Friday, July 15, 2016

CC2 (part 1) - Counting Coup

cover art by Davis Creative

Counting Coup?  

What the heck is that?

As you see from the cover above, it is a Native American Indian kind of thing. Here is a definition, according to the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains: Counting Coup

And below is an excellent explanation in this Montana History Minute as the prerequisite of a Chief and ranking within a tribe:




And that gives an insight to the theme of Book 2 of The Commander and Chief series called ...

Counting Coup

Here is a teaser as to what it's all about.
Art by Davis Creative

Dr. Nova Orlovic, known as "the Chief" - she's half-Cheyenne - is on the warpath again. After her team uncovered the inconvenient truth as to how her second husband had died, President Lincoln Todd circles his wagons in major damage control. And it's payback, big time, for the Chief when she's indicted for the murder of her first husband eleven years ago.

Then a tyrant, eager to rebuild his weapons of mass destruction, gives Nova an offer she can't refuse. In exchange for her expertise in nuclear physics, he tempts her with new revelations about both her husbands' deaths, perhaps clearing her name. But by "counting coup" with her enemies on both sides of the ocean, will the Chief lose the Commander, her latest love, as well as unwittingly unleash the dogs of war? 

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The coup stick, Star of David, British and American flags in the image above have meaning in this latest story.

If this has piqued your interest, please feel free to read the book.

Counting Coup, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle
                  Nook


And please check out the First Book of the series,

His Tribe of One, now available:

Paperback:  CreateSpace

eBook:   Kindle
                  Nook


Latest news at: smithsk.com/cc.htm

Your readership is much appreciated. 

S. K. Smith


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For other posts in His Tribe of One, Book One of the series:

CC (part 1) - The Commander and the Chief: His Tribe of One (2014)

CC (part 2) - Universe in a Glass of Wine  (2014)


CC (part 3) - Happy Bill of Rights Day  (2014)


CC (part 4) - Stories and the Brain (2015)


CC (part 5) - Audie Murphy  (2014)


CC (part 6) - Pavle Orlovic (2015)


CC (part 7) - Buzz Aldrin  (2015) 


 CC (part 8) - Little America (2016)    


CC (part 9) - Buffalo Bill's Wild West (2016)


CC (part 10) - Little Big Man (2016) 


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Photos: art work by Davis Creative

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Patriots (part 3) - Signers of the Declaration

Declaration Independence/wikipedia.com

Soon we are approaching the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, attributed on July 4, 1776.

Much is written about these times. History.com does a great job, such as this: Declaration of Independence

But here is a summary of what happened to the signers, most of them wealthy men, who lost it all for the greater gift, liberty.


Today, many politicians will give away our freedoms for their position of power.

But in 1776, these men and their families risked it all, with nothing material to gain for themselves, as they penned these words in the last sentence:


And for the support of this Declaration, 
with a firm reliance
on the protection of divine Providence, 
we mutually pledge to each other 
our Lives,
our Fortunes
and our sacred Honor.


reference: Declaration of Independence transcript

These 56 signers were patriots.

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Previous posts in series:

Patriots (part 1) - Taps (2016)

Patriots (part 2) - D-Day Courage  (2016)


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Photo from: Declaration Independence/wikipedia.com




Monday, June 13, 2016

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man

Little Big Man/wikipedia.com

Little Big Man, also known as Charging Bear, really existed.

He was a fearless Oglala Lakota warrior, who fought under, then rivaled Crazy Horse. When Crazy Horse was murdered, Little Big Man was a suspect.  But one of the notable battles Little Big Man fought was the Battle of Little Big Horn in the Montana Territory. 

* for more info: Little Big Man at american-tribes.com

And....

 June 25, 1876 marked the Battle of the Little Big Horn, also know as Custer's Last Stand. And we've coming up on its 140th anniversary. 


Many stories and movies (fact, fiction, legends, lies) were made about this battle as well as General Custer and many of the key players.

One of my favorites is this oldie from the 1970s...

Little Big Man - the movie

The Little Big Man  movie (1970), starred Dustin Hoffman and Chief Dan George. It's not a story about Charging Bear. But it's the story of a 121 year old Jack Crabb, in hospice, telling his recollections of the Old West to a reporter. His tale included being adopted by the Cheyenne, adventures in the Wild West, culminating in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. (reference: synopsis with spoilers)

And I make some references to the movie as well as the battle in The Commander and the Chief series, such as a quoted line from the scene below:


At time 1:40 in the clip, the frustrated preacher's wife offers to give Jack Crabb, who was rescued from Indians, a bath.  Asking him to take off his clothes, she assures him:

But I shall avert my eyes at the necessary moment.

