Indie Author Spotlight – Tracey Brame

Originally from Indianapolis, Tracey Brame graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point with a degree in political science. Since then, she has earned dual masters degrees from the Kelley School of Business and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is the owner of West Point Financing, an equipment leasing company, and has devoted her life to exposing the modern, coercive methods of white supremacists in the United States.

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The Interview

Q: “Undeterred” was a real eye opener for me as I read. What are your hopes for the book? 

I hope every American regardless of political affiliation  reads the book to understand that the tactics of the modern Ku Klux Klan being carried out against modern citizens under the nose of society. I hope women read it twice since they are the greatest target.

 

Q: Since the release, has anyone attempted to contact you or threaten you about what you’ve written?

Not yet. There is a rare chance that the KKK does not know that the book is available. I’m comfortable with my decision to write my story.

 

Q: It seemed to me that the military doctor who initially examined you after your rape was very concerned for your safety but had his hands tied on what he could do about it. Do you feel like there was more he could of done? Did Military Police do an investigation based on the doctor’s findings?

The doctor saved my military career. He false passed me which happens in the military.  Ultimately someone with PTSD will destruct upon coming out of shock. Mine was a more severe case than that doctor could have known. Had he called the Military Police I would never have graduated.  I have no hard feelings for him. He was in a tough position.

Q: In the book, you mention a number of times that you spaced out conversations and had large pieces of your encounters that went missing from memory. Do you think if PTSD was discussed more and the symptoms much more well known you would of recognized this pattern or someone close to you may of?

No. A PTSD patient cannot diagnose themselves when they have memory loss. It’s not like depression where you can see the signs. Your brain cannot access the memory. When it does you need help immediately. Some PTSD cases are more severe than others. Some people are bothered by thoughts and flashbacks, but coming out of shock can be just as dangerous as going into shock.  Someone I trusted told me to run to the veteran’s hospital. We have to convince the sufferer to seek help.

 

Q: For me, reading this book was a very emotional experience. Has writing it helped you to work through your attacks?

Yes. I wrote the book quickly, cleanly. It was like a relief to be done with it.

 

Q: I personally believe that the KKK are domestic terrorists and should be handled as such. Do you share this view?

I agree with you, but the crimes that I experienced are the work of organized criminals, so my book takes that position.

Q: With writing this book you have made very public a piece of society that many try not to recognize exists. With the rise of Trump and his cabinet, do you feel that the KKK and white supremacist movement have heightened the probability that more people will endure what you have?

I think that as long as the KKK can influence appointments and positions they create a lasting impression on agencies like the FBI which would normally oppose them by design. Literally they can create scenarios where they are or are not policing themselves. This will make it easier for them to get away with more organized crime.

 I would like to thank you for reviewing my book and taking interest in my story.

Allie- Thank you for taking a stand and exposing this very dangerous terrorist organization. I am in awe of your bravery and perseverance. 

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Tracey Brame took an oath to serve the nation at the United States Military Academy. When she revealed an interest in entering politics during formation, a cadet violently attacked her. Brame subsequently suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a dangerous memory loss known as dissociative amnesia, in which the victim cannot recall suffering a traumatic attack. She kept charging through her West Point duties oblivious to her condition.

After serving her commission time, Brame took a job back in her home state of Indiana. Again she expressed an interest in entering politics, and again she paid a price. The Ku Klux Klan, who did not want an educated African American woman to run for an Indiana office, targeted Brame for continued, organizational crime and harassment. She moved from Bloomington to Indianapolis, but the KKK pursuit—ordered by two grand dragons, a father/son duo, both doctors—continued.

Get ready for a gripping memoir of one woman’s perseverance over adversity.

 

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Undeterred “KKK Witness, KKK Target” Tracey Brame

Tracey Brame took an oath to serve the nation at the United States Military Academy. When she revealed an interest in entering politics during formation, a cadet violently attacked her. Brame subsequently suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a dangerous memory loss known as dissociative amnesia, in which the victim cannot recall suffering a traumatic attack. She kept charging through her West Point duties oblivious to her condition.

After serving her commission time, Brame took a job back in her home state of Indiana. Again she expressed an interest in entering politics, and again she paid a price. The Ku Klux Klan, who did not want an educated African American woman to run for an Indiana office, targeted Brame for continued, organizational crime and harassment. She moved from Bloomington to Indianapolis, but the KKK pursuit—ordered by two grand dragons, a father/son duo, both doctors—continued.

