Monday, April 9, 2018

#AuthorInterview with John Henry Hardy @midnightyankee

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with John Henry Hardy, author of Whisper In My Ear (Vol III of III)
FQ: When you came to the end of this long trek, typing that last word, what feelings did you experience? How difficult is it for an author who has expressed so much emotion and told such a great tale to have it come to an end?
HARDY: To be honest Amy, I felt a sense of relief. My wife is rather ill and I am her sole caretaker (14 plus years plus), and while I was writing this trilogy her cardiac output became catastrophically low. In fact, I didn't write  a single word in the trilogy for two years-it took that long for her heart to recover, but she has other medical problems that must be constantly addressed.  But my sense of relief, was in knowing I finally finished what I needed to say to the public what Vietnam veterans are really like; they are not the baby killers the liberal media and the cowardly left leaning draft dodgers make them out to be. I tried to make the main characters as similar as I could to the men and women who served there. For Vietnam era veterans, this tale will never come to an end. Their battle scars, plus the emotional trauma inflicted upon them by the antiwar demonstrators will forever remain a haunting part of their lives and memories.
FQ: When Vietnam War soldiers returned home and were treated, for lack of a better term, unadmirably, that must have felt horrible. What was it like for some, perhaps even yourself, to have to deal with that?
HARDY: It was traumatic, Amy. I met vets who would not tell anyone that they served in Vietnam-even though they were very proud of their service. I met one army veteran in the gym who said he was relieved when he found out who I was. He had been maligned so many times in the aftermath of his service that thereafter he only discussed his military association with his family and friends. They even targeted American service women, the Angels of Mercy, who cared for the wounded in the hospitals and aid stations.
FQ: It is obvious you would be comfortable in the telling of war stories, certainly considering the amazing service you’ve done for this country as a Marine. But, if you wanted to “reach” into another area, can you visualize a type of plotline that you feel would be fun to tackle? If so, what field would your next hero be working in?
HARDY: Thank you for asking me this question, Amy! My last published novel was titled The Day God Played Baseball. It is for kids and adults who love the game-in fact even God loves the game so much that he decides to play on a downtrodden team called the Cherokees, as pitcher. But there is evil lurking here, and as you know, God doesn't like liars and cheaters. I tried to make it funny to satirize  the buffoons I met in real life, who acted somewhat like that who sponsored the Creeks, the team playing against the Cherokees for the league championship. During the game, strange things happen to the cheating players and their coach that cannot be explained by physics or gravity or good old common sense!
FQ: As per this review, do you have your own personal favorite literary characters that will always be a part of your mind? Any that, perhaps, changed your life or boosted your desire to write?
HARDY: You know Amy, I cannot think of one literary character (male or female) who will always be a part of my mind or encouraged me to write. I attribute this to the fact that although we were poor, I had a great mother and father and uncles that were also great role models. They all taught me to be independent and self-reliant; therefore,  I don't need any heroes in my life, although my classmates and my teacher in eighth grade loved my compositions and encouraged me to continue to write. I don't meant to sound arrogant, Amy, but I have been standing on my own feet for so long that in times of trouble the only hero I need in my life is God.
FQ: If so, who would be one character in fiction that you would love to meet or learn more about?
HARDY: Well Amy, John Wayne wasn't  fictional, but the characters he portrayed were; the roles of a men who were strong and self-sufficient; who didn't take any crap from those who tried to cheat or belittle them;  characters who loved and served their country and their families, and was brave enough to defend the weak and oppressed, and yet man enough to stoop and help a child.
FQ: This incredible trilogy has TV and/or movie screen written all over it. Tell me: Who are the stars best suited to be Cathy, Norm and Dion?
HARDY: Amy I am sorry, but as I look around Hollywood today all I can see or hear are liberal actors who support illegal alien immigration, who belittle our country, and denigrate our president and first lady. Gone are the Jimmy Stewarts, the Clark Gables, and the likes of Peter Falk etc. etc. etc. of yesteryear, when Hollywood men were really men. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of stars that have served this great country-but they're not speaking out. If I was ever so lucky to have my book on the big screen, I would like to see someone new given a chance. Someone who loves our country, supports our president and our constitution, and recognizes that we are a country of laws and boundaries The men and women in our armed forces deserve someone who represents them to be of the same high caliber as those who gave so much.
FQ: The scenes are so real in your stories: Is the POW material, in particular, something that came about from real facts and stories you perhaps heard over the years? If so, does it help to place these scenes on paper, and open some eyes in regards to what the men and women of the world who fight for the rest of us are/were up against?
HARDY: Yes Amy, the treatment of American POWs in Hoa Lo (the Hanoi Hilton) is as depicted in the story. It is based on meticulous research, the internet, and accounts of former POWs. I would recommend reading Commander Richard Coffee's book When Hell Was In Session.  I have discovered over the years that most people in this country don't want to hear the truth about real life horror stories. Even the documentaries on TV do not mention the torture endured by American POWs, and the North Vietnamese government tends to gloss over what happened in their prisons all over North Vietnam and not just at Hoa Lo. I believe that at last count about 2300 American POW are unaccounted for, and presume to have been murdered by the North Vietnamese. Thanks to heroes like Colonel Bud Day, who had his men memorize the names of fellow prisoners, we know what happened to some of them. We American have to understand that Asian countries' laws and customs are not based on Christian-Judeo principles, and they treat people and play to win by any means possible, which is reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps in the case of Hoa Lo (known to American POW as the Hanoi Hilton). Today, the Vietnamese welcome us; they want our money and support against the Chinese, who have usurped the waters of the South China Sea that have been claimed by Vietnam for centuries. The Chinese want the oil located beneath its waters. In my book When Brothers Meet I warn about China's and Russia's global intentions about controlling the world's supply of oil.
FQ: Do you feel that PTSD can be treated? Do you agree with how it is being treated?
HARDY: I don't feel qualified to answer either of those question, Amy. But keep in mind, that Navy Seal Chirs Kyle, America's top sniper in Iraq/or Afghanistan, was murdered by a PTSD patient he was trying to help.
FQ: Can you provide something to hold your fans over? Such as, what is on tap when it comes to your next creation?
HARDY: I am working on a book that deals with interplanetary space travel. The sun of Rau (Proxima b in the Constellation Centaurus) is dying and its people are looking for  new planet on which to live. They are a friendly and advanced civilization that has much to offer planet Earth. NORAD sees the tiny blip on its radar screens which is one of Rau's spaceships at 2355 every Christmas Eve and calls it Santa's Sleigh. They begins to think it is an enemy agents aircraft that  sneaking into the country in an effort to attack American interests and government. China, with the aid of huge American trade deficits, is now the most powerful nation in the world and is challenging America for world eldership, and has formed an axis with Russia with the intent of ruling the world. Together the axis military might dwarfs that of the United States.. Will the US president convince Rau aliens, with their superior weapons and metallic soldiers, save the free world from the axis super powers and their  nuclear holocaust plans? Stay tuned and find out!

