Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

SEA DETAIL: A Naval Officer’s Voyage

Covering almost four decades of naval service, SEA DETAIL is the story of one naval officer’s career at sea and ashore. From the Vietnam War to the War on Terror, Admiral Sullivan was a participant in world events throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. From his early days as a junior officer to his rise through the ranks to vice admiral, we watch history unfold through his eyes. As a young junior officer, he learns his trade, makes mistakes and grows through experiences, both good and bad. With his college sweetheart by his side, he balances the excitement of adventures at sea and in foreign ports and the ache of long separations from his family. His is a compelling story, rich with the experience of participating in world events and self-discovery as each assignment shapes his life and that of his family. His experiences as the commanding officer of two ships superbly detail the challenges and responsibilities our Navy places on ship captains. Achieving flag rank, his perspective changes from the narrow concentration of commanding a warship to the broader strategic challenges of national security. Admiral Sullivan’s tale will carry you around the world, from the frozen climes north of the Arctic Circle to the brutal heat of the Persian Gulf. His experiences in the Pentagon, at the White House, in front of Congress and at NATO Headquarters provide uncanny insights into our nation’s national security apparatus at work. This is a compelling story, one of the thousands that can be told by those who have served our country in uniform.

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Fixing Washington 2016

Fixing Washington 2016 by Tom Church

In 2016, although all the candidates will run a campaign based on changing Washington—just as the current president did—nothing will actually change. Regardless of whether it’s a Democrat or Republican who next enters the White House, the rancor between the two parties will continue and the nation’s urgent business will languish.

In mid-summer 2015 the host of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, noted almost as many Americans identify as Independents (42%) as Democrats (27%) and Republicans (20%) combined; a growing trend towards Independents.
The message from that revelation should be pretty clear. The American people are increasingly disenchanted with partisan politics, gridlock in Washington, and all the theatrics and spending surrounding the presidential election. And they are breaking ranks with the established political parties.

The urgency of action today argues for a much larger view of the world landscape, and a strong leader in the White House who is both pragmatic and able to work across the political aisle. Yes, demographics are changing as the country becomes grayer and less white, and a larger number are unmarried. There’s room in America for all who choose to be responsible and productive citizens. As citizens, we all have a responsibility to vote.

Written with clarity, this book will help voters understand the issues that must be addressed by those we elect to public office. It offers suggestions, not molded from or crafted to fit a political party ideology, for solving the problems and meeting the challenges we face. How we handle them will define the America we leave to the next generations.

“A well-informed citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of the republic.” –Thomas Jefferson

That is the purpose of this book. To better inform voters on the critical issues that we as a nation face, so that each of you may be better prepared to critically analyze the positions of the presidential candidates and vote in November 2016.

Too many Americans are overly consumed by narrow, short-term interests or wedded to a particular political party. That needs to change.

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Climbed the Hill

About the Book (from the Author)

After the end of World War Two,there was a long period of recovery from the years of struggle and sacrifice.When I arrived in Paris, the scars were deep and more prevalent than at home in California. During that period, I adjusted to a new way of life. Study was different and exciting at the famous Academies, and I worked hard to fulfill my dream of becoming a great painter. My abilities as a singer and nightclub entertainer provided me with income and fostered a love of music and an appreciation of the many expatriate entertainers that were my friends. The exposure to great talents and many exciting women honed my people skills and led to many adventures. I learned the joy of sailing and cruising and that endeavor brought me to many countries and peoples that paved the way for my philosophies and ambitions. I received recognition for my art and found successes as an art dealer. I fell in love many times and found the special woman that would be mylife’s partner.

The writing of the episodes of my life fulfills a special purpose. In my eighty-third year, I fear that some of the incredible experiences will fade. I know it is time to record the most memorable events.These events revolve around my passions; The Art world, the Music world, the Sailing world, and those wonderful creatures called women. There is a substantial number of photographs, paintings, drawings, and recordings to promote the recall of many events. But the written word is the only means for many of the memories that must be preserved. In these writings, I try to share the wonder and appreciation I feel.

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BRIDGES | A Life Building & Crossing Them


Many people start life in a less than opportune place. They yearn for something more IN their life, more TO their life, and must create opportunities for themselves. I’ve felt the drudgery of the daily ritual, of work in a place I didn’t want to be with a hot sun blistering me. Hard manual labor in the cotton fields, day in and day out, is just that; a painful grind. And though the opportunity to earn money to help my family was appreciated, those days in the field spent in sweltering heat, bending and pulling over and over again until even young muscles and joints became tired and ached, were difficult. I would look up from the work and be thankful for each and any small breath of wind that would bring even a moment’s respite. And the thought of days ahead, just like that one, made me hope for something better in my life.

