Thursday, September 22, 2022

Book Spotlight: Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex by Carole P. Roman


Templeton Academy, the superhero high school is finally open! The prestigious academy is recruiting the best of the best to enroll in its student body. The school is as mysterious as it is exclusive. Grady Whill thinks there is nothing special about him to make the grade. However, his best friend Aarush Patel has been selected and thinks Grady has the right stuff. Even school bully Elwood Bledsoe is attending. If Grady is fortunate enough to be picked, his guardian has forbidden him to attend. Will a family secret prevent Grady from becoming the superhero he was destined to be?


"Roman's writing is excellent: portraying wonderful, complex characters. Narrated by Grady, the story reveals his kindness and humor. ("Aarush lived in a smart home as opposed to my stupid home," he tells readers). It also illustrates the lovely symbiotic friendship between Grady and Aarush, who protect each other from trouble and ridicule...With the book's many touching, funny, and edge-of-your-seat moments, readers will be cheering to hear more from Grady." Blue Ink Review


"With a page-turning plot and exciting twists and turns, this book is sure to become a treasured favorite."- Review by Book Excellence


"If I were to give a book to every young adult in this world, I would give them Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex by Carole P. Roman without blinking. I absolutely loved every moment of this uplifting and fascinating story. It's filled with valuable life lessons, adventure, peril, and highly relatable and lovable characters." Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite


"Harry Potter meets Sky High. If you're a fan of young adult stories where protagonists go to mysterious schools to train their superhuman abilities, don't miss out on Grady Whill and The Templeton Codex." Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Reader's Favorite


"With a detailed descriptive narrative, great character development, and compelling dialogue, the author has created a story that will have young readers engaged to the very end." Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Reader's Favorite

Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children's books. Whether it's pirates, princesses, spies, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children of all ages. Her best-selling book, The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes! has reached number one on Amazon in March of 2020 and has remained in the top 200 books since then. She published Mindfulness for Kids with J. Robin Albertson-Wren. Carole has co-authored two self-help books. Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing with Julie A. Gerber, and Marketing Indieworld with both Julie A. Gerber and Angela Hausman. Roman is the CEO of a global transportation company, as well as a practicing medium. She also writes adult fiction under the name Brit Lunden and has created an anthology of the mythical town of Bulwark, Georgia with a group of indie authors. Writing is her passion and one of her favorite pastimes. Roman reinvents herself frequently, and her family calls her the 'mother of reinvention.' She resides on Long Island, near her children and grandchildren. Her latest book is the YA Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex. Visit her website at or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Author Spotlight: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Colette R. Harrell

In 1859, Junie Benson was a twelve-year-old genius and enslaved. His older sister, Sari, had her own difficulties, including being auctioned to the highest bidder. She was also beautiful, flighty, and had a repetitive dream about a hazel-eyed white stranger. Everybody with the good sense God had given them knew even her dream was forbidden. In 2022, three things troubled ex-Special Forces Lt. Colonel Zachary Trumble . . . his new job as director of security for Burstein Labs, his loveless marriage, and the green-eyed siren who won’t let him sleep in peace. Then time’s fickle hand brewed a recipe for a miracle . . . Stir in three runaway slaves, an avalanche, one mad scientist, and an unhappy, in-love hero to create a dish for revenge best served . . . Later.


10 Things You Might Not Know About Colette R. Harrell

1. Let’s start at the beginning; LATER was written by Colette R. Harrell and is her first Indie Project.

2. As an author, Colette R. Harrell strives to put something supernatural in each plot because miracles happen daily. 

3. LATER is her first book with historical overtones.

4. She secretly loves time travel fantasy books that stretch the imagination. Her challenge was to incorporate that love in LATER, a different way. 

5.   She writes sweet romances with an edge. 

6.   This one is top secret; when it comes to self-publishing, she’s doing it trembling

7.   She is already working on her next novel, A Life Kissing Frogs. The release date is February/March 2023.

8.   Colette is also writing a series for children and middle schoolers. 

9.   She works to add humor and golden nuggets of wisdom to every novel she writes. She hopes her readers walk away with a complete meal, dessert included.  

10.  Colette has only just begun; stay tuned!



Monday, September 12, 2022

Lack of Moral Fibre by author Helen P. Schrader


Flying Officer Kit Moran has earned his pilot’s wings, but the greatest challenges still lie ahead: crewing up and returning to operations. Things aren’t made easier by the fact that while still a flight engineer, he was posted LMF (Lacking in Moral Fibre) for refusing to fly after a raid on Berlin that killed his best friend and skipper. Nor does it help that he is in love with his dead friend’s fiancée, but she is not yet ready to become romantically involved again. What is Lack of Moral Fibre? Established aviation author and expert on the Second World War author Helen P. Schrader explains.

On 21 March 1940, the Air Member for Personnel met with senior RAF commanders to develop a procedure for dealing with flying personnel who refused to ‘face operational risks.’ The concern of these senior officers was that should the refusal to fly become more widespread, it might have a debilitating impact on the RAF’s ability to operate. The RAF’s dilemma was that flying was ‘voluntary,’ hence the refusal to fly was not technically a breach of the military code. The RAF needed an alternative means of punishing and deterring refusals to fly on the part of trained aircrew. So, the concept of “Lacking in Moral Fibre” (LMF) was introduced and procedures developed to cope with what in 1940 had been an unexpected phenomenon. Legends about LMF abound. During the war itself, it was widely believed that aircrew found LMF were humiliated, demoted, court-martialled, and dishonourably discharged. There were rumours of former aircrew being transferred to the infantry, sent to work in the mines, or forced to do demeaning tasks. Aircrew expected to have their records and discharge papers stamped “LMF” with implications for their post-war employment opportunities.