#BookReview - The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle

The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle

By: Stuart Samuel
Illustrated by: Nathaniel Dailey
Publisher: Jupiter Scientific
Publication Date: July 2017
ISBN: 978-0965517607
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: April 9, 2018
Thomas is a very curious little turtle and his curiosity is about to send him on the adventure of a lifetime...
Thomas lives in a lovely pond with his sister Sally and mother Myrtle.  The water is clear, the pond is surrounded by beautiful trees and grasses, and Thomas has a perfect rock to sun himself on when the weather is nice.  What could be better?
Thomas likes to explore the pond but his mother has warned him about one very dangerous area  - the "forbidden region" - because of what happened to Thomas's father there.  Myrtle explains that his father, along with his eleven brothers went out to explore one day but unfortunately, Thomas's father went off to that area and was never seen again.  Under no circumstances was Thomas allowed to go there - ever.  Of course, we all know how youngsters can be so curious and Thomas was no exception.  When he decided to go explore the other side of the pond, with his mother's permission, things went well at first...
All went well with Thomas's explorations until one day he decided to venture too close to the area where his father had disappeared.  He slowly, and cautiously, got closer and closer to the forbidden area until he noticed that the current was getting stronger.  He tried to swim away but it was too late and he was swept away.  No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't escape the strong current.  In moments, he was tossed right over a waterfall, and plummeted down into the dark water below.  Would Thomas be able to escape the deep, dark water and if so, how would he ever find his way home?
The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle tells a good story about a curious turtle and how his explorations landed him in trouble.  Readers will learn about the ideal turtle environment and what turtles like to eat.  Youngsters will also learn additional turtle facts through Thomas's adventure such as how his shell became dry and hot as he struggled through a grassy hill in search of his pond - he couldn't be away from water for very long.  There are points in the story where the narration and dialog are somewhat stilted because of the use of words or terms that are either a bit dated or are for a more mature reader. There is also a recurrent theme with the "forbidden region" and how "an evil force dwells among those waters" that may frighten very young children.  It makes sense that the turtles would perhaps think such things since they wouldn't understand a waterfall, but young readers who are sensitive may not enjoy that aspect of the story. Overall, however, for youngsters who are eager to learn about turtles, this book may certainly fill that need.
Quill says: A nice story that teaches children a bit about turtles, their habitats and needs.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

#BookReview - Whisper in My Ear (Vol. III of III) @midnightyankee

Whisper in My Ear (Vol. III of III)

By: John Henry Hardy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: August 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5150-1504-8
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: April 9, 2018
All obsessed readers (and even those not so obsessed) can always come together and agree on one thing: There are characters in the literary world who are truly unforgettable. And when it comes to those who have read this amazing series from the very beginning, they have already concluded that some of those unforgettable characters have come from these particularly emotional, heart-wrenching, action-packed, suspenseful pages. This is Volume III, the conclusion that author John Henry Hardy has provided, and one he certainly should be proud to call his own.
When we began these books, we met the three main characters and watched them grow. One grew from a playboy into a man who loves with all his heart. One went from a small town boy filled with pride for his country to a grown man whose loyalty grew, although his eyes saw things in Vietnam that broke his soul and caused him to become a killer. Lastly, we watched a young Minnesota girl grow while working above-and-beyond to aid the soldiers in Vietnam by becoming an RN and a Lieutenant. A woman who ended up being personally harmed by a man who was not focusing on her to be his ultimate victim.
Cathy Addison is that woman, and she now has to deal with the pain of being brutally harmed by a psycho who was actually stalking her colleague and very best friend by the name of Barbara Mandera. Although Cathy now feels completely alone, her fiancĂ© (the small town boy named Dion) feels even more so. Upon waking up in the hospital after taking down a devious enemy by the name of Nin Thu, he is wondering why on earth Cathy hasn’t been in to see him. It’s as if she disappeared overnight. However, when he finds out about the crime that has occurred, he ends up tracking down and burying the psycho while fighting for his own life.
In a frightening turn of events, Cathy comes upon the murdered man and, not knowing he is already with The Reaper in the fiery place he most definitely belongs, shoots the corpse. Believing that she has become a cold-blooded murderer, Cathy’s mental state disintegrates even more. Resigning her post in Vietnam, Cathy runs home to Minnesota. Not only will she have to deal with the memories of her attacker and the belief that she is a killer, but she is also up against a criminal trial while attempting to deal with a “little something” that came from her Vietnam nightmare.
Norm (the one-time playboy), has news of his true love, Barbara, unveiled to him. Norm is the son of a truly rich family with chins in the air; he has a mother who will quite literally stop Norm from receiving any money if she ever hears about, let alone meets Barbara. Although Norm was set to go against the “family” demands, once he finds out Barbara’s wealth of lies and cover-ups, he leaves her. But when Norm finds himself in true enemy territory after being shot down, he begins to rethink his personal views on many things, most especially his harsh judgment of the woman he still desperately loves.
These characters all come together. As Dion pledges his loyalty and fights to regain the woman who no longer owns the same “pure heart” she once had, Norm – a man who has gone through the ultimate horrors of torture – attempts to right his life and, hopefully, find the happiness he has always wanted.
Readers will cringe at the very vivid prisoner-of-war descriptions when it comes to Norm. But, like the first two volumes, they will also be able to witness the good and cheer for the people who strived to do their jobs while growing, learning, fighting…and, perhaps, finally achieving the best life has to offer.
Quill says: After this incredible journey it’s difficult to say John Henry Hardy could top it, but fans cannot wait to see him try!
For more information on Whisper in My Ear (Vol. III of III), please visit the author's site at: JohnHenryHardy.com