One day something crossed the bright blue sky, cutting a path beneath that merciless, brutal South Carolina summer sun. I raised my hand to shield my eyes from the light so I could follow it as it left a trail. Blinking the sweat from my eyes, I watched it twinkle-the metal of the airplane’s fuselage and wings-until it climbed higher and was out of sight. That moment changed me, changed the course of my life, forever. I began to wonder about the world far from where I was-the cotton fields-and made a plan to see that world. This book tells of my journey.
– Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris
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Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea

Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea

Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea - bannner


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About the Book

Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea is the remarkable, untold illustration of the bonds between Americans and Chinese, brought to life in the true story of a deadly 1874 shipwreck off Southern China that killed hundreds and scattered treasure in the South China Sea. When a midnight coal fire burst across the deck of the SS Japan, the Chinese emigrants perished, just hours away from being reunited with their families after years.

Voices captures the Chinese passengers’ lives in California, where they built America’s railroads, mined its silver, and grew its food, only to see public sentiment turn against them with an anti- immigrant, racist fervor. Their lives were entrusted to a veteran China Sea trader—the erstwhile Captain Edward Warsaw—an American captain whose vigilance and courage in command of the world’s largest wooden passenger vessel were sorely tested when his ship caught fire and sank on that fateful return voyage to China.

Nearly 400 of his Chinese passengers on the Japan, a side-wheel steamship that Mark Twain called a “perfect palace of a ship,” would perish. Cut off from their lifeboats by the raging fire, many would drown when they were forced to jump into the sea, only to be dragged down with their money belts of gold, their earning from their years spent laboring in America.

This amazing history involves a shipwreck, pirates, and lost treasure. But most of all, Voices captures the shared passions, ambitions, and animosities of Chinese and Americans seeking fortune in nineteenth century California. With the lost records of the event recently discovered and pieced together by the author, a former navy captain who commanded a warship in the waters where Captain Warsaw’s ship went down, this book allows the lost voices to tell their story to the world from the bottom of the South China Sea.

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Mind the Gap – Getting Business Results in Multigenerational Organizations

Available as an eBook, paperback and hardback

When we talk about the generations that make up our society (and workforce), the myths are just as important as the general truths. These myths are very powerful because they shape how we look at generations. They form in these spaces of misunderstanding between them. We must recognize and acknowledge the gaps that exist. If we focus on the commonalities instead of the differences, we can arrive at a place where all generations can thrive.

What are the challenges with a generationally diverse workforce? What is the gap we’re minding? How do we mind this generational gap, use our understanding of it, so we get business results? Many organizations I’ve worked with, and senior colleagues I’ve talked to, struggle to work through how to get the best business results from an organization made up of many different generations that want different things. Today, so many organizations are flatter and freer of hierarchy. Employees once segregated by age and position now work more closely together. The flatter the organization, the more it takes to effectively execute a business strategy.

This book addresses simply what organizations and leaders in organizations can do to focus on minding the gap to get the best business results from their multigenerational employees.

–Curtis L. Odom, Ed.D.

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Nobody Wants To Talk About It

For more than 30 years, I’ve been involved in various segments of the funeral industry, from the early days in my role as a funeral director to my more recent 11-year tenure as the executive director of the world’s oldest and largest association of independently owned funeral homes. I have witnessed the confusion and discomfort that can exist for those responsible for arranging final tributes and services. Throughout my career, one basic concept has remained very clear: informed purchasers of funeral services, as with any product or service, are far more likely to make decisions most appropriate for their unique personal needs and circumstances.

Unfortunately, the subjects of death and funerals are so discomforting for many people that they don’t collect the information before the need arises. In addition, these decisions have become more confusing for many people due to contemporary factors, such as the distances that separate family members, the virtually unlimited options for personalization of funeral services, and the growing popularity of “green burial” alternatives, to name only a few. This guide is a source of objective and factual information. In it, I’ll share information and insight about the many questions, decisions, and options facing those responsible for arranging tributes and funeral services for those they love. It is neither my wish nor intent to influence personal decisions about any form of final tribute. It is my goal to equip people with information that reduces the potential for miscommunication and regret, and lessens stress during what many describe as the most difficult time in their lives.


– George W. Clarke

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Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

Available Now

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor demonstrates how character, expressed through perspective, action, and resilience, determines success. Based on the personal, corporate and military experiences of Dr. J. Phillip (“Jack”) London, a successful defense industry executive, as well as many other real-life examples, the book presents the time-tested lessons behind character-driven success.

