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Book Update and Some Recommendations

Some of you who have read my blog for some time might be wondering (and several people have been asking) whatever happened to my "soon-to-be-published" book Dillon's War. You aren't alone--I've been wondering the same thing!

Once a manuscript is out of an author's hands, after it's been through the editing process, the author has proofed it, and it returns to the publisher for the rest of the production process, there's little, if anything, he or she can do to hasten its release. Worrying doesn't help. Badgering the publisher doesn't help either. In fact, it might even prove to be counterproductive.

That's where Dillon's War is lodged right now. Meanwhile, without a cover design or a definite release date, I'm unable to prepare release announcements for the various media, schedule speaking engagements, etc.

That's been my predicament ever since Dillon's War successfully navigated the editorial process and entered the cover design and layout stages of production. It has been completely out of my hands, dependent on the actions--or inactions--of others. I began to despair that it would ever be published.

However, last week I ventured to query my editor about the situation. Although she, too, was powerless to do anything to hasten the process, she did reveal that she had seen my book on the release schedule for July. If that is true and it is, indeed, released sometime in July, it will fit perfectly within the timeframe of the eightieth anniversaries of two big events featured in the book: the June 6 D-day invasion of France and the July 25-26 breakout by American troops from the bocage, the hedgerows of Normandy.

One can only hope and pray. Stay tuned for a specific release date. Meanwhile, I'd like to recommend to you two other authors, both of whom write about their relatives' involvements in World War II.

While researching and writing both Dillon's War and Bagosy's War (the former traces my uncle's ground-bound journey through Europe with the 3rd Armored Division, and the latter will trace my wife's uncle's journey over Europe as a B-17 tail gunner with the 384th Bomb Group), I stumbled across an interesting blog. Authored by "GP" and titled Pacific Paratrooper, the blog is designed to honor his father, Everette A. "Smitty" Smith, who served in a Headquarters Company, 11th Airborne Division, in the Pacific theater of World War II. The primary focus of the blog, however, is about the unit, not the man, because that's where Smitty put the emphasis whenever he recounted his activities in the war.

Pacific Paratrooper also reviews various books about people and events in the Pacific theater, especially those involving the 11th Airborne Division. At the end of each post are two important features. "Military Humor" features one or more military-related cartoons, revealing the lighter side of the serious business of waging war. "Farewell Salutes" pays tribute to the memory of veterans who have passed since the previous post was published.

The address for Pacific Paratrooper is Check it out.

Another author who writes about her relatives who served during World War II is Joy Neal Kidney. Her relatives served in both the Navy and the Army Air Force and in both theaters of the war. Her first book was Leora's Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family during World War II. It tells how five brothers served, but only two came home.

Her most recent work, What Leora Never Knew, recounts her journey to research what happened to those three relatives lost during the war. Both are excellent works. You ought to check them, too.

Meanwhile, while we're waiting not so patiently for the release of Dillon's War, if you're interested in learning more about my uncle's unit, the 3rd Armored Division, here are some good books that I discovered during my research:

  • After D-day: Operation COBRA and the Normandy Breakout by James Jay Carafano

  • The Panzer Killers by Daniel P. Bolger

  • Victory at Mortain: Stopping Hitler's Panzer Counteroffensive by Mark J. Reardon

  • Battle for the Ruhr by Derek S. Zumbro

  • Spearhead by Adam Makos

If your interests are more "up in the air," here are a few about the 8th Air Force and the air war in Europe:

  • Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller

  • The Bomber Boys by Travis L. Ayres

  • Coffin Corner Boys: One Bomber, Ten Men, and Their Harrowing Escape from Nazi-Occupied France by Carole Engle Avreitt

Did you have relatives who served during World War II? Why not trace their involvement? You might discover some interesting facts that you'll want to share with your family members and others. GP, Joy Neal Kidney, and I did!

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