Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Faith, Fiction, Friends Reviews Michael A. Simpson's "Sons of My Fathers"

This is a story of one family and two wars separated by 100 years. The two wars happen to be the most divisive in American history – the Civil War of 1861-1865 and the Vietnam War which ended in 1975, but began either in the 1950s or the 1960s. It is a novel, but it is a novel so based on historical and real family events that it could almost be non-fiction. One of the main characters is actually the author.
Simpson tells two stories in this book. One is set largely in 1864, when Simpson’s small farmer ancestors (they were not slave owners) find the entire family caught up in the Civil War as both soldiers and non-combatants. After capturing Chattanooga, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union army is advancing on Atlanta.
The countryside is in chaos – advance Union patrols, retreating Confederate soldiers, roaming bands of deserters and even criminals. Baylis Simpson has four sons fighting for the South and a daughter, son, and granddaughter at home. A band of deserters or criminals happens upon the two girls; the daughter is raped and the granddaughter is murdered. Baylis, on leave from the Georgia Home Guard for planting, tracks them down, and exacts revenge, the rapist meeting a particularly gruesome death. Baylis and one of his sons will then find their army units and discover themselves at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, the last hurdle before Sherman can take Atlanta.
This is the South in the Civil War. Lawlessness everywhere, law and order breaking down, farms often stripped of anything edible and women and children left to starve.
The second story starts in the early 1960s. Three boys – Alex Granger, Ron Simpson, and Ron’s younger brother Michael – are the closest of friends. Alex grows up with the Simpsons almost as a member of the family. His own father is dead and Ron and Michael’s father Harold, a veteran World War II Marine, helps to raise him.
The boys get into the kinds of pranks and escapades that boys often did in the 1960s. But as Alex and Ron graduate from high school, they decide to enlist in the Army. And what’s hanging over both of them is the Vietnam War.
Michael Simpson
Moving back and forth between the two narratives, Simpson paints a picture of the effects of war, the divisiveness of war, and the tremendous stresses that families experience in wartime. He also paints a picture of what happens when a highly trained helicopter pilot, understanding what happened with the My Lai Massacre, decides he can’t participate in the killing of the enemy. (This is based on a historical situation involving Ron Simpson, one that went to trial in federal court in Atlanta.)
Michael Simpson is a screenwriter, director, and producer of documentaries and feature films. His credits include the movies “Crazy Heart” and “Kidnaping Mr. Heineken” among many others. This is his first novel.
Sons of My Fathers is gripping, moving, and eye-opening. It tells the story of how the idea of duty and honor infuses families down through the generations. And it tells what happens when duty and honor collide with conscience.

Photograph: A Monument to Illinois soldiers who fought at Cheatham Hill, also known as the Dead Angle, the location where Simpson’s Confederate ancestors helped to hold off the Union Army advance for five days.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

September 16, 2017 Self-Publishing Mastery Summit Online Day 2 With Ken Atchity Sell Your Book to Hollywood!



Today's sessions will:
  • get you one step closer to your writing goals,
  • help you master the self-publishing process, 
  • teach you the best marketing strategies and tactics that will boost sales and visibility, 
  • take you through a step-by-step process of launching your book with 100+ Amazon reviews,
  • show you how to write an award-winning book. 

For the next 72 hours, the access to our event is FREE. However,  if you want permanent access to the videos and mp3s - yes, you will be able to listen to the interviews during your commute or when you exercise on the treadmill, after the 72-hour FREE access then I recommend grabbing the ALL ACCESS PASS. You can still get it today at a huge (50%) discount!  
Press here for your instant access to the ALL ACCESS PASS. Only $59 (instead of $119).

More Story Merchant Books September Amazon eBook Deals!

FREE September 16 - September 20!

Texas Hard by Echo Enders

In the midst of her emotional trip Adrienne meets two ranch hands and both have a lot to offer a girl but trusting the wrong man could surely spell trouble.

For Adrienne Carl, Miami is home, but jumping across the Gulf to visit family in Texas is usually a treat. Until her uncle dies unexpectedly, mysteriously, and she’s left as executor.

In the midst of her emotional trip she meets two ranch hands that worked for her uncle, Lane, and both have a lot to offer a girl. One promises to be a fantastic lay and reliever of stress; the other offers the to be the "hard to handle" cowboy fantasy of her dreams. Both are powerful and dangerous, handsome and built, and not at all shy about what they pack, but what to do…better yet, who to do?

FREE September 19 - September 23

Larry D. Thompson’s The Insanity Plea

A spell-binding tale of four amateur sleuths who must find, track and trap a serial killer before the clock clicks down to a guilty verdict for an innocent man.

A young nurse is savagely killed on Galveston’s seawall. The murderer slices her running shorts from her body as his trophy and tosses her over the wall to the rocks below.