At time 3:35, she reassures him when the bath is done:

I shall avert my eyes, of course.

And here's how I work that all in....

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From Book 1, His Tribe of One in The Commander and the Chief series. 

In this scene, the Commander wakes up in guest room of the Chief, as she's assembling her team:

Reggie rolled his good eye to Colonel Jack Sheffield. “Where am I, Jacko?”

“A very posh suite in the Gladstone Hotel.” The Colonel put a hand on Reggie’s shoulder. “At least you woke up in a high class place this time.”

cover by Davis Creative, Becki Davis
“How’d I end up here?”

“We collected you off the street and had one bugger of time getting you up here. Wise got a baggage cart, and we took you up the lift.”

Wise pressed a plastic bag of ice to the left side of Reggie’s face. “You know, Commander, this reminds me when I was in Her Majesty’s service, and one of the lads fell in love with one of the local women, and he got into quite a row with one of her male relatives who took offense…”

Reggie peeked under his blanket. “Where are my clothes?”

“If you pardon me, you were rather soaked to the bone, old boy, so we took the liberty of stripping your wet garments while you were…indisposed.”

“So you left me bloody naked?”

“Your clothes are being laundered.” Wise picked up a plush white robe from the end of the couch. “Meanwhile, the hotel has provided this.” Then Wise signaled the women to look away.

I shall avert my eyes,” Nova said in a put-on southern accent as she gave a sidelong smile to Wise.

Avert your eyes?” Reggie wrinkled his nose.

“It’s a joke between us. My client, she’s part Cheyenne.” Lord Wise grinned at Commander Barrett. “The line comes from the old American movie, Little Big Man.

“The one that ends with General Custer meeting his Waterloo, Reg,” Jack explained.

From His Tribe of One, Part 1, Chapter 9: Wake Up Call

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Back to the movie...

And later, Jack Crabb becomes a scout for General Custer during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. And Jack issued this report to the General:


Custer's response?

Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. 
You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, 
but the subtle truth is you really don't want me to go down there!

And General Custer goes down there and goes down in history, but not in the blaze of glory he had hoped for.


And so Custer met his Waterloo. Only he did not survive. Napoleon did.

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Back to the book....

Later in His Tribe of One, Lord Wise, the Chief's confident, finds out she's been betrayed by their guide. And Kaya Stillwater, the Chief's loyal friend of the family quietly knits as Wise interrogates Omar:

Wise pushed Omar inside a tent where Kaya sat on a campstool, knitting. She no longer had her burka on, but was dressed in khakis. And as her needles clicked, she was stealing glances at their guide. Omar whined, “Why you take me to woman’s tent—it’s unclean.”

“That’s the least of your worries, old boy.” Wise pointed Omar’s face toward Kaya. “Surely you remember my client’s companion? She’s been suspicious of you since the day we hired you back in Adam.”

“She’s a woman.”

“Not just any woman. She’s Cheyenne, one of the Native American Indians. Ever hear of General Custer?”

“Don’t know no American generals.”

“Then let me tell you. This general lived 150 years ago. Fought in the American Civil War. And he was a big hero back then, until he came across the Cheyenne, her people. The ancestors of this woman killed all the American soldiers that had attacked them at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.”

Kaya gave Omar an icy stare, then coolly resumed knitting.

Wise held Omar’s face in Kaya’s direction and continued, “And when her people slaughtered all the soldiers, they left the mutilation of their bodies to the women, women such as this woman you see in front of you.”

“What do you mean?” Omar was sweating.

“See those knitting needles?” Wise eyed Kaya. “She can do things with those that would make the most hardened man break down and weep like a whipped puppy.”

Kaya gave Omar another icy stare as her needles clinked together.

Wise continued, “Oh, yes. I was with MI6, so I know how to interrogate. And Kaya, she knows how to loosen a man’s tongue. So Omar, I ask you this: Do you want it said that a woman broke you and made you squeal like a pig? Or do you wish to talk to me and keep your manhood intact?”

“Wh-what do you want?” Omar quavered.

Wise flashed a grin. “Information.”

And Omar talked as Kaya knitted.

From His Tribe of One, Part 8, Chapter 2, Little Big Horn, Revisited.

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If this has piqued your intererst, please feel free to read the book.

His Tribe of One, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle
                  Nook

Your readership is much appreciated. 

Sequel is coming soon and I'll keep you posted.