#BookReview - A Well-Respected Man

A Well-Respected Man

By: David W. Berner
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency
Publication Date: April 2018
ISBN: 978-1-948260-00-8
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 5, 2018
Author David W. Berner delivers a compelling read in his latest novel, A Well-Respected Man, that will have you asking yourself "What would I do?"
Martin Gregory was a professor at Elmhurst University just outside Chicago. He was best known as the author of Fire and Wine, a book he thought was about redemption, but his readers saw as focusing more on the modern woman.  While the initial print run was small, and the book seemed to be one destined for a back shelf, readers started discovering the book and sharing with their friends.  Soon the book was flying off those back shelves and Martin became a bit of a celebrity.  
Women were drawn to the words that Martin had written about relationships and love and often wanted to meet him.  One such woman was Amelia, a junior at the school. It wasn't long before Martin found himself falling in love with the twenty-one-year-old student.  But when his relationship with Amelia became public, his world was suddenly turned upside down.  He was asked to leave his teaching job - a job he loved. Other jobs followed, but none suited him and as he drifted between jobs, so too did he and Amelia drift apart. 
Now all that was behind him.  Fire and Wine had been published twenty years ago and Martin was now living in England where he was teaching in the small town of Banbury. He was happy, or so he thought.  He life was uncomplicated, mundane, and predictable.  Sure, sometimes fans of his novel still sought him out, but for the most part, life was quiet.  That was until a stranger showed up at his door and asked to speak to him.  Martin, annoyed and in a hurry, rudely brushed the woman off.  Later, Martin realizes that he was overly harsh to the woman, and wishes to meet her again.  Eventually the two connect, and the question is asked...
When I sat down to read this book, I had planned to read just a few chapters and then return to it the following day.  After all, it was late and I was tired.  It got a lot later, however, as I found myself drawn into the story, and I had to find out what Martin was going to do.  The choice was a difficult one, and one that would see him traveling back to the States in an effort to decide.  Not until the last few pages do we learn, along with Martin, what the decision will be and along the way, just like Martin, we waver in what is the right choice. Each chapter begins with a quote from Fire and Wine, many of which tie in beautifully with the story - "Love is not about gazing into each others eyes, it's about looking together into the sun." Berner's writing is captivating and descriptive, and set the scenes beautifully.  I was there with Martin in the English countryside, as well as taking the train ride through the United States.  A Well-Respected Man drew me in and now, a week later, it still lingers in the back of my mind. I highly recommend this novel.
Quill says: This novel asks a hard question and the story will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. What choice would you make?
For more information on A Well-Respected Man, please visit the publisher's website at: sbprabooks.com

Thursday, April 5, 2018

#BookReview - Emilia and Evelyn's Squizit Visit

Emilia and Evelyn's Squizit Visit

By: Candace Cozzens
Illustrated by: P. Anthony Visco
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: October 2017
ISBN: 978-1548615208
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: April 3, 2018
An afternoon of playing in the yard turns into a very memorable experience for two young girls when an odd little creature shows up to share their play day.
Emilia and Evelyn were having a great day in their yard. Emilia was pushing her sister on their swing and they were both having loads of fun. Dad, meanwhile, was doing something on his phone - talking maybe - but he really wasn't paying attention to his girls. All was peaceful until...
"All of a sudden from out of the woods, a creature appeared.
It was egg shaped and purple with green spots! It was really weird!"
A meatball shaped nose, three legs, two arms, one red eye and one green...this was definitely an odd looking creature. And it was probably one of the only things that could make Dad put his phone down and pay attention to what was going on around him! Emilia and Evelyn didn't know what to call the creature until a strange sound escaped from his mouth - "squizit" - and Dad declared that this was "...a Squizit visit!"
It soon became apparent that the Squizit wasn't there to cause harm but rather have fun. And how does a Squizit have fun? By stealing Evelyn's ball and then by jumping - splat! - right into the nicely raked pile of leaves that Dad just raked up earlier in the day. Dad realized that the Squizit was going to make a mess of the whole yard and it was time for the creature to go!
"At this point their Father started to chase the bothersome beast;
But it was too quick for Dad, who tried his best to say the least!"
Would the Squizit ever head back to the woods? The girls wanted to keep the silly creature but their dad knew better and wanted it to go away. But how?
Emilia and Evelyn's Squizit Visit is a sweet and goofy story told in rhyme. We never learn exactly what the Squizit is, or why it came to visit, but that's not the purpose of the story. Rather, this is a slightly non-sensical story meant to make children laugh and giggle and it certainly will. It is a relatively short story - two lines per two-page spread - so that it can easily be read to children ages three and up. The illustrations add to the light-hearted tone of the book with the expressions of the Squizit, which run the gamut from happy to goofy, as the highlight of these pictures. Overall, a nicely told tale that children will certainly enjoy.
Quill says: A fun and silly little story that just might become a bedtime favorite.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

#BookReview - The Italian Party

The Italian Party

By: Christina Lynch
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-14783-7
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: April 1, 2018
Christina Lynch takes her audience on an adventure to the Italian countryside in her debut novel, The Italian Party.
Newlyweds Scottie and Michael Messina begin their lives as husband and wife far from the familiarity of their homeland, America. The year is 1956 and the place is Siena, Italy. Their marriage is built on a foundation of secretes. Michael believes Scottie is a privileged debutante and comes from fine stock and family wealth. Granted, Scottie did grow up with the finer things in life—private boarding schools, followed by an equally prestigious degree from Vassar, but maybe the family wealth wasn’t quite what it used to be. Michael, on the other hand, was a kid from the Bronx. Fortunately, Michael rose above humble beginnings. He was smart—very smart and fortunately, Scottie wasn’t. She was the perfect bride for him given his line of work.
So how did this young couple end up lightyears away from their homeland? According to Michael, he landed the job of a lifetime. He was hired to be the Ford Motor Tractor Company’s esteemed representation in Italy. The war had ended in Europe a mere eleven years prior. It was important for America to maintain a presence in the wake of the remnants the Germans had left behind. What Michael failed to explain to Scottie was this great job was little more than a cover for his real job: the CIA. His true purpose in whisking his new bride away to the lovely Tuscan countryside was to play a significant role in persuading the upcoming election’s outcome to that of democracy. Scottie loves Michael—especially his breathtaking good looks. They are the signature American couple—she with her gorgeous blonde hair and him with his swarthy good looks. While there is a definite adjustment period for the two initially, Scottie learns how to blend in with the locals—perhaps a bit too much, while Michael immerses himself further into the spy versus spy life he willingly signed onto. What the two couldn’t possibly know is just when everything seems to be falling into place, chaos is lurking around the corner awaiting their arrival.
How fitting for Christina Lynch to spin a tale of romance, politics and the ever-looming threat of communism for today’s audience to gobble up. This is a story of delicious action and adventure, sprinkled with the perfect balance of romance throughout. Ms. Lynch has a wonderful ability to set a scene and solidify the allure with crisp and believable dialogue. This may be her debut novel, but the writing portrays a seasoned veteran from beginning to end. The development of unique personalities showcases the uniqueness of each of her characters; paving the way for her audience to bond with each one. She is also keen to note the dynamics between husband and wife and particularly, the woman’s role in the late 50’s which anchors the relevance of the story even more. Bravo Ms. Lynch. This was a fun read with great twists and turns along the way.
Quill says: The Italian Party is an adventure that reaches far beyond the notion of a ‘party.’

