Tag Archives: Washington DC

Book Review: False Flag in Autumn

False Flag in Autumn

By Michael Bowen

Josie Robideaux Kendall, Louisiana born and bred, has had aspirations for years to work in the White House. She has jumped into everything surrounding politics in Washington DC with both feet in the meantime. She is a “hard-nosed political apparatchik* who can make things happen”. She knows who to call and what to do to make things happen or not happen – depending upon who she is working for. But her usual job of getting someone elected has taken a turn.

There is some convincing evidence that a heavy hitting politician used a spin on a murder that he most likely committed himself to get elected. Rafe, Josie’s husband, encounters the revelation from one if his cronies in DC so she knows it is credible. Now what will she do with the information?

So begins the heart-pounding twists of events that takes Josie from coast to coast. Not only is she working to get the probable murderer out of office, Josie steps into a bigger situation that will have global impact. Not only is the President of the United States a target, but she is now on the assassin’s radar. Putting herself in mortal danger isn’t what she bargained for, but she has never shirked her duty or compromised her convictions.

False Flag in Autumn is an interesting romp in politics. It gives outsiders like me a fascinating glimpse inside a world that I will never be a part of but find interesting. The action heats up as Josie pulls out all the stops, no matter what the personal price, to save the President.

Michael Bowen, recently retired from a lengthy career as a trial lawyer. He is a prolific and critically acclaimed author of 19 books. They range from thrillers such as False Flag in Autumn to political satire. This is the first book I have read by Bowen and thoroughly enjoyed it.

*Yes dear readers I had no idea what a political apparatchik meant so – per Google: “An apparatchik is someone who works for a government or a political party and who always obeys orders” – now we both know (unless you already did) if so, kudos!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Love From Boy – Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother

Love from BoyLove From Boy

Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother

Edited by Donald Sturrock

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First to Read in return for my fair and honest review. Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman

This is a fascinating collection of letters Roald sent to his mother from 1925 to 1965. He begins writing to his mother from St. Peter’s School, followed by Repton School in Derby. He then traveled to Nova Scotia, Norway, Canada, Tanganyika, Kenya, Iraq, Egypt, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Texas, and New York and back to Buckinghamshire. From these posts the reader gets an inside look at historical events and Roald’s opinions of what he sees and experiences.

Before I read this book I pictured him as a writer, toiling away at his desk on some of my favorite books. He actually was a story teller in the letters to his mother, painting pictures with his words about the places where he lived and worked.

We also see his compassion. He was worried about his mother finding out how horrid the conditions were at the boarding school. Disease was rampant and the teachers were, in many cases abusive. He wanted to spare her from concern so sugar-coated many of the events when mailing her weekly letters home.

He was also concerned for his family’s welfare. Roald repeatedly implored his mother to move to the countryside so she and his siblings would be out of harm’s way once the inevitable bombings of the war began. She never left her home, but thankfully was okay. He had access to items that were unavailable in England due to the war and frequently wrote asking her and his sisters for lists of things they needed him to send to them.

He experienced sadness and loss in his personal life. One of his children died at a very young age from an illness and another was in an accident, leading him to become a co-inventor of a shunt for children with brain injuries.

If you haven’t read any of his books that aren’t for children, you may be surprised by the salty language in his letters. But if you have read My Uncle Oswald, you might not be. It is a very funny, and quite bawdy.

I truly cannot pick out one or two of my favorite letters, there are just too many. He met dignitaries and presidents. And he dined with movie stars and the owner of the famed Hope Diamond – who wore it to dinner which Roald found a bit too much. He worked with Walt Disney!

If I haven’t convinced you yet, Roald was a gifted photographer and many of his photos as well as some of his drawings are included in this book. It is an amazing compilation of newsy letters that were saved by his mother, enabling the reader to glimpse into life as Roald experienced it. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in history, Roald Dahl, WWII or Hollywood.

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Rockin’ the Year: Foo Fighters Sonic Highway Tour DC

We don’t go to many live concerts. It isn’t that we don’t like them, in fact we LOVE them, but you know how life can get in the way and before you know it the band or person you wanted to see came to a venue near you and left before you get around to checking on tickets.

But THIS year, became the year we went to more concerts than ever before. It all began with getting tickets for our Daughter-in-law for her birthday for the Foo Fighters tour.

I was not a huge fan, but really got hooked on the Sonic Highway HBO series where Dave Grohl digs deep into the influential music in cities like Seattle, Chicago and Nashville. He is an amazing artist and was even more amazing in concert with the rest of the band, all of whom are talented musicians and showmen.

They were coming to Chicago, but since my son and DIL live in MD, we got tickets for the first show on the U.S. leg of the tour. July 4, 2015 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

Prior to the concert Grohl broke his leg. Not a minor break, but one requiring surgery. He explained all about it during the concert, demoing the crazy chair his road crew built so that he could rock. Here is a Google pic of the chair and Grohl in action.

see original photo here: ( aptopix-foo-fighters-concert-washington.jpg November 5, 2015)
I am getting ahead of myself and the concert. It began at 1 P.M. and lasted until almost 11:00 PM. Bands that were featured on the Sonic Highways Tour started the day off and played non-stop (except during a rain delay) until the Foo Fighters took the stage around 9.
We were rocking to the sounds of Heart, Buddy Guy, Joan Jett, L.L. Cool J an others. It was an amazing mix of music and styles across the years and nation. From blues to rap, there was something for everyone.
The concert goers were young, old and everything in between. Everyone was on their feet when the music ended and they treated us all to a fireworks show.
Here are a couple of pictures we took on cell phones. We sang, clapped and screamed along with the rest of the stadium. For a few hours it was like being the other side of 50 again. I wouldn’t want to live there – but it was a fun place to visit for a few hours. I highly recommend it. 🙂
Waiting for the Foo Fighters to Start
Foo Fighter Concert 7.4.15
Dave Grohl
Jumbotron Dave Grohl

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