Get ready for a gripping memoir of one woman’s perseverance over adversity.

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The first thing that I am going to do before I begin my review is give you fair warning. This book could be triggering to a lot of people. Before you pick it up, I’m going to give you an idea of what’s inside.

Brutal Rape

Physical Abuse

Mental Abuse

Stalking

Gaslighting 

Attempted Murder

Racism

Domestic Terrorism

Brame does not hold back and thoroughly depicts each situation in detail. This is a memoir and her story is deeply troubling and upsetting. While I fully support her endeavor to bring these issues to the fore-front of society, I want those of you who aren’t ready to face this kind of trigger to have the chance to back away.

That said, I think Brame is an incredible woman. Her bravery knows no bounds and her steel determination is awe inspiring. I am in complete awe of this woman and all she has rose above. Brame’s story is gruesome and disturbing. However, her story is one that should be told to everyone. We should all see humanity in all it’s forms.

There are parts of this book where the narration feels a bit detached but it fits well with the mindset that Brame would of experienced. It’s a chilling look into the reality of just how many cruel people there really are among us. I applaud Brame’s bravery to write and publish this book. Especially since she has endured every intimidation tactic known to man for it’s release to be prevented. I hope that those of you who know racist people stand up against them. In my mind these people deserve to be shamed. Society should stand up at every opportunity to ostracize these horrid people among us.  

Brame chronicles her repeated attacks from her ex boyfriend. His repeated attempts to destroy her life as well as his attempt to murder her are shiver inducing. A lot of women have encountered an insane man and some have not lived to tell their tale. It’s a very real and terrifying part of our society that needs to be stopped immediately. This man should never of had the opportunities to continue his torture. Something is very broken in our society.

There is one scene that I will never get out of mind. It’s the shower scene. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you read it. I can’t imagine how that must of felt. This story will never leave my mind. Brame’s story will forever fire between the synapses in my brain. This story has absolutely changed my outlook. I hope it inspires change in yours.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Undeterred – KKK Target, KKK Witness | Series: N/A |  Author(s): Tracey Brame  |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 6-7-2017 |Pages: 347 (Print) | ISBN:  B071G8BWC9 |Genre(s): Memoir |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 5-24-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

Book Review “Bizzarma – How I Became A Hippy Without Really Trying” Douglas B. Wood

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Bizzarma is a true story that spans from the 1950’s “Leave it to Beaver” American Dream era to the political and drug charged 1960’s and 1970’s. Hyped by iconic musicians like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan; Doug went where the wind blew him and experienced the world with LSD bright eyes. This baby-boomer fell into a world rife with discord and did his best to make his own mark on the era. Sometimes hilarious, very colorful and painfully honest – Doug narrates his life for the world. 

(Note: Since there is no summary on Amazon, I wrote my own version.)

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I would like to begin by making a few of my concerns about this book known. First is the cover, obviously it’s a lot of naked people. I hope that those who are in this picture were asked and approved this picture to be shared with the masses.While the picture is blurry and faces are not easy to make out, a picture like this could mean the end of someone’s career. I believe that the people in the picture were happy to be photographed all those years ago, but their opinions may not be as open now. I am also aware that most people in this picture are probably considered elderly and may not of been easy to contact. I strongly advise the author to choose a different cover. In my opinion, this cover is misleading and could turn away people who would otherwise of enjoyed the story. The person reading this would have to consider (due to the nudity) that this is not a book that can be read everywhere.  My second concern is that this book has no summary listed on Amazon and the book isn’t listed at all on Goodreads. These oversights will cost Doug exposure and make it hard for consumers to make informed choices. 

Doug has a real gift for storytelling and I love his style of narration. It felt very much like sitting in someones living room and having a conversation. I especially enjoyed the pictures! It’s always good to have a face to put with the name. (As long as its approved)  His disregard for the educational system is understood and I feel for all the adults in his life who were trying desperately to convince him to get his diploma. While the educational system has many flaws it is still an important institution in our society. I am too young to know much about how the educational system operated then but I can imagine that it, like now, had its flaws.

Another thing I would like to point out is the honestly with which Doug speaks of drugs. He clearly disregarded the long term or even short term risks while taking them and as a young man I understood that it was hard for him to think much past his current state. I wonder how odd it felt for him to write those passages in the story. Did he, as an adult, look back on his young self and cringe as most of us would today? He could have fallen deep into addiction but didn’t. When I speak of drugs, I am mainly talking about the LSD. I don’t consider Marijuana a drug, dangerous or addictive. 