Interview with Author Simon Plaster

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with Simon Plaster, author of Flicks: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions

FQ: When it comes to Henrietta, do you have a planned ending for the main character of your series before beginning the first book, or does the time to say goodbye come about during the process?

PLASTER: I'm glad you ask. Henrietta --- named after her hometown and originally spelled with a y (which drove her to distraction) --- was what I thought a minor character in the first tale, titled SUMBITCH. Only after reading what she did and said, did I realize she was the central and most engaging figure. The discovery is typical of delights to be found in writing. Say goodbye? That would be undelightful, but it's up to her. She has a mind of her own.

FQ: You offer a snippet of info on a non-documentary flick in pre-production entitled The Platinum Loop which is what your story is loosely based upon. Can you give readers more information about this and how you discovered this particular fact?

PLASTER: After stumbling upon a trailer for the flick on YouTube, then reading the book, I got in touch with the author/screenwriter and offered an idea for a somewhat different and better storyline. He told me to go to hell. That's Hollywood for you: Sumbitches won't give an outsider a break.

FQ: Along those same lines, are you personally a Monroe fan? If you were asked to give your own personal views on the "how and why" she died, what would those be?

PLASTER: While not necessarily a Marilyn Monroe fan, I have a lot of fondness and admiration for the woman beneath the image, Norma Jeane Baker. I think she was emotionally unstable, vulnerable, and killed herself by drug overdose. The specific "why" of it, in my opinion, was the way she was exploited and discarded by the Kennedy brothers.

FQ: Based on the plotlines of this series, are movies and TV also personal "favorites" for you? Are they hobbies, perhaps, or obsessions?

PLASTER: I hardly ever go to movies anymore. On TV I like what might be called traditional flicks, including old ones. Turner Classic Movies is a priceless treasure.

Author Simon Plaster
FQ: Who is your own personal favorite when it comes to TV/movies? And if you could choose for us, who would be "the one" actress you could see playing a perfect Henrietta on the small and/or big screen?

PLASTER: Hmmm. Tea Leone comes to mind as having that so-called "it" quality that makes you keep an eye on her. As for an actress to play Henrietta, I'm an oldtimer and not up to date, but actually have in mind the young Cissy Spacek when I write about Henrietta.

FQ: Just between us . . . will Henrietta ever garner that Prize? And if so, what would you think the headline would read that would bring home the gold?

PLASTER: Well, some may recall that in my tale titled TICKS, she got a story put in The New York Times about a court case and expert testimony that creation of a human allergy to meat and milk would lead to vegetarianism and eliminate more methane gas than the amount of CO2 put out by burning fossil fuels. The article included a picture of a cow below a headline saying SHE DID IT! Later she was told that the Times ran the story by "a correspondent from Hicksville" to discredit the idea. Henrietta is way too honest to ever make a name for herself in today's journalism.

FQ: You weave the web of sarcasm quite well. Have you ever had to deal with skeptics or perhaps those who dislike that writing style?

PLASTER: I like to think of my writing as more satirical than sarcastic, but no doubt there are hundreds of thousands of what you call skeptics out there. Nothing would suit me better than to deal with them, but book sales have been flimsy as an old maid's bedroom curtains.

FQ: What advice would you give to start-up authors who also like that web of sarcasm on how to best deal with the negative?

PLASTER: My advice would be to try to come up with something funny, and send it to me.

FQ: What's up next for Henrietta?

PLASTER: Well, her new boss adopts a sensationalist style of journalism and tells her to find a local angle to go with a British tabloid story about possible sighting of a ghost at Buckingham Palace. She locates a Haunted Castle dinner theater and runs into a hell of an uproar staged by Me Too witches. The haunting tale, scheduled to be released on or about Halloween, is titled BOO!

















#BookReview - Flicks

FLICKS: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions

By: Simon Plaster
Publisher: Mossik Press
Publication Date: February 2018
ISBN: 978-0-999-4185-0-5
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: March 31, 2018
For those who have fallen in love with Henrietta from Oklahoma – the journalist who one day wants to win the grand prize for “serious” reporting – you will be happy to know that she is back. Not only is she knee-deep in yet another case, but she has also gotten into the middle of one that “stars” one of America’s favorite all-time actresses, Marilyn Monroe.
We begin by sitting beside Henrietta in the OKC SCENE News Group’s reception area, kicking herself. Not literally, of course, but she is still recovering from the fact that another reporter, Sylvia Bird, reported on a story incorrectly. Henrietta knew the real truth and wishes she had snagged the headline; not only would it have been factual, but she would’ve also moved a step up in her career instead of down. Now, here she is just waiting to be canned, because the OKC scene she was employed to report on – the Weekly Stockyards’ – has lost its main attraction by burning down. Instead of a firing, however, her boss does not send her packing; he assigns her to a new scene and wants nothing but good vibrations to print as the city heads toward this weekend’s upcoming Film Festival.
Attempting to correct her co-worker’s first story, Henrietta comes up against Deano DeBoffo once again. This is a man who is quite literally stranded in OKC by the FBI and others. He has been accused of shady activity. Not a stretch, considering this is a man from Hollywood whose real name is Cosmo and who has a background in criminal activities. Under the DeBoffo name, he is known as a famous producer/director in L.A. Wanting nothing more than to get out of the Sooner State, DeBoffo ends up running into a screenwriter who claims to own a large, long-hidden secret: a loop of film that shows Marilyn Monroe in some pretty…sexy ways and unveils the facts as to how and why the bombshell was killed. He wants DeBoffo to work with him to create a docudrama that he is sure will bring in lots of cash.
Enter a man named Jim Bob who is both high school Drama teacher and wannabe actor. Oddly enough, he is also a Monroe impersonator. This comes with both downsides and upsides. Downside being that men seem to forget that he is not Ms. Monroe and wish to have a fling with the star; upside being that Jim is cast in the DeBoffo docudrama not only as the “villain/enemy” of Marilyn’s but also as Marilyn, herself.
More, you say? Well, throw in the Speaker of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives (a politico known as “Dobber”) who wants nothing more than to cancel funding for the arts, yet at the same time becomes enthralled with this documentary and wants to be part of the cast up on the big screen.
In other words, you have a cast of characters that is unforgettable. This is a few days of Henrietta’s life that will open new doors to her reporting career. Especially when these “half-truths and half-fictions” come together to reveal a startling ending to Marilyn’s life that no one saw coming.
This author has consistently done a bang up job when it comes to Henrietta and the world around her, and this new tale is no exception. Although having the ability to stand-alone, the story is far more fun when you go back and jump on the reporter’s bandwagon early on. With writing on the sarcastic side, liberal use of bold type versus regular, and with some characters sporting an accent (AKA: words spelled in order to capture that southern vibe) readers should be prepared for a slightly bumpy ride. But, no worries, you will get used to the author's quirky voice. 
Quill says: Hopefully the “star” reporter will appear again soon, as readers cross their fingers for Henrietta to bring home that ultimate prize!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Interview with Author John Henry Hardy @midnightyankee

