Sketches of a Black Cat by Ron Miner

Sketches of a Black Cat – Full Color Collector’s Edition: Story of a night flying WWII pilot and artist


(Available in Color or B&W – click both format arrows – or Color Kindle) This beautiful, new FULL COLOR second edition is now one hundred pages longer, filled with additional fresh stories, artwork, photos, and adventures.

Howard Miner never expected to contract the first documented case of the mumps in Guadalcanal history.

As a Navy Black Cat, he took his share of chances during the ten-hour, night long flights in darkened PBYs painted entirely black, searching the seas for enemy ships and downed fliers ~ the original stealth aircrafts.  But wartime was unpredictable, and whether landing on an exotic tropical isle where the women he saw from the air turned out to be topless, or dropping wing tanks containing a strange new substance called “Napalm,” this was clearly a very different world than he had known as a college student in Indiana.

His is a tale of seven buddies, all pilots who flew at night, slept and got into mischief by day, then repeated. Their PBY Catalina odyssey stretched from the Solomon Islands to the northern tip of the Philippines and included a full range of missions, from search, attack, and bombing runs, to daring sea rescues. Howard’s journey through training and tours of duty is skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. The descriptive verse from the artist’s viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII’s Pacific Theater.

* * * * Miner combines his father’s writings and interviews with WWII veterans to craft a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII…He does his father and other WWII veterans proud. ~Publisher’s Weekly/Booklife

* * * * “Sketches of a Black Cat” is a unique and fascinating memoir of a World War II combat aviator ~ with original and previously unpublished sketches and photographs. This artfully crafted book is a must read for anyone in search of a new and completely different view into the world of war in the Pacific and on the home front during America’s greatest conflict.” ~ Larkin Spivey, military historian and author.

* * * * “From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…a handsome volume that reads breezily and is punctuated with photos and drawings from Howard’s war years. ~ Mike Francis
the Oregonian

* * * * “Wonderful and beautifully real stories such as this are dying every day as we lose our WWII veterans. Kudos to Ron Miner for preserving and sharing with the rest of us the gold of his father’s journals, photos, and drawings to bring us such a compelling look at life during the war. This is not only a valuable and insightful historical document but a dramatic and warm personal story.” ~ Don Keith, WWII author

* * * * “… Howard Miner’s memoirs are a wonderful view into the world of a patrol squadron at war. Miner sees the war through the eyes of an artist, revealing details of day-to-day life that are often overlooked in war time narratives. A wholly enjoyable story!” ~ Stewart Bailey, Curator, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

* * * * ” “As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII… I can truly say I felt as though I was on Howard’s Catalina…so many similarities to my own experiences. I can almost hear the drone of the engines in synchronization. Many episodes were warm and compelling. I highly recommend this book to vets, historians, and students. You won’t put down Sketches of a Black Cat till you’ve read it cover-to-cover!” ~ Win Stites, VP-91, VP2-1 served in both Atlantic and Pacific regions during WWII, Former President PBY Memorial Foundation and Museum

2017 Gold medals: National Indie Excellence Awards, Reader’s Favorite Awards, IAN Book Awards. Double medalist: 2017 Next Generation Book Awards, B.R.A.G. Medallion

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Two Shades of Vice by Dewey Reynolds

Two Shades of Vice: Based on the true story of an interracial couple’s life together in crime


The action is hot in Kansas City during the 1960s. Gordon Reynolds happens to be a vicious criminal who has served prison time in five different states over a period of twenty-five years. Gordon is determined to muscle his way into major rackets such as prostitution, bootlegging whiskey, robbery, hijacking and contraband cigarettes. He eventually meets up with Alla Mae Briggs. She knows the prostitution racket very well, since she worked the Kansas City streets for several years. She too has a lengthy rap sheet of twenty-five criminal convictions for the solicitation of prostitution. Gordon needs someone to help him operate his main bawdy house.

