 Amazon gift card, be sure to do so by midnight CDT. You could be the winner!

I also recommend that you check out Lone Star Literary Life, the go-to website for all things “bookish” in the State of Texas. Sign up for free to receive the latest literary news. You’ll be introduced to a range of Texas authors and their works, and you’re sure to find your next great read.

Finally, in support of my book or any book that you’ve read and enjoyed, write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are the lifeblood that affect not just book sales, but the craft of writing. Feedback is essential in honing craftsmanship for future projects and authors welcome your comments. I know I do!

 

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassYou have one more day to register at Rafflecopter for the Tarnished Brass Giveaway. The sign-up period closes tomorrow at midnight CDT, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to win a signed copy of the novella and a $25.00 Amazon gift card!

Looking to find out more about the book? For reviews and special features check out the link at Lone Star Literary Life, and while you’re at it subscribe to LSLL for all the literary happenings in the State of Texas. It’s free!

Finally, I’ve been posting the LSBBT reviews in their entirety. Here is the review from Ruthie Jones:

Four Stars

Tarnished Brass by Max L. Knight is a quick novella about the war in El Salvador during the 1980s and early 1990s; however, the bloodshed and brutality continue, even with the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992. Through his extensive research and personal experience in this country during such a volatile time, Max Knight has crafted a unique story that reads more like an informative documentary than a work of fiction. Real-life events and people form a solid foundation for Tarnished Brass, causing readers to either reflect back on their own memories of this time in history or search the internet for more information, including about the scandalous Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan Administration.

In Tarnished Brass, fictional retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Moynihan remembers his time as a US Army Major during the civil war in El Salvador. Everything is different now, yet nothing has changed. Gang violence is still prevalent, and the poor and displaced are still struggling to find a voice and the means and will to survive.

While Tarnished Brass has several fictional characters, the primary focus  is more about the cause and effects of the twelve-year war in El Salvador and its continuing aftermath. Even though these events are delegated to the past, this story is timely in the current political and societal landscape in both Central America and the United States. In only about 100 pages, Max Knight does one amazing job outlining the advent of MS-13 and other gangs during the 1980s and the frightening rise in violence, murder, and civil unrest in El Salvador. For a work of fiction, Tarnished Brass is light on dialogue, but the storytelling is compact, illuminating, and provocative.

Thank you, Max Knight, for shedding some valuable light on a past event that should not be forgotten, ignored, or glossed over. This short work of fiction offers valuable insights on the human condition, the heavy price of greed and power, the disparity and inequality in a beautiful country ravaged by constant war, and the gangs and violence that continue to transition and flourish to this day.

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassOnly two more days remain to sign up with Rafflecopter to win this Giveaway. Are you a fan of Historical Fiction? Is there someone in your family circle or perhaps a friend who is? Tarnished Brass can definitely fill either need. Enjoy it yourself or gift it to someone else during the upcoming holidays. Oh, and there’s also a $25.00 Amazon gift card… this is a win, win! No entry fee or purchase required. Enter today. What’s the saying? “You can’t win it if you’re not in it.”

The book blog tour may be over, but here is the link to the Lone Star Literary Life tour page with direct links to reviews and other special features.

In conjunction with the Giveaway, I’m also re-posting the reviews in their entirety (one everyday.) Here is the review from Leslie Storey:

This novella packs a punch when it comes to covering the war in El Salvador.

While the story is fiction it is based on real events in the 80s into the early 90s.  From the guerrilla warfare, the corrupt governments, and even some human interest when it comes to refugees, this book shines a light on an event most of us probably weren’t even aware of – assuming you are old enough to remember that time period!

I was enthralled with this story as events unfolded and gave us a picture of what this country looked like in the 80s.  I felt like the author did an outstanding job of sharing facts of this war along with military terminology so that I felt like I might have been there as an observer.  But at the same time, some of these stories were heartbreaking when it came to those escaping to the USA for a chance at a better life, yet not finding one.  Or the young boy that turned to gangs to fill a void that he felt needed to be filled.  Or the priests in the Catholic Church that lose their life because they dare to stand up to the factions.  Patrick, who is in the US military, gets too close to the situation and luckily escapes before his luck runs out.