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with John Henry Hardy, author of Whisper In My Ear (Vol I of III)
FQ: Out of your main stars, is there one character that is most like you? In the same respect, are these characters based on people you met during your years of service?
HARDY: Yes Amy, there is a character that I think is like me. Although I do not have the stature of a football player, I tried to create Dion Murphy in my image. I too was turned down by West Point, and was raised on a farm like Dion. After attending Catholic grammar school, I enrolled in a small public high school that was too small to field a football team, but I was very adept at intramural sports. Also, Dion and I we were both Marine officers, and I tried to project how I feel about women into his character. To answer the second half of you question, there is no doubt in my mind the characters of Norman Coddington, Dion's platoon sergeant Jim Russ, and Sid Johnson (the Marine sniper who kills Ngu Gin) are based on real life Marines. Even Ngu Gin is a character based on a North Vietnamese sniper, who ate cobra meat to give him courage. Some of the other people in the story are real, but I didn't know them personally.
FQ: Can you tell readers how this project first came into your mind?
HARDY: After my first stint in a Marine Corps Reserve artillery battery, I attended college and I was reading a newspaper article about an army nurse, who just returned from Vietnam.  As she was walking through the airport in uniform, some kid with a punk hair cut hit her in the back with an orange and called her a baby killer. That kid, who probably wasn't smart enough to wipe his own arse, had no clue as to what the doctors and nurses did and endured n Vietnam and on the hospital ships.  At Da Nang hospital alone, they treated 66,000 patients during the war, both American and Vietnamese. I was infuriated, and thus in my mind was born the characters of Cathy Addison and Marlene Larkin. By the way, although the four main characters are fictitious the events of the war are mostly based on facts.
FQ: Being Volume I of III; can you give us a bit of a “sneak peek” as to what’s in store for us moving forward?
HARDY: In volume II, the F4 pilot, Norman Coddington is angered by the Viet Cong trying to hit the hospital where the love of his life, Barbara Mandera, is working, not to mention the wounded and he seeks his revenge. Dion Murphy ends up in intensive care and Cathy Addison is his nurse. While caring for the wounded, a Viet Cong patient sneaks up behind her with the intention of stabbing her in the back with a pair of scissors. Barbara Mandera's ex, a psychopath named Ray Slaugh, discovers she is in Vietnam and he stalks her with the intention of killing her for leaving him. She eludes him so he decides to take his revenge out on Cathy Addison, Barbara's best friend in Vietnam. We meet another nurse named Nina Mumsford, an army nurse assigned to Korea, who falls in love with a handsome doctor and leaves her state-side husband, and lives to regret it. She meets up with Cathy and Barbara in Vietnam, and her experience is invaluable when Ray Slaugh stalks and terrorizes the entire women's barracks in his search for Barbara Mandera. This volume is meant to give the general public an understanding of what women in war can go through, even due to the problems created by American soldiers as well as the Viet Cong.
FQ: How do you feel about the way things have changed in regards to the respect shown to the amazing people who serve and have served this country? Are there areas you wish could be addressed that may not have seen changes as of yet when it comes to veterans?
HARDY: Thank God our returning vets no longer have to endure the horrors heaped upon our military by the "me first generation" during the Vietnam War! Obama did virtually nothing for the veterans, who sacrificed life and limb for our great nation. When Donald Trump was elected president, I got down on my knees and thanked our Creator! Under Trump's leadership the public's opinion has done a one hundred eighty degree turn towards our veterans (although it actually started changing somewhat before then). But as president he is strengthening our armed forces and the treatments of our veterans. The one thing I would like to see changed as of this moment is the availability of housing. So many of our veterans are living on the streets. Even if we could just provide temporary housing until the vets were able to improve their lives and get back on their feet (so to speak) it would be a great step forward.
FQ: Thirty-three years in the U.S. Marine Corp. Can you give a little information on your background and that area of your life?
HARDY: I entered the US Marine Corps on 27 June 1961 as a scared and skinny private. It was also my 22nd birthday. After basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, it was on to infantry and artillery training. At that time, President Kennedy sent additional advisors to South Vietnam in light of China's providing North Vietnam with military aid and their attempt to spread communism, and our armed forces were struggling with the type of training needed to counter-act guerilla type warfare. My stint was over in 1966 and I entered college, and the day before I graduated in 1972 I reenlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, with the intention of going to Officer Candidate School. However according to the needs of the Corps at the time I was promoted to Warrant Officer and served in various billets as a Military Police officer and later as a Public Relations officer, and a Marine Aircraft Group Staff officer for almost ten years. Then I transferred back to the fourth division were I served as a platoon commander, company commander, engineer officer, and Force Level Staff officer, where I retired on 27 June 1999. I was in the active reserve and on active duty at various times during my career, but never assigned to a combat zone. However, I met hundred of Marines who were there and got to know a lot of what on in Vietnam from their first hand experience, as well as interviewing other personnel in the army, readings book by those who served there, and doing other meticulous research. While the four main characters in the story are fictitious, the events of the war as depicted in Whisper In My Earare factual for the most part, as is the culture of the Vietnamese at that time.
FQ: Having a BA in psychology, does that (and if so, how does it) help in regards to dealing with the psychological/emotional issues you address in this book?
HARDY: Having a BA in Psychology helped a little in character development. I wanted to be a clinical Psychologist and the company I worked for paid a good deal of my tuition. But in New Jersey you need a Master's Degree to be a licensed psychologist (at least at that time). Unfortunately, the company needed lawyers on its General Counsel and was paying thirty one selected employees to attend law school and also paid them a salary while attending classes. The day before graduation thirty of them resigned, and the company changed the tuition rules so I could no longer continue in my area of interest. But being older and my own personal life experiences, working for a large corporation, and being a Marine actually helped me the most.
FQ: Is there a memorable moment you can share in regards to meeting a veteran who read this book? Something that perhaps really struck you?
HARDY: Yes, in fact there were several memorable moments. It is amazing how my perspective of the war differed from theirs. For example, one vet I talked to spent a year on Monkey Mountain as a mortar man. Yet his unit never knew who named it Monkey Mountain or why, but I did even though I had never set a foot on Monkey Mountain. I met a man who claimed to be a former Navy Seal, and yet he never heard of Rung Sat, and others who never heard of the fate of the aircraft carrier US Forrestal and the one hundred thirty two crewman who died trying to save their ship and their comrades-even though they were in Nam at the time!.
FQ: Have you always wished to one day be a writer? If so, are there also other genres or areas you wish to write in one day, when this series has come to an end?
HARDY: Yes, when I was in grammar school I was encouraged to continue writing and finished my first novel when I was eighteen. I have already written a novel called The Place Where The Giant Fell, which deals with prejudice in pre-statehood Arizona, and another book When Brothers Meet that deals with the humungous debt of our country and the attempts of China and Russia to destroy the United States and control the world's oil supply.
FQ: Who do you feel was the best U.S. President when it came to successfully running the country and taking care of its people, and why? If you could meet that person, is there one question you would explicitly like to ask them?
HARDY: I love what President Trump is doing for our country right now. I don't care what he Tweets, what his personal relationships are or were, or what the party, whose appropriate symbol is a Jackass, says about him. Strengthening our military, dealing with the unfair trade balances, and his attempts to seal the border are primal problems facing this nation. I also love Lincoln. He saved the union and abolished slavery forever in this country. What amazes me is that the Democratic Party was the dominant party in the south and fostered the slavery of blacks. Yet most blacks who are registered are Democrats. If I was a black man and knew that about the Democratic Party, I wouldn't walk away, I would run!
Sir, I thank you for your time, this amazing book, and I most definitely thank you for your service. I look forward to reading the volumes to come.  - Amy Lignor