Religion, to me, is another kind of addiction. I would like to thank Doug for his candor in explaining his delusions. Since he was deep in the thralls of LSD, I find it hard to take much of what he said about the “physic” at face value. What gets me is that while in the mental hospital, after coming down from the LSD, his delusions of religion persisted but the rest of his mind appeared sharp. I found that interesting and appreciate the look into that mindset that Doug gave.

One great lesson that I learned from this book was how we can change who someone really is in our minds. We create this ideal of who they are because we want them to be a certain way. Often these delusions are incorrect and very unfair to all parties.

Something I would like to see from this author is his perspective on  more current events. With his experiences, how does he feel about the direction the political winds have shifted? Maybe “The Baby Boomers Thoughts” or something fun like that. *hint* *hint* 

I enjoy reading memoirs. I enjoy learning about another person’s experiences. I enjoy riding along as they hit their lows and their highs. It’s fascinating to me to see how each person overcomes obstacles in different ways. 

Doug sounds like a very interesting person and his sense of humor is entertaining to say the least. What a personality!

4 stars!

4 star

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The Technical Data:

Title: Bizzarma – How I Became A Hippy Without Really Trying | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Douglas B. Wood  |Publisher:  Alpha Graphics / Publication Date: 2009 |Pages: 244 (Print) | ISBN: B006KHPF5W  |Genre(s): Hippy & Memoirs |Language: English |Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 12-05-2016 |Source: Copy from author.

Book Review “Where Memories Meet” Christine M. Grote

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“Where Memories Meet is a poignant and personal story that is an informative and absorbing read from beginning to end.” Midwest Book Review

Author Christine Grote’s memoir of losing her father to Alzheimer’s,interwoven with her father Jerry’s narration of his life, is two stories in one book. Grote invites us into her parents’ home where accommodations are continually made for her father as he loses his memory, judgment, and mobility to Alzheimer’s. She allows us into her heart as she struggles to accept and live with the loss of her father,often repressing her own memories of the man she once relied onto cope with the challenges posed by the man he was becoming.

This is one daughter’s story of re-finding or reclaiming, through not only her own but also her  father’s memories, the loved one she lost along their Alzheimer’s journey.

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“Where Memories Meet” is a dive into two intimate tellings of life. Grote sugar coats nothing and gives much needed insight into what Alzheimer’s really does to an entire family. 

The two stories help keep the book from being hopeless. It gives life to the man her father really is instead of what his disease has made him into. I really like that Grote didn’t soften her father’s language when writing his side. It added authenticity to his stories and helped build him inside my head as I read. I grew quite fond of him by the middle of the book. Every time there was a perspective switch my head thumped a bit at all this man had lost. 

Grote’s love and admiration for her father shines bright through the gloom of struggle. How lucky he was to have a family who loved him so deeply. 

Grote discusses something in the book that really resonated with me. My Grandfather-in-law is suffering from Alzheimer’s and while I’m not close to him I hate to see him suffer. Grote discusses how every now and then your loved one will resurface from the fog of Alzheimer’s and the struggle one undergoes when they do. You see, when they come back for that short time, hope blossoms inside you and you can’t help but start to feel like your getting them back. All too soon it’s over and they are lost again. It’s an ever changing situation that gives the family no time to acclimate. 

I can’t imagine how hard this book was to write. I truly hope it helped to heal Mrs Grote’s loss in some way. I would like to thank her for sharing her families experience’s as well as giving the world the opportunity to know her amazing father. My thoughts are with her.

If you have a loved one suffering from this terrible disease, please pick up this book. I think that it will help you feel less alone and maybe give you some insight into this disease.

5 stars

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Where Memories Meet | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Christine M. Grote  |Publisher: Grote Ink, LLC  / Publication Date: 9-24-2015 |Pages: 310 (Print) | ISBN:   978-0983819820  |Genre(s): Non-Fiction / Memoir  |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 12-1-2016 |Source: Copy from author.

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Christine M. Grote earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio, in 1979. After working for several years in product development at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, she became a full-time homemaker as she raised three sons and a daughter. In 1999, Christine returned to school at the Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Written Communications in 2007.

Christine lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and their dog Arthur.