The book insightfully explains that while a variety of factors form our abilities and influence the events in our lives, character is the key to long-term success. Character is a unique set of moral and ethical qualities that define what you believe in, what you stand for, and what you expect of yourself and others. London asserts that how you act on these qualities – your statement of character – will determine how far you will go; if you succeed or fail. Success is also uniquely defined as acting with honesty and integrity, performing to the best of your ability, and appreciating the people who helped you achieve your goals. Enduring success is never gained by unethical or unlawful means, for dubious purposes, or at great moral cost.

The development of character-driven success is unveiled in 17 lessons grouped into five progressive sections. Based on the architectural wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch that holds the other pieces in place, the first section is titled Keystone: Character.  Expressions of character, from personal behavior to the role and influence of others’, form perspectives about success. The second section called Blueprint: Vision, adds the next step of deciding what you want to achieve. While taking the strategic steps of setting out the big picture, character is also developed by using judgment, dealing with change and the unexpected, and identifying unique opportunities to be distinctive. Structure: Action, the third section, focuses on the frequent challenges in achieving goals, such as struggles with taking the first steps, decisiveness, self-expression, and taking the lead. The value of our efforts is examined in the fourth section called Appraise: Resolve. Every so often we need, or are forced, to stop and assess things. Sometimes, it’s assessing a risk. Other times, it’s assessing whether to go any further. The final section, Build: Momentum, discusses the most important lesson; that we are building ourselves and our future, because we are all a work in progress.  This is success in its most genuine and most realistic form.

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The Army and Low Intensity Conflict

“History shows that the bill payers of failed policy and short-sighted national security planning are the military forces of the nation.”

— Rear Admiral Phillip R. Olson, speaking to a conference on low intensity conflict

AVAILABLE NOW from author, Rick Waddell:

During the Cold War, given the threat of the Soviet military poised in Eastern Europe, the Army had to be able to wage armored warfare. The fear of low intensity conflict throughout the Cold War was the fear of bleeding to death from small bites. In this vein low intensity conflict was equivalent to an economy-of-force operation where our adversaries struck at us in our most vulnerable areas – terrorism, subversion, and insurgency. But, the challenge of low intensity conflict transcended the Cold War.

The Soviets are gone, but the style of conflict remains: the security environment of the future may look more like the urban hell of Beirut, Sarajevo, or Baghdad where hand-held missiles and crude homemade bombs threaten air and ground movement, and more like the jungles of Vietnam or the mountains of Afghanistan, where the physical and human terrain negates or reduces the effectiveness of heavy weapons and high technology devices.

Despite a large number of works that dealt with some aspect of low intensity conflict, none focused exclusively on the evolution of the Army’s response to this security challenge. Understanding this evolution is important because the problems of terrorism, insurgency, peacekeeping, and contingency operations – the categories of low intensity conflict – took on new relevance in a world without the Soviet Union.

The great bipolar confrontation had, for 45 years, submerged many of the world’s ethnic, religious, and economic passions. The end of the Cold War gave these passions a new, violent and bloody freedom. Although interstate conflict remains a threat, many of the aforementioned passions give rise to internal conflicts which require the use of force in non-traditional ways. The Army did not respond well to the challenge in the past, costing thousands of American lives and setting up the only strategic defeat that the United States has suffered. By the early 1990s, the United States government once again determined that it wanted the capability to respond to these challenges.

The changes in the early 1990s to the national strategy and the subordinate military strategy placed far greater emphasis on low intensity missions for the Army than had been the case since the early 1960s. Much of the post-Cold War Army would be based in the continental United States, and organized for rapid deployability in response to regional crises. Thus, the greater focus on conflict at the lower end of the spectrum colored the Army’s, as well as the nation’s, foreign policy abilities in the rest of the decade. Understanding the process of organizational change in the military, then, is necessary to the appropriate management of the Army’s mission. If the Army does not prepare well to enact changed national strategy, the costs, as Admiral Olson’s quotation above points out, are quite high in human terms. And, as the defeat in Vietnam demonstrated, the political costs to the nation are quite high, too. We have now engaged in more than a decade of war after the 9-11 attacks, mostly of the low intensity variety. This book sets the stage for understanding the process the Army went through before it entered that decade, and can help us understand how the Army changed during the war.

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UPCOMING | The Army and Low Intensity Conflict

“History shows that the bill payers of failed policy and short-sighted national security planning are the military forces of the nation.”

— Rear Admiral Phillip R. Olson, speaking to a conference on low intensity conflict

From author, Rick Waddell.

Click here for more details on the book.

The Army & Low Intesity Conflict by Rick Waddell

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