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

#BookReview - Shadows of Hope @GeorgianaD

Shadows of Hope

By: Georgiana Daniels
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: April 2018
ISBN: 978-1683225454
Reviewed by: Diana Buss
Review Date: March 29, 2018
It’s a love triangle of epic proportions, except that two of the three don’t know that the other exists. Marissa Moreau is recently a not-so-happily married part-owner of New Heights, a pregnancy crisis center. In her world of troubles, she believes her husband is potentially being unfaithful to her and is still grieving over the loss of a pregnancy and a continuous battle of infertility. Unfortunately, she believes he may be cheating because of her infertility problems, and begins spying on him, only to discover far more than she had ever bargained for.
Colin, Marissa’s husband, is a distinguished professor who has the perfect life, except for the fact it’s all a facade. He’s got a gorgeous wife, an established career, coaches boy’s Little League and is up for tenure. It can’t get much better than that, only that he’s unhappy in his marriage and has a woman on the side. What’s worse is that this woman is actually one of his students, which could ruin not only his marriage, but the career he’s worked so hard for. While this fact should stop him, it doesn’t until it’s far too late and she becomes pregnant, threatening everything he’s ever worked for.
Kaitlyn Farrows is a college student, employee at The Bean - a local coffee shop - and, most importantly, newly pregnant by a man she can’t even claim she has a relationship with because of his career. She knew that seeing her college professor was a bad idea, but it never stopped her. Now Kaitlyn is pregnant and will have to quit school. Once she quits school, however, there’s no reason they can’t take their relationship further and make it public…except he broke it off, without even knowing she’s pregnant. Desperate to make a way for her and the baby, with or without Colin’s help, she takes up a second job at New Heights where she is finally accepted and feels at least partly secure. Now if only Colin would listen to her and take her back. Thankfully, she doesn’t have to go through all this alone.
Marissa and Kaitlyn quickly become friends and sources of support to one another. While neither shares too much about their personal situations, they know the gist of what is happening in each other's lives and try to help each other out as much as possible. Colin, completely unaware that his wife and his pregnant mistress know one another and are actually friends, and the girls, not knowing just how intertwined their lives are, are in for the surprise of their lives because, as always, the truth always comes out. It’s up to love, hope and faith to keep them all going through this time, no matter how it ends.
Georgiana Daniels has made the characters of this book so relatable that it makes you wonder what you would do in the characters' shoes. Would you ever forgive your husband for such an unspeakable act? Would you stay with him or be unable to deal with what he’s done? Could you remain friends with the woman he cheated on you with? Although religion is lightly mentioned throughout the book, it’s so woven in that it’s not overbearing for those who aren’t particularly religious, but those who are can still contemplate what it means to forgive as a Christian. It truly makes you ask yourself what your limits are and how you would handle such a situation. By the end of the book, you are cheering for Marissa and feeling for her situation, while dying to know the outcome and what is next. I do hope there will be another book in this series, because I don’t quite want to part with Marissa and I certainly want to see how Kaitlyn and her new baby girl develop as time goes by.
Quill says: Shadows of Hope is a lightly suspenseful read that leaves you unwilling to put it down.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