War is brutal and I cannot imagine living in a country that is torn apart by mercenaries or guerrillas on a daily basis.  When reading a book like this it makes me appreciate what I have and where I live even more.  Thank you to Max for sharing his knowledge and experiences with us in this book.

We give this 5 paws up.

 

 

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished Brass

There are only three days remaining to sign up with Rafflecopter for a chance to win the Giveaway for my latest book Tarnished Brass. Get involved… it doesn’t cost you anything and you just might the one to receive a signed copy of the novella and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. So don’t delay. Time is running out!

In conjunction with the Giveaway I’m re-posting reviews (one everyday in their entirety) from the recent book blog tour at Lone Star Literary Life. Here is the review by Christena Stephens:

 

 

Five-Stars

“No matter the good intentions of the participants, wars were never fought cleanly. Ideals are both noble and peaceful, but in their actual execute, wars are sordid and violent.”

Did you know a civil war occurred in the small country of El Salvador from 1980 to 1992? I came by my knowledge of this civil war while working on a historical research project. I had visited St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Prioress and other nuns had gone on a Pilgrimage Commemoration to El Salvador in 2011.  An archbishop had been assassinated and nuns were raped and murdered. Photos and first-hand accounts are how I came to know about the war from the Prioress. The nuns still consider that war as a war mainly against women.

Max L. Knight’s book, Tarnished Brass, vividly and succinctly explores the twelve-year El Salvador civil war in a fictional novella narrative woven around actual events. Max writes about this civil war from perspectives from both the U.S. military side, El Salvador citizens, and El Salvador military. The war story is encapsulated enough with the variety of character viewpoints that you get what the civil war did to its people during the war and the aftermath of that war. As a reader, you are also reminded about the Iran-Contra scandal surrounding Major Oliver North. Tarnished Brass also brilliantly alludes to the violence against women in select chapters that Max writes about regarding Diana, Nidia, and Maria.

You get the sense through Max’s writing that deep-down, El Salvador at its heart is a beautiful country. It is just torn apart by the corruptness and greed of those who either want power or are in power. Another harsh reality is that no matter how much money the U.S. sank into the small country it did not help El Salvador’s citizens but it helped El Salvador’s military.

Tarnished Brass packs a lot within a small volume that will give readers insights into this war, the political atmosphere, and the aftermath of this war. Now I understand more clearly the courage of the four nuns from Fort Smith to journey to El Salvador. Tarnished Brass is a good reminder that even the smallest of wars have their long-lasting impacts and should be remembered, written about, and most importantly read about to remind us of our collective history.

As a side note… Have you been to a country where armed guards stood outside the doors of buildings as you entered? I have and it was quite disconcerting at first. I soon realized that the guards were there for my and other’s protection. Tarnished Brass brought back intense memories towards the end of this book of my time in a small country. Now I understand in my naivety that there is more than one country that has armed security details at businesses to protect their citizens.

Tarnished Brass: Giveaway

Giveaway Tarnished BrassThere are only four days remaining to sign up with Rafflecopter to win the Giveaway for my latest book Tarnished Brass. Although I certainly hope that you’ll buy a copy of the book, there is no purchase necessary to enter for a chance at winning a signed copy of the novella and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. So don’t delay. Sign up today!

In conjunction with the Giveaway I’m re-posting reviews (one everyday in their entirety) from the recent book blog tour at Lone Star Literary Life. Here is the review by Ariel Hess:

Five-Stars

This historical novella focuses on El Salvador’s Civil War from 1980 to 1992 due to a disparity of wealth between the ruling oligarchy. The novella begins with Retired US Army Lieutenant Patrick Michael Moynihan thirty years after the end of the Civil War. Patrick is reflecting on his time and involvement in the El Salvador Civil War and the outcomes that arose because of it. He also reflects on the state of the small country currently, noting changes, constants, and the effects of the war that are still prominent. The small country occupants outside the royal family had been subjected to a lifestyle similar to indentured servitude where they did not have necessities such as clean water.

The author dives into the components of this war in a way that allows the reader to be captured from the beginning. He tells the story of the Civil War from the perspective of a retired Army Lieutenant, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee. Of all the perspectives the one that was the most impactful was the one of Antonio Cruz. Who immigrated to the US from El Salvador after the passing of his Father. He and his mother immigrated to the US assuming it would be better but their journey was anything but easy. Antonio’s life changed after moving to the US leading to the beginning of a prominent gang that is still popular today, MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha).

