Top Ten Reviews for Judith Sanders’ “In His Stead (A Father’s War)”

“The book brought tears to my eyes on many occasions….Unconditional love at its finest… Sanders has written a magnificent novel that deserves to be heard. ”

“This is a compelling, thought provoking and heart wrenching novel”

“…Sanders makes readers feel as though they are there in the midst of the action…Emotions from laughter, tears, frustration, anger, and heartbreak are felt through each page.”

“I found myself unable to put the book down…Out loud bursts of laughter, deep breaths, giggles and tears…This is a book I would recommend any one and everyone to read.”

“In His Stead by Judith Sanders makes a most compelling argument.  I would strongly recommend this book to anyone.  I originally expected to find a hero of epic proportions, but instead found a character that far exceeds that notion. In His Stead is written with a descriptiveness that builds intimacy between unassuming characters..” Luxury

“The characters are compelling and the story is well-written.  Once you pick it up, you won’t want to quit…I do recommend this book…Go get it.” Earnest

Best book I have read in a long time.  The characters are so alive you find yourself…wishing they were your neighbors.  I highly recommend this book..” Amazon customer

“In His Stead is a must read for anyone…” “For Judith Sanders on her authoring this book. “HOORAH” Jim

“The premise is original, the characters well developed and the narrative is compelling. I read this book straight through and highly recommend it to others.” Amazon customer

 “Bold and Thought Provoking… and brings the far-off war in Afghanistan home to the reader with painful reality. This is an exceptional book, and I highly recommend it to you.”  Amazon customer

More Radio Times Friday 30 November

I’m on the air again Friday, 30 November.  Here are the listings (times are Eastern times):

8:10-8:20AM Little Falls, MN     WYRQ-FM

8:30-8:45AM Internet Radio     KJAG

8:50-9:00AM Amherst, VA     WAMV-AM

9:15-9:30AM Albuquerque, NM     KDAZ-AM

9:35-10:00AM Ocala, FL     WOCA-AM

10:05-10:35AM Centralia, IL   Wily-AM

My Holiday Message for December

Thanks to Cheryl at Cheryl St. John for sharing my holiday photo and Christmas wish.

Radio Interviews with Pat Marriott on WHQR 91.3 FM & Bill & Joel WDUN-AM

Click Here to listen to my chat with Pat Marriott of WHQR 91.3 FM as I answered questions about “In His Stead (A Father’s War)”.

And thanks to my new friends in North Georgia who listened in to my chat with Bill & Joel this morning on WDUN-AM. Listen in to the podcast.

Interview with Pat Marriott WHQR 11_15_12

Judith in the studio with Pat Marriott of WHQR

In His Stead Due out in November

Judith Sanders announced today that IronWord Press, LLC will publish her latest novel, In His Stead (A Father’s War), in November. Three years in the making, In His Stead is

A Tale of Redemption and the Power of a Father’s Love

The cause of war may have changed since America’s conception.
But the loss of a child remains unbearable.

Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and the thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear.
Now the National Guard is calling on Lane’s youngest son to serve. Consumed with sorrow, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent to war in place of their masters, and one still drenched in derision.
In His Stead, the second novel by acclaimed author Judith Sanders, follows the tumultuous battle of Thomas Lane as he fights the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon like choice of losing either a husband or a son.
Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.

“One Bird-flu Over the Coockoo’s Nest”

On 21 December 2011 the world became a more dangerous place.
My co-author, Dr. Frank Malinoski has this to say: On that date we learned that a science article was to be censored (see NYTimes article here). Historic and unprecedented, yes. And Tony Fauci, head of the US NIH is quoted as saying that some would ask why the research, to create a form of Bird Flu that would be highly contagious, was done in the first place. Now THAT should have been the headline and THAT is why we are in more danger today.
We could debate the ethics of censorship and the well intentioned efforts of the NIH staff who funded the research and the scientific prowess of the investigators in the Netherlands and at the University of Wisconsin but the bottom line is this: As a result of this work the US is now in possession of the means to make a biological weapon more deadly than nature itself has done thusfar. I’m not saying that somewhere in the bowels of government there is a secret organization that wants such weapons, but remember it was not long ago that Vice President Dick Cheney convinced the government to hang on to its stocks of smallpox virus “just in case” we needed to study smallpox again (even though it’s been absent from the general population for 40 years). To me, the only thing that distinguishes this work from the illegal biological weapons activity of the former Soviet Union (and many other clandestine programs around the world by the way) is the “openness” of the disclosure, at least until the work was censored….
And the real question for scientists and their conscience is why there is a need to do this type of research? It is not sufficient to say “because we can”. It is not sufficient to say “because nature may do it some time in the future and we need to know what nature will do.” There are so many other important and deadly diseases causing harm NOW. What we need are solutions to treatment and prevention of those diseases, not “improvements” in any bug’s ability to cause disease.
And I’m afraid these scientists will now be faced with reflecting on what Einstein said a few months before his death as he contemplated his contributions to the construction of the atomic bomb, “Perhaps I can be forgiven”.

Ebony Book Club Event

Judith and her Crescent Veil co-author Dr. Frank Malinoski spent a wonderful evening recently with the members of Wilmington’s Ebony Book Club.  What wonderful and insightful discussions around Crescent Veil, my motivation for writing, and the history of biological weapons.  The fellowship, friendship, and dinner were awesome. I can’t wait to share the sequel with this great group of readers and thinkers.