#AuthorInterview with John Henry Hardy @midnightyankee



Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott is talking with John Henry Hardy, author of The Day God Played Baseball
FQ: What is your baseball background?
HARDY: Well Barbara Scott you may chuckle over this, but my baseball experience is limited to playing in the cow pastures with my cousins who lived next door to me in an old duplex farmhouse.  I also played grammar school baseball with the orphans who resided at Saint Michaeel's Childrens  Home in the little town of Hopewell, New Jersey. That being said however, my daughters Michele and Wendy were rather athletic and were the only two girls to make a the league team. The boys all wore their hair long as was the style then so the coach thought they were boys, since he didn't know any of the kids names as it was a try-out session. When practice was over and my two kids were picked to play on the team, the coach was flabbergasted when I called them by name. It was a miracle they made the team. That is the basis for concocting the story The Day God Played Baseball. I also did a lot of research to learn about various pitches and the rules of the game, and that league coach, whose real name I can't remember, became Alex Sardinski, one of the main characters in the story.
FQ: Do you come from a tiny town like Pineville, PA?
HARDY: Yes I owned a small farm in Pineville, Pennsylvania for several years. We had five cows, two horses, hundreds of chickens, several dogs and a coupe of rabbits. My children learned responsibility early in life, since taking cre of farm animals is a lot of work; it was how I grew up. We actually lived in Pineville, when the girls made the league team. The town is so small it looks like a mere cross-roads to a stranger. It had a general store that also served as the post office and boasted of a tavern, both of which are depicted in the story.
FQ: You seem to know a lot about the textile industry; where does that knowledge come from?
HARDY: I worked on a farm that belonged to Catholic Charities and its produce went to the orphanage mentioned above, Barbara. We would take the corn and other grains to the feed mill and have it ground up into feed for the stock. That is when I learned about the colorful flour sacks the farmer's wives made into dressees, skirts and blouses. Of course there was the ubiquitous burlap bags for the cattle feed, but later the plastic coated feed bags became very popular and were cheaper to make than the cloth bags. I also researched the textile industry to make certain I knew something about that industry.
FQ: Do you envision this book as suitable for young adult readers?
HARDY: I was raised in a Catholic home and I have a strong belief in God, and I wanted to write something that the youth of this country might find interesting and perhaps  inspirational. Our country was founded on Christian-Judeo principles that are waning as progressives and the American Civil Liberties Union push our nation toward atheism, with the assistance of the liberal ideologists in our schools and colleges.
FQ: You have several “miraculous” happenings in the baseball game engineered by Timmy; how did you decide what specific plays/moves God might make?
HARDY: Actually Barbara the ideas just popped into my psyche as I wrote the book. I wanted something simple and subtle, and not out right miracles. I wanted the story to be humorous and not to religious oriented. I also wanted a story and the character of Timmy to relate to all religions and not just Christianity.
FQ: Maria is a “natural” name for the mother of God, but why did you choose Timmy (later Tommy) for the “god-boy” baseball ace?
HARDY: Well Barbara, I wanted the God character to have a name just like any other kid who plays baseball. The name Maria points you in the direction of who Timmy really is in the story, but his common name identifies more closely with the kids who actually play baseball. When it become so obvious that God loves baseball as much as the other kids do when He appears as a pitcher for another team and another season, I wanted a name that was very similar to Timmy's name so a youngster could readily identify the new pitcher on Alex's team; a one letter change from Timmy to Tommy worked very nicely for me.
FQ: Have you known of amazing turnarounds in a life such as you depict in the life of Conrad Beamis?
HARDY: I once worked in the business world and met a few people who remind me of a Conrad Beamis type character, although all of them were not males; I wanted to make fun of them as they did some rather mean things. My wife was a Chemical Dependency Nurse and detoxed many drug and alcohol abusers-the Heroin users were the worst patients-and although I never knew their names I knew their turn-around stories.
FQ: One scene that is especially moving is when Conrad’s autistic son makes a great play. Have you worked with autistic children in sports?
HARDY: No I have not, but I have a relative who is autistic, and I can tell you first hand that they live a rather challenging life, and I wanted to give a young adult who reads this book a glimpse of what kinds of challenges autistic children-and their parents-face every single day of their lives. When that autistic boy finally gets a hit and the people cheered, I hope it gives the reader the impression that all is not lost for for these unfortunate people if we love them and support their efforts.
FQ: What can you say about baseball as a character-building sport for children?
HARDY: Baseball, and in fact all sports are a great opportunity to instill in all children a sense of work, comradeship, and self confidence. Hopefuilly, they will relize the need to be physically active all of of their lives. The lack of exercise is one of the major causes of poor health among adults, along with smoking and drug abuse, which includes alcohol.
FQ: Do you envision a sequel to The Day God Played Baseball?
HARDY: Maybe some day the good Lord will inspire me to write something like The Day God Played Baseball, and hopefully if I work hard enough at it the kids will understand and espouse that we need to keep God in our Pledge of Alligence and in the Christian-Judeo  principles upon which our country is founded!
To learn more about The Day God Played Baseball please read the review.