Book Review “An Incredible Talent for Existing” Pamela Jane

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It is 1965, the era of love, light and revolution. While the romantic narrator imagines a bucolic future in an old country house with children running through the dappled sunlight, her husband plots to organize a revolution and fight a guerrilla war in the Catskills.

Their fantasies are on a collision course.

The clash of visions turns into an inner war of identities when the author embraces radical feminism; she and her husband are comrades in revolution but combatants in marriage; she is a woman warrior who spends her days sewing long silk dresses reminiscent of a Henry James novel. One half of her isn’t speaking to the other half.

And then, just when it seems that things cannot possibly get more explosive, her wilderness cabin burns down and Pamela finds herself left with only the clothes on her back.

From her vividly evoked existential childhood (“the only way I would know for sure that I existed was if others lots of others acknowledged it”) to writing her first children’s book on a sugar high during a glucose tolerance test, Pamela Jane takes the reader along on a highly entertaining personal, political, and psychological adventure.

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First lines: In 1965, when I was eighteen, I ran away to Portland, Oregon. Running away was an act of rebellion, but also of faith. In one beautiful leap I would escape my family, my past, and the insufferable person I’d been living with for the past few years – my teenage self. This person was quite obviously screwed up.

This coming of age story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Pamela Jane leads the reader through her turbulent and often very lonely childhood with a gentle hand. Her writing lulls the reader into her life and its almost like sitting down to tea with someone very wise and well traveled to garner their wisdom.

I discovered Pamela Jane through my local library when I was perusing the children’s section for my son. I found “Little Goblins Ten” and was so taken with the book I wrote a Review.  From there I reviewed another of her children’s books upon request from Jane herself. “Little Elfie One” .

While reading this memoir, I often found myself wistfully looking at Jane’s books on my son’s shelf and feeling amazed at the trials it took for them to come into the world. Jane’s memoir reminds us that all people have struggles- even children’s authors. 😉

Jane’s memoir is incredibly personal and introspective. She poured her soul into it and trust me, it shows. The warring feelings of discontent and the longing for the “Leave it to Beaver” home are feelings that I feel are multigenerational. 

Jane Depicts life growing up with a mentally ill mother and a brilliant father. The fears of becoming like her mother as well as the competition of achieving something great like her father must have been difficult emotions. I imagine a mental war of sorts.

How very brave of Mrs Jane to write such an intimate memoir. I am overjoyed to learn that Mrs. Jane has found peace and success in life. I greatly enjoyed getting to know this amazing author better.

5 Stars

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: An Incredible Talent for Existing | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Pamela Jane |Publisher: Open Books Press / Publication Date: 2-1-2016 |Pages: 246 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1941799215  | Genre(s): Memoir | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-30-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Book Review “Trauma, Shame And The Power Of Love” Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

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Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

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First lines: It was Tuesday, July 16,2013. I was away at a scientific conference at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. I had just returned from a poster viewing session where I talked with fellow scientists and had a few cold beers. My family was back in Columbus, preparing to fly out and meet me the next day, after the conference wrapped up. 

The first thing I ask of anyone who picks up this book is to keep reading. Don’t let the shock factor of the charges against Dr. Pelloski trick you into prejudging and closing the book. Dr. Pelloski has done a bad thing. At no point in time does he ever attempt to downplay his crime. He has done bad but, he is also doing a world of good with this book. I ask that you, dear reader, remember that the world we live in is a series of grey areas. Very few people can be conveniently cornered off as all bad or all good. Good people can do bad things.  

Dr Pelloski has written one of the most intimate books I have ever come across as a reviewer. He carries the reader through each event in a very personal way. A lot of memoirs or books that are written to bring awareness to a cause have a detached like narration. Pelloski dives deep throughout the entire book and shines a light not only on his ramifications but the backlash his family members receive as well. Pelloski combs through all the wretched and spot lights exactly how he has hurt others. His writing is intimate, raw and completely honest.

Pelloski, in my mind, is a great champion for this cause. His knowledge of medicine and his first hand experiences combine to shine a beacon of light on this neglected problem society has swiftly condemned without any real thought on the deeper problems. All issues in society are layered. It’s important to remember this if we want change. Nothing is ever simple.

For men, there is a huge stigma for speaking out on sexual abuse. This is an unacceptable reaction that society must move forward from if we are to find any lasting solutions. The current “war on sex crimes”, like the “war on drugs” does nothing to actually solve the underlying causes of the crimes. An alarming number of these cases are of people who have serious unresolved psychological conditions from the abuse they have suffered. These people need more than just our condemnation. They need our compassion.  They need a resolution.