CONTAGION (the movie): Wash Your Hands (OF IT!!!)

It was the night before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the anniversary of not only the horrible attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the plane crash in rural Pennsylvania, but also the anniversary of the date on the note inside the ANTHRAX LETTERS.

So what better thing to do than go see the movie Contagion– after all maybe some new theory was in there or at least it was a chance to see a superstar cast and, anyway, the promotional adverts looked good enough (clue #1).

I won’t spoil the plot for those who do want to see this (or who wait for it to come out on Netflix or on sale in Walmart for 2 cents), but I can’t help but comment on my disappointment with this movie (and that’s being polite).

Here are a few bullet points for your consideration:

If you want to see Gwyneth Paltrow’s face, this movie’s for you, if you want to see her act, watch Shakespeare in Love,

If you are expecting the Matt Damon of Bourne Identity fame and not some hokie father figure who may or may not be suffering, go to Netflix

If you want to see a kindler gentler Laurence Fishburne, watch Contagion but be prepared to be bored and if you really like him in his moment, rent Othello,

If you have your eye on Kate Winslet’s career moves, skip this one.

And if Jude Law is your heart-throb, wait for the next Sherlock Holmes (unless you like him in plastic).

I almost forgot to mention the cameo-like appearances of the brave Elliott Gould who, fortunately, was much more entertaining in the Ocean’s 11, 12, 13 (there was a 13 wasn’t there?) series.

Now, about the plot.  You only have to watch the ads for this movie to know that the world is threatened with a pandemic, one that actually happens this time.  Beyond that, the movie’s TV-like style of jumping around between different settings and plots, leaves one without much of a central plot (or at least one that might be interesting).  Every time there’s an option for an interesting twist or turn or even the hint of a conspiracy the movie falls flatter than flat and stays on a very benign course.

Of course I have to admit that most of the facts about pathogens and epidemiology and epidemic preparedness were there, including a focus on making sure the audience comes away knowing what R-0 (pronounces “arr-naught”) means (and it means how many people an infected person would pass the infection to; so if a disease as an R-0 = 2 then one infected person would infect two others).

Two things about the audience.  As the movie ended it was quieter in the theater than after any movie I had ever seen. Curious (I had to cough just to lighten things up).  Secondly, on my way out I heard someone say this movie was not for germophobes (people afraid of germs) and, I have to admit that is true, but it’s also not for anyone interest in good theater, good acting, or good value-for-money.

Lastly, I expect that after this first weekend the R-o for this movie will be -1 (that is people who saw it will recommend their friends stay away).  Of course there will be those who want to be mean, and will recommend this to their germophobe friends and thus the epidemic may continue.  Who knows???

Unknown Soldier, Unknown Service

A friend reminded me the other day that we have a novel generation gap emerging related to “war as a part of life” here in America.  Clearly, every generation has been exposed to war and the causes that motivated men (and now women) to become soldiers as a way to define and defend America.

Since we marked the end of the WWI generation with the passing of the last veteran from that war at 110 years old (click here for more info), let’s look at this very new “trend” that we face.

Consider that anyone born after 1954 has not had to worry about The Draft (and if you’re too young to know what that is click here).  In this era of the all volunteer US military we now have 233 Million Americans who have never had to consider the personal implications of conscription (aka The Draft).

How “comfortable” we have become relying on the 1% of Americans who serve, and those newly enlisting whose sense of duty may have begun because they were jobless or hopeless coming out of high school and who simply fell prey to the promises of money, college tuition, and the adventure of seeing the world.

With a Lybia no-fly zone voted in the UN and the lack of the threat of The Draft, and journalists dying in Lybia, are we just a bit too comfortable choosing to put those patriots in harms way?

War of the (terror) Worlds

for a moment, consider how close to reality the following fictional reports from our freelance reporter O. Wells III might be….

One Month Ago: This reporter has learned that following the horrific bombing at the Moscow Airport, during a private exchange between Russia’s President Medvedev and the US President Obama over the signing of the nuclear arms reduction pact, the Russian President has offered President Obama “any and all means available” to rid the world of the terrorists in Afghanistan……

Two Weeks Ago: The World Health Organization has sent a team of infectious disease specialists into an undisclosed region of the Helmand Province near the Afghan Pakistan border.  An anonymous source is reporting that the WHO has received reports of illness and death among the poppy field workers, describing rapid onset of fever and skin rashes that could be blisters or pustules…..  In unrelated news, local broadcasts have indicated that US and allied troops suddenly left the area several weeks earlier…..

One Week Ago:  Undisclosed sources at the WHO regional testing laboratory have confirmed that samples taken from patients in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan point to a smallpox epidemic that has an epicenter in the mountains of the Afghan Pakistan border…..

Today: We have received reports confirming that Osamba Bin Laden and a number of high ranking Al Qaeda officials along with numbers of Taliban troops are among the dead identified in the Helmand Province smallpox epidemic….WHO officials are reporting that the source of the epidemic is likely to be related to the practice of Al Qaeda and Taliban soldiers to hide weapons in the graves of old cemeteries in the region and speculation that one or more of those graves contained bodies of people who had died of smallpox before the eradication of smallpox in the region…..Officials have denied any linkage of the epidemic to reports that a drone was seen criss-crossing the area releasing a cloud of dust just after foreign troops left….Military officials say the drone was smoking from an engine malfunction and that it was later recovered and repaired…..