#AuthorInterview with John Henry Hardy @midnightyankee

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with John Henry Hardy, author of Whisper In My Ear (Vol II of III)
FQ: This series definitely gives women a large role in the war. Can you give a little background in regards to Cathy Addison? How she came about; what made you wish to give her such a large role in what some would call a “man’s universe?”
HARDY: You can call it a man's universe Amy, but it is not and never has been solely the men who fought in wars. Women have played important roles in all wars in which the US has been involved. Some disguised themselves as men and served in battle, especially during the Civil War. Women have not always served in combat, but they have always played an important part in the defense of our nation in one way or another. The men did most of the fighting and still do; however many women have been killed or wounded in WWII, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I have a daughter that served in the air force and another that was in the navy. The role of Cathy Addison in the story is typical of what a lot of women endure in war zones, and I inserted Cathy into the story as a main character as a tribute to all the women who have ever worn a uniform for this country, and I am hoping they will continue receive the respect and recognition they so richly deserve.
FQ: In regards to the above, and having spent thirty-three years in the U.S. Marine Corp., can you talk a little bit about your views when it comes to women’s recent uprising against certain things? Do you feel they warrant this, for lack of a better term, revolution and should seek justice?
HARDY: This question really left me scratching my head, Amy! I am rather ambivalent about the current situation, whereas women are reporting that they were sexually harassed twenty or thirty years ago. Any crime committed against any human being needs to be reported immediately, and the criminal brought to justice if found guilty. A lot of these women (but not all) , who endured such treatment, put up with it to enhance their careers or social position at the time (such as the Harvey Weinstein case), and now years later they want justice?  Putting up with that harassment at the time for personal gain was a choice they made at the time. In the Marine corps, any known or reported infractions or crimes are addressed immediately. In light of the current events, I guess each complaint needs to be judged on an individual case basis, and some charges such as those fostered by liberals against the president are politically motivated-in my opinion.
FQ: This series, thus far, has been so moving and so emotional, are there times you need to “walk away” from the computer keyboard and take a breath, or did this story “pour out” of your mind all at once?
HARDY: What I realized Amy, was that when I get emotional-and I do-it keeps me glued to the keyboard-and my fingers work in harmony with my brain and I can't walk away; that is when the story "pours out" of mind mind and I don't want to quit. However since I am also my wife's full time caretaker, I get a lot of "breaks" I really don't want to take. Otherwise, if I do "walk away" at other times its because I can't think of what to write next, and if possible I sit quietly somewhere else to plot the next sequence of events.
FQ: Along those lines, can you tell readers what a “John Henry Hardy Perfect Writing Day” is like? Do you have various things that must be done in order to get back into the flow of the story after taking a break? (Example: Do you need to write outside, in a den, have music in the background, need total silence…etc.?)
HARDY: A perfect writing day for me, Amy, is perfect silence. I am a very conscious person, and any thought of a pending task or question greatly disturbs my creative thought process. I am simply forced to react and usually lose my whole train of thought.
FQ: When you finished work on this, Volume II, did you head directly into writing the grand finale? And, did you know how it was going to end before you even began?
HARDY: To be honest with you Amy, I wrote this story as a single book and not a series. I did a lot of research, interviews of combat veterans, and read several books and numerous newspaper articles to make certain I got the facts of the war straight-especially the horrible treatment of our returning veterans. My emotions kicked in, and I just kept on writing. It was the publisher that convinced me to break the book down into a series; it was a good decision. Whenever I write a book I always know the beginning and the end, but they are only a few sentences in my head. I must do a lot of "fleshing out" throughout the book to make the story work.
FQ: Can you give readers a “sneak peek” of what they will see for these characters in Volume III?
HARDY: Volume III looks at what happened to the main characters towards the end of their tours of duty and when they arrive home. A prior book reviewer said, "Volume III morphs into a soap opera."
What that reviewer doesn't realize is that there is life during a war, and after it is over everything and everyone has changed, including the survivors and those on the home front. Everything changes for the veteran but love; it is the one thing that keeps a soldier's hopes alive during a war. For the combat soldier and everyone else involved in wars, the word home has a magical ring to it. Dion Murphy and Cathy Addison are court martialed and charged with murder; Norman Coddington is shot down over North Vietnam and is captured and tortured for years in the Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo); the facts of the North Vietnamese torture of prisoners is verified by other POWs; Barbara Mandera returns to the Philippines and marries a man of infamous notoriety. But that is not how this story ends!
FQ: Are you currently working on another book?
HARDY: Yes I am Amy. It is about UFOs and space travel to another planet inhabited by an advanced and peace loving race,  but their sun is dying, and they are looking for a new home. However, US government officials believe the blips seen on NORAD's radar screens every Christmas Eve are really foreign nationals infiltrating the country and that they are bent on destroying the United States.
FQ: As a writer, the question of what one can do to become a better writer or a published author is asked a great deal. So, let us flip the coin: If there was one thing you would recommend or “teach” to those who want to write in regards to the negatives of this craft and what they need to avoid, what would you say?
HARDY: My advice to any new writer (including myself) is to say that if writing is not your passion you may as well forget it. In extremely rare cases, such as J. K. Rowlings'  Harry Potter series, you can sell millions of copies of your book without paying a dime to a publisher. As an indie publisher, you are going to have to pay someone sooner or later, and you will be surprised at the number of scammers out there. I have heard of authors, who literally paid thousands of dollars to have their manuscripts edited only to have them appear in print with the same mistakes make in the original copy. There are several sites on the internet that offer advice on which publishers are reputable and those who are not; do your research and fine your best choice.
FQ: The violence in this country seems to be escalating on a daily basis. Do you have any personal views as to what is causing this and what, perhaps, people could do to end this violence?
HARDY: Violence has been a part of humanity since the stone age. But additional guns laws aren't the answer. Anyone wanting to kill people can use, knives, swords,  baseball bats, golf clubs, homemade bombs, etc etc etc. Perhaps vetting the buyers, shutting down random gun shows and sales, and enforcing a waiting period would be more effective. But most important of all, is the mere pittance we spend on mental health issues in this country-that is the heart of the problem. With better mental health facilities, the mentally ill could be identified sooner before another  tragedy occurs.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

#BookReview - The Day God Played Baseball @midnightyankee

The Day God Played Baseball

By: John Henry Hardy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: September 2017
ISBN: 978-1973953814
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: March 25, 2018
If a baseball team ever needed help, it is today; yet somehow Alex Sardinski suspects that a savior is out there, as the Cherokees, the youth baseball team he coaches, battles it out with their biggest rivals, the Creeks.
Sardinski, banker in the tiny town of Pineville, PA, has coached the Cherokees for fourteen years. His passion for the sport, his willingness to play fair, his openness to take both boys and girls for the team, are all part of who he is. Another important piece of Sardinski’s character of late has been his loving feelings for Candy Hollis, who works in the bank. Alex has even found a nice little house for sale that they can just afford. It all seems like a dream coming true. But there is a force of evil in Pineville – Conrad Beamis, who owns the only big business in town, a textile mill, and supports the Creeks. Beamis is enraged at Sardinski for refusing to recommend him for a loan, and schemes revenge. He recruits big, rough boys, secretly too old for the team, and has the umpires in his pocket, folks who won’t defy Beamis for fear of losing their jobs. But worse, he courts Candy, offering her a big salary to be his personal secretary.
By the day of the championship game, Beamis is crowing and Sardinski is sweating. But Sardinski has a secret weapon, a small, energetic kid named Timmy, newly recruited as pitcher. Timmy and his mother Maria seem to have come from out of nowhere, yet know all about the lovelorn banker even without being told. As the big game looks lost, 6-0 in favor of the Creeks, Timmy starts displaying his remarkable, almost supernatural skills, and things slowly turn around.
Author, businessman and former Marine Hardy (Whisper in My Ear, The Day the Giants Fell, When Brothers Meet) has created a magical mystery combining the excitement of a kid’s baseball championship with the course of a true love derailed and a serious adult rivalry that threatens an entire community. His writing shows an enjoyment of simple, hometown humor and empathy for young people and their activities. But there is something else, an unusual element crucial to the story: embedded in this small-town sports saga is a spiritual parable. Hardy skillfully insinuates the religious aspect revealed in the book’s title into a fast-paced, amusing, romantic story that has the power to charm readers of all ages.
Quill says: Hardy’s page-turner plot could make an excellent focus for family religious study, and will appeal to baseball fans for the many small touches that indicate an insider’s expertise about the game.
For more information on The Day God Played Baseball,  please visit the author's website at: JohnHenryHardy.com.