I was completely entranced from the moment I started reading this historical fiction novel. I greatly enjoyed the amount of detail and explanation used. I could tell the author did his research. Knight uses foreshadowing to explain key components of the war throughout this novella. He explains the constant social issues associated with a county in war with itself. I studied History during my undergraduate career and this book was both interesting and informative. The material flows well and the stories transition in a way that allows the reader to be involved. The author connects each character during the development process by continuing to build on the existing story.

I highly recommend this novel for anyone interested in a quick historical novella.

Day Five: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

Today’s two tour stops offer additional reviews of Tarnished Brass that highlight its forgotten history and continuing relevance today.

Storeybook Reviews writes “this book shines a light on an event most of us probably weren’t even aware of,” while Reading by Moonlight comments on its connection to current events. “Even though these events are delegated to the past, this story is timely in the current political and societal landscape in both Central America and the United States. 

Both reviews highlight the mantra under which I write, Our Past is Prologue. 

This is the last featured post on the tour, though the Giveaway will continue for another five days. Be sure to sign up with Rafflecopter.com for your chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

My thanks to all of you who have followed my posts these past five days, and my sincere appreciation to the professionals at Lone Star Literary Life who participated in the tour.

 

Day Four: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

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The tour continues today with a Playlist of songs that were popular during the period represented in the book and another blogger review.

The Clueless Gent showcases the Spotify Playlist. These songs and artists were taken from Billboard’s Top 100 lists for 1984-1986. All are characteristic of the era, and two of the songs are actually featured in the novella; Sade’s He’s a Smooth Operator, and Glen Frey’s The Heat is On from the hit movie Beverly Hills Cop

Today’s book review is from Forgotten Winds  who writes “Tarnished Brass is a good reminder that even the smallest of wars have their long-lasting impacts and should be remembered, written about, and most importantly read about to remind us of our collective history.”

My thanks go out to both of these bloggers for their contributions to the tour. Be sure to not only click on these links to read their full posts, but also consider following them for future comments on books and other topics.

Day Three: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

I apologize for the delay in posting to my blog today. It must be Halloween because the ghouls and goblins have definitely wreaked havoc with my site. There are still a few glitches that aren’t fixed but the spirits aren’t cooperating on All Hallows’ Eve, so bear with me!

Today is day three of the five-day book blog tour and features a Scrapbook Page and a second review of Tarnished Brass.

Missus Gonzo hosts the Scrapbook Page, a compilation of photos taken in El Salvador during my last trip in-country in 2013. These photos with captions relate to the various themes in my book; the influence of Catholicism and Liberation Theology, the predominant landscape in this Central American country, the former guerrilla faction and current political party – the FMLN, and the impoverished conditions that sparked this ten-year civil war.

NOTE: Oops… the captions on the first two photos somehow got reversed, but I’m working to get that corrected. Nothing you can’t transpose for yourselves in the meantime!

Librariel Book Adventures provides another take on Tarnished Brass pointing out that it should definitely resonate with anyone who appreciates historical fiction, especially a novella that can be read and enjoyed quickly.

I certainly appreciate the time spent reading and commenting on my book. Hopefully it will encourage readers to pick up a copy and find out for themselves what transpired over thirty years ago in a war few remember.

NOTE: The spelling error on the banner did get fixed. Did anyone catch that besides my fellow bloggers? Sometimes your mind lets you read what you think you wrote. Guess that’s why there are editors!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Day Two: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

Today That’s What She’s Reading is host to my author interview. Subjects covered in the interview include why I chose to write the book, the significance of the title, why I thought that a glossary was needed, the character that is most like me, why I  gave voice to all factions involved in the war, the hardest part of writing the book, and why I selected the Short Fiction format to tell the story.

Today also marks the first of several reviews during the five-day tour. Hall Ways Blog offers a very thorough and comprehensive analysis of the book that readers will find both informative and helpful in deciding whether to add Tarnished Brass to their reading list.

Be sure to click on the links to each of these bloggers and don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway. Oh, and should you decide to pick up a copy of the book, there are also purchase links to several online retail sites.

I certainly hope that you do!