I want to thank Dr Pelloski for his openness and the risks he has taken to write this book. I hope that it has the intended affect and causes a sweeping dialogue among the medical and justice communities. 

Like the “war on drugs”, the “war on sex crimes” is not a problem that we can jail away. Let us all learn from Dr. Pelloski’s writing and solve these issues with out minds and not our emotions.

One passage of the book stands out to me the most. Dr Pelloski is explaining to his friends that watching those videos did harm to more than just him. He is right to point out that as long as there is a demand for those videos, there will be a supply of them.

I would also like to interject another point. A person can be prosecuted for watching only one of those videos. Law enforcement is aware that there are millions of these videos online. Yet, they leave them available and convict the watchers and rarely the makers. It’s a net the police use. Where is the public outcry? Police use this net to catch the watchers because it’s easier to catch them than the makers. Those who are doing physical harm to these children continue to go on harming these kids because it’s hard to catch the abusers. Is that the standard of our criminal justice system? We pursue whats easy? How disturbing! I encourage every police officer to garner their resources and work harder on catching the abusers. Get this stuff off the internet. By leaving these videos online, the police are just as guilty of the watchers for using the victims. Childrens suffering shouldn’t be used to trap easy targets. Get it off, now.

Thank you Dr Pelloski for your honestly and bravery in writing this book. Thank you for choosing me to review it. My heart goes out to you for all the pain that you have suffered. I hope that your children and family continue to heal and life is kinder to you all.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Christopher E. Pelloski MD |Publisher: Create Space Independant Publishing / Publication Date: 2-12-2015 |Pages: 266 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1500755539 | Genre(s): Biographies & Memoir | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-20-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Private Lucky! The Flying Dutchman’s Memoir.

synopsis

This true story of survival, determination, and incredible luck will lift your spirits and inspire you to never give up on your dreams! Some people are born lucky. Others make their own luck. As a boy, Hank wanted nothing more than to fly like the fighter pilots he admires in the skies over Amsterdam. When the lives of Dutch citizens are turned upside down with the Nazi occupation of Holland, his dreams will have to wait as he witnesses the tragic unfolding of events affecting those around him before finding himself in a fight for his own life. He must go into hiding before his sixteenth birthday despite the fact that he is not Jewish. After the war, his life takes another unexpected turn when he is enlisted by his father in the American Army in Germany where his inability to speak English results in hilarious missteps at every turn. He can roll with the punches if the Army will teach him to fly, but when he learns that pilot training stopped with the end of the war, it seems he’ll never reach his goal. Undaunted, Private Hank evolves into a suave and popular soldier. He learns what it means to be American, arriving in America broke but determined to pursue his lofty goals in a manner only this quirky and very lucky Dutch-American would even think of trying, flying by the seat of his pants to some of the highest levels of aviation.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

Private Lucky

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Review Stats

Amazon: 5 stars!

Goodreads: 4.8 stars!

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About the author button

MelissaGuzzetta

Melissa Guzzetta has owned The Computer Tutor Training company since 1998 and has always been an accomplished writer in the technical field, though recently, she has expanded into writing memoirs. She also founded Good Luck Publishing in 2014.

Find out more on the webpage Private Lucky !

This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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Book Review “Private Lucky” Melissa Guzzetta

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This true story of survival, determination, and incredible luck will lift your spirits and inspire you to never give up on your dreams! Some people are born lucky. Others make their own luck. As a boy, Hank wanted nothing more than to fly like the fighter pilots he admires in the skies over Amsterdam. When the lives of Dutch citizens are turned upside down with the Nazi occupation of Holland, his dreams will have to wait as he witnesses the tragic unfolding of events affecting those around him before finding himself in a fight for his own life. He must go into hiding before his sixteenth birthday despite the fact that he is not Jewish. After the war, his life takes another unexpected turn when he is enlisted by his father in the American Army in Germany where his inability to speak English results in hilarious missteps at every turn. He can roll with the punches if the Army will teach him to fly, but when he learns that pilot training stopped with the end of the war, it seems he’ll never reach his goal. Undaunted, Private Hank evolves into a suave and popular soldier. He learns what it means to be American, arriving in America broke but determined to pursue his lofty goals in a manner only this quirky and very lucky Dutch-American would even think of trying, flying by the seat of his pants to some of the highest levels of aviation.