Alla Mae is the perfect recruit to help him forge stronger relations between his hookers and their customers. The collaboration of their experiences on the streets proves highly profitable. But unforeseen danger causes things to come crashing down all around them. Racist cops, ruthless gangsters, a white supremacist group, jealous pimps and rival hookers are the opposing forces that this interracial couple are destined to face. Crossing the racial line puts them at incredible odds with the law and fellow criminals alike. Based on the true story of how a white man and a black woman fell in love and broke all the rules in order to make their living together illegally.

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Maude by Donna Foley Mabry

Maude


In 1906, I was barely over fourteen years old, and it was my wedding day. My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes. She said, “You’ve always been a good girl, Maude, and done what I told you. Now, you’re going to be a married woman, and he will be the head of the house. When you go home tonight after your party, no matter what he wants to do to you, you have to let him do it. Do you understand?”
I didn’t understand, but I nodded my head anyway. It sounded strange to me, the way so many things did. I would do what she told me. I didn’t have a choice, any more than I had a choice in being born.
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Homegrown Romance Scams by C.L. Queen

Homegrown Romance Scams: What they are, How they Work and How to Avoid Them


Forty million Americans use some kind of online dating service and that number keeps rising. Everyday online daters are defrauded out of tens of thousands of dollars by romance scammers. But did you know there is a new type of scammer you need to be educated about? Homegrown Romance Scams is written by an ex-scammer who will teach you everything you need to know about these scams. Homegrown Romance Scams walks you through the scam step-by-step and tells you all secrets scammers try to hide. If you’ve been wondering whether your online love interest is really who they say they are, don’t become another victim, read Homegrown Romance Scams and find out.
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Fred’s Diary 1981 by Robert Fear

Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia


Fascinating time capsule from the 80’s

Have you ever wanted to read someone else’s diary?

Would you like to experience travelling in Asia without leaving home?

Then this book is for you. Fred’s Diary 1981 is a fascinating insight into a young man’s travels around Asia in the early 1980’s. This is a unique opportunity to delve into Fred’s daily diary, which details the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia. Follow Fred throughout his extensive travels to Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal.

Appreciate the many friendships formed along the way with fellow-travellers.

Relive the highs and lows that he experienced during this fascinating journey.

Recognise the huge differences in technology, particularly communications.

Become immersed in the different cultures, peoples and surroundings of Asia in the early 1980’s.

Understand more about the drug culture of the 1980’s, especially in Thailand and Nepal.

Learn from Fred’s youthful mistakes, especially if your dream of travelling to Asia becomes a reality.

Favourite reviews

Not only a time-capsule but a cautionary tale of gems, drugs, and jail time as he explores waterfalls, Buddhist temples, and snow-capped peaks. Doug E. Jones

Fred’s heart-felt awe towards the beauty and the intensity of the place, his appetite for living the adventure, the mishaps and his clear narrative “takes you there”. Richard Klein

I came to this diary with some expectation, having written a very similar diary myself…and only a few years after this one. And I was not disappointed. Frank Kusy

A real rollercoaster of a read written in a very clever and informative style. This really would make a fascinating movie. Caryl Williams

This book is written with respect and so is not about an Englishman patronisingly describing his trials in another country. Graham Higson

Robert Fear has written a masterpiece. Writing a story in the form of a daily diary is always a challenge but Robert Fear has shown how well he has mastered the art. Pankaj Varma

This book allows for reflection and thought whilst experiencing the culture of Asia in full technicolor. Rukia the Reader

I was attracted to this diary as I was backpacking through some of the same places 33 years later, and I love travel writing. From start to finish I was hooked. G. Hughes

What a wonderful throwback to the 80s. Colour, sounds & sights of Asia are detailed, thoughts dissected which makes this book both fascinating and real. Paul Johnson

I learned what it is to be a traveler as opposed to a tourist. Well written and interesting, and at times, harrowing and turbulent. Bonni Morrison

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