As dawn breaks, a bedraggled street person, wearing four layers of old, tattered clothes, emerges from the end of the jetty, waving his arms and talking to people only he hears. He trips over the body, checks for a pulse and, instead, finds a diamond bracelet which he puts in his pocket. He hurries across the street, heading for breakfast at the Salvation Army two blocks away, leaving his footprints in blood as he goes.

FREE September 22 - September 26!

Kenneth Atchity’s Classical Greek Reader
Scholarly commentary on the nuances of Greek writing fills library shelves, even entire libraries. Yet nothing can take the place of the documents themselves. The Classical Greek Reader marks an exciting departure from the traditional anthology approach to Greek literature and thought. By focusing not only on the big names but also on the less-familiar voices--the women, doctors, storytellers, herbalists, and romance writers--we are offered a glimpse of ancient Greece as we have rarely seen it.

FREE  September 25 - September 29

Western Lights by Andrew Furst

Western Lights is a collection of essays from the viewpoint of a Western Buddhist teacher. It speaks about Eastern concepts like karma, hope, attachment, and amptiness from a personal perspective and in terms familiar to Americans. They’re grounded in subject matter familiar to Americans like politics, science, psychology, heaven, and nature.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

JST DAVID Receives Inaugural Dan Ireland Scholarship

David Jones II, aka JST DAVID

Singer-songwriter David Jones II, aka "JST DAVID" has been awarded the inaugural Dan Ireland Memorial Scholarship by the Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) and the Dan Ireland Legacy Committee.

He will use the scholarship towards a private listening event for the album hosted by LIFF at the Peppermint Club in Hollywood, CA on Saturday, September 23rd.  David will be performing two shows scheduled at 4:00PM and 6:00PM.  Doors will open at 3:00PM. More information and RSVP online are available here, or click the ticket below:

Notable industry RSVP's include Russ Regan - former President of Motown, UNI, Polygram and 20th Century Records. Regan is one of two individuals in the music industry to ever sell over one billion records as an executive, discovering and breaking artists such as The Beach Boys, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Barry White, and many others. He currently serves as Executive Consultant to JST DAVID, alongside Executive Producer Michael Winchester - saxophonist, musical director and the creator of "Motown 45".

JST DAVID has been involved with LIFF and the Mentorship Program for several years, performing at LIFF's annual film festival in Baton Rouge in 2016 & 2017. His debut album "Day One" is slated for release in October, which was co-written and produced by Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer Preston Glass. 

Dan Ireland

Dan Ireland resided in Los Angeles, CA, and was a revered mentor to a countless number of acclaimed actors, directors, music composers, producers, writers and more, serving as Artistic Director of LIFF from its inception in 2012 until his untimely death in 2016.

In celebration of his legacy, the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF) along with generous Patrons created the scholarship commemorating Ireland's dedication to new talent, storytellers and visionaries. Louisiana artists and filmmakers are eligible for consideration, and funds from the scholarship are dedicated towards an event, showcase or internship in Los Angeles on the recipient's behalf.

For sponsorship opportunities for brands & businesses for the September 23rd event in Los Angeles, call Peggy McDonald at 310-709-2851, or email

The Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2011 dedicated to the development of Louisiana's film, music and innovation talent and representation of that talent to the world via the annual Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF), Louisiana Film Society and Special Events. LIFF aims to provide a platform where talent can foster ideas, skills and relationships that enable them to fulfill their full potential as artists and innovators.

LIFF has hosted luminaries in the industry, such as Academy Award-Winning Actress Renee Zellweger (JERRY MAGUIRE, THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD), Vincent D'Onofrio (FULL METAL JACKET, BROKEN HORSES), Academy Award-Nominated Actress Sally Kirkland (ANNA), Christy Turlington Burns (GIVING BIRTH IN AMERICA), Kelsey Grammer (FRASIER, BREAKING THE BANK), Academy Award-Winning Cinematographer Maro Fiore (AVATAR, TRAINING DAY), Princess Shaw (PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW), Bernard Rose (CANDYMAN, IMMORTAL BELOVED, FRANKENSTEIN, THE DEVIL&'S VIOLINIST), Xavier Samuel (THE TWILIGHT SAGA, FRANKENSTEIN), Leslie Zemeckis (BOUND BY FLESH), Academy Award-Winning Documentary Short Team Jeff Consiglio (LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM, INOCENTE), Library of Congress Photographer Bob Adelman (1963 Retrospective Exhibit), Emily Best (CEO Seed & Spark), Chris Garrity (Head of Innovation for Superbowl), Iman Sadeghi (Google), Scout Raskin (Comedy Central) and many more.

LIFF 2018 is scheduled to host a showcase of world class film, music and educational programming April 12-15, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.