Long before the war was over, the concept of LMF came under criticism and in the post-war era, popular perceptions conflated LMF with “shell shock” in the First World War and with the more modern concept/diagnosis of Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome PTSS. In literature — from Len Deighton’s Bomber to Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 — aircrew were increasingly depicted as victims of a cruel war machine making excessive and senseless demands upon helpless airmen. In reality, LMF was a more complex and nuanced issue. Contrary to popular perceptions, most cases did not involve combat-fatigued veterans suffering from what we would now diagnose as PSTD. Fully, one third of cases came from Training Command. Another third from Coastal, Transport and Fighter Commands combined, and one third from Bomber Command, where the largest number of aircrew served in the course of the war.

Even the one third of cases from Bomber Command included many airmen who had not flow a single operation against the enemy. There are numerous well-documented cases of men, who had enjoyed higher pay and status along with an exception from combat risks while undergoing aircrew training for up to two and a half years, who simply declined to start their operational tours. It is hardly surprising that the RAF — and incidentally their fellow aircrew — were disgusted with such an attitude. Furthermore, an analysis of the records shows almost no evidence of widespread humiliation for the men labelled LMF. Altogether, less than one percent of aircrew were in fact posted for LMF, and of these the vast majority were partially or completely rehabilitated.  Only a tiny fraction were actually found permanently LMF. Last but not least, the process for determining whether aircrew should be deemed LMF was far more humane than the myths of immediate and public humiliation suggest.

While the decision to remove a member of aircrew from a unit was an executive decision, applied when a member of aircrew “lost the confidence of his commanding officer,” the subsequent treatment was largely medical/psychiatric. Thus, while a Squadron Leader or Station Commander was authorized — and expected! — to expel from his command any officer or sergeant who endangered the lives or undermined the morale of others in his unit by his attitude or behaviour, that removal (or “posting” in RAF jargon) did not necessarily mean that the individual posted off his squadron would be found LMF. Instead, once a man had been posted away from his active unit, he found himself inside the RAF medical establishment that employed Not Yet Diagnosed Nervous (NYDN) centres to examine and to a lesser extent treat individuals who had “lost the confidence of their commanding officers.” The medical and psychiatric officers at the NYDN centres did not assume the men sent to them were inherently malingerers or cowards. They could competently discriminate between men suffering from what we would now call PTSD — and those who were not. They were at pains to understand the causes of any breakdown, and their interviews with aircrew helped the RAF leadership to understand the causes behind any breakdown in morale and/or confidence. The medical professionals were ultimately able to convince Bomber Command to reduce the number of missions per tour and to exempt aircrew on second tours from the LMF procedures altogether.

Meanwhile, more than 30% of the aircrew referred to NYDNs returned to full operational flying (35% in 1942 and 32% in 1943-1945), another 5-7% returned to limited flying duties, and between 55% and 60% were assigned to ground duties. Less than 2% were completely discharged. In addition, there is considerable circumstantial evidence that at the unit level pains were taken to avoid the stigma of “LMF” in the first place. No one understood the pressures of combat better than those who were subjected to them. It was the comrades and commanders, who were themselves flying operationally, who recognized both the symptoms and understood the consequences of flying fatigue. These men largely sympathized with those who were seen to have done their part yet were no longer coping with the stress. Certainly, men on a second tour were treated substantially differently — at both operational units and at NYDNs — than men still in training or at the start of their first tour.

While conditions varied over time and from commander to commander, on the whole RAF flying personnel did not seek to punish or humiliate a comrade who in the past had pulled his weight. Instead, informal means of dealing with cases of men who “got the twitch” — other than posting them LFM — were practiced. Precisely because such practices were “informal” they are impossible to quantify. Yet the specific cases documented are almost certainly only the tip of the iceberg. This is not to say that LMF policies did not have a powerful impact on RAF culture. The widespread rumours of draconian punishment meant that the mere threat of being designated LMF was a powerful deterrent to wilful or casual malingering, although not always effective even then. On the other hand, tragically, the threat of public humiliation may also have pushed some men to keep flying when they had already passed their breaking point, leading to errors, accidents, and loss of life.

During the Second World War, psychiatric professionals increasingly came to recognize that “courage was akin to a bank account. Each action reduced a man’s reserves and because rest periods never fully replenished all that was spent, eventually all would run into deficit. To punish or shame an individual who had exhausted his courage over an extended period of combat was increasingly regarded as unethical and detrimental to the general military culture.” [Edgar Jones, “LMF: The Use of Psychiatric Stigma in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War,” The Journal of Military History 70 (April 2006), 456.] This meant that those who were posted LMF from operational squadrons after a break-down of some sort could expect more sympathy and better treatment than those who simply refused to fly before facing operational risks.

Nor should we forget that behind the notion of LMF was the deeply embedded belief that courage is the ultimate manly virtue and that a man who lacks courage is inferior to the man who has it. RAF aircrew were all volunteers. They were viewed and treated as an elite. Membership in any elite is always dependent on the fulfilment of certain criteria, and since the age of the Iliad the fundamental characteristic expected of military elites is courage. It probably always will be.