Private Lucky Cover

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First lines: Whap! Startled, I awoke to a stinging, wet slap to my left arm. Slap! What is this torture? Another two blows in rapid succession caused a body spasm, my defensive reflexes too slow to protect myself. I’m alive?

Private Lucky comes out of the gate establishing a fascinating, hilarious and determined tone that catches the readers eye and doesn’t let go. Immediately we find that Hank is a man whose life is filled with adventure. His story is certainly worth telling and I warn you now, you will have trouble putting this book down.

Knowing what is to come, I found reading the pre-war Holland section difficult. Since this is the true story of a very real man’s life, the usual detachment I have as a reader was stripped and I cringed at the tales of Hank’s boyhood adventures. If only his life could have continued to be full of pranks and mooning over airplanes.

I can not imagine the surreal experience of witnessing your country being attacked and invaded must of felt like.

A sentence from this section of the book moved me to tears.

“I shut my mouth and tried to understand why the music was not beautiful”. This hit me hard. Thinking of Hank as a child at the cusp of all the horror that is to hit his and so many lives, I empathized how it would feel for him. He was just a child watching a parade who couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement. I think this section of the book fully embodies the sheer naivety of a child.

The book outlines pieces of the war and Hank’s experiences without focusing mainly on that time. The transitions throughout the book are well placed. I felt like Hank reminds the reader and maybe himself that some of those who suffered came out ahead and had more stories to tell. That one period of their lives doesn’t completely define them as a person.

As Hank ages we get to meet Hank of many hats. We have Hank the womanizer. Hank the soldier. Hank the pilot. With his transitional diploma his adventures take him far and wide.

Hank has lived and I believe most likely continues to lead a life to the fullest. Reading history through his eyes was a delightful, humorous and sometimes somber experience. I thank him for his honesty and I applaud Guzzetta for telling it.

My rating for this book is 5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Private Lucky | Author(s): Melissa Guzzetta |Publisher: Good Luck Publishing / Publication Date: 09-23-2015 |Pages: 260 (Print) | ISBN:  978-0986403910 | Genre(s): Biographies & Memoirs  | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 7-6-2016 |Source: Copy from author

 

 

Book Review “Lessons From The Underground Book 1”

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A series of analytical autobiographies, written by criminals assisted by academics with the aim of exploring the roots of crime in the modern urban/suburban environment, and adding to the conversation of a better world. A hardcore analysis of modern underground life. Entertaining and well referenced. Academically stimulating and painfully detailed. Gritty and smart. Seductive and terrifying.


 

The beginning of the book is mainly the author examining his childhood and  philosophizing his actions as a young criminal. There are some points the author makes that I agree with.  The author points out that those who do not easily fit within the confines of normal are treated poorly and perform inadequately in the cookie cutter system of education and employment.  Those whose education requires less institutional learning would greatly benefit from a more stimulating and less traditional education. Trying to mold individuals into any kind of uniformity is bound to fail. We are essentially individual. In this context, I can understand how a person would get the stimulation they are lacking from traditional norms by committing crimes. Breaking rules of any kind can definitely provide the stimulate these kind of people crave.

Something that I found slightly annoying was the over explanation of basic themes. The book is very introspective and moves at a slow pace. The same details are pounded home over and over. It’s a bit insulting to the reader. Over explanation usually isn’t something that annoys me. However, when the same concepts are over explained multiple times it starts to get a bit insulting and repetitive. It puts lulls in an otherwise very interesting story. 

The author really digs deep into the darker parts of human sociologic and herd behavior. It’s a descriptive look into the lives of those most are only able to see the surface of. It’s a lot like being invited into the click of the bad kids without all of the consequences of being involved with them. 

Surprisingly, those society deems “bad” could really just be looking for a place to belong. They are looking for gratification….just like the rest of us.

I found this book thought provoking, shocking and enlightening all at the same time. However, due to the annoying repetition and extreme over explanation….I am granting it four stars.

4 star

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The Technical Data:

Title: Lessons From The Underground ( Book 1 ) | Author(s): Not Us |

Publisher: Create Space Independant Publishing / Publication Date: 8-6-2015 |Pages: 216 (Print) | ISBN: 9781515388067  | Genre(s): True Crime / Biographies / Memoirs  |Language:English | Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2-26-2016 | Source: Copy from Author