S. K. Smith


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and                Davis Creative, Becki Davis


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Patriots (part 2) - D-Day Courage

Eisenhower, D-Day/wikipedia

D-Day, June 6, 1944

That date, D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Overlord, was a critical day of the allies taking the offensive in Europe during World War Two.   It was also a day wrought with military blunders, causing many causalities.  But soldiers overcame these obstacles with tremendous courage, making due with the hand they were dealt, as noted here:

* D-Day: Mistakes Redeemed by Courage

General Eisenhower gave this message to the allied forces on this day, as shown here:


Likewise, FDR offered this prayer to the nation:


Most of the "greatest generation" - those raised during the Great Depression, who fought in World War Two, have passed away, including my father-in-law,  Fortunately, he wrote down some of his memories, which I posted here: World War Two: Memories of North Africa

But we owe a debt of gratitude that we can never repay
to these patriots, the greatest generation,
who sacrificed for others. 

God bless our troops!

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Previous post in series:

Patriots (part 1) - Taps (2016)


Similar posts about World War Two:

America's Story (part 20) - Patton's Weather Prayer  (2015)

America's Story (part 18) - VE Day - 70 years ago (2015)

Pray4America (part 3) - FDR's Flag Day prayer - June 14, 1942 (2012)

America's Story (part 4) - Christmas 1944, when we said NUTS to the enemy  (2011)

A kiss immortalized in August 14, 1945 (2010)

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Photo: Eisenhower, D-Day/wikipedia


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Patriots (part 1) - Taps

next of kin/everystockphoto.com

As Memorial Day approaches, I started another thread honoring all patriots that sacrificed, home and abroad, to keep us safe. It's a debt none of us can repay.

Words often fail to capture the depth of gratitude for those who have given their all. But John Wayne telling the story behind Taps from the American Civil War followed by Amazing Grace come close, as seen in the clip below:




Though there are no "official" words to Taps, here is a popular one:

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh. 


God bless all our patriots, who have given us a great country and the freedoms we enjoy, this Memorial Day!

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Similar posts in the series:

America's Story (part 8) - Memorial Day, Gettysburg, and Amos Humiston (2012)

America's Story (part 13) - The Enola Gay (2013)

Pray4America (part 14) - We are Americans  (2014)

Nostalgia (part 5) - Big Band and World War II  (2015)

Music (part 4) - Armed Forces Medley (2016)


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Photo: next of kin/everystockphoto.com

Monday, May 16, 2016

Music (part 4) - Armed Forces Medley

Joint Colors/Wikipedia.com

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a day to honor our military heroes. So the first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950.  Since then, this day is set as the third Saturday in May. [reference: Armed Forces Day 2016]

For 2016, Armed Forces Day comes on May 21st.  And below is a musical medley honoring all branches of the US military.



Many thanks for all those who put themselves in harms way to keep us safe, home and abroad. And music often amplifies the tribute to their sacrifices that words fall short to express.


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Previous posts in the series:
  

Music (part 2) - All You Need is Love (2016) 

Music (part 3) - Passover (2016)


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pray4America (part 19) - Australia has our back in prayer!

Australia/Wikipedia.com

National Day of Prayer

The 65th annual National Day of Prayer is set to be observed on May 5, 2016. And they have our back, down under, for the last 40 days.


The National Day of Prayer has a long history in the United States. It started in 1775 by the Continental Congress. Ronald Reagan amended Harry Truman's bill, designating the day of the first Thursday of May each year for the National Day of Prayer. [reference:  National Day of Prayer in the United States ]

* For more information: nationaldayofprayer.org

As we come to this week, other nations have America in their prayers, such as Australia with a ....

Global Call: Prayer and Fasting for America

Below is an appeal for that global call for prayer and fasting for America: April 30 - May 5, 2016. The example is Abraham Lincoln's call for a national day of prayer and fasting during the Civil War on April 30, 1863. [ reference: Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation 97 ]


Before the United States became of nation, events in the past indicated Providence had intervened during time of peril. One such crisis was the French Fleet, seeking vengeance on Britain and the American Colonies in 1746, which brought about the ...

Fast Day Proclamation, October 16, 1746

The Governor Of Massachusetts, William Shirley, declared A Day Of Prayer And Fasting For Deliverance - as a French invasion seemed imminent. The clip below reminds us of this deliverance:



* reference: The Miraculous Defeat of the French Fleet, 1746

Another great crisis in American history came during the Civil War. This rift brought America to her knees. So came the call for a ...

Day of Repentance – April 30, 1863

Abraham Lincoln's proclamation of a National Day of Humiliation, prayer and Fasting for 30th April 1863 is read in the clip below with an appeal for forgiveness:

Ezekiel Prayer for America

I looked for someone
among them 
who would ...
stand before Me in the gap 
on behalf of the land ....

Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV)

And Australia is standing the gap for our land with this prayer:



If My people,
which are called by My Name,
shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek My face,
 and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 4:17 (KJV)
 

Keep praying for America

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Photo: Australia/Wikipedia.com